Acquiring the game and different versions
October 2, 2020 at 8:33 am #3801
So, as you may know, Ecstatica and its sequel are unfortunately not on GOG or any other digital distribution platform yet.
However, while perusing archive.org, I found copies for both the floppy and CD version of the game, as well as the sequel.
The original game, be it floppy or CD, runs under DOS at 320×200 and runs pretty well in DOSBox, but did you know that there was a Windows 95 version that runs at 640×480 SVGA and looks crisp as hell? I have personally never played this particular version (although I intend to so this month), but have seen screenshots of it and it is very impressive.
I first saw it in a post from a few years ago by DOS Nostalgia’s Anatoly and I believe this was made around the same time as the sequel, can’t recall if it was packed in with the sequel or sold separately.
Anyway, this version of the game doesn’t seem to be in archive.org, but I did snag a copy awhile ago on oldgames.ru. So, if you’re interested in playing this game and have a retro PC with Windows 9x, might as well give this one a try!
firefyteParticipantPodcasterOctober 3, 2020 at 10:24 am #3804
This page states that there’s a patch for the windows version for modern PCs:
MikeParticipantPodcasterOctober 4, 2020 at 7:40 pm #3806
Thanks for the patch. I might try that one out if that’s considered the superior version?
I happen to have a copy of the Windows version of the first game. Should I upload an iso of it to the Internet Archive? It sounds like it’s not being preserved anywhere.
TijnKeymasterPodcasterOctober 4, 2020 at 8:21 pm #3807
Oh nice! Yeah, they say it’s quite rare actually!
TijnKeymasterPodcasterOctober 4, 2020 at 8:21 pm #3808
Also, apparently in the Windows version you CAN move & turn at once 😮October 5, 2020 at 9:31 pm #3813
That is indeed true, I only just noticed it. It also reaches higher framerates, I believe the original is locked to a maximum of 20, but it may have been 30 (it’s been a while since I last played it).
I think I do prefer the Windows version, as I’m a sucker for crisp visuals, but as for it being the definitive release, it is debatable. It has a few quirks, such as text moving too quickly on anything that’s faster than an original Pentium and voice lines triggering a bit too fast for my liking, not to mention various little bugs here and there that have been catalogued by the Ecstatica wiki (oh yes, it exists!).
More importantly, I think there’s something to be said about the original’s visuals. The pre-rendered backgrounds had to be updated for the newer release with higher resolution assets and some of the added detail is bizarre and even surreal at times, especially on rocky formations. I personally liked it, but it does have a sort of unfinished look, where as in the original release, the lower resolution hides most of the fine detail and imagination fills the gaps. This might be one of these cases where “less is more”.
ShatteredParticipantPodcasterOctober 11, 2020 at 5:31 am #3823
Hi everyone, I found a Windows version which has a folder labeled “Ecstatica – Windows ISO” but within that folder are 4 files, one of which is Ecstatica1.img. Unfortunately when I try to mount it in Windows, it says the disk is corrupted. Did anyone else find this version and know how to get it working? I can play the DOS version, but would like the sharper graphics and the ability to turn while walking. 🙂 Cheers!
ShatteredParticipantPodcasterOctober 11, 2020 at 10:02 pm #3825
Thanks f2bnp! I’m a big fan of DOS Nostalgia. 🙂 Anatoly did an episode on the challenges of DOS programming I imagine several of the members of this club would find interesting. I wonder if Anatoly knows we’re playing Ecstatica this month…
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