Lately, I’ve felt a very strong desire to revisit Black & White 2 (does that make me a retro gamer?). When I first bought my Windows 7 licence, it was so I could play Windows games without getting frustrated with the patchy experience of trying to run those games using Wine under Ubuntu.
For a small time, Black & White 2 worked, and all was good with the world. Eventually, a Windows Update came through, and it stopped working. I tried the XP and 2000 compatibility modes, admin and non-admin access, and got no joy. I tried upgrading to Windows 7 Professional for its greater XP backwards compatibility, and joy eluded me. I started looking seriously into buying a Windows XP licence, purely to run the games that Windows 7 now denied me. Given that I’d just recently blown money on a Windows upgrade that only saw me poorer, I was loathe to fork out even more cash.
So, it’s been a while since I last tried getting Black & White 2 running with Wine. The last attempt (maybe a year or two ago?) was not great. However, WineHQ’s AppDB entry had some interesting things to say on getting the game running with more recent revisions of Wine, so I plunged on in, and found immense joy. Here’s some key points on my getting it working:
- I’m using the Wine 1.3.19 development release
- Ubuntu 10.04 , running NVidia’s propietory 3D graphics driver
- I needed to switch from my preferred TwinView display to a separate X display per screen.
- It wouldn’t work out of the box until I extracted ‘d3dx9_25.dll’ out of the DirectX.cab archive (found on install disk #1), and dropped that dll into “Program Files/Lionhead Studios/Black & White 2”.
How do I extract a file from a Microsoft CAB archive under Ubuntu? The answer is a wonderful little utility called cabextract. Get it thusly:
# sudo apt-get install cabextrac
And done. Where Windows 7 failed me in playing a Windows game, Ubuntu and Wine came to the rescue! Now, please excuse me as I continue me squee-fest with my favourite giant lion!
Ehh!? What? Don’t believe me?!? Heathens! Ok, here’s a small gallery of me playing it in a window, with some ubuntu desktop surrounding it to keep the disbelievers from leaving nasty comments: