As I talked about in my last post, I now own 11 more classic LEGO video games. While I’ve been wanting most all of those, there were a few in particular that I’ve wanted more than the others. One of those was LEGO® LEGOLAND. This game has been on my list for a while, mainly for one reason: the installer.
Like all the classic LEGO video games, this too has a 16-bit InstallShield installer. However, unlike all the other installers, this one is near impossible to run. Instead of having a 32-bit helper like all the others, this one is purely 16-bit, meaning it can’t be run at all on 64-bit Windows. In addition, the game files on the disc are kinda hidden, split between uncompressed and compressed into an archive. On top of that, the game has registry strings, so even if you could get all the files, it would not run. A workaround to this was found, and it works most of the time.
As you know, I’ve written alternate installers before. I have one for Racers, Racers 2, Island, and LOCO. So if an alternate installer could be created, I could do it. Well, now that I own this mysterious game, I can work on the total destruction of this installer.
And destroy it I did. This morning and for a bit after lunch, I worked out how to install LEGOLAND. And at long last, a completely working, modern way to install this game has been developed.
The game files, as I said, are split between a compressed archive and sitting uncompressed on the disc, and registry strings are needed. The audio, SFX, and a few AVIs are uncompressed, while the zbuffer folder, movies, and other stuff is located in the archive, namely main.z. This archive is an InstallShield 3.x archive from the early 1990s (and this game was released in 1999). I got the tool to extract the archive, figured out what files I needed to pull off the disc and where to put them, scanned my log of all installer actions of the workaround installer, created using Process Monitor, quickly wrote a batch script to remove an unneeded file, performed all my usual quality checks (such as ensuring the save games are never removed), and released the first version this afternoon.
The installer is not a complete rewrite of the original installer, it doesn’t have all the installation options like the original, so it automatically installs all game files (a full installation in the original installer). That doesn’t mean it runs without a CD, I don’t think there is an no-CD trick. All that may come later. But for now, there is now a stable way to install this game, and another 16-bit installer has been defeated.
You can get the LEGO® LEGOLAND Alternate Installer from GitHub. If you get an error saying your disc is not supported, let me know! I’ll get back with you and try to support it. 😉