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Vista Games Cracked to Run on XP

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the now-they-have-a-market dept.

PC Games (Games) 376

Next Generation is reporting that Vista PC games have been cracked to run under XP. Hacking groups who apparently wanted to play new titles like Shadowrun and Halo 2 with driver support have taken it upon themselves to open up the playing field a bit. "The news is sure to irk Microsoft who may now face an increased delay in some consumers adopting Vista at this early stage. However, it shouldn't come as a surprise. Earlier this month Falling Leaf Systems said in a press release that it believed Microsoft was deceiving consumers by stating that the titles would only work on Vista, and announced its intentions to release compatibility software to disprove the claim. 'Microsoft has, in typical Microsoft fashion, decided to launch their forced migration onslaught in full force with the release of two games that will only run on Windows Vista,' said Falling Leaf Systems CEO Brian Thomason in the press release." Relatedly, Mitch Gitelman of the (now closed) FASA Studios has taken exception to negative reviews of Shadowrun.

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376 comments

Nothing new under the sun (5, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | about 7 years ago | (#19649695)

I once bought a set of OrCad software for $13K, but even after several calls to tech support I could not get the parallel-port security dongles to work properly. I even got a replacement set of dongles from them and it still didn't work reliably. So I downloaded a crack for it, and then everything was fine.

When you have to download a pirated version just to use the software you've legitimately paid for because of artificial limitations like this, it doesn't exactly install a lot of goodwill in the customer. I never purchased anything from Cadence again, and don't intend to.

If enough of us refuse to buy software, music, or movies from companies that deliberately frustrate their paying customers, then they will either change their strategy or they will deservedly go out of business.

Re:Nothing new under the sun (1)

edizzles (1029108) | about 7 years ago | (#19649715)

Ya the forced Upgrading is just par for the corse as far as MS is concerned

Re:Nothing new under the sun (5, Informative)

danbert8 (1024253) | about 7 years ago | (#19649747)

This angers me as well, especially when the product box is wrong. For example, I bought a Streamzap PC remote which claimed to work with Windows XP (all versions), but somehow that didn't include XP x64 edition. I might add that Streamzap does not reply at all to support questions that involve XP x64.
 
This brings up an interesting question of if this hack works with XP x64.

Re:Nothing new under the sun (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 7 years ago | (#19649855)

If enough of us refuse to buy software, music, or movies from companies that deliberately frustrate their paying customers, then they will either change their strategy or they will deservedly go out of business.
Well, this doesn't really apply in markets where there is a monopolist running things. MSFT can do things like this and get away with it precisely because they own more than 90% of the desktop OS market. Your only other choice is to run an alternative platform, like Mac OS X or Linux, neither of which are particularly good platforms from a gamer's perspective.

IOW, the fact that Microsoft gets away with 'forced upgrades' and the like is all the proof you need that they should have been broken up following the DOJ anti-trust trial, per the orders of Judge Jackson.

Re:Nothing new under the sun (0)

Nossie (753694) | about 7 years ago | (#19649919)

totally agree long term we would be in a better position now.

Re:Nothing new under the sun (3, Insightful)

teflaime (738532) | about 7 years ago | (#19650175)

Max OS X and Linux would be fine platforms for gaming if 1) they wrote more games for them and 2) OpenGL were to keep pace with whatever DirectX is supposed to be offering...my disclaimer here is that I don't know if OpenGL is keeping pace or not. I was told at a con by a game developer that he didn't think OpenGL was keeping pace and thats why he didn't like programming for Macs. I hate programming, so I haven't bothered to learn if this is really true, or just lazy programmer FUD to hide their laziness.

Re:Nothing new under the sun (2, Interesting)

shotgunsaint (968677) | about 7 years ago | (#19650457)

I'm not much of a code slinger either, but from what I understand of the subject, DirectX is much easier to develop for, while Open GL is faster performance-wise. Anyone care to prove me wrong or right?

Re:Nothing new under the sun (5, Informative)

Sparr0 (451780) | about 7 years ago | (#19650485)

OpenGL is keeping *AHEAD* of Direct3D. We had Shader Model 4.0 (Geometry Shaders, aka "DX10") months before DX10. OpenGL has SM4 on WinXP, and D3D9 doesn't. That alone should provoke developers into switching. For years the argument has been about ease of programming and integration, but now OGL has concrete feature superiority over D3D on the most prevalent gaming platform in the world.

Re:Nothing new under the sun (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19650661)

What is the difference between vertex shaders and geometry shaders? They sound like the same thing to me. Genuine and interested question, I don't know...

Re:Nothing new under the sun (5, Interesting)

bigbigbison (104532) | about 7 years ago | (#19650333)

I can't tell you how many games I've bought that I've put in at least 3 different computers with different brands of dvd drives and none of them could read the disks because of securom copy protection. In every case I've gone p2p and found hacked versions. It is a sign of how good their "copy protection" is when someone who has bought the games can't install them but the pirates have no problem ripping them.

Re:Nothing new under the sun (2, Insightful)

another_fanboy (987962) | about 7 years ago | (#19650353)

have to download a pirated version just to use the software you've legitimately paid for because of artificial limitations
If enough of us refuse to buy software, music, or movies from companies that deliberately frustrate their paying customers, then they will either change their strategy or they will deservedly go out of business.
The problem is if we refuse to buy from them, they will complain to the RIAA/MPAA that we are pirating. More pirates means more DRM.

Re:Nothing new under the sun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19650743)

Were you running on supported hardware and OS? Most professional CAD packages require that in order to guarantee their product and provide support for it. If it doesn't work for YOU that doesn't mean it doesn't work, and if you then reverse engineer the program in order to work, then you have violated the license granted to you. When it comes to these types of programs, it is 99% of the time user error that causes them not to work, not the program. And before I get flamed for saying this, I support UG, SolidEdge, CATIA, Femap, and several other CAD and engineering programs for a consulting firm.

But this is slashdot, where advocating software piracy is the norm.

Way to go Falling Leaf... (1, Funny)

cromar (1103585) | about 7 years ago | (#19649701)

Best hack I've heard of in a long time (from my personal anti-MS point of view ;) Stick it to the man!

Re:Way to go Falling Leaf... (5, Informative)

Tridus (79566) | about 7 years ago | (#19649925)

This wasn't Falling Leaf, it was the crack group Razor 1911.

Falling Leaf hasn't released anything.

Re:Way to go Falling Leaf... (1)

cromar (1103585) | about 7 years ago | (#19649991)

Well fuck... I'd give you an Informative mod if I had one :)

Re:Way to go Falling Leaf... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19650259)

Here is a link to their... umm... press release [nforce.nl]

Re:Way to go Falling Leaf... (1)

paganizer (566360) | about 7 years ago | (#19650015)

There is a Win2k patch for Halo 2 that has been on P2P since the first week in June. I have no idea if it works with WinXP, but I imagine it would; if it's anything like the AOEIII win2k fix, it'll also make the game a lot more playable.
I might take a crack at making a win2k patch for shadowrun; I know a few people in my "Win2k infinite" group have been messing with fixing the version checking.
I'm hoping someone will get it quick, I love Shadowrun, but don't like multiplayer online games very much. Having to buy a $60 Vista game just for the pleasure of making it work on Win2k doesn't sound like a good investment.

Re:Way to go Falling Leaf... (2, Interesting)

plague3106 (71849) | about 7 years ago | (#19650041)

So I guess software vendors don't have the right to sell their product the way they choose to, huh?

Re:Way to go Falling Leaf... (2, Insightful)

ChakatSanddancer (1106243) | about 7 years ago | (#19650167)

No, they don't. Software makers have just as much right to say you can only run a program on one platform as cereal makers have a right to say you can only eat their product for breakfast.

Re:Way to go Falling Leaf... (1)

plague3106 (71849) | about 7 years ago | (#19650251)

Is the only way to defend this position with bad analogies or something? If they want to limit themselves to a smaller market, how exactly does that hurt you?

Re:Way to go Falling Leaf... (0)

ChakatSanddancer (1106243) | about 7 years ago | (#19650291)

It harms my right to use a product the way I wish to, and it goes against the doctrine of first sale. Why should software be different from any other product on the planet?

Re:Way to go Falling Leaf... (1, Informative)

plague3106 (71849) | about 7 years ago | (#19650795)

You know before you buy it though that its only expected to work with Vista. Why would you purchase something you think might not work and then complain when it doesn't?

Nothing violates the doctrine of first sale; you are the original purchaser. Whether you like it or not, software is a product that is licensed (just like other products are). If you don't like the license, don't buy the game. Software should be different because there's high cost to create it, and it can easily be copied and thus needs to be protected.

Re:Way to go Falling Leaf... (1)

Eideewt (603267) | about 7 years ago | (#19650437)

Regardless of whether it hurts you, they don't have the right to limit the platform you can run it on any more than you have the right to run it on whatever you choose. They can try, of course, but it's a stupid thing to do.

Re:Way to go Falling Leaf... (0, Troll)

djones101 (1021277) | about 7 years ago | (#19650205)

They have the right, just like the consumers have the right to their own customizations. Sorry, but if I buy a ruler, and then attach a laser to it, to make a home-made laser level, Sears has no right to tell me that I violated a patent they own on laser level technology. That is EXACTLY the kind of thing Microsoft does. If Microsoft wants to try and limit me, and I find a way around it, they need to suck it up and deal with it, or get out of the business since they can't meet consumer demands.

Re:Way to go Falling Leaf... (2, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | about 7 years ago | (#19650297)

Software, whether you like it or not, is licensed, unlike a ruler. Stop with stupid analogies, and discuss the topic.

If you don't want to respect their license, that's fine, but then you shouldn't expect them to respect the GPL either.

No where did anyone mention patents in this discussion either. Again, argue the topic at hand, and stop setting up stupid, inacurate strawman arguments.

Re:Way to go Falling Leaf... (5, Insightful)

Drachemorder (549870) | about 7 years ago | (#19650631)

If you don't want to respect their license, that's fine, but then you shouldn't expect them to respect the GPL either.
There's an inherent difference here. Microsoft's licenses try to restrict you from doing things you would otherwise have the right to do. The GPL gives you rights to do things that you would not otherwise have. If you don't want to respect the GPL, that's fine, but you'd essentially be a software pirate if you distribute GPL software in violation of its terms. On the flip side, if you violate some of Microsoft's license terms, you might not have done anything illegal at all (running Vista in a VM, for instance). So I really do see a huge difference between the two licensing models, and therefore a difference between the nature of respect for them.

Re:Way to go Falling Leaf... (1)

Znork (31774) | about 7 years ago | (#19650737)

"Software, whether you like it or not, is licensed"

Copyright largely governs what you can and cannot do with software; clickwrap extensions trying to enforce post-sale contractual obligations are much less certain.

"but then you shouldn't expect them to respect the GPL either."

The GPL doesnt extend beyond copyright law, the GPL grants rights the user does not _have_ under copyright law. It's a copyright license, falling back on copyright law. Without the GPL the distributor has no rights to distribute at all.

Software clickwrap licenses restrict the user beyond what copyright law does, and try to take away rights the user normally has. Such licenses fall back on contract law, and are in their nature vastly different in their enforcability (the contract has to be found valid at all, the clauses have to be deemed acceptable, etc), and if it isnt found enforcable then the user has all the rights copyright grants them (ie, to use the product any way they deem fit).

Re:Way to go Falling Leaf... (1)

sogoodsofarsowhat (662830) | about 7 years ago | (#19650851)

Not everything they stick in the license is defensible or legally binding. That is why they do not basically EVER take anybody to court on the EULA! They WILL LOOSE! They claim they have the right to dictate what i do with the software and in some respects they do. But they cannot for me to run on any particular machine...even apple's OSX license will hold up to that. As long as i buy the software and dont make illegal copies they will not have a chance at keeping me from using it on any type of machine i want. Just because they put it in the license DOES NOT MAKE IT LEGALLY BINDING. This is EXACTLY like FORD saying i cant modify or do whatever i want with the truck i buy from them. Yes there is software in their computer in the truck...if i mod it to make more HP/Torque (but dont resell that mod or thier code) there is NOTHING...READ NOTHING they can do...much like me buying a game or OS and making it run on a Timex/Sinclair. They can get mad, hell they can file suit...they will lose. Get a life dude...EULA and licenses are not ALL BINDING ALL CONTROLING DOCUMENTS. While you may license the software to me...HOW I USE IT is still a basic freedom. Foo /did not buy a Ford

Re:Way to go Falling Leaf... (4, Interesting)

Drachemorder (549870) | about 7 years ago | (#19650319)

Maybe they do, but we as consumers also have the right to call them on the carpet for it. And, for that matter, the right to modify the software to overcome those artificial limitations. (This isn't a matter of piracy --- this sort of hack has nothing to do with whether or not the game or the OS is pirated.) Just because someone has the right to do something does not mean it's right to do it. Microsoft is morally wrong here, even if their actions are legal.

Where's The Justice Department? (4, Insightful)

bc90021 (43730) | about 7 years ago | (#19649751)

Doesn't falsely indicating that games only run on their new OS violate the terms of their agreement with the DOJ?

Re:Where's The Justice Department? (1)

TheGreatHegemon (956058) | about 7 years ago | (#19649805)

There's still no full functionality(Windows Live and Achievements), so we can't disprove Microsoft's claims entirely. Granted, I couldn't imagine a reason under the sun for it, but the Justice Dept. may have less knowledge in technology, and Microsoft has so many more brains to work out an excuse.

Re:Where's The Justice Department? (4, Interesting)

Cerberus7 (66071) | about 7 years ago | (#19649819)

The games don't run on their new OS, by design. Even if it's something as simple as "check if OSVER=Vista" or what have you, that means the game won't run on anything but Vista. It's not illegal, it's just a load of crap, as those who are working against said crap are proving.

Re:Where's The Justice Department? (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | about 7 years ago | (#19650047)

I've done similar things on another platform to get Final Cut Pro to run on a Blue & White G3 upgraded with a G4 processor. The installer refused to install on a system that had no AGP slots, and if the application got installed anyway, it also refused to run by the same condition. A little patch here and a plist edit there and it ran fine. The occasional software update also required reapplication of the plist edit.

Oh, I had another system that could run it, but I needed more internal disk storage than that platform was capable of providing.

I now have a Mac Pro and wonder if this means Halo 2 will run on my Mac under Parallels running XP. (Yeah, I know Parallels can run Vista.)

Re:Where's The Justice Department? (-1, Troll)

El Lobo (994537) | about 7 years ago | (#19649865)

Sure, go and cry to mom and dad.... Cery me a river. It's their OS and their games and they can for all they want to create a license to say that the game can only be run on a blue moon. Don't like it? Don't buy it. But it's their right and cracking it don't do better: it's ilegal anyway. Of course crying foul is much easier, but I'm sure iLife can also run on MacOS 9 *technically*. But Apple don't care. And it's their right.

Gee, I wish that people could once for all underatand that running an OS or a game is NOT A HUMAN RIGHT, but a contract between parts.

Re:Where's The Justice Department? (2, Insightful)

ciroknight (601098) | about 7 years ago | (#19649987)

"Don't like it? Don't buy it"

What a wonderful response. I guess you completely missed the fact that about 85-90% of computers that ship have Windows pre-installed; you can't choose NOT to buy it, and you can't get a refund for it without jumping through a million hoops (or in the case of Toshiba laptops, there's a sticker on the outside that says "You will not receive a rebate for Windows, period."

So yeah, when the day comes that computer companies decouple Windows from their machines, I'd personally consider not running to the Justice Department every time they fuck up their software in a way to lock users in or make it more difficult for users to use something else. But on that day we'll also see Hell hit absolute zero, pigs will start designing interstellar spacecraft, etc.

Re:Where's The Justice Department? (2, Insightful)

dharbee (1076687) | about 7 years ago | (#19650083)

"you can't choose NOT to buy it"

Why can't you choose not to buy the game?

Your point is stupid. (and if you wanted to choose not to buy the OS, there's a company called Apple...)

Re:Where's The Justice Department? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | about 7 years ago | (#19650105)

I'm not sure what your point is. In this case, the item in question that the OP suggests you not buy is a game, not an OS. Cry all you want, but you can't claim MS is using its monopoly in games to further leverage its monopoly on OSes, because MS doesn't have a monopoly on games.

No one 'fucked up' their software; they designed a system and a new game chose to use said system. Nothing that worked on XP now breaks on XP because of Vista or the game.

Re:Where's The Justice Department? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 7 years ago | (#19650031)

I'm sure iLife can also run on MacOS 9 *technically*
I'm sure it can't. Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X are completely different architectures, much like the difference between Windows 98 and Windows XP.

Gee, I wish that people could once for all underatand that running an OS or a game is NOT A HUMAN RIGHT, but a contract between parts.
That depends on your viewpoint, I guess. No, it's not a human right, but if there's no technical limitation of why an application or game can't run on a given operating system, then the only reason to put an artificial limitation in there is to sell new software.

Unfortunately, people cannot effectively 'don't buy it' when it comes to Windows. For many, there is no other alternative, and it has nothing to do with the quality of the product.

Re:Where's The Justice Department? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 years ago | (#19650123)

I'm sure it can't. Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X are completely different architectures, much like the difference between Windows 98 and Windows XP.

To be fair, the major missing item is Coreimage. The port of Safari to windows implies that there is some portability to the majority of what you need to run OSX programs. If they made a portable coreimage toolkit (they may have already for all I know) then it might not be impossible to port the whole suite.

Unfortunately, people cannot effectively 'don't buy it' when it comes to Windows. For many, there is no other alternative, and it has nothing to do with the quality of the product.

To be fair though, those people are few and far between. I think that the big lack is information; most of them think that Linux won't do what they need when in fact it will.

Re:Where's The Justice Department? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 7 years ago | (#19650233)

To be fair, the major missing item is Coreimage.
Yeah, but that's different. In this case, the same set of binaries will run on XP or Vista. In Apple's case, a port would actually be required as Mac OS X binaries do not and cannot run on Mac OS 9 for lots of good technical reasons. IOW, whether iLife could be ported to Mac OS 9 or not is a separate question from whether or not it could run on Mac OS 9.

To be fair though, those people are few and far between. I think that the big lack is information; most of them think that Linux won't do what they need when in fact it will.
Well, this is a gaming-related article. For most gamers, Linux won't do as it simply won't run a lot of games, even if you take in to account Cedega. Furthermore, many people are forced to use Windows by corporate fiat -- granted, the sometimes that corporate fiat is often for good reason.

Re:Where's The Justice Department? (1)

El Lobo (994537) | about 7 years ago | (#19650155)

There's nothing wrong with the quality of Windows this days but this is another discussion.

Everybody has their right as a producer of software to dictate their own rules. MacOSX can run on Intel. Apple wants it to run on Apple hardware only. That's perfect and they have the righ. And I don't see many people bitching about it.

MS wants to produce games for Vista only and that's underatable from a marlketing point of view. It's their right and has nothing to do with the DOJ as the grandparent cried.

Limitations exist in software, political and technical limitations. Hell , even the GPL is a very limiting licence about how I can use the source. Deal with it: software is a CONTRACT between parts. Don't want to use Microsoft Software? Well, choose your poison: Apple (and even MORE limiting platform, license wise, or any Linuzzzz favour: it's a contract and you CANNOT use Linuzzz as you wish: there are limits as well.

Re:Where's The Justice Department? (1, Informative)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | about 7 years ago | (#19650217)

MS wants to produce games for Vista only and that's underatable from a marlketing point of view. It's their right and has nothing to do with the DOJ as the grandparent cried.


And as someone else already pointed out, the rules change when you're a monopoly. Especially a criminal one.

Re:Where's The Justice Department? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 7 years ago | (#19650315)

And I don't see many people bitching about it.
Really? Because I happen to be one of the people bitching about that the loudest. However, as I said before, the rules do change when you're a monopolist.

Re:Where's The Justice Department? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | about 7 years ago | (#19650385)

I'm sure it can't. Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X are completely different architectures, much like the difference between Windows 98 and Windows XP.

Yet oddly WinXP can run programs designed for Win98.

That depends on your viewpoint, I guess. No, it's not a human right, but if there's no technical limitation of why an application or game can't run on a given operating system, then the only reason to put an artificial limitation in there is to sell new software.

So what exactly is wrong with the artificial limiation? If they don't want to target WinXP they have no obligation to do so, just as they are not obligated to target Linux or Mac. There's no monopoly issue here either, since MS doesn't have a monopoly on PC games.

Unfortunately, people cannot effectively 'don't buy it' when it comes to Windows. For many, there is no other alternative, and it has nothing to do with the quality of the product.

You're full of it. Even Dell will sell you a box without Windows. The don't buy it argument is for the game, in case you're not thinking straight. No one is forced to buy Halo 2 or the other game.

If you don't like the limits of the games' licenses, then don't buy the games.

Re:Where's The Justice Department? (1)

NiceGeek (126629) | about 7 years ago | (#19650623)

"I'm sure it can't. Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X are completely different architectures, much like the difference between Windows 98 and Windows XP.

Yet oddly WinXP can run programs designed for Win98."

Well, if you want to get technical - OS X can run OS 9 software - to a degree. Moreso if OS X is running on a PowerPC chip rather than Intel.

Re:Where's The Justice Department? (1)

kshksh (1120413) | about 7 years ago | (#19650833)

If you don't like the limits of the games' licenses, then don't buy the games.

You mean that game license you can only accept after purchasing the game? Not legal over here.

Re:Where's The Justice Department? (3, Informative)

shrubya (570356) | about 7 years ago | (#19650061)

You ignore one small detail: Microsoft is a convicted criminal monopolist. They are not allowed to (among other things) leverage their OS dominance into coercing people or companies to buy other MS products. This example is the other way around (using DX10 games to push Vista sales) but any such behavior on Microsoft's part is questionable under their legal status.

Re:Where's The Justice Department? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | about 7 years ago | (#19650443)

So what? They have not been found to have a monopoly making PC games. They are not using the OS to force people to buy the game... they are attempting to use the game to get people to buy the OS. There's nothing questionable about the legality of this.

Re:Where's The Justice Department? (2, Informative)

k1e0x (1040314) | about 7 years ago | (#19649921)

Doesn't falsely indicating that games only run on their new OS violate the terms of their agreement with the DOJ?
I hope so.. but Microsoft DOES now make regulare campaign contrubutions..

DOJ (1)

NeoTerra (986979) | about 7 years ago | (#19650011)

Seems to me that it would.

I think between wiretapping, major league sports and election results, not to mention all of the RIAA cases, the DOJ is a little preoccupied. Microsoft may be taking an oppertunity to run with what they can, while they can. But they would *never* dare to do such a thing, would they?

Of course, there could be somewhere in the EULA that only "allows" you to play on Vista, or you're in breach with the contract. Also something they would *never* do.

Re:Where's The Justice Department? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19650053)

No but it does constitute false advertising... Someone with an XP machine should sue the pants off of Microsoft for that.

Re:Where's The Justice Department? (1)

schnipschnap (739127) | about 7 years ago | (#19650221)

They very well can say that it won't work on non-Vista, and of course they mean "out of the box." Does it constitute false advertising if Nintendo writes "only for GBA" on their packaging? I mean, you can play it via an emulator, can't you? Also, Windows and Linux have different architectures, and you can still just layer most of the API calls to windows over, sometimes a couple of, API calls in linux, via wine. So is it false advertising if the packaging on an ancient game says "For Windows 98 only"?

Re:Where's The Justice Department? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19650729)

Ofcourse it is if at the time the games worked with Win95 as well. It is all about the timing really. Things coming after you can claim that at the time it was true but for things coming before you better have all your ducks in a row so to speak.

Console Emulators (4, Insightful)

Joebert (946227) | about 7 years ago | (#19649771)

I can play games from every videogame console I've ever had on a PC through emulation, why wouldn't I be able to play a game that runs on the same hardware ?

Re:Console Emulators (1)

dintech (998802) | about 7 years ago | (#19650019)

Well if Wine can cope with the quagmire that is XP apps then surely...

Re:Console Emulators (2, Informative)

Aladrin (926209) | about 7 years ago | (#19650187)

I take this to mean that you haven't purchased a console in quite a few years. DreamCast emulation is still spotty at best, and PS2 emulation is crap. Even PS1 emulation still has issues. GBA works great, but DS? Not a chance. Nor PSP.

As for "why wouldn't I be able to play a game that runs on the same hardware", take a look at Wine. At best, playing Windows games in Linux is slower and glitchy. At worst, impossible. They're still making great strides at it, but they aren't there yet.

Re:Console Emulators (3, Interesting)

Sparr0 (451780) | about 7 years ago | (#19650583)

At best, playing Windows games in Linux is faster(1) and more stable(2).

1) BF1942 and World of Warcraft are two examples. Linux' superior underlying architecture (disk access, memory management, filesystem stuff, etc) more than offsets the few percent performance loss in API call translation. Myself and many others get 5-10% higher framerates and lower load times in a number of Windows games when running them in Linux.

2) I love seeing in my debug log "The game would have crashed here in Windows.", and the game keeps running just fine in wine or cedega.

Plenty of Win95 and Win98 games don't run on anything newer than Win2000. Plenty of WinXP games don't work on Vista. Every week MORE Windows games work in Linux. Continue that trend long enough and Linux is going to have better Windows compatibility than Windows does.

Re:Console Emulators (1)

CockroachMan (1104387) | about 7 years ago | (#19650683)

PS1 emulation is almost perfect, at least the most important games (Square RPGs, Silent Hill, Resident Evil, the big hits.. ) are 100% emulated. For the PS2, I don't think that there'll be a computer capable of emulating it for a some time, the graphics are already as good as on the console for some games, but the speed is still too slow to be playable. As for the DS, there are already some good emulators out there, but without a stylus.. there's no fun. And Wine is not an emulator, it's a port of the Windows API for Linux. Cedega can run a lot of games at the same speed as they would run at Windows.

Re:Console Emulators (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19650837)

Incorrect:
Pcsx2 0.94+ running on a decent core2duo/athlon64x2 plays most ps2 games perfectly, and in upsampled resolution (like the ps3, only not crappy).
nullDC 1.0b running on even an older p4/athlon64 plays most dreamcast games perfectly, and in upsampled resolution.

Granted, the emulation scene for Xbox is basically non-existant (probably because everyone who wants to play Xbox games can still get a (used) cheap modded Xbox), and there are no good emulators for Gamecube (probably because of the platforms relative unpopularity).

Re:Console Emulators (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 7 years ago | (#19650361)

Indeed! You can play Shadowrun [wikipedia.org] under XP or Linux [zsnes.com] today if you wish.

Re:Console Emulators (1)

PenisLands (930247) | about 7 years ago | (#19650545)

Not to mention the (pretty much) same OS!

this is trivial (5, Insightful)

Kuciwalker (891651) | about 7 years ago | (#19649777)

All you do is remove the OS check in the exe. It's no more difficult than a no-cd. And because of that, it won't be possible for any DX10-only games.

(And as I understand it, you can't just port DX10 to XP - its functionality requires the new display driver model in Vista.)

Re:this is trivial (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | about 7 years ago | (#19649901)

Interesting that you say that because the WINE project (www.winehq.org) intends the port DX10 APIs to run on Linux. I can't give you the link but they did mention that once they where able to get WINE DX10 working it wouldn't be difficult to get DX10 on windows xp working too since its only reassigning DX calls to openGL.

You also said exactly word for word what a friend of mine said about this same issue so either you're my friend (which I highly doubt since he doesn't post on slashdot) or the Microsoft BS spin machine is on full power.

Re:this is trivial (1)

Kuciwalker (891651) | about 7 years ago | (#19649949)

Er, my mistake. I meant that it shouldn't be possible to hack MS's DX10 to run on XP, but it's probably possible to write a port from the ground up. OTOH, if there are no XP DX10 drivers, there won't be much point.

Re:this is trivial (1)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | about 7 years ago | (#19650359)

I think you're still missing the point. MS's argument about requiring a new driver model for DX10 is FUD. It may be the case that a redesigned driver model makes it easier to implement the DX10 API, but it isn't plausible that it would actually be necessary.

Wine are talking about writing an implementation of DX10 that works on top of OpenGL. This won't require DX10 drivers, it will only require OpenGL drivers. And they already exist. So, in not too long it might be possible to download a DX10 emulation layer for WinXP that 'just works', no extra drivers necessary.

Re:this is trivial (2, Informative)

Compholio (770966) | about 7 years ago | (#19650455)

I meant that it shouldn't be possible to hack MS's DX10 to run on XP, but it's probably possible to write a port from the ground up. OTOH, if there are no XP DX10 drivers, there won't be much point.
Direct3D 10 (the most important part of DirectX 10, XInput being the other significant change) is still built upon much of the technology used in Direct3D 9. So, a port of Direct3D 10 is within the grasp of the Wine project and would not require special drivers since it uses OpenGL for rendering.

WWN Issue #325 [winehq.org] :

Wine's DirectX implementation contains enough features that we can begin working on DirectX10. Part of the recent rewrite of DirectX moved 3D rendering code into a common library shared by all versions of Direct3D.

Re:this is trivial (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | about 7 years ago | (#19649931)

You _could_ port DX10 to XP, but you'd have to emulate some of the functions (due to the previously mentioned change in driver model) and it would be randomly incompatible and randomly slower than the real thing. Maybe after a few years of dedicated work it would be usable, but by then XP would probably be just a memory.

Much like trying to add DX9 support to wine for linux.

Randomly slower (1, Informative)

phorm (591458) | about 7 years ago | (#19650207)

Well, from everything I've seen and heard, video tends to be "randomly slower" on Vista anyhow. My co-worker's dual-SLI cards ran like crap on Vista compared to XP, even with the latest drivers. One of my clients was complaining that his DVD playback was laggy and rough in Vista as well. Numerous complains have abounded in regards to poor game/video performance in Vista compared to XP. With that in mind, a little of such going the other way wouldn't be terrible. If I can run DX9 games in Cedega/Wine without noticeable issues (sometimes faster than XP, since the driver for my laptop isn't updated by the 'nix one is) then I'd say DX10 shouldn't be that huge an issue to run on something other than Vista too.

Re:this is trivial (2, Informative)

H3lm3t (209860) | about 7 years ago | (#19650143)

As I understand it, they're working on that [blogspot.com] as well:

"As a fitting start to this blog, I'm proud to release a preview of our Alky compatibility libraries for Microsoft DirectX 10 enabled games. These libraries allow the use of DirectX 10 games on platforms other than Windows Vista. No longer will you have to upgrade your OS and video card(s) to play the latest games."

There won't be any "DX10 only" titles (1)

grev (974855) | about 7 years ago | (#19650607)

Most of the recent titles support DX7 cards. DX10 games will at least support DX9, without a doubt.

True Innovation (1)

kid_oliva (899189) | about 7 years ago | (#19649783)

It is good to hear that they have it working under XP, not that I would buy either game. I have Halo 2 for xbox and don't want to play Shadowrun after seeing my brother play it. I think Mitch needs to grow up and accept the fact the game he help develop isn't all that. It is just CS with magic, ooohhh, that is sooo original.

Re:True Innovation (1)

Baljet (547995) | about 7 years ago | (#19649895)

Not innovative, we've had various mods since quake. However it is bloody good fun to play, I think they could of made better use of the Shadowrun IP in the press releases and cut scenes, but as far as a multi player only FPS goes it's fairly solid and seem well balanced...

What about legal issues? (1)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | about 7 years ago | (#19649823)

I am curious, if that the games are being shipped out as "Vista only" in an attempt force people to upgrade. Can they get in trouble for that if it is shown it is only being done to force consumers instead of giving a choice?

Re:What about legal issues? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19650305)

There are lots of software that will claim they only run on "x" OS. When you call Tech Support to ask it it can run on something else they will say "It may run/you can run it on "y" OS but we do not support that config, etc. "You are on your own if you run it on that. [etc. etc.]"

Re:What about legal issues? (3, Funny)

HolyCrapSCOsux (700114) | about 7 years ago | (#19650561)

There is always a choice. In this case the choices are simple:
1. Buy vista and play game.
or
2. Don't play game.

If option 2 causes such grief and anxiety that it may become life threatening and therefore is not a choice, then don't buy Vista and let natural selection run it's course.

DirectX 9 Only (4, Insightful)

IndieKid (1061106) | about 7 years ago | (#19649857)

The hacks from the article only work because these games still support DirectX 9 and DirectX 9 is available under XP. I'm guessing it will be an entirely different challenge to get DirectX 10 running under XP, which will obviously be required when games no longer support DirectX 9.
Admittedly, it will be a while before we see games that are DirectX10-only, but I doubt Microsoft will be getting too worried yet.

Re:DirectX 9 Only (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19649907)

Does anyone know for certain that DX10 is impossible to run on XP. I know MS says it is but I have the sneaky suspicion that it is another arbritrary wall that MS has placed, just as saying Halo 2/Shadowrun will not run on XP.

Re:DirectX 9 Only (2, Interesting)

Kuciwalker (891651) | about 7 years ago | (#19650051)

As I understand it, DX10 relies on features of the new display driver model in Vista for its performance enhancements, so it's a real technological barrier. Not insurmountable (after all, they're both Turing-complete) but also not just an OS check.

Re:DirectX 9 Only (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19650115)

I realize that's what MS is saying why it can't port DX10 to XP but was just wondering if that's the truth.

What about Linux? (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 7 years ago | (#19650209)

If the games ONLY get released for Microsoft Windows (Vista or not), can't the community pressure them to run on other platforms? "This software requires Microsoft Windows version yadda yadda" was acceptable 10 years ago, but we're in 2007 and now we have Mac OS, Linux, Freebsd. And there are very good cross-platform libraries for game developing: Irrlicht, OGRE3D, SDL, OpenGL... why choose DirectX? Isn't that monopolic practices? Forcing the public to purchase an expensive third party product (Windows) in order to use their software?

Re:What about Linux? (2, Informative)

IndieKid (1061106) | about 7 years ago | (#19650665)

I'm fairly sure ID software are continuing to support games on other platforms (via OpenGL).

EA even recently stated they would be releasing a bunch of games for the Mac (http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/06/11 /1856212&from=rss [slashdot.org] ), so the 'Games for Windows' strategy is hardly producing the monopoly I'm sure Microsoft are hoping for (although in the Windows domain it may help drive Vista adoption at some point for the above reasons).

Test case done (3, Insightful)

Bullfish (858648) | about 7 years ago | (#19649861)

All they now have to do is wait for some good games to come out for vista and they are all set to run them on XP. Really Halo 2 is a how many years old xbox game? And Shadowrun benefits from being vista-only how?

Good for the hackers. There is no compelling reason to move to vista from an existing set-up, and neither of these games would compel anyone either. Stupid that you have to go to these lengths to run software. Stupid that MS would not catch on to the notion that it takes more than gloss like aero to get people to upgrade.

A couple of pirates for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19649963)

Saw this on pocketinformat.com

http://www.pocketinformant.com/Forums/index.php?s= 7c5317a05ae84814ac6bb4ab9a83e2ea&showtopic=11368&s t=0&p=61900&#entry619003 [pocketinformant.com]

cracker iFalleni
aka Fallen
aka F/\LLEN
aka Syrkine, Vladimir
aka Vladimir Syrkine
russian living in australia, undergrad at university of sydney (honor roll according to univ.)

mailto:vsyr4253@it.usyd.edu.au [mailto]

pirate sertoli
aka Anderson Barbosa de Oliveira
aka Anderson Barbosa
aka Anderson B Oliveira
aka Andros
aka androabo
aka mike terr
aka Barbol
aka tttsmith
living in brazil

mailto:andersonbarbosa@cardiol.br [mailto]

Know them? They have pirated your stuff. Google them to see what it is these two hoods do.

Re:A couple of pirates for you (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 7 years ago | (#19650113)

Actually, all we know for sure is that they added new features to it (the ability to run on xp) or fixed a bug depending how you look at it.
They could have done this with a legitimately purchased version.
I know a lot of people who buy legitimate games but run them all with nocd cracks.

Why do we put up with this? (3, Insightful)

TheWoozle (984500) | about 7 years ago | (#19650039)

I don't think that these cracks are helping...if anything, they are enabling people to go ahead and buy a product that is intentionally broken.

If there was a carmaker that wired a lock on the gas cap that would only open when it read a coded pulse from gas pumps at Exxon stations, the carmaker would go out of business quickly.

Yet, when it comes to software, instead of people refusing to do business with a company like Microsoft they just buy the software anyway if they can get around the restrictions.

Consumers need to grow a pair if they want things to change.

Re:Why do we put up with this? (2, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about 7 years ago | (#19650523)

If there was a carmaker that wired a lock on the gas cap that would only open when it read a coded pulse from gas pumps at Exxon stations, the carmaker would go out of business quickly.

      Ahh, but if the biggest car-maker had signed an agreement with the biggest gasoline distributor(s) to do this, they'd end up putting everyone ELSE out of business. Get it?

      I don't agree with it, but it's sort of the whole point of the publishers and Microsoft's DRM (and other little schemes).

Shadowrun blows on PC (1, Offtopic)

Kelbear (870538) | about 7 years ago | (#19650119)

But it's a pretty damned good game on the platform it was created for, the console. The gameplay is top-notch stuff. I've played my way through a vast number of FPS games since Doom, and Shadowrun is ranking up near the top in terms of multiplayer gameplay.

But it's a raw deal on the PC. The control system is setup for a controller, not kb/m, so instead the kb/m controls are dumbed down. This is not that PC players are used to. The balance is there, the two platforms play on pretty equal footing, but only because PC players are not given things that have long been a standard for PC FPS play. You'll need Vista and Xbox Live Gold, which few PC players have, and aren't worth buying for this game.

The game is unusual in that it minimizes emphasis on aiming, and instead emphasizes tactics. I've played dozens of FPS games where aiming is emphasized and had a blast, but it's refreshing to see tactics govern the combat instead. It's simple to quickly get the crosshairs on an enemy. However, how long you can keep him in your crosshairs, and keep out of his, are now the determining factors, rather than shooting quickly. For example, I can fire a shotgun blast, teleport through a wall as he returns fire, teleport back out for another shotgun blast, teleport through the floor, and come back for a finish. I could render myself intangible to let his bullets pass through me and take a 100ft drop harmlessly with the Smoke power in an escape. I could let off Gust and blow the enemy straight into a corner, ruining his accuracy, and pinning him against a grenade I tossed. All in all, the gunplay is only half the battle, but guns alone won't get you anywhere. Quite interesting. Particularly in regard to how important teamplay becomes.

Also, Shadowrun has nothing to do with Shadowrun PnP. It should have been named something else.

Re:Shadowrun blows on PC (1)

Aladrin (926209) | about 7 years ago | (#19650275)

I rented it for the 360 and it wasn't what I thought at all. I liked the idea of combining 'magic' (advanced tech?) with gunplay, but after going through the tutorial, I quickly realized there was no story at all. I sent it back at that point, and while it may have gotten better, it would never have gotten to the point where I'd enjoy playing it.

What does this have to do with anything? Crappy marketing. They used the name to attract players, but didn't bother to make it clear that it wasn't the kind of game that name is associated with. So they've basically pissed off everyone, since those attracted by the name will be pissed, and those that would have liked the gameplay but were turned off by the name will be pissed when they find out they're missing out.

Someone has already said 'Why should I pay for the game if I'm going to have to crack it to play it anyhow?' This is a pretty prevalent attitude, and they are going to lose a lot of sales to people that play it on XP instead of Vista.

Having said that, I've heard that you can't play multiplayer at all (no Live) and it asks for the DVD at one of the later levels. So there's -some- incentive for them to buy the game, but only if they upgrade to Vista anyhow.

Re:Shadowrun blows on PC (1)

Baljet (547995) | about 7 years ago | (#19650355)

Also, Shadowrun has nothing to do with Shadowrun PnP. It should have been named something else.
Say what? Trolls with miniguns and smartlinks, Loss of essence with each tech implant you install? Summoning and teleport magics? Elves with wired reflexes and Dicoted katanas deflecting bullets? Did you play a different Shadowrun PnP to the rest of us? I'll admit I've only played the training missions on the 360 but it seemed to be the same IP to me... Although if what you say about the PC controls being dumbed down is true that's pretty much killed it for me :(

Re:Shadowrun blows on PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19650779)

When the heck did Shadowrun tabletop get teleportation, aside from one holy-shit-did-you-see-that moment in a first edition adventure compendium? Yes, that's a nitpick, but I'm honestly curious. I stopped playing sometime during 2nd Edition.

Re:Shadowrun blows on PC (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | about 7 years ago | (#19650517)

Also, Shadowrun has nothing to do with Shadowrun PnP. It should have been named something else.

That's an understatement.

For my part, I still wish crippling, incurable and fatal cancer on all involved with this abortion of a game. It's worse than Highlander 2.

Sure to irk Microsoft? (2, Funny)

niceone (992278) | about 7 years ago | (#19650213)

Yeah you irk 'em. Irk 'em good.

Good For Them! (0, Flamebait)

morari (1080535) | about 7 years ago | (#19650229)

It's just too bad that those games are completely uninteresting...

And if it runs on XP (1)

oliverthered (187439) | about 7 years ago | (#19650241)

Chances are you can get it to run under Wine. (Well a little hacking may be required)

I stopped working on Direct3D 9 for wine about 18 months ago and we were getting there then. Since then Stephan and the chaps have done a great job and Wine is giving Cedega a run for it's money. and the best bit is you get the source code to wine so you have to opotunity to get games that don't work, working.

Vista = Apple ///? (1)

athloi (1075845) | about 7 years ago | (#19650289)

The Apple /// failed because it was:

(a) too much like an existing product. Ran a 6500-series chip like the Apple //, used the same peripherals, had roughly the same capabilities.
(b) not enough like an existing product. Was incompatible with Apple // software, had no new support base, was more expensive without adding much.

Vista, as originally designed, was a technical marvel. I would like Microsoft to keep pushing toward that, which is what Microsoft engineers want. The MBAs and marketing team think differently. Vista's strength right now is that it replaces the archaic workarounds in the win32 API, and supplants the 1980s-style graphic display model with something better. So as I see it, it will eventually be a better system to use.

The entire Vista situation is poetic to me. The struggle of the human species to overcome its own limitations, get a better design out on the table, and do it while dodging the pitfalls of politics and the markets... human, so human!

Re:Vista = Apple ///? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19650411)

Architecture redesign aside, Vista *does not do anything better for the end-user than previous versions of Windows*, including XP and Win2K. There is simply no reason to buy it. From an end-user perspective, it actually makes things worse.

Vista is dying (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19650303)

It is official; Netcraft now confirms: Vista is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered Vista community when IDC confirmed that Vista market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all desktops. Coming close on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that Vista has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Vista is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent desktop comprehensive user test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin to predict Vista's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Vista faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Vista because Vista is dying. Things are looking very bad for Vista. As many of us are already aware, Vista continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

Vista Ultimate is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time Microsoft developer Bill Gates only serves to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: Vista is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

Microsoft CEO Ballmer states that there are 700,000,000 users of Microsoft OS. How many users of Vista are there? Let's see. The number of XP versus Win2K posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 500 to 1. Therefore there are about 700,000,000/500 = 1,400,000 Win2K users. Win2K3 posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of Win2K posts. Therefore there are about 700,000 users of Win2K3. A recent article put Vista at about 80 percent of the Win2K3 market. Therefore there are (700,000+140,000+70,000)*4 = 3,640,000 Vista users. This is consistent with the number of Vista Usenet posts.

All major surveys show that Vista has steadily declined in market share. Vista is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If Vista is to survive at all it will be among MS fanbois. Vista continues to decay. Nothing short of a cockeyed miracle could save Vista from its fate at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Vista is dead.

Fact: Vista is dying

Time for me to go Wii Wii (1)

harshmanrob (955287) | about 7 years ago | (#19650525)

The religion of M$ is the "$"...the almighty dollar. That is why they are pushing Vista. They did the same thing with XP when it came out. It is all about money and control.

It does not work in countries who are outside the US, like the EU and China are shit scared about Windows controlling their data centers and US built-in backdoors. SELinux is another cancer we are constantly fighting against as well.

It's a question of intent. (4, Insightful)

A_Non_Moose (413034) | about 7 years ago | (#19650699)

or possibly lack thereof.

IIRC, NT4 maxed out at DX3 and "could not go any higher" according to the wisdom at the time, but it
was possible to graft DX5 onto it and it worked quite well as I recall.

Look at games such as "Slave Zero" (picture Carmageddon, only giant robot instead of a car) that were
so tied to Win98's directX calls that it usually did not function under other WinOS's.
Some enterprising hacker replaced the 98 DX calls with more generic functions and it worked great.

Vista exclusive games (DX10 Only) will be out sooner or later, and I'm sure that eventually it will overcome
the 5+ year's momentum that XP has, but I think it'll be very slow going.

The intent of game makers is to sell games, and locking out 90% of thier target markets is suicide.
(DX8/9 compatability at the very least will be around for a while, I'd think.)

Same with Microsoft, its intent is to sell Vista anyway it can, but unlike games you want/don't have, you
are likely running a WinOS of some stripe (gaming requirement, almost). The lack of want/need of a new
os, lack of games that won't run on XP (yet), resistance to change and XP "just working" (for the most part)
and/or just the way you like it setup makes for some heavy resistance.

The realy trick/story will be DX10 working under XP, or, DX10 game that have been changed like Slave Zero
to work under DX9 with few, if any problems.

Shadowrun on XP - Try it yourself... (-1, Troll)

dark-br (473115) | about 7 years ago | (#19650855)

Release name: Shadowrun-Razor1911
Size: 1 DVD, 1.83 GB
Protection: Activation
Genre: Shooter
Filename: rzr-swrn

  Game Notes

  FASA Studio, the creative minds behind MechWarrior and Crimson Skies, are
  back with Shadowrun, the new multiplayer first-person shooter (FPS) based
  on the much-beloved role-playing game (RPG) franchise. Shadowrun propels
  team-based combat into a new dimension with a revolutionary blend of modern
  weaponry and ancient magic. Up to 16 players can battle for control of this
  new world through Xbox 360-to-Windows Vista online compatibility. In
  Shadowrun players vie for supremacy in a constantly evolving battlefield
  where advanced technology and ancient magic provide an unprecedented and
  high-velocity tactical action experience.

  Release Notes

  Tired of waiting for Falling Leaf to produce drivers so that you can play
  Shadowrun in XP? The wait is over, because Razor1911 already has the remedy!
  Yes, you read right. This game will also function in Windows XP (following the
  installation procedure below).
  This release will work with bot matches and lan mp. If you want to play
  online, buy the game!

  Install Notes

  1. Extract RARs
  2. Install
  3. Go into your installationfolder and delete the srsw_shadowrun.dll.
  4. Copy srs_shadowrun.dll and srsx_shadowrun.dll to your installationfolder.
  5. If you want the XP compatability, copy the files from the xp/ subdir to your installationfolder.
  6. If you want a shortcut on your desktop, this is the time to make one!
  7. Play!
  8. Have fun!

Razor 1911 Greetings

You can check the NFO here: http://www.nforce.nl/index.php?switchto=nfos&menu= quicknav&item=viewnfo&id=115244 [nforce.nl]

And you can get the game (and the XP patch) here: http://cache.torrentspy.com/download.asp?id=159857 6 [torrentspy.com]

Ooops... did I just said too much? :)

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