Heroes I-IV Edition Guide / Autorun Screen Gallery

The old Heroes games developed by New World Computing. Please specify which game you are referring to in your post.

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Heroes I-IV Edition Guide / Autorun Screen Gallery

Postby cuc » Sep 2 2010, 13:55

Article history:
2010 Sep 2 - Started article
2010 Sep 6 - Almost a rewrite
2010 Sep 7 - Added Version numbers
2011 Mar 15 - Minor update
2011 Jun 21 - Info update
2011 Jul 27 - Info update
2012 Feb 1 - added some clarifications and links


Current status:
Finished?


Introduction

H1 has no expansion pack, H2 has 1, H3 has 2 plus Heroes Chronicles, and H4 has 2 expansion packs named after WWII memoirs. This is common knowledge to all Heroes fans.

But due to various reasons, things are actually a bit more complicated than that, as sometimes the different editions of Heroes games also have different features. Long-time fans may know about these differences, but since this topic isn't discussed very often, I feel we still lack a good place to look them up.

This article is an attempt to list all the major editions of Heroes I-IV as well as their important features, gathering them into one guide. In the last part, I will also give my opinion on which version to play, based on info given in the article.

This guide is only concerned with 3DO's major releases where important changes were made to the data on disc, not simple reissues, shovelware budget releases or non-American special editions. The reason is threefold:

1) The major editions are the basis for all these other releases, they are the ones that really matter;
2) This article is almost entirely based on info found around the internet, and knowledge about reissues or foreign editions are hard to find;
3) Obviously there would be too many of these.

And by important change, I mean at least there should be a new Autorun launcher skin; reissues are often prepatched, and they don't count.

This article will use Autorun launchers as the best, simplest method to identify the different editions. A game's packaging may often change between different releases, but the Autorun screen would stay the same.
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Postby cuc » Sep 2 2010, 14:29

Heroes I

1. Heroes of Might and Magic: A Strategic Quest
(1995-08-31)
Version: 1.0 -> 1.2
Image

Description:
The original DOS version of Heroes I.

Notable features:
- The DOS version has 3 sets of music files for different grades of PCs to use: 8-bit mono, 16-bit mono and 16-bit stereo. You can select one of them in the setup program. It doesn't have CD audio music.

- H1 DOS has an option for turning the autosave feature off. The Windows 95 version and all later NWC Heroes games autosave by default, and can't turn it off.


2. Heroes of Might and Magic: A Strategic Quest for Windows 95
(1996-02)
Version: 1.0 -> 1.1
Image
Image
Description:
The Windows 95 version, ported by NWC themselves. At this moment, NWC was still an independent game developer and publisher, and hadn't yet become a division of 3DO. This is the version used in all later compilations except Compendium.

Notable features:
- The Windows 95 version has 2 sets of music: 8-bit mono files and red book CD audio.

- The original DOS version of King's Bounty is included.

- The map editor is included.

- The DOS version shipped with 30 maps; the Windows 95 version added 16 new maps.

- For certain technical reasons, H1 W95 only has black-and-white mouse cursors.


Other platforms: Macintosh

H1 was ported to Mac by Lion Entertainment.

I don't know about the later Mac Heroes ports, but this isn't a very good port. It is based on the Windows version (so it has CD audio) yet doesn't have map editor. Compared to the Windows version, it does have a small advantage - colored cursors.

The Mac version also includes King's Bounty for Mac, which looks no better than the DOS original, and has a password copy protection.



Heroes II

1. Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Succession War
(1996-10-01)
Version: 1.0 -> 1.3
Image
Image
Description:
The basic version of Heroes II.

Notable features:
- This is a DOS/Windows 95 hybrid release.

- The game allows choosing between MIDI music and CD audio music. However, the MIDI music was clearly added as an afterthought, as there are duplicates and significant omissions, and the town themes are all mixed up. The MIDI music does have one track not found in the CD audio - a calm main menu theme, entirely different from the CD audio one.


2. Heroes of Might and Magic II: Price of Loyalty
(1997-04)
Version: 2.0 -> 2.1
Image
Image
Description:
The expansion pack co-developed by NWC and Cyberlore Studios.

Notable features:
- Again, this is a DOS/Windows hybrid release.

- PoL has a whole new set of town themes, and some fans prefer this set to the TSW original.

- PoL adds a Cyberlore logo video (which is short, but comes with a loud noise) at startup, and plays a new title movie instead of the TSW one.


3. Heroes of Might and Magic II Gold
(1998-12-18)
Version: 2.1
Image
Image
Description:
The compilation of H2 unified TSW and PoL into one CD. This is the version used in all later compilations.

Notable features:
- The DOS version is removed from this release, making it Windows-only.

- The main program is version 2.1, so it is just a patched PoL main program, not a new update.

- The new content in H2 Gold consists of several new maps created by the fan community.

Unverified:- The H2 Gold disc contains PoL CD music.

- H2 Gold seems to have switched the names of NWCLOGO.SMK and CYLOGO.SMK, so NWC's logo video is displayed before Cyberlore's (rather annoying) logo. However, the interlaced videos (SNWCLOGO.SMK and SCYLOGO.SMK) haven't been changed.

- In certain later compilation versions of H2 Gold, several CD audio tracks have been replaced by something else. See here for details. At least this is the case with Millennium Edition.


Other platforms: Macintosh, RISC OS

Both TSW and PoL were ported to RISC OS by R-Comp Interactive, which must be the most obscure system mentioned in this guide - it's not even listed on MobyGames. Such a system had few games, so H2 naturally became one of its most important titles.

Only TSW was ported to Mac.



Heroes III

1. Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia
(1999-2-28)
Version: 1.0 -> 1.4
Image
Image
Description:
The basic version of Heroes III.

Notable features:
- Each major version of H3 would use different artworks for its interface.

- RoE has 2 sets of cutscene movie files: Smack (low quality) and Bink (high quality). In every later version of H3, all such movies except intros and endings are only in Smack format, making the option of "video quality" rather meaningless.


2. Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade
(1999-9-30)
Version: 2.0 -> 2.2
Image
Image
Description:
The first expansion pack.

Notable features:
- Starting with AB, the Heroes series began to utilize SafeDisc for copyright protection. (Previous games only used disc check.)

- AB has its own intro movie.


3. Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death
(2000-3-31)
Version: 3.0 -> 3.2
Image
Image
Description:
The standalone expansion pack.

Notable features:
- SoD contains the Conflux town, but would normally enable it only if you install AB onto it. Players often use fake AB files to unlock Conflux in SoD.

- SoD contains all the music from AB, but doesn't contain AB scenarios or campaign files.

- Some of the new graphics in SoD are stylisticaly inconsistent with previous H3, especially the new teleporters. This problem has already appeared with some of the neutral units in AB, but is even more obvious in SoD.

- SoD added moats to all towns, as a result, the battlefield graphics of town sieges are slightly changed. You can only see the barrels Stronghold used as an obstacle in pre-SoD versions.

- The RoE and AB movies on the SoD disc have been downsized in order to save disc space, sometimes with noticeable loss of visual quality. This is not the case with H3 Complete.

- SoD doesn't have any intro movie.


4. Heroes of Might and Magic III Complete Collector's Edition
(2000-10)
Version: 4.0
Image
Image
Description:
This compilation unifies RoE, AB and SoD into one installation. This is the version used in all later compilations.

Notable features:
- H3 Complete comes on 2 CDs: one Install CD and one Play CD.

- The version found in later compilations has removed the SafeDisc protection, and only use disc check.

- H3 Complete plays the RoE intro movie at game start. The disc doesn't contain the AB intro file.

- The RoE map "Myth and Legend" is missing.

- H3 Complete happen to use two very dark pictures (AB's dragon queen Mutare & SoD's Yog and Crag Hack) for its scenario selection screens, when there were 4 bright ones to choose from.


5. Heroes Chronicles
(WotW & CotU 2000-09; MotE & CotD 2000-11; TFC 2001-07)
ImageImageImage
Image
Description:
A series of games, each containing one campaign, sold at a low price. It's questionable whether they succeeded in the stated mission of introducing more people to Heroes, but plot-wise they do serve as the bridge between H3 and H4.

Notable features:
HC is composed of 5 commercial releases and 2 free downloadable campaigns.

Commercial games:
Warlords of the Wasteland
Conquest of the Underworld
Masters of the Elements
Clash of the Dragons
The Final Chapters

The Final Chapters contains 2 campaigns:
Revolt of the Beastmasters
Sword of Frost

Free downloads:
The World Tree
The Fiery Moon


Other platforms: Macintosh, Linux, Dreamcast

RoE and H3 Complete were ported to Mac.

RoE was ported to Linux by Loki Entertainment.

The Dreamcast console version was cancelled. It might have been leaked like Dreamcast prototypes are wont to, but I'm not certain about that.



Heroes IV

1. Heroes of Might and Magic IV
(2002-03-28)
Version: 1.0 -> 3.0
Image
Image
Image
Description:
The basic version of Heroes IV.

Notable features:
- H4 was the first Heroes game that installs all its data on the hard drive.


2. Heroes of Might and Magic IV Elite Edition

Description:
Unverified:
The special version of H4. It contains playing cards with H4 pictures, and one year of Might and Magic Guild membership, which was meant to be a special website providing exclusive content for subscribers.

According to people on the Heroes Community forum, the only thing Might and Magic Guild ever released was one H4 map.


3. Heroes of Might and Magic IV: The Gathering Storm
(2002-09-26)
Version: 2.0 -> 3.0
Image
Image
Description:
The first expansion pack. A large part of the H4 team had already been laid off or left after H4's release, so its expansion packs only added minimal new content, without fixing much of the game's significant flaws.

Notable features:
- The 2 expansions of H4 each has its own intro movie, title screen and title music.


4. Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Winds of War
(2003-02-23)
Version: 3.0
Image
Image
Description:
The second expansion pack, and the last NWC title that was ever released. I've found an Amazon entry for 3DO's H4 Complete, and its rating can be found at the ESRB website, but 3DO obviously didn't survive long enough to release it.

Ubisoft would later release a H4 Complete DVD by putting the content of all H4 CDs onto one disc.

Notable features:
- Doesn't have any copy protection, not even disc check.

- Contains the documentation for H4's powerful campaign editor.


Other platforms: Mac OS X

The basic H4 was ported to Mac OS X by Contraband Entertainment.



Compilations

1. Heroes of Might and Magic Compendium
(1997)
Image
A compilation of H1, H2 TSW and PoL, released before H2 Gold.

Now, this is about half the reason I started the guide in the first place. It's the most unique Heroes compilation, and showed the most effort on the developers' part. Unlike later releases, its versions of H1 and H2 are DOS/Windows hybrids.
Image
The Compendium version of H1 is a DOS/Windows hybrid. It contains CD audio music (and 8-bit mono music), but the DOS version can't play CD audio.

To seriously play Compendium H1 in DOS, you'll still want to use stereo music files from the H1 DOS disc. This is explained in the following "Appendix" post.

In Compendium, H1 DOS is version 1.3, and H1 Windows is version 1.1.

CD images of Compendium H1 are quite common on the internet; all so-called "DOS CD version" downloads of H1 on abandonware sites are in fact this version.
Image
It was in Compendium that TSW and PoL were unified for the first time, not H2 Gold. The program is version 2.1.

The Compendium H2 disc contains PoL CD music.


2. Heroes of Might and Magic Millennium Edition
(1999-10)
ImageImage
Image
Image
A compilation of H1, H2 Gold and H3 RoE, released alongside Might and Magic Millennium Edition, whose box art I've put above for comparison.

Several audio tracks on the Millennium H2 Gold CD have been replaced by something else. See here for details.

3. ???
(2001)

Some versions of H1 & H2 Gold have an extremely ugly Autorun screen. It's an awful drawing of a prophet standing under an ominous sun. The icons on the Autorun interface are from H3.

I still have no idea where they come from, probably some shovelware edition of H1 and H2.


4. Heroes of Might and Magic Platinum Edition
(2002-09)
ImageImage
Image
A compilation of H1, H2 Gold and H3 Complete, released alongside Might and Magic Platinum Edition, the box art of which can be seen above for comparison.

This version's Heroes III Complete doesn't have copyright protection except for a disc check.



Non-NWC Heroes games

3DO used the Might and Magic name to develop quite a few games that doesn't have much to do with NWC. Marzhin has already written an article on them:
Crusaders of Might and Magic
Warriors of Might and Magic
Shifters
Dragon Rage

Legends of Might and Magic, however, was developed by NWC, and meant to be an ambitious new addition to the series - until NWC encountered unsurmountable technical difficulties in that the LithTech engine they used cannot remember the world status between maps. In the end, NWC decided to make the game a Counter-Strike clone instead.

3 non-NWC games were made using the Heroes name:
Heroes of Might and Magic for Game Boy Color
Heroes of Might and Magic II for Game Boy Color
Heroes of Might and Magic: Quest for the Dragonbone Staff

Heroes GBC is often considered a port of H1, as it retained much of H1's mechanics. Still, it's far from an exact port. For example, it has mostly new maps, which are simpler and smaller than H1's.

Heroes II GBC is a mixture of features from the Heroes I-III.

Quest for the Dragonbone Staff is a PS2 console remake of King's Bounty.



Non-3DO versions

MobyGames lists 3 more compilations before 2003:
Heroes of Might and Magic II Deluxe Edition
Heroes of Might and Magic Trilogy
Heroes of Might and Magic III: Double Pack

There isn't enough evidence to support that these 3 packages originated from 3DO, as MobyGames only has records of their European releases. Thus I presume they were created by the European publishers.

After 3DO's collapse, Ubisoft acquired the rights to Might and Magic, and put out various DVD compilations of Heroes games. These compilations appear to contain:
The Millennium version of H1 without CD audio
The Platinum version of H2 Gold without CD audio
H3 Complete without SafeDisc copy protection
The Ubisoft DVD version of H4 Complete

Since then, the most important re-release of NWC Heroes might be the download release from the digital distribution site GOG.COM.

Unverified:The last time I checked, the GOG versions of Heroes games contain:
H1 1.3 with 8-bit mono music in DOSBox
H2 2.1 with TSW CD audio in DOSBox
(PoL music is present as bonus soundtrack in OGG format)

Because GOG sometimes updates their games, this may have changed.
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Postby cuc » Sep 6 2010, 10:17

Appendix: Creating the (relatively) perfect Heroes aural and visual experience

Heroes I

Problem:
-The Windows version has only black-and-white mouse cursors.
-Windows compatibility issues.
-When playing the DOS version with 16-bit music, a persistent white noise can be heard in the background. I don't know enough about it to say whether it's avoidable, but this happens both on my old PC and in DOSBox.
-Playing the Mac version today involves using a Mac emulator (generally SheepShaver).

My solution:
There is no perfect way to play H1 now.

As for me, I find lack of colored cursors a bigger issue than the white noise, so I play DOS version 1.2 with DOSBox.

If you want to do that with Compendium H1 DOS 1.3, you'll have to copy the original H1 DOS installer to the game folder, run it and set the music to 16-bit stereo, because the Compendium H1 DOS installer doesn't have this option.


Heroes II

Problem:
-H2 version 2.1 only plays CD music from the first CD drive.
-Windows compatibility issues.
-The Cyberlore logo video is annoying, and the PoL title movie is not as nice as the TSW one.
-There are two sets of town music.

My solution:
Create your own H2 CD using your preferred CD tracks, replace the files, then play the DOS version with DOSBox:
-replace H2XINTRO.SMK with H2INTRO.SMK from the TSW disc;
-make sure that NWCLOGO.SMK is Cyberlore logo, and CYLOGO.SMK is NWC logo.

Alternatively: Free Heroes II Engine is an open-source port of H2. It has made lots of progress, and is now fully functional, giving you several options to enhance the game.


Heroes III

Problem:
-The game only plays music in mono mode, when the MP3 files themselves are stereo.
-On recent machines, H3 may take up too much CPU resource, causing the whole system to lag.
-H3 can only switch to windowed mode when the desktop color depth is set to 65536 hi-color.

My solution:
For the music problem, use the fan patch or HoMM 3 HD.

HoMM 3 HD is a powerful tool that contains several enhancements and technical fixes. Highly recommended.

Alternatively: wait for VCMI (open-source port of H3) to make progress.


Heroes IV

Problem:
-After installing WoW, the game only use the WoW version of main menu screen and music. The WoW music is especially jarring.
-H4's highest display mode 1280*1024 is full-screen only.
-H4 has a great soundtrack, but it might be unfinished, just like other parts of the game. The grass theme is only several other tracks linked together, and the underground theme is very short and different from other adventure themes.

My solution:
H4 can be modded. See here.

The H4 OST contains a track not found in the game: Track 11 "Wandering" (OST download link). It might be the real, finished grass theme.

I'm using AKuHAK's small mod, which replaces the grass theme with "Wandering", and links all 3 main menu themes together. Put the file into your DATA folder; if you are using Equilibris, rename it to NEW_MOD.H4R.

No one seems to have worked on the display mode problem so far.


Questions:
Which set of town music does the original H2 Gold have?

What's in H4 Elite Edition? Just a few playing cards?

What are the actual rarity of the various editions?

What has Might and Magic Guild ever accomplished? One H4 map?


Now the article already has most Autorun screens I wanted to show, except for the mysterious "ugly Autorun". And who knows, there may still be major editions I didn't mention. If you have some editions not displayed here, you can send the Autorun.bmp in your Heroes disc's Autorun folder to me at cucbetr #A.T# gmail #D.O.T# com
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Postby cuc » Sep 11 2010, 12:49

The guide is done, or at least the Autorun screen gallery is. Please enjoy this trip down memory lane!

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Postby GreatEmerald » May 15 2011, 17:32

Very interesting read, actually. But I have more questions. For one, what is the difference between HoMM1 CD music and DOS 16-bit music? And is the DOS one MIDI? Also, are there any visual differences between the Windows and DOS versions of the first two HoMMs?

The H2 music variety still has me confused, actually. There is MIDI, TWS CD, POL CD and POL alternative? Was there ever any explanation given for the music changes except for "because we can"? I'd guess that using random tracks would be neat in this case, but it's probably not very possible until the remake comes out.

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Postby Yasagani » May 15 2011, 21:17

As far as I remember, the MiDi wasn't all that varied to begin with, and didn't cover that wide a game spectrum as the orchestral soundtrack. Would be great if there was a version with a complete MiDi soundtrack that we could preserve for posterity, but I think we should focus more on trying to catalog the both TSW and POL tracks.

As far as I know, the only tracks that did change over the various versions were Town themes. And while I'm willing to consider the H3 tracks a mistake, I honestly think the 3rd Sorceress track was intended, probably for either a 3rd town theme replacement as a sort of anniversary version bonus that would've covered all towns OR a theme intended for a new town type that might have included some of the neutral creatures (nomads, rogues, genies etc.)

As far as using random tracks, Darmani mentioned it might be possible with a bit of assembly hacking, although I'm not sure he specifically meant just track randomization or some or the other proposed changes that I asked GOG in this thread:

http://www.gog.com/en/forum/heroes_of_m ... nd_magic_2

In my opinion, we probably shouldn't need a remake as long as GOG comes through with such a Heroes 2 version.

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Postby GreatEmerald » May 15 2011, 22:05

Hmm, indeed, it's hard to beat orchestral music with MIDI. Still, it's an integral part of the games and shouldn't be too poor with accelerated MIDI and decent soundfonts.

I don't think there is much chance that GOG would release an updated version...

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Postby Yasagani » May 15 2011, 22:15

Don't be so sure about that, as GOG has been known to update their games once in a while, including believe it or not Heroes 2. Also there's a rather large craving for the Windows version on their forum, so there's still hope.

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Postby GreatEmerald » May 16 2011, 20:31

Interesting, the MIDI versions are actually the same as the orchestral versions, just not including the ambient effects and voices. Which can actually be quite useful.

But I don't get this... There seems to be controversy about which track is Barbarian and which is Necropolis. And that's on both MIDI and orchestral versions... And the PoL versions are not making it easier either. So does anyone know which music was assigned to what on the MIDI and what - on the CD versions? This suggests that the MIDI one was the one assigned to the Barbarian town. It does sound that the CD version is more fitting, then. Oh, and the PoL version is so unfitting it's hilarious.

Someone also mentioned that there was even another one that was used in the demo of the game?.. Anyone know anything about that?

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Postby Shyranis » May 16 2011, 22:13

How did I miss this?

Thanks so much for making this guide.
Youtube has terminated my account without reason.

Please express why it should be reinstated on Twitter.

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Postby Yasagani » May 17 2011, 10:16

Shyranis wrote:How did I miss this?

Thanks so much for making this guide.


Thank you for uploading all the town themes on youtube. It's always comforting to know I can listen to them anywhere I have internet. You're great.

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Copy Protection

Postby Bersaglio » Jun 17 2011, 10:49

cuc wrote:Unverified: The original release of H3 Complete utilized SafeDisc v2 for copy protection, and was known to cause problems on some CD drives.
Dispelling the myths about the copy protection.

Heroes of Might and Magic III (original versions by NWC/3DO)

Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade Expansion Pack
Only original v2.0 release version of this expansion pack have copy protection.
The original 2.0 version is protected by Safedisc v1.30.010. Any of the official 2.1 and 2.2 updates removes this protection and leaves only cd-check.
The Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade Expansion Pack CD-ROM (US release) contains 813 Safedisc key sectors. **)

Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death standalone expansion pack
This is the most interesting.
The Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death standalone expansion pack CD-ROM (US release) contains 797 Safedisc key sectors. *)
The original 3.0 version of this expansion pack is protected by Safedisc v1.41.000.
After You install any Shadow of Death official updates (3.1 or 3.2) the Safedisc version changes!
The updated 3.1 version of this expansion pack is protected by Safedisc v1.40.004. I am not mistaken! After You install the official Shadow of Death 3.1 Update the Safedisc reverts to previous version 1.40.004!
The updated 3.2 version of this expansion pack is protected by Safedisc v1.50.020.

Heroes of Might and Magic III Complete Collector's Edition (September 2000 US release)
CD1 is not protected.
The Heroes of Might and Magic III Complete Collector's Edition CD2 (September 2000 US release) contains 581 Safedisc key sectors. **)
The Heroes of Might and Magic III Complete Collector's Edition (September 2000 US release version 4.0 of the main game) is protected by Safedisc v1.50.020. (not v2!!!)

Heroes Chronicles: Warlords of the Wasteland (US release)
This game is protected by Safedisc v1.50.020.
The Heroes Chronicles: Warlords of the Wasteland CD-ROM (US release) contains 577 Safedisc key sectors. *)

Heroes Chronicles: Conquest of the Underworld (US release)
This game is protected by Safedisc v1.50.020.
The Heroes Chronicles: Conquest of the Underworld CD-ROM (US release) contains 577 Safedisc key sectors. **)

Heroes Chronicles: Masters of the Elements (US release)
This game is protected by Safedisc v1.50.020.
The Heroes Chronicles: Masters of the Elements CD-ROM (US release) contains 574 Safedisc key sectors. *)

Heroes Chronicles: Clash of the Dragons (US release)
This game is protected by Safedisc v1.50.020.
The Heroes Chronicles: Clash of the Dragons CD-ROM (US release) contains 579 Safedisc key sectors. **)

Introducing Safedisc v2.

Heroes Chronicles The Final Chapters: Revolt of the Beastmasters and The Sword of Frost (UK Multi-2 German/English release)
This game did not even released in the US!
This game is protected by Safedisc v2.30.031.
Heroes Chronicles The Final Chapters: Revolt of the Beastmasters and The Sword of Frost CD-ROM (UK Multi-2 German/English release) contains 580 Safedisc key sectors. **)

Notes (About Safedisc key sectors only)
When making a backup image of Your Safedisc protected game CD by Slysoft CloneCD (or compatible program), read errors will be encountered between sectors 960-10200. These sectors with empty/unused content are called Safedisc key sectors. They are used to authenticate the original protected CD-ROM in Your CD/DVD drive during the game launching.
*) I make CloneCD image from my personal copy of these games.
**) These Clone images can easily be found on different Internet sources. I don't have the original CDs and checked these Clone images.
Remember, I am not going to post the links because it violates the forum rules. So, do not ask!

Heroes of Might and Magic IV (original versions by NWC/3DO)
Maybe later.

Heroes of Might and Magic V
Heroes of Might and Magic VI
In my opinion should be banned immediately!
Last edited by Bersaglio on Jun 21 2011, 7:26, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Copy Protection

Postby cuc » Jun 20 2011, 13:35

Bersaglio wrote:Dispelling the myths about the copy protection.

Thank you for this detailed info! I will update the article when I have time.

GreatEmerald wrote:questions

H1DOS music files are in the same format as H1 and H2's sound effect files: PCM raw data. They can be opened using any audio tools. I can't tell if there's any real difference in quality between the 16-bit music and CD music.

There are no visible graphical differences between H1 and H2's DOS and Windows versions, except for the B&W cursor.

H1 DOS can turn off autosaving, while in H1 W95 the autosaving is always on, and this option is replaced by an option switching between 8-bit mono and CD music.

I did notice one problem with the DOS version: when playing 16-bit music, there is a persistent white noise in the background. It's not too distracting, but noticeable, and definitely doesn't come from the music files themselves. This happened both when I played the game back then using a 486 with typical SB Pro-compatible sound card, and recently when using DOSBox. I have no idea what caused this noise, and whether it can be eliminated by, for example, playing it on faster machines, or using a real SB AWE32 card.

But I don't get this... There seems to be controversy about which track is Barbarian and which is Necropolis.

Someone also mentioned that there was even another one that was used in the demo of the game?

The Barbarian music confusion is likely caused by mistakes in TSW MIDI files.

The demo has exactly the same MIDI files as TSW. I just checked using ResEdit2, QuickSFV (a small file checksum tool) and XMIPlay (a XMI MIDI player).
Last edited by cuc on Jun 20 2011, 18:29, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby cuc » Jun 20 2011, 14:00

Here's a full list of MIDI files in HEROES2.AGG. You can see how messed up it is.

Code: Select all

File Name     Should be...  Actually is...
==============================================
MIDI0002.XMI  Combat music  CD Track 4, combat music
MIDI0003.XMI  Combat music  Same as above
MIDI0004.XMI  Combat music  CD Track 3, combat music
----------------------------------------------
MIDI0005.XMI  Sorceress     Warlock
MIDI0006.XMI  Warlock       Necromancer
MIDI0007.XMI  Necromancer   Barbarian
MIDI0008.XMI  Knight        Wizard
MIDI0009.XMI  Barbarian     Knight
MIDI0010.XMI  Wizard        Knight
----------------------------------------------
MIDI0011.XMI  Lava
n/a           Wasteland     No file for this track
MIDI0013.XMI  Desert
MIDI0014.XMI  Snow
MIDI0015.XMI  Swamp
n/a           Ocean         No file for this track
MIDI0017.XMI  Dirt
MIDI0018.XMI  Grass
----------------------------------------------
MIDI0042.XMI  Main menu     Alternate main menu
MIDI0043.XMI  Victory scoring


There are no MIDI files for all other music tracks, which means nearly all event jingles are absent.

PoL's HEROES2X.AGG replaced the town music with MIDI version of the PoL themes (this time they are all correct), but didn't fix anything else.

==========

Useful info for making your own custom CD images: the CD checks.

H1 - H3 checks for the existence of certain files on CD to determine whether the proper disc is inserted. I think they only check file names.

Original H1 DOS (version 1.0 - 1.2):
All .62S files in HEROES\SOUND, which are 16-bit stereo music.

Later versions of H1 (Windows and the 1.3 DOS version in Heroes Compendium):
All .82M files in HEROES\SOUND, which are 8-bit mono music.

H1 map editor:
_autorun\autorun.exe

Every version of H2:
All .SMK files in HEROES2\ANIM, which are video files.

Every version of H3:
2 files in HEROES3\DATA: HEROES3.SND and HEROES3.VID. (The HEROES3.SND on CD is different from the file with the same name in the game's install folder.)
Last edited by cuc on Feb 1 2012, 3:46, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Bersaglio » Jun 20 2011, 20:03

cuc wrote:Every version of H3:
2 files in HEROES3\DATA: HEROES3.SND and HEROES3.VID. (The HEROES3.SND on CD is different from the file with the same name in the game's install folder.)

For Heroes Chronicles the following files from \Data folder on the CD are used:
Warlords of the Wasteland (US): Hchron.vid Hchron_1.snd
Conquest of the Underworld (US): Hchron.vid Hchron_1.snd
Note '_1' in file names means English language specific files.
Masters of the Elements (US): Hchron.vid Hchron_1.vid Hchron_1.snd
Clash of the Dragons(US): Hchron.vid Hchron_1.vid Hchron_1.snd
The Final Chapters (UK only sorry no US exists): Hchron.vid Hchron_1.vid Hchron_1.snd Hchron_3.vid Hchron_3.snd
Note '_3' in file names means german language specific files.

UK last Note
In the UK the different versions of Heroes Chronicles was released in slim DVD-boxes (totally different from US big carton boxes):
Warlords of the Wasteland/Conquest of the Underworld/Masters of the Elements/Clash of the Dragons (UK Multi-5 English/German/Italian/Spanish/French): Hchron.vid Hchron_1.vid Hchron_1.snd Hchron_2.vid Hchron_2.snd Hchron_3.vid Hchron_3.snd Hchron_4.vid Hchron_4.snd Hchron_5.vid Hchron_5.snd
Obviously '_2', '_4' and '_5' in file names are used for different video/sound languages (Italian/Spanish/French) but not sure about exact corresponding between languages and numbers though.

P.S. All Heroes Chronicles games are protected by Safedisc but files from the \Data folder on the CD are loaded directly from the CD during gameplay (because these files are not copied to Your hard disk drive during the installation process). CD-check is additionally used to verify the existence of these files after the main copy protection check.
Last edited by Bersaglio on Jun 21 2011, 7:30, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Copy Protection

Postby GreatEmerald » Jun 20 2011, 20:22

Well, this is all very interesting information. So essentially CD tracks are the right ones, while MIDI ones are just there to troll people.

About the sound and video files, you can take them from the CD and merge them with the ones on the disk. AFAIK the game still checks for the CD, but it will read the resources from the disk, so the CD ones can be empty. That lowers the access time if you're using a physical CD or allow you to use an unlocked executable with the ability to play videos.

Bersaglio wrote:The original 2.0 version is protected by Safedisk v1.30.010. Any of the official 2.1 and 2.2 updates removes this protection and leaves only cd-check.

Heroes of Might and Magic V
Heroes of Might and Magic VI
In my opinion should be banned immediately!


Heh, this reminds me of a certain scene:
"On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It's a silly place."

Hah :D

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Postby AKuHAK » Jul 3 2011, 18:04

Sorry guys if thing im asking for violates the forum rules but can somebody get me link to the H2INTRO.SMK from the TSW disc

And by the way russian version of Heroes2 check files in folder ANIM2

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New World Computing commercial CD releases complete list

Postby Bersaglio » Dec 2 2011, 9:03

Heroes Community posted by Evaline

A long time and with varying success I am trying to assemble a collection of HoMM game series from New World Computing.
Only original commercial PC releases of NWC games in English (or Multilanguage versions with English) are welcome.
I am not interested in non-NWC re-releases or other falsifications (Ubisoft, MAD, SoldOut, COKeM International Ltd. are well known in publishing of such falsifications).
Also I don't need electronic distributions (NWC in fact never released them).

List of the releases in chronological order.
Additional information: master disk release date (it's not actually an official game release date but on that date the game was gone gold), number of CDDA (Audio) tracks (if any), copy protection scheme (if any), official patches released, etc.

1. Heroes of Might and Magic (v1.0 for DOS, September 6, 1995). Beginning of an era. Install options: 8-bit Mono, 16-bit Mono and 16-bit Stereo soundtrack.
It seems that boxed HoMM for DOS was re-released few times (v1.1 DOS, October 4, 1995; v1.2 DOS, October 16, 1995) but v1.0 is the most valuable.
There is also OEM (Not for Resale, October 29, 1996 w/manual) version exists but it isn't a commercial release. Most likely this version was bundled with some kind of Video or Sound card.
Official patches (DOS): 1.1, 1.2.

2. Heroes of Might and Magic (v1.0 for Windows, February 1, 1996), 1 Data and 49 CDDA tracks. It's the first and only original HoMM release with CD quality sound track. King's Bounty is included on the CD. A few fan-made maps were added.
Official patch (Win): 1.1.

3. Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Succession Wars (v1.0 DOS/Windows Combo, November 4, 1996), 1 Data and 42 CDDA tracks. This is the original release of HoMM II.
Official patches (DOS): 1.1, 1.2, 1.3.
Official patches (Win): 1.1, 1.2, 1.3.

4. Heroes of Might and Magic II: The Price of Loyalty Expansion Pack (v2.0 DOS/Windows Combo, May 5, 1997), 1 Data and 42 CDDA tracks. It's the only separate release of Expansion Pack with different sound track (compared to The Succession Wars).
Official patch (DOS): 2.1.
Official patch (Win): 2.1.

5. Heroes of Might and Magic Compendium (2CD, September 15, 1997), the most valuable compilation.
CD1: Heroes of Might and Magic v1.3DOS/v1.2Win Combo, 1 Data and 49 CDDA tracks. This is absolutely unique version not only because it is a combo but also because there is no official DOS 1.3/Win 1.2 patches were released. King's Bounty is included on the CD. *Note* DOS version on this CD only have 8-bit Mono sound track so You need the original HoMM for DOS release to play with better quality sound.
CD2: Heroes of Might and Magic II bundled with Price of Loyalty Expansion v2.1 DOS/Windows Combo, 1 Data and 42 CDDA tracks.
This is the last HoMM release with DOS game versions.

6. Heroes of Might and Magic II Gold (v2.1 Windows only, October 29, 1998), 1 Data and 42 CDDA tracks. This is the first game that 3DO released as publisher. This version has no real value because there was only a half of the original game functionality remains. The DOS version of game was removed completely and Win version is identical to CD2 from HoMM Compendium with only a few fan-made maps were added.

7. Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia (v1.0, February 16, 1999). This is the first release of HoMM III with no copy protection yet.
*Note* Only this version of game have 2 sets of cutscene movie files: Smack (low quality) and Bink (high quality). In every later version of HoMM III all such movies except intros and endings are only in Smack format making "video quality" option worthless.
Official patches: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4.

8. Heroes of Might and Magic Millenum Edition (3CD Compilation, August 30, 1999) with no copy protection.
CD1: Heroes of Might and Magic for Windows v1.0 August 30, 1999 re-release, 1 Data and 49 CDDA tracks. King's Bounty is included on the CD.
CD2: Heroes of Might and Magic II Gold v2.1 August 26, 1999 re-release, 1 Data and 42 CDDA tracks.
CD3: Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Restoration of Erathia v1.1 August 30, 1999 re-release (patch 1.1 is included but this version have different game executable compared to official 1.1 game patch).

9. Heroes of Might and Magic III: Armageddon's Blade Expansion Pack (v2.0, September 20, 1999). This expansion pack introduces Safedisc v1.30.010 copy protection with 813 weak sectors in range from 970 to 10217.
Official patches: 2.1, 2.2. *Note* Patch 2.1 and later removes copy protection.

10. Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Shadow of Death Standalone Expansion (v3.0, March 10, 2000), Safedisc v1.41.000 copy protection with 797 weak sectors ranging from 974 to 10195.
Official patches: 3.1, 3.2. *Note* Patches changes the copy protection scheme. Official 3.1 patch downgrades the protection to Safedisc v1.40.004 while official 3.2 patch upgrades the protection to Safedisc v1.50.020.

11. Heroes of Might and Magic III Complete (v4.0, 2CD, September 8, 2000), Safedisc v1.50.020 copy protection with 581 weak sectors ranging from 977 to 10191 (CD2 only).
This isn't a compilation (Armageddon's Blade intro was removed, v4.0 is not compatible with v3.2 in multiplayer, at least one map from the original game is missing, few map errors not fixed, etc).

12. Heroes of Might and Magic IV US (v1.0, 2CD, March 6, 2002), Safedisc v2.51.021 copy protection with 577 weak sectors ranging from 976 to 10168 (CD2 only).
Official patches: 1.2, 1.3, 2.0, 2.2, 3.0.

13. Heroes of Might and Magic IV UK (v1.0, 2CD, March 7, 2002), Safedisc v2.51.021 copy protection with 579 weak sectors ranging from 981 to 10179 (CD2 only).
*Note* This game version and patches are different from the corresponding US versions.
Official patches: 1.3, 2.0, 2.2, 3.0.

14. Heroes of Might and Magic Platinum Edition (4CD Compilation, June 18, 2002) with no copy protection.
CD1: Heroes of Might and Magic for Windows v1.0 June 18, 2002 re-release, 1 Data and 49 CDDA tracks. There is no King's Bounty game on this CD.
CD2: Heroes of Might and Magic II Gold v2.1 June 18, 2002 re-release, 1 Data and 42 CDDA tracks.
CD3: Heroes of Might and Magic III Complete v4.0 Install CD June 18, 2002 re-release.
CD4: Heroes of Might and Magic III Complete v4.0 Play CD June 18, 2002 re-release with no copy protection.

15. Heroes of Might and Magic IV: The Gathering Storm Expansion Pack US (v2.0, September 8, 2002), Safedisc v2.51.021 copy protection with 579 weak sectors ranging from 959 to 10151.
Official patches: 2.2, 3.0.

16. Heroes of Might and Magic IV: The Gathering Storm Expansion Pack UK (v2.0, September 8, 2002), Safedisc v2.51.021 copy protection with 577 weak sectors ranging from 975 to 10170.
*Note* This expansion pack version and patches are different from the corresponding US versions.
Official patches: 2.2, 3.0.

17. Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Winds of War Expansion Pack UK (v3.0, January 13, 2003), Safedisc v2.51.021 copy protection with 576 weak sectors ranging from 967 to 10179. Sadly I was unable to buy this CD (DVD-box UK released version with printed manual)...

18. Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Winds of War Expansion Pack US (v3.0, January 14, 2003) with no copy protection (different from the UK version). This is a last title ever released by New World Computing/3DO.

Heroes Chronicles Game Series (in slightly different order).

1. Heroes Chronicles: Warlords of the Wasteland US (Chapter 1, August 31, 2000), Safedisc v1.50.020 copy protection with 577 weak sectors ranging from 979 to 10161.

2. Heroes Chronicles: Warlords of the Wasteland UK Multi-5 English/French/German/Italian/Spanish (Chapter 1, October 29, 2000), Safedisc v1.50.020 copy protection with 577 weak sectors ranging from 959 to 10214.

3. Heroes Chronicles: Conquest of the Underworld US (Chapter 2, August 30, 2000), Safedisc v1.50.020 copy protection with 577 weak sectors ranging from 979 to 10161.

4. Heroes Chronicles: Conquest of the Underworld UK Multi-5 English/French/German/Italian/Spanish (Chapter 2, November 2, 2000), Safedisc v1.50.020 copy protection with 579 weak sectors ranging from 957 to 10204.

5. Heroes Chronicles: Masters of the Elements US (Chapter 3, October 5, 2000), Safedisc v1.50.020 copy protection with 574 weak sectors ranging from 992 to 10185.

6. Heroes Chronicles: Masters of the Elements UK English Only (Chapter 3, October 31, 2000), Safedisc v1.50.020 copy protection with 575 weak sectors ranging from 971 to 10184.

7. Heroes Chronicles: Masters of the Elements UK(EU) Multi-5 English/French/German/Italian/Spanish (Chapter 3, November 16, 2000), Safedisc v1.50.020 copy protection with 577 weak sectors ranging from 971 to 10205.

8. Heroes Chronicles: Clash of the Dragons US (Chapter 4, October 5, 2000), Safedisc v1.50.020 copy protection with 579 weak sectors ranging from 960 to 10181.

9. Heroes Chronicles: Clash of the Dragons UK English Only (Chapter 4, October 31, 2000), Safedisc v1.50.020 copy protection with 580 weak sectors ranging from 959 to 10182.

10. Heroes Chronicles: Clash of the Dragons UK(EU) Multi-5 English/French/German/Italian/Spanish (Chapter 4, November 16, 2000), Safedisc v1.50.020 copy protection with 582 weak sectors ranging from 959 to 10209.

11. Heroes Chronicles: The Final Chapters UK Multi-2 German/English (Chapters 7-8, May 9, 2001), Safedisc v2.30.031 copy protection with 580 weak sectors ranging from 963 to 10185.
Contains Chapter 7: Revolt of the Beastmasters and Chapter 8: The Sword of Frost. There are a 2 different releases of this game (both DVD-boxed): German (with German printed Manual/description) and UK (with English printed Manual/description). Second one is rare. The CDs in these releases are identical.

12. Heroes Chronicles: The Final Chapters US (Chapters 7-8, May 1, 2002) with no copy protection.
Contains Chapter 7: Revolt of the Beastmasters and Chapter 8: The Sword of Frost (very rare).

Any information about release that is not listed here are welcome. Sorry for my bad English.

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Postby cuc » Dec 2 2011, 10:27

There is a v1.1 official release of Heroes II TSW. Its main difference from the first release is it contains a demo version for 3DO's game cheating app.

I wouldn't be surprised if such official re-releases of base games exist.

Heroes III Complete
at least one map from the original game is missing, few map errors not fixed


Where can I find a detailed breakdown of the map problems?

EDIT:
Another basic question, which foreign versions of Heroes games are published by NWC/3DO rather than local publishers, anyway? For example, I think the majority of the French versions are published by Ubi, am I right?

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Postby Bersaglio » Dec 2 2011, 11:38

cuc wrote:There is a v1.1 official release of Heroes II TSW. Its main difference from the first release is it contains a demo version for 3DO's game cheating app.

Are you sure that this is not a Soldout 2001 version?

cuc wrote:Where can I find a detailed breakdown of the map problems?

(1) H3: RoE + 1.1 + 1.2 + 1.3 + 1.4 + H3: AB + 2.1 + 2.2 + H3: SoD + (Race for the Town.h3m and Carpe Diem.h3m backup) + 3.1 + (Race for the Town.h3m and Carpe Diem.h3m restore) + 3.2: total 160 maps.
(2) H3: Complete: total 159 maps

Differences list:
1. Myth and Legend.h3m (original H3: RoE map, patched in 1.1) is missing in H3: Complete
2. Carpe Diem.h3m map in H3: Complete looks newer than in (1) installation. Checksums of this map differ.
3. Faeries.h3m in H3: Complete looks older than in (1) installation. IIRC this map was patched by Official 2.1 H3: AB Patch. In H3: Complete this map is not patched.
4. One Bad Day - Allied.h3m in H3: Complete looks older than in (1) installation. Timestamp: H3: SoD One Bad Day - Allied.h3m map - March 10, 2000; in H3: Complete timestamp - March 4, 2000

EDIT:
Another basic question, which foreign versions of Heroes games are published by NWC/3DO rather than local publishers, anyway? For example, I think the majority of the French versions are published by Ubi, am I right?

I don't know, sorry...


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