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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Postby cuc » Dec 2 2011, 11:49

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


I'm completely sure this is a 3DO release.

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Postby Irv1n3 » Dec 3 2011, 0:36

cuc wrote: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?


French version of HoMM4 is labeled "3DO" "New World Computing" and "Bigben Interactive".

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Postby AKuHAK » Dec 9 2011, 22:44

Bersaglio wrote: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
Oh, can you tell where I can get all of these versions. Few words about differences - please unpack all 3 different maps by 7-zip, and then compare them in total commander (Shift+F1). It is much more easier way to get file differences.

Few words about Heroes 1 and Heroes 2 music set. If we open audiere.dll in hex editor we can see such string

Code: Select all

Ogg Vorbis Files:ogg;
FLAC Files:flac;
Mod Files:mod,s3m,xm,it;
WAV Files:wav
.....flac
....mp3
.....mod
.....s3m.....xm..it
..ogg
.....wav

It is very easy for understanding that heroes can play Lossless audio formats :D WITHOUT audio quality loosing. I mean Flac and Wav formats. WAV files are very large (the same size that in CD). But Flac provide smaller size and the same audio characteristics.

Now how can we listen these files in game. First and the most easiest way - just convert our audio set into flac, then rename each file in format 02-AudioTrack 02.ogg and replace all files in CD folders Tracks or Tracks 2. The game will play all of them and it sounds very good. And this disk will became universal - you can use it in any type of game (Win version of course).

But im using another way. Im convert all tracks into flac and then rename it into 02-AudioTrack 02.flac and of course place them into CD folders Tracks or Tracks 2. Then i open EXE files in Hex editors and replace all "ogg." by "flac". Actually it is easier to replace 6F 67 67 00 by the 66 6C 61 63. I made three replacements.

So we dont need to use some patches for playing CD music or playing DOS game versions or smth like this. Just replace files and enjoy the HIGHEST quality music.

TsW Music list:

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01 - Main Menu.flac
02 - Battle Theme 1.flac
03 - Battle Theme 2.flac
04 - Battle Theme 3.flac
05 - City of the Sorceress.flac
06 - City of the Warlock.flac
07 - City of the Necromancer.flac
08 - City of the Knight.flac
09 - City of the Barbarian.flac
10 - City of the Wizard.flac
11 - Lava Theme.flac
12 - Wasteland Theme.flac
13 - Desert Theme.flac
14 - Snow Theme.flac
15 - Swamp Theme.flac
16 - Ocean Theme.flac
17 - Dirt Theme.flac
18 - Grass Theme.flac
19 - Lose Game.flac
20 - Next Week.flac
21 - Next Month.flac
22 - Archibald's Campaign.flac
23 - Puzzle Map.flac
24 - Roland's Campaign.flac
25 - Passage.flac
26 - Passage.flac
27 - Passage.flac
28 - Lurking Enemy.flac
29 - Passage.flac
30 - Selection.flac
31 - Purchase Free Creature.flac
32 - Magic Well.flac
33 - Gin's Lamp.flac
34 - Passage.flac
35 - Magic Garden.flac
36 - Passage.flac
37 - Free Skills.flac
38 - Knowledge Spellpower.flac
39 - Watch Tower.flac
40 - Passage.flac
41 - Passage.flac
42 - Scenario Victory.flac


Tracks changed in PoL

Code: Select all

05 - City of the Sorceress.flac
06 - City of the Warlock.flac
07 - City of the Necromancer.flac
08 - City of the Knight.flac
09 - City of the Barbarian.flac
10 - City of the Wizard.flac


Tracks changed in Millennium edition

Code: Select all

05 - City of the Sorceress.flac
07 - City of the Necromancer.flac
08 - City of the Knight.flac
10 - City of the Wizard.flac

P.S. Please don't forget that in game castle themes has wrong order and i can't tell you now which order is corect.

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Postby cuc » Dec 10 2011, 5:28

Audiere.dll?

Oh, you are talking about a fan patch made using an open-source API, but not everyone has heard of it. For example, I only vaguely remember seeing two such patches before.

Would you write a full guide on this patch, including where to find it and how to configure it, preferably in another thread (so that everyone can see it just from the thread title)? That will be appreciated!


Unfortunately, we still have problems like H1 Windows's B&W system cursor, or H1DOS's persistent white noise, and without the needed programming knowledge, we don't even know whether they are solvable.

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Postby AKuHAK » Dec 10 2011, 10:28

cuc wrote:Audiere.dll?

Oh, you are talking about a fan patch made using an open-source API, but not everyone has heard of it. For example, I only vaguely remember seeing two such patches before.
Im not hearing about fan made API. If you mean FreeHeroes2 but you can't listen HD music in this project.
No im not talking about fan made patch. Im talking about ORIGINAL game files and hidden original game properties. When you install game (for example im installing it from Platinum collection) we can find such dll's in game folder: audiere.dll and SMACKW32.DLL in Homm1 and MSS32.DLL, audiere.dll and SMACKW32.DLL in Homm2. audiere.dll it is library responsible for audio playing. Game developers already include possibility to play High Quality music (flac or wav).

Now if we open game disk - we can see such folders as Tracks, Tracks2 and Anim2. First 2 folders contains music file for homm1 and homm2 which are playing in the game. Audio format - ogg.vorbis (lossy format).

But as we already know it is possible to play Lossless quality. We just have to find disk with Heroes 2 soundtrack and then convert all tracks into FLAC (e.g. i'm using foobar2000). Or just simple download already converted tracks from somewhere.

Now it 2 ways:
1st way (simplest)
Then you have to rename each track in format 02-AudioTrack 02.ogg, 23-AudioTrack 23.ogg etc. And just replace all tracks in folders Tracks and Tracks2 on CD. It is the simplest way (just file replacing) BUT i don't actually sure that game correctly handles FLAC files with ogg extension. Yes it sounds very good but it is difficult to get differences in hearing between ogg and flac :)

2nd way
Then you have to rename each track in format 02-AudioTrack 02.flac, 23-AudioTrack 23.flac etc. Now you have to patch game exe manually. Just open it in any hex editor and replace all hex combinations 6F 67 67 00 with this combination 66 6C 61 63. And just put all tracks in folders Tracks and Tracks2 on CD. Now you can delete .ogg files from these folder. Now we can be sure that game is playing TRUE HQ music.

You can't read about this anywhere cause it is first place when im writing this. I will write all of these in Russian sector of heroes modding but a bit later. Maybe i will write full guide in separate topic but it is very difficult for me to write it in English :S.

2011.12.10. 11:29:32
Unfortunately, we still have problems like H1 Windows's B&W system cursor, or H1DOS's persistent white noise, and without the needed programming knowledge, we don't even know whether they are solvable.
Yep i know about this problems. Unfortunately i don't know about how to resolve this.

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Postby GreatEmerald » Dec 10 2011, 20:32

It's nice that it can play lossless audio (and tracker files, which in my opinion are the best music files overall), but you won't get any more audio quality out of the original audio, since it's already compressed. It's definitely useful for custom music, however.

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Postby berntie » Jan 28 2012, 21:38

cuc wrote:- 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.


Thanks for the excellent edition guide, cuc! It provides lots of good information. However, I have no idea where that video quality option should be located. I've currently installed the original RoE edition and Heroes III Complete but I don't find it. Where is this??

Edit: I found the option, although it seems to have no effect whatsoever!? What do I have to do, to see the low quality version of the cutscenes?

And I've yet another question:

cuc wrote:Heroes I

Problem:
-The Windows version has only black-and-white mouse cursors.
-Windows compatibility issues.

Possible Solution:
Use the Windows version's map editor for map editing, and play the game with DOS version using DOSBox (with 16-bit stereo music from the original DOS disc).


I don't understand why the DOS edition's music is preferable. Shouldn't CD Audio quality from the Win95 edition be exactly the same?

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Postby GreatEmerald » Jan 29 2012, 20:09

berntie wrote:Edit: I found the option, although it seems to have no effect whatsoever!? What do I have to do, to see the low quality version of the cutscenes?

And I've yet another question:

I don't understand why the DOS edition's music is preferable. Shouldn't CD Audio quality from the Win95 edition be exactly the same?


According to the OP, only in RoE the high quality cutscenes can be seen. Either way you can check that by browsing through your disc files with MMArchive.

It's not the music that is preferable. Like you said, they are identical, so to solve the cursor problem, the DOS version is used.

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Postby berntie » Jan 29 2012, 21:28

GreatEmerald wrote:According to the OP, only in RoE the high quality cutscenes can be seen. Either way you can check that by browsing through your disc files with MMArchive.
Yes, I've tried RoE with the different settings, but I can't see any difference.

GreatEmerald wrote:It's not the music that is preferable. Like you said, they are identical, so to solve the cursor problem, the DOS version is used.
Makes sense. Seems the remark about the music misled me:
cuc wrote:Use the Windows version's map editor for map editing, and play the game with DOS version using DOSBox (with 16-bit stereo music from the original DOS disc).

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Postby GreatEmerald » Jan 29 2012, 22:53

Try extracting both file types from both discs with MMArchive and see what the difference is. You'll need RAD Video Tools to play Bink and Smacker files.

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Postby cuc » Jan 30 2012, 9:13

Heroes 3's Bink files are in an obsolete beta version format, unsupported by the current RAD Game Tools. You can play them using Grayface's RSBinkPlayer.

http://sites.google.com/site/sergroj/wog
or
http://wog.celestialheavens.com/en/download/utilities/

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Postby berntie » Jan 30 2012, 12:28

cuc wrote:Heroes 3's Bink files are in an obsolete beta version format
Does that mean that even the game itself cannot play them? Because, as I said, changing the "video quality" option (yes, in the original RoE edition) doesn't seem to have any effect.

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Postby cuc » Jan 30 2012, 14:25

I haven't tested with RoE in a long time, and can't do it now. I do have kept notes of changes in H3 VIDEO.VID cutscenes, and will post it to this thread when I have the time.

Before that, you can test using two verifiable examples:

-The Bink NWC logo is actually at a lower resolution than the Smack version. The difference is very obvious, and you can often notice a resolution change when the game plays NWCLOGO.BIK.

Unlike the other cutscenes, NWCLOGO.BIK is present in all versions of H3 and Heroes Chronicles. This means in all versions of H3, if you set "video quality" to "high", the NWC logo would actually have lower resolution.

-The cutscene for the first RoE Necromancer mission, EVIL2A.BIK has a very noticeable flaw compared to EVIL2A.SMK.

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Postby GreatEmerald » Jan 30 2012, 18:51

cuc wrote:Before that, you can test using two verifiable examples:

-The Bink NWC logo is actually at a lower resolution than the Smack version. The difference is very obvious, and you can often notice a resolution change when the game plays NWCLOGO.BIK.

Unlike the other cutscenes, NWCLOGO.BIK is present in all versions of H3 and Heroes Chronicles. This means in all versions of H3, if you set "video quality" to "high", the NWC logo would actually have lower resolution.

-The cutscene for the first RoE Necromancer mission, EVIL2A.BIK has a very noticeable flaw compared to EVIL2A.SMK.


Hum, both examples show that selecting low quality gives high quality instead... What's up with that?..

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Postby cuc » Jan 31 2012, 15:36

A reminder: RSBinkPlayer doesn't play EVIL2D.BIK (RoE Necromancer, fourth cutscene) and H3X2_UAM.BIK (SoD ending) perfectly.

==============

First of all, to state the obvious in case anyone doesn't remember what PCs were like in 1999:

The original purpose of H3's video quality option was to improve performance on low-end computers which couldn't play Bink movies smoothly.

Compared to the Smack videos, H3's Bink files look better AND are smaller in file size. So when faced with the need to save CD storage space, NWC removed the Bink files and kept the Smack files, not because Smack files are smaller, but because they must stick to the game's minimum system requirements.

Because there are so many versions of H3 including Chronicles, a list of cutscenes that are affected by the "video quality" setting would be a little complicated.

"Y" indicates there is a Bink version for this cutscene.
"N" indicates there isn't.
"-" indicates the cutscene is not in this game.

Code: Select all

File Name       RoE  AB   SoD  H3C  HCh  Note
====================================================
NWCLOGO         Y*   Y*   Y*   Y*   Y*   NWC logo

H3INTRO         Y    Y    -    Y    -    RoE intro
ENDGAME         Y    Y    N**  Y    -    RoE ending

RoE cutscenes   Y    N    N**  N    N**
LOSEGAME        Y    N    N    N    N    Game Over

H3XINTR         -    Y    -    -    -
AB cutscenes    -    N    N**  N    N**

SoD cutscenes   -    -    N    N    N
H3X2_UAM        -    -    Y    Y    N    SoD ending

HCh intros      -    -    -    -    Y


* The Bink version of NWC logo actually has a lower resolution.
** In order to further save disc space, the Smack cutscenes in SoD are even further compressed. These files are also used in Heroes Chronicles.

Generally speaking, after RoE, only intros and endings can get the Bink treatment.

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Postby GreatEmerald » Feb 1 2012, 14:51

Interesting, so, to sum up:

- RoE vanilla is the only one that has high quality RoE cutscenes.
- AB vanilla is the only one that has the AB intro.
- Heroes III Complete has superior quality than SoD

This makes me wonder, do the expansions check for Bink files? If I was to add the missing Bink files to the resource files, would the game use those, or would it use the Smacker ones regardless?

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Postby berntie » Feb 1 2012, 20:40

Very valuable information, indeed. Thank you, cuc!

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Postby Bersaglio » Feb 1 2012, 21:08

Again thanks cuc for this detailed clarification!

The last note about RoE distributions. There are a 3 different versions of RoE:

1. Original HoMM 3: RoE v1.0 US released version (rare).
Heroes3.exe MD5 checksum: 9e6db279a4826e61c2c5969722aad807
2. HoMM 3: RoE *unknown* game version.
Heroes3.exe MD5 checksum: e2d1f7a508e0269fb806a4661372354e
It is a strange CiFE v1.0+ unofficial version. This version cannot be patched without having to replace Heroes3.exe and Data\H3BITMAP.LOD from (1.) version prior to patching.
3. Heroes of Might and Magic Millenium Edition CD3 (compilation). It is an another strange v1.1+ RoE version with different game executable compared to the official v1.1 patched RoE.

But nevertheless all these versions contain the same sets of BIK/SMK videos.

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Postby cuc » Feb 3 2012, 9:46

GreatEmerald wrote:This makes me wonder, do the expansions check for Bink files? If I was to add the missing Bink files to the resource files, would the game use those, or would it use the Smacker ones regardless?

No, I've tried this.

Which videos to play isn't defined in any of the .txt files, so it's hardcoded in the main executable. Presumably, changing this would need knowledge of tinkering with the H3 executable.

GOG actually made changes to Heroes Chronicles: originally the first 4 Chronicles chapters' intros are all named INTRO.BIK/SMK and only found on their respective discs; in the GOG version, they have been renamed so they can be put in the same HCHRON.VID file.

Bersaglio wrote:2. HoMM 3: RoE *unknown* game version.
Heroes3.exe MD5 checksum: e2d1f7a508e0269fb806a4661372354e
It is a strange CiFE v1.0+ unofficial version. This version cannot be patched without having to replace Heroes3.exe and Data\H3BITMAP.LOD from (1.) version prior to patching.

Any other distinguishing features such as autorun screen? Is it a foreign version?

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Postby Bersaglio » Feb 3 2012, 14:13

cuc wrote:Any other distinguishing features such as autorun screen?

Probably no such features but if I see something noticeable then I will post later.
Perhaps CiFE version was leaked from 3DO at February 1999 (timestamp February 18, 1999 vs February 16, 1999 in original v1.0 US released version).
The only noticeable difference - in Heroes3.exe properties, Private Buid Description tab:
Image

cuc wrote:Is it a foreign version?

No. It's English only, similar to US version but with Multilanguage DirectX version on the CD.


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