PSA: If HoMM II is freezing, restart your machine!

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

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Darmani
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PSA: If HoMM II is freezing, restart your machine!

Postby Darmani » Jul 22 2018, 23:10

We at the Ironfist team just discovered a very nasty bug in the original game, and wanted to warn other players about it.

If your machine was booted more than 25 days ago, HoMM II will freeze for up to 600 hours whenever you pick up an object or defeat a monster.

Explanation: Most of the timing in the game is done through a DelayTillMillis function, which tells the game "Do nothing until time X," where time X is given in milliseconds since your system was booted (the Windows "GetTickCount" function). If HoMM II was properly coded, this would wrap around to 0 after your system has been booted for 49.7 days. However, there's a bug in HoMM II where instead, after 25 days, that number wraps around to -25 days.

For most of the code, this is benign, as most of it is written to e.g.: "wait till 40 milliseconds from now." However, there is one place in the code where it instead waits till "40 milliseconds after your system has booted." Usually, your system booted more than 40 milliseconds ago, and this does nothing. However, when your system booted more than 25 days ago, HoMM II thinks that your system actually booted -25 days ago. And so, it will wait for 25 days...

We're going to be patching this bug in Ironfist, but if you're playing the original game and encounter this: restart your machine!

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