Retro Let's Play: Warhammer Dark Omen

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by Vanne, Dec 29, 2020.

  1. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    Retro Let's Play for January 2021:

    Warhammer Dark Omen

    300px-DarkOmen-cover.jpg

    (To find out what this is and why we're doing it, click here).

    Developed by Mindscape under license/orders from Warhammer, Games Workshop and published by Electronic Arts in 1998, Yeah thats a long time ago, but please bear with me. This game is a tactical, real-time (RTT) wargame, that came and went pretty much by with hardly anyone noticing. (i did, i bought it on release, still have it)

    Its a tactile follow up to SOTHR (Shadow of the Horned Rat) released in 1995 and has many, many improvements over that game. (I completely missed that game).

    Warhammer Dark Omen, released for both Windows 9x platform and PSX, The gameplay is unit-oriented battlefield tactics with infantry, cavalry, and archer squads and artillery pieces as well as supporting hero and wizard units. The game freely mixes in 3D/pixel based landscapes, cannons, flintlock pistols and steam-powered tanks with bows, cavalry and magic using the Warhammer fantasy rule-set set.

    Warhammer_ Dark Omen.jpg
    Goblins, Orcs, there is much to do for the mercenary Morgan Bernhardt (your character). Border counties must be protected and noble people have to be defended. However, Bernhardt soon notices that he has to pour not only green blood.

    A cold horror covers the land ......

    The Undead have struck the land and now captain Bernhardt must eliminate the growing menace together with his mercenary's troop 'Grudgebringer'. He has to be Victorious through many difficult battles and then finally face the Ultimate challenge against the Dread King in the front of the black pyramid gates!

    Thats the general speil of the game, you have to defend the Empire with your armies, and the picture above shows the general battle field with your/or other characters giving you real time feed back. The bottom right hand console is how you will generally be giving specific commands. Its a little easier than having to pull out the tape measure after every dice throw.

    mapper.jpg

    You can zoom out at will (although i wished they had used the scroll wheel for that function, alas) so you can keep an eye on your battle field. The one above showing things a little busier than the previous one.

    Units vary in size from individual wizards or monsters to regiments of up to 32 members, and cannot be split up or combined. Units can suffer from psychological effects and can be routed, and individuals in units may be lost but can be replaced between missions unless the entire unit is lost. Units advance in experience as the game progresses, and between battles the player's forces can be brought up to strength, replacing losses, and upgraded by adding armour and equipment using money gained by killing enemies and accomplishing objectives within the mission. New units, including allied Elven and Dwarf units, can also be added at certain points in the campaign, often as rewards for successful completion of critical missions.

    Before any skirmish starts you have to deploy your troops and regiments on the battle field. (shown below)

    deploy.jpg

    You place your pieces within the white flags and thus can create either an advantage for your cannons (yes they are line of sight only) or to run down your enemies from upon a hill and so forth.

    probably enough introduction to the game as I don't want to spoil the whole thing. I will say however, it will take a little bit to get familiar with the controls and the commands, but there is a nice little tutorial included.

    2 words!! THIS GAME ROCKS!!! dammit, thats 3, but you get the picture.

    I hope you take the time (and trouble) to get this game going and give it a go. Its really rewarding , but also very very hard, and rewarding..

    This is probably the most undersold game that deserved more attention when it got released.I never even knew there was a PSX version untill i saw it online. Warhammer Dark Omen is one of those games that you either LOVE or HATE, and it showed by its reviews upon release. The other reason that possibly you havent heard much about this game is because the PC version (used to be) is a MASSIVE PAIN IN THE ASS to install on anything newer (read anything later than WinME) and pretty much impossible before a few months back.

    psx (2).jpg

    Yes Installing this game is easy if you have a retro system, its not if you havent.. really.. kinda hard..

    You wont find this game on Steam or GoG.

    You will find it on Ebay/or any other vendor sites, and no doubt youll find it on some *cough *Abandon* cough* other sites,

    The PSX version is very easy to obtain and runs on most emulators, however, i have to ad, after having played both versions, and what you can now do with more modern hardware makes the PC game really shine.

    For those willing to give the PC version a go (and you havent got a win9x retro box), head to http://forum.dark-omen.org/help-sec...-xpvistawin7win81win10-game-fixes-t111.0.html and obtain the Modpack 2020 version that you will find there.

    Read up on the bits and pieces there, and install the game.

    I have to add.. it looks GLORIOUS on my 1920x1200 screen, Dg voodoo accelerated... it really is amazing.

    DO with dgVoodoo.jpg

    So that sounded confusing right, that last bit! easy..

    PSX version.. easy peasy..
    Win9X version UK CD on retro box with Voodoo support.. Easy Peasy
    Win9X version UK CD on modern system... Not that hard now, but when you get it working.. its all worth it.

    Multiplayer works too.
    http://en.dark-omen.org/multiplayer.html

    For the steps to install this game once you have the CD/ISO, see the above mentioned Dark Omen Fansite http://en.dark-omen.org/ and click on the Dark Omen mod pack 2017 link. Which will take you to the Modpack 2020.. , you have to follow EXACTLY the 6 steps.

    Happy to help out anyone that needs more info/assist to get the game going.
    Now get out there and defend the Empire. ;)

    1057225-darkomen_1.jpg
    (posted a day or 2 early as i have to work over new years eve)​
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
  2. power

    power Member

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    definitely out of left field, will have to at least give it a go during the month.
     
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  3. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    for me it's very much not a game type I ever play or even give a second thought to...
    I wouldn't have given last months retro racing game, Bettle Adventure Racing, a go either. I'd have written that off , and that was a fun game.
    So given OCAU retro knows their collective shit, i'll give this a crack because it's Vanne recommends it :thumbup::thumbup:
     
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  4. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    This is why I love this hobby so much. I hear folks whine all the time that there's "no new games out" or that they're "bored of gaming", and yet there exist some thousands of games worth trying out, from a pool of literally millions. Games you've never likely heard of (I've never heard of this month's title, despite priding myself in being pretty across a lot of old games), and games that are still worth playing today, whether it's just for fun, or for deeper critical analysis of the mistakes they made then (and the same mistakes we see in games today, because people don't study old video games enough).

    I've got the PSX version downloaded, but I'm keen to give the PC version a go too, to compare the two. Going to be an interesting month.

    If anyone has problems tracking this down, PM me.

    [edit]

    Game won't launch in WINE for me. Testing in 6.0rc4 with WINEARCH=win32 and winecfg specifically set to Win95 emulation, but not dice. WINE's Appdb doesn't have any new test information about this game, last tested under WINE 1.X which is ancient. Might have to be a fully emulated Windows environment I think. Been meaning to muck about with PCEm, so this might be my first test.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
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  5. OP
    OP
    Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    Id believe it Dan, just previous to the last update (the 2020 file mentioned above) it was absolutely impossible to get this game going in XP, 7,8 or 10. Macabre dancing was required just to run it in software mode, however now with DG voodoo, it should be relatively easy. BUT you have to follow the 6 steps to a t.
    My surface 3 pro runs it, but there are slow downs. My Mac Pro 5,1 does a wonderful job, and being able to run at 1600 X 1200 is just awe inspiring.

    You HAVE to have the UK/English install cd (iso) and then run setup, not let it auto run. Any other installer will miss the registry changes required for it to run properly. (Or at all)

    Stick with it, worth it in the end.
     
  6. FIREWIRE1394

    FIREWIRE1394 Member

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    I’ll give the PlayStation version a go when I get a chance.
    It looks like the type of game I’d like to play, but the only thing that concerns me is the warhammer aspect...
    I never got into warhammer at all so the lore will be entirely lost on me. I might be better off playing something similar but not warhammer, but that’s what I’m gonna find out I guess.
    If it’s a good game, and I have fun, I’ll play it for more than an hour.

    I knew a lot of people who spent STUPID amounts of money and time on warhammer. But at the time I was spending stupid amounts of money and time on models of REAL things and also video games so I’ve never even thought to try a single warhammer game.
     
  7. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Fired this up on PlayStation today. My findings.

    * I have NFI what's going on. Asked which troops to put on the field. I unno... all of them?

    * No idea how to control them. Click on them and then... they can charge? Can't make them attack things. Can give them a hint where I want them to go, but they seem like they're not very bright

    * Goblins show up, shower arrows on my guys. They whinge that they're being attacked, but don't do much?

    * Attempt to push them towards the enemy. Some units fight. Some just cry and die. OK.

    Overall findings: I need to read the manual, clearly. I have zero idea what's going on.
     
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  8. OP
    OP
    Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    I hear ya Dan, you gotta run through the tutorial. Things will become clear. No real understanding of the Warhammer lore universe required.

    You can't control individual men, just the unit itself. No need to read the manual, but the tutorial is a must...
     
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  9. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Will do.

    Yeah I figured as much, but I couldn't even do that, hahaha!

    OK, will fire up the tutorial next run. :thumbup:
     
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  10. OP
    OP
    Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    IMG_20210105_102404.jpg
    That won't do, bright wizard and my canon dead in the water.. I'll have to re-run that battle. Undead scum defeated though, but sadly with those looses, it's a moot point.

    I am going to install this today on my semi retro box.. and see if I can make it a bit easier for you guys. The peecee is Def the preferred way to play this game..
     
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  11. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Would have to agree. My short time with the PlayStation version was pretty maddening for controls. I think a mouse is a must for this one.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    Okay, so ive just spent the whole night going over this and how to install the PeeCee version...

    After much experimenting and installing and what nots, ive finally found out how to do it easily.

    You need to run it on a windows 10 box. there, said it!! , i had so much trouble/issues with running on windows 7/XP, that its just not worth doing that, so that leaves 2 methods for installing on a PC. either on your proper retro box, or on a win10 box.
    Something funky going on on win7/XP with video drivers not seeing the DirectX/Direct3d calls. NFI.. anyways, it works nicely on windows 10.

    So this is how you install it.

    (i used an ISO image from my original CD and ive checked the other image, its the same, both are UK CD's)
    1. Mount the CD in Deamon tools.

    2. Install the whole full game to its default location

    3. Copy the movie folder from the CD across to the Dark Omen directory

    4. Rename the PRG_ENG directory to PRG-ENGOrig

    5. Unzip the DO Mod Pack Jan 2020 into the Dark Omen directory

    Run Dark Omen using the EngRel program in the new PRG-ENG directory.
    (the program should start and then go to options and change the options to max everything out and make sure its using 3D, not CPU)

    Quit out of the game
    unzip DGvoodoo2_63 and grab the dgVoodooCpl program and chuck that in the PRG-ENG directory.
    Run dgVoodooCPL

    On the Direct X page of dgVoodoo, select the following:

    videocard: Ati Radeon 8500 vram 256
    Disable mipmapping and choose your resolution
    choose your texturing aniso, and antialaising
    tick fast video merory access, and Apply phong shading when possible...

    Right then restart the game, "and call me Commander!" :) hehehe

    Okay so these are the 3 files youll need.

    dgVoodoo 2.63 http://dege.freeweb.hu/dgVoodoo2/bin/dgVoodoo2_63.zip
    Mod pack 2020 https://1drv.ms/u/s!AsyWBCOxh51ViNQVmiH8FtY80TnY7w?e=AKawWz
    and the ISO.. the file name is : Warhammer-Dark-Omen_Win_EN.zip which no doubt you might find at an abandoned wharehouse...

    I hope that helps, I gotta admit, its actually pretty tough to install this game, I probably ran through 10 installs this evening, all resulting in less than stellar conclusions. But the above way is sure to go fine.

    (Elvis, i hope i havent overstepperd the mark there with those links, if i have, apologies and please let me know and ill remove them)
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
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  13. OP
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    Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    Just noticed an irregularity. If you have dgVoodoo installed previous, say for another game or so, it will use /THAT/ resolution. No biggie, but just thought I'd add it for completeness, as I stuffed around with the settings for dgVoodoo in thePRG_ENG directory for quite a while before I figured that out. I am pretty sure it doesn't update the config file. There may be a way to do it, but I haven't ventured that far. Still trying to slay the Undead instead.

    Hope some of you guys managed to install this game. Even the Sound track is bloody amazing.

     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2021
  14. Oktavius

    Oktavius Member

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    Loved this and "Shadow of the Horned Rat". Is there any easy setup for Win10?
     
  15. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    literally two posts above yours :)
     
  16. maslander

    maslander Member

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    That feeling of nostalgia when a game you used to play regularly pops up as a retro game. Think I still have my original box and CD somewhere. For those that find the game a bit difficult to start with, a regular hex editor on the saved file will allow you to modify character traits/experience levels.
     
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  17. okclock123

    okclock123 Member

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  18. okclock123

    okclock123 Member

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    3 things

    1. That pdf was pretty pointless, not needed to set up w98, the link to s3/voodoo drivers and dx7 iso is useful to save some googling time though
    2. The game doesn't see the CD in the drive
    3. Intro video playback is super slow

    Well. at least I tried.
     
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  19. OP
    OP
    Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    Yeah there are many issues under emu for this game, it's impossible to run properly. Proper win98 or ME required, failing that Win10.
     
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  20. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    PCem is excellent from an accuracy stand point, but requires quite a grunty rig to run anything 90s/3D.

    I'm helping out a few researchers down south with it, and even on hefty threadripper boxes, they're struggling to run games from similar to this title's era.

    Normally I turn to WINE for this stuff, but this title is doing some whacky things that don't seem very standard.
     
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