Curing the Curse of Monkey Island CD Issues

Today I have finally gone to the effort of putting Office 97 on my Windows 95 drive. I have finally got what I really wanted back in the day when the old PC was becoming a really old PC. Windows 95 and Word 97. My old PC with Windows 3.1 and Word 2.0 just wasn’t cutting it in the modern day world of the time. Even if it was only primary school, computer classes wanted things like Wordart, fancy page borders and graphs with 3d graphs with gradient colour. The only way I could use any of the work I was doing on my old computer was to save everything as Word 2.0 files. In the end it was all kind of pointless but the writing was certainly on the wall for what was being expected in the future. Eventually in 1999 we got a PC with Windows 98 and Office 97 Small Business Edition, which had work and Excel but lacked PowerPoint. I finally got Everything when I ended up with PowerPoint when I got Office XP Professional in 2002 for my new PC which got me through High School. But it’s nice to finally get the combo that I originally wanted after all.

The other thing I wanted to do yesterday was to play “The Curse of Monkey Island” which I did get going in the end. I Put in my CD and ran the installer which went without hitch. But when I was running things I felt like it was not going as fast as it could. You see, The installer only puts about 2MB of files onto the hard drive and expects you to run everything else off the 2 CD’s is comes with. I guess it’s my expectation of how a game like this should run, but every time a screen changed or a cutscene would happen, there would be a pause for the 4x speed drive to spin up and load everything (I have no idea what speed the drive really is but it ain’t fast). Surely there would be a way to copy the game data off the CD’s so that it made loading times quicker.

My first instinct was to just dump the entire contents of the CD into a folder on my PC. This did not go as planned because the main problem is the program launcher. The only .exe file is a small screen to with a button to launch the game. It only looks for the data on the CD. I guess this is the game’s way of doing copy protection because CD duplication was a really tricky thing in the mid 90’s.

 

So I go to the Internet to try to find a solution. I did find a different launcher that somebody had made. But it “officially” lacked Windows 9x support. It did say it would probably work but it just had not been tested. So I copied this onto my drive and tried to launch it up.

It wanted a specific gdiplus.dll file that wasn’t there.

I’m thinking that this isn’t going to work. But I’m curious to see if finding the “gdiplus.dll” file and putting it somewhere in the system would make it do it’s thing. Searching the Internet further took me to a software company that discussed it. These specific files are on Windows 2000 and up as well as some versions of Windows 98. They provided a copy of it to work with their own software, which I think was some calendar thing. They say to keep it in the same folder as the .exe file. This did the trick and the launcher program boots up.

There is an options button, which lets you copy the game data onto the hard drive. What it does is basically dump the rest of the 2 CD’s into the Monkey Island folder in the Program Files section of the C: drive. It makes the whole install about 1GB instead of 2MB. There are options to run the game fullscreen and windowed. And now it works like a dream.

This works on Windows 95 and Windows 98. There are other launchers on this website for other Lucas Arts games so this should probably work with Grim Fandango and Escape from Monkey Island. Although, if you wanted to play this game on a current version of Windows, you’re much better off using ScummVM to do it.

So until next time,

Have fun and stay sexy!

S