Last weekend, I was at a friend’s house for a LAN party. After our usual Team Fortress 2 session and a quick break playing the board game “Attack!”, we found ourselves… Well, bored. In our boredom, we began thinking of games we’d always wanted to play in a multiplayer setting but, for whatever reason, never had the chance. We settled on Dungeon Keeper, a personal favorite of all involved. For the Windows XP users it won’t take much to get this game up and running on your system for some LAN party goodness. Vista owners will encounter some speed-bumps along the way, but we have a workaround for 32bit users. Unfortunately, 64bit Vista users will be out of luck. With that, lets take a look at what we’ll need to get this up and running.
Before we install the game there are some precursory steps required to make the process a smooth one.
- Download and install DOSBox (Get it: Here)
- Make an ISO image of your Dungeon Keeper CD using MagicISO (Get it: Here)
- Download and install the D.O.G. front end for DOSBox (Get it: Here)
- Download and install DAEMON Tools or similar Virtual Device software (Get it: here)
For XP Users: You will also need to install the IPX protocol to your Ethernet device. Do this by clicking Start > Control Panel > Network Connections > Right click your Ethernet device > Select properties. Click “Install” and select protocol, then select “NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol.” Dungeon Keeper uses the IPX protocol to facilitate network play.
For Vista 32-bit Users: Go to starbase01 and follow the instructions to install IPX on Vista. Unfortunately, this workaround doesn’t work for the 64-bit version of Vista. While you will be able to get the game to run, you will be unable to do LAN play.
Installing Dungeon Keeper:
To install Dungeon Keeper, we will be using a program called DOSBox. DOSBox emulates a native DOS environment in today’s operating systems. Nearly anything you could run on Windows 95 or DOS you can run on DOSBox. When you use DOSBox, you will be operating in a virtual DOS machine. Although DOSBox does have a few unique commands, the commands are largely identical to the ones we used in the glory days of 16bit PC gaming. For this article, we used version 0.72 of DOSBox.
Configuring your PC for DOSBox and Dungeon Keeper
- Start up DOSbox and enter “mount D X:\”, where X:\ is the drive that has the ISO mounted to in Daemon Tools.
- Next, enter “mount C Y:\installpath”, where “Y:\installpath” is the drive and folder you want to install the game to. I recommend using something like “C:\DOSBox” so that you are able to keep all of your DOSbox games in one folder.
- Now DOSBox has a drive “C:” and “D:”. Drive “C:” is where you are going to install the game. Drive “D:” denotes the location of your Dungeon Keeper ISO.
- Type “D:” and press enter to switch to the D:\ drive. Type “setup” and press enter. Go through the prompts to install the game.
- Once the setup is complete, you should be able to play the game through DOSBox. To do so, type “C:” to switch to the C:\ drive and then type “keeper” and hit enter.
Note: If you exit DOSBox at any time you will have to re-mount the drives mentioned in steps 5 and 6. This is a real pain to do. Thankfully, though, we’re keeping your best interests in mind and have decided to use a front end to help. The front-end will automatically remount drives and folders of your choosing when it is launched, and is more intuitive than the old command line that DOSBox uses.
Setting up D.O.G.
- When you first run D.O.G., it will notify you it hasn’t been configured with a specific DOSBox version, yet. When prompted, click select and find the folder in which DOSBox is installed.
- Once that is completed, you can create a new profile by clicking on the “New Profile” button in the upper left corner.
- Fill in the “Profile name:” prompt. This has no bearing on the operation, so make it anything you wish.
- Next up, the “Exe FileName:” prompt. Click “Select” and browse to the .EXE file that runs Dungeon Keeper. You should not have to mess with any of the other fields on this page.
- Be sure to have your .ISO mounted in Daemon Tools for this next step. Click on the “Drives” category on the left hand side. Towards the bottom, click “Add CDROM” and select the drive with your mounted Dungeon Keeper .ISO. Select drive letter “D” in DOSbox.
- Now click “add a Harddrive”. Select the path to the folder you installed Dungeon Keeper to when you installed the game through DOSBox. (This should be the same place as step 3, and might be done already.)
- Now go to the “Data Communications” category. Select “Enable IPX” and determine which one of your buddies is going to be the host. Whomever is hosting should pick “Server” and enter their IP address. For everyone else at the party, select “Client” and enter the host’s IP into the given field.
Important note: The server/host must load his/her copy up first before everyone else. If you have any issues, it’s usually tied into CD recognition. Vista has had problems with DOSBox in the area of CD recognition. It’s for this reason that I suggest creating an .iso and running it that way. At this time, .bin, .cue, and .iso file types seem to be the most compatible with Vista.
I have not tried to get the expansion “Deeper Dungeons” to work through this method. I doubt you’d have any trouble running it in the same way you would the original, though. Just repeat the above steps and you should be in business. D.O.G has numerous advanced options that can be useful, but experiment with caution.
That should be everything! Hopefully this guide added a new game to your LAN menu, while delivering a dash of nostalgia at the same time.
Expertly done, Keeper!
Shameless plug: To Brandon and Jeremy for being awesome guys to hang out with on a Friday night.