ScummVM 0.12.0, all your adventures are belong to us
Waiting for the Architect of adventure games Ron Gilbert to unveil the (certainly) moronic face of the DeathSpank hero to the world, if one was in withdrawal from “point & click” games he could always practice with ScummVM, the virtual machine designed for the preservation of the good old adventures from Lucasfilm/Lucasarts (and much more) released in these days in its new, sparkling version 0.12.0.
As the name suggests, ScummVM was created with the main purpose of ensuring compatibility (and so replayability) with newer operating systems for the adventure games of the Eighties and the Nineties, born within the Lucas forge long before the software house would turn into a vague and meaningless jelly, would send away the best talents of the industry and would finally turn to produce clones of clones of clones of… The Clone Wars and Star Wars. The software behaves pretty unlike a typical emulator as MAME is, because it only replaces the executable files of the games by connecting game data with newer interpreters rewritten thanks to the reverse engineering of the original ones or, in some cases, with the help from the coders themselves.
Eventually, the aim of ScummVM has hugely widened, adding up to the SCUMM script engine based-videogames (Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island, Indiana Jones, Sam & Max, The Dig, …) the ones produced by Adventure Soft (Simon the Sorcerer, Elvira), Sierra (King’s Quest, Police Quest, Leisure Suit Larry), Coktel Vision (Gobliiins, Lost in Time), Humongous Entertainment of the usual Ron Gilbert (who after Monkey Island and before DeathSpank has brought home the bacon coding software for kids) and more.
The always growing compatibility list of ScummVM supported titles (with different functionality levels) has enriched, with the version 0.12.0, of five new games that is: “The Legend of Kyrandia – Book Two – Hand of Fate”, “The Legend of Kyrandia – Book Three – Malcolm’s Revenge”, “Lost in Time”, “The Bizarre Adventures of Woodruff and the Schnibble” and “Drascula – The Vampire Strikes Back”.
Except that, the version release notes talk about improvements and rehashes for the “SCUMM” engine (partial rewriting of the Digital iMUSE sound subsystem and the internal timer, improved support for Amiga version of games and mixed Adlib/MIDI mode for Monkey Island 1 floppy version), the “Agos” (fixed crashes and issues with color palette on the Amiga version of Simon the Sorcerer and Elvira) and the “Queen” (fixed the speech tone), the plugging of memory allocation issues and the reviving of the PlayStation 2 port.
In respect of this last note is worth to highlight how ScummVM rivals with MAME for the ability to practically come out on any kind of videogaming platform present or extinct, starting from Windows, Mac OS X and Linux up to the PSP, Dreamcast, Amiga, Wii, OS/2, iPhone, Windows CE, Symbian and so on. An impressive list to which the only missing thing really is some sort of advanced pocket calculator to be able to consider it as definitive.
For once, at last, it isn’t necessary to (hypocritically) recommend the download of the emulator and the purchase of games to run on it: the very complete ScummVM download page includes, other than the source code and the binary files of all the above said ports, even a solid amount of freeware games among which must be cited Beneath a Steel Sky, Lure of the Temptress and Broken Sword 1.