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Duke3D shareware version with incomplete 1st episode

User is online   Tigrou 

#1

I remember the first time I played Duke 3D (around April 96) it was from a Demo CD of a french magazine.
Unlike the regular shareware version we all know, only the first level (E1L1) was available.

Back then, I knew there was even a shareware version with 3 levels.
Later on (June 96) the shareware version with all 6 levels of 1st episode was available easily in Europe (but I had already bought the full game :D ).

I have been wondering if those incomplete shareware versions is something known in the community. I took a look at fandom page but there is no such a thing. I am also wondering why someone would want to do that ? It's not about saving bytes on the CD (full 1.3D shareware version is 5.64 MB, not that much compare to cutdown versions)

I have been able to retrieve them (see attached file). Here it is :

- Gen4 87 (April 96)
Duke Nukem 3D Unregistered Shareware v1.0 - E1L1.MAP

- PC Collector 2 (May 96)
Duke Nukem 3D Unregistered Shareware v1.1 - E1L1.MAP - E1L2.MAP - E1L3.MAP

Attached File(s)

  • Attached File  DUKE3D.7z (4.51MB)
    Number of downloads: 26


This post has been edited by Tigrou: 15 November 2022 - 01:37 AM

10

User is online   LakiSoft 

#2

View PostTigrou, on 15 November 2022 - 01:37 AM, said:

I remember the first time I played Duke 3D (around April 96) it was from a Demo CD of a french magazine.
Unlike the regular shareware version we all know, only the first level (E1L1) was available.

Back then, I knew there was even a shareware version with 3 levels.
Later on (June 96) the shareware version with all 6 levels of 1st episode was available easily in Europe (but I had already bought the full game :D ).

I have been wondering if those incomplete shareware versions is something known in the community. I took a look at fandom page but there is no such a thing. I am also wondering why someone would want to do that ? It's not about saving bytes on the CD (full 1.3D shareware version is 5.64 MB, not that much compare to cutdown versions)

I have been able to retrieve them (see attached file). Here it is :

- Gen4 87 (April 96)
Duke Nukem 3D Unregistered Shareware v1.0 - E1L1.MAP

- PC Collector 2 (May 96)
Duke Nukem 3D Unregistered Shareware v1.1 - E1L1.MAP - E1L2.MAP - E1L3.MAP


The three level demo was already familiar to me and to the community long ago.

For the reference see the link here: https://forums.duke4...424#entry140424

But honestly i don't think neither myself neither any other community member ever heard of 1.0 shareware with one level only. What we did heard of is 1.1+ (almost version 1.2) with one level only though. :)

Thanks for sharing anyway. This does make good reference to nostalgia and Duke history. :)
4

User is offline   oasiz 

  • Dr. Effector

#3

Heh... that 1.0 edit is just lazy GRP editing, they just replaced E1L2.MAP with ........ in hex editor, the data is all still there but they just intentionally broke the file name headers.

Just extracted up to E1L6.MAP and it matches with regular 1.0.

Seems that USER.CON was simply edited to include E1L1.map for the whole EP and that's it.

So likely the only edits are dummied out entries while shipping the map data itself otherwise.


EDIT: Checked the rest, seems that DUKESW.BIN differs. Didn't bother checking. This is just the info splash.
4

User is online   DNSKILL 

  • Honored Donor

#4

Yeah, this is pretty interesting. It seems it was done by the magazine for sure compared to the CGW 1 level demo, which seems it was done in-house by 3DR (and was sort of between 1.1 and 1.2).
3

User is offline   MrFlibble 

#5

View Postoasiz, on 15 November 2022 - 11:31 AM, said:

Heh... that 1.0 edit is just lazy GRP editing, they just replaced E1L2.MAP with ........ in hex editor, the data is all still there but they just intentionally broke the file name headers.

IIRC the three-level demo from the other magazine does exactly the same thing - it's simply a hack of the shareware version that destroys access to later levels beyond E1L3.

I can hardly guess what the reasons for this could be. Did they think the entire shareware episode was too much for a demo? Did they try making "their" version "unique" by partially breaking it? Because I think that technically this kind of slighting actually counts as violation of the shareware EULA, in addition to serving no constructive purpose whatsoever.

BTW, I checked what the magazine actually says on that matter. My French is poor but I believe it describes their version as "a playable one-level demo of the genius 3D Realms game" (or, rather, "a playable demo of one level from the genius 3D Realms game"). Considering that shareware v1.0 came out in January 1996 and version 1.1 in February (and the April issue was likely prepared in March), the guys were a little bit behind things for sure.

This post has been edited by MrFlibble: 26 November 2022 - 08:38 AM

2

User is offline   oasiz 

  • Dr. Effector

#6

Publishers perhaps had different beliefs locally regarding "demo vs. shareware" (giving out a lot vs. tiny bits) or wanted to inflate the "new levels count" artificially.
Could also be the exclusivity thing.

I vaguely remember the 3-level one being slightly less broken and not literally corrupting the GRP itself.
1

User is offline   MrFlibble 

#7

View Postoasiz, on 26 November 2022 - 01:03 PM, said:

Publishers perhaps had different beliefs locally regarding "demo vs. shareware" (giving out a lot vs. tiny bits) or wanted to inflate the "new levels count" artificially.
Could also be the exclusivity thing.

I vaguely remember the 3-level one being slightly less broken and not literally corrupting the GRP itself.

I wonder if there are other examples with different games? I've been using these French mag coverdisks for some time as a source of demo and shareware versions of old games, but I don't remember finding anything that received a similar cut as these Duke3D shareware "demos"...
1

User is online   Tigrou 

#8

Duke3D was distributed in Europe by U.S. Gold.
It's probably them who modified the shareware (to make sure only 1st level is playable) and only allowed that version to be distributed.

Generation 4 magazine only released the shareware with 6 level in July / August 96.
They would have done it before if they could. Especially since they could have downloaded it on the web easily.

Joystick (a very popular French magazine, direct competitor of Gen4) did exactly the same :
April 1996 (only first level)
July / August 1996 (6 levels)

I don't think it's a coïncidence.

This post has been edited by Tigrou: 27 November 2022 - 03:10 PM

1

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