Retro Gaming without CDs: Old Time Baseball
Released in 1995 by Stormfront Studios, makers of the then-popular Tony La Russa Baseball series of baseball simulators, Old Time Baseball was a spinoff of Tony La Russa Baseball 3 – with the twist of being able to play as every major team from the beginning of baseball in the 1890’s up to the present and being able to pit two teams from different eras against each other. If you’ve ever wanted to see what Babe Ruth could do against the likes of Hank Aaron, this is the game for you!
Just like the game itself, getting Old Time Baseball to run without its CD is pretty straightforward – unlike what a first glance would reveal. The game has a hard-coded requirement for a CD-ROM, and the game’s configuration file is encrypted with little indication as to how it was encrypted. Thankfully, using DOSBOX’s built-in support for making OS folders look like actual CD-ROMs makes CD-less support for this game possible.
- Create a folder somewhere on your hard drive called Old Time Baseball. Ensure you don’t place it within your Program Files folders – it will cause major issues with how the game saves.
- Download the latest version of DOSBOX from http://sourceforge.net/projects/dosbox/files/latest/download?source=files
- Install DOSBOX to the folder you created (i.e. if you put the folder on your C drive, you would install DOSBOX to C:\ Old Time Baseball \Dosbox)
- Insert the game disc into the CD-ROM drive of your choice.
- Navigate to the folder you installed DOSBOX to, and run dosbox.exe
- You will see DOSBOX’s command line.
- Type the following command into DOSBOX: mount c “..\..\Old Time Baseball”
- Press the Enter key. By doing so, DOSBOX will treat the folder you entered previous as the C drive of the emulated MS-DOS system.
- Before we move on, I’d like to explain why I had you type in those dots. Those dots tell DOSBOX to use what’s called relative pathing to look at a specific folder which is up one in the chain of folders. This allows these instructions to not rely on a specific path, and it enables some nifty things later like being able to run this off a flash drive. As this can get complicated to explain, I’ll let this image explain:
- Type the following command: mount d d:\ -t cdrom (Replace d with the letter of your CD-ROM drive.)
- Press the Enter key. DOSBOX will now treat the drive you specified as a CD-ROM drive accessible by the emulated MS-DOS system.
- Type in the following command: d:
- Press the Enter key. You’re now on the CD-ROM drive.
- Type INSTALL into DOSBOX, then press the Enter key.
- You will see the Old Time Baseball installer appear. Press the Enter key.
- You’ll then see a list of optional components. Press the Enter key to ignore this screen and continue to installation.
- Once installation is complete, press the Enter key.
- Enter SETUP into DOSBOX, then press Enter.
- You will be presented with the Old Time Baseball setup program. It will first ask for your video card.
- Ensure the “Auto-Detect the Video Card” option is selected using the arrow keys, then press the Enter key.
- You will then be presented with a new screen which says it is “Detecting SVGA type”. Press the Enter key.
- Press Y at the screen which appears.
- At the next screen, press the Enter key.
- You will then see a sample image from the main menu of the game. Press the Enter key.
- Press Y at the screen which appears.
- You will then be presented with the sound setup screen.
- Select the “Done” option from the menu using the arrow keys, then press the Enter key.
- You will then see a screen asking you to configure two joysticks. At each joystick calibration prompt, press the Escape (ESC) key to cancel the configuration.
- You will be returned to the DOSBOX prompt.
- Type exit into the DOSBOX prompt, then press the Enter key.
- DOSBOX will automatically exit.
- In the Old Time Baseball folder you created, open the folder called OLDTIME.
- Right-click on an empty space within the folder, then click on the “New Folder” option from the menu which appears.
- Name the new folder CD
- Open the folder you just created.
- In a separate window, open the CD-ROM drive containing the Old Time Baseball CD.
- Select everything highlighted in blue in the image below:
- Right-click on one of the selected folders, then select “Copy” from the menu which appears.
- Paste the folders into the CD folder.
- Go back to where you installed DOSBOX, and open dosbox.exe.
- You will again be presented with the DOSBOX command line.
- Type the following command: mount c “..\OLDTIME”
- Press the Enter key. By doing so, DOSBOX will treat the actual folder containing the game as the C drive of the emulated MS-DOS system.
- Type the following command: mount d “..\OLDTIME\CD” -t cdrom
- Press the Enter key. By doing so, DOSBOX will treat the CD folder you created as a CD-ROM drive with drive letter D which is accessible by the emulated MS-DOS system.
- Type the following command: c:
- Press the Enter key. You’re now in the game folder.
- Type OLDTIME into DOSBOX and press Enter. The game will now play!
If you don’t want to repeat steps 40-48 steps every time, just download this file and place it in the folder where you installed DOSBOX. Using the file, all you have to do to play the game is launch DOSBOX. I should also note that in the case of this game, you aren’t returned to the DOSBOX command prompt when exiting the program. Instead, the emulator continuously displays a blank screen. As such, you’ll have to exit the emulator manually.