Author Topic:  MCG-DH: Notes for installing  (Read 3349 times)

23 May 17

Read 3349 times

Offline RizZen

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How to install MechCommander Gold - Darkest Hours?
Easy explanation: Unzip Game folder of download zip to your hard-disk, enter the extracted game folder, mount *.iso file and choose one of the MCX-Resolution.exe files to start game. (Windows 10, 8, 7, XP, 98)

Notes for different OS

Windows 98 / 98SE / 2000 / ME
- MechCommander Gold can be physically installed via Original CD or mounted *.iso
- when MCG is physically installed MC-Editor can be installed too
- MechCommander Editor & Extender can be used but their limits reduce them to only make new maps - mission objectives and scenarios have to be *.abl scripted in *.fit files game uses then
- Standard Resolutions are recommended for older Windows OS
- for playing - MCG-Darkest Hours - MechCommander Gold - Desperate Measures needs to be physically installed to run proper, not MC1!
- to play MCG Darkest Hours you just need to extract MCG-DH Fullversion - place it in game folders and start game from "MCG Darkest Hours\" folder while CD/ISO is mounted

Windows XP/Vista (32bit)
- can be installed - sometimes only with workarounds
- editor works but is more unstable then on older systems like Win98
- game CAN be physically installed but it is not needed to play it
- mounting CD or ISO and playing it is possible like explained below for Win10

Windows 7/8
- Youtube Tutorial by SeanLang
- game can be physically installed with workarounds on Windows7, but Win7 users have most technical issues
- game can not be physically installed on Win8
- CD or ISO can be mounted in order to play a prepared Original game folder or MCG - Darkest Hours Fullversion
- editor can be installed on Win7, not Win8 - is very instable

Windows 10 (64&32bit)
- See step by step tutorial
- For short: Mount MCGold.ISO out of "MCG Darkest Hours\" gamefolder and start Game.exe
- no physically installing of Original MC/MCG necessary - folder is full prepared
- editor doesnt work on Win10
- physical install doesnt work on Win10
- before starting for the first time Win10 needs to install/activate DirectPlay



Step-by-Step tutorial

Step 1
Download the Full Version 3.0

When entering googledrive it will say that file is too big to be content shown. It will also tell you that it couldn´t scan for viruses cause file is above 1.4GB in size. But you can download it in spite of that. Button will be shown in the middle for it. The file contains no virus or whatever. Only the game. You are free to scan file after downloading if you dont trust it.

Step 2
Extract the whole file with winzip or winrar. It contains this folder:
Put it whereever you want... - to your game directories.

Step 3
For Multi-Player install and login on, it needs the including MCX.exe path of gamefolder.

For Single-Player enter MCG - Darkest Hours and start with the resolution *.exe you desire to play. Notice that you need to use original disk or mounted *.iso (inside game folder) to play. Windows 10 can mount iso file easily, other Windows versions may need additional Software to mount virtual drives like Virtual Clone Drive (freeware).

Folder content for players. The MCX.EXE is the one for multi-player games. MCXOriginal.exe is the orignal one. Game can be started with it but no multi-player compatibility using this. Same with resolution exe files. They are intended to be used single player only.
NOTE: Windows10 users should Start exe Game Files with windows xp sp2 compability & reduced colors 8/16bit graphics. Reduces errors in Solo-Missions & Single-Player-Campaigns.
« Last Edit: 14 Apr 18 by RizZen »

30 Jun 17

Reply #1

Offline RizZen

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How to play MCG - Darkest Hours online Multi-Player?


Download Gameranger from and install it. You need an e-mail adress, nickname and password - to register in this gaming community. All basic functions of gameranger are freeware and without paying it´s possible to play with up to six players in a MechCommander Multi-Player game.

You have to install Adobe Flash Player for Gameranger to make it run.


After succesfully installing and starting gameranger it shows you gaming community server lists and a buddylist. In order to make MechCommander Gold - Darkest Hours running online it needs to be started by gameranger.

Enter the options.

In Game-List you will have to search for MechCommander Gold - Desperate Measures - as Darkest Hours is a evolvement from this version you need to choose this one. Browse for your MCG Darkest Hours\ folder and choose MCX(.exe) for Gameranger. If path is shown like on screenshot above you did it right.


Now search for MechCommander - Darkest Hours gameroom or Host a game by pressing Host-Button.

Gameranger may send you a warning message for your router - ignore that and just continue unless you had no problems since now. You now opened/entered a MechCommander Multi-Player-Game. The start button on the right side starts game for all users in gameroom when host starts the game.

Your server is now is shown on Global-Server-List.

When all players ready the host can start game by using the start button of gameranger. It will start game with Multi-Player-Functions only now. This is the only way to play MechCommander online today. MSZone doesn´t exist anymore for MechCommander players.

Have fun...

... while enjoying full MP potential of MechCommander Gold - Darkest Hours!
« Last Edit: 5 Jul 17 by RizZen »

4 Jul 17

Reply #2

Offline RizZen

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How to handle / change Ingame
MCX"Resolution".exe´s of MechCommander?

First of all there is to understand that in MechCommander *.exe files are splitted when it´s coming to play the game. There are two options to start MechCommander. First is for Single-Player Features (Campaigns & Solo-Missions). The second is for Multi-Player Online games over Gameranger (see above). All MCXResolution.exe files where done by magic from hardline productions & moddb. This way i want to thank him for giving MechCommander more potential by compiling those great files for single-player game features.
Finally i could isolate the resolution related hex-coordinates and learned how to create resolution.exe files myself. I uploaded the missing resolutions many people asked me for long ago.
Resolution Breakthrough-Thread

1. How to play different Resolutions in Single-Player Mode

For Single-Player games, which are the Original/Expansion Campaigns and Solo-Missions you just need to mount MechCommander ISO file or insert Original MechCommander Gold Disk into your DVD drive and start game manually by executing one of the Resolution *.exe files (MCX1440x900.exe f.e.) and entering the game. Here is a list with common paths:
Low resolutions
1. "C:\Games\MCG Darkest Hours\MCX640x480NOCD.exe" (only no-cd-exe - file for testing)
2. "C:\Games\MCG Darkest Hours\MCX640x480.exe" (4:3 - VGA) - the most stable game.exe for older systems
3. "C:\Games\MCG Darkest Hours\MCX800x480.exe" (Widescreen - VGA)
4. "C:\Games\MCG Darkest Hours\MCX800x600.exe" (4:3 - SVGA)
5. "C:\Games\MCG Darkest Hours\MCX1024x600.exe" (Widescreen - SVGA - for note-/netbooks
6. "C:\Games\MCG Darkest Hours\MCX1280x600.exe" (Widescreen for netbook monitors)
Medium resolutions

7. "C:\Games\MCG Darkest Hours\MCX1024x768.exe" (4:3 - XGA) - for best performance
8. "C:\Games\MCG Darkest Hours\MCX1152x768.exe" (Widescreen - SVGA)
9. "C:\Games\MCG Darkest Hours\MCX1280x768.exe" (Widescreen - XGA)
10. "C:\Games\MCG Darkest Hours\MCX1280x800.exe" (Widescreen - XGA - for note-/netbooks)
11. "C:\Games\MCG Darkest Hours\MCX1280x1024.exe" (4:3 - SXVGA)
High resolutions
12. "C:\Games\MCG Darkest Hours\MCX1440x900.exe" (Widescreen XGA) - very stable!
13. "C:\Games\MCG Darkest Hours\MCX1600x900.exe" (Widescreen XGA)
14. "C:\Games\MCG Darkest Hours\MCX1600x1200.exe" (4:3 - UXGA)
15. "C:\Games\MCG Darkest Hours\MCX1680x1050.exe" (Widescreen - WSXGA+)
16. "C:\Games\MCG Darkest Hours\MCX1920x1080.exe" (Full HD - Widescreen) - most unstable!
Keep in mind that you only can run game with a resolution same size or smaller than your current desktop resolution. This means when you have desktop resolution 1024x768 f.e. you can not execute MCX1280x768, but 1024x768 or lower like 800x600 for example.
17. "C:\Games\MCG Darkest Hours\MCXOriginal.exe" (pre-set 1024x768 resolution)
for v3.0 users i have changed standard starting resolution from 640x480 (only menu fullscreen mode) to 1024x768, what gives a better resolution without changing anything when starting game first time. This point of list stands below cause you can change the resolution before using MCXOriginal.exe to start game. The procedure is the same like changing resolution for Multi-Player Feature. So have a look below how to manually change the resolution by using one of the four standard resolutions for MechCommander. But best way is to try out best resolution for yourself and making a shortcut on desktop for it. Higher Resolutions may cause more crashes. If you want to workaround choose lower resolution and start missions again when higher res don´t work on single missions.
Start all resolution *.exe files (Win10) with Windows XP SP2 compability, reduced colors, 8bit - this setting works normally on all Windows 10 versions. For playing with Windows XP you don´t need to change any compability settings for starting exe files.

2. How to play different Resolutions in Multi-Player Mode

Like mentioned above (Gameranger Tutorial) for using Multi-Player feature you have to start game with the MCX.exe of your Darkest Hours Main folders, path should look like that:
10. "C:\Games\MCG Darkest Hours\MCX.EXE"
You have to launch game via Gameranger by hosting a gameroom to play Multi-Player. When you just execute MCX.exe without having gameranger installed or running you just will play Single-Player. To change resolution you have to change an entry in Prefs.cfg. This file should be in main folder too, just where the exe files are. When you open the file with Editor it will show you a list containing some standard settings for game. For changing resolution just this line is important:

"L Resolution=2" -> to find in "C:\Games\MCG Darkest Hours\Prefs.cfg

You can change the number from 0-3 (the four basic resolutions of MC). This list shows you the available standard resolutions which are the only working for Multi-Player Feature at the moment:
1. l resolution=0 for 600x480 Res use this setting for lower than 1024x768 resolutions!
2. l resolution=1 for 800x600 Res
3. l resolution=2 for 1.024x768 Res
4. l resolution=3 for 1.280x1.024 Res
You don´t need to change any compability settings before starting this execution by launching the "Start/Launch Button" in gameranger´s gamerooms multi-player game gets automatically started (Gameranger needs path to MCX.exe of MCG-DH-v3.0 to know what exe  it has to start). It is recommended to mount ISO before starting MP games but even that won´t be necessary cause gameranger loads ISO automatically from Game´s main folder. If you have trouble with Win10 try Compability Windows XP SP2 with 8bit reduced colors, should work to make it run if necessary.

DONT RUN Game.exe-Resolution which is higher than desktop resolution! Game will crash. For playing 1920x1080 your windows desktop resolution must be the same size or bigger. Keep in mind that 1920x1080 is the most unstable resolution.
For running game with low resolutions edit resolution line in PREFS.CFG from value 2 (two) to 0 (zero). Otherwise minimum resolution game starts with will be 1024x768, further instructions above.
Menu Resolution is always 640x480, that´s why its on top left corner of the screen on higher resolutions. Maybe it is possible to make a bigger menu artwork on long time perspective.

Download MCXResolution.exe files for basic versions below
« Last Edit: 30 Mar 18 by RizZen »

26 Mar 18

Reply #3

Offline RizZen

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Today i found out how to create more resolution game *.exe files to make playing the game comfortable on all imagineable monitor-systems, those are the new available resolutions for MechCommander. They will not only work with Darkest Hours - no they run on each standalone full-version of the game, original one and customer campaigns:

New Resolutions
- 640x480 (4:3 - Uncracked)
- 800x480 (Widescreen - VGA)
- 800x600 (4:3 - SVGA)
- 1024x600 (Widescreen [Netbook] - SVGA)
- 1280x600 (Netbookmonitors)
- 1280x800 (Netbookmonitors)
- 1152x768 (3:2)
- 1600x1200 (4:3 UXGA)
- 1680x1050 (Widescreen WSXGA+)
Read more about resolutions and how to start game after mounting it´s *.iso.

Notice: To play 640x480(only menu fullscreen)/800x480/800x600/1024x600 & 1280x600 you have to change Resolution entry to 0. Preset of Darkest Hours is 2 which means game starts with 1024x768 minimum. 0 means 640x480 minimum. When you dislike changing entries in PREFS.CFG manually you can download this optional PREFS.CFG-downgrade (below). This file needs to be pasted into main Darkest Hours game folder replacing the older version by overwriting it.

Down to present day magic from hard-light productions where the only one who have created some resolution *.exe files for MechCommander. Today i created nine additional resolutions to close up the missing GAP within different Widescreen and 4:3 resolution game offers. Magic was the one giving me the deciding information of how the game.exe files where changed to have different ingame resolutions. My bad magic couldn´t remember the exact position of entries which had to be changed to effort more resolutions. So finally i found out myself how it´s been done decades ago. Magic told me that only two certain adresses of hexadecimalcode defining the ingame resolution. To find those i only needed to compare all existent *.exe files, finding the differences and at which Entry-Line they are in. I could isolate two certain adresses and found out that resolutions are stored within two bites of code in a small code XX-YY. They where exchanged like it is usual in hexfiles.

Important notice: Keep in mind that its no matter what resolution you choose, menu screen is always 640x480 sized - on higher resolutions menu is at the top left side of Monitor.
Ingame resolution will always be fullscreen with all resolutions.

On basis of this knowledge i created some copies and edited them to make all imagineable missing resolutions available. My first testing was only game menu and some solo- & campaign-missions but game was stable on all resolutions i have created. For information about resolutions visit this thread.

My hope is that more diversity with resolutions helps more players to find a way to start playing the game without resolution-crashes cause of wrong desktop resolution or special monitor size and format. Just take the resolution of your desktop to make sure game is running smooth. Have fun with new resolutions, dear mechcommander community.

Regards RizZen

Edit: When you miss a certain resolution, dont mind asking for it. Makes in-mission fullscreen experience unique for MC.
« Last Edit: 27 Mar 18 by RizZen »

15 Apr 18

Reply #4

Offline RizZen

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Games own Core Resolution changes: PREFS.CFG !!!

The "PREFS.CFG" file defines technical settings and values and forces game to start with this changes. This file must be "Read-Only" - otherwise MCG will overwrite your changes or updatet files.

Complete content of "MCG Darkest Hours\PREFS.CFG"

b PaletteCycle=TRUE
b DirectDraw=TRUE
b Use90Pixel=TRUE
b Force45Pixel=FALSE
b Force16Mb=FALSE
b Force32Mb=FALSE // TRUE when many technical problems without
l Resolution=0 // 0-3
l Difficulty=1 // 0-2
l Brightness=1
l MusicVolume=50 // 00-99
l RadioVolume=75 // 00-99
l SFXVolume=75 // 00-99


//l Resolution=0 -> 640x480 Resolution
//l Resolution=1 -> 800x600 Ingame Resolution
//l Resolution=2 -> 1024x768 Ingame Resolution
//l Resolution=3 -> 1280x768 Ingame Resolution
//Only started with regular MCXOriginal.exe Menu will be shown as fullscreen. Menu fullscreen will still be 640x480 but shown fullscreen. Starting any other GameResolution.exe will result having 640x480 Menu Align-Top-Left but in mission you will have the chosen resolution!

All resolutions via Core Game changing Prefs.cfg

- 640x480 Resolution Prefs.cfg download
- 800x600 Resolution Prefs.cfg download
- 1024x768 Resolution Prefs.cfg download
- 1280x768 Resolution Prefs.cfg download

- Gunners Prefs.cfg with 1024x768 resolution and reduced music loudness
Install note: Just put the new file into it´s right place: "MCG Darkest Hours\..."

PREFS.CFG - Related Topic by sh4nk
« Last Edit: 15 Apr 18 by RizZen »