Win: Deadlock 1 Multiplayer

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Win: Deadlock 1 Multiplayer

Post by Belix »

I'm going to share what I know about getting multiplayer Deadlock games working. Perhaps it will help someone else get a game running, or figure out how to from there on their own.

Before I get into details, here is a brief list of what I do and don't have working. After the list I'll elaborate on each one, including instructions if I have it working, or ideas that might lead to a solution.

Windows XP 32-bit

Windows 7 64-bit

UNKNOWN (probably not working):
Windows XP 64-bit
Windows Vista 32-bit
Windows Vista 64-bit
Windows 7 32-bit
Windows 8

These versions of Windows are not too widespread at the moment. However, Windows 7 is based on Windows Vista; odds are quite good anything that applies to Windows 7 is applicable to Vista.


Windows XP 32-bit
I have gotten multiplayer Deadlock games working between XP32 systems. The key to this is installing and configuring the NWLink IPX/SPX and NetBIOS protocols. This is fairly easy to do.

Step 1: Installing IPX/SPX and NetBIOS support
First, go to Control Panel / Network Connections. Now right-click on the adapter you want Deadlock to be able to communicate over (for a physical LAN, this will probably be the one called Local Area Network connection; for a VPN like Hamachi etc. probably the adapter of the same name; I can't speak for other VPNs, but I did get it working on Hamachi before) and select Properties from the drop-down menu.

In the dialog that opens, look in the list under 'This connection uses the following items:' to see if you have NWLink NetBIOS and NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol in the list. If you do have these, make sure both are checked as enabled, and skip down to the next step. If they are not present, click the button labeled 'Install...' which is circled in the image below.
prot1.png (34.38 KiB) Viewed 18054 times
When asked what type of network feature you wish to install, select Protocol and click 'Add...' and you will be shown a list of available protocols to install. Choose 'NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol' and click OK. After a few moments it should be installed and you should find two entries starting with NWLink in the list of items your connection uses now.

Step 2: Configuring the IPX/SPX protocol

Select 'NWLink IPX/SpX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol' and click 'Properties' below. You will be confronted with a dialog where you can enter an Internal network number, choose a Frame type and specify another Network number below that. For simplicity's sake, make sure the Internal network number is at the default (00000000); we'll only worry about the two settings at the bottom.

Change the Frame type to Ethernet 802.2 (this works for most old IPX games, however, there are a few exceptions if you ever have difficulty, you might try the other options here such as Ethernet 802.3 and Ethernet II). The Network number must be unique to each computer that wishes to play Deadlock. So, for example, leave one computer as 00000000, make the next computer 00000001, and the next 00000002 and so forth. Be careful though that you are setting the bottom Network number; the top number must be the same on all the computers, or they won't see each other.
prot3.jpg (97.52 KiB) Viewed 18054 times
Now click OK to close all of the remaining windows open, and restart the computer(s); IPX can be a little sensitive to configuration changes and it may not work as desired unless you reboot first.

Deadlock should now be ready to play. If successful, your other players will be able to see and connect to the computer that is hosting Deadlock. Enjoy!


Windows 7 64-bit

Deadlock multiplayer is pitted against a myriad of problems in Windows 7, so I haven't gotten an MP game working yet. First and foremost is the fact that the IPX stack was completely removed as of Windows Vista onwards; that means installing proper IPX/NetBIOS support like we can in Windows 7 is pretty much impossible. It would be so much simpler if Deadlock only used IPX, but its additional reliance on NetBIOS further complicates things. As far as I know, no implementation of NetBIOS through IPX exists in the 64-bit architecture, and the NETBIOS.EXE included with Deadlock as an alternative way of getting it running relies on the aforementioned and unavailable IPX protocol installed and running. Even if we had that, the application itself is 16-bit and will not run in a 64-bit environment. So any native OS support to cover Deadlock's needs seem completely out of the question; we have to turn to possible workarounds.

One such workaround is IPXwrapper, which I have used successfully with many old Windows games; unfortunately, it does not work with Deadlock. Deadlock is the only one of them I've tried it with that uses NetBIOS. Either the way its IPX networking functions, or the involvement of NetBIOS means that IPXwrapper is never loaded and used the way it is with most other Win IPX applications. IPXwrapper is still updated occasionally, and if we are lucky, perhaps its functionality will extend to cover NetBIOS dependent applications.

Another possibility I explored is utilizing the Modem/Serial mode through the use of fake Virtual COM ports. This would limit MP to only 2 human players max, but given the game's age, most of us would be lucky to find just one other person willing to play it with us anyway. :) Virtual COM port behavior capable of communicating through modern TCP or UDP protocols can be achieved through the use of programs such as TCP-Com and datAxe. Unfortunately both of these programs are 'shareware' and impose time limits on their usage unless you fork out money for the full versions. Were it $5 or $10 it might be reasonable just to let you play a single old game you like, but TCP-Com's full price tag is $260 if you want to keep using it after the 30 day trial expires... yikes. datAxe, on the other hand, supposedly has no limitation other than 30 minutes max of connectivity; regular saving and the auto save feature could get around that inconvenience easily.

First using Windows XP as an initial test environment to eliminate potential issues with Windows 7, I tried both programs with Deadlock, and they behaved identically as far as Deadlock was concerned. While they seem like they could possibly work for other games, sadly Deadlock itself didn't quite work out for me with it. Deadlock only seems to successfully host a Modem/Serial game if it is run with compat mode off (so no sound/music); and it seems to successfully look for games to join only with compat mode ON (so possible game freezes). However, I haven't gotten a compat client to see a non-compat host yet. If you try hosting games with compat on, or joining games with compat off, Deadlock exits to the desktop suddenly while trying to initialize the network stuff. Close, but not quite.

It also seems that running these two programs on Windows 7 might be another issue; datAxe's driver is digitally unsigned, which poses a complication where W7 won't allow it to install or run. It is possible to work around that, but it is more of an advanced subject, and I won't cover it here for the protection of less experienced users that might inadvertently cause their computer problems trying to follow the instructions. If you're a more seasoned user and want to try it yourself, you know how to Google. As for TCP-Com, it seems newer and might work with W7, but I haven't tried that yet either (since I couldn't get Deadlock MP working with either in XP, I figured it wasn't going to work in W7 anyway).

With those two possibilities appearing to be dead-ends for now, barring some sort of executable patch or way to hijack the defunct MPlayer or TEN internet connectivity methods, the odds of Deadlock multiplayer games running natively on this operating system seem bleak for the moment. The only remaining alternative is running Deadlock in a virtual OS through some program like VirtualBox, VMWare etc. These programs let you install other operating systems and use them like programs; you could run Windows XP inside of Windows 7, for instance, and play Deadlock that way. I tried this myself and was able to set up and configure IPX/SPX and NetBIOS protocols in the virtual XP, but as of yet, a physical machine running XP and my virtual XP cannot see or join each other's games. I may have just configured something incorrectly though, so feel free to try it. I even got Deadlock running in a Virtual Windows 98 (THAT was fun to configure!!) but it was such a pain to set up, and the game ran so poorly, that I didn't bother trying to set it up like that on another computer to test multiplayer with.


Other operating systems
Windows XP 64-bit: Driver support for XP64, as I understand, is quite poor. If it is possible to install IPX/SPX and NetBIOS protocols as with XP32, NetBIOS may not function properly in a 64-bit environment, as hinted at by NETBIOS.EXE being a 16-bit application. If anyone has it and can confirm whether it works or not, I'll be happy to update this post.

Windows Vista 32-bit & 64-bit, Windows 7 32-bit: Like Windows 7 64-bit, native IPX/SPX and NetBIOS support appears to be impossible on these operating systems, so Deadlock is stuck in the same boat as Windows 7 64-bit. There may be hope but it seems like it could be futile.

Windows 8: I have no experience with this operating system. Best case scenario is probably that it has the same issues Windows 7 64-bit does.


That's all I know, gentlemen. If anyone has any suggestions, insights, solutions, or questions, I'll add what I can. Hopefully this information enables a few lingering XP users to play, and might even lead someone to find a way to get it working natively in newer versions of Windows.
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Re: Win: Deadlock 1 Multiplayer

Post by Team Sleep »

Has any of this information changed in regards to the windows 7 32 bit layout and the advent of the game now being available for download on GOG.COM?
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Re: Win: Deadlock 1 Multiplayer

Post by Tggtt »

Team Sleep wrote:Has any of this information changed in regards to the windows 7 32 bit layout and the advent of the game now being available for download on GOG.COM?
Deadlock 1 from GOG doesn't officially support multiplayer.
Deadlock 1 needs NetBIOS, it seems to only work over IPX (network protocol) using Windows XP, 2000,95,98,ME,3.11 or NetBeUI (network protocol) using Windows 2000,95,98,ME,3.11.

If you really wish to run Deadlock 1 multiplayer, you need another DEADLOCK.EXE executable and a Windows that supports NetBIOS and either IPX or NetBeUI. It could work over hamachi then.

See my topic about the patch.
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