Hardwar is a game that really needs the soundtrack for the full experience, it complements the atmosphere of the game so incredibly well. That moment where you first undock in Alpha and are hit with the bleak environment, the lightning, the thunder and then the soundtrack starts and ties it all together, easily one of my favourite starts in a game.
I looked about and couldn't find any existing solutions to get the soundtrack working other than emulating CD drives or using external media player. So I took this ogg-winmm wrapper and modified it to work with Hardwar. This allows the soundtrack to be played in-game from ogg vorbis files instead of the CD.
This contains the fixed winmm.dll wrapper and a "remastered" version of the soundtrack. Tracks from both CDs are included and will all play without any CD or file switching. The tracks with glitches and skips on the original CDs have been corrected or replaced with clean versions. One track has been replaced as it was present on both CDs. See the readme file for more details.
To install just extract the archive to your Hardwar directory (so winmm.dll is in the same directory as hardwarw.exe), that's all you need to do. Rename or delete winmm.dll if you wish to disable it.
I was thinking that the music worked as long as it was burned to CD, but it seems I never tried it or remembered wrong. ^^
Though one time I was playing a game, XCOM: Enforcer (FPS) back when games didn't require there disk inside the drive, or constant internet connection etc, and had the Hardwar disk in and Hardwar's sound track was playing, which was awesome, though I couldn't play that XCOM game for long, since it strangely enough made me motion sick which I can count on one hand the games that do that. . .
[RANT Warning] XCOM: Enforcer Wolfenstein 3D, as well as the Linux clone of it, I think it has to do with the 2.5d I guess. Stranded Deep. . . It makes me sea sick after traveling in a raft for a bit. . .
Post by Lord Solarix on Apr 13, 2019 22:26:06 GMT -5
Solidox, excellent work! I LOVE this tool, thank you so much for releasing this. It is delightful to be able to customize the music! This is a MUST HAVE tool for any Hardwar fan.
I must comment that for years now I've noticed something odd - the Hardwar OST is different between versions. Looking through yours, I can identify the following <(click a track to be taken to a YouTube of it)>
Some more interesting things about USA F2.1: - Omits solidox's Track26, Second Bad Vilbel, Chin Hippy, the devs-singing joke track, and the unused tracks from PSX Loaded (solidox Tracks 07-17) - Stock retail USA F2.1 Hardman.exe credits Raxmus, C.T.M., Tied Up, Shut Down, Second Bad Vilbel (misspelt as "Vibel"), Second Scepe, Clipper, Nine, and Chin Hippy. "Nine" is credited to Autechre ("Brown/Booth"), but the "Nine" on my disc is DEFINITELY RAC's, NOT Autechre's. And as seen above, Chin Hippy and Second Bad Vilbel are nowhere to be found on the disc! - Speedy J's The FUN Equations is not credited at all - Second Bad Vilbel and "Track26" would have fit in very well with my OST, yet were omitted - Chin Hippy sounds VERY different from the rest of my OST, and was omitted
Based on the above points, I have a theory -- I believe that Hardwar's OST was finalized _after_ they had already shipped the first batches of CDs, and that the unused tracks from PSX Loaded (1995) found in earlier versions are leftover placeholder tracks. Whether the soundtrack changes in later versions were due to developer taste or legal reasons is unknown.
One thing is for sure: Different versions definitely contain different soundtracks.
At this point, I'm going to roll with the F2.1 OST + Autechre - Nine, Autechre - Second Bad Vilbel, and Track26, whatever that is :-)
Ah, that's interesting, thanks for documenting this. I had assumed that the UK and USA versions had the same soundtrack, that also explains the discrepancy in the credits. Licencing issues is certainly a possibility, I seem to recall a few games from that era having different soundtracks in the NA versions to EU ones. I'm curious if the tracks on the USA version were all clean or if they had the same mastering problems with clicks/pops as the UK edition? Something definitely went wrong during the process.
I wasn't sure if the tracks 07-17 ever actually played in game so I left them in just in case.
Track26 on the original UK CD was LFO - Tied Up, due to the way the wrapper works it would play disproportionately often if included twice so I replaced it with an untitled interlude track from Gridlock - Trace. Track 10 at 51:50. This is one of my favourite albums of all time and many of the tracks on it work with Hardwar very well I think, it's sort of ambient industrial, a mix of harsh beats and delicate soundscapes. (Also check out their album Formless if you're into it). I didn't really want to include other music (copyright, dev's vision, authenticity, etc) but I needed to put something there and it seemed reasonably 'neutral'.
I'd like to update the pack to include RAC - Nine and FUN Equations now that I know about them, although there's some technical issues involved. Hardwar will only try to play tracks 1-5, so I added a 50% chance in the wrapper to pick from either CD to get 10. I wasn't sure if Hardwar picks the track randomly or if it plays specific ones on certain cues (menu music seems fixed, for example) but given what you've said about the differences in the versions though, I think it probably does it randomly or just doesn't matter, in which case the wrapper could ignore what Hardwar asks for and pick one randomly itself. If I get some time I'll look into it though. Maybe a Community Music Pack with lots of additional tracks that fit the theme could be fun.
Last Edit: Apr 24, 2019 14:40:57 GMT -5 by solidox
Post by Lord Solarix on Jun 8, 2019 15:34:33 GMT -5
Thanks for the reply. The bit about the 50% chance to flip between the two CDs is most interesting. What happens if a track is missing? Does it skip over it, or will it play silence? I ended up replacing Tracks 07-17 with duplicate copies of some of the tracks in order to exorcise the Loaded OST, which I do not like. "Trace" fits perfectly with the rest of the soundtrack - a most excellent choice. I am definitely into it and very well might buy that album as soon as I can.