I really haven't been paying a lot of attention on Wine. I certainly didn't expect to get actually gaming on Wine any day soon, at least without some serious "install this native DLL, hack this file, go to hell" headachery. I was under the impression that all serious work on Wine was done by companies like Transgaming and Codeweavers who had the Only Actually Working Commercial Wine Branch, while the open source project was languishing. And I'm not touching Cedega. Never.

Well, seems like I was so very wrong. Lately, people have been saying that stock Wine is actually much better and good enough for most people. So, um, I installed Debian's Wine 0.9.31 (the latest they have - .35 is out), and tried installing The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Followed the instructions online to delete the Music folder.

Okay, it didn't work. Then I noted it tried to create near-empty Morrowind.ini in the current working directory. Scratched head, concluded that I had ran into this problem before. Tried launching the game from the correct working directory.

A bit of messing around, and... okay, a random appropriate Nehahra quote: "I've got one word for you guys. Boom."

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The minimap doesn't work, the intro vid and some speech are choppy (something about lacking sound buffer underrun detection or something). The game crashes right as I try to read the papers that were handed by the clerk guy. Shadows get rendered pure white, so I had to turn them off. But the point is: Holy cow, it actually runs and I can play it. Kind of.

And note: This is stock Wine. That is to say, no native Windows DLL hacks whatsoever. No Microsoft magic. Just Wine magic.

And apparently, people have figured out a way to get Oblivion run! Guess what goes to my games-to-try list soon. Oooh! And NWN toolset! Perhaps I could get that running! Oooh, the possibilities are limitless.

But oh boy oh boy, what have we here?

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Max Payne 2 runs almost perfectly! Slight sound quality issues, and one slight image bug. Though, I'm not sure if it showed up when I cranked up the quality levels, maybe it disappears when I crank them down again. I experienced what I call the "giant elevator effect": People behind doors appear to get in a giant "elevator", which "comes down" when I get closer to the door or face sideways to it. It probably has something to do with the way the engine renders different rooms. So far, this oddity has not really impeded the gameplay though, and the game works amazingly well.

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I have to continue. For some reason, I feel extremely invigorated now that I have an actually working games and stuff. The future is bright!