Help me get "Loom" running on my Powerbook
July 31, 2007 7:50 PM   Subscribe

Remember the old computer game, Loom? I want to play it! Problem? I'm on a Powerbook running OSX. What do I do?
posted by BuddhaInABucket to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I imagine ScummVM will be involved, as it emulates the engine used for Loom (along with Maniac Mansion and other LucasArts favorites). It has a version for OSX.

Do you own Loom? If not, you'll have to find the data files for it, as ScummVM only provides the backbone to run the game on. Maybe someone else can provide a good source for this (technically illegal) file.
posted by ALongDecember at 7:57 PM on July 31, 2007

Response by poster: Apparently the game is no longer available for sale as of 2006, so that makes it legal to emulate, right?
I wouldn't have a clue where to get the actual game file.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 8:00 PM on July 31, 2007

It was always legal to run it with the help of an emulator, provided you had a licence to run it at all.

The licence conditions for these things prohibit you running more than one copy, or installing more than one copy on one computer, or reverse engineering or decompiling the software - they typically have nothing to say about what other software is running on the computer at the time, or which model of computer you choose to use (the system requirements are advisory only, and not part of the licence terms).

All an emulator does is let you run the game on computers that would otherwise be unusable for doing so; using one doesn't breach the terms of the software licence.

However, the fact that a given piece of software is no longer available for sale does NOT mean it's now in the public domain. If you do acquire an unlicensed copy, then LucasArts would be within their rights to whup your ass.
posted by flabdablet at 8:09 PM on July 31, 2007

I can confirm that Loom works well with ScummVM. I used it to play through the original PC version on my Linux box recently. See the compatiblity notes.

As noted above, you'll need to provide the files from the original game disks. If you don't have them... it's illegal, but if you feel okay about copying abandonware then you can probably find copies of the data files on bittorrent sites. Do this at your own risk: LucasArts is strict about copyright enforcement.
posted by mbrubeck at 8:19 PM on July 31, 2007

Here's the fault of abandonware legality. You could find a copy of Loom at a yard sale or on eBay. It's been sitting in some person's basement, not played since 1991. You buy it. Now it's legal to run it using an emulator. But LucasArts didn't see one extra dime. If they were selling it, that money might be in their pocket.

Question for those who know more, what if the asker bought it on 5.25 DOS floppy, could he then download it off of an abandonware site legally?
posted by ALongDecember at 8:23 PM on July 31, 2007

The archive here can be unpacked with BetterZip and played using DosBox.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:27 PM on July 31, 2007

Response by poster: Yes, well, I did originally own the game, so... am I OK with abandonware?
Also, I am running scummVM but it greys out all of the loom files in the directory I downloaded. What file does it need to run the game?
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 8:28 PM on July 31, 2007

Response by poster: also, Armitage Shanks, I have NO clue how to get that dosbox thing to work...
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 8:36 PM on July 31, 2007

Armitage Shanks provides the file, and it seems a list of files ending in .LFL are needed by scummVM to run the game.

A second option is DosBox, linked by AS. This emulates MS-DOS (yes, it works on OSX) and allows you to run the original executable. The directions are a bit complicated, as you have to "mount" a directory in DosBox for the emulation of DOS to see it. Directions here.
posted by ALongDecember at 8:37 PM on July 31, 2007

Response by poster: even with directions, I can't get DosBox to work... why aren't any of the files working with ScummVM?
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 8:42 PM on July 31, 2007

I'm on Linux, and this works to run loom:

scummvm -p /path/to/directory/with/loom/files loom
posted by Zed_Lopez at 8:53 PM on July 31, 2007

Best answer: Just got it to work successfully using ScummVM on my PC, so here's some tips.

Did you extract all of the .LFL files from the archive AS linked to? Make sure you use the program he linked to, BetterZip.

Extract those files to a directory you can find later. Use ScummVM to find that directory by clicking "Add Game." Click on "Go Up" and the directory names to find the directory you stored it in (sorry I can't be of more help, but the Mac hard drive structure confuses me.) When you find that directory, click "Choose" and OK. When the directory with all the LFL files is selected, it will add Loom for you and you can pick it from the main ScummVM screen.
posted by ALongDecember at 8:55 PM on July 31, 2007

Response by poster: OMG thank you!! I'm an idiot and was trying to pick a file, not a directory. It works! I'm happy, thanks!
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 9:01 PM on July 31, 2007

Yes, well, I did originally own the game, so... am I OK with abandonware?

Morally, yes. In a court of law or on your employer's computer? No.
posted by Ryvar at 11:09 PM on July 31, 2007

I'm pretty sure there was a version of Loom with full speech in it as well. I'm not sure which one you've got, but I'd get that one if you can

Also, now that you have ScummVM, you could try and find your old disks (or whatever) for all sorts of Lucasarts games, like:
* Day of the Tentacle
* Monkey Island
* Sam and Max hit the Road

There is a treasure trove of old games out there that are so good to play on the Mac.
posted by ranglin at 11:29 PM on July 31, 2007

I've just recently played The Dig in ScummVM. Fantastic game.
posted by rifflesby at 12:33 AM on August 1, 2007

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