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Hello everyone, I thought I'd share something to the community that I created. I submitted this to GOG, but they were unable to use it, probably due to legal reasons.

A few years ago, I heard someone complain on a forum that Warcraft II: Battle Net Edition (BNE) was a disappointment to them because the music found on the original Warcraft II CD's redbook audio was a higher quality. So I cracked open the Warcraft II BNE files and sure enough, he was right, the music on BNE was 22Khz while the orignal redbook audio was 44khz.

So I ripped a lossless copy of the original Warcraft II redbook audio and replaced the BNE music with it. While in the file, I removed some unnecessary installer files (we don't need them since the game is already unpacked by GOG.com) and some video trailers for Warcraft III and Diablo II that was only view-able from autorun on the CD version.

So, thanks to this modification, we have the original redbook audio CD quality AND it consumes less space than the file provided by GOG.com. Make a backup copy of your Install.MPQ file located in the root of your Warcraft 2 BNE directory, which is located here by default: here: C:\Program Files (x86)\GOG Galaxy\Games\Warcraft II BNE. Now copy my new Install.mpq file in to that location.

This modification also works with War2 Combat or if you had cracked your original copy of Warcraft II BNE. Just rename my file to Install.exe and move to your War 2 BNE directory.

I Hope others find this useful! I've seen others in the forums request the old DOS music, so I'm going to try and get a copy of the old music and put that into this Install.mpq file for others to enjoy.
Post edited August 28, 2019 by jakeximus
Hi!
So, where did you rip that lossless copy from?
DOS midi files?
Or some other formats like .wav with better quality?
It was ripped to WAV format from the Redbook audio CD tracks located on the original Warcraft 2 Beyond the Dark Portal CD.

I am currently working on extracting the MIDI files from the old Warcraft 2 and spitting out the audio in various formats as you would have heard it from sound cards like the Sound Blaster 16.
Post edited August 21, 2019 by jakeximus
Ah!
Did you know wav being packed lossy when you pack them into the mpq?
Your .WAV-music lost 68% of their size (and quality).
But your idea to get music from BDP CDA is great! I didn't know it contains all the soundtracks same as bne do.

About midi to wav: i tried to do that years ago:
http://forum.war2.ru/index.php/topic,1955.0.html
There was an opinion you need perfect audio hardware to make good sound from midi-files.
I'm not good in music, so i can't estimate which sounds good and which is not...
Interesting, I hadn't heard that before about the WAVs being stored lossy in the mpq. Do you have a source for that? I'd like to learn more about this.

Aye, yes, if you want the perfect sounds exactly as you heard them rendering the old MIDI music, having the original sound card to synthesize the music is best, but since I bet a lot of others like myself don't have our old Sound Blaster 16 lying around anymore, we will have to rely on emulating the sound cards, similar to what DOSbox does, and convert it from there.
Cant we use extracted files not packed in MPQ? Like Sounds folder in GOG release (and in Bne CD if using sound extractor from CD)?
Or make a mini-image with only .cda tracks, maybe? But i dont know how to do that. I have rip of Hogs of War img with music only in proper format.

At least, first game uses AudioCD music from cue+bin image. Unfortunatly, it miss MAC FileSystem data folder. Mac and even PC-98 looks better than DOS.
Post edited August 23, 2019 by QWEEDDYZ
Are you saying that you want just the music on its own? If so, here's another link to my google drive with the music in lossless format, as ripped from the original Beyond the Dark Portal CD:
No, im talk about external folder like Sounds. Game read that folder in priority than mpq archive... i think.
That is awesome! Now I can buy the GOG version. Because not only was audio quality much lower in the Battle.net release, but several tracks were shortened by minutes (to save space on the CD) so you get a lot less of the excellent music in this edition.

The music is probably 50% of the game for me so I have stayed away from this release and although I still have the old CD I hadn't bothered to set it up for dosbox.

Great work! GOG should eventually replace the music that comes with the game with your rip or another rip. Maybe they need to do some paperwork with Blizzard but it shouldn't be too hard.

Is it possible to just download the files that shall replace the old ones and edit some config files manually?
Post edited August 27, 2019 by -Mithridates-
Man, I just made some money for GOG! I was really hoping GOG would take a liking to this modification as it restores Blizzard's own work to its former glory, and not necessarily something that I created.

Unfortunately its not a simple copy over and replace the files, but its not too difficult either. In my submission to GOG, I outlined exactly what I did so they could recreate it themselves and not just take some random stranger's word for it. Here is the basic steps that I sent to them:

I used a tool called MPQ Editor from here: http://www.zezula.net/en/mpq/download.html
to modify the Install.mpq file. You need to tell it to use a "listfile" so that you can see the files in the mpq. A copy of the listfiles is included on that same page I just linked.

I then removed these files in the MPQ:

files - this directory has the files that are installed to the warcraft 2 directory, which we don't need since they are already unpacked!
MacFiles - these files are used when installing to a classic MacOS machine
Maps - copy of maps that is installed to the Warcraft 2 directory, which we don't need since it is already unpacked!
Music - this contains all game music. I removed this and replaced it with music ripped straight from the redbook audio of Warcraft 2 Beyond the Dark Portal and saved it as wav files and renamed them to match the same music in this folder.
SetupDat - more install and uninstall files not needed, since, again, we aren't installing the game from this mpq
Inside of SMK:
Blizzard.bik (not the blizzard cinematic used by warcraft 2, but used by the game trailers)
Diablo2.bik
StarEx.bik
War3.bik
File00000044.xxx
File00000105.xxx

I then generate the new mpq and replace the old Install.mpq file, and thats it!

I hope this helps.

The Install.MPQ is actually just the Install.EXE file that existed on the Warcraft II BNE CD, its simply been renamed to Install.MPQ and copied to the Warcraft II installation directory.
Post edited August 28, 2019 by jakeximus
jakeximus, thanks for a great idea to get music from BTDP version!
I also got wav-files now, tried to get them as lossless as possible.
Now the archive size with all music is about 550Mb.

I'll try to find the best solution how to build that together with the best war2 build...
avatar
ilwar2: jakeximus, thanks for a great idea to get music from BTDP version!
I also got wav-files now, tried to get them as lossless as possible.
Now the archive size with all music is about 550Mb.

I'll try to find the best solution how to build that together with the best war2 build...
could You be so nice and share it?
avatar
ilwar2: jakeximus, thanks for a great idea to get music from BTDP version!
I also got wav-files now, tried to get them as lossless as possible.
Now the archive size with all music is about 550Mb.

I'll try to find the best solution how to build that together with the best war2 build...
avatar
Amano_Man: could You be so nice and share it?
Sure, here's it:
http://ftp.war2.ru/war2/BTDP4BNE.7z
Post edited September 04, 2019 by ilwar2
avatar
Amano_Man: could You be so nice and share it?
avatar
ilwar2: Sure, here's it:
http://ftp.war2.ru/war2/BTDP4BNE.7z
great thank You :)
avatar
ilwar2: jakeximus, thanks for a great idea to get music from BTDP version!
I also got wav-files now, tried to get them as lossless as possible.
Now the archive size with all music is about 550Mb.

I'll try to find the best solution how to build that together with the best war2 build...
How did you make the music less lossy within the archive?