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Telltale + Linux: A Definitive Guide

posted by covox on - last edited - Viewed by 59.7K users
[MOD EDIT: Previous Linux guides on this forum: Sam & Max and SBCG4AP]

As a Linux guy who loves his adventuring, I'll try and keep this updated as best I can. These instructions were developed for Wine 1.1.29, under Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04, but should work under the newest build/distro. The example is for installing TOMI, but can be adapted to pretty much any downloadable Telltale title. This guide assumes you have set up your computer with the proper ATI/NVIDIA 3D drivers; most distros will ask you if you want them, the answer is hell yes! So let's get cracking!

  • Sam and Max Series 1
  • Sam and Max Series 2
  • SBCG4AP Series 1
  • Wallace and Gromit Series 1
  • Tales of Monkey Island Series 1
  • Sam and Max Series 3

1.) Visit WineHQ and get the latest build for your distro.

You should know by now that Wine is the de-facto way of running native Windows apps under your Linux of choice. What may not be obvious is that the copy bundled with most distros is freaking ancient; why, tens of thousands of fixes and improvements have potentially been committed since then! To put it in perspective, the "stable" one in your distro was sent out around the time colour television was first invented. The Wine guys release a new one literally every fortnight. So the first thing you should do is visit this page and follow the instructions for your distro to fix yourself up with the latest.

2.) Download WineTricks and install the d3dx9 package.

Wine hasn't replicated the Direct3D extension DLLs (e.g. d3dx9_41.dll) yet, and they're needed by some Telltale games. There's a quick way to fix this:
sh winetricks d3dx9

This will download the DirectX 9 installer and rip just the good bits out of it; you'll probably see a EULA or two, click yes. Congrats, you now have all the libraries you need.

SPECIAL STEP FOR SAM AND MAX SERIES 3 OWNERS: Telltale have finally taken their old IE6 based launcher and lashed it to a canoe, set it on fire then left it to slowly drift down a canal. The replacement is a nicer, faster, cross-platformier QT/WebKit deal. However, with WineTricks, you need to install the Visual Studio runtime files before the game will start.
sh winetricks vcrun2005

3.) Run the game installer. When it asks if you want to update DirectX, just say no.

Easy as. Most distros let you double-click the EXE to start Wine; I prefer the terminal.
wine LaunchOfTheScreamingNarwhal_Setup.exe

SPECIAL STEP FOR SAM AND MAX SERIES 3 OWNERS: You're done! Enjoy the game :)

4a.) Enter your purchased serial number into the box.

Grab it from here and paste it into the box. The launch window will switch to a white page after doing this; that means it's working! With luck, you can quit the launcher now by running in a terminal
wineserver -k

Next time you start the game up, you'll get a "Click here to run the game" link instead of the serial box. Congratulations!


4b.) Download this patching script and launch the demo with it.

Originally you needed this script to make the serial number entry work, but that regression got fixed! If you want to just play the demo, you'll need to crack open a terminal:
cd ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Telltale\ Games/Tales\ of\ Monkey\ Island/Launch\ of\ the\ Screaming\ Narwhal
python MonkeyIsland101.exe

If all goes to plan, you should see some text in the launcher window offering a link to play the demo. Congratulations!

  • You only have to use once to register a serial number, but every time you want to play the demo.
  • If you're having trouble getting rid of the Telltale window after quitting the launcher, run "wineserver -k" to kill it.
  • If you're having trouble with sound (e.g. skipping, not being there at all) and you use a reasonably new distro, it's probably PulseAudio. It's pretty much always PulseAudio. Do yourself a favour and run "pulseaudio -k" to murder it before starting the game.
  • If the game crashes just as it loads into fullscreen mode, you can force it to load in a virtual desktop. This can be done either by running winecfg and changing the global setting, or on the fly by running Wine like the following example:
    wine explorer /desktop=Wine,800x600 MonkeyIsland101.exe

But I use a Mac! It has a UNIX logo on the box!
Telltale is porting stuff to Mac now. Did you miss the memo?

But if you mean specifically using Wine to play Windows-only titles...
Short version: Seeing as you guys don't mind paying $39.95 for a fancy lending list, you can take my word that investing the same amount in a copy of CrossOver Games would be the bargain of the century.
Long version: Apple's version of X11 is pretty crap and breaks with WineD3D. Apparently some fixes have been made to Xquartz, so I'll try it again soon.

What about Monkey Island's treasure-hunting feature?
Too much black magic.

NEW: I tried running Sam and Max Series 2, but instead of getting the serial number box I got a grey screen saying "Logging you in"! Also, the script complains about a missing noScriptDiv! What gives?
I just tried out S&M 201 yesterday, it appears to be slightly different in that it doesn't have any fallback HTML (like every other Telltale game) for entering the serial number and starting the game. To work around this, grab the latest copy of, which can now inject the missing bits of HTML. Unfortunately, you'll need to use it every time to run the game. Believe me, I'm crying as much as you are.

Well, I hope that worked for you guys. If it didn't, post here!
210 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I removed Pulseaudio (to make Dolphin work properly) under Ubuntu Lucid Beta, and get no sound with Sam'n'Max season 3. (but I do have sound in other wine games - wine 1.1.42)

    BTW, the X server is brought down when I try to change the screen resolution. Wine is the only app that ever actually crashed my system. What about you guys ?
  • Just tried to reinstall TOMI (5) and I can't get past the loader, when using the python script + latest wine version :-(

    I guess I should order the DVD version anyway !
  • Ooookay, then you can play Sam'n'Max season 3 under Ubuntu Linux BUT you need an old version of wine. The problem is NOT related to pulseaudio :)

    So, I installed "playonlinux" then installed the wine engine 1.1.32.
    Then I installed Sam'n'Max through POL (in a specific prefix) and had to install the VCRun2005 DLLs with winetricks by specifying where POL has its C drive installed :

    WINEPREFIX=/home/username/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/samnmax3 sh winetricks vcrun2005

    then it works, pfew... However this POL version is completely buggy (may be due to the PPA or to my lucid beta that I update constantly), I had to kill its GUI several times at install time. But the game (demo) works 100%, max details / high res + sound.
  • torturedutopian;289224 said:
    Ooookay, then you can play Sam'n'Max season 3 under Ubuntu Linux BUT you need an old version of wine. The problem is NOT related to pulseaudio :)
    Interesting find. I'll run a bisect on the Wine tree and see if I can find the regression.
  • COVOX : before you do that, I'll try all wine versions between 1.1.32 and 1.1.42 and tell you exactly when it ceased to work.

    I'll be back in a few minutes ;)
  • OK so it stopped to work between the 1.1.35 (sound in S&M S3) and 1.1.36 (no sound in S&M S3).

    Hope it helps !
  • Awesome, that's cut down the number of tests by... well a lot :) I'll post if I find out what the issue is.

    EDIT: I've traced the breakage to this patch. I'll fill out a bug report later, but right now I've got some adventuring to get on with :P
  • Awesome, Sam&Max does indeed work smooth as butter in those older wine versions :-D
    Thanks for trying to find the regression Covox!
    I wasn't looking forward to having to do it myself :P
  • Getting the same problem, trying to download 1.1.35 right now.

    Stop the adventuring, file the bug! %)
  • I confirm that reverting to 1.1.35 made audio work again.
    Thanks for the research!
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