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Telltale + Linux: A Definitive Guide

posted by covox on - last edited - Viewed by 59.2K 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
  • With wine 1.3.28, IE7, launcher looks more or less ok. I can see login/pass boxes but I cannot write on them. I have a "No thanks, just take me to the demo" button, I can click it and then the content of the launcher window shifts to the left, so all the middle part of the launcher window is just a grey box... and nothing happens, the game doesn't get to be launched.
  • Sorry I have been read somewhere a elegant solution for the sound.
    Everyone knows that pulseaudio must disable for well gaming.
    but in pulseaudio 1.0 I think it's suggest to use pulseaudio suspender.
    then: my command for do sounds works in every title of telltale is to add padsp before the wine command.
    example in my launch command of TOMI:
    env WINEPREFIX="/home/user/.wine" padsp wine C:\\Programmi\\Telltale\ Games\\Tales\ of\ Monkey\ Island\\Launch\ of\ the\ Screaming\ Narwhal\\MonkeyIsland101.exe

    PS: sorry about my fake english =)
  • Currently playing The Walking Dead. Seems to run OK so far with whatever version of Wine we have installed with whatever overrides we're currently using (I'm not quitting the game to check, but I'll make another post once I have the non-Steam version and have had time to fiddle around).

    Edit: Whoops. I think I posted too soon. Seem to have a reliable crash when firing the shotgun. Happens regardless of game settings.

    Up until that point, the game runs fantastically.
  • Cheeseness;601165 said:
    Seem to have a reliable crash when firing the shotgun. Happens regardless of game settings.

    Up until that point, the game runs fantastically.
    Same problem here. I'm running Debian squeeze, wine 1.3.27. Tried emulating Windows 98, tried turning all graphics settings down to awful, tried running in a window, all with no success.

    Appreciate any help I can get. I realize that Linux is not supported yet.
  • Turns out all I had to do was upgrade to Wine 1.4. Now WD works great!
  • BadKitty;606582 said:
    Turns out all I had to do was upgrade to Wine 1.4. Now WD works great!
    Oh, awesome!

    If you're keen, please consider submitting a rating to the (you'll need a login if you don't already have one). The Walking Dead doesn't have any ratings there, so you'll need to follow the Submit App link on the left (have a search before you do though, in case somebody else has done it in the meantime).

    The computer I'd tried it on was running 1.3.29. I haven't had a chance to try it on my desktop, which runs 1.5.2, but I'm downloading it now.

    Edit: Tried with 1.5.2 in a fresh prefix and it seems happy. For anybody who's keen to try it, you'll need to use winetricks to install d3dx9.
  • Anybody been able to get Episode 2 of Walking Dead working via the Telltale version? Mine keeps saying the cpnnection was lost while downloading (though nothing actually gets downloaded).
  • Cheeseness;631745 said:
    Anybody been able to get Episode 2 of Walking Dead working via the Telltale version? Mine keeps saying the cpnnection was lost while downloading (though nothing actually gets downloaded).
    After many retries, I was able to get the whole thing down. Good thing it resumes.

    I played through the episode from start to finish without noticing any issues. Would really love to play natively though <3
  • I meant to check in earlier (whoops), but I played through all of TWD.

    In other news, the Double Fine Game Club will be starting the first episode of Sam & Max Save The World this weekend, and I'll be streaming it from Linux. The launcher still behaves really poorly, with the buttons sometimes not appearing/working, but the game itself is as playable as ever (although not as appetising as something native would be).
  • Mim's been playing Poker Night 2 under Wine. Performance is a little less than the native version on Mac OS is, but we haven't encountered any significant issues beyond it not properly detecting an appropriate full screen resolution (Alt+Enter to switch to windowed mode in case anybody runs into similar problems).
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