Files and Downloads

These saved-game files were submitted by Mary-Lou Quick due to a series of exchanges on the Darklands List. The topic was the infamous hair colour change which would sometimes occur on certain hardware configurations (?) and version of the game. Microprose states in version 7 of the README.TXT file:


We very much regret that an extremely rare problem may cause a battlefield character to suffer some color changes in battle. However, you as a player won't notice the change until the next battle. The bad part is that the change is stored in the saved game file. You can fix up your characters by returning to an old saved game. For example, in battle #3 you notice Gretch has green hair (yuck). If you return to a game saved prior to battle #2, Gretch will be fine again. We apologize for this work-around. We've tried all sorts of tools and traps for this condition, and spent hundreds of hours testing for it. We'd be delighted to publicize the name of the first person who can tell us how to make it occur upon demand.

It's doubtful that the developers will make good on the promise to publish that name, given development ceased after this release.

This phenomina does not occur on every system. But once it happens to a game file, it is aparently there for good. (Like knocking your car's front-end out of alignment. Once it happens you can't expect it to accidentally get knocked back *into* alignment again.) It only effects the character sprites in the game during combat mode. Because the effect is stored in the saved game file, it is likely possible an enhancement to the saved game editor enabling modification of the character colour settings should help users repair their favourite games if this were ever to happen to them.

Below are the save game files which Mary-Lou sent, and excerpts from the accompanying e-mail explaining its origin:

From: Quick, Mary-Lou []
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 1999 01:39 AM
To: Wirkkala, Matthew []
Subject: a rare specimen !!

hello matt ! (hope this works)

. . . i have managed to locate john's save with the changed colours - i note that dates on the saved files dksave90.* are january 94 (hadn't realised it was so long ago), so now i'm not sure if this was v7 or not (i think it was, because i don't think we had heard of the coloured hair bug with our previous version) - memory plays tricks, i thought his save had green hair (gretch only), but no it's very similar to the one i reported last week (gunter's clothes are a bit more colourful, but i think that's the only difference) anyway, files for this attached (btw, renumbered these while testing i'd got the right ones last night)...

john found these two on an old back-up tape back in january, when we were upgrading our machines (faster processors, bigger hard drives) - restored onto new hard disk directly from tape drive (not reinstalled from diskette) - with exception of hair bug which was already there anyway, works perfectly ... to show saved bug colours do carry forward, i also attach save files from where i tested to make sure game playing properly

if anyone else wants a copy of these, i am happy for them to be passed on ...



For technical reasons, the files mentioned have been zipped. You can download them here. Simply put the [DKSAVE9x.*] files, above, into the SAVES subdirectory of the Darklands root directory.

Here's some GIFs of the bug in action:

bluehair1a.gif [68 K], bluehair1b.gif [69 K], bluehair1c.gif [68 K]
hellhnd2.gif [85 K], hellhnd3.gif [85 K], hellhnds.gif [84 K]

For comparison, here's an original color scheme.

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