(This is a guest post by Antoni Sawicki aka Tenox)
In the winter break wave of nostalgia I wanted to play SimCity on my vintage HPUX workstation. Unfortunately the 5 minute demo just wouldn’t cut it. Back in 1993 you could simply purchase a license key and unlock the demo to a full version. However even if I could find an old license code, these keys were “Host ID” locked, so you could not easily use it on a different machine anyway.
In 2008 SimCity Classic has been open sourced under a new name Micropolis for the OLPC project. This was truly epic endeavor, many thanks to everyone involved. Unfortunately for vintage computer enthusiasts, the source code been updated to compile on a modern Linux, before it was released to the public. It will no longer build on any old Unix system. Typically, when a developer decides to free up their obsolete version, they just toss out some licenses codes. Sadly this time no one ever bothered.
The only option left was to bypass the license checking code. Fortunately, modern binary analysis tools make patching old apps relatively straightforward. In just minutes I was able to get the game started in a full multiplayer mode. A few hours later I got it patched on all the vintage Unix platforms!
UPDATE: patched IRIX as well! Special thanks to Mr^Burns for providing a preinstalled IRIX 5.3 MAME image!
UPDATE: patched SunOS version as well. Special thanks to Daghdha for preinstalled SunOS 4.1.4 QEMU image!
UPDATE: patched SCO Unix/ODT version as well.
You can download the demo versions and patches here. Happy gaming on your vintage Unix Workstation!
If you just want to try the game without bothering with an ancient unix, you can simply
sudo apt install micropolis && micropolis on a modern Linux – it’s identical except for multiplayer