(This is a guest post by Antoni Sawicki aka Tenox)
A long long time ago SimCity classic was ported to UNIX by DUX Software. They provided downloadable demo versions for SunOS, Solaris, HP-UX, IRIX, OSF/1, OpenDesktop, UnixWare, Linux and BSD.
In the winter break wave of nostalgia I wanted to play SimCity on my HPUX workstation. 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.
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 “patched up” to compile on a modern Linux, before it was released to the public. The updated code 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 bothered.
The only option left was to bypass the license checking code. Fortunately, modern binary analysis tools like IDA Pro 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