Alternate GOG.com DOSBox Settings for WCI/II Asteroids: Some people have a lot of problems with asteroid field navigation in the GOG re-releases of WC, and eventually mc.jesus on the GOG forums came up with a solution (LINK):
This fix means tinkering with the dosboxWC.conf file (located in Drive [D]:\GOG Games\Wing Commander 1 and 2\WC\". Keep in mind your results may vary, as DOSBox's speeds are fairly dependent on the system it's running on.
Change these settings as follows:
Also a side note: Using a joystick seems to affect the game's speed as well. I actually had to LOWER the cycles from 4400 after hooking one up.
Note on WCI Timing: The game runs game logic based off of CPU clock cycles – so the faster the CPU, the faster everything, from cutscene animations to gameplay. The original target machine that a lot of people played it on was a 386SX-25, so set your DOSBox cycles to about 4,500 to 4,600 cycles – this will simulate roughly a 386SX-25.
The Secret Missions 2 executable added a speed/framerate limiter, supposedly; so you could play that to get a “Feel” for how the game was supposed to play back in the day, and then adjust your DOSBox to fit those settings.
Using the Secret Missions 2 Executable to Play the Rest of the Game: This was posted on the GOG forum by user ikantspelwurdz (LINK) and the solution is:
Warning - this is a hack that I pretty much stumbled onto. It isn't stable, it can affect the game in undesirable ways, and I haven't tested it beyond the first mission, and I don't know the full extent of its side effects. But from what I tested, this is a playable workaround.
Because of all this, I only recommend this to experienced DOSBox users. But I would value any feedback from anyone who can test this, or has some insight. Maybe this technique is already known, but I didn't read about it anywhere.
So first, start a new game, and save it right away. Then quit.
Now, crank up your DOSBox cycles in the config. I went with 20000, but this was a blind test, and maybe other values are more ideal. Experienced DOSBox users should know how to do this.
Go to the WC1 directory. Open the folder "GAMEDAT." Find the file "SAVEGAME.WLD" and make a copy of it. Move the copy to another directory. Rename it "CRUSADE.WLD." Now move the file back to GAMEDAT, overwriting the existing "CRUSADE.WLD" file.
Essentially what you are doing here is renaming your save file so that Secret Missions 2 can find it.
Now, launch The Secret Missions 2: Crusade. GOG by default puts a shortcut to it in your start menu.
Load a saved game. You should see the saved game you just made earlier. Load it, and you should be able to play missions from the Vega campaign, but in SM2.EXE.
When I played this way, the lag was gone, and the gameplay not too fast either.
Some things I did notice:
* The first mission seems much harder than I remember it. This could be faulty memory, but I get the impression that enemy ships are tougher and more evasive.
* Laser battery charging is odd. Outside combat, I could fire indefinitely and not run out. In combat, sustained fire drains the battery quickly. I don't know which one is normal.
* Cut-scenes are crazy fast. So is auto-pilot.
A GAMEFAQs guide (LINK) noted:
9.2 Run WC missions with SM2
As this modification involves some unauthorized file manipulations, you perform these at your own risk.
Start WC, and start a new campaign. Then visit the Barracks and save the file. Remember this save’s name. Exit the game.
If you have SM2 installed, there should be a CRUSADE.WLD in the GAMEDAT subdirectory in the directory where WC and SM’s are installed. Make a copy of that file.
There should be a SAVEGAME.WLD in the GAMEDAT directory, created by WC. Copy it to CRUSADE.WLD in the same directory.
Now you can start SM2. Continue existing game, and pick that save name you saved in WC. Now you can play WC missions! You get frame rate adjustments, and some of the missions behave "better" with SM2.
There are a few problems, of course.
1) Paladin will show up, but he’ll be referred to as Doomsday. Bossman will be referred to as Jazz.
2) Dralthi will be Mk2’s (mass driver instead of laser).
3) Instead of different behavior for different aces, they’ll all now fly like Drakhai and be named Drakhai instead.