How to get The Last Express to run in OS X

O-jordan-mechner-s-the-last-express-now-available-on-dotemu

Awright, I got it to work. At least I got to the menu screen. I should probably start a game before I make these claims. Hang on…

Yeah, it seems to be working.

So here’s what you do.You need a copy of the game that consists of 3 cds. Probably they will have an .iso extension. You will also need to download Boxer if you don’t already have it, and something to mount the cd images with — like Toast maybe. (You have to mount them using such an application, because if you just open the .iso’s and trust OSX to mount them, it will only give you the Mac partitions.)

Mount the .iso’s and find the one called EXPRESS1 that has DATA, DOS, and WINDOWS folders on it. Open Boxer and tell it you want to set up a new game, then drag the cd icon for that EXPRESS1 disc from your desktop onto the blue Boxer window. Boxer will scan the disc, and probably assume you want to use the INSTALL.EXE file in the DOS directory, which is in fact what you want, so “Launch installer” and then hit return three times through the dos installer until Boxer gives you a “Finish importing” button. Hit that and it’ll do another little thing, then tell you it’s finished. Close that window.

You should now have an icon in your DOS Games directory (wherever Boxer set it up, you can “Browse Games Folder” from the File menu in Boxer if you don’t know where it is) called Express 1 or something similar. Right-click it and choose “Show Package Contents”, then open the “C.harddisk” directory. At the moment, this should contain an EXPRESS folder, which contains an EXPRESS.EXE, README.TXT, INSTALL.LOG, UNINSTAL.EXE, and six (color).EGG files.

Open the Mac version of the EXPRESS1 disc, and there should be a “The Last Express” folder with an HD.HPF file in it. Copy that into that EXPRESS directory, and make a new folder called DATA inside the C.harddisk folder, and move all the .EGG files into that. Then, in the three Mac Express discs, you’ll find files called CD1.HPF, CD2.HPF, and CD3.HPF. Copy those into the C.harddisk folder.

Screen_shot_2011-11-08_at_2

It should look like this.

Then you can close that window and open the Express file in your DOS Games window, and everything should start up. If it asks what .exe you want to use, you should be using EXPRESS.EXE.

And there you go! Playing in fullscreen may fuck up the colors for you; it seems fine to me, but I have heard it is a problem for a lot of people. Just play in a window if that happens — it looks like Boxer will let you resize the window to whatever you’re comfortable with.

EDIT: Crap, that only gets you through playing CD 1. I’ll work on it and get back to you.

EDIT 2: Okay, looks like Boxer has a thing to let you mount the other discs. Those of you who’ve ever used it before probably knew that already, but it threw me for a loop.  The little magnifying glass in the lower-left corner of your window opens a preferences window; hit Drives, and drag the DOS versions of discs 2 and 3 into there, then click to highlight disc 1 in the window again. When you eventually need other discs, presumably you can just click them in that window to “insert” them.

I would test that out for you, but in the process of figuring all this out, I deleted all my progress. :(

2 thoughts on “How to get The Last Express to run in OS X

  1. Hi.. I had the same issue about the second CD..ao I used the magnifying glass.. etc.. but then I get an error message saying error reading cd2.hpf..are you getting any errors like this… thanks again though.. your guide was very comprehensive and helpful!!

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