Getting sound to work with the age of empires 2 no-cd patch

Edit: updated
Righty ho,

So I’ve been told by many of my readers that this guide is crazy.

Well yeah I sort of a agree but the solutions that they are suggesting are very manual, using a media player would require that you keep the AOE sound track in your playlist… computers are supposed to automate repetitive tasks to make our lives easier, yeah sure this method requires some up front effort but at least it doesn’t require additional effort each time you decide to play the game. with this method you just click the icon and away it goes.

I think that this method also gives you some idea of what is going on in your computer, yeah I could have provided you with an .exe but that could have contained anything the long and short of it is that you don’t or at least shouldn’t trust me as I’m just some guy with a website, so it would be inappropriate to provide an executable.

End updated

This article is about getting sound working with the no-cd patch for age of empires 2 – The Conquerors expansion pack. I like to play games on my PC but I don’t like having to keep changing cds so I use no cd patches to get the games to run without the cd. The problem with this is sometimes, the music for the games is stored on the cd, to solve this problem I will be using some popular comand line applications and a script

Under Windows

The first thing you need to do is get the mp3, you can get this here;

TPB – age of empires 2 music

Then you have to get two command line utilities;

SMplayer

smplayer – get the “package with installer” version

This application will be used to play the mp3 file. Create the following folders;

c:\scripts and c:\scripts\command

we then need to add the c:\scripts\command directory to your users path so that the programs stored there can be used by our script. to do this;

Start >  Settings > Control Panel > System > Advanced > Environment Variables

change from

%SystemRoot%\system32;%SystemRoot%;%SystemRoot%\System32\Wbem;

to;

%SystemRoot%\system32;%SystemRoot%;%SystemRoot%\System32\Wbem;C:\scripts\command

note that all we are doing here is adding “;C:\scripts\command” to the end.


Getting to the section where you set the environment path

Getting to the section where you set the environment path

setting windows XP the environment path

Setting the windows XP environment path


Now that this step is done install smplayer as you would any other program. Then go to the directory you installed it in and copy the contents of the mplayer folder to your c:\scripts\command folder;


copy the mplayer executable and deps

copy the mplayer executable and deps


Now that mplayer is installed you can go to the next step. If you want to check that mplayer is installed correctly and that the path is set, open a dos prompt and type mplayer you should get this;


Mplayer command in windows

Mplayer command in windows


pskill

PSkill is a command line application that can be used to shutdown applications via the terminal, in this case we will be using it to stop mplayer at the end of the game, get it here;

pskill

To install it unzip the file and copy the contents of it’s folder to the c:\scripts\command folder. The first time you use it it will ask yo to accept a eula. execute the “pskill” command (in dos) to get this out of the way now.

Move the mp3

Now that’s done, you should create the following folder;

c:\scripts\data

and move the mp3 to there and rename it to “aoe.mp3”

Create the script

To create the final script, open notepad and write the following;

start mplayer -loop 0 c:\scripts\data\aoe.mp3
cd "\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires II\age2_x1\"
age2_x1.exe -nostartup
pskill mplayer

Then save the file as “c:\scripts\aoe.bat”, this saves the file as a windows batch script. It is possible that the game is under a different directory to this to find the directorty it’s under right click the games shortcut, select properties and click find target.

The script works like this; it starts playing the file with mplayer in a separate process (that’s why “start” is used), then it starts the game once the games window is closed it kills mplayer stopping the music.

Now remove the shortcut for the game from the desktop and replace it with a shortcut to the script, rename the shortcut to the script with the name of the original shortcut “The Conquerors” for example. Then right click the shortcut, select properties and select the change Icon option;


Change shortcut Icon

Change shortcut Icon


If an error comes up just click ok and when asked to select an icon, just go to the games directory and select the right icon (.ico file) and click apply/ok and you should end up with the game working with the background it’s not perfect but it beats playing in silence.

Under Linux

Install mplayer with you distros package manager or from source, download the mp3 file;

TPB – age of empires 2 music

install the game with wine and use a script similar to this to play

LINK

Edit the script to suit your situation. You can probably setup the icon with your DE but I use a window manager so I’m not too concerned with icons.

6 Comments »

  1. Comment by Johnsmith

    fuck i aint doing all this for the music

  2. Comment by Random

    Or you can play the soundtrack in your fav. media player with repeat turned on.

  3. Comment by Aolaola

    Fucked up tutorial. Why wouldn’t we just play it in WMP/Winamp/Itunes ?

  4. Comment by Princenezha

    I will try to do that steps.Anyways thanks.

  5. Comment by Ahmed Dar

    the best method is to make an image of aoe 2 gold through alcohal 120% with background music and use no cd patch then download the latest version of demon tools and add an IDE drive and mount the image in then attach the drive through demon tools and then play with background music….. its very easy as 1 2 3.

    i tested it & it works for me

    Ahmed Dar

  6. Comment by LpuManUtd2414

    Awesome! Works well.. Thank you.. 😀

    Although, is there any way to push the time of starting of “aoe.mp3” to when u start a random map and not when u start the game itself?
    I feel that may involve having to tinker with the data files of the game to make it start the mp3 track instead of attempting to play the audio cd..
    However, that would probably be a little too complicated..

    So if its possible without having to do that please let us know? 🙂

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