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Max Payne in 2013

portrait, as cropped from my screenshot of the loading screen.

TLDR: Don’t bother with windows, use linux 😉

I’d already been talking about fond Max Payne memories last week, so when Steam did one of their ridiculous sales; Max Payne 1 and II for only $2.50, I had one of those dangerous spur of the moment impulse buys, forgot about affording bread & milk and dropped the cash.

When I bought it, my brother pointed out that ‘he had my old copy somewhere at home’ -‘and anyway, [I] could just download it easily’, but for some reason I had the impression that if Steam were going to sell it, they’d have at least made sure it was fully patched and ready for play. This would be easier all in, I thought. I’m feeling a bit bloody disappointed right now.

I download & install only to find it wouldn’t work on either of my Windows 7 boxs at all at all. The install would go through absolutely fine (a tiny 700MB) and then it’d refuse to start.

but my card always was!

Max Payne requires a DirectX 8 compatible display adapter. Please consult the troubleshooting readme in the installation folder

it scolds me, and refuses to do any more. And no amount of Compatibility Troubleshooting helps me get past this either. Some googling suggested that newer drivers were the problem (I’m rocking an nVidia GeForce 9600GT (and a 7300 in the old machine)) so spent a couple of hours trying out some old and new graphics drivers all to absolutely no avail. 4 hours later and I still couldn’t get this bloody game to launch.

3AM and hours into this I gave up in disgust, apologised again to my brother and restarted into my usual GNU/Linux home… and then remembered WINE -and Max certainly reports as working nicely, so here come full instructions after the break:

  1. Download a copy of Max Payne
    -I’ve just paid for a non working version, so I feel morally if not legally clear in doing this.
  2. Convert to iso
    -I’ve ended up with a CloneCD image which doesn’t help me, but ccd2iso makes short work of that.

    ccd2iso MaxPayne.img maxpayne.iso


  3. Mount the CD somewhere useful
    1. Get root (so `su -` or `sudo -i`)
    2. Make sure there’s a mountpoint (`mkdir /mnt/iso`)
    3. Loopback mount the iso image: (`mount -o loop -t iso9660 maxpayne.iso /mnt/iso`)
    4. drop root: (`whoami` will tell you who  you are. If root `logout` (or `Ctrl+D`))
  4. Make sure you’ve got WINE installed
    On Debian/Ubuntu types it’s `aptitude install wine`. Probably `yum install wine` if you fedora/RedHat/CentOS it up and Gentoo users will `emerge -av wine`. Other flavours may vary.
    On Gentoo I’ve ended up with `wine-1.5.28` and on my ubuntu
  5. Create a new WINE prefix
    You don’t have to do this, but I like to keep my apps separated -into wine bottles if you will 😉

    export WINEPREFIX=${HOME}/.wine-maxpayne
    WINARCH=win32 wineboot
  6. Install the game
    cd /mnt/iso
    wine Install.exe

    At this point you can be amused by some memory errors, but it should let you do a full install.

  7. Get & install the Full version v1.05 patch
    maxpayne1-05patch.exe weighing in at 4.87Mb is available from a few places
    the md5 & sha1sums are 76de6fad3bc50b977eb8b58acd5de5c6 and b49c5637ada2d346807de42dbae58877b703f2b2 (respectively).
    To run it, we simply change directory to where it’s been downloaded and then run it with wine.

    cd ${HOME}/Downloads
    wine maxpayne1-05patch.exe
  8. NoCD Crack
    Because it’s the easy way. You can find cracks in the usual places. Download and replace the original found at `”${HOME}/wine-maxpayne/drive_c/Program Files/Max Payne”`
    The modified MaxPayne.exe I have had an md5/sha1 of: 6107081ddf17feac0018278d83ef6de9 and a1a9b9e5b17346be123d32c10517da7dac29e5f0.
  9. Advanced graphics options -don't forget to crank it up.Crank it up
    The installer should have put an icon on your desktop and WINE submenus. When you first launch remember to change it to native resolution and pump your graphics options all the way up from the launch options-you have to remember to do this _before_ you start the game properly.

I’ve now played about half way through the game without any problems, in fact it’s better than it ever was in the day and certainly better than my windows experiences -hopefully this helps you get it running at home.

Tested with:

  • [native] Gentoo + 1.5.28
  • [vmware] Ubuntu 12.04-LTS (Precise Pangolin) & WINE-1.4
Please Note
I don’t condone software piracy (though I certainly don’t think it’s akin to stealing a baby). I have a number of friends who make a living writing software so I like to think I have some active sympathy. By the same token, I’m absolutely livid at Steam for having the gall to sell me a game they know won’t work on my PC.
As much as I probably should have checked the specifications for the game (apparently it does say it needs Windows XP) Steam has no excuse for not obviously warning me as they know _exactly_ what state my PC is in and could easily calculate this automatically. I might have been getting complacent, but then they don’t let me install windows games on my linux steam account (and frankly they’ve got more chance of working on there).
All images are screenshots taken on my PC and used with the best intention. 


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