Emulating WormsDC

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Worms: The Directors Cut was only released for the Amiga home computing system and can only be played one of two ways: on an Amiga which meets the minimum system requirements, or via emulation. While previously setting up an Amiga emulator was a massive, massive pain in the arse, it is now relatively easy to set up an emulator to run WormsDC with ease.

You will, of course, need the WormsDC floppy disk images. These can be legally downloaded for free from Dream17.

Emulating WormsDC

Option 1: Amiga Forever

Amiga Forever is a fully-licensed, prepackaged Amiga emulation suite for Windows developed by Cloanto. Amiga Forever comes in three editions - Value Edition, Plus Edition, and Premium Edition. WormsDC is not compatible with the Value Edition, but is compatible with the Plus and Premium Editions. The Plus Edition is $29.95.

Previous releases of Amiga Forever relied on configurations for WinUAE, which is included in the package. More recently, however, Amiga Forever has developed its own launcher and packages called .rp9s that allow immediate and quick access to an Amiga setup. Current versions also include configurations for a number of different Amiga setups.

The package also includes all of the necessary Kickstart ROMs required to emulate an Amiga. These are not legally available elsewhere.

Within Amiga Forever, WormsDC is most compatible with their Workbench 3.X configuration. The immediate benefits here are, as the 3.X setup emulates a Hard Drive, you can install WormsDC on the emulated Amiga without having to worry about inserting or removing the virtual disks. This also means you are not limited by the free space on the simulated floppy disks when it comes to additional content. As well as this, because the emulated Hard Drive is created as folders on your PC, you can easily add additional content — Speechbanks, maps, DIY terrains, and so on — to the game without having to launch Amiga Forever.

Option 2: FS-UAE

FS-UAE has a number of advantages over Amiga Forever, but also some flaws. The biggest advantage is that FS-UAE is multiplatform, with builds for OS X, Linux, and a number of other operating systems. This emulator also features cross-platform online play, allowing WormsDC to be played online for the first time. Finally, FS-UAE is free, and relatively simple to set up.

There are some downsides, however. FS-UAE does not come with any of the Amiga Kickstart ROMs, though it does have a feature that allows you to quickly import them from Amiga Forever — either from an install on your computer, or from the CD-ROM if you own a physical copy. FS-UAE does allow you to set up a virtual Hard Drive, but you will need to configure it manually. Crucially, you will have to install the Workbench OS yourself first before you can install WormsDC on a virtual Hard Drive (disk images for the OS are included with Amiga Forever). Unfortunately, online play does not support Hard Drives and so the emulated floppy disks must be used instead.

Finally, FS-UAE does not appear to have fully-implemented subpixel emulation, resulting in an unfortunate visual bug which, while not game-breaking, can be annoying.

Playing WormsDC Online

As mentioned above, FS-UAE supports online play, however several emulator-specific bugs, as well as the lack of hard drive support (and thus a lack of support for custom content) make this a less than fulfilling experience. This also requires each player has FS-UAE, and Amiga Kickstart ROMs, and the WormsDC disk images.

Alternatively, players may play online with the use of Parsec, a remote-access tool that allows remote multiplayer in a fashion similar to Steam Remote Play. For this, one player will need to be running WinUAE/FS-UAE with WormsDC set up and ready to go, and will also need to have Parsec running. Other players can remote in by installing Parsec on their device.

The key advantage of this is that Parsec is available for Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android, and can be set up relatively easily - as a result, only one person needs to really know their way around the Amiga emulator. Input lag is negligible - with a good connection, a host can easily support as many as 7 additional players for tournament play, if desired.

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