Friday, March 29, 2013

Daggerfailed - Attempts at The Elder Scrolls Chapter II: Daggerfall

I really wanted to play The Elder Scrolls Chapter II: Daggerfall, partly because it's the second game in a series that, in under a year of starting starting The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, I've fallen in love with, but also because the development company, Bethesda Softworks, offers the game free off of their own website.  I downloaded the game (149 MB compressed) and as was the case with The Elder Scrolls Chapter I: The Arena, I had to use DOSBox in order to run the install program and to play the game.

Now here's the part of the post that becomes instructional.  I had to learn a bit more DOS jargon to not only install, but to load up Daggerfall.  All of this "How To" was located in the "Daggerfall Legal and Installation" PDF that came included with the game (thank god).  The following screen is the set up in order to install Daggerfall:
The program then started up flawlessly and following the instructions I arrived at the screen, common when uploading a game from a CD:
I wanted to include this, mainly to show the age of the game, or at least an aspect of computer games when Daggerfall came out in 1996.  That a "Huge" installation is 450 MB.  It was at this point that I wasn't able to proceed with the "Huge" installation and I couldn't figure out why.  I knew my computer had more than 450 MB of free space.  After some online searching, I discovered a key "thing" that I had forgotten to input during the initial installation.  I only say "forgotten" because I didn't know about it and it wasn't included in the installation instructions in the PDF.  What I should have included was a "-freesize 1000" at the end in the first line.  SO, in order to successfully install Daggerfall, your DOSBox needs to look "something" like this:

Z:\> mount c: c/dagger -freesize 1000
Drive C is mounted as local directory c:/dagger\


C:\>mount d c:/dagger/dfcd -t cdrom -label Daggerfall
MSCDEX: Mounted subdirectory: limited support.
Drive D is mounted as CDRom c:/dagger/dfcd\



I said "something like this" because I have the Daggerfall folder located directly on/in my C:\ drive so that it would be easy for me to find and type out every time I wanted to play.  If the folder were located elsewhere, the command prompt might look "something" like this:

Z:\> mount c: c/Games/ElderScrolls/dagger -freesize 1000

Everything worked fine after that.  The game was installed and I was able to start up a character, although I died partway through the prologue and hadn't saved.  I then had to go to work.  A couple of days later I came back and started up DOSBox and began the loading process:
But then something odd happened.  Odd because I didn't expect it to happen and I hadn't seen it before:
Yup.  DOSBox is telling me that I have the wrong CD in my CD drive and Daggerfall can't be loaded up.  I even tried shutting down DOSBox and going through the start up sequence again and I received the same "Looks like you inserted the wrong CD.  Please insert your Daggerfall CD in your cdrom and try again."  The Internet tells me that this is happening because when I tried to start up Daggerfall, I didn't type it in exactly as I had when I installed it.  So, when I installed the game, if I had typed in "-label DaGgErFaLl" I would have to type it like that every time after that.  Apparently the "only" (??) fix is to re-install the game which I am on the verge of doing a third time.

I don't want this whole post to come across as saying that Bethesda has released a faulty product as there are plenty of people online who have not had any issues with the installation and running of this game, but there are also people, like me, who have had some problems and I just need to figure out what those problems are before I get a character half way through the game and have to re-install the whole thing.

Yes, I am going to give it a third try and with any luck, I will be posting my First Impressions for The Elder Scrolls Chapter II: Daggerfall in the coming weeks.  That is if I can pull myself away from the handful of games that I'm playing at the same time.  First world problems indeed.

Farewell to the Faithfully Departed


  1. Try recording the commands you used in a .bat file - then you simply doubleclick the file's icon and the exact same commands will be run every time!

  2. I couldn't locate any .bat or .cmd files in the Daggerfall folder. Do I need to create one from scratch? This is still fairly new ground for me, but something I'm willing to work at.

  3. Create a .bat file so you can rerun the commands, typing the same thing over and over is a pain.

  4. I've found two other sites with instructions on how to get this to work:

    I'm still in process of setting it up myself, but I think the idea of creating a .bat file to run the game every time is a great one. I've been doing this for more than 35 years and it seems like I'm getting worse at making typos in the command line, not better.