You’ve done an extraordinary and a fantastic piece of work, congratulations!
I didn’t suppose that this kind of modification is possible (without an access to source code).
Thanks collector and his (?) great sierra help pages I’ve learned your site.
I own the Royal Edition of Lords of the Realm 2 (German version). I built my own “installation” of that game a few years ago and I gained some experience with it. Apart from the 256 colours message it worked fine for me under Win XP.
May be some information could be useful, so here’s what I’ve found out. Sorry, if it’s too hackneyed.
Lords2 has two sets (folders) of movies in different quality: SMK_HIGH and SMK_LOW.
Some of the low quality (LQ) movies, for example intro and credits, are Y-interlaced.
When the game is starting, the main executable (lords2.exe) looks up in sierra.ini file in order to check the appropriate section. Sierra.ini (in windows directory) should be normally written and changed during the installation (especially the system test results) by sierra’s setup.
In case when sierra.ini or the adequate section/line doesn’t exist (!), or the line “CPU “ has a low “value” like “486DX” the LQ movies are played by default. When a powerful processor (for that time) has been recognized, for example CPU=Pentium Pro-333 CPU (the fastest possible machine), the HQ movies are played.
I’ve tested the STC installation yesterday. C_Guy was right, I’m afraid. In fact, the up-scaled LQ movies look significantly worse as the LQ originals, especially the originally Y-interlaced ones (the German intro, where subtitles are used, was quite messy).
Later on, I “forced” the STC executable to use the HQ movies and… the results were very fine, the movies looked even a bit better as the HQ originals! By the way, I don’t think you can play or analyze Smacker video files with VLC (RAD Video Tools do).
One small thing I’ve noticed - the game crashes if you try to switch to windowed mode (menu bar/options/display). In the original game a message about the need of desktop in 8-bit is displayed. I don’t play in windowed mode, but disabling the function could be better.
I’m sorry for writing this, but in my opinion the game graphics are slightly too soft and blurred. I know that is due to the conversion to 32-bit and the up-scaling process so. Certainly it depends on the graphic card as you wrote. I don’t know, but may be there is a way or another method to preserve a little, little bit more of the original crispness?
Anyway, you’ve done an outstanding job and I hope (like many fans of older sierra games) you’ll continue your undertaking.
With kind regards (from Germany)