Ferdinand Keil's

electronic notes

Feb 12, 2019

Installing Star Trek: Captain's Chair on Linux

Being a long time fan of Star Trek I recently came across the Simon & Schuster game Star Trek - Captain's Chair from 1997. It's basically a simulation of the Captain's bridge of five different Federation starships, most importantly (IMHO) the one of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E from Star Trek: The First Contact.

Physical copies of the game are available from the usual sources and are not prohibitively expensive. But as luck would have it, the game has been archived by archive.org (direct link). Just download the ISO-image, mount it and hop onto your favorite bridge.


However, if you're not running some ancient version of Windows on your machine (or in a VM) but use a recent Linux instead you will have use wine to get it working. Here are the necessary steps.

First, start with a clean 32bit wine-prefix:

WINEPREFIX=~/.wine.captains-chair WINEARCH=win32 winecfg

Set Windows-Version to Windows 98 and while your at it make wine emulate a desktop with an 640x480 resolution. The game does not support higher resolutions anyway. I suppose you went ahead and mounted the ISO-image. Then run:

WINEPREFIX=~/.wine.captains-chair WINEARCH=win32 wine ~/.cdrom/setup.exe

You absolutely need to install the included QuickTime runtime for the game to work. Just skip the scan for previous versions during the installation of QuickTime.

Patching Director Player 5.0

The game will not work as of now as the binary contains some ancient bug related to Director Player 5.0. Ancient bugs require ancient patches and in this case *sacah* has created one in 2008 and shared it with the world. Run the patcher using wine and select C:\Captain's Chair\Source\Cap_win.exe.

No-CD "Crack"

Now you can run the game. However, it will stop working once you unmount the ISO-image due to its copy protection. The implementation seems to be quite primitive, so all you need to do is to add an additional drive in winecfg and put a file named imergy.txt with the following content:

Find CD letter!!!

No, that's not a joke. The file is actually part of the image file.

Now have fun exploring!