Multimedia Exploration Journal: The Past Doesn’t Die

New haul of games, new (old) multimedia formats.

Lords of Midnight
Check out the box copy scan for Lords of Midnight in MobyGames. In particular, I’d like to call your attention to this little blurb:

Ahem, “Journey through an immense world — the equivalent of 8 CD-ROMs.” Yet, when I procured the game, it only came on a single CD-ROM. It’s definitely a CD-ROM (says so on the disc) and, coming from 1995, certainly predates the earliest DVD-ROMs (which can easily store 8 CD-ROMs on a disc). Thus, I wanted to jump in a see if they were using some phenomenal compression in order to squeeze so much info into 600 or so megabytes.

I was surprised to see the contents of the disc clocking in at just under 40 megabytes. An intro movie and an outro movie account for 75% of that. Format? None other than that curious ASCII anomaly, ARMovie/RPL with Escape 122 codec data.


Cyclemania is one of those FMV backdrop action games, but with a motorcycle theme. I had a good feeling I would find some odd multimedia artifacts here and the game didn’t disappoint. The videos are apparently handled using 3-4 discrete files per animation. I’ve documented my cursory guesses and linked some samples at the new MultimediaWiki page.

Interplay ACMP
This is unrelated to this particular acquistion, but I was contacted today about audio files harvested from the 1993 DOS game Star Trek: Judgment Rites. The files begin with the ASCII signature “Interplay ACMP Data”. This reminds me of Interplay MVE files which begin with the similar string “Interplay MVE File”. My theory is that these files use the ACOMP compression format, though I’m still trying to make it fit.

Wiki and samples are available as usual if you’d like to add your own research.

One thought on “Multimedia Exploration Journal: The Past Doesn’t Die

  1. JudgeDeadd

    Re: Lords of Midnight… I’m pretty sure it uses procedural generation for the gameworld. I think it did the same back in the original ZX Spectrum installment

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