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Building a Retro Linux Gaming Computer - Part 23: Ready, Set, Go!

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Return to Part 1: Dumpster Diving

Continued from Part 22: Happy Hacking

If you look at the commercial Linux gaming catalogue at the turn of the millennium, in amongst all of the 3D shooters and strategic simulations being released, one glaring omission seems to have been the lack of any racing games. Loki Software never ported any to Linux, nor did any of the other porting houses. This left a void for the free gaming community to fill. One of the first be off to the races was Trophy, whose development started in March 2000.

The latest version of Trophy I can run from Red Hat Linux 7.3 is version 1.1.3 from before the game was ported to ClanLib 0.8 and beyond. To do this, I first had to grab the ClanLib-0.6.1-fr1.i386.rpm, ClanLib-sound-0.6.1-fr1.i386.rpm, and Hermes-1.3.2-fr3.i386.rpm pacakges from freshrpms. Even then, the included binary that came bundled with the 1.1.3 source tarball would still not load, as it was built against libstdc++5 which is too new.

This is the same problem I had when attempting to launch later versions of Cube, but since I could satisfy all the other build dependencies in this case, I was able to compile my own binary linked to my older version of glibc. To do this, all I had to do was run "make clean" followed by "make" in the trophy directory. This did mean I also had to install all of the ClanLib and Hermes development packages, which from freshrpms came to a whopping eleven packages in total.

Even then the game window still came up labelled as "Trophy 1.0.6" instead, but both the "Snake" and "Rally" tracks were present and correct, so I know I built the right version. Beyond that the only other bug I encountered was that I was unable to change the colour of my car using the arrow keys as the menu suggests, with the new game screen only seeming to allow me to input my name. That said, I am also unsure what the "Hall Of Fame" is even for at this point.

Trophy is a top down racer which distinguishes itself by having an emphasis on using extras such as vehicular combat to get ahead of your rivals. You can fire a machine gun at other cars by pressing the "x" key, drop bombs with the "c" key, and give yourself a turbo boost by holding down the "a" key. All of these are powered by collectibles found scattered about the track, right up until you finish the fifth and final lap. The result is a strong arcade feel without being a kart racer.


The graphics are appealing if a little compressed, with the tracks themselves being large for the time 1200x1200px bitmaps created in several layers through use of the GNU Image Manipulation Program. In fact, an entire track designer manual was written that goes over the process of building a track, all to encourage Trophy players to make a submit their own creations. This manual can still be read from the Trophy website hosted on SourceForge.

Work on Trophy advanced in fits in starts, with the latest 2.0.4 release from 2019 still depending on the ancient ClanLib 1.0 software development kit. But while Trophy ossified from a technical perspective over the last decade or so, the gameplay became deeply enriched starting with the 2.0.0 release. This was the first to feature a championship mode as well as a shop where you can buy vehicle upgrades and new cars, giving the money you collect a real purpose at long last.

With all of these additions in particular, Trophy reminds me very much of Mini-Car Racing as published by eGames, one of my brother's favourite games growing up. Whether this a coincidence or not is hard to say, as both games first released in the same year, but they do both have you race on the moon. Mini-Car Racing, incidentally, is also one of many older games which are far easier to get working with WINE than on modern versions of Windows today.

Looking at the TODO list included alongside Trophy shows that the similarities were planned to go even deeper than that, with the inclusion of oil slicks, rockets, and jump points on the tracks. All of which compounds the feeling that Trophy does still have a great deal of unfulfilled potential, with networked multiplayer also having been mooted at one point. There is a legacy here that would be great for someone to build upon, should the right contributor be found.

Which free and open source game projects take off and which stagnant often seems to be at the gift of chance, but at least here there is always the option that some new life can be breathed into them, if given enough interest. The same can even be said for what is to this day my mother's favourite computer game, a free software title which for most of the 2000s was one of the most lauded Linux games to ever be released for the platform.

Carrying on in Part 24: Mother Knows Best

Return to Part 1: Dumpster Diving

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About the author -
author picture
Hamish Paul Wilson is a free software developer, game critic, amateur writer, cattle rancher, shepherd, and beekeeper living in rural Alberta, Canada. He is an advocate of both DRM free native Linux gaming and the free software movement alongside his other causes, and further information can be found at his homepage where he lists everything he is currently involved in:
See more from me
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Hamish Jan 30, 2023
The Trophy website on SourceForge can be found here:

The ClanLib and Hermes RPM packages I used can be downloaded here:

And an article covering Trophy by J. Neil Doane for Linux Journal is archived here:

Last edited by Hamish on 30 January 2023 at 7:37 pm UTC
Hamish Jan 31, 2023
Quoting: LightkeyWhat about Tux Racer?! Even developed in Canada! Just kidding.
Well yeah, that arguably became commercial, but it does not have you racing cars. Nor did Soul Ride from LGP. I would consider both to be more sports games personally.

Quoting: LightkeyThere was a similar commercial game released (only digitally) around the time called Turbo Sliders, I remember writing a news for it. Although now looking at the date, it was end of 2004, so a little later.
Ah never heard of this one. Good to know, even if it would be a little late for Dianoga.

Quoting: LightkeyFor the next article I'm guessing SuperTuxKart (which started as TuxKart in 2000 but the first playable version was apparently only released in 2007)? Or Widelands? It couldn't be a RPG with hexagons, could it?
Looks like you are going to have to keep guessing.
gbudny Jan 31, 2023
Thank you for article.

It's great that people remember Turbo Sliders.

It was a popular game, and now it's a freeware:

I hope that Turbo Sliders Unlimited will be ported to Linux.

In general, we didn't have too many commercial games where you can race.

We had two futuristic racing computer games for Linux: Ballistics and H-Craft Championship, which were cool games. I spent many hours playing them, but you don't drive race cars in them.

Motorbikes fans could enjoy playing MX Simulator and Mad Skills Motorcross:

Some lucky people could enjoy the native version of Bandits: Phoenix Rising for Linux. Unfortunately, LGP didn't finish this game, but they planned to release it.

There was a car simulation called Odyssey By Car:

When I ran it for the first time, I was surprised that my car could only moves backward. I don't have a driver's license, so I had to learn how to use the gear shift. It's the awesome game, and sometimes I still play it on Linux.

Last edited by gbudny on 31 January 2023 at 12:28 pm UTC
CanadianBlueBeer Jan 31, 2023
Well, the next one doesn't sound like Civ:CTP :)

(scratches head wondering what it will be...)
Hamish Feb 1, 2023
Quoting: gbudnyIt's great that people remember Turbo Sliders. It was a popular game, and now it's a freeware
I went ahead and tried it on Dianoga but as expected it requires too new a glibc version. That said, it does seem to work just fine on my modern Arch Linux system once I removed the bundled "" library file. Considering the final copyright is from 2016 I really should not be too surprised though.

Quoting: gbudnyWe had two futuristic racing computer games for Linux: Ballistics and H-Craft Championship, which were cool games. I spent many hours playing them, but you don't drive race cars in them.
I remember playing the demo for H-Craft Championship back in the day. Since then the source code has been released too.

Quoting: gbudnyThere was a car simulation called Odyssey By Car ... When I ran it for the first time, I was surprised that my car could only moves backward. I don't have a driver's license, so I had to learn how to use the gear shift. It's the awesome game, and sometimes I still play it on Linux.
Another game I did not know about, so cheers for that. The demo for Odyssey By Car from the Internet Archive does work well on Dianoga; all I had to do was provide executable privileges to the "odysscar" and "res/uslproc" files. If I could ever get my hands on the full version CD-ROM I could see myself writing a full article on it, but it is still more of a driving simulation than a racing game.

Quoting: CanadianBlueBeerWell, the next one doesn't sound like Civ:CTP
Well, it certainly is not going to be SimCity 3000 Unlimited as of right now. Someone posted an eBay listing for the Loki jewel case for only $20 CAD just as I was finally falling asleep last night, and of course it was sold by the time I woke up the next morning. I am still kicking myself about that.

Last edited by Hamish on 1 February 2023 at 4:36 am UTC
Pit Feb 1, 2023
Indeed, race games is a quite void area. Still somewhat is, if you confine yourself to DRM-free. I had mostly bridged that gap with TORCS, and even bought a wheel just for that. And yes, H-Craft. That really was sensational to me, and I immediately bought it. Both are quite subtle, so you (well, I...) need to play a while to be able to progress. So nowadays I mostly stay with SuperTuxKart
shibuya Feb 2, 2023
Indianapolis 500 was great
Hamish Feb 3, 2023
Just as a couple of additions, Odyssey By Car actually also runs alright on my modern Arch Linux computer. The sound effects do seem to have a slight delay, and the full screen mode does not work, but other than that it seems to be about the same as when running it on period hardware. It is kind of nice being able to crank all of the graphics settings to the max without the computer breaking a sweat.

And to just further taunt me, there are now two cheaply priced big boxes of the Loki Software release of Civilization: Call To Power listed on eBay. The only catch? Both of the boxes are for the German version of the game. I hope someone over in Deutschland gets to have a good time with them.
CanadianBlueBeer Feb 3, 2023
I'm trying to find my 2 copies of Civ:CTP.
(and all my other linux games from way back)

Still in a box, and I suspect said box is buried at the back of a pile
of other heavy boxes.

(I hate moving)

I won't sell them, but I might be able to let you borrow one copy.
(yes, we be in the same province now)
Hamish Feb 3, 2023
Quoting: still has most of the games from that time in stock, it's like a museum ... including the original prices for the most part ... Now the shipping costs only mention Europe with other countries "at request" ... I know Bernd Hentig personally, we from Holarse went from our booth to his booth at the 2003 LinuxTag in Karlsruhe and bought a discounted batch of Quake III Arena tin boxes from him for everyone.
I was actually aware of but was left unsure if they (or he it now seems) would be willing to ship internationally. So it is good to have some details clarified there, thanks. The main question is how much shipping to Canada would be as that is almost always the most expensive part of the process. With eBay at least such things are posted upfront.

Quoting: LightkeyAlso, don't forget to ask him about games on the German Index. I have personally notified him in the past of at least two titles (I think one was Rune(: Halls of Valhalla)), so he doesn't get in trouble advertising them. I don't know what he did with the copies he had but it would not surprise me if he still has them stored somewhere.
Rune I thankfully already do have. It just brings Dianoga to its knees, so I have shelved doing an article on that for the moment. For the moment.

Same with Descent3 where it is mostly a matter of my wanting to play through the original two games from Windows 98 first as I have not actually done more than dabble with any of them before.

Quoting: CanadianBlueBeerI'm trying to find my 2 copies of Civ:CTP. (and all my other linux games from way back) I won't sell them, but I might be able to let you borrow one copy. (yes, we be in the same province now)
I will keep that in mind for the future, thanks. As of right now I am still hunting for my own copy.

Just a reminder to everyone though that Liam has clarified he does not want buying and selling done through GamingOnLinux itself to avoid any potential liabilities!

Last edited by Hamish on 3 February 2023 at 6:26 pm UTC
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