Friday, 18 May 2012

Getting Korsakovia working

Korsakovia is a game about madness from the makers of Dear Esther. It's a mod for Half-Life 2 and requires Half-Life 2: Episode 2 to work. Unfortunately, when Valve updated the Source engine, Episode 2 included, in 2010 it broke a lot of mods quite spectacularly. Korsakovia's creator released a patch which did indeed make it possible to fire up Korsakovia again. Unfortunately it's still dogged by crashes. Rather more crucially, there's a catastrophic crash in the final chapter which makes it impossible to complete the game. There's a door that leads to an insanely exploded rendition of the first level's cafeteria, and as soon as you open it and walk through, the game crashes, usually corrupting one or more saved games in the process. You can noclip over the top, but unfortunately that trigger is what loads the next and final chunk of the level - even if you noclip through that portion of the level entirely, you still can't finish the game. Anyway, I managed to find a way around it - making it possible for me to complete my saved game at least - and thought I'd post my solution:

game_info.txt: rewrite contents with following:


// This is what shows up in the 'Third Party Games' area of the Steam games list.
game "Korsakovia"
title "Korsakovia"
type singleplayer_only
developer "thechineseroom"
developer_url ""
icon "resource\Korsakovia"

SteamAppId 218
ToolsAppId 211

Game |gameinfo_path|.
Game sourcetest
Game hl2
Game ep2
Game episodic


I additionally used GCFScape to copy the Scenes folder from the HL2 content folder into the Korsakovia folder, though I'm not sure how much that helped the general effort. The result is a Korsakovia that runs extremely smoothly with none of the persistent crashes of my first run-through. Not only that, but textures (like Christopher's hands when wielding the crowbar) are restored which aren't present in the 'patched' version. There are a few mostly cosmetic hiccups - the most prominent being that GFX including the electricity arcs in the last level don't show up, making it harder to complete the platforming sections, but nevertheless - a fixed and working Korsokovia! Thinking it might well be possible to patch the remaining niggles by transferring over the model/GFX/etc folders, so watch this space...

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