Warcraft 3 Legacy Installer (1.21b - 1.27a)

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Hi people,
This year is being a very special one since Blizzard has shown renewed interest for the Warcraft 3 community, making up new game updates as well as giving continuous support for both the core game and the editor. Unfortunately, Blizzard does no longer distribute old versions of the game through Battle.net, consequently the current installer app automatically patches the game while setting it up.
I've been exploring the catacombs of an old HDD and I've just found what happens to be one of the first Warcraft 3 digitally distributed installers, so what better time to share it than now? Hope you find it useful!

Wait, why should I download a prehistoric version of the game?
Many custom games have been broken by the newest patches, some of them will take weeks to be fixed and others will never be since their makers left Hive long ago. I have made this thread so everyone can play any desired map without fear about compatibility issues, nothing more nothing else.

Is this some kind of repack or homebrew software?
No, it's the officially distributed Warcraft 3 installer as of 2012 until 2017, the code of the executables has not been altered.

So, do I technically need to own a license?
Yes, you need to own a legally purchased license of Reign of Chaos and/or a Frozen Throne one in order to proceed with the installation.

Can I install the game without Internet connection?
Yes, and that's probably the biggest advantage over the latest installer, which forces the user to rely on Battle.net servers just to have the base game in the computer.

Can modern Windows distributions run these legacy versions?
The 2000's versions of the game were made thinking on Windows XP compatibility, however as far as I know all them work fine with Windows 7. Honestly, I have no idea about how they perform in Windows 10, you gotta have to try them.

Some of the executables display error messages. What do I'm supposed to do?
Run both the installers and the patches as Administrator, as simple as that.


Links:

Warcraft 3 1.21b Reign of Chaos Installer enGB

Warcraft 3 1.21b Frozen Throne Installer enGB

Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne 1.26a English Patch

Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne 1.27a English Patch
 
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pyf

pyf

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Well, if you did not post that link to the Battle.net forums here on THW, then it means that this February 2020 post would have flown under my radar. Therefore, both the thanks and rep points are imho highly deserved.

For the record, the 2016 archived copies from the Wayback Machine do not work anymore. And even if they had, they would have downloaded v1.27 regardless. It is a possibility that either the 1.21b folders are gone, or that Blizzard feeds data to any version of the downloader that would only now allow to download v1.27 from their servers.


There is imho something unclear about the contents of the TFT archive in the OP (why is this Common/War3x.mpq file here exactly?)

Regarding those v1.21b full standalone offline TFT installers which are using the English language, I have noticed that one can not install the TFT expansion in a W98SE client VM. This is why I am looking for a way to download from the official Blizzard servers versions of v1.21b in American (en-US), English (en-GB) and French (fr-FR), to hopefully be able to install any of these 1.21b versions of the TFT expansion in a W98SE client VM.

For the record, any of these English-language v1.21b TFT full standalone offline versions can successfully be installed in a W2000 client VM.
 
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pyf

pyf

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If they really were concerned by the memory hack, then the 1.24 -> 1.26a patches would also be gone as well.
No, imho they goofed. Plain and simple.

For the record, v1.26a is the final version which can run on W98SE/W2000. Therefore, it is imho desirable to keep a download available of the v1.21b versions as well, even if patching any 1.21b one to 1.27.x with the official patchers kinda nullifies the benefit of having a v1.27 full download in the first place...
...
... *unless* there is a difference between this 1.27 full download (which resides in a 1.27a2 folder) and the 1.27 version which could be obtained by installing v1.21b and then patching it with an official 1.27 patcher.
 

pyf

pyf

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No, it does not help. ... and what are you now talking about? You were talking about an allegedly viable downgrade scenario from 1.27 for W98SE/2000 users, and now out of nowhere you are talking about the v1.27b upgrade patch which allows to *upgrade* any previously already installed version of the game to v1.27b.

The last version of WC3 which can run on W98SE/2000 is v1.26a. Starting with v1.27a (and up to v1.29.2), WC3 requires XP to run as a minimum. It is unknown to me if a full 1.27 version such as the one still currently provided by Blizzard is installable on W98SE/2000 (note: installable does not mean runnable aftewards).

If one installs Patch 1.27a on W2000 on any previously installed version of WC3, then WC3 will not run anymore. Because of the updated VC++ requirements, WC3 >=1.27a can not run on W98SE/2000
For the record, patch 1.27b can not be launched/installed on W98SE/2000 (which is very fortunate, as this effectively prevents one from shooting himself/herself in the foot).


Back to the full downloadable v1.27 installer version still currently downloadable from Blizzard, the en-US version is not the same as the en-GB version. Some of the downloaded data is fetched on Blizzard's servers from a 1.27a2 folder (note: could it be an *alternate* version of 1.27a??).

It is unknown to me if any third-party downgrader can run on W98SE/2000. It is also unknown to me if said third-party downgraders support all the language versions the official upgrade patchers from Blizzard do support.


I very much would like any user to also have the possibility again to download the full version of v1.21b (which was the first version of the game suitable for online distribution) from Blizzard's official servers and in any supported language please. The v1.21b folder was still up on January 23, 2019, that is all I know so far.

As of this writing, it is unclear if any language version of the 1.21b full digital release can successfully install the TFT expansion on a W98SE client VM. I know it can in a W2000 client VM.

I also know a v1.21b digital download of RoC can be patched to v1.26a on a W98SE client VM by using the official 1.26a patcher by Blizzard. Therefore, I see no reason one could not install the v1.21b full downloadable installer of the TFT expansion on a W98SE client VM. ... and yet I can not so far, with any of the English-language versions of v1.21b I have tried (including the one from the OP).
 
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deepstrasz

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The last version of WC3 which can run on W98SE/2000 is v1.26a. Starting with v1.27a (and up to v1.29.2), WC3 requires XP to run as a minimum. It is unknown to me if a full 1.27 version such as the one still currently provided by Blizzard is installable on W98SE/2000 (note: installable does not mean runnable aftewards).
Well, then try the version resetter. Maybe it works, I don't know. One would not be able to play the game as you wish, legally, anymore.
It is unknown to me if any third-party downgrader can run on W98SE/2000. It is also unknown to me if said third-party downgraders support all the language versions the official upgrade patchers from Blizzard do support.
Try it? If you don't have the original CDs, then try downgrading the 1.27 on a newer OS then moving/copying the downgraded version to that older OS.
I very much would like any user to also have the possibility again to also download the full version of v1.21b
Someone asked for the actual first version of the game sometime, somewhere :D
 

pyf

pyf

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Someone asked for the actual first version of the game sometime, somewhere :D
I know. So what?

In an ideal world, I would have preferred Blizzard to make ISOs of the original CD-ROMs (1.00 for RoC, 1.07 for TFT) available in 2008 instead of the digital download versions. Unfortunately, this would have led to many practical issues, especially considering the fact some (most?) people have no clue how to install a *cough!* good CD-ROM emulator (let alone how to install any program, or even how to use a computer in the first place).

The retail CD-ROM versions (starting with v1.00 from 2002) and the digital download versions (1.21b from circa 2008) certainly have internal differences. Likewise, retail CD-ROM versions which started using .tome installer files are not the same as the original CD-ROM versions from 2002/2003.

Well, then try the version resetter. [...] One would not be able to play the game as you wish, legally, anymore.
What version resetter?

What makes you say so? What is your logic?

Try it? If you don't have the original CDs, then try downgrading the 1.27 on a newer OS then moving/copying the downgraded version to that older OS.
I have my original retail CD-ROM discs in French. For the sake of personal convenience, I also have working ISOs in French of RoC 1.00 anf TFT 1.07 (note: copy protections are so overrated...).

Again, what I am interested in are the digital download versions provided by Blizzard. I do think 1.21b should be made available again as a digital download for everyone, just as the current 1.27 version (from that strangely named 1.27a2 folder) still currently is. v1.21b should allow to upgrade up to and including 1.27b in any language, which would make it the most versatile and most compatible digital download version available. The only weird thing I have noticed so far is with English-language versions of the digital download TFT expansion on W98SE, such as the one provided in the OP.

=> I want to be able to download the digital version of v1.21b in any language, to further experiment with it on a W98SE client VM. And I want everyone else to be able to download any language version of v1.21b if they wish, from Blizzard's servers.
 
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deepstrasz

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I know. So what?
Just some fun... sheesh.

They could easily do it if they wanted to. They made (non-Remastered) StarCraft+Brood War free.
What version resetter?

What makes you say so? What is your logic?
Well, since you can't find any official pre-1.27 installers anymore.

*version switcher? I don't know. Haven't used one for more than 10-15 years.
Warcraft 1.26 Switcher | Warcraft Version Switcher 1.26 Patch Download | Dota-Utilities
Again, what I am interested in are the digital download versions provided by Blizzard.
Sure but there aren't any of those you want anymore, no?
I do think 1.21b should be made available again as a digital download for everyone, just as the current 1.27 version
I think they should just make the first versions downloadable and also have each patch version executable in their FTP links (like they used to?).
 

pyf

pyf

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They could easily do it if they wanted to. They made (non-Remastered) StarCraft+Brood War free.
Blizzard never provided any ISO files (contrary to other game publishers) for SC nor for WC3. Sure they could, but it is very doubtful they ever will.
Regarding their previously freely downloadable titles (BlackThorne, The Lost Vikings, Rock'nRoll Racing), the download links seem to be gone. Which does not necessarily mean the files are not on their servers anymore.

The SCBW 1.15.2 digital download version is free to download and keep as an offline standalone installer; I am currently trying to download it as I am writing these lines (1.2 GB omg!). SC Anthology (>=1.18) however is unavailable in this form, but once installed from Blizzard's servers it is indeed free to play with the SD assets. It will 'phone home' from time to time, regardless of which version (free/paid) one uses.

Well, since you can't find any official pre-1.27 installers anymore.
Sure but there aren't any of those you want anymore, no?
This is what I am complaining about.

Considering that the first digital download version (=1.15.2) of SCBW is still available for download in all the supported languages for anybody who wishes to do it, why is the first digital download version (=1.21b) of WC3 or TFT not available anymore for those who still want it?

[...] *version switcher? I don't know. Haven't used one for more than 10-15 years.
Warcraft 1.26 Switcher | Warcraft Version Switcher 1.26 Patch Download | Dota-Utilities
Please click on the download link of the file 'WVS-126-by-DotA_Utilities.rar' and post a screenshot.

This is precisely the kind of third party software I would like to avoid as much as possible.

I think they should just make the first versions downloadable and also have each patch version executable in their FTP links (like they used to?).
The first digital download version for WC3 is precisely v1.21b.

Regarding their standalone offline patches for RoC and TFT, Blizzard has deleted everything prior to v1.24a from their servers imho. I think they did it two years ago iirc.
 
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Regarding their standalone offline patches for RoC and TFT, Blizzard has deleted everything prior to v1.24a from their servers imho. I think they did it two years ago iirc.
Ye, this has been annoying me. I wanted to get a hold of 1.13, which is the first patch containing the full Rexxar campaign, but couldn't find anything earlier than the 1.21 installer. I've got my original retail CDs so I can go right back to ultra-basics, but none of the intermediate stages.

Annoyingly, young me saved the 1.12 installer onto an old back-up CD back in the day, but nothing before or after. Sigh.
 
lol :p Pretty sure those are the official patch installers as released back in the day though.
Edit: I downloaded 1.21b from there, it's NOT a patch installer but war3.exe, war3patch.mpg and a bunch of .dlls.
Edit: You can download 1.21 game files here. With the patch files linked above you should be able to get to any post-1.21 version.

Edit: I'm compiling a list of WC3 installation/patch downloads. I'm uploading the installations right now, updated patch by patch from the 1.21 download. Here's a pastebin, will post as a thread when uploads are finished.

Ye, this has been annoying me. I wanted to get a hold of 1.13, which is the first patch containing the full Rexxar campaign, but couldn't find anything earlier than the 1.21 installer. I've got my original retail CDs so I can go right back to ultra-basics, but none of the intermediate stages.

Annoyingly, young me saved the 1.12 installer onto an old back-up CD back in the day, but nothing before or after. Sigh.

Any chance you could share an iso of your retails CDs, and/or a copy of the 1.12 game installer? Would be cool to add it to WC3 Download Archive (1.11 - 1.31.1) (which also contains a link to the 1.13 patch).
 
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pyf

pyf

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[...] I wanted to get a hold of 1.13, which is the first patch containing the full Rexxar campaign [...]
Only the bravest of the brave would want to give this patch series a try:
- Patch 1.13 - Liquipedia Warcraft Wiki
- Patch 1.13b - Liquipedia Warcraft Wiki

@Rao Dao Zao, you daredevil.
:wink:
(from the 1.13b patch notes)

Blizzard: "We appreciate the community’s patience and support in our endeavor to further tune the play balance, enhance the feature set, and increase the stability of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne."
Ah, the good old days of December 2003, when all was nothing but rage iirc...
:xxd:
 
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Any chance you could share an iso of your retails CDs, and/or a copy of the 1.12 game installer? Would be cool to add it to WC3 Download Archive (1.11 - 1.31.1) (which also contains a link to the 1.13 patch).
Sure, but I haven't pulled an ISO for some years so you'll have to recommend me a decent piece of freeware to do the deed... :wink:

<3 that download archive though, I didn't know you'd collated that. I'll be taking an offline backup of those, thank you very much! :cute:

Mainly I'm interested in avoiding two bugs with loading saved games: one where auto-consumed item shadows reappear, and the other where ground-based special effects stop showing in larger maps (i.e. the Rexxar hubs). I replayed Rexxar recently on 1.21 and it didn't have the item shadows bug, but it did have the special effects bug -- so I want to go back as far as possible to see if it's just something I never noticed the first time around or it really is a thing that came in later. Don't give two shits about multiplayer balance or whatnot, I'm here for the authentic campaign experience! :grin:
 
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Sure, but I haven't pulled an ISO for some years so you'll have to recommend me a decent piece of freeware to do the deed... :wink:
WinCDEmu is good, although on W10 it didn't show up in the explorer context menu which is the only way to use it :( So instead I used UltraISO which seems decent.
I already have the RoC 1.00 ISO though so don't worry about that. Other versions would be very nice though :D
Edit: Daemon Tools Lite is probably better, but it has ads and you have to be careful during installation to not install any bundleware.
 
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pyf

pyf

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WinCDEmu is good, although on W10 it didn't show up in the explorer context menu which is the only way to use it :( So instead I used UltraISO which seems decent.
I already have the RoC 1.00 ISO though so don't worry about that. Other versions would be very nice though :D
WinCDEmu worked for me on Win10, so I have for you:
- An original RoC retail from 2002; the box says "Playable on European Battle.Net servers" but not sure if that extends to the contents of the disc. It's still English (US) either way. <deleted link>https://www.dropbox.com/s/ah1xbwuw1b6l6qs/WC3-RoC-Retail-2002.iso?dl=0
- An original TFT retail from 2003; also English. <deleted link>

Let me know when you're done so I can clean them out of my dropbox. :infl_thumbs_up:
 
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pyf

pyf

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It is obvious these may not work (*especially* TFT). But moreover, I am not aware that any RoC or TFT self-made CD-ROM disk image of these games can be legally redistributable anywhere. Be careful guys, this is imho a slippery slope...
:hohum:

What's this favouritism you speak of?
It is only being sensible and logical.

WinCDEmu is good, although on W10 it didn't show up in the explorer context menu which is the only way to use it [...]
I personally would not recommend it for W10 users, because it has been unmaintained for years.
 
Don't wann
Dropbox, Google Drive, you name it.
Don't want to create accounts all over the place just for this though :p
Edit: looks like I can upload anyway, it'll go over the limit and only then disable uploads (I hope).

It is obvious these may not work (*especially* TFT). But moreover, I am not aware that any RoC or TFT self-made CD-ROM disk image of these games can be legally redistributable anywhere. Be careful guys, this is imho a slippery slope...
It's fine, newer versions are freely available from Blizzard. Besides, due to copy protection, as you implied, you can't even run the game without a physical CD. Mounted ISOs don't appear to work.

Speaking of which, @Rao Dao Zao could you perhaps check which patch version the TFT CD contains exactly? I can't run it, even with my own RoC CD. Can't even run RoC anymore since I installed TFT from that ISO.
Edit: ah, nevermind, the version is in the .exe properties =)
 
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It is obvious these may not work (*especially* TFT). But moreover, I am not aware that any RoC or TFT self-made CD-ROM disk image of these games can be legally redistributable anywhere. Be careful guys, this is imho a slippery slope...
Ultimately, you still need a valid CD key to run the installers so I don't think it's too big a deal in this case. I used to be more bothered about This Sort of Thing, but considering Blizzard's current attitude to preservation of classic WC3, they can suck it as far as I'm concerned.:ugly:

Speaking of which, @Rao Dao Zao could you perhaps check which patch version the TFT CD contains exactly? I can't run it, even with my own RoC CD. Can't even run RoC anymore since I installed TFT from that ISO.
It's 1.07, so it does still need the disc in the drive to play. I assume the ISO mounting should cover that, but on the other hand, I have the physical CDs so maybe there is Something Else that the ISO rip doesn't capture.
 

pyf

pyf

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WinCDEmu is good, although on W10 it didn't show up in the explorer context menu which is the only way to use it :( So instead I used UltraISO which seems decent.
I already have the RoC 1.00 ISO though so don't worry about that. Other versions would be very nice though :D
Edit: Daemon Tools Lite is probably better, but it has ads and you have to be careful during installation to not install any bundleware.
CD-ROM drive emulators all have their own strengths and weaknesses. Maybe I will tell you more about some of them someday. But probably not in that context.

You might be unaware of this one:
ImgDrive - The Ultimate Virtual CD/DVD/BD Drive

It's fine, newer versions are freely available from Blizzard. [...] Mounted ISOs don't appear to work.
It is not fine imho.

Of course they do not.

[...] considering Blizzard's current attitude to preservation of classic WC3, they can suck it as far as I'm concerned.:ugly:
The full v1.27a digital version can be freely downloaded from their servers, even without a Battle.net account.

The full v1.21b digital version is not available for download as of this writing. Maybe Blizzard will consider also making this version available without any Battle.net account, for those who prefer this one over the 1.27a digital one.

Speaking of which, @Rao Dao Zao could you perhaps check which patch version the TFT CD contains exactly? I can't run it, even with my own RoC CD. Can't even run RoC anymore since I installed TFT from that ISO.
Edit: ah, nevermind, the version is in the .exe properties =)
It's 1.07, so it does still need the disc in the drive to play. I assume the ISO mounting should cover that, but on the other hand, I have the physical CDs so maybe there is Something Else that the ISO rip doesn't capture.
hehe...

Yeah I assumed mounting the image would work, but apparently not. Copy protection must be working still ^^ I seem to remember now that there used to be these cracked mini-images that allowed you to play without CDs.

@loktar @Rao Dao Zao

 
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A more complete list that also includes more versions and multiple ways to install many versions can be found here. This thread has been inanctive for almost a year and might benefit from being closed with a change to redirect to the list I linked, not to mention it also uses Hive as the way to store files so it won't go down unless the whole site does.
 
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