Wreckin Crew PC ECTS 1997 prototype

Bit of an odd one to kick off the week. Years ago my mum picked up a copy of Wreckin Crew by Telstar for the PC in a charity shop around 22 years ago, and I couldn’t get it working at the time. What was odd was that it looked like a pirated copy inside the box, with no instructions. So, I thought it was a dud and it was left to gather dust in my parents attic for many years.

Clearing out recently and finding the game again last week, I realised that all wasn’t what it seemed when I was a kid. The CD of course looked to be some kind of prototype burn of the game, so I quickly set about making a backup to ISO to run within Virtual Box and a copy of Windows XP.


Running the installer provided what was little more than just a test screen, with no option to actually install the game:


So the next step was to copy the entire contents instead to the hard-drive and checkout the “TELDEMO” and the CREW.EXE file, which revealed that this was a demo that seemed to be produced specially for the 1997 ECTS show. Not entirely sure how it ended up in Kent just a few years after the event and in a retail box!

ects demo

When proceeding, it gets to the titles and menu, but unfortunately stops taking any input at all on the car selection screen – so I was unable to start the preview to check for any major differences for now. I have a feeling that it might be waiting for joystick input, though it would not detect the standard USB pad I had plugged in. Once I get some more time I’ll try and investigate more – as it probably needs an older Joystick device to be detected.

So at this stage, I’m unsure what differences there are from the final game to highlight – though I have extracted out some of the graphics found on the disk, where there are some minor differences. If you are able to get the main game running (see ISO download below) and can spot anything majorly different to the final release, please let us know and we’ll update the page here with credit to you any findings you have. Hopefully this is an interesting curiosity none-the-less.

With thanks to LiqMat for the brilliant instructions for getting the game up and running properly.

ISO demo


Running the prototype

LiqMat has kindly provided some instructions to help get the game up and running and using a controller.

You have to make sure your USB controller is functioning in Windows before using DOSBox. Go to Windows “Control Panel” and run the calibration tool in “Devices & Printers”. You should see your controller in there. If that works it should also work in DOSBox.

If you want to run the game in 640Á—480 change your DOSBox CPU cycles to around 200000 for good performance. This is done in your DOSBox .conf file. If you want to configure the keyboard controls press F1 for one player controls and F2 for two player controls. Unfortunately, the keyboard controls do not seem to work even when you remap them.

There also does not appear to be a way to remap the controller that I can find. This is different from the commercial release. The video options are also more limited. When in a race, hitting the ESC key will produce a menu. “Quit” does not seem to work so use F5 which is supposed to take a screenshot, but since it’s running off the ISO and cannot write the PCX image file it crashes the game. A nice workaround to exit the game. ;-)

1) plug your USB controller into a USB port and check to see if Windows detects it
2) run DOSBox (tested with version 0.74-3)
3) mount your C drive in DOSBox (mount c c:\<folder name>)
4) go to your mounted C drive (c:)
5) go to the folder where the ISO file is located (cd <folder name>)
6) mount the ISO (imgmount d teldemo.iso -t cdrom)
7) go to your mounted ISO drive (d:)
8) go to the game exe directory (cd teldemo)
9) run the game exe (crew.exe)
10) move your mouse. if you can see the mouse cursor on the Windows desktop click inside the DOSBox window so the cursor disappears. this will focus on the DOSBox window. make sure to do this BEFORE step 11
11) when it asks, swirl your joystick and hit space
12) hit space to skip the intro movies
13) use your arrow keys and space bar to navigate the menus
14) once at the “car select” wheel use your controller from there
15) controls should be joystick for direction, two buttons for accelerate and reverse, two buttons for left/right attack

F3 = camera view

Hope this helps! There may be more options and controls. Yours to discover. :-)


14 Responses to Wreckin Crew PC ECTS 1997 prototype

  1. Thanks for editing the instructions for me in the main article above. Just ignore these steps down here in the comments. Full of typos by yours truly. Cheers!

  2. Hey man,

    Sent you a couple of messages via “contact us” correcting all my typos in the “running the prototype”. For some reason using the less/greater than signs to bracket a drive path makes those symbols and the text in-between disappear on your site. I noted this in my two messages to you. Cheers.

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