Oregon Trail II : Independence Music Transcription + Others

By Zott820Zott820
25 Oct 2021 02:40

Howdy Ya'll. Hopefully that trail hasn't been too rough. Take a spell to relax with some fun Oregon Trail II content.

For those unfamiliar, Oregon Trail II was another milestone game of my childhood. Released in 1995, the game was brutally unforgiving, and, despite a lengthy in-game guide, highly secretive of its mechanical functions. Learn by doing seemed to be it's philosophy.

First off, above we have a transcription of the town of Independence's background theme song. A jazzy upbeat version of the title theme, it was welcoming tune for each frequent restart into the starting town. I worked on this personally, while also contracting it out to various fiverr individuals. Overall I think it came out faithful to the in-game version.

Files here:

Oregon Trail II was interesting in that the disk contained installations for both Windows and Mac OS. As Windows was also transitioning into Windows 95 during that period, the CD also included a 16-bit and 32-bit Windows executable.

Surprisingly, the game still runs remarkably well for being over 25 years old. There is one little catch for Windows. To allow the game to properly find the DATA files you will need to edit the OREGONII.INI

Look for this line:


Change the rsrcpath to folder containing the OTII32.EXE

In-game cinematics will not run, but most of the features are still operable.

Next up: Did you know that the in-game music is 8-bit mono, but there are actually a couple Red Book audio tracks that can be heard in any music CD player? Just pop in your Oregon Trail II disk. These are 16-bit stereo tracks with minor edits compared to the In-game versions.

Take a listen below:

So, now that we've listened to some rocking musical tracks, you may be tempted to go looking for the entire OST on the interwebs. Well, boy do I have a shocker for you - those OST available on YouTube and other sites are subtly wrong. How so? Well, their Tempo is off by approximately -0.690%. You may not be a purist, and they are very listenable as-is, but if you are doing a transcription like I was, you will find the BPM is incorrect. This can be verified with the Red Book audio versions if you have them.

Finally, I want to leave you off with some recent developments in the Oregon Trail II scene.
It looks like atleast one other person on this planet has wondered, what the heck are those purchasable Grandfather clocks for?

katstasaph is doing a reverse engineering effort of the executable source code to figure it all out:

You can read some of her Reddit posts for more information:

Extra: Remember how I told you the game's feedback is poor? My brother and I would buy chickens and pigs as 'pets'. But then later we would open our inventory to find 0 pigs and chickens. You have to go back through the journal to realize they wander off, or get eaten, or just died. :(

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