Darkness Within 2: The Damned Patch (Updated With Download)

I spotted Darkness Within 2 over at Gamers Gate on sale. Point and clicks are hit and miss with me but DW2 is WASD free-roaming and reminded me of Amnesia: The Dark Descent with it's creepy atmosphere, coupled with a few of the best H.P. Lovecraft games available and adding in a hint of Condemned: Criminal Origins. All well and good so far until I hit the DRM: SecuRom line and the train almost derails.

I don't like limited installs for a game I own, it's ridiculous, barbaric and only serves to stop sleepless nights for game publishers. In Gamers Gates defense, they state that any install limit can be reset with an email to them, which is great, but I've never tested this and have to take them at their word. Also, plenty of games on GG have no DRM and I laud them for it but Darkness Within 2 is not such an animal. Ok, I say to myself, I'll just patch and look for a protection crack so I don't have to worry about the whole damned thing.

Say what you want about using cracks, I use them to bypass headaches, not protection. Having to locate and then put disks into a drive or limiting the number of times I can install and play something I paid for is simply unacceptable. Many gamers publicly loathed Assassin's Creed 2 and it's dreaded online DRM scheme - they were perfectly fine for me. I'm always online and my game was never interrupted by a loss of connection. Your experience may vary.

So I buy and as the game is downloading I check out the usual places for those industry destroying game cracks that only thieves use. It seems there isn't one available, stranger still is the line Protection: None. The retail is protection free but the digital copy isn't? How is that fair? While I continue to research this annoyance my game finishes downloading, I install and search on. Still no information on the SecuRom protection or a crack for it. The installation finishes and I start the 1.02g patch.

Darkness Within 2 cannot be found.

Huh? Ok, maybe the game has to be run so a registry entry can be triggered. I execute the game and SecuRom pops up for me to enter my code, I do so and continue to the game. Everything works fine, the game loads up and I am one install closer to having to send that email. I start and play for a bit, saving my preferences and progress in case the patch looks for that as well. Quitting, I run the patch a second time.

Same issue.

Ok, off to the website, obviously there must be another patch or at least a forum post concerning the GG edition. The patch not only fixes some game stopping bugs but adds anti-aliasing and additional resolutions, so it's really a must overall. I go through all of the suggestions but the patch will still not apply. I uninstall, re-download and reinstall the game running it again afterwards and very likely remove another install in the process. Since there is no way for me to know how many I have left, I just assume it's gone.

Again, same issue.

Time for a return to the roots; Pull out that old black book and dial the ex for a quick romp. In short, download a copy semi-illegally. Only semi as I own the game, legally, and who am I to say that everyone else in the peer list isn't suffering the same headache. I bought the damn thing, I want to play it and I paid for the right to do so. After the torrent completes downloading, I disconnect - seeding is good form but screw the lousy pirates!

I install and run the game once, there is indeed no protection of any kind and I contemplate just keeping this one. Morals gets the better of me and I continue with the plan. I quit out and start the patch up - everything completes successfully. I run the game once again and there is still no protection of any kind, pluses across the board. I copy the install to another location, uninstall and then reinstall the GG version and do a quick file compare. A few large files but mostly small files are different, the patch is actually pretty minimal and my idea for a solution can forge ahead.

Using a freeware version of the Clickteam Patchmaker, I create a patch for the Gamers Gate edition that is twofold: It updates the version I paid for and removes the copy protection using legitimate files. Is it legal? I don't know, some lawyer will say yes and another will say no and it will ultimately fall on who pays them more. I feel that the product I purchased was not supported by the company who made it due to the packaging I chose to buy it in, regardless of the fact that it was their choice to package it thusly.

While there may be a working patch in the future, my workaround, legal or otherwise, was the only real solution available to me at the time and I begrudgingly have to thank pirates for providing me with the resources. It's ridiculous to think I had to break the law in order to fix a legally purchased product that wouldn't have been broken had I stole it in the first place.

Oh, and, good game!

*UPDATE* The patch has been re-issued through the forums and now works with the Gamers Gate edition, so long as you copy it into the game folder first. What's even better is that the patch removes the SecuRom protection, just patch before you run and your install limits are gone.

*UPDATE 2* The forums have completely disappeared and I have been unable to find a valid link for the update. Here instead is my created patch that will update the Gamers Gate version of DW2.
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