A guide to fixing the WMA music files not wanting to work through Proton.
If you’re insane like me you may like this game as much as I do and want to play it on Steam Deck or Linux PC. I assume this is either because you’re nostalgic for old bargain bin games from your childhood, or you like to suffer.
Either way, if you run the game through Proton, you may have noticed the WMA music files may not play. While Proton has come a long way in fixing a lot of WMA playback issues, this game was not one that benefited from those advancements. I can’t imagine why.
Please note I am not horribly familiar with Steam Deck, mostly Linux on desktop. If anyone wants to help contribute any relevant knowledge of the specifics of how the Deck works, I will update the guide and credit you!
There are a few you can try to fix this. One involves running the game through regular WINE or through WINE-GE using Steam Tinker Launch. I don’t recommend this because it’s a pain setting it up with the Gamescope configuration to even make the game run at an aspect ratio you can see and do things in. And to top it off, the graphics get borked through WINE. However, it fixes the audio for some reason. Don’t ask me how.
What I do recommend is tricking the game into running music files of a different type. It’s fairly easy to do, just a bit annoying and time consuming, but so is this game, so let’s hop in.
What You Will Need
- A program that converts music to different formats such as VLC, Audacity, Foobar2000 (running through WINE if you convert the files on a Linux system), etc. I just used VLC. The conversion files lost a little bit of quality, but nothing too noticeable and honestly it made the weird high notes in the songs give me less of a headache. How to convert the files will depend on the program, but guides for any of the three I listed are pretty easy to find!
- At the very least, FFmpeg. I do not know a complete list of libraries and codecs, the distro I use is geared toward media creation so while things like codecs weren’t pre-installed, they did have a one-click install. Please feel free to contribute if you know more! I do not know the specifics of these on SteamOS, but they may be pre-installed there. The program you choose to convert your files may install some of these as needed alongside itself.
- On Steam Deck, I believe you’ll need to switch to desktop mode for this process as you’ll need to access a file explorer.
What You Will Need to Do
- Browse the game files. Go to the game drop down menu and Manage > Browse Local Files or do it through Properties.
- Go into the “music” folder. Move the .wma files somewhere else. Then convert them via your method of choice. File types I have tested and can confirm work for this are .mp3 and .ogg. I recommend keeping the names the same as the original files, it’ll make it easier to keep track of. Obviously if you’re going to convert the files on another system or device (such as transferring to your computer from a Steam Deck), adjust and add steps accordingly.
- Put the MP3/whatever you made where you’ll remember they are. I personally put them in the game’s compatdata prefix, you can put them wherever you want.
- In the music files, create symlinks (shortcuts) to the files you made with the exact name of the original files, including the .wma extension. This means that the symlink for, for example, MarineParkEmpire_LevelTrack1 will read as MarineParkEmpire_LevelTrack1.wma. To put it another way, for me the link named that links to MarineParkEmpire_LevelTrack1.mp3 in the compatdata prefix. Do this for all 20 files.
- Boot up the game. The music should play exactly how it should.
Yes, this does mean you can mod in custom music by making the symlinks point to anything as long as they’re named after the game’s soundtrack files. That’s not the purpose of this guide, but you can do it.