How to Install Medieval II: Total War patch 1.2 and use the unpacker


By Primo

This short guide will hopefully help you with installing patch 1.2 for Medieval II Total War and use the unpacker without incident. To use the unpacker, you must have 1.2 as a minimum so 1.0 & 1.1 need to be patched.

Why run the unpacker

When you install Medieval 2:Total War from the game dvd's, many of the game files are compressed or packed in order to save on hard disc space. That's fine for most people but for those who want to modify, they will need to run the unpacker in order to "get at" the files that modders will be most interested in.

Installing patch 1.2

If you are installing Medieval 2: Total War and then installing Kingdoms or are installing the Gold edition of the game, then proceed directly to Installing Patch 1.5. Otherwise, continue reading on how to install patch 1.2.

Firstly, you will obviously need to download it patch 1.2. You can download it from many sites, a few of which are linked here. You do not need to download the patch if you have the Gold Edition of Medieval 2: Total War or the Kingdoms expansion as installing those will automatically update your version of Medieval 2: Total War to allow you to use the unpacker.

This Patch is a hefty 650 mb so if you have dial up, don't even bother unless you want to leave it running overnight. You may find it easier to use a friend's computer which has broadband but even then it takes a minimum of 45 mins. And that's on a super fast connection.

Remember, install it to your main M2TW folder, not your data folder. I know it's obvious, but some do make that mistake.

NOTE: Many people have had problems installing this patch and M2TW not working. I recommend that you uninstall M2TW before applying the patch by running the uninstall procedure and then going to where you installed it, deleting the SEGA folder (or the Medieval 2 Total War folder if you have another game in the SEGA folder) and then reinstall. After that install Patch 1.2 straight on top. It has all patch 1.1 has and more. So there is no need to install patch 1.1 again.

Installing Patch 1.3

Patch 1.3 was released so that players without the Kingdoms expansion would be able to play online against players with Kingdoms installed. Obviously, this would only apply to vanilla Medieval 2: Total War games. It is a small patch and won't take long to install. You can download it here. If you install Kingdoms, your M2TW game is automatically patched to 1.3.

Installing Patch 1.5

Patch 1.5 is only for the Kingdoms expansion. When you install Kingdoms, it automatically installs version 1.4 of Kingdoms. Creative Assembly later released a patch 1.5 with fixes for some issues with Kingdoms. It can be downloaded here.

Using the unpacker.

NOTE: BACKUP YOUR DATA FOLDER BEFORE YOU USE THE UNPACKER AS CA AND TOTAL WAR HEAVEN ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE DONE TO YOUR GAME FROM USING THIS UNPACKER.

Using the file unpacker that comes with the patch can be a little confusing. First it's a load of files you don't often see. Batch files for one. Don't worry, you don't have to use these. The unpacker uses them when running. The only batch file you have to use is unpack_all.bat. Just click on it to run. you will have to type Y to all the questions to use it.

It should take quite a while to run as there are 7 gigabytes of files to unpack. If it happens in a second then something is wrong.

Also, make sure the unpacker is in tools\unpacker. Otherwise it WILL NOT work. Some regions have the patch installing the unpacker in a different part of your M2TW folder. The forumer Admiral_Nelson can testify to that one.

Now, pay close attention to this bit, or your game will crash every time you go into a battle.

Quoted from Unpacker Readme: NOTE: Due to a timestamp check, the following unpacked files will cause the game to crash and must be deleted before the game is launched:

  • data\descr_geography_new.txt
  • data\descr_geography_new.db

They are not kidding. Delete them. If you don't, you will get an unspecified error every time you go into a battle and CTD.

The readme gives you all the info you need to get the game to read the files but there is an easier way:

In your main Medieval 2 Total War folder, open preferences.cfg with notepad and scroll down to the bottom and type this:

[io]
file_first = true

Then save and close the file. Right click on the icon of preferences.cfg and go to properties. From there check the box next to read only and click apply. This will stop the game changing the file to the original content after one run. This way will not allow you to use show_err to find bugs. You have to run from a batch file for that but it does allow mods to work.

Issue with Unpacker & Windows XP

There is a known issue when trying to run the unpacker in Windows XP and you get an error saying that a .dll file cannot be found.

Mythic Commodore has the answers:

There are two solutions, both of which seem to work fine. Copy all of the .dll files in your main M2TW folder into either your tools/unpacker folder or into your windows/system32 folder.

I hope this guide has been of use to you and will help you in using the unpacker the patch. Any suggestions, criticisms, or improvements please don't hesitate to post in the thread on the forums.