DOSBox Emulator IDOS 2 Is Back On the iOS App Store (And I Have Ultima 6 Running In It)

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Akalaupdate: I’ve been informed that IDOS 2 isn’t visible in the US App Store. is now visible in the U.S. App Store. It is also available in the Canadian App Store, and seems to be available in the Great Britain App Store as well...so hopefully this is just the result of a propagation delay. I’ve also been informed that it’s available in the German and Spanish storefronts.

Oh, and: If you’re going to buy IDOS 2, why not consider sending a dollar to the DOSBox team as well? There’s a donation button right there on their website, and it’s not too much (I think) to give them a tip for doing all the grunt-work of getting DOSBox working as well as it does.

iOS 8.3 may (or may not) interfere with the steps below. See this post for details.

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Some of you may be familiar with the history of IDOS, a short-lived DOSBox emulator that briefly appeared on the iOS App Store before being summarily yanked off of same by Apple. (Apple, you see, has this thing about emulators, and about apps which execute other applications within themselves.) IDOS 2 was also released on the App Store back in 2011, and…was summarily pulled down by Apple less than a week later.

The developer went on to release Aemula Oldies S, a more locked-down DOSBox port that proved significantly harder to run one’s own applications under. This seemed to escape the wrath of Apple’s gatekeeprs; it’s still available on the App Store, though it hasn’t been updated in over a year.

Last night, more out of raw curiosity than anything, I did a search on the App Store for “DOSBox”…and amazingly, I found something. I don’t know how, but IDOS 2 is once more available on the App Store, for the quite-reasonable price of $0.99. Moreover, it has been thoroughly modernized: it features a new (full) keyboard, full-screen support for at least the iPhone 5 series of phones (I don’t have an iPhone 6, so I can’t test whether it supports those). And its release date — is only October 28th of this year; this app just came out, and has gone largely unnoticed.

At present, the app ships with two games included: Duke Nukem and Haunted Mansion. But…well…look at the screenshot above. Here’s how I did that:

  1. The first thing to do is to buy IDOS 2. Hurry, though…I can’t imagine it’ll stay available for much longer.
  2. Next, you’ll need to grab a copy of iFunBox.
  3. And, of course, you’ll need a copy of Ultima 6.
  4. Once you have all the pieces together, fire up iFunBox and select the iFunBox Classic tab; this will give you a view into the file system of your iPhone (or iPad; these instructions should work for any iDevice). Note that it is not necessary to jailbreak your device for this to work.
  5. Within the iFunBox Classic view, click on User Applications and scroll down until you find the IDOS 2 app. Browse into the Documents folder within the app:
    ifunbox-idos2
  6. Extract the file PLAY.BAT to a folder. Open the file in your preferred text editor and make the following changes. At the top of the file, change this:
    echo 1 ---- Duke
    echo 2 ---- Haunted

    To this:
    echo 1 ---- Duke
    echo 2 ---- Haunted
    echo 3 ---- Ultima 6

    The First Age of Update (oops): Then change this:
    :choice
    choice /c:12
    if ERRORLEVEL 2 goto haunted
    if ERRORLEVEL 1 goto duke
    goto choice

    To this:
    :choice
    choice /c:123
    if ERRORLEVEL 3 goto ultima6
    if ERRORLEVEL 2 goto haunted
    if ERRORLEVEL 1 goto duke
    goto choice

    Then, just above these lines:
    REM ----------------------------------------
    :quit

    Add this:
    REM ----------------------------------------
    :ultima6
    cd games\ultima6
    cycles 8000
    ultima6
    cd ..\..
    goto menu
  7. Copy PLAY.BAT back into the Documents folder of the IDOS 2 app.
  8. Copy your Ultima 6 installation folder into the games sub-folder of the Documents folder. If there’s a space in the name, delete it; the batch file we just edited requires that the folder be named ultima6. And DOS doesn’t like spaces in file and folder names anyway.
  9. Fire up IDOS 2 and see if you’re presented with the option to launch Ultima 6.
  10. Play Ultima 6. Enjoy. Be happy.

And obviously, if for some reason you’d rather play something other than Ultima 6, the above instructions should work for that as well.

13 Responses

  1. Chad Riden says:

    iDOS 2 is currently available in the Canadian iTunes store, but not in the US. 🙁

  2. Neil Graham Neil Graham says:

    I also had to alter this bit:

    FROM:

    echo.
    :choice
    choice /c:12
    if ERRORLEVEL 2 goto haunted
    if ERRORLEVEL 1 goto duke
    goto choice

    TO:

    echo.
    :choice
    choice /c:123
    if ERRORLEVEL 3 goto ultima6
    if ERRORLEVEL 2 goto haunted
    if ERRORLEVEL 1 goto duke
    goto choice

  3. Zygon Dragon says:

    I recommend removing play.bat from the [autoexec] section in the dosbox.cfg file. That way you don’t have to mess around creating batch menus for each game. Just use the old school MSDOS commands to run the games 🙂

    • Sanctimonia Sanctimonia says:

      And remember hitting the Tab key will attempt to autocomplete the directory or file name you’ve begun typing. Makes navigation and command execution a lot easier. Also the Up and Down arrow keys cycle through previously entered commands.

  4. Neil Graham Neil Graham says:

    I have modified a play.bat with entries for Ultimas 1-3 + 5-7, Serpent Isle, Savage Empire, Martian Dreams, Ultima 8 and UW1&2.
    Game data just needs to put in the correct folders, as per the above method for U6.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/8r5m4rrvjfm56bc/Play.rar?dl=0

  5. Tom says:

    You delete the play.bat while using the app. Simply look in it’s settings.

  6. Arthur says:

    Hello, about warcraft orcs and humans, i have done the steps listed here, but it cant load, im not sure if the program is in the correct structure in order to idos 2 to load it, some programs need instalation, must i install it in my pc and then copy the folder generated with the exe file and other files in idos 2?

  7. This is awesome! Thank you!
    I followed everything to the letter and came up with an odd glitch I can’t seem to find a solution to… I can’t actually select ‘3’ on my keyboard. The option is there, it exists on screen, but when I press 3 nothing happens. Any ideas please?

  8. George E. Nowik says:

    huh. it’s back in the US app store. get it!