How to set up BLACKSAD on Linux

May 10, 2020
by Hatnix

Linux Gaming - BLACKSAD on Linux Screenshot
Photo by Microids
BLACKSAD: Under the Skin is a narrative, choice-driven, dark adventure game set in the 1950's New York City, in the world of the comic book series BLACKSAD. You play as detective John Blacksad, who has to solve the murder of a boxing club owner. The game was developed by Pendulo Studios and YS Interactive, and published by Microids for Windows and Mac (either on Steam or GOG), as well as for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

I have prepared a short video about all the steps. It's up to you whether you prefer to watch or read. You can find the video on PeerTube and YouTube.

Installing via Steam

To be able to install and play BLACKSAD via Steam, you have to make sure that Steam Play is enabled. Check in the Steam settings under "Steam Play" the option "Enable Steam Play for all other titles". Select the latest Proton version, to get the best support for any non-native games on Linux. Now Install the game as you would usually install a game with your Steam client.

Some BLACKSAD players reported problems related to Esync. To deactivate that, right click the game's entry and select "Properties...", then click "SET LAUNCH OPTIONS...". Enter PROTON_NO_ESYNC=1 %command%, click OK and close the properies.

The start the game for a short moment only. During the first start of a non-native game Steam sets up a so-called prefix for it - imagine it as this games own little simulated Windows sandbox. This is where the configuration and savegames are kept.

Installing via Lutris

First make sure you have downloaded the necessary files for your GOG account. The BLACKSAD setup consists of 5 files:
  • setup_blacksad_under_the_skin_1.0.3_11858.2878.2019122002_(34793).exe
  • setup_blacksad_under_the_skin_1.0.3_11858.2878.2019122002_(34793)-1.bin
  • setup_blacksad_under_the_skin_1.0.3_11858.2878.2019122002_(34793)-2.bin
  • setup_blacksad_under_the_skin_1.0.3_11858.2878.2019122002_(34793)-3.bin
  • setup_blacksad_under_the_skin_1.0.3_11858.2878.2019122002_(34793)-4.bin
Lutris itself doesn't offer a premade installer, but this is not a big problem. Start by pressing the "+" button in the top left corner of the Lutris windows, to "Add a new gane". Fill in the game's name and select "Wine (Runs Windows games)" as Runner. In the "Game options" tab fill in the location of the "Wine prefix": ~/Games/Blacksad - that's all we need here at the moment, so press "Save".

Back in the Lutris main window select the newly created entry and click "Run EXE inside wine prefix". In the file select dialog change to your download directory (or whereever you have saved the game files) and select the .exe file. and click OK. Wait a moment, while the prefix is created and then follow the instructions of the game's setup.

After this is finished, open the configure dialog (the cog wheel icon), set up the executable: ~/Games/Blacksad/drive_c/GOG Games/Blacksad Under the Skin/Blacksad.exe and close the dialog with "Save".

Installing the workaround

This step is necessary, no matter whether which way you've installed the game.

BLACKSAD has cutscenes integrated which will cause it to get stuck fully, when played via Proton or Wine. To handle this problem, you need to install a small workaround, which can be found at Github. Download the file as shown on the screenshot.


Now open a Terminal and change to your Downloads dir:
cd Downloads
Unpack the ZIP file:
Change into the newly crated dir:
cd mf-install-master
Now install the workaround. For a Steam setup do:
WINEPREFIX=~/.steam/steam/steamapps/compatdata/1003890/pfx ./
And if you have used Lutris and the DRM-free game, do:
WINEPREFIX=~/Games/Blacksad ./
Now change out of the directory:
cd ..
And delete it, since you'll not need it any more:
rm -r mf-install-master

That's all! The game is now fully set up and configured. Enjoy the game!

About the author - Hatnix

Hatnix - Linux Gaming Streamer
Hatnix (aka The King of Linux Gaming) is a streamer, programmer, and long time Linux user. He is not just an expert Linux user, he is also a valuable educater in the community. If you are looking to game on Linux, but don't know where to start, try his Linux Gaming Workshop:

Want to speak to him live? Hatnix streams the best adventure, roleplay, and adventure games LIVE on Twitch. Not only does he play awesome games, he also provides you with Linux setup tips and tricks.

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