Heard of Adobe Flash? Well, it has an unloved older brother: Adobe Director! I recently needed to access the raw files behind a compiled Director DCR file, here’s how.

Since almost everything we’ll be using is deprecated and abandoned, I can’t guarantee the safety of any software mentioned here. I’ve used it all happily, but abandoned software can be a risk.

The plan is simple:

  1. Install Adobe Director.
  2. Decompile our DCR file.
  3. Open it up.

If you’re interested in doing the same for Flash files (e.g. swf), I’ve previously written a guide!

Installing Director

Adobe Director reached end of life in 2013(!), but luckily the installers are still available on Adobe’s site.

  1. Scroll down to “Director MX 2004 10.1.0”. Newer versions are available, but this is fine.
  2. Click “English Windows Installer” (or Macintosh if on MacOS). Your browser will almost certainly block the download, since it’s an .exe! As such, we’ll need to be insistent…
  3. Right-click the link, select “Copy link address”.
  4. Open a new tab, paste this link in.
  5. Chrome will block it again! This time click “Keep”, and you’ll finally get your dmx2004_101_update_en.exe.

Once opened, this is a pretty typical Adobe installer. You’ll be asked where you want to install it, what you want to install (I chose default settings), and offered a free trial.

You can use the free trial if you want, but free licences for older versions are available on Adobe’s site.

Initial dialog Installing License

Great, Adobe Director is now installed! Now for our file.

Decompiling DCR file

My file in question was junkbot2_13g_asp.dcr, a web game from the early 2000s.

I used ProjectorRays for this, a very simple to use decompiler that can decompile DCR, DXR, CCT, and CXT files.

  1. Download the .exe of the latest release, 0.2.0 at the time of writing.
  2. This download will also be blocked, and you’ll need to confirm you wish to download it.
  3. Once it’s downloaded, drag your .dcr file onto the .exe and a .dir will be created in the same directory. Easy!

Here’s how your working folder should now look:

Opening DCR files

You can now just double-click any .dir file you have, and Adobe Director will open (after confirming you wish to continue your free trial).

Note that I found opening Adobe Director for the first time required running the program as Administrator, presumably because it was automatically blocked by Windows.

Finally, here’s our file open in Adobe Director: