I read an article in PC Gamer about the MechCommander series being free for download. Apparently Microsoft released the games for free so there’s nothing shady about this. Go to mechcommander.org and click Downloads from the left hand menu. The original MechCommander is only available via torrent, but Gold and 2 are available as iso downloads. I already had MechCommander 2, so I downloaded the iso for MechCommander Gold. I mounted the iso image with Virtual Drive and ran the installer. I had to set the installer for compatibility mode as Windows 2000 for it to install on Windows 7 (I also had to set the shortcut to Windows 2000 for the game to run). The game calls itself MechCommander Desperate Measures (Desperate Measures is an add-on campaign for the original so when you install Gold you can choose to play the original campaign or the add-on from the in game menu).
It’s always nice when companies release older games for free, so get these games while they are available.
mechcommander.org is no longer a good site. MechCommander and MechCommander 2, however, are available in ISO form from GameStand.net – thanks Alex for the information. Also according to Alex there’s “some more compatibility solutions on http://www.thegameengine.org/mcg.php“