I did the installation from scratch on a Xenial + MATE box, unzipping all my archives as before, and I couldn't believe my luck! The game launched, with video and everything! I didn't have sound, but nixing its built-in SDL and installing libSDL1.2:i386 got that going. I haven't tested to see if it's playing nicely with my system mixer, but I was too excited to worry about that. That is..until I tried to open the sound menu to mute the music and..segmentation fault.
Okay. I'll just take care of that in the config file later. How about graphics options? Oh, hey, that menu loads. Maybe it's a sound issue. How about advanced graphics..segmentation fault.
Okay. Let's try connecting to a world. Multiplayer looks good. Wait for the timeout as is customary..join internet game..segmentation fault.
Okay. What about single player? New game, and..weird purple screen telling me that the UI map wasn't found and with no way out. Send sigterm from another session, get a prompt for whether or not I really want to quit, say yes, and..segmentation fault.
I don't even..what? I'm assuming I'm missing a dependency or something, but all the package names have changed since any tutorials were written, and running strace doesn't appear to point to any files that weren't found.