Old Games and Windows XP

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Joined: 25 Jun 04
Posts: 8
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Subject: Old Games and Windows XP  
Posted: 4 Jul 2004 8:35PM  

About a year ago, I decided to give Windows 98 SE the middle finger. I had upgraded my primary machine to Windows XP sometime ago, but kept an old Cyrix 686 as a backup machine and for old games. After enjoying the peace and quiet of Windows XP (I know some of you will laugh at this statement, but I'll deal with that in another article later), Windows 98 SE became too much. I got myself a modern laptop and got rid of the backup machine.

Now, I was concerned I would have to give up some old favourite games. Fortunately, the situation was not as bad as I thought it would be. I only had to give up two or three I didn't care much for anyway. Here's what I did to get the rest of them working.

Pre-XP Windows Games
Most Windows games behaved fine for me. Some, like Battlezone, had a few quirks. You may find some of your older Windows games do the same. The solution may lie (as it did for Battlezone) in Windows XP's compatibility mode. Right click on the game's exe, choose properties and then compatibility. Tweak the settings until things run smooth or otherwise. If you have no luck, head to the publisher or designer's website. Odds are you'll find a fix or patch.

Now, let's deal with the old DOS stuff I rescued...

Blood and Shadow Warrior
Two of the three best of the approximately 1256 games made with the Build engine. Blood in particular I still have a great fondness for. Never has being evil been so good. The solutions lie on the Build XP site (Link). You'll need to download a couple of things, but once I did as it instructed, everything worked flawlessly. This site also contains info for Duke Nukem 3D, but instead of using it check below.

Duke Nukem 3D
Pulling a minor miracle out of their collective asses, 3D Realms released the Duke 3D source code about a year or so ago. Some ports have cropped up, the best and purest of which seems to be here - Link.

Rogue's great little Doom powered RPG has always had a special place in my heart, 85% of which is Blackbird's doing, but what are you gonna do? It ran on both my computers under Windows XP, but the audio sounded like a bad signal on a 1950s radio, and it chugged something awful, often reaching sub-XT speeds. Link - Download this little hacker program, copy it to the Strife directory and run it. The end result runs much better, but on my machines the sound is still pretty craptacular. It's better than nothing though. I tried various things with VDMSound (Link), but saw no recognisable improvement. You can either use the patch and VDM sound and get good speed with shitty sound, or use DOSBox (Link) and have good sound but comparitively poor speed.

Mortal Kombat Trilogy
Another old favorite from my childhood days, MK Trilogy is all the classic (Pre MK4) Mortal Kombat games crammed into one with the MK3 storyline. After a little searching, I found this Link. There is a link to an application patch for the game. It seems to kill the sound on my machines (CD audio works but no SFX) but again, it's better than nothing.

Doom, Ultimate Doom, Doom II, Final Doom, Heretic and Hexen
As with Duke 3D, the solution lies with ports. GG Inc recommends Eternity (Link), Doomsday (3D accelerated support for the Doom games, Heretic and Hexen downloadable at this Link) and ZDoom for the Doom games, Heretic and Hexen (Link).

Quake II
If you have the Asia-Pacific version of Quake II, you will find as I did that the installer incorrectly identifies your copy of XP as being North American and thus won't install. Don't panic - the installer is nothing but a glorified file copier. Go to your C drive in My Computer, make a folder for Quake II, go to your CD drive and click on the Install folder, then the Data folder. Select all the icons and copy them to the folder you made on your hard drive. The game should now run.

Last Edited on 4 Jul 2004 at 8:48PM by JoelMurdoch
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