Arthur's Knights with dgvoodoo

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Arthur's Knights with dgvoodoo

Postby Marian » 2017-10-14 @ 16:56

Hello everyone,

I am trying to get Arthur's Knights: Tales of Chivalry to run with dgvoodoo. The reason for my attempt is that someone with Windows 10 informed me that with dgvoodoo and the official patch for the game, it runs almost perfectly. This has been a notoriously difficult game to run even in its supported native environment and the only way I have been able to run it previously was with Virtual PC on my Windows 7 Home computer with Windows 98SE as the guest; it also involved enabling hardware virtualization in the BIOS. But I digress. :-)

Arthur's Knights uses DirectX 7. I chose the DirectX tab in dgvoodoo and also chose 3D accelerated video card. I left everything else alone (which is what the person mentioned above does).

I have installed Arthur's Knights and applied the patch. When I try to run the game through dgvoodoo, I can get as far as the main screen where you start a new game. After I select a new player and try to start the game proper, I get a black screen with an exe file has stopped working message. I am running Windows 7 Pro and my video card is a GeForce GT 730.

I would appreciate any advice/suggestions that anyone might have. Dgvoodoo looks like a great program, and I can't believe that I hadn't heard about it up until now.
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Re: Arthur's Knights with dgvoodoo

Postby ZellSF » 2017-10-19 @ 20:52

Using DxWnd's exception handler (and disabling it's DirectX hooking) gets me farther:
ARTHKNIA 2017-10-19 22-38-29-88.jpg
Not that it gets me that far, but it reveals that the game has some rendering errors that Dege might want to look at?

It also still crashes randomly. Why can't you get some more details out of that "someone with Windows 10"?
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Re: Arthur's Knights with dgvoodoo

Postby Marian » 2017-10-19 @ 21:24

The "someone with Windows 10" wasn't more forthcoming than that as to specifics: he merely stated Windows 10, official patch, and default dgvoodoo settings. I agree with you that it's somewhat unsatisfactory as a description and it would seem that some pertinent details must be missing. Unfortunately, that's all the information he seems able (or willing) to provide, so I have since moved on.

Interesting that you should mention DxWnd (and thank you for taking the time to post the screenshot). I also posted my question over on the DxWnd discussion forum and Gho is looking into it. If you care to follow the progress, it's near the top of the Discussion forum at the moment. He is evaluating the game through a virtual machine, Windows 10, and Windows 7. He's made some good progress in terms of identifying some of the problems and figuring out/contemplating possible fixes, but there's still work to be done, and he has stated that he will continue to investigate.

If Dege was willing to look into this as well, that would be great. Unfortunately thus far I haven't gotten anything apart from a black screen after choosing a player on the menu screen, so I am unable to provide any potentially useful screenshots.

I appreciate the reply.
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Re: Arthur's Knights with dgvoodoo

Postby Dege » 2017-11-04 @ 17:05

Yes, it crashes when I begin a new game (I also installed the patch from 2005).
As it turns out, the executable wants to use the 3DNow! instruction set. I think detection the CPU type is buggy somewhere but it isn't trivial to patch, needs more investigation.
(Or maybe it's a known problem about the game and there is a patch for that I'm not aware of?)
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Re: Arthur's Knights with dgvoodoo

Postby Marian » 2017-11-04 @ 17:54

Hey, Dege! Thank you for your reply.

No other official patches exist, as far as I know.

Having said that, I was given an unofficial Russian patch from the guy who said that he got it running on Windows 10 along with dgvoodoo. I tried the patch and it did nothing for me, but I have uploaded it here for your inspection. He said that the patch was designed for the following reasons:

The patch fixes the inability to run the game on CPUs younger than Pentium III, DgVoodoo fixes the game graphics broken on nVidia, and editing INI makes it possible to copy all the CDs to the hard drive as disk switching is broken in later Windows versions as well.


He also said the patch was created by:

a caring representative of the technical support of the Russian company that had translated the Arthur's Knights games.
He made those patches in 2003 when it became clear that Cryo is no more and Dreamcatcher won't do anything to help.


He also gave me a Russian patch for Arthur's Knights 2, as well as one for Odyssey: Search for Ulysses. His Arthur's Knights patches changed nothing for me, sadly, but as I said, I have uploaded the patch for AK1, just in case you are interested in taking a look at it.
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Arthur's Knights 1 patch
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Re: Arthur's Knights with dgvoodoo

Postby Dege » 2017-11-05 @ 14:35

The patch doesn't work for me either, it's unclear if it's for the Russian version of the game or was created by a Russian guy or both. :-D
Anyway, I think I have good news.

I struggled a lot with finding the places in the executable where CPU-type detection happens (CPUID instructions) and tried to figure out what flags the game relies on.
Since it's subtle a bit, I decided to check out the same points in the executable you attached to see what the guy modified. I found it, copied to my executable and whoa, it works.
At least, for me, on my Windows 10 CU machine.

So, what I did:
- Installed the original game
- Applied patch 1.4 from here http://patches-scrolls.de/patch/419/7/19938
- And patched that executable, here it is: http://dege.fw.hu/Patches/ArthurKnightsTalesOfChivalry_1_4_Eng_CPU_Patch.zip

Played the game a little at Bradwen's story and had no crashes at all. BUT, I don't know if the game has other problems beyond the CPU detection, like heap corruption and such. If it has then it may crash away somewhere.
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Re: Arthur's Knights with dgvoodoo

Postby Marian » 2017-11-05 @ 15:27

Well, I am absolutely astonished....and beyond excited about this!!! The game started right up for me on Windows 7. I *never* thought I would ever see anything but a black screen when starting the game. You are amazing! I am going to play the game today and see if I run into another crash.

Now, having said all of that, I have uploaded the Russian patch (from the same guy) that he also gave me for Arthur's Knights 2: Secrets of Merlin. Perhaps you could patch the exe file for this game as well? Arthur's Knights 1 and 2 are basically all one big game that was broken into two parts. I would so appreciate it if and when you found the time to do this. I have been trying to get these games to run on a newer OS natively for years (more than a decade, in fact) without success. This is like a miracle, really.

I can't thank you enough for giving this a shot. It is really appreciated.

And, just to add as an update: I have played Arthur's Knights 1 with this patch of yours now for about 2 hours so far today and it's looking good! No problems at all! Will keep you posted. I can't begin to describe to you how happy this has made me. :happy:
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Re: Arthur's Knights with dgvoodoo

Postby Dege » 2017-11-06 @ 08:54

Ok, I'm glad it works. BTW, yesterday I played the game up to Magovenium on Win 10 FCU and experienced no crash, worked like a charm.

Is there any official patch for AK2 I should apply before futher patching? I ask this because the plain game install went fine, but later it never finds CD2 when it asks for, no matter what (virtual) drive (first/last) I place it in.
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Re: Arthur's Knights with dgvoodoo

Postby Marian » 2017-11-06 @ 14:20

CD swapping with these games sometimes seems to bring its own set of problems with it. I saw a guy on YouTube saying he got the first game running in a virtual machine, it worked for a while and then the game started asking him to insert CD #1 when the CD was already in the drive. I never had that problem in a VM while using the CDs. I wouldn't expect that, though, when you are running the game off a virtual drive with no CDs. I remember a few crashes when I first played the game in Windows 98, when I had to swap CDs - but a second try always worked.

In regards to patches, there was an official patch for the second game, but as I recall (and Patches Scrolls confirms this), the patch was only for the French and UK releases of the game. If you had the North American Dreamcatcher/Adventure Company version, no official patch was needed/available.

I have uploaded the official European-release patch, just in case.

Thanks so much for your continued time and energy expended on this. As I said before, it really seems miraculous that the first game is working. There's a guy on YouTube with a funny video outlining how he tried running one of the games on four different computers that had all the listed system requirements and he couldn't get it working right on any of them...
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Re: Arthur's Knights with dgvoodoo

Postby Dege » 2017-11-06 @ 17:51

Thanks! That patch helped, now it found the CD's properly.
I have the French version, at least, according to the executable properties its language is French. The original installation has the exe with version number 4.48, the patch one is 4.54. The same as the one in the AK1 patch 1.4.
So, I think the point is to have the executables with version 4.54 in both games, that's the newest build.

However if something turns out, like games with different languages have different executables, just let me know and I patch them too.
The CPU detection part is pretty the same for all, so now that I know what to search for and how to modify it, I can do that easily.
Here is my patch for AK2: http://dege.fw.hu/Patches/ArthurKnightsTheSecretOfMerlin_v454_CPU_Patch.zip

I think I'm going to put it in the Patches section on my web page.
Also, the game is very cool. Maybe it's just me, but it resembles Kingst Quest 8 which I like too and played through earlier. Adventures with knigths, fairies, witches, etc. :-D
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Re: Arthur's Knights with dgvoodoo

Postby Marian » 2017-11-07 @ 00:59

I am glad that you like the game! It's always been one of my favorites. I too like King's Quest 8; in fact, I was just playing it a few days ago. :happy:

I have the North American release of Arthur's Knights 2 and this version apparently was released with the official patch already applied, so I just used your exe file and nothing else.

The game is working!!! I so appreciate what you have done!

I will be testing both games for the next couple of weeks or so, and if I have any issues to report, I will mention them here. Fantastic work!! :happy:
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Re: Arthur's Knights with dgvoodoo

Postby Marian » 2017-11-12 @ 00:45

Dege, I wanted to give you an update on the Arthur's Knights games. I have spent all of my gaming time playing them the last several days, and I can tell you that your patches along with dg voodoo have not only enabled me to play them but that they also run much better than they did when I played them many year ago on my Windows 98 computer. No glitches, crashes, or freezes; they run as smooth as butter. Amazing stuff, and I am enjoying the heck out of them - I never thought I would see the day. :happy:

Now, having said that, I also have two other Russian patches that were developed by the same guy who did the patches for Arthur's Knights, who was apparently associated with Nival Interactive in Russia. He developed these two patches for the same problems that the two Arthur's Knights games have, and I am thinking that it is entirely possible that you might be able to tweak them so that they would work on modern systems along with dg voodoo. The two games that I have patches for are both Cryo games, just like Arthur's Knights, and they were released within the same two years give or take as Arthur's Knights. The two games are The New Adventures of the Time Machine and Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses. It would be great if tweaked patches could be released for these as well, and I know there are people that would appreciate this. Yes, these games aren't as well known as many games, but the people who like them, really like them! :lol:

Please let me know if you would be interested in taking a look at these Russian patches, and if so, whether or not I should start a new thread or if it's okay to discuss it here.
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Re: Arthur's Knights with dgvoodoo

Postby Dege » 2017-11-14 @ 13:05

Cool, it's good to hear that. :cool:
I think I'll play through them some day. :)

For the 2 other games, I'll first check out myself how they behaves by default. I hope all is needed is the same patching as for AK series.
Plz don't open a new thread for them for the time being. If they suffer from the same problem and I can patch them, I'll modify the title of this thread instead.
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Re: Arthur's Knights with dgvoodoo

Postby Marian » 2017-11-14 @ 13:49

Sounds good. :happy:
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Re: Arthur's Knights with dgvoodoo

Postby Dege » 2017-11-14 @ 18:27

Just tried The Time Machine and it crashes for the same reason as AK's (3DNow instruction set).
A question I forgot to ask: is there any needed/available official patches for TM and Odyssey I should install?
I didn't find anything on the net, aside from some 'CD-check' fixes.
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Re: Arthur's Knights with dgvoodoo

Postby Marian » 2017-11-14 @ 19:33

Patches Scrolls has two patches for Time Machine, one of them being the CD-check fix. The other patch (1.20) appears to apply to both the North American and European versions of the game; I don't know what exactly it fixes; the description I found says that it "improves game play."

http://patches-scrolls.de/patch/4390/7/

As far as Odyssey goes, I am not finding any official patches for the game.
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Re: Arthur's Knights with dgvoodoo

Postby Dege » 2017-11-14 @ 20:23

Thanks!

TimeMachine: Its installer must be run under Win98 compatibility mode to avoid the error message at the end. The CD-check fix patches the game to v1.23.
When I installed the game it was v1.23 out of the box, so I guess the patches were preinstalled.

So, I patched the exe for v1.23, and the game now starts, but I found an additional place in the exe that I don't know if it needs patching. Could you attach the Russian patches plz to compare the two?

Some observations (Win 10, FCU):

- The movies are a bit jerky.
- I cannot save a game, dunno why is that, as if the Save button were disabled.
- If the resolution selected in the game and the one dgVoodoo forces to are far from each other then z-buffer glitches appear; the larger scale factor the more glitchy.
Not unbearable but annoying a little bit. But this game fortunately supports much larger resolutions than 640x480 and 800x600. It's subservient to choose one that is closest to the forced one (or disable resolution forcing of dgVoodoo).
- When subtitles are displayed during a conversation then frame rate drops. The drop degree depends on the resolution (the larger resolution the larger degree) because the game uses GetDC/ReleaseDC for writing texts into the backbuffer which isn't an efficient technology, at least in dgVoodoo (however the text looks sharp and beautiful in return). It's not too disturbing though, can be liven with. I didn't even noticed it first at 1920x1440.

Anyway, the patched exe: http://dege.fw.hu/Patches/TimeQuake_1_23_Patch.zip
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Re: Arthur's Knights with dgvoodoo

Postby Marian » 2017-11-14 @ 20:35

Here is the uploaded Russian patch for the Time Machine.

I will keep the Russian patch for Odyssey on stand-by for now...just let me know.

Thanks so much, yet again, for looking into this.
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Re: Arthur's Knights with dgvoodoo

Postby Dege » 2017-11-19 @ 10:10

Thanks, I've modified one byte ( :D ) in the TimeQuake patch and reuploaded it.
Also, I made the patch for Odyssey.

TimeQuake: http://dege.fw.hu/Patches/TimeQuake_1_23_Patch.zip
Odyssey: http://dege.fw.hu/Patches/Odyssey-TheSearchForUlysses_Patch.zip
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Re: Arthur's Knights with dgvoodoo

Postby Marian » 2017-11-19 @ 15:25

Fantastic!

And one byte modified, indeed. :-D

I will experiment with both games this week and let you know. So I guess this means that it's not necessary for you to look at the Russian patch for Odyssey, then?

It's absolutely splendid that these games can now be resurrected and played by those who have been wishing they could!

And by the way, purely in the interests of accuracy, I read the description in your Patches section for Arthur's Knights and, well, I am female. :)

Many, many thanks! :cool:
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