First post, by Oerg866
I've been trying to get Shadows of the Empire to run on some of my older machines here, the subject in question is a PIII 933 on a BX board, 256MB and a SB Vibra 16C. Running Windows 98 SE stock. I'm trying a lot of different cards and the game just won't work properly.
The closest match to "proper" I was able to achieve was a Riva TNT2 PCI with drivers 6.13. Game runs okay, but oscillates between 60fps and 30fps (what it's supposed to run at) quite a lot, especially in higher resolutions.
The same drivers with a GeForce 2 GTS results in a black screen with hourglass cursor (can still move the cursor, but numlock is unresponsive.)
Running the Riva TNT2 with newer drivers makes it run increasingly worse. At first the menu and cutscenes start flickering, then at one point (I think it was post-12.xx drivers) it refuses to load textures completely.
Matrox Mystique has a lot of missing features. Game runs though.
ATI Rage Pro AGP 2X works, but lacks features and texture transparency and is quite slow at times.
Matrox cards like G450 and G550 have the same black screen with hourglass issue.
I've installed softice to figure out what's happening, it gets stuck in a loop of which the exit condition is that a register that's being shifted to the right stops being 0. That's not even physically possible which is a bit of a thinker. I've modified memory to nop out the JZ and it crashed straight to desktop. I've yet to find motivation to load up IDA to see where that code comes from but that just smells like BS to me. But this issue has been consistent across a lot of machines here.
Compare that to my i9 with a 980Ti running Windows 10, plop in the CD, install it (with the installshield replacement), runs right out of the box. No issues whatsoever, fixed at 30 fps regardless of monitor refresh rate or anything. Doesn't even complain about my two screens. I didn't even update it to version 1.1. It just *works*. I am flabbergasted.
Any help is appreciated.