VOGONS


First post, by bloodem

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Hey, guys!
I'm having a weird issue with Need for speed 3 under Windows 98 SE, on two PCs with the following specs:

PC1
CPU: Pentium 3 Tualatin 1.4 GHz
MB: Gigabyte GA-6IEM
RAM: 512 MB
Video card: Gainward GeForce 4 Ti 4200 (tried multiple older/newer drivers including 45.23, without luck)

PC2
CPU: Core 2 Duo E4700
MB: Asrock 775i65g
RAM: 1GB (with R. Loew's mempatch)
Video card: GeForce FX 5900XT (tried only Detonator 56.64, since I'm sure other drivers will behave the same)

Basically, on a fresh Windows 98 SE install (just drivers), I install the game and immediately launch it (without running 3DSetup). The game starts in software mode, menus work OK, but when I hit "Race", I get the loading screen and once it reaches 100%, the game crashes and I'm back on the desktop (no errors, at least none displayed or written to any file that I could find).
If I run 3DSetup and switch to the Direct3D Device 1, it's even worse: the game crashes before ever reaching the menu.

Could it be that both the Tualatin, not to mention the Core 2 Duo, are way too fast for it and some CPU speed related bug is triggered? Anybody had a similar problem and managed to solve it? I also tried searching for the latest official patch but didn't have any luck, all old URLs are dead, but it probably wouldn't solve my issue anyway.

The funny thing is that I can play the game just fine on Windows 10 64 bit with the modern patch (but that patch does solve A LOT of bugs and also makes it compatible with modern systems).
Still, I remember playing this game in 1999 on a K6-2 500 with Riva TNT2 M64 and after that, in 2001 / 2002, on an AMD Thunderbird 1333 MHz with a GeForce 3 Ti 200 and it worked just fine... so it really bugs me and I want to see it run on Win98 😁

Reply 1 of 20, by derSammler

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Without the modern patch, NFS 3 (and 4) are very hard to run on any non-supported graphics card. I love NFS 3 and 4 and went thru that trouble many times... I've ended up using the modern patch even on old systems, unless there's a Voodoo card installed. For NFS 3, you can use the trash drivers that come with the modern patch for NFS 4. They are newer and work better.

http://retro-net.de/blog.html

Reply 3 of 20, by Fujoshi-hime

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I found this solution worked for High Stakes on my X800 powered WinME machine:

http://machf.tripod.com/NFS/nfshs.htm

You're basically copying the d3da.dll file from a NEWER NFS game, swapping it in, and somehow that works. I never rested it on Hot Pursuit however.

My guess is how it works is the DLL supports the GPUS and is more or less the same across multiple versions of NFS but with additional GPU support, so you can just copy one from a newer game to an older and it works.

So I'd start by just copying the d3da.dll you have from High Stakes and replacing the one from Hot Pursuit. (Yadda yadda yadda always backup files before replacing them)

Reply 4 of 20, by foil_fresh

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^ you can take it from the NFS Porsche Challenge install too

K6-2+ 550 / Riva 128 / HOT591-p / AWE64 / YMF744 || P3 866@950 MHz / SY-7VBA / Voodoo 3000 / Turtle Beach Montego
Athlon XP 2200+ / SL-75FRN2-L / Radeon 9600 XT / Audigy Platinum eX / Aureal 2 || P4 3.2GHz / RIP MOBO / Geforce 6800 GT / Audigy

Reply 5 of 20, by xjas

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Are there different retail versions of NFS3 floating around? I installed it off an original CD on fast P3 with a Quadro FX1000 (~GF FX5800) running Windows XP a while ago and I was able to play through the whole game with no issues. Don't remember what display driver I used but it wasn't anything "period correct." I've also run it in Virtualbox on a Core2Duo using software rendering and it seemed to work fine.

selected builds & megathreads { Quick & Clean | Like a Hipster | Only One 'T' | In a Lunchbox | IT IS THE NINETIES }

Reply 6 of 20, by Fujoshi-hime

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xjas wrote on 2020-01-28, 00:40:

Are there different retail versions of NFS3 floating around? I installed it off an original CD on fast P3 with a Quadro FX1000 (~GF FX5800) running Windows XP a while ago and I was able to play through the whole game with no issues. Don't remember what display driver I used but it wasn't anything "period correct." I've also run it in Virtualbox on a Core2Duo using software rendering and it seemed to work fine.

I remember a long time ago, around 2005 or so, running High Stakes on an X800 without needing to do anything 'funky' but I'm also certian that I pirated it back then and who knows what was patched and stuffed in to those pirated copies along side a NoCD crack. Where as today I have retail CDs via flea market finds.

Reply 7 of 20, by Bige4u

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As you can see, i run a similar win98 system in my sig, zero issues even with NF3 installed along with other games... currently using v6.3.0.1007 intel chipset driver and v28.32 nvidia driver with great results. GL

Pentium3 1400s / Asus Tusl2-c / Kingston 512mb pc133 cl2 / WD 20gb 7200rpm / GeForce3 Ti500 64mb / SB Live! 5.1 / 16x dvdrom / 3.5'' Floppy / Enermax 420w / Win98se

Reply 8 of 20, by Fujoshi-hime

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Oh, I should add something, using the D3D file from newer NFS games seems to unlock additional resolutions. I'm using one from NFS Porshe Unleased in my High Stakes, so as to enable 1600x1200 support. Since I'm using a 1600x1200 TFT, this is kinda an important thing to me.

Reply 9 of 20, by bloodem

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Thanks, guys! I will try all the solutions provided above and get back once I have something working.
In the meantime, I managed to get my hands on a Voodoo 3 PCI card, which I will test as soon as I have the time. Maybe I'll have more luck with it.

Reply 10 of 20, by bloodem

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Well... I officially give up. I tested NFS3 with/without patches (not the modern patch, though - I use this one only on Windows 10), tried it on multiple motherboards (with different chipsets like 440BX, 815, 865), using various graphics cards (GeForce 4 Ti, GeForce FX 5900XT, Voodoo 3 2000 PCI, Voodoo 3 3000 AGP). Best case scenario the menu works fine, however, when trying to race, the game freezes or crashes back to the desktop after the loading screen.
The funny thing is that I specifically remember having these same issues 20 years ago, but at one point I found a permanent fix... Unfortunately I can't remember how I fixed it 🙁

Reply 11 of 20, by Bige4u

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Hard to believe you are having that one issue with so many different pieces of hardware, the ONLY thing left to ask... what PSU are you using?

Frequent crashes and freezing, especially under load (gaming), is usually a telltale sign of a bad unit or else it's flat out not providing the steady/reliable power your system requires.

Pentium3 1400s / Asus Tusl2-c / Kingston 512mb pc133 cl2 / WD 20gb 7200rpm / GeForce3 Ti500 64mb / SB Live! 5.1 / 16x dvdrom / 3.5'' Floppy / Enermax 420w / Win98se

Reply 12 of 20, by bloodem

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Not sure why you think the PSUs are to blame... but anyway, I have multiple computers with multiple PSUs, all very decent (two of the PCs - the Tualatin 1.4 and Core 2 Duo - actually have absolutely new, one week old Seasonic S12II-520 PSUs).
Also... as I mentioned before, this issue only happens with NFS3. Any other game, test, works flawlessly (including NFS Porsche, NFS High Stakes, Turok, Incoming, Quake 2, Quake 3, Nocturne, 3DMark 2000/2001/03 etc).
Also tried fresh Win98SE installations with DirectX 7.0a, DirectX 8.1, DirectX 9.0c... The behavior is the same on all PC configurations: can't get past the loading screen after hitting "Race". The problem is without a doubt specific to NFS3 (by the way, I'm using my original NFS3 CD that I bought in 1999 / 2000 or so, which is still in a great shape, the NFS3 installation works perfectly).

Reply 13 of 20, by derSammler

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Use the modern patch or a 3dfx Voodoo1/2, that's the issue. I can tell you for sure that the game won't work otherwise. But that was already my very first answer anyway. You may also have luck with the nGlide wrapper.

http://retro-net.de/blog.html

Reply 14 of 20, by bloodem

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Yes, I know I can install the modern patch, use nGlide, etc. I actually have it working perfectly like this on my modern PC (Windows 10 @ 2560 x 1440 resolution).
However, I know for a fact that I was able to make the game run on GeForce 3 back in 2001. And, of course, at that time there was no modern patch (and probably no nGlide either, at least I didn't know of it).

Reply 17 of 20, by bloodem

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Well, here's a good one...
I thought I'd try something different, so I benchmarked an ATI Radeon 9600XT using the Catalyst 6.2 drivers on Windows 98 (never actually owned an ATI card before, except for ATI Rage II 4 MB - probably one of the worst video cards to ever hit the market...).
And, just for fun, I also installed NFS 3... again. Lo and behold, it worked like a charm, game loaded, everything working perfectly (albeit, at a max 800 x 600 resolution when configured on Direct3D) 😀 No patches, no nothing, just a clean NFS3 install!
I'm speechless, especially since ATI is not exactly known to be as compatible as an nVidia or especially a Voodoo card.
I guess it's just one of those great mysteries of the universe... 😀

Last edited by bloodem on 2020-02-28, 19:35. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 18 of 20, by maximus

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Not sure if I've ever encountered your specific issue (crash before menu), but I have an original Need for Speed III CD and have gotten the game to work on a number of retro systems. I probably used a newer d3da.dll file every time, though.

Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit, Need for Speed: High Stakes, and Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed each has its own version of this file, plus there's a patched version of the Porsche Unleashed file that hides 16-bit color modes (needed with some video cards, e.g., GeForce4 Ti). I've had good luck with the Porsche Unleashed versions; in fact, I always use one of these files with Need for Speed: High Stakes. This seems to solve a lot of that game's graphics woes.

All four files are available here. It's possible that one of the Porsche Unleashed versions will fix the problem you're seeing.

PCGames9505

Reply 19 of 20, by GokuSS4

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Maybe this is for you:

https://github.com/Keiiko/SetupMP
https://github.com/Keiiko/OpenNFS
https://veg.by/en/projects/nfs3/
https://veg.by/en/projects/nfs4/

😀

Win10 Intel Core i5-4960K | ASRock Z87M | 24GB DDR3-1600 | GTX1070
WinXP Intel Core i3-3220 | ASRock H77 Pro4-M | 8GB DDR3-1600 | 7950GT
in future WinME Intel Core2Duo E5800 | ASRock 775i65G R3.0 | 512MB DDR1-400 | ?