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Difficult games to get working

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Reply 20 of 78, by DataPro

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I agree about Turrican II

I didn't succeed with Synnergist. I've never found how to run the game.

Wing Commander 1&2 were such a pain with Pentium.

Sam&Max CD can't work with general Midi and voices (floppy version is working).

Legend entertainment games like Companion of Xanth or Super-hero League of Hoboken can't work with Midi expander connected to soundblaster.
Midi is hardcoded to IRQ2 only.

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Reply 21 of 78, by pixel_workbench

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Oetker wrote on 2020-08-14, 05:36:

Lithtech games and Dark Engine games, although there's an improved engine for the second nowadays.
I remember having a lot of trouble getting NOLF2 to work even a few years after its release.

I got NOLF to run on a crappy S3 Virge, and it even had textures and got more than 2fps. Blood2 also ran on some craptastic hardware. I'm actually impressed with Lithtech engine games tollerance for crap HW.

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Reply 22 of 78, by Riikcakirds

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Bart Simpson vs the space mutants
On a 386, 486 or Pentium, speed doesn't matter, nor dos config or vga card type. Runs up to the copy protection screen, enter code and it black screens and freezes the pc. This is nothing to do with the copy protection because even the wrong code should take you to the title screen. Very difficult to get working on real hardware.

Nick Faldo's golf, freezes at title screen on Pentium 90 or faster.

Reply 23 of 78, by creepingnet

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A new one is Ultima 7 under FreeDOS.....not sure if it's Himemx or some other component but even if I have 570K free conventional RAM in FreeDOS it refuses to run stating I need 550K to load it with SB (rolls eyes). Might just use Exult if I can figure out how to get HX to run it properly.

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Reply 24 of 78, by Jorpho

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creepingnet wrote on 2020-12-23, 22:27:

A new one is Ultima 7 under FreeDOS.....

Not sure why you call that "new" when it's been mentioned several times in this thread already. UMBPCI is a popular means of getting enough free RAM without getting in the way of its memory manager, provided you have a compatible motherboard.

Reply 25 of 78, by kolderman

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There's a bunch of early-mid 2000s games that are very difficult to get running on Win7 and above due to various CD copy protection mechanisms which simply don't work anymore. Just look at the GOG and Steam forums for people complaining about heaps of games that are hard to run today for various reasons.

Reply 26 of 78, by clueless1

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Links LS for DOS required a minimum of 800x600x15bpp, VESA compatibility (either native or with the bundled UNIVBE), 12MB RAM, and 486 dx2 66. Many graphics cards of the time had special instructions to get working with the game, documented in the README file. The steep screen resolution requirement also meant some peoples' monitors would be incompatible with the game.

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Reply 27 of 78, by creepingnet

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Jorpho wrote on 2020-12-24, 00:48:
creepingnet wrote on 2020-12-23, 22:27:

A new one is Ultima 7 under FreeDOS.....

Not sure why you call that "new" when it's been mentioned several times in this thread already. UMBPCI is a popular means of getting enough free RAM without getting in the way of its memory manager, provided you have a compatible motherboard.

It's New To Me!

My situation is different and a weird one - I was talking about getting the error message "550K is needed" when I have 570K free. That just makes little to no sense regardless what memory management system you are using.

Not to veer off track but this is the reason I don't contribute much anymore to online communities. People get so bloody touchy just because people don't read every last item in a thread. Not everyone has hours to dig through a thread to find out if their issue has been resolved. Actually a lot of people - like myself - do a lot of our reading and posting, between more important things. No offense but you came off as kind of snyde here.

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Reply 28 of 78, by Jorpho

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creepingnet wrote on 2020-12-24, 18:22:
Jorpho wrote on 2020-12-24, 00:48:
creepingnet wrote on 2020-12-23, 22:27:

A new one is Ultima 7 under FreeDOS.....

Not sure why you call that "new" when it's been mentioned several times in this thread already. UMBPCI is a popular means of getting enough free RAM without getting in the way of its memory manager, provided you have a compatible motherboard.

It's New To Me!

I presumed that since you were familiar with Exult that you might have been aware of how people have been struggling with U7 for the last twenty years.

People get so bloody touchy just because people don't read every last item in a thread.

The thread isn't even two pages long yet.

No offense but you came off as kind of snyde here.

Welp, shame on me for trying to suggest a common solution that has previously been reported as useful.

Reply 29 of 78, by Riikcakirds

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Another difficult game to get running on real hardware, Rolling Ronnie. Again it is not a speed sensitive game, doesn't work on a 386, 486 etc with or without sound set up. With ISA, PCI or AGP video card.

Reply 30 of 78, by red_avatar

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Having added another retro PC to my line up, I'm in the process of picking which ones I'll keep for "daily" use. The idea is to be able to play virtually every game under the sun from 1988 to 199X for DOS at a playable speed with sound with a select few systems.

Now, as you can imagine the speed part is the most crucial. Some games are rather finnicky - take Ultima VII for example - so ideally I'd like to test as many games as possible that are known to be sensitive to certain hardware, speed issues, sound issues, etc. This will help me decide which machines will be most important to keep plugged in so any help with this is very welcome!

Retro game fanatic.
IBM PS1 386SX25 - 4MB
IBM Aptiva 486SX33 - 8MB - 2GB CF - SB16
IBM PC350 P233MMX - 64MB - 32GB SSD - AWE64 - Voodoo2
PIII600 - 320MB - 480GB SSD - SB Live! - GF4 Ti 4200
i5-2500k - 3GB - SB Audigy 2 - HD 4870

Reply 31 of 78, by dionb

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Ultima 7 is definitely up there with the most challenging of them, but most other Origin games from the same period (Wing Commander, Ultima Underworld) were almost as bad, both in terms of conventional memory requirements and speed sensitivity.

Reply 33 of 78, by red_avatar

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dionb wrote on 2021-01-24, 19:35:

Ultima 7 is definitely up there with the most challenging of them, but most other Origin games from the same period (Wing Commander, Ultima Underworld) were almost as bad, both in terms of conventional memory requirements and speed sensitivity.

UW1 & 2 are working fine on all PCs I tried luckily but yeah, Ultima VII so far ONLY runs correctly on my 486SX because I can't use cache-disabling tools (Ultima VII seems to ignore that). You're right though: Origin games are very sensitive to speeds.

To add to my own list: Delphine games with mouse interface. Cruise for a Corpse, Operation Stealth & Future Wars especially - these games are very sensitive to both mouse speeds AND mouse drivers. CTMOUSE does NOT work properly. I've had this problem on multiple PCs with multiple mice (Logitec & IBM) and got the same problem: the mouse suddenly becomes ultra sensitive and moves to the edges of the screen.

Retro game fanatic.
IBM PS1 386SX25 - 4MB
IBM Aptiva 486SX33 - 8MB - 2GB CF - SB16
IBM PC350 P233MMX - 64MB - 32GB SSD - AWE64 - Voodoo2
PIII600 - 320MB - 480GB SSD - SB Live! - GF4 Ti 4200
i5-2500k - 3GB - SB Audigy 2 - HD 4870

Reply 34 of 78, by red_avatar

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KT7AGuy wrote on 2021-01-24, 20:01:
A few that I can remember as being difficult to run: […]
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A few that I can remember as being difficult to run:

Jane's ATF
Air Power
Noctropolis

Falcon 3.0 is also very hardware-sensitive.

Lots of sensitive flightsims - I'll give this a try. Noctropolis I haven't had many problems with myself but it may be sensitive to type of VESA chip or card - all my DOS PCs use Cirrus Logic which is generally very compatible.

Retro game fanatic.
IBM PS1 386SX25 - 4MB
IBM Aptiva 486SX33 - 8MB - 2GB CF - SB16
IBM PC350 P233MMX - 64MB - 32GB SSD - AWE64 - Voodoo2
PIII600 - 320MB - 480GB SSD - SB Live! - GF4 Ti 4200
i5-2500k - 3GB - SB Audigy 2 - HD 4870

Reply 35 of 78, by Cyberdyne

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In my experience Cutemouse is a nice "cute" little program, but if you want best compatibility use Microsoft Mouse driver Version 8.20. It really works with everything. Jut try to load it in UMB if possible, because yes, it is a memory hog, a compatible memory hog.

Oh... my two sents.

Z aka. Zed crashes sometimes, tried different version and different machines. Still random crashes.

Chasm the Rift sometimes in some machines the display goes blank. When real gameplay starts.

Have not gotten to run DreamWeb on real hardware, well have not tried hard enough.

In the other hand I have always loved Apogee and ID software games, they will work on everything. Ok you need to TSR patch Biomenace, but thats it.

Last edited by Cyberdyne on 2021-01-27, 06:16. Edited 1 time in total.

I am aroused about any X86 motherboard that has full functional ISA slot. I think i have problem. Not really into that original (Turbo) XT,286,386 and CGA/EGA stuff. So just a DOS nut.

Reply 36 of 78, by red_avatar

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Cyberdyne wrote on 2021-01-25, 09:26:
In my experience Cutemouse is a nice "cute" little program, but if you want best compatibility use Microsoft Mouse driver Versio […]
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In my experience Cutemouse is a nice "cute" little program, but if you want best compatibility use Microsoft Mouse driver Version 8.20. It really works with everything. Jut try to load it in UMB if possible, because yes, it is a memory hog, a compatible memory hog.

Oh... my two sents.

Z aka. Zed crashes sometimes, tried different version and different machines. Still random crashes.

Chasm the Rift sometimes in some machines the display goes blank. When real gameplay starts.

Have not gotten to run DreamWeb on real hardware, well have not tried hard enough.

In te other hand I have always loved Apogee and ID software games, they will work on everything. Ok you need to TSR patch Biomenace, but thats it.

It's interesting to see what games cause problems for different people - some hardware/software I never deviate from so I never encounter certain problems. For example, I always use DOS 6.22 and I always use Creative Sound Blaster sound cards. The minute I tried a different card, I ran into tons of issues so I went back to Creative. Dreamweb for example was never a problem for me and I don't recall Chasm being a problem either.

Another thing I noticed, is that some problems are indicative of the abandonware versions floating around. Some of these versions stem from way back to the original release where the crack was sloppy or the version cracked was not the final released version (it was common for review copies to end up in the piracy scene). The UFO Enemy Unknown version that a lot of sites host, has sound issues yet when I install from my original floppies or CD I don't have such an issue. Z as well: the abandonware version had tons of stuff ripped and I noticed this caused instability but the original CD version is solid as a rock. So if you can, try the original CD first (archive.org has most CD images).

Retro game fanatic.
IBM PS1 386SX25 - 4MB
IBM Aptiva 486SX33 - 8MB - 2GB CF - SB16
IBM PC350 P233MMX - 64MB - 32GB SSD - AWE64 - Voodoo2
PIII600 - 320MB - 480GB SSD - SB Live! - GF4 Ti 4200
i5-2500k - 3GB - SB Audigy 2 - HD 4870

Reply 37 of 78, by foil_fresh

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red_avatar wrote on 2021-01-25, 13:29:
Cyberdyne wrote on 2021-01-25, 09:26:
In my experience Cutemouse is a nice "cute" little program, but if you want best compatibility use Microsoft Mouse driver Versio […]
Show full quote

In my experience Cutemouse is a nice "cute" little program, but if you want best compatibility use Microsoft Mouse driver Version 8.20. It really works with everything. Jut try to load it in UMB if possible, because yes, it is a memory hog, a compatible memory hog.

Oh... my two sents.

Z aka. Zed crashes sometimes, tried different version and different machines. Still random crashes.

Chasm the Rift sometimes in some machines the display goes blank. When real gameplay starts.

Have not gotten to run DreamWeb on real hardware, well have not tried hard enough.

In te other hand I have always loved Apogee and ID software games, they will work on everything. Ok you need to TSR patch Biomenace, but thats it.

It's interesting to see what games cause problems for different people - some hardware/software I never deviate from so I never encounter certain problems. For example, I always use DOS 6.22 and I always use Creative Sound Blaster sound cards. The minute I tried a different card, I ran into tons of issues so I went back to Creative. Dreamweb for example was never a problem for me and I don't recall Chasm being a problem either.

Another thing I noticed, is that some problems are indicative of the abandonware versions floating around. Some of these versions stem from way back to the original release where the crack was sloppy or the version cracked was not the final released version (it was common for review copies to end up in the piracy scene). The UFO Enemy Unknown version that a lot of sites host, has sound issues yet when I install from my original floppies or CD I don't have such an issue. Z as well: the abandonware version had tons of stuff ripped and I noticed this caused instability but the original CD version is solid as a rock. So if you can, try the original CD first (archive.org has most CD images).

what kinds of sound issues are you talking about in xcom? the bug where there's no alien death sound sometimes? i've used a whole bunch of versions/releases:

-a few warez copies (version 1 and a later release)
-cd image from a standalone cdrom release
- I have the unknown terror big box (ufo and tftd on one cd)
- as well as primarily using the steam version as it's got the video/intro files baked into the hdd install. this is the latest version, 1.4 i think? it also has the xcom gold win32 executable that irons out a few bugs and has awe32 support for the dos build
- i think ive tried the gog one, not sure.

and tbh i dont know what version is the buggy one, ha.

Reply 38 of 78, by red_avatar

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foil_fresh wrote on 2021-01-25, 14:27:
what kinds of sound issues are you talking about in xcom? the bug where there's no alien death sound sometimes? i've used a whol […]
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what kinds of sound issues are you talking about in xcom? the bug where there's no alien death sound sometimes? i've used a whole bunch of versions/releases:

-a few warez copies (version 1 and a later release)
-cd image from a standalone cdrom release
- I have the unknown terror big box (ufo and tftd on one cd)
- as well as primarily using the steam version as it's got the video/intro files baked into the hdd install. this is the latest version, 1.4 i think? it also has the xcom gold win32 executable that irons out a few bugs and has awe32 support for the dos build
- i think ive tried the gog one, not sure.

and tbh i dont know what version is the buggy one, ha.

It's a version I found on several abandonware sites back in the day - the sound is there, but it's very picky about when it plays music. Perhaps it's "hardwired" to a certain IRQ setting since it works fine in DOSBOX but works on none of my actual machines (which all use IRQ 5).

Retro game fanatic.
IBM PS1 386SX25 - 4MB
IBM Aptiva 486SX33 - 8MB - 2GB CF - SB16
IBM PC350 P233MMX - 64MB - 32GB SSD - AWE64 - Voodoo2
PIII600 - 320MB - 480GB SSD - SB Live! - GF4 Ti 4200
i5-2500k - 3GB - SB Audigy 2 - HD 4870

Reply 39 of 78, by Jorpho

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In addition to what has been mentioned, Zone 66 and Beneath a Steel Sky come to mind. (Beneath a Steel Sky runs perfectly in ScummVM, of course.)

Jazz Jackrabbit and Commander Keen seem to trip people up fairly frequently, but they worked well enough back in the day. Likewise, Lemmings 2 might be worth mentioning due to its sensitive copy-protection scheme – but it was fine when it was released.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2021-01-27, 04:09. Edited 1 time in total.