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First post, by Art

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The game Last Express requires Sound Blaster 16 to play its sound. Is it possible to modify it to use an 8-bit Sound Blaster?

Reply 1 of 6, by carlostex

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Don't think so, the game might be using 16bit samples. What i don't understand is why they didn't add other 16bit cards as options, instead locking it out to only SB16.

Reply 2 of 6, by Art

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So probably it would be necessary to create a configuration program to choose other 16-bit sound cards, which would then modify some game file.

Concerning 8-bit cards, what about games which use 8-bit and 16-bit cards? Do they use 8-bit and 16-bit samples, or do they use 8-bit samples for both cards, or do they use 16-bit samples for both cards (with some trick on 8-bit cards)?

Reply 3 of 6, by Rawit

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According to Moby Games it supports Sound Blaster 16 and Sound Blaster Pro but I see lots of mentions of audio trouble with people running the GOG version. Review pages mention "Sound Blaster 16 or 100% 16-bit compatible.

On DOSBox.com I saw a snippet of the config file:

[DIGITAL]
DeviceName = Sound Blaster 16/AWE32
DeviceIRQ = 5
DeviceDMA = 5
DevicePort = 0x220
DeviceID = 0xe018
DeviceMonoID = 0xe017
Stereo = 0
TimerRate = 60
Flip = 0

It might be using HMI audio drivers as they have a similar config. You might get away with changing the config manually and/or add HMI driver files. It's a long shot though and I have no idea what happens if a Sound Blaster Pro gets offered 16-bit files.

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Reply 5 of 6, by Rawit

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That config file belongs to another game, my bad. I landed on that page through a search engine, assuming it was the correct title. When I check the manual I see this:

"Some sound cards may be advertised as being 100% Sound Blastercompatible but still may not work with The Last Express. This is because many 16-bit sound cards only emulate 8-bit Sound Blaster cards. The LastExpress requires a 100% Sound Blaster 16 compatible card."

That with the absence of a config file and the DOS version seemingly having no setup... I don't think it's possible. Perhaps you can try to extract the HPF files to see if there is anything else to try.

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Reply 6 of 6, by Oetker

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Art wrote on 2021-02-16, 19:42:

Concerning 8-bit cards, what about games which use 8-bit and 16-bit cards? Do they use 8-bit and 16-bit samples, or do they use 8-bit samples for both cards, or do they use 16-bit samples for both cards (with some trick on 8-bit cards)?

There are games that use 8 bit samples on 16 bit cards, such as Duke3D. I'm not sure if it always mixes in 16 bits internally, but with 16 bit cards it will output a 16 bit mix.
See A List of DOS Games with 16-Bit Sound, although that thread doesn't mention the Last Express.
I don't have first-hand experience with a game that comes with 16 bit samples yet supports, and plays them on, 8 bit cards, but I don't doubt those exist; again, the game might be mixing with 16 bit resolution internally.