First post, by Joseph_Joestar
The purpose of this thread is to document and test games which run under Win9x and have native surround sound support. To be specific, I'm referring to games which natively play audio on more than just 2 speakers (not including the subwoofer) and can be installed on either Windows 95/98/ME. So we're looking for native 4.0, 4.1, 5.1 (or better) speaker support in Win9x era games, without using any third-party modifications, unofficial fan patches etc. I'm mostly interested in games released between 1995 and 2001, but later games can be listed as well, provided that they can be installed on Win9x. Lastly, any audio expanding techniques (such as Creative's CMSS) must be turned off in order for these findings to be relevant.
It's easiest to test this on Audigy 2 and Audigy 2 ZS cards, since they support 5.1 (or higher) surround sound out of the box and have an option in their driver settings to completely turn off CMSS. Audigy 1 cards can be used as well, but only if they use ZS drivers. This is because the stock Audigy 1 drivers (from the install CD) don't provide an option to disable CMSS and it's turned on by default. The situation is similar with SBLive cards, which automatically expand stereo sources to surround, without offering an option to disable this behavior.
In order to correctly set up your Audigy card for testing this, a few steps must be taken. First, a set of 5.1 speakers (or better) needs to be connected to the card. If the speakers themselves have an option to expand stereo sound, it must be disabled as well. Then, the Audigy's speaker settings must be set to 5.1 (or better) and synchronized with the Windows control panel:
Lastly, CMSS needs to be turned off completely:
To test if everything is set up correctly, insert a standard Audio CD and play a music track. While the music is playing, check if the sound is coming from your rear speakers. If it is, then something is wrong and stereo sources are being expanded to surround. If the music is not playing from the rear speakers, then it's safe to proceed with game testing. Before testing each game, make sure that the speaker settings are set to 5.1 (or better) since some games automatically switch this to something else. For certain games (e.g. Unreal Tournament and Deus Ex) it's also necessary to enable surround sound from the in-game options menu.
To test for surround support, check if any sound is coming from your rear speakers during gameplay. To differentiate between 4.1 and 5.1 support, check if any sound is coming from the front center speaker.