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Wings Of Destiny (Psygnosis)

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First post, by tincup

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I picked this up when it came out in 2000 and found it to be a reasonably fun 'sim lite' with one fatal flaw; the view system. It has neither the time honored fixed views around the cockpit, nor a pan mode. To steer one's eyes it was necessary to *repeatedly* tap the NumPad keys to slowly inch the POV around - horrific, impossible.

The game was roundly panned by critics and received zilch support from Psygnosis and no patches. I played the first four or five missions (with a fixed forward view only - sort of arcade style) and put the game down meaning to resume at some point. The point really never came, so recently I tried reinstalling to see what I could get out of it again. Immediately there were tech issues:

Win7 Fatal error "can't read animation format"
XP CTD just clicking on the icon regardless of compatibility mode
W98SE CTD trying to access the Settings menu; but game playable in a default Direct Draw mode
W95 - Dx6.1 same (this is the Dx that shipped with the game)
W95 - Dx8.0a same

Issues with W7/XP no doubt systemic and don't really matter. But it surprised me that I couldn't access the Settings menu in *any* of the 5 W9x boxes I tried it with. Back in the day I did not have that problem.

On the other hand I discovered that the in-cockpit view could be moved freely with the mouse + right button (one of a frustrating number of undocumented commands), so there was a potential to overcome the game's gravest limitation.

After creating a pilot and starting a mission the game creates a file called lastsavedstate which can be opened in Notepad. From here you can hand edit resolution without too much trouble, and if I knew what the verbiage was for the various supported 3D modes video could probably tweak that as well. But for now I can only get measly Direct Draw to run properly.

Has anyone got this oddball running? Anyone with a config file setup for D3D/Glide mode I can crib from?

Reply 1 of 25, by skitters

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I'm sorry I don't know the answer and don't own that particular game.
But my guess is that the problem has to do with your video card and/or video drivers.
Do your Windows 95 and 98 computers have 3D video cards from year 2000 (when the game was published) or earlier?
The game wouldn't have been tested with any video cards (or drivers) that weren't around before its release.

Reply 2 of 25, by tincup

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Yes. I cover the W9x period from a number of directions:
W95/P233/3D-2000(S3)+Voodoo 1
W95/P933/Rendition 2200/Voodoo2-SLI
W98/C300@450/Voodoo 3
W98/P800/Voodoo 5
and even W98/C2D/7900GTX/modded drivers

They all run the game, but none can access the setup menu.

I think I ran WOD on either the V5 or an ATI 9700 Pro back in the day. Maybe I mock up a quick ATI build to test that.

Reply 3 of 25, by mirh

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Under Win9x I'd recommend to keep the game windowed, and log it with FileMon and RegMon.
Ideally, a file or registry key may lead you on the right path.

On XP.. try to reduce hardware acceleration setting, just to start.

On 7, well, for the moment try to pinpoint which format we are talking about.

pcgamingwiki.com

Reply 4 of 25, by tincup

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mirh wrote:
Under Win9x I'd recommend to keep the game windowed, and log it with FileMon and RegMon. Ideally, a file or registry key may le […]
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Under Win9x I'd recommend to keep the game windowed, and log it with FileMon and RegMon.
Ideally, a file or registry key may lead you on the right path.

On XP.. try to reduce hardware acceleration setting, just to start.

On 7, well, for the moment try to pinpoint which format we are talking about.

I have the ATI test bed ready just no time to get to it. Hopefully in the next couple of days I can give that a go.

I tweaked Hardware Acceleration previously in all Glide/DX<9 builds with no luck; one of the first trouble shooting routines.

Reply 5 of 25, by tincup

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No luck with 2 ATI prototype builds I'd hoped would yield results. Both were based on the Abit VA6 motherboards that I thought were compatible with the 9700 Pro, but looks like not. Tried 2 boards and 2 cards, Fans would all start to spin then cut-out. Best I got was booting without the power plub attached to the video card (the 9700 must have been an early one to use an additional power source no? It's a 4-pin FDD type connector)...

Not much bench time these days so Plan B will have to wait longer... But I just had an idea...

Reply 6 of 25, by tincup

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Picked this puzzler up again... No luck with a clean W98se + ATI 9700 Pro setup. Still crashes to desktop trying to open setup menu. Missions can be flown in whatever the default graphics/audio/gameplay setting are, but that's it. No way I've succeeded in entering the "PC Setup" menu. I'll try the windowed mode test next.

Reply 8 of 25, by tincup

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No. just KB.

A little progress to report. Starting a mission in default mode (in a W95c/Rendition/V1 rig) creates a savestate file which can be opened with notebook. The syntax is pretty simple and I've managed to adjust resolution and color depth - sort of/partially - in D3D mode only. I'll transfer the file over to one of the more powerful rigs better suited to 1024 res gaming and see if I can get any further...

Weird thing is I had the game going years ago without any issue. Probably on a C300 or P800 but I forget the GPU I would have used; either a TNT1 + V2, or a V5. We'll see.. I may swap in a GF2-GTS and give d3d a fairer shot.

Reply 9 of 25, by Jorpho

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tincup wrote:

No. just KB.

I mean, maybe plugging in a joystick will fix the issue? Maybe the program expects to find a joystick plugged in when the Settings menu is accessed?

Another absurd idea would be to try rolling back the system clock to the year 2000, in case it uses the system date (maybe for a random number seed or something).

Reply 10 of 25, by tincup

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hum yes.. I see - I *will* try plugging in some controllers. Maybe the default control is joystick - and since I can't enter the setup to change it because it crashes without one, I'm stuck in a loop. This wouldn't be too surprising as it's got some of the worst flight command design I've run across. But it has a charming comic book style and a relaxed flight model that's kinda appealing to me these days and I'd I like to get back to it.

Rolling back the system clock is such a crazy idea I've got to try that too. Maybe I've finally found my first real "Y2k" problem haha..

Reply 13 of 25, by tincup

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Adding controllers and resetting the system clock didn't change anything. But I discovered that disabling audio by hand editing the "lastsavedstate" file permitted the game to run though still can't access PC Setup in-game.

I realized that all the rigs I've been testing on have Vortex based cards (my favorite PCI audio card by far) so I tried swapping in an SBlive on the ATI 9700 pro build. It runs now with sound but still bsod accessing the in-game setup menu. It takes trial an error to figure out the syntax of graphics options in LastSaveState - right now D3D seems to run by having it read " (space) : (space) Direct3D". I'm fiddling with others which I think are "3dfx", "DirectDraw" and "PrimaryGaraphicsAdapter", but unsure if spaces or colons come into play.

If someone has the game installed could generate a few LastSaveState files for me with the available graphics ofptions - that' would be great.

Meanwhile I just downloaded DitrectInput Blocker and will play around with that...

Reply 14 of 25, by Jorpho

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Aw,shucks. I don't suppose disabling the sound card completely in Device Manager helps?

If Regmon and Filemon aren't an option, I'd be curious if debugging along the lines of http://punkrockhacker.blogspot.ca/2014_06_01_archive.html might help.

Reply 15 of 25, by mirh

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Davros wrote:

What does DirectInput Blocker do ?

Blocks DirectInput?
In the sense that no matter what, only mouse and keyboard are enumerated.

tincup wrote:

It runs now with sound but still bsod accessing the in-game setup menu.

If you get a bsod, then it's hardware [driver] fault and not game problem.

pcgamingwiki.com

Reply 16 of 25, by tincup

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How about an obscure DirectX compatibility issue? The game shipped with Dx6 but I've run it on systems that only have 9.0c (on W98 & XP) or 8.0a (for W95). There are d3d, dd, devdd and Glide2x dll's in the game's root folder - something wonky there perhaps. I've tested WOD on 6 or 7 rigs at this point - strange.

EDIT: not sure if I have the right wording for the various graphic settings in LastSavedStaus. "Primary Display Driver" and " : Direct3D" are good, but "3dfx" is probably wrong.

Reply 17 of 25, by mirh

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Ohh, please.
Let's stop this inconclusive conjecturing about "dx9 doesn't imply dx3". We are on vogons, not yahoo answers.

Also, I'm reading the game simply doesn't support controllers.
So.. Did you try in a windows xp VM?

And goddamn, log the crash.

pcgamingwiki.com

Reply 18 of 25, by tincup

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No, controllers work fine. It's the in-game setup menu I can't reach without CTD. But since I can hand edit the cfg file I'm not in all that bad shape - Direct3D with sound is working so it's totally playable now. But I'll need someone to generate a LastSavedStatus in 3dfx mode to pass on the correct wording to get it running in Glide mode - which does look much nicer.

and no XP VM - only interested in native W9x. Thanks for your trouble though.

Reply 19 of 25, by Agathosdaimon

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hi! - i just saw this thread, having asked about the game myself just now - silly me i thought it such an obscure game that noone else would ever be trying to get it working.

I also cant run it on windows 10 - i get the animation format error at the start and that is a fatal exception error. I wish i could just get past that and at least be where you are at with it Tincup.

I am also trying it in an XP vmware now too just to see if i can get any better result, and no the game is just a black screen not responding sadly.

i wish i could at least get a lastsavedstate file to alter and maybe that might get me in to the game yes? would you happen to have one? could that work for windows xp or win10?