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First post, by CrazyCritic89

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So I've trying to run Half-Life 2 on my Windows 98 machine. My Windows 98 machine has a Voodoo 2 8MB, a Pentium 2 at 400 MHz, and 384 MB of RAM. Now, I bet there's 300 reasons why this is unlikely to work, but currently the problem ain't even the specs right now, the problem is that I can't get it running under Windows 98 in the first place. Windows 98 will just not load it, even in a VM. I keep on getting the error, "unable to load engine.dll," and have no clue how to fix it. I can't find any information about this error online, and so I thought to turn to here. I hope that there's someone here who can help.

Reply 1 of 50, by DosFreak

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This is obviously a troll but what the hell.

I think HL2 EP1 started at v2761 and EP2 at 3258.

HL2 EP1 had Windows 98 in the system requirements so if you are using <=v2761 then you should be good. You'll need revemu to bypass the Steam requirement.

For builds greater than v2761 if they aren't compatible with 98 then you can try kernelex.

IIRC, A Voodoo 3 can barely run HL2 so I doubt a Voodoo 2 can and a P2 is not going to cut it.

As for a VM no VMs support 3D acceleration for a 9x guest so you'd need to use a software D3D to GDI or ddraw wrapper and even if that worked it wouldn't be fun. You might be able to get something workable with a custom qemu build with a 9x guest mabye but that's alot of BS for a game that works fine on the real hardware that supported it at the time or a more modern version of Windows or wine in Linux or the Linux version of HL2.

As for Vmware unless something has changed the absolute bare minimum for 3D Acceleration would be Windows 2000 but I haven't tested with v15 and v16 yet.

Last edited by DosFreak on 2020-09-19, 02:59. Edited 8 times in total.

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Reply 2 of 50, by Bruninho

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He needs to use Windows XP for a VM to have some 3D acceleration. I have 3D for FIFA 98 and 99 on VMware Fusion Player 12. Graphics are about the same as if I had a 3Dfx Voodoo.

"Design isn't just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
JOBS, Steve.

Reply 6 of 50, by Deksor

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He's not a troll.

We had a chat together before that and he has indeed problems running HL2. Since I never got it to run on 98 (fuck steam !!), I told him to come over here ...

Trying to identify old hardware ? Visit Ultimate Hardware 2019

Reply 7 of 50, by darry

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CrazyCritic89 wrote on 2020-09-18, 22:06:

Also, I'm using the old build and all, it's just that it won't load. Though if needed, when I ran Windows 2000 on my Windows 98 computer, the game did play the Valve screen and then crash.

Not sure if this is the cause of your issues, but a Voodoo 2 has a Directx 6 feature set, AFAIK . You are trying to run a game that has rendering paths for Directx 7 and higher . Your CPU is also 1/3 the minimum requirements' clock speed .

If you are doing this as an experiment, best of luck . If you are expecting a playable experience, you might want to reconsider .

From https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/news_120704_HL2specs

Taking time out to post on HL2Fallout's forums last week, Newell said that the minimum spec would be a 1.2GHz powered PC with 256MB RAM, Win 98/ME/2000/XP and a DirectX 7 compatible graphics card.

But for those who want to see the game running in all its glory, be prepared to spec up to around a 2.4 GHz machine, with 512MB RAM, Windows 2000/XP and a DirectX 9 capable graphics card.

EDIT : See https://forums.playground.ru/vampire_the_masq … raktera-704475/

Apparently renaming engine.dll to engine1.dll worked for someone .

Reply 8 of 50, by leileilol

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nevermind the DX caps - HL2 very isn't going to support 2MBx2 texture memory configurations...

I believe the V2 in misuse here is stoked from internet hype misinformation like it's the ultimate futureproof card (it is not!!!!)

Last edited by leileilol on 2020-09-18, 23:18. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 9 of 50, by darry

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leileilol wrote on 2020-09-18, 23:07:

nevermind the DX caps - HL2 very isn't going to support 2MBx2 texture memory configurations...

I believe the V2 in misuse here is stoked from internet hype like it's the ultimate futureproof card (it is not!!!!)

Well, if he wants to run without textures or other features by using 3D Analyze, it might still be possible. I still don't see the point, personally .

Reply 10 of 50, by DosFreak

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It would have to be Old Engine as well since IIRC anything newer required SSE. I want to say SSE2 was required with the first steampipe build but could be wrong there.

The reason I called you a troll is because of the ridiculousness of your post. If you don't recognize that then okay but that's why. Troll posts happen often enough so that's why it was called out. Your reaction doesn't help.

Last edited by DosFreak on 2020-09-19, 00:08. Edited 4 times in total.

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Reply 13 of 50, by Bruninho

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CrazyCritic89 wrote on 2020-09-18, 23:22:

Well, apparently the Voodoo 2 drivers can go up to DirectX 7, though I'm not sure if that means anything but it's still a possibility.

That does not make sense. People have been running Windows 98 SE with DX9 in these machines?

"Design isn't just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
JOBS, Steve.

Reply 15 of 50, by leileilol

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Bruninho wrote on 2020-09-18, 23:26:
CrazyCritic89 wrote on 2020-09-18, 23:22:

Well, apparently the Voodoo 2 drivers can go up to DirectX 7, though I'm not sure if that means anything but it's still a possibility.

That does not make sense. People have been running Windows 98 SE with DX9 in these machines?

DX7 API support in the drivers doesn't necessarily mean DX7 caps and feature set support. There won't ever be V2 driving DXTC and T&L. There's many old the-vogons-vs-Scali threads about this topic with much misunderstanding of how DirectX works...

Also third party drivers won't be of much help either as the V2 D3D HAL's source wasn't opened like Glide and never had a Mesa implementation in the day (where all those "new opengl cores" come from).

Also, i'm reminded of this thread.

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Reply 16 of 50, by DosFreak

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This thread may be legit so staying open for now

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Reply 17 of 50, by darry

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The fundamental question for the OP is :

What is your objective ?

A AAA title from 2004 on hardware from 1998 : a CPU one third the clock of minimum requirements and an underspecced video card with too little VRAM will not lead to great results .

Reply 18 of 50, by Bruninho

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With a 2 minute Google search, I got this from Game-debate.com:

You need a Pentium III 1200Mhz or Athlon XP 1500+ processor coupled with a GeForce 2 MX 64MB to run Half-Life 2 system requirements at recommended. You can expect to get around 60FPS at 1080p screen res on high graphics settings with this hardware.

I can see where DosFreak gets his point, so the only conclusion here is that it won't run.

But to be honest, the question seem to be legit because apparently the OP has no idea of the magnitude of the problem... no need to be harsh on him calling him a troll, just because of that. If anything he might not have enough knowledge of the subject to understand that it won't run, or he hoped to find some kind of trick to run the game.

"Design isn't just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
JOBS, Steve.

Reply 19 of 50, by kjliew

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darry wrote on 2020-09-19, 00:32:

The fundamental question for the OP is :

What is your objective ?

A AAA title from 2004 on hardware from 1998 : a CPU one third the clock of minimum requirements and an underspecced video card with too little VRAM will not lead to great results .

Well, I bet crazy ideas are everywhere nowadays 😜, including this one:

HL2ep1.png
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However, it was a WinXP VM at least, for the sake of DX9 renderer code path, delivering much better IQ and FPS that a real Voodoo2 could ever achieve ...... without a Voodoo2.