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First post, by stealthjoe

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Hello,

I am trying to run Midtown Madness on my Win 98SE system (Geforce FX 5600 256 MB with 45.23 drivers installed). The initial splash screen loads after which the game crashes with a Debug assertion failed error.
(it runs fine on my XP though).
Debug Assertion Failed!

Program:F\Midtown Madness RIP\midtown.exe
file: vsprintf.c
line: 91
Expression:format != NULL

FOR INFORMATION ON HOW YOUR PROGRAM CAN CAUSE AN ASSERTION FAILURE, SEE THE Visual C++ documentationon aserts.
Press Retry to debug the application

Any thoughts for the cause of the error?

Reply 1 of 7, by mr.cat

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Hi,

Well, the lack of responses seems to indicate it's tough nut to crack, or maybe just unique to your setup.
I don't have a solution for you either, sorry. Here's a similar incident though:
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/21580249/ … arp-application

That seems to suggest a memory leak somewhere (now those are difficult enough even when there's the source available!).
There are some things you could try:

- Try launching the game with logging parameters (and post the .log file in this thread). Something like:
midtown.exe -log
and/or
midtown.exe -nomovie -noaudio -nonetcheck -log

- Try removing or renaming video.cfg and re-launch, see if there's any difference
- Reinstalling the game might help (but probably only if you've made some changes like upgraded your Windows for example).
- Is there a way to force software rendering somehow? Or if there isn't, maybe try with another graphics card.

In my admittedly limited experience with the games of this era, most of the problems back then were related to drivers.
And if you look at the docs you see this game is no different, multiple offenders are listed.
If the game works with software rendering then it's probably the drivers to blame.

Reply 2 of 7, by mkarcher

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stealthjoe wrote on 2020-12-17, 12:58:
Program:F\Midtown Madness RIP\midtown.exe file: vsprintf.c line: 91 Expression:format != NULL […]
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Program:F\Midtown Madness RIP\midtown.exe
file: vsprintf.c
line: 91
Expression:format != NULL

It's not your fault, you reported the problem the best way you would, but this error message does not help in finding the cause for the error. The program tries to format text, but fails to provide the pattern according which it should be formatted. Probably the pattern is generate from some function that fails, and indicates the failure by returning "nothing" instead of a character sequence. This message is meant for the developer of the game, not the end user. And even for the developer this message on its own isn't helpful at all, because it does not point to a location in the code of the game (that failed to provide the message), but it points to the source code of Microsofts C library, to the point where it detects that there is no message.

Possibly this game is incompatible with some old Windows 98 libraries, and only starts to work if the offending component is updated (but we have no idea which component this would be).

Reply 3 of 7, by Discrete_BOB_058

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stealthjoe wrote on 2020-12-17, 12:58:
Hello, […]
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Hello,

I am trying to run Midtown Madness on my Win 98SE system (Geforce FX 5600 256 MB with 45.23 drivers installed). The initial splash screen loads after which the game crashes with a Debug assertion failed error.
(it runs fine on my XP though).
Debug Assertion Failed!

Program:F\Midtown Madness RIP\midtown.exe
file: vsprintf.c
line: 91
Expression:format != NULL

FOR INFORMATION ON HOW YOUR PROGRAM CAN CAUSE AN ASSERTION FAILURE, SEE THE Visual C++ documentationon aserts.
Press Retry to debug the application

Any thoughts for the cause of the error?

If you can run the game on the exact same PC with the exact same driver version but with Windows XP, then it must be some incompatibility with the VCPP on Win98. A newer version of VCPP, if available, may help but this error may also be caused by a rare CPU fault, or this may be any of issues @mr.cat mentioned.

YouTube Channel:
DEADHistory Walkthroughs

PC SPECS:-
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1600
GPU: ZOTAC NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti OC Edition
RAM: 8GB*2 Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2400MHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte Aorus B450M
PSU: Corsair VX550
Sound Card: Realtek ALC892

Reply 4 of 7, by stealthjoe

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Thank you for your responses. It seems the issue is likely with the Cmedia 8738 sound card. On removing the audio drivers, the game runs without any error albeit with no music/sound. Then tried using a different sound card (1938s Solo-1) with WDM drivers and the game loaded as well with music/sound. However, there were frequent BSODs and hence had to revert to the Cmedia card. Wondering as to how the sound card driver could cause this error.

Reply 5 of 7, by 0x1F9F1

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stealthjoe wrote on 2021-01-04, 11:07:

Thank you for your responses. It seems the issue is likely with the Cmedia 8738 sound card. On removing the audio drivers, the game runs without any error albeit with no music/sound. Then tried using a different sound card (1938s Solo-1) with WDM drivers and the game loaded as well with music/sound. However, there were frequent BSODs and hence had to revert to the Cmedia card. Wondering as to how the sound card driver could cause this error.

Unfortunately midtown madness's handling of audio isn't great. It can end up mixing up devices, and if it encounters an unknown error it will crash with the problem you've had. If you haven't already, try disabling all sound devices in windows apart from the one you are using. If that doesn't work, try launching with the -log param as mentioned earlier and posting the log in here.

Reply 6 of 7, by Discrete_BOB_058

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You are facing it in Windows 98, I faced it in Windows 10. Looks like there is some common resemblance to the problem.

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YouTube Channel:
DEADHistory Walkthroughs

PC SPECS:-
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1600
GPU: ZOTAC NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti OC Edition
RAM: 8GB*2 Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2400MHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte Aorus B450M
PSU: Corsair VX550
Sound Card: Realtek ALC892