Possible fix for Mobil 1 Rally Championship a.k.a. Rally Championship 2000 !!!

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Possible fix for Mobil 1 Rally Championship a.k.a. Rally Championship 2000 !!!

Postby Procyon » 2011-4-09 @ 13:09

Hello all,

I think I finally cracked it, on how to play one of my favorite rally games again, so I want to share it with you. :happy:
    Image
This was the problem I was having with the game:

When driving a rally stage after a while the sounds became out of synch with the actual gameplay, this happened randomly, but could be triggered by crashing your car. This rendered the game to be unplayable for me. :dead:

For years and years I searched the internet for a solution for this problem, but I haven't found any that worked, so eventually I gave up, :depressed:

that is..... until now !!!

I got the idea for this fix trying to solve a framerate problem for another game, but that is not important right now. The thing is that this game was designed back in the day when there were no multicore CPU's and this game makes heavy use of just one CPU, when running it is constantly at 100%. I think that when there is a spike in CPU usage Windows will force it to another CPU for processing and the end result is that the sound will become out of synch. So the obvious solution would be to make the game use only one CPU and that's what this solution is all about!

Here is what I have done:
    - Start the game.

    - Press Alt + Tab. (task swithing)

    - Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete. (brings up the Task Manager)

    - Left click on the Processes tab. (I'm not exactly sure how it is called in English Windows, my OS is in another language)

    - Search for the process called: RAL.EXE and right click on it.

    - A pop up menu will appear, left click on configure affinity. (I'm not exactly sure how it is called in English Windows, my OS is in another language)

    - Now a window will appear in which all available CPU's are shown. Windows selects all CPU's by default, but we don't want that. Now uncheck all CPU's until only one CPU is left checked and press OK, it doens't matter much which one as long as only one CPU is checked.

    - Activate the game again by left clicking on its name in the task bar.

    - Play. :happy:

This has solved the out of synch sound for me so far on Windows XP, but this might also work on Vista and 7. A minor thing is that you have to repeat this every time you want to play the game, there are ways to automate this but I haven't found one yet that was less of a hassle than repeating the process.

Cheers, :wink:
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Re: Possible fix for Mobil 1 Rally Championship a.k.a. Rally Championship 2000 !!!

Postby ripsaw8080 » 2011-4-09 @ 13:33

Alt+Tab and using the Task Manager while games are running can be problematic, particularly with older games: crashes, messed up desktop, etc. You can permanently set the default processor affinity on PE executables by modifying their headers; which usually works unless they have self-check mechanisms that include the header. A search for "imagecfg" should find plenty of resources explaining the process.
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Re: Possible fix for Mobil 1 Rally Championship a.k.a. Rally Championship 2000 !!!

Postby Procyon » 2011-4-09 @ 21:08

Thanks ripsaw, I will look into imagecfg later. :wink:

Right now to something else, one problem solved only for another to arise, the dreaded.... Guru Meditation crash, also discussed earlier on this forum in this topic:

http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?t=18094

But I think I cracked that one too, and be solved by placing the line agpmode=2 in the ral.cfg file. At least after I did this I couldn't reproduce the crashes on my system anymore, whereas the game would always crash without this line.
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Re: Possible fix for Mobil 1 Rally Championship a.k.a. Rally Championship 2000 !!!

Postby filipetolhuizen » 2011-4-22 @ 19:04

You can use Microsoft ACT 5.x and make a custom fix for the game with the flag "SingleProcAffinity" (don't forget "EmulateHeap" as well). That's how I got it working properly.
But I think I cracked that one too, and be solved by placing the line agpmode=2 in the ral.cfg file.

Where do I find this file? Do I have to create it? I only found the ral.dat and ral.zog.
Edit: Ok, I found an editor with tons of extra options and this fix works out of the box. Not only it increases the maximum framerate but also clears up the guru meditation.
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Re: Possible fix for Mobil 1 Rally Championship a.k.a. Rally Championship 2000 !!!

Postby Procyon » 2011-4-24 @ 11:12

Thanks for the tip, I never really got around with ACT, but if it works it works. :happy:
Imagecfg works great for me though, even on Vista 64 bit. :cool:

Link to Imagecfg Wikipage, has also download link

By the way the ral.cfg file is only used after the game is patched and can be used to make custom alterations to the game.

Link to latest patch

There was a website which explained all the variables that could be put into the the ral.cfg file, but I can't find it anymore or the site is down. :neutral:

There is also a tool to configure ral.cfg called Ralwiz, but it only works on XP for me.
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Re: Possible fix for Mobil 1 Rally Championship a.k.a. Rally Championship 2000 !!!

Postby Sipso » 2011-6-04 @ 19:57

Hi.

I just installed the game. Works perfectly. But, when i finish the first stage/os, the very first race in first championship, game shows score and times tables, and then damage test table. You know pass, failed. There i press Enter, to proceed. But, next shown table says, that i retired, and game throws me into next competition (not next stage!)... What am i supposed to do?
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Re: Possible fix for Mobil 1 Rally Championship a.k.a. Rally Championship 2000 !!!

Postby Procyon » 2011-6-06 @ 10:07

Hi Sipso,

If your car doesn't pass it means it is trashed, the rally officials will not allow you to race the next stage for safety reasons. When you are in the service area screen you can see the condition of all your carcomponents and repair and adjust your car. The game will look specifically to the condition of brakes, steering, suspension, lights and tires but not to the condition of the engine and drivetrain.

The only way around this is to drive more careful. To make it easier you can set the line sensiblesaving=1 in the ral.cfg file to enable save between every stage instead of saving in service areas only but for this you have to patch the game to the latest version. Of course you can also set the damage modifier to zero but then there wont be much challenge left. xD
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Re: Possible fix for Mobil 1 Rally Championship a.k.a. Rally Championship 2000 !!!

Postby Sipso » 2011-6-06 @ 12:58

Yeah, i solved it out already... I always crossed the finish line with damaged cooler...

But now... How do i save game? I enabled sensible save. While in menu between stages i enter Save, and select the slot, name it and press enter... Nothing happens. Slot name is changing, but there is no save game on it. When i am trying to load it nothing happens...

My game version is 5.30.0 (04.08.2000)...
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Re: Possible fix for Mobil 1 Rally Championship a.k.a. Rally Championship 2000 !!!

Postby Procyon » 2011-6-06 @ 13:34

I don't have a clue, the procedure you described should work. I don't have any problems saving the game. What Windows version are you running?
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Re: Possible fix for Mobil 1 Rally Championship a.k.a. Rally Championship 2000 !!!

Postby n20osboy » 2015-8-01 @ 22:18

I know this post may be old. But I also know there are still enough of you out there (just like me) that feel the need to reinstall this game from time to time and play it again. Most of us, unfortunately, encountered the Guru Meditation error. Personally, I encountered it most of the times on Arcade 2, Level 2 - Tyrones Ditches, not far from the beginning of the race (2-4 checkpoints passed at most). And yes, it happens mostly while passing through dirt, or right after. I've been looking for 2 years for a solution over the Internet. Tried ACT 5.x, changing affinity, working with ralwiz and more. Nothing really did it. Till something came to my mind just today, 3 days after upgrading to Windows 10 on my laptop.

I decided that I should change the process' priority to Below Normal (I was running in Windows 7 compatibility mode, otherwise it would <<Guru Meditate>> right after launching the game). It worked. It finally worked. I finally managed to get past that race. I will continue this reply by specifying more details on my specs & other probably relevant stuff.

Specs: Sony VAIO VPCEB2S1E / WI
-> i3-350M @2,26GHz L3=3MB
-> 4GB (Dual-Channel) @1066MHz
-> WD 500GB
-> ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 1GB GDDR5
-> Windows 10 Pro (Upgraded from 7 Pro)

Relevant:
-> Running in Windows 7 Compatibility Mode (should work on Vista/ Vista SP1/ Vista SP2, but I didn't test)
-> Affinity set on CPU0
-> Process' priority set to "Below Normal"

Probably relevant:
-> Running Patch 6 (v5.30)
-> Resolution 1024x768@16Bpp (for some reason, I cannot change to 32Bpp in-game) + on video options something ( I don't recall at the moment) is set to double. Everything else maxxed.
-> Audio quality: CD, enhanced, DS3D on (everything else off)

Probably irrelevant:
-> Player settings: Steering sensitivity to maximum, visual options - all on
-> Played with Ford Puma (A5), hoping not to get very high speeds (while going through mud on that second stage)
-> Audio levels turned off: engine, incidental effects, co-pilot speech. In-game Music On


I hope this helps anyone who wants to (re)try that beautiful game today again. Have a good day/ evening/ night!
P.S.: As I've mentioned, I tried it with "Below Normal" priority, but you may try with "Normal" priority too. It might work, I didn't test it (yet). The idea (mine, at least) was to get the game to lag a little bit, though I'm sure it didn't drop under 30fps. All I didn't want was not going up to 60-64fps to avoid the game crashing.
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Re: Possible fix for Mobil 1 Rally Championship a.k.a. Rally Championship 2000 !!!

Postby filipetolhuizen » 2015-8-02 @ 01:17

The only way I succeeded was to use a very high anti aliasing enough to drop the fps (there was a stage that crashed without guru meditation error and nvidia internal framerate limiter didn't help there). Forcing a higher resolution using dgvoodoo2 D3D wrapper also helped a lot.
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Re: Possible fix for Mobil 1 Rally Championship a.k.a. Rally Championship 2000 !!!

Postby Procyon » 2015-8-02 @ 15:27

Yeah, I still have the Guru Meditation error as well, what I said earlier about using the agpmode can be ignored.
I have it only on the Northern Ireland stage, don't remember the name as I haven't installed the game at the moment, but it would always crash when I drove through the mud at the farmgates and I could avoid the game from crashing by driving through the grass away from the mud and gates.

I think I read somewhere that this bug was introduced with one of the patches and it wasn't in the vanila game.
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Re: Possible fix for Mobil 1 Rally Championship a.k.a. Rally Championship 2000 !!!

Postby Bladeforce » 2015-8-02 @ 19:54

Just a heads up. Ive been following this topic for a couple of days now and thought I'd give it a try in WINE. I am not getting any crashes in any of the places you guys mention.
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Re: Possible fix for Mobil 1 Rally Championship a.k.a. Rally Championship 2000 !!!

Postby filipetolhuizen » 2015-8-03 @ 01:17

If it's not running fast enough, it won't crash.
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