Help getting Theme Park to run correctly, please :)

Getting old DOS games working. (DOSBox topics belong in DOSBox areas below, not here).

Help getting Theme Park to run correctly, please :)

Postby Gigagator » 2012-4-05 @ 23:18

Hi all,
I'm hoping some knowledgeable people here can help me get the original Theme Park to run correctly in Windows 95, although it was built for DOS.
I tried this a while ago but gave up in the end after someone had suggested I use DOSBox, which I absolutely do not want to do. I have my reasons, but mainly I just want to run it on the real thing just like when I was a kid.

I have an old system with Windows 95 currently installed which also sports a 120Mhz Pentium processor, 32Mb RAM, 4Mb PCI graphics and a Sound Blaster 16 ISA sound card, model no. CT2770.

My copy of Theme Park came with a leaflet that had instructions for Windows 95 users to follow but I can't for the life of me follow them. I can scan and upload the document if you like.

The biggest issue I have had is with sound, I cannot seem to get sound to work correctly despite using the CT2770 and a newer Vibra16 Sound Blaster ISA card.

I have tried all the sound settings in Theme Park setup but they just don't work. Ive updated drivers, meddled with autoexec and config settings and played around with jumpers but I can't get it to work.
Additionally, since I replaced the Vibra16 with the older CT2770, I have had problems getting the game to even run at all, regardless of sound.

However, I tested it all with my copy of Duke Nukem 3D and sound works flawlessly with default settings, so I don't understand what's going wrong.

Before anyone suggests it could be a dud copy of Theme Park, I have three copies which I have exactly the same issue with on each. Also having three copies I think shows how determined I am to play this game.

Can somebody guide me through the process? If it helps, I'm more than happy to put DOS 6.22 on the system and run it from there if that will help as I know Theme Park was meant to run from DOS anyway.

One last thing, I don't wish to use DOSBox, I will strive to run Theme Park on old hardware if it takes me a lifetime. Besides, I remember running it on Windows 95 when I was a kid and the only issues we had was the mouse locking up from time to time.

Thanks in advance.

ADDITIONAL...
Motherboard is a really awful Jetway, will find out model number when its light but I think its a Jetway J542B, I have another Socket 7 board but I have difficulty getting that to run.
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Re: Help getting Theme Park to run correctly, please :)

Postby Davros » 2012-4-07 @ 12:56

you dont need to get rid of windows just boot from a dos 6.22 boot disk
if you have problems post the instructions especially anything concerning getting the game to run in dos
also your config.sys and autoexec.bat files
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Re: Help getting Theme Park to run correctly, please :)

Postby AdamP » 2012-4-07 @ 16:51

You shouldn't have to put DOS 6.22 on there, because Theme Park runs okay on my system with Windows 98 (which uses DOS 7.1). What are your config.sys and autoexec.bat configurations? Also what are the contents of your sndsetup.inf file in the Theme Park directory? It would also be helpful if you could tell/show us what resources your Sound Blaster 16 is using. And which version of Windows 95 are you using? The earlier versions use DOS 7.0, and the later versions use DOS 7.1.

You could also try disabling the sound card detection feature (I can't remember how to do it off the top of my head, but your manual should tell you).

And have you tried running it in DOS mode?
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Re: Help getting Theme Park to run correctly, please :)

Postby Gigagator » 2012-4-07 @ 23:27

Hi all,
Looks like there's some good support here so thanks for the responses.

I'm at work right now (I do night shifts) so when I get home in the morning I will post all the information you've asked for.

Hopefully it won't be long before im finally playing Theme Park again.

Happy Easter!
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Re: Help getting Theme Park to run correctly, please :)

Postby Gigagator » 2012-4-09 @ 15:08

Good news, sound is working perfectly now.

Game runs well and its great to play it again.

The only remaining issue now is the mouse locks up from time to time and the only option is to close the program and restart.

Not sure how to fix this but its always done it even when I played as a child but if anyone can help me fix the issue, that would be great.

Thanks
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Re: Help getting Theme Park to run correctly, please :)

Postby ripsaw8080 » 2012-4-09 @ 20:49

I tracked down the mouse pointer freeze problem some time ago thinking it might be a DOSBox issue, but AFAICT it's a game bug. The mouse handler has a non-reentrancy flag that isn't cleared in a specific condition that appears to be related to the mouse IRQ firing while switching between hi-res and lo-res video modes. When you play in hi-res some of the subscreens are in lo-res and switching is inevitable, but if you are careful not to move the mouse at all during the switching then the freeze can be avoided.

You can patch MAIN.EXE to fix the pointer freeze bug, but the exact offset varies between versions:
Code: Select all
search: 0F 84 4D 05 00 00
modify:       43

There may be another problem with the mouse pointer related to hi-res/lo-res switching, but it is considerably more complicated and it can take some time before it occurs. This other problem causes the mouse pointer to disappear, and unlike the freeze problem it can't be avoided by not moving the mouse. Actually, I would be interested in reports of pointer disappearance in Theme Park on real systems, because the complexity of what is going on makes it difficult to be certain if there is a game bug or a DOSBox issue.
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Re: Help getting Theme Park to run correctly, please :)

Postby AdamP » 2012-4-09 @ 21:07

@Gigagator, out of interest, what did you do to get it working? Because it looks like you didn't need our help after all :).

ripsaw8080 wrote:I tracked down the mouse pointer freeze problem some time ago thinking it might be a DOSBox issue, but AFAICT it's a game bug.


I suspected as much. The mouse freezing and disappearing issues have occurred on nearly, if not every system I've played Theme Park on, and in DOSBox. I also remember another mouse issue. Sometimes, you can only use the mouse on the top half of the screen. The cursor refuses to go to the bottom half of the screen. It's been a while since I experienced this, so my description might be seem vague or inaccurate, but I thought I'd mention it while we're on the subject of Theme Park mouse issues.
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Re: Help getting Theme Park to run correctly, please :)

Postby Gigagator » 2012-4-10 @ 01:07

Not sure exactly what I did AdamP... a few things.
I reformatted and reinstalled Windows 95, didn't really have a need to but I did it anyway.

I think what is most likely to have fixed it was something I changed in BIOS settings. Under Integrated Peripherals, I disabled 'Onboard Parallel Port' and 'Onboard UART Port 1' and '2'.

When enabled, options available for these are '3F8/IRQ4', '278/IRQ5' and a load of others in a similar format, so I assumed these might be using resources that the Sound Blaster wants to use. Disabled them and all seems to be working.

Back to the mouse issue... Are you guys saying this is caused by a bug in the game and it's not something we can fix? If so, Ill just go on having to deal with closing and opening the program every time it freezes up. Annoying but if it really is a game bug then I guess there's not much else to do.
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Re: Help getting Theme Park to run correctly, please :)

Postby AdamP » 2012-4-10 @ 01:17

IRQ5 is the de facto standard for later ISA Sound Blasters. It's probable there was an IRQ conflict. The only way to be sure is to re-enable the parallel port and try again.

The mouse issues seem to crop up randomly without any pattern. It usually only freezes or disappears when switching from a hi res screen to a low res screen or vice versa.
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Re: Help getting Theme Park to run correctly, please :)

Postby Gigagator » 2012-4-10 @ 01:38

Yes, I've only ever experienced a mouse lockup when changing from a lo-res screen to a hi-res screen. But even if you play the game in low-res mode, the mouse will still lock up when changing screens sometimes.

Like you said, totally random and I've experienced it on lots of different hardware, software, DOSBox etc. and with many different copies of the game.
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Re: Help getting Theme Park to run correctly, please :)

Postby ripsaw8080 » 2012-4-10 @ 01:50

Are you guys saying this is caused by a bug in the game and it's not something we can fix?

It seems you've completely overlooked my comment...
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Re: Help getting Theme Park to run correctly, please :)

Postby Gigagator » 2012-4-10 @ 10:35

ripsaw8080 wrote:
It seems you've completely overlooked my comment...


No, I haven't overlooked your comment; I read every word of everybody's posts. I just don't think that trying not to move the mouse between switching screens is a solution in itself.

Besides, I think when I've been playing it and kept the mouse still, it can still lock up anyway - I think I remember trying it a good few years ago.
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Re: Help getting Theme Park to run correctly, please :)

Postby ripsaw8080 » 2012-4-10 @ 12:38

You're still overlooking where I specifically used the word "fix". I think it's clear you've overlooked it when you go on to ask if "it's not something we can fix?"
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Re: Help getting Theme Park to run correctly, please :)

Postby Gigagator » 2012-4-10 @ 15:49

No but it sounds complicated. Could you talk me through the process of patching the necessary executable?

Do you know that this fixes the mouse freezing issue?
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Re: Help getting Theme Park to run correctly, please :)

Postby ripsaw8080 » 2012-4-10 @ 16:36

Use a hex editor program, search for the byte pattern, modify the one indicated byte. The specifics of the process depend on the hex editor.

The patch fixes a specific cause of pointer freezing, but it's possible there are other causes I'm not aware of. My experience is that the freezes do not occur after patching. The disappearing mouse pointer is a separate problem, and it is not affected by the patch.
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Re: Help getting Theme Park to run correctly, please :)

Postby Gigagator » 2012-4-10 @ 18:10

Thanks for that, will try this tonight.

I don't think I've ever experienced the cursor disappearing issue. Or the issue mentioned by AdamP about the cursor being limited to half the screen. More concerned with sorting the freezing issue.
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Re: Help getting Theme Park to run correctly, please :)

Postby robertmo » 2012-5-07 @ 09:41

I wasn't able to reproduce mouse freezing on real computer. Although in dosbox it happens on first resolution change when making cicrles with a mouse. With serial mouse it is easy if you lower dosbox cycles to 1000.
You can even freeze the mouse in dosbox at the beginning if you ctrl-f10 and type main.exe enter, and start making circles with a mouse before gfx appear (same with serial mouse).


Mouse pointer disappearing happens exactly after:
66 resolution changes (if memsize=5-34)
65 resolution changes (if memsize=35-50)
64 resolution changes (if memsize=51-...)
in dosbox and real computers: 386, PIII and Phenom.
After that game will freeze on 30-december before resolution change (in dosbox (flooding console) and real computer). Or dosbox will crush and real computer will reboot on 30 dec before resolution change.
Last edited by robertmo on 2012-5-07 @ 11:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help getting Theme Park to run correctly, please :)

Postby robertmo » 2012-5-07 @ 11:25

Ok it looks mouse always freezes on resolution change when moving circles on 386dx40 with turbo button off (serial mouse)

486dx set to either 25/33/40 also always freezes on resolution change but also only with turbo button off and only with ps/2 mouse (serial mouse was always ok here).

You can also freeze the mouse at the beginning of the game (title screen) with above cases (386 and 486).
Last edited by robertmo on 2012-5-07 @ 11:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help getting Theme Park to run correctly, please :)

Postby Qbix » 2012-5-07 @ 11:34

Which mouse driver did you use on those pcs, robertmo ?
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Re: Help getting Theme Park to run correctly, please :)

Postby robertmo » 2012-5-07 @ 11:43

ctmouse and also my mouse.com that I enclosed here somewhere on vogons.
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