VOGONS


First post, by almeath

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I have been trying to get Silent Thunder working in DOSBox using Windows 3.11 and Windows 95. This is because none of my Windows XP or 7 virtual machines will run it. It spits out an error saying "New GFXSurface failed".

Before I go any further, for the record, I already know that Windows is not supported in DOSBox. I am neither expecting nor demanding that anyone responds to this post at all. Please only do so if you are interested in this subject, and/or willing to offer any constructive suggestions.

With that disclaimer aside, the game actually runs flawlessly in Windows 95 within DOSBox SVN, apart from the music not working. The game is on a mixed mode CD and I do not know if there is a way to get the resulting bin/cue image working in a Win9x environment in DOSBox. If anyone has had success with this I would be grateful for any pointers. I know that Alcohol 52% does the trick within Windows XP, but I cannot find a version that will work with Windows 95 or 98. The physical CD cannot be used due to the limitation of DOSBox not being able to access optical drives directly from within Windows 9x.

I also tried within Windows 3.11 but I end up getting several errors that prevent the game from running. Immediately after the game installs, two errors are displayed by the Sierra setup program:

1. DOWIN95REGISTRY command when not under Win 95
2. INSTALLDIRECTX command when not under Win 95

The Sierra program group is installed, but the icon for "A-10 II" has an MS-DOS icon and double-clicking it does nothing.

It seems it was one of those games that straddled the DOS/Win9x transition, so I doubt I can get it running in the Windows 3.11 environment. I suppose the only hope is if there is a mixed mode CD solution for virtual drives in Windows 95 or 98?

Reply 1 of 5, by DosFreak

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If you play it with virtualization you'll need a slowdown program so nowadays an emulator like pcem or boxedwine is preferred.
I don't remember anyone ever playing it on 3.x.

If you want to use a newer OS then it works on XP with the Application Compatibility Toolkit but you'll need a slowdown program
Re: Silent Thunder A-10 Tank Killer II Installation problem

You can also try it on Vista+ with dgvoodoo and mabye the ACT and see if it loads, again it will run too fast so try a slowdown program.

For Alcohol on 9x see: Alcohol 120 images created on modern PC to be used on Windows 98?

For 9x in DOSBox try dosbox-x, and post on the github for issues.

DOSBox Compilation Guides
DosBox Feature Request Thread
PC Game Compatibility List
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
Running DRM games offline

Reply 2 of 5, by almeath

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Thank you. That certainly gives me a few leads to investigate. I’ll try locating the older version of Alcohol first, then DOSBox-X. I knew it supported the virtualized optical drive, but I’m unsure how/if it handles mixed mode CDs with CD audio tracks.

Reply 3 of 5, by Zup

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Are you really sure that A-10 Tank Killer II runs on Windows 3.x? I thought it was one early DirectX game...

I have traveled across the universe and through the years to find Her.
Sometimes going all the way is just a start...

I'm selling some stuff!

Reply 4 of 5, by almeath

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Zup wrote on 2021-12-21, 14:53:

Are you really sure that A-10 Tank Killer II runs on Windows 3.x? I thought it was one early DirectX game...

I don’t have the box anymore, but my manual is dated 1996 and contains instructions for installing in both Windows 95 and 3.1. Unfortunately, there are no trouble shooting tips, and the Sierra installer will not complete its diagnostic in Windows 3.11.

I remember some games from this era have issues with Windows 3.11 due to something relating to 32 bit vs 16 bit modes. I recall installing some additional software to get Betrayal in Antara (a Sierra game from the same era) working in Windows 3.11, so I will look into that too. However, I do not think that game requires Direct X, which seems to be part of the problem here.

Reply 5 of 5, by almeath

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By skipping the Sierra installer in Windows 3.11 I was preventing Win G and Win 32 from installing. I’ve got those installed and now the icon for the game in Windows 3.11 looks normal, but now I am getting “DOS error 21” when double clicking it.

EDIT .. all resolved now

I remembered that to get Betrayal in Antara to work, I had to change the CPU type to 486_slow. Once I did that, it worked for Silent Thunder as well. The music even works now, so no need to mess with Win9x. This will also allow the cpu cycles to be adjusted to get the game working at the right speed.

EDIT 2

Further testing confirms that it also works fine in DOSBox-X in Windows 95 B and 98 SE. I tried old freeware versions of Alcohol 52% and a trial of 120% in DOSBox SVN (also Windows 95 B and 98 SE) but I could not get any of them working, so it seems prudent to give up on that approach.