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Problematic Windows games list

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Reply 40 of 136, by Jorpho

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HunterZ wrote on 2020-01-23, 02:11:
Jorpho wrote on 2020-01-22, 19:18:

Someone developed a pretty solid solution for AMBER: Journeys Beyond some time ago.

I was going to mention Simcity 2000 Network Edition, but I recall someone also solved that as well.

Would be good to get some details/links on the workarounds for these.

The AMBER patch is at https://www.squirtthecat.com/ along with numerous other fine fixes.

The SC2KNet patch turned up at https://www.reddit.com/r/SimCity/comments/1d9 … _like_its_1996/ . (The game hardly works at all under NT-based Windows otherwise.)

Reply 41 of 136, by kjliew

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I am all for early Windows games to be played on emulation such as DOSBox and QEMU.

Both emulators can achieve equivalent CPU performance of Pentium 2/3 300MHz with today's state-of-the-art CPU/GPU configuration. QEMU KVM/WHPX has the CPU performance equivalent of over 1GHz of Pentium 3. Some of the games on the list (for eg. Need for Speed 2 SE) with 3Dfx Glide, run as near perfect speed on QEMU. DOSBox handles lower-end of Windows games very well including DirectX/3D 3-5 and QEMU manages the high-end of Windows games with 3Dfx Glide2x/3x or OpenGL 1.1 through 3Dfx OpenGL or any DirectX 2D-only games without the needs to hunt for unofficial patches on Win98/ME.

A lot of unofficial game patches for Win9x games to run on WinXP-Win7 x64 no longer work for Windows 10 because Microsoft got rid of legacy DirectX3-7 support in Windows 10. Hence, we are now flooded with all sorts of DirectX wrappers into modern graphics APIs D3D11/12, OpenGL, Vulkan etc.

Reply 42 of 136, by ZellSF

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kjliew wrote on 2020-01-23, 06:22:

A lot of unofficial game patches for Win9x games to run on WinXP-Win7 x64 no longer work for Windows 10 because Microsoft got rid of legacy DirectX3-7 support in Windows 10. Hence, we are now flooded with all sorts of DirectX wrappers into modern graphics APIs D3D11/12, OpenGL, Vulkan etc.

There's been quite a few changes in Windows 10. 8/16-bit color no longer being supported natively, compositor no longer being optional and applications being forced into fake fullscreen, but I don't think DirectX3-7 support is missing.

At any rate, GPU driver changes and GPUs with more than 4GB of VRAM means you'll need wrappers for most games in Windows 7 too now, so I wouldn't go with Windows 7 for compatibility reasons (unless you also get legacy hardware and drivers).

HunterZ wrote on 2020-01-23, 02:08:

I consider a game problematic if there are notable issues when installing just the vanilla game + official patches. If graphics wrappers are known to work then I'd like to capture that as a viable workaround.

Then you will have an easier time listing games that aren't problematic.

HunterZ wrote on 2020-01-23, 02:13:

You seem to know a ton about these wrappers. Would be awesome if you could write a guide or something. It seems like a lot of us (myself included) have had more mixed results with them.

It's all very game specific, except the DxWnd instructions I already wrote and using dgVoodoo with the default settings. At any rate, I'm not a documentation writer.

Reply 43 of 136, by liqmat

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Ok, HunterZ, just tested Mechwarrior 3 on Windows 10. Good news. Mechwarrior 3 not only works perfectly, but better than in Windows 7 64.

Steps for Windows 10:

1.) Install Mechwarrior 3
2.) Install Patch v1.2
3.) Blow up a robot.

I did not need to use a frame limiter at all. When I first ran the game Windows 10 did make me install DirectPlay and that was it. Works like a charm. I will note I am using Windows 10 fully updated with all the latest patches.

Last edited by liqmat on 2020-01-24, 02:46. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 44 of 136, by collector

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ZellSF wrote on 2020-01-22, 18:07:

IMO a game that has several solutions isn't problematic.

Perhaps, but for the purposes of this list it would be nice to list some of these solutions. This list should not merely list games with issues on modern Windows. A list with solutions included becomes a useful reference.

The Sierra Help Pages -- New Sierra Game Installers -- Sierra Game Patches -- New Non-Sierra Game Installers

Reply 45 of 136, by HunterZ

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collector wrote on 2020-01-23, 20:29:
ZellSF wrote on 2020-01-22, 18:07:

IMO a game that has several solutions isn't problematic.

Perhaps, but for the purposes of this list it would be nice to list some of these solutions. This list should not merely list games with issues on modern Windows. A list with solutions included becomes a useful reference.

Exactly. The goal is to save people time, which currently is my most precious resource! If I have to spend a day fumbling with different wrappers to get an old game working, I'm probably just going to move on to something else. But if someone else has already done this and shared a specific workaround for that particular game, then that's enormously helpful.

Reply 46 of 136, by MAZter

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HunterZ wrote on 2020-01-19, 20:30:

This thread is about old Windows games that don't run well or at all on modern Windows machines.

Ohh, sorry, my bad!

Ok, what about "The Lion King II: Simba's Pride", anyone was able to run it even on Windows 98 system?

Doom is what you want (c) MAZter

Reply 48 of 136, by Shagittarius

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Incoming! Is a game that has always vexxed me. Out of the 4 machines i have capable of running it only the one with a single core athlon and a ti4200 will run it properly, the xeons in win 98 and xp that have a 9800pro and 780ti respectivley, and my i9 9990k with 2080ti windows 10, all run at about 1/8 speed. However looking online it seems like im the only one to experience this. It seems weird given ive tried the original cd release, the steam release. And even the gog release...am i just kryptonite to this game?

I also used to have a single core p4 witha voodoo2 that would run it slow too...

Reply 49 of 136, by ZellSF

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HunterZ wrote on 2020-01-24, 17:11:
collector wrote on 2020-01-23, 20:29:
ZellSF wrote on 2020-01-22, 18:07:

IMO a game that has several solutions isn't problematic.

Perhaps, but for the purposes of this list it would be nice to list some of these solutions. This list should not merely list games with issues on modern Windows. A list with solutions included becomes a useful reference.

Exactly. The goal is to save people time, which currently is my most precious resource! If I have to spend a day fumbling with different wrappers to get an old game working, I'm probably just going to move on to something else. But if someone else has already done this and shared a specific workaround for that particular game, then that's enormously helpful.

That's what PC Gaming Wiki is for though.

I don't like PC Gaming Wiki, but one of the biggest problems with PC gaming isn't the lack of information, but the spread of it.

Reply 50 of 136, by collector

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There is value in multiple sources. One may have information that the other does not. This forum with the size of its membership would probably provide for more feedback than that on a Wiki; what works for some, what does not, what works, but with caveats, etc. A good example would be wrappers. They can work flawlessly with some graphics cards, but make a game unplayable with others. Not to mention the links to resources that users here could provide.

The Sierra Help Pages -- New Sierra Game Installers -- Sierra Game Patches -- New Non-Sierra Game Installers

Reply 51 of 136, by HunterZ

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I've been burned out on wikis, although I'd probably still edit the VOGONS one if it wasn't effectively dead. Every wiki of any size eventually gets taken over by gatekeepers who revert every edit from people who are not in some blessed inner circle.

Anyway, checked PCGamingWiki for the first few games in our list so far:

  • AMBER: Doesn't seem to have an article. Oops.
  • America's 10 Most Wanted: Listed under the US release name (I guess I should add that) but with almost zero useful info other than specs: https://www.pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Fugitive_Hu … :_War_on_Terror
  • Baldur's Gate: No mention of pertinent issues on modern Windows, but at least there are oblique references to helpful sites.

Not very impressive. And I bet if I tried to add anything useful that we come up with, they'd just revert it.

Reply 52 of 136, by HunterZ

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Someone released a bundle of Shogo fixes: https://www.moddb.com/games/shogo-mobile-armo … go-fix/#7541889

Unfortunately there I still have serious issues with the game:

  • Game still fails to launch 90% of the time on my laptop.
  • Upper-left text is almost unreadable.
  • I can see a flickering mouse cursor.
  • Mouse is jerky and super-sensitive. Workaround: Reduce polling rate from 1000Hz to 125Hz.

It also starts you out with two pistols with upgraded models after the prologue. I'm not sure what that's about.

Reply 53 of 136, by ZellSF

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collector wrote on 2020-01-25, 14:58:

There is value in multiple sources. One may have information that the other does not. This forum with the size of its membership would probably provide for more feedback than that on a Wiki; what works for some, what does not, what works, but with caveats, etc. A good example would be wrappers. They can work flawlessly with some graphics cards, but make a game unplayable with others. Not to mention the links to resources that users here could provide.

It's still creating another documentation project without properly addressing any of the flaws with current ones.

HunterZ wrote on 2020-01-25, 18:03:
Someone released a bundle of Shogo fixes: https://www.moddb.com/games/shogo-mobile-armo … go-fix/#7541889 […]
Show full quote

Someone released a bundle of Shogo fixes: https://www.moddb.com/games/shogo-mobile-armo … go-fix/#7541889

Unfortunately there I still have serious issues with the game:

  • Game still fails to launch 90% of the time on my laptop.
  • Upper-left text is almost unreadable.
  • I can see a flickering mouse cursor.
  • Mouse is jerky and super-sensitive. Workaround: Reduce polling rate from 1000Hz to 125Hz.

It also starts you out with two pistols with upgraded models after the prologue. I'm not sure what that's about.

Shogo (and some other games: Blood 2, Panzer General III and The Longest Journey comes to mind) rely on Windows font rendering and was made before font smoothing was standard. You need to disable font smoothing in Windows settings. There's sadly no way to control it per application, but probably quite a few programs that allows you to script a temporary change.

I just stick to a 125hz polling rate for my mouse, unless you're a competitive gamer you don't really need higher and there's quite a few old games that have problems with higher polling rates (Dark Reign 2 and Populous: The Beginning comes to mind here). Plus you save battery if you have a wireless mouse.

As for the cursor flickering issue, I don't have that in Shogo, but I do have it in other games and work around it by temporarily setting the mouse cursor in Windows to a blank one. Here's how to do it in AutoHotKey:
https://www.autohotkey.com/docs/commands/DllC … .htm#HideCursor
Can be really annoying if something crashes and you have to navigate to mouse properties by keyboard to reset the mouse cursors though.

You can also try the dinput.dll here:
https://github.com/elishacloud/dxwrapper/issues/54

Reply 54 of 136, by HunterZ

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The flaws of someone else's wiki are not within my purview.

My biggest problem with Shogo is that at least 90% of the time it won't even launch. I uninstalled it again after testing the new "patch" and only getting the game to actually launch twice. I probably should have made a video for the doubters though.

Reply 55 of 136, by collector

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ZellSF wrote on 2020-01-25, 20:27:

It's still creating another documentation project without properly addressing any of the flaws with current ones.

As HunterZ notes we do not have control over other sources to fix them. If you think that this thread is a bad idea why bother posting in it?

The Sierra Help Pages -- New Sierra Game Installers -- Sierra Game Patches -- New Non-Sierra Game Installers

Reply 56 of 136, by ZellSF

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collector wrote on 2020-01-25, 23:00:
ZellSF wrote on 2020-01-25, 20:27:

It's still creating another documentation project without properly addressing any of the flaws with current ones.

As HunterZ notes we do not have control over other sources to fix them. If you think that this thread is a bad idea why bother posting in it?

Just because I don't think this works as a documentation project, doesn't mean I don't think people won't end up here by accident while googling for stuff like "Midnight Outlaw: 6 Hours to SunUp", and I think those people should get help.

If you were more specifically wondering why I was posting critical questions about the topic itself, it was in the hopes that OP would seriously think about things he should address in a documentation project, not trying to discourage him.

HunterZ wrote on 2020-01-25, 22:17:

My biggest problem with Shogo is that at least 90% of the time it won't even launch. I uninstalled it again after testing the new "patch" and only getting the game to actually launch twice. I probably should have made a video for the doubters though.

There are no doubters? I just said Shogo works on modern systems. Not that it works on every hardware/software configuration possible.

Reply 57 of 136, by IlhanK

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I am the kind of guy that gets a kick out of running old windows games on new machines. While there are usually ways to get games working, on Windows 10 I have been unsuccessful getting to run:

- Fire Fight by Chaos Works
- Fighting Force by Core Design

Reply 58 of 136, by ZellSF

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IlhanK wrote on 2020-01-27, 16:51:

- Fire Fight by Chaos Works

Fire Fight didn't seem like particularly a problem case to me, nocd crack+dgVoodoo. I didn't wait to see if CDDA had looping issues (it probably does), but since Windows manages to play CDDA natively I'm guessing both _inmm and DxWnd wrappers would work

I seem to recall having problems finding a CD crack earlier (found one easily now though), but then I just copied the contents of the game + 1.2 patch + dgVoodoo to a folder and made a new CD image of that and it worked fine.

IlhanK wrote on 2020-01-27, 16:51:

- Fighting Force by Core Design

Fighting Force needs:

  • XP patch (here)
  • dgVoodoo
  • Winplay DLL patch (here)
  • DxWnd (only for CDDA playback, needs to be a very recent version)

I would definitely call it a problematic game, but it should be playable now (thanks to DxWnd's recent CDDA improvements).

Reply 59 of 136, by ZellSF

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So I was a bit bored and decided to look at the games I wanted to play myself that I found problematic. They're both 2D games, and games that would be playable under emulation/virtualization, but I wanted to run them natively and have given up on that in the past.

First was Bungaru WA, an old Japanese freeware game that's really not worth playing. Fullscreen was broken, dgVoodoo fixed that. Then menus worked, with sounds and music and everything but trying to go ingame would crash the game. After some testing I figured out that DxWnd's exception handler (Compat. tab with advanced settings enabled) would make the error go away and make the game entirely playable. The game would kept working even when DxWnd was no longer running, and after the computer was rebooted. Obviously, I'm confused, but I believe there is some condition that causes the error to occur and if you run into that, DxWnd's exception handling will help you.

Second was Nectaris, which is a bit more interesting. Supposedly freeware too. The western (PC release was Japan only) version was known as Military Madness and was a fairly popular turn based strategy game for the PC Engine/Turbografx. It got a Windows release which had some nice features not available in all ports: a map editor, mouse control and the ability to save mid-game. It had two issues on newer Windows versions. One (broken fullscreen) was easy to fix with dgVoodoo. Dialog windows forcing the game windowed until manually set to fullscreen again might seem like a dgVoodoo bug, but it's how the game behaves on Windows 95 too.

The second problem was new to me. Whenever the game tried to play a new midi file, it would freeze for a few seconds. This got infuriating fast. Apparently, it's a known issue with playing midi files through MCI on systems newer than XP, documented here:
http://www.virtualdub.org/blog/pivot/entry.php?id=77
The documentation is lacking why Microsoft implemented this delay, but there's instructions on that page on how to remove it. In case the link dies I followed this advice by Phaeron (talking about editing mciseq.dll):

Phaeron wrote:

The code that foxyshadis patched is in the LeaveSeq() function whose disassembly is above — so you are looking for a hex pattern of 68 __ __ __ __ FF 15 __ __ __ __ 6A 04 __ __ __ __ C3. Underscores represent bytes that may be different due to a different base address. The 04 should be patched to 00, and then the PE header checksum at 00000130 should be cleared by patching to 00 00 00 00.

Once I did that, Nectaris started playing back midi instantly, without freezing the game for seconds. I actually found this page first:
https://www.tt-forums.net/viewtopic.php?t=19307
Indicating that Transport Tycoon Deluxe also has this problem. I have to assume other games have this problem too, but I haven't run into any.