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First post, by Zup

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So I'm trying to "pirate" three simulators and making it work on my computers. Please read completely before nuking the thread 😉

The computers involved are a Windows 7 laptop (Core 2 Duo), a Ryzen 3 1200 running Windows 10 and Linux with Wine 5.0, and a Ryzen 5 1600 running Windows 10. Also I've tried to run them through virtualbox.

Flight Simulator 2000: The game is the spanish Microsoft release. Installed the game from CDs, applied last patch from Microsoft and some crack to avoid having the CD on the drive. Results: it works in my Windows 7 laptop, on both OSs on the Ryzen 3 but refuses to run on the Ryzen 5. On that computer it goes past the first movie but locks on the splash screen, never showing the menu. I've tested it using dgVoodoo 2, and forcing it to start full screen locks the entire computer (I must Ctrl+Alt+Del and close session, because the game prevents Task Manager showing). Strangely, Combat Flight Simulator 2 (based on the same engine) works without problems.

F-22 Total Air War (SOLVED): Don't use any compatibility options and don't install it on paths with spaces or non ASCII characters. If you use the DirectX version, don't use dgVoodoo 2 ddraw.dll; but if you use the 3Dfx version you can use dgVoodoo 2 glide emulation. The game can run without CD, does not need any patch.

X-Plane 7 (SOLVED): Use nvidia profile inspector and set Extension Limit (under 5 - Common) to 0x00001B58 (the same as Quake 2 & 3). FX Interactive version should run without patches; original versions will need a crack.

Why backups? Because old CDs often fails, because DVD drives are disappearing and because FX Interactive is bankrupt and I don't know how long their store will work. FS2000 was the last game of the series that had paper manuals (so it's easier to have the manuals besides the computer); and the three games will run happily on my retro-laptops. Having them patched and ready to fly on 7z format would be nice.

Does anybody knows how to make them work reliably?

Last edited by Zup on 2021-11-09, 11:57. Edited 1 time in total.

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 1 of 5, by Zup

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F-22 Total Air War is working now:
- It needs to be installed on a path without spaces (and without non-ASCII characters, I guess).
- It has to be run WITHOUT any compatibility settings (!).

Putting it on Windows 98 compatibility or any folder with strange characters will lead to non working menu (but can work if you launch F22.DAT directly).

It still does not work using dgvoodoo2 (tested on 2.75 and 2.76, using ddraw.dll because this is the Direct3D version of the game)... it dies without showing any error, using the launcher or not.

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 2 of 5, by BEEN_Nath_58

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If dgVoodoo2 didn't work, then you still got DDrawCompat and WINED3D to test. Even if those don't work, there's always DxWnd, and I am sure it's developer will help anyday.

previously known as Discrete_BOB_058

Reply 3 of 5, by Zup

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Well, I haven't had much time to play with this, but...

Flight Simulator 2000:
I've run it through Process Monitor, still no hints about what it is looking for / complaining about. I've got to look at the installation log, to pinpoint any registry key or windows component missing. In the worst case, I'm trying to slipstream the patch and the crack into the CD installer and test it.

F-22 Total Air War (SOLVED):
It needs to NOT have any compatibility setting, and being installed on a path without spaces or non-ASCII characters (like á, ñ, or the like).
- If installed on "offending" paths, it leads to heavy graphical glitches. So heavy that the main menu is unusable.
- Trying to run on compatibility settings (tested with Windows 98 and XP compatibility) crashes without any error message.
- Trying to run it with dgVoodoo 2 ddraw.dll leads to crashes without any error message (tested with 2.75 and 2.76).
- Strangely, the 3Dfx version will run happily using dgVoodoo 2 3Dfx emulation.
- Both 3Dfx and DirectX versions have software mode, so you can run them even if you don't have proper video cards (or emulation).
I've tested it on FX Interactive spanish release (that only includes/installs DirectX executables) and english release (both DirectX and 3Dfx version). So, in this case, dgVoodoo is not required... at least for now (who knows what will happen with Windows 11). Also, I've tested it running _f22.exe (the launcher) and F22.DAT directly (the main executable).

X-Plane 7:
Ran more tests, using both my "pirated" version and the official 7.63 demo version. The symptoms are the same:
- It changes graphic mode but crashes without any error message. Not even on their own .out files.
- In Linux, it draws the splash screen and locks when showing the message "Did start plugins"; wine shows a exception error (buffer overflow) and the process must be killed.
- Using process monitor, it complained about not finding a QuickTime DLL but installing QuickTime don't change anything (but the error dissapears). The last messages in Process monitor is that it opens the splash screen... and the next messages are that it is looking for drwatson because it crashed.
- I've tried using compatibility settings (Windows XP, it's a 2002 game). Same results.
- I've tried running with dgVoodoo 2 (although it is a OpenGL game). Same results.
- I've used Nvidia Inspector to limit GL extensions (because of that buffer overflow). Same results.
At this moment, I'm thinking that the failure is OpenGL related (because it runs on Windows 7 and Linux on my shitty laptop) but I don't have any OpenGL emulator or limiter to test it.

The computer I'm using for my tests is a Ryzen 3 1200 with 24Gb RAM and a GeForce Ti1050, running Windows 10 21H1.

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 5 of 5, by Zup

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Another game solved:

X-Plane 7: Crashes because modern cards lists too many GL extensions. My changes:
- I've used nvidia profile inspector to create a new profile because it already has a X-Plane profile.
- I've set "Limit extensions" at the same level as Quake 2 and 3, but maybe other settings will work. Do not set it to On (=0x00000001), it will crash the game.
- I've renamed every executable (airfoil maker, briefer, plane maker, world maker and x-plane) adding a 7 after the name, because X-Plane.exe is taken by the other X-Plane profile (and I've got X-Plane 10 installed, so it will trigger the profile).
- I've linked my profile to X-Plane 7 executables.

The version I use is from the FX Interactive store, so it runs without checking for CD or DVD; on the other hand it only includes (or it only loads) spanish language. Other versions will need be updated to 7.63 and have a no CD crack applied.

Also, resolution options don't work as expected (it seems that the game was only for 4:3 monitors).
- Default options (1024x768) works fine. The screen is centered and the cockpit goes from left to right.
- 1920x1080 shows the cockpit centered, but doesn't go all the way to the border. Instead, the external view goes from left to right, with the cockpit centered on the screen.
- 1440x1080 (the biggest 4:3 mode I can use) shows the cockpit centered, but the "game window" starts on the left of the screen instead of being centered.

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!