VOGONS


First post, by 95DosBox

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Looking to create an exclusive Windows 3.1, 95, 98, and ME only games list.
If the game has a DOS or Windows 2000 or later version for it that works please don't add this here.
I'm trying to isolate only Windows 3.1, 95, 98, and ME games and not any DOS games either.
I'm not sure if there is such a list but I'm looking to possibly test out these rare gems if they exist.

Please list the Game Title and OS it supports:
No DOS or Windows 2000, XP, W7 and later Titles.

No GOG Windows 2000 and later adaptations of DOS, Windows 3.1, 95, 98, and ME Titles.
By this I mean GOG porting an older OS title to run in XP, Vista, W7, or W10.

They must be pure Windows 3.1, 95, 98, or ME exclusive Titles.

Thanks... and let the list begin.

Reply 1 of 20, by leileilol

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You're joking, right

The backwards compatibility intent of Windows will make this list very impossible to debunk/check/etc. the "exclusive" games would involve games with badly implemented version checking

This is almost like making a list of games that use MIDI and claim them to be sample-based because an AWE32 can work with them.

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Reply 2 of 20, by 95DosBox

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leileilol wrote:

You're joking, right

The backwards compatibility intent of Windows will make this list very impossible to debunk/check/etc. the "exclusive" games would involve games with badly implemented version checking

This is almost like making a list of games that use MIDI and claim them to be sample-based because an AWE32 can work with them.

There's a big difference between playing a MIDI file in another OS which is easily done. Some programs simply will not work probably requiring something specific tied to the OS they were programmed.

You let me worry about testing and filtering that out as the list could be quite small but unless you've seen something extensive done in another thread to verify that all 3.1-ME titles work in XP then point me to it. I'm sure I will see a bunch that will work on XP even though they were "not" specifically labeled to work on it. I would probably use XP first to see if the program would run to filter the list. I'm not going to play through the entire program to guarantee full compatibility. Probably check out the intro and early gameplay to see if it crashes. I'm more interested in the ones that will crash instantly or won't work in the NT kernel. As far as backward compatibility I don't think Windows 7 could run every XP software the same as XP not running every DOS based software and I'm speaking natively without patches or the use of DOSBOX or similar type environment. Eventually there might be a few of the titles that simply cannot run but only inside 3.1-ME.

If a game was programmed specifically for 95, 98, or ME is what I'm targeting. On the game box or system requirements it would "not" state for Windows 2000, XP or later on it so there would be no guaranteed compatibility on NT based systems. Most likely the earlier 3.1 and 95 titles would have a higher chance of incompatibility.

Now if it turns out every single 3.1-ME title works in XP that would be amazing. Even testing an early 3.1 AfterDark Screensaver (not game) it was unable to interface with XP for the sound nor the PC Internal Speaker.

Reply 3 of 20, by F2bnp

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Much like leilei is saying, there are no Win3.1 and Win9x exclusive games. Windows is built in such a way as to have great compatibility with previous versions and the hardware is much the same. The only thing prohibiting games from running on newer versions of Windows are bugs and otherwise difficult to foresee behavior in more modern hardware and operating systems. There's nothing exclusive to Win3.1 that would prohibit games designed for this OS to run under Windows 95 for example.

I can kinda see a Windows 3.0 and 3.1 games list, since you could make the argument that they were exclusive to Windows at a time when DOS was prevalent on computers. But as you move on forward, there's little sense in creating similar lists and can create to a lot of confusion, just take a look at Glide game lists which very often include OpenGL games and even D3D games 😁.
There are many examples of games I remember not running properly under Windows XP for example, but it wasn't the OS's fault. I clearly remember Oni with its "Blam! Oni has crashed" error message and that was always being categorized as an issue that had to do with Windows XP. It was actually just newer GPUs and drivers that created this issue, because the game expected a much smaller OpenGL log than what the GPU reported having in later generations and the game would crash on startup because of this 🤣 .

Reply 4 of 20, by firage

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The key phrase that screwed things up in the transition from Win9x to 2K/XP was "Not supported on Windows NT." The user generated database here could be a starting point for research: http://www.ntcompatible.com/compatdb/lists/ga … es_windows.html

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Reply 5 of 20, by 95DosBox

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I appreciate the feedback so far. Yes from what I've seen most 3.X titles should work in 9X. However are there any specific 9X titles that wouldn't work in XP because it required a special 3D video card to run properly that only had 9X drivers? Now if XP can run all existing 3.X-ME titles without any compatibility issues that would be a great feat of compatibility. But I'm targeting these titles to figure out if there are any existing 3.X-ME titles that simply does not work on XP being the most supported OS to date. I haven't tried all the 3.X-ME titles so this huge block is unknown if there exists such software that just won't run on XP. But if someone knows of any confirmed titles they tried running on XP that failed from 3.1-ME those would be the ones worth checking out first.

Reply 6 of 20, by spiroyster

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95DosBox wrote:

However are there any specific 9X titles that wouldn't work in XP because it required a special 3D video card to run properly that only had 9X drivers?

PowerVR SGL would be the first one that comes to mind since there are no NT drivers for PCX cards. Of course, other than 1 or 2 games, there are non powerVR versions of the others so these can still be played, just not SGL versions on anything other than 9x. If only there was a wrapper for SGL for these versions. sigh o.0

Reply 7 of 20, by Jo22

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There's nothing exclusive to Win3.1 that would prohibit games designed for this OS to run under Windows 95 for example.

*Ahem* Well, there was some weird Win32s/WinG depency going on.. Win95 wasn't 100% compatible to that, I'm afraid.
Some games also got more memory/resources (GDI, heap, etc) on Windows 3.1x..

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 8 of 20, by F2bnp

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You are right of course, but even such titles usually run fine under Win9x. Most of them do anyway.

Win9x to Win2000 and XP though... Would you call the games don't run on the latter OSes "Win9x exclusives" ?

I think the idea put forth by the OP, making a list of games that rely on 3D accelerators that do not offer drivers on newer OSes is a little more interesting and cohesive, but even then wouldn't it be a better idea to compile a list with games supporting specific APIs, which is something that people are already doing?

Reply 9 of 20, by akula65

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Establishing hard and fast criteria for NOT working in NT kernel versions of Windows is likely to be problematic as well. Have a look at dvwjr's definitive posts on Sid Meier's Gettysburg! and Antietam! in WinXP SP2:

Sid Meier's Antietam! on Windows XP (SP2)
Sid Meier's Gettysburg! on Windows XP (SP2)

At the end of the latter thread, KAN says that the video intros for Antietam! and South Mountain don't work, but otherwise everything else does work in Windows XP SP1. Are these games exclusive according to your criteria? The timing issues in particular are very problematic since they may mean that a particular title WILL work under an NT-kernel OS IF the hardware is old and slow enough, but not on faster hardware.

Reply 10 of 20, by Jo22

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F2bnp wrote:

You are right of course, but even such titles usually run fine under Win9x. Most of them do anyway.

Win9x to Win2000 and XP though... Would you call the games don't run on the latter OSes "Win9x exclusives" ?

Fair enough, that's a good point! 😀
In case of Windows 3.x, things get philosophical quite quickly, hah. 😅

On one hand, Win9x is a descendant and allows us to use all sorts of low-level stuff like accessing the OPL3
synth or the PC-Speaker, while it still has 16-Bit components such as GDI.

On the other hand, Windows NT -just like OS/2- runs a more or less complete Windows 3.1 VM (in terms of system files).
Thus, it can still run unsupported Win 2.x applications that Win95 refuses to run (no issue for most users).

Now, when is the application/game run more natively ?

When executed "natively" on the mutant (aka Win95) or when it is run on
the original Win 3.1 architecture that sits in a cage (VM) ?

Technically, a 3.1 VM can be made to support direct hardware access.
On OS/2, that's just a few clicks away. On NT, there's Port-Talk among other hacks.

By the way. that leads us to another question:
If Windows NT/XP has Win3.1 built-in, how can it not be considered to be 3.1-related?
Or how can an Exlusive games list even exists, if later OSes contain a copy of the older OSes?

It's a bit like XP-Mode for Windows 7 and DOS 7 in Win9x. Or Mac OS 9 as part of the Classic Environment on OS X.
Just a tad more complex. Windows 3.1 "Win16" games would run through the WoW layer,
while Windows 3.1 "Win32s" games would run directly on the NT side.

This gets even funnier when it turns out that several Win9x Exclusives are really just Win32s titles.
Two of the key elements of a valid Win32s app are: relocation tables, no use of threading.

As for me, I don't know what is the right answer to this.
Perhaps 3.x is a special case here.

Especially Win31+Win32s, since it is really unique for beeing the one and only
cooperatively multitasked Win32 flavor. It even got it's own Platform ID.

F2bnp wrote:

I think the idea put forth by the OP, making a list of games that rely on 3D accelerators that do not offer drivers on newer OSes is a little more interesting and cohesive, but even then wouldn't it be a better idea to compile a list with games supporting specific APIs, which is something that people are already doing?

Obsolutely, that's also a good idea. 😀

Though, I have to admit at one point I understand the OPs idea of an Exclusive Windows Games List.
Some games were quite picky about the OS they ran on. I recall there once was a Windows port of Super Tetris (?) that would
run properly only on Windows 3.0. I think it also tried to communicate directly with the MPU-401 in order to play MT-32 music.
This was before Windows 3.1 or Windows 3.0 MME, so the MCI API didn't exist yet. Perhaps such special cases also existed for Win95 titles ?
A game that does deeply mess with its system internals (hooks mouse/keyboard drivers, etc) ?

Edit: I apologize for the long posting. I tried to keep it at a minimum, but it became pretty long nevertheless.
I hope you don't mind. I do have one consolation, also : Reading my own stuff often quite annoys me, too. 😅

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 11 of 20, by CkRtech

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Hmm.

My take is that you might find a good compatibility exercise by working out some of the early MPC games under Windows 3.1. Several of them had to lean heavily upon 3rd party multimedia software/codecs in order to function. I suppose newer versions of the software the titles depend on might not be compatible with the original functionality from when the games were designed.

For instance - something that is bundled with Quicktime version X might not work well with Quicktime version X+1. It is also possible that Windows 95 can run Quicktime X+1, but can't use Quicktime X. If that is the case, it seems like it is reasonable to assume the game is a Windows 3.1 exclusive.

Try installing/playing Hell Cab or Critical Path under Windows 9x. If they run after some tweaking, great. If they don't, I guess you'll have some exclusives. Those are two off the top of my head.

I owned a CD-ROM drive prior to Windows 95, and multimedia was a buckle-your-seatbelt experience when it came to Windows 3.1, codecs, palettes, and drivers.

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Reply 12 of 20, by Jo22

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Now that you name multimedia, early CD titles were special in that they came in strange formats (from today's point of view). 😀
For example, there was Kodak Photo-CD (Beige Book) or CD-i. Later versions of Windows, as well as modern CD-ROM drives, forgot about them.
CD-i (Green Book) in particular was not natively supported by Win95 anymore. Unlike MSCDEX, its IFS wouldn't recognize them.
If someone wants to watch an MPEG file on CD-i, he/she/.. has to either load MSCDEX+ a DOS CD driver or has to run
a special driver: CD-i Filesystem Driver 2.0 (Beta) for Windows 95/98/Me

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 13 of 20, by Joey_sw

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Speaking of CD & its driver, i do have games that can easily installed and run on win98,
but it would not run when i install it on winXP, its still refuses to run even using win98 compatibility mode.
After some searching I need to apply the NoCD cracks/patches to make it run on winXP.
Eh, its probably DRM issues that works okay with win9x but fail on winXP.

-fffuuu

Reply 15 of 20, by 95DosBox

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akula65 wrote:
Establishing hard and fast criteria for NOT working in NT kernel versions of Windows is likely to be problematic as well. Have […]
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Establishing hard and fast criteria for NOT working in NT kernel versions of Windows is likely to be problematic as well. Have a look at dvwjr's definitive posts on Sid Meier's Gettysburg! and Antietam! in WinXP SP2:

Sid Meier's Antietam! on Windows XP (SP2)
Sid Meier's Gettysburg! on Windows XP (SP2)

At the end of the latter thread, KAN says that the video intros for Antietam! and South Mountain don't work, but otherwise everything else does work in Windows XP SP1. Are these games exclusive according to your criteria? The timing issues in particular are very problematic since they may mean that a particular title WILL work under an NT-kernel OS IF the hardware is old and slow enough, but not on faster hardware.

If this title that you listed was listed as only running in one of these OS Win 3.X-ME but on the actual game box and the listed system requirements it did not state it supported Windows 2000 or later then yes I would say this qualifies. The second test is of course to try these specific titles to see if they work properly in Windows 2000, XP, Vista, W7, and W10 of course. But since most people would most likely be using XP or W7 to test such old games I'm going to only use XP since it has the best compatibility to use this as the benchmark. If the game fails to run on XP (no extra patches) just straight running it I will also go as far as installing it on the 9X side if it can't be installed on XP and then copying the entire game folder to XP to see if it works that way as sometimes it's the installer that won't work due to some OS detection issue but the actual game might.

If XP doesn't run this Windows 3.1-ME game then this one would be one of the test subjects to run on my natively built 9X system build off of modern hardware to see if it works correctly on there. One of my goals was to find these rare 9X-ME titles and eventually run it on a modern built 9X system to see how well it performs.

Edit: I apologize for the long posting. I tried to keep it at a minimum, but it became pretty long nevertheless.
I hope you don't mind. I do have one consolation, also : Reading my own stuff often quite annoys me, too. 😅

Don't worry. 😉

By the way. that leads us to another question: If Windows NT/XP has Win3.1 built-in, how can it not be considered to be 3.1-rela […]
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By the way. that leads us to another question:
If Windows NT/XP has Win3.1 built-in, how can it not be considered to be 3.1-related?
Or how can an Exlusive games list even exists, if later OSes contain a copy of the older OSes?

It's a bit like XP-Mode for Windows 7 and DOS 7 in Win9x. Or Mac OS 9 as part of the Classic Environment on OS X.
Just a tad more complex. Windows 3.1 "Win16" games would run through the WoW layer,
while Windows 3.1 "Win32s" games would run directly on the NT side.

The Exclusive 3.1-ME list is based on the actual system requirements on the game box and what was listed by the manufacturer as being supported.
But in regards to XP-MODE in W7 - If you were trying to run XP titles for example no I would only consider W7 SP1 unaltered and not using XP-MODE. Assuming when MS bought out Connectix and could even make it run all XP software on Windows 7 flawlessly it would be like DOSBOX running DOS titles on XP. So it would not qualify. Since the focus is on WIN 3.1-ME titles period to save time I would only use XP Pro SP3 to test the (3.1-ME) game. If it installs, can play the intro, can play at least the beginning level as I'm not planning to beat the game as that would consume a lot of time but just enough to get an idea it's working despite not being stated as a supported OS. This would of course also disqualify it from being part of the 3.1-ME exclusive list (for the time being).

Speaking of CD & its driver, i do have games that can easily installed and run on win98, but it would not run when i install it […]
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Speaking of CD & its driver, i do have games that can easily installed and run on win98,
but it would not run when i install it on winXP, its still refuses to run even using win98 compatibility mode.
After some searching I need to apply the NoCD cracks/patches to make it run on winXP.
Eh, its probably DRM issues that works okay with win9x but fail on winXP.

Which games are these? I do recall one title that had DRM that forced you to keep the CD or it wouldn't load into the game. It was Knight Rider from Davilex. Later I used the CD patch to install directly on the hard drive. I can't recall any hard copy protection CD type games in the 3.X-ME period. Starcraft and Warcraft enforced having the CD in the CDrom to play but it wasn't true DRM copy protection like Knight Rider.

Reply 16 of 20, by Malik

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I don't understand this list. If it requires Win3.1 as inclusive, then the list should be about Win3.x exclusive list. Trying to expand it to include Win95 upto WinME is kind of pointless. It becomes a non-NT compatible Windows games in general.

Most of the games produced during the Win3.x and Win9x era were not aware of the future Win2K/XP. And some of these Win9x era games may work in later OS, and it will be hard to exclude those, since they were not designed for NT and not exclusive, but they may still work.

5476332566_7480a12517_t.jpgSB Dos Drivers

Reply 17 of 20, by Jo22

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I agree with that. Windows 3.x really is a special case, I think.
Windows 3.1x or WfW in general is on the border line between a GUI and a real OS.
To this day, people still debate over this (sometimes hefty, too).

To make things even more complicated, it is both quite similar and
very different to Win9x at the same time. What Win3 differs in the most is its executable format,
the flavor of multi-tasking scheme and memory managment.

And to make things worse, that socalled DOS GUI can be run by three different kernals;
some of which can even be executed without an actual, underlaying copy of DOS. 😀

Edit: I'd like to apologize for all my Win3.x-related thoughts so far. I didn't mean to make 3.x
the center of discussion here. That should be rather 9x, since it is more relevant to gaming, I guess.

It's just, well.. a) 3x is quite a curiosity compared to the others.
b) It's something among the things I still use and (partially) know of, hah. ^^

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 18 of 20, by 95DosBox

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Malik wrote:

I don't understand this list. If it requires Win3.1 as inclusive, then the list should be about Win3.x exclusive list. Trying to expand it to include Win95 upto WinME is kind of pointless. It becomes a non-NT compatible Windows games in general.

Most of the games produced during the Win3.x and Win9x era were not aware of the future Win2K/XP. And some of these Win9x era games may work in later OS, and it will be hard to exclude those, since they were not designed for NT and not exclusive, but they may still work.

Exactly which is why I'm targeting those specifically labeled their system requirements for Windows 3.X to ME.
I would of course end up doing the filtering to test whether they do indeed work on 2000 and later. Most 3.X games might work in 9X/ME but no guarantee any of these will work in NT. But your deduction is correct that it would be about non NT-compatible Windows games but that's just part of the criteria.

Reply 19 of 20, by Joey_sw

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95DosBox wrote:

Which games are these? I do recall one title that had DRM that forced you to keep the CD or it wouldn't load into the game. It was Knight Rider from Davilex. Later I used the CD patch to install directly on the hard drive. I can't recall any hard copy protection CD type games in the 3.X-ME period. Starcraft and Warcraft enforced having the CD in the CDrom to play but it wasn't true DRM copy protection like Knight Rider.

The game was "Fate of the Dragon" a chinese game made by now defunct http://www.g2game.com, published and localized for international market by Eidos.

-fffuuu