When you’re super sonic racing, there’s no time to look around! Before Sonic decided he needed a car to speed around a race-track, he was racing his friends on foot in Sonic R. Originally released for the Sega Saturn console, Sonic R has bright, colourful graphics and bold blue skies, along with a very memorable euro-pop style soundtrack by Sega fan favourite Richard Jacques. If you’re a fan of Sega games from yesteryear, it’s hard not to fall for Sonic R’s charms. While the game is a little on the easy side, it’s very entertaining to play and younger players in particular will find it accessible. If, like us, you can feel the sunshine too, it’s time to get this old gem working again.
Note – The version tested here is the Xplosiv software re-release, this may differ slightly from the original version.
On most PC’s, Sonic R will install without any issues. Simply insert the CD and follow the on-screen prompts. If the installer does not start automatically, browse the Sonic R CD and locate the “setup.exe” file and run it. The installer program will offer to install DirectX, but this is not necessary as the version on the Sonic R CD is certainly older than the version you already have installed. The installer may also crash on exiting but you don’t need to worry about this.
If you have problems with the games installer (for instance, if the installer says you don’t have enough hard drive space despite having more than ample), simply create a folder anywhere on your PC, then copy the entire contents of the Sonic R CD-ROM over to that folder. When you’re done, you can safely delete the files “Setup.exe” and “xplosiv.exe”.
Running the game
There are two separate problems that typically stop Sonic R running on a modern PC. The first problem occurs on all modern PC’s and prevents you from using the keyboard or game controller in the game. To fix this problem, a special tool called DXWind-ms is required. This tool is actually designed to force full-screen games (specifically the RPG Maple Story) to run in windowed mode, but in this instance it helps Sonic R run at full screen without freezing out our keyboard or gamepad. You can download the tool here. The file is downloaded as a .rar archive/compressed folder, meaning you will need to extract the files from this archive before you can use them. We recommend the free 7-zip utility for this. If you’ve never used 7-zip before, there are tutorials available here.
Extract the DXWnd-ms.rar to any convenient location on your computers hard drive. You should now see an application called “dxwnd.exe”. Run this program and the following window will appear:-
On the Edit menu, select “Add”. A window called “Target Setup” will then appear. Click on the button labelled “…” (three dots or period marks). A standard file-requester window will then appear. Browse to your Sonic R directory and select the “sonicr.exe” file. Now, configure the remaining options as follows:-
DirectX Version to Hook – DirectX9
Do not Notify on Task Change
DirectInput is Hooked
Auto Correct Mouse Position
Reduce CPU Load (DirectX1-7)
The picture below shows these options configured on our Windows 8 system.
Click on “OK”. You should now try starting the game. Don’t leave the DXWind program running when you’re not using it, since it appears to have some strange side effects on other programs (it caused Internet Explorer to crash on our Windows 8 machine, for instance).
Running the game
After starting and configuring DXWind as above, you can now run Sonic R. Launch the game either from a shortcut or by browsing to the Sonic R folder and clicking the sonicr.exe file. The game should now start and give you the option of Direct Draw or Direct 3D mode. Be sure to choose Direct 3D (use the arrow keys and the space bar, rather than Enter, to confirm your selection). If you cannot choose an option from this menu, check that you configured the DXWind utility and that it is running.
If the game crashes immediately and won’t start, check the troubleshooting section.
The game should be automatically configured for the best possible visual settings. In Direct 3D mode there’s little that can be tweaked. In the Options menu you may wish to go to the Graphics options. On this menu, ensure that Draw Distance is set to Very Far and Track Shading and Alpha Blending are both set to On. Screen resolution is locked to 640 480 and cannot be changed.
Remember that Sonic R doesn’t auto-save your progress. Make sure to come into the options menu and choose “load/Save data” when you’re done playing, otherwise all your progress and any options you configured will be lost next time you come to play.
You’re now all set to race. If you want to use a gamepad with Sonic R, proceed to the next section.
Sonic R supports game controllers, though like many old PC games it might not recognize all the buttons on your pad. To configure your gamepad, select “Controls” from the options menu, then choose “Set Joystick”. If you cannot select “Set Joystick”, try pressing a button on your controller rather than the spacebar. Now, simply press the button on your controller that you want to use for each action. If you are using an Xbox 360 controller, you may want to configure L.Brake and R.Brake to the LT and RT buttons respectively. Sonic R won’t let you do this by default, luckily our old friend Xpadder can come to the rescue. The picture below shows the Xpadder profile we created for the game.
Z and X are the keyboard controlls for L.Brake and R.Brake. We also enabled the D-Pad by mapping the keyboard controls for up down left and right, allowing the player to use either the pad or the stick depending on their preference.
Troubleshooting and known issues
Game crashes to desktop:- On some machines you may see an error similar to the one shown below as soon as you start the game:-
This means that your PC is too fast to run Sonic R. In order to solve this problem, use a program called Process Sleeper. You can download this tool here. Again, the program is downloaded as a rar archive, so use 7-zip to extract it to the Sonic R directory and then run it. The program is in Russian and so may not show correctly on a standard English language PC, but it’s very simple to use anyway. The picture below shows it running.
Firstly, click on the “…” button to open a standard Windows file requester. Locate the sonicr.exe game file and double click on it. Now, make sure the DXWind program is configured and running as described above, then click on the left hand button in Process Sleeper (it will be the only button that isn’t greyed out). If the game crashes instantly, increase the value in the “Ms” box by one. Keep increasing this value and trying the game again, until you find a value that works. On our quad-core Windows 8 machine we had to go up to 10ms before the game would consistently launch without crashing.
Graphics corruption on menus:- There is slight graphical corruption around menu elements while running the game, this does not affect gameplay however.
Advanced users – Automating Sonic R launching
As we have seen, Sonic R can be a difficult game to get working. If you wanted to install this game for a child to play, for instance, it might be confusing for them to have to configure these options each time they play. It is possible to create a batch file that automates the entire process. All the user would need to do is click this batch file (or its shortcut) to start the game. To give you a rough idea of how this can be done, you can download our Sonic R batch file here (note, on some browsers, you may need to rename the file to Sonic-r.bat once downloaded). Below, there’s a picture of our batch file open in Notepad for editing:-
The first line of the file starts Xpadder and tells it to use the sonicr profile. You will need to change the directories to point to your copy of XPadder and to your XPadder Sonic R profile.
The next command is “cd C:\tools\DXWnd-ms\”. CD means change directory. We need to change into the directory where we installed DXWind-ms.
The next command starts the DXWind tool. By prefixing the command with the word “start”, you tell Windows not to wait until this program has finished running.
Next, we change directory back to our SonicR folder.
On the next line, we use the ntsleep tool. This is a command-line version of the Process Sleeper tool. You can download it here. Extract the files from the rar archive and place them in your Sonic R folder.
The pause command tells windows to wait for a keypress, when the user presses a key, the batch file will automatically shut down the DXWind tool.
If all the above sounded like another language, don’t worry, it’s not necessary for running Sonic R, but doing it this way can be quite convenient. We will look at creating batch files in more detail in a future tutorial on Top-Windows-Tutorials.com.
Thanks to tankist85 and Joseph Gritton on Youtube for originally figuring out how to run Sonic R on Windows 7.
The worlds friendliest and most hyperactive tiger bounces onto PC screens in this brightly coloured platform game. Tasked with collecting honey pots for Pooh bears party, Tigger stomps and jumps and ducks and dives across the game levels with his typical unwavering optimism. During his adventure, Tigger will bump and bounce into his other friends from the Hundred Acre Wood too. In typical video-game tradition, they’ll send Tigger off on side quests or offer him useful tips. Tigger’s Honey Hunt is a generic platform game, but that typically won’t matter to the children who make up the games target audience and who will be happy enough to spend time with the friendly feline on his honey hoarding adventure.
Tigger’s Honey Hunt will install on modern PC’s by simply inserting the CD and following the on-screen prompts. During installation, you should make a note of the directory the game is installed to. On our Windows 8 PC, we found that the short-cuts that the installer created were incorrect. If you click on the games short-cut on the Start Menu/screen and the game does not launch, we recommend that you delete the shortcut and create it again manually. To start the game you must run the “Launcher.exe” program in the Tiggers Honey Hunt directory.
Playing the game
The game will launch without any special settings. Before starting your first game, on the Launcher screen, click on “Video Settings”. There are only two settings, Low detail and High Detail, so make sure to select “High Detail”, then click on “OK”.
If you have a gamepad, you may wish to click on “Control Settings”. Since Tigger’s Honey Hunt supports up to 4 players in some of its mini-games, you can configure up to four game controllers or keyboard controls. An Xbox 360 controller will work with the game without any additional software. You can use the left analogue stick to move Tigger and the green button to jump. If those controls do not suit your play style, you will need to use Xpadder to remap the controls appropriately.
Note that the game always runs with a window-border around it. We’re not sure why.
Problems saving games:- Like many old titles, Tigger’s Honey Hunt saves its game data into the same folder as the game itself. In some instances on more modern versions of Windows, this will mean that save games cannot be written. To solve this problem you can either run the game as administrator (right click on the games icon and choose “Run as administrator”) or, better still, set the permissions on your Tiggers Honey Hunt game folder so that your user account has full control. A tutorial on how to change/configure these settings is coming soon.
The sequel to the 1998 game Magic and Mayhem, Magic and Mayhem: The Art of Magic is a blend of fantasy role-playing game and real time strategy game. Playing as the young wizard Aurax, you stumble out of your hut on your birthday to find that your hangover is the least of your worries. Hastily taught magic by your sister, who quickly becomes another damsel in distress, Aurax must use his new-found spellcasting abilities to fight back the forces of chaos and save his sibling. Rather than simply just raining down magical death on his enemies, our young hero can summon creatures to fight for him. These creatures are then controlled in real-time and can do battle against enemy armies or creatures summoned by rival spell-casters. Receiving mixed reviews on its release, Magic and Mayhem: The Art of Magic will appeal to strategy game fans and gamers who prefer a fantasy setting.
The game will install with no issues on modern versions of Windows, simply insert the CD-ROM and follow all on-screen prompts to install the game. During the installation process, you will be prompted to install the Gamespy utility, you can safely skip this particular component. The Gamespy utility was used to facilitate online multiplayer within the game, however the service is now shut down.
Running the game
The game will run on modern PC’s generally without any issues. If you have a multi-monitor setup, disable all but your primary monitor before you launch the game. If you want to skip the introductory videos, you can press the Escape (Esc) key. Like many older games, Magic and Mayhem: The Art of Magic places save game files in the same directory it is installed to. If you have trouble saving your game, either run the game as administrator or change the permissions on the games directory to allow all users to have read/write access.
Tweaking visual and audio quality
Magic and Mayhem isn’t the prettiest looking game, but there are several options you can tweak in-game to get the best visual quality possible. From the games main menu, choose “Options”. From this menu, you should generally choose the highest screen resolution available, that is 1024×768. All modern monitors should support this screen mode. Remember that the game is a 4:3 aspect ratio (non-widescreen) title and should run with borders at the left and right of the screen.
On the sound sub-menu you can turn spatialisation to high quality, true 3D sound to ON and sound samples to high quality too.
On the model sub-menu, choose “Skinned (high resolution)” for both creature models and special effects for the highest quality.
Finally, in the Game sub menu, move the “Max no. of lights” slider all the way to the right. You are now done with the options menu and you can start playing the game.
Although the Gamespy service that originally managed multiplayer games has long since shut down, it’s still possible to play Magic and Mayhem: The Art of Magic in multiplayer mode. By clicking on the Battle option and then choosing Multiplayer, you can host a game on your LAN (home network). You will need a copy of the game for each PC that wants to join. One PC should be host, this should be your most capable PC. To join a hosted game, all you need to know is the IP address of the PC on your home network. You can find that out by using the technique discussed here. Don’t forget to allow DirectPlay and Magic and Mayhem through your firewall, Windows Firewall will pop up an alert notifying you to do this, you may need to drop back to the desktop to confirm this alert before other players can connect.
Playing across the internet should also be possible, although it may require special configuration of your home router or firewall, or use of special software such as Hamachi.
Mysterious Egyptian tombs, magical relics, power hungry bad guys and hammy acting. Atlantis 3 – The New World (known as Beyond Atlantis 2 in the USA) has all the elements of a classic sci-fi channel B-movie and therefore all the right elements to make a classic PC adventure game too. Playing as a beautiful young Egyptologist, you will quickly find yourself swept up in a dramatic adventure that carries you across the world and even through time. Since Atlantis 3 is an adventure, rather than action game, it is able to use pre-rendered photo realistic graphics, which have stood the test of time well. Gamers looking for a more cerebral challenge will find plenty to enjoy on this particular puzzle solving adventure.
Atlantis 3 should install without any issues on a modern PC. Simply insert the first CD-ROM into your computer and follow the on-screen prompts. Towards the end of the installation process you will be asked if you want to install the SCOL Voyager software, you should choose to skip this part of the installation process. The SCOL Voyager on the CD is obsolete and none of the online components it depends upon are still functioning. If you are interested in SCOL you can find out about it here.
Once you have installed the game, you should download the latest patch. You can get that from the Patches Scrolls website here. The patch is downloaded as a zip file. Copy the executable file from the zip file once it has downloaded and place it anywhere on your computer, then run it. The patch simply replaces the main Atlantis 3 game file, so make sure you choose the right directory when installing it.
Running the game
Atlantis 3 must be run as administrator in order for it to start successfully. We recommend doing this via the compatibility mode options. Unfortunately, this means if you are running the game on a user account that doesn’t have administrator rights, you will have to enter an administrator password each time you play.
If you have two or more monitors, you should disable all but your primary monitor before you launch the game, otherwise the game may crash back to the desktop.
Once you start the game, you can press the Escape key to access the games menu. There aren’t many options to configure, but you should set the screen resolution to the highest possible setting and change the colour depth to 32-bit. Remember that Atlantis 3 is a 4:3 (non-widescreen) game, if you have a widescreen display the game should run with borders at the side of the image, otherwise the graphics will appear stretched out of proportion.
Missing mouse pointer - A common problem when running Atlantis 3 on modern computers is that the games cursor may be invisible when you start the game. Unfortunately to cure this problem you have to change the screen colour depth. You’ll need to do this by simply guessing where the pointer is located. This isn’t as hard as it sounds since elements of the UI will light up when the invisible pointer is over them. Start the game then press escape, that will take you directly to the options menu. Fumble around until you find the option to change the screen depth to 32 bit. Move your invisible mouse to the very bottom right corner, then up again a little bit until you manage to mouse over the back button. Click on this and your cursor should appear and you will be back in the main menu.
Despite the game saving these settings in a config file, we still found we had to set them each time in order for the mouse pointer to appear.
Videogames are often accused of playing up to social and gender stereotypes and in the case of Redneck Rampage there’s little doubt that the designers wanted to include lots of typical hillbilly humour. Playing as Leonard, you must fight off an alien invasion and rescue your prize piggy. Big on subtle humour it is not, but Redneck Rampage has plenty of oldschool shooter action and slapstick humour to keep you playing. The game was popular enough to spawn an expansion pack (Suckin’ Grits on Route 66) and a sequel (Redneck Rampage Rides Again). The games engine was designed to run in MS-DOS, though an updated version for Windows 95 was also released. If your fixin’ to get you a slice of oldschool shooter action, here’s how you can get your redneck fix on your modern fancy-pants PC.
To run Redneck Rampage on a more modern PC, we’re going to use eRampage. eRampage is a port of the original game engine for more modern versions of Windows. You can download eRampage here. The file is downloaded as a 7-zip archive, meaning you will need the free 7-zip program to unpack it, you can download 7-zip here. Extract the contents of the eRampage archive to any directory on your computer, c:\games\Redneck would work just fine, for instance. If you’re not sure how to use 7-zip, there’s a tutorial here.
Once you have unpacked eRampage, there are several data files we will need from an original copy of the game before we can play.
If you want to play the orignal Redneck Rampage:-
REDNECK.GRP (should be 134mb in size)
If you want to play Redneck Rampage Rides Again:-
REDNECK.GRP (same file name as above, but a different file, 182 mb in size)
If you want to play the Suckin’ Grits on Route 66 expansion pack:-
.MAP files from the ROUTE66 folder.
The first thing to do is actually find these files. If you have an original copy of the game then you can get them from there. The simplest way would be to install the game to a separate folder and then simply find the files you need. If you have a 32 bit PC this is exactly what you can do. Unfortunately, the original Redneck Rampage uses a 16 bit installer program and therefore won’t install on a 64 bit PC. in this instance we need to jump through a few more hoops:-
We now need to copy the files to the right locations. Start by copying one of the REDNECK.GRP files from your temporary directory to the eRampage directory you set up earlier, we used c:\games\Redneck in our example. If you only want to play Redneck Rampage, copy the REDNECK.GRP from that game into the top level of your eRampage folder. If you want to play both Redneck Rampage and Redneck Rampage Rides Again, copy the Redneck Rampage Rides Again REDNECK.GRP into the top level of your eRampage folder and the REDNECK.GRP from the original game into the REDNECK sub-folder.
To install the Suckin’ Grits on Route 66 expansion pack, insert the expansion pack CD-ROM (on the Family Renunion box set, look in the “SUCKIN” sub-folder on the first CD). There should be a file called “TILESA66.ART” and a file called “TILESB66.ART”. Copy these files from the expansion pack CD-ROM into the ROUTE66 sub-folder in your eRampage directory. Now, rename the TILESA66.ART to TILES024.ART and the TILESB66.ART file to TILES025.ART.
Finally, open the ROUTE66 sub-folder on the expansion CD-ROM and then copy the entire contents to the ROUTE66 folder in your eRampage directory. Phew, now everything is installed!
Running the Game
Start the game by clicking on the erampage icon in the eRampage directory. The window shown below will then open.
Near the top of the window, you can choose a screen resolution and colour depth (bpp). Choose a screen mode with 32bpp colour depth and the resolution that matches your monitor. Select “Fullscreen” to run the game in full screen mode. If you choose a widescreen screen resolution, be sure to see the “Tweaking visual quality” section before getting stuck into the game.
Near the bottom of the window there’s the option to choose the “Custom game content directory”. Set this to “None” to play Redneck Rampage Rides Again (or the original game if that’s all you installed). Set it to “REDNECK” to play the original game or to “ROUTE66″ to play the expansion.
Click on “Start” when you are done changing the options, the game should then run.
Tweaking visual quality
Before y’all git started with the game, there’s one or two options you might want to tweak. From the games main menu, select “Options” and then select “Video Setup”. From the menu here, you can set the games resolution. You can also toggle fullscreen mode and change the renderer. For best results, make sure Renderer is set to “32-Bit OpenGL”.
The last two options on this menu are “Texture Filter” and “Renderer Setup”. You can change Texture Filter to Trilinear, or whatever you think looks best. Choosing “Renderer Setup” will take you to an advanced options menu where you can tweak all kinds of visual settings. Like with most old games, its fine to just turn everything up to the highest quality (Ambient Light Level does not affect quality, so leave that at 1.00 unless you find the game too dark). If you are using a Widescreen monitor and screen resolution, don’t forget to enable Widescreen mode in this menu too.
You’re now ready to start your liquor swillin’, bad mouthin and alien huntin’ adventure. If you’re still having issues with the game, see the troubleshooting section below.
Troubleshooting and known issues
Game crashes at startup/shortly after starting up:- If this happens, try adding the erampage.exe file to the list of programs excluded from Data Execution Prevention (DEP). For a tutorial on how to do this, click here.
Sound issues:- Sound support in eRampage seems to have some bugs and issues. On the first level of Redneck Rampage Rides Again, for instance, the Banjo music that is supposed to play at the start was just a single note that kept looping. Sound problems seemed worse in Windows 8 too, where speech and sound effects in the menus would be crackly or cut in and out. The games sound effects still played correctly however. Currently there’s no workaround for this other than to simply ignore it.
Once upon a time, in the land of videogames, there was a game called Rogue. Rogue was a roleplaying game which involved exploring dungeons, a familiar concept to gamers all around the world. The dungeons in Rogue were randomly generated and changed each time you set foot into them. Rogue was never the prettiest of games, even by the graphical standards of the early eighties, yet people still play it to this day. The addictive exploration and looting mechanic has inspired dozens of games, including the Diablo series. As millions of PC gamers continue to enjoy Diablo 3, now seems like a good time to dust off its predecessor for another play. Diablo 2 might not have the cutting edge graphics of Diablo 3, but it still has plenty of gameplay. If you have several older laptops in your house and want a game that you can play together, Diablo 2 supports LAN (local area network) multiplayer games, making it a great way to keep bored teenagers occupied on a rainy day.
Before installing the game there’s one optional step you may wish to take depending on your PC. Diablo 2 supports both Direct3D and the older, no longer supported 3DFX Glide graphics system. Normally when a game supports both of these graphics standards we recommend that you simply use Direct3D, since it is supported on all modern Windows PC’s. However, Diablo 2 was optimised for 3DFX Glide. Because of this optimisation, you may get slightly better graphical quality if you install a glide wrapper. Glide wrappers are special programs that restore 3DFX compatibility to newer graphics cards. If you want to use a Glide wrapper with the game, we recommend nGlide. Installing nGlide is extremely simple, just download and open the nGlide executable file and that’s it, there are no settings that need to be configured. Note that if you have already installed nGlide for use with another old game you don’t need to do it again.
If you don’t want to bother with nGlide the game is still perfectly playable with Direct3D and the difference in visual quality is minimal.
To install Diablo 2, simply insert the install CD and allow it to auto-run. Follow all on-screen prompts, when asked which type of install you would like to do, we recommend that you select “Full”, unless you are desperately short of hard drive space on your PC.
At the end of the installation, the game will perform a video test and recommend a rendering mode. If you are using nGlide, you should see the 3DFX logo appear during these tests and the installer will recommend that you use 3DFX Glide mode, otherwise the installer should recommend Direct3D mode.
If you have the expansion pack for the game (Lord of Destruction) you should install that now too, before proceeding to install the patches.
There were several patches released for Diablo 2, the latest patch (which includes all the previous updates too) can be downloaded from the Blizzard Software support page here. The patch will install without any difficulties on modern systems.
You are now ready to run the game. Start Diablo 2 from the desktop or the Start Menu/Screen shortcut. If you see the 3DFX logo appear, the game is running in Glide mode.
Blizzard Software still maintain and run servers for Diablo 2 multiplayer. You will need a Battle.net classic account to use them. You can find out more about Battle.net classic here. Keep in mind that some of the players you encounter in Diablo 2 might be robots, players send these automatons into the game to grind away at killing monsters and gathering valuable loot. If you have several PC’s in your home you can also create a LAN game. This game will run using your internal home network rather than the internet, typically this results in a blazing fast, super reliable connection. To play a LAN game you will need a copy of Diablo 2 for each PC. One player must host while the others connect. See the instructions that came with your game for more information on this. Playing and exploring the world of Diablo 2 together in the same room on your laptops can be fantastic fun.
Incorrect colours / graphics corruption:- If you experience strange colours or corrupt looking graphics in-game, then if you are on Windows 7, use the compatibility mode options to disable desktop composition. If you are using Windows 8, use the compatibility fix provided by Zeus software here.
Star Wars Episode I may divide the opinion of Star Wars fans, but the fast and furious pod-racing scenes from the film remain a highlight. Of course, it didn’t take long before LucasArts gave us the chance to try our own hands at pod racing from the comfort of our PC’s or games consoles. If you’re hoping to relive those action packed scenes today, you are in for a disappointment however, as despite our best efforts we’ve not been able to get this game to work.
While Star Wars Episode I: Racer will install without any issues on a 32 bit machine, if you are running the 64 bit version of Windows then the installer will simply not run. There is a replacement installer on the internet but its rather over complicated to use and in our tests it didn’t work either. We had planned to write our own replacement installer but since the game won’t run anyway this project was shelved.
Running the game
Unfortunately Star Wars Episode I: Racer has corrupt graphics throughout on modern systems. No amount of coaxing or tweaking of graphical settings would convince the game to run correctly. The video below shows the graphical issues with the game.
Can you submit a fix?
Know how to get this game working? Help the community by submitting a comment and letting us know!
Peter Molyneux’s hugely ambitious god-simulator was dazzling both graphically and in scope when it was originally released back in 2001. Initially critically acclaimed by almost all of the gaming media, the title has had a curious legacy since then. Many critics have since argued that, after the initial ‘wow’ factor had worn off, the game failed to deliver on the ambitious concepts it introduced. A visual tour-de-force at the time of release, Black and White’s huge worlds and detailed villages have aged well compared to many games from the last decade. If you missed this title first time around because your PC wasn’t up to the task, or you are simply looking for something different from your usual strategy game, Black and White can be just as engrossing now as it was when it was first released.
When installing Black and White, we strongly recommend that you install the game to a directory with no spaces or special characters in its name. When you come to install the game patch later, you may find that, due to a bug in the patch installer, you cannot install the patch if you have placed the game in its default installation directory. Something like “C:\Games\BlackWhite” should work perfectly however. Other than this, the game should install normally.
There were three patches launched for the game, however you only need to install the final patch since it includes all the fixes that were included in the previous patches. You can download the Black and White v1.3 patch from FilePlanet here.
Once you have installed the patch, you will probably find that the game won’t start unless you download a missing dll file, namely p5dll.dll. This file can be obtained here. Don’t bother with the dll fixer tool this site tries to peddle you, simply click the “download zip file” button. Once the zip file has downloaded, open it and copy the p5dll.dll file to the Black and White game folder on your PC.
Tweaking Visual Quality
Note:- If you are intending to run Black and White while running a standard (non-admin) user account, please see the troubleshooting section below before proceeding to tweak any visual settings.
As we said in the introduction, Black and White was at the absolute bleeding edge of PC visuals when it was released. As a result, there are several graphical options you should tweak before playing. Launch the Setup program in the Black and White game folder. The following window will then appear:-
At the top of the window, you should see your graphics card make and model. Choose an option with “Hardware Transform and Lighting”.
Below that, you can choose the Resolution and Colour Depth for the game. You will be limited to a maximum of 1280×960 here, but we’ll see how to get around that limitation later. Don’t worry if you can’t set a colour depth either, that will also be fixed in a moment.
At the bottom of the window there are some options for internet weather and e-mail settings, but the servers that supported these features have long since been shut off, unfortunately.
Clicking on the “Custom…” button will take you to the advanced graphical settings:-
Even on a fairly modest modern PC you should simply max out all the settings as shown in the picture above. When you’re done, click on “OK” and then “Save & Exit”.
Widescreen support and other visual tweaks
In order to add custom screen resolutions and other tweaks to Black & White, we’re going to need the registry editor. If you’ve never used this tool before, proceed with caution, but if you only edit the information as indicated in this guide you will be fine. Open the regedit tool and navigate to
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Lionhead Studios Ltd\Black & White\BWSetup. You should now see several REG_DWORD values, the one’s we are interested in are:-
ScreenD – The colour depth value we saw in the setup program, this should be set to 32.
ScreenH – The height of the screen, by using the registry editor we can set this to any value as we’ll discuss in a moment.
ScreenW – The width of the screen.
HardwareTnL – Hardware transform and lighting, set to 1 to enable.
To edit a value, right click on it and choose “Modify…”. The picture below shows an example of editing the ScreenH value:-
Notice the value above is 438, what kind of screen height is that? Before you edit these values, make doubly sure you click on the “Decimal” option under “Base”. If you enter 1080 as a Hexadecimal number, you’re actually entering the number 4224!
Set the ScreenH and ScreenW to whatever your monitor or TV supports, for 1080p for instance, set ScreenH to 1080 and ScreenW to 1920. Black and White copes well with widescreen resolutions and will run in widescreen mode with no major issues.
Set the registry keys according to your preferences and double check before closing the registry editor that you entered the values as decimal and not hexadecimal.
Before you dive into the game there are a number of additional downloads you might want to install first. Lionhead launched a number of extra creatures as downloads, you can download the leopard, the mandrill, the gorilla and the horse to use in game. The Village Banter add-on is also highly recommended. There are some other add-ons that might take your fancy available here.
You should now be ready to start playing god from the comfort of your mouse and keyboard. If you have problems running the game, see the troubleshooting section below.
Black and White supports multiplayer skirmishes across the internet and on a local network. The game uses a peer to peer system rather than dedicated servers and setting up a game is rather complicated by modern standards. If you are interested in playing the game online, see this page for some tips on how to do so.
Troubleshooting and known issues
Black and White on a standard (non-admin) user account:- Black & White will run on a standard user account, but the configuration tool has difficulty running properly on a modern operating system. The problem is that the configuration tool asks for administrator access when it runs, which is fine, but after you grant it administrator rights with UAC, it will save its values to the administrators account rather than the standard users account you were trying to configure. If you’re setting up Black & White on a child’s account or any account that isn’t an administrator (i.e, any account where you have to enter a password each time you see the UAC prompt) then you should temporarily change the users account to an administrator, configure the game fully, test it, then switch the account back to a standard user account.
Graphics are distorted or only take up part of the screen:- If this happens then you probably entered the values for ScreenH and/or ScreenW as a hexadecimal number rather than a decimal number. Go back and triple check that they are entered correctly.
Problems saving games:- Like many old titles, Black and White saves its game data into the same folder as the game itself. In some instances on more modern versions of Windows, this will mean that save games cannot be written. To solve this problem you should set the permissions on your Black & White game folder so that your user account has full control.
When trying to patch the game, you get a “Neither command line parameter specified is an existing directory” error message:- This error occurs because of a bug in the patch program. To work around it, try temporarily moving and renaming your Black & White game folder to another location, for instance rename the folder to BNW and place it on the root of your C: drive. Now, apply the patch and manually set the patch directory, then rename the folder back to the original name and copy it back to its original location. If you still have issues, you can uninstall the game and reinstall it to a directory path with no spaces or special characters in it (e.g c:\games\blackwhite).
Thanks to cowgod.net for his original guide to running Black and White on Windows 7, which is still available here.
Click on any screenshot for a larger view:-
Above: Looking down from your sanctuary on high to view the earth at the start of the game.
Raccoon City used to be such a nice place to live, until strange gangs started terrorising families living on the outskirts of the city. We’re not talking about the kinds of gangs that throw eggs at your window or hang around menacingly in their hoodies on street corners either. According to reports, this particular brand of hoodlum has been eating their victims alive. It’s up to the Racoon City STARS investigative team to get to the bottom of these grizzly goings on. While looking for their missing colleagues, Jill, Chris, Barry and Wesker from STARS find themselves trapped in a spooky looking mansion in the Racoon countryside and must stay alive long enough to uncover the sinister plot woven by the evil Umbrella Corporation. Hugely influential and often credited with creating the survival horror genre, Resident Evil was ground breaking when first released on the Playstation in 1996. The franchise is still going strong today, with the sixth game in the series having just been released. Although the first Resident Evil game has been re-made and released on the Nintendo Gamecube and Wii consoles, the PC version of the game is truer to the original experience, with the original low-budget FMV sequences and the fondly remembered terrible voice acting. While the controls in the game are certainly dated, there’s still an immensely playable action/adventure game here and one that any newcomer to the franchise should definitely check out.
The installer program had a few issues running correctly on our Windows 8 PC, but it’s nothing we can’t work around. Start by inserting your Resident Evil CD-ROM and closing or cancelling any auto run windows that appear. Open the CD-ROM in Windows Explorer or File Explorer and change the programs “Checker.exe”, “Launch.exe” and “Setup.exe” to run in Windows 95 compatibility mode. If you’re not familiar with setting compatibility modes, see this tutorial. Now, run the “Checker.exe” program and choose “Install Resident Evil”. You may receive several obscure error messages at this point, but just ignore them.
Install the game as normal, make sure to make a note of where the installation folder is placed as you will need to make changes to it later. When you are asked what kind of graphics card you have, choose any option labelled “Rendition”. We selected “Creative 3D Blaster” on our Windows 8 machine. Do not be tempted to try the 3DFX modes, even if you have software like nGlide that makes most 3DFX games compatible, Resident Evil will not work in this mode. When the installer asks you which components to install, make sure to select all the available options.
Once the installation is complete, navigate to the Resident Evil folder on your PC. You will find that the installer has copied a folder called USA and that there is one file, “Uninstall.exe”. Manually copy all the files (but not the folders) from the Resident Evil CD-ROM over to your Resident Evil installation directory. When you’re done, the Resident Evil game folder on your PC should contain the USA folder and a number of DLL and .exe files (you can delete the Checker.exe and Setup.exe files if you like). Finally, set the ResidentEvil.exe program to run in compatibility mode for Windows 95.
If the installer made short-cuts to the game, they may be pointing to the executable file on the CD rather than on your hard drive. Either delete the shortcut and then re-create it or edit the existing shortcut to point to the ResidentEvil.exe on your hard drive and NOT on the CD-ROM.
Patching and configuring
Before we can play the game, there are a couple more files we need to obtain. Resident Evil will run too quickly on modern PC’s unless we use a specially modified direct draw library. You can read the details of the file and what it does here. Download the file directly by using this link. The file is downloaded as a zip folder. Open the zip folder and copy the ddraw.dll from the zip into the root (top level) of your Resident Evil game directory. Since this is a specially modified system file just for Resident Evil, do not place it anywhere on your system other than the Resident Evil game folder.
Before you try to start the game, you should also download the rewritten Resident Evil configuration tool. You can download this tool here. Drop the tool into the Resident Evil game folder and run it. A “Resident Evil Config” window will appear with two tabs. On the main tab, choose the screen resolution for the game. Remember that modern graphics cards won’t show screen resolutions below 640×480, so make sure to select at least 640×480 if you want to play the game full screen. You can try 800×600 too, but in our tests the game would never run at a higher resolution than 640×480. The config tool also has options for setting keyboard controls and gamepads, simply click on the Input tab and configure the keyboard controls however you choose. If you plan to use a joypad, we strongly recommend using Xpadder rather than trying to configure the pad using either this tool or the in-game options.
Remember to click on the “Save Config” button on the “Main” tab when you are done setting any options with the configuration tool. The Start button on the configuration tool is supposed to launch the game, but it never worked for us, so simply close the tool for now.
Like many old games, Resident Evil places its save game files in the same folder it is installed to. If you installed the game to the default program files folder, you may find that you cannot save your progress. To solve this problem, either run the game as administrator or change the permissions on the games folder so that your account has full read/write access.
You’re now ready to start the game and face the undead hordes. If you want to configure a game controller, it’s time for our old friend Xpadder to help again.
Although Resident Evil supports game controllers, getting them to work correctly proved somewhat difficult. Fortunately configuring Xpadder to emulate the keyboard was easy. Below is our Xpadder configuration for the 360 gamepad.
The controls above are based on the controls in the Playstation original. Pressing the right trigger will ready your weapon, pressing the A/Green button will attack or perform an action, while the Y/Yellow button will cancel an action or make you dash. The back button will access your inventory while the start button opens the pause menu. On the analogue stick, you may wish to configure a distance zone, so that when the stick is pushed all the way down, the character will run. If you’re not familiar with distance zones, see this tutorial. This is entirely optional of course and you may find it easier to just hold down the dash button to run. Remember, if you do set up a distance zone on the analogue stick, you will only be able to navigate the menus with the d-pad, since the key for dash is the same key as cancel/close.
You’re now completely tooled up and ready to take on the Umbrella Corporation in the world of survival horror. Enjoy this superb piece of videogame history and don’t have nightmares!
Once upon a time in the land of Lyr, acrobatic wannabe sorceress Nikki and her creepy jester companion Fargus decide to put on a firework display. Rather than nipping down the newsagents and being content with Catherine Wheels, Rockets and Sparklers, Nikki decides to steal a spellbook. While trying out the spells in her newly pilfered tome, she accidentally summons a demon that eats the nearby town. Rather than do a runner like most juvenile delinquents, Nikki and Fargus instead set out on a quest to reach the wishing well to banish the demon and save the town. In 1997, Pandemonium’s 3D graphics were an impressive window dressing on a traditional platform game. More than 15 years later the visuals are somewhat less impressive, but the game is still a fun way to while away a rainy afternoon.
Pandemonium will install on modern PC’s without creating some kind of wild and noisy disorder or confusion. During installation, be sure to make a note of the directory that the game installs to. You may need to manually create shortcuts to the game if the installer does not create them for you. Pandemonium supports the old 3DFX graphics cards, which means that modern PC’s will need some kind of Glide Wrapper software in order to play the game in 3D accelerated mode. Even if you already have this installed, the games installer will incorrectly detect that you have no 3D hardware and install only the basic version of the game, but don’t worry about this now, as we will solve that in a moment.
Restoring 3D acceleration with nGlide
Games like Pandemonium that used the old 3DFX graphics cards require special software to translate the old 3DFX graphics into something that modern cards can handle. The software we recommend for use with this game is called nGlide. You can download nGlide here. Installing nGlide is extremely simple, just open the nGlide executable file you downloaded and that’s it. There are no settings that need to be configured, though we will look at some that you might want to tinker with, later in the article. Note that if you have already installed nGlide you don’t need to do it again and you can simply skip this step.
To enable nGlide support for the game, open the games installation directory and delete “glide.dll”. Now, copy over the file “Pandy3.exe” from the Pandemonium CD-ROM to the games installation directory. Create or update any shortcuts so that they launch “Pandy3.exe”. If you see the 3DFX logo when you start the game, then the game is running with 3D acceleration enabled.
Tweaking visual quality
While there aren’t any quality settings to change in-game, you may wish to load the nGlide Configurator program to change some settings. This program is installed on your PC when you install the nGlide software. Start it by searching for “Configurator” on your Start menu or Start Screen. The picture below shows the program running on a Windows 8 PC.
Most of the settings can be left as default, but you may want to change a couple of things. For Pandemonium, you can change the Screen resolution to match your monitor, this will give you the clearest picture in-game, however the video intro sequence may appear less clear if you do this. Windows should have set your desktop up to match your monitors native resolution, so if you’re not sure what to choose, right click on the desktop and choose “Screen Resolution” then simply make a note of what your current display is set to.
If you decide to change the games screen resolution, you may want to use the “Aspect ratio” box to set the image to 4:3 mode. This will prevent the games graphics being stretched out of proportion. The other settings can all be left as default.
Remember that the nGlide settings you configure using this program will affect any other software on your PC that uses nGlide. If you have other games that need different settings, you will need to reconfigure the Configurator when you play them.
You can now start the game and set off on your adventure. Most game controllers will work with Pandemonium without any additional configuration. The game only has two buttons (jump and fire). The game also uses passwords rather than save files (we’ve no idea why). Try entering the password “bornfree” if you’re too lazy to write down passwords as you play.