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One boys quest to save his dog takes him on an incredible platform adventure.
What do you do if your beloved pet dog is abducted by unseen shadow creatures during a solar eclipse? Well, obviously you run to your treehouse and jump in your home-made spaceship of course! At least, that’s what you do if you’re Andy, the pint sized hero of platform adventure “Heart of Darkness”. This 1998 game was considered a big budget blockbuster title when it was released. Containing a full orchestral soundtrack and dozens of full motion video cut scenes. The game hasn’t aged as well as many PC titles. The video sequences (hint: Try Escape and Enter in order to skip them) look extremely dated. The graphics were designed for CRT monitors and being low resolution sprites rather than 3D, look extremely blocky on modern flat monitors. In spite of all this, many players will still relish the old school gameplay and challenging platform action the game provides.
Heart of Darkness will install just fine on modern versions of Windows, no special steps need to be taken. If the installation process does not start automatically when you insert the game CD, browse to the CD in Computer/This PC and run the HeartOfDarkness_Us.exe file manually.
Running the game
Heart of Darkness is somewhat problematic on modern PC’s. On occasion, the game will run without issues with no changes to the configuration or compatibility options whatsoever. On other, seemingly identical occasions, the game will run but with the grapics corrupted, as if the wrong colours have been substituted into the image. If you find that the game won’t run without corrupted graphics, try any or all of the following:-
1) Turn on some or all of the compatibility mode options. Note – Do NOT run the game in Windows 98 compatibility mode, as this appears to have a detrimental effect and actually causes the game to crash.
2) Disable Windows Aero before starting the game. This is applicable to Windows 7 and Vista only.
3) The most reliable method we have found for running the game is to use this simple batch file that disables Windows Explorer (the entire Windows Explorer, including the Start Menu and taskbar) before the game runs. With this script it wasn’t necessary to change compatibility options or disable Aero at all. Our hosts have now started demanding we store all batch files inside zip archives, so you will need to download the file and then extract the batch file from inside into your Heard of Darkness installation folder. Then, simply double click to run it. You can download the batch script here.
Save game files
The game places its save game position file in the same directory as it is installed to. If you find that the game is not saving your progress, either set the compatibility options to run the game as administrator or change the permissions on the games folder so that all users or the user that runs the game has read/write access. For a tutorial on how to set folder permissions, click here.
Heart of Darkness supports digital game pads/controllers only. The controls can be redefined, however if your game controller has more than 4 buttons you may find that the game does not recognise all the buttons correctly. In this instance, you may prefer to use XPadder instead, which will allow you to map the controls easily and also use analogue controllers should you desire to do so.
64 bit Windows users
To run Heart of Darkness on 64 bit versions of Windows, you may need to disable Data Execution Prevention for the game. You can find a tutorial on how to disable DEP for a program by clicking here.