This colourful platform game originally début on Sega’s classic Saturn games console. A year later Windows users were treated to the cool little insects antics. Bug isn’t your typical platform game hero, he’s a hotshot in Hollywood and in this game, he’s just scored his biggest break ever. In the amazingly scripted movie Bug’s agent has signed him up for, he must rescue his girlfriend from the evil Queen Cadavra. To do this, he’ll have to run and jump his way through several levels of platform mayhem (apparently before they signed Bug! it was going to be a Bee movie).
So, the plot may be kind of threadbare but the game itself is still a lot of fun. Children will love the bright and colourful graphics and fun sound effects and adults old enough to remember the game the first time around will no doubt relish the chance to play again. Bug was one of the earliest examples of a fully 3D platform game and so it has historical interest too.
Bug should install without any major issues on modern systems. If you find that you cannot start the autorun program normally, you may need to explore the CD and run the “Setup95” program manually yourself. When prompted to choose an installation type, choose “Maximum Installation”. By default the game will install itself to C:\SEGA\BUG! If you change this directory remember that the game needs to be able to write to the directory it is installed to, so you may need to change permissions on the folder for other users.
Running the game
Bug is a little bit of a pest to get running perfectly on modern machines, but with perseverance it is possible on Windows 7. Thanks to changes Microsoft made to the desktop we have not been able to get the game working in Windows 8. Windows 7 users should start by opening the Bug! Installation folder and find the BUG!.EXE executable file. Right click on the icon and choose properties. From the properties window, select “Compatibility” and set the following compatibility options:-
Run this program in compatibility mode for: Windows 95
Run in 256 colors
Run in 640 x 480 screen resolution
If you’ve never used the compatibility options for a game before, there’s a full tutorial here on how to use them. These settings will get us as far as the intro, but then the game will crash saying it is incompatible with high resolution screens. The problem is that Bug! likes to change between full screen and windowed mode while it starts up, this confuses the compatibility tools in Windows which think that the game has finished running and switch the desktop back to its usual resolution and colour depth. To work around this problem we’re going to need a tool called QRes.
Confusingly there seem to be not only multiple versions of this program on the internet but also multiple authors who have written similar programs with the same name. The version we’re going to be using to get Bug! to work is by AKSoftware
and can be downloaded from this page Edit – seems that site is down, grab the file from this link instead (link broken? let me know here). The file is downloaded as a zipped folder. Once it is downloaded, open the zip folder and copy the Qres.exe executable file into the Bug! Installation directory.
What we need to do next is create a batch file. This file will firstly change the screen resolution to 640×480 with 256 colours. It will then shut down Windows Explorer (to prevent that from interfering with the game), launch Bug! and wait for the game to play. When the game is finished, pressing a key will restore Windows Explorer and your original screen resolution.
If that all sounds complicated then don’t worry, we’ve created the batch file for you and you can download it here. Our hosts have now started demanding we store all batch files inside zip archives, so you will need to download and extract the file into your Bug! game folder. In order to run it on your system you will need to make one change. To edit the script, right click on it and choose “Edit”. The file will then open up in Notepad. The file is shown below:-
What you need to do is edit the last line. Instead of 1920 and 1080 you need to substitute the values of your desktop resolution. If you don’t know these values, the easiest way to find them is by opening the screen resolution settings window. You can do this in Windows Vista by following this tutorial or in Windows 7 by following this tutorial. So for instance if your regular desktop resolution is listed as 1024×768 in Windows, you’d replace ‘1920’ in the batch file with ‘1024’ and 1080 with ‘768’. Save the file once you have finished editing it. Just one more thing to check now before starting the game.
Bug! uses CD audio tracks for music and requires that the CD be left in the drive during game play. If your computer has more than one optical drive, you must use the drive that has the first drive letter. So for instance if you have a DVD drive on drive letter E: and a DVD-Writer on drive F:, the Bug! CD-ROM must be placed in the DVD drive (letter E:). Once you’ve verified this, start the game by double clicking on the “LaunchBUG” batch file. If you followed all the steps above, the game should now start. Bug! must be played full screen on a modern PC, so press the F4 key as soon as the game starts to switch into full screen mode. If you don’t play in full screen, expect the colours in the game to be incorrect. Just press F4 any time the game decides to switch into Window mode again (it may do this while it’s starting up) and the colours should then be corrected.
Bug! did originally support gamepads and joysticks, though it’s unlikely that the support provided by the game itself will be adequate for modern controllers. Once again Xpadder is the best solution, below are the keyboard controls for the game:-
MOVE BUG: Press the arrow keys UP/DOWN/LEFT/RIGHT
SPIT: Press the S Key.
DUCK: Press the D Key.
ZAP: Press the A Key.
JUMP: Press the Spacebar.
Full screen toggle: F4
This is the Xpadder profile we created for use with the game:-
Bug! can be moved with either the analogue stick or the d-pad. The actions are assigned to the buttons on the right, duck is also available on the right trigger for quick and easy access. Enter is assigned to the pads Start button, allowing the game to be quickly started without having to reach for the keyboard. Finally, since Bug! likes to start in windowed mode, pressing the back button on the 360 controller will automatically toggle between window and full screen mode.
Just for fun we made a little video of Bug! being played on our Windows 7 machine, a quad core system with a GTX580 graphics card. The games chunky pixel graphics have dated, but still have a certain charm and at twice the resolution of the Sega Saturn original this is the definitive way to enjoy this classic title.
Can you submit a fix?
Know how to get this game working in Windows 8 or 10? Help the community by submitting a comment and letting us know!