Battle Isle 3

Genre: Strategy
Release Year: 1995
Developer: Blue Byte Software
Publisher: Blue Byte Software
Age Rating: 12+
Playability Status: Perfect
Tested On: Windows 7 x64, Windows XP
Availability: Copyright retained - Still sold

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Also known as Battle Isle 2220 – Shadow of the Emperor, this game is a turn based strategy game launched in 1995 by Blue Byte software. Building on the success of the first two games, Battle Isle 3 adds exciting 3D graphics and improved AI to this futuristic strategy series.


The original Battle Isle 3 game CD has a 16 bit executable installer and therefore the game will not install on 64 bit systems at all. On 32 bit versions of Windows there are no special requirements to install the game. Unfortunately, even after installing, Battle Isle 3 will not run on modern systems. The game has a bug where systems with a certain amount of RAM are incompatible. There is currently no known fix for the original retail version. If you want to play the game on any modern PC, you will need to purchase a fixed copy from Download the installer executable from GOG and then run it, the installation process is then entirely automatic.

Running the game

Once you have installed the GoG version, you can start it from the Start menu/Start screen by searching for “Battle Isle 3” and clicking on the icon that appears.

Tweaking visual quality

There are a few visual quality options that can be changed when the game is running. Locate the toolbar at the bottom of the game screen and click on the icon that is circled in the picture below.




The following menu will now appear.




On a modern PC, you should set “Large hex. squares”, “Battle detail: High” and “Battle size: 1024×768”. The other options can be set to taste. Even with the largest Hex squares, the map may be difficult to see on a modern monitor. If so, exit the game and then change your desktop screen resolution to something smaller. Then, start the game again.

The game can be quite daunting to learn, so you might want to turn on “Online help” at the bottom of the menu. The 3D battle sequences are a little messy and it is often difficult to figure out who actually won, so turn them off here if you prefer by selecting the second option from the top.

For more details on what the options do, consult the pdf manual that comes with the game.

Can you submit a fix?

Do you know how to get the original retail version of this game working? Help the community by submitting a comment and letting us know!


  1. Such awesome music in this game ! I remember copying the old music files (they were in .mid ! even VLC can’t play that !) and playing them with my MP3 – yes, it was a good old MP3 of 256 MB and it could play midi files

  2. Knight Shade says:

    I have (after many days) managed to get Battle Isle 3 to work on my 64-bit Windows 10 PC and I thought I would share how I did it in one place:

    1) Obtain a copy of Oracle VirtualBox online (FREE)
    2) Obtain an ISO of Windows XP SP3 easily found online with a websearch
    3) Run virtuaBox and create a Windows XP machine; load the ISO in as an optical drive (CHeck the boot order) in the VirtualBox dialogue
    4) Create the XP machine
    5) Load the BI3 ISO in the VirtualBox drive and install BI3 on the Virtual XP machine
    6) Copy the data of the CD 1 onto the hard disk into the path: C\BLUEBYTE\SDI – NOTE THAT THIS MAY DIFFER, it is where the game installed
    7) Copy the files from the folder C:\BLUEBYTE\SDI\BIN to the folder C:\BLUEBYTE\SDI
    8) Copy all DLL files from the folder C:\BLUEBYTE\SDI into C:\ Windows\system32
    9) Create a link to the desktop from the startup file “SDI_1R” in the folder C:\BLUEBYTE\SDI

    click with the right mouse button on the link, select properties and the add /0 after the target address
    OPTIONAL – in the Compatibility tab you set the following: Start Windows SP XP 3 + as administrator (DEPENDS on whether you are already set as ADMIN)

    10) Find SDI.INI in the windows directory and edit it to only read the following: (NOTE to check your drive letter for the ISO on the PATH3 line)

    PATH0 =
    PATH1 =
    PATH3 = D:\
    PATH4 =
    PATH5 =
    PATH6 =
    PATH7 =
    PATH8 =
    PATH9 =
    SDIPATH = C: \ Games \ BI3
    COUNTRY = / 0
    remotePath =
    WIN32 = YES

    Make sure there is a SAV directory in the SDI directory – if not create one (Right click)

    Finally, check that the screen resolution on the main screen is set to the correct resolution or the game crashes after it starts (right click on windows background, click properties, click settings and then select the screen dimensions to 1024×768)

    This information is taken from many many different websites but most of the XP information comes from

  3. sniker says:

    at last i can play batle isle 3 on my pc

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