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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 GOG.com. 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!