War has broken out (again) and as seems to be typical in computer games, you are the only qualified pilot of the one and only awesome super fighter called the Hellbender. Using your awesome spacecraft, you must deal death to the evil Bions, before they use their death ray on earth and wipe out humanity. It’s certainly not the most original plot for a game, but Hellbender won many fans when it was originally released in 1996. While its dated visuals are unlikely to impress anyone now, those who have fond memories of playing the game in the 90’s will relish the chance to take the Hellbender’s controls again.
In order to Install Hellbender on a modern PC, insert the CD into your computers CD/DVD-ROM drive, but cancel or ignore any autoplay prompts. Now, you will need to find out the drive letter of your CD/DVD drive. You can do this easily by opening “Computer” from the Start Menu or Start screen and looking under “Devices with Removable Storage”. If you’re not familiar with how to use Computer, see this tutorial.
Once you have determined the drive letter of your CD/DVD drive, you will need to open a command prompt window as administrator. To do this, search for “Command Prompt” on the Start menu/Start screen, but instead of clicking on the icon, right click and choose “Run as administrator” instead. Windows User Account Control will ask you for your password and/or prompt you to grant permission to carry out this operation, so choose “Yes”. The black Command Prompt window will then open and wait for you to type a command. You should now type, or copy and paste the command shown below. You will need to substitute ‘D’ for the drive letter of your CD or DVD-ROM drive:-
D:\setup\acmsetup /T D:\setup\furyw32.stf /S D:\
If you enter the command correctly, the game should now install, simply follow all on-screen prompts and install the game wherever you like.
Running the game
For a game that is so old, Hellbender actually runs surprisingly well in Windows 7. There are a few issues however. Firstly, we recommend disabling any secondary monitors before launching the game. Before you start to play, there are a number of settings you should change. Use the Options menu and select “Settings” to tweak screen resolution and graphical effects. Of course, you can turn all the settings up to maximum on any modern PC. If you want the game to run in full-screen mode, you should make sure to set the game to run in 640×480 resolution. Modern graphics cards cannot output screen resolutions lower than this, so the game will instantly change back into windowed mode unless you change this setting. You may find that the game switches out of full-screen mode sometimes during the cutscenes, this is probably because some cutscenes were designed to play at lower resolutions. We were not able to force Hellbender to run at higher than 640×480 resolution, any attempt would simply cause the game to crash on startup.
When running the game in full-screen mode you may experience a flickering effect at the top of the screen, and smeared graphics within the game. To correct this, press the F4 key until you obtain a stable display.
Hellbender originally supported a number of Joysticks including more expensive analogue flight sticks. Sadly we couldn’t get any of these options working with our modern Windows controller. Keyboard controls will of course still work and the ever helpful Xpadder utility can help, but we were not able to get analogue control to work in the game at all.
Hellbender originally supported multiplayer across the internet and through a local area network, though the internet services that facilitated this have long since shut down. If you can find a friend who is interested in setting up a multiplayer game with you, you may be able to facilitate that by using a VPN service like Hamachi. See this page if you are interested in giving that a try.