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Videogames are often accused of playing up to social and gender stereotypes and in the case of Redneck Rampage there’s little doubt that the designers wanted to include lots of typical hillbilly humour. Playing as Leonard, you must fight off an alien invasion and rescue your prize piggy. Big on subtle humour it is not, but Redneck Rampage has plenty of old school shooter action and slapstick humour to keep you playing. The game was popular enough to spawn an expansion pack (Suckin’ Grits on Route 66) and a sequel (Redneck Rampage Rides Again). The games engine was designed to run in MS-DOS, though an updated version for Windows 95 was also released. If your fixin’ to get you a slice of oldschool shooter action, here’s how you can get your redneck fix on your modern fancy-pants PC.
To run Redneck Rampage on a more modern PC, we’re going to use eRampage. eRampage is a port of the original game engine for more modern versions of Windows. Finding the latest version of this software is somewhat confusing. You should download eRampage here. Make sure you download the file from the Jonhunt.com website and NOT the Google code page. The file is downloaded as a zip archive. Extract/copy the contents of the eRampage zip folder to any directory on your computer, c:\games\Redneck would work just fine, for instance.
Once you have unpacked eRampage, there are several data files we will need from an original copy of the game before we can play.
If you want to play the orignal Redneck Rampage:-
REDNECK.GRP (should be 134mb in size)
If you want to play Redneck Rampage Rides Again:-
REDNECK.GRP (same file name as above, but a different file, 182 mb in size). In the “Family Reunion” box set, this file is on the second CD-ROM.
If you want to play the Suckin’ Grits on Route 66 expansion pack:-
RT66.GRP (You may need to make this file yourself if you cannot find it, we will see how later in the article).
Currently the Deer Hunting expansion is not supported.
The first thing to do is actually find these files. If you have an original copy of the Windows version of the game then you can get them from there. The simplest way would be to install the game to a separate folder and then simply find the files you need. If you have a 32 bit PC this is exactly what you can do. Unfortunately, the original Redneck Rampage uses a 16 bit installer program and therefore wont install on a 64 bit PC. in this instance we need to jump through a few more hoops:-
1) Create an empty, temporary folder anywhere on your PC, separate from the Redneck Rampage folder you previously created.
2) Insert the Redneck Rampage CD-ROM into your computer. We used the Family Reunion edition but the procedure should be the same for all copies of the game.
3) Find the file “REDNECK.INS”. Copy this file from the CD-ROM to the temporary folder you made in the first step.
5) Using the 7-zip tool you downloaded, right click on the REDNECK.INS file and choose 7-Zip->Extract Here (see the picture above and on the right for an example, click it to enlarge it).
6) You should now have a folder full of various files, including some of the files listed above.
7) Create another temporary folder and repeat the process with the other Redneck Rampage CDs, if you have them (e.g Redneck Rampage Rides Again).
If you have the GoG (Good old Games) version of the game, you can find the files in your original GoG installation directory.
We now need to copy the files to the right locations. This step can be somewhat confusing, so we’ve tried to simplify it as much as possible.
Start by copying the REDNECK.GRP file (134mb file from the original game) from your temporary directory to the eRampage directory you set up earlier, we used c:\games\Redneck in our example. Copy the REDNECK.GRP from that game into the top level of your eRampage folder, where the erampage.exe file is. If you only want to play Redneck Rampage and not the expansion packs, you’re done.
If you want to play the expansion packs too, first copy the original REDNECK.GRP (the one that is 134mb in size) into the REDNECK and ROUTE66 sub folders within your eRampage directory.
To install Redneck Rampage Rides Again, copy the REDNECK.GRP from Redneck Rampage Rides Again (182 mb file) into the eRampage directory, where the erampage.exe file is, overwriting the existing REDNECK.GRP from the original game.
To install the Suckin’ Grits on Route 66 expansion pack, copy the RT66.GRP file into the ROUTE66 sub-folder. If you can’t find this file, see “I can’t find the RT66.GRP file!” below.
Once all the GRP files are installed, you can delete the remaining files you extracted with 7-Zip.
Running the Game
Start the game by clicking on the erampage icon in the eRampage directory. The window shown below will then open.
Near the top of the window, you can choose a screen resolution and colour depth (bpp). Choose a screen mode with 32bpp colour depth and the resolution that matches your monitor. Select “Fullscreen” to run the game in full screen mode. If you choose a widescreen resolution, be sure to see the “Tweaking visual quality” section before getting stuck into the game.
Near the bottom of the window there’s the option to choose the “Custom game content directory”. Set this to “None” to play Redneck Rampage Rides Again (or the original game if that’s all you installed). Set it to “REDNECK” to play the original game or to “ROUTE66” to play the expansion.
Click on “Start” when you are done changing the options, the game should then run.
Tweaking visual quality
Before y’all git started with the game, there’s one or two options you might want to tweak. From the games main menu, select “Options” and then select “Video Setup”. From the menu here, you can set the games resolution. You can also toggle fullscreen mode and change the renderer. For best results, make sure Renderer is set to “32-Bit OpenGL”.
The last two options on this menu are “Texture Filter” and “Renderer Setup”. You can change Texture Filter to Trilinear, or whatever you think looks best. Choosing “Renderer Setup” will take you to an advanced options menu where you can tweak all kinds of visual settings. Like with most old games, it is fine to just turn everything up to the highest quality (Ambient Light Level does not affect quality, so leave that at 1.00 unless you find the game too dark). If you are using a Widescreen monitor and screen resolution, don’t forget to enable Widescreen mode in this menu too.
You’re now ready to start your liquor swillin’, bad mouthin’ and alien huntin’ adventure. If you’re still having issues with the game, see the troubleshooting section below.
I can’t find the RT66.GRP file!
This file is not present on either the GoG version of the game or the Family Reunion box set. If you cannot find it on your copy of the game, you will need to manually create it yourself. Follow the tutorial available here to assemble the files you need and create the RT66.GRP file from them. There are a few things you should note when following that tutorial however:-
The link to the Group File Studio program is incorrect, it can be downloaded here.
If you are using the Redneck Rampage Family Reunion compilation, you can find all the files but one you need in the SUCKIN sub-folder of the first CD-ROM. The missing file, “PALETTE.DAT”, can be found in the Redneck Rampage files you extracted when you first installed the game.
Troubleshooting and known issues
Game crashes at startup or shortly after starting up:- If this happens, try adding the erampage.exe file to the list of programs excluded from Data Execution Prevention (DEP). For a tutorial on how to do this, click here.
Sound issues:- Sound effects should now be fixed in the latest version of eRampage. Make sure you are running the latest version (downloaded from here).