It is a shame for PC gamers that the platform often misses out on Japanese roleplaying games. While some make the transition from console to PC, many stay firmly as console exclusives. In Japan, the PC gaming scene is rather niche, which explains why (until recently at least) many Japanese games don’t get a PC port.
The game will install just fine on any modern PC. Simply place the CD in your computers optical drive, wait for the menu to appear, click on “Install Breath of Fire IV” and follow the on-screen instructions. If the installation doesn’t start automatically, browse to the CD in Computer/This PC and run the “Autorun.exe” file manually. When asked what type of install you want to perform, we recommend choosing “Fully”.
There are two patches you will need to install to get the game working on Windows 10. Firstly, download the patched executable from this page. Unzip the file to the games directory (C:\Program Files (x86)\Capcom\Bof4 by default), overwriting the existing BO4.exe file that’s already in there (take a backup of this file first to be on the safe side).
Secondly, you need to install dgVoodoo2 into the games directory. Follow the tutorial here to install dgVoodoo2. Breath of Fire IV is a DirectX game.
There aren’t any special dgVoodoo2 settings you need to configure, but you may want to use the dgVoodooSetup file to configure the games scaling. On the “General” tab of the Setup tool, under “Scaling mode” be sure to choose “Stretched, keep aspect ratio” if you don’t want the game stretched into widescreen when playing in higher resolutions.
Playing the game
With the patch and dgVoodoo2 installed, there aren’t any further compatibility options required, so just start the game as normal.
Tweaking graphics options
By starting the game and choosing “Options” and then “Screen”, you can choose which screen resolution the game runs in. Typically you’d just choose the highest your monitor supports. Remember Breath of Fire IV is a 4:3 aspect ratio (non widescreen) game, so the graphics will appear out of proportion if you run in a widescreen screen mode. If you want to avoid this, set the scaling mode in the dgVoodooSetup utility to “Stretched, keep aspect ratio”.
You can configure basic controls by starting the game and then from the main menu, choosing “Options” and then “Buttons”. You can also access these options at any time from the in-game menu. If you want to set up these buttons the same as they were on the PlayStation version, there’s a FAQ here that explains what the equivalent button did in the PS1 version.
For additional functionality, you are going to want to use our old friend Xpadder. Here’s the profile we set up in Xpadder for the game.
Since the game won’t let us map the analogue triggers, we have to set those up manually in Xpadder to work as the Tab key, this allows you to change rank in a battle. Escape and Enter are mapped to back and start respectively, just for convenience. Finally, the arrow keys are mapped to the d-pad to allow moving the character and manipulating the menus using the analogue stick or the d-pad.
Since dgVoodoo2 effectively turns this game into a DirectX 11 game, you can use in-game overlays and streaming tools such as Evolve or Nvidia Shadowplay/Share, or the Steam overlay. Evolve already supports Breath of Fire IV, you simply have to manually enable the overlay in your game library if you want to use it.
Problems saving games or settings:- Like many older games, Breath of Fire IV stores its save game files and other configuration information in its installation directory. If you installed the game into the program files or program files (x86) folders, you may find that the default Windows security settings prevent the game from saving any progress. To fix this problem set the permissions on your game folder so that your user account has full control/read write permissions. You can find a tutorial on how to configure folder permissions here.
White screen issue when running on Windows XP:- This issue should not occur under modern versions of Windows. If the game goes to a white screen after watching or skipping the opening cinematic, try this fix. Exit the game and then set the compatibility options on the “Bof4” shortcut to disable visual themes. Now, start the game again. If you still get a white screen, alt-tab back to the desktop and then click on the games icon on the taskbar. You should now be taken back to the game but with the title screen menu visible.
Click on any screenshot to enlarge it.