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Do you ever wonder why we’re all here? I suppose most people do, but after playing this game, don’t expect to be any wiser. Just like the movie it’s based on, Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life is a funny, often surreal and quite confusing little trip into the minds of the famous alternative comedy group. Some annoyingly obscure puzzles do put a damper on the game somewhat, but in the age of internet walk-throughs this game is well worth a play through for Python fans.
To install the game, insert the first disc into your computers optical drive but close or cancel any autorun prompts that appear. Now, browse to the CD in Computer/This PC and open the “Launch” sub-folder. In this folder there is a file called “Launch.exe”. Use the Windows compatibility options to set Windows 98 compatibility mode for this executable. If you don’t know how to use Windows compatibility options, see this tutorial.
Once you have set the compatibility options, simply run the Launch executable and follow the on-screen prompts to install the game. Remember this game needs read and write access to its installation folder in order to save games, so you may want to install to an alternative folder (see the troubleshooting section for more information).
Playing the game
For such an old game, The Meaning of Life actually ran surprisingly well on our Windows 8 test machine. The only real issue we had was with video playback, which would stutter and get stuck in a loop. To fix this problem, set the CPU affinity for the games executable (which is located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Panasonic\Meaning of Life\MOL.exe by default) to use only one CPU core. You can follow the tutorial here to do this, but since the executable is so small, we went ahead and pre-patched it for you to save you the bother. You can download the patched executable here.
Simply download the zip file and copy the “MOL.exe” file into your Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life game folder (which is located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Panasonic\Meaning of Life by default). Overwrite the existing file (take a backup first if you like) and then you’re all set to play.
Before starting the game we recommend disabling any secondary monitors you may have attached. Once you have done this, there are no other graphics or sound options to configure with this game, so you can simply start playing.
Black screen or freeze before the end of the game – We haven’t played this game right to the end, but sources on the internet inform us that there is a bug in the game that makes completing it extremely difficult. Right before the games final scene, the screen may go completely black and the game seems to freeze. Actually, a “Please insert CD 2” prompt has appeared but is invisible and the game is waiting for the player to insert the correct CD and hit enter. To get around this, wait for the dark screen, insert disc 2 and then hit enter. The game should then continue.
Problems saving games – Like many old titles, Meaning of Life saves its game data into the same folder as the game itself. In some instances on more modern versions of Windows, this will mean that save games cannot be written. To solve this problem you can either run the game as administrator (right click on the games icon and choose “Run as administrator”) or, better still, 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. The games default installation directory is “C:\Program Files (x86)\Panasonic\Meaning of Life\”. The actual save game files are named “Game01.MOL”, “Game02.MOL” etc.
Click on any screenshot to enlarge it.