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If current global temperatures continue to rise, then probably before long we’ll all have to get used to living under the sea. Why not practice for such an eventuality by playing this futuristic submarine simulator? In the game you’ll look for Thorium crystals, fight mutant marine life, save fish farms and attack and defend various installations.
The game should install without too many problems on a modern PC. Simply place the CD into your computers optical drive and follow the on-screen prompts. If the installer does not start automatically, browse to the CD and run the SETUP.EXE file manually.
If you have trouble getting the installer to start, or if it starts then seems to exit before you can complete the installation process, try performing a clean boot. You should also make sure that you are logged in as administrator rather than as a standard user (if UAC prompts do not ask for your password, you’re logged in as an administrator).
Playing the game
Deep Fighter should run without too many problems on a modern PC. No particular compatibility options should be required. When you start the game it will warn you that it is not designed for anything other than Windows 95/98, but in spite of this it seems to run pretty well.
If you wish, you can use dgVoodoo2, this enables you to use in-game tools like Evolve or Shadowplay, but this is optional.
Tweaking visual quality
There aren’t an awful lot of visual quality options to tweak with this game. When you start the game a “Deep Fighter(TM) Configuration” window will appear. Make sure you select the highest available screen resolution. For most modern PCs that will be 1024 x 768 x 32.
For the remaining options, choose “Options” from the games main menu, then select “graphics”. Now, turn all shadows on. The “dappling” effect can be on or off to taste.
Getting the game to control smoothly is the biggest challenge you will face. While the game may work with joysticks out of the box, for best results with gamepads, we’re going to need Xpadder and Xinput Plus.
Let’s start by getting Xpadder set up. Here’s our layout, which is based roughly on the button configurations in the Dreamcast version.
The right analogue stick controls your subs engines (the left stick moves you around, but that’s defined in-game). The right trigger fires your current weapon, while the left trigger activates your subs tools. On the D-pad, you press right to cycle through weapons and left to cycle through tools. Pressing up opens and closes the map while down opens and closes the message log.
With those controls mapped, you can try to play the game, but you will probably find your sub is somewhat difficult to control. Rather than staying level, your craft will continually barrel roll. To fix this problem, install Xinput Plus for the game, as per our tutorial here.
Now, configure the analogue sticks in Xinput plus as shown below.
Don’t forget to apply your changes when you are done. Now, try the game again, you should find that your craft is much easier to control now. Even so, the controls are pretty twitchy and you may find you need a joystick/flight controller to really enjoy the game.
Like many old titles, Deep Fighter 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 should set the permissions on your Deep Fighter game folder so that your user account has full control. See this tutorial if you are unsure of how to do this. The default installation directory for the game is C:\Program Files (x86)\Criterion Studios\Deep Fighter. The games actual save game files are called DEEPFITE.000, DEEPFITE.001 etc. and are in the root of the games installation folder.