If you like exploring dungeons, there’s certainly no shortage of them to explore on your PC. Arx Fatalis is another fantasy role playing game for the PC. In this particular dungeon romp, you will explore the subterranean caverns of the post-apocalyptic world of Arx. A world whose inhabitants have been forced underground after their worlds sun suddenly died. The game takes place from a first-person perspective, much like the popular Elder Scrolls games.
The game should install just fine on a modern PC. If you’re installing from original retail CD, simply place the disc into your computers optical drive and follow the on-screen prompts. If the games installer does not start automatically, browse to the CD in Computer/This PC and run the Autorun.exe program manually. Make a note of the installation directory as you will need this information when you come to patch the game. If you’re installing the GoG.com version, simply run the downloaded file and follow the on-screen prompts.
There were several patches released for Arx Fatalis over its commercial lifetime. If you are using the CD version of the game, you should download and install the latest patch available here. If you’re using the GoG.com version, this patch should already be installed.
Before installing the patch, we recommend you restart your PC. If you do not, you may find the patch struggles to install or update a font component. We’re not entirely sure why this would be, but giving the PC a quick reboot sorted it out for us. You should also note that the patch doesn’t automatically detect the correct installation folder, be prepared to point it to the correct path to your Arx Fatalis game folder (C:\Program Files (x86)\JoWood\Arx Fatalis by default).
Now, you have all the basic components installed with which to play the game, however for best results you will want to check out Arx Liberatis.
Arx Liberatis is a cross-platform, open source port of Arx Fatalis. You can think of it as a fan-made patch, made possible by the fact that the games source code was released into the public domain. Since Liberatis includes several fixes and improvements not found in the original Arx Fatalis, it’s highly recommended. You can download Arx Liberatis by visiting this page. Make sure you choose the correct version (32 bit or 64 bit) depending on your version of Windows. If you’re not sure which version you have, here’s how to tell.
Once the file has downloaded, do not double click on it. Instead, right click on the downloaded file and choose “Run as administrator”. We found if we did not do this, Arx Liberatis would try and install to our Appdata folder, not somewhere sensible like the Program files folder.
Once Liberatis is installed, the game is ready to play. You can start Arx Liberatis (or even the original Arx Fatalis if you wish) from the Start menu.
Tweaking visual quality
Since Arx is now an older game, you should be able to turn on all high quality graphical settings on even a modest modern PC. Start by loading the game then, from the main menu, choose “Options” and then “Video settings”. Now, configure the following options:-
Renderer – On a Windows PC this should be set to D3D9.
Full screen – Typically this should be set to on.
Resolution – This should match your monitors resolution.
Bits Per Pixel – 32
Level of Details – High
Fog distance – As high as possible
Cross hair cursor – Up to you but most players prefer it on
Antialias – On
VSync – On
Tweaking audio quality
Arx Fatalis supports the now defunct EAX hardware accelerated audio standard for high quality surround sound. That means, if you’re playing the original Arx Fatalis, you won’t be able to use EAX mode unless you have a Creative sound card and a copy of ALchemy. However, the Arx Liberatis port/update has moved the audio back-end to OpenAL, which does work on modern machines. That means that you can turn EAX mode on no matter what type of PC you have.
To tweak audio settings, start the game and go to the main menu. Now, choose “Options” and then “Audio Settings”. Now, make sure that “Backend” is set to “OpenAL” and “EAX” is selected.
Troubleshooting and other notes
Since Arx Liberatis is effectively a modern port of the game, there should be few issues with running the game on a modern PC. If you encounter any difficulties, your first port of call should be the FAQ section on the Arx Liberatis website here.
Thanks to Arx Liberatis using a modern DirectX 9 engine, you can use tools like Nvidia Shadowplay or Evolve to take screenshots, videos or to contact your friends while you play. This requires no additional tweaking/configuration other than installing the aforementioned software.
There’s a screenshot gallery for the game on the official Arx Liberatis wiki here.