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-   -   Lands of Lore II on Windows 7 / 64-bit, broken (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10298)

JemyM April 7th, 2010 07:27

Lands of Lore II on Windows 7 / 64-bit, broken
 
I have experimented with getting Lands of Lore II: Guardians of Destiny to run in 64-bit Windows 7 and it's not without hassle. In fact, it seems the game is currently unplayable with 3d Acceleration. (Running the game in windows without 3d acceleration or in DOSBox gives about the same result).

For information; I have tested on 2 rigs, one laptop with NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT and a regular computer with NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX. I cannot test with an ATI rig. I have also tested this in VMWare 7.0 with Windows XP 32bit, both with DirectX 9.0c and 8.1, still with the same result.

There is a patch for the game (1.30) that adds hardware acceleration. In the settings you can select Acceleration, Bilinear Filtering, Use 4444 Color, Switch Movie Display and Switch Automap Display. The last two seem to correspond to values in options.ini called Acceleration_VGA_Automap & Acceleration_VGA_Movies. This is not entirely intuitive because when they are set as "No" 3d acceleration seem to be enabled and you can see the 3d cards texture filtering in effect.

The 3d uses Direct X 3.0, which had functions appearently removed in DX10/11. Simply running all three accelerations on you get a screenshot like what follows. It seems transparency ceases to work all the time so objects usually end up with a black box around them. I use D3D Windower, explained below. I also use some nvidia enhancements also explained below. These boxes do not appear when not using 3d acceleration!


I found one with the same issue in this thread on another forum, unfortunately it only debates piracy, but you can see some shots from the guy lower down.

The readme for the patch mentions black filled squares in the note on 4444 color (16-bit). But this doesn't help.
Quote:

Originally Posted by PATCH.TXT
2.2.4. Use 4444 Color (On/Off)
This option is NOT RECOMMENDED unless your card requires it. It allows the card to select a sixteen bit color format that many cards support, but very few require. If you run the game with it off ("No") and you notice graphics that have black filled squares around them, try switching this option to Yes".

If you turn off 3d acceleration for the menues the black boxes are less common but still common enough to be disturbing, however, if you do the menues and the ingame movies are garbled. What follows is a screenshot taken with a camera, then one taken with a screenshot utility. As you can see it looks ok internally, but output into garbled graphics. The third image is taken from the introduction of the game.




What I learned so far

Installation
Installation doesn't seem to work with modern machines. It simply refuses to run. To bypass this you can either install the thing in DOSBox or VMWare/Virtual PC, but you can also do it manually. Considering the annoying installation utility you might prefer to do it manually. The problems above still happens even if you use the real installer.

To install:
1. Create a folder on your harddrive
2. Copy all files from CD1 inside the folders \INSTALL and \SETUP\INSTALL into your folder (about 39 files)
3. Create a textfile, rename it to LOLSETUP.INI and add this info;
Quote:

[Swap]
Swap_Size=150000000
I personally copied all the .MIX files (all 4 CD's) to my game folder in attempt to make it run on Harddrive only. I am not sure if it works though.

Run for Windows NT
Rightclick LOLG95.EXE
Select Properties
Select Compatibility (tab)
Check the box before "Run this program in compatibility mode for:"
Select Windows NT (might also work with Windows 95 or 98)

This seems to reduce some of the crashes.

Applying the patch = Broken?
You might wish to install the 1.30 patch to get 3d Acceleration.

Patching the game
Copy PATCH/LL2-130E.EXE to the same folder.
LL2-130E.EXE refuses to run on 64-bit no matter what I did.
I applied the patch inside DOSBox!

LL2-130E.EXE unpacks itself into a couple of files called PATCH, then it run it's own internal PATCH.BAT that will first execute a PATCH.EXE, then delete all extracted files. In order to test the patch I have disrupted LL2-130E.EXE once unpacked, then deleted PATCH.BAT in order to experiment.

I get the following error message, but the game seem to start anyway;
Quote:

ENTRY: OPTTEXT.TRR
error ept0025: Verify of New File Failed. Possible Internal Error.
OPTTEXT.ERR is created by the patch and opening it with NOTEPAD.EXE seems to reveal it adds the english text in the options menu (the new Hardware Acceleration option). Trying to start without this will crash the game when selecting options within the game.

When I used PATCH -list it reveals that it's supposed to modify LOLG.DAT, LOLG95.exe, then extract OPTTEXT.TRR, CREDITS.TRR, PATCH.DOC and PATCH.TXT. After much effort I managed those files to be modified and extracted but then it try to modify "DANIEL_.WOM" which simply isn't available. For DANIEL_.WOM I get "error eut0008: Internal Error 'table.c(183)'.

When I finally ran the patch in VMWare 7 under a 32-bit Windows, I managed to extract 10 files. Here is all the files patched/extracted; Patch v1.30 extracted.

Using D3D Windower to avoid garbled menu/video
When I ran the game I got graphical problems depending on "Switch Movie Display" Yes/No inside Hardware Acceleration. If I use it as YES, all videos and the menues got garbled colors. If I used NO, all in-game textures got a black frame. I solved this by using D3D Windower and ran the game in a Window. I have yet to find a way to make 3d Acceleration work properly in fullscreen and I still get some black boxes but it's not as bad. I had a similar problem with ARCANUM and SANITARIUM that I solved this way.

Use D3D Windower
1. Run D3D Windower
2. Click the "+" icon (add program)
3. Select LOLG95.EXE (LOLG95 appears in the list, click it once to select it)
4. Click settings (icon of a yellow folder with tools in it)
5. Pick a custom height/width that fit's your taste. Remember that you must run the game in a window. Also remember aspect ratio. You can use modes like 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1600x1200, 1920x1440, 2048x1536 etc
6. Make sure "Use Windowed Mode" is checked.
7. Leave the other options untouched.
8. You can now use "Run program" to run the game (small computer icon).
9. You can use the > icon to "Run Emulation", but I personally haven't gotten it to work (it gives you the same graphics corruption you get when running the game in regular mode).

Messing around with NVidia drivers
No matter what I have done in the NVidia drivers I got nowhere to actually fix the problems, but I found some ways to improve the graphics of the old game.

Enhance the graphics with nhancer
Using NVIDIA I could set up a profile to enhance my graphics a bit. I use nHancer to make things simple.

Enhancements; Anti-Aliasing, Anisotropic Filtering
Optimizations; Texture Filtering (High Quality)
Compatibility; Force Mip-Maps (trilinear) (not sure if this is an improvement)

JemyM April 7th, 2010 07:31

Note, this is what PATCH.TXT actually say;
Quote:

2.2.4. Use 4444 Color (On/Off)

This option is NOT RECOMMENDED unless your card requires it.
It allows the card to select a sixteen bit color format that
many cards support, but very few require. If you run the
game with it off ("No") and you notice graphics that have
black filled squares around them, try switching this option
to Yes".
This unfortunately doesn't fix the problem.

DArtagnan April 7th, 2010 10:37

What's it like in XP compatibility mode in Win7 Ultimate (the "special" mode that's only available on that OS - AFAIK), and have you tried the built-in Virtual PC for Win 95/98 tests?

I had to use the Virtual PC approach to get my Darklords Rising game running.

JemyM April 7th, 2010 11:18

I didn't know vpc was built in. I experimented with DOSBox (W95 & W98) and failed to mount the game together with the HD images I used. I will try VPC and WinXP mode when I come home. I only want bilinear filtering, I think my CPU is fast enough to handle the game without hardware support.

DArtagnan April 7th, 2010 12:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by JemyM (Post 1061006597)
I didn't know vpc was built in. I experimented with DOSBox (W95 & W98) and failed to mount the game together with the HD images I used. I will try VPC and WinXP mode when I come home. I only want bilinear filtering, I think my CPU is fast enough to handle the game without hardware support.

I'm not 100% sure Virtual PC is part of the package, as it's been a long time. I believe it might be a "power tool" of sorts, but it's free unless they offer pirated software from their own servers.

JemyM April 7th, 2010 13:31

I played with Virtual PC when it was Macintosh software not published by Microsoft. I had planned to try a VPC or VMWare installation. It would be nice to have one around and I enjoy experimenting with emulation.

DArtagnan April 7th, 2010 13:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by JemyM (Post 1061006619)
I played with Virtual PC when it was Macintosh software not published by Microsoft. I had planned to try a VPC or VMWare installation. It would be nice to have one around and I enjoy experimenting with emulation.

Unless things have changed, I don't have good experience with VMWare as a gaming emulation platform.

Even with VMWare tools - used to accelerate windows UI etc. - it's most likely not going to respond well to gaming and heavy graphics calls.

It's primarily used to virtualise servers or simliar "serious" applications, and my intuition tells me it will suck when running a semi 3D game like LoL 2.

Still, I'd be interested in any results you come up with - so by all means test it out ;)

JemyM April 7th, 2010 18:11

Virtual PC doesn't seem to have 3d support. At least I have a running Windows XP now, wee!

shaf April 7th, 2010 18:43

VMware Workstation 7.0 supports 3d older VmWare Versions don't. I don't have LOL 2 otherwise i'd test it.

JDR13 April 7th, 2010 20:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by JemyM (Post 1061006666)
Virtual PC doesn't seem to have 3d support. At least I have a running Windows XP now, wee!


You had to download the XP separately right? Does it have all the same functions of a standalone retail copy?

I plan on getting a copy of Windows 7 64 soon, but I'm trying to decide if the Ultimate Edition is worth the extra money for me.

Corwin April 8th, 2010 02:01

I have the Ulimate edition and strangely, it was the cheapest of all the editions!! Can't get it to run Grimoire though!! :(

azraelck April 8th, 2010 05:52

Is it a 64bit only issue, or does the 32bit versions have an issue? Or is there a 32 bit version (haven't paid any attention to Win7, actually).

From some of what Corwin has said, the 64bit versions of XP, Vista, and 7 all have some compatibility issues that the 32bit version of XP did not have (Vista does not work with anything from my experience, even hardware and software that was supposed to be Vista-compatible. I gave my parents a flatscreen monitor that works fine in Linux and XP, but not Vista. It had a Vista-ready sticker on it).

Corwin April 8th, 2010 07:45

My edition came with 2 DvD's; one for 32 and the other for 64. I installed the 64 bit version because I had been using XP 64 previously!! Grimoire is the only thing I haven't been able to get working so far. :)

JemyM April 8th, 2010 11:30

I have now confirmed that running the game in Windows XP 32bit in VMWare 7.0 gives me the exact same problem.

This means it is not a 64-bit problem.

It might be a hardware problem. My main have 8800GTX and my Laptop 8600GT. Unfortunately I do not have access to an older videocard.

It might also be a problem with Windows 9.0c.

Alrik Fassbauer April 8th, 2010 13:04

Could somebody perhaps forward this thread to EA to see what problems are there ?

Oh, forget it, they won't care anyway.

DArtagnan April 8th, 2010 13:22

As I recall, LoL2 came out right in the middle of the Win95 migration.

I still have my 4-CDs copy lying around - and there's both a DOS and a Win95 version of the installer.

Beyond that, they implemented D3D support in a later patch, but as DOS doesn't support this - I'm not sure if it was possible in DOS even back then.

But you should remember that Win95/DOS are (at least partially) 16-bit operating systems - if I recall correctly. So even a pure 32-bit OS can cause issues.

JemyM April 8th, 2010 16:43

I have now also tried DirectX 8.1 with the same result. Unfortunately the DirectX 3d support for VMWare doesn't work in Win98 and 95.

JemyM April 9th, 2010 08:49

This thread now appears on google so I updated with all new discoveries. At this stage I am ready to give up. I tracked down an unarchiver for the .mix files in hope to extract and fix the textures but it seems the .mix files contain their own odd-named files that I couldn't extract. I also bios updated my two graphicscards to rule that out.

The game can be played in software mode. It looks a lot worse and runs a lot slower but at least it's playable.

To try when I get home after weekend;
+ Run desktop in 16bit
+ Run game in 256 colors
+ Rename files in .mix archives into .mix and see if they can be opened.

I am not sure I can get my hardware to run Windows 95. I have it available. I thought about installing it on an USB flash drive (mine is 16gb) but I dont know if it's possible. It would be nice to know if I get the same problem in a native windows 95. That might mean it's the G80 chipset (GeForce 8xxx). It cannot be the ForceWare drivers since it happens with VMWare SVGA II drivers as well, unless VMWare somehow delivers information to your windows drivers to interpret. (Which would also make the interpretation 64-bit despite running a 32-bit virtual machine).

Dark Savant April 11th, 2010 10:44

OK. I have been playing with LOL II for last two days on my vista 32 bit laptop with nvidia graphics and here are my conclusions:

- You must set setup file to windows 95 compatibility to successfully install the game
- I had no problems with applying latest patch
- The game runs fine in software mode. All settings set to high.
- When I turn on hardware acceleration - same black boxes appear around objects.
- I tried several different settings but no luck so far. Guess it is a graphic driver problem. Perhaps only on nvidia drivers.

I also found a topic about glide wrapper for DOSBox that allows playing the game with 3dfx graphics as there are two 3D modes for this game. Direct 3D for windows and 3dfx glide for DOS.
Here is the topic:
http://vogons.zetafleet.com/viewtopi…er=asc&start=0
But it is too much for me to set this up as the instructions are complicated. Perhaps someone can try to set this up or try the game on ATI graphic card.

JemyM April 11th, 2010 11:09

I have explored the idea of using glide in DOSBox but I thought LoL2 only had Direct3d. I will explore this solution when I get back home.


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