How to Run Old DOS Games

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How fix the sound problem in RTK3.

Unread postby tee2005 » Sun Apr 24, 2005 4:24 pm

I want to know about how fix the sound problem in RTK3 again.
Because I'm very confuse.Please,,tell it again

[ Please write in the easy word because I am Thai.]

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Getting Bandit Kings of Ancient China to work

Unread postby nfstern » Fri Apr 29, 2005 3:30 pm

Thanks for your help!!! I spent hours trying to get this going until I found this link from google.

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Romance of the three kingdom IV: WinXP compatibility...

Unread postby tam » Fri May 27, 2005 8:04 pm

Hello there, I see on the forum a lot of installation instructions for RTK1 to RTK3. Can't see any for RTK4 though... Does any body know how i can be able to play the game on my WindowsXP? Really need to know about this. Thanks people.

Just another dude that wants to play the games he played as a young dude. :) help me out please
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Unread postby robbyjo » Tue May 31, 2005 5:56 am

For RTK4 for Windows, just run the install and then you can run the EXE (san4.exe, I believe). You may need WING DLL, but some of the packages already have it. It may not be successful in Windows XP. Even though you run it in 256 color mode.

-- Rob
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Unread postby iyravin » Wed Jan 04, 2006 9:13 am

Thanks a lot.
:D :D
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Unread postby Dooz » Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:23 am

I hate to post in an old topic, but I was thinking that maybe someone here could help me out.

I recently bought Castles 2 CD-ROM edition, but unfortionately it is MS-DOS only. I tried using DOSBox to run the game, but every time I try, it can never find the CD-ROM. Does DOSBox not support CD-ROM games?

Edit: Nevermind, through some digging i figured it out. I used this as my command line:
Code: Select all
"c:\DOSBox-0.63\dosbox.exe" -conf castles2.conf -noconsole -c "mount d E:\ -t cdrom -ioctl" -c "mount c c:\castles2\" -c "c:" -c "cd c:\castles2\" -c "c2cd.bat"

Where it says "mount d E:\ -t cdrom -ioctl", replace E:\ with whatever drive letter your cd is in (in this case I ripped my cd onto my harddrive so it would run faster). Also, the -ioctl command line only works with windows XP.
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Unread postby Liu Yuante » Sun Apr 15, 2007 2:38 am

Recently I've been getting forced more and more out of Windows 98 by the fact that my Wii requires XP to stay connected to (and not lose its settings for) the 'net. So I've been investigating DOSBox and have liked what I've seen so far. I haven't bothered making shortcuts for every single game, far easier just to load DOSBox and mount what I need to manually (although some games may require a specialized config).

Anyway, I can confirm it works to run the old SSI Gold Box games as well as System Shock. So it looks like I have a nice backup for days when my wife's using the console and I want to do some PC classic gaming.

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Unread postby Liu Yuante » Sat Apr 21, 2007 4:10 pm

Liu Yuante's guide to running SSI Gold Box games on modern systems:

I've been going through some sometimes maddening steps lately to get these excellent dungeon crawlers working on my machine under XP and have finally found success. Because others may be interested in playing these as well as games like Koei's strategy titles I've decided to share my info on how to make these work.

1. The configuration that robbyjo has given for the DOSBox .conf will work fine, provided you aren't interested in running the games like a Tandy, in which case machine needs to be set to Tandy and tandysound needs to be setto on. You also don't need a seperate .conf for each of the games, they all run from essentially the same basic code.

2. These games are very picky about the path to save data. If the path isn't what the game is expecting you will get errors such as "Please insert Disck 3" or "Error reading from directory - 3HAL1". These games all have their own .cfg files you can edit to specify the directory but since DOSBox mounts a virtual drive rather than running from your system's actual directory structure, you have to be careful.

Here is an example - for Pool of Radiance, there are typically two directories specified in the .cfg - one for the game files, and one for savedata. Ordinarily, if you had say installed it to C:\Poolrad you would want these to read either C:\Poolrad for both or C:\Poolrad for the game files and C:\Poolrad\Save for the savedata. However, DOSBox turns your directory into the hard drive itself, meaning C:\Poolrad is now just C:. As such, on running the game for the first time (Curse of the Azure Bonds and later) or editing the Pool of Radiance .cfg, you will need to specify C:\ as the game file directory if you installed to C:\Poolrad and C:\Save as the save directory.

3. For sound, the original PC versions of PoR and CotAB were very rudimentary, with no opening music, just basic sound effects. PC speaker should be your sound of choice for the former, and also for the latter (unless you want to go the Tandy route, see above). The default DOSBox .conf file has the speaker turned on already.

Later games allow you to select Soundblaster, Adlib, Roland MP32, etc. Generally-speaking, since DOSBox already has Adlib and Soundblaster sound on by default I recommend Adlib for Secret of the Silver Blades (no Soundblaster yet) and Soundblaster for everything after.

4. If you get an issue where you can create a charcter and it acts like you've saved it but then when you go to add the character he/she isn't listed, your save directories are screwed up. In some cases editing doesn't seem to help,and you may need to uninstalland reinstall, making sure to follow the save directory guidelines above.

There is also an error afflicting some users of DOSBox where you are able to create, save and add characters, and then adventure, and save, but on returning later, your savegame is corrupted, with all six slots taken up by one character, and the name of your save folder having the last letter removed. I have reported this to DOSBox and according to one of the authors they are treating it as a bug and are seeking a fix.

Alternate option for those experiencing the above error:

You can run these games in an XP Command prompt as long as you have a slowdown utility. MoSlo is the best and an evaluation version can be found at the author's website, or you can do the smart thing and buy the Gamefest Forgotten Realms Classics set, which comes with the full version of MoSlo bundled with it. Here's what you need to do:

Using Pool of Radiance as the example, install to C:\Poolrad. Make sure your directory structure is set to C:\Poolrad (the first directory path in the PoR .cfg file) and the second is either C:\Poolrad or C:\Poolrad\Save.

Now, under Windows XP go to Start, Run, type and hit enter. You'll get a DOS window. Go to your C:\Poolrad directory, where previously you have copied MoSlo to. Type MoSlo /% poolrad.exe where the % is the percent of slowdown. I have a P4 1.8 GhZ and use .1%, so mine reads MoSlo /.1 poolrad.exe. you should be set.

I hope this is useful.

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Unread postby Liu Yuante » Mon Apr 30, 2007 3:41 am

As I continue my trek to get all my old games running under Windows XP, I will update this thread with info on how I got each game running. I'm assuming there are probably those of you interested in playing more old games besides ROTK.

Today's 1st game is the original System Shock. Though this game runs under DOSBox you will need a powerful processor to run the game in its highest resolution. Fortunately, with some rather complicated and inconvenient tinkering you can actually get it to work natively in XP at 640x480 w/smooth framerates. Here's how:

First, you're going to need a few things -

1. The game. Sometimes you can find it on eBay, or if you don't mind a waiting list longer than the geneologies in the Old Testament you could order it from someplace like Chips & Bits. Or you could employ...alternative methods. I'm not actually going to spell it out because EA owns the rights to this game now and they're one of the few companies out there that actually will throw a fit over downloading old, unsupported games. However, if you're into old-time classics then I'm going to assume you're already familiar with the usual suspects and can find this one pretty quickly.

2. You'll need to make a few downloads, too:

- which can be downloaded from

- MOUSE2KV.exe which can be downloaded from ... se2KV.html

- Dos4gw.exe which can be downloaded from ... e&fileinfo

- VDMSound, VDMSound update 2 and VDMSound Launchpad. These can all be downloaded at and

- System Shock XP patch, available at

Ok, now you have everything. The next thing to do is to install all three VDMSound files. Once that's done, install System Shock, preferably to a root directory like C: or D: (it will make it easier on you later when you're editing the cdshock.bat file). I also would recommend the folder name SSHOCK, that way you don't have to deal with ~1 in your filepaths. When you're running the installer you'll go to the INST folder of your CD/floppy/other and right click on Initial.exe and select Run With VDMS. Soundblaster and Adlib should work fine with the VDMS emulation.

Next, you should extract, mouse2kv.exe, dos4gw.exe and the XP patch to the SSHOCK directory (the one you installed to). Now, in this same directory open up the CDSHOCK.bat file in notepad. If you don't know how to do this, right click on it and select Open With... and then select Notepad from the list. You'll see something that says @echo off and a directory path. You need to edit this path so that it reads like so:

@echo off
C:\SSHOCK\MOUSE2KV.EXE 640 480 8 8 C:\SSHOCK\dos4gw.exe cdshock.exe

where the C:\SSHOCK is whatever directory you installed to. If you installed it to E:\Games\Oldgames\OldPC\SSHOCK (which I would recommend against but anyway) then you would substitute that filepath for C:\SSHOCK in the example above.

Once you have the .bat edited and saved you can exit out of Notepad, and then right-click on cdshock.bat and select the option that says Run With VDMS that has a musical note in front of it, not the regular Run With VDMS.
It will bring up the Config Wizard, click Next, then Next again, and again, and then one more time (for 4 times total). It will then start the game. Probably it will crash here at some point, but if it doesn't then you're done. If it does crash, read on:

Running the Wizard created a VDMS shortcut in your SSHOCK folder to CDshock. Right-click on it and select Properties. Check all three Compatibility boxes, then make sure MIDI Emulation is checked and leave it on General MIDI. Uncheck the Joystick Emulation box, and then check the box that says Close DOS On Exit. Now click the Advanced button and then select the Compatibility tab. Make sure Expanded Memory (EMS) is checked and then set it to 16384 kb. Click Apply, then Ok, then Apply again and Ok again.

Now, right-click on the CDShock.exe file you extracted here earlier from the XP patch and under the Memory tab the Total memory under Conventional Memory should be set to Auto, and the Protected checkbox should be checked and Initial Environment should be set to 4096. Expanded, Extended and MS-DOS protected mode memory should all be set to 16384 and under Extended Memory the Use HMA checkbox should be checked.

Finally, run the game using the VDMSound CDSHOCK shortcut you created and modified earlier.

Note: These instructions obviously are for the CD version of the game. I really wouldn't recommend the floppy version - no digital music, and no voices on the logs and emails from SHODAN, Rebecca and the various dead crewmembers.

As if that weren't enough, I also have great news for Ultima fans and would-be fans. When these games were first released, the memory routines they used were pretty harsh even then. If you want sound, mouse and CDROM support all, then you need 560k of your precious, precious 640k of DOS memory. Furthermore, the game does not allow the use of Expanded Memory (EMS). Back in the day I guess the drivers for these things were smaller, and today you can try files like Cute Mouse that take up less of this precious memory, but even then this was kind of ridiculous and now it is nearly impossible to run the game with everything supported. I've been able to do it with sound but no mouse or mouse but no sound, but never both.

If none of the above makes any sense to you then you obviously have never spent an entire afternoon hunched over a DOS terminal editing autoexec.bat and config.sys files with comments like REM and loadhigh and periodically taking any number of deities' names in vain. You also likely will not understand my jubilation when I discovered Exult.

Exult (found at is the answer to the prayers of Ultima fans everywhere. What it basically is, is a port of the games to modern, newer OS. All the original game data, graphics, sound, etc are there, and the game is programmed to use the original files to run the game. But the actual code of the game execution itself has been rewritten for modern OS like XP, Fedora and Mac OS X. No more memory nightmares!

However...because it is only partially ported, you will still require the original games to use it. Think of it like a CD player - they've built a player for the game that operates perfectly on modern computers, but you still have to plug the game into the player to make it work. Once again we run into the EA problem. Probably 80% of the copyright holders on old games will readily ignore you, give you premission, or even send you a cheap copy of the game with a xeroxed manual, if you write them asking for permission. EA is not one of them. So. You can buy the Ultima Collection (which is nice to have anyway, and comes with a full-version copy of Moslo) or you can do what you will. Again, I assume you all are familiar with the usual suspects here.

As for getting this to work its damn easy. Create a new folder/directory on your C: drive, call it Exult, so you have C:\Exult. Then inside that directory create two more folders, one called ultima7 and the other called serpent. Then extract or install the two games into their respective folders (Ultima VII: Black Gate to ultima7 and Ultima VII: Serpent Isle to serpent). Now install Exult to C:\Exult and in the course of installing it will prompt you to browse for the directories where the games are at. It will then set everything else up by itself and bam, you're ready to roll.

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Unread postby georgewee » Fri Dec 28, 2007 3:36 pm

I've just downloaded RTK3 and followed the instructions for DOSBox config file. The current version is 0.72. I can't find the line hwscales=1.00 and instead of cycles=3000, it's cycles=automatic. Anyway the game does run but it's not full screen, it's pretty small only about 1/4 of my screen. Any advice? Thanks.
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