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Old 25-02-2005, 01:18 PM   #1
The Fifth Horseman
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Sometimes an old game or another tells you that you need to change the sound settings or simply no sound and music works. Here we'll discuss on how this can be solved.

Note: This is not a no-brainer. You need to think by yourself, as this is fairly generic advice.


First, two questions to you:

Q: Do you run the game under Windows or under DOSBOX?
A: WINDOWS: Try using DosBox or VDMSound. Some of the DOS games work under Windows but due to their incompatibility with DirectX the sound and music do not work (with occasional rare exceptions in case of MIDI music). Try if this works and if not, return to the NO answer in the next line.
A: DOSBOX: Check your DosBox.conf. Go to the sound settings, and check if it is not set to mute by accident. Change soundcard emulation to Sound Blaster 16 or Pro, these should work allright. Pro 2 seems to have issues with most games. Note that some even older titles might support only Sound Blaster 1, and then you'll have to set your emulation to this.

Q: Is the game a RIP version? Some bigger games might have some animations and/or sound removed to decrease filesize.
A: YES: It is possible that there is no sound in this game at all. Consider this as an option, but follow to answer NO anyway for another possible solution.
A: NO: Maybe you need to setup the game first.

Q: How to determine if my game is a RIP version or not?
A: Sometimes it is not possible. Look for readme files in the game directory, maybe you'll find a clue there. In other cases the game info here on Abandonia will hold that information. It is almost certain, however, if the entire game package is under 5 MB and when you run it it says "CD version" or something like that, it's a rip. Also, if you see messages like "CD-RIP", "Ripped" and their like, it means that game is definitely a RIP.

Q: I have a RIP. I want the full game!
A: Hardly possible. If you got the RIP version here, you might either try to search for the full version elsewhere in the net (Google might be helpful) or earn your way to VIP section, as sometimes games that are in the public section as RIP versions happen to appear in the VIP section as full ones. To answer your unasked question - no, you cannot ask anybody if a particular game is or is not in the VIP section. Only VIP know it for sure, and they aint telling anybody!

Q: Ok, it's not a RIP, I've set the config in DOSBOX, but the sound still aint working!
A: Launch the game's setup.

Q: Your saying to setup the game. I downloaded it and there is no game setup with that download. What are you referring to?

A: You are thinking of setup in the definition of standard Windoze installation procedure, which does not apply here. Most old games have their own setup programs that allow you to change sound and graphics settings (and, in a fair few cases, install the game to a different drive, but that means only copying all the files to a specified directory).

Q: So where is this setup program?
A: You should look into the game directory and search for files like config, install, setup, setsound, setsnd, soundset with extensions like BAT, EXE and COM extensions. Try running it.
If there is nothing of these filenames, are there any other BAT, EXE or COM files then the one you used to run the game? Try running them, naturally in DosBox or VDMSound(if you are using it).

Q: I found no setup program. What to do?
A: Run the game normally, and look for options menu. Sometimes that's where the soundcard/graphics etc settings reside.

Q: This didn't helpe either. What now, smart***?
A: Search for files with names like config (without any extension), .cfg or .cnf and delete them (keep backups somwhere, however!). If the game does not find them, it might run its setup automatically. Remember to do backups, in case the game refuses to run without these files at all.

Q: I cannot find any files like that. So?
A: Sort the files by date. If the game's settings were changed at any point, the filedate of one or more files will vary from the rest. These are what you are looking for.
WARNING: DO NOT DELETE EXE OR COM FILES NOR CHANGE THEIR EXTENSIONS, FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!!!

Q: None of these work. I really want to play that game!
A: This means some trouble. I'll try to give you possible solutions:
1) It might help to run the game with a command line parameter, but these vary from game to game. You might try (executable) setup, (executable) config (executable) install or, if none of them work (executable) /?, (executable) -? or (executable) ?, and the game should display the list of possible command line parameters.

2) Check the subdirectories. Maybe there is one with the drivers for different sound output types, and you have to put the right set in the main game directory or one of its subdirs to work. I encountered such games one or two times.

3) Check batch (*.BAT) files in the game directory. Sometimes the game needs to be ran with command line parameters that enable certain settings.

4) Maybe running the game executable with appropriate parameters will help.

Q: What are the right command line parameters for my game, then?
A: I don't know. They often change on game-to-game basis, so you're on your own here. Try looking in the documentation or the manual, maybe it will be of some help here.

That's all I can think of without even looking at the game in question. Fairly generic advice, but something of these should actually work.
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