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Old 21-04-2019, 01:00 PM   #1
odd144
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Default Wizardry 7 Sound Effects MS-DOS(NOT DOSBOX)

Hello
I bought a boxed version of Wizardry 7 a few years back and recently acquired a Win 98 PC (Dell Dimension L933r). I was excited to install Wizardry 7 via the 2.5-inch floppy disk drive, had no problems there, and chose my settings.

The issue; sound effects do not work (unless PC speaker), does not matter which option I choose. For music Adlib, SoundBlaster and Roland all work. It is nothing new because sound effects do not emulate in DOS Box as well, I was just hoping my older PCs card to run sound effects. Card being a Ensoniq / Creative AudioPCI - https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?t=26252

Any idea what I can do to get the sound effects running?

Thank You
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Old 22-04-2019, 08:19 AM   #2
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Well, it's much easier to test Wiz7 in the DOSBox because of unified environment. Especially as you said it doesn't work there too. I'll test it.
...
And checked.

In "standard" DOSBox, surprisingly enough, the best combination is MT-32 (with ROMs in dir) for music and Speaker for FX. SB/Adlib/Covox SMII sounds identically, other two covoxes not sounds at all.

Thanks to eXo, we found "ideal" combination: DOSBOX-X with MT-32 (with ROMs) for music+SB for FX. Sounds just as Speaker, but clearer and without cut.

To tune that, you need to enter configuration from the main game menu. It's only place where sound and FX can be adjusted. Doesn't work when you actually started the game.
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Old 23-04-2019, 09:58 AM   #3
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Keep in mind that Windows 98 is not a "native" Windows like XP and above, but still an operating system which sits on the partially hidden MS-Dos. As such, for MS-Dos games you need the drivers for that card to be loaded to be able to play sound effects for MS-Dos games, as those games don't rely on Windows own drivers (they came out before that operating system was available).


Also Ms-Dos games often need enough free memory to run with sound effects, 640kb is max but realistic amount would be about 570kb-580kb. Unlike with Windows, most older Ms-Dos games don't use all system memory but only the 640kb "conventional" block due to the operating system's limitation. Some use the rest of the memory only for data storage.
And most games need at least 560kb memory to operate fully, or without problems. Unless you've worked with the Ms-Dos part of Windows 98 I'd reckon your memory is somewhere around 520kb.



If you know your way around MS-Dos it isn't difficult - click Start, run command then in the Dos prompt type set to check which variables (necessary for MS-Dos programs to find paths and certain settings) are loaded.
There should be one which looks similar to BLASTER=A220 I7 D1 H5 (or I5, default on most Ms-Dos machines). If there isn't one, then it gets much more complicated.
For memory, type mem. It should show the free available amount at the bottom of the text.
To close the Dos prompt and return back to Windows type exit.
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Old 24-04-2019, 11:37 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, as mentioned Dosbox isn't something I wanted to do as I have Wizardry 7 on Steam already, and am able to hear sound effects via the PC Speaker(emulated by Dos Box) mostly trying to get it running on old hardware.

In regards to conventional memory I have 600kb, aplenty with Mouse, Sound and CD-ROM, so that is not an issue.

I did make some other enquires and it seems I need to find a sound card with a OPL2 chip, guess I will have to search.

PS - Dosbox-X is an interesting tool

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Old 25-04-2019, 06:06 AM   #5
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In DOSBox any SB works, from SB1 with it's OPL2, to SB16. Unfortunately, all of them works as Adlib in standard DOSBox, and not gives any "proper" FX. Still, it _gives_ FX, only it's strange and artificial.

What's wrong for you? There is no any FX for your SB, you FX are same as with Speaker, you cannot select SB for FX... What?
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Old 25-04-2019, 06:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiling Spectre View Post
In DOSBox any SB works, from SB1 with it's OPL2, to SB16. Unfortunately, all of them works as Adlib in standard DOSBox, and not gives any "proper" FX. Still, it _gives_ FX, only it's strange and artificial.

What's wrong for you? There is no any FX for your SB, you FX are same as with Speaker, you cannot select SB for FX... What?
Only PC speaker works for sound effects, I only have headphones, so hearing the PC effects via the Tower is very strange and not enjoyable.

Someone advised I could re-route my PC speaker through the Ensoniq / Creative AudioPCI card but not to sure how to do this, so will look out for a Sound Card(at a reasonable price) that includes the OPL2 chip with FM synthesizer.
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Old 26-04-2019, 08:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odd144 View Post
so will look out for a Sound Card(at a reasonable price) that includes the OPL2 chip with FM synthesizer.
OPL3 should work as well, I remember having played Wizardry 7 in Ms-Dos many years ago with Soundblaster 16, so that is one card I could recommend. Not sure if that model was available for a PCI slot though, mine was for the older ISA slot.
There's the later Soundblaster Live! though, which used PCI slot and still offered backward compatibility with MS-Dos Soundblaster support. All those have backward compatibility for the older Soundblaster 1.0 (OPL1) and Soundblaster Pro (OPL2) standards with older games.
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Old 26-04-2019, 09:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odd144 View Post
Only PC speaker works for sound effects, I only have headphones, so hearing the PC effects via the Tower is very strange and not enjoyable.
"Works" like what? Can you select other sound types? And for what outcome?
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