Author Topic: What exactly makes KQ4, KQ5 and KQ6 Unplayable?  (Read 8306 times)

TheReturnofDMD

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What exactly makes KQ4, KQ5 and KQ6 Unplayable?
« on: August 06, 2006, 11:18:21 PM »
Hey

I know many people (myself included) sometimes have hard times running many of Sierra's old games, particularly the Windows games. I was running what it is that makes KQIV (The music), KQ5 and KQ6 (Especially the windows version) unplayable without the use of things such as Dosbox and VDMSound. What is it in the games code that makes the games incompatible with XP and how can it be fixed via programming?

Offline Baggins

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Re: What exactly makes KQ4, KQ5 and KQ6 Unplayable?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2006, 11:24:54 PM »
The problem with windows xp is it doesn't actually have dos. It just has command prompt, which is more or less a debuging mode...

Command Prompt does not load any sound drivers(wav files sometimes work since windows has its own drivers for wav sounds), and lacks many modes that dos originally had.

The memory system is different in command prompt as well.

Also even with vmdsound, and dosbox, I've found KQ6 doesn't like computers that have multiple cd drives, or partitions for some reason. It simply won't install correctly.

As for the windows versions part of it has to do with the games only working in 256 color 640x480 mode. In some cases certain windows dll files being missing that were needed by the game, but are no longer needed in modern windows..
« Last Edit: August 07, 2006, 12:01:38 AM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline Erik

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Re: What exactly makes KQ4, KQ5 and KQ6 Unplayable?
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2006, 02:11:35 PM »
Whoa there!!  :stop:  I never remembered having to access DOS or anything like it to play any of the games!
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Offline dew7

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Re: What exactly makes KQ4, KQ5 and KQ6 Unplayable?
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2006, 02:43:21 PM »
Some may consider this part of the evils of Microsoft but anyway here goes:

Windows 3.x, 95, 98, 98SE and ME all are based upon MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System) and so it is usually easy to play Dos games on them with the exception of ME because it was made poorly and it is more difficult to get to Dos. aka no exit to Dos mode from shutdown

Windows NT (New Technology), Windows 2000, and Windows XP are all based upon this new technology that does not have Dos anywhere.  It has a command prompt and may be able to emulate some Dos functions but Dos does not exist.

The two are based upon two separate source codes.  In the early days of Microsoft NT was considered a joke and early Microsoft software engineers would call it the Not There code because it was so inferior to Dos.  Anyway, Microsoft decided that this was the code they wanted and it would be easier to have one code then two codes and so now they have finally transitioned to one source code by no longer providing any updates to 98, 98SE and ME (effective July 11, 2006) and this will eventually most likely seal the coffin for these operating systems although there is still self help on the Microsoft sites and Microsoft newsgroups for these operating systems.

Remember, KQ4, KQ5 and KQ6 have their roots in Dos because they are before the XP era.  Chris Quirke, a MVP of the Microsoft newsgroup laments the fact that XP does not have a true maintenance operating system like 98SE where it had Dos and so this makes it that much harder to fix serious problems such as large malware, virus and spyware attacks.  In addition, since XP has so many more services this provides an attacker more opportunities to attack XP.

Anyway, I have gone on far too long and I hope this makes some sense to you.  Have a nice day!
« Last Edit: August 07, 2006, 07:38:03 PM by dew7 »
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Offline oberonqa

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Re: What exactly makes KQ4, KQ5 and KQ6 Unplayable?
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2006, 06:13:02 PM »
I don't recall having any problems playing KQV or KQVI on Windows XP... since they have a Windows version.  Heck... just this week I installed GK1 on my computer (running Windows XP) and it runs fine. 

As for KQIV... the only reason you would need DOSBox or VDMSound is because KQIV is a DOS-only game (whereas KQV and KQVI have a Windows version which more or less runs ok on today's computers without extra stuff) so you need to use DOSBox or VDMSound to get the music and sound effects to play properly.

Basically, for any game that was made for DOS that used a dedicated sound card (versus internal speakers), you had to have the following stuff present before the game was started:

-> Sound card driver program loaded up into a portion of the computer's expanded or extended memory (not to be confused with the computer's low-end memory which was capped at 640kb)

-> A DOS setting variable that pinpointed the assorted sound card hardware settings (IRQ jumper, DMA jumper, etc)

Then you could start the game and the game would play with music and sound effects.

I don't use DOSBox... but all VDMSound does is do the above stuff on a software level and then take all music/sound effects and play them through your sound card.
 
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Offline Baggins

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Re: What exactly makes KQ4, KQ5 and KQ6 Unplayable?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2006, 08:04:57 PM »
Quote
I don't recall having any problems playing KQV or KQVI on Windows XP... since they have a Windows version.  Heck... just this week I installed GK1 on my computer (running Windows XP) and it runs fine. 


The only problem I have with it, is I have multiple partitions and 3 optical drives. Installation gets confused as to where it needs to be installed, and then the optical drives do not know which dvd/cd drive to load from.

I do not have the problem on other other pcs with single partitions and single dvd/cd device.

Also I had to run KQ6 cd windows version through vmdsound due to some driver issues on one of the PCs (incompatible sound drivers on the newer sound card).

To get KQ5 windows version to run I had to lower the resolution of windows xp 640x480 256 color mode.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2006, 08:13:45 PM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline oberonqa

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Re: What exactly makes KQ4, KQ5 and KQ6 Unplayable?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2006, 10:49:31 PM »
Quote
I don't recall having any problems playing KQV or KQVI on Windows XP... since they have a Windows version.  Heck... just this week I installed GK1 on my computer (running Windows XP) and it runs fine. 


The only problem I have with it, is I have multiple partitions and 3 optical drives. Installation gets confused as to where it needs to be installed, and then the optical drives do not know which dvd/cd drive to load from.

I do not have the problem on other other pcs with single partitions and single dvd/cd device.

Also I had to run KQ6 cd windows version through vmdsound due to some driver issues on one of the PCs (incompatible sound drivers on the newer sound card).

To get KQ5 windows version to run I had to lower the resolution of windows xp 640x480 256 color mode.

Yea... in all of the Windows versions of those games, you'll need to set the screen resolution to 640x480 256 color mode.  Anything higher and the game will scream at you.

As for getting the games to install, if your able to do a mimimum installation into the default directory, what you can then do is copy everything from the game CD into that default directory (do not overwrite any file that is already in the directory) and then modify the file "resource.win" using Notepad and change the assorted paths (some of the paths listed are VIDEO and PATCH) to the default directory (which should be C:\SIERRA\<game> where <game> is the initials of the game your installing like KQ6 for King's Quest VI or GK1 for Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Father).

That should take care of your problem.  What your basically doing is taking everything from the CD and putting it into a directory on your hard drive, then telling the game's configuration file to look in that directory rather than the CD for whatever files the game needs.

If you can't perform a mimumum install of the game, you may be able to get around it by using the DOS version of the install program, then copying the file "resource.cfg" into a new file and naming it "resource.win" and making the assorted changes.  I haven't personally tried this though since every Windows-based Sierra game I have I've been able to perform a minimum install using the Windows installation program on the game CD.

Hope this helps.
 
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Offline Baggins

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Re: What exactly makes KQ4, KQ5 and KQ6 Unplayable?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2006, 02:40:58 AM »
Oddly enough the dos installation tries to install to a drive "Z:" which does not exist on my pc. Ahh the fun of having multiple partitions heh heh.

Which is another reason I usually just resort to playing them on the family laptop instead of my desktop pc.
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline oberonqa

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Re: What exactly makes KQ4, KQ5 and KQ6 Unplayable?
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2006, 10:27:24 PM »
Oddly enough the dos installation tries to install to a drive "Z:" which does not exist on my pc. Ahh the fun of having multiple partitions heh heh.

Which is another reason I usually just resort to playing them on the family laptop instead of my desktop pc.

For games like KQ5 and KQ6, your able to modify the default installation path through the installer.  Otherwise, try copying the CD over to a directory on a directory and then running the DOS installation program to setup the parameters without actually copying anything.

You can also modify the installation path for KQ4 in it's installation "program" (which I believe was just a batch file anyway)... but you can accomplish the same thing through just copying each diskette to a directory.
 
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Offline ThunderChild

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Re: What exactly makes KQ4, KQ5 and KQ6 Unplayable?
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2006, 06:22:05 AM »
The two are based upon two separate source codes.  In the early days of Microsoft NT was considered a joke and early Microsoft software engineers would call it the Not There code because it was so inferior to Dos.
I though it was called 'Not There" simply because the whole thing was ... not there  ;D ;D

I've decided not to use the Windows version of KQ5 and KQ6, but to simply play them through DOSbox. Speech and music works and for some reason I find that the DOS versions runs faster in DOSbox then the Windows versions do in Windows . . .
It seems totally incredible to me now that everyone spent that evening as though it were just like any other. From the railway station came the sound of shunting trains, ringing and rumbling, softened almost into melody by the distance ...

Offline Yonkey

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Re: What exactly makes KQ4, KQ5 and KQ6 Unplayable?
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2006, 08:37:21 AM »
I though it was called 'Not There" simply because the whole thing was ... not there  ;D ;D
LOL what do you mean?  I've only been hearing Dew's version all these years. :P
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Offline ThunderChild

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Re: What exactly makes KQ4, KQ5 and KQ6 Unplayable?
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2006, 09:01:03 AM »
LOL what do you mean?  I've only been hearing Dew's version all these years. :P
I can remember that it was delayed multiple times before it was released. I think it was delayed over a year before it finally hit the shelves but my memory is a bit oudated. It's been 15 years or so ...  ;D 8)
It seems totally incredible to me now that everyone spent that evening as though it were just like any other. From the railway station came the sound of shunting trains, ringing and rumbling, softened almost into melody by the distance ...

Offline Baggins

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Re: What exactly makes KQ4, KQ5 and KQ6 Unplayable?
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2006, 09:05:37 AM »
Quote
For games like KQ5 and KQ6, your able to modify the default installation path through the installer.  Otherwise, try copying the CD over to a directory on a directory and then running the DOS installation program to setup the parameters without actually copying anything.

For some reason my Roberta William's Anthology won't let me change the installation path through the installer, and I was referring to the "dos installation program". All I'm saying is my desktop with all its drives just seems to freak out that version of the games.

I don't actually have a problem with the KQ5 on the collection mainly with KQ6.

Quote
I've decided not to use the Windows version of KQ5 and KQ6, but to simply play them through DOSbox. Speech and music works and for some reason I find that the DOS versions runs faster in DOSbox then the Windows versions do in Windows . . .
If you can run the KQ6 through the windows version through VDMsound, you do get accesses to superior pictures for the talking heads compared to the dos version.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2006, 09:08:03 AM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline Yonkey

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Re: What exactly makes KQ4, KQ5 and KQ6 Unplayable?
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2006, 09:07:03 AM »
For some reason my Roberta William's Anthology won't let me change the installation path through the installer
What year did the Anthology come out? ???
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Offline Baggins

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Re: What exactly makes KQ4, KQ5 and KQ6 Unplayable?
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2006, 10:00:35 AM »
Just before Mask of Eternity, IIRC...

However I think the fact it has multiple disks and the installlation files are scattered across 2-3 disks might also be the problem. I've tried doing the manually copy the cd's to the hard-drive method and still hit problems as they still tried looking for cd-media. "insert disk" blah blah crap.
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline ThunderChild

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Re: What exactly makes KQ4, KQ5 and KQ6 Unplayable?
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2006, 11:03:40 AM »
However I think the fact it has multiple disks and the installlation files are scattered across 2-3 disks might also be the problem. I've tried doing the manually copy the cd's to the hard-drive method and still hit problems as they still tried looking for cd-media. "insert disk" blah blah crap.
What if you copied the files needed to a folder, run INSTALL.EXE, setup your graphics and soundcard and skip the harddisk installation ??
It seems totally incredible to me now that everyone spent that evening as though it were just like any other. From the railway station came the sound of shunting trains, ringing and rumbling, softened almost into melody by the distance ...

Offline dew7

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Re: What exactly makes KQ4, KQ5 and KQ6 Unplayable?
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2006, 11:50:18 AM »
For some reason my Roberta William's Anthology won't let me change the installation path through the installer
What year did the Anthology come out? ???

http://www.gamespot.com/pc/adventure/robertawilliamsanthology/

Jan. 31, 1997 -- according to the above website (before 98 and 98SE)
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Offline Yonkey

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Re: What exactly makes KQ4, KQ5 and KQ6 Unplayable?
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2006, 01:17:50 PM »
Jan. 31, 1997 -- according to the above website (before 98 and 98SE)
That explains it then.  Their programmers didn't design the installer according to Win98 specifications.  If they did, you would be able to play it fine on WinME/2K/XP+.  KQ7 didn't even work correctly on Win95 because it came out a couple weeks prior.  Of course, Sierra did make a second version of KQ7, so I don't see why they couldn't have done the same for the Anthology 3 years later. ::)

Baggins, I suggest contacting their technical support and asking for them to release a patch, or workaround. :)
« Last Edit: August 15, 2006, 01:19:25 PM by Yonkey »
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Offline Baggins

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Re: What exactly makes KQ4, KQ5 and KQ6 Unplayable?
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2006, 01:51:55 PM »
Ha, lol, vivendi make a patch... Sure...

I think that's the entire point why they are making the new compilations. Because they don't support the old versions. But hey it works my WinXP laptop, so I don't really need to get it to work on my desktop.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2006, 03:21:43 PM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline dew7

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Re: What exactly makes KQ4, KQ5 and KQ6 Unplayable?
« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2006, 05:10:16 PM »
I have the Roberta Williams Anthology also and in KQ4 I get no sound on the XP side.  I have not yet tried the VDM sound in XP but eventually I will try it.  The anthology works great in 98SE.
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