Backwards Compatibility Solutions — Widescreen and Gameplay

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Backwards Compatibility Solutions — Widescreen and Gameplay

Post by Daedalus » May 26th, 2010, 21:43

Evening, Posty.

The Postmortem is, of course, primarily a Blood site, but I do not think I'd be wrong to say that amongst our many oddities and horror articles our second most area of coverage is video games. If we regard this statement as true, then it would logically follow that a great part of the Postmortem's affection belongs to old video games in particular.

Paging through my wisdom, I've realised that because I attract computer and game problems like moths to flame, I should probably pass on what information I have. Thus I will be using this thread as an area to dump various solutions to known issues with games or applications, with particular focus on older titles and their potential for widescreen solutions or bypasses.

I encourage those to contribute who can and wish to. Know of an old and sticky bug that you're a whiz at beating? Stick it here. Know of a superior incarnation of a game or widescreen solution for the game? Stick it here. Know of an essential modification to a game? Stick it here. Even a small informational tidbit is fine. Who knows, perhaps you'll assist some poor soul in the future.

Please try to follow this general scheme:
  • Name the game (or application) you're offering a tip, mod, or solution for (duh)
  • Name the operating system you've achieved success with
  • Describe the nature of the issue and its solution
  • Try to keep it as simple as possible and stick to layman's terms. Remember that some Posty members and guests are not as much of a nerd as you are
  • "lol Dosbawks" is not an appropriate statement. For the purposes of this thread, we'll assume that people are keenly aware that the application exists. If an older title requires select Dosbox settings for a desired outcome or optimal performance, that is an acceptable entry
  • Try not to include a modification that distorts an application or title too far beyond its original form. A mod that adds a larger inventory to Diablo II, or an Ella skin to Unreal Tournament III is fine, a mod that makes Painkiller use Super Mario Brothers' textures and implements its gameplay is not
Alternatively, you can list a bug or issue with a certain game and perhaps it can be isolated and tackled some day.

That's all there is to it. Hopefully this thread can contain something of value for the future generations and lost souls. I do not expect much contribution, but I shall use it thoroughly in any case. Let's see if some value can come of this.

Yeah, I fucking stickied it.
This is the seventh time the list function has been used on Posty.
Kazashi wrote:Daedalus, I don't care how much you know about Blood, your attitude has to change.
Blood + Focus = Love · Faith is the key · Heretics and traitors cannot stand before us · Some games are self-perpetuating - Blood requires conscientious communal effort to survive · We are the last line · Ask not for whom the main menu animates · Blood's promotion and survival - all other gaming considerations are secondary · More than just a game · Need a hint? · Make a stand

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Re: Backwards Compatibility Solutions — Widescreen and Gamep

Post by Daedalus » May 26th, 2010, 22:07

Age of Empires III / Age of Empires III: The Warchiefs Expansion / Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties

Operating System: Windows XP Service Pack 3.

Here's a means of bypassing the opening cinematics and leaping straight to the main menu:

You'll need to create a file called user.cfg for these purposes. Follow these instructions to do so and bypass the videos.
  1. Using "windows explorer" browse to My Documents\My Games\Age of Empires 3\Startup.
  2. Click on Tools at the top of the window, and select Folder Options.
  3. Click on the View tab.
  4. In the Advanced Settings list, look for the line Hide extensions for known file types. If this is checked, uncheck it.
  5. Click Apply at the bottom of the options window.
  6. If you want to set this for all folders, click Apply to all folders.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Open Notepad.
  9. Add "nointrocinematics" to the first line.
  10. Click File => Save As…
  11. In the save window, browse to My Documents\My Games\Age of Empires 3\Startup.
  12. File name = user.cfg, Save as type = All Files, click OK.
  13. Back in Windows Explorer, verify the file exists, and then launch the game. If done correctly the opening movies should not play, instead you should load directly to the main game menu.
Widescreen solution:

Age of Empires III is a fairly new title and it supports widescreen natively. However, those with larger monitors may find that one is a little too close to the action even on the furthest zooming out setting. Here's a little trick to have as much freedom on the matter as you want.

Go to the folder you've placed age of Empires III in and proceed to the startup folder, for example:

~\Age of Empires 3\Startup

Here you will have to modify a file based on the incarnation of Age of Empires III you want it to affect, or which you own. They are listed here accordingly:

Age of Empires III - game.cfg
Age of Empires III: The Warchiefs - gamex.cfg
Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties - gamey.cfg

Select the appropriate file and open it using notepad. Search the document for the section which looks thus;

Code: Select all

// Default size of the world in meters
WorldSizeX=200;
WorldSizeZ=200;

limitPitch=47
maxZoom=60
normalZoom=50
minZoom=29
extraZoomPercent=0.15
zoomSpeed=0.5
zoomWheelDivisor=30.0
Changing the zoom limits here will affect the camera distance allowance in the game. Zooming too far out creates a fog effect, though, so raising the number too extensively will prove pointless. I wouldn't recommend tweaking too many values found here. I'd also recommend backing up the file before modification. Here's a recommended setup:

Code: Select all

maxZoom=225
normalZoom=200
minZoom=8
Voilà. You now have extreme camera freedom.

I have not yet tested if this is functional in a LAN or online environment. Enjoy.

This was the eighth time the list function was used on Posty.
Kazashi wrote:Daedalus, I don't care how much you know about Blood, your attitude has to change.
Blood + Focus = Love · Faith is the key · Heretics and traitors cannot stand before us · Some games are self-perpetuating - Blood requires conscientious communal effort to survive · We are the last line · Ask not for whom the main menu animates · Blood's promotion and survival - all other gaming considerations are secondary · More than just a game · Need a hint? · Make a stand

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Re: Backwards Compatibility Solutions — Widescreen and Gamep

Post by Daedalus » May 26th, 2010, 22:25

Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn / Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal

Operating System: Windows XP Service Pack 3.

Merchants and NPCs constantly appear to be busy and I can't talk to them. What gives?

This is the result of the title being on XP, as it was designed with Win9x in mind. Thankfully the bypass for this is simple. Simply update your Baldur's Gate 2 to the latest version and the problem will be sorted out. Here's the name of one of the english updates for Throne of Bhaal: "BGII-ThroneofBhaal_Patch_26498_ENGLISH". Search for it and you're sorted.

Bonus Merchants:

This package includes two special merchants who were added in a certain exclusive release of Baldur's Gate 2. They are not at all disruptive to gameplay, although the Shield of Balduran is particularly effective against certain creature types.

Here you go:
bonusmerchants.zip
(1.81 KiB) Downloaded 41 times
To install it, unzip the included files into your Baldur's Gate II override folder. For example:

~\Baldur's Gate 2\override

The pack includes Deidre, who can be found in the Adventurer's Mart in Waukeen's Promenade and Joluv, who can be found in the Copper Coronet.

Widescreen solution:

None of which I am aware, however you can access "unsupported" resolutions on the game configuration menu (BGConfig.exe in your Baldur's Gate 2 folder) and these can be fairly suitable, but beware, for they do not correctly support surround sound and you will only hear sounds within about a 800x600 radius of your character.

Baldur's Gate 2 Configuration:

A simple word of warning before parting. In BGConfig.exe, tweaking the frame rate under AI options, in the gameplay miscellaneous section will actually increase the overall speed of the game and be detrimental to one's playing experience.

Character Modification:

Do a search for ShadowKeeper. It is a powerful and effective character editor for Baldur's Gate 2 and it can be used to create class and racial combinations which otherwise would've been impossible. I've had success with it, but as with all things, there is an element of risk involved.

Good luck.
Kazashi wrote:Daedalus, I don't care how much you know about Blood, your attitude has to change.
Blood + Focus = Love · Faith is the key · Heretics and traitors cannot stand before us · Some games are self-perpetuating - Blood requires conscientious communal effort to survive · We are the last line · Ask not for whom the main menu animates · Blood's promotion and survival - all other gaming considerations are secondary · More than just a game · Need a hint? · Make a stand


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Re: Backwards Compatibility Solutions — Widescreen and Gamep

Post by Daedalus » May 26th, 2010, 22:40

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War / Dawn of War: Winter Assault / Dawn of War: Dark Crusade / Dawn of War: Soulstorm

Operating System: Windows XP Service Pack 3.

Widescreen solution:

Dawn of War allows widescreen resolutions natively once the Dark Crusade expansion is installed. Dawn of War's camera distance becomes absolutely stifling on larger monitors and I highly recommend the following files for fixing this particular problem:
Engine.rar
(5.44 KiB) Downloaded 51 times
Within are three tiny files. Place them in your Engine folder, for example:

~\Dawn of War\Soulstorm\Engine

Adding this will grant you additional camera freedom, which is a most welcome change. The only tradeoff is that the camera begins each mission somewhat awkwardly and you'll have to spend a few seconds getting it to your desired position.
Kazashi wrote:Daedalus, I don't care how much you know about Blood, your attitude has to change.
Blood + Focus = Love · Faith is the key · Heretics and traitors cannot stand before us · Some games are self-perpetuating - Blood requires conscientious communal effort to survive · We are the last line · Ask not for whom the main menu animates · Blood's promotion and survival - all other gaming considerations are secondary · More than just a game · Need a hint? · Make a stand

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Re: Backwards Compatibility Solutions — Widescreen and Gamep

Post by Daedalus » May 26th, 2010, 22:41

This is a prime example of a shit post. I think you'll find the majority of these fixes do not exist there and especially no gameplay issues.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Kazashi wrote:Daedalus, I don't care how much you know about Blood, your attitude has to change.
Blood + Focus = Love · Faith is the key · Heretics and traitors cannot stand before us · Some games are self-perpetuating - Blood requires conscientious communal effort to survive · We are the last line · Ask not for whom the main menu animates · Blood's promotion and survival - all other gaming considerations are secondary · More than just a game · Need a hint? · Make a stand

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Daedalus
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Re: Backwards Compatibility Solutions — Widescreen and Gamep

Post by Daedalus » May 26th, 2010, 22:56

Deus Ex

Operating System: Windows XP Service Pack 3.

Widescreen solution:

Deus Ex doesn't support widescreen natively. Here's a small tweak for it. Locate DeusEx.ini in your Deus Ex folder and search for this section:

Code: Select all

[WinDrv.WindowsClient]
WindowedViewportX=640
WindowedViewportY=480
WindowedColorBits=32
FullscreenViewportX=800
FullscreenViewportY=600
FullscreenColorBits=32
Brightness=0.700000
MipFactor=1.000000
UseDirectDraw=True
...
You'll have to set the FullscreenViewportX to the desired value, as well as the FullscreenViewportY. An example would be:

Code: Select all

FullscreenViewportX=1440
FullscreenViewportY=900
Alternatively, if you're playing the game windowed, you'll want to set the WindowedViewports to the the desired values.

That's all there is to it. Note that the text in game becomes very tiny on higher resolutions, unfortunately.
Kazashi wrote:Daedalus, I don't care how much you know about Blood, your attitude has to change.
Blood + Focus = Love · Faith is the key · Heretics and traitors cannot stand before us · Some games are self-perpetuating - Blood requires conscientious communal effort to survive · We are the last line · Ask not for whom the main menu animates · Blood's promotion and survival - all other gaming considerations are secondary · More than just a game · Need a hint? · Make a stand

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Re: Backwards Compatibility Solutions — Widescreen and Gamep

Post by Daedalus » May 26th, 2010, 23:16

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction

Operating System: Windows XP Service Pack 3.

No CD fix:

As of version 1.12, the CD is no longer required to play! A user must have performed a full installation to accomplish this. Having done so, copy D2Music.mpq from the Diablo II Play CD and/or D2xMusic.mpq from the Lord of Destruction CD to your Diablo 2 folder and you're all set.

Windowed Diablo II:

Create a shortcut to your Diablo 2 executable file and examine its properties. On the "Target" line, add "-win" to the end and your Diablo II will run windowed. For example: "~\Diablo II\Diablo II.exe" -win

Widescreen solution:

This only works with version 1.12 of Diablo II Lord of Destruction, so be warned. This tweak will also not function on Battle.net (and obviously due to subsequent patching, too). Note that this little hack doesn't necessarily enable widescreen — it simply zooms the camera out further so as to view more of the battlefield. Note also that monster AI does not cater for this and this will in fact alter gameplay to an extent, but only if your conscience allows it. Spells with long range cast ranges, such as teleport and blizzard, will be allowed to be cast at ranges that were otherwise impossible in normal Diablo II Lord of Destruction. Another problem is that monster AI is not designed to function at these distances and a sneaky player will be able to attack them at range, but I leave such decisions to the player. Also be warned that Direct3D at enormous resolutions will very likely punish your game performance.

Here is the file:
D2MultiRes-v102.zip
(524.42 KiB) Downloaded 43 times
Simply extract the contents to your Diablo 2 folder, run the included .exe and you're good to go.
Kazashi wrote:Daedalus, I don't care how much you know about Blood, your attitude has to change.
Blood + Focus = Love · Faith is the key · Heretics and traitors cannot stand before us · Some games are self-perpetuating - Blood requires conscientious communal effort to survive · We are the last line · Ask not for whom the main menu animates · Blood's promotion and survival - all other gaming considerations are secondary · More than just a game · Need a hint? · Make a stand

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Re: Backwards Compatibility Solutions — Widescreen and Gamep

Post by Daedalus » May 26th, 2010, 23:46

Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares

Operating System: Windows XP Service Pack 3.

Master of Orion II Windowed:

Dosbox works for this, but I didn't get decent results from it, so I sought out a different road. The game's an eyesore on larger monitors and a decent one for playing in the background, so there's no reason not to have it windowed. Simply utilize this tiny application:
DxWnd.zip
(62 KiB) Downloaded 44 times
Extract this little application to the desired location and launch it. With <Generic Windowed Patcher> selected, click "Run..." and direct the application to your Master of Orion 2 executable. You'll be rewarded with a Windowed Master of Orion 2.

The AI Sakkra is too difficult to beat!

There is no known solution to this problem.
Kazashi wrote:Daedalus, I don't care how much you know about Blood, your attitude has to change.
Blood + Focus = Love · Faith is the key · Heretics and traitors cannot stand before us · Some games are self-perpetuating - Blood requires conscientious communal effort to survive · We are the last line · Ask not for whom the main menu animates · Blood's promotion and survival - all other gaming considerations are secondary · More than just a game · Need a hint? · Make a stand

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Re: Backwards Compatibility Solutions — Widescreen and Gamep

Post by Daedalus » May 27th, 2010, 00:01

Starcraft: Brood War

Operating System: Windows XP Service Pack 3.

No CD fix:

With patch 1.15.2 Starcraft no longer requires the CD to play. Here are the instructions to accomplish this:

- Make sure you have "Hide extensions for known types" unchecked under Explorer Folder Options.
- Copy "INSTALL.EXE" from the StarCraft: Brood War CD to your StarCraft folder and rename it to "BroodWar.mpq".

Starcraft Windowed:

Starcraft has no widescreen capability and on larger screens it is absolutely hideous. In order to combat this and at least somewhat shake the feeling that you're scrolling more than you're strategising, use this tiny plugin to run Starcraft in a convenient little window:
scloader.rar
(107.04 KiB) Downloaded 40 times
Be advised; you must place the contents of this rar in your Starcraft folder in order for it to function. Once done, create a shortcut to scloader2b.exe and add this to its target line "-xmod wmode.xmod", so your final target should look something like this:

~\Starcraft\scloader2b.exe -xmod wmode.xmod

Run that shortcut and you're all set.
Kazashi wrote:Daedalus, I don't care how much you know about Blood, your attitude has to change.
Blood + Focus = Love · Faith is the key · Heretics and traitors cannot stand before us · Some games are self-perpetuating - Blood requires conscientious communal effort to survive · We are the last line · Ask not for whom the main menu animates · Blood's promotion and survival - all other gaming considerations are secondary · More than just a game · Need a hint? · Make a stand

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Re: Backwards Compatibility Solutions — Widescreen and Gamep

Post by Daedalus » May 27th, 2010, 00:09

Unreal Tournament 1999

Operating System: Windows XP Service Pack 3.

Widescreen solution:

Unreal Tournament doesn't support widescreen natively. Here's a small tweak for it. Locate UnrealTournament.ini in your Unreal Tournament System folder and search for this section:

Code: Select all

[WinDrv.WindowsClient]
    WindowedViewportX=640
    WindowedViewportY=480
    WindowedColorBits=32
    FullscreenViewportX=800
    FullscreenViewportY=600
    FullscreenColorBits=32
    Brightness=0.700000
    MipFactor=1.000000
    UseDirectDraw=True
    ...
You'll have to set the FullscreenViewportX to the desired value, as well as the FullscreenViewportY. An example would be:

Code: Select all

FullscreenViewportX=1440
    FullscreenViewportY=900
Alternatively, if you're playing the game windowed, you'll want to set the WindowedViewports to the desired values.
Kazashi wrote:Daedalus, I don't care how much you know about Blood, your attitude has to change.
Blood + Focus = Love · Faith is the key · Heretics and traitors cannot stand before us · Some games are self-perpetuating - Blood requires conscientious communal effort to survive · We are the last line · Ask not for whom the main menu animates · Blood's promotion and survival - all other gaming considerations are secondary · More than just a game · Need a hint? · Make a stand

User avatar
Daedalus
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Re: Backwards Compatibility Solutions — Widescreen and Gamep

Post by Daedalus » May 27th, 2010, 00:29

Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne

Operating System: Windows XP Service Pack 3.

No CD fix:

As of patch 1.21b, Warcraft III no longer requires the CD to play.

Widescreen solution:

This one takes a bit of work, but the rewards are well worth it. First I'll show you how to increase the resolution options and then I'll show you how to move the camera further back than is normally allowed by the game.

For resolution, you'll need to perform a registry edit. Click on 'Start', then click 'Run'. A window will open. Type 'regedit' in here and click 'okay'. A large folder structure will appear. This can be a bit daunting, but it isn't overly complicated. Navigate using the folder and find the directory as follows: My Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Blizzard Entertainment\Warcraft III\Video. Upon clicking that folder, a number of parameters will appear on the right hand side of the window. The two we're after are 'resheight' and 'reswidth'. Double clicking on these will open a small window and allow you to tweak the value. For simplicity's sake, click the 'decimal' radio button on the window and then enter the desired value. Example values would be 900 and 1440 respectively.

Following this, you'll have a crystal clear Warcraft III. Unfortunately, the creators of this game thought that seeing every single polygon close and personally was desirable and it'll take a bit more work to fit more than twelve units into a single frame.

Here is a maphack application to combat this effect:
D3SceneV3(newer, download this one).zip
(211.08 KiB) Downloaded 43 times
Don't ask about the name. Now don't be alarmed that this a maphack, as it can be used for both good and evil. Extract its contents to your Warcraft III folder. Launch Warcraft III. Now, once you've entered the game, you must return to Windows with the game still running and launch this maphack application. A small window will appear with a number of boxes, but for our purposes the bottom right one, 'Camera distance', is what we're after. Enter a value in this box and click the button saying 'Camera distance' and your camera distance will be applied. I find 2700 to be an excellent value, but you may adjust it to your liking.

A final note; although I've been a lot on Battle.net with this distance activated, the program can be used to legitimately cheat and it can result in having your CD key banned, so use it online at your own risk.
Kazashi wrote:Daedalus, I don't care how much you know about Blood, your attitude has to change.
Blood + Focus = Love · Faith is the key · Heretics and traitors cannot stand before us · Some games are self-perpetuating - Blood requires conscientious communal effort to survive · We are the last line · Ask not for whom the main menu animates · Blood's promotion and survival - all other gaming considerations are secondary · More than just a game · Need a hint? · Make a stand

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Re: Backwards Compatibility Solutions — Widescreen and Gamep

Post by Daedalus » May 27th, 2010, 00:51

Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge

Operating System: Windows XP Service Pack 3.

Widescreen solution:

In your Red Alert 2 folder, find RA2.ini and open it. The following section will appear within:

Code: Select all

[Video]
ScreenWidth=800
ScreenHeight=600
StretchMovies=no
Adjust the height and width accordingly.

CD Key Trick:

Got a single disc or image, but you want to play a LAN with a bunch of mates? Simply edit the registry a bit! Click on 'Start', then click 'Run'. A window will open. Type 'regedit' in here and click 'okay'. A large folder structure will appear. This can be a bit daunting, but it isn't overly complicated. Navigate using the folder and find the directory as follows: My Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Westwood\Yuri's Revenge. Opening the folder, you'll see a serial parameter on the right. You can modify this value to anything under the sun. You can rename it to "Your mother's dog" and have that as your CD key, if you wish. Enter something different for each person and you're all set. Obviously this solution is not viable on an EA controlled online server.
Kazashi wrote:Daedalus, I don't care how much you know about Blood, your attitude has to change.
Blood + Focus = Love · Faith is the key · Heretics and traitors cannot stand before us · Some games are self-perpetuating - Blood requires conscientious communal effort to survive · We are the last line · Ask not for whom the main menu animates · Blood's promotion and survival - all other gaming considerations are secondary · More than just a game · Need a hint? · Make a stand

User avatar
Daedalus
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Posts: 4418
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Location: The Door between Worlds
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Re: Backwards Compatibility Solutions — Widescreen and Gamep

Post by Daedalus » May 27th, 2010, 01:15

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri / Sid Meier's Alien Crossfire

Operating System: Windows XP Service Pack 3.

CPU Not supported:

This great title can be a little tricky to get going sometimes, but the fixes are quick and efficient. Sometimes a newer machine will cause Alpha Centauri to present this message upon its initiation. Some computers can bypass it, others can't. If you're one of those who can't, follow this instruction.

Navigate to your Alpha Centauri folder and search for a file called Alpha Centauri.ini. Open it. At the bottom of the text which appears with this file, add the following lines:

Code: Select all

[PREFERENCES]
ForceOldVoxelAlgorithm=1
... and you're set to go!

Widescreen solution:

Alpha Centauri's pretty nasty business on wide and large monitors, but the fix is quite simple. Simply proceed to Alpha Centauri.ini mentioned above and ensure that the line:

Code: Select all

DirectDraw=0
is in and below the Alpha Centauri header. Be sure to change it back to 1 if you want your original resolution. This setting will apply your desktop resolution to the game and you can enjoy glorious Alpha Centauri bliss. Be warned that this solution isn't viable for the original Alpha Centauri, unfortunately, as it causes many visual errors on the menus, but for the expansion, it's great.

You read this far, so you deserve something special...

Alpha Centauri Windowed:

I searched far and wide for this and plunged the depths of the internet. Alpha Centauri's widescreen solution is easy to find, but here is something more complicated. This is a dodgy little application that's just perfect for Alpha Centauri and sure enough, it will enable you to run it windowed. I can't decipher the moonspeak that's so prevalent around this application, but the procedure is simple enough. Run it, add your Alien Crossfire exe to it and double click it to run the game windowed. Be advised; you must remove the line from Alpha Centauri's ini mentioned above, DirectDraw=0, if you want to play it windowed, or that procedure will override this application and you'll simply play in widescreen.

So here's my crown jewel to you; Windowed Alpha Centauri. Hold it to your bosom and keep it safe.
d3dwindowerenglish.rar
(427.55 KiB) Downloaded 59 times
Kazashi wrote:Daedalus, I don't care how much you know about Blood, your attitude has to change.
Blood + Focus = Love · Faith is the key · Heretics and traitors cannot stand before us · Some games are self-perpetuating - Blood requires conscientious communal effort to survive · We are the last line · Ask not for whom the main menu animates · Blood's promotion and survival - all other gaming considerations are secondary · More than just a game · Need a hint? · Make a stand

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Re: Backwards Compatibility Solutions — Widescreen and Gamep

Post by Daedolon » May 27th, 2010, 05:41

Daedalus wrote:I think you'll find the majority of these fixes do not exist there
Which is the reason I posted the link, I have personally found the site very useful and informative on my quest to widescreen gaming. I shall soon contribute to this thread on a higher level, though, so that should settle any problems you might have.

'Tis a shame the WarCraft III patch is a cheat for Blizzard, since I wanted to use it but I'd rather not risk losing all my games.
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