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#1126752 - 10/01/17 06:48 AM Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 [Re: RichAlexis]
Fingon Offline
Junior Boomer

Registered: 09/30/17
Posts: 5
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Hi to all, first of all, thanks to the first post, I was able to install Rome: Caesar's Will on my Windows 10. However, I wasn't able to run it - the game freezes with "Please wait while loading..."

I have a laptop, AMD A8-6410 APU with AMD Radeon R5 Graphics, 2.00 GHz, 4 GB RAM

The game freezes as Not responding.



On a side note, thanks for the tips considering other historical adventures, I have never heard about Crusader nor about The Vikings. As far as I know, there is only one game series that is dedicated to recreating historical cities etc. - Assassin's Creed. Too bad it's difficult to play in places...

BTW on the decline of the genre after 2000 - I keep finding more and more abandoned series that could get two installments published, but not the third one - Adrian Blake trilogy (Pompei + Jerusalem), A riddle of the SPhinx (Riddle of the Sphinx + Omega Stone), Aura + Aura 2 and even the New Atlantis Trilogy (Atlantis: Evolution and Secrets of Atlantis). Maybe there are more...

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#1126775 - 10/01/17 09:45 AM Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 [Re: Fingon]
Marian Offline
Global Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 07/04/00
Posts: 31367
Loc: near Yosemite in California
welcome to GameBoomers, Fingon.

Hopefully one of the techies here will be able to give you some advice about the freeze problem with the game.

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#1127141 - 10/04/17 01:46 PM Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 [Re: Fingon]
RichAlexis Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/21/13
Posts: 190
Loc: The Netherlands
Hi Fingon,

Thank you for your personal message!

I must say it's hard for me to speculate about an operating system I don't have (Windows 10), and can't possibly emulate.

I have a hunch it has something to do with screen resolution. As I've written, this game requires 800x600, which my Windows 8.1 automatically adjusts to when launching the game. There is a lag during the 'Please wait while loading' screen image though, and this screen initially appears as an ugly cropped image in the lower right-hand corner.

I see that Windows 10 offers the same compatibility options for applications as Windows 8.1, that is a pre-set resolution of 640x480, which is of no use here.

Even though I don't need it in this case, I regularly use the 12 Noon Display changer (https://12noon.com/?page_id=80) for adjusting the screen resolution for just one particular application, which returns to default as soon as you close the game.

You start the application from the command line, or a desktop shortcut like this:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\12noon Display Changer\dc64.exe" -width=800 -height=600 -depth=32 "C:\Program Files (x86)\Montparnasse Multimedia\Rome\rome.exe"

I don't know if this is of any help.

Another issue might be that Windows 10 handles older DirectX and Windows Media Player calls worse than 8.1? As I've said, I skip the installation of these older applications for 'Rome', but this might be the cause.

Another option would be to run all kinds of vintage games (as you're clearly interested in them) inside an emulator, like Hyper-V (if you run a Windows 10 Pro OS) or VMware Player.

Best,

Rich

P.S. On a sidenote too, but a heartfelt one, I recently read a Dutch report by the NCDD (Netherlands Coalition for Digital Preservation (final 'D' for 'duurzaamheid' = durability, sustainability)) on how urgent the need for preservation of 'old' CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs has become, even more so now that QuickTime (including its VR 3D feature) and Adobe (Macromedia) Flash support have almost disappeared from recent OS-versions. Or given the fact that lots of institutions are discarding their optical disk drives altogether, or recent hardware and software no longer support them - taking into account that the popular acceptance of DVDs and Blu-rays happened only 15 or 10 years ago. And most of these are highly complex applications, unlike an audio or video tape.

It's a crazy situation, especially if you work in a professional environment like education, when you find that in the space of let's say three years, lots of applications won't run your content properly, and all sorts of awkward fixes are required, if they work at all.

Quote:

Quote:
CD-ROMs were popular carriers for interactive works of art from the early to late 1990s. Unlike mainstream mass-produced CD-ROMs, CD-ROM art was usually published on a very small scale, or even remained unpublished altogether. These artworks were created specifically for this medium, and should not be confused with regular files stored on a CD-ROM. This makes them unique, but also vulnerable. Now that many computers are no longer equipped with optical discs drives, operating systems have become outdated, and files are often unreadable, these works are threatened with oblivion.

And, after details have been provided to preserve and emulate the various elements on the CD-ROM:

Quote:
Realistically, we must expect emulators, virtual disk images and the host systems running the emulators to eventually go out of date themselves. Just like any other type of software or data file, they require a specific system environment, but these environments are constantly shifting. When one component changes, its dependent components may cease to function. With this in mind, in order to ensure the long-term preservation of CD-ROM art, a standard migration procedure must be applied to the entire archive, including both virtual disk images and emulators.



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#1127277 - 10/05/17 03:07 PM Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 [Re: RichAlexis]
Fingon Offline
Junior Boomer

Registered: 09/30/17
Posts: 5
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Hi Rich,
thanks for the tips. After reading the first post, second thing I did was to manually change the screen resolution for 800x600.

I have eventually managed to run the recommended program (had to run it as administrator, otherwise it just spits out an error message), but even though it did change the resolution, it didn't change the problem itself- the game just freezes on the loading screen and is not responding.

I have installed the game without any additional programs as recommended. When that didn't work (I have a long string of elderly games behind me. I know how finicky can the different versions of DirectX be and that the newest version doesn't always contain all the necessary data), I have reinstalled the game again, this time with the programs. For one of them, there was an error message.

I have tried the emulation as well - I have only Win 10 Home edition, but I use Virtualbox semi-regularly. I have tried this pest of a game on emulated Win 95, 98 and even XP Pro - the installation works without a problem. When I tried to run it, however, there is an in-game error message:

ROME: Error
Your graphic card does not meet requirements (no hardware acceleration or not enough video memory).

One thing though - I try to never install games into Program Files folder. I could do another reinstall into the suggested location, maybe that will help.

(I am usually able to run anything old enough, given enough fiddling. The only thing I wasn't able to run at all was Aura 2 - even though it worked before. There has been some (Windows 8 ) update, after which it just stopped working. I had to use my wife's notebook.)

PS, personally, once I am done with a game, I usually don't care any more, yet I think these things should be preserved for posterity (and new generations of players). On a purely software basis, we will probably have to make do with an emulation of an emulation (eg. in 2030, emulate windows 10 and in it windows xp and/or DOSBOX/ScummVM), the problem comes in the moment when one needs to get the data from a physical medium.

Recently, I have participated in recovering an obscure Czech game from 1996. Once installed, one could easilly play it in DOSBOX as it was still a DOS game. But the game data had to be installed from two 3,5' diskets and some of the sectors were already damaged beyond repair. What we have now is the only known/rediscovered unit in existence. The producer is still in game business (well, his third studio is/was - after several games fro the Czech market he has founded Illusion Softworks (of Mafia fame), that was turned into 2K Czech and eventually he left and founded a small studio for casual /HO games).

And as this is in digital form and a specialized tools are needed to access theh data, the situation could become bleak indeed.


Edited by Fingon (10/05/17 03:23 PM)

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#1127288 - 10/05/17 05:39 PM Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 [Re: Fingon]
RichAlexis Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/21/13
Posts: 190
Loc: The Netherlands
Hi Fingon,

Really sorry to hear that, after so many attempts! Thank you for your remarks on vintage historical games by the way! Yes, I've read others on this board who recommend installing older games in My Documents folder, for instance, as the Program Files directories are too restrictive and often require special Administrator privileges for installing and saving (temporary) files, logs and the like.

I should have added that I have a Intel Core i5-4590 processor, with Intel HD Graphics 4600 card, 3.30 GHz, 8 GB RAM.

I just installed the game inside my VMware Player Windows XP Home Edition emulator, roughly the same way I did on Windows 10:
  • Set Compatibility for Autorun.exe (or directly Setup.exe) to Windows 98 / Windows ME
  • Custom Setup without DirectX 7, DXmedia 6, Media Player 6.4 (my emulation already has DirectX 9.0, Windows Media Player 9.0, and VMware Tools)
and again, the game installs without a glitch, I can set preferences, and start playing.

I do get your error message of

Quote:
ROME: Error
Your graphic card does not meet requirements (no hardware acceleration or not enough video memory).

when I reduce the hardware acceleration in Control Panel -> Display -> Settings -> Advanced to the left, so that might be part of the problem in your case.

I also installed the Rome game inside my VMware Player Windows 98 SE emulator, this time without any compatibility adjustments of course, but also custom install without the DirectX and WMP stuff (I already have the same or higher installed inside).

That's when I immediately get your "Your graphic card does not meet requirements..." error, and had to give up.

Best,

Rich
P.S. About the preservation of vintage games and graphic media. I got a little 'Aha-Erlebnis' idea when you wrote that you'd probably need an emulation of an emulation to keep things running. That's exactly what they concluded in the report I quoted from above:

Quote:
Since the emulators themselves eventually grow obsolete, they too should be archived, along with all the system files and programs needed for them to function. In the future, this will enable the possibility for newer emulators to recursively emulate older ones which cannot be used on the latest computers (for instance if their updates for newer OS are discontinued). The technique of running an emulator within another emulator is already commonly practised in the field of archiving and has been noted in several studies.

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#1127321 - 10/06/17 05:39 AM Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 [Re: RichAlexis]
Fingon Offline
Junior Boomer

Registered: 09/30/17
Posts: 5
Loc: Vienna, Austria
A success - I was able to install and run the game using VMWare Workstation with WinXP Pro. It's a trial so far, but at least some progress...

Thanks for the tip!

(btw I didn't expect it to look so ugly...)

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#1127338 - 10/06/17 09:04 AM Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 [Re: Fingon]
RichAlexis Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/21/13
Posts: 190
Loc: The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: Fingon
A success - I was able to install and run the game using VMWare Workstation with WinXP Pro. It's a trial so far, but at least some progress...

Thanks for the tip!

(btw I didn't expect it to look so ugly...)
Ah, Fingon, that's good news! So far, that is wink.

The trouble with computer support, unlike support for (largely) mechanical appliances, is that you can never know if a set of instructions will work, even if you have the same configuration on the face of it. We all know that of course, but with more and more tools getting hooked up to the internet and receiving unseen software updates and synchronization with various apps, we're basically all left to our own devices!

As for the look of the game, don't say I didn't warn you! wink

Quote:
Though the characters have a strange 'origami marionette' (polygonal projections) kind of look, comparable to the In Utero productions Odyssey and Jekyll & Hyde from the same era - it takes some getting used to - one quite interesting aspect is its non-linear design.

(from my second post in this thread)

You can take a look over here for a beginners' course in ugliness:

https://web.archive.org/web/20010223233642/http://www.aleajactaest.com:80/us/perso.html

Introductory cutscene on YouTube here.

The locations look pretty good though!

Don't they say that ugliness is in the eye of the beholder? Let's call it a bold, unconventional design!

Alea iacta est! (The die is cast!), as Caesar is supposed to have said when crossing the Rubicon!

Good luck!

Rich

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#1127340 - 10/06/17 09:31 AM Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 [Re: RichAlexis]
Fingon Offline
Junior Boomer

Registered: 09/30/17
Posts: 5
Loc: Vienna, Austria
I have seen the original website a while ago, I think I used it, together with other sources, to create a game profile for my usual stomping grounds (czech-based game database).

Alea iacta est is known to me, together with Littera scripta manet, Cogito ergo sum, Lorem ipsum dolor..., Ceterum autem censeo, Carthaginem esse delendam or my personal favorite, Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi.

I have survived Pompei, I have survived Egypt II, I should survive this as well... I used to like educative adventures with french flare (but, honestly, who else has done them, maybe except the Germans - Opera fatal, I am looking at you!), but sometimes the visuals didn't hold that well...


EDIT: the game doesn`t seem to be very stable and the animations in the close-up scenes jitter. It crashed into (emulated) Windows after I tried to save the position... Oh my, this will be fun...


Edited by Fingon (10/06/17 02:40 PM)

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#1127432 - 10/07/17 10:11 AM Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 [Re: Fingon]
RichAlexis Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/21/13
Posts: 190
Loc: The Netherlands
Oh boy, oh boy .... sorry to hear that!

I had no problem saving the game inside my VMware Windows XP emulator. I was able to find the saves in a subdirectory, and activate them.

As for the other issues, I wouldn't know, and right now I have no time to look into them, I'm afraid.

Over the past few days, I did look for hints or patches on French sites under the original title of "Rome: Le Testament de César", but couldn't find anything, apart from one obvious hint on an official Microsoft support site to set the game compatibility to Windows XP. I guess it's too obscure even in French!

As for Opera Fatal, I thought you were going to talk pig Latin to me, but I realized it's a game I'd never heard of. I found that Jenny posted a superbly written review of it on our site, and as I've had a few years of musical instruction, I think it would be fun to play it.

I read a review on German Amazon which stated it can run on any Windows platform, even 10, so this would be a potential purchase for me, preferably in the original German.

So, inadvertently perhaps, thanks for mentioning it!

The best of luck!

Rich


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#1127442 - 10/07/17 10:56 AM Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 [Re: RichAlexis]
Fingon Offline
Junior Boomer

Registered: 09/30/17
Posts: 5
Loc: Vienna, Austria
AD Opera Fatal - the original release cannot be played natively anymore, but the developer is still in business and sells an updated re-release. I think it still uses QuickTime, but I had no problems installing nor playing it.

On the Rome note, I was able to save and load at first, but once I did two dialogues and picked two items and wanted to save after that, there was a crash. The game has certain hardware demands which aren't probably emulated with ease, or my notebook can't handle it that well. I will try to fiddle with the settings a bit...

It's fascinating, there is no english walkthrough readilly available, but thanks to one french site I was able to access both a walkthrough in french (and run it through google translate, it's not entirely gibberish) and even some hints in natively written English (via Archive.org).

BTW on a completely side note, are there any Dutch adventure games? I understand German and I can decipher pieces of written Dutch, given enough time:-P

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#1127447 - 10/07/17 11:13 AM Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 [Re: RichAlexis]
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 38228
Loc: southeast USA
I wonder if the original Opera Fatal for Windows 3.1/95/NT would run in DOSBox with Windows 3.1 installed, as described at https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=9405

Some Windows 3.1 games work that way (e.g. Shivers and Myst), but QuickTime can sometimes cause problems. The advantage of using DOSBox over VMware, Virtual PC, or Virtualbox is that DOSBox controls for processor speed.

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#1127482 - 10/07/17 04:07 PM Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 [Re: Fingon]
RichAlexis Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/21/13
Posts: 190
Loc: The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: Fingon
AD Opera Fatal - the original release cannot be played natively anymore, but the developer is still in business and sells an updated re-release. I think it still uses QuickTime, but I had no problems installing nor playing it.

On the Rome note, I was able to save and load at first, but once I did two dialogues and picked two items and wanted to save after that, there was a crash. The game has certain hardware demands which aren't probably emulated with ease, or my notebook can't handle it that well. I will try to fiddle with the settings a bit...

It's fascinating, there is no english walkthrough readilly available, but thanks to one french site I was able to access both a walkthrough in french (and run it through google translate, it's not entirely gibberish) and even some hints in natively written English (via Archive.org).

BTW on a completely side note, are there any Dutch adventure games? I understand German and I can decipher pieces of written Dutch, given enough time:-P
Okay, this will be my last post for a while. Too busy!

The Opera Fatal edition on Amazon I was referring to is a Jubiläumausgabe, so some kind of Xth Anniversary Edition. I don't know what year it's from, but at least 'XP' is included in the compatibility specs, so I suppose this is a relatively recent release adapted to later platforms. A number of customers say it will run on the latest versions.

With regard to the rendering problems, this occurred to me with a very similar game I tried to play on Windows XP: Odyssey: The Search for Ulysses.

I wrote:
Quote:
Problem: I get shimmering, jittering, epilepsy-inducing images whenever I open a dialogue box, which in this case is a figure overlay which slides down on the screen. So I tried disabling hardware acceleration from the Windows Control Panel -> Display icon. This worked!
This could mean you'll have to experiment with various hardware acceleration settings.

An archived English walkthough for Rome can be found here. It's by a Dutch player, from the obsolete www.gamesover.com. I think it's a good idea to download the page to disk - you never know how long archived sites will stay online and readable.

No, I don't know any native Dutch games, although there are of course Dutch game development studios working mainly for the English-language market. From the old days, I only remember Philips of course (abortive CD-i venture), Davilex and releases translated into Dutch by Dice Multimedia. The only game I played in Dutch was Egypt 1156 B.C. simply because I picked it up at a jumble sale. Even in this case, it was packaged with a French edition, as is often the case (aiming at the combined French/Belgian (bilingual)/Dutch market).

Of course there are some largely isolated hobby projects in Dutch for some museums, theme parks and educational purposes, but they are of limited interest, and were short-lived.

Good luck!

Rich

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#1127762 - 10/10/17 09:21 AM Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 [Re: Jenny100]
RichAlexis Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/21/13
Posts: 190
Loc: The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: Jenny100
I wonder if the original Opera Fatal for Windows 3.1/95/NT would run in DOSBox with Windows 3.1 installed, as described at https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=9405

Some Windows 3.1 games work that way (e.g. Shivers and Myst), but QuickTime can sometimes cause problems. The advantage of using DOSBox over VMware, Virtual PC, or Virtualbox is that DOSBox controls for processor speed.
That's an interesting alternative for the other emulators, Jenny! I thought that DOSBox would only be suited for DOS-based games, as the name implies. Apparently, Windows 3.1 and even 95 can be installed inside them, but I guess it would be quite tricky with all the required drivers and mounting points for disks or disk images. As I don't have these older operating systems, and don't plan to get and spend time on them, it wouldn't be for me, but I guess it would be a nice idea for those who love the look and feel of mostly 'flat' vintage games.

Best,

Rich

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#1127777 - 10/10/17 12:25 PM Re: Installation instructions for vintage "Rome: Caesar's Will" on Windows 8 [Re: RichAlexis]
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 38228
Loc: southeast USA
Originally Posted By: RichAlexis
Apparently, Windows 3.1 and even 95 can be installed inside them, but I guess it would be quite tricky with all the required drivers and mounting points for disks or disk images.

Mounting points are the same as for DOSBox so you don't have to do anything extra. When I installed Windows 3.1, I first copied all the floppies to a folder, mounted that folder as the A: drive in DOSBox, then installed from there without having to change floppies. It went very fast.

Links to the necessary drivers are in the VOGONS Guide
https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=9405
Not all drivers are necessary. You need the graphics and sound drivers. Other drivers depend on whether you want a joystick in Windows 3.1, or additional tweaks as described in the Guide.

Windows 95 is "not supported" at VOGONS. It's apparently a lot harder to install and get usable on plain DOSBox. Usually people use DOSBox Daum or DOSBox-X for Windows 95 on a DOSBox version. I have not tried it.

Something like 86box, where they are experimenting with emulating a few 3D graphics cards, would probably be better for Windows 95 than DOSBox.
https://emulation.miraheze.org/wiki/86Box

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