Posted by: Lise

VESA - 07/12/03 07:06 AM

I am trying to install Ark of time and I have a message: VESA not supported??????????
<img border="0" title="" alt="[Confused]" src="confused.gif" />
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: VESA - 07/12/03 11:20 AM

What type of video card are you using?
A lot of the newer video cards won't support old and weird video modes used in some older games. Others will, but you have to download vesa drivers for them.
Posted by: Scout

Re: VESA - 07/12/03 11:21 AM


This is one of those games that needs VESA support, ie an older video card. Another option is to check with the manufacturer of your vid card and see if there is a legacy driver for it that might work. I think there are some programs out there now too for newer cards but I'm not up on those. Run a search in this forum for VESA and you'll find a lot of discussion on it.

Posted by: Jiri

Re: VESA - 07/12/03 11:24 AM

First of all, you should have a graphic card with VESA support. Most of the modern cards have it, with the older cards can sometimes help Scitech Display Doctor (now freeware) or UNIVESA

For more info on VESA problems you can search this forum or Vagoons forum
But this game really is a big problem and I´ve always had some "vesa problems" with it on different computers and operating systems. Now I have GeForce2 MX card (VESA VBE 3.0 supported) and all old VESA games which I have work just fine - except of Ark of Time, Noctropolis and Riddle of Master Lu. I have a multiboot system with DOS, Windows 98SE and XP - on all the systems I now got that "vesa not supported" notice with Ark of Time. (Riddle and Noctropolis work in DOS, but not in XP). Above mentioned utility (and some others like VBEPLUS did not help in DOS and XP. But I remember I´ve played Ark on this machine some time before - in Win98SE with Scitech Display Doctor 7 beta - but this product expires after 30 days without possibility of registration. I think this game needs some unusual VESA mode, maybe 640x480x24bpp.
So you have to be really lucky to get Ark running and it is probably a bigger adventure than the game itself. Interplay distributed Ark and they have an info on their webpages that all technical support for this title is handled by Koei Games (and there is nothing more but a bad Koei link). Correct link is
On Koei webpages is no info about Ark and I doubt that their helpline can solve the problems with Ark (but I did not ask them). Probably only God, and perhaps leading programmer, Fabrizio Lagorio, know why "vesa is not supported" even when it is. I think he still creating games, The Watchmaker was one of them.
Posted by: Lise

Re: VESA - 07/12/03 11:41 AM

Thank you so much I will store that game it's too
complex and as you say it don't worth all that pain. It was a gift from a friend...(a poisoned gift???)
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: VESA - 07/12/03 11:42 AM

Ark of Time works with an ATI Rage 128 and with a Matrox Mystique. I'm pretty sure someone posted that it works with a TNT2 also. I don't know if any newer card will support it.
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: VESA - 07/12/03 11:47 AM

If you don't want to fuss with it, you can trade or sell it in Trading Post.

I enjoyed Ark of Time - a nice old-fashioned 3rd person point-and-click adventure with camp humor and no dying all the time in it.
Posted by: Jiri

Re: VESA - 07/12/03 01:00 PM

I don´t know about Matrox, but ATI Rage 128 has VBE 2.0 only. And without VBE 3.0 is impossible to set vesa refresh rates with an Unirefresh utility, so the screen horribly flickers on CRT monitors (often 6O Hz). I think only SciTech Display Doctor 7.0 beta can solve the problem and add VBE 3.0 support to Ati Rage 128. By the way, has anybody seen Ark running under XP or other NT based system? I have a notebook with an Ati Rage Mobility 128 and Win2000 and there is "vesa not supported" again.
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: VESA - 07/12/03 02:30 PM

I don't know about the ATI Rage Mobility 128, but I played Ark of Time on a desktop computer with an ATI Rage 128 32MB (aka ATI Rage Fury) in DOS mode and had no problems. I didn't notice any screen flickering. No more than with any other old DOS game anyway.

If you can't play Ark of Time you won't be able to play Angel Devoid either. Check this link where Syd mentioned that Ark of Time and Angel Devoid both use the old VESA 1.0.
Posted by: Jiri

Re: VESA - 07/12/03 04:27 PM

One of the previous graphic cards in my desktop computer was ATI Rage 128 Pro 32MB (I don´t have it anymore) and I had screen flickering and 60 Hz only in all VESA games. Do you still have the ATI Rage 128 and could you check your monitor refresh rates when some VESA game is running? Maybe you are not so sensitive to the screen flickering but 85 Hz is usually considered as an acceptable minimum. If you have 85 Hz or more everything is O.K.
About VESA 1.0 - VESA standards are backward compatible so any game which require VESA 1.0 should run without problems on a system supporting higher VESA standard. The fact is that it doesn´t always work. But I played Ark of Time on the system with GeForce2 MX (VESA 3.0 card) so maybe in this case the problem is somewhere else.
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: VESA - 07/12/03 06:08 PM

I have to set my desktop resolution to 85 Hz because lower than that will bother my eyes and give me a headache. I don't know how to tell what my monitor refresh rate is while I'm playing a DOS game. It may be that the refresh rate doesn't bother me so much when I'm not doing something that requires reading. I'll load Ark of Time again and see if I notice anything.

I know VESA is supposed to be backwards compatible. But so many gamers have had difficulties with old games that use older VESA standards that you know they can't all be wrong. Especially when it's the same games that repeatedly give problems. Some games that have given people trouble are Riddle of Master Lu, Angel Devoid, 11th Hour, Ripper, the original DOS version of Jack Orlando, Synnergist, and Ark of Time. I know I'm leaving some out.

The most likely explanation for the difficulty seems to be that the people who made the games tested them with the VESA that was current at that time and tweaked their games to work with that version rather than programming in a way that was fully VESA compliant. Then when newer video cards came out, the drivers were made to adhere to VESA 3 standards. But they weren't tested with every old game that was out there.

Anyway, I'll go install Ark of Time and see what it looks like.
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: VESA - 07/12/03 06:53 PM

I'm back again.

I think you are right about it running at 60 Hz. The game has that slight shimmer that 60 Hz produces on a desktop environment. I guess I didn't notice when I played it because the quality of the graphics is such that the refresh rate is not the first thing that jumps out at me. What I do remember is that it didn't bother me while I was playing the way a 60 Hz Windows desktop does.

When you played it with a Geforce 2, were you able to get higher than 60 Hz?
Posted by: Jiri

Re: VESA - 07/12/03 08:55 PM

1) Jenny 100: "The most likely explanation for the difficulty seems to be that the people who made the games tested them with the VESA that was current at that time..."
I agree that this is the most likely explanation. And the problem is, as you know, even more complicated - there are not only new VESA standards, but new hardware and new Windows systems. For example some VESA games have problem on NT/2000/XP that can be solved by Ken Silverman´s NOLFB VESA patch . For other VESA games is this patch useless. Every problem is rather unique and no universal solution for all problematic VESA games (let alone all older games) exists. It is sad that people who made those games and have access to the source code are often no longer interested in big problems that gamers have with their products (of course, company may be no longer existent, but people usually live) and probably never read forums like this. There are a positive exceptions like LBA WIN patch and people from Revolution at least gave the source code for Beneath a Steel Sky to the fans so now we can play that game again on the current systems.

2) Jenny 100: "When you played it with a Geforce 2, were you able to get higher than 60 Hz?"
Yes, there is a solution. Shareware program Unirefresh (link is above) or freeware VBEHZ . Both work even in Win XP NTVDM (Virtual DOS Machine) but with VBE 3.0 cards only (like GeForce2). If your card doesn´t support VBE 3.0 there still may be a way, SciTech Display Doctor. But SciTech must support your card. AtiRage 128 is supported in SciTech 7.0 beta. However, I´m not sure if all VESA games will work with these utilities.

3) For gamers who don´t know how to tell the refresh rates in DOS games: Many modern monitors have OSD (On Screen Display) menu where usually is info about the current refresh rates. Access to that menu is often through OSD button on monitor.
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: VESA - 07/12/03 11:07 PM

Thank you for the information.
Posted by: Jiri

Re: VESA - 07/13/03 06:49 AM

You're welcome.
Posted by: frazap

Re: VESA - 07/14/03 02:21 AM

I have a GeForce 2 ti card and have so far had difficulties with three Vesa games, namely Ark of Time, D and Chronomaster. All of them works with the beta version of Display Doctor 7, that was once availible as a free trial download but has now vanished and will not be sold.

I would advice anyone with a Geforce card against using any of the free Display Doctor versions, such as 6.53, since it does NOT support the Geforce-series. I learned the hard way. It messed my system up completely.

Now if I could only get around that "your 21-day trial period has expired" with the version 7 I wouldn't have to worry about VESA compatibility again. Let's hope SciTech decides to put the beta version out for free download as well. It really works very well.
Posted by: Jiri

Re: VESA - 07/14/03 10:24 AM

You are right. SciTech Display Doctor can easily mess up the system, even if the given card is supported. I learned to disable always Windows utilities and use only DOS set of utilities. They are not so dangerous and they work also in Windows98 and XP (NTVDM). Unfortunately, in 7 beta version (only version which supports GeForce cards) is no folder with DOS utilities as it was until 7 alfa. For example, I can