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Thread: Running Terra Nova on a modern machine

  1. #51
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2005
    Location: London, UK
    Have just got Terra Nova on ebay, have got it running no problem in DOSBox, use a front end for DOSBox called D.O.G., makes DOSBox super easy!

    Have only just started playing it, and it is a 'read the manual first' type of game, but I am really looking forward to playing this! Looking through the thread it's quite amazing how there are a few entries per year since 2002 - quite impressive that a game so old can keep a thread buzzing along!

    Anyway, this is the first post of 2007 - so long may it continue!

    If you are a Terra Nova fan, your my kind of people!

    Happy New Year everyone!

  2. #52
    Welcome, John. Happy new year to you too. Happy Pirate-hunting, also :)

  3. #53
    New Member
    Registered: Jul 2005

    I'm back with more test config

    Another successful story, the highest hardware system config that I have tested working so far:

    PASSED!!! I just bought an old IBM Thinkpad 600X tonight, and Terra Nova just worked.

    Hardware configuration of the Thinkpad 600X model 2645-4EH:
    1. Processor - Intel Pentium III 500MHz
    2. Memory - 448MB (PC100)
    3. Chipset - Intel 443BX
    4. Graphics - NeoMagic 4Mb VRAM AGP2x
    5. Hard drive - Seagate 40Gb 5400rpm 2.5" notebook drive
    6. Sound card - Built-in SoundBlaster 16 compatible
    7. O/S - Windows XP Professional with SP2, DirectX9.0c
    8. Hard drive file system - NTFS

    Terra Nova just runs after installation. With Video, Sound and Music. No glitch. No special configuration (not even the need of using "Compatibility mode"). Just double click on TN.BAT will run.

    Partial conclusion by "Process of Elimination", there is no doubt about that these worked:
    1. Windows XP Pro with SP2 - OK
    2. NTFS File system - OK
    3. Large hard drives - OK
    4. early Pentium III processors - OK
    5. Intel 443BX chipset (highest chipset tested that worked) - OK
    6. Lots of Memory by Terra Nova's standard (Year of Publish) - OK

    The only items remaining in question that may affect TN not working, I suspect:
    1. The Chipset and Processor - in Thinkpad 600E, it worked also, same Intel 443BX but Intel Pentium II - 366MHz. Thinkpad 600X and T20 are both Pentium III 500MHz and 650MHz respectively, the 600X worked where T20 doesn't. The Chipset difference is Intel 443BX and Intel 810. Something of note. (different instruction and addressing?? not yet proved)

    2. Graphics card - in Thinkpad 600X with 4Mb AGP, it worked. in Thinkpad T20 with 8Mb AGP, it doesn't. (may cause overflow?? not yet proved, but from Gregor's posts in this forum, he mentioned of using a Pentium II, 64Mb RAM, Windows 98SE, etc, but with 16Mb Video card that Terra Nova didn't worked!! Also caught a "Page Fault" error. So this is very very like the cause.)

    3. Sound card - mainly the drivers could be in question. SoundBlaster compatibility of modern sound cards may affect the result, but I assume this is the least problem that make TN not work in modern systems.

    So basically, the first 2 are my most suspected causes that Terra Nova don't work on "Modern Machines". If you have those hardware, you can experiment.

    MY NEXT TEST:

    I have bought an Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 machine. With 1 Gb of RAM, 320Gb Hard drive, SoundBlaster Audigy 2 sound card, ASUS P5B-V motherboard with Intel G965 chipset.

    My test will be to fill in a PCI video card with 4Mb Video RAM. Crazy, but if it proves to work, we can prove that it is the Graphics Card that is affecting TN (and very likely if you read the posts). But if it doesn't, there will still be 3 unknowns... Processor, Chipset AND the Graphics Card. I'm trying to eliminate one of them.

    I don't have an old machine (like Pentium II) that can fit a 8Mb Video card. At least I have proved that Pentium II worked, so if 8Mb Video card won't work, that means it's the Graphics card causing it. Also a process of elimination. But still, I ran out of hardware config to test.

    I may come back in some time to let you know of my findings. I will definite keep my Thinkpad 600X till my last breath, because of Terra Nova.

    Happy New Year!

    Felix


    My previous post:

    Summary of tests (all with English version OS and Video and Sound drivers are correctly installed, all with DirectX 9.0c installed):

    1. FAILED - On my desktop Pentium 4 2.8GHz, 1Gb RAM, Windows XP SP2. I got nothing. No errors, just blank like nothing has started and back to DOS prompt. Tried Mo'Slo to slow down to 10% speed (appox 280MHz) still get the same result.

    2. FAILED - On my desktop Pentium 4 2.8GHz, 1Gb RAM, Windows 98 SE. I got a "Page Fault" and a crash code "429........" a long number. Tried Mo'Slo to slow down to 10% speed (appox 280MHz) still get the same result.

    3. FAILED - On my wife's notebook Panasonic Pentium M 1.2GHz, 512Mb RAM, Windows XP SP2. I got a "Divide Overflow" but no crash code.

    4. FAILED - On my old notebook IBM T20 Pentium III 650MHz, 384Mb RAM, Windows XP SP1. I got a "Page Fault" and a crash code "429......."

    5. FAILED - On my old notebook IBM T20 Pentium III 650MHz, 384Mb RAM, Windows 98 SE. I got a "Page Fault" and a crash code "429......"

    6. SUCCESS - On my very old notebook IBM TP600E Pentium II 366MHz, 128Mb RAM, Windows XP SP2. No flaws, no slow down, with proper Sound and Video. No problem.

    7. SUCCESS - On IBM TP600E Pentium II 366MHz, 128Mb RAM, Windows 98 SE. No flaws, no slow down, with proper Sound and Video. No problem.

    What I suspect is really the CPU architecture and speed. Terra Nova was built during the Pentium 66 period and as far as I know, Pentium II is built on the base of the original Pentium PRO. There is no problem with MMX being added. But then Pentium III added MMX and SSE. Pentium 4 is almost a different architecture with has MMX, SSE and SSE2, which handles differently the floating point instructions.

    So I suspect it's the architecture that made TN work or not.

    Of course, if you use emulators, they emulate mainly the "processors" and environments.... then TN will work.

    These are all my input, I think I have an idea of what will work and what will not now. I'll keep on trying but I really have run out of computer configs. And it takes a lot of time to set up.

    Felix

  4. #54
    Great stuff, okayman! Much appreciated.

  5. #55
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Iacon
    Any of you got TN running at full speed in Dosbox? It works for me, but is pretty slow in 320x400, even with cpu cycles cranked up significantly (and I'm running a fairly fast PC).

  6. #56
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2001
    Location: Gosford, NSW, Australia
    Stick a nuclear reactor in your machine.
    Or upgrade to this
    Last edited by Drat; 11th Jan 2007 at 09:28.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Chimpy Chompy View Post
    Any of you got TN running at full speed in Dosbox? It works for me, but is pretty slow in 320x400, even with cpu cycles cranked up significantly (and I'm running a fairly fast PC).
    Bumping the frame-skip up a notch or two should help more than it hinders.

  8. #58
    New Member
    Registered: Jul 2005

    My last config for testing out Terra Nova

    Quote Originally Posted by okayman View Post
    Another successful story, the highest hardware system config that I have tested working so far:

    PASSED!!! I just bought an old IBM Thinkpad 600X tonight, and Terra Nova just worked.

    Hardware configuration of the Thinkpad 600X model 2645-4EH:
    1. Processor - Intel Pentium III 500MHz
    2. Memory - 448MB (PC100)
    3. Chipset - Intel 440BX
    4. Graphics - NeoMagic 4Mb VRAM AGP2x
    5. Hard drive - Seagate 40Gb 5400rpm 2.5" notebook drive
    6. Sound card - Built-in SoundBlaster 16 compatible
    7. O/S - Windows XP Professional with SP2, DirectX9.0c
    8. Hard drive file system - NTFS

    Terra Nova just runs after installation. With Video, Sound and Music. No glitch. No special configuration (not even the need of using "Compatibility mode"). Just double click on TN.BAT will run.

    Partial conclusion by "Process of Elimination", there is no doubt about that these worked:
    1. Windows XP Pro with SP2 - OK
    2. NTFS File system - OK
    3. Large hard drives - OK
    4. early Pentium III processors - OK
    5. Intel 440BX chipset (highest chipset tested that worked) - OK
    6. Lots of Memory by Terra Nova's standard (Year of Publish) - OK

    The only items remaining in question that may affect TN not working, I suspect:
    1. The Chipset and Processor - in Thinkpad 600E, it worked also, same Intel 440BX but Intel Pentium II - 366MHz. Thinkpad 600X and T20 are both Pentium III 500MHz and 650MHz respectively, the 600X worked where T20 doesn't. There is no difference in the Chipset, both are of Intel 440BX. Something of note. (different instruction and addressing?? not yet proved)

    2. Graphics card - in Thinkpad 600X with 4Mb AGP, it worked. in Thinkpad T20 with 8Mb AGP, it doesn't. (may cause overflow?? not yet proved, but from Gregor's posts in this forum, he mentioned of using a Pentium II, 64Mb RAM, Windows 98SE, etc, but with 16Mb Video card that Terra Nova didn't worked!! Also caught a "Page Fault" error. So this is very very likely the cause.)

    3. Sound card - mainly the drivers could be in question. SoundBlaster compatibility of modern sound cards may affect the result, but I assume this is the least problem that make TN not work in modern systems.

    So basically, the first 2 are my most suspected causes that Terra Nova don't work on "Modern Machines". If you have those hardware, you can experiment.

    MY NEXT TEST:

    I have bought an Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 machine. With 1 Gb of RAM, 320Gb Hard drive, SoundBlaster Audigy 2 sound card, ASUS P5B-V motherboard with Intel G965 chipset.

    My test will be to fill in a PCI video card with 4Mb Video RAM. Crazy, but if it proves to work, we can prove that it is the Graphics Card that is affecting TN (and very likely if you read the posts). But if it doesn't, there will still be 3 unknowns... Processor, Chipset AND the Graphics Card. I'm trying to eliminate one of them.

    I don't have an old machine (like Pentium II) that can fit a 8Mb Video card. At least I have proved that Pentium II worked, so if 8Mb Video card won't work, that means it's the Graphics card causing it. Also a process of elimination. But still, I ran out of hardware config to test.

    I may come back in some time to let you know of my findings. I will definite keep my Thinkpad 600X till my last breath, because of Terra Nova.

    Happy New Year!

    Felix


    My previous post:

    Summary of tests (all with English version OS and Video and Sound drivers are correctly installed, all with DirectX 9.0c installed):

    1. FAILED - On my desktop Pentium 4 2.8GHz, 1Gb RAM, Windows XP SP2. I got nothing. No errors, just blank like nothing has started and back to DOS prompt. Tried Mo'Slo to slow down to 10% speed (appox 280MHz) still get the same result.

    2. FAILED - On my desktop Pentium 4 2.8GHz, 1Gb RAM, Windows 98 SE. I got a "Page Fault" and a crash code "429........" a long number. Tried Mo'Slo to slow down to 10% speed (appox 280MHz) still get the same result.

    3. FAILED - On my wife's notebook Panasonic Pentium M 1.2GHz, 512Mb RAM, Windows XP SP2. I got a "Divide Overflow" but no crash code.

    4. FAILED - On my old notebook IBM T20 Pentium III 650MHz, 384Mb RAM, Windows XP SP1. I got a "Page Fault" and a crash code "429......."

    5. FAILED - On my old notebook IBM T20 Pentium III 650MHz, 384Mb RAM, Windows 98 SE. I got a "Page Fault" and a crash code "429......"

    6. SUCCESS - On my very old notebook IBM TP600E Pentium II 366MHz, 128Mb RAM, Windows XP SP2. No flaws, no slow down, with proper Sound and Video. No problem.

    7. SUCCESS - On IBM TP600E Pentium II 366MHz, 128Mb RAM, Windows 98 SE. No flaws, no slow down, with proper Sound and Video. No problem.

    What I suspect is really the CPU architecture and speed. Terra Nova was built during the Pentium 66 period and as far as I know, Pentium II is built on the base of the original Pentium PRO. There is no problem with MMX being added. But then Pentium III added MMX and SSE. Pentium 4 is almost a different architecture with has MMX, SSE and SSE2, which handles differently the floating point instructions.

    So I suspect it's the architecture that made TN work or not.

    Of course, if you use emulators, they emulate mainly the "processors" and environments.... then TN will work.

    These are all my input, I think I have an idea of what will work and what will not now. I'll keep on trying but I really have run out of computer configs. And it takes a lot of time to set up.

    Felix

    I have just acquired a Matrox Millennium II 2164W 4MB PCI Graphics Card and tested on my Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 system. I get into the intro movie only but cannot go further. I've researched the web and this graphics card is VBE 2.0 compatible.

    I am now pretty sure that, no deny about it:
    - Windows XP SP2 or OS below will work.
    - Large hard disk will work. (I got 320GB)
    - SoundBlaster compatible sound card will certainly work.
    - File system of NTFS/FAT32/FAT will work.
    - Processor at least up to Core 2 Duo E6400 will work.
    - Chipset at least up to 82P965/G965 will work.
    - Gigabytes of RAM will work.

    The only, ONLY thing that affect whether Terra Nova will work or not is the graphics card. If it is fully compatible with VBE 1.2 then it will work. But since most modern graphics card have only implemented VBE 3.0 (which is not downward compatible) and previous cards, like Matrox Millennium II only got VBE 2.0, also won't work. ONLY very old cards with VBE 1.2 or below will work.

    If you got a modern machine AND a VBE 1.2 compatible card, then Terra Nova will run just fine. But this is hard and the graphics card will slow your modern PC to a crawl. You can try out solVBE. It implemented VBE 1.2 and Terra Nova will run on it ok, but a bit slow. And this proved to be the real and only thing that affects Terra Nova.

    I will come back again, but I will not be posting anymore about test configs. I am so sure what works, what doesn't.

    Happy hunting.

    Felix (January 23, 2007)

  9. #59
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2004
    Location: Poland
    Just in case somebody missed it (checking here and not in General Gaming) - TN runs great on DOSBox 0.70. With the previous versions it used to be unplayable on my Athlon XP2000+, and now it runs like a dream (well, it does crash from time to time, but it's not a big deal). (wow, two crimes at once - thread necromancy&old hat)

  10. #60
    New Member
    Registered: Sep 2007

    Running under XP

    For the record, after putting NOLFB in the TN folder...I just added NOLFB.COM as the first line after ECHO OFF in the TN.BAT file...and the thing runs pretty much flawlessly under VDMS...Not slow and jerky like it does under DosBox....

    I'm tickled silly...Been trying to get TN to run for literally years under XP...I can run most games, but this one was a booger...

    It's running on a Radeon X1650 Pro, also...NOT an old card...Soundblaster Audigy, XP SP2, the X1650, 2 gig of ram, Athlon 3800....Fully modern machine, and VDMsound does the trick beautifully using the NOLFB in the .Bat file....
    Last edited by HetNet; 3rd Sep 2007 at 22:55. Reason: List hardware

  11. #61
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    So, I'm back to SFC after a long absence. VDMSound + SolVBE and everything works mostly great. I'm having weird issues with the mouse, though; as long as I leave it still, everything's fine, but when I move it, the game suddenly gets rather choppy. This only seems to happen in 320x400, too.
    I've tried various combinations of solVBE's -m0 -m1 -m3 -m8 and VDMSound's timer and CPU usage settings with no success. Anyone seen this before?

  12. #62
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2008
    hi guys,


    got TN working but is there a way to make the pba rotate faster? Turning goes terribly slow! Also, I don't remember how I get to run it with 320x400. Is this possible under dosbox / XP?

    thanks a lot. TN is definitely one of the best shooters ever. Too bad a sequel/remake will never be done.

  13. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by volpetrolski View Post
    got TN working but is there a way to make the pba rotate faster? Turning goes terribly slow!
    Slow compared to whipping a mouse around, true, but no, the suit can only turn so fast I'm afraid. (If it seems really stupidly slow, time a full rotation for us and we could compare it for you.)

    Also, I don't remember how I get to run it with 320x400. Is this possible under dosbox / XP?
    Of course. 'O' for options. (Also note that the very best landscape detail setting needs to be selected manually.)

  14. #64
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2008
    thanks man.

    apparently the 'slow' movement was nothing but an hardware issue. I tried the game on my companylaptop (a new HP nc8430) and it works even better then it did on my pentium 10 years ago. Dude, I'm happy!

  15. #65
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2005
    Location: London, UK
    STILL playing this game a year later!

    Have always been playing it great at 20000 cycles in DOSBox using a frontend called D.O.G., have the graphics set to opengl and the sound set to soundblaster and general midi. Can play at 320x400 and to be honest the gameworld seems to be at least as good as games that came out 4 years later! I haven't tried NOLFB, etc, as quite honestly I don't think I could have it playing
    or looking any better than have now!

    Also, for those that don't know, there are two demo's available, one with one BRAND NEW mission, and a second one with THREE MORE BRAND NEW missions!

    Gotta love this company and PC gaming 10 years ago for doing games like this and then releasing demo's with brand new missions!!

  16. #66
    New Member
    Registered: Oct 2002
    Quote Originally Posted by Chimpy Chompy View Post
    Any of you got TN running at full speed in Dosbox? It works for me, but is pretty slow in 320x400, even with cpu cycles cranked up significantly (and I'm running a fairly fast PC).
    I have a HP laptop and it runs like a dream, fullscreen and 320x400.
    Just straight DosBox, no frontend.

  17. #67
    New Member
    Registered: Apr 2009
    Location: Saara

    It runs, but the controls...

    Hi!

    TN was one of the first games I bought for my first gaming rig back in the mid-nineties. Since then I tried to get it running on every machine I owned. To spare you the boring details of successes and failures (I went through five PC's up to date) I am happy to announce that on my newest machine (Athlon 64 x2, 3GB Ram, GeForce 9600 GT, onboard audio, WinXP Sp3) it runs flawlessly under DosBox 0.72, no extra programs/drivers needed. Movement/Turning speed is as I remember it from my Pentium 100 machine.

    But after having played tons of other shooters I'm struggling a bit with the controls. Is there a way to swap the turning and strafing keys? I'm getting smoked by the pirates because instead of dodging, I'm turning away from them. Hard times.

    Or it may be that my 34-year old reflexes aren't what they used to be *cough*

  18. #68

    How to rebind keys with DOSBox

    Quote Originally Posted by BFBeast666 View Post
    it runs flawlessly under DosBox 0.72 [...] Is there a way to swap the turning and strafing keys?
    Thanks to DOSBox, yes there is.

    I'll assume you have a dosbox.conf file in your TN game directory. Open it up and find the "mapperfile" line. Change it to something like:

    mapperfile=E:\games\TNOVA\dosbox.keymap

    (but as appropriate for wherever the game is installed on your machine, of course. This should be the genuine path in Windows, btw, not the mounted DOS path that you've configured in DOSBox.)

    Now start the game, and press CTRL+F1 to open DOSBox's keymapper.

    Select each key to rebind, click 'del' to remove the default binding, and then click 'add' and press the key you want to bind it to.

    Do that for all four, and click 'save', and you should be sorted permanently.

    If you don't specify a directory for the keymapper file in your config file, it will go into the DOSBox program directory; but it's better to keep it with the game files, IMO.

    Or it may be that my 34-year old reflexes aren't what they used to be *cough*
    I hear that :)
    Last edited by Shadowcat; 13th Apr 2009 at 02:06.

  19. #69
    New Member
    Registered: Apr 2009
    Location: Saara
    That should come in handy, thank you very much. I'm just beginning to plumb the depths of what DOSBox can do and I'm mightily impressed

    And no, I don't have a "dosbox.conf" in the TN dir (yet). Can I just copy the one from the DOSBox dir and edit it after saving it to the TN dir? If so, the rest of your instructions is a no-brainer

    Good to be back on SFC *sigh*
    Last edited by BFBeast666; 13th Apr 2009 at 08:59.

  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by BFBeast666 View Post
    That should come in handy, thank you very much.
    You're welcome.
    I don't have a "dosbox.conf" in the TN dir (yet). Can I just copy the one from the DOSBox dir and edit it after saving it to the TN dir? If so, the rest of your instructions is a no-brainer :)
    Yep, pretty much:

    1. Copy the default dosbox.conf to your TN dir, and then edit it accordingly. You want the autoexec section to look something like this (again, depending on how you installed it):
    Code:
    mount c c:\games
    c:
    cd tnova
    tn
    2. Make a DOSBox shortcut to run the game with, and edit its target so that it specifies your custom conf file. Something like this:
    Code:
    "C:\Program Files\DOSBox-0.72\dosbox.exe" -fullscreen -conf "C:\games\tnova\dosbox.conf"
    3. Optionally, give your shortcut a nice TN icon, so that it looks pretty, and pop it into your start menu, or wherever you typically run your games from :)

  21. #71
    New Member
    Registered: Apr 2009
    Location: Saara
    That did the trick. Strafing/Turning keys switched around and my survival rate drastically increased. I went straight through to M11 without dying.

    BTW, your "autoexec" bit contains a small error: Without mounting the CD-Rom, the game won't run, but thankfully I figured that out beforehand

    Anyways, thanks for your outstanding help. I guess with DOSBox I'll be able to run SS1 as well? I know there's System Shock Portable around, but for some strange reason it refuses to work properly. But since I still have the original SS1 CD, that shouldn't be too hard... :-)

  22. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by BFBeast666 View Post
    BTW, your "autoexec" bit contains a small error: Without mounting the CD-Rom, the game won't run, but thankfully I figured that out beforehand :)
    Ah, that would be because I always install TN directly from the hard drive. Sorry, I should have just linked to this page, rather than copying selected pieces. (Ironically, I even pointed out how to mount the CD there, even though I don't use it for this game.)

    I guess with DOSBox I'll be able to run SS1 as well? I know there's System Shock Portable around, but for some strange reason it refuses to work properly. But since I still have the original SS1 CD, that shouldn't be too hard... :-)
    Indeed. You can install SS from the hard drive as well, btw. You can safely put away your CDs for both games once you've copied their contents.

  23. #73
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2005
    Location: London, UK

    Problems again!

    Decided to play again, and now in XP only SolVBE works, but it makes the game way too slow. Never had problems playing the game in DOSBox, so went back to that. Installed with no problems from within DOSBox, but on trying to play I get a message "illegal command: c:\games\tnova\_ff.exe". If I use D-Fend reloaded I cannot get it to even get to the point of opening DOSBox = it crahes straight away!

    Any clues? Especially the DOSBox problem, as I had no problem using DOSBox a year ago!

  24. #74
    New Member
    Registered: Sep 2006
    I got it to run slowly, but dosbox won't make a 'real' directory on my HD, it seems to exist in memory or something, so I can't save any games. I'm going to
    try it on another machine that has win98. Frame skipping didn't help much on
    Underworld 2, haven't tried it on TN.

  25. #75
    Read the documentation. You need to mount your real drives (or sub-directories thereof) as drive letters in DOSBox.

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