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Thread: System Shock 1 & 2 FAQ

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    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Black Squadron

    System Shock 1 & 2 FAQ

    Quick links to sections of this FAQ

    System Shock 1
    System Shock 2
    Patching Shock2
    Running System Shock 2 on Windows 2000 or Windows XP
    General Shock2 Questions, including technical!
    Broken use/shoot mode problem
    Direct 3D Device does not accurately report texture memory usage, or Help! I only get a black screen!
    SS2 is saying it cannot play, because I do not have enough space.
    My cutscenes/videos do not show!
    Game freezes / Running SS2 on a Dual-Processor/Dual Core System or Got a Pentium 4 with Hyperthreading?
    I'm using the Rebirth mod and my weapons/characters don't show? AKA How to make your install Mod Friendly!
    Using an Intel 7xx or 8xx or an ATI Rage based card?
    Help! System Shock 2 runs too fast!
    How do I stop respawning and weapon degradation?
    How do I get the resources used in game? Textures, sounds etc?
    Which mods are currently available for SS2?
    Where can I buy System Shock 1 and 2?

    System Shock One
    Daxim's System Shock FAQ (Unmaintained) Get Shock1 up and running on your Windows 95/98 system!
    XenivouS' System Shock 1 FAQ for XP/2000! Get Shock 1 working on your shiny new Windows 2000/XP System!

    Downloading System Shock 1


    System Shock 2
    SYSTEM SHOCK 2 IS NOT ABANDONWARE!!

    But isn't abandonware illegal?
    Unfortunately, yes. Despite the fact that publishers no longer derive revenues from these games since they have stopped selling them (and any revenues from retailers that still sell them were gained a long time ago, at the time of sales), it is illegal to distribute them so long as copyright holders have not released them into the public domain, and 95 years after the games' release have not elapsed.
    Taken from the underdogs


    Patching System Shock 2
    The 5MB System Shock 2 patch upgrades v1.15 to v2.3, includes many bugfixes and also enables 4 player co-op multiplay!


    Running System Shock 2 on Windows 2000 or Windows XP

    How to Install
    • Press the Start Button
    • Press the Run button.
    • In the box type x:/setup.exe -Lgntforce Where x is the letter of your CD-Rom drive.
    • Press Enter
    • Follow the onscreen prompts.


    How to play.


    General Shock2 Questions (including technical problems)

    Broken Use/Shoot mode problem
    Unable to use/drag items in inventory? This a well known problem. You can check Kolya's excellent list of possible fixes for this.

    Direct 3D Device does not accurately report texture memory usage, or Help! I only get a black screen!
    An error message that pops up when starting a game, changing decks, moving through bulkheads, loading a save game etc in System Shock 2. You may not get an error message, you may see only a black screen.
    It primarily occurs on Nvidia Graphics cards running driver versions 5x.xx and above.
    Open the file cam.cfg from the Shock2 install directory using Notepad and add the line safe_texture_manager to the bottom of it. If this doesn't help solving the problem, then please try also consulting this thread for other suggestions.
    You can also try bobruck's fixed .exe. Just download it, and run it instead of shock2.exe (you may have to change your start menu shortcuts). The file will only work with a legit copy of SS2, patched to version 2.3.
    Finally, you can also try using DDFix to solve your problem.

    SS2 is saying it cannot play, because I do not have enough space, even if I have a lot of free disk space: how do I fix this?
    Add another 40MB or so of data to your harddisk, it will solve the problem. This problem happens because of the way SS2 checks for free disk space. The part that does the checking is left over from when the HD size limit was 2GB, so it only sees the first 2GB with any free space on it; when this problem happens, the 2GB it sees has less than 35MB on it. Adding data to the HD will get around this.
    Alternatively, you can open the file user.cfg found in the SS2 directory and add the line skip_starting_checks to it and save it. Please note, it may be necessary to create this file.

    My cutscenes/videos do not show!
    The Codecs have been uninstalled/corrupted. Reinstall them by double-clicking the file Iv5play.exe on the cd.
    Alternatively Press Start > Press Run > type in> regsvr32 "c:\your\path\to\shock2\LGVID.AX" and press enter where c:\your\path\to\shock2 is the path you actually installed Shock2 to.

    Game Freezes / Running SS2 on a Dual-Processor System or Got a Pentium 4 with Hyperthreading?
    When activated, Intel's Hyperthreading makes it appear that you have two CPUs. The Pentium 4 D and Athlon 64 X2 processors have 2 cores on one chip - they are dual processors.
    Make sure that SS2 is set to only use 1 processor with High, or Realtime priority. Dark Engine games don't like dual processor systems unless they are configured in this way. Salvage has written a great FAQ on how to do it easily. You can find his FAQ here

    I'm using the Rebirth mod and my weapons/characters don't show? AKA How to make your install Mod Friendly!
    • Create a new folder inside the shock2 one called res.
    • Move all the files ending in .crf to the newly created folder.
    • Open up install.cfg from the shock2 folder using notepad.
    • Alter the resname_base line to include the new folder. For example resname_base c:\games\shock2\+d:\shock2 would become resname_base c:\games\shock2\res+d:\shock2
    • Save the file!
    • Unzip the rebirth zip file to the a folder called mesh inside the Shock 2 folder. (this step is for Rebirth only)


    Using an Intel 7xx or 8xx or an ATI Rage based card?
    Open, or create User.cfg in the shock2 directory using notepad. Type in the following and then save: safe_texture_manager


    Help! System Shock 2 runs too fast!
    • Turn on v-sync.
    • Make sure the refresh rate is 60Hz.
    • Try also turning on full antialiasing.
      (Reference thread).
      The reference thread refers to Thief, but the games share the same base engine, so the fixes apply here too.
    • Alternatively, and to avoid playing at 60Hz, you can try having a DirectX overlay running in addition to SS2.
      (Reference threads)


    How do I stop respawning and weapon degradation?
    The readme that is installed by the patch (readme_p.wri) explains how to do this.

    How do I get the resources used in game? Textures, sounds etc?
    In the SShock2 directory are several files with the extention .crf
    These files are just Zip files with different extentions. All you have to do is open these files with Winzip,WinRAR or a similar program and the files are inside in a readable format.
    The most "important" CRFs are:
    • SND.CRF and SND2.CRF: These contain the sounds for the game. They are in wav format
    • Fam.CRF Contains all the textures for the game. All in PCX Format.
    • OBJ.CRF Contains all the objects in the game, all in bin and cal format and their skins, which are in GIF format.
    • Mesh.crf Contains all the AI meshes in the game, in bin and cal format, and their skins, in GIF format.
    • Intrfce.CRF Contains everything to do with the interface, all the textures, the main menu items, all the ingame logs (text) and things like that.


    Which mods are currently available for SS2?

    Strange Bedfellows
    Link: http://www.strangebedfellows.de
    This forum hosts lots interesting SS2 stuff. It has to offer a huge collection of gamesys mods; these mods modify your ss2 gameplay and serve to rebalance the game in various ways. You can also find SS2 FMs there.

    Etienne Auberts Rebirth Mod
    Link: http://www.strangebedfellows.de/index.php?topic=8.0
    This mod replaces some of the original ss2 low-polygon AI models with totally new hi-res ones. This mod doesnt affect gameplay at all, it is a graphical enhancement only. Cyberblutch's site is no longer online, so we provide the link to Strange Bedfellows, where you can get the Rebirth Beta 01 - Complemented version (it includes all the updates that were released by Cyberblutch, plus some extras)

    SHTUP (Shock Texture Upgrade Project)
    Link: www.shtupmod.net
    This mod replaces some of the original ss2 low-resolution textures with totally new hi-res ones. This mod doesnt affect gameplay at all, it is a graphical enhancement only.

    Where can I buy System Shock 1 and 2?
    You can purchase System Shock 2 from Games Warehouse in Australia who ship worldwide. For a copy of the game and shipping to the UK the price is AU$16, which is around 7. An excellent price.


    Online and Offline retailers have been out of stock of System Shock 1 for several years now, they are also running out of System Shock 2.
    If your local game store doesn't stock these games then you can try an auction site, such as Ebay where you can get both games quite cheaply.
    Following are links to Ebay searches throughout the world.
    Last edited by D'Arcy; 29th Jul 2010 at 09:43. Reason: Updated URLs

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