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Thread: Running Terra Nova on a modern machine

  1. #1

    Running Terra Nova on a modern machine


    I apologise for not having a more organised guide to running the game available for you; however if you read the threads linked to below, you will cover pretty much everything I've seen about getting the game running on a modern machine. With luck, these techniques will also work for you. If not, please post to let us know, and give as much detail about your system as possible (hardware (esp. video card!), operating system, etc...) and someone may be able to help. Good luck, Soldier!</p>



    If you have a reasonably modern machine then the simplest way to run the game is to use DOSBox:

    DOSBox will also let you rebind your keys, should you wish to do so.

    If you wish to run Terra Nova 'natively', please read the rest of this thread.


    You can find the patch at the Games Domain (this only fixes an issue with the random mission generator, however.)

    (sorry... will have a new link soon with any luck)

    To the best of my knowledge, no one has managed to run Terra Nova under Windows 2000, but the information for XP might apply?

    <ul><li>Some folks have succeeded in running Terra Nova under Windows XP:

    <li>Failing that, SolVBE may help for XP users:

    <li>Information about the +BADLINMODES command-line option:

    <li>Vesafix. Voodoo 3 owners look here!!:

    <li>vesafix may also help with non-3dFX cards!

    <li>painstaking details on using vesafix:

    <li>Learn how to install from the hard drive, plus some suggestions for AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS settings:

    <li>a couple of comments on sound cards

    <li>If all else fails, make a boot disk:
    Last edited by Shadowcat; 13th Apr 2009 at 01:07.

  2. #2
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Location: New Atlanta, Sector 11, Building 71-G.
    Not without a bootdisk man..

  3. #3

    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Berlin
    if the makers of tn had a secrat one and they RELEASE NOW would it have glide support?

    3dfx is dead! fs!

  4. #4
    Registered: May 1999
    Location: Daffy Duck
    They're only dead because they didn't RELEASE NOW.

  5. #5
    New Member
    Registered: Jul 2002

    TN on winXP

    Problem - TN dies after the intro movie; moved all files across under the TN folder on the HDD (once or twice it complained it couldn't find the Movie files); doesn't work.

    Spec -
    OS - winXP;
    Soundcard - SB Live Value 1024 (for TN it seems to need SB and Roland for music - weird);
    GFX - GF2MX 32mb Nvidia drivers v29.42;
    CPU - Nafflon 1ghz;
    RAM - 384mb;

    had no luck running from a boot disk either (the option through the TN config fails to make one)...

    erm, any ideas? Haven't heard from anyone else using winXP

    [Edit] - running through DOS does nothing either; insofar it's reported "Access Denied" every time i've tried to open C:\TNOVA\

  6. #6
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Beta Grove, Citadel Station
    Had exactly the same problem with TN under XP...

    Installed OK, plays intro movie then bombs out back to the desktop - even running it through VDMS didn't help...

    However, provided you haven't converted all your disks over to NTFS (i.e. you still have a FAT32 or FAT16 partition / disk) you can create a DOS bootdisk and run TN no prob's .

    Downward Sprial posted some info over in the System Shock forums that outlined how to get SS1 sunning under XP using a boot disk - thankfully TN will also work using the same disk (plus you get to play SS1 as well )

    You'll need a bootdisk image from and to put it onto a floppy... I used the Win98 disk as it has CD-ROM and FAT32 support. You'll also need the S'Blaster Live DOS drivers from installed into a folder on your hard disk and a DOS mouse driver (Daxim's Shock FAQ has one available).

    After getting all of that its simply a case of hacking the config.sys and autoexec files on the boot disk to free up some memory, initialise the SBLIVE and load the mouse driver - from there you can install and run the game you want

    If you have any probs let me know and I'll post up more detailed instructions.


    * Stimpy *

  7. #7
    New Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Finland

    BTW, Vesafix also works on my Radeon 8500. TN needs some command line switches (+nounivbe +badpaldac) to run properly even with Vesafix, though, and I still haven't got the setup program to work adequately. Fortunately, I already had TN installed on my hard drive (I installed it when I still had my old GeForce in this computer) so I don't even need the setup program - for now.

  8. #8
    New Member
    Registered: Oct 2002


    I was wandering through the old posts hoping beyond hope that I'd be able to run TN on my machine.
    Using +badlinmodes & the vesafix -6 IT RUNS!
    IT RUNS!
    Thank you, ever so much.
    I am trying to make a batch file to run the vesafix and the the tn.bat +badlinmodes, but I haven't figured it out.
    The vesafix works, but then it says "bad command or file name."
    Any hints?
    I copied the original batch file adding the vesafix at the top, but where would I place "+badlinmodes?"
    I really appreciate being able to play the game again.
    I remember calling LG when I had a 100mhz 486 wondering if it would run.
    "Sure", they said. No idea that six(?) years later, I'd still be playing the game on a 933mhz with a GeForce!

  9. #9

    Re: w00t

    > IT RUNS!

    Yay!! Always a pleasure to see another SFC squad-mate back in action!!

    > The vesafix works, but then it says "bad command or file name."
    > Any hints?

    Not sure offhand. IIRC the vesafix is a TSR (terminate & stay resident) program, which means you only really need to run it once each time you boot your machine. If it's not written to recognise attempts to load it again when it's already running, perhaps that could cause an error? Just running it twice in succession from the command line should verify that.

    Another possibility is that it needss to be in your PATH variable for DOS to find the command. You could get around that by specifying the full path name (e.g. "C:\games\tnova\vesafix" instead of just "vesafix")

    > I copied the original batch file adding the vesafix at the top,
    > but where would I place "+badlinmodes?"

    Try editing the .bat line along the lines of:
    __ff.exe +badlinmodes %1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6

    The "%1" type arguments just mean that the batch file should pass along any (well, up to six) command-line arguments to the __ff.exe file, so doing this is pretty much the same as if we'd run "tn.bat +badlinmodes"

    I'm kinda tired right now, so I hope that makes sense :)

  10. #10
    New Member
    Registered: Oct 2002

    If you are ever in Los Angeles, lunch is on me.

  11. #11
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: Canada
    A few more things:
    <> Some people have reported a problem where some cutscenes play with sound only, no video. There is a complete solution here. Beware: it will destroy your __FF.EXE if you are using any version other than 1.09 english! It is much easier if you have XVI32, and thus can use the patching script. You can get XVI32 here.
    <> +BADLINMODES seems to fix an error where it bluescreens with "Unable to write to drive C: (or whatever). Data or files may be lost.", as well as everything else.
    <> +BADPALDAC fixes a problem that causes the colors to be completely scrambled on some screens, even though the game plays fine.

    Someone should probably make a list of all of the known effects of BADLINMODES and BADPALDAC.

  12. #12
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    I am jumping up and down with excitement.

    TN, quite possibly the best game in recorded history. I loved it. But my puny old PC struggled with the later scenarios, and I always wondered what it would be like to play at hi resolution with everything turned on.

    So, I finally bought a newer PC, and eagerly loaded TN, only couldn't make it run. By then, Looking Glass had expired and I couldn't find any help in usenet or anywhere else.

    Now I'm on yet another newer PC. So, there I am this morning looking at my terranova box, gathering dust as it has done for pretty much 5 years, and something prompted me to put Terranova "Looking Glass" in to Google. And so here I am, on a board where people are actually successfully running it.

    I must admit, its been years since I last fiddled with config files etc, and most of what I've glanced at so far is barely remembered terminology, but it is so encouraging just to be here.

    I'll let you know how I get on.


  13. #13
    > TN, quite possibly the best game in recorded history.

    I like you already :) Good luck!! (If you get confused by any of the suggestions, just ask and we should be able to help out...)

  14. #14
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Some success already. Went through the install via hardrive walkthrough above and got the game running, but 2 snags:

    1.) The link to the v1.09 patch is dead. Sure I can find the patch somewhere though, but its a lower priority to fix than:

    2.) Can't get the sound to work. (I can get music though).

    I have a Soundblaster PCI card, runing under win98

    Seems if I run setup then I can get it to pass the digital sound test with several of the various automatic soundblaster card configs, however it doesn't work in the game.

    If I run tnconfig then it always fails the test as well.

    I've tried setting the sound card manually, but the IRQ is locked unchageably at 9 in windows, and that isn't an option under manual selection in the TN setup files.


  15. #15
    I don't have an answer to the sound issue offhand, but I can get the patch problem out of the way immediately -- you can FTP it from the Games Domain at:

    I wonder if your sound card might utilise a lower IRQ if you disabled the hardware current it? I think I recall 'disabling' my non-existant printer from the control panel in order to get the SB Live's SB16 emulation working correctly. Probably not the preferable solution, but perhaps worth a shot...

  16. #16
    Terra Nova ... running on XP! :P

    Yes! It's possible ... but not without something like Virtual PC. The office where I worked at for work-experience (UK) had it installed ... with DOS 6.22 as one of the O/Ss. So I installed Terra Nova, intro movie played ... menu showed ... mission started ... dropped off ... landed ... and it worked!

    It was a little laggy at times, as I expect the emulation has processor heavy, but it _is_ possible to play all those old DOS games (even those that need EMM386) with such a program ... it's just not cheap.

    Maybe we should ask Connectix (Virtual PC makers) to develop a games-version of their software, that just had DOS functionality on ... we wouldn't have all these silly problems anymore.

    Since I couldn't really afford the software, I got hold of an old 233MHz machine to play it on ... Terra Nova! Not even a sequal could better it.

  17. #17
    New Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Finland
    Hmm, it's been a while since I last dwelled these boards. I don't know if this is still of interest but...

    Originally posted by Shadowcat
    I think I recall 'disabling' my non-existant printer from the control panel in order to get the SB Live's SB16 emulation working correctly. Probably not the preferable solution, but perhaps worth a shot...
    I got the SB16 emulation of my Live to use IRQ 7 (instead of I don't remember what) by enabling LPT interrupt sharing in the properties of the SB16 emulation 'device'. No need to disable anything, and it works. I'm on Win98 (ugh... but hey, at least I can run TN! ).

  18. #18
    New Member
    Registered: Apr 2003
    A Link to my thread....TN working on XP!!

    I've stuck this link here just in case there are some people who want to run TN on XP but don't visit the TN forums regularly....they might have email notification on this thread cos it's the main troubleshooting thread

  19. #19
    New Member
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Hello. Im considering buying this game from, but i want to make sure it will run on my comp first :/

    1.3 ghz P4
    712MB Ram
    Windows ME (I know it sucks, im hoping to dual-boot into XP soon)
    Et cetera

    Actually, is the game protected mode? If it isnt, then dosbox should run the game just fine (though it probably is)
    Last edited by Rolewn; 19th Jul 2003 at 23:32.

  20. #20

    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Platte City, MO
    The answer is....

    Definitely maybe.

    In principle, you can get it to run. As the above thread demonstrates, it may not be easy.

    In any event, the game is brilliant, and well worth it if you can get it working.

  21. #21
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: eastern united states
    anybody else successful with this lately? i've never played tera nova but i've always been interested in it (i play thief) so i'd like to check it out sometime if it can definitely run on windows 2000

  22. #22
    New Member
    Registered: May 2001
    Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brasil

    I know this thread is old, but...

    Anyone know where to get the LIVE dos drivers mentiones way above?

  23. #23

  24. #24
    New Member
    Registered: Jun 2001

    Good info! I got TN running under VDMS and NOLFB. Truly a beautiful thing. Well, in a pixellated kind of way :P

    But man, it is unstable as all get-out. Any notions of how to make it behave nicer? I'm running under XP (home), on a P4 2.4 with an ABIT GeForce4 Ti4400 and 1G RAM.

    How 'bout those palette trashes too, eh? I mean, I was at LG at the time and I have an idea how much hackery went into it, so I'm surprised it works at all, but...

  25. #25
    Hi Gareth!! It's always great to see LGT alumni here on the forums :) I certainly remember your name popping up in credit listings. Thanks for dropping by!
    Truly a beautiful thing. Well, in a pixellated kind of way :P

    I can't help but agree. And you know, people *still* don't make 3D engines that draw way into the distance like TN did. (Actually, Far Cry has a pretty good draw distance, IIRC. Most games still have the mysterious fog effect in full force, though.)

    I don't have any help for the unstability, I'm sorry. Have you installed either of the XP service patches? (I don't know whether that would make the situation better or worse, but it might be useful information).

    I have an idea how much hackery went into it, so I'm surprised it works at all

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