I need some retro-Ultima-on-Win10 tech support, it seems.

Discussion in 'The Kingdoms of Old' started by The One True Nobody, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. The One True Nobody

    The One True Nobody Avatar

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    Alright, so GOG is really, admirably good about getting games to be compatible with newer systems when they really have no business working on them. Windows 10 is still relatively new, though, so a number of games (such as Septerra Core) have given me some trouble. Most of the Ultima series is actually a totally safe bet, since DOSbox almost never fails and games that run on DOS are packed in with their own specially-configured DOSbox versions. This basically means every game in the series up to Ultima VIII is totally playable.

    I have a few issues, though. First off, and probably the easiest: I'm having some issues with Ultima IX right out of the gate. Now, my intention is to play through the ENTIRE SERIES over the course of the next year or so, in order, beginning with Ultima I and going right up through the end of Ultima IX, with the two Underworld games and the Worlds of Ultima games included at appropriate points (and maybe I'll even take a swing at beating Akalabeth). I'm fully aware of the issues that plague Ultima VIII and Ultima IX, so if you're about to write a "don't play it" comment, please don't. I want to get the game working so that I can play it properly when I get to it in the lineup.

    The problem I've encountered is that voiced dialogue simply doesn't play, even with "voice and text" selected in the journal. This is unique to Windows 10 as far as I know, since when I played it on my Windows 8.1 system prior to the update last year, all the voices worked fine (and, hell, it never crashed once--the game was infinitely more stable than I've heard it was on the computers it was made for). After doing some websearches for a solution, I've come up dry. Has anyone else encountered this issue, and if so, is there a fix for it that doesn't involve running a Windows 7 virtual machine? (I can do that, but my god, what a hassle.)

    Smaller, and less-critical: I want to mod Ultima IV (and just about any other old-school game where GOG's version lacks music) so that it includes the appropriate soundtracks. In Ultima IV's case, however, this has always, always resulted in the game running at an ungodly uncapped framerate that speeds up the animations like everything in the game just swallowed a dumpster-truck full of sugar. Is there any way to fix that, or am I to resort to just playing the soundtracks in VLC Media Player in the background while I game? I don't want to use the graphics upgrade mod or anything similar, and I don't want to play the Master System version (I enjoy typing in keywords), so I'm specifically looking to mod in the music and nothing BUT the music. If there's a similar option for Ultima V, I'd love to know where it is. Unfortunately searching for Ultima mods and patches finds me wading through a labyrinth of dead links, abandoned projects, and pure confusion.

    (And yes, I know about Ultima V: Lazarus and the like, but I want to play the original games before messing around with that kind of thing. Same goes for the Ultima IX dialogue overhaul mod.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
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  2. Cordelayne

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    Yeah but the Ultima V Lazarus project is sooooo good. I HIGHLY recommend you check it out. The original Ultima V is my favorite and the Lazarus version just blows the original away IMHO. :)
     
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  3. The One True Nobody

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    It's on my radar. I'm doing this as a kind of walk-through-gaming-history thing, though, so it won't mean much if it's not the genuine Ultima experience.
     
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  4. Bubonic

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    I wasn't a fan of Lazarus, personally. I totally respect and appreciate the amazing amount of effort and talent required for such an undertaking, but i never felt like the engine really supported the underlying spirit of ultima v (my favorite as well)
     
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  5. Cordelayne

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    I respect that! As for Ultima IV it works fine on my laptop using GoG. The only thing I could suggest is download an NES emu and Ultima IV rom (I know you had a copy of the game of course ;)). It's identical to the PC version.
     
  6. Bubonic

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    whoa there. The NES emulation is absolutely nothing like the PC version, just FYI. The overall story arc might be the same, but the mechanics and visual representation are definitely not.

    Chalk and Cheese.
     
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  7. The One True Nobody

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    The Master System version is almost identical to the PC version, in that the only major change is the dialogue system and the menu/command system and the switch from first-person dungeons to top-down dungeons (not really sure why, since the Master System was totally capable of first-person dungeons--see: Phantasy Star 1). Graphically and musically it's probably even the definitive way to enjoy the game unless you know enough Japanese to play the FM-Towns port. The NES version, on the other hand, has some pretty significant changes to not just visual style but the way dialogue and exploration work. It's a viable alternative, but also not the way I want to play the game.

    Again, walk-through-gaming-history and all. Maybe I'll run through the NES port after I've completed the PC one. I really just want to know if it's possible to mod the game to include music without the speed-up bug occurring.
     
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  8. The One True Nobody

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    It occurs to me that the Master System version is obscure enough that I ought to post a link to some info on it for those who don't know:
    http://www.gamesdatabase.org/game/sega-master-system/ultima-iv-quest-of-the-avatar

    It really is the keyword system that makes me want to play the PC version instead. That and a slightly larger gameplay viewport. (On the other hand, the Master System lets you fire ranged weapons outside of the four cardinal directions, which is a nifty feature U4 initially lacked.)
     
  9. Bubonic

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    I'm currently playing the nes version on my hacked nes classic ;)
     
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  10. Numa

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    Thank you all for mentioning the Ultima Lazarus project as this is something I need to look into. Starting my foray into Ultima V very soon as this will be the first Ultima game I will start and finish (yup, Ultima newbie here).
     
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  11. The One True Nobody

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    Ultima V: Lazarus is a remake of Ultima V in the Dungeon Siege engine, if memory serves, and it does look very much worth playing. You need to have an actual copy of the game the remake is built using, though, and presumably you'd need to also get that game running on your PC, so it might or might not involve some tinkering.

    Speaking of tinkering, does anyone here have any possible solutions to my Ultima IX and Ultima IV woes?
     
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  12. Cordelayne

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    apples and oranges! :p
     
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  13. redfish

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    Dogs and cats
     
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  14. Cordelayne

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  15. Browncoat Jayson

    Browncoat Jayson Legend of the Hearth

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    For the Ultima IV audio, I'm partial to the Ultima 4 Upgrade. It patches the existing GOG version, and you can use the same DOSBox functionality to control the speed. There are also other Ultima 4 mods on the Ultima Codex.

    I installed the Ultima series on my computer for my son to try, and Ascension didn't work out of the box. However, just changing the main executable to run in compatibility mode made it work just fine. I did need to run setup and select a different sound card than the default to get speech working. I'll try to remember to check it tonight to see what the setting was.
     
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  16. GreyMouser Skye

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    I wonder if I can get the original Ultima IV working on my Atari 800xl to get the music experience. I did miss it while replaying the gog version. Interfacing the atari to a monitor might be the biggest challenge.
     
  17. The One True Nobody

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    I did say that I don't want to change the graphics, didn't I? Or is it possible to install that without the graphics portion?

    Please do, if you find the time! I'm not in any rush to play Ultima IX right this instant, but the sooner I've figured it out, the sooner it'll be solved.
     
  18. The One True Nobody

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    My Ultima IX voice audio problem seems to have mysteriously fixed itself with the switch from my USB headset to a pair of headphones. Odd. No idea what might have caused that, but at least it works now.

    On the bright side, I discovered in the process of tinkering how to get my game to play in 1920x1080. For some reason the config program wasn't editing the options file, so I had to go in and edit it manually. I hate when I have to do that, but I've done it with enough games by now that it's no sweat for me anymore.
     
  19. The One True Nobody

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    Well, alright, I've figured out how DOSbox CPU cycles work, so I think I can fix the Ultima IV problem that way. One thing I want to ask--I do have the Ultima IV Upgrade patch installed, but is it supposed to leave the title screen and opening cutscene completely un-upgraded and then spontaneously decide to be a VGA game when the Avatar arrives in Britannia?