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After doing a lot of testing, I've learned that rolling back DOSBox to .72 (the last version I was able to use, per my FAQ, without issues) has eliminated error 26, 27 and 28 for me.

I was able to confirm the error had nothing to do with STRONG.EXE because I had the original EXE from the 1995 CD-ROM re-issue. Using that instead of the GOG file still threw the error (and I could see the EXE files were identical anyway). That's what led me to test DOSBox as the culprit, and it is.

GOG won't let me post a URL, but if you Google search for version .72 you should find it on the DOSBox official site as a download. Then you need to overwrite the version of DOSBox GOG gives you with .72. You might want to save your config files before you do this (put them somewhere else).

After I did this, I was able to run the game fine, including savegames that had previously thrown me error 26, 27 etc. It doesn't run quite as smoothly as it did on the newer DOSBox, but it's playable. It really doesn't like alt-tab, so if you do that and your game is going nuts when you return to it, don't panic. Just hit ESC until it stops freaking out and it will return to normal.

Note that if you do try to use the current config files, a lot has changed a lot since 2007! I haven't figured out all the ways to tweak it yet, but some changes I needed to make were:

machine=vga
keyboardlayout=

In the above, machine used to say svga_s3, but that option isn't available in .72, and the keyboardlayout used to say "auto" but that's in't an option either. cycles=fixed doesn't appear to do anything in .72. If the game runs too slowly for you at the default 3,000 cycles, use control+F12 to get it back up to 10,000 (where the GOG file put it at).

Good luck and have fun! And if you figure out a good config that runs .72 like a dream, post it here.
Post edited August 28, 2022 by camelotcrusade