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Yesterday I decided to finally try out Evolva but I quickly realized that, unfortunately, the game was broken and unplayable for me in its vanilla state.

First problem I had was that the game would not even start up, simply showing a message about "abnormal program terminaton". This seems to happen because Evolva uses an older DirectX API (I don't really know what I'm talking about here, just making educated guesses). In any case, the way to solve this is to use

dgVoodoo get it here:

(Now, the website will probably freak out your browser and warn you that the site is compromised. It is always important to be careful about this stuff and if you don't trust it, try to get the dgvoodoo application somewhere else. What I can tell you is that I took the plunge and downloaded the application because several forum posts suggested that this is most definitely a false alarm. I, for one, did not experience any virus infestation whatsoever, I believe that this is, indeed, a false alarm.)

Once you've acquired the dgvoodoo files, unzip them. You will find a dgVoodooCpl.exe and a dgVoodoo.conf. Copy both of these into the base directory of Evolva. Then you also need to grab the files from the \MS\x86 folder and copy all of those .dlls into the base directory of Evolva as well.
What dgVoodoo does is, it makes Evolva believe that you are running an older graphics card and an older DirectX API. You can use this program to set up modern resolutions, 1080p works fine for me, and even Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering to make this game look even better.

(Before you try starting the game, you should know that this game has unskippable cutscenes. Before you can even get to the menu and check whether everything is working, you would have to sit through a cool, but lenghty intro sequence which is just the worst when you're constantly restarting the game because you're still setting things up. Therefore, you can temporarily remove all files from the Evolva\FMV\ directory to speed this up considerably. When everything works, just put the files back in and enjoy the game)

At this point you can start the game to check whether it runs now.
It should start up, but depending on your PC configuration, a new problem might start up.
If you are using more than one monitor, it might be that the screen stays black but you can hear sounds and music. In that case, press ESC and you should get to see the menu. However, most probably you won't be able to move the in-game mouse cursor and therefore won't be able to do anything in the menu. If that's the case, press ALT+F4 to close the game again.

This problem comes up because of your second monitor - somehow the game doesn't really know how to handle this and is unable to read any mouse input. The only real solution is to disable your second monitor for the time that you're playing. The moste brute-force way of doing this is by simply disconnecting your second monitor physically but that's the uncivilized way. A better way (as long as you're using Win10, that is) is to press WINDOWSKEY+P to open up a sidebar in Win10 and to choose the first option (PC monitor only). This will disable your second monitor and Evolva should start up AND the mouse should be working. When you're finished playing, simply press WINDOWSKEY+P again and choose the third option to restore your dual monitor setup.

I hope this explanation helps you to run this interesting game! Enjoy!
I don't suppose that there's a reason why Windows immediately flags dgVoodooCpl.exe as the Occamy.C trojan?

Oh, btw, for the curious, to get the game working, all you need to do is open up the installation folder, right-click evolva.exe, go to the compatibility tab, check the box for "run in compatibility mode", and select Windows 95 as the environment. Then, instead of running evolva.exe directly, or using the "Play" button in the GOG Galaxy launcher, run the "Launch Evolva" shortcut.
Post edited April 24, 2020 by joeshadows