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I wanted to share the SOLUTION to the issues with this program with the crowd. And that means sharing the REASON for the problem, too.

For some time... after I'd bought this... I was unable to run the program. But I've also been unable to run a lot of other programs, which also were lost to me when I "upgraded" from WinXP to Win7 years ago.

Basically, Microsoft's DirectX is to blame. Or rather, how Microsoft MANAGES DirectX.

F/A-18E Super Hornet uses an old version of Direct3D, uses DirectDraw, and also has a "check for compatibility" which scans your system to find out if it can run the program before starting.

First things first... this is an old program, so do the general housekeeping you likely already know to do. Set it to a "compatibility mode" (I'm currently on Win95 compatibility, though I'm sure I don't need 100% of those fixes, only a subset... maybe I'll work out just which ones, someday!) Also, just to avoid potential issues, set it to run as an administrator, and turn off visual themes and desktop composition... basically, temporarily turn of "aero" (the thing which gives you translucent windows.)

So, you've done that... but it doesn't matter, you can't run the program. Because the program REQUIRES an older version of DirectX (including DirectDraw, which is no longer present since Windows 7, and including in this case Direct3D v7.0, which is what was in release when the game was let go into the wild!)

There are certainly quite a few options for how to get something running DirectX versions earlier than 9.0c on Windows 7 or higher. I used to actually drop real DirectX DLLs into the program directory, and that actually worked acceptable... most of the time. But sometimes drivers won't recognize what's being fed to them, and that can cause issues.

SO... you need a means of translating the "old" graphical API calls to a "new" version. Right now, my tool of choice for doing that is dgVoodoo, but there are others (Dxwnd works well, too, but it's more complicated to use!) There are likely other solutions, but I haven't personally used an of those others. Feel free to chime if you have another option!

So... with dgVoodo v2.54, which I run, it no longer merely wraps 3DFX GLide callouts to Direct3D... which is what it originally was designed to do. No, today it translates both GLide and DirectX (pre-9 versions) to Direct3D 11. And yes, this does the 2D stuff... DirectDraw... as well as the 3D stuff... Direct3D.

It has limited configurability... it's designed with end-users in mind, not technical gurus. This means it's easy to set up (and to turn on things you like, like overriding display resolutions, setting up anti-aliasing or the like, and so forth) while not requiring you to know a lot of the inner workings of Direct3D.

In this case, it works perfectly. In some others, you need more control. In those cases, you'll want to use Dxwnd. It's another program designed for a different purpose... in this case, just to allow full-screen DirectX apps to run in a window...but has grown beyond that to be able to "wrap" earlier versions of DirectX visual stuff (again, mainly Direct3D, but I THINK it also does DirectDraw, though I've never used it for that!) to a later version.

The thing about Dxwnd is that it's MASSIVELY configurable... you can choose individual "software hooks" to enable or disable, and the like... meaning if you can't make it run using that, you'll never be able to make it run ANYWHERE (other than the exact hardware and OS it was designed to run on, I mean).

But... using the settings above... "Win95 compatibility mode," "Run as administrator," "disable visual themes," "disable desktop composition," and installing dgVoodoo v2.54 into the F/A-18E Super Hornet program directory (where the main exe file is found)... I'm now running this program... for the very first time ever!

Shame GoG didn't come up with this solution, but it's a good one. Give it a shot, guys!

To give you a heads-up... here's the link to Dege's page...

And here's the link to the SourceForge page for Gho, who develops Dxwnd.

Either one can do the trick... it's your choice. And there may be other solutions, but I'm not aware of them.