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After dusting off my GOG copy of RotH once again, and setting it up to run at my native resolution of 2560x1440, in Windows10x64, I encountered some configuration problems in doing so, and thought I'd share the very simple remedy for them:

The GOG installer for Dosbox sets the sb16 settings as follows:

IRQ=7
DMA=1
HDMA=5

But when you boot the game for the first time you will have problems running the initial videoclips and you'll note

1)that if you have a MIDI player (I use CoolSoft VirtualMidiSynth--highly recommended) set to the x330 port (standard) then all you will hear is Midi Music as the sound effects aren't playing at all--because they cannot because the sound card is improperly configured for this game by the GOG install routine.

2)The colors when the game runs look off, especially in dark areas, and

3) You will be unable to configure the game to run in any other mode besides Overlay.

4) You attempt to install the US version of the game and discover when trying to run it that it doesn't want to run!

Explanation and cure for all of the above: RotH just so happens to be one of those early, early DOS games hard coded to use specific sound blaster 16 settings. The problem is that it expects the DOS environment (dosbox) to be correctly configured for the SB16 *else* the user will have *lots* of problems getting the game to run without any of the above three consequences making it almost impossible to run the game properly and configure it as you like. Usually, this is not a big problem today--but back then it was common to see games hardcoded to use specific settings for the sound card and many early DOS games simply refused to run at all if the sound card was misconfigured--or you'd get the kind of problems I saw today with trying to run RotH.

Here are the settings the game expects for the SB16 in the dosboxROTH.conf settings file:

[sblaster]

*sbtype=sb16
*sbbase=220
*irq=5
*dma=1
*hdma=5
sbmixer=true
oplmode=auto
oplemu=default
oplrate=49716
hardwarebase=220
goldplay=false

* = Required by the game. The rest I run as well but their settings may vary from these if you wish.

It's interesting to note that although the game includes an install.exe file, the purpose of which ostensibly was to allow the user to change things like sound-card/midi settings--for some reason it does not work at all for me. I note that when GOG ships a game with a settings configuration file, like the dosboxROTH_settings.conf file that ships with the game, GOG always includes an icon labeled "Change Settings" or something similar that allows you to run the settings file (like install.exe, in this case) to change the settings file separately if needed. But GOG provides no way for the user to run install.exe unless he hand edits the game shortcut himself...;)

At any rate, here's what simply changing the sound-card dosbox settings file completely and instantly cleared up:

1) All beginning introductory videoclips run perfectly
2) The crazy colors the game was putting out in dark areas disappeared and the game displayed correctly
3) I was able to run the game @my native 2560x1440 without a problem using *direct 3D** instead of overlay! (See note below)
4) US patch now runs without difficulty

Hard to believe such simple settings could make such a difference, eh? Actually, I had already been through this once a couple of years back but I had forgotten about it! Had me baffled for awhile there today, I can tell you! I have seen a few DOS games that even when you run the sound configuration settings and change them by that program, which you assume will allow you to play the game with different settings--that the game *still won't run* until it sees the settings it expects for the sound card! Crazy, but true!

Note: I use Dosbox SVN-Daum instead of the GOG version of DOSbox because it allows you to use direct3d and shaders, as well as a 64-bit version of dosbox.exe, which really make a nice difference in the display output, especially in games like this that can only be run in much higher resolutions if *scaled* up by your GPU hardware--the pixel shader HQ2x.fx, for instance, makes the game appear far less pixellated than is the case normally. It also has the effect of smoothing out scaled text, too. Definitely worth it, imo. It's *the* version of dosbox specifically made for gaming--surprised GOG isn't using it. Dosbox SVN-Daum is available here:

http://ykhwong.x-y.net/

Get the January 25, 2015 version as its the most recent and works very well with Win10x64, too. To get you started, here are the first few lines of my dosboxROTH.conf

fullscreen=true
fulldouble=false
fullresolution=2560x1440
windowresolution=original
output=direct3d
autolock=true
sensitivity=100
waitonerror=true
priority=higher,normal
mapperfile=mapper-SVN-Daum.map
pixelshader=HQ2x.fx
usescancodes=true
overscan=0


Just rename the GOG dosbox folder to "DosboxGOG" and rename the DosBox SVN-Daum folder to "Dosbox," and away you go! Hope this info will be of service for someone! This is a classic game, imo.
Today I fired the game up for the first time ever and it ran perfectly fine out of the box. Sound good, visuals good, videos good, performance good. It was even already set up to play General MIDI music (while, for some reason, GOG at least used to set most games up to play Adlib music by default). Incidentally I also use VirtualMIDISynth. And after reading your post I actually checked the conf file. IRQ is indeed 7 but the game doesn't mind at all. And I actually installed it ages ago, so the config wasn't fixed by a recent update or anything.

So, well, the default settings are just fine (and if many other people had been running into the issues you described this game's sub forum would look a lot different). My guess is that the problems you encountered only happen after using the "US patch". Don't know if you're using the one from the sticky thread but some users are describing the stuff you mentioned after applying said patch.

Anyway, thanks. I wasn't aware that there was a patch, will try it myself ASAP as the default controls are atrocious (sadly the download is RIDICULOUSLY slow).

Also, I don't know where you got it from that Realms of the Haunting is an "early, early DOS game". I mean, it's from 1996, that's like the final generation of DOS games, one year later many developers didn't even bother making DOS versions of their games anymore.
Looking for a follow up. Did this fix the issues with US patch?
avatar
Zanderat: Looking for a follow up. Did this fix the issues with US patch?
Yes! Again....to recap:

At any rate, here's what simply changing the sound-card dosbox settings file completely and instantly cleared up:

1) All beginning introductory videoclips run perfectly
2) The crazy colors the game was putting out in dark areas disappeared and the game displayed correctly
3) I was able to run the game @my native 2560x1440 without a problem using *direct 3D** instead of overlay! (See note below--in original post)
4) US patch now runs without difficulty

___

I had installed the game, then installed the US patch...and that's where the problems began--and surprisingly *ended* immediately upon correcting the sound card configuration settings error in the GOG install.

Game runs perfectly now, US patch, etc. Hope this helps those who have problems!
Post edited September 06, 2017 by waltc
avatar
F4LL0UT: Today I fired the game up for the first time ever and it ran perfectly fine out of the box. Sound good, visuals good, videos good, performance good. It was even already set up to play General MIDI music (while, for some reason, GOG at least used to set most games up to play Adlib music by default). Incidentally I also use VirtualMIDISynth. And after reading your post I actually checked the conf file. IRQ is indeed 7 but the game doesn't mind at all. And I actually installed it ages ago, so the config wasn't fixed by a recent update or anything.

So, well, the default settings are just fine (and if many other people had been running into the issues you described this game's sub forum would look a lot different). My guess is that the problems you encountered only happen after using the "US patch". Don't know if you're using the one from the sticky thread but some users are describing the stuff you mentioned after applying said patch.

Anyway, thanks. I wasn't aware that there was a patch, will try it myself ASAP as the default controls are atrocious (sadly the download is RIDICULOUSLY slow).

Also, I don't know where you got it from that Realms of the Haunting is an "early, early DOS game". I mean, it's from 1996, that's like the final generation of DOS games, one year later many developers didn't even bother making DOS versions of their games anymore.
Preface: In reading your post again, F4LLout, I wasn't sure from reading it if you were talking about your experience with the Gog game stock, or post the US Patch application...? I should have been more clear, but I see now that my post was addressing the stock GOG game install & immediately after the US Patch application--everything changed into the green after the patch installation as soon as I corrected the IRQ setting from 7 to 5.--That's when everything, including the US patch, began working as advertised....

...Whew...;)

"This game's sub forum"...Lol...;) Sometimes I think the three of us (in this thread--me, you, and Z) may be the only ones playing the game atm!...;) I hope not--it's a great game...but, some people today have little patience with configuration/Dosbox, etc...

About the IRQ problems I had...this is the *second time* this happened to me in configuring this game under Dosbox (first time was years ago--but the first time I played the game I played it under real DOS on a real DOS machine--my God--I'm so *old*!!! lol...well, it happens to us all eventually!) I use only SVN-Duam dosbox (and I use the included 64-bit version of Dosbox for this game) so maybe that is what caused me those particular problems. The IRQ setting of 5 I mention I took from the game's default settings configuration file...That's how I knew to try another IRQ as a last resort to get it to run properly--which happened to work for me. (During the process of fixing it *this time* I recalled the first time I had the problem with the game. ) However, the game is shipped from GOG expecting IRQ 5--not 7--which you verified yourself...so...by even GOG's default setup the configuration is wrong...That's all I wanted to mention--and it is--wrong--that is...;) Glad it ran for you even configured wrong--sometimes that does happen with Dosbox running under Windows--but sometimes wrong dosbox configs simply don't work--as happened with me...

Last, what I meant about "early dos games" was--I thought I was fairly clear on this--was how early dos games were configured--often they required *specific* IRQ and DMA settings for the sound card--and they would not run without them. I recall early DOS games that even came with so-called "configuration" programs that were actually useless--change the IRQ and or DMA--and suddenly the game won't run any longer, even though the assumption is that the configuration program exists to *allow* you to change them at will! That's what I was talking about--the behavior reminded me of the earliest DOS games...;) (Not that it was itself among those earliest DOS games, lol...)

OK, just to be clear, as apparently I wasn't clear enough the first time, the original post was meant to be helpful as opposed to critical or confrontational. Glad you didn't have the problems I alluded to, but some will, as I did--as indeed, the shipping configuration for the IRQ is wrong--the game is set internally for one IRQ, 5, but the DOSbox version GOG ships is configured for the wrong IRQ when the game is installed, 7--which may (as in my case) cause problems or may not cause a show-stopper (as in your case.) There's nothing to criticize, because the game runs well after a few basic steps/tips are performed, if you are one of those like me who had problems in the initial setup. Indeed, it's amazing how well the game runs and plays after all of this time, and on the latest version of Win10x64 beta builds, too...;)

Hopefully you now understand my points a bit better. It was simply reference info for anyone having a problem with installing and running the game. If they aren't having problems they likely wouldn't even read the post in the first place. Helpful troubleshooting posts can be invaluable for people who don't know their way around the block--it's just my way of helping out where I can...I know that when I didn't know a keyboard from a mouse long years ago that such posts did--and occasionally still do manage to help me out--it's a way of returning the favor, etc.
Post edited September 06, 2017 by waltc
avatar
waltc: After dusting off my GOG copy of RotH once again, and setting it up to run at my native resolution of 2560x1440, in Windows10x64, I encountered some configuration problems in doing so, and thought I'd share the very simple remedy for them:

The GOG installer for Dosbox sets the sb16 settings as follows:

IRQ=7
DMA=1
HDMA=5

But when you boot the game for the first time you will have problems running the initial videoclips and you'll note

1)that if you have a MIDI player (I use CoolSoft VirtualMidiSynth--highly recommended) set to the x330 port (standard) then all you will hear is Midi Music as the sound effects aren't playing at all--because they cannot because the sound card is improperly configured for this game by the GOG install routine.

2)The colors when the game runs look off, especially in dark areas, and

3) You will be unable to configure the game to run in any other mode besides Overlay.

4) You attempt to install the US version of the game and discover when trying to run it that it doesn't want to run!

Explanation and cure for all of the above: RotH just so happens to be one of those early, early DOS games hard coded to use specific sound blaster 16 settings. The problem is that it expects the DOS environment (dosbox) to be correctly configured for the SB16 *else* the user will have *lots* of problems getting the game to run without any of the above three consequences making it almost impossible to run the game properly and configure it as you like. Usually, this is not a big problem today--but back then it was common to see games hardcoded to use specific settings for the sound card and many early DOS games simply refused to run at all if the sound card was misconfigured--or you'd get the kind of problems I saw today with trying to run RotH.

Here are the settings the game expects for the SB16 in the dosboxROTH.conf settings file:

[sblaster]

*sbtype=sb16
*sbbase=220
*irq=5
*dma=1
*hdma=5
sbmixer=true
oplmode=auto
oplemu=default
oplrate=49716
hardwarebase=220
goldplay=false

* = Required by the game. The rest I run as well but their settings may vary from these if you wish.

It's interesting to note that although the game includes an install.exe file, the purpose of which ostensibly was to allow the user to change things like sound-card/midi settings--for some reason it does not work at all for me. I note that when GOG ships a game with a settings configuration file, like the dosboxROTH_settings.conf file that ships with the game, GOG always includes an icon labeled "Change Settings" or something similar that allows you to run the settings file (like install.exe, in this case) to change the settings file separately if needed. But GOG provides no way for the user to run install.exe unless he hand edits the game shortcut himself...;)

At any rate, here's what simply changing the sound-card dosbox settings file completely and instantly cleared up:

1) All beginning introductory videoclips run perfectly
2) The crazy colors the game was putting out in dark areas disappeared and the game displayed correctly
3) I was able to run the game @my native 2560x1440 without a problem using *direct 3D** instead of overlay! (See note below)
4) US patch now runs without difficulty

Hard to believe such simple settings could make such a difference, eh? Actually, I had already been through this once a couple of years back but I had forgotten about it! Had me baffled for awhile there today, I can tell you! I have seen a few DOS games that even when you run the sound configuration settings and change them by that program, which you assume will allow you to play the game with different settings--that the game *still won't run* until it sees the settings it expects for the sound card! Crazy, but true!

Note: I use Dosbox SVN-Daum instead of the GOG version of DOSbox because it allows you to use direct3d and shaders, as well as a 64-bit version of dosbox.exe, which really make a nice difference in the display output, especially in games like this that can only be run in much higher resolutions if *scaled* up by your GPU hardware--the pixel shader HQ2x.fx, for instance, makes the game appear far less pixellated than is the case normally. It also has the effect of smoothing out scaled text, too. Definitely worth it, imo. It's *the* version of dosbox specifically made for gaming--surprised GOG isn't using it. Dosbox SVN-Daum is available here:

http://ykhwong.x-y.net/

Get the January 25, 2015 version as its the most recent and works very well with Win10x64, too. To get you started, here are the first few lines of my dosboxROTH.conf

fullscreen=true
fulldouble=false
fullresolution=2560x1440
windowresolution=original
output=direct3d
autolock=true
sensitivity=100
waitonerror=true
priority=higher,normal
mapperfile=mapper-SVN-Daum.map
pixelshader=HQ2x.fx
usescancodes=true
overscan=0

Just rename the GOG dosbox folder to "DosboxGOG" and rename the DosBox SVN-Daum folder to "Dosbox," and away you go! Hope this info will be of service for someone! This is a classic game, imo.
Thanks for this Waltc, I was trying to fire this game up using DosBoxDaum and an SC-55 and it works beautifully now!
I saw this game on the Halloween sale on Steam for a dollar, and decided to pick it up there because it's a whole extra dollar on sale over-here.

That being said I've used all the GOG forums to troubleshoot this game because c'mon: This is where the answers are.

The basic goal I had was to get this to run with the correct aspect ratio. (This game has FMV's. There's a fish-eye lens shot when you grab the lantern in the beginning that looks goofy as hell when stretched. The cutscene's were shot not to be stretched :/) and then also fix the horrendous controls.

Reconfigured DosBox keys. Super easy to do. Ran the "Shift" script, thanks for that one too GOG forums. Got that done.

But then to get it with the correct aspect ratio I began to notice horrendous performance issues. Smooth framerates one moment, a slide-show the next. Also reading the letters in my inventory and textures on walls was basically impossible. Then after reading this post I read that you could add shaders with a different version of DosBox. Attempted to replace the game's DosBox on my Steam version, and tossed the cycles in my config to "max" just for the hell of it.

It runs perfectly. Besides the controls, but, ya'know whaddya gunna do about that?

Between it's default controls and default config, I kinda wish GOG (Because Steam's version is basically the GOG version. There's literally GOG files in the directory of the game.) would maybe take another look at this game and maybe patch it? It took me a couple days to get this to work, I don't think many other new players to this game would have really taken the time to see how to get this running at maximum quality.

Anyway big thanks to this thread. It helped a ton and I appreciate it.
Hi Folks, I'll bump this older topic as maybe some of you might help.
I've just followed every single step that @waltc mentioned (many thanks for your post by the way!), everything runs smoothly until I just start the game.

Intro movies run just fine, first screen inside the mansion, before you start a new game, runs fine as well with music etc... however, after I start a new game and choose the difficulty levels, and after the "Chapter One" movie, all sounds either stop, including music, or they're all messed up.

Any recommendation to fix this issue?

Thanks!
Thanks for posting this.
Solved few issues on my Steam version thanks to this topic. It's not exactly the same for Steam, but it's very close.
Great game, BTW.
Post edited October 12, 2020 by AnGeLZzZ
I've followed the instructions in the first post but no matter what settings I pick in the configurator, I get a huge frame like a UI or something around a tiny centered window which is the actual game screen. Any ideas?
Post edited October 21, 2020 by aldrahn
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aldrahn: I've followed the instructions in the first post but no matter what settings I pick in the configurator, I get a huge frame like a UI or something around a tiny centered window which is the actual game screen. Any ideas?
It took me a while to figure it out, but I had a similar problem and it turns out the Configurator is useless. It doesn't seem to change settings. You have to go into the actual Dosbox config file and change stuff, so change the settings in dosboxROTH.conf and save them and you should be set.
The provided link for the suggested Dosbox build is broken. It is now here: https://github.com/ykhwong/dosbox-svn-daum/releases
avatar
Zanderat: The provided link for the suggested Dosbox build is broken. It is now here: https://github.com/ykhwong/dosbox-svn-daum/releases
This link still works fine for me:

http://ykhwong.x-y.net/

..but either link will do.
Post edited April 02, 2021 by waltc
weird. I was having the bad graphical bug in dark rooms after installing the US patch after downloading the game with Galaxy. The fixes in the original post did nothing. So then I uninstalled from galaxy, and reinstalled from an offline installer, added the game to gog, then added the US patch and there is no graphical glitch even though I did not do any of the fixes in the original post.
Post edited April 08, 2021 by Goopydop