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Exile fix for x64 Windows


Ivan [Redacted]
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While looking for an x64 version of NTVDM in the hopes of running Exile on a Win7 x64 tablet and my Win10 x64 desktop, I came across a utility called OTVDM that enables 16-bit Windows applications to run on a 64-bit machine, and my experience playing Exile with it was utterly flawless, while NTVDM froze constantly.
Anyway, here's a link to the page for OTVDM:
http://www.columbia.edu/~em36/otvdm.html
I used the Inno Installer link partway down and other than a false positive from my antivirus, it worked perfectly. Just installed, rebooted, and tested all 4 Exile titles,  all of which ran with no issues. After years of setting up Virtual Machines and dualboots with 32-bit Windows, I can finally play these games natively on a current-gen OS.
Hopefully this helps the community out, I've seen countless threads about playing Exile on x64 systems in my time lurking here, and finally there's a better answer than "Use your old computer or a virtual PC/DOSBox".
EDIT: Forgot to mention, custom resolutions are a godsend in making these games fit nicely on modern resolutions and aspect ratios. Been using 888x500 as a 16:9 res for my tablet to run Exile, https://calculateaspectratio.com/ will help calculating resolutions needed for a nice fit, just choose aspect ratio and type in a height above 480 pixels, and the calculator will do the rest.
Nearly every graphics card, even Intel HD Graphics, has an option for setting up custom resolutions in their control panel software.

Edited by Ivan [Redacted]
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I don't know what that means. I'm saying the open source BoE versions currently distributed do not work properly, but legacy BoE does, using this fix. At least this way players can still enjoy the community-made adventures again. I'm trying to make a new one, in fact, using legacy BoE,

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19 hours ago, Ivan [Redacted] said:

While looking for an x64 version of NTVDM in the hopes of running Exile on a Win7 x64 tablet and my Win10 x64 desktop, I came across a utility called OTVDM that enables 16-bit Windows applications to run on a 64-bit machine, and my experience playing Exile with it was utterly flawless,

I was dreaming of that! Thank you! :D

 

Going to try it.

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Side note, anyone trying this out, post your results. While it works fine on both my desktop and tablet, I wouldn't be surprised if some systems have different results.
Knowing what configurations are working fine and if any have issues would help with troubleshooting and checking if this is worth using as a common answer to "How do I play Exile on my new PC?"
I suspect Windows for ARM processors could have issues due to effectively running an emulator within an emulator, but don't have any devices on hand to test with.

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16 hours ago, Ivan [Redacted] said:

Side note, anyone trying this out, post your results. While it works fine on both my desktop and tablet, I wouldn't be surprised if some systems have different results.

I will.  :)

 

A fast description of my system:

  • Windows 7 SP1 up to date,
  • processors: 8, 2 threads, 4 cores, Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-6700HQ CPU @ 2.60GHz,
  • display: HD Graphics 530 (I don't think the GPU will be used to run Exile),
  • memory: 8 Gb.

 

Edit: I've managed to install Exile - Escape From the Pit but not where I wanted, it was on C:\ or nowhere. :)

 

I started the game and, wow, pretty minimum and the dialogue system certainly needs some getting used to. :lol:

 

Pity I cannot run it full screen... I've chosen a resolution of 928 x 522.

 

1596204953.jpg

 

I've found a way to keep the map visible.

 

1596211899.jpg

 

Edited by ladyonthemoon
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1 hour ago, Warrior Mage said:

My PC is to evolve from Windows XP to Windows 8.1. I have E1 to BoE(legacy) in my hard disk, will it run fine on 8.1?

OTVDM works fine for me on both 7 and 10, and I believe it says it's 8.1-compatible as well. Can't see any reason it wouldn't work, this is a fix for 64-bit Windows in general rather than any specific version.
Side note, 32-bit versions of post-Vista Windows should work without OTVDM, not that it's necessary when there's a working x64 fix that seems less troublesome than I remember 8's 32-bit version being
By the way, you should get Classic Shell if you're swapping from XP to 8, that way you'll have a Start menu that doesn't feel utterly foreign and isn't made for touchscreens rather than traditional inputs.

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21 minutes ago, Celtic Minstrel said:

If you mean dialog boxes, that system changed between E2 and E3. E2 dialogs were basic native dialogs, the same as E1.

 

No, the talking system. It was refined and made nicer. Exile 1 through 3, left to right. E3's is integrated into the main window, replacing the terrain view.

 

ExileTalking.png

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On 8/9/2020 at 11:19 AM, The Almighty Doer of Stuff said:

 

No, the talking system. It was refined and made nicer. Exile 1 through 3, left to right. E3's is integrated into the main window, replacing the terrain view.

 

 

Yeah, E2's talking system is pretty much identical to E1's. Okay, so maybe it looks a little nicer, but it's functionally the same.

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14 hours ago, The Almighty Doer of Stuff said:

Well, no. In Exile 3, keyword clicking becomes available, and there are extra permanent keywords along the bottom for convenience. I'd consider the GUI to be part of the system. The underlying talk-node subsystem is the same, of course.

Those "extra permanent keywords" existed in E2 and E1 too, though, as buttons. The only real difference in E3 (other than the appearance) is that you can click keywords to ask about them. Still, I think that's quite a big difference.

 

10 hours ago, Thaluikhain said:

Playing E1 (I'm able to play E1 for the first time, woo!) makes me miss E3's talking system.  Also, right clicking to look and the newer sound effects.

 

(Gah, these constant wandering monsters are a pain)

Right-clicking to look was a feature exclusive to Windows users until OBoE.

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On 8/12/2020 at 9:54 PM, The Almighty Doer of Stuff said:

At the time, Mac mice typically only had one button, IIRC.

Yeah, that is true, but I think it's also around the time where Macs added the convention of a right-click being equivalent to a control-click to open a context menu.

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Hey Ivan, thanks for sharing this method.

 

I realized I started Exile 2 a bunch of separate times but never got more than halfway through the game, so I had a hankering to start playing it again today. Unfortunately, while the game ran very smoothly, any sound effects were oddly choppy -- they would seem to get cut off in the first half a second or so. A lot of people would probably say that the sound effects in Exile are not its strong point, but I got really nostalgic for them and I couldn't play the game without them! Speaking of, the outdoor "entering combat" tune in E2 has to be my favorite of all of the combat tunes, Exile or Avernum.

 

However, I did see a post here about how Old-Games packed the Exile 2 program into a self-contained downloadable version of DosBox running Windows 3.1. I used DosBox and Win 3.1 to run Exile years ago, but didn't want to go through the hassle again, but since this was self-contained, there were no headaches regarding finding a old copy of Windows, mounting a drive, and even installing Exile. This method worked for me, and did not have any sound issues.

 

Edit: I apologize for posting the Old-Games link. If anyone is curious, it is easy to search that site and find Exile 2 and see the files I am talking about.

 

I ran the "Download - Easy Setup (11.8 MB)" file which just unzips a couple folders and .BAT files into a folder of your choosing -- not sure if there is a difference between the two setup files they include. The download is annoyingly slow, but I was happy that it worked. Like I said, there wasn't any messing around with DOSBox, just running the "START THE GAME.BAT" file they included. I do have some mouse cursor flickering issues but no sluggishness that other people mentioned in this thread

 

Now, somehow I swore I played E2 a lot more recently than my copied save files show (2010) and that I was significantly farther in the game ... but it will be fun to play it again 😉 

Edited by Hondero
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15 hours ago, Hondero said:

Edit: I apologize for posting the Old-Games link. If anyone is curious, it is easy to search that site and find Exile 2 and see the files I am talking about.

Just to clear up the reasoning on that, as a ready-to-play version of Exile it must contain proprietary, copyrighted software from either Microsoft or Apple (in this specific case, Windows 3.1; possibly also proprietary SoundBlaster software, though I didn't look closely at it). Even though the software is no longer sold, it's still not allowed to distribute it, particularly on these forums. :)

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7 minutes ago, Warrior Mage said:

Just curious to ask, does anyone still use 16-bit OS like Windows 3.1 in a real/virtual (non emulated) machine to run Exile?

I still have it on two old computers that run Window 3.1. I don't use the computers that often, but I keep them around for access to older games and files that I haven't transferred to my newest computer.  I don't need online access just to play a game. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Just wanted to confirm that this does work. Win7 SP1.

Used the installer version of otvdm that Ivan pointed to. Installed ok. Created shortcuts for exile 1, 2, 3 and Blades.

 

All bar Exile 1 work without a hitch. Exile 1 keeps complaining outdoor.dat isn't in the same folder as the exe. The other three games, no problem.

 

I have made it work. For some reason, I have to open otvdmw.exe manually, it asks me to pick an exe to run. I point it to EXILE.EXE, game runs, I can create a party and start a game. I've finally been able to play Exile 1. (insert celebration here).

Chalked it up to the oddities that is the first game of a series.

 

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  • 4 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I'm very glad to be able to play BoE on my 64-bit machine, thanks to the OTVDMW fix already mentioned.

 

However, it is not as stable as some have claimed it to be. Unless there is something that wasn't mentioned elsewhere, here are some fo the few problems I found.

 

1) The game plays just fine albeit more slowly, until... it starts acting weird. The major issue that shows up eventually is casting spells. All of a sudden, the spell window does not open up properly, but sort of superimposes in transparency against the main window background, and no button works, except the 'cast' button which simply closes this aborting window. The only way to get out of this problem is to save the game, and quit using the Windows Task manager (since the 'quit game' does not work anymore either when the 'spells problem' shows up). When opening BoE again, the issue has resolved itself, but will eventually come back.

 

2) Even when the game works just fine (minus the speed which is always slower), I found a minor glitch but that shows there are some 'bugs' that the OTVDMW does not take in charge. The only such glitch that never seems to work properly despite my several attempts has to do with using the 'capture soul/simulacre' dual functionality. I can 'capture any creature I want (well, the ones one can with the classical game...), except that it ALWAYS capture it in a single slot, i.e. slot 1. Any attempt to capture a second creature 'soul' automatically succeeds by overwriting the previous one occupying slot 1. In other words, one can only capture one creature, and the 3 other slots don't seem to exist anymore (or don't seem to work at all). It's not a matter of "chance" , as I tried it several times in a row and it ALWAYS captures a creature soul in the same slot! Annying but at least I can play a few hours, until "spells" don't work and one cannot quit the game properly other than using the Windows Task Manager.

 

I guess my questions are:

 

1) Did anyone experience any of these problems?

2) And if so, do you know what can one do to prevent them? Of course, it's the stability problem that is the most worrying...

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Sorry you're having trouble. From where did you download BoE?

 

I ask because I wonder if you're playing an unstable copy of open-source BoE, instead of legacy BoE. The OTVDM software will work with legacy BoE. Try this, maybe? Let me know if it works. http://www.bladesofexile.com/

Edited by The Almighty Doer of Stuff
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O Almighty Doer of Stuff,

 

You DO have almighty powers indeed, Your Grace (I know such language makes you feel good, so I'm buttering it heavily 😆). You answered my prayers with a heavenly advise that only the highest sages can fathom in the dark depths of obscurity in which us, miserable vermin, ignorant animalcules, insignificant specks of nothingness, struggle for their very survival in these black abysses that only Your light can penetrate.

 

So I duly followed your advise, O wisest among the very wise, and as I expected from your infallible scrutiny into the deep recesses of the gelatinous blob that I sometimes call my brain, and, as sure as You are the Almighty DOS, the Blades are back from the temporary exile in which my carelessness had forgotten them, and I can now capture 4 souls if I wish to. I am infinitely grateful for having had the kindness of allowing me an audience in Your Exile Palace.

 

I will not steal more of your time, precious and rare as mithral, and leave you a profusion of thanks, as thanks are the only currency I can use to pay you an insignificant particle of all that I owe you for having given me the keys to the Lands of Exile. And from this day onward, I will be your devoted servant, even your serf if you ask me to, for You are not only infinitely wise, but infinitely kind, generous and charitable in those difficult times where the Empire has sent that Crowned Plague (which is one of the names they have used to call that abominable calamity). May the Fungus Necklace that Empress Prozac sent you to protect you from the Crowned Plague and any of its evil effects.

 

Your eternally devoted

 

Agmatine

 

P.S.: It works much better now! I immediately knew it would be different this time since  as soon as I intalled it because the font in the top menu was different. There seems to be a slightly slower speed in the execution, but since the "Capture Soul" now works for more slots, I'm assuming I now have the best combination available. I'll update you if I still detect stability issues (especially in the spells department), but if you don't hear back from me, you may assume all is well, etc.  Thanks!!!

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