>Running Ultima Underworld I / II / Ultima 8 in Windows XP / Windows Vista / Windows 7
Running Ultima Underworld I / II / Ultima 8 in Windows XP / Windows Vista / Windows 7 by Ganesh
Yes folks, its now possible to run Ultima Underworld and Ultima 8 in Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista and Windows 7! There are two ways, one is by the native Windows way using VDMSound, the other is via DOSBox. This guide will cover the DOSBox way.
DOSBox emulates an Intel x86 PC, complete with sound, graphics, mouse, modem, etc., necessary for running many old DOS games that simply cannot be run on modern PCs and operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Linux and FreeBSD.
This means, we can play the Ultima games like old times, in a DOS window, or full screen! This guide focuses on getting the game running under DOSBox.
What You Need
- A copy of Ultima Underworld I and/or Ultima Underworld II and/or Ultima 8
- DOSBox (download the Windows Win32 installer here)
Setting up DOSBox
- Download and install DOSBox accepting all default options - just keep hitting Next.
- Go to Start > Programs > DOSBox-(XX) > Options > DOSBox (XX) Options to open up DOSBox.conf.
Dosbox Configuration File
This is the DOSBox configuration file. Here we will configure DOSBox to properly emulate the game's preferred environment.
- Search for and replace the following values in the file by going to Edit > Replace > Enter Text in 'Find what' and 'Replace With'. Note: If you have already altered DOSBox, you will need to reset it by going to Start > Programs > DOSBox-(XX) > Options > Reset Options.
||..Replace it with
- We need to find out what is your desktop resolution. Go to Start > Control Panel > Display > Settings. Under "Screen Resolution", it will say XXXX by XXXX pixels. For most folks, it is either "1280 x 1024" or "1920 x 1024". Assuming "1280 x 1024", we need to remove the spaces and get 1280x1024.
||..Modify/Change the value to..
Remember to substitute 1280x1024 with your own display resolution.
- Now comes some DOS Stuff. At the end of the same file, we have to add some DOS commands to setup Ultima Underworld and Ultima 8 automatically on starting up DOSBox.
For this guide, we are going to assume that the Ultima Underworld I files are placed in a folder named "UW1" (note: keep to less than 8 characters for DOS compatibility). Ultima Underworld II is placed in a folder named "UW2". Both are in the C drive. So the DOS way to represent this folder would be
C:\UW1 (for Ultima Underworld I)
C:\UW2 (for Ultima Underworld II)
C:\U8 (for Ultima 8)
If you had placed the games in a folder named GAMES, it would look like this
C:\GAMES\UW1 (for Ultima Underworld I)
C:\GAMES\UW1 (for Ultima Underworld II)
C:\GAMES\U8 (for Ultima Ultima 8)
To get DOSBox to recognize this folder, we have to ADD the following to the END of the DOSBox.conf file. That means, going all the way to the bottom of the file and putting the below lines:
mount c: C:\UW1 (Replace "C:\UW1" with another folder name if you are using a different folder, for Underworld I only)
mount d: C:\UW2 (Replace "C:\UW2" with another folder name if you are using a different folder, for Underworld II only)
mount e: C:\U8 (Replace "C:\U8" with another folder name if you are using a different folder, for Ultima 8 only)
- To increase the volume of the MIDI sound effects to be on level with the audio effects, ADD this line
mixer fm +250
- DOSBox now recognizes the two games as two separate drives. Note that all these are emulated, so your real C:\UW1 is now a C Drive and C:\UW2 is now a D Drive in DOSBox.
- Save the file and close. Run DOSBox. To access Underworld I, type
Likewise, if you want to access Ultima Underworld II folder, type
And for Ultima 8
- Configure each of the games by executing INSTALL at the prompt (for each game) and selecting Sound Blaster Pro, Sound Blaster Pro for DOSBox sound emulation to work properly.
For Ultima 8, you need to enter "Change Sound Configuration" specify as defaults, except IRQ as 7. The default 5 will not work and cause the audio effects to get cut off after the first 10 seconds.
- Now run the game and enjoy!
UW (for Ultima Underworld I)
UW2 (for Ultima Underworld II)
U8 (for Ultima 8)
- To switch it in full screen, press Alt+Enter together.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Where can I get Ultima Underworld I: The Stygian Abyss and/or Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds and/or Ultima VIII: Pagan?
You will need to try Amazon or Ebay second hand purchases as these games are no longer in production. Perhaps GOG may get hold of the rights soon.
||Whenever I exit the game for Ultima Underworlds, the command prompt does not return?
Most likely you have applied Sir Cabirus's Windows patch. This patch is not necessary when you run the game under DOSBox, but it doesn't seem to do any harm other than this exit problem.
The speed is too slow / fast! How can I make it run slower / faster?
Hit Ctrl+F11 to decrease the CPU cycle usage as it may be too high, or hit Ctrl+F12 to increase CPU Cycle. In my 3GHz system, I had to bump it to 13000 cycles to get it up to normal speed. The cycles is shown on the window title bar.
The voices are booming much louder than the sound effects!
This should not be a issue anymore as the command "mixer fm +350" (already in the above config) makes the MIDI sound effects in line with the Guardian voice.
The image looks quite blurish when I play the game on my LCD screen!
Try setting the scaler value in the DOSBOX.conf file to some other alternative value described here.
For those who are using CRTs displays, you will be able to enjoy the game in its original visuals by setting the scaler to none. However, some bigger CRTs such as 19 inch CRTs do not support 320 x 200 so you have to leave it at normal2x or hq2x.
Errors? Omissions? Need Help? Know something? Post your thoughts in the comments below.
This document is Copyright(©) 2001-2010 by G.Ganesh.
Last Updated 29th October 2010