Might and Magic in Vista
How to Make Might and Magic Games Work in Vista

 

This page will give basic instructions for how to get the venerable classic Might and Magic role-playing computer games to work on a computer running Microsoft Vista. This is NOT a hacker site and will NOT explain how to pirate these games. I own purchased copies and I expect you to also.

Disclaimer: I am not a programmer or expert. I make no guarantees of any kind. These techniques worked for me but they may not work for you.

 

When I started this page I assumed it would be complex and I would have to do a lot of digging, but my hat is off to the Microsoft programmers. I really did not have many problems getting any of these great games to work. What follows are some tools and techniques to get yours to work as well.

 

Prerequisites:

 


Might and Magic 1-3

I don't play these games, so although I have them as part of the Millenium Edition, I have never bothered to install them. However, since they are fullscreen DOS games, they should work via dosbox just like Xeen.

 

 


Might and Magic Millennium Edition

Might and Magic 4 & 5 - The World of Xeen

Summary: Runs correctly, no video glitches in either fullscreen or windowed mode. Sound works fine but speech does not work for me.

I used to have the actual Xeen box games, but somehow I lost them so I now have the purchasable "Millennium Edition," thus this guide only covers it. However, I think its exactly the same as the original.

I tried double-clicking on the install of disk #3 (world of Xeen disk 1) and going through it, it works just fine but fails when it tries to run Xeen because its a fullscreen dos game.

Installing Via DOSBox

Running Dosbox (see prerequisites above) I typed in the following commands:

    mount c c:\        (note: this will give you a warning about mounting the root of c but you can ignore it)
    mount d f:\ -t cdrom -usecd 0 -ioctl     (note, my cd-rom drive is "f", if yours is "d" or "e" then use that letter as the second parameter.

(At this point, inside the dos window, the C: drive is the root of C: and the D: drive is the cdrom)
type:

    d:
    install

It should install into the C:\WORLD folder and run the sound configure. DOSbox is configured to provide soundblaster support so it should be able to make it all work.

Once its all done, type:

c:
cd \world
Xeen

and you should be playing the game. Once you are confident it works, lets set it up correctly in the games-explorer.

Setting Up Games Explorer

This is kind of weird, but when manually adding something to the games explorer, you must name it the right thing to start with, everything else is changable but the name. To get the name right, go to the DOSBOX folder, right-click on dosbox.exe and select "create shortcut". You will be told it cannot create the shortcut there, so have it placed on the desktop.

Once the shortcut is on the desktop, rename it to be something like "Might and Magic World of Xeen", then open the games-explorer and drag the icon into it. What I get is a big DOSBOX icon with the correct name. The next step is to fix the icon.

Right-click on the icon, select "Customize" and then "Edit," select the "shortcut" tab and click "Change icon." I browsed to my MM6 folder and used the dragon-head inside the MM6.exe file

Now change the "Target" field, it probably reads:

"C:\Program Files\DOSBox-0.65\DOSBox.exe"

change it to read:

"C:\Program Files\DOSBox-0.65\DOSBox.exe" -conf xeen.conf

this assumes you have a file called "xeen.conf" in the dosbox directory.

(note: your dosbox version may not be .65 in which ase your path might change a little)

You can create a "xeen.conf" file by copying the "dosbox.conf" file and adding the code you manually typed at the bottom of it. For your convenience I have a xeen.conf file that works for me. It might work for you or you may need to tweak it a bit, check the last 3 lines in the file.

 


Might and Magic VI

Might and Magic 6 - The Mandate of Heaven

Summary: Runs correctly, no glitches or problems.

I ran the install directly from the cd, I did not select "Run As Administrator" or any special compatibility modes or anything. Following the install, it adds itself to the games-explorer.

My install disk installs version 1.0 of the game. Next I installed the 1.2 update. You can download the patch from my website by clicking on MM6-10to12patch

Note: There is an unsupported "XP Update" floating around the net, its readme says "This modified mm6.exe should only be used if the original executable causes a division exception." I did not need to install it.

 


Might and Magic VII

Might and Magic 7 - For Blood and Honor

Summary: Runs in Hardware Accelerated video mode (with minor glitch) and 3D audio works (with minor glitch).

I ran the install directly from the cd, I did not select "Run As Administrator" or any special compatibility modes or anything. When it complains about hardware and software, select continue to get past it. Following the install, it adds itself to the games-explorer as a game that runs in administrative mode (as shown by the shield) though for some reason it links to the setup program rather than the game itself. Once you have the setup info set correctly, to fix it, right click on the icon in Games-Explorer, select customize then edit.  Change the final part of the target field from MM7Setup.exe to MM7.exe. You may not want to change it though. I hav discovered if anything goes wrong (i.e. a lockup or crash) on my system it defaults back to "windowed" and I have to run the setup program and select "full-screen" again.

My install disk installs version 1.0 of the game. Next I installed the 1.1 update. You can download the patch from my website by clicking on MM7v11patch

Next install the "After 1.1 XP Compatibility patch" which has more updates. You can download the patch from my website by clicking on MM7afterXPpatch

Following all of this I was able to get the game to run fullscreen in software 3D mode with 3d audio turned on. Hardware accelerated mode locked up the game.

I then selected the MM7.EXE file, opened its properties and changed its compatibility settings "Windows XP Compatibility Mode" and made sure that "run this program as an administrator" was selected as shown:

Following that, it ran fine in hardware accelerated mode.

Note: I also did this for the MM7Setup.exe file in the folder as it calls MM7 if you run the setup program first.

Special Note: In Hardware Accelerated Mode, I have to hit a key while the "3DO" letters are floating to abort the logo. If I wait until they finish, the game locks up complaining about a missing file. I don't know if this is just my installation or disks or what but the problem is solved by hitting a key quickly.

Note: It did display a strange flicker when the quest book was blinking. On my display, this was solved by selecting "Run in 640x480 Screen Resolution" in the dialog box shown above. Though I don't know if everyone will need that.

Note: Using Creative Alchemy 1.00.08 I was able to get 3d audio working. I noticed one time the volume on the music stayed at full even though I have it set low, other times it was correct.

 


Might and Magic VIII

Might and Magic 8 - Day of the Destroyer

Summary: Runs fullscreen in hardware accelerated mode and EAX sound

I ran the install directly from the cd, I did not select "Run As Administrator" or any special compatibility modes or anything. When it complains about DirectX I told it not to install the old DirectX. Following the install, it adds itself to the games-explorer as a game that runs in administrative mode (as shown by the shield) though for some reason it links to the setup program rather than the game itself.

My install disk installs version 1.0 of the game (the only official release) an official patch was never released, however an unofficial patch came out that fixed a bunch of things. At the time of this writing (fall 2007) it can be downloaded from http://strony.aster.pl/mokmtg/mm8_eng_xp.exe (note: this link no longer works and I cannot find a working one)

Note: Using Creative Alchemy 1.00.08 I was able to get EAX audio working. I had no problems with fullscreen hardware video but windowed video did not function (an error about a missing file popped up)


Might and Magic IX

Might and Magic IX

Summary: Runs in hardware accelerated mode and 3D EAX sound

I ran the install directly from the cd, I did not select "Run As Administrator" or any special compatibility modes or anything. When it complains about DirectX I told it not to install. Following the install, it adds itself to the games-explorer.

My install disk installs version 1.0 of the game. Next I installed the 1.2 update. You can download the patch from my website by clicking on MM9-10to12patch

Following all of this I was able to get the game to run correctly after resolving some weird anomalies. FSAA (Anti-Aliasing) seems to cause MM9 a lot of problems. Note the abnormal screenshots below. Once I disabled FSAA in my display driver configuration screen, the game ran normally.

 

Another glitch: After any load screen (where the map is shown and the tiny ship sails back and forth) the game appears to have locked up. If I alt-tab to the desktop and then go back into the game, it starts right up and I can see the screen.

Note: another player has had some problems with IX and was able to solve them. Attached is the posting:

I saved my saved games to my desktop and reinstalled the game the way you say 
to at your web site.  This time however I did not install the 1.3 patch (only 
the 1.2 patch.)  I also changed my screen resolution to 800 by 600 with 32 
bit color.  Now the alt+tab trick works.  It takes a while (half a minute to 
three minutes (in one instance,)) but the game so far does manage to get past 
the loading-screen glitch.  
I also removed all of the graphic extras provided by the game 
(triple-buffering, one pass, shadows, environmental mapping, etc.) but I am 
so far hesitant to reactivate them.  I do not yet know if any of them were 
interfering with the loading glitch.

An unofficial 1.3a patch has been released by fan programmers. It resolves many problems in both questing and execution. At the time of this writing (fall 2008) you can download it from Unofficial 1.3a patch

I have been experiencing very long delays (I am talking about minutes) any time I tried to open inventory, menu, spellbook, etc.

I received this note from a fellow player who mentioned problems with long wait times. He found a solution, another unofficial patch. You can download the patch from my website by clicking on MM9-Cshell-patch

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