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Drakan on a Windows 8.1 tablet

Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:46 am
by shoprat
I spent a few hours last night trying to get Drakan installed on an asus t100 tablet with no luck. The tablet uses an intel chip and is supposed to be able to run legacy programs. It starts the install process but only runs for about 15-20 seconds then the disk activity light goes out on the drive and the install stops with no error messages. Is it possible to run OOTF on a win 8.1 system?

I tried to get the Gold pack off AXE'S site but my provider doesn't allow torrents. I'm stuck here dragonless in need of my favorite game fix. I sure would like to have drakan for on the go game playing.

I was able to get Heretic II to install so I suspect the problem may be the graphics driver or improper DirectX version is being emulated. Just a wild asp guess. Any ideas?

Re: Drakan on a Windows 8.1 tablet

Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:38 pm
by UCyborg
I got the game to run on Windows 8.1 pretty much OK, but it does involve some messing around. I haven't bothered installing using supplied installer as I simply don't like running these ancient installers on modern flavors of Windows.

Anyway, since you can't seem to install it using installer anyway, you'll have to manually extract the game from CD. To do that, you'll need to download UniExtract from here. There are two verisons, the one with installer and the portable one, I went with the installer option. When you have that installed, open Drakan CD with Explorer and then open the folder Setup. Inside, you should see file named (or just data1, depends on your settings). Right click on the file and select UniExtract Files... In the window that opens, change the destination directory to wherever you want the game to be installed eg. C:\Games\Drakan but avoid installing to any Program Files directory, otherwise you'll have to set the game to run as admin for the savegames to work properly. Click OK and voila, you have the base game installed.

But you're not done yet, you still need to install some patches for the game to work better. First, get official 445 patch from here and unzip the file to some temporary folder. In that folder, you'll see file, which you have to extract the same way as you did with the on Drakan CD. Finally, download AiO patch from here and extract files Drakan.exe and Dragon.rfl to your game folder.

This should be everything regarding installation and patching. Post back and let me know how it went and then we'll discuss further issues.

Re: Drakan on a Windows 8.1 tablet

Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:31 pm
by UCyborg
If you get the game installed and experience same issues as I did, that is window borders being visible in fullscreen, lots of lag, and not being able to change brightness/gamma in-game, I have a quick solution. Unzip the attached file and run Install.cmd as admin. This will install compatibility databse which tells Windows to apply certain compatibility hacks to get the game to run nicer.

Re: Drakan on a Windows 8.1 tablet

Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:53 am
by shoprat
Thanks, UCyborg. Everything went smoothly and the game installed without a whimper. I have a border on both edges but I'll play around with the video settings and see if I can get a better fit. I'm going to put the editing tools and modeler on and see if they'll run too.

Since this tablet has Bluetooth, I'd like to pair it up with a PS3 controller and see if it can be played with it. This really makes my day. My fav game is now portable!! It's going to be a long time before this tablet does any real work. :D

Many thanks for your help getting it running.

Re: Drakan on a Windows 8.1 tablet

Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:01 pm
by UCyborg
Have you tried installing that database I attached? Having that installed shoud fix the border problem. Sometimes Windows fails to install those and reboot usually helps.

You can also manually setup that database by downloading this. In installation wizard, make sure only Application Compatibility Toolkit is selected, as other components which aren't needed waste quite some space. When you have that installed, you'll find Compatibility Administrator (32-bit) with all regular programs under Windows Kits\Windows ADK\Application Compatibility Toolkit\Developer and Tester Tools. Then you can use this guide and adjust steps accordingly for Drakan. Compatibility Modes page looks a bit different and you don't have to select anything there, but on the next page, you should tick ForceSimpleWindow. That fixed border issue for me. I also had to tick NoGDIHWAcceleration to get the game to play smoothly and AllowMaximizedWindowGamma to be able to change brightness.

And this is where my knowledge about getting the game to run on Win 8.1 ends. I hope everything resolves well on your end.

Re: Drakan on a Windows 8.1 tablet

Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:49 pm
by shoprat
I installed all the programs and fixes you provided but it looks like I'll have to do some manual 'mucking around' to get it to work properly. I'll follow your tips for manually tweaking the parameters on the compatibility fix and see if I can get it work. The game is very dark and increasing the gamma setting doesn't have much effect. The keyboard has issues too. I can't swing a sword while moving or in the crouch position. Makes it almost impossible to fight the small npcs or get the low barrels. It's very close to working thanks to your help.

Re: Drakan on a Windows 8.1 tablet

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:44 am
by shoprat
Everything is working GREAT! The only problem I had was that I didn't install the fixes before I exited the compatibility manager. After reading thru the guide I did it right the second time around. Thanks a million for your help.

The problem I had with the keyboard commands are the fault of this unit. The tablet doesn't allow the alt and ctrl keys to be mapped like the other keys. They work ok by themselves but don't function when pressed with other keys. A simple remapping took care of that problem.

I haven't installed the level editor or modeler yet but I don't think there will be any problems with them. If the engine is running fine, they should work too. I'll get the my notes out and fiddle about with them in a bit. But now, I'm gonna play some DRAKAN. Thanks again, you put a smile on my face.

Re: Drakan on a Windows 8.1 tablet

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:51 pm
by Arokhs Twin
Great information, I have made this sticky so it will help other users trying to run Drakan on windows 8 / 8.1

Re: Drakan on a Windows 8.1 tablet

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:14 pm
by Eris
Slightly offtopic: I remember my brother having installed Drakan on a Linux machine through Wine. Multiplayer wasn't working though. I hope I'll find some time to try to get this to run one day...

Re: Drakan on a Windows 8.1 tablet

Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:31 am
by UCyborg
Multiplayer (particularly server hosting) only works on ancient versions of Windows (XP and earlier) due to stupid way that programmers used to bind network socket to local machine. Wine doesn't emulate behavior of the function responsible for converting IP address string string to binary form. That function wasn't actually meant to be used in a way vanilla Drakan uses it in the first place so when behavior was changed in later Windows versions, Drakan gives the famous Session creation failed error. This was fixed in AiO patch so it's pretty much the thing of the past now.

As for Windows 8, I found out about out much better combination of compatibility fixes:
  • DXPrimaryEmulation -DisableMaxWindowedMode
  • CustomNCRender
  • NoGhost
The first one is neccessary to make DirectX stuff behave like they did on previous Windows versions. The other two are most useful for running dedicated server as without them, console just freezes so it's impossible to see messages or use any server commands.

Here is the whole forum topic about this particular problem: ... opic=99477