In addition to AiO Patch, the following may be obtained to improve the experience:
dgVoodoo started as a wrapper around Glide API, which some old games used at the time instead of Direct3D or OpenGL, allowing them to be played on modern hardware, which don't support Glide. The author also developed a wrapper around ancient DirectDraw/Direct3D interfaces. It uses Direct3D 11 as a wrapping output and requires DirectX 10.1 capable graphics card to work and of course Windows Vista or newer.
I've tried it with Drakan and noticed significantly improved performance (at least doubled, depending on the scene). My specs:
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 920 @ 3,00 Ghz (overclocked from 2,8 GHz)
RAM: 4 GB
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
GPU driver version: 347.26 iCafe
OS: Windows 8.1
FPS dipping in the 40s is now much rarer occurrence, while it was quite common before. FPS will still drop when there is too much polygons, but just for the record, some random complex scene that rendered at 15 FPS before now renders at 30 FPS, this was also with Fog Distance set to 200% and everything else maxed at resolution 1920x1080.
It also improves compatibility with Desktop Window Manager, which is responsible for compositing desktop using graphics card and can't be turned off since Windows 8. DWM/DirectDraw is a problematic combination on Windows 8; most obvious issue game not going full-screen and running with poor performance. When that is resolved with Microsoft's own compatibility fix, alt-tabbing is painfully slow. Another problem is the game window freezing (Vista+ with enabled DWM, dedicated server/windowed mode), which used to require another compatibility fix, now fixed in my patch.
Windows 10's DWM plays nicer with games using DirectDraw than Windows 8's though. Recommended minimum Windows 10 version is 1809.
WARNING: dgVoodoo2 is better suited for newer hardware with good DirectX 11 support. Fast video memory access
must be enabled to avoid some severe performance penalties (lens flares, debug messages).
You can install it by dropping contents of MS folder into Drakan installation directory (only DDraw.dll
are needed). Use included configuration utility to remove the watermark and enable Fast video memory access
Primary purpose of ALchemy is to restore 3D sound and EAX effects in old games. 3D sound already works out-of-the-box on modern systems (at least for surround sound setups) since Drakan isn't picky about software/hardware sound buffers. EAX is proprietary effect library by Creative that was historically only available through their sound card drivers via DirectSound API and only when sound hardware acceleration was supported and enabled. DirectSound only supports hardware acceleration on supported hardware on Windows XP and earlier.
Today, we get these effects by employing alternative implementations of DirectSound. Creative ALchemy is one of them and is usually included with Creative's sound cards' drivers. It's also part of Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3, which is a pure software package intended to add some features of their sound cards to a system equipped with plain onboard audio. To enable ALchemy for Drakan, ALchemy application must be launched and Drakan manually added to the game list. Default settings should be fine.
DSOAL is another implementation of DirectSound library, which uses OpenAL Soft as a backend. OpenAL Soft has its own effects library so it sounds a bit different than ALchemy, which uses Creative's effects. Generally, Creative sounds more echoey.
DSOAL is also free to download and doesn't have any usage restrictions, you don't have to buy anything to be able to use it. To enable it, its files must usually be placed in the game's folder where its executable is located. For certain games (not Drakan), some manual modifications of Windows registry
are also required for the game to pick it up.