20 Mar

Tex Murphy Rides Again (Pandora Directive and DOSBox w/o CDs)

“I’d like to help you, but I can’t.”

The glory days of adventure games are gone. I really hate to say that, but let’s be realistic.

As much as anyone, I have fond memories of all night runs at the latest title. I actually played through Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis on an Amiga 500, for heaven’s sake. (For the uninitiated, an A500 didn’t come with a hard drive, and there were 14 diskettes that I had to swap between two floppy drives.) I was working 2nd shift when The 7th Guest came out, and I distinctly remember agonizing over the $250.00 CD-ROM upgrade. I ended up with a glacially slow 2X Mitsumi. I wanted one of the new Plextors that ran at 3X but they required SCSI, and this Mitsumi had it’s own ISA interface card. Whereas, my unfortunate Gravis Ultrasound didn’t have a CD interface and there was no place in town that stocked a Creative Labs CDROM drive that could be purchased separately. I didn’t need a second SB16… I was running out of ISA slots.

“My gun. I love it SO much!”

And then, Tex Murphy came to visit.

I had played Martian Memorandum, and enjoyed it well enough…but…it was no big deal. Not paradigm shifting. I have never, to this day, played Mean Streets. I might get around to it one day. Both of these titles can be downloaded for free from The Underdogs, but really, unless you are an Adventure Enthusiast they’re awfully primitive.

While MM was fun, it did nothing to help prepare me for the Under a Killing Moon experience. Wow. 4 CDs? All for one game?!?!?

I whole-heartedly recommend that you play this game. It is an adventure game with a mixture of fully-navigable 3D environment and (dare I say) full motion video. So, literally, one explores in a first-person 3D viewpoint but trigger cut-scenes that are 3rd person FMV. PD is probably the best game of the series, and the Tex Murphy games are probably the best of this type ever made.

I should point out here that Overseer is pretty much a “remake” of Mean Streets (told from a historical perspective), just in case you decide to download it–wouldn’t want anyone spoiling their fun. Not that there is much comparison between the two. Actually, Overseer was supposed to kick off a new Tex trilogy that never happened. Microsoft bought Access primarily for their Golf Game assets (Links)…so it ends with a cliff-hanger that may never be resolved.

But if you’re interested, there is the Tex Murphy Radio Theater that helps a little. It contains 7 short episodes that at least inform us that Tex and Chelsea are not dead…wait…forget you read that, and play the games! You can get them from Ebay usually. That’s where I got mine. My original plays in the 90’s were borrowed from the amazing Thomas Joseph Murray III, the father of my high school chum, Tom #4.

Go to the wiki for more info on the time lines and such. Oh, and of course, The Unofficial Tex Murphy site.

“Knick-knacks, paddy-whacks, and the world’s largest piece of elbow macaroni.”

But, dear reader, you are probably here to find out more about DOSBox configurations. And rightly so, for to play Tex Murphy on a modern machine, you’re going to need help. All but Overseer were pure MS-DOS goodness, DOS4G extenders and all. And Windows XP seems to purposefully hate DOS.

So, to play Tex Murphy you’ve got 3 main options:

  1. Build a DOS Gaming Machine.
  2. Find a PCI Sound Card with DOS Drivers
  3. Use some form of Virtualization Software

Option 1: Isn’t bad–as a matter fact, can be quite fun. Just go to a local Computer Recycler-type store and get the fastest motherboard/CPU combination available that still has ISA slots. The ISA slot is the key, here. A native DOS sound card is our main requirement. Everything else can be modern equipment–as a matter of fact, some VOGONS (enthusiasts who run Very Old Games On New Systems) would be well off to invest in a new motherboard built for industrial computing, something like this:

Caveat: I have not done this, although, I want to build a Media Center PC using this motherboard (or one like it). The plan is to be able to play Adventure games on the TV screen from bed. However, this is a project for a later date.

So, one of these and an Sound Blaster Pro or Sound Blaster 16 from Ebay, dig out a set of DOS 6.22 install disks, and you’ve got a KILLER DOS machine. Don’t forget to load a CPU slowdown utility, though, it might be TOO fast for some games. But not Tex–these games will eat as much CPU and Video power as you can throw at them.

Option 2: A bit harder, technically. I tried 14 ways from Sunday with a Yamaha PCI card–one that supposedly had DOS drivers. The Yamaha site has been updated, and may include better downloads now. YMMV. I have heard that an original Sound Blaster Live! has good DOS support, but have never tested it. I did try with about a half-dozen Sound Blaster PCI64s and PCI128 cards with no luck.

Yamaha Sound Card YMF744

As you can see, this one (YMF744) has an optical SPDIF on it. Which, was why I focused on it so long–I wanted it for the Media Center PC, so I could hook it directly to a surround sound receiver for multi-channel DVD playback.

Now that I actually have my hands on a couple of SBLive! cards, I’ll probably try again with these DOS Drivers.

Option 3: Is all that’s left to us in the meantime. Virtualization. There are three sub-options here:

  • A fully virtual machine–a complete second operating system running on top of your own. Such as a VMWare solution, which is certainly an option here, with their free downloads now. Sadly, I was never able to get good performance in a DOS game within a VM session.
  • VDMSound is another, slightly better, option in general. This is a neat Windows extension that translate the DOS sound card calls directly to the Windows sound driver. Good for many games–but not much luck for old Tex. At least in my own experience.
  • DOSBox.

“Here’s a little tidbit our government boys missed…”

DOS Box Logo

DOSBOX is fantastic. It really seems to be the answer for all of us who want to run old DOS games. The only problem is that the documentation is a bit…well…terse. But it should get anyone going for simple stuff. What’s lacking is a good process for getting more complex stuff up and running. Like Tex Murphy – Pandora Directive with all six (count ‘em) CDs.

PD in DOSBOX

Well, obviously it runs…but how well? Actually, very. On a modern Windows XP machine, at least.

First step is to take images of the disks. There are alot of advantages to this, including better access times, particularly for a Tex Murphy game. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use Alex Feinman’s marvelous ISO Recorder Power Toy, which is free. Nero or some other software can do it as well. ISO Recorder integrates into the shell, so you can right-click on a drive (or any folder) and create a disk image.

Right Click on Drive

Then store the image someplace.

Save the ISO

I suggest that for ease of use that you don’t use spaces anywhere in the directory structure–DOSBOX configs are a little flaky with spaces. For instance:

c:\games\iso\gamecd1.iso

Rather than:

c:\old games\disk images\gamecd1.iso

Once all of the CD’s imaged and safely stored on the hard drive (an unthinkable concept in 1994), we are able to turn our attention to DOSBox. Hop over to the sourceforge site and download the latest version, which at the time of this writing is 0.70. After it is installed, browse out to the folder C:\Program Files\DOSBox-0.70\ and look inside. It wouldn’t hurt to read the README.TXT, but we’ll skip it for now.

To follow my method, we’ll be creating a pair of text files. The first one is called tex_pd.bat and will easily launch our DOSBox session with our choice of command-line switches. For the second file, copy the default dosbox.conf to a new file called tex_pd.conf. This file will contain all the sound card, cpu, and memory settings required to run the game, and will also mount all of our ISO images as CD drives.

I have my ISO files in C:\archives\iso\tex\pd\ so, obviously, the bit at the end may need to be changed to the proper location. Here are links to copies of my own files:

tex_pd.conf
tex_pd.bat

You may use them at your own risk 🙂 .

Let’s walk through the sections. I’ll remove settings we won’t be adjusting for the sake of space. So, just because it isn’t here, don’t delete it! 🙂

In the SDL, I will only note two of the lines. Full screen can also be set at the command line. But in my initial experiments, I was able to get better performance holding the full resolution down. Odd thing is that I don’t think this actually affects the graphics…and this may have changed in .70. It is possible that you can leave the default setting of “original”.

[sdl]
fullscreen=true
fullresolution=640X480

The next section with some changes is RENDER. I set frameskip to 1 from the default of 0. Smooths things out a bit.

[render]
frameskip=1

Now to one of the most critical spots. CPU core will default to auto, but I force it to stay in dynamic. Also, pay close attention to where the cycles setting is. This is the one we’ll have to tweak to get a good Tex experience. Is that a “Texperience”? We’ll return to this later.

[cpu]
core=dynamic
cycles=14000

There are no changes to the Mixer section, but I wanted to point out the rate setting…this can be lowered if you really need the performance, but if that has to be done, you might be wasting your time on slow hardware. This shouldn’t make enough difference on a modern machine to be the sliver bullet that takes you from an unplayable choppy mess to silky smooth gaming delight. Oh, and the nosound may seem counter-intuitive: make sure it is false if you do, in fact, want sound.

[mixer]
nosound=false
rate=22050

Defaults are fine for the MIDI section.

[midi]
mpu401=intelligent
device=default
config=

However, I changed the SBLASTER part to use an SBPro1. I had much better luck there instead of the SB16, which caused the audio to skip. This may be somewhat hardware dependent, and the SB16 might be fine on another machine. Anything less than an SBPro will be mono, rather than stereo. The rest of the settings are defaulted.

[sblaster]
type=sbpro1
base=220
irq=7
dma=1
hdma=5
mixer=true
oplmode=auto
oplrate=12050

Curses! My favorite card of all time and I have to turn it off. It actually worked very well on Tex Murphy back in the DOS days…but in DOSBox, it locks up the installation sound card detection. And if one sets up the game by hand, it refuses to play sometimes. Sigh. I intend to revisit this sometime.

Not that it really matters, all of the sound is actually being generated by my current sound card…whatever it is. I would like to say, though, that for other DOS games, if a GUS is supported (or you understand the usage of SBOS) try to use it. Performance will be better in DOSBox just like it was better in the old days. Ah, the arguments we had with the SB16 guys on Prodigy. Paging Dave Redfern from Clearwater, FL.

Anyway.

[gus]
gus=false

Turn the speaker off. You won’t be needing it and it will save a CPU tick or two.

[speaker]
pcspeaker=false
pcrate=22050
tandyrate=22050
disney=false

XMS on, EMS off.

[dos]
xms=true
ems=false

Turn this stuff all off.

[modem]
modem=false

[joystick]
joysticktype=none

[directserial]
directserial=false

[ipx]
ipx=false

And now, to the AUTOEXEC. This syntax works on DOSBox 0.70 which is a little changed from 0.65. Notice the lastdrive, this is to get past the default DOS lastdrive setting. Which is, what, F? I can’t remember 🙂

[autoexec]
lastdrive=z
imgmount D “c:\games\iso\tex\pd\pandora1.iso” -t iso
imgmount E “c:\games\iso\tex\pd\pandora2.iso” -t iso
imgmount F “c:\games\iso\tex\pd\pandora3.iso” -t iso
imgmount G “c:\games\iso\tex\pd\pandora4.iso” -t iso
imgmount H “c:\games\iso\tex\pd\pandora5.iso” -t iso
imgmount I “c:\games\iso\tex\pd\pandora6.iso” -t iso
mount c c:\games -freesize 20
c:
#cd pandora
#pandora

In addition, I commented out the lines at the bottom that will start the game. We need to install it first, as was pointed out by Anastos. This basically means we’ll start the DOSBox with this config, which will mount all of our images and drop us to a C:\ prompt. Then, just like if we sat down in front of our 486, we will need to change to the CDROM drive and install the software. It may seem a little backwards at first, but think about it and you’ll see.

“Well, hello there, little Buddha!”

Now, here’s the batch file:

@echo off
dosbox -conf tex_pd.conf -noconsole -fullscreen -exit

Not much to the batch file. One can drag a short cut into the Start Menu and use this icon from the Pandora Direct CD, if desired. Great! We are almost ready to dissect some area 51 aliens!

Pandora

Now, let’s run the batch file and see what happens. You should have a big ugly C:\ staring you in the face.

Ugly DOS

Type the following at the prompt:

D:INSTALL

And you should be taken to the Installation screen, click Install to Hard Drive and accept the default C:\PANDORA for the directory.

Install Splash

Setup

Ok, once it gets finished, exit out of the installer and DOSBox.

At this point, download the Pandora Directive patch. Rename your current TEX4.EXE to TEX4.BAK, unzip the patch, and drop the new TEX4.EXE file into its place. I personally did not need this, but it may prevent some random memory errors.

Remove the # symbols from the last line of your DOSBox config file so it will automatically start Pandora Directive. Since this is the first run, the game will take you to a setup menu. The automatic sound card detection worked great in my case for the digital audio card. For the MIDI, I had to change it to MPU-401 by hand.

Sound Setup

Now, use the wonderfully powerful Tex Murphy game engine to setup the CD-ROM drives. Just load all 6 of the CD drive letters into the game and NEVER HAVE TO SWAP DISKS!!!

CD Loader

Click OK, and exit out of the game. Now, here’s where the jiggery-pokery comes into play. Under the CPU heading in that config file there is a line I mentioned earlier that says:

cycles=14000

We are going to keep changing this until we get the best performance possible–trying to zero in on the optimum setting. Every machine seems to have a sweet spot that is unique for that system. I’d start out at around 12000 on a P4ish machine, and then set it up 2 or three grand each time until the game gets as fast as possible, but yet doesn’t have sound glitches or video tears. Higher isn’t always better…If I set this value too far up on my test machine, the game actually gets SLOOOOOOWWWW and the speech is unintelligible.

In other words, take the 15 minutes or so:

  1. Edit the setting and save it
  2. Start the game and test
  3. Exit, change the number, save the file, and so on.
  4. Rinse, lather, repeat.

“I’m on your left. I’m on your right. I’m right in front of you.”

The end result is a game experience that is FAR better than playing PD on the Pentium 100 or whatever I had when first I clapped eyes to it. This same setup works for Under A Killing Moon, but you will need to run TEX197.EXE rather than the TEX3.EXE to start the game, or it will crash on the DOS extender.

Overseer is more of a challenge–if you want to use the DVD version that has the higher quality video. I’m still working on that one.

[amazon-product]B0002SLAYA[/amazon-product]

Hope this little guide helps. Keep on playing adventure games. Sooner or later the market will open back up. They may not look like Myst or Tex Murphy, but I have enough faith in basic human intelligence to believe that firing automatic weapons at endless waves of faceless aliens will eventually become stale to the buying public.

It sounds even more naive when I put it that way…

See you, space cowboy.

41 thoughts on “Tex Murphy Rides Again (Pandora Directive and DOSBox w/o CDs)

  1. Hey!!
    That was fast!! Thanks a lot!! This time it really worked!! All crystal-clear for me!!!Very good job; layed down perfectly!!
    It’s so exciting to be able to play this game again after so many years..
    Keep up the good work!!

    Cheers,
    Anastos

    • Thanks! Glad I could help. BTW, I updated with a link to a patch file. I didn’t need it to play through the game, but you never know 🙂

      Joe

      • Hi!

        I have followed your instructions and everythng works 100% up until i run setup. the sound works fine, on the picture you posetd of the setup process there are 4 tabs : sound, video, cd-rom, and prefrences. mine only have the first 2 , sound and video. when i click ok on th video tab, the game throws me out and prompts to insert disc 1. what do i do?

    • I LOVE YOU MAN 🙂 🙂 !!!!!!!!!!!!!

      AT LAST AFTER 15 YEARS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE BEST GAME EVER .. I LOVE YOU .. I CAN PLAY PANDORA AT LAST
      LETS GO …

      ONCE AGAIN
      THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Thanks for this, especially the DOSBox tweaks. Saved me some pain! I’d like to add (and you probably know this) that it’s much easier to tweak the right setting for the CPU cycles in the DOSBox config by using the hot keys: Control-F11 to decrease and Control-F12 to increase. You don’t have to change the config file and restart every time!

    I’ve been able to get the cycles up to around 90000 on my Athlon64 3500+ and performance is very playable. 🙂 These games are the greatest.

    • Thanks for the comment! I probably should have mentioned the hotkeys, but since I was recommending full screen (for performance reasons), it is difficult to know where the cycles actually ended up. I guess you could count the key presses 🙂

      Anyway, you make an excellent point–I was just keeping the methodology simple for those who might not be as familiar with DOSBox.

      And your Athlon kicks the butt of my craptackular PentiumM notebook 😉

  3. What you can also do, to make it even more seemless, is take the [autoexec] part of the DOSBox config file and change the part where you call the pandora executable to “call pandora.” This allows you to put “exit” on the line below. Now you won’t get thrown into a DOS command-line after you exit The Pandora Directive!

    P.S. I’ve been having loads of fun playing this game so far! 🙂

  4. Furthermore, I had some problems with the MIDI music being choppy sometimes. Try different settings and configurations in DOSBox and the game. I configured the game to use MPU-401 General MIDI and now I have perfect music.

    • Yep. I played around with GUS emulation, but for out-and-out playability, MPU-401 is the best.

      • I still have problems with the atmospheric background noise breaking up and going choppy on me in some screens. The game seems to run a lot slower in these situations. The mouse controls become choppier, too. I have not been able to resolve this. Strangely, holding down a keyboard or mouse button seems to fix this (but obviously you can’t just keep down the mouse button the whole time :)).

  5. This is terrific. I’ve been trying to figure out how to play the Tex Murphy games ever since I switched over to XP several years ago. I am having a problem however making the ISO files from PD. Disks 2-6 copy to my hard drive just fine but I am having a problem copying over disk 1. Whenever I try I get a copy protection error. How did you get around that to copy disk 1 to the hard drive?

    • Honestly, I merely used the ISO Tools from Alex Feinman. One can create ISO files in Nero as well.

      Let me know if this works for you, if not, let me know and we can make other arrangements.

  6. Your instructions are very good. However, using DOSBox 0.70 I can play the intro in Pandora but cannot start a new game – just get a blank screen. Sound is good, video is good. Any ideas?

  7. I made a DVD copy with the HD/dvd maker for pandora directive, do you have any pointers for that cause right now pandora is refusing to read it..at least propperly

  8. Hi!

    I have followed your instructions and everythng works 100% up until i run setup. the sound works fine, on the picture you posetd of the setup process there are 4 tabs : sound, video, cd-rom, and prefrences. mine only have the first 2 , sound and video. when i click ok on th video tab, the game throws me out and prompts to insert disc 1. what do i need to do to setup the cd roms?

    • Whoa. No–I have never heard of that one. It almost sounds like it isn’t get a good MSCDEX load or something…but that’s a purely DOSBox thing.

      Now, I know you’re not stupid, but sometimes I miss steps when I follow long cookbooks like this. So, first thing I can think of is to make sure that you do a full install from inside DOSBox. Another thought that struck me is to verify that you don’t have some special edition of the game (I don’t think there was one, but just in case).

      Another troubleshooting step would be to try to load the game directly from your CDROM drive like it normally would. So, comment out the image mount lines and just let DOSBox use your CD drive. Reinstall and see if it works correctly like that. If it does, then there is something up with your DOSBox install, config, or images. If it doesn’t, there’s something up with your machine’s drivers, the game disk, or, well, something.

      Lastly, copy DOSBox and the configs to a thumbdrive or something and go to a friend’s house / another computer and try it. See if you can eliminate your hardware as a problem.

      If you think you have a bad disk 1, we can cross that bridge if we come to it.

  9. Hey, I’m having the same problem as Gex… I can do the install, sound, and video steps, and then when I click ok on the video page, I get a CD Swap prompt that says “Insert cd #1 in drive d:” Been at this since last night, can’t figure it out. Any help would be greatly appreciated! 🙂

    • Hey Mike, see my answer to Gex. I wish I could be more helpful–it’s amazing that the game can even load like that. Old DOS apps would usually just BLOW UP rather than load half a property sheet.

      Who knew ? 🙂

  10. My DosBox says the following: “C:\>dosbox -conf -tex.pd.conf etc etc… Illegal command: dosbox” What ca my problem be?

  11. Help! I Started playing the pandora directive and I thought it was an alright game until I got to the electronics store where I needed the 3rd disc and found out I didn’t have it. If anyone can figure a way for me to download or copy the 3rd disc I have a burner I would appreciate someones help thanks!

  12. I have another problem I havetex murphy the overseer but when I try to install it it says I need windows 95 or higher to run. The problem is I have windows xp what is the deal?

  13. Hello and thanks for this guide. One thing that bugged me was that when I downloaded the 32-bit ISO software, I was unable to create a ISO image of my DVD/CD drive, I didn’t get the option “Create and ISO image file, “Create image of CD”. Do you know why thid happens?

  14. Sorry for another comment, I realised now how to do it, from the C: drive. But the thing is, I don’t have 6 drives. Can I make multipke iso. files from one drive?

  15. Thank you Tanstaafl! Your effort is greatly appreciated in the adventure game community. We HAVE to keep these games playable no matter what operating system we’re stuck with.

    And about your comment about the public getting tired of the FPS, it’s not likely. The game industry is becoming more and more like Hollywood and the majority of the money is sunk into brainless action movie fare that appeals to the mainstream. Will people eventually get tired of all the CGI and crave real stories again? No, because the majority of the public don’t want to think when an explosion will do just as well. The adventure games are just going to be the independent films of it’s genre. It doesn’t mean they won’t get made, just in smaller numbers and with lower budgets. Now that the consoles are squeezing out PC market in gaming, it’s going to be a rough road for any thinking man’s game.

    • Good points. After playing Super Paper Mario on the Wii, however, I can see that there may be possibilities for Adventure even on consoles. The problem is that there are no new ideas going on in the genre. All of the “new” games coming out are the same as the old games–Agatha Cristie’s And Then There Were None isn’t a bad game…but it could have been teleported in from 1998.

      Super Paper Mario has some arcade/platformer elements, but at least it’s creative (to the extreme).

  16. Hey, thanks a lot (again) for your install guide! The whole copy cds (got the game very cheap on ebay) to hd stuff and mounting works perfect!. Like with Overseer my Roland SC-55 is working (connected via gameport) – the Pandora music is awesome!

    Keep up the good work!

    Lutz

  17. Pingback: DOSBOX and Tex Murphy without CDs | Fourth Law

  18. Pingback: Tex Murphy Radio Theater and DOSBox Guides - The Recap! | Fourth Law

  19. You could explain what this batch file is… I was not lost until this point I don’t know where to find it or if I need to create one if so, how. Do I type it at the end of the dsobox.conf or in dosbox after installing or before installing. Explain, please. Thank you.

    • The batch file is one you would create to launch the game in dosbox with the right config file. So, it is a separate file from the dosbox.conf. Simply open a text editor like notepad and paste in the lines as stated above:

      @echo off
      dosbox -conf tex_pd.conf -noconsole -fullscreen -exit

      Then save it as a tex_pd.bat. It isn’t completely needed, one *could* type in the same thing from a command line to start the program, but this is much easier.

  20. Whoa whoa whoa
    I’ve been trying to play with it under XP for ages without success but now, here it goes…. thanks a bunch pal.
    This game brings me back to happy days…

    Daniel
    Como, Italy

  21. For all of you who have been having issues mounting the ISO’s, I had the same issue. Im using dosbox .72, and I commented out all the imgmount lines. Instead, Im mounting directly to the disk using the following line, and it worked. It means you have to swap disks, but cmon.. atleast we can play the game, right? 😉

    replace the imgmount D line with this, and comment out the rest.
    MOUNT D D:\ -t cdrom

  22. Thanxx a bunch…. Been wanting to play PD for the last 10-12 years… Since UAKM I been hooked on the series…

    Again, thanks for letting me enjoy some of my youth once again….

    Cheers…

  23. I think you can use this trick : copy the contents of your disks inside different folders in your pandoradirective folder, which was for me PANDORAD (create folders named disk1, disk2, etc…), then in dosbox config, under autoexec, use lines like this : mount V C:\PANDORAD\DISK1 -t cdrom -label DISK1
    mount V C:\PANDORAD\DISK2 -t cdrom -label DISK2

    This way you won’t even have to change disks during the game, and it all goes a lot faster.
    Dosbox is a really nice program. And the Tex Murphy series is quite amazing.

  24. i have problem… if i play the mini games… the puzzels, the program seems to be skippin. the screen go’s slower when busy with a puzzel. i cannot proceed to the next day because of this vault. im trying to open it but it dont work coz when ever i turn a way it gets stuck at the next number and then proceerd furder. So everytime i turn a way to open the vault it gets the first number i turn from. coz the screen gets slow and music skips i cannot open save 🙁 how can i make it better? because when i walk around it it goin smooth coz i abjusted in the config file. please help! i was managed to find this site with usefull information and downloads. They have save games , but unfortualy they are not in Player Mode 🙁 its called “”Pandora Detective Nilo’s Place”” heres the URL: http://home.wideopenwest.com/~hbech/

    Ryan

  25. I have problems when I reach Roswell and try to examine the “laser field diagram” it will not examine it and game freezes..

  26. Thanks DOSBox and thanks space cowboy. I took those CD’s out of the closet and now hope to play Tex’s adventures at ease on my lap(top)!

    You can skip the batch file by putting the options directly into a shortcut. (Drives, maps and names according space cowboy and “tex_pd.conf” put into the DOSBox map – add its path otherwise):
    1) Do NOT include the last 4 lines of the [autoexec] section of the config file at all.
    2) Go to the Start Menu and locate the shortcut to the DOSBox. Hold down the CTRl key and drag and drop the shortcut onto the desktop (you should see a + sign while dragging).
    3) Rename the shortcut to, say, “Pandora”.
    4) Right click the shortcut and select Properties. Type in the “Target” field after the text already present (do not remove this!):
    C:\GAMES -conf tex_pd.conf -noconsole -fullscreen -exit
    5) Change Icon…: use icon from first CD, as mentioned by space cowboy. OK.
    6) Launch DOSBox from this shortcut and install (D:INSTALL).
    7) After installation add “\PANDORA\PANDORA.BAT” after “C:\GAMES” in the shortcut properties. The whole line should now look something like this:
    “C:\Program Files\DOSBox\dosbox.exe” C:\GAMES\PANDORA\PANDORA.BAT -conf tex_pd.conf -noconsole -fullscreen -exit

    I have two problem so far:
    – The tex4.zip patch file seems corrupt; it won’t unpack. Let’s hope I don’t need it.
    – Configuration screens are completely blank. Text appears only where I move the cursor, much like a black crayon covered picture with scratch tool. Collapsing the DOSBox into a window does show the complete image. And back to full screen the image remains until it goes blank again at the next screen. I use DOSBox 0.73 on both a Gigabyte M912X (XP SP3) and Desktop with NVIDIA ForceWare 91.31 on a GeForce Ti 4200 (XP SP3). Both having same problem!

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