2.0 TECHINCAL ASSISTANCE
2.1 What the latest version of
The latest version of Darklands is v483.07. If you
don't know what version you have, check out the
BANNER.DAT file which should contain the number of
the latest version. This is the file that appears as
a grey screen when you first boot the game up. In my
version 5, the file flashed by so rapidly that I
couldn't tell which version it was, so I used a DOS
utility like DR.EXE (you could also use WRITE or
NOTEPAD from WINDOWS) to open the BANNER.DAT file and
read the number. If you use a text editor, don't save
afterwards. Just exit.
Patches are available from the Files and Downloads page.
Technical and other considerations for version 483.07
(February 26, 1993) as quoted from the README.TXT
that accompanies update v7:
This version is a major upgrade. Numerous problems
and difficulties have been solved, thanks both to the
many contributions and notes from users, and our own
continuing testing. This version allows save-games
during certain big battles, and makes both loading
and saving much more reliable.
Games saved using earlier versions should still
work. However, some fixes do not take effect unless
you start a new game. These fixes are minor; for
example, in one, it's easier to leave Graz. However,
for the best possible version, start a new game.
HARD DISK SPACE
DARKLANDS requires about 17,500,000 bytes (17.5 MB)
of hard disk space. This includes about 16 MB of
files, plus approximately 1.5 MB of temporary
storage, first for high speed installation, and then
reused as temporary file storage during play,
including a reasonable number of saved games. The
exact amount of hard disk space may increase on very
large hard disks. On one 600MB hard disk we've seen
the game require 22 MB of space.
MEMORY (RAM) REQUIREMENTS
Currently DARKLANDS requires 595,000 bytes (581K) of
main memory, plus 180,224 bytes (176K) of EMS memory.
If you are uncertain of the memory in your machine
use the DOS 5.0 command "MEM /C" to view the entire
memory configuration of your computer.
DARKLANDS also requires FILES=20 (or more) in your
FAST LOADING COMMANDS The "DARKLAND /Q" command
mentioned in the technical supplement disables ALL
animation routines in the game, not just the initial
animation. This command is intended for hardware
configurations that have problems with the
animations, but which can run the rest of the game
(see Extended Animation Sequences, below, for
To preserve the animations, but quickly bypass the
opening sequence, load normally with DARKLAND, then
immediately tap the space bar. This bypasses the
opening animation, while preserving the later defeat
and victory animations.
SAVING THE GAME
The best places to save DARKLANDS are:
(a) While staying at a city inn;
(b) While camping in the countryside;
(c) While on the travel map of Germany.
(d) On certain battlefields, in certain cases.
Battlefields that allow save-games are indicated by
a message saying "Battlefield save rules are in
effect". The main "save rule" is simple: there must
be no living enemies on the current floor or level.
In addition, you can save any time the game leaves
the battlefield for an interaction (i.e., a
full-screen text/picture/menu combination). In
general, if you can use group movement mode, you can
save (on appropriate battlefields).
The only battlefields that allow saves are the
largest: the various mines, the Templar's fortress
monastery, and Baphomet's Citadel of the Apocalypse.
In fact, we recommend you save frequently in these
battles. This protects you from unexpected
You can save the game at other times outside of
battle. However, when you restore, you may sometimes
be "set back" a bit in time because a lot of complex
logic has not yet changed all data in the "permanent"
You can have up to 100 saved games. To scroll
through the list, use the up and down arrow keys on
FRANKFURT, FREIBURG and FREIBERG
Astute players will realize that some cities have
similar names. Within the game, "Frankfurt am Main"
is abbreviated as "Frankfurt M", while "Frankfurt an
der Oder" is "Frankfurt O". Freiburg im Breisgau is
misspelled "Freiberg im Breisgau" on the map. It is
spelled correctly in the game, and abbreviated to
"Freiburg B" for greater clarity. The other Freiberg,
in the Wettin Lands, is spelled correctly and is just
"Freiberg" in the game.
We very much regret that an extremely rare problem
may cause a battlefield character to suffer some
color changes in battle. However, you as a player
won't notice the change until the next battle. The
bad part is that the change is stored in the saved
game file. You can fix up your characters by
returning to an old saved game. For example, in
battle #3 you notice Gretch has green hair (yuck). If
you return to a game saved prior to battle #2, Gretch
will be fine again. We apologize for this
work-around. We've tried all sorts of tools and traps
for this condition, and spent hundreds of hours
testing for it. We'd be delighted to publicize the
name of the first person who can tell us how to make
it occur upon demand.
The SAVES subdirectory includes a file titled
"DEFAULT." This file must be present in this
subdirectory to permit character generation. If you
use DOS commands to copy, clean out, etc. the SAVES
files, be sure to not erase DEFAULT.
LOADING SAVED GAMES
This version supports the ability to load saved
games while in the game, as described on page 18 of
the manual. In addition, you can scroll through the
list of saved games using the keyboard arrow keys.
Loading is prohibited on certain information screens.
Simply exit the information screen and loading is
Beware that once you commit to loading a game while
playing, you MUST select a game to load. You cannot
escape back to the game you were playing. We
apologize for this inconvenience.
HALL OF FAME
The manual incorrectly states that DARKLANDS has a
Hall of Fame. The game does not. However, for your
information, we expect that moderately successful
parties will achieve fame in the low hundreds, while
very successful ones will reach the high
DARKLANDS has no specific ending -- you can play
forever. However, if you have defeated Raubritters,
dragons, the three different kinds of problems in
mines, and ultimately Baphomet, you have encountered
all the major challenges. Good luck and good
EXTENDED ANIMATION SEQUENCES
The opening sequence and two other animations during
the game may have problems with a few hard disk drive
controllers. Generally, if the opening animation runs
without problem three or four times, you should not
have any difficulties.
If, however, you do have difficulties, we suggest
you load with DARKLAND /Q. This will bypass all the
animation sequences, thus avoiding any chance of
SIMULTANEOUS ROLAND AND SOUND BLASTER SUPPORT
It is possible to have both Roland MT-32/LAPC-1
sound and digital speech in DARKLANDS. However, it
requires that you rename certain files (described
below) and then use INSTALL to set the game's sound
to whatever NON-Roland board you are using. These
Covox Sound Master II, Sound Blaster, Sound Blaster
Pro, Pro Audio Spectrum (including + and 16
versions), Thunderboard, ATI F/X
To rename the files to support both boards, go to
MPS\DARKLAND (or whatever subdirectory you installed
the game into) and type the following DOS
COPY PSOUND.DLC PSOUND.DC
COPY PSOUND.DLB PSOUND.DB
COPY ASOUND.DLC ASOUND.DC
COPY ASOUND.DLB ASOUND.DB
COPY RSOUND.DLC PSOUND.DLC
COPY RSOUND.DLB PSOUND.DLB
COPY RSOUND.DLC ASOUND.DLC
COPY RSOUND.DLB ASOUND.DLB
Later, if you wish to restore the game to its normal
configuration, type the following DOS commands:
COPY PSOUND.DC PSOUND.DLC
COPY PSOUND.DB PSOUND.DLB
COPY ASOUND.DC ASOUND.DLC
COPY ASOUND.DB ASOUND.DLB
Dennis Ahr: If you
have any of the GUS cards, you can use megaem.exe
rev. 3.03 beta to increase the quality of the tunes
in Darklands. First copy the sound files under the
paragraph in this FAQ called Simultaneous Roland and
Sound Blaster Support. Then load megaem.exe. Finally,
run the install program in your DARKLAND directory.
You should be able to select the Roland choice now.
To do this automatically every time you run
Darklands, make a batch file as follows:
2.2 Bugs encountered in v483.07
von Lünen: When I saw a couple of postings
in the comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg concerning
Darklands, one more thing to mention came to my mind.
Has anyone noticed that annoying bug in v7? It
happens when you're travelling on the map. In the old
version, I was able to walk on without getting
interrupted (beside game issues of course). Now, in
ver7, there's often some strange hard drive activity
which results in nothing, in the best case. I travel
and the screen freezes as if engaging in some action.
But then, the map shows up again, and my 'walker'
stands there and waits for new clicks. In the worst
case, the screen starts to scroll madly, I mean, my
travelling-character stays around and the map scrolls
in all directions and ends in the sea eventually. Has
anyone encountered that as well ? Seems like a bug to
me. Even though I wouldn't call this a major bug, it
can cause some mess, if you haven't saved often
enough (after landing in the sea, the machine hangs
Dennis Ahr: That's
a new one to me, but it reminded me of a bug (rev 7)
that I encounter every once in a while.
Sometimes when a battle in the wilderness is about to
begin (doesn't seem to matter with whom), there are
no enemies anywhere on the battle map. I have found
that the only way to "jump start" the battle is to
move my characters around a little; after a bit, the
hard drive starts up and the battle begins.
Anyone with any other strange behaviour by the
program is encouraged to describe it in gory detail
and e-mail to one of the authors. It stands a chance
of being added to this document. Also, feel free to
substantiate these two bugs if you can.
von Lünen: I encountered another bug: In the
mine, when engaging the Dwarven-King after meeting
the human leader of the kobolds, you can entertain
the option to parley with the leader. This ends up in
an empty screen (i.e. background with no text showing
up). Your characters are still accessible as well as
the Control Menu on top. However, re-loading a
previously saved game or quitting are the only
options to go ahead.
2.3 What files are available for
There are quite a few files available for Darklands.
We've separated them into different pages:
Most of the files listed on these pages have
descriptions and/or readme files included.
2.4 Running Darklands in Windows 9X
2.5 Running Darklands in Windows ME
Wirkkala sheds some light on this whole Windows
Well, so far, I don't see a whole that a person can
do about the way memory is managed in Millennium.
Maybe there are work-arounds I haven't discovered
yet. Maybe there are 3rd-party memory managers out
there somewhere for it. Or, you can just play around
with PIF file settings and hope for the best.
But, I do have one more solution: Make a special
boot diskette with another operating system -
preferably Windows 98 Second Edition. It wouldn't
take that long to pop in a disk and reboot, and you'd
have the advantage of a having a better chance of
getting DL to run. The only big disadvantage would be
not being able to run other programs concurrently.
It's an option if nothing else works anyway...
Two words: ouch.
2.6 Running Darklands in Windows
Under 2000 (and possibly NT), the memory settings
have to be tweaked so that Win2K can simulate the
memory types that Darklands needs. Simply right click
on DARKLAND.EXE and choose "Properties". Select the
"Memory" tab and adjust the settings like so:
Conventional (Total) - 640
Conventional (Initial enviroment) - 1024
Expanded (EMS) memory -16384
Extended (XMS) - none
MS-DOS protected - 6144
2.7 Running Darklands in Linux
WinE is a Windows emulator that can handle most DOS
programs that will also run under Windows. If you
want much lower overhead and run in strictly a DOS
commandline type environment, then use DOSEMU.
2.8 Why doesn't my SoundBlaster sound
Actually, this is a problem for any sound card later
than Creative Labs' Sound Blaster 16. After that
version, Creative Labs used a different chipset for
MIDI playback and DOS games have sounded terrible
Not to fear, though. There IS a program that allows
for quality emulation by modern soundcards (i.e., SB
32/64/.../Live!). It's a simple program called
VDMSound. You can download the program from the site
as well as get technical support for it, though it's
really simple to use. There's a readme file provided with
instructions on how to use the program.
Please note, however, that this program will ONLY run
in WindowsNT/2000. Windows 95/98/ME are not
2.9 Battlefields scroll WAY too fast
on my box. Any suggestions?
Yeah, get a slower box for playing DOS games.
If downgrading doesn't appeal to you, try MoSlo. It's a program
published by Dr.David's Super Crispy Software
(no, seriously...I'm not kidding about the name) that
allows older games to run properly (or, at least
better) on modern boxes. It's free for personal use
and includes a readme file.