Darklands FAQ v3.0


2.1 What the latest version of Darklands?

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.


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.


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 CONFIG.SYS file.

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 details).

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.


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 problems.

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" areas yet.

You can have up to 100 saved games. To scroll through the list, use the up and down arrow keys on the keyboard.


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.


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 re-enabled.

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.


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 hundreds.

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 adventuring!


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 trouble.


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 boards include:

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 commands:



Later, if you wish to restore the game to its normal configuration, type the following DOS commands:


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

Alexander 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 up).

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.

Alexander 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 Darklands?

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

Matt Wirkkala sheds some light on this whole Windows ME nonsense:

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 NT/2000

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 right?

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 ever since.

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 supported.

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.


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