5. Game Crashes
7. Known Bugs
Spear "End of Destiny" is a DOS based program that uses the same game engine technology as the original Wolfenstein 3D. It should be able to run on any IBM compatible system, but depending on your system configuration there may be certain steps you have to take in order to run the game properly. Many of the problems associated with running the game are as a result of certain requirements needed by the game not being met due to newer operating systems and hardware and/or the way some people have their system configured.
Windows 2000/XP do not support sound in old DOS based games as well as Windows 95/98/Me. Likewise, soundcard hardware released in recent years often isnít totally compatible with older soundcard standards that existed when Wolfenstein 3D was first released in 1992. If you use Windows 2000/XP then you will most likely find you have no music or sound at all, and as such we recommend you use either the utility "VDMSound" or "Dosbox" (see next section) to easily solve this problem. If you use Windows 95/98/Me and experience sound problems in the game (such as music sounding "offkey", or no music or sound at all), then the problem is most likely related to your soundcard settings (see the "Sound Problems" section).
Other problems you may experience with running the game are often memory related. In the old pre Windows days of DOS, gamers were quite adept at tweaking their systems to maximise their system memory in order to meet the demands of many games of the day. Unfortunately, with the advent of Windows 95 and beyond, this has become somewhat of a lost art, and should you experience problems with running the game we've suggested some steps you can take to resolve this in the "Memory" section further below. Although the troubleshooting advice offered in the sections below is based on a system running either Windows 95/98, much of the information offered is relevant to other operating systems also. Good luck, and have fun!
If you use Windows 2000/XP, then a handy little utility program called "VDMSound" (freely available off the internet) is often all you'll need to solve any sound problems you may experience with the game. As mentioned above, Windows 2000/XP do not offer old DOS based games the same level of sound support that earlier versions of Windows offered. VDMSound is a program that emulates soundcard settings that were common in 1992 and as such should help you to hear sound and music in the game the way it was meant to be heard. A quick search of the web should enable you to easily find this utility program (make sure you get the latest version. The version of VDMSound we tested was version 2.0.1, and only runs on systems using Windows NT/2000/XP, so if you use Windows 95/98/Me then you may have no choice but to either use "Dosbox", or follow the suggestions outlined in the "Sound Problems" section further below). Should you use VDMSound then you MUST disable both "DPMI support (DOSX)" and the "CLI/POPF workaround" options (both of which are enabled by default). Failure to do so may result in wrong colours being displayed in game, and will likely lead to the game crashing with an "out of memory" error message. These options can be found by right clicking on the VDMSound shortcut you create for the game, then clicking the "Advanced" button, and selecting the "Compatibility" tab (if you're not sure about this kind of thing, then ask a friend who knows a little about computers).
Alternatively you can try using the DOS emulator "Dosbox". Like VDMSound, this utility is freely available off the internet, and should help you overcome any sound related problems you're likely to experience with the game. Please note that Spear "End of Destiny" will not work with earlier versions of Dosbox - you'll need version 0.61 or later (note also that you'll probably need at least a Pentium 3 or equivalent in order to achieve decent framerates using Dosbox).
NOTE: Problems often occur simply because people fail to read the documentation that comes with a program. Should you decide to use either of these two utilities, please thoroughly read the documentation that comes with them! If you still experience problems running, or attempting to run, either of these programs, please contact their creators.
It doesnít matter if your system has 1 gigabyte of RAM, the most important thing as far as the game is concerned is how much "conventional" memory your system has. If Spear "End of Destiny" won't run on your system, it could be due to your system having insufficient conventional memory available. You require at least 560 kb of such memory in order for Spear "End of Destiny" to run reliably. If you have less than 560 kb, you may experience problems such as the game refusing to run with the maximum view size, or even "dumping out" altogether. The more conventional memory you have free, the better. If you have less than 560kb of conventional memory free, there are ways of freeing up more (as decribed below).
Although the game will also use available "expanded" (EMS) and/or "extended" (XMS) memory, the conventional memory is the most critical. If the game doesnít start at all, it may be that you have less than 560kb conventional memory free. If the game starts up, you'll see 3 memory indicators under the title "Available Memory". The one on the far left listed as "Main" is the most important. If the yellow indicators are only as high as the red 224 (or lower), then you may need to free up more conventional memory for reliable performance.
The following is straight from Microsoft Windows 98ís help database:
To determine whether Windows 98 is configured to provide enough conventional memory for a DOS based program:
1. Right-click the program's icon or shortcut, and then click Properties.
2. Click the Memory tab.
3. In the Conventional memory area, if a specific value is selected in Total or in Initial environment, verify that the value is high enough. If the value is high enough but the problem persists, in Total and in Initial environment, select Auto instead of a specific value.
4. Click OK.
If following this advice doesnít help get the game running, then further steps as detailed below may be required.
To find out how much conventional memory your system has, open a DOS command prompt window, and type:
then press the Enter key. At the bottom of the readout, you should see a line that says:
Largest executable program size 608K (623,008 bytes)
NOTE: Typing mem/c instead of mem will report exactly what programs are running in the background and how much conventional memory each program is using.
The 608K indicates you have 608kb of conventional memory free. Anything higher than 560 should give you reliable game performance. If you have less than 560kb free, the game may still run, but we canít guarantee anything!
If you have insufficient conventional memory free, you will have to stop some of those programs running in the background from starting when you start your computer. To do this, open your config.sys file (located in your C driveís root directory Ė open it from within "Notepad" or some similar text editor) and, if they're not already there, try inserting the following lines at the top:
DEVICEHIGH=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE AUTO RAM
Or alternatively try:
DEVICEHIGH=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE AUTO NOEMS
The first option enables "expanded" memory on your system. If the first option still fails to provide enough conventional memory after you restart your system, try the second option. The second option disables expanded memory but should provide more free conventional memory. It's quite possible your config.sys file has other "DEVICE=" lines. In addition to inserting the lines above, try changing those to "DEVICEHIGH=" and it's possible these "devices" may be loaded into upper memory areas thus freeing up conventional memory. Of course you'll need to restart your computer again for these new settings to take effect.
Or, if you're certain you don't need particular device drivers loaded from your config.sys, just put the letters "rem" in front of the line you don't need eg:
The "rem" will stop that particular driver loading and hogging precious conventional memory. Of course, if you later find you really do need to have that particular line loaded, you can just remove the "rem" and restart your computer.
If all this is too confusing, weíve included a sample "config.sys" file in with the game files. Copy this file to the root directory of your C drive (donít forget to back up your existing config.sys file first!) and then restart your computer. If you're lucky it may help.
Another file that may need attention is the "autoexec.bat" file (located in your C driveís root directory). This file automatically runs certain programs each time you start your computer, such as virus checking programs etc. It could be that these programs are hogging precious conventional memory you need for Spear "End of Destiny" to run. Open the autoexec.bat file from within a text editor such as Notepad, and use the "rem" command in the same way as described above to prevent certain programs loading the next time you start your computer. You can just remove the "rem" commands and restart your computer again should you find a program you absolutely need is not running.
If you have no luck with any of the above, try moving the config.sys and the autoexec.bat files to another location temporarily, then restart your computer. This may or may not free up the conventional memory you require to run the game. Donít forget to move the files back to their original location afterwards.
Remember that any changes you make to the config.sys and/or autoexec.bat files wonít take effect until after youíve restarted your computer. After restarting, go to the DOS command prompt once again, type
and press the Enter key. If your "Largest executable program size" is now above 560kb, then you should be able to run Spear "End of Destiny" with few problems.
If youíre still having problems, then we suggest you get a computer savvy friend who knows a little about this kind of thing to help.
If for some reason your system decides it doesn't like something the game is doing, then the game will most likely just "dump out" with an error message. This won't harm your system, but it will mean that you'll lose whatever progress you'd made in the game after your last save.
If you've got a standard type of computer with an adequate amount of conventional memory (see above), you shouldn't experience any crashes at all, but there is one possible exceptionÖ
If you play the game for extended periods making lots of saves and reloads as you play, the game may "dump out" with an error message. This same kind of thing used to happen with the original Wolfenstein 3D games. It could be due to a "memory leak" of some sort - whatever, it was a part of the original Wolfenstein 3D that we couldnít rectify. Having said that, youíre unlikely to encounter the problem unless you play for hours on end and you save/reload a lot.
If it does happen, well, it's no major problem. Just restart the game, load from your last save, and away you go again!
In order to hear sound and/or music in the game, your computer will require an Adlib or Soundblaster compatible sound card. When you start the game, it should automatically detect the presence of such a soundcard. If it doesn't, there are a few things that may be the cause. The most common causes will hopefully be solved by checking the following:
1. If you're not getting any sound at all, or the music in the game sounds "off key", then one possible cause is due to your soundcard's "interrupt" setting. To check this, from Windows 95 or 98, click "Start", "Settings", "Control Panel", then double click on the "System" icon. Click the "Device Manager" tab, and you should see a list of various hardware components installed in your computer. Look for "Sound, video and game controllers". To the left of this there should be a + sign; click on this to open the sub tree. You should see your soundcard listed in there. Click on it, and then click on the "Properties" button. Now, click the "Resources" tab, and you will see a number of settings assigned to your soundcard.
If the "Interrupt Request" setting is higher than 7, then that's most likely your problem. You'll need to change this, as the old Wolfenstein 3D engine didn't recognize soundcard interrupt values of greater than 7. To do so, deselect the "use automatic settings" option, then highlight the "Interrupt Request" option and click on "Change Setting" (you may have to change the Basic Configuration Setting if Windows won't allow you to change it). Now, click on the arrows until you find a number lower than 8 that isn't being used by any other system component (Windows will list what components are using each interrupt). If there's one lower than 8 that's free, select it! If there's not, you'll have to assign something else that's using one of these lower interrupts a higher figure so as to free up the lower one for your soundcard.
Some soundcards will not allow you to change their "Interrupt Request" setting. In this case, you could try "VDMSound" or "Dosbox" (as described earlier), or just play the game without music if the other "in-game" sound effects work OK. You could always play the game with PC speaker support, but all youíll hear are strange bleeps and bloops as you play (which may be a real nostalgia trip for some computer game buffs but certainly not for us)!
Please bear in mind that the above procedure is from within Windows 95 or 98. The procedure to follow from Windows Me/2000/XP may be slightly different to this. And if all this hardware setting stuff is a little confusing, well, you'd be best to get a friend who knows a little about computers (or a computer technician) to help out rather than attempt to fiddle around with things yourself!
2. Another possible cause of sound problems may be found in your autoexec.bat file. Although you may still get in-game sound without the following, it's certainly worth trying this if step 1 above doesn't seem to be your problem.
In your autoexec.bat file, you may have a SET BLASTER line that looks like this:
SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H5 P330 T6
SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 T4
This tells your computer to set your Soundblaster (or compatible) so that DOS based programs will be able to detect it. Without trying to get too technical, the "A" points to the hex IO address, The "I" indicates the interrupt request, the "D" the low DMA, the "H" the high DMA, the "P" the MPU-401 UART address, and the "T" the soundcard type (refer to your soundcard manual).
Generally, A220 , D1, H5 and P330 are pretty much standard for most soundblaster type cards. Often, the number 5 is a common setting for the "I" value, but other figures can be used. You'll have to ensure the "I" setting matches that listed for the soundcard's interrupt request as explained in step 1.
Don't forget, youíll need to restart your computer in order for altered settings to take effect.
NOTE: If your autoexec.bat file doesnít have such a line in it, try inserting a "set blaster" line into it that reflects your current soundcard settings and restart your computer. This may not work, but itís worth a try.
3. If you've accounted for the possible problems as per steps 1 and 2 above, and are still having no luck, then look for a file named "config.eod" in the folder where you installed Spear "End of Destiny" to. This file contains information pertaining to your soundcard. It's possible it may have incorrect settings in it. Delete it, and then try running the game (the game will create a new copy of the file with updated information in it).
4. Although unlikely, if the sound engine should "lock up" for some reason during the game, try pressing the keys "BAT" simultaneously to reset it.
If none of the above help with sound problems, and you havenít tried "VDMSound" or "Dosbox", then we can only suggest you ask someone who may understand your particular computer setup.
We (AReyeP & MCS) have run the game on a number of different systems, each with different setups and different soundcard types. Problems we have encountered with sound on various computer configurations include the following:
1. If you have a Soundblaster AWE64 soundcard, you may sometimes find in-game sound effects "drop out" eg: you may not hear a door open, or your weapon firing on some occasions. The other systems have different soundcards (one has a Crystal 3D Soundblaster clone, another a Soundblaster 16 clone built on to the motherboard, another a genuine Soundblaster 16, and yet another a very early model Soundblaster card), and none of these systems experienced these "drop outs". Could just be an issue with the AWE series of Soundblaster soundcards.
2. On the system with the "on board" Soundblaster 16 clone, the soundcardís "Interrupt Request" (IRQ) value is 10 (this setting cannot be changed on this particular soundcard). The in-game sound effects work, but the in-game music sounds "off key". If you experience this problem, follow the steps as outlined above, or just go to the "Options" menu in the game, select the "Sound" option, and in the "Music" section select the "None" option. Better a game with no music than crappy sounding stuff!
We wish we could say there were no bugs! But there are a few which, thankfully, are very rare. Hopefully you shouldn't even encounter these at all whilst playing the game (unless you deliberately go looking for them)!
1. One bug we are aware of was present in the original Wolfenstein 3D game also. After playing for extended periods and saving/loading games on a frequent basis, you may find some wall tiles display the incorrect textures. If this happens, it most likely will occur on a large complex level. We could have made the levels smaller and less challenging to avoid the likelihood of this ever happening, but we didn't wish to sacrifice features in levels just so as to try to avoid a bug that is very rare anyway.
If you do find that some wall graphics look decidedly out of place whilst playing, then save your game, quit the game altogether, and restart the game. After loading the game you just saved, all should be OK.
2. Rocket Launcher: If you fire a rocket whilst standing in an open doorway, or whilst standing in front of an open doorway, you may not see the rocket you've just fired. Likewise, if you fire a rocket and then "chase" it, it'll appear to "disappear".
3. On very rare occasions when you stand face to face with an enemy who's in the middle of a doorway, the enemy may appear to "disappear" (or be "invisible"). If this happens, just back up a fraction and the enemy will become visible again.
4. On rare occasions when opening a doorway and encountering an enemy directly on the other side, the enemy may appear to "jump" a space as they move towards you through the doorway. Thankfully though, as stated, this is a rare occurrence.
5. Occasionally, if you run into an "Artefact of Displacement" while firing your weapon, the weapon will still appear to be firing (even though it isn't) when you arrive at the teleport destination. This will be reset when you next fire the weapon (or select another weapon).
6. "Gliding" guards! This problem occurred from time to time in the original Wolfenstein 3D also. Patrolling guards may sometimes appear to be "gliding" as they move instead of displaying the normal walking animation. This behaviour ceases once the guard becomes alerted to your presence. If this fault really annoys you, then we suggest you play a little Michael Jackson music in the background to make the behaviour seem quite normal :)
AReyeP and MCS take no responsibility for problems encountered as a result of running Spear "End of Destiny", or as a result of following or attempting to follow suggested courses of action as per the above "Trouble Shooting" section.
Many early DOS games didn't offer the option to adjust their brightness levels. Wolfenstein 3D was one of these, and being that Spear "End of Destiny" uses the Wolfenstein 3D source code as a base, it too lacks such an option. In the early days of DOS gaming, gamers mostly just adjusted their monitor's brightness and/or contrast settings if a game appeared too light or dark. If Spear "End of Destiny" appears too dark, we suggest you do likewise.
Unfortunately, many monitors lose their ability to display at their maximum brightness over time, with some getting so dark you can suffer eyestrain continuing to use them! With most games these days offering gamma and brightness adjustment, and Windows software that can enable you to adjust the gamma levels of your display, you may not even notice any such deterioration. If your monitor is affected this way however, then Spear "End of Destiny" may appear quite dark even with your monitor set to maximum brightness.
Some levels in the game have darker shading than others. The first level in the game is one of these "dark" levels being that it set outdoors during night. However you should still be able to see distant walls and objects quite clearly in this level (although they will of course appear darker). If not, and adjusting your monitor to maximum brightness settings doesn't help, then you can turn the game's shading feature off by holding down the "Backspace" key and pressing the "S" key. Not all levels are this dark though, so when the next level starts, use the Backspace-S combination again to turn shading back on to check if the shading for the new level is acceptable or not. You can turn shading off or on at any time during the game should the need arise.
Alternatively you could always buy a new monitor (for an old DOS game? "Like - yeah!" :)