3D Ultra Pinball Series

Matt Jernigan edited this page Dec 7, 2017 · 34 revisions

3D Ultra Pinball icon 3·D Ultra Pinball (Outpost)

Game Install

  • :warning: Do not run the installer on the CD.
  • :white_check_mark: Copy the UPINBALL folder from the CD to your hard drive.
  • :large_blue_diamond: Optional. If you want to see the intro and finale videos (instead of just hear them) you have a few options:
    • (Easiest) Set the compatibility mode for PINBALL.EXE to:
      • Run this program in compatibility mode for: Windows 98 (or earlier)
        • But then you always get that UAC window, each time you launch, asking if you want to allow this app to make changes to your device.
    • (My preference) Install a better Indeo 3 video codec than the Microsoft one, such as ffdshow:
    • (An odd solution) Re-encode to another VFW-compatible format that works easier, such as MS Video 1 or Cinepak (at a small loss in quality and slight color shifts).
      • VirtualDub is a tool that still works with these old VFW codecs. Hint: set the encoder in Video >> Compression, then Save as AVI.
      • ffmpeg can also encode to Cinepak but currently does a poor job with the typically better (but bigger) MS Video 1. Hint: ffmpeg -i UPB.AVI -vcodec cinepak -acodec copy UPB.new.AVI.
  • :warning: This game's near-full-screen autosized window can be problematic on later Windows versions with the game failing to stay on top of the taskbar. Your options with this game are:
    • Maximize the window and restart. (This is what 99.999% of you want.)
    • Leave the window normalized and set the compatibility mode for PINBALL.EXE to:
      • Run this program in compatibility mode for: Windows 98 (or earlier)
      • But this is a pain for what you get. There is no full-screen mode and this autosized window assumes a taskbar of a certain height along the bottom of the screen. Thus, you might as well ignore this. If you have the taskbar elsewhere, this will get the window on top of it but you will really get better results with the maximized option.

RBXIT Win7 Patches

(none needed) :+1:

Outstanding Issues

  • The background music (MIDI) gets stuck in really slooooow play at the start of the second table, Mine. To work around it, keep music off or go to Preferences and toggle music off and back on.
  • At program launch, a message box pops up with: ":warning: Running SETUP first, will ensure optimum performance of this demo." Select OK and ignore it. The game runs just fine and not in a demo mode as far as I can tell. (This should be an easy one to solve. Probably just looking for a file somewhere.)
  • The help program is 16-bit and will not run on 64-bit era Windows.
  • The credits scroll way too fast in the "About" screen. The horror!:scream:

3D Ultra Pinball: Creep Night icon 3·D Ultra Pinball: Creep Night

Game Install

  • :warning: Do not run the installer on the CD.
  • :white_check_mark: There are two options for installing for play without the CD:
    • 1. (Favorite) Copy the UPBALL2 folder from the CD to your hard drive.
      • Then, copy the ENGLISH\HELP folder from the CD to the UPBALL2 folder on your hard drive so that you now have a UPBALL2\HELP folder (it does not need to be under an ENGLISH folder).
    • 2. (Not my favorite) Download and run this 3rd-party installer from any folder (Windows XP and later):
    • Sierra's installer is 16-bit so this is not an option (it would be similar to The Lost Continent instructions if it were).
  • :large_blue_diamond: Optional. If you want to see the intro and finale videos (instead of just hear them) you have a few options:
    • (Easiest) Set the compatibility mode for PINBALL2.EXE to:
      • Run this program in compatibility mode for: Windows XP (Service Pack 3) (or earlier)
        • But then you always get that UAC window, each time you launch, asking if you want to allow this app to make changes to your device.
    • (My preference) Install a better Indeo 3 video codec than the Microsoft one, such as ffdshow:
    • (An odd solution) Re-encode to another VFW-compatible format that works easier, such as MS Video 1 or Cinepak (at a small loss in quality and slight color shifts).
      • VirtualDub is a tool that still works with these old VFW codecs. Hint: set the encoder in Video >> Compression, then Save as AVI.
      • ffmpeg can also encode to Cinepak but currently does a poor job with the typically better (but bigger) MS Video 1. Hint: ffmpeg -i INTRO1.AVI -vcodec cinepak -acodec copy INTRO1.new.AVI.
  • :large_blue_diamond: Optional. :+1: Crank up the audio and visual settings (default turns these on but the 3rd-party installer defaults them off):
    • From in game: Main Menu >> Preferences >> Detail Level:
      • Use Ambient Sounds and Animations
      • Use 22 MHz Sounds
      • Use Multiple Sounds
      • Pre-load Animations
  • :warning: Full-screen mode can be problematic on later Windows versions with the game failing to stay on top of the taskbar. Your best options with this game are:
    • Run in window mode.
    • Run in window mode and maximize the window to get near-full-screen mode without glitches.
    • Run in full-screen mode and set your taskbar to autohide. (Another PowerShell script?)
  • :large_blue_diamond: Optional. If the help program does not load (and it likely will not on Window Vi and later) try using one of the WinHlp32.exe installers from Microsoft. Attempting to open the help system in-game should take you to the appropriate MS page but, if it does not, look here. Currently, WinHelp32.exe installers are available for Windows Vista through Windows 8.1. Windows 10 appears out of luck so far.

RBXIT Win7 Patches

(none needed) :+1:

Outstanding Issues

  • The opening video plays at 320x240 instead of 640x480. Switching the files around doesn't fix it.
  • The "Main Menu >> Preferences >> Detail Level >> Use Digital Music" option gives the following message and I don't yet know what it is about:
    • :warning: Digital music is not available on your system.
  • MIDI music does not respond to the music volume settings. If your audio driver has a volume slider for FM Synth then you can control MIDI volume that way (this is becoming less common). For other options see info on MIDIVOL.
  • The game CD has 2 audio tracks in addition to the data track. The two tracks appear to be identical except that the first has exactly 3 extra seconds of silence at the end. Perhaps this was intended as background music instead of the MIDI files but I have my doubts since it is so short. Anyhow, if you want some hints as to what to do with them, see this guide:
  • The full-screen game window does not stay on top of taskbar with Windows 10 (as addressed under Game Install above). Others? This can cause slight alignment problems with dialog windows versus their frames.
  • The "Windows >> Normal Window" menu item doesn't ever show as checked on some (any?) systems.
  • No help system under Windows 10 (as addressed under Game Install above).

3D Ultra Pinball: The Lost Continent icon 3·D Ultra Pinball: The Lost Continent

Game Install

  • :white_check_mark: There are two options for installing for play without the CD:
    • 1. Copy the UPBALL3 folder from the CD to your hard drive.
      • Crazy simple, huh?
    • 2. Run Sierra's installer on the CD:
      • Run Autoplay.exe. Some hints:
        • Choose Small Install (or, whatever, actually).
        • Clear All demo installations.
        • (x) DO NOT Install Bookmarks (they won't do you any good anyway).
        • No, do not check for updates (there aren't any -- that message is based on date and is misleading).
        • Register Later (since it surely won't work).
      • Anyway... after installation, copy these files from the CD UPBALL3 folder to your install folder:
        • RESOURCE.001
        • RESOURCE.MAP
        • final1.avi (you can skip this low-res one)
        • final2.avi (you can skip this if you don't want the videos)
        • intro1.avi (you can skip this low-res one)
        • intro2.avi (you can skip this if you don't want the videos)
      • With the fat RESOURCE.001 in place, this file can now be removed:
        • OVERRIDE.DAT
  • :information_source: The intro and finale videos are in Cinepak format and should play fine on all Windows versions to date.
  • :information_source: The audio and visual settings are already defaulted at their highest:
    • From in game: Main Menu >> Preferences >> Detail Level:
      • Use Ambient Sounds and Animations
      • Use 22 MHz Sounds
      • Use Multiple Sounds
      • Pre-load Animations
  • :warning: Full-screen mode can be problematic on later Windows versions with the game failing to stay on top of the taskbar. Your best options with this game are:
    • Run in window mode.
    • Run in window mode and maximize the window to get near-full-screen mode without glitches.
      • Restart after first maximizing to fix the game screen stretch dimensions.
    • Run in full-screen mode and set your taskbar to autohide. (Another PowerShell script?)
  • :large_blue_diamond: Optional. If the help program does not load (and it likely will not on Window Vi and later) try using one of the WinHlp32.exe installers from Microsoft. Attempting to open the help system in-game should take you to the appropriate MS page but, if it does not, look here. Currently, WinHelp32.exe installers are available for Windows Vista through Windows 8.1. Windows 10 appears out of luck so far.

RBXIT Win7 Patches

(none needed) :+1:

Outstanding Issues

  • The "Main Menu >> Preferences >> Detail Level >> Use Digital Music" option gives the following message and I don't yet know what it is about:
    • :warning: Digital music is not available on your system.
  • MIDI music does not respond to the music volume settings. If your audio driver has a volume slider for FM Synth then you can control MIDI volume that way (this is becoming less common). For other options see info on MIDIVOL.
  • The full-screen game window does not stay on top of taskbar with Windows 10 (as addressed under Game Install above). Others? This can cause slight alignment problems with dialog windows versus their frames.
  • The "Windows >> Normal Window" menu item doesn't ever show as checked on some (any?) systems.
  • No help system under Windows 10 (as addressed under Game Install above).

3D Ultra Pinball: NASCAR icon 3·D Ultra Pinball: NASCAR®

Game Install

  • :white_check_mark: There are two options for installing for play without the CD:
    • 1. Copy the NASCAR Pinball folder from the CD to your hard drive.
    • 2. Run Sierra's installer on the CD:
      • Run Autorun.exe. Some hints:
        • Choose Large Install.
        • Cancel out of the Indeo 5 video codecs installation. It is ineffective.
        • (x) Do not install bookmarks (they won't do you any good anyway).
        • No, do not check for updates (there aren't any -- that message is based on date and is misleading).
        • Register Later (since it surely won't work).
      • The large install is sufficient to play without the CD as long as you don't mind the loss of the videos. More on this below.
  • :large_blue_diamond: Optional. If you want to see the intro video and the Pinball Vault videos, you need to install an Indeo 5 video codec.
    • Indeo Video codec install
    • Or, (an odd solution) re-encode to another VFW-compatible format that works easier, such as MS Video 1 or Cinepak (at a small loss in quality and slight color shifts).
      • VirtualDub is a tool that still works with these old VFW codecs. Hint: set the encoder in Video >> Compression, then Save as AVI.
      • ffmpeg can also encode to Cinepak but currently does a poor job with the typically better (but bigger) MS Video 1. Hint: ffmpeg -i intro.avi -vcodec cinepak -acodec copy intro.new.avi.
  • :large_blue_diamond: Optional. :+1: Enable video playback without the CD.
    • :warning: If you don't know how to edit the Windows Registry, don't do any of this.
    • If you used Sierra's installer, copy the NASCAR Pinball\avi folder from the CD to the install folder on your hard drive.
    • If you used Sierra's installer, the game's CDPath Windows Registry entry needs to be updated to the parent of the avi folder. For example:
      • 32-bit Windows: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Sierra On-Line\3D Ultra NASCAR Pinball\Settings
      • 64-bit Windows: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Sierra On-Line\3D Ultra NASCAR Pinball\Settings
        • Set CDPath to C:\Games\Sierra\NASCAR Pinball (correct this for your path).
      • This setting is optional if you didn't use Sierra's installer as it seems to find the AVIs just fine without this registry entry.
      • More on this below.
  • :large_blue_diamond: Optional. :+1: Enable 16-bit audio and 16-bit graphics (slight improvements).
    • :warning: If you don't know how to edit the Windows Registry, don't do any of this.
    • See NASCAR Pinball\data16\ThrillSeekers.txt for more info.
    • Move (or copy) all the files from NASCAR Pinball\data16 (hard drive or CD) to your NASCAR Pinball\data folder.
    • Add two new entries to the Windows Registry:
      • 32-bit Windows: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Sierra On-Line\3D Ultra NASCAR Pinball\Settings
      • 64-bit Windows: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Sierra On-Line\3D Ultra NASCAR Pinball\Settings
        • Add new String Value Audio Depth with a value of 16.
        • Add new String Value Bit Depth with a value of 16.
      • If you want to create your own .reg file (such as Pinball.reg) to set 16-bit as well as video path, it would contain these lines and blank lines (correct the CDPath):
        • REGEDIT4
        •  
        • [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Sierra On-Line\3D Ultra NASCAR Pinball\Settings]
        • "CDPath"="C:\\Games\\Sierra\\NASCAR Pinball"
        • "Audio Depth"="16"
        • "Bit Depth"="16"
        •  
      • Install it by running this from a command window in administrator mode:
        • reg import "Pinball.reg" /reg:32
      • If you want to click-install a .reg file on 64-bit Windows, you will likely need to change the key path in the file (this method is not guaranteed as some versions of Windows may force this to the 64-bit area instead of the 32-bit area of the registry):
        • [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Sierra On-Line\3D Ultra NASCAR Pinball\Settings]
  • :small_blue_diamond: Very optional. Some dirt from the top menu can sometimes be seen in full-screen mode on Windows 10: a small rectangle of pixels on the upper right outside of the game screen. Visible or not, this pushes the game window off the edge of the screen to the left and upward 4 pixels. To get rid of this tiny glitch set the compatibility mode for Pinball.exe to:
    • Run this program in compatibility mode for Windows 8
      • (Any pre-10 version will work to change the look and feel of the top menu.)

RBXIT Win7 Patches

(none needed) :+1:

Outstanding Issues

  • The game can crash when moving from fullscreen to windowed. Try switching at different points such as a paused game. Once it sticks, it stays. A more radical workaround is to set this in the registry yourself.

3D Ultra Pinball: Thrillride icon 3·D Ultra Pinball: Thrillride

Game Install

  • :white_check_mark: Presented are two options for installing and both require the CD (or CD ISO) to play:
    • 1. Copy the Thrillride folder from the CD to your hard drive.
      • You can delete the *.avi and *.mov files from Thrillride\data if you want. The game looks for these files on the CD and will not check your hard drive.
    • 2. Run Sierra's installer on the CD:
      • Run AutoPlay.exe. Some hints:
        • No, do not check for updates (it won't work).
        • Register Later (since it surely won't work).
        • The Indeo 5 video codecs installation still works. All it seems to do is enable the dormant files on the system. (It also adds an iyvu9_32.dll for some mixed-up reason.) Consider this before agreeing to these codecs: Indeo Video codec install.
          • If you do install these codecs, there is no need to reboot on modern systems like it will ask you to. Codecs are enabled instantly these days.
  • :information_source: The CD must be in the drive to verify and play the game. This is not a cracks project so I can't help you there. Albeit, because this project is about running old games on new machines, and because some new machines don't have CD drives, if you have the CD and another machine with a CD drive, this application should be able to help you create a mountable virtual CD to help your situation.
    • Then read Mount and unmount disk image on demand.
      • For example, I have a file in my Thrillride folder called PinballNoCD.cmd with these lines:
        • PowerShell Mount-DiskImage \"%CD%\Thrillride.iso\"
        • Pinball
        • PowerShell Dismount-DiskImage \"%CD%\Thrillride.iso\"
    • Furthermore, the game merely looks for a disc with a Thrillride volume name. Thus, you can minimize the ISO size by creating one with no content and that volume name (oops, I guess I sorta just cracked it). I'll let you figure out how to do that (hint: an ISO does not need to be created from a disc).
      • If you also want the intro video and Hershey commercials, create an ISO with this file structure:
        • :open_file_folder: Thrillride
          • :open_file_folder: data
            • :movie_camera: Hershey1.avi, :movie_camera: Hershey2.avi, :movie_camera: Intro.avi
      • If you also want to re-encode these videos to avoid Indeo 5 altogether, here's a hint:
        • (An odd solution) Re-encode to another VFW-compatible format that works easier, such as MS Video 1 or Cinepak (at a small loss in quality and slight color shifts).
          • VirtualDub is a tool that still works with these old VFW codecs. Hint: set the encoder in Video >> Compression, then Save as AVI.
          • ffmpeg can also encode to Cinepak but currently does a poor job with the typically better (but bigger) MS Video 1. Hint: ffmpeg -i Intro.old.avi -vcodec cinepak -acodec copy Intro.avi.
  • :large_blue_diamond: Optional. If you want to see the intro video and the Hershey commercials, you need to install an Indeo 5 video codec.
  • :large_blue_diamond: Optional. :+1: Download and run Sierra's v1.0.1 update (below) from any folder.
  • :large_blue_diamond: Optional. :+1: Turn on 16-bit audio.
    • From in game: Main Menu >> Preferences >> Advanced >> Sound Quality.
  • :small_blue_diamond: Very optional. Turn on windowed mode (to get around errors when exiting the game).
    • From in game: Main Menu >> Preferences >> Display mode.
  • :small_blue_diamond: Very optional. Some dirt from the top menu can sometimes be seen in full-screen mode on Windows 10: a small rectangle of pixels on the upper right outside of the game screen. Visible or not, this pushes the game window off the edge of the screen to the left and upward 4 pixels. To get rid of this tiny glitch set the compatibility mode for Pinball.exe to:
    • Run this program in compatibility mode for Windows 8
      • (Any pre-10 version will work to change the look and feel of the top menu.)

Sierra Updates

:white_check_mark: v1.0 to v1.0.1: The Sierra Help Pages - 3-D Ultra Series Updates

RBXIT Win7 Patches

(none needed) :+1:

Outstanding Issues

  • Two crash messages on Windows 10 (others?) when exiting from full-screen mode. We're exiting. Annoying, but not spending much time on trying to fix. Run in windowed mode if you want to avoid these messages.
  • If you select a menu item or button that takes you out of the game but leaves the game open (Thrillride Home/Thrillride Web Site, View ReadMe file, or HERSHEYPARK®️ Home), it can be difficult to get back. On Windows 10, try opening the start menu and then selecting Thrillride from the taskbar while the start menu is still open.
  • Links to the Thrillride Home/Thrillride Web Site, of course, don't work. The Hershey Park one does.
  • After the 1.0.1 upgrade, the menu item and button to View ReadMe file will instead search your path for any readme.txt and open the first one it finds. To fix this, rename ReadMe101.txt to ReadMe.txt in your Thrillride folder.