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ResidualVM: A 3D game interpreter

  1. What is ResidualVM?
  2. Current state
  3. Running GrimE games
  4. Running Myst III
  5. Running The Longest Journey
  6. Configuration
  7. Troubleshooting
  8. Debugging
  9. Bug reports
  10. Contact

1. What is ResidualVM?

ResidualVM is a game engine reimplementation that allows you to play 3D adventure games such as Grim Fandango, Escape from Monkey Island, Myst III and The Longest Journey.

ResidualVM utilizes OpenGL for 3D graphics hardware acceleration. A software renderer is also included for machines without hardware OpenGL.

2. Current state

At this point ResidualVM is fit for normal use, when playing supported games, it is however worth noting that you should still save early and save often, as problems or dead ends might still exist (Grim Fandango itself originally had a few unintentional ways to get the game stuck).

2.1. Which games does ResidualVM support?

Currently ResidualVM supports Grim Fandango and Escape from Monkey Island, as well as Myst III and The Longest Journey.

2.1.1. GrimE games support

Game Status
Grim Fandango Completable with glitches
Grim Fandango (demo) Completable with glitches
Escape from Monkey Island Completable with glitches
Escape from Monkey Island (demo) Completable with glitches
Escape from Monkey Island (PS2) Untested

2.1.2. Other games support

Game Status
Myst III Exile Completable
The Longest Journey Untested
The Longest Journey (demo) Untested

Specifics can be found at

For more information, see the page on ResidualVM at the wiki page:

3. Running GrimE games

3.1. Required files

For both Grim Fandango and Escape from Monkey Island, you will need the original game files as well as the official update patch.

3.1.1. Grim Fandango

You will need to copy the data files from your Grim Fandango CDs into one directory. Specifically, you'll need:

3.1.2. Escape from Monkey Island

You will need to copy the data files from your Escape from Monkey Island CDs into one directory. Specifically, you'll need:

  • All of the M4B files from both CDs. One of the files is easy to miss: local.m4b is located on CD1 in Monkey4/MonkeyInstall. Note: The file voiceAll.m4b is repeated on both CDs. Use the copy from the first CD, it contains all of the required voice data.
  • The Textures directory, combined from both CDs. When copying, rename the FullMonkeyMap.imt files to FullMonkeyMap1.imt and FullMonkeyMap2.imt from CDs 1 and 2 respectively.
  • The Movies directory from each CD.
  • A copy of the Escape from Monkey Monkey Island update EXE. You will need a patch specific to the EMI version you're using:
Language URL
  • "EFMI Installer" if you have the Mac version of EMI.

3.1.3. Escape from Monkey Island (PS2)

You will need to copy the data files from your Escape from Monkey Island DVD into one directory. Specifically, you'll need:

  • All of the M4B files from the DVD.
  • The Videos, demos, jambalay, lucre, melee and monkey directores.

3.2. Running the game

  1. Prepare the game directory as specified above.
  2. Open ResidualVM.
  3. Click Add Game....
  4. Select the directory you created in step 1.
  5. Click Start.

If you want to play with software rendering, see the configuration section below, or use the in-game settings to disable 3D acceleration.

When launching the game for the first time, ResidualVM will perform a full integrity check of your game data files. This can take a bit of time, but it will not happen again on successive runs. This prevents bugs from incompatible game data and helps us to find game variants that we're not aware of.

3.3. Default keyboard settings

Key Binding
Arrow keys Movement
Shift Hold to run
Enter Selects items in inventory, conversation, etc
Escape Skips cutscenes, exits certain screens
e Examine
u Use
p Pickup
i Inventory
q Exit Dialog Menu
. Skips dialogue
F1 Menu
Alt + x Quit (in-game)
Ctrl + c Force quit (from command line)
Alt + Enter Switch between windowed mode and fullscreen
Alt + s Save a screenshot

3.4. Joystick/gamepad support

If you want to use a joystick or gamepad for navigation, the joystick support of the engine needs to be enabled using one of the following two options:

  • start ResidualVM with --joystick parameter,
  • add joystick\_num=0 to the [residualvm] section of the configuration file (see section 6.1. how to find it).

4. Running Myst III

4.1. Required files

You will need to copy the data files from your Myst III CDs or DVD into one directory. Specifically, you'll need:

  • The M3Data directory.
  • The Data directory.
  • The menu language file [LANGUAGE].m3u (DVD only).

The game must be at least version 1.1. For most releases of the game, the update is already applied on the installation media and no action is required. Otherwise, ResidualVM asks for the update to be installed and refuses to run the game. The updates can be downloaded from

The DVD version is multilingual, you can change the in-game language from the game menu. However, you must choose the language of the menus by copying the appropriate files. You have to copy the menu language file from your chosen language directory on the disc. On the DVD, the menu language file can be named language.m3u or [LANGUAGE].m3u depending on the release. It should be copied to the M3Data/TEXT directory. If the file is named language.m3u, it should be renamed to the explicit language e.g. ENGLISH.m3u for English.

The required files must be organized in the following manner to be recognized:

├── Data
│   └── *.m3a
└── M3Data
    └── Various files and directories (including the DVD version's menu language file)

4.2. Running the game

  1. Prepare the game directory as specified above.
  2. Open ResidualVM.
  3. Click Add Game....
  4. Select the directory you created in step 1.
  5. Click Start.

4.3. Input controls

The mouse is used to look around and interact with the ages.

Available keyboard shortcuts:

Key Binding
Escape Original Myst III menu
Space Skip cutscenes, interact
Ctrl + F5 ResidualVM menu
Ctrl + c Force quit (from command line)
Ctrl + q Quit (in-game)
Alt + s Save a screenshot

5. Running The Longest Journey

5.1. Required files

You will need to copy the data files from your The Longest Journey CDs, DVD or digital distribution into one directory. Specifically, you'll need:

  • The 1a79 directories (only 4f for demo version).
  • The global directory.
  • The static directory.
  • The fonts directory (not critical, but recommended – see below).
  • x.xarc and all the INI files.
  • game.exe (not critical, but recommended for a styled message dialog)

The 2-CD and DVD versions have some of the data files packed in installer archives. The archives need to be unpacked before they can be used.

Steam version and demo from Steam are missing the fonts directory. The required fonts can be copied over from demo version obtained from different sources or a GOG or retail version.

Mixing files from different versions of the game is not supported.

5.2. Running the game

  1. Prepare the game directory as specified above.
  2. Open ResidualVM.
  3. Click Add Game....
  4. Select the directory you created in step 1.
  5. Click Start.

5.3. Input controls

The mouse is used to interact with objects and menu elements.

Available keyboard shortcuts:

Key Binding
Escape Skip video sequence or current line of dialogue, skip time if Time Skip option is enabled
F1 Diary Menu
F2 Save game
F3 Load game
F4 Conversation Log
F5 April's Diary (initially disabled)
F6 Video replay
F7 Game settings
F8 Save a screenshot
F9 Toggle subtitles on and off
F10 Quit game and return to main menu
A Cycle back through inventory cursor items
S Cycle forward through inventory cursor items
I Inventory
P Pause the game
X Display all exits on current location
Page Up Scroll up in dialogues and in your inventory
Up arrow Scroll up in dialogues and in your inventory
Page Down Scroll down in dialogues and in your inventory
Down arrow Scroll down in dialogues and in your inventory
Enter Select currently highlighted dialogue choice
19 Select a dialogue choice
Ctrl + F5 ResidualVM menu
Alt + Enter Switch between windowed mode and fullscreen
Ctrl + c Force quit (from command line)
Ctrl + q Quit (in-game)
Alt + x Quit
Alt + q Quit
Alt + s Save a screenshot

6. Configuration

Currently, not all the settings for ResidualVM are available through the GUI, if you have problems with getting anything to work, first try to pass the settings from the command line, then, if that doesn't work, try to change your configuration file manually.

6.1. Location of configuration file

By default, the configuration file is saved in and loaded from:

Operating System Location
Windows Vista/7/8/10 \Users\username\AppData\Roaming\ResidualVM\residualvm.ini
Windows 2000/XP \Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\ResidualVM\residualvm.ini
Linux ~/.config/residualvm/residualvm.ini
macOS/OS X ~/Library/Preferences/ResidualVM Preferences
Others residualvm.ini in the current directory

6.2. Location of saved screenshots

By default, screenshots will be saved to:

Operating System Location
Windows \Users\username\My Pictures\ResidualVM Screenshots
macOS X On the Desktop
Other unices In the XDG Pictures user directory, e.g. ~/Pictures/ResidualVM Screenshots
Any other OS In the current directory

Alternatively, you can specify the directory where the screenshots will be saved in the configuration file. To do so, add a screenshotpath value under the [residualvm] section:


6.3. Interesting settings for GrimE games

The following settings are currently available in the config file, however some of them might not work with your current build and some of them might make ResidualVM crash, or behave in weird ways.

Setting Values Effect
show_fps true/false If set to true, ResidualVM will show the current FPS rate while you play
last_set set name The set you were last on, ResidualVM will try to continue from there
last_save save number The save you last saved, ResidualVM will have that selected the next time you try to load a game
use_arb_shaders true/false If set to true and if you are using the OpenGL renderer ResidualVM will use ARB shaders. While fast, they may be incompatible with some graphics drivers
fullscreen_res desktop/widthxheight If set to desktop (the default), ResidualVM will use your desktop resolution in fullscreen mode. If set to a resolution such as 640x480 or 1280x720, that resolution will be used

7. Troubleshooting, known bugs, issues

Grim Fandango had a few issues when it came out and a few new and exciting issues when you try to run it on newer hardware. Some of these have been fixed in ResidualVM, but ResidualVM itself also has a few new issues that we know about:

Look below for help with these issues and if you can't find help here, try contacting us at Contact section.

7.1. I played a bit, but can't start a new game!

This is because the last save and visited scene is stored in your configuration file, either delete your Grim Fandango entry from the ResidualVM menu and readd it, or go to your configuration file and clean out the last_save and last_set entries.

7.2. My saved games don't work any more!

Did you recently update to a newer build of ResidualVM? ResidualVM is still a work in progress, which means that the save format might change between builds. While attempts are made to keep save file compatibility, this isn't always possible.

8. Debugging

WARNING: This section contains information about the various tools that are included for debugging ResidualVM, this should not be necessary for normal play at all! However, the curious might like to know how to access these tool. Please use at your own risk!

To enter the debug console, press Ctrl + d. Use the help command to display a list of the available commands. To exit, press Escape or type exit or quit.

Debug console commands common to all engines:

Command Description
openlog Show the log of errors/warnings/information from the engine
debuglevel List or change verbosity of debug output
debugflag_list List the available debug flags and their status
debugflag_enable Enable a given debug flag
debugflag_disable Disable a given debug flag
md5 Calculates MD5 checksum of a file
md5mac Calculates MD5 checksum of a file (Mac format)

8.1. Debugging GrimE games

The development console can be used to debug both Grim Fandango and Escape from Monkey Island.

Some of the useful debug console commands:

Command Description
jump Jump to a section of the game
lua_do Execute a lua command
set_renderer Select a renderer (software, OpenGL or OpenGL with shaders)

The jump targets can be found at:

8.2. Debugging Grim Fandango

Grim Fandango also includes a built in debug mode. To enable debug mode and debug keys, you will have to add the following line to your configuration file under the Grim Fandango entry:


Development/debug keys from the original game:

Key Binding
Ctrl + e Enter lua string to execute
Ctrl + g Jump to set
Ctrl + i Toggle walk boxes
Ctrl + l Toggle lighting
Ctrl + n Display background name
Ctrl + o Create a door
Ctrl + p Execute patch file
Ctrl + s Turn on cursor
Ctrl + u Create a new object
Ctrl + v Print the value of a variable
Alt + n Next viewpoint
Alt + p Prev viewpoint
Alt + s Run lua script
Shift + n Next set
Shift + p Previous set
Shift + o Toggle object names
F3 Toggle sector editor
Home Go to default position in current set
j Enter jump number

Note that these are only available after enabling debug mode.

8.3. Debugging Myst III

The most useful debug console commands are:

Command Description
dumpArchive Extract a game archive
infos Display the name of a node and show the associated scripts
go Jump to a node
var Display or alter the value of a variable from the game state

8.4. Debugging The Longest Journey

The debug console commands are:

Command Description
changeChapter Change the current chapter
changeKnowledge Change the value of some knowledge
changeLocation Change the current location
chapter Display the current chapter
decompileScript Decompile a script
dumpArchive Extract a game archive
dumpGlobal Print the global level's resource sub-tree to stdout
dumpKnowledge Print the current knowledge to stdout
dumpLevel Print the current level's resource sub-tree to stdout
dumpLocation Print the current location's resource sub-tree to stdout
dumpRoot Print the resource tree root to stdout
dumpStatic Print the static level's resource sub-tree to stdout
enableInventoryItem Enable a specific inventory item
enableScript Enable or disable script
extractAllTextures Extract the textures used by the 3d models to dump/
forceScript Force the execution of a script
forceAnimation Force an animation to play
listAnimations List all the animations in the current level
listInventoryItems List all inventory items in the game
listLocations List all the locations in the game
listScripts List all the scripts in current level
location Display the current location
testDecompiler Test decompilation of all the scripts in game

8.5. Modding The Longest Journey

ResidualVM can load replacement assets instead of the original files for some of the asset types. By leveraging this capability, users can create mods for the game. These are the currently supported modding features:

  • Load mods from the mods directory inside the game data path. Each mod should be in its own directory in the mods subdirectory. Mods are loaded in alphabetical order.

  • Load external PNG files instead of the XMG files inside the game archives. The replacement PNG files can have larger dimensions when compared to the original XMG images, enabling the creation of a high resolution mod. The game looks for the replacement files in a mod directory and then in the xarc subdirectory of the directory containing the archive in which the XMG picture to be replaced is located. For instance: mods/[my_mod]/1e/00/xarc/fountain_layercenter.png needs to be used for the Venice park background. ResidualVM expects PNGs to be in pre-multiplied alpha format for improved load times. However the replacement_png_premultiply_alpha residualvm.ini setting allows to load regular transparency PNGs when set to true for convenience when testing.

  • Load replacement video files for the Smacker animations. The replacement files can be either in Smacker or Bink encoding. With Smacker, only 1-bit transparency can be used. Transparent pixels must have the Cyan color (#00FFFF). When using Bink, 8-bit transparency can be used. The alpha channel should be encoded in the pre-multiplied alpha format. The replacement videos can have larger dimensions than the originals but must have the same number of frames and the same frame rate. Like with PNG files, replacement video files are loaded from mod folders: for instance mods/[my_mod]/08/02/xarc/011001.bik is the animation where the tree spirit lifts the egg back into the nest.

  • Load replacement textures for the 3d models. Each original tm file contains several textures, each with its associated mipmaps. The replacement files are zip archives containing dds packaged textures. The replacement archives must be placed at the root of the mod directory and be named after the tm file they replace: mods/[my_mod]/ Each zip archive must contain all the textures from the replaced tm file. The textures need to be encoded in uncompressed RGB or RGBA dds files with mipmaps. Files inside the archive must be named according to the replaced texture name, but with the bmp extension replaced with dds: The extractAllTextures console command can be used to extract the tm files to png files.

Contact us if you need further capabilities for your mod.

9. Bug reports

ResidualVM still has a few bugs, many might already have been reported, but should you find a new one, don't hesitate to report it.

9.1. How and where do I report bugs?

You can report bugs at our GitHub issue tracker:

Please read the Wiki regarding how to report bugs properly first though:

Remember to always provide the following information in your bug reports:

  • Information about the game (e.g. Escape from Monkey Island, PS2 version).
  • Language of game (English, German, ...).
  • Platform (Windows, Linux, macOS, ...).
  • Bug details, including instructions on reproducing it.
  • Preferably also a link to a save game right before the bug happened.

10. Contact

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