Trouble running Keen 9 Battle Of The Brains

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krivulak
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Trouble running Keen 9 Battle Of The Brains

Post by krivulak » Tue Jun 16, 2015 19:06

Hello, I am new here, so at the beginning, please remember me, because I always have problems which anybody else can't solve :D

But whatever...

I tried to run The Keys of Krodacia and Dead In The Desert on my AMD 486dx, 8MB RAM, 1MB VGA, Windows 95 super gaming PC with Nintendo-ish controller made by Thrustmaster (Game port, not usable on today's PC), it worked perfectly (well, the stupid graphical glitches - but I solved it with SVGA compatibility). But the last title refused to work. It was doing well, until I tried to start first level at the map. The screen with "Keen enters the HUB command center" was overlaped by window, which contained only "e" and after pressing button it easily crashes with messed text Null pointer assignment.

Don't please tell me, that this mod is made for DosBOX, I KNOW IT, but you must know that feel, when you are running game on hardware that was intended for that game... It's like drugs... Drugs for geeks :D

By the way, Ceilick is really big master for doing that series, awesome work, I really love thet mods, like original games!

Thanks for replying and I appreciate every advise! :p

edit: Ouch, my first post and also first derp. Bad section! Can somebody please move this to the Miscellaneous section? :)

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Post by troublesomekeen » Tue Jun 16, 2015 19:31

Since we're talking about an Unofficial Commander Keen game, this topic goes in the Unofficial Keen Games section, not the Miscellaneous section. But no worries!

I've known a few people to complain about Battle of the Brains not working on the old PCs. Versions probably won't make a difference, but do you know which version of the game you're running?

Version 2, Beta 5

Version 1

(In both versions, you are to run "Keen9.bat" of course)

I've never known there to be a solution to this problem. :(
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Post by krivulak » Tue Jun 16, 2015 19:57

Well, the beta crashes with characters "+!+!_$%Ã…Â￾5¶¶". The last hope is Ceilick could help... But how big chance is the chance he will read that?

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Post by Ceilick » Tue Jun 16, 2015 23:04

Hi, glad you enjoy the series. Keen 9 requires dosbox.

Patches in keen 9 push the memory limits, or something like that. To make it compatible would require removing features/patches from the game, and I'm not really in a situation to search the patch file and figure out what would have to be taken out, sorry.

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Post by Fleexy » Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:13

Holy cow, Ceilick is back!

Anyway, Krivulak, make sure your Keen 5 EXE is UNLZEXE'd (the setup batch file there will take care of that). Also maybe try fiddling Windows 95's DOS memory settings?

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Post by krivulak » Wed Jun 17, 2015 13:04

Holly mother of god, I tried everything, but I can not set Windows 95 MS-DOS mode to see more then 562 KB of RAM (7000kb is expanded, and it is trying to run keen on 279 KB RAM with NO expanded or extended memory whatsoever. But there is 7 megabytes free! Argh...

What is interesting, Wolfenstein 3D is seeing all the memory...

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Post by MoffD » Wed Jun 17, 2015 19:15

Other than you fiddling with how 98 runs dos programs, I have no clue. As Ceilick said it's designed to run in dosbox so you are in semi-unexplored waters here, although you seem to have made some progress in working it out already with the memory... I hope you get it worked out

Anyhoo, hi Ceilick!
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Post by krivulak » Mon Jun 22, 2015 17:19

Well, a little update. What is going on? I got it to work! How? Simply by trashing that stupid Windows 95 and returning back to old trusted MS-DOS 6.22. I played first level, well, insuffient memory for background music, blah blah blah, yada yada yada... When I got hit by BioGarg, it crashed again, but I started being suspicious. Is the memory good? I will try to run MemTest and will see...
Last edited by krivulak on Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:06, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Keening_Product » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:20

Could it be that Win95 takes the memory you need to use? MS-DOS 6 is probably able to access extended memory without the burden of also running Windows.
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Re: Trouble running Keen 9 Battle Of The Brains

Post by krivulak » Sun Oct 01, 2017 19:26

Well, few years later I came little bit closer to the answer. What I found out is that really Keen9 is pushing the memory limits to maximum. I need to set the system so more XMS and EMS is free, but somehow I have to make Keen to actually take the memory and that's what is my problem. I changed to other system with 192MB free memory and Keen is still getting only 300-ish kB of conventional memory, no EMS, no XMS. I think it is achevable, but didn't find the solution yet. I am stuck now with fiddling with UMBPCI.SYS and HIRAM.EXE (or sometimes HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.EXE) with humble wish for it to WORK! :dopekeen

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Re: Trouble running Keen 9 Battle Of The Brains

Post by Malvineous » Mon Oct 02, 2017 0:16

If you're running DOS 6.22, I presume you've tried MEMMAKER already? It will help load as many things as possible into UMBs to free up conventional memory. You should be able to get over 600kB free without too much struggle.

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Re: Trouble running Keen 9 Battle Of The Brains

Post by keenmaster486 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:05

Keen 9 uses a LOT of memory.

Don't trust the values it gives you in the loading screen. They don't necessarily tell you if it will run.

Just use MEMMAKER or QEMM or something to get the maximum memory you can possibly get. You can probably get ~700K conventional to be safe, and max out the EMS/XMS to give it a boost. Depending on your sound card you might want to use a bare non-TSR initialization utility instead of the drivers.

Then it'll work. I've done it a million times.
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Re: Trouble running Keen 9 Battle Of The Brains

Post by Nisaba » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:08

This might be a bit off topic...
I'm trying to run Keen games on a Raspberry Pi Zero. As long as I don't activate the music, everything runs more or less stutter free. Has anybody expirience with this hardware and give some tips?
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Re: Trouble running Keen 9 Battle Of The Brains

Post by keenmaster486 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:05

I've had better luck with rpix86 than DOSBox on Raspberry Pi hardware. If you use DOSBox though, there's a sweet spot somewhere in there for graphics settings, CPU cycles, and frameskip. If you can find it, it will work with music and everything.
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Re: Trouble running Keen 9 Battle Of The Brains

Post by MoffD » Mon Oct 02, 2017 15:25

It should also run slightly better if you launch dosbox from something like emulationstation/retropie, the overhead from the x server+window manager will slow it down (assuming you aren't already)
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