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Star Wars: Dark Forces

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Star Wars: Dark Forces
Star Wars: Dark Forces cover
Developers
LucasArts
Publishers
LucasArts
Disney Interactive Studios
Engines
Jedi
Release dates
DOS February 15, 1995
Mac OS (Classic) June 1995
Windows September 16, 2009
Linux January 20, 2015[1]
Star Wars: Dark Forces guide at StrategyWiki
Star Wars: Dark Forces at Wikipedia
Star Wars: Jedi Knight
Subseries of Star Wars
Star Wars: Dark Forces 1995
Star Wars: Jedi Knight – Dark Forces II 1997
Star Wars: Jedi Knight – Mysteries of the Sith 1998
Star Wars: Jedi Knight II – Jedi Outcast 2002
Star Wars: Jedi Knight – Jedi Academy 2003

General information

Wookieepedia - A huge wiki dedicated to the Star Wars universe
DF-21 - Modding site[Note 1]
GOG.com Community Discussions for game series
GOG.com Support Page
Steam Community Discussions

Availability[edit]

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
See Run retail version without the CD on how to bypass the disc check.
DOS
Mac OS
GamersGate
Icon overlay.png
Windows
GOG.com
DRM-free
Pre-packaged with DOSBox.[2]
Windows
Linux
Green Man Gaming
Icon overlay.png
Windows
Humble Store
Icon overlay.png
Windows
Steam
DRM-free after installation through Steam client (see notes)
Can be played without Steam. Pre-packaged with DOSBox 0.73.[3] Update to 0.74 for better performance and some color issue fixes.
Windows
A demo containing an earlier version of the first level is available. A longer demo which includes the finalized versions of the first 3 levels was also released.[Note 2]

Essential improvements[edit]

Patches[edit]

The DOS version has no patches (the Install.exe listed on the support page is not for this game).
The 1.2 Update patch fixes some issues with the Classic version of Dark Forces.

Run in DOSBox[edit]

To improve DOSBox performance make the following changes to the DOSBox configuration file:

  • Change fulldouble=false to fulldouble=true
  • Change memsize=16 to memsize=32
  • Change blocksize to 4096 and prebuffer to 30

Dark Frontend[edit]

Dark Frontend is a utility that allows easier launching of mods and levels. Installation (of both the launcher and the mods you intend to use with it) isn't exactly the most straight forward; includes a digital manual (readme.exe), reading it is recommended before using.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
DOS <path-to-game>\JEDI.CFG
Windows <path-to-game>\JEDI.CFG
Mac OS (Classic)
Linux <path-to-game>\JEDI.CFG
Linux (Proton) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/32400/pfx/[Note 3]
Config file is not human readable. A partial explanation on how to edit it can be found here.
This game does not follow the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux.

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
DOS <path-to-game>\DARKPILO.CFG
Windows <path-to-game>\DARKPILO.CFG
Mac OS (Classic)
Linux <path-to-game>\DARKPILO.CFG
Linux (Proton) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/32400/pfx/[Note 3]

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud

Video settings[edit]

In-game options menu.
In-game options menu.
Graphics option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
DOS version runs at 320x200 (see the DOSBox page for more information) and Mac OS (Classic) version runs at 640x480.
See DarkXL
Multi-monitor
See DarkXL
Ultra-widescreen
See DarkXL
4K Ultra HD
See DarkXL
Field of view (FOV)
Windowed
Press Alt+ Enter in DOSBox (CMD+F in Boxer).
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See DarkXL
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Vertical sync (Vsync)
For DOSBox use an unofficial build (see the glossary page for other workarounds).
60 FPS
120+ FPS
Capped at 70 FPS.

Input settings[edit]

Control options in INSTALL.EXE.
Control options in INSTALL.EXE.
Keyboard and mouse Native Notes
Remapping
Use INSTALL.EXE (KEYCONFI.EXE in the demo) or SETUP.EXE. Mouse settings cannot be changed in the demo. Some keys cannot be mapped. See fix below.
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Some menus only work with mouse.
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Game lacks vertical-look for mouse. See hack below for adding it.
Controller
Controller support
Full controller support
Controller remapping
Use INSTALL.EXE (KEYCONFI.EXE in the demo) or SETUP.EXE.
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
Additional information
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Simultaneous controller+KB/M
Designed for keyboard and flightstick.

Modern control scheme + v-look for mouse (DOSBox)[edit]

Use Dark Forces Plus, compilation of DOSBox keymapper files and GlovePIE script.[4]
Could use FreePIE as alternative to GlovePIE.
GlovePIE and FreePIE are Windows programs, they do not work on Mac or Linux.

Audio settings[edit]

Sound card and MIDI options in setup.exe.Suggested settings for DOSBox shown.
Sound card and MIDI options in setup.exe.
Suggested settings for DOSBox shown.
Sound channel settings in setup.exe.
Sound channel settings in setup.exe.
Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Uses stereo output with some 3D spatial effects.[5]
For DarkXL, use OpenAL Soft.
Subtitles
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
This game supports the MT-32 and General MIDI for music.

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
French
German
Italian

Issues fixed[edit]

Game randomly changes colors[edit]

Change output method to DirectDraw or OpenGL[citation needed]
  1. Go to the Dark Forces installation folder.
  2. Edit dosbox.conf
  3. In the [SDL] section, change output=surface to output=ddraw or output=opengl (whichever works best)
  4. Save your changes.

Game appears stretched horizontally[edit]

Fix incorrect aspect ratio[citation needed]
Dark Forces is designed to run at 320x200, but with a 4:3 aspect ratio. To set this, do the following:
  • Go to the [render] section of the DOSBox configuration file and change aspect=false to aspect=true.
  • If you are using Boxer, you can also use the View - Use 4:3 Aspect Ratio item in the menu.

Run retail version without the CD[edit]

Run without the CD[6]
  1. Perform a full install within DOSBox.
  2. Copy the CD.ID file from your Dark Forces CD, to the folder you have mounted as DOSBox's C: drive.
  3. Use a text editor to open the DRIVE.CD file in your Dark Forces installation folder. It should contain one letter. Change it to C and save it.
Disables the ability to change configuration in the setup.exe (says you must install the game first).
Create a dummy folder[citation needed]
  1. Perform a full install within DOSBox.
  2. Copy the CD.ID file from your Dark Forces CD, to a new folder (which you will later mount as drive D).
  3. Copy the BOOTMKR.EXE and IMUSE.EXE from the CD or the installation folder to this new folder (the IMUSE.EXE must be in a \Dark sub folder to be detected by the configuration utility).
  4. Mount the folder as drive D, then play!
Slightly more involved than the above fix for simply the ability to use the configuration utility.
Significantly leaner than having an ISO mounted to access setup.exe (GOG.com and Steam versions).
Files can be mistakenly deleted using the "Remove modules" option, marking files as read-only is recommended.

Update Steam DOSBox version/Run without Steam[edit]

Run without Steam[citation needed]
  1. Install the game through Steam.
  2. Download the latest DOSBox version.
  3. Run the installer and point it to the Dark Forces installation folder.
  4. To run Dark Forces without Steam, run dosbox.exe directly. To run with Steam, launch as usual.

Enable Steam overlay[edit]

Change DOSBox output method to OpenGL[citation needed]
  1. Go to the Dark Forces installation folder.
  2. Edit dosbox.conf
  3. Change output=surface to output=opengl
  4. Save your changes.

Other information[edit]

API[edit]

Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9 See DarkXL
Software renderer
DOS video modes MCGA, VGA
64-bit executable

Middleware[edit]

Middleware Notes
Audio iMUSE for music

DarkXL[edit]

Enables playing the game in modern Windows. Supports high resolutions, with enhanced visuals and proper mouselook.
Sadly however, the project no-longer appears to be in active development, and the most-recent alpha version has some unresolved issues such as missing cutscenes, no music during cutscenes, a float/noclip function bound to the F key that cannot be rebound, and other issues that require workarounds to correct. However, the game can still be completed in this form albeit with a patch that doesn't work on Windows 10 (see Getting started with XL Engine).

System requirements[edit]

DOS
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 5.0 6.22
Processor (CPU) Intel 386DX 33 MHz Intel 486DX 33 MHz
System memory (RAM) 8 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 3.5 MB
Video card (GPU) MCGA, VGA

Notes

  1. This site is only up intermittently and is frequently rendered inaccessible. Links to archives with most of the content from the site can be found on this forum post
  2. Any references to "the demo" on this page refer to the first demo.
  3. 3.0 3.1 File/folder structure within this directory reflects the path(s) listed for Windows and/or Steam game data (use Wine regedit to access Windows registry paths). Games with Steam Cloud support may store data in ~/.steam/steam/userdata/<user-id>/32400/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (32400) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.

References