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Theme Hospital

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Theme Hospital
Theme Hospital cover
Developers
Bullfrog Productions
Publishers
Electronic Arts
Release dates
DOS March 31, 1997
Windows March 31, 1997
macOS (OS X) October 18, 2012[1]
Theme Hospital guide at StrategyWiki
Theme Hospital at Wikipedia
Theme Park
Theme Park 1994
Theme Hospital 1997
Theme Park World 1999
Theme Park Inc. 2001

General information

GOG.com Community Discussions
GOG.com Support Page

Availability[edit]

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
DRM details are not known
Native Windows version has compatibility problems.
DOS
Windows
GOG.com
DRM-free
DOS version pre-packaged with DOSBox.[2]
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Origin
Icon overlay.png
DOS version pre-packaged with DOSBox.
Windows

Version differences[edit]

CorsixTH[edit]

CorsixTH is an open source clone (a game engine recreation) of Theme Hospital that aims to get the game running on modern platforms, since the original release was only developed for DOS/Windows 9x (Origin and GOG use the DOSBox compatibility layer). You can download the installer from GitHub here and point it to the location of the original game. Once you have this installed, you won't need to run HOSPITAL.EXE anymore; if you choose to put CorsixTH as a shortcut on the desktop, it should effectively replace the original game. Also note that you usually get better results using a "clean" version of the original, i.e. one that isn't patched.

While the recreation's stables have every feature implemented, the update cycle is very slow. The latest fixes and features are on the development branch, which doesn't have builds and doesn't receive as much testing. However, it may solve bugs you encounter with the current stable. The GitHub repository's wiki has a page detailing how you can compile it for your system.

Retail Version[edit]

Getting the game to run at all on modern machines is difficult due to the age of the game. However, there are several steps you can follow that may get it working. It is suggested to check if the game works after each paragraphs as different users will have different settings.

The first is to transfer the HOSP folder from your CD copy onto your storage device, making sure to save the files close to the root of the drive (the entire folder location needing to be under 8 characters, e.g. C:\ThemeH\. You will also need to edit the configuration file to allow saves to work (see Game data).

Now change your EXE compatibly settings (which may depend on what OS you are using). Right click HOSPITAL.EXE and click properties. going over to Compatibility and choose Windows 95. Then, under Settings check Run in 256 colours, Run in 640 x 480 screen resolution as well as Run this program as an administrator. Fiddle around with these options for the one that suits you if you know what you are doing.

There is also a patched version available, which you can download here. Copy and paste it over to your HOSP folder (replacing any existing files, remembering to edit the configuration file again if you replace that too). If this now gives you mouse lag, see Patches.

If none of those steps work for you, then you will have to use CorsixTH. (see "CorsixTH").

Essential improvements[edit]

Patches[edit]

Mouse Lag Patch - this sets the CPU affinity to 3 instead of 1, though you may need to fiddle with this number. Save this file where your HOSP folder is and run it instead of Hospital.exe.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
DOS <path-to-game>\HOSPITAL.CFG
Windows <path-to-game>\HOSPITAL.CFG
macOS (OS X)

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
DOS <path-to-game>\Save
Windows <path-to-game>\Save
macOS (OS X)
Edit HOSPITAL.CFG after where it says INSTALL PATH= to the installation folder, making sure to put a trailing backslash (\) at the end of the folder name. This tells the game where to save the save files.

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Origin

Video settings[edit]

Graphics settings (GOG.com version)
Graphics settings (GOG.com version)

Input settings[edit]

Keyboard and mouse Native Notes
Remapping
For DOSBox use the DOSBox Mapper (see the glossary page for other workarounds).
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller
Controller support
For DOSBox use the DOSBox Mapper (see the glossary page for other workarounds).

Audio settings[edit]

Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Subtitles
All speech is text-based.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
German
Spanish
French
Italian
Swedish
Russian
Unofficial translation, download

Network[edit]

Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
4 Added in the last patch.
Online play
For DOSBox use DOSBox IPX/modem emulation.

Connection types

Other information[edit]

API[edit]

Technical specs Supported Notes
DOS video modes SVGA
64-bit executable

System requirements[edit]

DOS
Minimum
Operating system (OS) 6.2
Processor (CPU) 66 MHz
System memory (RAM) 8 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 20 MB
Video card (GPU) SVGA
Windows
Minimum
Operating system (OS) 95
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium
System memory (RAM) 16 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD)
Video card (GPU) SVGA
macOS (OS X)
Minimum
Operating system (OS) 10.6.8 or later
Processor (CPU) Intel Core Duo 2 GHz+
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 200 MB
Video card (GPU) 64 MB of VRAM

References