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Running Soul Reaver on Windows XP and Vista
Soul Reaver is less problematic than its older sibling Blood Omen in terms of being run on Windows 2000, XP, Vista, or 7, but it does still require some assistance.
If you are installing the game using anything other than the German Soul Reaver 1 and 2 DVD-ROM, you will need:
Section 1 - Main Installation Process
Aufmerksamkeit, Deutsche gamers: if you have the Soul Reaver 1 and 2 DVD-ROM, skip steps 2 and 3.
- Insert the Soul Reaver CD-ROM into your CD-ROM drive and install the game normally.
- Once the game is installed, upgrade it with the Official Soul Reaver version 1.2 patch.
- Unzip the Unofficial Soul Reaver patch (Portugese-speaking gamers: use the Portugese version instead) into your Soul Reaver installation folder (generally c:\Program Files\Eidos Interactive\Soul Reaver, unless you chose to put it somewhere else during the install). When Windows asks if you want to overwrite kain2.exe, choose Yes.
- In the installation folder, right-click on the new Kain2.exe icon and choose Send To, then Desktop (create shortcut).
- Find the Shortcut to kain2.exe icon on your desktop. Right-click on it and choose Properties. In the Properties window, rename it to Soul Reaver XP (or the other name of your choice). Then click on the Compatibility tab, and select the Run this program in compatibility mode for: checkbox. In the drop-down list, select Windows 98 / Me. Then click OK.
- If you are running Windows 2000 and do not have a Compatibility tab, go to your Start menu and select Run. Enter this in the text box: regsvr32 %systemroot%\apppatch\slayerui.dll then press Enter. If you are running an un-service-packed version of Windows 2000, this may not work.
- If you wish, copy the new shortcut to your Start Menu.
- Double-click the Soul Reaver XP icon, and play normally.
Section 2 - Post-Installation Steps
The steps above will generally get the game up and running. However, your experience with the game can still be improved significantly at this point, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of wrace and some of the other Russian fans over at Nosgothica.
There are two add-ons available on their download page:
- Bink-support for SR1 (Video-Patch) - this allows you to update the proprietary video files included with Soul Reaver to the more-common Bink format, and the modified version of the game that the patch creates is more compatible with modern PCs in terms of playing the videos in the game. The larger version of this patch also includes some neat extras like the ability to skip cinematics and access to The Debug Menu.
- Fix for any kain2.exe (SR1-Hook support) - the main purpose of this patch is to allow widescreen display for the game (a big plus on its own). However, like the other patch, this one also includes some handy extras like uncapping the framerate and accessing several additional debugging features.
- If the game has issues with the sound, or running slowly, make sure that Compatibility Mode (98 / Me) is turned on in the properties for the Soul Reaver XP shortcut.
- If the FMVs don't play, and/or Raziel runs around in circles, you probably have a gamepad with analogue sticks connected to your PC. This game interprets one of the sticks as a throttle. You can either disconnect the gamepad and play with the keyboard, or use a utility like JoyToKey to make Soul Reaver think your gamepad is the keyboard.
- The main menu runs a bit slowly if you turn the resolution way up, but the rest of the game should play just fine.
- If you have a graphics card with an Nvidia chip, you may experience problems if you use Nvidia's drivers after version 61.77. On Windows Vista, the built-in drivers allow the game to be played, but NVidia's Forceware drivers may not.
- If you are still unable to get the game to run, you can follow the directions in this thread to disable video acceleration. This is not an ideal solution, but it should work if nothing else does.