Chrysalid_Zombie's FAQ

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#1 DragonHawk


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Posted 23 November 2002 - 09:15 PM

Prior to him leaving (and returning :confused: ) XCTC, CZ compiled a FAQ out of the data he collected from the old FAQ section.  It has been recovered!  Here it is, in it's pure, unedited form.  Please keep your children away as you view the deep and dirty solutions to X-Com's most fearsome problems...  :cry:

Support FAQ: V.0.7 (Beta V.2 edition!)

This is an FAQ for the games in the X-com series. I've tried to get all of the problems solved and unsolved into this, so tell me in XCT if you're still not operational.
I'd like to thank all those on the support forum at X-com Tactical command for this and then get all the legal stuff out of the way:

X-com, UFO, TFTD, Apocalypse, Interceptor, Alliance and the stuff I didn't think of are copyright of a company (Infogrames at time of typing). I don't own any of these games! Don't sue me!
Anything I say in this thing is not 100% certain to be correct. I take no responsibility for damages caused by this guide or information that is incorrect.
X-com Tactical Command is owned, operated and defended (with a big, pointy stick!) by Pete (who has no second name).
I do however own this guide and want it to be forever free! Sell it for profit and you will be sued or whatever the actual name of the legal stuff is!!! The issues (hopefully) solved here were solved with help from/by the people of XCT (and its many forums), so they can all go "I'm great" and not "That's my idea" and sue me... Legal stuff done.
Contact me at
Let the FAQ commence!

Problem 1: UFO vs. 3D Acceleration!

This one has plagued X-com fans for many years and has only recently (as I'm aware) been solved by a chap called Baine (long may he live!). The problem goes something like this:

When trying to run X-com 1 (UFO/Enemy Unknown) and 2 (TFTD) the screen and music all goes insane and messed up.

This tends to occur on new(er) machines with 3D cards and the like. Baine's solution is:

"I found a solution that seems to work on my machine that is a 900 mhz Athlon w/ an Nvidia GeForce MX2 running Direct X 8, and Windows ME.

Go to Start>Programs>Accessories>Systems Tools, and click on System Information. From There click on Tools>Direct X diagnostic tool.  When that loads, click on the 'Display Tab' and click the button that says "Disable" DirectDraw Acceleration.
Since doing that I can run X-com 1 and 2 w/ no problems."
(Taken from XCT forums)

Mouse Nightshirt then added that:
"A quicker way to get that box (in win98 and above anyway) is go to Start>run and type in dxdiag"
(Also taken from the forums)

All reports show that the problem is sorted on all but a rare few cases which seem to have other causes.

Problem 2: X-com Apocalypse vs. 3D acceleration!

Some people can't even get this installed due to some weird and wonderful graphic related error. We at X-com TC suspect the graphics cards are to blame. It appears (in most cases) that the card in question lacks VESA compatibility. Dragonhawk is the king of this problem. He says:

"So far, the people who have had this error have had it because of lack of VESA compatibility.  When you install, check it, because, while it won't stop you from installing, it gives you that error.  Ridiculous, truly.  

One method of solving would be to pick up Scitech Display Doctor from or something like this.  It somehow creates VESA compatibility.  Now, the downside is that the Windows version of SDD only works with some video cards not all (and not mine, I'm bitter)."
(Taken from forums)

However, this software is a bit pants. Many (i.e. most) cards aren't supported, especially under Windows.

To help with these problems, here is a list of graphics cards that DO work:

Matrox Millenium G450 Dual Head
Voodoo3 3000 (AGP)
Voodoo3 2000
8MB Ati Rage Pro
S3 Trio (AGP)
Ge-force 2 MX (AGP)
Riva TNT2 (PCI)
Intel i840 onboard graphics
Trident 4MB

And those that DON"T work:
Matrox Millenium G400 Single Head
Sis530 onboard graphic
Guillemot Maxi gamer cougar (TNT 2 Pro)
Teppro Impact 2 M64
Voodoo 2*
*This one is a maybe. "Dummy" has told me that it is a secondary card and shouldn't affect anything... but it might. Anyone with data on this one please tell me!

(Compiled by members of the XCT forum, mainly Dragonhawk)
Feel free to tell me if others you have do or don't work.

Problem 3: Sounds!

A few people have complained that the sound is a bit naff in their version of UFO after they add the 1.4 patch. The aliens all scream the same at death and some sound is low in quality.
My solution? Stop complaining!
The actual solution? Simply copy the old sound files (before you add the patch) somewhere else. Then put them back afterwards. Thanks for that simple answer Greg!

Problem 4: Ye olde difficulty probleme!

This one comes from version 1.0 of UFO (X-com 1). It means that if you re-load a game started on Super-human setting (as you may have to do to save trooper Jackson) it resets back to Beginner difficulty! Where's the challenge now!?!
Solution: Simple! Get Version 1.4 from this site:
This is an old problem. The collector's edition and more recent versions are in fact V1.4 all ready, so you don't have this problem (lucky people!)

Problem 5: Emotional support (not Technical)!

Many people can't find Email X-com anymore. I want to point fingers but just ask around to find out whose fault that one is (so I don't get sued).
To locate a copy, these are the best steps to take (in order):
  • Telephone/fax EVERY shop in your area to see if it keeps old stock
  • Go to to find one. In England, I advise instead... Other countries can add your endings to them (e.g. France is (I think) )
  • Post on the XCT forum, saying where you live and just how much you want it (A method MN knows too much about :D )
  • Kill an owner of the game and hope you were in his/her will*
    *Don't do this one... just a joke and it is WRONG morally and legally
Problem 6: Using Email X-com (or EX-com)!

Remember those I didn't point the finger at? They also closed down the servers the games used to work. Hasbro (the previous owners) packed the game full of "You must use the flipping Server" code, so for a while it looked like all was lost.
Then came Tankman to save the day!

Genuine fake transcript of that day's events:
"Is it a hacker who can destroy government systems?"
"Is it a highly paid computer programmer?"
"No!!! It's Tankman! Every EX-com player's hero"

Tankman: "I'll save you all! Take this (not finger pointed company)"

And then he went and made "Tankman Serverless X-com" (TSX)

This is a beautiful program that makes EX-com playable again by simply bypassing the server. The only problem? Installing it properly. Although he explains it well, I'm going to try and do it better!

Step 1: Don't go to the "Download TSX" link yet! Go here and get the VB files needed for it instead:

Step 2: Install the VB files! Do it now! Go!

Step 3: Get This was made when server ran and phone calls to the net cost money! It (would) allow you to play a turn and then send it next time you connected. Now, it forms the base of the TSX program. Get it here:

Step 4: Here is where small brains (like mine) get confused. Go into the archive for EX-offline and grab these files: Email X-com offline.exe (it might be called that... you'll know it when you see it) and the "read-me.txt." Put these into your EX-com directory (folder).

Step 5: Registry editing! ARGH! Do this EXACTLY as detailed in that "Read-me.txt. file you just extracted. It is the part that tends to go wrong, so be careful and press all the keys nice... and... slow...
More help here was given by Dragonhawk: (from the XTC message board)

"Err...  OK let me give it a shot.  This is (I hope) a more detailed explanation...
  • Open regedit.  It's set up like Windows Explorer with two panels, directories on the left, some entries on the right.
  • Open the directory called "HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT".
  • Open the subdirectory called "xemfile".
  • Open the subdirectory (or subsub  ) named "shell".
  • Open the subdir named "open".
  • Open the subdir called "command".  Something shows up on the right hand side.  Tankman says it looks like this:
    AB(default) C:\Program Files\Hasbro Interactive\Email X-COM\Email-X-COM.exe %1
    Of course, the directory will be whichever the game is installed in.
  • Double click on the AB, and a dialog box pops up.  Replace the Email-X-Com.exe with Email-X-Com-Offline.exe.
That's it!  This is all from the Email XCom portion of the site, in case I made a typo."

Step 6: Well done! All incoming turns will now be opened by this little program. To make it into TSX needs another few steps. This one is "Download TSX" Get it from here:

Step 7: Open up the archive and look inside. It has a "Readme.txt. file in it. Read this to ensure I'm not talking pants and you've got everything done. (I'm not perfect you know!)

Step 8: Use the "install" file and install the thing! Go on! What are you waiting for!

Step 9: Install it to the EX-com folder, and read carefully any messages that come up. I once abandoned the whole set-up because I kept pressing "ok" instead of reading a simple "Should I keep the original file?" message.

Well done! Install complete! Post on the usual forums of problems occur and remember to read the new "Read-me.txt" that the install placed.

Problem 7: The TFTD tech 'tree'!

This little 'glitch' meant you couldn't complete the game. It came from the tree being over-complicated, and meant at some points you could never get a tech you missed without even knowing it!
The solution? Get the update from here:
(Pete says it's not a glitch! It's meant to be like that! It makes it harder!... Well we all have an opinion).

Problem 8: The Apocalypse tech Tree!

Another fault! But not as bad as TFTD. This one is from not catching UFO's when they appear. To get to all the new ships (like bio-trans etc.) you need some UFO's researched. Some stop appearing at some point, so you must get them as they come through.
Sadly, that is the only solution to this (except for using a certain editing program). The exact tech tree can be found here:

Problem 9: Windows 2000!!!

Damn a certain company! Damn it, damn it, damn it! They made Win 2K so that it wouldn't run good old X-com games! What have they got against us? I don't know...
Anyhow, there's two solutions. One is a tough one, slap in another partition to your HDD drive and dual-boot it... very technical apparently...
A helpful site that Pete directed me to (thanks mate) is here: http://www.tweak3d.n.../win2kdualboot/
It should have a handy guide. Lets hope it doesn't destroy anything on your system.... (if it does, it's not MY fault, read the legal stuff at the top).
The other is untested to my knowledge. This is a program that MS claims to have made. Helmann found it, and it be here: http://msdn.microsof...ibility/act.exe

Problem 10: Windows ME!!!!!!!

The certain company strikes back! Windows ME gives many people problems due to it not running Dos properly.... Well here's the solution!

Problem 11: Windows NT and XP!!!!!!

NT doesn't work as far as I can tell. I tested it on my school's NT system (which DOES run games) and it crashed when I built my first base...
Then I tried it on an XP machine there... and it crashed when I built my first base... maybe the install went wrong... Oh well, if you know better just give me a bell.
XP apparently has a patch just like 2000, though Deadmeat says it may not work. Anyone that gets it to work contact me please!

Problem 12: Registry keys!

In the old days (before me and the newer X-com fans) there were devices called "Floppy disks"... X-com came on them and also needed a registration key from the manual every time you played! Many people have since lost their manuals and can't play X-com.
The answer is my good friend... the V1.4 Patch! It eliminates the need to enter the registry keys! Bonza!

Problem 13: X-com Interceptor: Probe and Base Missions Crash

This has been reported recently, and means when you enter a probe mission or base mission, the above targets don't appear and your targeting computer says there a meter or so behind you at all times... weird.

Me: I wrote it... duh
Dragonhawk: Compiler of graphics cards and generally helpful person
Mouse Nightshirt: Generally helpful and creator of XCAS! Join up today!
Pete: XTC creator, really helpful person and an all round great person! (£10 please)

Mentions for no reason:
Yo Momma: A person so fat her blood type is UB, Uncle Ben's
Jackson: My alter ego and bullet shield to members of XCAS
Yorke: Maintainer of the bullet shield/Jackson (a medic then)
Karoo: My ISP... sometimes good, sometimes pants, gotta love it
Microsoft: My mortal enemy
Infogrames: Do you love 'em or hate 'em? Can't decide...
Hasbro: can I say that without getting sued? No! Aaawww...

Summary Section:

Problem: UFO and TFTD doesn't work under windows 95/98
Solution: It might be graphics. Goto: Start>Run and type in "dxdiag"
Click on the 'Display Tab' and click the button that says "Disable" DirectDraw Acceleration.

Problem: Apocalypse gives an error regarding VESA graphics compatibility on install or running
Solution: Buy a card that works (see list in 2.) or hope that "Scitech Display Doctor" works (unlikely).

Problem: UFO Difficulty Settings go back to Beginner from Super human
Solution: You need to upgrade to UFO V1.4

Problem: X-com 1,2 & 3 wont run in Windows 2000
Solution: Use a FAT 32 File system or dual boot your system
Link: http://www.tweak3d.n.../win2kdualboot/ (guide)

Problem: X-com 1, 2 & 3 wont run in Windows ME
Solution: Get this patch:
Link: http://www.geocities.../mfd4life_2000/

Problem: UFO and TFTD (on floppy disk) ask for Registry keys and I lost mine.
Solution: V1.4 patch
Lance Corporal Derrick "DragonHawk" Ko
Combat Engineer, Kappa Team
X-Com Alliance Sim

#2 Mouse Nightshirt

Mouse Nightshirt

    Stressed out Junior Doctor

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Posted 01 January 2003 - 01:49 PM

Just to note, some of the links are now out of date, and problem 13 has been solved. CZ! Get on the ball mate!  :confused:
I suffer from Arachibutyrophobia, fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth.

Mouse_Nightshirt - asphixiated in the name of science!

CMDR Richter Weindhoven
Commanding Officer - Alpha Team
Status -- Deceased
Reason -- Old age (Cheers DH!)

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