XCOM3 - XCOM APOCALYPSE v1.00 WORKING UNDER DOSBOX 0.70 ON WINDOWS XP SP2
Okay, this required like about a million steps to get it right and hours of experimentation. This may not work for you, and you may have to spend hours or days trying your own experiments to find what works for you. But, this is what worked for me!!
1) I started by finding the XCom Apoc CD that I bought long ago. Mine is the original DOS and Win95 stand-alone version. I got it 10 years ago.
2) I used windows explorer to create a folder called c:\xcom3i
3) I copied the contents of my Xcom Apoc CD to this c:\xcom3i folder, and I then went into that folder from Windows XP Explorer and right clicked "INSTALL" and told it to run in Windows 95 Compatability mode.
4) Then I installed the game from Windows Explorer. It complained about a few things but allowed me to install. I installed to the default C:\XCOMA subdirectory. I'm installing from the hard drive to the hard drive. It goes rather fast, and you don't have to worry about CD speeds or any of that.
5) I then while inside the install program, I used Setup to set the sound - SOUNDBLASTER 16/AWE, BASE 220, IRQ 7, DMA 1 -- what DOSBox defaults to. Ended up going with SOUNDBLASTER PRO, as SB16 didn't provide any sound at all.
6) Lots of problems here, actually. You have to guess right to get the sound right the first time, as it took me days to figure out how to run SETUP.EXE from XP. First of all, if you choose incorrectly, I was able to actually run C:\XCOMA\SETUP.EXE from Windows Explorer after I had created a PIF that set the program to run in Windows 95 Compatibility mode.
I soon found myself right clicking each XCOM3 program that I wanted to run and setting it to run in Win95 Comapability mode, using the compatability tab.
7) After I finally got XCOM3 running way down below on step 15, I actually had to go back in and set it to SOUNDBLASTER PRO, BASE 220, IRQ 7, DMA 1 -- the SB16 mode gave no sound, but I did get sound out of SOUNDBLASTER and SOUNDBLASTER PRO.
SOUNDBLASTER is mono sound, though, no stereo, so I eventually ended up going with SOUNDBLASTER PRO as my final setting. I mention that here just in case you want to select SOUNDBLASTER PRO from the start and save yourself the trouble.
8) Now, you have the core installed in C:\XCOMA, but that is only the beginning.
9) Notice that your XCOM3.CFG file has this in it "<space>C:\XCOM3I\". It is extremely important that the <space> be there before the path name or you won't get music. It looks like this " C:\XCOM3I\", whenever you edit XCOM3.CFG.
10) Now you got to download goodies to fix the video and crack the CD copy protection, or you can't get it to go. I was never able to run the APOC game on XP from the XCOM3 CD that I purchased 10 years ago! It just won't work for me.
This one here was an important link.
FORGET about the xcom3fix.zip. It never worked for me no matter what I tried, although it has a good batch file that might come in handy later.
What you need on this forum is the x3svga.zip file. Download that one! It fixes the VGA problems so that you won't get black screen of death. Unzip it.
Follow the instructions. Copy the two patches to the appropriate folders TACEXE and UFOEXE in C:\XCOMA.
These patches won't run from DOSBox. You have to set them to Windows 95
Compatability, and run each one of them from Windows Explorer in Windows XP.
There, now your video should work, when you finally get all the rest of the stuff done.
12) You have to download DOSBox 0.70 from here:
Install DOSBox 0.70 to the default directory.
I found that to get ALL of my purchased DOS games to run right under DOSBOX
0.70, I had to go into START, ALL PROGRAMS, DOSBOX 0.70, DoSBoX.conf, and edit that file so that cycles=max.
Iirc, it set cycles=auto, and that just plain makes everything stutter and lag and music choppy. BAD!
Go into dosbox.conf and make cycles=max, and save. Then all seems to be well.
This was a tip that my son taught me. And, it made all the difference between DOSBoX 0.70 being total crap to sheer perfection!
Then you want to copy the DOSBox shortcut from Windows Explorer, rename it do DoSBox X-Com Apocalypse, right click on it, Select properties, and then copy this into Target:
"C:\Program Files\DOSBox-0.70\dosbox.exe" "C:\XCOMA\DARXCOM3.BAT" -fullscreen -conf "C:\Program Files\DOSBox-0.70\dosbox.conf" -exit
The quotes have to be there. It won't work, yet, but now you are ready with a shortcut to run the thing in DOSBox!
Make sure you have a space before every –command and a space before every line as it all becomes one line.
13) Now, it's time to break that copy protection, as it won't run otherwise.
Select the X-Com Apocalypse v1.00 YCG - no CD. That's the one that worked. I tried the others, but they didn't work for me.
The same crack was found here as well:
I'm not even going to debate the morality of the cracks. The fact is that this method that I'm listing here won't even work for you unless you have an original CD. You have to copy and get the install from an original CD.
But, after you have installed from the original XCOM3 CD that you have purchased and own, then it still won't run in DOSBox or in WIN95 compatability or with anything until you crack the copy protection. Cracking the protection is essential to break its dependence on the CD, so you can run from the hard drive. And, even with my orginal CD in the drive, I could never get anything to recognize that CD ever again. It's an anchor that has to be gotten rid of, if you want to have any hope of running XCOM APOC on Windows XP. There's something there on the original CD that just simply kills the running of XCOM3 on XP. I have never been able to run the X-COM Apoc CD from XP, never ever.
Okay, follow the instructions in that crack you downloaded.
You must find and copy the SMK folder to C:\XCOMA. That folder is on your CD under XCOM3 folder, or over there in C:\XCOM3I that you created. You also copy the MUSIC file to C:\XCOMA. And, you either copy the MAP folder from your CD or from C:\XCOM3I. You have to get the two missing maps copied over, or it will die when it comes time to go to the alien dimension. There's more mentioned about that here:
NOW IT'S TIME TO CRACK IT.
I ran the CRACK program in Win95 compatability mode, and it didn't give me much feedback, but I could sense errors. That crack program won't run right from Windows Explorer. That's my guess, although I didn't get to see the feedback long enough to know for sure.
So, I ran it from DOSBox.
Copy the CRACK files to C:\XCOMA.
Run the original DOSBox prompt.
Inside DOSBox type these
MOUNT C C:\XCOMA
Run the CRACK.BAT. It should then tell you that it succeeded and that you can now run "XCOMAPOC.EXE SKIP" to get it to work. It's important to use the SKIP command, but still it won't work.
14) I was unable to run XCOMAPOC.EXE SKIP from my DosBox shortcut. It gives the black screen of death.
So, I had to do one last little trick. I had to go into C:\XCOMA and create a batch file. This is where copying some other batch file comes in handy, so that the thing is set as a batch file in Windows Explorer.
Anyway, find a 'working' batch file, the old CRACK.BAT will do, rename it to
Then you can set DARXCOM3.BAT to Win95 Compatability mode, by right clicking on it and doing the Compatability tab, but it wasn't necessary, so I didn't set this one to win95 compatability.
Right Click DARXCOM3.BAT from Windows explorer, select Edit, select ALL and delete it all, and then copy the following into DARXCOM3.BAT:
Then save it. Okay, your DOSBox Xcom Apocalypse shortcut was set to run the batch file DARXCOM3.BAT, if you run that DOSBox XCOM APOCALYPSE short cut now, you should come up with a running X-Com Apocalypse. Of course, your mileage may vary, and maybe it won't work for you. But, it finally worked for me!
I can't run "XCOMAPOC.EXE SKIP" directly from DoSBOX 0.70, but I could run that
DARXCOM3.BAT batch file just fine from a DosBox shortcut, and it calls what you need and runs XCOM3 just fine for me.
In fact, I was able to run XCom Apoc from Windows Explorer just by clicking DARXCOM3.BAT, by this point in the process. Of course, the music doesn’t work and the mouse is a bit jittery. But, it runs. Run from DOSBox shortcut you created if you want the mouse stable and want it to play the music right from XP.
15) You may need to run the SETUP.EXE in win95 compatability mode a bunch of times and run your DOSBOX Shortcut to XCOM3 to get the sound right in the XCOM APOCALYPSE game. I have a Soundblaster Live 24-bit card in my machine. And, like I said, I had to use SETUP.EXE and set XCOM3 to SOUNDBLASTER PRO, B220, I7, D1, in order to make it work. SB16/32AWE didn't work, although that has worked for other DOS games I installed and created DoSBox shortcuts to.
16) Again, like I said, this is what finally worked for me. The first time I have ever had XCom Apocalypse running on XP, despite years of try. It only took five years for me to finally get something that worked on XP! Hope that it doesn't take you as long.
17) When I was done, I went in to C:\XCOMA and changed XCOM3.CFG to this:
It is very important to have that little space in there. If not, no music will play. That's "<space>c:\xcoma\" inside the XCOM3.CFG, where <space> is the space key. I hope that it stays there for you.
Now, if you were able to follow all the instructions and apply the crack and get all the missing folders and MUSIC copied over to C:\XCOMA, it will now run from your DOSBox shortcut out of the C:\XCOMA folder just fine, and give you sound and music just fine and the mouse will be at a tolerable speed, and all will be well.
Now, you can safely delete the C:\XCOM3I folder that you had installed from as now the C:\XCOMA\XCOM3.CFG file with its space up front is now pointing to " C:\XCOMA".
You shouldn't need the C:\XCOM3I folder any more.
18) Hopefully, it is working for you. This is where that XCom Apocalypse manual that you purchased ten years ago should finally come in handy. Hope it worked for you too!