This old game is quite peculiar to install and run, since it need some emulators to play in modern computers.
The most odd thing is this the last high ranking game that was lauched for MS-DOS, and is the only DOS game that requires above 32 Mb of RAM (64 is the recomend but many native DOS memory managers was unable to adress more than 16 Mb of RAM to DOS applications, but Windows 95 Virtual DOS Manager can adress up to 64 Mb of RAM) to play ! When the game was launched (1998), the DirectX was playing a major market share of game developmers, which can explain why the game use native Win32 tools to configure the settings, but the game engine was based in DOS since during the development the DirectX was immature.
The original 32-bit Windows installer make their job, so it installs nicely. The sound card config don't run during setup however, since it just pop up the native DosBox console and just closes.
So I decided to install the 3dfx version, plus a Win32 version of DosBox with Glide patch (Daun-Cafe SVN version) and of course the lastest nGlide wrapper (version 1.00). The sound config can now just run using Daun-Cafe's DosBox manually.
Making some tweakings in DosBox's config file (like setting RAM limit to 64 Mb, or the game just don't run (!), or override the SDL output to DirectX and CPU mode to Pentium MMX), and of course tweak the nGlide wrapper, plus SAPUCDEX to fix FMV video playback... the game runs at last!
With a powerfull computer (!) it's possible to play in fullscreen with high resolution display without graphic glitches in 3dfx mode.
What does not
According to this wiki http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Redguard:Redguard, this game won't run very well in vanilla DosBox (even the lastest version: 0.74 which is two years old), because many testers was detected a critical bug in DosBox that prevents the player to continue the game when enter the Clavicus Vile's realm.
The bizarre workaround is to use Glide modded versions of DosBox, and install the 3dfx version of Redguard, instead the software rendered mode that vanilla DosBox can run.
Using three emulators (Wine, DosBox, nGlide) to play Redguard in a modern Linux PC is a heavy loaded CPU task, and you need a dual-core or even a quad-core to play smoothly, plus a good DirectX 9 GPU (ATI, NVidia or Intel HD 3000+).
What was not tested
Apart of the complicated setup, I don't explore too much the game.
The high system requirements to play this old game (A DOS game that requires 64 Mb of RAM and optimized to a defunct 3D card chipset), since no modern operating system (like Linux or Windows NT/XP/7) can run it without emulators, the original and actual reseller (Bethersda) don't support the game or think to sell anymore, even using a digital game store (like Steam). It's very odd that a computer that can play Skyrim smoothly, which requires a good quad-core CPU, need the same hardware to play a 15 years old game with high settings!
|Operating system||Test date||Wine version||Installs?||Runs?||Used|
|Current||Ubuntu 12.04 "Precise" i386 (+ variants like Kubuntu)||Oct 18 2012||1.5.15||Yes||Yes||Gold||Nosferatu Arucard|
|Show||Gentoo Linux||Mar 29 2008||0.9.54.||Yes||No||Garbage||Andreas Pokorny|