Space Quest I: The Sarien Encounter SCI Help

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    Space Quest 1 Patches/Updates

Space Quest I SCI's original requirements:

MS-DOS 5.1 or greater
286 CPU or greater
VGA
640KB RAM
6 MB Hard drive space
AdLib, Game Blaster (CMS), MPU-401 MIDI, PC Speaker, Pro Audio Spectrum or Sound Blaster
Mouse

 

Audio Problems

Audio problems are common in the later Sierra DOS SCI games. There's no single fix for all these games.

Problem - Poor Quality / No Sound (Win9x and XP):
The game has no sound or the music is of poor quality.

Solution 1 (preferred):
Play the game in DOSBox. It also will work with the MT-32 sound module, if you are fortunate to have one.

Solution 2:
Use VDMSound. The game work well with VDMSound. The sound will be as good as your audio hardware, and as with DOSBox, it works with the MT-32 sound module.

Solution 3:
Play the game with FreeSCI, a third party Interpreter for Sierra's early SCI games.

Solution 4 (DOS/Win9x):
Install DOS drivers for your soundcard. Without DOS drivers installed you won't have sound in a DOS window in Windows 9x. If you can't find DOS drivers for your soundcard, there is an alpha (developmental) version of VDMS that you can try.


Problem - Unable to initialize your audio hardware:
On starting the game you get the message:

Unable to initialize your audio hardware

Solution 1 (preferred):
Play the game in DOSBox. By playing your game in DOSBox, you can avoid this and other timer problems. Even the Windows version can be played in DOSBox if you install Windows 3x in it, first.

Back when computers came with a "Turbo" switch (a sort of speed switch,) Sierra's workaround was to turn off the Turbo switch to start the game, after which you could turn the Turbo back on. If you have your cycles in DOSBox set too high, you may still encounter this problem. You can mimic the turbo switch solution by lowering your cycles (Ctl+F11) before starting your game. You may raise the cycles back up after the game starts (Ctl+F12).

Solution 2:
Patch the old audio driver with GOSiERRA or SBSIERRA.

Solution 3:
Use an updated audio driver.

Solution 4:
Try installing the Windows version


Speed problems

As with many of the Sierra SCI games, Space Quest I SCI has speed bugs. These bugs can also be avoided by playing the game in DOSBox. If you can't or don't want to use DOSBox, you can try using a Slowdown Utility.

Problem - Acid Rain:
You are unable to get past the falling drops of acid in the cave on Kerona since the drops fall very rapidly.

Solution #1 (preferred):
Apply this patch by NewRisingSun. (You may still want to play the game in DOSBox.)

Solution #2:
Play using DOSBox.

Solution #3:
Use a Slowdown Utility.

Solution #4:
Download a saved game made past the points of difficulty. You must have a ZIP utility like WinZIP in order to extract the files from the ZIP file.


Problem - Dehydration:
You keep dehydrating in the desert too soon when you play the game on a relatively fast computer.

Solution #1 (preferred):
Apply this patch by NewRisingSun. (You may still want to play the game in DOSBox.)

Solution #2:
Play using DOSBox.

Solution #3:
Turn the speed setting in the control panel to maximum and detail setting to minimum move quickly to get all of your tasks done.

Solution #4:
Use a Slowdown Utility.

Solution #5:
Download saved games made past the points of difficulty. You must have a ZIP utility like WinZIP in order to extract the files from the ZIP file.


Problem - Spider Droid Arrival:
 

Solution #1 (preferred):
Apply this patch by NewRisingSun. (You may still want to play the game in DOSBox.)

Solution #2:
Play using DOSBox.

Solution #3:
Use a Slowdown Utility.

Solution #4:
Download one of the saved games made past the points of difficulty. You must have a ZIP utility like WinZIP in order to extract the files from the ZIP file.


Game Specific Bugs

There are a couple of bugs the game has that are not speed dependent.

Problem - No ZZ Top:
Originally, when entering the bar, bands would appear randomly with ZZ Top, along with the Blues Brothers and Madonna. The real band complained about the cameo, so it was removed. In later versions, while the description seems to refer to ZZ Top, the animation only shows 2 midgets and an alien drummer.

Solution:
The ZZ Top sprites were "patched out" by Sierra with generic aliens instead. To get them back, simply remove all *.v56 files in the game folder.

 


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