Glide Wrappers

Early hardware accelerated games supported 3Dfx and gave the best visuals and performance. Glide was a proprietary API, so only those who had the permission of 3Dfx could program a driver that supports glide for a given card. Back then, 3Dfx used that to their advantage -- the SDK was free so any company could make glide games, but if you wanted to play that games you had to buy a 3Dfx card.

However, any hardware manufacturer could write drivers with full Direct X and OpenGL support, so those two APIs were more widely used than 3Dfx. By the mid to late 90's the first games supporting DirectX and OpenGL started to appear. Documents at the time stated that Glide was a stripped down version of OpenGL and that's why QuakeGL engines ran faster on 3Dfx cards using the miniGL driver. Later, nVidia bought 3Dfx, so only 3Dfx and nVidia cards had glide drivers, but nVidia eventually dropped the glide APIs.

Now its all DirectX with some games also supporting OpenGL, as modern graphics cards can handle any DirectX and OpenGL game, but do not support older games requiring the 3Dfx hardware/APIs. They have no native glide support, but there are some Glide Wrappers or emulators.

Glide Wrappers are software that emulate the old 3-D accelerator cards (dgVoodoo and Glidos for DOS games, and OpenGLide, eVoodoo and some others for Windows games). They allow you to get the higher resolutions out of the old 3-D (GLIDE) games that supported these cards. Now you can run King's Quest Mask of Eternity at 800x600 resolution on your new PC. But be warned, using a Glide Wrapper may come at the price of lost performance.

For your convenience, downloads are offered here, but as always, check the authors' sites for the latest versions.


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