Space Quest 1: The Sarien Encounter

Space Quest 1 Fixes This page contains hints and tips to run Space Quest on modern computers. It also contains information how to optimize the game and discusses various problems.

Space Quest 1 Fixes

Having problems running SQ1 on modern computers?

If you're having problems running Space Quest 1 EGA or VGA on a modern computer, try DOSBox. It's a program that emulates the DOS environment.

Sound Tips (VGA)

On modern computers, it's likely you run into many different sound problems. A program called VDMSound might be able to fix 99% of these problems. It emulates the good old sound blaster card, which is perfect for the Space Quest games. VDMSound is free to use, so download a copy and give it a try.

You'll probably get much better sound if you change the sound driver of SQ1VGA to General MIDI. Make sure when you run install.exe that General MIDI is selected.

All the messages and the menu are unreadable (EGA)

If all the texts of the game come out garbled (I.E in scrambled blocks rather than text), try running the game with the -s -v parameters. In DOS Prompt, run the game as follows: "sierra.com -s -v". Otherwise, use the NAGI program.

ZZ-top Fix (VGA)

This isn't really a bug fix, but more like an interesting funfact. ZZ-top will not appear on stage with SQ1VGA, because Sierra made some changes in the source code, a response to the lawsuit.

You can easily change the source code back to its original state yourself (and make ZZ-top appear on stage again). What you need to do is deleting the 433.v56 and 533.v56 files from your SQ1VGA folder.

But there's more to this story! The INSTALL program of the Space Quest Collection has a bug. It sets the "patchDir" RESOURCE.CFG entry incorrectly (it forgets the drive specification) if you choose the "small" install option. Thus, the game won't find the *.v56 files (because it's looking on the wrong drive), and use the original ones (with the real ZZ-Top) instead.

If you copy the game to the hard disk completely, it will find the midget replacement graphics.

So, to summarize: Sierra had to change its game because of legal problems, but a bug in their install program reversed that change. Sweet.