Abandonware DOS title

Bio Menace Episode 1: Dr. Mangle's Lab manual - tech help

                          2005 Freeware Release Edition

                         Copyright 1993 Apogee Software
                       P.O. Box 496389  Garland, TX 75049


                                ABOUT THIS FILE

2005 Update Notes:  In December of 2005, Apogee released Bio Menace as 
freeware, with no support offered.  This means that you are on your own in 
getting the game to run.  We offer no help with this release.  This file 
originally came with the game when you bought it, and is being released as 
part of the history of the game.  However, most of the technical information 
no longer applies as it was written in the summer of 1993, and was done during 
the time when MS-DOS was the primary operating system.  More modern OS's like 
Windows XP and Windows Vista will likely have problems getting the game to 
run.  We recommend a third party program called DOSBox, which has been known 
to help in getting old DOS games working.  You can obtain DOSBox here: 
http://dosbox.sourforge.net - however, please be aware that DOSBox is not our 
program either, and we can't help with that.  This is a freeware release.  
While we retain copyright on the title, it is being released "as is" with no 


This document will provide you with some basic Technical Support.  The
information is not intended to replace the Technical Support Department.  If
you attempt these solutions and are still having problems, then feel free to
call our Technical Support Department; they will be able to provide you with
further assistance.  They can be reached from the hours of 8AM-6PM CST Monday
through Friday.  If possible, please be in front of your computer when calling
for Technical Support; it may be difficult or impossible to assist you

                            BEFORE RUNNING THIS GAME

 This game is not designed to be run under MicroSoft Windows.  Windows takes
  up far too many system resources that our programs require for efficient and
  proper operation.  When running this program, DO NOT LAUNCH FROM WINDOWS.
  Run it directly from DOS.  If you are in the Windows environment, quit
  Windows and then run the program.  (NOTE: Using the MS/DOS Icon does not exit
  you from Windows.  That is a shell from Windows.  You need to press ALT-F4 to
  completely quit Windows.)  This applies to OS/2 as well.  We do not recommend
  running under OS/2 for the same reasons as Windows.

 Any kind of menu program such as Dosshell will cause problems.  We recommend
  running our programs completely from the DOS prompt.

 All of our products require at least MS/DOS 3.3 or greater.  We recommend,
  however, using at least DOS 5, but preferably DOS 6, because these versions
  have far better memory management than any previous versions of DOS.

                            BIO MENACE SPECIFIC HELP


 During the testing of this game, Quarterdeck released QEMM 7.01, and Qualitas
  released 386MAX 7.0.  These two programs are incompatible with Bio Menace.
  There are no known problems with older versions of these memory managers.

  MicroSoft's EMM386 appears to be the most compatible with Bio Menace, with
  the most recent revision having been tested.  The only problem that was run
  into using EMM386 was if you used the HIGHSCAN option.  That is also

  The only solution to the memory manager problems listed above would be to
  deactivate these programs before executing Bio Menace.  The easiest way to do
  this would be to boot clean.  Booting clean is another term for what is
  explained in detail in the solutions to General Problem #1, solutions 3 & 4.

  Your mileage may vary with any of these high memory manager comments.

 If your game just locks up for no apparent reason (especially when firing
  a weapon, or when hitting one of the purple slugs), you'll need to try
  adding this to your CONFIG.SYS file.


  Adding this to your CONFIG.SYS file, saving it and rebooting your computer
  should allow you to play the game without any problems.

 There are a few command line parameters you can try to use to help other
  things that might turn up when playing the game.  A command line parameter
  is something that you type on the command line after the name of the program
  you're running.  The /COMP switch will be used as an example.  To use that
  one, you would need to start the game like this...


  The command line parameters for Bio Menace are stackable, which means that
  you can use more than one at a time, if you need to.  An example of a stacked
  set of command line parameters would look like this...


  Here is a list of the common command line parameters you can use with Bio
  Menace, and what they are used for.

  /COMP       -> If you are getting jittery video diplays and have a SuperVGA
                 card, try using this one.  This has the same effect as using
                 the "SVGA Compatibility" switch inside the game's config menu.

  /LATCHPEL   -> For owners of ATI SVGA cards, and other similar types of Super
                 VGA cards, this will solve any "jerky motion" problems you may
                 be having with Bio Menace.

  /NOAL       -> Disable Adlib Sound Card Detection

  /NOJOYS     -> Disable Joystick detection.   If for some reason Snake Logan
                 just decides he wants to go one direction, and you can't get
                 him to go any other way, it might mean the game thinks you
                 have a joystick, when you don't.  Also, if you see the initial
                 screen detecting a joystick and you don't have one, use this

  /NOMOUSE    -> Disable mouse detection.  While Bio Menace does not use the
                 mouse for actual game play, it can be used in the menu
                 selection screens.   If the control menu acts improperly (the
                 selector just starts scrolling, and doesn't stop, for example)
                 try using this switch to disable the mouse check routines.

                               GENERAL PROBLEM #1

 All of the problems in this section are generic.  They will also work with
  the majority of Apogee's products.  Most will work for Bio Menace, but the
  help in this section is not specific to Bio Menace.  If you try the generic
  help solutions, and you are still having problems, then try the ideas in
  the Bio Menace specific section.


The program returns a message that says you do not have enough memory to run
the game, or the program behaves erratically when it is executed.


There is not enough conventional memory available to execute the game you are
attempting to run.  When MicroSoft first made DOS 1.0, 640 kilobytes (KB) was
set aside as the highest amount of memory that a computer could have.  The
640KB of memory is what is called "conventional memory".  To maintain
compatibility with older versions, this was never changed.  Advances in memory
management have made access to memory beyond 640KB, but this memory can only
hold data; the program actually has to run in the first 640KB.  It is this
memory that you are running out of.

Conventional memory is used by DOS as well as device drivers and TSRs
(Terminate and Stay Resident Programs).  A TSR is a program that is loaded into
your computer's memory (usually from the CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT files) and
stays there.  Most programs remove themselves from memory after execution, a
TSR does not.  Device drivers and TSRs are programs that enable the computer to
use additional hardware such as a mouse, scanner, CD-ROM, expanded or extended
memory, etc.  When you first start up your computer, there are two files that
your computer looks at: CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT.  These two files contain
lists of device drivers and TSRs that are loaded into memory.

NOTE: It is possible that Apogee games may run with a figure of available
conventional memory that is less than the recommended amount.  It is very
likely, however that the program will behave erratically under these
conditions.  Even if the game appears to run with less than the recommended
amount of conventional memory, we recommend that you raise your amount of
conventional memory to ensure proper program execution.

 Solution 1

Try removing some of your TSRs.

 Solution 2

If you have some high memory available, and are running at least DOS 5.0, add
the following line to your CONFIG.SYS file.. "DOS=HIGH" (without the quotes).
This will load your DOS into high memory, and will make more room available in
the first 640k of memory mentioned in the explanation above.

 Solution 3

If you are running MS/DOS 6, skip directly to Solution 4.

a) If you are running Stacker, DoubleSpace, or some other sort of compressed
   drive program, copy our product to a section of your hard drive that is not
b) Place a diskette in drive A:.  (If A: is a High Density Drive, you'll need
   a high density diskette).
c) Switch to the C: prompt.
d) Type FORMAT A: /S
e) If necessary, press enter for the question about Volume Label.
f) Enter N to "Format another?"
g) LEAVE THIS DISKETTE IN YOUR A: DRIVE, and reboot your computer.
h) The computer should ask you for the date and the time.  Just press enter to
   these questions.  At this point, you will be at the A: prompt.  Now, switch
   to the C: drive, then change to the directory in which the game is installed
   and start the game.  You should no longer have this problem.  Please note
   that if this solution solves the problem, you will need to do this every
   time you wish to play the game.

 Solution 4

This Solution is for MS/DOS 6.0 users only.
a) If you are running Stacker, DoubleSpace, or some other sort of compressed
   drive program, copy our product to a section of your hard drive that is not
b) Reboot your computer.
c) When the message "Starting MS/DOS" appears, hold down the F5 key.  This
   does the same thing as steps 2 through 7 in Solution 3.  If your system
   boots normally, you waited too long to hit the F5 key. Reboot and try again.
d) You should see a message that says "MS/DOS is bypassing your CONFIG.SYS and
   AUTOEXEC.BAT files".
e) Switch to the C: drive, then change to the directory in which the game is
   installed and start the game.  Please note that if this solution solves the
   problem, then you will need to do this every time you wish to play the game.

NOTE: If you have a PS/1, and these steps do not work for you, please contact
IBM's Technical Support Department, or Apogee's Tech Department in order to
find out how to boot from a System Disk, since the procedure is extremely
different from what is described above.

                               GENERAL PROBLEM #2


The game locks up either during game play, or during the loading process.

 Explanation 1

This can be any number of things, but is usually a conflict with a memory
manager, or a TSR(s) in your system.  It can also be a DMA conflict if you have
a Sound Blaster Sound card.  Apogee only directly supports the Sound Blaster
and AdLib family of cards, and any other card has to have 100% compatibility in
order to function properly.  Many other sound cards out claim to be 100%
compatible with the Sound Blaster standard, but in reality they are not.

 Solution 1

Try the solutions under General Problem #1 first.

 Solution 2

Turn off the digitized sounds completely.  If the game plays normally, a DMA
conflict most likely exists between your sound card and some other piece of
hardware in your computer.  You will need to change the DMA channel in order to
solve the DMA conflict.  Consult your sound card manual for instructions on how
to do this.  If you do indeed change the DMA channel, you must reflect said
change in the SET BLASTER line mentioned in the next solution.

 Solution 3

Check your AUTOEXEC.BAT file to see if the SET BLASTER line is present.  If it
is not, this could be the source of the problem.  Even if you don't have a
Sound Blaster card, this line needs to be there.  The reason for this is that
the game expects your sound card to be at a certain default setting.  If it
isn't, the game looks for the environment variable BLASTER, and redirects the
sound output to those settings.  If you are not on the default settings, and
you don't have the proper SET BLASTER line, or it isn't there at all, a system
lockup may occur.


  Where w is the Address Number. (99% of the time it's 220)
  Where x is the Interrupt Number
  Where y is the DMA Channel Number
  Where z is the type of card.

  z should be either 1 or 3 if it's a Sound Blaster
  z should be either 2 or 4 if it's a Sound Blaster Pro
  z should be 6 if it's a Sound Blaster 16
  z is most likely 1 if you have a sound card other than a
    legitimate Sound Blaster.

  If you have a Sound Blaster 16, the D refers to the 8-bit DMA channel, not
  the 16 Bit DMA channel.  That's stored under a different variable.

Please note that at this time, no Apogee game supports an interrupt higher than
7.  If you do have the SET BLASTER line present, and the interrupt is higher
than 7, you MUST change it to 7 or lower, or you will continue to experience
problems.   Once you have made this change to the AUTOEXEC.BAT file, you'll
need to reboot your computer for these changes to take effect.  After
rebooting, go to the directory the game is installed in, and delete the config
file for that game.  The config file stores the configuration information for
your system, and if you delete this file, it will force the game to rescan your
computer, and get the new information.  The new information will then be placed
in a newly created config file.  Any settings such as keyboard reassignments,
or control device selections will be lost when the configuration file is