Mechwarrior 2: Mercenaries other
---------------TABLE OF CONTENTS--------------- SECTION 1 - HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS FOR MS-DOS VERSION SECTION 2 - ABOUT THE MS-DOS VERSION SECTION 3 - INSTALLATION PROCEDURES A. MS-DOS 6.22 B. MS-DOS MODE C. MS-DOS PROMPT OF WINDOWS 95 SECTION 4 - COMMON SETUP AND INSTALLATION PROBLEMS A. SOUND B. ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION C. POST INSTALLATION NOTES SECTION 5 - BEFORE RUNNING MERCENARIES SECTION 6 - TROUBLESHOOTING STEPS A. MEMORY B. VIDEO C. SOUND D. MOUSE SECTION 7 - CREATING A BOOT DISK A. BASIC BOOT DISK B. ADVANCED BOOT DISK SECTION 8 - THREE WAYS TO PLAY FROM A MS-DOS PROMPT A. MS-DOS 6.22 B. MS-DOS MODE C. MS-DOS PROMPT OF WINDOWS 95 SECTION 9 - PERFORMANCE TIPS SECTION 10 - IF YOU STILL HAVE PROBLEMS... *************** MERCNET INFORMATION *************** SECTION 11 - HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS FOR MS-DOS MERCNET SECTION 12 - PRE-INSTALLATION INFORMATION SECTION 13 - HOW DO I START MERCNET? SECTION 14 - PLAYING MERCNET DOS IN WINDOWS 95 SECTION 15 - TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS A. PERFORMANCE B. NETWORK C. MODEMS D. NULL MODEMS E. QUICK SOLUTIONS: TOP QUESTIONS ANSWERED F. WHERE CAN I FIND OTHER MERCNET PLAYERS NOTE: For your benefit, we have created a README.TXT file that contains last minute information that could not be included in this HELP.TXT file. If information is not found within this HELP.TXT file, please view our README.TXT file. SECTION 1 - HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS FOR MS-DOS VERSION - 100% IBM PC-compatible computer - 486 DX2/66 MHz processor - 8 MB RAM - Microsoft MS-DOS 6.22 operating system with MSCDEX 2.10. - Double-speed CD-ROM drive (300K/second sustained transfer rate) - 62 MB of uncompressed hard disk space - VESA local bus or PCI video with 1 MB RAM - 256 Color SVGA (640 x 480) Video card - 100% Microsoft-compatible mouse and driver - Dedicated game card is highly recommended for joystick Please Note: In order to play Mercenaries for MS-DOS(r) the CD must be in your CD-ROM drive at all times. Mercenaries may have trouble working with some 1993 or earlier Matsushita CD-ROM drives. These CD-ROM drives have trouble reading beyond 63 minutes on CDs, and Mercenaries uses the full CD. These drives were sold under the names of Panasonic, JVC, Reveal, Creative Labs and Plextor. Game play may occasionally slow down and the CD-ROM drive will be accessed constantly. We highly recommend that you upgrade to a newer CD-ROM drive to avoid problems with other programs in the future. SECTION 2 - ABOUT THE MS-DOS VERSION - Highly recommended that the game be played from MS-DOS MODE or DOS 6.22. The MS-DOS Prompt of Windows(r) 95 is not recommended. - Does not use Microsoft DirectX video and audio drivers. - Should not be installed to a compressed drive. SECTION 3 - INSTALLATION PROCEDURES A. ----------MS-DOS 6.22---------- (1) At the DOS prompt, type D: and press Enter. (for these instructions, we will assume that your CD drive is D:). (2) At the D: prompt, type CD\DOS and press Enter. (3) At the D:\DOS> prompt, type INSTALL and press Enter. (4) Follow the on-screen instructions carefully. (5) When installation is complete, you will be returned to the directory in which Mercenaries was installed. To begin your Mercenaries experience, type MERCS and press Enter. B. ----------MS-DOS MODE---------- (1) Make sure the CD is in the CD-ROM drive. (2) If the Mercenaries title screen is displayed, click the Exit button. (3) Click on the Windows 95 Start button, choose shutdown. (4) Now click on the option SHUT DOWN AND RESTART IN MS-DOS MODE, then choose OK. (5) At the DOS prompt, type D: and press Enter. (for these instructions, we will assume that your CD drive is D:). (6) At the D: prompt, type CD\DOS and press Enter. (7) At the D:\DOS> prompt, type INSTALL and press Enter. (8) Follow the on-screen instructions carefully. (9) When installation is complete, you will be returned to the directory in which Mercenaries was installed. To begin your Mercenaries experience, type MERCS and press Enter. C. ----------MS-DOS PROMPT OF WINDOWS 95---------- Although we do not recommend it, the following will work on some machines. (1) Make sure the game's CD is in the CD-ROM drive. (2) If the Mercenaries title screen is displayed, click the Exit button. (3) Close all open windows on your screen. You can close a window by clicking on the close button located in the top right-hand corner of the window. Also close programs listed on the Taskbar. Do this by right-clicking on a program's button and selecting Close. (4) Double-click on the My Computer icon located on the desktop. (The name of this icon may have been changed by you or the person who installed Windows 95 on your system.) In the window that opens, right-click on the icon for your CD-ROM drive and select Open. Look for the Install icon in the DOS folder. (The icon is a picture of a window labeled Install underneath it.) Double-click on this icon to start the Mercenaries MS-DOS Installer and follow the on-screen instructions. Important: Note that a message will appear at the end of the install process that asks if you want to make a boot disk. Answer No. The game's Boot Disk-maker utility was designed for systems using MS-DOS as their operating system and will not work properly with Windows 95. (5) After installation is complete, if the DOS box is still on the screen, close it by clicking on the close button located in the top right-hand corner of the DOS box window. (6) Double-click on the My Computer icon. In the window that opens, double-click on the icon for the hard disk drive where Mercenaries was installed. Look for the Mercenaries folder icon. (The icon is a picture of a folder labeled Mercenaries underneath it.) Double-click on this icon to open the folder; look for the DOS icon and double click on it to start the game. If the above process does not work for you, click on the Start icon, choose Shutdown and restart the computer in MS-DOS mode. At the MS-DOS prompt, go to the directory where you installed Mercenaries (default is \MERCS), and from the MERCS directory type MERCS and press Enter to start the game. NOTE: If your system came pre-installed with Windows 95, you may not have the necessary MS-DOS drivers for your mouse, CD-ROM and sound card to play the game. Please contact your system manufacturer for these DOS drivers. SECTION 4 - COMMON SETUP AND INSTALLATION PROBLEMS A. ----------SOUND---------- In order to enjoy the audio component of the game, you will need to select your sound device for digital audio. Choose your sound card from the list provided. The Installer will then try to verify the presence of that sound card in your system. If your sound card is not shown and is 100-percent Sound Blaster 16 compatible, you should be able to select the Creative Labs Sound Blaster 16 driver to hear sound and music in the game. When you are finished selecting the proper sound devices, select DONE and press
. If you need to set the sound card manully here are a couple of methods to try and find out what sound card you have and what the proper Port, IRQ and DMA settings are for your computer: View your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files which are found at the root directory of your hard drive. Look at the lines that load the set parameters of your sound card for clues to what the I/O Port, IRQ and DMA settings should be set to. Also, for more clues type SET at a MS-DOS prompt and press Enter. Look at the BLASTER = line. Record that information and use it to manually detect your sound card. B. ----------ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION (North America Only)---------- After the game is installed, you will be presented with the option to register your copy of Mercenaries via our online registration system. If you have a modem connected to your computer, registering your purchase of Mercenaries is very easy, quick and toll-free. Please register only once. If you successfully use the online registration method, there is no need to mail-in the enclosed registration card. C. ----------POST INSTALLATION NOTES---------- After installing Mercenaries, it is easy to change your sound device configurations, make a Boot Disk, or register Mercenaries electronically (if you bypassed these steps while installing). Simply go to the Mercenaries directory on your hard drive, type SETUP and press Enter. This will launch a program that will allow you to do all of these options. SECTION 5 - BEFORE RUNNING MERCENARIES When playing the MS-DOS version of Mercenaries, we strongly recommend that you run under the following conditions: Before playing, close all other applications. Some users have experienced random fatal errors while playing Mercenaries if they have other memory-intensive programs running at the same time. We highly recommend running Mercenaries as a stand-alone DOS application. Do NOT play the MS-DOS version of Mercenaries through Windows 3.1x. Completely exit out of Windows and start the game from the MS-DOS prompt. SECTION 6 - TROUBLESHOOTING STEPS A. ----------MEMORY---------- Mercenaries requires a minimum of 8 MB of main memory (RAM). On some machines, even if you have the required 8 MB of RAM, Mercenaries may report that you do not have enough free extended or conventional memory. During game start up, Mercenaries will determine if there is enough free memory to properly run. If it is determined that there is not enough memory available, then the program will let you know how much additional memory is needed. In many cases you may be able to remove/disable only one or two TSRs (Terminate and Stay Resident programs) or drivers that are not needed to run Mercenaries, to make this memory available. You might also try disabling SMARTDRV, changing your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT so that some of your drivers are loaded into conventional rather than high memory or setting your EMM386 line to NOEMS. Since these modifications affect your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files, you should consider making these changes to CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files on a boot disk. See the section on creating a boot disk for more details. B. ----------VIDEO---------- Mercenaries was designed to take advantage of some of the higher resolution video modes on your computer. In most cases Mercenaries will detect and work with your video card just fine. However, some video cards may require that a VESA video driver be loaded in order for the video card to work properly with Mercenaries. VESA stands for Video Electronics Standards Association. It is a standard that allows software companies to write programs that work on many video cards without having to know how each card works. The VESA driver is the program that handles this. Almost every video card available today has VESA drivers available for it. These drivers may be stored in a BIOS chip on the video card, or they may be a program that the user has to load by hand (or with a batch file). Some cards (such as the Diamond Viper) have the driver on the video card, but need the user to run a special program to activate the driver. If the VESA driver is an external program, it will probably be found on the disks that came with your video card. If you don't have a VESA driver you should contact your video card manufacturer. If the VESA driver supplied by your video card does not function properly with MercNet, try using the Display Doctor utility. This is available for downloading from the SciTech Software Web page (http://www.scitechsoft.com). It might also be located on your local BBS or other online services. ***Question*** I am having troubles making my video card support VBE 2.0. How do I make my card support this mode? ***Answer*** Mercenaries was designed to take advantage of the higher resolution video modes on your computer. In most cases, Mercenaries will detect and work with your video card just fine. However, some video cards may require that a VESA video driver be loaded in order for the video card to work properly with Mercenaries. Mercenaries for MS-DOS requires that your video card can support the VBE 2.0 standard, as set forth by VESA. Please verify that you have this VESA video driver for your video card loaded before launching Mercenaries for MS-DOS. ***Question*** I have a Trident video card and I can't get the game to start correctly ***Answer*** We suggest you try playing in MS-DOS Mode. Please follow these instructions: (1) There is a file named TRIVESA.EXE on our web site. It contains updated video drivers which are required for the game to play. (WWW.ACTIVISION.COM) (2) After TRIVESA has been downloaded exit to DOS MODE. (3) Type TRIVESA, from wherever it was downloaded to. If you do not know where it is, go to DOS Mode type CD\ and press , then type DIR TRIVESA.* /s , and press . (4) Follow the instructions that appear after typing TRIVESA. If after installing Trivesa you still have problems, please contact Trident at 415-691-9211. ***Question*** I can not seem to get my ATI video card to support VBE 2.0. What should I do? ***Answer*** If you are unable to play in either the Windows 95 or DOS modes, please contact ATI at (905) 882-2626. The ATI cards have many different BIOS versions. Each BIOS version does something a little different. Ex. Some support VESA 2.0, some just 1.2. Some older drivers work with WIN95 for our games, while other newer ones may not depending on the BIOS. Using a program they supply, ATI can help find your cards specific part number. ATI Customer Support can then use your part number to find your cards BIOS. After the correct BIOS is determined ATI can determine the cards features and help trouble shoot your video problems. C. ----------SOUND---------- In the PC environment, sound card detection and configuration is often a difficult process. Although many cards can be automatically detected and configured, there are cases where this is not true. It is often necessary to use a manual card selection (select a card manufacturer and model) and configuration.(select I/O, DMA and IRQ). Because of the complexity of some sound cards, it may be necessary to try several options. ON SYSTEMS WITH A SCSI DISK CONTROLLER, YOU SHOULD SKIP THE AUTODETECTION ALTOGETHER. You should always use the Test option to verify that a valid configuration was selected. It is often possible to determine the resources needed by your sound card (resources include I/O address, DMA channel, and IRQ interrupt number), either from your AUTOEXEC.BAT file (if in DOS), or from the SYSTEM utility (if in Windows 95). To run the SYSTEM utility from Windows 95, select Start, Settings, Control Panel, then select the System icon. When in the SYSTEM utility, select the Device Manager tab, then select the "Sound, Video and Game Controllers", select your sound card, and the Resources tab to see the settings for your sound card. A typical entry in the CONFIG.SYS file would be as follows: SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H5 T6 This indicates I/O port 220, IRQ 5, and 5 for high DMA (i.e.16-bit sound). Whenever possible use high DMA. Many software configurable sound cards require that a separate utility is run, before the card can be used. For example Sound Blaster 16 requires that the card is configured using the SB16SET utility. Please refer to your sound card manual for the method used for your card. IF YOU DO NOT CONFIGURE YOUR SOUND CARD CORRECTLY, YOU MAY EXPERIENCE DMA OR IRQ CONFLICTS WITH OTHER CONTROLLERS (E.G. NETWORK CARDS WILL FAIL). ***Question*** My Program runs under MS-DOS but not under a Windows 95 DOS Prompt. ***Answer*** The DMA used for your sound card for DOS and DOS Prompt may be different. You may have to reconfigure the sound card settings, by typing SMSETUP from wherever you installed Mercenaries to (e.g. C:\MERCS). This should be done from where the game will most likely be played from. ***Question*** My sound cards worked fine before I ran the Mercenaries SetSound utility. Now they do not work. ***Answer*** On systems with two sound cards, it is not always possible to detect both cards at the same time. Within the SETUP utility you should configure your sound card using the manual mode (do not use Auto Detect). ***Question*** My sound card plays sounds but the WAVE files sound awful. ***Answer*** Most sound cards offer Sound Blaster emulation, but sound much better if used in their native mode. Use manual selection in SETUP, and make sure that the native mode is selected. It is also important that all cards (including the Sound Blaster) are set for 16-bit sound. In many cases the card uses two DMA channels, one for 8-bit operation and one for 16-bit operation. This can also be a problem. ***Question*** I am using arrow keys to select the sound card and arrow keys to select the resources, but the card still does not work. ***Answer*** You must press enter after you highlight the sound card name. Only after that can you select resources for that card. ***Question*** On my Compaq machine the SETUP auto detects the card as Sound Blaster, but I know that it is not correct. ***Answer*** Try to manually select ESS AudioDrive. ***Question*** I have an IBM Aptiva with a MWAVE card (i.e. sound/modem card). I am getting choppy sound and video. What should I do? ***Answer*** Please follow these instructions EACH TIME before playing Mercenaries: (1) From WIN95, click on the START button and chose shutdown. (2) Select Restart the computer in MS-DOS Mode? (3) Choose the OK button (4) Type MWGAMES ON and press . (5) Next, type CD\MERCS and press (6) Type MERCS and press If the game has no volume or it is to low you will want to use the mixer utility provided by IBM. Please follow the instructions listed below for volume control settings. (1) From a DOS Mode prompt type CD\MWD\MANAGER and press . (2) Type MWVOLUME and press These will be your options: Hold down CTRL, ALT, U. Hold all three of these buttons down at the same time for about 5 seconds. This will turn up your sound. Hold down CTRL, ALT, D. Hold all three of these buttons down at the same time for about 5 seconds. This will turn down your sound. Hold down CTRL, ALT, F. Hold all three of these buttons down at the same and it will turn on FM Mode. Hold down CTRL, ALT, W. Hold all three of these buttons down at the same and it will turn on WAVE Mode. Once you are finished choosing your settings in the volume control area follow the next 2 steps. (1) Type CD\MERCS and press (2) Type MERCS and press If problems persist you might want to consider contacting IBM at: Technical Support: (404) 238-1234 Technical Support Multimedia: (908) 329-7131 Technical Support PS/1 PRO: (800) 765-4747 Technical Support Valuepoint: (800) 772-2227 Technical Support Valuepoint: (213) 621-5576 BBS: (919) 517-0001 World Wide Web: http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/ibmlist.html ***Question*** I have a Packard Bell and have no sound when playing the MS-DOS version of Mercenaries. What should I do? ***Answer*** Please use the mixer utility provided by Packard Bell. Follow the instructions listed below for volume control settings. (1) From DOS Mode prompt type CD\SOUND144\UTILITY and press . SOUND144 can be replaced with FORTE16 or SOUND16A depending on the sound card you have. (2) Type MIXTSR and press (3) Hold down the ALT key while you press the / key. (This will activate a menu.) These will be your options: TAB = Moves your selection choice to the next device to manage. Right arrow = Turns the volumes up. Left arrow = Turns the volumes down. S = Save E = Exit Once you are finished choosing your settings in the volume control area follow the next 2 steps. (1) Type CD\MERCS and press (2) Type MERCS and press D. ----------MOUSE---------- ***Question*** Why do I get an Error: "Mouse Not Found" message? ***Answer*** This message is usually the result of one of two problems. First, and most likely, a mouse driver has not been loaded. Mercenaries DOS needs a DOS mouse driver to run in MS-DOS mode. You can try playing in a Windows 95 DOS box or load your DOS mouse driver to play in MS-DOS mode. To exit Windows 95 to MS-DOS mode and load your MS-DOS mouse driver follow these instructions: (1) Click on the START button. (2) Choose Shut Down. (3) Choose the Restart the computer in MS-DOS mode option. (4) Now click on the YES button. Find the mouse driver executable. After it is found execute it by typing its name (e.g. C:\MOUSE.EXE). If you are unaware of where it is follow these instructions: (1) Type CD\ and press (2) Type DIR *MOUSE.* /S and press This will show you what directory your mouse resides in (e.g. C:\MOUSE). As the example states MOUSE being the directory it is in, you would then type CD MOUSE. This will put you in the mouse directory where you can then type its name. The name may be LMOUSE, MOUSE, MSMOUSE. Those names will be displayed when you follow the steps stated above on how to find your mouse. If your mouse driver is not found you will want to contact your system, or mouse manufacturer for a updated DOS mouse driver. Another reason you would get this error is that the mouse driver is being correctly loaded, but it is an older version that is not supported. In this case you should contact your system, or mouse manufacturer for the updated DOS mouse driver as well. SECTION 7 - CREATING A BOOT DISK A. ----------STANDARD BOOT DISK--------- If you experience problems playing Mercenaries or receive messages telling that you do not have enough memory to play. You will probably need to create a Boot Disk. A Boot Disk lets your machine boot from a floppy disk and will not load memory-extensive programs, freeing more memory up for Mercenaries. We have included an option that will automatically create a Boot Disk for you in this package. To create a Boot Disk, first go to the \MERCS directory. For example, if you installed Mercenaries to C:\MERCS, you would type CD\MERCS and press Enter. Then type SETUP and press Enter. Select Make a Boot Disk. Follow the on-screen prompts, and the program will create a Boot Disk for you. If you still lack sufficient memory, please refer to the next section, on making a advanced boot disk. B. ----------ADVANCED BOOT DISK---------- Sometimes even a Boot Disk creator can't get you past the memory limit required to run a program. In the event you find our automatic Boot Disk creator doesn't do the job, we have provided the following sample CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files to assist you in getting Mercenaries up and running. If you are creating a Boot Disk from scratch, start with Step 1. If you have already used the automatic Boot Disk creation utility in the Mercenaries installer, start with Step 3. Step 1: Place a diskette in your A: drive. The next step will erase any data on the disk, so a new, blank floppy disk should be used. Make sure that the disk is the same density as the drive (use a 1.44 MB disk in a High Density 3.5" drive, etc.). Step 2: At the C: prompt, type FORMAT A: /S and press Enter. The DOS Format utility will format the disk and add the necessary DOS files required to boot from the floppy disk. Step 3: Change to drive A by typing A: and pressing Enter. Then type EDIT CONFIG.SYS and press Enter. The DOS Editor program will appear. If you used our Boot Disk-maker, just make sure the following lines, or similar lines, in the [CONFIG.SYS] example on the next page, are in your CONFIG.SYS file. Type REM and a space in front of all other lines not listed. If you are making your own Boot Disk manually, then type in the lines following [CONFIG.SYS] in the example below. When you are finished typing the lines, press ALT-F to bring up the File menu, and then type X to Exit the DOS Editor program. When it asks you if you want to save your file, choose Yes. [CONFIG.SYS] DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM. SYS DEVICE=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE NOEMS DOS=HIGH,UMB FILES=40 BUFFERS=15,0 STACKS=9,256 Insert your CD-ROM driver line here In the CONFIG.SYS file shown above, replace the last line in the example with the line from your current CONFIG.SYS file on drive C: that runs your CD-ROM drivers. It is important that you use your CD-ROM line and not our example, otherwise your CD-ROM drive will not function properly. Additionally, if your graphics card requires a VESA driver, it should go here as well. Step 4: Type EDIT AUTOEXEC.BAT and press Enter. The DOS Editor program will appear. If you used our Boot Disk-maker, then just make sure these lines, are similar to the lines, in the [AUTOEXEC.BAT] example below. Type REM and a space in front of all other lines not listed. If you are making your own Boot Disk manually, then type in the lines, like the [AUTOEXEC.BAT] example below. When you are finished typing the lines, press ALT-F to bring up the File menu, and then type X to exit the DOS Edit program. When it asks you if you want to save your file, choose Yes. [AUTOEXEC.BAT] @ECHO OFF PROMPT $P$G Insert your PATH statement here LH C:\DOS\MSCDEX.EXE /D:MSCD000 SET SOUND=C:\SB 16 SET BLASTER=A220 15 D1 H5 P330 T6 C:\SB I6\DIAGNOSE /S C:\SB 16SET /P /Q SETMIDI=SYNTH:I MAP:E C:\MOUSE\MOUSE.EXE CD\MERCS MERCS In the AUTOEXEC.BAT file shown above, you would replace the third line with the SET PATH command from your current AUTOEXEC.BAT file on drive C:. Replace the fourth line with the line from your current AUTOEXEC.BAT file on drive C: that loads MSCDEX.EXE. It is important that you use your CD-ROM line and not our example, otherwise your CD-ROM drive will not function properly. You may also have special lines in your C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT file that help your sound card to function properly. It is very important that you copy those lines into this new file on A: so your sound card can work. Replace the examples on lines 5 through 9 with the appropriate lines from your AUTOEXEC.BAT file. If you do not know which line from your current AUTOEXEC.BAT runs your CD-ROM drivers, or which lines are for your sound card, you should contact the hardware manufacturer of the item in question. Line 10 which loads your mouse driver is only an example. The command to load your mouse driver is most likely different than our example. Replace line 10 with the command that loads your mouse driver. Step 5: Leave the disk in the drive and reboot your system. The game should start and everything should be working properly. NOTE: Some systems require special steps in order to boot from a floppy disk. If you are not in the Mercenaries directory after attempting to boot from the floppy, contact the system manufacturer to learn what steps must be taken to start from a boot disk. SECTION 8 - THREE WAYS TO PLAY FROM A MS-DOS PROMPT The DOS version of Mercenaries can only run from a DOS prompt. With today's PC compatible systems, there are three ways to get to the DOS prompt: A. ----------MS-DOS 6.22---------- Booting into DOS 6.22 (also called by Windows 95 "Previous version of MS-DOS" ). This is the preferred method to run Mercenaries, and it is the only way on a system without Windows 95. On systems with Windows 95 you may be able to select this mode, during booting process, by pressing the F8 key. Depending on the method used to install Windows 95, this option may not be available. Advantage: Avoids potential conflicts between Windows 95 display & sound drivers and the DOS drivers used by the Mercenaries game. SETUP works reliably. Disadvantage: On systems with Windows 95, your 16-bit CD-ROM and Mouse drivers may not be installed (CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files may have to be updated). B. ---------MS-DOS MODE---------- Boot into DOS 7.0, by clicking the START button, then choosing SHUTDOWN. Now choose RESTART THE COMPUTER IN MS-DOS MODE. Advantage: Avoids potential conflicts between Windows 95 display & sound drivers and the DOS drivers used by the Mercenaries game. SETUP works reliably. Disadvantage: On systems with Windows 95, your "old style DOS" CD-ROM and Mouse drivers may not be installed, and you may have to find and load 16-bit drivers in order to be able to access the CD-ROM drive, or the mouse. C. ----------MS-DOS PROMPT OF WINDOWS 95---------- To use the MS-DOS prompt of Windows 95, click the START button, then choose PROGRAMS. Now choose MS-DOS Prompt. Advantage: Guarantees that the CD-ROM driver and the Mouse driver are available (without a need to load older 16-bit drivers). The Virtual Memory available to Windows can also be used by the game (this improves performance of the game on machines with more than 8 MB of RAM). Disadvantage: It is often impossible to do automatic sound card detection, since Windows intercepts all of the I/O and IRQ requests, and returns unpredictable results to the auto-detection software. Even after manual setup, there is a potential for DMA or IRQ conflicts between the resources allocated by the Windows 95 Resource Manager, and the resources detected by the DOS setup program. On some systems (we have seen this on an HP machine) the VESA BIOS calls are not supported in the DOS Box (i.e. They are supported in MS-DOS MODE). SECTION 9 - PERFORMANCE TIPS Make sure that your sound card is configured for 16-bit stereo sound. All of the game sounds are stored as 16-bit wave files. Playing these wave files on 8-bit cards will require time consuming conversion, resulting in choppy movies, and poor sound quality. SECTION 10 - IF YOU STILL HAVE PROBLEMS... If you have any comments, questions or suggestions about Mercenaries or any other Activision product, please feel free to contact us. Before contacting Customer Support, please consult the Mercenaries Help file. It contains the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions and may quickly provide a solution to your problem. If, after reviewing the Mercenaries Help file, you are still experiencing problems, please feel free to contact us through any of the services listed. So that we can better help you, please be at your computer and have the following information ready: 1. Complete product title. 2. Exact error message reported (if any) and a brief description of the problem. 3. Your computer's processor type and speed (e.g. 486-66, Pentium 90...) 4. Video and sound card makes and models (e.g. Diamond Stealth 64 video, Sound Blaster 16 sound...) This supplemental information in this help file is designed as a troubleshooting guide in the event you experience technical problems while running the program. We will attempt to explain in detail the various tips, tricks and troubleshooting techniques we have learned through the course of our comprehensive testing process. Mercenaries uses state-of-the-art video compression and is subject to very specific needs in order to run on the average PC. We believe you will have a trouble-free and enjoyable experience playing Mercenaries, and we have tried to cover any issues you may encounter. North America ----------- Online Services (English Only): Services with Activision Forums, E-Mail and File Library Support: Microsoft Network: From any MSN window, pull down the Edit menu and select Go To and then Other Location. At the prompt, type "Activision" and click OK. America Online: Use keyword Activision to locate the Activision forum. CompuServe: 76004,2122 or [GO GAMBPUB] Genie: ACTIVISION (E-mail support only) Prodigy: ACTI10B (E-mail support only) Activision BBS: 310-479-1335 Up to 28,800 baud; Settings: 8 Bits, No Parity, 1 Stop Bit (8, N, 1) Internet E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org World Wide Web: http://www.activision.com Fax: 310-479-7355, 24 hours a day FaxBack: 310-473-6453, 24 hours a day Mail: Activision Customer Support P.O. Box 67713 Los Angeles, CA 90067 Phone: Call our 24-hour voice-mail system for answers to our most frequently asked questions at 310-479-5644. Contact a Customer Support representative at the same number between the hours of 9:00am and 5:00pm (Pacific Time) Monday through Friday, except holidays. UK and Europe ---------------------- Activision Long Island House, 3A 1/4 Warple Way London, W3 ORQ United Kingdom. Technical Support: 0990 143525 Customer Service: 0181 7429400 You can contact UK Customer Service between the hours of 1:00pm and 5:00pm (UK Time) Monday through Friday (except holidays). Online Services: Services with Activision Forums, E-Mail and File Library Support: Microsoft Network: From any MSN window, pull down the Edit menu and select Go To and then Other Location. At the prompt, type "Activision" and click OK. CompuServe: 76004,2122 or [GO GAMBPUB] Activision BBS: 310-479-1335 Up to 28,800 baud; Settings: 8 Bits, No Parity, 1 Stop Bit (8, N, 1) Internet E-mail: email@example.com World Wide Web: http://www.activision.com Australia and Pacific Rim -------------------------------- ACTIVISION AUSTRALIA AND PACIFIC RIM P.O. Box 873 Epping, NSW 2121 Australia Phone: 1902 962 000 Online Services: Services with Activision Forums, E-Mail and File Library Support: Microsoft Network: From any MSN window, pull down the Edit menu and select Go To and then Other Location. At the prompt, type "Activision" and click OK. CompuServe: 76004,2122 or [GO GAMBPUB] Activision BBS: 310-479-1335 Up to 28,800 baud; Settings: 8 Bits, No Parity, 1 Stop Bit (8, N, 1) Internet E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org World Wide Web: http://www.activision.com *************** MERCNET INFORMATION *************** SECTION 11 - HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS FOR MS-DOS MERCNET To play MercNet you will need one of the following: - Novell Network - Novell-compatible IPX network (e.g., Windows 95) - 100 % Hayes/MS-DOS-compatible modem (9,600 bps for head-to-head play; 14,400 bps is recommended.) - Null-modem cable and serial port with 16550 UART You will also need to meet the minimum system requirements, which are as follows: - 100% IBM PC-compatible computer - 486 DX2/66 MHz processor - 8 MB RAM - Microsoft MS-DOS 6.22 operating system with MSCDEX 2.10. - Double-speed CD-ROM drive (300K/second sustained transfer rate) - 62 MB of uncompressed hard disk space - VESA local bus or PCI video with 1 MB RAM - 256 Color SVGA (640 x 480) video card - 100% Microsoft-compatible mouse and driver - Dedicated game card is highly recommended for joystick Please Note: In order to play Mercenaries for MS-DOS(r) the CD must be in your CD-ROM drive at all times. Mercenaries may have trouble working with some 1993 or earlier Matsushita CD-ROM drives. These CD-ROM drives have trouble reading beyond 63 minutes on CDs, and Mercenaries uses the full CD. These drives were sold under the names of Panasonic, JVC, Reveal, Creative Labs and Plextor. Game play may occasionally slow down and the CD-ROM drive will be accessed constantly. We highly recommend that you upgrade to a newer CD-ROM drive to avoid problems with other programs in the future. SECTION 12 - PRE-INSTALLATION INFORMATION Here is some important information that you should know before you install and start your MercNet experience: Hard Disk: The game is part of the MS-DOS version which requires 62 MB of UN-compressed free disk space. MercNet will not work properly using compressed hard disk space (such as Stacker and DoubleSpace). Memory: In order to run MercNet you need 8 MB of RAM and over 6.9 MB of extended memory. If you have between 6.5 MB and 6.9 MB of extended memory, the game will play, but some missions will run slower. For optimal performance it is best to configure your memory so you have over 6.9 MB of extended memory. To help you free up more memory, we included a boot disk-making utility that you will be prompted to use from the Installer. Other Operating Systems and Windows(r) 95: MercNet requires MS-DOS 6.22 or later. Other operating systems (e.g., OS/2 Warp and Windows NT) are not supported. Although MercNet might work just fine with them, we have not tested thoroughly with them. If you have a problem using unsupported operating systems it is best to contact the operating system company to try and work out compatibility issues. Please check Activision's online forums on a regular basis for future updates on MercNet compatibility issues. A special note for Windows 95 users: MercNet is a DOS program, but has been tested successfully under Windows 95. In your MercNet directory, we've provided a Windows 95 shortcut that you can double-click to start MercNet. VESA Video Drivers: MercNet requires that your system have a standard VESA video driver to run your video. Please verify that you have one loaded before launching MercNet. If the VESA driver supplied by your video card does not function properly with MercNet, try using the Display Doctor utility. This is available for downloading from the SciTech Software Web page (http://www.scitechsoft.com). It might also be located on your local BBS or other online services. SECTION 13 - HOW DO I START MERCNET? There are two ways to start your MercNet experience. They are as follows: 1. Start Mercenaries as you normally would. Click on the button to play MercNet. or 2. Go to the folder or directory where you installed Mercenaries (Default is C:\MERCS). Within this folder double click MercNet.exe or if you are in directory type MERCNET and press . SECTION 14 - PLAYING MERCNET DOS IN WINDOWS 95 Other applications can continue running in the background while you use MercNet DOS, if you have enough memory. However, MercNet DOS does require the whole screen, so you won't be able to see the other applications until you quit MercNet. ***Question*** I get palette corruption when going from the DOS prompt to the Windows 95 Desktop and back to the DOS prompt. What Do I do? ***Answer*** MercNet DOS is a DOS version of the game. While the game can be played from a Windows 95 DOS box, Windows has trouble restoring the MercNet screen if you switch away from it. Using Alt+Tab to switch between MercNet DOS and the Windows 95 desktop is not recommended. ***Question*** When I insert a CD-ROM, the MercNet screen goes away, the program on the CD-ROM starts running, and I can't get back to MercNet. What is going on? ***Answer*** Windows 95 has detected a new program, and thinks you want to run it. You can keep this from happening by holding down the Shift key for 20 seconds after you insert the CD-ROM. Another way to prevent this is to turn off AutoPlay by following these steps: 1. In Control Panel, click on System, then click on Device Manager. 2. Click on your CD-ROM device, and click on Properties, then Settings. 3. Make sure the box labeled "Auto Insert Notification" is not checked. SECTION 15 - TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS A. ----------PERFORMANCE---------- MercNet has features that were designed to support a wide range of computers. When you initially configure MercNet for play, MercNet will make several default settings regarding which features should be used and which should be turned OFF. The trade-offs are different for each user, so we allow any machine to run any options, but please keep in mind that the higher the level of detail, the more demanding the machine requirements. MercNet's default resolution is 320x200. We recommend this resolution unless you have a P-90 or above. On Pentium 90 computers, MercNet should run well at 640x480, while 1024x768 is recommended for P-120s or higher. Video cards also vary dramatically; many cards are optimized for extremely high performance in Windows, but can actually be very slow for use in DOS. The best way to determine this is by running MercNet. Start with a resolution of 320x200, and select whatever options best match your machine's capabilities and your desire for realism. Move up to a higher resolution, and adjust graphic options until you reach a satisfactory balance. Try making the following changes to increase the game's performance (They will be found within Combat Variables): Object Textmaps: Try turning these OFF. Terrain Textmaps: Try turning these OFF. Display Detail: Try switching to LOW. Object Density: Try switching to LOW. Explosion Chunks: Try turning these OFF. Particles: Try turning these OFF. Multiple Lights: Try turning these OFF. Shadows: Try turning these OFF. Resolution: Reduce to the next lower resolution if you're running above 320x200. Note: The resolution can only be changed in the shell prior to the fighting simulation. Implementing just some of the changes listed above should be sufficient to get the game running reasonably on any machine. Other options can be left ON, as their performance cost is low. B. ----------NETWORK---------- ***Question*** I start the game, select IPX, and the screen says "Network driver not available". What should I do? ***Answer*** If you're running Windows 95, you might have left another copy of MercNet DOS running in the background. You can only run one copy at a time. If this isn't the case, you probably need to load an IPX driver. To load an IPX driver in Windows 95, go to Start, then Settings, then click on Control Panel, click on Networking, and make sure that you have an IPX or IPX-compatible driver listed. If you don't, try the following: double-click on Add, then double-click on Protocol, then click on Microsoft, and finally double-click on IPX/SPX-compatible Protocol. To load an IPX driver in MS-DOS 6.22, check the floppy that came with your Ethernet card; most cards come with a setup program that installs an IPX driver for you. If the card's setup program asks you what network operating system, choose the one that looks closest to "Novell Netware 3.x for MS-DOS". Often, there are two different types of drivers: NETX and VLM. NETX is the elder and probably safer, but either should work. Technically inclined people who want to connect an IPX driver to a modem instead of to an Ethernet card may be able to do so in the Protocol control panel under Windows 95, or under DOS by loading a PPP dialer program that presents a Packet Driver interface, then loading a Packet Driver version of IPX.COM. This is treading in uncharted territory, though, since these procedures have not been tested. One good place to research network driver issues is "The PC and Mac TCP/IP and NFS FAQ", http://www.rtd.com/pcnfsfaq/faq.html. ***Question*** When in DOS 6.22 or real mode DOS 7/Windows 95, MercNet doesn't seem to work with my parallel port Ethernet adapter. Why? ***Answer*** Parallel port Ethernet adapters seem to have trouble in real mode DOS 7.0 or DOS 6.22, and are not supported with MercNet DOS. (They seem to work in a Windows 95 DOS box.) Real mode drivers don't seem to work well with 32-bit programs like MercNet DOS. ***Question*** When using DOS 6.22, I type MERCNET from the directory where I installed MercNet. The computer hangs and I can't get into the game or see any hosts or players in the Pilot's Lounge. What is going on? ***Answer*** Make sure you have the latest network driver for the Ethernet card. C. ----------MODEMS---------- ***Question*** The game cannot detect my modem when I am in DOS. Is this a problem with my modem? ***Answer*** You may have an internal U.S. Robotics WinModem. This modem is not compatible with DOS programs. Also, it does not emulate the regular serial chips so it cannot be detected by DOS. ***Question*** I am trying to play the game in DOS 6.22 using the modem on my Aptiva/M-Wave system, but I can't get it to work. How come this is happening? ***Answer*** The M-Wave modem supports MercNet DOS in a Window 95 DOS box and DOS 7.0. However, the M-Wave modem cannot be used in DOS 6.X. ***Question*** The person I was playing with got disconnected and now I want to play again. What do I do? ***Answer*** You must return to the Transport Selection screen and repeat the process you used to connect in the first place. ***Question*** My modem does not respond when I call the modem of another player who has just disconnected from a previous game. ***Answer*** If it is an external modem, switch it off and then on and try to connect. If it is an internal modem, go back to the MERCS directory and then return to MercNet and try connecting gain. ***Question*** There seems to be a lag in game play and the other 'Mechs keep disappearing when using modems and slower machines. ***Answer*** Your machine probably has an old 8250 serial chip. You need to upgrade to a serial port with a 16550 serial chip. You can tell what kind of serial chip you have by running MSD. ***Question*** My modem isn't listed in the modem list in the modem configuration string and the init string for the other modems doesn't work with mine. ***Answer*** Usually, the "Hayes Compatible" init string works for all modems, so make sure nothing's wrong with your modem setup. If you're sure you need to change your init string, then use a text editor to edit the file MODEM.LST; add a line with modem name and init string like so: modem name=init string Make sure you pick an init string you know works, such as one included in the installation manual for your modem. ***Question*** How do I disable call waiting? ***Answer*** If your phone line has the Disable Call Waiting feature, you can disable call waiting by including the appropriate command in front of the phone number you are calling. This will prevent anyone from interrupting the call. For example: Name: Gumby Number: *70,,,1-818-555-1212 Where "*70" is the code to disable call waiting, and the commas (,) are simply used to provide a delay so you can hear the special dial tone that acknowledges your code. Check with your local phone company regarding how to disable call waiting for your particular area; you might need to use some other code instead of *70, for instance, #70. Only the person placing the call can disable call waiting! ***Question*** In the list of serial ports, I only see two serial ports listed, COM2 and COM4. Why don't I see COM1 and COM3? ***Answer*** If the mouse is on COM1 you can't use COM3; if it's on COM2, you can't use COM4. This is because COM1 and COM3 share the same IRQ line. D. ----------NULL MODEMS---------- If you have two computers in the same room, but they don't have Ethernet cards, you can use a direct serial connection to play a two player game of MercNet. To do this, get a null modem cable (also known as a Laplink(tm) cable), and plug each end into a serial port on one of the computers. ***Question*** In the list of serial ports, I only see two serial ports listed, COM2 and COM4. Why don't I see COM1 and COM3? ***Answer*** If the mouse is on COM1 you can't use COM3; if it's on COM2, you can't use COM4. This is because COM1 and COM3 share the same IRQ line. E. ----------QUICK SOLUTIONS: TOP QUESTIONS ANSWERED---------- ***Question*** I get funny lines on my display in game play when running from a Windows 95 DOS box. ***Answer*** The black lines that run through MercNet DOS when running in 640x480 or higher in a Windows 95 box can be resolved by running in a window instead of full screen. One way to do this is to make a shortcut to C:\MERCS\MERCNET.EXE, then right mouse click on it and choose Properties. Choose the Screen tab. Click on the box that has Windowed next to it rather than Full Screen. ***Question*** In the list of serial ports, I only see two serial ports listed, COM2 and COM4. Why don't I see COM1 and COM3? ***Answer*** If the mouse is on COM1 you can't use COM3; if it's on COM2, you can't use COM4. This is because COM1 and COM3 share the same IRQ line. ***Question*** After typing MERCS at the DOS prompt, the screen goes blank for a second and then returns to the DOS prompt. ***Answer*** This usually either means you need a VESA driver (see above), or that MercNet DOS can't find your mouse driver. This commonly occurs with Logitech mice. You may want to get a Microsoft compatible mouse driver which is often readily available from commercial online services and many Bulletin Board Systems. ***Question*** I get an Error #14 message when launching into a mission. ***Answer*** You may have run out of disk space! If this happens, make sure you have four or so megabytes of free disk space when starting MercNet. (This only matters if you are running low on memory in Windows 95, and the operating system tries to use hard disk space to substitute for RAM.) ***Question*** I get an Error #29 message when loading the game or when entering missions. ***Answer*** This problem is most commonly caused by a video card that can't adjust to the necessary video modes for MercNet DOS. This can usually be solved by loading a VESA driver before loading the game (see above). If you are sure that this message is not caused by your video card, you can try making a boot disk using the menu option in NETSETUP.EXE located in the directory where you installed the game. The boot disk program will copy your startup files to a floppy disk and attempt to make necessary changes to the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files. If you have problems with your boot disk and need help, it is best to contact us by fax or e-mail. Include information about any error messages caused by the boot disk and your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files. ***Question*** I am trying to load MercNet DOS, but it takes a long time to load. Is there something I can do to speed up this process? ***Answer*** MercNet usually takes anywhere from 10-30 seconds to load. If MercNet is taking an exceedingly long time to load, try disabling any virus scan programs. To disable a virus scan program from DOS: You must edit your AUTOEXEC.BAT file. Type REM in front of the line in the AUTOEXEC.BAT that contains the virus program. For further instructions consult the manual that came with your virus scan program. To disable a virus scan program from Windows 95: Right-click on the Virus Scan icon on your taskbar. Choose Disable. ***Question*** I have a Hewlett Packard Pavilion 7070 with a Crystal 16 bit sound card and Trio 64V+ video card and the computer locks up when I start MercNet. What can I do to run the game? ***Answer*** This computer configuration only supports the game when in DOS 7.0 or DOS 6.22. When using the DOS box the game will probably not run. ***Question*** I get a Divide Overflow error when launching into missions. ***Answer*** This problem can occasionally be caused by a video card or joystick port problem. If the error is occurring because of your video card, it can usually be solved by loading a VESA driver (see above). This problem can also be caused by multiple joystick ports. Most sound cards include a game port where you can connect a joystick to your computer. In addition, many systems also have a dedicated game port or a game port on an I/O card. If you have more than one game port, only one should be enabled. Many ports can be deactivated with a utility program included in the software. Consult your user's manuals or contact your system manufacturer on how to disable an active port. We have also found this message can be caused by the digital mode driver for the Microsoft Sidewinder 3D Pro. This can be solved by using the analog mode of the joystick. ***Question*** MercNet doesn't allow me to join a game. Why? ***Answer*** Continue to click on the Join button, or back out of the Game Selection screen and then go back in. If you still can't join, perhaps that game is full; only eight players are allowed in a game. If there are less than seven players in the game, it could be a network problem, and you should check your network cards and drivers for problems. In particular, parallel port Ethernet adapters seem to have trouble in real mode DOS 7.0 or DOS 6.22, and are not supported with MercNet DOS. (They seem to work in a Windows 95 DOS box.) ***Question*** Sometimes I see more than one pilot's lounge. Why? ***Answer*** There are a couple possibilities: 1. Only 20 or so players can fit in a pilot's lounge. When a lounge fills up, another one is created to accommodate new players. 2. A rogue pilot's lounge has been accidentally created by a net-lagged player. In this case there are simply two pilot's lounges and you can join whichever one you want by clicking on and joining it. The rogue pilot's lounge will most likely merge into the normal pilot's lounge once there is only one player left in the rogue pilot's lounge. F. ----------WHERE CAN I FIND OTHER MERCNET PLAYERS---------- If you have e-mail and access to the World Wide Web, you can access several sites that maintain lists of people with MercNet who are looking for sparring partners. There are even tournaments organized by enthusiasts. You can get a list of these sites at the MercNet web page, http://www.activision.com/mercnet If you have Usenet news access, try the MechWarrior 2 news group, alt.games.mechwarrior2. It's a lively place! If you have AOL access, you might try asking people in the MercNet discussion group in Activision's forum; go to keyword ACTIVISION, then select General Discussion Areas, and finally click on MercNet. If you have Microsoft Network access, inside MSN, pull down the Edit menu and select Go To and then Other Location. At the prompt, type ACTIVISION and click OK. If you have CompuServe, try GO GAMBPUB. You can also try the Activision BBS, at (310) 479-1335. If you're an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) enthusiast, you might try dialing up the #MERCS channel.
Back to the game