COLLECTION CHAMBER FAQ


It can be quite confusing to navigate the dark corridors of the Collection Chamber. The cobwebs are so dense that a helping hand may be needed to brush away the more tricky parts. Here is that hand, and the help too.

Common Questions:

How do I download from 4Shared?



This free file sharing service can be confusing for first-time users. After you click download, you will be confronted with a page similar to the above. Larger games will have more than one file listed. Click on each icon to download that file (1). To view the files in a different layout, click on the icon to the right (3).


After clicking the left download button, you'll then go to a page which will include a countdown from 20 with the phrase 'Download' underneath it. Click it and the file will automatically download once the timer reaches zero. Beware of adverts masquerading as download links, they tend to be more prevalent for free users (or use AdBlock).


You may want to join the free site via Facebook or by e-mail (an anonymous, temporary e-mail account will do if you're suspicious). This will allow you to download multiple files as a single B1 archive, though you'd also need the B1 program to uncompress (paid users can do so in the more widespread zip format). If you choose to do this, click on the little down arrow next to 'Download' on the top left (2). Select your option and it will save to your online account. Go to your 4Shared account page and download the B1 or zip file from there.

For more, check out the 4Shared FAQ

http://4shared.tech/faq.jsp


I have issues with Game X using DOSBox. Can you help me?

I can try! Most of the games here do use DOSBox to get them working on modern installers. I've set each game up to what works on my machine, but the settings may not be the best for all users. Here are some options that could help.
  • Play around with the dosbox.conf file located in the install directory. Open it with notepad to see all of the options. Be aware that some installers (mainly compilations) may have renamed the configuration file to something else.
  • Change the cycles. If your game is running too fast or slow, play around with the cycles option in the dosbox.conf. Search for "cycles=" in the file and change the number to around 100000 to start with. Go up or down by 10000 to tweak it to your liking.
  • Change the output. Again from the .conf file, search for "output=". Change it to either overlay, ddraw, direct3d or opengl to see if any of them gives you better results.
  • If you find the resolution to be a bit zoomed in or just off, change the fullresolution to desktop (fullresolution=desktop).
  • Back up the .conf file before making any changes (just in case)

But what about Windows 3.1 games?

DOSBox also emulates Windows 3.1 rather well. It's by no means perfect and needs a decent machine to run smoothly, but there are a few options if your having trouble.
  • The dosbox.conf file can be used in the same way as above, although I doubt cycles will make any difference. Some of you may find output=ddraw better than output=overlay. 
  • Try installing as administer and to a folder outside of Program Files. Because these games contain an entire operating system, some emulated operating files may conflict with your computer's admin status.
  • Failing that, try running the game from the emulated Windows 3.1 desktop. Open dosbox.conf and scroll to the very end of the file. Put a hashtag (#) before the last two lines (eg "#win c:\runexit..." and "#exit#). Run the game normally, then type 'win' to get to the Windows 3.1 desktop.
  • Back up the .conf file before making any changes (just in case)

How about games using Windows '95?

While DOSBox cannot emulate Windows '95, a modified version of it called DOSBox Daum can. It is still very buggy, but many games do work quite nicely, especially in the adventure game genre. You'll need a beast of a machine to run games smoothly though. The suggestions for regular DOS or Windows 3.1 games mentioned above will not work here, but there's still a few things you can try.
  • Changing the output in the dosbox.conf could help, though only a few of the options will work. Use ddraw, direct3d, opengl, openglnb or openglhq. Not all will work for everyone but in my experience ddraw or direct3d offers the most stable performance.
  • Try installing the game as administrator and somewhere other than Program Files.
  • The game will start in windowed mode. This is because starting in fullscreen causes some issues. To go fullscreen, press Alt+Enter only when the Windows '95 splash screen appears.
  • Only exit DOSBox Daum by shutting down the emulated Windows '95. You may get away with an emulated hard drive check when you next run the game but there's no guarantee.
  • Twice a year, a daylight savings reminder will pop up. Just like most things in life, accept it and everything will be fine. 
  • Back up the .conf file before making any changes (just in case)

This game is a multi-disk game. How do I change the CDs?

Only large games using DOSBox will perhaps ask to change disks. Press Ctrl+F4 to cycle through them. For the few Windows 95 games that need it, go to the emulated desktop and right click on the CD icon in the task bar. Select what disk image to load in drive E (the ISO should be located on drive D).


Game X isn't installing! Please help!

There are a few reasons why any given game installer isn't working. Here are the most common.
  • Make sure you download all of the files listed and have them all in the same folder before running the .exe file. If not, the install program I use will say they can find a file or thinks it is corrupt.
  • Your install may fail if you are not running as admin and are using the default Program Files install folder. Change the destination folder (ge. C:\Games), accept all admin privileges and continue.
  • Your download didn't complete or download properly. 4Shared doesn't like external download managers like EagleGet, Orbit or similar programs. Even if you don't use these, the download could have simply timed out. Use your browser's in-built program and re-download to see if that helps.
  • I ballsed up my installer. I test each installer before I upload but I'm not immune to mistakes. Comment on the game's review page and if the issue lies with me I'll fix it asap.

Game X runs natively on modern Windows but it's still not working.

This is where my knowledge is rather limited. These games will often use a crack from a third party to get them working on Windows 7. Some of them have stopped working (or working as well) since upgrading to Windows 10. I've not been able to get games like The Devil Inside or Silent Hill Arcade to run on Windows 10 but they were perfectly fine on Windows 7. Others like Blade Runner or Hexplore seem to be perfectly fine, though you may want to play with the compatibility settings.


How do I download from Mega.nz?

You may be seeing more and more games heading over to Mega.nz. Once I've filled up my current 4Shared account, all future uploads will be going here. It's a lot easier to understand than 4Shared but it's not without its quirks.


To download the game, click on each file in the list (1). Alternatively, you can download them all in a single zip file by clicking Download as Zip (2). Rather than download through a download manager (external or otherwise), it will download within the browser. You can see your list of downloads by clicking on the bottom left icon (4). To return to the list of files, click on the top left icon (3). Do not close the browser or the tab the page is on as it will cancel the download.

Because of the nature of Mega, older browsers are not supported. Firefox, Chrome and Opera have the most support. You may also need to delete your cookies and cache files.

For more, check out the Mega FAQ

https://mega.nz/#help/client/webclient


Can you release this and that game from the Chamber?

Possibly. I do consider suggestions and will definitely give them a try at least. I can't guarantee I'll get it working though. Or find it interesting enough to set free from the dusty depths.



 What games won't you free from the Chamber?

My focus is mostly for games that are at least 10 years old (with a few exceptions) and no longer sold new or digitally as well as fan-made freeware titles (active freeware projects will link to their site). The copyright holders seem to not care enough about their back catalogue to release them on Steam, GOG or to update them for the current consoles. Basically any game classed as "abandonware" or "freeware" will be considered. If a game I host is sold (or the copyright holder requests it), I will remove the download and link to the store page instead.


Will you review any more movies?

Maybe. I started this site to be about the hidden gems of everything I love which includes movies. As time went on, I got a better response from my game reviews and uploads. I also enjoy writing about them more as they have nothing to do with my professional life. I wouldn't rule it out if something interesting comes along.


My question is not answered here.

Ask and I shall respond :)

7 comments:

  1. Have you ever played around with PCem?
    Set up as a mid-90's PC it runs Windows 95b well. It's a neat, portable program. I've used it to play Obsidian (1996).

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    1. I've not heard of that! Thanks for the heads up. I'll look into it. I've played Obsidian (great game!) on DOSBox emulating Win98 but the disk change is a bit annoying. Time's tight at the moment but I'm sure I'll play around with it soon.

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  2. Might I make a suggestion for a game that I feel really needs an installer to work properly on Windows 10...Die Hard Nakatomi Plaza! I can never seem to get it working right even with the patch and maybe you could fix it (a copy can be found on isozone)

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    Replies
    1. I've not played that on the PC. I think it's the same as the Die Hard game that came on the GameCube - I'll investigate when I have the time. It's an early 2000s game which is hit & miss. All of the Die Hard games were surprisingly decent for a licensed title so I'll see what I can do.

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    2. Actually it's a totally different game. You're thinking of Vendetta. Her's an example of the game reviewed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZZrgKoQII4

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  3. Could you reupload games if the files are down for some reason? Because one of your older uploads, Ghost in the Shell I believe, has some installer files missing in the linked 4shared directory. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Hello John. Sorry for the late reply. I will upload when I'm aware if any files are missing. It's very hard to keep track of all of the games. Ghost in the Shell appears to be missing the second file. I'll re-up ASAP.

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