X-COM: Apocalypse on Windows XP

I think I finally got one of my favorite old DOS games — X-COM: Apocalypse — playable on Windows XP. The traditional way to get this game running on newer machines is to use a cool DOS emulator called DOSBox, but the times I’ve tried it in the past have been unsatisfactory…namely because the sound was poor and stuttered a lot.

But I came across a new way to get this game running and I tried it myself. I haven’t officially been able to test out the game since I did the installation of it by remote, but when I get home I’ll try it.

In case you are interested in trying this yourself, these are the steps I followed:

  1. Download and Install Microsoft Virtual PC 2007
  2. Create a new Windows 98 virtual machine.
  3. Install the Windows 98 operating system on the virtual machine. I recommend creating an ISO image from your Windows 98 installation CD and mounting that image within the vm. The free program ImgBurn is great for making ISO images.
  4. Install X-COM: Apocalypse on the virtual machine. Again, an ISO image of the original CD is recommended. However, as with the OS install, you can just use the real CD in your optical disc drive and tell the vm to use that.

And that’s it. The game is ready to go within the virtual machine!

A couple of caveats on the X-COM installer, though: when first running the installer, it sat at a black screen for a while. Just be patient. Also, after the installation is complete, the installer may sit at a black screen indefinitely. You can safely just kill the process at that point.

2 thoughts on “X-COM: Apocalypse on Windows XP

  1. Hi Don:
    I did exactly the same thing as you described – but on Vista 64-bit. The game starts, shows Main Menu and even goes as far as the City View – BUT it does not see the mouse. Other keys work – TAB, SPACE, ENTER – but neither my USB wireless mouse, nor touchpad of the laptop can move the cursor.
    Would really appreciate any piece of advice.
    Many thanks.

  2. Hi Don,

    I have been playing XCOM Apocalypse for a couple of years now using this method, but since I formated my computer (not my virtual one) a year ago, I have been unable to do so.

    The game installs correctly and everything is fine, except the image, wich is now blured to the point I cannot play the game, even though I use the very same virtual PC than before. The problem doesn’t disappear with a new one either.

    Do you have any clue on how to fix this? Thank you very much.


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