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:
- Download and Install Microsoft Virtual PC 2007
- Create a new Windows 98 virtual machine.
- 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.
- 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.