Making The Best of A Bad Situation

Posted: 30/06/2010 in 360 Controls, Gaming

Having run into many, MANY issues trying to run Premiere Pro CS4 on my Windows 7 system, I am now forced to edit the clips I want to include in a post I have planned at work exclusively.  Whilst this is not particularly ideal with regards to the timeous delivery of my article, it occurs to me that this is not my job, therefore there is no omnipotent editor being whom I need to please and at the end of the day, it just means I can spend more time actually PLAYING games!!!  You know… like, for fun and stuff.

Thusly, I descended upon my machine with great vigour and intent when I got home from work tonight .  I wisely avoided checking out the preliminary render I have from my efforts during the minute amount of free time I get at the Datalab these days and proceeded straight to happy-gaming-xbox-land (after administrating the downloads across uTorrent and Xbox Live of course).  First stop, new trial version downloads.  I checked out the new Risk Factions as I am keen to find out if it is a viable option to play with the missus.  Not bad, many happy memories came flooding back. Good times, hmmmmm…. and that got me started, once again, longing for better days gone by.  Well, if not better, at least simpler.  So my brain starts going “games… simple… memories…” when suddenly (as it often does when I am baked) it hits me square in the cerebrum!  I have been longing to play Fade To Black again for weeks now (strangely, every time I make pancakes, which is often), why not see about adding it to my existing selection of ready-to-play DOS titles?

I own the original (purchased way back in the day when colour printed boxes were hi-tech), but have made myself an image file for archiving purposes and it was this image file which I copied into my D-Fend/DOSBox directory structure.  Standard practice had me setup and “ready” to play in 5 minutes flat, including creating the D-Fend profile from scratch, installing off the ISO to the VirtualHD mapping via the virtual DOS environment and tweaking settings (CPU & audio being the two that most often require the personal touch) both on the game’s side aswell as D-Fend’s.  Also, had to check online as the first time I started it up I was informed that it had detected a single speed CD-ROM and would disable sound for cutscenes… unacceptable!  The solution, it turns out, is very simple.  Adding a parameter of “-2” to the startup syntax via D-Fend’s general profile tab sorted this problem out and soon I was enjoying marvelously old-school pixels, adrift in a magical maelstrom of retrogaming goodness.

As the intro rolled I found myself fondly remembering the weekend I purchased (and clocked) this beautiful gem of a title.  Once confronted with the prospect of having to escape the first room of the game though, I found myself remembering something else not quite so fondly.  My beautiful gem has piss-poor, piece-of-shit, godawful controls!  Thankfully one of my most recent passions is remapping old titles to swanky new control schemes on my 360 controller.  It took a little while and some research online into the mystical default key bindings (as my manual is outside in the storeroom and it’s fucking cold out there) but I finally found a very helpful breakdown of the keys and finally… TA DAAA!!! A VERY workable control scheme for this golden-oldie.  Menu navigation is just a tad iffy, but still works.  Sadly this is one of those titles with so many keys, and such an eccentric keyboard layout (not configurable game side) that some concession had to be made in order to accommodate all the necessary bindings.  However, in the end I think I have something here which makes the game enjoyable again, at least, not half as frustrating 😀

Anyhow, I am going to jam some more chilled old titles now, maybe watch me some Reckless Kelly. In parting, here is a shot of me getting ready to play some SERIOUS Fade to Black, side by side with my Xpadder config onscreen.

Man, I REALLY loved this game! Huge fan of the whole series.

And as an added nostalgic bonus, here is a video encoding of the intro sequence.

Take it easy and keep it sleazy!


  1. Arakasi says:

    “adrift in a magical maelstrom of retrogaming goodness” is such a nice way of putting it 🙂

    Reckless Kelly sounds like a porno…Needless to say, I was very disappointed with the google image results I got ;p

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