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Descent 3

Platforms:   Windows 9X
System Requirements:

  • 200MHz Pentium
  • 32MB RAM
  • 3D accelerated video card supporting Glide, OpenGL, or Direct3D
  • 4x CD-ROM drive
  • Windows 95, 98, or NT 4.0 (SP3)
  • More RAM may be required with certain 3D video cards that use Direct3D
  • Supports joystick, mouse, or keyboard controls Supports sound cards including 3D sound cards
  • System Recommended:
    Installation Tips:

    Default Install Directory: C:\Games\Descent3\

    To Install Game:
    Windows9X Installation -

    1. Insert the CD into your CD-Rom drive.
    2. The auto-run screen should appear within a few seconds.
      • If the auto-run screen appears:
        1. Simply click on NEXT and follow the onscreen instructions for installation.
      • If the auto-run screen DOES NOT appear:
        1. Double click on the MY COMPUTER icon on your desktop.
        2. Double click on your CD-ROM drive icon.
        3. Double click on the SETUP.exe file.

    To Start Game:
    In Windows 9X -

    1. Insert the cd into your CD-ROM drive.
    2. The autorun screen should appear in a few seconds.
    3. Click on the PLAY option.
    or, if autorun is disabled:
    1. Insert the cd into your CD-ROM drive.
    2. Click on Start
    3. Choose Programs
    4. Choose Descent 3
    5. Choose Descent 3

    To Quit:

    1. You can exit by hitting ESC and then choosing Quit Game.
    FAQ: General Troubleshooting-
    1. Q: I am getting strange video/audio/input problems or getting an error about a missing DLL file.
    2. Q: The game is crashing when I attempt to run it.
    3. Q: I am getting no response from my controller.
    4. Q: The display looks strange within the game.
    5. Q: I have a Sidewinder 3D Pro and it is not working properly in D3.
    6. Q: I am receiving an error 'Cannot find Z-Buffer format'.
    7. Q: I am getting no sound within the game.
    8. Q: Help! I can't see! The game is too dark!
    9. Q: I get a horrible sound problem where it plays part of one sound over and over and over!
    10. Q: The sound effects play late!
    11. Q: My ship spins around and around when I'm not touching the controls!
    12. Q: How do I invert the mouse?
    13. Q: I am recieving an error- 'DLL GLU32.DLL not found'
    14. Q: I am recieving an error- 'VXD MSIPX Fatal Exception Error'
    15. Q: I am recieving an error- 'OGL: SetDisplayMode Failed'
    16. Q: Game is offset down and to the right of screen
    17. Q: I am getting extremely slow FPS in menus & game (like 2 FPS)
    18. Q: I am getting an error- 'Invalid CDROM' on startup.
    19. Q: I have an MX300 sound card and the game is running extremely slow.
    20. Q: Is there any support for Linux?
    21. Q: I am trying to apply the patch but it keeps saying 'Old file not found'.
    22. Q: When the game asks for disk 2 and I eject disk 1 the game crashes.
    23. Q: I deleted the folder and now the launcher still comes up with the option to PLAY. How can I get it reinstalled?
    Multi-Player Troubleshooting-
    1. Q: When I am in piggyback observer mode in multiplayer, the display is very jerky!
    2. Q: Network play is jerky and slow!
    3. Q: I am trying to play the game through a proxy server. Is this possible?
    4. Q: Do I need a CD in every computer for multiplayer??
    Macintosh Troubleshooting-
    1. Macintosh version supported by Graphics Simulation Corp.

    Q: I am getting strange video/audio/input problems or getting an error about a missing DLL file.
    A: The game requires that you have the current version of DirectX installed. You will want to install DirectX from the CD before attempting to play the game. You can either install it from the autorun menu or by double-click on the DXSETUP file found within a DirectX folder on the CDROM. You may also download the newest end-user version of DirectX from the following address:

    www.microsoft.com/directx

    Please reference our DirectX troubleshooting guide if you continue to experience troubles with DirectX.

    Q: The game is crashing when I attempt to run it.
    A: This could actually be caused by a couple of different reasons. You will want to check the following:

    Q: I am getting no response from my controller. If you seem to be getting no response from your gamepad or joystick you will want to make sure you have set it up correctly and tested it in the Windows Control Panel. Please reference the Joystick Troubleshooting page for more specific game related instructions.

    Q: The display looks strange within the game.
    A: You may have out-of-date drivers for your video card, or your video card may not be compatible with Descent 3. You will want to check to make sure you video card is listed on the
    system requirements, and be sure to get the latest drivers from the manufacturer of your video card.

    Q: I have a Sidewinder 3D Pro and it is not working properly in D3 and/or the stick status going ready/not connected in the control panel.
    A: You should be able to find the new drivers (Ver 3.02) for SW 3D Pro at the following URL:

    The new 3.02 version should address the troubles experienced with this joystick.

    Q: I am receiving an error 'Cannot find Z-Buffer format'.
    A: This can occur on some 3D cards that are not supported by the game. You will want to make sure that the video card in the system has one of the display chipsets listed on the system requirements.

    Q: I am getting no sound within the game.
    A: Often the game may pick up a voice modem as a sound device. Within the games setup you will want to make sure that the sound device is actually the sound card. If it is selecting the voice modem you will want to make sure that the voice modem has been disabled to play sounds. You can do this by the following:

    If the problem persists you will want to check that your sound drivers are DirectX compatible. Please reference our DirectX Troubleshooter.

    Q: Help! I can't see! The game is too dark!
    A: You will want to attempt to adjust the brightness control on your monitor first. You may also want to adjust the "Brightness" control in the game's Graphics Settings menu. You may need to use the Display control panel to change your card's brightness (also called gamma) setting -- this control panel will probably override any changes you attempt to make in Descent 3's Graphics Settings menu.

    Q: I get a horrible sound problem where it plays part of one sound over and over and over!
    A: From Setup, click the "Audio" tab and choose DirectSound. Machines that have lots of memory should use the Software mixer for better performance, but if you don't have a ton of RAM, use DirectSound.

    Q: The sound effects play late!
    A: This is a known problem under Windows NT with DirectX 3. Currently there is no fix for this.

    Q: My ship spins around and around when I'm not touching the controls!
    A: You will want to adjust the trim controls on your joystick. Make sure you have also calibrated your joystick in the Descent 3 Launcher. If these steps don't work and you have a Thrustmaster joystick, there is a "centering utility" available that can fix this problem. Visit the Thrustmaster web page at
    http://www.thrustmaster.com.

    Q: How do I invert the mouse?
    A: In the mouse/joystick configuration screen, click on the box with the '?' next to whatever setting you're using your mouse Y-axis for (probably pitch). That will bring up a small dialog box that will let you invert the axis.

    Q: I am recieving an error- 'DLL GLU32.DLL not found'
    A: An OpenGL file called GLU32.DLL is needed in the Windows 95/98 SYSTEM directory, or in the SYSTEM32 directory in Windows NT. You will need to obtain
    ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/softlib/mslfiles/opengl95.exe which is a self-extracting archive that contains GLU32.DLL. Or see www.opengl.org.

    Q: I am recieving an error- 'VXD MSIPX Fatal Exception Error'
    A: This happens on systems with invalid IPX installations. Reinstall the IPX network drivers (from Windows install CDs), or delete them from the Network control panel.

    Q: I am recieving an error- 'OGL: SetDisplayMode Failed'
    A: You will want to set your display to 16-bit color depth (65,536 colors), not 24-bit or 32-bit, before you run the game. (This happens with some OpenGL 3D cards.)

    Q: Game is offset down and to the right of screen
    A: You will want to set your display to 640x480 screen resolution before you run the game. (This happens with some OpenGL 3D cards.)

    Q: I am getting extremely slow FPS in menus & game (like 2 FPS)
    A: This can be caused by a very rare version of Winsock which had a bug. This version was only available as a download from Microsoft's page for around 1 month. You can get a fix at
    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/downloads/bin/W95ws2setup.exe. If multiplayer is not going to be utilized you can also just use "-nonetwork" in the command line options (on the MISC tab of the SETUP) before starting the game which should also fix the problem, but disable multiplayer.

    Q: I am getting an error- 'Invalid CDROM' on startup.
    A: Windows seems to report a second CD device as a "Removable device" instead of a "CDROM" the copy protection fails if the D3 CD isn't in the first CDROM drive in the system. Putting the D3 disk in the first CDROM drive should fix this.

    Q: I have an MX300 sound card and a really high end system but the game is running extremely slow
    A: We are currently looking into this further. We have had reports of simply selecting 'Direct Sound' within the games sound setup solves this. The 'Aureal' option will actually slow the game down considerably.

    Q: Is there any support for Linux?
    A: We do not create or support a version of the game to run within Linux. We did include a Dedicated Server program within the \Dedicated\Linux\ directory on the CD for Linux enthusiasts, however, the game was not designed for this platform and it is not supported by Interplay. If you are experiencing any trouble, the best place for help would be from fellow gamers and Linux enthusiasts. The Linux community is highly active on newsgroups and we would therefore suggest this as the first place for information.

    Q: I am trying to apply the patch but it keeps saying 'Old file not found'.
    A: The release of the game with ICD#CD-C95-778-2 on CD#1 cannot be updated with the 1.1 patch. You will need to obtain a newer patch available from the patches section below.

    If you are attempting to install the newest patch and still experiencing the trouble, the correct directory needs to be pointed to when applying the patch. The patch brings up a folder to extract to. By default this is the folder that you are running the patch from. If the patch is not already in the C:\GAMES\DESCENT3\ folder than the directory will need to be changed in the patch installer before clicking on OPEN.

    The simplest way to apply the patch is to uninstall the game, delete the folder, reinstall the game, connect to the internet and then click on UPDATE from the games launcher.

    Q: When the game asks for disk 2 and I eject disk 1 the game crashes.
    A: This will occur most commonly at the end of level 5 for the movie if the newest drivers for the DVD or cdrom has not been installed properly. You will want to obtain the proper drivers for the drive. As a quick fix you can actually start the game with CD#2 in the drive and the game won't ask to switch CD's preventing the crash.

    Q: I deleted the folder and now the launcher still comes up with the option to PLAY. How can I get it reinstalled?
    A: If the game was not removed properly through Add/Remove Programs this will happen. You can simply manually run the D:\SETUP.EXE file.

    Q: When I am in piggyback observer mode in multiplayer, the display is very jerky!
    A: Piggyback mode only displays a frame each time you receive a position update packet from the player you are piggybacking. The frequency of update packets determines the speed of the observer piggyback display.

    Q: Network play is jerky and slow!
    A: Try setting the packets per second to 5. You might also want to try a different type of game: change to peer-to-peer, or change to client-server. Make sure the server is a fast machine that experiences a good frame rate while playing, or try using a dedicated server. If some clients don't have lots of RAM, try playing "The Core" multiplayer level, which is fairly small. (See the Multiplayer Readme.txt file for more information.)

    Q: I am trying to play the game through a proxy server. Is this possible?
    A: The game does require that certain TCP & UDP ports be open for you to be able to host or join a game outside of your local network. You will need to contact your system administrator and have them open TCP port 7170 and UDP port 2092 on the proxy server.

    Q: Do I need a CD in every computer for multiplayer?
    A: The game ships on two CDs, either of which can be used to start the game. If you do a standard or full install, you can eject the CD once the game has started. Other than that, there are no multiplayer spawns though.

    Game still not working?
    You can email us and we will be more than happy to help you troubleshoot the problem.

    Manuals:
    Movies:
    MP3:
    Patches:
    Playable Demos:
    Streaming Demos: