In last days I saved a few minutes to install old Need for Speeds again. These two ones are my favourite parts of the whole series and - as written in WINE's AppDB - both should run under WINE. In both cases there were some bugs, which may be worked around, but since Debian Jessie includes WINE 1.6.2, which is currently considered as obsolete, I decided to post my experience to my blog instead of AppDB.
For younger readers – the talk is about old Need for Speed games which appeared at the break of the century. Need for Speed: High Stakes from 1999 (in our countries available also as Need for Speed: Road Challenge) is a successor of Need for Speed Hot Pursuit and it includes tracks from this part of the series with some improved features. The next part – Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed (2000) – maps the history of Porsche with many models of Porsche cars and beautiful tracks. It was the first part of the series since the original Need for Speed to feature also one-direction tracks together with circuits.
Before the installation, it is suitable to configure your WINE to act as Windows 98 using
winecfg. Then, both games may be successfully installed directly from the CD, but they are both protected with SafeDisc. To have these games working without CD, it is necessary to patch them to most recent versions (NFS4 to version 4.5, the patch is available here and NFS5 to version 3.5 - patch download) and remove the protection by relevant patches for these versions of the game (which is necessary step related to many SafeDisc bugs in WINE) (NFS4 4.50 patch, NFS5 3.50 patch). In case of NFS 4 it is also necessary to copy the
/Data/Movies from the CD to the game installation directory. In case of NFS 5 a choice of full game installation during the install procedure is just fine.
Many reports about NFS4 in WINE's AppDB use Zeckensack's Glide wrapper to get NFS4 working in WINE. Do not install it, if you want to work both games properly in one WINE PREFIX, since it does not work with NFS5. Currently, there is one much better replacement of Zeckensack's Glide Wrapper - the nGlide from Zeus Software (download it here). It works with both games and it adds a fancy oldschool 3dfx logo animation at beginning of 3dfx games
But yes, nothing is perfect. There is a bug between nGlide and WINE, which prevents changing the resolution using in-game configuration (you may try it, but NFS4 will freeze with black screen before track loading and NFS5 will crash at the same place). In my case, I wanted to run both games in FullHD fullscreen, which is also not available in any of these games' in-game settings. But, there is a nice workaround. Using nGlide configuration tool (invoke it with
wine nglide_config), you may force the wrapper to create a virtual "desktop" at desired resolution and force the game to work with 4:3 aspect ratio (otherwise the graphic will be deformed). Do not try this with WINE configuration through
winecfg, it does not have any effect. In NFS4 I found a bug, which leads to stealing of keyboard and mouse from NFS4 by KDE, so it might be necessary to enable "Automatically capture the mouse in full-screen windows" in
winecfg. The nGlide forces games to run at configured resolution although the in-game configuration is set (and must be set) to 640x480 pixels.
Since the 3D Setup of both games is useless under WINE, you have to change the driver using registry settings. Save following information to
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Electronic Arts\Need for Speed High Stakes] "3D Card"="3Dfx Voodoo3" "3D Device Description"="3DFX VOODOO3" "D3D Device"=dword:00000000 "Group"="3Dfx" "Hardware Acceleration"=dword:00000001 "InstallPath"="C:\\Program Files\\Electronic Arts\\Need For Speed Road Challenge" "Thrash Driver"="voodoo2" "Thrash Resolution"="640x480" "Triple Buffer"=dword:00000000 "Version"="4.50"and
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Electronic Arts\Need For Speed - Porsche Unleashed] "3D Device Description"="3Dfx Voodoo 2" "3D Card"="3Dfx Voodoo 2" "Thrash Driver"="voodoo2" "Group"="3Dfx" "D3D Device"=dword:00000000 "Triple Buffer"=dword:00000000 "Hardware Acceleration"=dword:00000001 "Thrash Resolution"="640x480"Import these files to registry using
regedit NFS5_voodoo.reg. Now you Need for Speed shoud be fullfilled
Both games seem to be working perfectly. I did not experience any unexpected crashes until now, but I did not try the online gameplay (and according to some references in NFS5 it will not play, since gimme.dll prevents successful work of the game). Both run at 1920x1080 pixels with black stripes on both sides of the screen, therefore in incredible (for 15+ years old games) 1440x1080 pixels.
 WIKIPEDIA: Need for Speed: High Stakes, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Need_for_Speed:_High_Stakes
 WIKIPEDIA: Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Need_for_Speed:_Porsche_Unleashed
 WINE AppDB: Need for Speed: High Stakes 4.50, https://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=version&iId=4101&iTestingId=90476
 WINE AppDB: Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed 3.50, https://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=version&iId=3404
 WINE AppDB: POD: Planet of Death - GOG.com, https://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=version&iId=26742&iTestingId=74147
Later I tested these games also on Debian Wheezy with WINE 1.4.1 and they also work without problems.