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Airline 69/Knatterfels etc. (Trash/Adult/Fun Redfiresoft games) - no videos in Win10 64

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Now, this is something that kept bothering me for a long time since I discovered it after installing Win10. Most of the old redfiresoft PC adult/trashfun games, like "Airline 69", "Castle Knatterfels", "Ibiza Party Poker", "Patti Pain Bondage Poker" etc. pose EXACTLY the same problem: They all rely heavily on in-game videos with, depending on the version, sc/hc artwork/real life content, but the videos simply refuse to play on Win10 64.


(The developers were the "Lula" games developers, going more and more for pure adult market with redfiresoft before going broke for releasing increasingly lazy-made, bad and annoying games around 2009 or so. I'm 99% certain they always used the same movie playing programming technique in all of these games. So if one could find a fix for one of them, you would have fixed them all. I personally just know 4 of them, but there are still some other games, like "Airline II", "Ibiza Babewatch" that are highly likely to be affected by the very same problem.


Now I don't want to discuss the (questionable) merits of these games technically or gameplay-wise, IMO these games range from trashy fun for about 20-30 minutes of no-brain sleazy gaming entertainment to really abysmal crap. Still, I have a soft spot for bad taste, sleaze & trash that is at least somewhat memorable. Furthermore, I was able to get about ANYTHING obscure and forgotten I ever knew of working with some efforts on Win10 and this problem seems such a bitch to work on. These are about the only games I just couldn't get done with.)


I have been examining this problem more closely lately and so far found out some helpful info. On Win 10 64, when the videos are played, you just see a black screen with a locked mouse pointer and hear the sound, till the game mechanics start. (They are useless, though, as the whole point is unlocking more and more of the video stuff, of course).


For a long time, I thought that clearly, the problematic Indeo codec of (most of) these videos must be the culprit of it all. We know that codec is trouble from many experiences with old games, and in three of the games I own (Airline 69, Patti Pain & Knatterfels), the codec is indeed Indeo 5.x/IV50. But anything suggested by threads discussing Indeo problems doesn't do crap. Using the regsvr32 commands doesn't help, exchanging the Indeo drivers of SysWOW64 with other versions, overriding security issues and re-registering them just won't do anything to change the black screen.


I discovered that ALL of these games run just fine on Win7 64, if you set the compatibility mode to XP SP3. Otherwise, you get a "media seeking interface" error. But in compatibility mode, you don't even have to bother with re-registring the Indeo codec, perfectly easy.


But there is no compatibility mode fix for Win10. I did new installs of WIn10 Anniversary and Win7 64 on virtual machines to be sure it doesn't have anything to do with specific configuration issues. Out of the box, fresh installs of both systems behave exactly like this.


Also, I discovered that one of these games didn't even have the Indeo codec, but mpeg-1 (Ibiza poker) and still: just audio, no video. To be completely sure I even did a conversion to regular xvid MPeg4 of the ingame-videos for "Castle Knatterfels", playable by ANY player around, even the most crappy ones. The movie files of this game are all regular avi-containers, collected in "VID" folder, easily exchangable.


Still the same: Win7 64 plays my xvid conversions without any problem (don't have to use compatibility mode, because it's not Indeo 5.x anymore). Win 10: still no image, just sound. So I'm pretty sure by now the Indeo thing is just a red herring in this case.


My guess: Some weird Win10-specific routine or setting makes the primitive game mechanics fail in delivering the video screen to the monitor properly. It's almost as if the video window is running minimized somewhere and doesn't receive the information to initiate fullscreen depiction. Just a wild guess, though.


Is anyone around here who might have a clue? If anyone could help me and kill this damn problem, he would by know become part/hero of an greek-style tragic epos in this holy quest to get these freaking sleaze games to run on contemporary machines, lol.  


My system: Asus X551ca, Intel HD 4000, i3-3217U 2core @1,80 ghz., Realtek HD audio. I doubt that this is relevant here, though.

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Oops, I just discovered I can use dgvoodoo to make the videos appear.


But the videos are still out of sync and horribly slow. Maybe it's my mediocre machine, maybe the dgvoodoo settings are bad.



Unfortunately, I'm a dgvoodoo noob. If anyone would be kind enough to tell me some tweaks I'd be very glad. Is it even possible to get emulation lag out of video depiction

on my setup?

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Well, this seems to work with following games: Airline, Airline II (just received it from a friend two days ago and I was actually correct, same problem), Castle Knatterfels & Patti Pain Bondage Poker.


Funny,it doesn't work yet with Ibiza Poker, the one non-Indeo game. Patti Pain & Ibiza Poker don't have an installation routine, these games were meant to be played from disk. It is very easy to just copy everything from the CDs

to some folder on your hd and use it as a custom portable, though. You just click the poker exe, AFAIR even the launcher works. Well, on Win7 it works like this, so far. For some reason, putting ddraw.dll into the root folder in Win10 works

for PP, but not for IP, although both strip pokers are almost identical technically.


The Ibiza Poker game spits out odd error messages and crashes. (Error creating Direct Draw Stream.+ The Instruction at 0041a0ce referenced memory at 000000000 The Memory could not be read from etc.)

Maybe it's the mpeg-1. I'll have a look if conversion does anything here soon.


All in all, everything lags pretty badly if you use the dgvoodoo method, not just the vids. I doubt it would even run smooth on top machines right now.

Dgvoodoo seems right now more like a hint, less like a solution to me...


EDIT: Yes, you can convert the Ibiza Poker - movies fairly easily. I used xvid and the dgvoodoo-enhanced game will just use & show them without error message.. Rename their weird *.ist ending to *.avi, convert, rename back to *.ist.


I guess the overall problem has something to do with Direct X changes from WIn7 to Win10. Unfortunately, I'm out of ideas now, though. I wonder if NVIDIA and ATI-card - owners have the same problems with the videos.


So if anyone could spare some minutes at some point in time in the next days or weeks to provide some technical assistance to a non-expert in - presumably - Direct X - matters & Windows-issues, it would be very appreciated, of course.

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Ok, I found the solution.


Instead of dgvoodoo ddraw.dll I just used an experimental ddraw.dll called DDrawCompat. Just put it in the root folder with the exe. And don't forget to turn on compatibility mode XP SP3 for the main executable.


Now the videos show up without any lag in game & video, everything in sync. Not even sure I could have used another version of ddraw, but I don't care as this just works.

I tested it on Airline 69, Airline II and Ibiza Poker. I'm pretty sure it will just work on any of these games, so I 'll only write something here if should really encounter further problems.



Seems I became my greek hero myself, lol. Best of all options.

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  • 10 months later...
UPDATE FOR FIX: I noticed that all the Redfire Games fixed with the method I discovered here became very slow in starting videos and setting up screens recently, rendering them almost unplayable.


I found out this is due to the Windows 10 April 2018 update, the "Alt+Tab slowdown" issue. You can easily fix this by going to your Windows 10:Settings/System/Focus Assist and set "When I'm playing a game" to "off".


After that, it works fast again, just like before.

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UPDATE FOR FIX: I noticed that all the Redfire Games fixed with the method I discovered here became very slow in starting videos and setting up screens recently, rendering them almost unplayable.
I found out this is due to the Windows 10 April 2018 update, the "Alt+Tab slowdown" issue. You can easily fix this by going to your Windows 10:Settings/System/Focus Assist and set "When I'm playing a game" to "off".
After that, it works fast again, just like before.


Amazing find! I had slower Alt+Tabbing with the new update too and had no idea what causes it. This indeed restores the old fast behavior.

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