I bought Sacred by Ascaron the other day. Its a pretty good game, basically a super-sized Diablo with a huge world to run around in. There is only one problem: it doesn’t run on my computer.
I’m running Windows XP Professional x64. When I first installed the game off of the store bought CDs, everything appeared to work right up until I ran the game. Then it said “Insert CD #1 in your CD drive” or words to that effect. CD #1 was in my CD drive. I tried several combinations- I have two drives, a Sony DVD/CD, and a PlexWriter CDR. When that didn’t work, I went to the Sacred website and forums. I saw that there were several newer patches: the patch notes mentioned corrections for certain copy protection problems and CD ROM drives. I uploaded and installed the patches, and tried again: this time the dialog when the game started up was “Platform Error: this game does not work with Windows XP x64”.
Well, this is a problem. As we all know, computer stores do not give refunds on software. So, I now was the proud owner of a $49 coaster. I suppose that I might have (not that I ever would) done some Googling and found out about NoCD hacks for Sacred. I might have tested a couple of them out and found the right one that worked with the current Sacred patch. And of course I would have been careful to scan any such “iffy” download with my best anti-virus software, although I would of course know that this doesn’t really make this terribly safe.
And I might have discovered that this pretty much made the game work just fine on Windows XP x64. I might have done these things, but then that would make me some sort of evil criminal trying to get their moneys worth out of their $49 investment and their choice of an OS that works with every other game I’ve ever tried. I suppose, under such hypothetical circumstances, I might even have felt a little resentful of the fact that the only reason the game didn’t work was due to some stupid copy protection.
Oh, and I might also have played the game enough to discover that there is a sound bug with Creative Audigy 2 ZS cards, or at least some of them. Sound echos / repeats, particularly while looking at vendor dialogs. I might have even found a fix for this: basically, launching dxdiag and setting the sound acceleration to “basic”…one notch up from “none”. Since this is all hypothetical, your mileage may vary.