Gothic 3 and Vista: getting it to work

I played a great game of “Make the Game work with Vista” earlier this week.  It was fun!  I give it an 8 out of 10.  How is the game itself?  I’ll tell you in a few days…

The game in question here is Gothic 3 by Aspyr.  I collected answers to most of the problems I encountered in the game publisher’s community technical forums (see link below).   In an effort to help out folks who might be wanting to install and play this game on Windows Vista (64 bit version in my case), I’ve collected here the things I found necessary/important to make it work:

  • Install the Vista version of the tages copy protection tool:  Gothic 3 uses a copy protection scheme called TAGES.  Unfortunately, the drivers for this included with the DVD do not work with Vista (they fail to install).  This means when you try to play the game, you’ll get a dialog saying to “insert the game DVD” even though it is already in your drive.  The fix: go to the TAGES site and download/install the updated Vista compatible drivers.   You can read about the problem here, and get the drivers directly from TAGES here.
  • Update to the current/latest version of Gothic 3: Although this might not strictly be necessary (the American version of the game already includes most of the critical patches), it is higly recommended.  The current version (as of March 7, 2007) is Version 1.12, and is available on the Gothic 3 website.
  • Delete/rename the Gothic3 font (Gothic3.ttf):  This is critical, it seems, at least with ATI video cards.  If you leave this font file (found at [game install dir]/Gothic3.ttf; C:\Program Files (x86)\Aspyr\Gothic III in my default case), the game will play at about one frame per second.  That is, it will be totally unplayable.  You can read about the problem here.  Note that, contrary to what the link says, it isn’t necessary to overwrite/replace the file- you can rename it or delete it, and Gothic 3 will use a default font.  Yes, I find it very odd that a font can reduce framerate to one frame per second, but…it did for me, and others as well it seems

I found the publisher’s (JoWooD) Gothic 3 technical support forums to be very helpful.  I’d recommend browsing the rest of their Gothic 3 forums for gameplay hints and tips and the like as well.  A good post to start with is the collection of hints and tips links from the Gameplay forum.

As for the game (Gothic 3) itself: it’s an open-ended single player RPG.  If you liked Oblivion, you will probably find things to like in Gothic 3.  The graphics aren’t quite as rich, but this far I’d say the gameplay is comparably enjoyable.  I might write a more complete review later…

10 thoughts on “Gothic 3 and Vista: getting it to work”

  1. Thanks for these helpful pointers, was just wondering whether there is any solution to the direct3d call error when gothic 3 tries to load up,guess directx 10 dont like directx 9 too much yet or is it lack of stable display drivers? My system specs are amd x2 dual core 4200 2gb ddr2 ram geforce 7900gs 512 mb ddr3
    Any help would be apreciated, [email protected]
    Thanks for you’re time.

  2. Greetings, Dave!

    I’m running DX10 (Vista Ultimate 64 bit edition), and am not getting a direct3d error on startup: the game launches and plays fine for me once I deal with the problems I mentioned in my original post. In my case, I’m using an ATI X1950XTX video card with the latest (Catalyst 7.3) drivers. However, I’d really expect an nVidia geForce card to work as well or better.

    If you aren’t using the latest nVidia drivers downloaded from their site, then try that. If it still fails…well, you could try checking out the publisher’s forums (see the link in my original post). Let me know how it goes!

  3. Thanks for the hints, but I still can’t get the game to run. It gets shut down before I can get an error message other than “Genome Gaming System has stopped woring”.

  4. Thanks for commenting, Alex G.!

    If my hints don’t help, I’d suggest checking out the JoWood technical forums I mentioned in the original post. There are dozens of different problems folks seem to have experienced depending on their hardware or drivers- if you don’t see a post there with a problem that sounds similar to yours, start a new thread. I found the responses there to be reasonably helpful, at least by the standards of internet support forums.

    UPDATE: one specific thread from the JoWood forums relates to some users experiencing the Genome failure having some success with disabling (or excluding Gothic3.exe from) Vista’s Data Execution Prevention feature.

  5. Howdy!

    Just wanted to say thanks for publishing this information. I followed the three steps listed and now Gothic3 runs just fine. Very strange about the font issue, but I’m delighted that you showed how to fix it. I’ve got an nVidia 8800GTX and experienced exactly the same symptoms you described for ATI cards.

    Thanks again!

  6. I get the genome system error when I try to run the game, I changed the DEP setings and still doesnt work, I have the 1.5 patch as well, can you help me? thanks

  7. Greetings, Trevar! It has been over a year since I last played Gothic 3 and, to be honest, once I got it working I didn’t keep up with other technical issues/problems folks were having installing.

    If you have Vista 64, then follow my instructions above and see if that helps: basically, the problem with Vista 64 is that the included copy protection software with Gothic 3 doesn’t run properly under the 64 bit version of Windows. If you are running a different version of Windows, or if my guidance doesn’t help you, then check out the Gothic 3 support forums: there is a link to that in my original post. Use the search function there and see if you can find a post or two regarding the problems you are experiencing- I found a lot of useful information there. You can also post a new entry in that forum explaining the details of the error you are seeing and your configuration (OS version, memory, video card) and hopefully get some help that way.

    Best of luck to you in terms of getting the game to work: It was fairly decent once I finally got it going 🙂

  8. I suspect Adventure PC Games’ comment is likely spam, but it does raise a somewhat interesting question. I have a pretty clear recollection of playing war and strategy games at a friend’s house when I was in about Grade 5 (i.e.: I was 11 years old- that would be 35 years ago). Later, when I was about 15 and the state of the computing art was Zork, I played Dungeons and Dragons using books, paper, pens, miniatures, and stacks of dice.

    Adventure, role playing, and strategy games have all been around for decades before computers came on the scene. I suppose “action” or first person shooter games are “new” inventions, as are full simulations (e.g.: flight or driving simulators): pen and paper can’t really keep do a very good job of real-time responsiveness, which is something computers excel at.

    But humans have been playing games of actually quite startling complexity for far longer than computers have been around. We just had to be a bit more patient and willing to put up with certain inconveniences back in the old days 😉

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