Steves XP Legacy Games Corner
Steve's XP Legacy Games Corner - Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers (CD-ROM version)
By Steve Metzler (Last updated: 8th June, 2008)

This is the third and I hope final attempt to get GK1 up and running on all those modern Windows machines out there... with voices! The two previous attempts have involved:

  1. Installing as a Windows programme, with a lot of hacks to get the saved games working.
  2. Copying the contents of the GK1 CD to the hard drive, and using DOSBox in conjunction with a lot of tweaks to the GK1 RESOURCE.CFG file.

Fortunately, the new approach revolves around running the game directly from the CD (using the DOSBox mount command for a CD-ROM), and is a lot simpler than either of the former attempts. On some machines though, you need low level CD-ROM support enabled for DOSBox to be able to recognise labels correctly (thus the extra parameters: -usecd 0 -ioctl in the CD-ROM mount command below). That is all that has changed since the last round of instructions, so those of you who were previously having problems swapping CDs, or getting it to recognise the CD at all should give it another go! Two readers who were previously having problems in this area independently confirmed that it works :-) Ok, here goes:

  1. Download and install the latest version of DOSBox. Get the Win32 installer version, which at the time of writing was called: Dosbox0.72-win32-installer.exe
  2. Wherever you installed DOSBox to, go there and edit the file dosbox.conf, replacing the section at the very bottom of the file (Note: if your CD-ROM drive letter is 'E:', then substitute 'E:' for the 'D:' below) with the following:
    # Lines in this section will be run at startup.
    mount D D:\ -t cdrom -usecd 0 -ioctl
    mount C C:\
    Another note: you have to get that exactly right, so it's best just to copy and paste right out of this web page and into the dosbox.conf file using Notepad or a text editor. While you're in that file, you should also set: fullscreen=true (it's set to false by default) and cycles=max.
  3. Open a Command Prompt (Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Command Prompt) and switch to the folder where you installed DOSBox (for instance: cd \Program Files\DOSBox-0.72). Start up DOSBox by entering:
    When DOSBox starts up enter:
    And finally:
    Now...sometimes the Directory to install to comes up blank. With earlier versions of DOSBox, the Directory to install to came up defaulted to: C:\SIERRA\GKCD. However, when it asks you for Directory, if you just enter:
    (in other words, leave off the leading 'C:\'), that should do the trick! Then on the options review page, you should be installing GK1 with the following (default) options:
    Graphics : VESA
    Music: Sound Blaster Pro
    Audio: Sound Blaster
    Directory: C:\SIERRA\GKCD
  4. Choose the (f)ull install, and answer (y)es to copy the high resolution art (Note: I get an error message after this, but it seems to have no noticeable after-effects).
  5. Back at the DOSBox prompt, type: exit
  6. In the C:\SIERRA\GKCD folder, use Notepad or some other text editor to edit the RESOURCE.CFG file. You should have the following in there as a result of the install:
    videoDrv = VESA.DRV
    soundDrv  = SBPRO.DRV
    audioDrv  = DACBLAST.DRV
    joyDrv    = NO
    cmd       = GKCD
    mouseDrv  = none
    memoryDrv = none
    minmemory = 2M
    CD = YES 
    smartdrv = YES
    mode = protected
  7. IMPORTANT: replace the last line with:
  8. Start up DOSBox again, and enter the following 2 commands after it starts up:
    cd \sierra\gkcd
    ...and we're away!

If the voices aren't working for you or the audio is skipping, you can run the game in VGA mode instead of VESA. In that case, you only need to make the following change:

  1. In RESOURCE.CFG, change videoDrv = VESA.DRV to: videoDrv = VGA.DRV and remove the audiosize=45k line.

Hopefully, some combination of the above should get GK1 working for you in modern versions of Windows.

Copyright © Steve Metzler 2008. All rights reserved.

See also the Help! page for links to additional help in getting games to run.