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“Atlantis: The Lost Tales” on Windows 7

„Atlantis“

„Atlantis“

We’re writing the year 1997. Small Ginchen is about fifteen years old, when “Cryo Interactive” release the first game of the “Atlantis” series. We had a PlayStation 1, and someone gave us a few games for it – including “Atlantis”. It wasn’t particularly comfortable to play an adventure game with the control pad, but I liked the game so much that I gladly took on this burden.

Since then I have wanted to play this beautiful game again – but please, on the computer. So I bought it in the shop one day, but it wouldn’t start. I tried every tip I could find, but never managed to get the game running. Until now! And since, over the years, I have read from so many people that they are having the same problems and therefore can’t play their beloved “Atlantis”, I will put down in writing how I got it to work.

However, even if you don’t have the game, you should still take a look at the soundtrack und screenshots at the bottom. :)

Content

  1. Disk not found
  2. Graphics issues
  3. Crash on CD change
  4. Done!
  5. Soundtrack
  6. Screenshots

Disk not found

The first obstacle one might stumble over when starting the game is this error message:

“Restart with CD 1 in the drive.”

Depending on the version, however, you might also get the error message in French:

“Redémarrer avec le CD 1 dans le lecteur.”

Disk Management

Disk Management

The solution: If you have two (or more) CD drives, you have to put the “Atlantis” disk into the first one. (Obviously, the game was made at a time when multiple CD drives were something completely unimaginable.) If you don’t have a CD at all, but instead want to play from an image file using “Daemon Tools” or similar, you have to change the drive letter of the virtual drive so it comes before the real CD drive in the alphabet. Here’s how:
Right click on “My Computer” → “Manage” → “Storage” → “Disk Management”
Then right click the drives in question and select “Change Drive Letter and Paths”.

Graphics Issues

Compatibility options

Compatibility options

Now I was able to actually start the game for the first time after all these years – but it kept minimizing itself every two seconds, and I ended up on the desktop. Here, the Windows compatibility settings can help: In the game directory (by default C:\CRYO\ATLANTIS), right click Atlantis.exe, go to “Properties” → “Compatibility”, and select “Run in 256 colors”. (If that still doesn’t help, you can also try the checkboxes for “visual themes”, “desktop composition” or different settings under “compatibility mode”.) It might just run now, and you can happily start playing. In this case, have fun!

However, it may also be that the game starts now, but the image is unidentifiable and full of stripes. Now there’s either good or bad news: For the CD version, there is a graphics patch; for the DVD version, there isn’t. So if you have the DVD version, you sadly have to give up at this point. If you search for “Atlantis” on certain sites, you will indeed come across a number of download possibilities for the CD version, like here, for example. But, unfortunately, these things are illegal. Too bad!
Now, if you own the CD version, you can simply download this patch and overwrite your old Atlantis.exe and cryo.dll with the new ones from the ZIP archive. Remember: For this new Atlantis.exe, you must again set the compatibility to 256 colors before starting!

Crash on CD change

Error on CD change

Error on CD change

Finally, there is one more problem: Eventually, when you try to enter the elevator to the hangar, you will be prompted to insert CD 2. Unfortunately, the game crashes with an error message when doing that. The simplest solution to this problem is to download the next savegame right after the CD change. Now open the “Atlantis” folder, where there should be no more than 26 .gam files at this time, and add the new savegame pa27.gam. After that you can load the elevator scene in the game via Escape → “Load game”.

Done!

Now everything should finally work. Only the animations of characters and mouse cursors run far too fast on modern computers, which looks extremely stupid most of the times. While there are some “CPU slowing tools” on the web, I’ve tried several of them, but to reduce the animations to a normal speed, I had to create so much CPU load that everything else (such as rotations, movements, video sequences etc.) became too jerky. So I think it’s better to just live with it. It’s not that bad, and you get used to it quite quickly. ;)

And now enjoy this beautiful, somewhat “MYST”-like game! (Actually, one of the sounds from the soundtrack strongly resembles the one from “MYST”, when you just travelled to a different world with a book.)

Soundtrack

“Atlantis” soundtrack

“Atlantis” soundtrack

While we’re already at it: The game has an, in my opinion, exceptionally beautiful soundtrack, which was even released as an album. It consists mostly of quiet, meditative sounds, good for relaxing and dreaming. My favorite: “Back to Atlantis“, which I’ve never gotten out of my head again since 1997.

Be sure to click and listen to the previews!

Screenshots

Finally, here are a few screenshots that I’ve made while playing. Click through them, if you like. :)



Comments

1 2 3 4 5

  1. 14th May 2012
    9:03 am

    Ginchen flag

    I’m not sure if I get you right. You mean, you have hard disks C: and D:, plus your Atlantis Image Drive (from Daemon Tools, for example)? If so, it’s okay. The image just has to be the first “CD” drive. There must not be a real CD drive before it.

    For example, I have hard drives C, D, and E. Then there was my (real) CD drive F. And after that was my Daemon Tools Drive G. So I changed F and G, and everything was alright.

  2. 14th May 2012
    3:05 am

    Jeroenig flag

    omg I cant even change the “drive letter” because data will not work anymore on my D hard disk…
    So I think I can’t even play the game anymore, can I?

  3. 12th March 2012
    8:38 am

    sharp_electron flag

    Yay :D

    I downloaded a torrent today, and after changing the image drive letter and the .exe compatibility settings, it has been working like a charm (of course I had to load the elevator saved game for the hangar cd-change) But now I just got under the throne for the statues puzzle, and I am so happy. Just a bit dissapointed that It all runs so fast. In my mind Carbonek was a huge voyage, and I don’t think I spent more than one hour and a half there (and I am playing without a walkthrough – but I loaded one more saved game to avoid killing the boar ^^)

    Anyway, no reason for blabbing, except that I got inspired to play the game again after reading this post the other day. And I feel great for doing so. Thanks :)

  4. 9th March 2012
    11:10 pm

    Christian Frei flag

    Wundervoll :) ich habe mir das spiel vor kurzem wieder gekauft weil ich es damals auf ps1 gespielt hatte , deine hilfe hat mich echt weitergebracht und du hast es mir ermöglicht dieses tolle spiel noch einmal spielen zu dürfen , dafür ein fettes DANKE

    liebe Grüße aus Hessen und frohe ostern (dauert noch bissi xP)

  5. 1st March 2012
    9:50 pm

    Ginchen flag

    Oh man … That is truly a sad story, dude! :D
    Anyway, if you dare downloading the CD version from Rapidshare or the like, I might find some links for you.

  6. 1st March 2012
    9:22 pm

    sharp_electron flag

    OK, it kills me that the DVD version is so unsupported! I first got Atlantis in the CD version, but one time I brought the CDs at school, and someone stole them :(
    Then, after a few years a friend gave me copies of the CDs he had made (from my originals), but they don’t work very well, because the copying was made back in the “buffer underrun error” era, and something made the CDs only partially playable.

    By now, we are at ~2002, when I finally found the DVD version on a store, and bought it.

    So now, after owning 2 legal copies of the game, one legal backup copy, and illegal torrents abundantly available, I still can’t play the game and I can only watch the “Let’s play Atlantis” YouTube videos.

    Which are totally great, but after watching a playthrough all I wanted was to grab the mouse and navigate myself. Stupid unsatisfiable brain!

    And stupid community not bothering to patch up the DVD version.

    And stupid, stupid copyright laws, existing just for their own sake, making everybody miserable.

    I want to play Atlantis! It was my first PC game, and a Christmas gift from my uncle, who is now dead :(

  7. 12th February 2012
    12:47 pm

    Ginchen flag

    Hmm, sorry, it only happens at the elevator for me. Maybe it could be solved in a similar way – if you could tell me what the next savegame would be after the disc change, I could upload it and you could use it in the same way that I described for the elevator scene?

  8. 11th February 2012
    5:51 pm

    Marco flag

    Hello,

    thanks for the solution, but the problem is there EACH time you have to change disc, not only the first time.

    Nobody seems to speak about it, only the problem for the first change.

    Any solution to that?

    Thanks a lot

  9. 28th November 2011
    8:43 am

    mew flag

    Yes, i tried. when i try to load the savegame (pa27.gam), the game wants cd2 and when i minimize the game for changing images 1to2 the game fails. Then i tried to start game with cd2 image to load the savegame, but when i choose my nick and press ‘ok’ the game wanted cd1.

  10. 28th November 2011
    8:25 am

    Ginchen flag

    Umm … I wrote about that in my post. Did you try the savegame I offered?

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