Heart of China Help

  • Box Front

    (recorded from a real MT-32)
    Heart of China Updates/Patches (none)

Heart of China's original requirements:

MS-DOS 5.0
286 or better
640 KB RAM
8.25 MB Hard drive space
Roland MT-32/LAPC-1/CM-32L, Ad-Lib, SoundBlaster, PS/1
Mouse (or joystick)


Installation Problems

Like many of the later Sierra games, Heart of China has installation problems with the installer not fuctioning under Windows.

Problem - DOS Installer Doesn't Won't Start or gives errors:
The installer is a 16-bit program and won't run on 64-bit Windows. Audio hardware will not be detected on 32-bit XP/Vista.

Solution 1 (preferred):
Install the game with the New Heart of China DOSBox Installer.

Solution 2:
Mount a floppy drive and a folder as a "C:" drive in DOSBox and install the game in DOSBox.

Audio Problems

Audio problems are common in the later Sierra DOS SCI games. There's no single fix for all these games.

Problem - Poor Quality / No Sound (Win9x and XP):
The game has no sound or the music is of poor quality.

Solution 1 (preferred):
Play the game in DOSBox. It also will work with the MT-32 sound module, if you are fortunate to have one.

Solution 2:
Use VDMSound. The game work well with VDMSound. The sound will be as good as your audio hardware, and as with DOSBox, it works with the MT-32 sound module.

Solution 3 (DOS/Win9x):
Install DOS drivers for your soundcard. Without DOS drivers installed you won't have sound in a DOS window in Windows 9x. If you can't find DOS drivers for your soundcard, there is an alpha (developmental) version of VDMS that you can try.

Problem - Unable to initialize your audio hardware:
On starting the game you get the message:

Unable to initialize your audio hardware

This error is timer related. It only occurs on computers faster than those of when the games were originally released.

Solution 1 (preferred):
Install the game with the New Heart of China DOSBox Installer.

Solution 2:
Install the game in DOSBox. By playing your game in DOSBox, you can avoid this and other timer problems. Back when computers came with a "Turbo" switch (a sort of speed switch,) Sierra's workaround was to turn off the Turbo switch to start the game, after which you could turn the Turbo back on. If you have your cycles in DOSBox set too high, you may still encounter this problem. You can mimic the turbo switch solution by lowering your cycles (Ctl+F11) before starting your game. You may raise the cycles back up after the game starts (Ctl+F12).


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