Police Quest 1: In Pursuit of the Death Angel VGA Help

Police Quest 1VGA's original requirements:

MS-DOS 5.0 or greater
286SX minimum, 386SX recommended
640 KB RAM minimum, 1 MB recommended
3 MB Hard drive space
VGA, 256 colors
Ad-Lib, SoundBlaster and compatibles, Roland MT-32


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:
Play the game with FreeSCI, a third party Interpreter for Sierra's early SCI games.

Solution 4 (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

Solution 1 (preferred):
Play the game in DOSBox. By playing your game in DOSBox, you can avoid this and other timer problems. Even the Windows version can be played in DOSBox if you install Windows 3x in it, first.

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).

Solution 2:
Patch the old audio driver with GOSiERRA or SBSIERRA.

Solution 3:
Use an updated audio driver.

Solution 4:
Try installing the Windows version

Speed problems

As with many of the Sierra VGA games, Police Quest 1 VGA has some speed bugs. These bugs can also be avoided by playing the game in DOSBox. If you can't or don't want to use DOSBox, you can try using a Slowdown Utility.

Here is a list of problems with solutions/workarounds.

Problem - Kid Buying Drugs Freeze:
The game freezes after arresting kid (Victor Simms) for possession of narcotics and escorting him out of Bert's Park.

Solution #1 (preferred):
This patch will address this. pq1vga - (CD Collection version only!) Fixes Lockup that occurs leaving Bert's Park after you have arrested Victor Simms (the kid buying drugs.) This problem is a system-speed related issue, and generally only happens on Pentiums and high-end 486 systems.

Solution #2:
Install the DOS version and play using DOSBox. Even the Windows version can be played in DOSBox if you install Windows 3x in it, first.

Problem - Lockup in park after drug deal:
The game locks up after the drug deal in the park.

Solution #1:
Apply this patch.

Game Specific Bugs

There are a couple of bugs the game has that are not speed dependent.

Problem - Caffeine Carol's Error:
An error occurs if you arrive outside of Caffeine Carol's and click the Eye cursor on anything before getting Sonny out of his car.

Solution #1:
Apply this patch.


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