Friday, April 23, 2010

Adventures In Windows 7: Talonsoft Games

The past week in my spare time the I have been loading my game collection onto my new computer, which runs the 64-bit version of Windows 7. It has been a real treat, I say sarcastically. Before installing a game, I have gotten into the habit of searching the web for info on it and Windows 7 64-bit. That has saved me some headaches, learning how to avoid problems and learn tricks to get older 32-bit games to install and work. Or just plain give up before I try because no one can get the game to install (Beyond God & Evil for example).

Sadly, my rather large collection of old Talonsoft wargames from the 1990's will not install under the 64-bit version. The startup.exe file is not compatible, regardless of compatibility mode. This is becoming a problem with nearly all my 1990s games, such as those from Lucas Arts and others.

While these Talonsoft games are old, I always enjoyed them because they are based on miniature gaming principles and became foundational for my current gaming interests. I played Shiloh to death, obsessed on Prairie Grove for some odd reason. I also enjoyed scouring thrift stores for them, usually paying only $1 each. Only a few months before my old system died last November, I bought a large stack of "new" Talonsoft titles off a fellow on TMP for only $1 each. I finally got Antietam and Gettysburg, which I always wanted. Plus Napoleonic, WWII, and modern warfare titles. None of them install. Quite depressing. (Ok, I lost only several dollars but that is not the point! :-)

The solution? I could have installed the 32-bit version of Win7 to avoid all these problems, but that wouldn't have been very forward thinking just to play some of my favorite old games. I'm assuming here that it would work on 32-bit.

The other solution is to rig together a cheaper box using less powerful (and cheaper) components, like less memory, slower processor, and weaker graphics card since older games don't need bleeding edge components. Then install Windows XP. So create an "XP box." I am considering this. Not just because my Talonsoft games don't work, but my favorite game of all time--SimCity 4--will not work with my GTS250 graphics card. You can't even begin to understand my obsession with that game! But that is another article for another day...

So bottom line is farewell to Talonsoft games for now. On a brighter note, I can still access all the OOB data on the disks. That always comes in handy for miniature games. Right? Ah nuts. Even that glimmer of optimism doesn't cut it. Dang, I loved those games!


  1. I loved the Talonsoft games as well. I got into them with a free demo of the Gettysburg game, which I later bought full version. I also really enjoyed the Antietam game and played it until my eyes bled and my wife threatened "consequences"!!

  2. Try looking into running a virtual system on your computer like Virtual PC from microsoft or VMWare Server from VMWare. You can get info and download Virtual PC from

    Hope this Helps!

  3. Forgot to put in the link for VMWare's player.

    It's a free download. You could run any legacy OS on this virual machine.


  4. Thanks for the tip. I'll look into it.

    Lee, I know all too well about wifely "consequences." What gamer doesn't! :-)

  5. If Windows 7 XP Mode does not work, I would definitely build an 'XP' box!

  6. Were you able to get your games working.....have you tried this link?

  7. The startup files won't run under my 64bit version, which I feel was a mistake to install since nothing has really come out in 64bit and Win8 this fall will support 128bit. 64bit will be the forgotten step-child.

    Anyway, a solution I want to try when I have the time is to run VirtualBox, which should do the trick. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!