Retro Reviews & Tutorials

Star Trek The Next Generation - A Final Unity
Running on Windows XP - November 4th 2006

A Final Unity is probably my favorite Star Trek game. Any fan of The Next Generation should definitely pick up this game. It plays out like an interactive episode worthy of the Star Trek name. The graphics and cut scenes for their day were spectacular - running in full 640 x 480 16 bit color. The sound effects are amazing as well - the entire game is fully voiced by the original cast. Most of the game play takes place on away missions, you'll also have to make decisions on the bridge, and engage in real-time 3d space combat. The game also includes a detailed and interactive computer library that should impress any trek fan.

Unfortunately, A Final Unity will simply not work out of the box on Windows NT based operating systems (NT, 2000, XP, etc). I have seen many postings on the internet asking for help to get the game working with Windows XP. I have seen equally as many answers of varying quality. I spent many hours as well trying to get a Final Unity to work on Windows XP.

This is a complete, step by step, guide with that will show you how to install and play A Final Unity on a Windows XP system. This guide should also work for Windows 2000 systems though I have not tested it yet on that operating system. This guide assumes you have basic Windows knowledge such as files, folders, directories, etc.

I plan to update this guide in the future for Windows Vista as well once I have a copy of the operating system running.

Please note this guide assumes your hard disk is the C drive. If it is not then simply replace C with whatever drive letter yours is.

If you have any questions or comments please don't hesitate to post them in the forums!

Step 1 - Preparations

Before we get started we are going to need to download three files which I have made available here.

Installer Patch - this will let us install A Final Unity.
VMDSound 2.1.0 - this will let us have sound

STTNG.INI - custom .ini designed for VMDSound & XP

Step 2 - Create the Source Directory

Go into My Computer and then the C: drive - create a directory called "FUIns" minus the quotes. This is where we will install the game from.

Step 3 - Copying the CD Contents

Next we are going to copy the contents of the Final Unity cd-rom disc to the hard drive to make installation and play easier.

Insert the cd-rom disc in your drive. Go into My Computer and then to your CD/DVD drive. You should see the Final Unity files. Next click Edit - Select All. All of the files and folders should now be selected. Next click Edit - Copy.

Return to the FUIns directory we created earlier. Once there click Edit - Paste. The contents of the disc should now be in the FUIns directory.

Step 4 - Patching

Take the installer patch you downloaded (install.exe) and copy it into the FUIns folder. Allow it to overwrite the existing install.exe

Step 5 - Installing

Now double click install.exe to begin the installation.

-Select Install Game then OK
-Select Install Optimal Version then OK
-Your system will fail the hardware check. That is normal since we are running XP - click OK (in case you were wondering the patched install.exe allows us to bypass the hardware check to install the game)
-The C: drive should already be selected - Click OK
-Accept the default installation directory of C:\STTNG - Click Ok

The game should then install very quickly. Click ok if it suggests any hardware fixes. The installer should then exit.

Go into the newly created C:\STTNG directory. Copy the STTNG.INI file into the directory.

Step 6 - Setting up VMDSound

Windows XP's pitiful sound blaster emulation for DOS simply won't work with a Final Unity. We will need to install VMDSound - which is a DOS sound blaster emulator - to have any sound in the game.

Double Click VMDSound 2.1.0.exe. Follow the on screen prompts to install it.

Step 7 - Setting up a Final Unity

-Go into the C:\STTNG directory. Right click on sttng.exe and select "Run with VMDS".
-Select the second option - Create a custom configuration - OK
-Create a New Configuration from Scratch - OK
-On the next screen click the Advanced Button.
Click the compatibility tap - and place a check on "Enable low-level CD-ROM support (MSCDEX)".
Click the SoundBlaster tap - under DSP version select 1.05 (SoundBlaster 1.x)
-Click Apply then OK
-Click next and make sure Remember my Settings is checked

Step 8 - Running the Game

To run the game you can right click on STTNG.EXE and select "Run with VMDSound" or you can click the STTNG VMDSound Icon that should have been created in the C:\STTNG directory.

Final Notes

Save often! The game will occasionally crash - more so later the game.
It typically happens when switching from the ship to away missions and vice versa.

Since we copied the contents of the Final Unity disc to the hard drive you will not need it in the drive to play. From several tests I found that running the game from the hard drive will result in better performance - especially when accessing audio and video information.

Tweaking settings with STTNG.INI

-To change the difficultly level go to the Advice line - 0 is easy, 1 is medium, and 2 is hard. Basically on the higher levels you have more control over away mission options.

-To turn subtitles on or off go to the Dialogs Line - OFF for no subtitles - ON for subtitles.

-If your hard disk is a drive other then C: you will need to change the drive letters on the Path and CD lines. Otherwise the game will not run.

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