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Fallout 2: Classic RPG Gaming, Now Available for Download
For twelve years, Fallout 2 discs have been getting beat up as they've installed, reinstalled, and re-re installed the game on four or five generations of laptops and desktops. Although the game itself has aged reasonably well, and is considered a classic in the RPG genre, the original discs have sadly not weathered time quite so well. Fortunately, here is there a new website, Good Old Games steps in.
GOG.com has available a $5.99 Fallout 2 download that no RPG gamer should be quick to pass up. While Fallout 2 has been released along with Fallout 1 and Fallout Tactics in a trilogy format, gamers on a budget, gamers new to the series, or just someone who prefers Fallout 2 over its predecessor and the Tactics offshoot will want to give Good Old Games' offering a strong look.
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Download Fallout 2! Download it Now!
For those who aren't familiar with Fallout 2, here's an overview:
In 2077, in an alternate timeline that split off from our own in the 1950's, the nuclear holocaust is unleashed at the end of a war between the United States and China. Most of the survivors escaped the immediate radioactive aftermath by retreating for a time to underground bunkers known as "Vaults", built by the ubiquitous Vault-Tec corporation.
A couple centuries later, a village near the border of what used to be California and Oregon is on the brink of starvation. Founded by a hero who was cast out of a Vault in the original Fallout game, the settlement of Arroyo needs a new hero to seek out a powerful relic of pre-apocalypse technology: The Garden of Eden Creation Kit, or G.E.C.K., capable of turning radioactive wastelands into fertile oasis for the benefit of Humanity.
You, naturally, are this Chosen One, and are sent out into the world with a Pip Boy, Vault Jumpsuit, and a spear. Your mission: to find the Holy Vault 13, and recover the G.E.C.K.
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Fallout 2: Post-Apocalyptic Wandering at its Finest
The adventure takes place in the wasteland of former Northern California, and cities familiar to anyone who has lived in that part of the state are scattered throughout the map. Some basic Fallout 2 guides are available on the net, including a quick start exploit to begin the game with the signature feature of Fallout 2: Power Armor.
As the series has aged, and the software become more outdated, it has been difficult to fully enjoy Fallout 2 as it was meant to be enjoyed. Some features broke over time, and there are often issues with getting original discs work on later operating systems.
GoG.com has engineered their re-release of Fallout 2 to make the game compatible with Windows XP and Windows Vista, and while there are still glitches in Windows 7 there are workarounds available to ensure optimum performance.
Perhaps one of the biggest draws to their download is the extras included.
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GoG.com: An Excellent Place to Download Fallout 2
Good Old Games sells a Fallout 2 download that is DRM free, meaning that once you download the game, its yours. You can install it on as many systems as you like, and re-download it at will. In addition, they allow a download of the original game manual, which can be of vital help to a newbie trying to get started.
Other goodies available are wallpapers and avatars dedicated to the Fallout series, artwork, and the Fallout 2 Bible - a helpful resource and interesting background guide for the game and its development history.
Effectively, what GoG.com offers is a collector's edition quality download: Fallout 2 as it has not been seen in over a decade. At six dollars, this isn't going to break anyone's pocketbook. While the Fallout Trilogy on CD does include all three original games for about fifteen dollars, a good deal in its own right, the ability to download Fallout 2 anywhere and not futz around with discs or DRM issues is a significant point in the corner for GoG's offering.
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Windows 7 Workarounds for Fallout 2
One of the most frustrating experiences a PC gamer can have is to purchase a title, get it installed, and then find some incompatibility that makes the game impossible to play. When you are itching to get into the post-apocalypse, level up, and have some fun with the varied Fallout 2 perks that are another signature of the series, to run into a major technical issue is enough to make anyone scream in frustration. Unfortunately for anyone who has recently purchased a version of Fallout 2, Windows 7 is apt to provide exactly this experience - a glitch commonly referred to as "rainbow colors" afflicts installation and game screens, making Fallout 2 virtually unplayable.
To a diehard Fallout 2 gamer, its nearly frustrating enough to cause the shiny new Windows 7 PC to have an unfortunate and highly destructive impact with cement, asphalt, or a bat. But fear not Wasteland travelers! There are sufficient numbers of us out there who have experienced the same problem that several particularly tech savvy types have come up with several workarounds that in most cases fix the issue. Apply these fixes until something works, and then get to gaming.
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Run Fallout 2 on Windows 7: Make a .BAT File.
This method, described and discussed on the Windows 7 forum, involves the creation of a very basic .bat file that has successfully fixed the rainbow colors issue when running Fallout 2. Windows 7 apparently can cause this glitch on any old game with 16 bit graphics, and by creating a specific .bat to modify how Windows functions while the game is running the issue can be suppressed.
The basic method promulgated on the above forum - and I'd recommend giving it a full read through to better understand the logic behind the code - is to enter the following text into a notepad file:
taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
Then save this text as Fallout2.bat and place it in the Fallout 2 folder in the same directory as the Fallout2.exe application launcher. Run the .bat, and the game should work without the rainbow colors issue.
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Fallout 2: Windows 7 Troubleshooting: Cut N' Paste
The Good Old Games Forum offers another method for getting Fallout 2 working on Windows 7. The downside to this method is that you will need to have a copy of Fallout 1 installed on your system as well. While this is probably not an issue if you've purchased the full Fallout Trilogy or have an old Fallout 1 disc lying about, for someone who has downloaded Fallout 2 from GOG.com one of the other methods mentioned will probably be better suited to your short term needs.
The Cut N' Paste workaround is fairly simple. Open the Fallout 1 directory and look for a file named "ddraw.dll". Then open the Fallout 2 directory in another window, and find the same file in its file structure. Then, just cut and paste the ddraw.dll file from Fallout 1 to Fallout 2. For some, this method has worked like a charm.
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Fallout 2 Troubleshooting: Simple and Effective Fix
The last of the three main fixes to solve the rainbow colors issue in Fallout 2 is dead simple. Many games that experience trouble running in - and this includes Fallout 2 - Windows 7 run properly if prior to running a game you just:
1. Right click on the desktop
2. Click "Screen Resolution"
3. Run the game with the Screen Resolution panel active.
No settings need to be changed at all, just open up the panel and leave it active in the background while running your game. Both The Escapist and Good Old Games forums have expressed this as a legitimate fix both to problems running other games as well as Fallout 2. Windows 7 is a strange beast, but if you keep an eye on forums frequented by tech savvy gamers, solutions are sure to emerge when such a beloved title as Fallout 2 has issues running.