The Gene Machine
MS DOS 6.0 or greater
Pentium 60MHz or faster
4x CD ROM or faster
12MB RAM or greater
The Gene Machine by Divide by Zero (1996) is a very rare and very cute little animated 2D game, about a talking cat (who isn't really a "cat" at all), a "pompous" adventurer, and a manservant. My thanks to "Slydos" from Gameboomers who was gracious enough to lend out the game to begin with and to Aberfoyle also from Gameboomers who put me on the
First let's take a look at the "General Drill"
The General Drill
updated printable version
Whenever I start a new game, especially an "older one"; I have always made it a habit to make sure my system is clean. (So let's clean house) Our cleaning products?? No, I'm not talking about special Orange Sprays or Pine smelly disinfectants! I'm referring to the "3 Musketeers" of WINTEL Systems. They are: "Disk Clean Up", Check Disc (the old Scan Disc in pre XP Windows based systems) and Defrag.
First, Let's do a Disk Clean Up (Don't know how?) Go to-->Start-->All Programs--> Accessories--> System Tools-->Disk Clean Up. Empty out what you don't need ( you'll be surprised at what you can accumulate!) Shut down all extra programs. (for those of you who know how to do this part...just skip onto the next area of the "Setup".) For those of you who don't, the easiest way to terminate your TSRs (terminated but staying resident programs, also known as
background applications") is to right click on each of the little icons in the lower right portion of your "Tool Bar" (located near your clock), As you right click on each of them you will get the option to either "exit", "close" or "unload". Do this for each of them. Then, if you have a Screensaver go ahead and disable it.
If you haven't done the "Ole' Scan Disk"...(in XP it's called "Check Disk") and Defragged recently here is a good time to do it. Go to-->My Computer-->Local Disc "C" ("C" is mine but your Local Disc maybe assigned another letter)-->Right Click-->Properties-->Tools-->"Check Now..." ->Make sure that both boxes are checked--> 1.)Automatically fix file system errors and 2.)Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors.-->Click Start. You can follow this same path to locate your Defrag program as well or use Start-->All Programs-->Accessories-->System Tools-->Defrag Hard Drive.
Check your system by doing a "Ctrl, Alt & Delete", this will bring up "The Task Manager", If you have closed out all Windows Programs, the field under "Applications" will be blank.
(Leave the field marked "Processes" alone. Yep, I know there are lots of interesting files in there...but your really better off not touching anything in there unless you really know just what you are doing.)
You might want to check on your Video and Audio Acceleration at this time, make sure you set the video at the 3rd notch from the right --> and audio should be set to 1 notch to the left (I find that this is the best setting for this adventure on MY system. Yours may be different, but this is always a good place to start and you can increase or lower them as you see fit after the game is installed.)
You also might want to set your Display and resolution to 800x600/16bit/100Hz. Right Click anywhere on your Desktop-->Properties-->Settings-->Advanced-->Adapters-->List all Modes-->Then choose your preference from the cascade menu. Click -->OK--> OK--> Apply-->OK.
I know this seems like a bother, but if you take the time to make sure your system is sparkling on the inside, you'll have less headaches later. Remember a healthy XP is a happy one.
I've decided to go along with the creator's advice and install this game in DOS...which for us XP'ers means: "emulation" Because this game does require "Vesa" and SoundBlaster support in order to run effectively; make sure that you have VDMSound/+VDMS Launchpad installed. Keep in mind that when running this particular utility, it will lend a certain amount of "Vesa" support to NTVDM (XP's own Virtual DOS Machine) if run "Maximized" and not in a "Window". If you don't have a "Vesa" driver you can check the Utilities section of " Computer Specifications and Utilities Page" and further information can be found in "The Library" as well.
Let's get to the install:
- Place the CD into your Default CD ROM DRIVE.
- Go To-->My Computer-->What ever letter your Drive happens to be (Mine in this case will be "E:")-->Right Click-->Explore-->.
- Locate the File-->"Install.Bat"-->Right Click-->See Fig1 below-->
Make sure Win95 is selected and all boxes are checked.
Click Apply. Click OK.
Right Click-->Choose Open-->See Fig2
- The NTVDM will bring up the installation screen. Follow through the prompts. When the "Sound Setup" begins; let the program automatically find your sound drivers. (hint: mine chose "SoundBlaster 100% Compatible" ).
- Keep clicking "OK", "Accept" or "Finish" until you get the "Black Screen" and the direction to "press any key".
You're done with the basic "install"
Now, let's "fine tune".
Locate your program once again in your CDROM DRIVE-->Right Click-->Explore--> Windows Folder -->Locate "Gene.ico" (it's the little train)-->Right Click on this File-->Choose-->Copy.
Left Click-->on the Back button (located in the upper right area of you're Window)-->Click on the Back button once more-->this will take you back to "My Computer".
Go to-->"Local Disc C"-->Double Click-->Locate the Folder "Gene"-->Double Click on this Folder-->Right Click anywhere in this folder-->Choose-->Paste. There's your Icon for the Gene Machine.
(We'll come back to this a little later....trust me)
Locate the file "Gene.Bat" -->Right Click-->Properties --> Compatibility-->Make sure that all boxes are checked except for the first one.-->See Fig3
Locate the files "SetSound.exe" and "Vic32.exe". Right Click--> Properties-->and follow the Format below for each file in their turn.
Program--> Run--> Maximized Close on Exit--> Uncheck Box
(leave box unchecked)
(Leave box checked)
total = Auto
initial envrnmnt = 4096
Screen--> Check--> Full Screen MISC--> foreground--> uncheck "allow screensaver mouse--> check exclusive mode Compatibility--> Compatibility mode--> no option checked Display Settings-->
check-->disable visual themes
input settings--> check-->turn off advanced text services for this program
- Click Apply. Click OK.
- Right Click on Gene.Bat-->Choose Send To-->Choose "Desk Top"-->Close out of all Windows-->
- Locate-->Gene.Bat-->on Desk Top-->Right Click-->Properties -->Choose Short Cut-->Select Run-->Choose-->Maximized.
- Choose-->Change Icon-->Browse-->Click on the "little green arrow on the folder" to the right of where it says "Look in"-->let this arrow take you through out your systems hierarchy until you find "Local Disk C". Then scroll down and locate-->"Gene" folder-->Double Click -->Choose--> "Gene.ico"--> Choose--> Open-->OK-->Choose-->Compatibility-->make sure (once again) that all boxes are checked, with the exception of the first box, which should be left blank.
- Click Apply Click OK-->you're done!
To play the game-->Right Click on your Desk top Icon-->Choose-->Run with VDMS (no musical note).
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