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Old 12-05-16, 11:58   #1
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 63
Default Guide: Playing Tomb Raider 1 natively on modern Windows using GLRage

Hi everyone!

Here's a guide that tells you how to play Tomb Raider 1 and Tomb Raider: Unfinished Business on modern Windows. As you probably know, TR1 was originally released for DOS, Sega Saturn and Sony Playstation, so you normally need an emulator to play it. However, there's an old patch available for the ATI 3D Rage, which was designed for Windows 95 and, with some modifications, still runs even on Windows 10. So let's get started, shall we?

Game Files

First of all, you'll need the Tomb Raider 1 game files. Doesn't really matter where you get them from, as long as you have all files that are also on the original CD. Steam/ releases also work fine, although you may have to mount the included CD image first to get the required directories:
  • DATA, with .phd and .pcx files inside. These are the level files and title screen textures.
  • FMV, which contains a couple of .rpl files. These are the movies.

Copy these to a directory of your choice. It will be the future game directory. All other files are not required for the Windows version.

ATI 3D Rage patch

Of course, just the game files alone won't give you a playable game, so you'll need a .exe and a few .dll files:

Extract the contents of that ZIP file to the game directory.


The 3D Rage patch requires the ATI 3D CIF API, so if you happen to have a vintage gaming system running Windows 95 with an ATI 3D Rage graphics card, you could start the game at this point.

Since this is rather unlikely, you're going to need my little wrapper, which translates that API to modern OpenGL: GLRage. You can find the latest build here. Make sure you download the .zip file and not the source code (unless you want to compile it yourself). Extract the content of that ZIP file to the game directory as well.

GLRage is designed for modern systems, so you'll need a relatively new graphics card that supports OpenGL 3.3. Any graphics card that was made post 2010 should be fine. According to some users, integrated Intel graphics may not always work.

Now you should be able to start the game! You probably want to set a native resolution and also enable texture filtering in the Detail Levels menu.

If Windows complains about missing DLL files, you'll need to install the Visual C++ Redistributable as well.


You'll quickly notice that the game is pretty quiet, since something important is missing: the soundtrack!

First, get the full FLAC soundtrack here. Create a new directory named "music" inside the game directory and extract all .flac files there.

Next, you'll need another wrapper to wrap the CD audio to these FLAC files. You can download it here.

(ZPlayMM doesn't have a Github repository yet, but in case you want the source code: here).

Again, extract it to the game directory. You also need to change the config file to enable the soundtrack. For that, open "patches\tombati.ini" or "patches\tombub.ini" (depending on the game) with a text editor, change "full_soundtrack = false" to "full_soundtrack = true" and save the file.

When you now start the game, you should hear the music, too. And that's essentially it: You can now play the 1996 game on Windows 10 in 1080p, 2160p and beyond!

If you need to customize your soundtrack pack, here's a spreadsheet that lists all known TR1 tracks. GLRage uses the "raw" track indices when "full_soundtrack" is enabled, otherwise it uses the "PC" indices.

Known Issues

This solution still isn't perfect, so here's a few things to keep in mind:
  • The savegame format is incompatible to DOS format. To prevent accidental loading or overwriting of existing DOS savegames, the file name format has been changed.
  • Custom key bindings have been partially disabled in the ring menu to prevent various crashes.
  • Some objects disappear when viewed from certain angles or are just partially visible. Probably caused by bugs in the rendering engine.
  • If the soundtrack patch is activated, music cues triggered by levels are played again when loading a savegame where they have been played already.
  • If Lara is burning, the fire sounds are replayed every tick (30 times per second), causing nasty sound artifacts.
  • If more than one SFX of one type is played at a time, it replaces the previously played one.


Here's something for your eyes to feast on:


And here are some extra mods and resources made by other members:

Last edited by barracuda415; 23-05-16 at 12:27.
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