1. Alun Bestor
  2. Boxer
  3. Issues


Issue #80 wontfix

Red Alert is Black

Anonymous created an issue


Found a little bug.

I have found my old CD with Red Alert and decided to throw it in Boxer, but my landscape is black, and i can only see my own men.


Comments (11)

  1. Alun Bestor repo owner

    Hi Glenn, this is a bug with the DOS 1.04 version of Red Alert. Updating the game to 1.08 will fix this, and you can download the patch here: http://www.cnc-source.com/forums/index.php?app=downloads&showfile=64

    After downloading and unzipping the patch, put the RA108USP.EXE file in the same folder as RA.EXE inside your Red Alert gamebox, then doubleclick RA108USP.EXE to run it. Boxer will start up the gamebox and run the patch. Once the patch is finished, you can run the game as normal.

    (Technically this issue isn't resolved - the underlying problem is some kind of emulation incompatibility in DOSBox which is avoided by the later version - so I'm leaving this open for other users to find.)

  2. Alun Bestor repo owner

    Does the main menu state the game version as "1.04" or "1.08PE"?

    If it's the former, i.e. still unpatched, then the patch did not apply properly for some reason. If you followed the instructions above exactly and this is the case, then it could possibly be because you have a different edition of the game than the patch is designed for.

    If it's the latter, i.e. fully patched, then I'm afraid I don't have any further suggestions and you'll need to look further afield for help. The patch solved all such problems in my testing with the free-to-download release of Red Alert (legally available here: http://www.cncforums.com/new/local_links.php?catid=135 ).

  3. Alun Bestor repo owner

    Dammit you're right, my instructions were incomplete (and now I can't edit them to correct them). RA108USP.EXE is a self-extracting archive that extracts the actual patch files when you run it.

    So! After following my previous instructions, type PATCH.EXE and press Enter to start the patching process itself.

  4. Alun Bestor repo owner

    It turns out the black screen problem can recur even after patching to 1.08PE: the presence of unrecognised settings in the REDALERT.INI file triggers it. Unfortunately, "unrecognised settings" includes Red Alert's own multiplayer settings: going into the skirmish or modem settings from the game menu will write a bunch of new settings into that INI file, and these will cause the game to display corrupt graphics when you next start it up. Removing the extra settings from the INI file, by deleting everything from the [MultiPlayer] heading onwards, solves the problem.

    I have no accurate idea why this is occurring: my best guess is that there's some kind of buffer overflow bug in the INI file parser, that makes the game shit all over the wrong memory space if there's settings it doesn't know how to parse. It may be that this is only triggered by some quirk in DOSBox's emulated DOS environment, but none of DOSBox's (or Boxer's) emulation settings seem to have any effect on it.

    I'm flagging this now as WONTFIX, but really it's CANTFIX: this kind of bug is out of Boxer's scope.

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