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Online since 1997

SUBSIM TACTICS & TIPS

Aces of the Deep

TACTICS

The first modern subsim, CAOD will challenge even the saltiest sub sailor.

Attack strategy

  • When searching for convoys, periodically dive and cut speed to zero. If a convoy is nearby, a white line will represent the sonar contact.
  • Do not travel at flank speed in the vicinity of aircraft, especially in a Type IX U-boat. They kick up quite a wake.
  • Time your intercept to take place at dusk. This will give you the maximum amount of night time action.
  • Keep the enemy between you and the moon.
  • Keep your periscope observations short.
  • Torpedo range is 250m to 5000m. Optimum range is 500-900m.
  • Two torpedoes are generally required to sink any 9000+ ton ships.
  • Fire at the most distant target first.

Torpedoes

  • Type I - range: 12,500 - available: Start
  • Type III - range: 5000 - available: Start
  • Type IIIa FAT - range: 7500 - available: Crescendo
  • Type V Gnat - range: 5700 - available: Climax
  • Program a FAT to turn into the direction the convoy is heading.
  • At close range, use the Alt-F2 feature to padlock the scope.

Evasion

  • Always try to keep your sub bow or aft towards the nearest escort. This minimizes your sonar profile.
  • You can not depend on the sound of escort screws to determine the range; CAOD sounds frequently "drop out".
  • Radar detection improves dramatically after 1942.
  • Red lines indicate the bearing of escorts.
  • When a red line swings around your boat quickly, this means an escort has just passed over you. Change course and go to flank speed. After the "wabos" (depth charges) go off, reduce speed.
  • Dive very deep. Take your boat below 200 meters and pray.
  • Run silent when you think you are not in immanent danger of being detected.

Orders

  • P -- Periscope depth
  • C -- Crash dive!
  • S -- Surface
  • B -- Battery strength
  • F -- Fuel level
  • O -- Remaining oxygen
  • Alt R -- Launch BOLD
  • Alt B -- Blow all tanks
  • Alt P -- Raise periscope on chart page
  • Ctrl I -- Status info

Miscellaneous

  • The Chief Engineer will always take the boat down 150m, regardless of the original depth or the depth from the keel.
  • Press the Backspace key to review the five previous messages.
  • Allied crew abilities improve throughout the war historically.
  • A Type VII C/41 dives deeper than the other boats.
  • The Type XXI is virtually unstoppable. It was put to sea too late to see significant combat.
  • When transiting the Med through the Strait of Gibraltar bear in mind you must travel fast enough to over come the currents.
  • If you get stuck in the mud, try reversing the motors forward and backwards and blowing the tanks. If this doesn't work, play the phonograph until the battery runs down.

Type XXI Sonar

There is a button under the "all seeing chart" which seems to send out one ping from something in a blue(?) line ... what is this sonar and how does it work? Does it help locate anything? Does it affect where the eels aim or run?

I got with one of the programmers, Brian Danielson. It's been a while since he helmed CAOD but he fired it up and this is his response:

Perhaps you are referring to the Sonar button that is only on the Type 21, right?

This is described fairly clearly in the Expansion Disk manual for the Type 21 that comes with the Command AOD package. The description is on page 8.

The only thing the manual does not answer is whether or not other ships will hear your active "ping". On that, I do not know, as that was not my area of the code. But, I would guess that your ping is NOT heard. My guess is that at that particular point in development that a shortcut would have been taken and that part of the destroyer AI not updated to support that. Try pinging a destroyer and see if it does anything in response.

The bad news is that the thing doesn't work!

You can select a line, and click it. It will turn blue, Then you point your sub to that blue line. Then hit the ping button. It is supposed to give you bearing and range. The range will come out incorrect (sometimes negative !!!), and the bearing is not given.

Even going to the TDC screen will not report correct results.

I would suggest to your "readers" to know it is buggy and recommend not using it.

--Brian.


Game Play Tips

This document contains answers to some frequently-asked questions. For the most complete strategy and game tips we recommend the strategy guide for Aces of the Deep. 

Problem: How do you quickly line up the sub on an acquired target?
Tip: While in either the Binocular or Periscope view mode, center the lighted cross hairs in the center of your view and hit ALT-H

Problem: While running on the surface you are continually being detected by over-flying aircraft.

Tip: Avoid running at flank speed for long periods of time. Flank speed produces a longer wake behind the sub which can be easily detected at greater distances

Problem: When engaging war ships my torpedoes continually miss their targets.
Tip: Remember, warships are much faster than merchant vessels and can easily outrun your torpedoes. To increase your chances of sinking these ships, position your sub as close as possible to your target and fire slightly ahead of the vessel. As time goes by your targeting skills will increase, sending many tons of scrap metal to the icy depths.

Problem: You're playing a single mission during the last year of the war, and the manual states that a snorkel was usable during this period but that selection is grayed out.
Tip: You need to be in a career mission during the end of the war, 1944 - 1945. This option should be available by clicking on the CHIEF ENGINEER button from the VOICE TUBE icon. Remember, while using the snorkel you can replenish your sub's batteries and compressed air when submerged, however, the snorkel also increases your chances of detection by radar or human eye. Also be aware that the snorkel will not function correctly at speeds over seven knots.

Problem: You're having trouble finding convoys.
Tip: The westward reaches of the NW tip of Britain in the zones around AM23 & AM16 are very heavily trafficked, as well as the zones due west of Bergen, Norway around AN23 & AN28. Try to keep close to the continental shelf, this will allow access to deep water in case escape is your only option. Be very careful hunting through the English Channel, it's very shallow and doesn't leave much room to maneuver.

Problem: I keep getting torpedoed by other friendly subs during wolfpack missions.
Tip: With several subs after the same targets things can get confusing, and WWII torpedoes were not very accurate. Keep a close eye on your tactical chart to avoid putting your sub in the path of another sub's torpedoes. Remember also that torpedoes can only hit you if you are at periscope depth or on the surface. If you see a red line tracking across the tactical chart in your direction dive immediately below 50 meters and you should avoid becoming a casualty of war.

The following symbol meanings for the tactical & strategic charts may help you:

Tactical Chart Symbols

Symbol

Indication

Black cross

Your submarine

Red cross

How far you can see

Black Squares

Enemy ships

White lines

Enemy course

Gray Lines

Last known enemy course

Cone-shaped "ping"

Enemy ASDIC seeking your sub


Strategic Chart Symbols

Symbol

Indication

Red square

Your U-boat

Yellow square

Other U-boats

Black squares

Enemy ships whose positions are reliably established

Gray squares

*Enemy ships whose positions are less reliable due to age of last sighting and other factors

Black lines

Courses of enemy ships whose positions are reliably established

Gray lines

*Courses of enemy ships whose positions are less reliable

White lines

**Courses of convoys and escorts

Blue squares

Enemy airbases

Blue circles

The potential range of air patrols at enemy airbase

Green squares

Friendly bases

Green circles

The scope within which you can radio for an escort to base

* Seen only at higher combat levels
** Seen only at easy combat levels

Problem: What's the secret behind racking up promotions and earning medals? #9;
Tip: Lots of sunken ships, including warships that chock up the points very quickly. The amount of points you receive for a kill is determined by 1) what type of ship you sink and 2) how your realism panel is set; more realism equals more points. How you acquire targets is also a key to earning the more points. When you have more than two torpedoes ready to fire, target the largest ships. If you have two torpedoes or less go after the smaller ships, this will afford you more kills in the least amount of time. Identify as many ships as possible before choosing your targets, the best targets are usually those ships inside the convoy that are being protected by those around the outside.

When it comes to submarine warfare the element of surprise is your most valuable weapon. Always be aware of what is above; remember you are almost completely blind when submerged. You should also keep an eye out below you as the bottom of the ocean can be very unforgiving. Sharp wit, quick thinking, and a whole lot of luck were the secrets to bringing a U-boat and her crew home safely. Remember, as soon as you fire a torpedo the enemy will know where you are, so strike quickly and then hide. This is best accomplished by diving below 200 meters and reducing your speed to one third.

 

TIPS

Check the SUBSIM DOSTIPS section run
Aces of the Deep on Windows XP machines.

 

Command Aces of the Deep (Win 95)

Installing without testing tip

You may see this problem when attempting to install the game: the program begins, click on INSTALL, click on TEST SYSTEM, the next window appears & says: " PROGRAM ERROR INTEGER DIVIDE BY 0 "

Solution: The problem you describe is likely the result of the installation program's inability to detect newer processors. Deleting the SIERRA.INI file and saying NO to the system test during install will resolve the issue. To do this:

Click the Start button on the taskbar, go to Find, and select Files or Folders. Type SIERRA.INI in the Named field, set the Look In field to C:, and click Find Now.

Click once on the name of the file that appears to highlight it. Press the Delete key on the keyboard and confirm the file deletion. The computer must be restarted at this point.

When the system reboots, click the Start button and select Run. In the Open field, type X:\SETUP [for X, substitute the letter of the CD-ROM drive] and click OK. Click Install on the Sierra installation screen. At the prompt to perform a system test, click No, then ignore the system test results and click Yes to continue.

At this point the installation will proceed normally. When installing Sierra products in the future, saying NO to the system test will avoid the problem.

NOTE: I have also taken this approach with success by merely installing CAOD through the Control Panel Add/Remove Install program and saying NO to the test. The test page says your system failed several categories and asked if I wished to continue with the Install. I selected yes and declined to install voice recognition. The game works perfectly and I didn't bother with the SIERRA.INI file. If you have graphics distortion--close CAOD and switch your system to 640x480, 256 colors.


Language File error

Have you had this problem trying to get Aces of the Deep to install & run? If you try to install Aces and you get an error: "Setup can't find this
product's LANGUAGE.INF file".

First, you must be running Windows 95/98 for Command Aces to work. If you are, read on.

Remove the CD. Open Control Panel and click on "Regional Settings". You should see a blue and green world map with a language box. Make sure this reads "English (United States)".

Reboot if needed, then try to install the game again. I suggest installing without testing as detailed above in Tactics & Tips.

 


  • COMMAND Aces of the Deep will only run under Windows 95/98, not Windows 3.1 or DOS. It will run under Win 98 in most cases. It may require some tweaking, and I have heard that you should download the Win 98 upgrade from Microsoft--this may help. It's only $5, about the price of a print magazine and it will also help other games run smoother.

    Order Win 98 SE from Microsoft

  • Before starting CAOD, change your monitor settings to 640 x 480 and 256 colors.

  • If the game develops a crash tendency, try abandoning the career/game in which it takes place. Pick up at an earlier part in the career. The auto-save may be causing the crash.

  • CAOD does include voice recognition. A copy of commands is in the COMMAND ACES VOICE RECOGNITION GUIDE

 

  • Hex-Editing the Gamesave File for "Command Aces of the Deep by Steven L. Hildebrand; give yourself any sub type you want, as  well as giving yourself a promotion, a medal, or changing your home port

  • Justin's AOD fix for Win 98 -- follow these simple instructions to get AOD 1.2, with expansion, working in Windows 98; it's easier than you think!

     

  • Command Aces' Voice Recognition does not work well enough in most cases to merit installation. It was a great idea but it is easier and quicker to use the keyboard to change speed and depths. If you have any trouble installing/playing CAOD, I recommend installing without Voice Recognition.

  • Running AOD with 64+ Meg RAM: On many systems, the Aces program is written to look for a certain amount of RAM. Since Aces was written long before any PC had more than 64 MBs, it may not understand that 64 or more MBs is good and won't play. Guido Becker has written this
    ACES 64+ GUIDELINE
    for SUBSIM Review. Give it a try. Be sure to try the "Installing without testing tip" first (see above).

  SOUND ISSUES  --  SoundBlaster PCI64 and Live

These new cards may be cutting edge but the are no fun when running Aces or Silent Hunter (or other DOS games). Many players report no sound in AOD/SH/DOS games. It is unclear if there is a universal solution but you can download the SOUNDBLASTER Manual from here and see if you can get the emulation utility to work. 

DOWNLOAD SoundBlaster PCI 64 Manual

PLAYER REPORT: One player reported he could not run the utility and the game because they both needed the same EMS386 resource: "I found with my SB PCI 64 that I had to run an emulation set up utility in the SB software called apinit to get the DOS sound to run both in windows dos mode and at the dos prompt. I believe the SB live had a similar program. The details were in the online "Manual" which I can email to you if you like. I needs emm386 or similar to run which unfortunately conflicts with AOD." --Guy   

 

PLAYER REPORT: 

Hello Neal:

Late last night I found all the DOS drivers for the Soundblaster Live !  These include:

SBEINIT.COM - The soundblaster 16 emulator. This must be loaded for emulation to work.

SBESET.EXE - Used configure the port, irq and dma settings of the emulator.

SBECFG.EXE - Reports the current emulation configuration.

SBELOAD.EXE - Loader.

SBEGO.EXE - Diagnostic to test the emulator.

Even after setting this up in pure DOS mode, it fails to work. What is even stranger is that the emulator loads ok, but when you run the SBEGO.EXE test program, it reports that emulation is not loaded ! Typing MEM /C at the prompt revelead it was indeed there.

What I did manage to dig up on Creative's website was that the motherboard the card is installed into must support NMI (non masked interupts), or emulation will never work. I have therefore emailed the manufacturer of my motherboard (J-Mark) to see if it does or doesn't.

--Andrew Morsman

Sierra has updated their knowledge base to confirm that Aces of the Deep will not run with a SoundBlaster Live! card:

Problem

Sound/FX with SB LIVE Card gives error
When starting or running program a message stating Assert::err: line 522 in ..\sim\win_snd.cpp: Unable to initialize Sound/FX with a Sound Blaster Live sound card.

Solution

The SB LIVE Sound Card is Not Compatible

Aces of the Deep is not compatible with the Sound Blaster Live sound card due to
specific DOS sound incompatibilities with the program.  There are currently no
drivers available from Creative Labs to allow the program to operate on a computer
with a Sound Blaster Live sound card.

The best recommendation for this situation is to use the program on a
computer without a Sound Blaster Live card.


 

------ 2 ------

When I try to play a single mission or career, assoon as the simulation try to load, I get an error. The line reads:

ASSERT::ERR:Line 34 in "S:\SUBSIM\CODE\DEV\.\eventlst.cpp

If I start the autoexec from Windows, I get the ASSERT line in a window thatshows the autoexec has finished. If I start the autoexec from DOS, I get theASSERT line at the top of the black screen with the next line beingC:\DYNAMIX\AODCD.

The problem described is caused by an arcane memory management system forDOS applications called Expanded (EMS) memory. Executables for DOS alsorequire a high amount of conventional memory. Conventional memory is thefirst 640K of RAM on the system, and is the memory that all DOS applicationsuse. Even though the system may have 16MB of RAM or more, these programscan only use the first 640K to launch.

Check the memory configuration by typing MEM at the DOS prompt. Theconventional memory setting will be the third line from the bottom (Largestexecutable Program Size) and should be at least 605K. Expanded (EMS) memorymust also be allocated (at least 4096KB). Please note this is not the sameas Extended (XMS) memory.

Device drivers such as sound, mouse, and CD-ROM drivers, and memorymanagement devices such as HIMEM, EMM386, VMM32 also load in conventionalmemory. If all of these programs are loading in conventional (low) memory,it reduces the amount available for DOS applications. It is necessary tomove these devices into upper (high) memory.

Type MEM /C /P (classify and pause) at the DOS prompt. A list of "Modulesusing memory below 1MB" will be displayed. These are the device drivers forDOS. Please note there are three columns for memory. The first is theTOTAL MEMORY the device takes up. Next is the CONVENTIONAL MEMORY thedevice is using. Finally, the last is the UPPER MEMORY the device is using.Most devices will be loading in conventional memory on the system, and theboot disk is a good way of changing the configuration to move the devicesaround. This will optimize the system for DOS programs.

Although boot disks are commonly used, they do not always work on everysystem. The option left in this situation is to modify the systemconfiguration. It is not Sierra's policy to edit system configurationfiles. If the system configuration is modified incorrectly, the machine maynot boot properly.

To create a boot disk, and free up the Conventional memory required forolder DOS applications, follow these steps:
- Click START, Shutdown
- Choose the option "Restart the computer in MS-DOS Mode".
- Click OK
- Insert a disk in the "A" drive.
- From DOS type: FORMAT A: /Q /U /S /V: BOOTDISK and press the ENTER.

When prompted to "Insert a new diskette for drive A and press ENTER whenready..." press ENTER. Next the system will format the disk, and transfersystem files. When asked to format another disk, press N and press ENTER.

- Type A: and press ENTER.
- Type EDIT CONFIG.SYS and press ENTER.

The DOS editor screen (usually blue) will appear. Type the following EXACTLYas shown:
DOS=HIGH, UMB
DEVICEHIGH=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS
DEVICEHIGH=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE RAM 4096 HIGHSCAN I=B000-B7FF
FILESHIGH=60
BUFFERSHIGH=30

- Hold down the ALT key and press "F", this will show the "file" menu.
Choose "X" for exit, and then press "Y" to save.
- From DOS type: EDIT AUTOEXEC.BAT and press ENTER. This will returnthe screen to the DOS editor. Type the following EXACTLY as shown:

ECHO OFF
CLS
SET PROMPT=BOOTDISK$_$P$G
SET COMSPEC=C:\COMMAND.COM
MEM /C >A:\MEM.TXT
C:
CLS

- Note: the last line is: MEM /C >A:\MEM.TXT
- Hold down your ALT key and press "F", this will show the "file"menu. Choose "X" for exit, and then press "Y" to save the file.
Reboot your system with the boot disk in the A drive.

 

 

Aces of the Deep is a DOS game and may requirea boot disk to run.
More info about boot disks, what they are, how they work, and steps in creating one:
BOOT DISK TUTORIAL


Hex-Editing the Gamesave File for "Command Aces of the Deep - Ver.1.1"
**Copyright(C)2000 by Steven L. Hildebrand**

      Yes, you can Hex-Edit the Command AOD game-save file to give yourself any sub type you want, as  well as giving yourself a promotion, a medal, or changing your home port...wanna try a Mediterranean career without running the British ASW gauntlet at Gibralter??  No prob, hex edit your home port and load the edited gamesave file...instant Med Cruise! ;)

      The reader uses this info at their own risk, I cannot be responsible if you manage to trash your files, or if your computer becomes possessed by the unclean spirit of Richard Nixon.  Not my problem, dudes...

The following file addresses are in HEX, not Decimal:

48 = Rank
49 = Medals
4A = Sub Insignia
4B = Homeport
4C-4F = Assigned Patrol Grid
56 = # of Patrols
57-59 = Total Tonnage Sunk (See Notes Below)
5B-5D = Career Score (See Notes Below)
69 = Sub Type


Values for Sub Type:
00 = Type IIC
01 = Type IID
02 = Type VIIB
03 = Type VIIC
04 - TypeVIIC/41
05 = Type IXB
06 = Type IXC/40
07 = Type XXI


Values for Home Port:

00 = Bergen, Norway (11th Flotilla)
01 = Trondheim, Norway (13th Flotilla)
02 = Kiel (1st Flotilla)
03 = Wilhelmshaven
04 = Brest, France (9th Flotilla)
05 = Lorient, France
06 = St. Nazaire, France (6th Flotilla)
07 = La Rochelle, France (3rd Flotilla)
08 = Bordeaux, France
09 = La Spezia, Italy
0A = Salamis, Greece


Values for Rank:

00 = Leutnant
01 = Oberleutnant
02 = Kapitanleutnant
03 = Korvettenkapitan
04 = Fregattenkapitan


Values for Medals:

01 = Knights Cross
02 = Knights Cross w/Oak Leaves
03 = Knights Cross w/Oak Leaves & Swords
04 = Knights Cross w/Oak Leaves, Swords & Diamonds


Notes:

        First, I can find no value/location for a sub crew's level of experience (green, veteran, etc.)...and since it has nothing to do with the number of patrols, I can only assume that it is determined by the number of ships you've sunk.  Pity, since it would be nice to start a "career" in 1939 with a veteran crew.

      Also, no location for the number of ships sunk, so the game must count the number of sunk-ship  records in the game-save file.  Speaking of which, my next task is to decode the sunk-ship portion of the career record.

     **Very Important** -- the Hex values for total tonnage and career score are actually expressed backward.  Let me explain...

      On the save file I used for exploration, my total tonnage sunk was 181,244.  This value, expressed in Hexidecimal, is "02 C3 FC" but in the gamesave file, it was written as "FC C3 02." My career score was 92270, or "01 68 6E" but it was written as "6E 68 01."   Weird, eh??  I remembered this from decoding the gamesave files from many other games.

      Don't know how to convert Decimal values into Hexidecimal??  It's easy if you have Win95 or Win98.  Open up the Windows Calculator ... under "View," select "Scientific."  Then select "Dec" from the toolbar, and type in your Decimal value (181244), then select "Hex" on the toolbar...your Decimal value will be converted into a Hex value (02C3FC).

  Check Baffles!!


Steven ".High*Ping*Drifter." Hildebrand
Chicago, IL.  [[
HighPingDrifter@hotmail.com ]]

"And a thousand, thousand slimy things lived on...and so did I..."


Justin's  Win98 Fix for AOD

All righty future U-boatmen, follow this simple instructions to get AOD 1.2, with expansion, working in Windows, so you can sail around in the ORIGINAL AOD with your Type II, VII, IX, or XXI.

Install AOD, then run SETSOUND.exe(NOTE: this will reboot your PC to a dos prompt, so as to configure your sound card), then
install the expansion disk, and then the 1.2 patch as the appropriate readme files state, but IN THAT ORDER.

Then, to apply the "Justin AOD Win98 Fix" (Nice title, eh?) follow these steps:

STEP 1: Right click on AOD.BAT, click properties, then the PROGRAM tab.
STEP 2: The Advanced button is on the lower left hand side of the Dialogue box (Notice how all the folder paths are greyed out).
STEP 3: Click Advanced, it brings up another Dialog Box, with tabs.
STEP 4: Uncheck the box with "MS-DOS MODE"
STEP 3: Click the MEMORY tab,
and find the 2 check mark boxes on the screen with "Protected" and "Uses HMA"
STEP 4: Repeat 1 through 3 on AODCD.EXE
STEP 5: Run INSTALL.EXE on the HD, so the sound will work right.
STEP 6: Launch AOD.BAT.
STEP 7: If the game crashes after a couple of hours (which happens 3 out of 10 times, no sweat), right click on AOD.BAT, click properties, and on the first screen, check the box that says "CLOSE ON EXIT" (Notice also how the path lines which were greyed out are now open, like true windows programs). Then re launch the game. You may have to reboot in some cases.


I haven't tried it on Win 95, but it works for Win 98

REMEMBER: Each time you start you PC and want to run AOD, click INSTALL.EXE and then Accept settings. Make no changes. This ensures the sound plays at its correct speed. If you decide to launch another program (or surf the net etc) refer to step 7 (you can check or uncheck, it doesn't matter).

NOTE: You may not have to, but I close all programs but the open folder "C:\DYNAMIX\AODCD" or whatever you installed it too (You can't make a shortcut, Im not sure why), Explorer, and Systray. Like I said, you may not have too.

Feel free to copy this tutorial for use on AOD sites or other BBS's, but please mention my name, as I would like to "Make a name for myself" in the subsim community if you will.

If you have questions, I will send some screen shots detailing what to click and how. Send all questions to TankerAce@aol.com. Have fun with the "Justin AOD Win98 Fix"! I'll see you all in the North Atlantic!

Justin
"Sugar boats rule"


Troubleshooting Guide
SECTION 1 - HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS

REQUIRED

486/33 with 8MB RAM (12 MB for voice recognition)

CD ROM

24MB hard drive space (compressed 48MB)

100% Soundblaster compatible sound card

SVGA (640 x 480 x 256 colors)

Mouse

Windows 95

RECOMMENDED FOR BEST PERFORMANCE

486/66, VLB or better, with 12 MB RAM

SVGA (800 x 600 x 256 colors)

 

REQUIRED FOR VOICE RECOGNITION

Pentium with 12 MB RAM

Soundblaster 16 or Pro Audio Spectrum 16 sound card with microphone


SECTION 2 - INSTALLATION PROCEDURES

Insert the CD into your CD drive. Click on OK and follow the onscreen messages to install Command: Aces of the Deep. We recommend choosing the full installation option if you have enough hard drive space. If you fail any of the tests, see Section 3, Common Installation Problems.

If Autoplay is disabled or not supported by your computer, insert the CD and click on the Start button. Now click on Run and type D:\SETUP in the command line, (assuming your CD is your D:\ drive--substitute your drive letter if necessary). Click on the OK button and follow the onscreen messages to install the game. We recommend choosing the full installation option if you have enough hard drive space. If you fail any of the tests, see Section 3, Common Installation Problems.


SECTION 3 - COMMON INSTALLATION PROBLEMS

Problem: Your computer fails the sound card test; you cannot hear the voice and/or fanfare in the Wave and MIDI tests.
Solution: Your sound card is incorrectly configured for Windows '95. See Section 6, Sound Issues and Sound Card Settings for information on setting up your sound card.

Problem: Your computer fails the Display test; you get a message saying "Your video display supports 16 colors...".
Solution: Sierra's Windows games require that Windows is running in 256 color mode. Even though your monitor and video card may be capable of displaying 256 colors, Windows may not be set up to use this resolution. To check, right-click on the desktop and choose Properties from the pop up menu. In the Settings section, if the Color Palette section reads 16 color, you will need to change to 256 colors. Do not use more than 256 colors with Command: Aces of the Deep. Although the game will run, you will not be able to view some of the visual effects in the game. If your system will support 800 x 600 at 256 colors, change the Desktop Area to 800 x 600 pixels.

Warning: Be careful when changing video drivers! If you choose one that is not designed for your particular monitor, Windows will not display properly. If this occurs, restart your computer and hit [F8] when the words "Starting Windows '95" are displayed. Choose Safe Mode from the options list. While you are in Safe Mode, right-click on the desktop and select Properties from the pop up menu. Change the Color Palette and Desktop Area to a setting supported by your system.

Problem: Your computer fails the Display test; you get a message saying "Your video display supports 256 colors at a resolution of 800 x 600 and a speed of XXX K pixels/sec...".
Solution: The display rate of your computer is not quick enough to satisfactorily play the game. If you are running 800 x 600 resolution, switch to 640 x 480 at 256 colors. Right-click on the desktop and choose Properties from the pop up menu. In the Settings section, if the Desktop Area section reads 800 x 600, or higher, change to 640 x 480. Click on the OK button and follow the onscreen prompts from Windows '95. Once Windows has resized, click on the Start button and choose Settings, Control Panel. Double click on the System icon, then click on the Performance tab and the Graphics button. Make sure the slider for Hardware Acceleration is all the way to the right. Restart Windows and run the setup program and test your display. If your computer still fails the display test, you may be able to play Command: Aces of the Deep on your system with some limitations. In the game, turn down all of the display options. Also be aware that the game may play jerky.

Warning: Be careful when changing video drivers! If you choose one that is not designed for your particular monitor, Windows will not display properly. If this occurs, restart your computer and hit [F8] when the words "Starting Windows '95" are displayed. Choose Safe Mode from the options list. While you are in Safe Mode, right-click on the desktop and select Properties from the pop up menu. Change the Color Palette and Desktop Area to a setting supported by your system.

Problem: Your computer fails the Memory test in Windows; you get a message stating you do not have enough memory to run Command: Aces of the Deep.
Solution: First, create a Command: Aces of the Deep boot disk using the instructions in Section 8. Reboot the system using the boot disk, then create a clean Windows environment. Make sure that there are no other Windows programs running. Disable all screen savers, virus scans, etc. Wallpaper can sometimes take up a considerable amount of memory, so turn it off. Right-click on the desktop and choose Properties from the pop up menu. Make sure None is chosen for Wallpaper and click on OK. These steps should give you enough memory to run the game. If they do not, please refer to Section 4, Windows Memory Troubleshooting.


SECTION 4 - WINDOWS MEMORY TROUBLESHOOTING

If you are having trouble getting enough memory to run Command: Aces of the Deep, these steps should help you.

Create a Boot Disk: Create a Windows 95 boot disk.

Disable any hardware cache: Some CD ROM drives, such as the Teac 4x, install their own cache. This cache may use as much as 2 MB of memory. Consult with the manufacturer or your hardware documentation if you do not know how to disable this cache.

Create a Clean Windows Environment: Make sure that there are no other Windows programs running. Disable all screen savers, virus scans, etc. If you are using an alternate Windows desktop (Norton Navigator, etc.) use plain Windows 95 instead. If you have sound-related Windows programs installed (IconHearIt, SoundBits, etc.), make sure they are disabled before starting the game. Also, turn off your Wallpaper. Wallpaper can sometimes take up a considerable amount of memory.


SECTION 5 - COMMON GAME PROBLEMS

Problem: Parts of the game display incorrect or "psychedelic" colors.
Solution: Command: Aces of the Deep uses 256 color mode in Windows. Right-click on the desktop and choose Properties from the pop up menu. In the Settings section, if the Color Palette section reads more than 256 colors, you will need to change to 256 colors. If your system will support 800 x 600 at 256 colors, change the Desktop Area to 800 x 600 pixels.

Warning: Be careful when changing video drivers! If you choose one that is not designed for your particular monitor, Windows will not display properly. If this occurs, restart your computer and hit [F8] when the words "Starting Windows '95" are displayed. Choose Safe Mode from the options list. While you are in Safe Mode, right-click on the desktop and select Properties from the pop up menu. Change the Color Palette and Desktop Area to a setting supported by your system.

Problem: The engine sound cuts out during play.
Solution: If you are using the voice recognition feature of Command: Aces of the Deep, you should turn the engine sounds off. The engine sounds will interfere with the voice recognition feature of the game and will cut in and out if this feature is enabled. If you do not use the voice recognition feature and want to hear the constant hum of engines, Reinstall Command: Aces of the Deep and do not choose the voice recognition.

Problem: While playing the game, you get the error message "assert:line 522 in \sim\win_snd.cpp. Can't initialize sound/music."
Solution: Disable all applications that may be running in the background of Windows '95. If the problem persists, check with the manufacturer of the sound card for updated Windows '95 drivers for your sound card. Some sound cards do not have sound drivers that will work with the game, in this case you can usually use the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Pro driver from the Windows 95 CD. To do this you will need to temporarily disable your current driver:

  • Go to the Control Panel and open the System Icon.
  • Click on the Device Manager Tab and find the Sound, Video, Game Controllers and double click on this.
  • Now you should have at least one driver listed for you sound card, you may have several.
  • Double click on each of these drivers and you will see a screen with information about the drivers.
  • At the bottom of this screen should be a "Device Usage" section with a check mark in a box for "Original Configuration.". Take the check mark out of this box to temporarily disable this driver.

Once you have this driver disabled you can add the Sound Blaster Pro driver. To do this:

  • Go to the Control Panel and open the Add New Hardware Icon.
  • Click on the "Next" button.
  • Click on "No" when asked to detect new hardware and then click on the "Next" button.
  • Scroll down the list until you find "Sound, Video and Game Controllers," double click on this.
  • Find Creative Labs in the list of names in the left box under Manufacturers, click on this once.
  • Now look in the right box under Models and double click on Sound Blaster Pro.
  • Click on the "Next" button to install the driver and then click "Finish" to complete the installation.

You can exchange your drivers simply by adding or removing the check mark from the "Original Configuration" box in the Device Usage section of the General Properties of the driver (see steps 4 and 5 of disabling your current driver above). Be sure that only one sound driver or set of sound drivers are selected at one time. If you try to load two different drivers at one time you may encounter sound problems.

Problem: Voice recognition does not work; you cannot calibrate microphone.
Solution: The microphone volume level may be set too low. Right-click on the volume icon next to the clock on your Task Bar, (usually in the lower right corner). Choose Volume Control. This will start the application Volume Control. Click on Options, Properties. Now scroll through the list of volume controls and make sure there is a check next to microphone. Once you have added the microphone to the Volume Controls, use the microphone volume slider to adjust the microphone's volume to an appropriate level.

Problem: The screen image is distorted or has horizontal white lines.
Solution: This problem can be corrected by changing display drivers. Right-click on the desktop and choose Properties from the pop up list. Click on the Settings tab, then click on the Change Display Type. In the Adapter Type section, click on Change. Try a different driver from the list of drivers. For instance, if you are using the ET4000W/32; use the ET4000 driver. For information on what drivers will work with your video card, contact the video card manufacturer.


SECTION 6 - SOUND CARD CONFIGURATION

Improper sound card configuration will cause problems with some multimedia applications. Check your sound card's documentation, or with the manufacturer of the card, to ensure your sound card is properly set up for Windows 95. If your manual does not cover configuration for Windows 95, you should get updated information from the card's manufacturer. This information may be available online through CompuServe, America On Line or another service.

Command: Aces of the Deep requires a 100% Soundblaster compatible sound card. Not every sound card is 100% Soundblaster compatible. If you encounter any problems, check the documentation for your sound card to ensure it is correctly setup in Windows '95. You may be able to play the game without the voice recognition feature if your sound card is not 100% Soundblaster compatible. Re-install the game without accepting the voice recognition feature to see if this makes any difference.

For your sound card to be 100% Soundblaster compatible, it must be supported directly by Windows '95. If your sound card is not directly supported by Windows '95 and requires lines in the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT to function, you need to check with the manufacturer of the sound card for the availability of Windows '95 drivers.


 

 

Aces of the Deep (DOS)

Troubleshooting Guide
SECTION 1 - HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS

Required
386 DX\33
4 MB RAM (XMS: 3320k or 3,400,00 Bytes)
10 MB hard drive space (Disk version)
5 MB hard drive space (Small install of CD version)
MS-DOS 5.0 or higher
VGA (256 color)
Mouse
CD ROM drive (CD version)
Recommended
486 DX
8 MB RAM
Double speed CD ROM (CD Version)
SVGA (640x480x256 colors)
**SVGA required to use game's online manual

Aces of the Deep is a DOS game and may require a boot disk to run.
More info about boot disks, what they are, how they work, and steps in creating one:
BOOT DISK TUTORIAL

 

SECTION 2 - INSTALLATION PROCEDURES

If you are in Windows, close Windows completely and exit to a DOS prompt. Insert Disk 1 and switch to the floppy disk prompt by typing A: or B:. If you are playing the CD version, insert the CD and switch to the CD drive by typing the drive letter followed by a colon (ie. D:). Then type INSTALL to begin the installation program. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation.

Default directory for Aces of the Deep 3.5" disk version: C:\DYNAMIX\AOD

Default directory and name of saved games: C:\DYNAMIX\AOD\SIM\SAVE

GAME00.SAV to GAME19.SAV

Default directory for Aces of the Deep CD-ROM version: C:\DYNAMIX\AODCD

Default directory and name of saved games C:\DYNAMIX\AODCD\SIM\SAVE

GAME00.SAV to GAME19.SAV

NOTE: there are 20 save game slots. You have access to the first 19; the 20th is used by the program for the Autosave feature which automatically saves every 20 minutes during a career mission.


SECTION 3 - COMMON INSTALLATION PROBLEMS

Problem: After typing INSTALL, a row of dots goes across the screen and stops. The computer is locked up with this row of dots appearing on the screen.
Solution: The dots indicate the hardware detection portion of the installation program. You can bypass the hardware detection (and therefore the lockup) by typing INSTALL /M. If this entry doesn't work, try INSTALL /F. One of these entries should get you past the lockup. If this does not work, create a boot disk using the boot disk instructions included with this document. After booting up with the boot disk, install the game.

Problem: During installation of the 3.5" Disk version you receive the error "DISK ERROR / READ ERROR" or "NOT READY READING DRIVE X" (Where X is the drive you are installing from).
Solution: This usually indicates a bad disk. If you have had the product less than 90 days, Sierra will replace your game disks for free. Send Disk #1 with a copy of a dated receipt and a letter requesting disk replacement. Be sure to include your full name, mailing address and a phone number. If you have had the product over 90 days you will need to include a check or money order for $10.00. The address is: CUC Software Fulfillment, 4100 West 190th Street, Torrance, California 90504.

Problem: (CD VERSION ONLY) Installation program locks up as it is copying files to the hard drive. This usually occurs at the file "MELODIC.BNK", but may happen with other program files.
Solution: Some computers have difficulty reading the the Aces of the Deep CD. Sierra will gladly exchange your CD for the 3.5" disk version of the game. This will allow you to install and play Aces of the Deep. The game itself is the same in the floppy version; however, this version does not include the on-line manual. The historical information is included in the printed manual that comes with the game.

To exchange your CD version for floppy disks, send the CD to: Sierra On-Line Customer Service, PO Box 53210, Bellevue, WA 98015-3210. Please be sure to include a letter stating that the CD will not run on your system and that you would like to exchange it for the floppy version. Your letter should also include your full name, mailing address and daytime phone number.


SECTION 4 - COMMON GAME PROBLEMS

Problem: (CD VERSION ONLY) Distorted graphics in the on-line manual.
Solution: This is usually due to an outdated, incompatible or missing VESA driver. Without VESA support the on-line manual will appear in low resolution and the pictures of the U-boat captains and the lettering will be blocky. The video interviews will overflow the window and take up about one quarter of the screen. The subtitles will be illegible.

Contact your video card manufacturer to obtain a current VESA driver. Install the new VESA driver and rerun the install from the directory C:\DYNAMIX\AODCD. From the Choices screen change the GRAPHICS to VESA - High Resolution (640x480) with 256 Colors. This usually corrects the problem.

Problem: (CD VERSION ONLY) When starting Aces of the Deep you get the error message "CDR101 NOT READY READING DRIVE X:" (where X is the CD drive letter).
Solution: There are several possible causes for this error. The most common is a dirty or scratched CD. You should check the CD to make sure that there are no smudges, fingerprints, scratches or cracks on it. If you see any smudges on the CD, clean it off with a soft cloth and try it again.

The problem may also lie with the CD ROM drivers. Outdated or incompatible drivers can cause this type of problem. You should make sure that you are loading the latest version (v2.23) of MSCDEX in your AUTOEXEC.BAT. If you're using DOS 6.20 or higher, use the MSCDEX in your C:\DOS directory, this one is version 2.23. You should also check with the CD ROM drive manufacturer to make sure that you are loading the latest version of their CD-ROM drivers in your CONFIG.SYS.

There are some systems that have trouble reading the Aces of the Deep CD. Edit the AOD.BAT file in the directory C:\DYNAMIX\AODCD and change the last line:

AODCD.EXE -PC:\DYNAMIX\AODCD\ -DE
to
AODCD.EXE \DYNAMIX\AODCD\
and remove the line:
CALL INTRO.BAT

The game will play without the CD but you won't have any sound. You can also exchange your CD version for the 3.5" disk version. Send the CD to: Sierra On-Line Customer Service, PO Box 53210, Bellevue, WA 98015-3210. Please be sure to include a letter stating that the CD will not run on your system and that you would like to exchange it for the floppy version. Your letter should also include your full name, mailing address and daytime phone number.

Problem: Random lockups.
Solution: Lockups can be caused by a number of factors. If you are getting lockups during the game, try the following:

MAKE A BOOT DISK. You can use the automatic boot disk creator by running INSTALL in the game directory or you can make one manually using the boot disk instructions included with this document. The boot disk will eliminate any possible memory conflicts that could be causing lockups. Be very careful that your sound card and CD ROM drivers are loaded onto the boot disk!

CHECK THE SOUND CARD CONFIGURATION. Run the SOUNDSET program in the game directory and choose "No Digital Sound Driver". Run the game. If the game does not lock up, then the problem is probably in the sound card configuration. Re-run SOUNDSET and manually choose your sound card and its settings. Occasionally, the auto-detect feature of SOUNDSET will detect your sound card incorrectly and this can cause the game to lock up. If you don't see your sound card listed under the Digital Sound Driver section of the SOUNDSET program, refer to your sound card documentation or contact the manufacture of your sound card for help in setting up your card to run in a Sound Blaster compatible mode.

CHECK FOR CORRUPTED FILES. At the DOS prompt, run CHKDSK /F for DOS versions up to 6.0 or SCANDISK for DOS version 6.20. This will allow to you to detect and correct any lost allocation units, crosslinked files or any other hard drive errors. If you find any, fix them, then delete and reinstall the game. Errors on the hard drive can corrupt files and this can cause lockups.

USE THE PATCH DISK. There is an update patch, AOD1_2.EXE, for the game that will make either the disk or CD version of the game version 1.2.

Problem: Lockups trying to access on-line manual when using an ATI Video Card.
Solution: Contact ATI to received the most current VVESA driver for your video card. You can reach ATI's Customer Support at (905)882-2626 or their BBS at (905)764-9404.

Problem: While running Aces of the Deep, you get an error "Interrupt 0DH, General Protection Fault, Possible Illegal Address:C800...". The memory address will vary on different computers.
Solution: The above error message is usually caused by a conflict between the game and a Cyrix processor. Sierra has researched the situation with Cyrix and has determined that there are two situations in which you will have this conflict with a Cyrix processor.

1) Older 486 DLC chips. If you have a 486 DLC chip, you should get the lot number and contact Cyrix. They will do their best to help you eliminate the conflict.
2) 486 DLC chips on 386 motherboards. Cyrix does not recommend installing the 486 DLC chip onto a 386 motherboard because it can cause incompatibility problems like the General Protection Fault in Aces of the Deep. The only way to eliminate the conflict in this instance is to install the 486 DLC chip onto a 486 motherboard.

If you have an Intel processor in your computer, the General Protection Fault may be eliminated by creating a boot disk and running the game under the boot disk environment. To make a boot disk, change to the game directory on your hard drive and run the install program. Choose "Make a bootable floppy disk" from the main menu, and follow the on-screen instructions. Once you have made the boot disk, leave it in your A: drive and press [CTRL]-[ALT]-[DEL]. The boot disk will automatically start the game for you after the computer is booted up. Play the game as you normally would from your hard drive.

Problem: Any of the following occurs when playing Aces of the the Deep.
1) Random lockups or locking during sound or music segments while in a mission
2) When running on surface you hear the electric motor instead of the diesel motor sound
3) Teleporting to another area after running aground
4) Bobbing to the surface uncontrollably
5) Time compression can't be increased even though there are no contacts
6) Not being informed when out of compressed air
Solution: You need the
AOD1_2.EXE patch.


SECTION 5 - SOUND ISSUES

Aces of the Deep supports a variety of different sound cards. The game's sound and music configuration is set up through a program called SOUNDSET. This program is in the directory C:\DYNAMIX\AOD for the 3.5" disk version and C:\DYNAMIX\AODCD for the CD-ROM version. The SOUNDSET program is run automatically when you first install the game, but you can run it again at any time to change the sound card configuration. If you are having any kind of sound problems during the game, Sierra recommends that you run the SOUNDSET program and choose your sound card and settings manually instead of letting the program auto-detect them. The auto-detect program occasionally detects the sound card incorrectly and this can cause problems within the game. If you don't see your sound card listed under the Digital Sound Driver section of the SOUNDSET program then refer to your sound card's documentation or contact the manufacturer of your sound card for help in setting your card to run in a Sound Blaster compatible mode.

Problem: No sound through the PC speaker.
Solution: The music and sound effects in Aces of the Deep are too complicated for the PC speaker to produce. Therefore, there will be no sound through the PC speaker if you do not have a sound card. The game should run fine without a sound card, you just won't have any music or sound effects.

Problem: Lockups or no sound while using a MAD16 sound card with SoundBlaster emulation.
Solution: Add a "SET MAD16=C:\MAD16" line to the AUTOEXEC.BAT file on the boot disk. Run "M16INIT" from the C:\MAD16 directory and select Windows Sound System Emulation at the default settings (i.e. DMA 1, IRQ 7, PORT 530). Reboot the computer using the boot disk. Run SOUNDSET in the C:\DYNAMIX\AOD for the 3.5" disk version or C:\DYNAMIX\AODCD for the CD-ROM version directory and choose Microsoft Sound System for the sound driver (DMA 1, PORT 530, IRQ will be blank). Save the settings and start the game.

Problem: Lockups or no sound while using other sound cards that use some form of INIT.EXE file , (eg. SNDINIT.EXE, ISPINIT.EXE, etc...) to set your sound emulation mode. You should check your sound card documentation to see if your sound card uses one of these initialization files. These sound initialization files are in the directory where your sound card files are located.
Solution: Look in your AUTOEXEC.BAT on your C drive look for the lines that belong to your sound card. Example:

SET (SOUND, M16, IPS16, etc...)=C:\(path to your sound card files directory)
SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 T4
C:\(path to your sound card files directory)\(some type of XXinit.exe file name)

Add these lines to the AUTOEXEC.BAT file on the boot disk. Run the "(XX)INIT" file from the directory where your sound card files are located and select Windows Sound System Mode at the default settings (i.e. DMA 1, IRQ 7, PORT 530). Reboot the computer using the boot disk. Run SOUNDSET in the directory C:\DYNAMIX\AOD for the 3.5" disk version or C:\DYNAMIX\AODCD for the CD-ROM version and choose Microsoft Sound System for the sound driver (DMA 1, PORT 530, IRQ will be blank). Save the settings and start the game.

Problem: No sound in the game after booting up with a boot disk. This often occurs with the Creative Labs SoundBlaster 16, but occasionally happens with other sound cards.
Solution: This happens when sound drivers or configuration lines get left off the boot disk. The following lines are examples of the necessary lines for the Creative Labs SoundBlaster 16 card using the latest drivers. NOTE: These examples use standard SoundBlaster 16 settings, you should check your AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS on your hard drive to verify your sound card settings.

AUTOEXEC.BAT SET SOUND=C:\SB16
SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H1 P300 T6
SET MIDI=SYNTH:1 MAP:E
C:\SB16\DIAGNOSE /S
C:\SB16\SB16SET (followed by your mixer settings--copy them from your C: drives AUTOEXEC.BAT)

CONFIG.SYS

DEVICE=C:\SB16\DRV\CSP.SYS /UNIT=0 /BLASTER=A:220 I:5 D:1 H:5
DEVICE=C:\SB16\DRV\CTSB16.SYS /UNIT=0 /BLASTER=A:220 I:5 D:1 H:5
DEVICE=C:\SB16\DRV\CTMMSYS.SYS

Adding these lines to the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files on the boot disk should give you sound. If you have a sound card other than the Creative Labs SoundBlaster 16, check the sound card listings in the boot disk section of this document for information on what lines need to be in the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files on the boot disk.


SECTION 6 - OBTAINING A ACES PATCH DISK

There is currently a patch available for Aces of the Deep. This patch is for both the CD and diskette versions of the game and addresses the following issues:

  • Random lockups or locking during sound or music segments while in a mission
  • Running on the surface on electric motors
  • Teleporting after running aground
  • Bobbing to the surface uncontrollably
  • Time compression can be used even if the sim reduces time compression first.
  • You will now be informed when out of compressed air (and you better not be stuck on the bottom!)

When you get the patch, take a look at the README file for complete details on how to install the patch.

The fastest way to obtain a Sierra patch disk is to download it from the PATCHES & MISSIONS sections of this website, or you can also request a patch disk be mailed to you by writing to CUC Software Fulfillment, 4100 West 190th Street, Torrance, California 90504, or faxing Technical Support at (425)644-7697.

 

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