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Running Black & White on Windows 7/8 and 10

by HandsomeMatt

Black and White was released in 2001, it's over 15 years old. And sadly it hasn't aged well, there are a magnitude of issues just managing to install it before you hit the magnitude of issues involved in actually playing the game.

tldr; installing

1: Install Black & White base game via Setup.exe with "Run as Administrator".
2: Install Patch 1.1, Patch 1.2, Patch 1.4 (links below) all with "Run as Administrator". 
3: Download and install all addons with "Run as Administrator". 
4: Right Click runblack.exe, and under the Compatibility tab, check Run this program as an administrator and nothing else.
5: Copy the Audio folder from the CD to the game installation directory to fix issues with the music not playing.

Installing The Game

Before you start this guide I recommend uninstalling anything you might've tried installing beforehand; so run the uninstaller, delete the folder where you installed Black & White and remove any Windows registry keys that were left behind:

If you are on a 32 bit system, you’ll want to delete the following registry keys:
 

Code: [Select]

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Lionhead Studios Ltd\Black & White
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Lionhead Studios Ltd\Black and White
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Lionhead Studios Ltd\Black and White Clan Patch
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Lionhead Studios Ltd\Black and White Patch
HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-2309910519-2795697514-4011825439-1000\Software\Lionhead Studios Ltd\Black & White
If you are on a 64 bit system, you’ll want to delete the following registry keys:
 

Code: [Select]

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Lionhead Studios Ltd\Black & White
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Lionhead Studios Ltd\Black and White
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Lionhead Studios Ltd\Black and White Clan Patch
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Lionhead Studios Ltd\Black and White Patch
HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-2309910519-2795697514-4011825439-1000\Software\Lionhead Studios Ltd\Black & White

    • Now it’s time to get to business. Pop your Black & White disc in your optical drive (or mount your iso) and start the installation (

"Run as Administrator"). You can install the game anywhere you want. At the end of the installation, it will ask you if you want to play the game. Select no.

At this point you can install any addons you want, I recommend getting the four additional creatures; the leopard, the mandrill, the gorilla and the horse as well as the villager banter add-on. You can download the football add-on now too, but you can’t install it until after you patch the game. All addons must be installed using Run as Administrator" Note that after each add-on you install you will get the Program Compatibility Assistant asking you whether or not the program installed correctly. You can select this program installed correctly for each.



Before you go patch crazy and install the latest one, listen; there were a total of three patches released, patch 1.1patch 1.2 and patch 1.3. Patch 1.3 only adds support for the P5 glove. If you happen to have one of these, then you’ll want to get patch 1.3 but if you don’t you’ll want to stick with patch 1.2.

In theory, patch 1.3 includes all the fixes and additions from both patches 1.1 and 1.2 and patch 1.2 includes the fixes from patch 1.1. this means you should be able to just install the patch for the final target version you want, but I had some problems that I think were related to the patch not quite installing correctly. There is no harm in installing each patch individually, so I strongly recommend that you do it in this order:

Now you can install the football add-on if you wish.

Without the fan patch, the game will be completely unplayable, so make sure you don't skip that step. (note to self: write about directdraw wrapper, like gog)

Next, you have to copy the audio files from the CD if you want to have music at all, open your CD folder, open your installation folder and just copy the files across.



Configuring The Game (with Fan Patch)

I've included a very simple Setup.exe with the fan patch, simply run it select your resolution (supports all resolutions your monitor can handle) and set your graphic level and you're done, no messy registry editing.



Configuring The Game (without Fan Patch)

If you don't want to use the fan patch you can always just run the Setup.exe found in your installation directory. Setup.exe should be run as an administrator or else it won't work.

Once open, select Maximum Detail and do not touch Custom Detail, if you touch Custom Detail everything will break Maximum Detail is the best option, custom detail is broken and will actively degrade your graphic quality.



Setting your resolution to anything can be done like so:

Quote

* Run <path-to-game>\Setup.exe as an administrator and adjust your settings. Set your resolution to anything else.
* Open the Registry Editor.
* Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Lionhead Studios Ltd\Black & White\BWSetup.
* Look for ScreenH and ScreenW.
* Enter your resolution for each value in decimal mode.


Playing The Game

When starting the game, first try with nothing set, if that doesn't work; try setting runblack.exe to run as administrator, this will change the save directory however so be careful. Compatibility mode is not recommended.

If you have any issues please leave a reply below and I'll do my best to help you. 
Have fun playing Black and White