The primary bug in the PC version of Alien Trilogy is software failure to recognize the available RAM of a specific system if 64 MB RAM or more is installed. Installation is interrupted and an error message comes up stating that the game requires at least 8 MB of RAM (even though the system has at least 64 MB). There are also some incompatibility problems with certain video cards. The RAM and some of the video card bugs can be fixed with a single patch available at Acclaim. A list of the affected video cards is also provided. For the link directly to the patch download site for Alien Trilogy, click HERE. Three different patches are available (US, European, and German), so make sure you download the correct one. Note that this patch will not fix bugs for some (particularly newer) video cards, so even if you have that GeForce 4 graphics card parked in your game machine, you still might be stuck playing Alien Trilogy in 256-color mode.
If the animated movies throughout the game do not play properly, be sure to run wtrilogy.exe or trilogy.pif after installing the game using the patch.
During actual play, the game may occasionally lock up when the "NADIAPOPOV" code is used to access different levels (see the CODES section). This usually occurs as soon as the code is entered and the new level begins to load.You can also try Fox Interactive right HERE
There may be additional bugs within the game itself. Some are merely curiosities and do not affect gameplay, but some--particularly the sequence-related bugs--may affect scoring (see the WALK-THROUGHS for specific cases).
These are the commonest technical problems that afflict Alien Trilogy. If you experience additional technical difficulties related directly to Alien Trilogy that are not corrected in the game or patch READ-ME file, I am interested in adding them to this page. You canE-MAIL me with your questions, although I may not be able to provide a solution. You can also contact technical support at the game developers directly. You can e-mail Acclaim by clicking HERE.
It appears that Alien Trilogy can be successfully installed and run under Windows ME, but only by installing via the patch (above), not directly from the install file on the game CD itself. However, Windows ME users may not be able to unzip the patch in order to run the install file. HiveSeeker can e-mail the 8 already-unzipped files from the patch to anyone who needs them (1.87 MB); just let me know which patch version (US, European, or German) you need. To e-mail HiveSeeker, CLICK HERE.
Unfortunately, it does not appear that Alien Trilogy can be installed under Windows XP. Other gamers have had difficulty even extracting the patch, much less performing the installation. I will update this information if I am able to determine otherwise.
To uninstall Alien Trilogy, delete the C:\Acclaim\ folder (and contents) and the C:\trilogy.bat file (assuming C:\ is the drive where the game is installed). If you have other Acclaim games installed to that folder, however, just delete the C:\Acclaim\Trilogy folder (it will be the only folder present for Alien Trilogy). There may also be a C:\trilogy.pif file present.
If your video card is supported, you will be able to install Alien Trilogy in the higher-resolution 16-bit color mode. If your card is not compatible, you can still install and run the game in 256-color (software) mode. The Readme.txt file accompanying the patch (above) only provides a list of video cards that are made compatible ("fixed") by the patch, not a full list of supported cards. However, here is that list:
ARK 2000PV (including Diamond Stealth Graphics 2001)
Alien Trilogy also recognizes the I/OMagic MagicVideo 3D/DX video card in my own retro-gaming PC, even without utilizing the patch. I am also able to confirm some video cards that the game does not support, at least in the configurations that I tested:
Gamers can play the demo (below) to see what the game will look like at 256 colors. You unzip rather than actually install the demo, so you are therefore not given the option to choose the 256-color or 16-bit color installation, and the demo appears to run only in 256-color mode. However, you might still be able to use the demo to tell if your video card is compatible. When first launching the demo, the screen will go black and then two lines of text followed by the words "Detecting video card . ." will appear. If this text disappears immediately (you may not even see it) and the game continues forward to the main menu screen, the demo probably found your video card right away and proceeded with the game. However, if the text remains there for several seconds and you can see more periods appearing as the game searches, the demo is having a difficult time locating your card. In this case, your card is probably not supported. This trick may or may not work, depending on your own PC setup, your processor speed, and the amount of RAM you have available, but it worked consistently on my own test rigs.
Unfortunately, something about the way Alien Trilogy handles graphics appears to make it impossible to capture in-game screenshots. It is possible to capture some menu screens with the [PRINT SCREEN] button, such as the main menu, pause screen, and credits screen. (In fact, this is how the basic maps were captured in digital format before being enhanced and modified.) Interestingly enough, in some cases even these menu screens could not be captured when the game was installed using the 16-bit color option. However, I have been unable to capture actual in-play game screens, even using various third-party screen capture utilities. The screenshots used in this strategy guide are taken from the PlayStationTM version of the game, using an external video capture device.
You can change the sound settings for Alien Trilogy at any time following the initial installation by running C:\Acclaim\Trilogy\setsound.exe (assuming C:\ is the drive where the game is installed). Most gamers should probably try the "Creative Labs Sound Blaster or 100% compatible" or "Creative Labs Sound Blaster Pro or 100% compatible" settings first.
On many modern PCs, Alien Trilogy may run too fast. For example, the game runs slightly slower than the PlayStationTM version on my P133, but the enemies are fast enough to make the game practically unplayable on my PII 450. My best estimate is that the game would run at the "right" speed on a P150 or P166, depending on the video card used (if any), whether you perform a 256-color (software graphics) or 16-bit color (hardware graphics) installation, and other equipment and settings. Various hardware and software remedies for this problem are provided at The Oldskool PC, an excellent site dedicated to keeping older games running on newer computers. The section dealing specifically with speed issues is Cripple Your PC.
This tiny detail is very easy to miss unless you read the instruction manual very thoroughly! It is definitely worth mentioning because you will have a difficult time completing the game without running to some of the timed lifts, particularly on Level 331 (CANYONS AND CATACOMBS). Simply hit the [CAPS LOCK] key on your keyboard and you will be in "RUN MODE" (those words will appear on the screen). Pretty simple, but you might not be able to finish the game without this tiny morsel of knowledge.
Perhaps because it is a console port, I enjoy playing Alien Trilogy on my PC with a gamepad rather than using mouse-and-keyboard. Part of the reason for this might also be the slow, non-adjustable mouselook speed. At any rate, you need to set up the gamepad by calibrating it via the Options menu before you can use it during actual play. Default control schemes are shown in the manual for Gravis GRIP or for a four-button gamepad. If you use button mapping software with your gamepad, be sure to leave at least one button "free" so that you can "press fire" at the calibration screen in order to be able to use the gamepad. I have had very good success with a Microsoft® Sidewinder® gamepad, and this also happens to be one of the sturdier products available. Before you actually can use it in-game, you must go to Options --> Controls --> Gravis Pad --> Calibrate to calibrate the pad, remembering to leave one "fire" button unmapped for use during calibration so that the game can detect it. The only disadvantage of this pad is that it has 2 fewer buttons than the PlayStationTM pad, forcing you to reach for your keyboard to look up or down. More modern pads with 2 "left" and 2 "right" triggers each should work better, assuming you are also able to calibrate the pad. If you do use button mapping software with your gamepad, you can redefine the keyboard commands to correspond to the keys you have slaved to your gamepad buttons by going to Options --> Controls --> Keyboard --> Redefine.
You can back up your game save files by copying them out of the C:\Acclaim\Trilogy\ directory into another folder (assuming C:\ is the drive where the game is installed). The save files are named TRIL.SG0, TRIL.SG1, TRIL.SG2, etc. You can also avoid overwriting any save files this way, thus allowing you to maintain a complete collection of game saves for all levels of the game. You can also back up your TRILOGY.CFG game settings/configuration file in the same directory if you need to reinstall the game, or install it on another PC.
The only multiplayer option in Alien Trilogy is straight-up deathmatch over a network. As far as the instruction manual goes, modem dial-up does not appear to be supported. Up to 4 players can compete in a single level (each needs to have the game installed on their own PC, and each needs their own Alien Trilogy CD as well). Other players appear as company synthetics holding and firing smartguns (regardless of the weapon actually equipped); however, different shirt colors do differentiate the different players. The multiplayer options will only be available in the game menu if your computer has a functioning network card installed. Even if your network card is not actually connected to a network, you can still load and play any of the multiplayer levels, although it's a tad lonely! The one reason to do so is that the multiplayer music tracks are among the best in a game that already has excellent atmospheric, moody music.
A PC demo and some nifty video and music clips of Alien Trilogy are available over at AvPNews.com. The link directly to their download site is HERE. The patch is available here as well.