Sacred 2 Gold

Sacred 2 Gold

547 ratings
A Better Sacred: Win10 Startup, Memory Leak Fix (CM Patch), Elite Textures, Modern Camera, and Steam Overlay (for controllers!)
By Michael
No compatibility settings or extra Steam parameters required! I promise!

This is a collection of information that I've hunted around for myself, found that all of it worked (AMAZINGLY), and I decided to share it with everyone so that Sacred 2 can finally be an enjoyable experience for most folks their first time out.

Between Steam and GoG, I've personally tested everything in this guide for well over 100 hours across multiple computers, ranging from towers to laptops. I can say with complete honesty that this cherry-picked curation of [actual] fixes results in a beautiful product when they're all combined together. (There is a lot of unneccessary - and outright bizzare - "advice" out there, and this guide aims to put a stop to that.)

Thank you so much to everyone who contributed these real solutions that allowed me to write all of this! (Not to mention finally allowed me to PLAY the darn game!)

  • Starts up every time on Windows 10 and runs without the dreaded memory leak crashes? Check.
  • Adds a crap-ton of content and code fixes? Check.
  • Supplies you with a fully optimized "Elite Texture Pack"? Check.
  • Reduces the annoying in-game fog? Check.
  • Fixes the camera so that it plays just like a modern 3rd person MMORPG? (Yes, you read that correctly!) Check.
  • Lets you use the Steam Overlay for using controller profiles? Check.
  • Witty, intelligent, entertaining, 4th wall-breaking banter? Uh...sort of?
  • An overextended use of fish metaphors? No, they're technically similes. I think.
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Running on Windows 10
First things first. Windows 10. Yep, Win10 is the new modern standard, whether we like it or not. (Sorry Win7 fans!) That being said, here's all you need to do to get Sacred 2 running on your modern rig. Don't bother with any compatibility settings or miscellaneous Steam parameters. Just...trust me. Leave them alone, or put them back to normal if you've already changed them. This goes for both the game and Steam itself.

1. Install the game. (Duh.)
2. Run the game from your Steam library.
3. Scratch your head in confusion as nothing actually launches, but Steam says Sacred 2 is "running."
4. Open up your task manager, and force-quit the game.
5. Proceed to next section in guide.
Downloading Legacy PhysX
Special thanks to jeroendewaal for the PhysX reminder!

Okay, so. PhysX. PhysX is a graphics driver that runs alongside your regular graphics driver. It's what makes things in the game fly around, have ragdolls, weather effects, all that neat stuff. PhysX is made by Nvidia. So if you have an Nvidia card, chances are you already have PhysX installed. AMD users typically need to manually grab the latest version of PhysX from the Nvidia website.

BUT. Here's the thing. Sacred 2 is an OLD GAME. The latest version of PhysX is not going to work the way it should (if at all). And this is a common problem in LOTS of older titles. There's a very simple and perfectly safe fix for this. Nvidia has a "Legacy PhysX" driver that installs separately and runs right alongside your current drivers - including your modern PhysX one. There's no extra fuss, and you don't have to worry about it conflicting with anything. It's an easy install, and it's easy to remove for whatever reason if you wanted to, but honestly, you may as well keep it. Chances are, you'll need it for lots of other games.

So, regardless of whether you have an Nvidia card or an AMD card, install this. You can't run the game without it. Here's the link to get the latest version of the Legacy PhysX driver.
http://www.nvidia.com/object/physx-9.13.0604-legacy-driver.html

You may be wondering if there's any difference between downloading this or using the one found in the "redist" folder that came with your Steam installation. The answer is, yes. The one from the Nvidia website is a later version of the legacy driver, and it will have far fewer issues than the one that came packaged with the game. So...yeah. As a general rule for all games, don't install the one that comes with the game. Use the one from the website for all your old-school gaming needs.
Downloading the (BRAND NEW!) Community Patch
Here comes the awesome part. These fine folks over at DarkMatters - a highly-trusted Sacred fan-site - have just released their LATEST community patch: Version 1.60. It came out just this last December, putting a nice finishing touch on the holiday season! This isn't a beta. This is the official release, created by ACTUAL PROGRAMMERS who know what the heck they're doing. They put a crap-ton of time and effort into fixing the code in this game to make it run every single time...AND NO LONGER CRASH. This latest version finally fixes the dreaded memory leak issue that used to make this game crash like perfect clockwork. On top of all that, they've added a LOT of content! Items, quests, you name it. The full list of changes, along with the download link, can be found here:

http://darkmatters.org/forums/index.php?/files/file/91-community-patch/

Now, keep in mind that this download requires you to register for their forum. For those of you who don't want to register for whatever personal reason (too many accounts floating around, too scared, too lazy, etc.), here is the direct link to this kind fellow's drop box. Replace the "DOT"s and the "COLON." (Steam doesn't display links like these, which is why I had to type it out like this.) I do urge you to use the forum though, if only to show support for the folks who host this lovely piece of work. (It's also potentially safer through the forum, since they would likely update the link if needed.)

httpsCOLON//driveDOTgoogleDOTcom/uc?id=0B4NHnU5igGLnWmRYNWdyRGg5MU0&export=download
Installing the Community Patch
Okie dokie. So. Now you have a zip file. Unzip it with whatever you use to play around with zippers. Don't get your fingers caught. (Or anything else. Because that really hurts.)

Inside, you see two files: "cm-disable.exe" and "cm-enable.exe." Here's what to do with them.

1. Return to your Steam library.
2. Right click Sacred 2 from your list of games.
3. Go to "properties."
4. Go to the "local files" tab.
5. Click "Browse local files."
6. Take the two cm files and drag them into the Sacred folder.
7. Run (double click) cm-enable.exe.
8. Follow the short wizard instructions.
9. Squeal with joy!

You're all done! No need to mess with compatibility settings, no virgin sacrifices...nothing! If you wanted to uninstall the community patch for whatever reason, (which you really, REALLY don't), that's what the "disable" file is for, in case you were wondering.

Congratulations! Sacred 2 will now run on your modern, Windows 10 machine!

Now that the product you paid money for actually WORKS and has all these fancy new items and quests, let's make it even better by adding the elite texture pack that was once sold separately! (And previously ran like poop on Fish Taco Tuesday. You're welcome for the imagery.)
Downloading and Installing the Optimized Elite Texture Pack
So...back in the day, there was a separate retail copy of Sacred 2 that came with an "elite texture pack." Yep. Selling slightly higher res textures for a game. What a novel idea. *barf*

Anyway. These textures were quite pretty, but they were about as optimized as a VCR with a grilled cheese sandwich shoved into the tape slot. However, this truly blessed user - once again from the Dark Matters site - uploaded his own "trimmed" version, which is visually identical to the original. It runs beautifully! Here's the link to his post, along with the direct link to his drop box. (Once again, I urge you to use the Dark Matters link, if only to show support and/or for updated posts and security.) He posted instructions, which are pretty straightforward, but I'll include my own here for those of you who enjoy fish puns.

http://darkmatters.org/forums/index.php?/topic/23091-trimmed-elite-textures/&tab=comments#comment-6993657
httpsCOLON//driveDOTgoogleDOTcom/open?id=0B5yMxfzmPZ4_R2J2eFZxc2wzeGc

Okay. So. Download the texture pack, unzip it with your Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah. It's a RAR file, so you're probably going to want WinRar. (If you don't have WinRar, the safest place to grab it from is CNET.) Once that's done, you're going to see five more zip files inside named "graphics20, 21, 22, 23, and 24." Do NOT unzip these. Instead, go here and take a peek:

C:\ProgramFiles (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Sacred 2 Gold\pak

Do you notice anything? There's already a few "graphics" zips in there. They go all the way up to "19" and then skip to "25." How convenient! Why, it's almost as if they purposely made room for these texture packs! *shakes head*

Anyway. Just click and drag the new 20-24 into the folder and fill in that very "fishy" hole. (Sorry. I was hard pressed to find a good fishing spot until now.)

Okie dokie. Go ahead and run your game, and go into your graphics options. You will now magically find a brand new "elite" checkbox added to your options menu! How quaint!

All finished here. But what else can we do to make things a bit prettier? Well, how about that really annoying wall of fog that prevents you from seeing very far? Turns out there's a mod for that! Read on!
Downloading and Installing the Reduced Fog Mod
Fish-slapping this on top so you don't waste your time: There's no direct download available for this mod. You're going to need to show these Dark Matters folks some love and at least make a throwaway account for downloading.

While we can't get rid of the fog entirely, this mod does a great job of increasing its transparency - allowing you to see a bit further. The vanilla fog is meant to conceal quite a bit of texture pop-in, however. So if that is going to bother you, keep this in mind before installing. However, it's very easy to enable and disable at a whim to test it out and see if you like it better this way or not. Personally, I think the Mary Poppins are worth it.

Before downloading this, we're going to need a very simple tool called "Generic Mod Enabler." ("jsgme") You can get it here.
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Others/Miscellaneous/Generic-Mod-Enabler.shtml
Don't worry, there's nothing fishy here. (Hah.) It's safe, and it doesn't try to trick you into installing extra garbage. It's very lightweight, and many games can use it.

Unzip it, and run the setup file. Ignore the bit about installing it to your default location. Instead, just install it directly to the Sacred folder:
C:\ProgramFiles (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Sacred 2 Gold
Don't bother making a desktop shortcut unless you plan on trying out other Sacred mods that require this program.

Once that's done, look in the Sacred folder, and you'll see a new file there called "JSGME.exe". Run it once, and it will create a new folder called "MODS." Go ahead and close the activation window for now, since you don't have anything to activate yet.

Okie dokie. Now we're ready to download the actual mod this lovely fellow made.
http://darkmatters.org/forums/index.php?/files/file/374-sacred-2-reduced-fog-mod/

Now you've got yourself another zip file. Go ahead and unzip it, and then stick the "Reduced Fog Mod" folder into your new "MODS" folder that JSGME made for you earlier.

Run JSGME, activate your new mod, and you're all set! If you think Mary Poppins is too much of a cold fish, you can disable and re-enable it whenever you like!

But wait! There's more! How can we make Sacred 2 better? More...modern? More...tolerable? Well, you COULD try finding the person who first coded the camera in this game, give them a creepy stare, follow them and make them nervous for a few days, eventually lure them to a nearby fish market by way of a mysterious love note, and finally start beating them with random varieties of cod and salmon.

OR...check out the next section, which makes Sacred 2 play just like an offline MMORPG!
Modernizing the Camera (a.k.a. "Beating the Original Camera Guy with Raw Fish.")
Okay. First, let me just say that it literally took me years to find this information, and only by sheer luck. In no way whatsoever do I take credit for this, and the original poster of this amazing trick has my eternal gratitude. He can be found over on the Dark Matters forums, which I'll provide another link to. You'll be necroing a very old thread, but that guy deserves some major thanks for this.

This simple text file edit actually makes the camera in Sacred 2 behave like a more modern, traditional, 3rd person behind-the-back view. Think WoW, Risen, Fable, etc. (Pretty much anything that's actually...you know, PLAYABLE.)

Now, you may be asking yourself: "But Michael! Isn't this the same thing as just zooming in all the way and tilting it?" Or "Michael! Why are you so fat?" Or some other self-deprecating, imaginary question. Either way, you're very mean, and in response, I offer you a cold fish. Or, the following instructions. (Trust me, this will be so worth it!)

From here on out, I'm copying and pasting a lot, but it's so well-written that very little edit is required. I might alter a few things here and there for clarity, but not much is needed. He even went out of his way to explain what each of these options and steps do. Follow these settings EXACTLY.

1. Boot the game, and on the title screen, select "Options" then "Gameplay."
2. Set the camera options as described:

Follow Camera: Off
This allows the camera to be in "free mode" without auto-centering etc. It's required to benefit the most out of all the other settings we'll modify in the menu and options.txt file. By default, holding down the middle-mouse button allows to move the camera around freely (within the current parameters).

Camera Collision: On
This prevents the camera from going though walls, objects etc.

Automatic Zoom Curve: Off
This makes the camera's vertical axis movement independent from the zoom distance. Required to benefit the most out of all the other settings we'll modify in the menu and options.txt file. When used with "Follow Camera: Off" you have complete control on the camera's movements (within the parameters set on the 4 sliders).

Min. zoom (slider): Set 2 steps up from minimum (left side)
This will allow you to zoom very close to the character but not completely all the way. Once combined with the proper Min. zoom curve (slider) setting and another modification made in the options.txt file, this setting will provide a very good 3rd person perspective. You can adjust it even lower if you really want to zoom as close as possible to the character but by doing so you'll also have to re-adjust the related settings in the menu and options.txt file accordingly to keep a good balance for all 3 of them. More info on that after.

Max. zoom (slider): Set to maximum (right side)
This will allow you to zoom out as far as possible. We will increase this value even more with a well-known setting in the options.txt file later. Some of the following settings will allow us to use a true 100% top down perspective so when needed we want to be able to zoom very far, or in this case, very hiiiiigh!

Min. zoom curve (slider): Set to minimum (left side)
Allows the camera's vertical axis to reach ground level. Once combined with the Min. zoom (slider) setting recommanded earlier and another modification made in the options.txt file, this setting will provide us with a comfortable 3rd person perspective.

Max. zoom curve (slider): Set to maximum (right side)
Allows the camera's vertical axis to go higher in a semi-top down view perspective. We'll increase this value even more with a well-known setting in the options.txt file in a few seconds. It'll be very useful since we'll be able to use a true 100% top down perspective.


3. Make sure to SAVE all the modifications we just made in the game's options menu and close the game.

4. Now that the in-game options are finished, let's mess around with that options.txt file we keep mentioning.


First of all, we need to FIND this file. It's NOT located in the Sacred folder with the rest of your Steam games. You have to manually find your way to it here:
C:\Users\(Your name here)\AppData\Local\Ascaron Entertainment\Sacred 2

Voila. You should see a lone file called "options.txt". Go ahead and open it up.

Now then. The settings in this guide are placed in the same order as they'll appear in the options file. I didn't copy the entire file, since most of them aren't useful for this. So just scroll down the file to bypass those in between.

Change the values to these numbers:

cam1_rotx_emax = -1.57,
This is the little setting that let's you set a higher limit for the camera's vertical axis. Now the camera is able to exceed the normal +/- 60 degrees angle when moved to top down perspective. The value -1.57 seems to be the sweet spot because when using a value of -1.58 or more, the camera is allowed to go too far on its axis, causing it to go on the other side of the character (in front of him instead of in his back). One more modification and we have a working top down perspective.

cam1_rotx_max = -1.57,
Finally, this is the last setting we need for our top down perspective. The Max. zoom curve (slider) in the game's option can't go as high as the new limit we just set. Let's help him a bit by forcing it's value beyond the slider's capabilities. Since we have a limit value of -1.57, guess what we'll put here? Yup, the exact same value, -1.57. Now we can move the camera at 90 degrees on its vertical axis and truly see our character directly from above when we want. Feel free to zoom out a lot during battles.

cam1_trackdist_max = 1800,
Most of you already know what this one does. It allows us to exceed the Max. zoom (slider) value and zoom out A LOT MORE. I find 1800 to be fine but feel free to increase it as much as you like. Keep in mind that the higher it is, the harder it becomes to clearly see what's happening on the ground.

TPOMax = 85
This is the most useful setting of all, in my opinion. In short, it will let you adjust the height of the camera from the ground. Do not mistake this setting for the Min. zoom curve (slider). The slider is affecting the camera's vertical axis movements while the TPOMax determinates the height on which this axis lowest point is based. If you followed my recommandations for the settings of both Min. zoom curve (slider) and Min. zoom (slider), then when you zoom in as close as possible to the character and move the camera at ground level you should have a good 3rd person perspective with your character NOT centered with the camera angle. In fact his feet should not be far from the compass. Using a value lower than 85 will make him more centered with the camera while increasing the value will eventually make him go down and behind the UI where the compass is displayed. Speaking of which, the last setting I'll explain for now is for the compass.

compass = 0
This will simply turn off the compass display (1 = On & 0 = Off). If like me you play with your minimap in fixed position (with the upper side always facing north) then you may not really use the compass that much, if at all. I use this setting to remove it, thus gaining a bit more space to lower my character's position (or if you prefer, raising the camera's center) even more with the TPOMax from above.

For those who want to play with an inverted vertical camera axis, just search for invert = 0 and switch the value from 0 to 1 to enable the inverted axis.

Congratulations! You can now play Sacred 2 as though it were a traditional MMORPG! But wait! You have a controller? Oh no! You need the Steam overlay to work! And the built-in settings prevent your favorite controller profile from working! "What do I do? Where shall I-" *fish slap* Next section.
Enabling the Steam Overlay for Controller Support (and for whatever else you want to use it for)
1. Right click Steam.
2. Run as administrator.
3. Go into regedit and begin-...nah, just kidding. You're done! Your overlay works, and your controller profiles work! Have fun!


I hope this guide was helpful. Like I said earlier, I take ZERO credit for any of this! I just thought it would be nice to spare the pain of some folks and put all the information collected together into one big guide for fellow Steam users. Here's the link for that forum post I totally ripped off from that awesome guy for the camera info. Feel free to necro it to thank him. (Or message him, I suppose.)
http://darkmatters.org/forums/index.php?/topic/8767-guide-to-customizing-the-sacred-2-camera-view-and-optionscustom-txt/&page=5&tab=comments#comment-6981875

Enjoy the game!


Special thanks to Sober Mans Secret for his suggestion that I publish all this stuff!
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321 Comments
☆ġяēēη☆ May 8 @ 12:14am 
on darkmatters it says the 1.60 hotfix changelog is from march 8 2020, but also 1.60 hotfix was released december 18 2017. with the file you linked from google drive it reads something about 1.60 hotfix in the setup wizard, too, so probably its already included.
Michael  [author] May 7 @ 11:53pm 
It's been a long time since I used the Dark Matters site, but it looks like the CM patch is also being hosted on Nexus these days. I don't know if it's the most up-to-date version, but you could try it out if you like.

Nexus shows the upload to be from 2018, so it might not have all the newest stuff. (Such as the addendum patch.)
https://www.nexusmods.com/sacred2/mods/16
☆ġяēēη☆ May 7 @ 11:17pm 
hey michael, can you post a link to the latest community update (1.60 + 1.60 hotfix)? registration on their forum is not working.

when i first tried to run the game i got into the console / loading screen but the game then crashed with unknown exception error after reading autoexec.cfg. installing the legacy physx and rebooting got the game to work after all.
Michael  [author] Apr 13 @ 2:17pm 
Hey there @Goose, glad you found it helpful.

@Conrad, unfortunately, I wrote all this in 2018, and at the time, it was specifically with Windows 10 in mind. I don't have access to Windows 11 to see how the game runs on there.

However, the crash you're describing sounds much like as when the PhysX drivers aren't installed. Remember: You need both the Legacy and the modern PhysX running side-by-side. (Hopefully Win11 doesn't have some kind of weird issue with this.)

@Ragna, thank you for mentioning that. Many older games like these hate those overclocking programs, such as Rivia Tuner and the like. If you happen to use a card from (or compatible with) ASUS, I've had the best luck with ASUS GPU Tweak II. As long as I keep it updated, I've never had a single problem with it affecting any of my games.
Goose Apr 12 @ 5:53pm 
useful info thanks for linking it all here
Conrad Kurze Apr 12 @ 5:43am 
I'm using Win11 and it crashes after that weird loading screen.
Ragna Apr 5 @ 9:04am 
Hey, just wanted to leave a quick comment here to thank you for this guide and maybe help others with what happened to me.

At first, I couldn't get this game to run for the life of me even after following this step by step for like 4 different times as it would just crash after the initial loading screen.

Turns out it was my fps booster programm, razor cortex, that the game just didn't like.
Now it works perfectly.
Michael  [author] Feb 16 @ 7:51pm 
Hey thanks a lot @Vernholio. That really makes my day! I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Vernholio Feb 16 @ 7:49pm 
Flipping amazing... this game finally runs! Thanks for putting all of this together for us.

On a side note, I really enjoyed your writing style as well. I've been a technical writer -- writing end-user documentation and owners manuals -- for nearly 25 years. If more folks wrote instructions like this, people would probably be be more apt to read them. Good job!
Michael  [author] Feb 2 @ 11:23pm 
I hadn't even thought of that, since Microsoft Defender doesn't get triggered by it. But I'm glad you were able to track it down! Have fun!