Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (Classic, 2005)

Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (Classic, 2005)

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Restoring EAX effects on modern operating systems (and non-creative soundcards)
By martin.kosecky5
This tutorial shows you how to restore the Environmental Audio Extensions system in modern operating systems on every soundcard brand.
 
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What is EAX?
EAX[en.wikipedia.org] (Envionmental Audio Extensions) is sound system developed by Creative Technology Ltd. used by many older games for realistic reverb, surround sounds, doppler effect simulation, surround sound and many more. EAX was compatible with Creative and Realtek soundcards.

EAX saw first release in 1999 and over the time, it had 5 versions.

Star Wars : Battlefront II uses EAX 4.0

Here you can see a quick demonstration of EAX enabled and disabled in several games:

Sadly, EAX was discontinued in 2005 due to absence of HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) and Directsound in Windows Vista and newer, breaking compatibility with EAX.

EAX support can be restored on modern operation systems using software. The best solution is Creative ALChemy. It is locked to creative soundcards by default, but this tutorial will show you how to eliminate the restriction aswell.

Here is a quick demonstration of EAX in SWBF2.
Download link
https://mega .nz/#!1OwF0QiB!QCXlgNZ5fzppQyqDse-wfjEXsWeRqzNCZlfktgH2-44
(Dont forget to remove the space)

This is the link to Creative Alchemy with the restriction remover (used to unlock ALChemy for non-Creative cards) and EAX Unified (needed for emulating all EAX versions)
Installation
  • Download and unzip the package
  • Install EAX Unified using installer in the package
  • Install Creative Alchemy 1.45.03 using installer in the package
  • Move the Creative Alchemy restriction remover exe to your Creative ALChemy folder and run it as administrator.
Enabling EAX in game
First, run Creative ALChemy and add Battlefront II. If it is already displayed there, use the arrow button to move it to the "Alchemy enabled games" column. Make sure it is correctly set to the gamedata folder in SWBF2 directory.


Then start up Battlefront II and go into audio settings. Change the mixer config to Hardware and make sure effects are enabled.

Conclusion
There you go!
EAX now works properly on modern operating systems and even non-creative cards!

Enjoy playing with better reverb and 3D sound!
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47 Comments
KValda Mar 28 @ 9:19am 
Oh ok)
martin.kosecky5  [author] Mar 28 @ 9:04am 
Honestly, even with the software ALChemy emulation on cards without Host OpenAL, EAX sounds great and miles better than the default Battlefront 2 software audio.
martin.kosecky5  [author] Mar 28 @ 8:59am 
I believe X-Fi have their own version of OpenAL called "Host OpenAL", which can get detected by Alchemy and used instead of the crappy default software EAX emulation used by default and should sound better. Another alternative for X-Fi users is to use software such as MB to enable EAX 5.0 features iirc.
KValda Mar 28 @ 8:56am 
Shutdown of directsound is a tragedy of international scale:meatytears:
You mean if i use alchemy with x-fi sound card(elite pro for example) on windows 7/8/10 i can get real EAX as on windows xp?
Its interesting because i have x-fi)
martin.kosecky5  [author] Mar 28 @ 8:50am 
Basically DSOAL can cause some very nasty audio bugs so ALChemy or X-Fi's EAX emulation (available only to Creative Soundblaster X-Fi sound card users) is your only option here.
martin.kosecky5  [author] Mar 28 @ 8:49am 
Yeah, but this tutorial is aimed at "modern operating systems". Windows XP is sort of old. Plus this tutorial works with all soundcards, not just creative cards and some realtek cards.

I kinda wish they never stripped HAL out of Windows after Vista. It just ruined audio on quite a lot of games.

The sad thing also is that there is a better alternative to ALChemy called "DSOAL", but DSOAL does not work propertly with Battlefront 2 (sped up sounds etc.) so if you want to restore EAX effects on for example Windows 7, 8, 10 etc. you are forced to either use Alchemy or try out X-Fi's EAX emulation if you have a Soundblaster X-Fi sound card (and those are not simply an option for for example laptop users unless you use an external version that has worse audio quality).
KValda Mar 28 @ 7:10am 
Unfortunately in windows xp on X-fi you get the best EAX effects and sound generally - Alchemy just emulation its worse...
The Jeff Jan 14 @ 8:05am 
ok. just making sure you were aware lol
martin.kosecky5  [author] Jan 14 @ 8:03am 
It is a false positive. That is also the reason why it is at mega. Most hosting services considered it to be a virus, but it is not. Don't worry.