Anachronox

Anachronox

90 ratings
Possible graphical enhancements and compatibility fixes
By qptain Nemo and 2 collaborators
Some tricks to make Anachronox look a bit neater by adding widescreen support and any kind of visual effects you may want.
 
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INTRO
Here are some neat hacks that allow you to enhance (or mess with) the graphics in Anachronox that I've discovered (with some help from others). Ever since I played Anachronox with the doom 3 bloom hack I realized no other game benefits so much from bloom as Anachronox. But that hack stopped working on more modern videocards (at least nvidia ones), so I've been seeking to replicate that ability ever since.

This guide contains the list of the known modifications that you can apply to the graphics in Anachronox, which currently include widescreen support and any graphical effect you may possibly want since now you can inject absolutely any shaders into the game with ReShade.
RESOLUTION
– WIDESCREEN
In one of the community threads somebody has posted a link to a widescreen patch.
Here it is.[www.wsgf.org]
The usage is very straightforward: extract, pick the folder with the desired resolution, replace the files in the Anachronox folder (backing them up first would be wise).
It works well together with ReShade which is the best currently available solution for adding graphical effects to the game. It also works well under Wine.
POST-EFFECTS
– RESHADE (highly recommended!)
Since I first wrote this guide an amazing thing has happened: a universal shader injector called ReShade has been developed. And it works with OpenGL games and that of course includes Anachronox.

You can get ReShade from its official website: http://reshade.me
The installation involves dropping the files of ReShade and the shader pack you intend to use in the directory where Anachronox is installed.

The advantages of using ReShade instead of other older alternatives listed in this article for posterity are:
  • It just works and it works well.
  • It works together with the widescreen patch! Use both!
  • Not only you can use ready made shader collections, you can write your own custom shaders specifically for Anachronox! (if you do, please share!)
  • The best part? It even works on Linux! Yes, together with the widescreen patch! (tested using the latest Wine Staging at the time of writing).
The shader pack that I currently use with Anachronox is Master Effect. I believe the current most relevant URL for it is this[http//reshhttp], but if not feel free to google and correct me. I particularly like the bloom effect, DOF (I use the MagicDOF one), and FishEye lens with Chromatic Aberration turned off. Here's my ReShade.fx for it, but it might be outdated for the current Master Effect, so use with care: http://hastebin.com/avikifigut.cs. I'll update it whenever I look into it.

Well, I really have nothing more to say here other than "Yaaay!", "you don't need anything else" and "what's not to like?". Have fun. Here are some pictures of me using this setup.

– QEFFECTS GL
GSM has suggested a solution that turned out to be much better than my old proposal for most purposes (the other is assumedly still viable and of interest if you want to play with stereoscopic 3D). However it's worse than using ReShade so you probably should scroll up and use that instead. These old solutions are only kept here for historical purposes.

You just need to grab QeffectsGL, put it in the Anachronox folder and you're almost all set.
To make it work you need to edit the QeffectsGL.ini file and add there the following lines
[anox.exe] RenderFrame=-1

Also the default values for Ambient Occlusion make everything bizarrely dark, so you either have to change the relevant line in the beginning of the file to SSAO=0 and thus turn it off or to use different values.
The values I use are
SSAO=1 SSAOScale=1.0 SSAOMinZ=0.0005 SSAOMaxZ=0.0010
However, it's all experimental laymanship and I'd be very glad if somebody suggested something more carefully chosen.

Here's the full contents of my http://pastebin.com/dnLPVEHm file. Warning: extreme blurriness and bloom for blur addicts! Tweak to your own taste.

Finally, let's have a couple of pics:

I hope my excessive blur doesn't scare people off from trying this stuff. But I think it's good in a way, so people don't underestimate the extent of the change you can get. Please feel free to suggest alternative configurations and screenshots, those are very welcome!
– QINDIEGL AND ENB SERIES
This solution is inferior and isn't recommended unless you want to try stereoscopic 3D or you have other reasons to make Anachronox render with D3D. So if that doesn't apply to you and you're satisfied with the first one, just skip this part.

First of all you need qindie-gl OpenGL->DirectX wrapper. Simply double click the .reg file that comes with it, then drop the dll into the Anachronox folder.
Then grab ENB series for Half-Life 2[www.enbdev.com]. Just drop the relevant files into the Anachronox folder.

And you're all set. Not only it does add bloom, it also adds some kind of adaptation/occlusion effect that makes the game's wonderful lighting come even more alive.

Obviously, you can also tweak the ENBSeries configuration file to your heart's content. Here's the contents of mine [pastebin.com].
To illustrate the results:


Personally, i think it looks rather great. If not as a definitive replacement for the original look, at least as a kind of refreshment.

It's also worth noting that forcing anisotropic filtering and antialiasing on the game through the graphics card driver settings produces great results. And it will play smoothly on modern hardware even with high settings.

It also makes the game work with Steam overlay. (I don't know why it's not the case out of the box though, before when I added Anachronox as a non-steam game it always worked)

And at last but not least, the OpenGL->DirectX wrapping enables some other options, such as stereoscopic 3D, using for example iz3d driver[www.iz3d.com]. I haven't tested it with this setup yet, but I've had it working with Anachronox with another, inferior wrapper, so I'm somewhat confident that it would work.

Hope this brings somebody else than me some joy too!

– KNOWN ISSUES WITH QINDIEGL & ENB SERIES
Please note that those only manifest with QindieGL & ENB. Using QeffectsGL has no such side-effects.

Known issues:
  1. The game crashes on exit every time according to w7, but it's a small price to pay i think and it doesn't actually affect anything
  2. All texts get slight noise and artifacts; not a huge deal for somebody who is replaying the game for the 10th time, but prevents this solution from becoming a must have mod; not unreadable, but can be distracting. Looks like this:

  3. The game loses the gamma setting to alt+tabbing, so every time you alt+tab back, you have to go to the settings and set the gamma setting to where it already was again (at least it used to do that, the last time I tested it with this Steam version I didn't notice it happening)
– REMOVAL
If you decide this is not for you and you forgot what exactly you put in there, simply remove the files opengl32.dll and QeffectsGL.ini if you went with QeffectsGL or opengl32.dll, d3d9.dll and enbseries.ini if you went with the other approach from the Anachronox folder and it's all back to how it was before.
For ReShade it's also opengl32.dll
TEXTURES
– HIGH-RESOLUTION CHARACTER TEXTURES
It's not quite possible at the moment to upscale everything, but we've got a lot covered.

The textures for base geometry of the maps are not affected. The output resolution is 4 times higher than original.
If you want to track progress or contribute refer to THIS guide.

small preview:
LINKS TO DOWNLOAD
Download — NPCs, Characters, Monsters only [recommended]
Download — Skies, seem to work correctly (combine with the patch from above) [recommended]
Update 1 NPCs (recounted ATD values, combine with the patch from above)
Download — Complete patch includes skies, static objects, characters. [Mostly for testing purposes, not everything works as intended].
Update 1 Objects (recounted ATD values, combine with the patch from above)

How to install:

Extract and replace into anoxdata folder (backup it before doing that) to be able to revert patch if something doesn't work. Don't forget that the saves are kept here as well.

It is really early version, which is mostly made for testing purposes. NPCs work relatively fine but objects might not work as intended everywhere since not everything has been properly tested yet.
COMPATIBILITY
– 3DFX GLIDE
The game supports rendering with Glide. It is an old alternative to OpenGL and DirectX. Provided the best visual effects at the time and Anachronox is one of the games that supports it.
First you need to install a Glide wrapper. There are many of them, here's what works:

NGLIDE [website][www.zeus-software.com]
The most common and easy to use wrapper. It works out of box except the fact that you need to select glide as a renderer for Anachronox. Read about that below.

DGVOODOO 2 [website][dege.freeweb.hu]
Another Glide wrapper, sometimes works like a charm where nGlide fails to. Much more options to tinker with.

It provides more accurate emulation, by alowing to select the particular graphics card you need, the amount of memory and a lot more. Definitely worth a try if nGlide doesn't work properly.

SETTING UP ANACHRONOX TO USE GLIDE

To run the game with glide render you need to run it first time using GCT Setup from the Anachronox folder.
Set the GL driver to 3dfx and choose whether to run it in window or in full screen.

For some reason Glide works best in windowed mode, handles colors and gamma better.

– MESA3D
If all else fails to make your game run and it constantly crashes there is an easy solution. (make sure you tried to wrap the game to 3dfx before doing that since it usually helps too with this kind of issues). Anachronox usually crashes or runs really slow on the newest versions of Windows (8+). To solve this there is a thing that will make the game more compatible but it will take a lot of performance in exchange and that is why it must only be used as a last resort solution.

The library provides software rendering capabilities to OpenGL applications.


MESA3D[fdossena.com]

The setup is pretty straightforward: just copy-paste everything in your Anachronox folder and hope for the best.
– WHAT WORKS ON WINE
  • The widescreen patch works under Wine (in fact the game works more gracefully with it)
  • ReShade works under Wine (I only tested it with Wine Staging though)

HOW-TO LATEST RESHADE ON WINE




Any wrapper can possibly work with Wine, the problem is that the game will not hook new libraries by default. You need to set up DLL override in winecfg. The library we need to override is opengl32.dll if we are dealing with original Anachronox.
Notes:
  • OpenGL -> DirectX wrapper (qindie-gl) from the ENB section has a huge performance impact, making the game almost unplayable.
  • dgVoodoo 2.4. Glide2x.dll. Half of the textures do not render. Low framerate.
THE CLOSING STATEMENT
If you have any suggestions, any other similar tricks to share, please do! If it's something nice I'll put it here and credit you.

All feedback is much appreciated. Game on!
< >
24 Comments
Riddlewrong Apr 28 @ 10:45pm 
Use Widescreen, ReShade, and the first 3 texture links. Don't bother with MasterEffect, it's not worth trying to get it to work with ReShade now. The "complete" texture pack and its associated update are actually very incomplete and aren't really playable. Lots of missing/black textures, not to mention textures showing up in places where they just shouldn't be. Don't use it. I don't think it's being actively developed at this point anyway.
EvathCebor Feb 10 @ 7:36am 
Awesome guide, thank you !
Satan's Cousin Jan 12 @ 11:37am 
GUYS JUST A REMINDER!

If you are unable to run game in widescreen or the offset is wrong, the do the following:

1. Right-click patched anox.exe and click properties
2. Go to compatibility tab and select:"Override high DPI scaling behavior: Scaling performed by Application".
3. This is it, it should WORK!

Satan out
Coraline Apr 8, 2017 @ 1:45am 
Can someone please update this tutorial? I really want to play Anachronox as outlined the first way (Master Effect/ReShade), but it's just a mess since versions are incompatible. Pretty please? <3
Dro Sep 7, 2016 @ 7:08pm 
for anyone finding this . the widescreen patcher will work ONLY for 1.02 (the latest patch as of 2016) if you go into the "custom resolution" folder, and run/extract the UNIWS package - and manually patch using that.
Rage Jul 5, 2016 @ 8:50pm 
thanks, It was a 7zip problem works now .
Shizuwolf Jul 3, 2016 @ 9:31am 
I have the one from WSGF and it has worked fine for me. It's got a .dll in it, so most virus protection proggies will give it a warning. Unless you installed it and you're just not getting the widescreen. That's the only things i've got working for me following this guide.

You can try ModDB
http://www.moddb.com/games/anachronox/downloads/anachronox-widescreen-fix

:2016roasted:
Rage Jul 2, 2016 @ 9:26pm 
I've tried to download the widescren fix but its corupt even tried from different sites. any one have a different link to it?
อานนท์ May 16, 2016 @ 3:38am 
Thanks, but can you please update Reshade? It doesnt work I can even see the starting menu.
shibbeh Apr 7, 2016 @ 8:52pm 
Hello, Thanks for posting all this great stuff. Im not worried about enb and shaders an what not, Id like the vanilla experience, just wanted the widescreen support for 1920x1080, so I greatly appreciate the link. Now, I did not even play the game before patching the resolution, so I dont know if the problem was there before it. My font is completely jacked up in game and i can make heads or tails of most, but not all. no matter how hard I try to figure it out, some letters or symbols dont appear correctly, I also see weird lines, something that looks like " | " spaced out, either between words or in the words. ex. inbet|we|en Le|tter|s. Or. spaced | out | between | words|. Is there anything I can do to fix this? any recommendation?