I can't get the music audio working for the 1994 version of Raptor. Does anyone know how I can remedy this?

I'm not sure if this is the correct forum for this question, but here goes.

I have an original copy of Raptor: Call of the Shadows on CD Rom (Yes, full version). It's beautiful.

I maintain a "modestly retro" rig, running Windows XP, with an SB Audigy 2, Nvidia GeForce, etc. Mostly for the greats like Civ2, Mech Commander, etc.

For the life of me I cannot get the music working. The sound effects work fine using default SoundBlaster settings, but I can't find any SoundBlaster setting that will work for music.

The music is the best, period.

I've followed the guide here which suggests to use a slightly different configuration: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=701564226

I'm not using DosBox, I'd like to run it directly on this system. I've had success with this exact hardware/OS config before, with one caveat... I had to swap out the mobo a few years back. I used a new one from the XP era, about 15 years old (I have spares).

Probably meaningless, as both boards had onboard sound plus the Audigy 2.

Any tips would be great.

If this belongs on the Gaming SE, let me know. I'm not sure where the line gets drawn.

  • just a guess, but does it run music from CD Rom? Is your sound card connected to CD Rom drive and can you run audio tracks from there?
    – Ziagl
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 13:15
  • @Ziagl I don't believe it uses CD audio. After install the CD doesn't spin, you can play without it. Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 13:35
  • 2
    If the CD did have audio tracks, I think they would be accessible by playing the CD-ROM in a traditional CD player. If I remember correctly, data tracks sound like garbage, but audio tracks play normally. - I don't think this is the OPs problem, but many times that little grey audio wire from the CD-ROM to the audio card is missing, which carries traditional CD audio from the drive to the audio card to be mixed and output.
    – Geo...
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 14:39
  • 1
    Are you booting into DOS or using a Virtual DOS Machine (i.e. XP's emulsion of DOS)? If the latter, have you given VDMSound a go?
    – Tommy
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 16:30
  • 1
    Windows XP's MS-DOS emulation is pretty much useless for games. If you're not using VDMSound, I'm surprised you were even able to get the sound effects working.
    – user722
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 16:33

5 Answers 5


@RossRidge is right the XP "MS-DOS" emulation is useless for games (I got problems even with Win 9x MS-DOS versions 7.??). The best for old games was MS-DOS 6.22 (at least from mine experience) I used to have a 360 KByte 5.25" floppy with MS-DOS 6.22 boot (all commands and command.com where on hard drive) and FAT formatted logical drive on my system with MS-DOS system and games (just to resolve booting under newer OS as multi boot utilities did not work for old MS-DOS at that time for me). Even on newer computers running w2k or xp ...

Your problem is that only original Creative Labs Sound Blaster was working just with settings... All clones (like Yamaha or even newer versions of SoundBlaster) needed a driver under MS-DOS initialized in autoxec.bat and config.sys. Some games relied on the SET from autoexec.bat too so if not matching your hardware sound was not working...

Take a look at this:

in there is mine autoexec.bat and config.sys especially pay attention to:

SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H5 P330 E620 T6
SET SOUND=e:\rescue\SB16
e:\rescue\SB16\DIAGNOSE /S
e:\rescue\SB16\AWEUTIL /S
e:\rescue\SB16\MIXERSET /P /Q

In autoexec.bat. It was the init of mine Creative Labs Sound Blaster AWE64. First 3 lines are common settings for the environment so GAMES know what values to use and last 3 are the driver initialization (and yes even AWE64 needed it for the more advanced stuff as they used a different MIDI chip). Each brand had its own initialization routine so just google the one for yours. But beware most vendors stop providing MS-DOS drivers ages ago... There might be also some 3th party drivers (like omega) but I am not aware of any ...

The addresses DMA channels and IRQs where sometimes configurable by jumpers on board the newer cards used configuration by software instead.

PS the path e:\rescue\ was the path to my Hard drive where all MS-DOS stuff and utilities was. The floppy was used only during boot for a few seconds and then never until reset... I still have an image of the stuff somewhere (CD and USB keys) as it was full environment with file associations capable of compiling C++/ASM/Pascal playing mpeg/divx/... (was funny as all the new videos I got constantly problem with codec update in windows was playing fine under MS-DOS with sound even on more than decade old player) showing jpg/gif/pcx... even music mp3/mod/stm and have all the HDD utilities in case of failure of mine primary drive... Used it to rescue computers countless times ...

  • 1
    Well, looks like you are correct! Windows was the problem. My memory was likely serving me incorrectly, I think I originally had this running on Win98 with at least a version of DOS. Running under actual DOS fixes the sound, as does using VDM Sound! Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 9:20
  • Good answer. And thanks for the reminder about why I bought a Playstation. ;)
    – Brian H
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 14:03
  • As a side note, winXP NTVDM broke several games that were working in win2k. For example in case of Elder Scrolls Arena mouse broke. I ended up maintaining Win98 installation, rather than DOS. First as physical installation, later on in VM, as it got not only reboot-to-DOS capability but old windows games (Earthsiege 2, mostly) worked fine.
    – PTwr
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 9:21
  • 1
    @PTwr btw its not just drivers... In WinXP they changed the task scheduling/behavior so lock-less stuff stopped working properly (BSOD all the time). Ooh that was a pain to repair in work related projects and I gues major vendors got their share of despair too(especially USB related devices was affected). In W10 they change it hugely again and not for the better making older aps freezing and unstable even single threaded ones.
    – Spektre
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 11:52
  • 1
    @Spektre aye, I used VirtualPC for that as well. Modern alternatives are yet to reach its convenience for hosting win-in-win (especially file sharing). Today I use HyperV for that, but its locked behind more expensive windows license so not really free unless you needed it anyway. VirtualBox is free and appears to still have client-host integration for Win98, so it might be best choice.
    – PTwr
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 11:54

As far a I know, the modern DotEmu port of Raptor replaced the original MIDI music soundtrack with WAV files that were digitized from the original score. It's suppose to support modern OS and audio hardware from WinXP onwards.

I can tell you that I successfully play the original DOS-version of Raptor with music and without the CD on my retro PC running PC DOS 7.0 and SB16 sound card. So, I suspect your problem stems from either WinXP or the more modern sound card not being compatible with the original MIDI playback routines in the game.


It seemed to help hidden in a comment, so to promote it to an answer: when you run DOS games under Windows XP, they're run in a Virtual DOS Machine ('VDM'), in which Windows XP virtualises and emulates the video card, sound card, etc.

If you ever encounter a problem with its audio emulation, you can try VDMSound, which provides a much wider and more complete set of emulated audio devices to the virtualised DOS.

It's intended to work with NT versions of Windows generally but I believe development ended before Windows Vista was released and its Wikipedia entry states that it is incompatible so that limits it to NT, 2000 and XP; speaking anecdotally, it was for a period how I enjoyed JetFighter 2 under Windows 2000.


If the game runs natively under XP, and the game has original music (not CD tracks) then your sound card is not proper for running the music natively. XP does not emulate FM synth chips. That's why it is run under Dosbox or Vdmsound, to get FM synth chip emulation.

  • 1
    IIRC Raptor was MS-DOS game long before XP
    – Spektre
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 9:16
  • The point was? XP might emulate generic SB DMA PCM channel for the virtual DOS environment, but certainly no FM chips which were found on sound cards before they went PCM only like the Audigy in question.
    – Justme
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 9:53

From memory, if you selected "General MIDI" as the sound card for Raptor / other games then that would get MIDI music working under Windows using the primary MIDI device.

So providing you have MIDI working under Windows (try loading one in Media Player) then a game talking "General MIDI" should work as well.

The good thing about this approach is that you can use your Audigy Windows utilities to load up some nice Soundfonts before you play to enhance the music.

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