[color="DarkOrange"]Bit of background[/color]
: The developers at Troika were forced by Atari to release the game well before they wanted to. They made a valiant effort to complete it and test it, but it came out predictably buggy. This is too bad, because what in my opinion is one of the best games ever made was very badly received and sold poorly.
The good news is it has since been just about completely fixed and has had a large amount of great content added, fleshing out the sparse points. First, the game designers kept working on the game after it was released. The first two patches fix most of the big bugs. A couple lingered, so they put out patch 3. However, patch 2 had been out for a while and everything fixed in patch 3 was already fixed by fan mods. Hence, patch 3 was obsolete when released. Because of this, and because all the mods and further fixes were coded for patch 2, nobody took the time to re-code their mods for patch 3. Installing patch 3, therefore, interferes with any other fan mods, many of which do a better job fixing what 3 did anyway.[color="DarkOrange"]Installation:[/color]
As a result of the events mentioned in the above story, in almost every case, the best thing to do after installing the game is to [color="Red"]get only
patch 2[/color] and install it (some people have better luck starting with patch 1 and then installing patch 2, but 2 should
include 1, and this should
not be necessary). [color="Red"]After getting 2, solve what patch 3 solved and more (including the infamous looting and magic missile bugs) with Moebius' "Temple.dll" fix[/color].
These items can be found [url="http://www.sorcerers.net/Games/ToEE/index_misc.php"]here[/url].
Moebius' fix goes by the name "unofficial patch" on that page. Note that first you must install the official patch 2, and then apply the Moebius fix. To do this, you don't run any install files, but rather you unzip the download and manually transfer some things. There should be a readme file in the .zip with instructions, but the basic idea is you locate in your games main directory, a file called temple.dll and replace it with the file by that same name from the .zip. (Don't overwrite the old one, in case of emergencies. Just rename it something like "temple-original.dll" - the game won't ever use it, but it'll be there if you ever need it.) You're not
done yet. You now need to take the remaining files from the .zip and copy them to the game's "data" folder. There should be a folder called data in the .zip. Take the folders from inside that and put them inside the data folder from the original game. (Basically, you want a data folder in the game's directory with all the files it had at the outset plus those folders inside the data folder from the .zip. I don't think you need to put the other assorted files from the .zip in there, but I would, just in case.) Once they are in there, the game should run and the vast majority of bugs should be fixed.
As with all games, as systems and their OSs "improve" games develop problems because of new code no one ever anticipated. Some people, as a result of the service pack 2 update for windows XP, experience a black screen and a crash to desktop (CTD) when they try to run the game. There is a fix for this, if you encounter it, but you will have to PM me or ask around, as gamebanshee.com has asked us to keep it on the q.t.
I have at present no good data on problems specific to windows Vista or other OSs.
Finally, there is an extensive modding community to be found at http://www.co8.org
. They have a range of updates, mods, and general improvements that greatly enhance the playing of ToEE. Some of the nicest features include a "front end" program, ToEEFE, that let you pick and choose from some tweaks to the game at startup (e.g. whether you want PC levels capped at 10, or not). This also allows you to do certain things with portrait packs and to set up several different "modules" that let you play with the different mods and settings without having to constantly reinstall and modify the game.
As some of the mods are just included with the co8 versions of the game, and as these change the content and increase the difficulty of the game, it's a good idea to just start with patch 2 and Moebius' temple.dll fix to play the standard game, and then advance to co8 stuff from there. The community there is very friendly and can answer any questions you have - you probably will, as they have a lot of good work, but the documentation is often hard to locate and stuff is ever-evolving.
Finally, the folks at co8 have been working long and hard on a NEW GAME using the ToEE engine. It is a separate game, but runs, as I understand it, as a module loaded into the ToEE front end program. Last I heard, it was still in beta-testing, but was more-or-less complete and getting a good response. It is entirely free (which is why they're legally allowed to do this) and entirely fan-made (with much just copied from ToEE, of course).
I hope all that info helps. Enjoy this great game, and let us know if you encounter any problems.