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Fixes for Tandy sound in games with non-Tandy graphics


Veteran Member
Aug 15, 2006
Puget Sound region, WA, USA
Many games give the option of graphics and sound separately, so having an EGA or VGA graphics card installed is a non-issue if you still wish to enjoy the wonderful Tandy 3-voice sound.

However, it seems that some games will only properly work with Tandy sound when Tandy graphics is chosen as an option, because the main executable used for Tandy graphics is the one that happens to load up the sound to go with it, or the game is hard-coded to use Tandy sound only if Tandy graphics are chosen..

Some of these games have work-arounds to this problem, so I'm on a mission to figure out what games can be "rescued" so that they can still be enjoyed on upgraded Tandy systems without having to compromise. I decided to start this thread as a way to catalog these "fixes". Currently, I have figured out or found (mostly searching abandonware forums) fixes for 2 games. I'm hoping others can contribute to this thread over time...

- Altered Beast -

Despite its configuration allowing you to choose graphics and sound options separately, it will not play Tandy sounds if a non-Tandy graphics option is chosen, even when you select Tandy sound. It will simply play PC speaker sounds. In the menu, the 3 options are PC Speaker, Tandy, and Adlib...

The sound related files for this game are:



The solution is to copy the TD_ and the TD.DRV files over their AD counterparts. When I start the game I select EGA graphics and Adlib sound. The game now happily plays Tandy music and sounds on my TL/2. :)

- Castlevania -

The abandonware sites seem to all have the same copy of this game, which has the Tandy sound driver file stripped from it (as well as the separate Tandy graphics executable...it comes with the EGA one). The TD.DRV file needed for the sound can be found if you search around forums (try VOGONS). Once you locate it, copy it into the Castlevania directory and start the game by typing:

C:\CASTLEVA\>castle.exe TDY

I included a suggested path and the executable name (using lowercase) to give epmhasis to the 'TDY' parameter... This is case sensitive! I found this out in a forum thread, as well. This will start the game with Tandy sound.

- Bubble Bobble -

This one isn't as much a work-around as just an FYI... The archive distributed in most abandonware sites has the game already configured for a specific graphics mode (I think CGA) and PC Speaker sound... In order to reconfigure the game, you need to delete the BUBBOB.CFG file so that when you start the game it goes through the configuration screens, allowing you to select the appropriate graphics and sound. This game's configuration is pretty good at auto-detecting your video and sound, so in my case it had the EGA and Tandy music options blinking in their respective screens.

Games I'm currently investigating:

- Skate or Die: This one is particularly frustrating because the Tandy graphics are crap... It uses low res mode, a'la King's Quest I...but it's the only way to get Tandy sound.

- Lemmings: Using EGA for Lemmings on a Tandy 1000 series machine is like having a temptress taunting you behind a 5" pexiglass window. First, the title screen loads up in gorgeous 640x350 graphics mode, so you get all super excited... However, your excitement quickly sizzles when you realize it only shows "FX" in the sound icon... No musical note icon! Then, once you actually enter the game you are slapped on the face by a not-so-seductive 320x200 low-detail "almost EGA" graphics mode... WTF? The problem is, these machines (1000 RSX aside, I'm sure) are too slow to run the game in "High Performance" mode... Also, the game itself, it seems, contains the Tandy sound data within the executable used for Tandy graphics mode... Double wahh! I'm not sure there will be a fix for this, but my current work-around remains to switch the monitor between graphics adapters. sigh

I'll continue to add comments/workarounds for these and other games as time progresses. I hope others do, too. :cool:


Veteran Member
Aug 15, 2006
Puget Sound region, WA, USA
- Fire Hawk: Thexder 2 -

This is another FYI... On TL series (at least on my TL/2), if you select TL sound the game freezes during the second part of the title screen, when the word FIRE HAWK is rendered in big red letters, as soon as the "F" (first letter) appears. Just choose the option for standard Tandy 1000 music and sound and you'll be good... Probably missing out on some DAC goodness, but it seems this game doesn't properly support it. (other DAC compatible games work perfect on my machine, including Prince of Persia and Outrun)

- Prince of Persia -

This isn't sound-related, but somewhat relevant... This is one of the few games that has issues auto-detecting EGA adapters in a Tandy 1000 (which can be remedied by the use of the BIOSFIX utility in the Tandy 1000 archives). I'm not big on running "BIOS" runtime patches, so I just start the game with 'prince ega'. The game properly detects Tandy sound, though...

- SimCity -

This one requires two parameters to start properly on a Tandy 1000 with EGA graphics:

simcity /dE /ST

The /dE starts the game in high-res EGA graphics mode (640x350). The second parameter, /ST, uses Tandy DAC sounds (TL+).

- Night Shift -

If you perform an install, the command-line options are listed at the end, but just in case you don't feel like running the INSTALL.BAT (which, all it does is copy files into C:\NIGHT), here's the options relevant to this thread:

IML e x

(EGA graphics and Tandy sound)

The game auto-detects EGA just fine, but it always defaults to PC Speaker unless the 'x' option is specified.
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Veteran Member
Oct 9, 2009
Huntsville, AL
Thanks for the info. I'll have to try some of these on my HX. I've got the XTIDE card in mine and I was having some issues with it initially until I discovered that I was using the wrong settings on the card for the HX. Everything seems to be working fine for me now.

The only things that I've had trouble running on it thus far is Deskmate 3 and Seven Cities of Gold. Neither one will start up.


Veteran Member
Nov 30, 2007
minneapolis, MN
this is indeed great info! I wonder if putting it on a wiki page might make it easier to find for reference for future users?
Heck, just having a wiki page dedicated to "here's all the command line options for every game" sort of page would be a godsend.
could mobygames.com be used to store this type of info?


Veteran Member
Apr 17, 2007
Western United States
This is a topic that is somewhat near and dear, given my interest in getting everything possible to run on an RLX with Tandy sound. I've been a bit discouraged as of late, however, and have pretty much decided that I need to keep either the TL/2 or RL around, if only for the sake of four, special games...

Rob Hubbard - "Skate or Die!" PC Intro [Tandy]
Rob Hubbard - "Kings of the Beach" PC Intro [Tandy]
Rob Hubbard - "Jordan vs. Bird: One-on-One" PC Intro [Tandy]
Rob Hubbard - "688 Attack Sub" PC Intro [Tandy]

And no, that isn't the PSSJ DAC playing those samples. :)

These games are particularly bothersome in that, even by forcing the requisite Tandy graphics mode, the intro music still plays too quickly on the RLX, regardless of the CPU speed setting, and despite the fact that the in-game music plays at the proper rate.

Here are two more games for the list...

- Low Blow -

- Lakers vs. Celtics -

Start the game with both the "tandy" and "ega" parameters (in that order). E.G., "game.exe tandy ega".