VirtualBox: Running A Favorite Old Game

Subtitled: How to increase the color depth in a Windows 2000 virtual machine, beyond the default 16 colors.

I was poking around Amazon.com over the weekend, and stumbled upon a great old Windows game that my wife used to enjoy playing all the time. Sadly our disk got damaged, so we hadn’t played it in years.

The game, Monty Python and the Search For The Holy Grail

For all of $5.00, including shipping I figured I couldn’t go wrong!

Once the disk came in, the first thing I did was stick it in my wife’s CD-ROM drive and run the Setup.exe file with WINE. The setup failed.

Undaunted, I fired up a Windows 2000 install in VirtualBox, and tried the install again. This time it installed OK, but the software wouldn’t run because the VM was stuck in 16 color mode.

This is very easy to fix!

With your VM running, select the Devices tab in the top menu, and then click on the Insert Guest Additions CD Image

Win2k running in a VM

Win2k running in a VM

This will bring up the following dialogue:

Win2k running in a VM

Win2k running in a VM

It’s now just a matter of clicking through the prompts like you would any other software install. You will be greeted with a Digital Signature error a few times, but simply click on Yes for each.

Win2k running in a VM

Win2k running in a VM

Finally, once everything is installed, you will be asked to reboot the virtual machine for the changes to take effect.

Win2k running in a VM

Win2k running in a VM

Once rebooted, you’ll want to Right-click on the desktop, and select the display properties. For many old Windows games, you will need to select 256 colors for the game to display correctly. You’ll be tempted to use the highest setting, say 32 bit color, but in the case of today’s game, the on-screen text will not display if you do!

Windows 2000 display settings

Windows 2000 display settings

That’s all there is to it, and the result is a happy spouse, enjoying a favorite old game once again!

Monty Python game, running in Win2k Virtual Machine

Monty Python game, running in Win2k Virtual Machine