Installing the videogame Gothic II on Windows 7 32-bit + Nvidia
After playing the superb Risen, and hearing how great its predecessor Gothic II was, I wanted to play it. This is my expanded, clarified and updated version of Ergonpandilus’s excellent Sept 2009 install guide. There should be no need to run the game in Administrator or XP-compatibility mode.
1. Install Gothic 2 in the Gold (non-Steam) version. The Gold version includes the original game + ‘Night of The Raven’ expansion, all on 4 CDs.
2. Install gothic2_fix-184.108.40.206-rev1.exe. If the “install” button is greyed out, use 7zip to extract the files from the .exe manually. Then copy just the files in the extracted “System” folder to where you installed Gothic II. In my case the files went into C:\Program Files\JoWooD\Gothic II\system. Allow overwriting.
Installing the Gold version + its expansion actually gives you version 2.7, but you need to downgrade to 2.6 (you just did this, above) in order to run mods with Gothic II.
3. Install gothic2_vdfs-patch.exe. A small patch that shouldn’t cause any problems in installing.
4. Install Community Patch v2.1. If you go the custom install route with this, don’t install the Windows 7 Nvidia hotfix, for now (I didn’t need it even though I have Win 7 + Nvidia, and the .dll files it drops can apparently mess up your ability to launch the game). The install Community Patch for this is not perfect. It expects to put the uninstall in: C:\Program Files\JoWooD Productions Software AG\Gothic II Gold\ and then gets uppity if you installed the game in the default C:\Program Files\JoWooD\Gothic II\ — it will abort the install. Nevertheless, the patch will then still be classed as “installed”, and the patch will refuse to let you install it again. Yet this problem seems this doesn’t prevent the mostly-installed patch from working or the game from launching.
Now might be a good time to update your Nvidia graphics card drivers to the latest version (the very latest version from the Nvidia site, not the super-stable but earlier ‘safe’ version you’ll get from using Windows Update). I’m told this tutorial also works for those with ATI graphics cards.
5. Install the excellent new Nov 2010 textures and tree/grass meshes pack from Vurt. Drop the file where all other .vdf files are (..\Gothic II\Data) and it should just work.
6. Optional INI tweaks: (might not work for all!)
Go into C:\Program Files\JoWooD\Gothic II\system, and open Gothic.ini with Windows Notepad.
* Disable video scaling because otherwise videos may only have audio!
* Custom resolution (system/gothic2.ini file) to 1920px x 1200px widescreen:
* Extend menu to fit widescreen:
* Antialiasing, anisotropic filtering and other graphic candy:
* Enable Quick Save buttons (F5 save, F9 load):
* Shortcuts for healing- and mana potions (appears in ingame settings):
* Harder pick locks (no more cheating by loading the savegame!):
* Adds more audio providers (like Dolby Surround):
* More blood (bleeding):
* No intro logo videos:
7. Launch the game from the desktop shortcut. The initial Splash screen will be in German. Then the game will check the Virtual File System for a few moments. The game will then launch in English.
A few tips: On encountering an enemy, press the middle mouse button to draw your weapon. The left mouse will be useless for swinging your weapon, whatever the Controls list says. To attack, you have to hold down the Ctrl key and THEN press the WASD forward and side arrows to swing your weapon or shoot your bow. It takes some getting used to.
To get into God Mode, during the early tutorial stages of the game and thus save yourself a lot of tedious deaths: press C then type marvin. Seemingly, nothing will happen. Now press C again to exit the menu. You should see a small message in the top of the screen saying that you are now in Marvin Mode. Then press F2 to drop a developer console (you may need to hit your F Lock key, first). Then type cheat (correct the auto-complete if needed), then type god (again, correct the auto-complete if needed).
The graphics are tolerable, when using widescreen and the above tweaks, considering how old the game is (2002). But it still looks 5 times worse than the similar 2002 game Morrowind with all its graphics mods and texture packs applied. There’s not much more you can do to improve the graphics — but if you need heavier anti-aliasing, go to Control Panel | Hardware and Sound | Nvidia Control Panel. Find the Gothic 2 profile and apply 16x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic texture filtering.
Gothic 2 is generally a dark and gloomily-Germanic game, so you may also want to try to boost brightness and colour vibrancy in the game’s video settings.
Note that all spoken dialogue is American, and you can’t turn it off and use only subtitles.
Update: thanks to Sid for this fix for some dialogue problems…
People who are getting any dialogue problems, try this: go into your \Gothic2\_work\Data\Scripts\Content\Cutscene and rename OU.DAT to OU.BIN and OU.lsc to OU.csl