Rise of Nations on Windows 8

Relocation Notice (2014-02-16) — Due to consistently high traffic, I moved this article from WordPress to a new static page: Rise of Nations on Windows 8. All the comments you see below have been copied over as well. Comments here are closed, please continue the discussion on the new page.

40 thoughts on “Rise of Nations on Windows 8”

  1. thanks, that helps with all but one problem. the one problem is in the game the text boxes that tell you how much research costs only shows partially. I can still play the game but it would be nice to know how much research, soldiers, or anything else will cost. any suggestions?

  2. Weird, I’ve never seen that myself. The only setting that looks like it might possibly have something to do with that is “Don’t Allow Texture Compression=0”. I’d try setting that to 1.

  3. I have done all the changes you said on the tutorial and in the comment section. But still, the resource section ,the points tab and the tab in the left (where, for an example, move your cursor to rocks: it appears a tab explaining what rocks are and what they do) are almost invisible, only when the tabs go through mountains, buildings, etc. , it is visible

    1. I’ve never seen that either! As with Bob Depot’s problem, that sounds like a compatibility issue with your video card driver. No idea how to fix it, though, other than updating your driver if possible.

      There’s a new rumor that Rise of Nations Gold might finally be coming to Steam, by the way. If that’s true I hope we’ll get an updated version without these annoying issues.

  4. The resource tab problem is solved! If you are having this problem too, activate the advanced resource tab and you will see not only the basic resource view, but the advanced resource view too! The other 2 tabs do not mean a lot, so no problem.

  5. Hey,
    I still have the problem… Gathering exception data… and the program stops working… I did what you said and nothing… can you help me?

  6. Wow thanks for this! I installed from my discs I still have from 2004 and following your instructions it worked a treat.

    There was one issue I had with the MSXML4 library which repairing did not fix. The fix for me was as follows:

    1. Download the latest MSXML4 library from Microsoft here http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=19662
    2. Extract the .cab file inside the msxmlcab.exe. (You can use 7zip or equivalent)
    3. Extract ALL the files inside msxml4.cab.
    4. Run a command prompt as Administrator and execute the following command:
    regsvr32 “\msxml4.dll”
    5. You should get a message saying the .DLL was successfully registered.

    1. Please, can you be more specific? Do i need to download only msxml4cab.exe or everything? Where does that .dll need to be placed when i execute that command? Or it can be anywhere?

      1. For what it’s worth, the only time I’ve seen an error with the MSXML4 library, I made the mistake of trying to run the game before rebooting after it was installed. To recover, I had to do a complete uninstall of the game and install it again, rebooting when the installer finished. (Note: before I uninstalled, I did try using the installer’s “repair” option, which did not fix the MSXML4 issue).

        I don’t know for sure that running the game prematurely is what actually _caused_ the error. Maybe it was a coincidence and the error can just happen randomly or for some other reason. But if you (or anyone else) is seeing that error, it might be possible to fix it by just going the uninstall/reinstall route.

  7. If your stil here, laptops with Intel and Nvidia Graphics, Optimus (or so i think) may be the cause of not seeing 2D elements (like what stuff cost) correct on top of terrain… Try right click and run with High-End Nvidia Graphics or something like that…

    I haven’t yet tried it on Intel only Graphics, but I guess it’s something with the DirectX support (the game uses DirectX 8) and some of the 2D render stuff may be missing in modern low end Graphics Cards as DirectX no longer is supported or used…

  8. Thanks chris, i was racking my brains trying to figure how to run this game in windows 8, but thanks to your suggestions i can finally play it


  9. Top stuff. I just re-installed it now on my New PC and the flickering / black screen was pissing me off!

  10. Actually the CD I picked up at Staples installed and playes with no issues EXCEPT. I can not resume play of a saved game. As soon as I unpause it the game crashes to desktop.
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks in advance

    1. I have the same issue. I’m running on a Macbook pro – windows 8 64bit bootamp game runs great but cant resume saved games. Anyone anyone??? help?

  11. I didn’t try this yet, but I was alrready going back to W7 just beacause of RoN. You are my new god… aaaaand it’s gone, I already have a new one :P

  12. Worked for me, including the bit about MSXMLENU.MSI. I searched my ISO for it and ran it. Thanks for the article.

    1. My existing Rise of Nations installation worked fine after upgrading from Windows 8 to 8.1. I seem to recall that the first start failed and I had to restart, but no problems after that.

  13. Hi chris,its nice to see you find a way play this wonderful games on Windows 8
    but for me ,its really pain to installing RoN on my Windows 7 64bit

    i already try everything(uninstalling,,reinstalling,etc,etc),every suggestion,even on microsoft sites about MSXML 4

    my Rise of Nations always ended like this:

  14. Please help!

    It says my graphics services failed to initialize. Please make sure that your video video card and drivers are correctly installed, and are compatible with Rise of Nations.

    My craphics card is Nvidia GeForce 660 and drivers are compatible with it.
    I have Windows 8.1 64bit

    I did what you Christoph sayed, but didn’t work.

  15. This did not work for me:
    2.Change the line VSync=1 to VSync=0. This eliminates the screen flickering.

    I have tried toggling just about every parameter in the .ini file. I am using on-board graphics on a Intel motherboard of a home assembled system. Win 8.1 Any suggestions appreciated.

  16. “AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Games\Rise of Nations\rise2.ini” Not found within computer. Tried to find it manually but its a needle in a haystack.

    1. You mean an XML file called (username).dat, like cnahr.dat for me? rise.ini and rise2.ini should be right in the same directory. Have you run the game at least once already, or will it not even start?

      edit: Whatever the reason, I’ve uploaded the two ini files from my own installation so you can try putting them in that directory. See the latest addendum to the post above. Hope this will work!

  17. Many thanks for helping me fixing this flickering issue !

    (It’s one of my favorite game ever !!)

  18. It’s great to see a page dedicated to the quest to run Rise of Nations on ever-newer versions of Windows. I’ve yet to see any newer game that is as good as RoN, so I keep coming back to it. Each time is an adventure in compatibility tweaking!

    For my own part, I’ve got it installed on two Windows 7 machines at the moment. On one, it works just fine (for the most part…occasionally the copy-protection component crashes on startup, but that doesn’t affect gameplay, thankfully).

    On the other though, I have the same issue with the textboxes not drawing except where they overlap non-terrain elements (buildings, farms, people, etc.). While I would love to see if a newer video driver version would fix the problem, it’s a laptop and the manufacturer HP has not released an updated driver since the version originally provided with the computer. :(

    However, I found comments elsewhere that describe a workaround: expand the resources window in the upper left of the screen so that the trading stats (buy/sell prices) are visible. For some reason, when these are visible, the problem goes away. (And on a related note, for some reason when the resource window panes are all collapsed so that only the current amount and gather rates are shown, then the resource window seems afflicted with a similar “doesn’t display” issue).

    I think it would be great for RoN to be on Steam. But I’m not holding my breath for anyone taking the time to actually fix bugs like these (or more likely, implement a more graceful work-around…I figure there’s a pretty good chance this is a video driver issue). And in any case, that rumor was posted nine months ago and RoN isn’t on Steam yet. :(

  19. I just picked it up @ Walmart last night (12-28-2013). I have never played it. I bought it because I wanted to be able to run a game on my older laptop. I picked an IBM Thinkpad T61 for cheap last year on Ebay. I threw Windows 8 on it and never looked back. I am a summing this game will run fine on it. I just picked it up last night and have not had a chance to install it. I bought it based on this page while I was at Walmart.

  20. Suggestion: go to gog.com and vote for the Rise of Nations games to be included.

    For those that don’t know, gog.com (Good Old Games) is a site dedicated to the DRM-free rerelease of classic video games. Of course, in general they would need the cooperation of the original game developer/publisher, but that’s their primary focus: finding and negotiating with the original publisher to get the rights and technology to do so.

    As an added bonus: GOG has several games prices at zero (i.e. free). As soon as you create an account there for the purpose of voting, you’ll find you have just “purchased” those free games. That is, they are immediately assigned to your library with GOG, ready for you to download and play. When I signed up, these included two games in the Ultima series, and a bunch more from the ’90-’95 time-frame.

  21. Trying to install RoN Gold Edition on windows 8. Stops installing at 11% and says there’s an error downloading a file there. I’ve re-bought the game several times over the years, and I recently found the current disks. I was planning on trying to buy another copy but now I’m concerned it won’t work even with a fresh copy. Anyway, if anyone has any solutions to the install error it would be greatly appreciated

  22. My friends had a problem with the ext. update any ideas? please can some reply asap

    1. Looks like a known problem. You must run the game as administrator before updating, and possibly reinstall first. See GameFAQs.

      By the way, as an owner of the Gold edition I never used the in-game updater at all. I recall some warning that it would break the game. (Possibly Matt S’s issue above?)

  23. Hey Chris, I just finished changing the settings in the rise2.ini folder and everything is going good, but I am still getting the flickering screen. Is there any other way to eliminate the flickering?

  24. Thanks a lot, a really appreciate your time to doing this, now can play as it was meant to be,thanks again.

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