Anonymous edits have been disabled on the wiki. If you want to contribute please login or create an account.

Warning for game developers: PCGamingWiki staff members will only ever reach out to you using the official mail address.
Be aware of scammers claiming to be representatives or affiliates of PCGamingWiki who promise a PCGW page for a game key.


From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games

This page is for the original release. For the remaster, see Pharaoh: A New Era.

Pharaoh cover
Impressions Games
Expansion BreakAway Games
Retail Sierra On-Line
Digital Activision
Re-release Sold Out Software
Release dates
Windows November 5, 1999
Monetization One-time game purchase, Expansion pack
Modes Singleplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives Bird's-eye view, Isometric
Controls Point and select
Genres Building
Themes Egypt, Classical
Series City Building (Sierra)
Pharaoh on HowLongToBeat
Pharaoh on IGDB
Pharaoh guide on StrategyWiki
Pharaoh on MobyGames
Pharaoh on Wikipedia
City Building (Sierra)
Caesar (series)
Pharaoh 1999
Zeus: Master of Olympus 2000
Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom 2002
Children of the Nile 2004
Pharaoh: A New Era 2023

Pharaoh is a singleplayer bird's-eye view and isometric building game in the City Building (Sierra) series.

The game received the Queen of the Nile: Cleopatra expansion pack in July 2000, including new campaigns, structures and units.

General information

Pharaoh Heaven community site Community Discussions Support Page
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
The base game uses a simple disc check.
The Cleopatra expansion utilizes SecuROM v4 DRM disc check.
Pharaoh: Gold
Icon overlay.png
Pharaoh: Gold

Version differences

Pharaoh: Gold includes both Pharaoh and Cleopatra.


A free demo version is available from GameFront.


DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
Queen of the Nile: Cleopatra

Essential improvements


Pharaoh Enhancement Pack 1.2 enables the in-game mission editor and fixes various issues. The Cleopatra Enhancement Pack 2.1 fixes the expansion's issues. Both are available here. They are already included in the digital releases.

Skip intro videos

  1. Go to <path-to-game>\Binks\High
  2. Rename, move or delete Intro_big.bik.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\[Note 1]
Steam Play (Linux) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/564530/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game data location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\Save[Note 1]
Steam Play (Linux) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/564530/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud


Video settings
Video settings

Widescreen resolution

For Pharaoh with Cleopatra:
Use Pharaoh Resizer
  1. Download Pharaoh Resizer (French version)
  2. Place it in <path-to-game>.
  3. Open PharaohResizer.exe, set the desired resolution and save the new executable in <path-to-game>.
  4. Use the new executable file to play
  • If the game crashes, choose another resolution
  • If the game doesn't play at the custom resolution despite the new executable, try setting the resolution to 1024x768 vis in-game options
For Pharaoh without Cleopatra:
Replace Pharaoh.exe with this file.


Change color depth[2]
  1. Change the colour depth of the display to 16-bit
    • For Windows 8 and newer, enable the following compatibility settings to the Pharaoh.exe file: Reduced color mode (16-bit color).
    • For Windows Vista and 7, change the colour mode through the Screen resolution settings in the Control Panel.
    • For Windows XP, change the colour mode through the Display settings in the Control Panel.
  2. Download the patched files and extract them into <path-to-game>.
  3. Launch the game.
Use the Pharaoh Starter[3]
An application that automatically changes the colour depth to 16-bit and starts Pharaoh in a window. After the game is closed, the color depth returns to 32-bit.
  1. Download the launcher.
  2. Extract the contents of the download to <path-to-game>.
  3. Run the game using PharaohStarter.exe.


Keyboard and mouse State Notes
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
Controller types


Audio settings
Audio settings

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Sliders for Music, Speech, Effects and City Ambient.
Surround sound
Not during cutscenes
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Royalty free audio


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Retail only; download for digital versions.
Fan translation.
Retail only
Retail release; download for digital versions. Details
Brazilian Portuguese
Retail only. Faraó.[4]
Retail only; download for digital versions.
Retail only.

Issues fixed

Unable to load function; Ft_thunk (Kernell32.dll)

Run the game in compatibility mode for Windows 2000.[5]

Game freezes / movies not playing

Force only one CPU core to run the game[6]
  1. Download ImageCFG.
  2. Extract the contents of the download to <path-to-game>.
  3. Open a text editor and paste in the following:
@echo off
if not exist Pharaoh.exe goto end
if exist Pharaoh.exe.bak goto end
copy Pharaoh.exe Pharaoh.exe.bak
imagecfg -u Pharaoh.exe
imagecfg -a 0x1 Pharaoh.exe

4. Save the file with the .bat extension and place it in <path-to-game>.
5. Run this file to launch the game.

Update the mss32.dll file[7]
  1. In <path-to-game>, rename the mss32.dll file to oldmss32.dll.
  2. Download Miles Sound System (MSS) v6.0m.
  3. Extract the contents of the download to <path-to-game>.
  4. Launch the game.

Game speed/map scroll rate issue

Set the slider in-game[8][9]

While in-game, press options and press speed option and move the game speed slider to adjust the game speed or scroll rate slider to adjust the scroll speed.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
DirectDraw 6 [citation needed]
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


Middleware Notes
Audio Miles Sound System 5.0r[10]
Cutscenes Bink Video, Smacker Video Technology

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 95
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 133 MHz
System memory (RAM) 32 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 360 MB
Video card (GPU) 1 MB of VRAM
DirectX 6 compatible


  1. 1.0 1.1 When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later (more details).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Notes regarding Steam Play (Linux) data:


  1. Tested by Nessy
  2. Support for Pharaoh + Cleopatra - - last accessed on May 2023
  3. - last accessed on May 2023
  4. BraSoft (archived, 2001). - last accessed on May 2023
  5. Instructions from the Sold Out Software release.
  6. - last accessed on May 2023
  7. - last accessed on May 2023
  10. Verified by User:Nessy on 2020-01-19
    Version number found in Mss32.dll in the game installation folder.