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Postal III

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
Postal III
Postal III cover
Developers
Trashmasters
Publishers
Akella
Japan CYBERFRONT Corporation
Austria/Switzerland Deep Silver
Engines
Source
Release dates
Windows November 23, 2011[1]
Reception
Metacritic 24
Taxonomy
Monetization One-time game purchase
Microtransactions None
Modes Singleplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives Third-person
Controls Direct control
Genres TPS
Art styles Cartoon
Themes Comedy, North America
Series Postal
Postal III on HowLongToBeat
Postal III on IGDB
Postal III on MobyGames
Postal III on Wikipedia
Postal
Postal 1997
Postal² 2003
Postal III 2011
Postal Redux 2016
Postal 4: No Regerts 2022
Postal: Brain Damaged 2022
Poostall Royale 2023

Postal III is a singleplayer TPS game in the Postal series developed by Trashmasters and published by Akella.

The game is known for its instability and poor optimization, to the point of being officially disavowed by series creator, Running With Scissors.[2]

Versions outside of the original Russian retail release and the DRM-free releases require a workaround to bypass the ActControl DRM; see Use the updated Starforce domain for ActControl DRM activation.

General information

Steam Community Discussions

Availability

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
Requires online activation
StarForce 5 DRM Orignal Russian release.
Windows
Retail
Requires online activation
ActControl DRM Complete Japanese version.[3]
Windows
Retail
Icon overlay.png
All other releases. Uses the Steamworks installer.
Windows
Steam
DRM-free after installation through Steam client (notes may include more details)
Not available in Germany.
Windows
Developer website
Icon overlay.png
Sold by series creator, Running with Scissors. Formerly sold a physical base game copy, Collector's Edition in pink box, or the XX 20th Anniversary Pack with the game included.
Icon overlay.png
Windows
ZOOM Platform
DRM-free
Windows
GamersGate (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
Windows
Delisted off Steam in November 2022 due to issues related to DRM,[4] later returned on October 13th, 2023.
ActControl DRM was removed from the Steam release on October 13, 2023.[5]
Versions that use the Steamworks installer no longer install on Steam via the CD/DVD installer feature, requiring a download through Steam itself or manual extraction.

Version differences

Russia received three different special edition versions. The Deluxe Edition includes the base game, a soundtrack CD, a "making of" DVD, a map of Catharsis, and a magnetic Krotchy. The Collector's Edition, in either a big black or pink box, includes the same as the Deluxe Edition but now has an added copy of the Postal movie, an artbook, and a Krotchy plush doll.[6] The Gama-Gama exclusive Гама-edition has the soundtrack, "making of" movie, map of Catharsis, and artbook now in digital form, but also includes other bonuses like a cardboard pattern, the Fart Gun DLC, early access to playing the game, and +1622 bonuses added to your Gama-Gama account.[7]
Japan received three different versions of the game. The English with Japanese Manual version was simply just the English retail release of the game. The Complete Japanese version had the full Japanese translation. The Special edition which includes the game, the full Japanese translation, and a pink Krotchy mousepad.[8]
The game received 3 more updates under Akella's control. Official patch notes (alongside a translated version) here.
Pre-October 13th 2023 Steam version is slightly different compared to v1.12, most notably being compiled at a later date (January 24 2012) and the cat upgrade icons for certain weapons not showing up.
The ZOOM Platform 1.2 version includes the Fart Gun DLC weapon and multiple bug fixes, most notably fixing the main issues caused by the No DRM patch, throwing items and taking human shields crashing the game.[9]
The Steam update from October 13th, 2023 includes the bug fixes from the ZOOM Platform 1.2 version but does not include any of the bonus material, including the Fart Gun.[5][10]
The ZOOM Platform 1.3 version now includes proper mod support, included new and updated translations, and a multitude of bug fixes.[11]
The ZOOM Platform 1.4 version includes the official Japanese and unofficial Polish translations, certain mission-specific loading screens now show up, cutscene fixes, and some community fixes.[12] The Steam version later received this update on January 29th, 2024.[13]

Monetization

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
Fart Gun / Гамамет An exclusive bonus weapon that was for sale from the Russian digital game key store Gama-Gama, either for pre-ordering Postal III Гама-edition[14] or by buying it individually.[15] The weapon is also available in the retail copies released outside Russia, with an official UI translation into English.
Windows
Included in the current Steam/ZOOM Platform version by default.
Free downloads for the addons with the official UI translations are available here for English, and here for Russian if on a version where they are not included by default.
Does not work on every version of the game, as it was officially accessible to the player in the v1.10 update if the files were installed.

Essential improvements

Skip intro videos

Delete or rename files[16]

Delete or rename logo_1_akella.bik, logo_2_RWS.bik, logo_3_TMS.bik, and zoom_logo.bik in <path-to-game>\p3\media, and SOURCE_LOGO.bik, NVIDIA.bik in <path-to-game>\p3_english\media. If using the Russian translation, go to p3_russian instead and also delete WARNING.bik in <path-to-game>\p3_russian\media.

Patches

Updates released periodically after the original retail release from Russia, previously hosted on both Akella's and Running with Scissors' websites.[17]
Only meant for the original Russian retail release, as the Japanese retail, Steam, and ZOOM Platform versions are already updated to the most recent game version.
Requires an activation key for the Russian version for the DRM, which makes it incompatible with every other version.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\p3\cfg\[Note 1]
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/10220/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game data location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\p3\SAVE\[Note 1]
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/10220/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud

Video

In-game general video settings.
In-game general video settings.
In-game advanced video settings.
In-game advanced video settings.

Graphics feature State Notes
Widescreen resolution
Multi-monitor
Ultra-widescreen
4K Ultra HD
Interface scales poorly.
Field of view (FOV)
Windowed
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Launch the game with -window -noborder parameter.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Up to 16x.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Up to 8x MSAA and 16xQ CSAA for Nvidia GPUs.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Double buffered [18]
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
High dynamic range display (HDR)
Rendered image uses SDR color space. In-game HDR option refers only to HDR Rendering.

Input

In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.
In-game mouse settings.
In-game mouse settings.

Audio

In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Subtitles
Needs the "Subtitles (dialog only)" option set.
Certain languages (such as German) only have subtitles in the FMV cutscenes.
Closed captions
Closed captions exist in the files, but are all from Half-Life 2 and do not work in game.
Mute on focus lost
Royalty free audio
Licensed music is used throughout the game, but can be disabled by muting the music through options and skipping the FMV cutscenes.

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
Unless otherwise specified, all translations (except Russian) use English as a base, so they will have English audio and UI assets.
French
Fan translation, download. The version that's included in the Steam/ZOOM Platform version has translated UI assets and also better translated text.
German
The version that's included in the Steam/ZOOM Platform version has translated UI assets.
Italian
Fan translation, download.
Japanese
Formerly retail only. The version that's included in the Steam/ZOOM Platform version has a different font for the ammo count text.
Polish
Fan translation by JakX2 & ArtekXDPL, download. To fix the characters, follow this guide. The version that's included in the Steam/ZOOM Platform version has translated UI assets, better translated text, and subtitles.
Brazilian Portuguese
Fan translation by AlgumOtario, download. The version that's included in the Steam/ZOOM Platform version has translated UI assets and also better translated text.
Russian
Simplified Chinese
Fan translation, download.
The ZOOM Platform release has the Brazilian Portuguese, French, updated German, Japanese, and Polish localizations.
To change the language, use the -language {language} and/or -norussian launch argument.

Issues fixed

Game doesn't launch

Postal III has issues with its DRM, which has been one of the main suspected reasons for its removal from Steam.
Does not apply for the current Steam and ZOOM Platform versions.
Use the updated Starforce domain for ActControl DRM activation
  1. On the DRM activation window, select manual activation.
  2. Then, proceed the activation as usual, but using StarForce's official website instead of the outdated link specified.
If a prompt window is not shown upon launching the game (via Steam or booting up p3.exe directly), boot up acpc.exe, or boot up p3.exe while holding down either Shift or Ctrl. Then, press the manual activation button and continue from there.
If the Steam version is updated to the latest No DRM update and the user wishes to downgrade, click here to download the original DRM files.
Various reports indicate properly activating the game, to result in better stability of the game, and resolve some of the down-sides of the NoDRM fix indicated below.
The game still has a chance to crash when using throwables, but due to a more rare occurrence not affiliated with the DRM.
Previous owners of the Steam version can no longer get their serial key due to the feature of viewing it getting removed. The only way to activate the game would be to use the serial key if it was backed up beforehand.
Use the Postal 3 NoDRM patch

Use Postal 3 NoDRM.

Various game mechanics such as throwing items and using human shields can crash the game with the NoDRM fix.
Some of the crashing issues caused by the patch are now fixed with the current Steam/ZOOM Platform versions[9] and is preferably recommended to use those versions rather than this patch.

FPS is unstable/game is laggy

Edit the autoexec.cfg[19][20]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open autoexec.cfg (if not present, launch the game once to auto-generate it).
  3. Change mat_queue_mode -2 to mat_queue_mode 2.
  4. Next, add the following lines anywhere:
  • physx_enabled 0 (the only noticeable thing this does is that it make the Postal Dude's jacket less flappy but it will still move about, prevent animation problems and give the user a decent performance boost).
  • r_threaded_particles 1 (this allows for the game's particle system to be multi-threaded)
  • r_threaded_renderables 1 (this allows for the game's rendering system to be multi-threaded)
  • snd_mix_async 1 (this allows multi-core CPUs to run the sound engine with the renderer simultaneously)
  • ai_expression_optimization 1 (disables NPC expressions whenever those NPCs are off-screen)
mat_queue_mode determines the threading mode the material system uses. A value of -1 uses the default for your system, a value of 0 uses synchronous single thread, 1 uses queued single threaded mode, and value of 2 uses multi-threaded mode. The default value is -2, and reading the translated Russian within the default configuation files reveals that this was intentional: multi-threading breaks Postal 3's PhysX implementation when turned on (the coat detaches from the protagonist, along with other physics bugs).
Does not apply for the Steam/ZOOM Platform version as they are included by default inside both autoexec.cfg and zoom_p3_fix.cfg, alongside a few other commands.

Other information

API

Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9.0c
Shader Model support 2.0, 2.0b, 3.0
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
Windows

Middleware

Middleware Notes
Physics Havok, PhysX, APEX Heavily modified variant, 2.8.4.6, 1.0.0.1
Audio Miles Sound System 6.6a
Cutscenes Bink Video 1.8w

Mods

Postal 3 First Person Mod

Allows you to play the game in first person mode. Paste the script in your autoexec.cfg.

Postal III Unofficial Patch 1.13

Fixes many mission script issues and bugs, re-balances some weapons and missions, adds extra unused and new voice lines for Postal Dude, as well as missing sound effects for weapons and unused loading screens for several missions.
Beta Mod Pack and Improvement Mod are incompatible with this patch.

POSTAL III Improvement Mod

Fixes various game issues whilst also re-implementing some of the game's missing features/beta content.

Beta Mod Pack

Alternative to the Improvement Mod.
Fixes various game issues, while focusing on the restoration of beta content.

System requirements

Windows[21]
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP, Vista, 7
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 4 3.0 GHz
System memory (RAM) 2 GB (XP)
4 GB (Vista, 7)
Hard disk drive (HDD) 13.5 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 6600
ATI Radeon X800
128 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9 compatible
Shader model 2.0 support
Sound (audio device) DirectX 9 compatible


Notes

  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 File/folder structure within this directory reflects the path(s) listed for Windows and/or Steam game data (use Wine regedit to access Windows registry paths). Games with Steam Cloud support may store data in ~/.steam/steam/userdata/<user-id>/10220/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (10220) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.

References

  1. 17:00 - время новостей! (retrieved) - last accessed on 2023-11-22
  2. Postal III - last accessed on May 2023
  3. Verified by User:Hoongoons on 2023-12-07
    Asked the technical lead at ZOOM and was able to confirm it doesn't require Steam, like the Russian release, but still uses ActControl
  4. Running With Scissors on X - last accessed on 2023-10-19
    "With Postal 3's DRM issues and overall shittiness of the game itself, the game is officially no longer being sold on Steam."
  5. 5.0 5.1 Postal III - Postal III: 'No DRM' Update - Steam News - last accessed on 2023-10-19
  6. Gamer.ru - last accessed on May 2023
  7. Gamer.ru - last accessed on May 2023
  8. 4gamer.net - last accessed on May 2023
  9. 9.0 9.1 Zoom Platform - Postal III, I'm filled with glee! - last accessed on 2023-09-26
  10. Running With Scissors on X - last accessed on 2023-10-13
  11. Zoom Platform - Postal III, for you and me! - last accessed on 2023-10-16
  12. Zoom Platform - Postal III, as seen on TV! - last accessed on 2023-12-07
  13. Postal III - Postal 3: Update #2 - last accessed on 2024-01-29
  14. Gama-Gama - last accessed on May 2023
  15. Gama-Gama - last accessed on May 2023
  16. Verified by User:Mars icecream on 2017-9
  17. Postal III - last accessed on May 2023
  18. Black mesa vsync is double buffered - last accessed on 2024
  19. https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=650247633
  20. yuanpaper.blogspot.com - last accessed on May 2023
  21. Postal III manual - last accessed on 2023-10-19