Shadow Warrior (1997)

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
(Redirected from Shadow Warrior)
Shadow Warrior
Shadow Warrior cover
3D Realms
Wanton Destruction Sunstorm Interactive
Twin Dragon Wylde Productions
Twin Dragon Level Infinity
Mac OS (Classic) Lion Entertainment Inc.
GT Interactive
Devolver Digital
Mac OS MacSoft
Release dates
DOS May 13, 1997[1]
Mac OS (Classic) October 1, 1997
Windows (DOSBox) November 15, 2012
macOS (OS X) (DOSBox) November 15, 2012
Linux (DOSBox) September 4, 2013[2]
Shadow Warrior (1997) on MobyGames
Shadow Warrior (1997) on Wikipedia
Shadow Warrior
Shadow Warrior (1997) 1997
Shadow Warrior Classic Redux 2013
Shadow Warrior (2013) 2013
Shadow Warrior 2 2016

For the enhanced version, see Shadow Warrior Classic Redux. For the reboot, see Shadow Warrior (2013).

Key points

The game is free to download on and Steam.[3]

General information

Shadow Warrior Central
Official game site Community Discussions for game series Support Page
Steam Community Discussions
Steam Community Discussions (free)


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Technically doesn't have DRM but requires the game disk (or at least a bin/cue file) for music playback.
Mac OS
Official website
Pre-packaged with DOSBox
Includes both expansion packs. Pre-packaged with DOSBox.[4]
macOS (OS X)
Mac App Store
Icon overlay.png
Includes both expansion packs.
macOS (OS X)
DRM-free after installation through Steam client (see notes)
Pre-packaged with DOSBox. Also available as part of Shadow Warrior Classic Redux.
macOS (OS X)
The game was made open source in 2005.

Version differences[edit]

Uniquely, the shareware version of the game used MIDI tracks instead of CD Redbook audio in order to keep the download size small.
The European release of Shadow Warrior had the shurikens (throwing stars) replaced with darts due to their heavy usage in organized crime and gang activity at the time. As the ban on said content was later nulled, a patch to uncensore the game was later released. All digital releases are uncensored.
  • There is a patch for the uncensored release that re-censores it here, useful if you find the darts more nostalgic. A batch file is used for toggling it on and off. For the GOG release, you may want to edit the bats or the autoexec part of the dosbox_swarrior_single.conf to make it also install to Twin Dragon.

Digital version differences[edit]

Shadow Warrior Classic (1997) - Steam[edit]

Free to play version of the game, published by Devolver Digital. It comes packaged with DOSBox and the base game, it's also the only version of the game that includes the Shadow Warrior's prototypes.

Shadow Warrior Classic Complete - GOG[edit]

Available for free, published by Devolver Digital. It comes packaged with DOSBox, the base game and the two expansions: Twin Dragon and Wanton Destruction.

Shadow Warrior (Classic) - Steam[edit]

Bundled with the "3D Realms Anthology Pack", published by 3D Realms (not available to purchase anymore). It came pre-packaged with the base game, the DOSBox emulator and the two available source ports: SWP (chosen by default on the Steam launcher) and JFSW.

Shadow Warrior Classic Redux[edit]

Modern version of the game with remastered visuals and a remix of the main theme, published by Devolver Digital. Besides the remastered version (OpenGL), it also includes the base game and the two expansion pre-packaged with DOSBox.

Downloadable content (DLC) and expansions

Name Notes
Twin Dragon Freeware, can be downloaded here
Wanton Destruction Freeware, can be downloaded here
Additional cut levels for the add-on can be downloaded here
The game's third addon, "Deadly Kiss", developed by Simply Silly Software was never released. However a restoration project is in the works.

Essential improvements[edit]


Run in DOSBox[edit]

To improve DOSBox performance make the following changes to the DOSBox configuration file:

  • Change output=surface to output=openglnb
  • Change memsize=16 to memsize=64
  • Change core=normal to core=dynamic
  • Change cycles=auto to cycles=max
  • Change aspect=false to aspect=true
  • Change fullresolution=original to fullresolution=0x0
  • Change machine=svga_s3 to machine=vesa_nolfb if flickering occurs when running at resolutions higher than 320x200


v1.2 is the latest version. Several unofficial fixes:

  • Wanton Destruction can be found here.
  • Twin Dragon level outpost can be found here and level refinery can be found here.


bMouse is a DOS extension which improves mouse looking by removing the mouse filter which causes issues related to both axis not updating properly.

bMouse will cause the vertical aiming to be inverted. To fix this, go to the Setup Advanced Control Options from Control Setup, then at Advanced Mouse Setup change the Mouse Y Scale to negative number.


DOS/32A is a more advanced extender and open source replacement to DOS4GW. It can improve both performance and stability of Shadow Warrior.

Source code, etc.[edit]

All downloads for the game can be found on the official game site.

Source ports[edit]

  • SWP - Offers limited widescreen support (16:10 aspect ratio only), anisotropic filtering, vsync.
  • JFSW - Allows for OpenGL rendering. Support high resolution textures.

Game data[edit]

In-game general settings.
In-game general settings.

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
DOS <path-to-game>\SW.CFG
Windows <path-to-game>\SW.CFG[Note 1]
Mac OS (Classic)
macOS (OS X) <path-to-game>\SW.CFG
Linux <path-to-game>\SW.CFG
Linux (Proton) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/358400/pfx/[Note 2]
This game does not follow the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux.

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
DOS <path-to-game>\GAME*.SAV
Windows <path-to-game>\GAME*.SAV[Note 1]
Mac OS (Classic)
macOS (OS X) <path-to-game>\GAME*.SAV
Linux <path-to-game>\GAME*.SAV
Linux (Proton) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/358400/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud

Video settings[edit]

In-game video settings.
In-game video settings.
Graphics settings ( version)
Graphics settings ( version)
Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Use SWP (16:10 only; other widescreen aspect ratios are stretched).
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
Toggle with Alt+ Enter (when using DOSBox).
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
A source port is required. See Source ports.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Vertical sync (Vsync)
A source port is required. See Source ports.
60 FPS
120+ FPS
Use SWP.

Input settings[edit]

In-game mouse settings.
In-game mouse settings.

Use mouse wheel to change weapons[edit]

Binds up and down keys to the mouse wheel[5]
  1. Get AutoHotkey
  2. Use this script whenever you play Shadow Warrior.
Could alternatively use a source port.
Only works on Windows (no Mac, no Linux).

Audio settings[edit]

In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.
Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Music slider does not work on version .74 of DOSBox.
Sister build game Blood has a similar issue.
Surround sound
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Can be enabled through DOSBox's priority settings (use the pause emulation option).
This game supports General MIDI for music.


Language UI Audio Sub Notes


Multiplayer types

Type Native Notes
LAN play
Versus, Co-op
Online play
Versus, Co-op
Via DOSBox IPX tunneling (the version is pre-configured).

Issues fixed[edit]

Twin Dragon uses its own private copy of SW.CFG (GOG only)[edit]

Twin Dragon installs its self to Shadow Warrior by overwriting the original second episode, Code of Honor. The only way to get the original episode back would be to uninstall Twin Dragon. GOG worked around this issue by distributing two instances of Shadow Warrior with their version, one already "patched" with Twin Dragon located in the \dragon directory, the other "vanilla" version with Wanton Destruction in the root folder. However, this causes its own inconveniences as it requires its own private copy of the SW.CFG settings file. Settings usually have to be changed twice, once for vanilla, once for Twin Dragon. You could however make the game refresh Twin Dragon's .CFG from the main .CFG every time on start up to avoid this inconvenience and make both instances share the file in a sense by simply tweaking the autoexec.

Edit the autoexec[6]

Open the file dosbox_swarrior_single.conf and under the :dragon part of the DOSBox config file, add the following lines after the #tdragon.exe but before the cls.

#sync shadow warrior configuration
@copy ..\SW.CFG

Additionally you can keep saves between the two synced by adding COPY C:\*.SAV C:\dragon\ to the autoexec before starting SW.EXE and COPY C:\dragon\*.SAV C:\ after.

Shadow Warrior keeps unbinding its self (GOG only)[edit]

GOG decided to make both the vanilla executable and Wanton Destruction refresh new copies of themselves with each run (Twin Dragon is unaffected by this issue). This imitates the functionality of the Wanton.exe utility included with the DLC but unfortunately causes an issue with using DOS32A's binding method as any modification to the executables will be reverted with next run.
Do the following[7]
  1. Go to the folder you have Shadow warrior installed in and delete the main SW.EXE, not Twin Dragon's SW.EXE
  2. Copy wanton.dat and sw.dat to a new folder that you have write privileges in (GOG and Steam's installations are admin protected) and rename them to Wanton.EXE and SW.EXE.
  3. If you intend to play multiplayer then you should also copy Setmain.exe to this folder as well. Now bind them with the sb /r command. Restore their original .dat extensions and copy the files back now.
  4. Edit this game's DOSBox autoexec. Open the file dosbox_swarrior_single.conf and go to the sections :warrior. Duplicate the @COPY sw.dat sw.exe line and paste it beneath the sw.exe in the :wanton part.
You could also avoid the above by simply attempting to bind DOS32A directly to the Wanton & SW dat files, though this generally has mixed results and may not work for everyone as the bind utility does not like files that don't have the .exe extension.
Also note that because many of Twin Dragon's files are duplicates of the vanilla files, the setmain.exe is exactly the same for both and can be merely be copied over to Twin Dragon's directory after binding. This however should not be done to Twin Dragon's sw.exe, as mentioned above it is different from the vanilla version and thus should be bound separately.
Alternate method[citation needed]

If issue still persist you can scrap the bind method entirely and try the following:

Make sure DOS32A is copied into your Shadow Warrior folder. Also revert any changes you did with the last method (you can accomplish this with the verify/repair option in GOG Galaxy).
  1. Start Shadow Warrior with DOS/32A by using the command DOS32A followed by the executable name, i.e. SW.EXE for vanilla.
  2. Edit these commands into your DOSBox autoexec.
    • For Twin Dragon, use the command C:\DOS32A instead, specifying DOS32A's location (root folder).
A similar method may be needed for making bMouse above work with Twin Dragon.

Keep Music enabled in Twin Dragon[edit]

Because of financial issues, developer decided to ship Twin Dragon without its music track.[8] Unfortunately they also disabled the music completely in the process.
Download file[9]

You can patch its included SW.EXE with this to enable the music again.

Issues unresolved[edit]

Can't turn off slope-tilting[edit]

Slope-tilting if a feature of many build games in which the game will automatically rise or lower the camera when going up or down a slope. Though helpful for those whom use arrow keys to move, it can be very annoying for those who are used to WASD + Mouse for look & movement. Unlike earlier build title, Blood, Shadow Warrior does not provide an option to turn this feature off (not even in source ports).[10]

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
An unfinished beta patch for 3DFX can be found on Shadow Warrior's official 3D Realms download page. It is based on the version used by sister build game Blood, though with additional fixes.
Software renderer
Default mode in DOSBox and only mode in classic version (without 3Dfx patch).
DOS video modes VGA, SVGA
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 6.2
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 66 MHz
System memory (RAM) 16 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 60 MB
Video card (GPU) VGA
Operating system (OS) XP, Vista
Processor (CPU) 1.8 GHz
System memory (RAM) 512 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 1 GB
Video card (GPU) DirectX 7 compatible
macOS (OS X)
Operating system (OS) 10.6.8 or later
Processor (CPU) Intel Core Duo 2 GHz+
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 1 GB
Video card (GPU) 64 MB of VRAM


  1. 1.0 1.1 When running this game without Administrator elevation, activity in %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMFILES(X86)%, and %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore\ (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>/358400/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (358400) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.