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Shadow Warrior (1997)

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
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]
Monetization Freeware, Expansion pack
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Action, FPS, Shooter
Themes Asia, Comedy
Series Shadow Warrior
Shadow Warrior (1997) on HowLongToBeat
Shadow Warrior (1997) guide on StrategyWiki
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
Viscera Cleanup Detail: Shadow Warrior 2013
Shadow Warrior 2 2016
Shadow Warrior 3 2022


The macOS (OS X) version of this game needs a fix to work on macOS Catalina (version 10.15) or later (see API for details).

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

General information

Released as freeware in 2016.[3]
The game was made open source in 2005. Community Discussions for game series Support Page
Steam Community Discussions
Steam Community Discussions (free)
Former official game site
Shadow Warrior Central


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
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 (notes may include more details)
Pre-packaged with DOSBox. Also available as part of Shadow Warrior Classic Redux.
macOS (OS X)
ZOOM Platform
Includes both expansion packs. Pre-packaged with DOSBox.
macOS (OS X)

Version differences

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 uncensor the game was later released. All digital releases are uncensored.
There is a patch for the uncensored release that re-censores it here. A batch file is used for toggling it on and off. For the GOG release, it is required to edit the bat files or the autoexec section of dosbox_swarrior_single.conf to apply it to Twin Dragon as well.

Digital version differences

Shadow Warrior Classic (1997) - Steam

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

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

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

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.


A four-level shareware episode is available in the downloads section of this page.

DLC and expansion packs

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
A third addon named Deadly Kiss, developed by Simply Silly Software was never released. However a restoration project is in the works.

Essential improvements


Improve performance in DOSBox

Edit DOSBox's configuration file
  • Change output=surface to output=openglnb.
  • Change memsize=16 to memsize=63.
  • 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.



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 ports

Name Description
VoidSW Source port distributed alongside EDuke32, currently in public beta. OS X and Linux versions must be built from source.
macOS (OS X)
BuildGDX Source port based on libGDX framework for Java. Adds high resolutions support, OpenGL renderer, improved mouse controls, and fixes for the original game bugs. Can run official addons and custom made campaings straight from the main menu without the need to use installers or replace any original files.
macOS (OS X)
Raze Fork of VoidSW and SWP to GZDoom architecture. Also supports Blood, Redneck Rampage and Powerslave/Exhumed.
macOS (OS X)
JFSW Allows for OpenGL rendering. Supports high resolution textures.
SWP Offers limited widescreen support (16:10 aspect ratio only), anisotropic filtering and Vsync.

Game data

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

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
DOS <path-to-game>\SW.CFG
Windows <path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 1]
Mac OS (Classic)
macOS (OS X) <path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 1]
Linux <path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 1]
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/238070/pfx/[Note 2]
This game does not follow the XDG Base Directory Specification on Linux.

Save game data location

System Location
DOS <path-to-game>\GAME*.SAV
Windows <path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 1]
Mac OS (Classic)
macOS (OS X) <path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 1]
Linux <path-to-game> (mounted in DOSBox)[Note 1]
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/238070/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud


In-game video settings.
In-game video settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Requires a source port.
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
For DOSBox toggle with Alt+ Enter (see the glossary page for other workarounds).
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Requires a source port.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Requires a source port.
60 FPS
120+ FPS
Requires a source port.


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

Use mouse wheel to change weapons

Use a source port
Bind "Next weapon" and "Previous weapon" keys to the mouse wheel[5]
  1. Get AutoHotkey
  2. Use this script whenever you play Shadow Warrior.
Only works on Windows.


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

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Music, Sound effects
DOSBox cannot handle CD audio volume. See Change CD audio volume (DOSBox).
Surround sound
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
For DOSBox change the priority background value in the DOSBox configuration file.
Royalty free audio
Red Book CD audio
General MIDI audio


Language UI Audio Sub Notes

Change CD audio volume (DOSBox)

Edit configuration files
This fix is to be applied to all configuration files.

Below the imgmount command, add mixer CDAUDIO <value>:<value>, where <value> is a volume percentage.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Notes
Local play
LAN play
Versus, Co-op
Online play
For DOSBox use DOSBox IPX/modem emulation.

Connection types

Type Native Notes
Direct IP
See "Online play" notes.

Issues fixed

Twin Dragon uses its own copy of SW.CFG (

Twin Dragon normally overwrites the original second episode. worked around this issue by making a duplicate installation dedicated to Twin Dragon. However, settings changes made to the base game do not carry over the addon automatically.
Automate configuration file copy[6]
  1. Open dosbox_swarrior_single.conf
  2. Under :dragon, add the following lines betwen #tdragon.exe and cls.
#sync shadow warrior configuration
@copy ..\SW.CFG
Additionally it is possible to keep saves synced between the two installations by adding COPY C:\*.SAV C:\dragon\ between SW.EXE and COPY C:\dragon\*.SAV C:\.

Game loses binds (

Both vanilla and Wanton Destruction executables 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 on the next run.
Bind DOS32A to the executables[7]
  1. Go to <path-to-game> and delete the main SW.EXE (not Twin Dragon's SW.EXE).
  2. Copy wanton.dat and sw.dat to a new folder and rename them to Wanton.EXE and SW.EXE.
  3. For online play, it is required to copy Setmain.exe to this folder as well.
  4. With DOSBox, bind both files with DOS32A's sb /r command.
  5. Restore their original .dat extensions and move them back to their original folders.
  6. Open dosbox_swarrior_single.conf and under the :wanton section, add @COPY sw.dat sw.exe under sw.exe.
Attempting to bind DOS32A directly to the Wanton and SW dat files shows mixed results and may not work for everyone as the bind utility does not like files that don't have the .exe extension.
Since most of Twin Dragon's files are duplicates of the vanilla files, setmain.exe is exactly the same for both and can merely be copied over to Twin Dragon's directory after binding. This however should not be done to Twin Dragon's sw.exe as it differs from the vanilla version and thus should be bound separately.
Launch the game via DOS32A[citation needed]
Make sure DOS32A is copied into the Shadow Warrior folder. Also revert any changes made with the last method (can be done 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 the game's configuration file.
    • For Twin Dragon, use the command C:\DOS32A instead, specifying DOS32A's location (root folder).

Re-enable music in Twin Dragon

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.
Use a patched executable[9]
  1. Download this and extract the archive in <path-to-game>.
  2. Overwrite the original sw.exe or make a backup copy of it.

Can't disable slope-tilting

See Vogons thread

Other information


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 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
ExecutablePPC16-bit 32-bit 64-bitARM Notes
For 64-bit, use a source port.
macOS (OS X)
For 64-bit, use a source port.
For non-32-bit, use a source port.[10]
Mac OS (Classic)

High resolution pack

Adds high resolution textures and 3D models. Instructions to download it here (point the SVN client to
Alternatively, an old pack from ProAsm is available here.
Only works on source ports.

Other downloads

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

System requirements

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 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 File/folder structure within the installation folder reflects the path(s) listed for DOS game data.
  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>/238070/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (238070) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.


  1. Shadow Warrior - 3D Realms - Firepower Matters - last accessed on May 2023
  2. News - Shadow Warrior Update Released - last accessed on May 2023
  3. Shadow Warrior Classic Complete is free on GOG - last accessed on October 7, 2016
  4. List of GOG games using DOSBox, page 1 - Forum - - last accessed on May 2023
  5. Use Mouse Wheel to Change Weapons in OUWB! - Forum - last accessed on May 2023
  6. - last accessed on May 2023
  7. - last accessed on May 2023
  8. - last accessed on May 2023
  9. - last accessed on May 2023
  10. FreshPorts -- games/jsfw - last accessed on 2021-05-09