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The Need for Speed

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games

This page is for the original 1995 game. For the 2016 reboot, see Need for Speed (2016).

The Need for Speed
The Need for Speed cover
Developers
Pioneer Productions
EA Canada
Publishers
Electronic Arts
Release dates
DOS August 31, 1995
Windows June 1996
Taxonomy
Monetization One-time game purchase
Microtransactions None
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person, Third-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Racing
Vehicles Automobile, Street racing
Themes Contemporary
Series Need for Speed
The Need for Speed on HowLongToBeat
The Need for Speed on IGDB
The Need for Speed guide on StrategyWiki
The Need for Speed on MobyGames
The Need for Speed on Wikipedia
The Need for Speed 1994
Need for Speed II 1997
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (series)
Need for Speed: High Stakes 1999
Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed 2000
Need for Speed: Underground (series)
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (series)
Need for Speed: Carbon 2006
Need for Speed: ProStreet 2007
Need for Speed: Undercover 2008
Need for Speed: Shift (series)
Need for Speed: World 2010
Need for Speed: The Run 2011
Need for Speed Rivals 2013
Need for Speed (2016) 2016
Need for Speed Payback 2017
Need for Speed: Edge 2017
Need for Speed Heat 2019
Need for Speed Unbound 2022

The Need for Speed is a singleplayer and multiplayer first-person and third-person racing game in the Need for Speed series.

The game was first released on 3DO in North America and Europe on December 2, 1994. It was later ported to MS-DOS on September 1995. The game was re-relased again as The Need for Speed: Special Edition which added an additional car and two tracks for Windows on June 1996.

Although Special Edition has added support for Windows, the game has poor compatibility on version of Windows NT. It is recommended to run the MS-DOS version in DOSBox instead.

Availability

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
DRM-free
Disc check DRM for Windows version. DRM-free for MS-DOS.
DOS
Windows
For more contents, it is recommended to get the Special Edition which has improvement compared to the original version.

Version differences

Special Edition added one new playable car and two tracks compared to the original edition, as well as mirrored version of each track and time of day setting.

Monetization

Type Notes
One-time game purchase The game requires an upfront purchase to access.
Sponsored The game was sponsored by Road & Track magazine and various licensed cars.

Microtransactions

Type Notes
No microtransactions No microtransactions are available in this game.

Essential improvements

Patches

All patches are available from The Need For Speed SE Patches (Archived from original).

Video corruption in Special Edition

Videos in Need for Speed Special Edition (1996) may be corrupted, unless they run on a period correct video card.

The bug is explained, together with a way to fix it in the game code at the os2musem.

DOSBox-X

When using DOSBox-X, this bug can be prevented by disallowing low-res VESA modes with the following setting in your DOSBox-X config file in the [video] section:

allow low resolution vesa modes = false

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
DOS <path-to-game>\GAMEDATA\CONFIG\
Windows <path-to-game>\GAMEDATA\CONFIG\[Note 1]

Save game data location

System Location
DOS <path-to-game>\GAMEDATA\SAVEGAME\
Windows <path-to-game>\GAMEDATA\SAVEGAME\[Note 1]

Video

Input

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Remapping
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
X-axis can be used for steering.
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Y-axis can not be used to accelerate/brake.
Controller
Controller support
[1]
Full controller support
Controller remapping
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
through JCU.exe
Additional information
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
FFB implementation doesn't work on modern systems.
Simultaneous controller+KB/M

Audio

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Race music, menu music, sound effects
Surround sound
8-bit mono, 8-bit stereo, 16-bit stereo
Subtitles
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
For DOSBox change the priority background value in the DOSBox configuration file.

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English

Network

Multiplayer types

Type Native Notes
Local play
LAN play
Via modem or IPX (use DOSBox for TCP/IP or UDP/IP).
Online play
For DOSBox use DOSBox IPX/modem emulation.
Asynchronous multiplayer

Connection types

Ports

No port information; you can edit this page to add it.
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

Issues fixed

Running the game on Windows 7, 8.1 or 10

The game doesn't install with the setup program but can be installed manually. But the game never runs by opening the executable, you have to hook it through DxWnd to get it working. However, it has been found that the game doesn't even hook well with this program, it crashes before it gets hooked, it also doesn't run when it finds an unsupported driver on the machine (maybe delaying the hook), for example, a USB audio driver. If the driver gets uninstalled, the game mostly works fine. Still the game can have hooking problems and may not run in some instances.

Manually installing the game and running it using DxWnd[2][citation needed]
  1. Copy 'FRONTEND', 'GAMEDATA', 'SIMDATA', 'IFORCE.DLL', 'NFS_WIN.EXE' from the CD to a folder. Rename 'NFS_WIN.EXE' to 'nfs.exe'.
  2. Copy 'BESTLAST.EAS', 'BESTTIME.EAS', 'EIGTH.EAS', 'FIFTH.EAS', 'FINALLAP.EAS', 'FIRST.EAS', 'FOURTH.EAS', 'SECOND.EAS', 'SEVENTH.EAS', 'SIXTH.EAS', 'THIRD.EAS' from 'FRONTEND/SPEECH' to the same folder.
  3. Copy 'dplay.dll' from 'REDIST\DIRECTX' folder of the CD to the same folder, or copy 'dplayx.dll' from 'Windows\SysWOW64' (64-bit OS) or 'Windows\System32'(32-bit OS) and then rename it to 'dplay.dll'. The first one is guaranteed to work while the later two may not work on some versions of Windows 10. But it is recommended to use either of the latter two.
  4. Copy 'NFS.CFG' to the game folder which can be downloaded from here.
  5. Copy 'PATHS.DAT' to 'GAMEDATA\CONFIG' in the installation folder, which can be downloaded from here.
  6. Open 'PATHS.DAT' with a hex editor like HxD and replace all text-strings "D:\" with the current CD drive letter, say "I:\". The replace function of the program can be used to replace all instances of "D:\" with the desired CD drive letter. This is a vital step, since the whole process will go wrong if this is not done properly. Please note that there are three instances of "D:\"
  7. Open DxWnd, and import this .dxw profile; right-click on the 'Need for Speed SE' entry that appears in DxWnd window and click on modify, change the path to the location of the game folder for "Path" and "Launch" pointing to 'nfs.exe'. Click OK.
  8. Double-click on 'Need for Speed SE' in DxWnd, the game should run. The game will display a black screen and freeze if the 'DPLAY.DLL' from the CD was used, just go to the Taskbar and click OK for the two errors that appear behind the game window. If it crashes try a few more times; if it doesn't work then it is likely because of the problem mentioned at the start.

Other information

API

Technical specs Supported Notes
Software renderer
DOS video modes VGA, SVGA
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes
Windows

System requirements

Original Edition

DOS
Minimum
Operating system (OS) 4.0
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 75 MHz
System memory (RAM) 8 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 4 MB
Video card (GPU) 256 color VESA-compatible SVGA-compatible
512 KB of VRAM
Sound (audio device) Sound Blaster, Sound Blaster 16, Sound Blaster AWE32, Sound Blaster Pro and 100% compatibles, Gravis Ultrasound/ACE and 100% Compatibles, Ensoniq Soundscape, Microsoft Sound System[3]
Other Modem (For Two-Player Online Play), Null-Modem Cable (For Two-Player Local Area Play)

Special Edition

DOS
Minimum[1]
Operating system (OS) 5.0
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 75 MHz
System memory (RAM) 8 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 4 MB
Video card (GPU) 256 color VESA-compatible SVGA-compatible
512 KB of VRAM
Sound (audio device) Sound Blaster, Sound Blaster 16, Sound Blaster AWE32, Sound Blaster Pro and 100% compatibles, Gravis Ultrasound/ACE and 100% Compatibles, Ensoniq Soundscape, Microsoft Sound System[3]
Other 2X (MPC2 compliant) CD-ROM drive, 100% Hayes compatible 9600 bps or faster modem (For Two-Player Online Play) or null-modem (For Two-Player Local Area Play) with high speed (16550 UART) serial port
Windows
Minimum[1] Recommended
Operating system (OS) 95
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium 75 MHz
System memory (RAM) 12 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 30 MB
Video card (GPU) 256 color VESA-compatible SVGA-compatible
512 K of VRAM
Sound (audio device) Windows 95 compatible sound card
Other 2X (MPC2 compliant) CD-ROM drive, 100% Hayes compatible 9600 bps or faster modem (For Two-Player Online Play) or null-modem (For Two-Player Local Area Play) with high speed (16550 UART) serial port

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).

References