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The Operative: No One Lives Forever

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games
The Operative: No One Lives Forever
The Operative: No One Lives Forever cover
Monolith Productions
GOTY Edition Third Law Interactive
macOS (OS X) MumboJumbo
Fox Interactive
Sierra Entertainment
OS X MacPlay
LithTech 2.2
Release dates
Windows November 9, 2000
macOS (OS X) November 21, 2002
Metacritic 91
Monetization One-time game purchase
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Action, FPS, Shooter, Stealth
Vehicles Motorcycle, Off-roading
Art styles Realistic
Themes Cold War, Comedy, Europe, Africa, Space
Series No One Lives Forever
The Operative: No One Lives Forever on HowLongToBeat
The Operative: No One Lives Forever on IGDB
The Operative: No One Lives Forever on MobyGames
The Operative: No One Lives Forever on Wikipedia
No One Lives Forever
The Operative: No One Lives Forever 2000
No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way 2002
Contract J.A.C.K. 2003


SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows Vista and later (see Availability for affected versions).
The Mac OS X version of this game does not work on Mac OS X Lion (version 10.7) or later due to the removal of support for PowerPC apps.
GameSpy online services have been shut down (see Network for solutions).

The Operative: No One Lives Forever is a singleplayer and multiplayer first-person action, FPS, shooter and stealth game in the No One Lives Forever series.

The game was re-released with the Game of the Year Edition in October 2001, featuring an additional mission added at the end of the campaign, new multiplayer maps and skins, and the 1.004 patch streamlined. The same year, the source code was made available alongside a host of official modding tools.[1]

A 2002 PlayStation 2 port included a unique prequel mission which was never ported to the PC.

The game remains unavailable for purchase due to licensing issues between Activision Blizzard (as successors of Sierra Entertainment) and WB Games (as current owners of developer Monolith Productions). The game's compatibility with newer systems has worsened over the years, most notably with Intel's integrated GPUs having severe display issues (e.g. water bodies flicker on the outside and display as black when submerged, rendering some missions unplayable), and exceeding 60 FPS introduces various issues of its own. The community fix known as the NOLF Modernizer resolves most such issues, and is a required installation on modern systems.

General information

Official website (Game of the Year Edition)
UnityHQ - A fansite for the series - A fansite for the game with updated custom map packs


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
Original release (US and EU): SafeDisc v2 DRM[Note 1]
Game of the Year Edition (US and EU): Simple disc check
Game of the Year Edition (Germany): SecuROM 4 DRM
macOS (OS X)
SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows Vista and later (see above for affected versions).

Version differences

The Game of the Year Edition comes with its unique version 1.004 and includes new multiplayer maps and a unique singleplayer mission that takes place after the main campaign. The original release can be patched to be compatible with the GOTY release online, and its multiplayer maps were officially released as a download, but the singleplayer mission remains an exclusive.
The 2002 PlayStation 2 release contains its own unique mission which was never ported to the PC.


A free demo is available.

Essential improvements


NOLF Modernizer

Fixes some long standing bugs and updates some more outdated features of the game.
For multilingual version, see here.
Multilingual version may be required even while running the game with the NOLF Modernizer fan patch in English, especially on installations of Windows with additional keyboards or language packs installed.

Skip intro videos

Delete/rename Movies folder[4]
  1. Go to the installation folder.
  2. Delete or rename Movies.

Skip launcher, intro videos and CD-check

Use a custom shortcut[citation needed]
  1. Create a shortcut to <path-to-game>\lithtech.exe.
  2. In shortcut properties add these command line parameters:

-rez NOLF.rez -rez NOLF2.rez -rez nolfu003.rez -rez NOLFCRES003.rez -rez NOLFGOTY.rez +DisableMovies 1

If using NOLF Modernizer, it will be ignored by the new shortcut. To prevent this, also add the command line parameter: -rez custom\MODERNIZER.rez

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\autoexec.cfg[Note 2]
macOS (OS X)

Save game data location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\Save\[Note 2]
macOS (OS X)


Video settings.
Video settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
See Widescreen resolution.
See Widescreen resolution.
See Widescreen resolution.
4K Ultra HD
See Widescreen resolution. Menus, text, HUD and UI don't scale well. Use dgVoodoo 2 to scale them.
Field of view (FOV)
See Field of view (FOV).
Use +windowed 1 in the command line options.
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Use NOLF Modernizer.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
High-fidelity upscaling
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
60 FPS
120+ FPS
Exceeding 60 FPS introduces various issues.
High dynamic range display (HDR)

Widescreen resolution

Natively the game stretches on widescreen while the menu and interface are pixel-based.
Proper widescreen fixes[citation needed]
  1. Install NOLF Modernizer for Hor+ screen change.
  2. Open autoexec.cfg in the game folder.
  3. Add or modify "UIScale" "1.0" to increase size of some UI elements.

Field of view (FOV)

Use a command-line parameter[citation needed]
  1. Start NOLF.exe and click on Advanced.
  2. In Command-Line field, type in: +FovX "value" to set the horizontal FOV to another value. Vertical FOV might have to be set with +FovY "value" as well. Use to find the correct ratios.
  3. Make sure Always specify these command line parameters is enabled.


If using NOLF Modernizer, the scope overlay does not fill the entire active screen area for bigger than default value.


Lacks an option to toggle crouch mode.[5]


There is an issue with saving custom keyboard binds on localized Windows version (or on localized keyboard layouts). Manual keys mapping is required.
Mouse buttons and scrolling wheel is not assigned to any action.
Custom remapping[citation needed]


  1. Open <path-to-game>\autoexec.cfg with a text editor.
  2. Locate section starting with line enabledevice "##keyboard".
  3. In this section keyboard keys are represented as a number: ##xx, change them for the desired binds. For references which number is which key, see table under this fixbox.
  4. Check for duplicities, multiple actions on one key can cause problems.


  1. Launch the game, navigate to the controls menu and assign any action to any mouse button. Mark the name of mouse button.
  2. Open <path-to-game>\autoexec.cfg with a text editor.
  3. Locate section enabledevice "##mouse" and insert these lines:
  4. rangebind "##mouse" "Button 0" 0.000000 0.000000 "Fire"
    rangebind "##mouse" "Button 1" 0.000000 0.000000 "Activate"
    rangebind "##mouse" "Button 2" 0.000000 0.000000 "Reload" 
  5. Change Button x to the button name that was marked in step 1.
  6. Alternatively, use these lines:
  7. rangebind "##mouse" "##3" 0.000000 0.000000 "Fire"
    rangebind "##mouse" "##4" 0.000000 0.000000 "Activate"
    rangebind "##mouse" "##5" 0.000000 0.000000 "Reload"

Note: These numbers are for US keyboard layout (QWERTY layout).
If you defined another layout (e.g. French AZERTY layout), you should perform the transposition yourself.
For example, to bind the 'A' key using the AZERTY keyboard layout, you should use the number ##16 (the 'Q' key in table below).

Key ## Key ## Key ##
A 30 Caps Lock 58 [ 26
B 48 Backspace 14 ] 27
C 46 TAB 15 ; 39
D 32 left SHIFT 42 '' 40
E 18 right SHIFT 54 , 51
F 33 ENTER 28 . 52
G 34 left CTRL 29 / 53
H 35 right CTRL 59 ~ 1
I 23 left ALT 56 - 12
J 36 right ALT 58 = 13
K 37 SPACE 57
L 38 1 2
M 50 F1 59 2 3
N 49 F2 60 3 4
O 24 F3 61 4 5
P 25 F4 62 5 6
Q 16 F5 63 6 7
R 19 F6 64 7 8
S 31 F7 65 8 9
T 20 F8 66 9 10
U 22 F9 67 0 11
V 47 F10 68
W 17 F11 69
X 45 F12 70
Y 44
Z 21


Audio settings.
Audio settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Music and sound effects.
Surround sound
Option is located under Game settings.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Royalty free audio
EAX / A3D support information: Even if the libraries for A3D and EAX v1 and 2 are indeed included in the game root, when checking sound logs, there are no 3D sound calls, and the game's settings don't provide any options to enable 3D sound, so their inclusion as libraries is seemingly only for convenience, being a part of the Miles Sound System libraries.


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Fan translation, link #1 or link #2.
Blood and death cries censored, "MoreBloodOption" cheat useless.
Fan translation, download.
Fan translation, download.
Fan translation, download (From Clan Dlan archives).
Brazilian Portuguese
Fan translation, download (Brazil Alliance).


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
16 Versus
Online play
16 Versus
The official GameSpy service has been shut down; see NOLF Modernizer.

Connection types


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP 2300-2400, 7000-10000
UDP 27888
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

Issues fixed

Installing the game on a 64-bit OS

The regular version of the game (not the GOTY edition, which is an improved setup and prepatched to 1.4) uses a 16-bit setup executable which will not work on 64-bit operating systems.
  1. Use a custom 64-bit compatible installer. One that only works for the English version of the game can be found here.
  2. Patch 1.3 is also a 16-bit .exe so it requires a similar workaround. A 64-bit installer for patch 1.3 can also be found there. Patch 1.4 works natively on 64-bit operating systems.


Alternatively, install and patch the game on a real or emulated 32-bit operating system, and copy the files over to the 64-bit machine (the game's executables are not 16-bit).

Game Crashes After Logos

On some systems even after modernizer and other patches are applied, the game may crash to desktop after displaying the company logos.
The crash is typically in ucrtbase.dll and may occur with integrated Intel GPU chipsets.
Use dgVoodoo 2[7]

Game runs really fast at unlocked frame rates

Exceeding 60 FPS causes slower animations and faster than normal environmental sounds.[8]
Use NOLF Modernizer to cap the frame rate at 60 FPS[9]
Set monitor on 60 Hz[10]

Game's resolution has 2048 pixel limit

Use NOLF Modernizer[9]

Mouse input is erratic or unresponsive

Use NOLF Modernizer[9]
Use NOLF Mouse Input Fix[11]
  1. Download the modified dinput.dll file and place it in <path-to-game>.

Slowdown with some UI elements

Occurs when picking items up, looking down scope, or switching weapons.
Use NOLF Modernizer[9]

Black screen when underwater

This is due to Intel's onboard graphics not liking Direct3D/DirectX7. This also fixes missing screen effects.
Use NOLF Modernizer[12]
  1. Install NOLF Modernizer.
  2. Start the game.
  3. Enable Intel HD Graphics Fix in Display options.
Force the game to use a dedicated graphics card[12]

Graphics are glitched and game is practically unplayable

Install the game on the primary drive[citation needed]

Dynamic lighting (flashlights) causes reduction in frame rate

Use dgVoodoo 2.82.3 or newer[13]

Game crashes with Nvidia G-Sync enabled

The game may crash with a Client MFC Application has stopped working error message with Nvidia G-Sync enabled.
Disable G-Sync for the game[citation needed]
  1. Launch the Nvidia Control Panel.
  2. Add lithtech.exe under Manage 3D settings -> Program Settings.
  3. Set Monitor Technology to Fixed Refresh.

Game runs slow, and text has black boxes around it

Occurs when using Intel integrated graphics.
Force the game to use a dedicated graphics card[12]
Optimize Surfaces is missing from autoexec.cfg
  1. Open autoexec.cfg with a text editor.
  2. Add "optimizesurfaces" "1" at the top of the file and save.

Low frame rate on Windows 8 and higher

Use dgVoodoo 2[citation needed]
  1. Download dgVoodoo 2.
  2. Copy dgVoodooCpl.exe, as well as D3D8.dll, D3DImm.dll and DDraw.dll from the MS\x86\ folder to <path-to-game>.
(Windows 8 and 8.1 only) Download ddraw.dll and put it in <path-to-game>[14]
(Windows 8 - 10) Use the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit[14]
  1. Download the Microsoft ADK and install the Application Compatibility Toolkit.
  2. Run the Compatibility Administrator (32-bit).
  3. Select "New Database(1)" and press the Fix button.
  4. Enter a name for the fix and point the program file to lithtech.exe in the No One Lives Forever folder.
  5. Press Next twice.
  6. Select under "Compatibility Fixes" the fix DXPrimaryEmulation.
  7. Press the Parameters button.
  8. Enter -DisableMaxWindowedMode into "Command line" and press OK.
  9. Press Next and Finish.
  10. Save, name the database and select a save location.
  11. Right click the database and select Install.
See Windowed[citation needed]

Game doesn't load in Windows 11

Enable compatibility mode for Windows XP (Service Pack 2) on NOLF.exe[15]

"ERROR in CInterfaceMgr::Init(): Could not initialize InterfaceResMgr!" dialog box after launching with NOLF Modernizer fan patch installed

Use the Nolf_MultilingualGUI patch[16]
  1. Run Nolf_MultilingualGUI.exe, and select the desired GUI language.
  2. Install the NOLF Modernizer fan patch as normal (copy all files from the .7z to the game's install directory).
  3. Set NOLF.exe to run as Administrator under the compatibility mode settings.
  4. Run NOLF.exe, then enable the Modernizer patch by clicking Advanced > Customize, selecting MODERNIZER.REZ, clicking "Add >" to move it to the right size, clicking "Always load these rez files", and clicking "OK".


A PCGamingWiki mirror of the patch file is located here.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 7 [17]
ExecutablePPC 32-bit 64-bit Notes
macOS (OS X)


Middleware Notes
Audio Miles Sound System 6.0i[18]
Input DirectInput The Modernizer mod updates the game to SDL2.
Cutscenes Bink Video
Multiplayer GameSpy

Map packs

NOLF ESRGAN Upscale Pack

Upscales game textures using ESRGAN AI neural network 2x or 4x times
Supports both vanilla game, GOTY and Modernizer patch

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 95, 98, ME, 2000
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium II 300 MHz
System memory (RAM) 64 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 400 MB
Video card (GPU) 8 MB of VRAM
DirectX 7 compatible
Sound (audio device) 16-bit DirectX compatible
Other 4X CD-ROM
56K modem for online multiplayer
macOS (OS X)
Operating system (OS) 10.1.4
Processor (CPU) PowerPC 7xx
PowerPC G3 350 MHz
System memory (RAM) 128 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 1 GB
Video card (GPU) 3D accelerator
8 MB of VRAM


  1. SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10[2] or Windows 11 and is disabled by default on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 when the KB3086255 update is installed.[3]
  2. 2.0 2.1 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).


  1. No One Lives Forever source code - GitHub - last accessed on 2023-07-16
  2. Not Loading in Windows 10; this will break thousands of - Microsoft Community - last accessed on 2017-01-16
  3. Microsoft - MS15-097: Description of the security update for the graphics component in Windows: September 8, 2015 - last accessed on 2018-02-16
  4. Verified by User:Mrhorizons on 2023-06-27
  5. The Operative: No One Lives Forever (2000) Windows review - MobyGames
  6. Tested by Nessy
  7. Tested by Skolia
  8. High fps by haekb · Pull Request #13 · haekb/nolf1-modernizer - last accessed on 9 June 2023
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Verified by User:Keith on 2019-09-18
  10. Verified by User:Diegoelcapo1231 on 2020-07-27
  11. Verified by User:Demon272481 on 2022-11-11
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 nolf-modernizer-readme.txt
  13. Verified by User:AlphaYellow on 2024-02-06
    Recent versions of dgVoodoo 2 have fixed the long standing performance issues with dynamic lighting on pre-LithTech Jupiter games, which previous dgVoodoo versions suffered from.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Windows 8 strange things and 3d faster in window (retrieved)
  15. Tested by sergiotecnico
  17. Verified by User:AlphaYellow on 2024-04-05
    According to System Informer, the game loads d3dim700.dll. dgVoodoo2's traces point to Direct3D 7 (e.g: "Direct3DDevice7").
  18. Verified by User:Nessy on 2019-06-15
    Version number found in Mss32.dll in the game installation folder.