Jump attack input (skullsplitter) not working?

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Jump attack input (skullsplitter) not working?

Postby Mechanist » Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:19 pm

This might sound silly, but how do I perform the jump attack in OOTF?

Every description I've found, including the manual, points to pressing jump > crouch > attack - in sequence, a split second apart.
However, I can't seem to get it to work, no matter what I do. :?

I've tried just about every permutation imaginable: different timing, holding (or not holding) the keys, adding WASD into the mix; testing on level ground, on sloping ground, during near-fatal falls and during fatal falls, etc.
But all I get is the normal attack (sideways slash) animation, not a skullsplitter.

All the other special attacks I've tested, and they work perfectly fine, no problem whatsoever.
It shouldn't be a keyboard issue, either - on this keyboard I can use a wooden plank to press ALL the keys at once, and it has no problem registering that properly.

For the record, here's my software setup:
Level: Wartok Canyons, using Atimar's blade.
Patch 445 & 445++; dated 08/04/08, yes it's damn ancient all right.
10th Mod was installed at one point, and then uninstalled after some testing (shouldn't be relevant though?).
Currently running in developer mode, although IIRC this savegame was started in normal mode.
Keyboard+mouse only, no controllers.

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Re: Jump attack input (skullsplitter) not working?

Postby Arokhs Twin » Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:24 pm

Good question, I've just tried it - jump, crouch and attack in quick succession and it does the skullsplitter move but it took a couple of attempts. I think certain keyboards have issues with the timings even though they work perfectly fine in other games. I'm using a standard wireless microsoft ergonomic keyboard.
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Re: Jump attack input (skullsplitter) not working?

Postby Mechanist » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:08 pm

Thanks. I managed to make it work, in the end.

The manual is quite misleading in this regard, though - unless it's some weird issue specific to this model of keyboard:
Instead of "jump, crouch, attack", the correct input is "tap jump, tap crouch, tap attack".

The game seems to be very particular about this: each key needs to be released (presumably for at least 1 frame?) before the next is pressed, otherwise it doesn't work.
Which, to be fair, is exactly how the other tap combos work, at least as far as I can tell. But at least those are clearly described as such by the manual.

Now that I know the trick, I can do it quite reliably, and in fact the timing is way more lenient than I expected (tested with Mourn Bringer on flat ground).

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Re: Jump attack input (skullsplitter) not working?

Postby UCyborg » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:41 pm

the correct input is "tap jump, tap crouch, tap attack"
True, it's always been like this. Doesn't require 1 millisecond precision neither.
Patch 445 & 445++; dated 08/04/08, yes it's damn ancient all right.
Interestingly, contrary to what the patch 445++ description says, fix for that random Alwarren crash is absent. It also skips one function too much. If you start the game in developer mode, hold CTRL while clicking New game to bring up difficulty selection screen, clicking the desired difficulty doesn't stop the crystal sound.
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Re: Jump attack input (skullsplitter) not working?

Postby Mechanist » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:58 am

Well, in my case, holding CTRL while starting new game in dev mode simply causes a CTD.
Might be due to installing and then uninstalling the 10th Mod, or perhaps because this XP install is >6 years old, and thus by now very volatile in general.
I get CTD's randomly every couple of minutes when running Drakan. Don't care though - this computer is getting mothballed in 2-3 weeks now.

Never did get the Alwarren crash, though, nor any other major game-breaking bug; and I played through the entirety of OOTF at least twice (not counting fooling around). That was some 5-6 years ago, so on a relatively fresh XP install.
Back then, I also had no issues related to starting a new game and/or playing the intro (difficulty selection crash?).

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Re: Jump attack input (skullsplitter) not working?

Postby UCyborg » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:02 pm

Even the first version of the game could be completed from start to finish. I also don't remember Alwarren bug being a frequent occurrence. Few years back, I somehow managed to reproduce it, even had affected saved game, but I must have deleted it. What I can say with 100% certainty, patch 445 added some new seemingly pointless code sequence that checked some variable related to free look (it's like it checked if it was actually enabled if the checkbox was checked, not much sense in that, really; I'm going from memory here and the details are a bit fuzzy), hence the bug could be avoided by temporarily disabling free look in options. The result from the function was irrelevant to the operation of the game. Reading old posts here, one of Shelim's earliest patches broke the free look. Definitely something you can achieve by messing with the surrounding code in that area.

I found another pointless code sequence recently, the game sets mouse cursor to "Busy" when it registers its window class and resets it to the normal one before game window is shown. Cursor would only change when hovering mouse over the game window, which is invisible at the time cursor is set to Busy shape.

Two other issues that come to mind, but haven't been mentioned here; if you start the game in developer mode, go to options menu->Graphics->Done and click then Options in menu again, the game crashes.

The second occasional issue I experience; when music starts, it plays too fast or too slow. Forcing it to change by going back to menu or by some other means resolves it. I haven't been able to reproduce it in an emulator running Windows 98 and I know it's not connected to DirectMusic DLLs.
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Re: Jump attack input (skullsplitter) not working?

Postby Mechanist » Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:14 pm

The second occasional issue I experience; when music starts, it plays too fast or too slow. Forcing it to change by going back to menu or by some other means resolves it. I haven't been able to reproduce it in an emulator running Windows 98 and I know it's not connected to DirectMusic DLLs.
Ah, now that's interesting. I had this happen a few times when messing around in Wartok Canyons. (remember, it's with the ancient 2008 AiO patch!)
In all of these cases, it was after loading a savegame made immediately at the level entry point - as in, not even 1s of delay between the level loading, and me saving the game.
The BGM started playing OK, and for several seconds nothing was wrong. But after about a minute or so, it started to sound progressively more weird - sorta like what you get when you start disabling some of the sound effect channels in a Game Boy game.

Never had this happen before, though - which is to say, when I had OOTF functioning normally.
I just chalked it up to the general brokenness of this messed up OOTF install, as well as the ancient OS install in general.

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Re: Jump attack input (skullsplitter) not working?

Postby UCyborg » Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:57 am

There was no AiO Patch in 2008. :D There could be a little better chance of the music bug popping up when you do things that get music to change frequently, eg. loading saves from different areas in a short time-span. But even if you just return to menus from the game, you might hear that the transition is not 100% smooth as it should be. Sorry, I don't know how to put it in the words exactly.

Regarding sound related changes in AiO Patch; there's the raised limitation of number of sounds that can play concurrently when the game doesn't detect sound hardware acceleration via DirectSound. Not really an issue if you use Creative ALchemy, IndirectSound or an older Windows XP system with dedicated Creative sound card, these usually report at least 32 hardware accelerated sound buffers. Creative ALchemy is still a must to have EAX effects, eg. reverb and the underwater effect on a typical modern system. The nice thing about it is that you don't actually need a dedicated sound card for it, though ALchemy is indeed bundled with drivers for Creative cards. It's also included with Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3, a pure software solution that installs a virtual sound device and enables some of the features otherwise exclusive to their actual sound cards.

Hopefully, jonpol will someday implement full EAX support in his IndirectSound wrapper, which is available freely. Currently, it's mainly useful for games that are picky and won't do 3D positional sound unless they're being told hardware acceleration is available. Although depending on the game, this limitation could be easily patched out. Luckily, Drakan doesn't care about that out-of-the-box and enabling 3D sound buffers in Riot Engine Options does make a difference if you have surround sound system without having to do anything further. Extra software is still needed if you want surround on headphones, eg. Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3 or Razer Surround. The latter is free unless you want extra features and while I personally have no experience with it, people say it's good, maybe even better than Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3. Either way, these things are subjective.

Anyway, the last change in AiO Patch in the sound department is a small bug that sometimes causes incorrect music track ID to be saved to the save file. If you started the game, waited for entire intro to go through, loaded a game, quick-saved and then quick-loaded that save, music from menu would play.
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Re: Jump attack input (skullsplitter) not working?

Postby Mechanist » Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:00 pm

There was no AiO Patch in 2008. :D

Well, patch 445++. You're right, "AiO" doesn't appear anywhere in its documentation. I guess it was the "ancestor" of the AiO patch, then?

Not really an issue if you use Creative ALchemy (...) Creative ALchemy is still a must to have EAX effects

Does it have to be Creative ALchemy specifically, or is OpenAL sufficient?


For my new rig, I had first bought a Creative Audigy FX (PCIe), because well, it's Creative, right? What can go wrong? Oooops...
Not only does it use the dreaded Realtek chip, but there are no drivers for it for XP (despite my pre-purchase research indicating that there should be).
I did somehow manage to get it to work in XP by some miracle (and also in W7), at least for a while. Then it crapped out at some point while I was installing the other hardware drivers.
Even more strangely, it also refused to work in W7 after that, even with the drivers from the included CD.

In the end, I was like "F you Creative! :evil:", binned the Audigy, and bought a Xonar DGX 5.1 for a similar price (had to be PCIe also, I've run out of PCI slots). Which does support XP, just as claimed, and works perfectly fine on both systems. And it doesn't use the Realtek rubbish.

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Re: Jump attack input (skullsplitter) not working?

Postby Arokhs Twin » Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:56 pm


For my new rig, I had first bought a Creative Audigy FX (PCIe), because well, it's Creative, right? What can go wrong? Oooops...
Not only does it use the dreaded Realtek chip, but there are no drivers for it for XP (despite my pre-purchase research indicating that there should be).
I did somehow manage to get it to work in XP by some miracle (and also in W7), at least for a while. Then it crapped out at some point while I was installing the other hardware drivers.
Even more strangely, it also refused to work in W7 after that, even with the drivers from the included CD.

In the end, I was like "F you Creative! :evil:", binned the Audigy, and bought a Xonar DGX 5.1 for a similar price (had to be PCIe also, I've run out of PCI slots). Which does support XP, just as claimed, and works perfectly fine on both systems. And it doesn't use the Realtek rubbish.

Yeah, I've a creative Audigy card that Creative refuses to supply up to date drivers so that it works correctly on Windows 7. I sorta got it working with unofficial drivers but now I've upgraded to Windows 10 it don't work at all. Good card though that sounded much better than onboard especially in Drakan.
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Re: Jump attack input (skullsplitter) not working?

Postby UCyborg » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:05 pm

Does it have to be Creative ALchemy specifically, or is OpenAL sufficient?
Yes, so far Creative ALchemy is the only universal option AFAIK, but given your new sound card, it might come with its own solution. Drakan can only talk to DirectSound and ALchemy pretends to be DirectSound with full EAX support. There's this ancient thing called Creative ALchemy Universal, for which it's said that it works with any sound card, but in reality, Alchemy doesn't care about the actual sound card, at least recent versions, it just validates license files and bails out if they don't check out. It can use ct_oal.dll as backend OpenAL implementation (supposedly hardware accelerated), which you get with drivers bundled with dedicated Creative sound card.

There's also Sens_oal.dll, also known as Host OpenAL implementation (pure software OpenAL implementation, can be found in many Creative installers in HOAL folder), also compatible with ALchemy if you rename it to ct_oal.dll (some games work better when it uses that DLL, and some work better with it out of the way). ALchemy doesn't work with OpenAL Soft though because of some specifics that Creative stuff has, although it should be sufficient feature-wise.

Both Sens_oal.dll and ALchemy's dsound.dll can work on their own as long as license is there. There's this whole thread about the subject on VOGONS.

Another strange thing that comes to mind related to ALchemy, The Suffering games, which use the newer version of Riot Engine...you would think that they use EAX due to the option present in Riot Engine Options window, while in reality, they don't. BUUUT, because ALchemy is not perfect, you may think EAX is there because if its dsound.dll finds ct_oal.dll it can use, you'll get reverb effect throughout entirety of both games. When you start the first game, it makes sense due to prison setting.

The guy that develops IndirectSound said he already did some work regarding EAX support few years ago, but there were complications and he won't put it out until it's solid. Not too long ago, he also talked about switching from XAudio2 to WASAPI, that might allow better control and easier re-implementation of EAX. People were wondering why he doesn't just OpenAL Soft which comes with library of EAX effects and the given reason is that OpenAL doesn't represent quite how sound works in Windows and would require implementing similar settings that ALchemy does, namely Buffers and Duration, which are basically hacks that have to be tweaked for a particular game to work right due to how different games use DirectSound.

Only the first computer that came with Windows 95 I've had long ago had a dedicated sound card from Creative. It says SF16-FMP on the manual, printed in 1996, boasts a FM receiver and full compatibility with Sound Blaster 16.
In the end, I was like "F you Creative! :evil:", binned the Audigy, and bought a Xonar DGX 5.1 for a similar price (had to be PCIe also, I've run out of PCI slots). Which does support XP, just as claimed, and works perfectly fine on both systems. And it doesn't use the Realtek rubbish.
This card might let you use EAX in Drakan on XP without having to do anything special. The specs do says that DirectSound3D with EAX 2.0 (Drakan uses EAX 1.0) is supported on Windows 7. Given the audio architecture changes on that OS, my guess would be that you get something like Creative ALchemy with the card to be able to play old DirectSound games without restrictions.
Well, patch 445++. You're right, "AiO" doesn't appear anywhere in its documentation. I guess it was the "ancestor" of the AiO patch, then?
Historically, Drakon Rider's patches were the first, one was about boosting performance in some levels with crapload of crap in them, the other was about supporting some extra attack animations in multiplayer level NoWhere2, later Shelim came up with a patch addressing the crash issue with difficulty selection screen, then at one point I felt like playing Drakan after a long time and thought narrow field of view/everything being zoomed in on widescreen resolution was horrible for enjoyment, so I came up with my own patch, called just Widescreen hack, correcting the horizontal field of view. It also solved the issue on newer Windows systems, the dreaded "Session creation failed!" error and had the options to enable/disable some of the previous patches, since they were all separate, addressing one issue at the time. Due to this fragmentation and inclusion of the older patches in my version, I renamed it to AiO (All-in-One) Patch and it slowly grew from there.
Good card though that sounded much better than onboard especially in Drakan.
Drakan's sound files are pretty low quality to begin with. I bet due to crystallization or similar tricks.
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Re: Jump attack input (skullsplitter) not working?

Postby Mechanist » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:37 pm

Alchemy doesn't care about the actual sound card, at least recent versions, it just validates license files and bails out if they don't check out.
Uhh, you kinda lost me there. :?
Whose license, and for what? :?:

This card might let you use EAX in Drakan on XP without having to do anything special. The specs do says that DirectSound3D with EAX 2.0 (Drakan uses EAX 1.0) is supported on Windows 7. Given the audio architecture changes on that OS, my guess would be that you get something like Creative ALchemy with the card to be able to play old DirectSound games without restrictions.

Here's what the manual has to say about it:

Code: Select all

Xonar DGX is introducing an innovative technology –DirectSound 3D Game Extensions v2.5 (DS3D GX 2.5) - to restore DirectSound 3D Hardware acceleration mode and its subsidiary EAX effects on Windows Vista for 3D games. Unlike some proprietary API like OpenAL, DS3D GX doesn't require games to support OpenAL API. All existing games compatible with Microsoft DirectX and DirectSound 2D/3D will be supported with DS3D GX technology.

That "GX" feature can be toggled on/off in the control panel, including under XP. Not sure what's the point of disabling it, though?

In the Xonar's software installation directory, there is a file named "cm_oal.dll", whose description states "CMedia OpenAL Implementation".
(on top of that, I also still have OpenAL installed - a remnant of the Creative Audigy FX - even though it seems it might no longer be needed?)

Any good way of verifying if the EAX support actually works correctly? Unfortunately, DXdiag tells me nothing useful in this matter.

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Re: Jump attack input (skullsplitter) not working?

Postby UCyborg » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:52 pm

Uhh, you kinda lost me there. :?
Whose license, and for what? :?:
ALchemy and Host OpenAL aren't actually free to use, contrary to some sources online, license files tied to the hardware are required for them to work.
Any good way of verifying if the EAX support actually works correctly? Unfortunately, DXdiag tells me nothing useful in this matter.
I'm not aware of any tool that reports DirectSound capabilities. You can tell if Drakan was able to initialize EAX successfully if the checkbox for EAX stays checked after you enable it once (hold Shift when starting the game->Sound tab). 3D sound buffers should also be enabled.

You can fire up Ruined Village, head into the tavern downstairs and hit the nearest wall with a sword. You should hear it reverb if it works.
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Re: Jump attack input (skullsplitter) not working?

Postby Mechanist » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:03 pm

You can tell if Drakan was able to initialize EAX successfully if the checkbox for EAX stays checked after you enable it once
Ok, cool. I was always wondering why it would never stay on when using the integrated Realtek soundchip.

Can't test it as of right now, for various reasons, but I have other good news:
Finally got my Xonar DGX set up properly for my (rather crappy) headphones.
Let's put it this way: it kicks Realtek's ass and leaves it crying in the corner. :mrgreen:

Great value for the money (it's one of the cheapest PCIe soundcards).
Its "headphones 5.1 simulation" functionality is quite a thing. Sure does make these cheapie headphones reproduce half-decent bass (and half-decent everything else for that matter), which I didn't consider even remotely possible...

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Re: Jump attack input (skullsplitter) not working?

Postby UCyborg » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:22 pm

That "GX" feature can be toggled on/off in the control panel, including under XP. Not sure what's the point of disabling it, though?
I'm curious how this is supposed to work. At least on modern Windows versions, you need to have custom dsound.dll in game's folder for game to be able to pick EAX features. And XP allows to disable DirectSound extras through DXDiag.

Microsoft could make EAX 1.0/2.0 part of their own DIrectSound since they're open standards. It probably didn't happen because they wanted developers to embrace XAudio2.

As for why allow these things to be disabled, troubleshooting. Since sound was mixed in kernel mode on older systems, a driver bug could bring the system down. There are also cases where some games break with these things enabled. I only found out when I already had the current PC that this was the reason I was unable to get Interstate '76 running on the previous computer with Windows XP and had to rely on Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 and Windows 98 inside. It just froze when clicking anything in a menu and there were 2 workarounds, one being turning down the acceleration slider in DXDiag and other corrupting a menu sound file in one of game's data files by finding and replacing "RIFF" string with something else eg. "PIFF".

So, since you had XP compatibility in mind, you must have settled for an older graphics card for the new PC among other things as well? NVIDIA dropped XP support in 2016, AMD even earlier. AMD doesn't even bother to support 8.1 anymore, just 7 and 10.
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