Running old Verge games

Lately it’s come up a few times on the Discord chat about how to run older Verge games on modern PCs. So I thought it would be cool to share a few tips on how to run older Verge games in DOSBox. And eventually while writing this, I started thinking about Windows Verge as well.

I won’t run down how to setup DOSBox and mount a drive and stuff like that, but the setup is pretty minimal mostly. If it makes things more convenient, I’ve used D-Fend Reloaded as a nice frontend on top of DOSBox to configure a lot of stuff up-front. Mainly you just need to mount the drive, and the rest of the presets can stay the same. There might be memory/mouse/CPU speed stuff to mess with too, but you probably don’t need to

General Advice

  • Make a copy of your game, and do any changes on the copy rather than the original.
  • To be extra safe, don’t run the original either. Run a copy.
  • Why? Things could potentially modify files (eg. if you try to recompile scripts and compilation fails), or if you replace an executable (as some steps advise) it might not be compatible so it’s potentially good to keep the original

Verge 1 games in DOSBox

  • Get a newer copy of cwsdpmi from here and paste it over the cwspdmi.exe included with the game.
  • Open DOSBox
  • Go to your game folder
  • Run cwsdpmi -x to disable its 1.0 extensions (which crash will Verge, and DOSBox itself)
  • Run main to launch the Verge game
  • For viewing maps, you can open maped or open the V1 map files in Maped 3. The map files will request something about creating a basic obstruction tileset when you import them.
  • For compiling scripts, you can use vcc, I believe the command is vcc all?
  • Configuration can be edited in setup.cfg
  • edit FILENAME can open text files in DOSBox, you could also inspect in a text-editor outside of DOSBox.

Verge 2 - 2.5 games in DOSBox

  • Open DOSBox
  • Go to your game folder
  • You need to use DOS4GW to run the games, I think there’s a way to get this DOS4GW launch automatically for any executable that needs it, but I forget how to set this up. So I usually just prefix the executable with dos4gw instead.
  • Type dos4gw verge to run the game.
  • dos4gw vcc all to compile all scripts (be extra careful with this! you might want to do this only if you’re sure you have a backup first)
  • dos4gw maped to open maped2 and look at maps. For opening V2 maps on Windows. There’s also maped2w by aen written in allegro that could work for opening stuff, but it is a bit unstable.
  • edit FILENAME can open text files in DOSBox, you could also inspect in a text-editor outside of DOSBox.
  • user.cfg is the config file, and you can use the startmap FILENAME directive to change what map gets loaded

Winverge Games (V1)

  • fullscreen mode will probably not work right on a modern display, and will force the display into an indexed color mode + hardware fullscreen at an very low resolution.
  • Maybe there’s an option to pass to setup.cfg that overrides fullscreen mode? (Does anyone know? I can’t find any mention of extra config options in the winverge.txt document)
  • This uses DirectDraw. On Windows Vista, 7 (and 8?) I think desktop composition / aero will be disabled.
  • Currently not sure how to run Winverge correctly. Is there a compatibility setting you can apply to winverge.exe to get it to run with the correct colors fullscreen mode? (trying 256 color mode crashes on startup) Otherwise, is there a way to run in windowed mode? I looked through the executable with the strings command and couldn’t seem to see the string setup.cfg referenced anywhere.

WinV2 Games (Verge 2.5)

  • Should mostly work out of the box,
  • Might randomly run way too fast. In this case, it might be better run the DOS version of Verge 2.5 in DOSBox.
  • Sometimes DOS games written for V2.5 can work in WinV2, but not always. There are incompatibilities, and unlike DOS, Windows has memory protection, so any game that accidentally corrupt memory will likely crash instead of carrying along unnoticed.
  • fullscreen mode will probably not work right on a modern display, and will force the display into 256-color mode + hardware fullscreen at an unsupported resolution. It’s recommended to open user.cfg and add windowmode 1 to force windowed mode.
  • Add eagle 1 to double-size the window with a 2xSAI scaling filter applied.
  • You can resize the window manually (but unfortunately, if you the scaling doesn’t snap to integer factors or obey aspect so you’ll need to be careful)
  • This uses DirectDraw. On Windows Vista, 7 (and 8?) I think desktop composition / aero will be disabled. It works fine on Win10.

Verge 3 Games

  • These should work out of the box on Windows 10
  • Older versions of Verge 3 use DirectDraw. On Windows Vista, 7 (and 8?) I think desktop composition / aero will be disabled. It works fine on Win10.
  • Verge 3.2 uses GDI, it’s mostly a drop-in replacement, but you might get some conflicts if you run a game that defines min, max, sgn, or other newer functions.
  • Some settings can be adjusted in verge.cfg - More documentation about the config options can be found here:
  • system.xvc and precompiled scripts in .map files might not be compatible between Verge versions if you replace the executable. So any game that doesn’t have the original .vc scripts and is running with releasemode 1 in its verge.cfg will always have a harder time loading nowadays.

Using the Archive

For that matter, getting files from the Verge archive can be a bit tricky at the moment, because the mimetypes are a bit messed up. To navigate the archive, go to - and click the Downloads link at the top. The search box won’t work anymore (since the site is a snapshot), so you need to use Downloads tools > File directory in the left-side bar of the page.

Oh!! Or you can just click here to go directly to the Directory, hahah:

If you try to click the download button directly, it will present you with page of indecipherable binary garbage because the webserver currently tries to serve downloads as HTML pages. Once you find the file, right click the download button and click “Save Link As”. Manually save as a .zip file. (Hopefully most files are .zip and not .rar or something else!) If all goes well, you should be able to extract the zip and get it working.

Request for Archives

I think it’d be great to pool together the resources to make a bigger archive of Verge-related zip files. If you have your own webserver, or someone else can host, it’d be nice to make publically browseable lists of the stuff people managed to save from the older Verge days. The verge-rpg site archive has a lot of stuff, but it’s incomplete and it’s currently difficult to navigate


  • source code for various Verge versions, as well as source code for old tools. Not immediately useful but could help anyone who wants to further any archival efforts down the road.
  • earlier variants on released games (such as different versions of Sully, etc)
  • games that were released or shared but aren’t in the site archive.
  • unreleased games


It’d be very cool if there were was a “Verge emulator” that could support V1 and V2 games of various versions out of the box. Even if it’s extremely niche and limited appeal, it’d be great for archival purposes to not have to rely DOSBox exclusively. As much as something like on-the-web would be cool, Verge has a few features that depend on a physical filesystem, so I would recommend it be done in C++ for making the effort of porting existing source more possible. Use SDL 2 since it’s cross-platform, support conventional keyboard controls but also allow the SDL game controller APIs for support that out of-the-box. Could always be tied to emscripten to allow compile-to-the-web.

But this is just tossing the idea in the air, it’s a pretty huge undertaking to support in general. Honestly, just reimplementing V1 on its own would be extremely neat. DOSBox is ok in the meantime though

Anyway that’s all I have for now! Hopefully other people can chime in some tips, and throw out advice, etc. It’d be cool to get advise for Verge 2.6, ika, and other Verge-adjacent engines in here too.

I’d love to see more recordings to help show off older Verge games. Hatcher has been talking about this a little bit on the Discord channel lately. I also remember a few videos posted online by rainwarrior that showed off some older DOS games, including a playthrough of Sully Chronicles.

Thank you so much for posting this! I am definitely game for helping contribute to an archive. It would be nice to have games listed in a much better way than currently, organized with descriptions, screenshots, authors / team members, any special instructions to get it to run, etc. Multiple versions if applicable for sure.

I have also worked on getting some ika games into a runnable state once again. Even though ika is more Verge adjacent, it’s definitely worth preserving as well.

Thanks for posting this! I was pretty easily able to get Saga of the Stars running on DOSBox on Linux with your instructions.

(…Oh no)

Currently making Sully: A Very Serious RPG:

Oh yes!!

Just started a Github page to archive some the source code. Big thanks to aen, andy, zeromus, and rainwarrior who all helped out with providing some zips.

Not everything source is on the archive yet, still taking time to sort through stuff. But so far, winverge, v1 + vcc, v2chr, and winv2unpack tools are up. Going to try to get v2.5, 2.6, winv2, and others on there.

Also, zeromus made a modern branch to winverge at that makes it work on Visual Studio 2019 and run in Windows 10 with GDI (master contains the original DirectDraw 320x200x256-color code), I wonder if we could make a zip release on the GH?

Still need to figure out a solution for hosting and organizing the games, but archiving the engine source code so the old code isn’t lost goes a long way.

I think most of the source is now backed up, thanks to the archives that people sent me! Check the page here (as linked before):

Now we have source for Verge 1’s June 1998 release, WinVerge, v2chr (distributed as zip-only, per request), Verge 2.01a, Verge 2.5, Winv2, Verge 2.5j / v2k+j, and a few revisions of 2.6. Also the Verge 3 source code was moved to the verge-rpg Github organization – I kept a fork at my github account to preserve any existing outgoing links, however.

However, we’re still missing source code to official Verge 2.5’s VCC, and the source we currently have of WinV2 appears to be from unstable build, not a release version. It seems like Verge 2.6 revision 9 might be able to do a lot of the same things that 2.5 could do + some extensions added later.

If you have any copies of these missing source files, let me know and I can put them on the github repo. Also, if you made any tools for Verge-related stuff and want us to host it, let me know and please let me know any licensing/terms for distribution! For now the GH is for preserving the engine source code, we still need to figure out a different solution for demos and games.

If someone has a good idea for hosting our own organized file directory, maybe we can figure something out! For now we have the vrpg archives, but they’re incomplete, and it would be nice to recover and preserve what we can in a collective effort.

Also, Andy (implicit_cast / thespeedbump) has been working on a WASM web player port of V1, and it’s open to bug reports and contributions: – it can sort of run parts of Sully so far, so that’s exciting news!

Do you want the source code to the old verge online server? I don’t know what happened to the client code

Definitely yes!

Currently making Sully: A Very Serious RPG:

I tried to transfer the repo over to “verge-rpg” and I got a permissions error. No idea what’s up with that. I’ll look at it later.

Is it public? Worst case we could fork.

Currently making Sully: A Very Serious RPG:

Can I just email you or Overkill the zip? Who’s hosting it? you or Overkill?


Currently making Sully: A Very Serious RPG:

OK well, can someone get me their email address? Do you still have my old email address? Nobody likes posting their email address on the web

Hey! Just saw this post, I sent you a message! (I don’t really know how this particular forum software works hahah, but I hit the ‘Chat’ button on your profile, which looked like the thing to do private messages on here.) Feel free to email me at the address I sent! We can definitely put the Verge Online code up.

Sorry I just saw this. I emailed the source to Ben yesterday. He should have it.

Also, I can’t figure this software out either. I don’t see any chat/private messages from you. Sorry - not intentionally ignoring it/you. I’m just not seeing it.

Loretian! You should join the discord, would be the easiest way to chat, and share files, hah! Invite link is