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Is it possible to run RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 in windowed mode?

I have Windows 7 and the game works, but since my resolution is bigger than the game can handle, I would prefer to play in windowed mode instead of having the game scale.

So is it possible? And how can I activate it?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

No, it's not possible at all to run RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 in windowed mode. The only thing I could think of, while drastic, is running the game in a virtual machine like VirtualBox or just Windows 7's XP mode and thereby 'faking' windowed mode. I'm not sure what that'll do to performance though.

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I just installed the XP mode and I managed to run it after disabling the "Integration Features". So now I got it running in a window! The performance is not the best, but it's certainly playable. – sippa Jul 10 '10 at 16:09
RCT2 is old enough that performance shouldn't degrade too much. – Macha Jul 13 '10 at 12:13
That's what I figured, otherwise I probably wouldn't have suggested it. Depends on the host though. – user56 Jul 13 '10 at 13:11

Yes, it is possible.

Windowed Mode Hack


Get and the Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package (x86). I see mirrors on Google if the GitHub link ever gets taken down.

Extract to your install directory. The default for GOG is:

C:\Program Files (x86)\GOGcom\RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 Triple Thrill Pack


The developer notes:

When starting the game or changing the resolution in game, after a couple seconds the screen moves to the upper right corner on its own. This only seems to happen that one time though.

Additionally, I find that I have to press the taskbar button for the RCT2 window twice to minimize then re-maximize the window. Otherwise, the graphics are cut off.

Changing your resolution

When you change your resolution while using this hack, the on-screen graphics don't match with what the game thinks you're pressing. Everything is shifted down. Don't worry.

To change the resolution, start any scenario or load any saved game. If it hasn't already, wait until the RCT2 window moves automatically to the upper edge of your screen before doing anything else.

There is a floppy disk icon in the top-left that has an "options" menu item. Select it. From there you can change the resolution. Once you do, the graphics will be shifted and you won't be able to see any of the menu icons along the top of the window. Ignore this and don't press anything. Just wait. Once again, the RCT2 window should move automatically to the upper edge of your screen. When it does, press the [X] button at the top-right of the window to close the game.

If the game closes, you're done. Open RCT2 again and you'll see your new resolution has been saved.

If you waited too long (at least a minute if not more) since you opened the level, the game will helpfully ask if you want to save your progress. Since the graphics are still messed up, it's tough to click on "Don't Save". Simply open the Task Manager (ctrl-shift-esc) and "end" RCT2.exe. When the game starts again it will have your new resolution saved.

Technical Info

A developer named ToadKing made a DLL that intercepts RCT2's DirectDraw calls and puts them into a window.

Virtual Machine

As user56 notes, you can play the game within a virtual machine like VirtualBox. If you don't have a spare Windows license and love doing extra work instead of using ddhack, you could try installing a version of Linux like Ubuntu and also installing WINE. Then you would load RCT2 from WINE within Ubuntu in a VirtualBox window on Windows.

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I found this hack in a forum thread that lets you run RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 in Windowed Mode; maybe it will help.

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Hey Jimmy, welcome to the site and thanks for the contribution! In the future, please summarize the content of any links you post briefly in case the linked site ever goes defunct(however unlikely in this case). – Mana Oct 30 '11 at 3:53

I get that OPs question is for win7, but I've found it trying to get the hack working with WINE. It hasn't worked for me out of the box, so here's my solution.

On Linux or OSX you don't have to use any hack. Wine has an useful feature called virtual desktops. Just run the game like this:

wine explorer /desktop=rct,1024x768 RCT2.exe

Resutlt: enter image description here

Works great and you don't run into problems when changing resolutions, don't have to offset your mouse position or do any of those hackish things.

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Windowed mode is not possible with RollerCoaster Tycoon, however you can increase the resolution higher than the game allows in the options with some hacking.

The maximum resolution that is found to work is 1280x768 (16:10 ratio) or 1280x1024 (4:3 ratio).

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1280x768 isn't 16:10 by the way, it's 16:9.6 . I don't think any monitors support that ratio. – user56 Jul 9 '10 at 12:28
@Arda: I've seen one 3 different notebook LCD displays with these resolutions: 1280x720, 1280x768, 1280x800. Good were the times when there was only one aspect ratio: 4:3... – Denilson Sá Jul 23 '11 at 0:36
@DenilsonSá Right, that's 5:3, which is an uncommon, but still valid ratio. However, 1280x768 still isn't 16:10. – user56 Jul 23 '11 at 8:32
The link is dead. – Nowaker May 3 '13 at 22:14 - here's another link. And if this one gets dead, it's basically encoding the options you have as hex, looking for them inside the binary with a hex editor and changing those to desired values (again, encoded as hex). – Barnaba Mar 1 '15 at 23:36

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