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I've recently been hit with the desire to play old games.

Due to my past experience with old games, such as Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, which usually crashes a lot under Windows 8.1, I decided to set up a Windows XP VM (Virtual Machine) for exactly these kinds of cases.

I then proceeded to install Age of Mythology on the VM, but it refused to start, saying that my graphics adapter was not supported, and with following info:

Video Card 0: vmx_fb.dll VMware SVGA II Vendor(0x15AD) Device(0x405)

I've played more demanding games on a Windows 7 VM before, so I know this error is just plain textbook defeatism.

How do I teach Age of Mythology to be a little bit more trusting?

  • 1
    Note that Age of Mythology: Extended Edition is now available on Steam and works on all versions of Windows. Could be an option for some – Robotnik May 27 '14 at 5:01
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Thanks to Google, I found this site, which is about playing Age of Mythology on Ubuntu over a Virtualbox VM.

The solution only works for Virtualbox, however, not for VMware. It still helped me find a working solution, as all I needed was to adapt a few variables.

To trick Age of Mythology into launching despite not recognizing the graphics adapter, you'll have to create a file in the [AoM install directory]\gfxconfig directory. If you installed Age of Mythology in its default location, that would be C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Age of Mythology\gfxconfig.

Inside that directory, you have to create a file named: [vendor ID]_[vendor name].gfx. Looking at the error message:

Video Card 0: vmx_fb.dll VMware SVGA II Vendor(0x15AD) Device(0x405)

we can tell that [vendor ID] is 0x15AD and [vendor name] is vmware, so the file's name would be: 0x15AD_vmware.gfx.

Now that the file exists, you'll need to open it with a text editing software, such as Notepad, which is pre-installed in pretty much every version and edition of Windows, and add following text to it:

[config]
Vendor=VMware
defaultdevice=CyberBladeXP.gfx

[knownGoodDriver]
Month=9
Day=21
Year=2009
Product=0
Version=0
SubVersion=0
Build=0

[device]
0x405=CyberBladeXP,CyberBladeXP.gfx

Actually, it doesn't seem to matter much, what info is written inside. I just copy-pasted the text meant for Virtualbox, and it still worked like a charm (although I admit, I didn't try to actually play the game then). Apparently, you need to make sure the [knownGoodDriver] part matches your driver's date, but I think it doesn't really matter, as long as your drivers are newer than what's listed.

Unfortunately, Microsoft thought it was a good idea to hide extensions of known file types, such as .exe or .txt, so it's possible your file has a .gfx.txt extension and you just don't know it yet. This Microsoft support site tells you how to "fix" that issue. If it doesn't help, you can always ask Google.


Although this solution is limited to Age of Mythology, there's a good chance for it to work for other Ensemble Studios games as well.

Enjoy your nostalgia.

| improve this answer | |
  • Or if you wanted to take the easy way out with Age of Empires II you could buy Age Of Empires II HD on Steam. Still, useful answer. – tombull89 Dec 27 '13 at 11:34
  • @tombull89 Or the recent Age of Mythology Extended Edition, which should work fine on modern OSes. Bit pricey, though. – Bob Jun 30 '14 at 9:29
2

To build upon the existing answer.

I found that you don't have to find the date of the driver on your system. Instead use the .gfx file as follows with VMware (tested on VMware Workstation 10):

[config]
Vendor=VMware
defaultdevice=CyberBladeXP.gfx

[knownGoodDriver]
Month=0
Day=0
Year=0
Product=0
Version=0
SubVersion=0
Build=0

[device]
0x405=CyberBladeXP,CyberBladeXP.gfx

Also, to make this work with both the base game and the extension (The Titans), I had to copy the file from the folder gfxconfig into gfxconfig2 as well.

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2

I used to get the same error:

Video Card 0: VBoxDisp.dll VirtualBox Graphics Adapter Vendor(0x80EE) Device(0xBEEF)

In my case I had installed Virtual Box Guest Additions in "normal mode" of Windows. The diagnostic tool of Directx (dxdiag) showed that the video card didn't support DirectX 3D acceleration.

Solution: I re-installed VB Guest Additions but in this time in "Safe mode" of Windows and when I started the game it played fine! I didn't have to create the .gfx file. Also further searching I discover that now the Graphics Adapter is totally different from what it used to be.

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