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I've been trying to play this game for awhile now but when it opens it asks for the l3codecx.ax why is this and how do i get around it?

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Installing Age Of Empires III requires 4 DLLs:

mfc42.dll
quartz.dll
d3dx9_36.dll
l3codecx.ax

Of these, l3codecx.ax is by far the hardest to obtain, as it's not independently available on the internet. The WineHQ page for AoE3 has an entire section devoted to obtaining this file (most of this is paraphrased from there, and my own experience installing the game).

Acquiring the l3codecx.ax file

There are a few ways you are able to get this file. Choose one of the following:

  • Copy the file from an existing Windows install (C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32)
  • Copy it from a Windows XP install cd by issuing the following command "wine d:/i386/expand.exe d:/i386/l3codecx.ax_ h:/.wine/l3codecx.ax" assuming wine has d:/ mapped to a cd drive with a Windows XP install cd and h:/ is mapped to your home directory.
  • Install a codec pack with the file:
    • Download this file.
    • Run BCM1043.exe with wine, it will ask for installing Gecko HTML engine too, install it. After installing, it will create a folder called ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/BCM/. Copy the file l3codecx.ax under 'Codecs/DIRECTS/Fraunhofer/' to ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/system32/.

Once it is obtained:

Open a terminal and cd to the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 directory and type "wine regsvr32 l3codecx.ax" (Without quotes)

Install Age of Empires III as usual.

I strongly suggest you read the WineHQ page on Age of Empires III in full, as it contains countless little tweaks to get around potentially game-breaking problems.


Personally, I got it running with PlayOnLinux, which is a collection of scripts for running various games under Wine that streamlines the process to nearly as easy as a conventional installer.

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