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Keeping the classics alive
Currently hosting 11 utilities for playing Win16 games!

Utilities for playing Win16 games

Win16 software can be run on any x86 computer, as well as many non-x86 platforms. How this is accomplished depends on what operating system your computer is running.

Win16 runs on top of DOS, so any computer running DOS (MS-DOS/PC-DOS/DR-DOS/FreeDOS) should be able to install a copy of Windows 1.0 through Windows 3.11. If you're running a Win16 operating system, RGB hosts a number of drivers for video and sounds cards. Some Win16 games used a special library for speeding up video called WinG, which can be found in the miscellaneous section. If you want to run a real copy of Windows, but don't already own one, there is a free Windows-compatible operating system called ReactOS, which can be found in the operating systems section.

OS/2 can natively run Win16 programs. Windows 95/98/Me/XP, and 32-bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7 use a system called "Windows on Windows" to translate 16-bit Windows API calls to Windows 32-bit API calls, and should be compatible with most Win16 programs.

Unix-like operating systems (Linux, Mac OS X) can run many Win16 programs using a native implementation of the Windows API called Wine.

BeOS/Haiku and 64-bit versions of Windows don't support Win16 software at all. If you are using a 64-bit Windows operating system, or any non-Windows/Unix operating system, the only way to run Win16 games is to install a real copy of Windows 1.0 through 3.11 in an emulation or virtualization program. Such programs allow you to run DOS and other operating systems as a "guest" operating system in a window on your "host" operating system. Due to its emulation of DOS and ability to emulate a wide range of video and sound cards, it is highly recommended that you use DOSBox to install a Win16 operating system. DOSBox has been ported to almost every modern operating system, and RGB Classic Games has an Advanced DOSBox tutorial that explains how to install Windows 1.0 through 3.11 in DOSBox.

Operating Systems

eComStation 

eComStation is the new name of OS/2, which has continued to be developed by Serenity Systems since IBM discontinued development of OS/2. eCS includes IBM-supplied updates that had previously only been offered to customers with maintenance contracts, such as support for USB, and has added a number of features to improve compatibility and performance on modern computers, such as switching the default filesystem to JFS. In addition to being fully compatible with existing OS/2 software, Serenity Systems has been tirelessly converting open source programs to run on eCS, including Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird and OpenOffice.org. eCS should also still be compatible with all DOS and Win16 software. A LiveCD of eComstation 2.2 beta is available, which allows the OS to be tested without the overhead of an emulator, and without installing to a hard drive.

Added by DOSGuy

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eComStation v2.2 Beta LiveCD (195091283 bytes) 6 June 2013

Slowdown Utilities

Cpukiller 

Cpukiller is a slowdown utility for Windows that can slow your computer by up to 99%. A slider and graphical interface allow adjusting CPU speed in real-time. It even works on multi-core and hyper-threading CPUs to slow down multiple virtual or physical CPUs. It basically ties up your system resources to slow down your computer, which means that all programs and background processes slow down, not just the program that was running too fast. Because it's impossible to guarantee which CPU core the application you want to slow down will run on, the only solution is to slow all of them down. Mo'Slo 4BIZ can slow a single DOS or Windows application in Windows without affecting the rest of the computer (probably by putting the slowdown utility in the same thread as the program, so that it follows it around from core to core), but there is no trial version of Mo'Slo 4BIZ. If you need to try before you buy, Cpukiller is the only option for Windows users, and it's recommended in the download section of Apogee's website. The trial version can be used for 20 minutes at a time.

Added by DOSGuy

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Downloads

Cpukiller3 v1.0.7 Shareware (749823 bytes) 11 April 2013 Win9x

Mo'Slo 

Software that was designed for the original IBM PC and XT tend to run too fast on any CPU faster than 4.77 MHz. Most software designed for all later processors adjust their speed to the speed of your CPU, but programs compiled with Turbo Pascal may crash on CPUs faster than 200 MHz. This means that some software is unusable on any CPU other than an 8088, or any CPU faster than Pentium 166.

Mo'Slo basic is a free slowdown utility that can run in native DOS on any x86 CPU (80386 or higher), even with frequencies above 1.0 THz. It slows your computer to the speed of a 4.77 MHz PC/XT by default, or you can specify an amount to slow down from 0.01% to 99.99%. Mo'Slo basic is free for non-commercial use; enterprise and government users may use it without a license for 15 days. Mo'Slo basic has used 32-bit registers since v1.4 in order to support higher frequencies (1 THz up from ~700 MHz) and smoother operation. If you need to slow down an 80286 or earlier, use v1.32. (Version 1.32 works on 32-bit CPUs, but slowdown increments are 1% instead of 0.01%.)

A commercial version, Mo'Slo Deluxe, adds even more accurate emulation by creating slowdown via the RealTime Clock or the Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller, and can provide "perfect" (clock for clock) emulation by disabling the CPU's L1 cache. In addition to specifying a slowdown percentage, Mo'Slo Deluxe can target the speed of a number of specific CPUs: 8088, 80286, 80386, 80486, and Pentium 166. Mo'Slo Deluxe is best for DOS through Windows Me, but is less effective in versions of Windows that don't have a DOS mode.

Mo'Slo 4BIZ allows DOS and Windows programs to be slowed down without slowing down the rest of the system, so that it can be run while multi-tasking in Windows. (There are a few Windows programs that run "full speed" regardless of CPU frequency -- notably Quatra Command.) Compatible with Windows 95 through Windows 10, it can even let you assign which CPU to use in multi-core and hyper-threaded systems. Mo'Slo 4BIZ emulates a Pentium 166 by default.

Added by DOSGuy

Screenshots

Downloads

Mo'Slo basic v1.5.1 (11659 bytes) 17 February 2007 DOS
Mo'Slo basic v1.32b (8836 bytes) 23 May 1998 DOS

Emulation/Virtualization

Bochs 

Bochs emulates a PC with a 32 or 64-bit x86 processor. Like virtualization suites, it allows you to run a real copy of DOS, Windows, Linux, and other PC operating systems. The significant difference is that a virtualization suite simply allows a guest operating system to run on your PC, whereas Bochs emulates a PC, so you can run PC operating systems on non-PC computers. Unlike DOSBox, you will need a copy of DOS to play DOS games, but Bochs was designed to run other operating systems as well, which can be anywhere from difficult to impossible with DOSBox. Written in C++, Bochs can compile on many platforms. Please see the Bochs homepage for other versions.

Added by DOSGuy

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Downloads

Bochs v2.7 Freeware (5358640 bytes) 1 August 2021 Win64
Bochs v2.6.11 Freeware (4989389 bytes) 5 January 2020 Win32

DOSBox 

DOSBox emulates a complete IBM-compatible PC, including almost every significant graphics standard (CGA, EGA, VGA, etc.) and sound card (Sound Blaster, AdLib, Gravis UltraSound, etc.). DOSBox also allows the emulation speed to be decreased to allow very old software to run at a playable speed. What makes DOSBox unique is that it also emulates DOS itself, allowing DOS software to run without installing an actual copy of DOS! DOSBox emulates DOS so well that it is even possible to install Windows 3.1, as well as Windows 95 up to OSR1. It is also possible to install and boot an actual copy of DOS in order to use utilities not included with DOSBox, or just to recreate the authentic DOS experience. In additions to the versions listed below, there are also ports to a number of Linux distributions, so I recommend visiting DOSBox's home page if the version for your operating system isn't listed below.

Added by DOSGuy

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DOSBox for Mac OS X v0.74-3-3 (4181094 bytes) 22 September 2020
DOSBox for Windows v0.74-3 (1493703 bytes) 26 June 2019 Win9x
DOSBox for OS/2 v0.74 (4109372 bytes) 8 February 2012 OS/2
DOSBox for BeOS v0.63 (776706 bytes) 18 December 2004 BeOS (x86)

PCem 

PCem is a PC emulator that lets you configure pretty much everything about the emulation. Besides the usual ability to choose a graphics card and sound card, you can pick a specific CPU and clock speed to emulate (i.e. 486 SX 33). The emulation is very accurate, but one of the reasons why it's so accurate is that PCem requires the actual ROMs of the hardware that it emulates (fortunately, most of the software that you need is available on the PCem website). This means that you can actually enter the CMOS Setup! PCem pretty much recreates the entire PC experience, and even emulates the PCjr.

Added by DOSGuy

Screenshots

Downloads

PCem v17 with source code in C (8870672 bytes) 1 December 2020 Win9x

ScummVM 

The Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion Virtual Machine is a collection of interpreters that run the data files of many classic graphic adventure games on a number of platforms. There are ports to almost every operating system, console, and handheld computer imaginable, so visit their homepage if the version you want isn't listed here.

ScummVM can play the following games from this site: Beneath a Steel Sky, The Curse of Monkey Island, Gobliiins, Gobliins 2: The Prince Buffoon, Goblins Quest 3, Hugo II, Whodunit?, Hugo III, Jungle of Doom!, Hugo's Horrific Adventure, Hugo's House of Horrors, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Loom, Lure of the Temptress, The Neverhood, Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon, Putt-Putt Joins the Parade, Sam & Max Hit the Road, The Secret of Monkey Island, and Teenagent.

Added by DOSGuy

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Downloads

ScummVM for OS/2 v1.9.0 Freeware (16725976 bytes) 17 October 2016 OS/2
ScummVM for Haiku 32-bit v2.5.1 Freeware (79667871 bytes) 2 January 2022
ScummVM for Haiku 64-bit v2.5.1 Freeware (80867214 bytes) 2 January 2022
ScummVM for macOS 64-bit v2.5.1 Freeware (97804592 bytes) 2 January 2022
ScummVM for Windows 9x v2.5.1 Freeware (72415907 bytes) 2 January 2022 Win9x
ScummVM for Windows v2.5.1 Freeware (89123520 bytes) 2 January 2022 Win32, Win64
ScummVM for BeOS v1.0.0 Freeware (5615961 bytes) 7 November 2009 BeOS (x86)

Virtual PC 

Virtual PC allows almost any PC operating system to be run in Windows with virtually no loss of performance. You can run a real copy of DOS, OS/2, or Windows as a "Guest" operating system within your normal version of Windows (the "Host" operating system). Virtual PC is a virtualization environment, not an operating system emulator, so you will have to install your own copy of whatever OS you want to run as a Guest.

Virtual PC 2004 requires at least Windows 2000, and supports DOS, OS/2, and Windows 3.x (unofficially)/NT/9x/2000/XP/Server 2003 as Guests.

Virtual PC 2007 requires at least Windows XP, and adds support for 32-bit Windows Vista/Server 2008 Guests. Official support for DOS and Windows NT/95/98 First Edition/Me Guests was dropped, though they still work just fine.

The newest version, released on 19 September 2009, is called Windows Virtual PC. It requires Windows 7 and only supports Windows XP/Vista/7 Guests, so it is not useful for running any of the games on this site.

Added by DOSGuy

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Virtual PC 2004 SP1 Freeware (19058331 bytes) 30 August 2006 Win32
Virtual PC 2007 SP1 64-bit Freeware (33381416 bytes) 15 May 2008 Win64
Virtual PC 2007 SP1 32-bit Freeware (33260072 bytes) 15 May 2008 Win32

VirtualBox 

VirtualBox is a straightforward virtualization package that allows almost any PC operating system to be run in a window on PCs running Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, OS/2, and Solaris, with virtually no loss of performance (as long as you have enough RAM to spare for the guest operating system). You can run a real copy of DOS (with or without Win16) or Win9x, to play games from this site and be able to switch back and forth between the host and guest operating system without rebooting. VirtualBox is a virtualization environment, not an operating system emulator, so you will have to install your own copy of DOS or Windows. VirtualBox emulates a SoundBlaster 16, which is great for DOS and Win16, and it supports 2D and 3D acceleration and has experimental DirectX support, which is great for Win9x and newer operating systems. Shared folders can be created to transfer files to and from the guest operating system. There are ports for Solaris/OpenSolaris and a number of Linux distributions, so I recommend visiting the home page if the version for your operating system isn't listed below.

Added by DOSGuy

Screenshots

Downloads

VirtualBox v6.1.32 for Windows (108293360 bytes) 22 November 2021 Win32
VirtualBox v6.1.32 for macOS (125118190 bytes) 22 November 2021

Miscellaneous

CHKCPU 

CHKCPU uses the CPUID instruction (present in all Pentium and later CPUs, and some late model 486s) to identify the model, speed, and capabilities of your CPU, including support for MMX, 3DNow!, SSE/2/3/4.1/4.2/4A instructions. This will most likely be useful when running an emulator or virtualization suite – to determine what kind of CPU is being emulated and what information is being provided to your games – or when using a slowdown utility to ensure that older games run at the correct speed. For example, The Need for Speed will only run in SVGA mode if it detects a Pentium CPU, whereas DOSBox reports a 486 CPU by default – which I know because I ran CHKCPU – so CHKCPU let me know that I should change the "cputype" from "auto" to "pentium_slow".

Added by DOSGuy

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Downloads

CHKCPU32 v2.14 Freeware (32631 bytes) 6 June 2017 Win9x
CHKCPU v1.26 Freeware (35367 bytes) 6 June 2017 DOS

WinG 

WinG is an API for Windows 3.x that greatly increases graphics performance on compatible Win16 programs. It filled a need left by the original Windows Graphical Device Interface (GDI), which was only designed with static images in mind, and is the predecessor of DirectX. WinG is needed to run Microsoft Return of Arcade under Windows 3.1x. The WinG DLLs were often included with games that required them, and could also be installed with the WinG Software Developer's Kit. The SDK's installer can be instructed to install the WinG Runtime Libraries without the Development Kit.

Added by DOSGuy

Downloads

WinG SDK v1.0 (856034 bytes) 21 September 1994