An interesting workaround…

I fell in love with Creative Assembly’s Total War series when I picked up a copy of Rome: Total War a little ways back. Comparably speaking, I do not game much, but, when I do, I am a strategy gamer, first and foremost. When I bought Rome, the expansion pack and gold edition were out, but the original was cheaper. I didn’t feel like paying for the extra expansion pack when I couldn’t even be sure that I would enjoy the original game, so I bought the original. It worked fine on my XP box and, when I bought a laptop running Vista Home Premium (which was swiftly repartitioned to dual boot with Linux; Windows for .NET and games, Linux for real work), I was pleased to find that the game ran without a hitch.

By this point, I had become a Total War fan, so I recently purchased the Total War: Eras package, which contains Rome, Medieval, and Shogun with all of their associated add ons. I uninstalled my ordinary edition of Rome and got started installing the Gold editions of each of these classics. Shogun and Medieval went through wihtout a hitch, but when I got to Rome, I could not get the installer to run (when it manually ran, it crashed with a cryptic error message) and the auto play would not start. I googled around for a bit and, what I found, was that the problem appeared to be that the DemoShield software that was used with Rome: Gold didn’t run properly under Vista. Interesting and somewhat disturbing. Then I had an inspiration: I took CD 1 of the original Rome (it shipped in a 3 CD set originally) and got the AutoPlay menu. Then, I switched the Gold Edition DVD that came with Eras for the original CD and hit the “Install” button. The installer ran and even installed Barbarian Invasion. The same process was needed to get the Alexander pack to install.

So, if anyone else out there has had some issues with Vista and a newer Rome…