Heroes III Sound Fix

The old Heroes games developed by New World Computing. Please specify which game you are referring to in your post.

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Heroes III Sound Fix

Postby Narzoul » Jan 4 2008, 13:58

This topic is for details/discussion/updates on the "Heroes III Sound Fix" that was posted on the main site.

The "patch" is supposed to change sound and music playback from the default 22 kHz / mono format to 44 kHz / stereo format. This provides primarily a higher quality music playback in the game, and additionally, the few stereo sound effects will now also play in stereo instead of mono. (If I remember correctly, the only stereo sound effects in the game are the "new day" and "new week" sounds, and those short pieces that play at the beginning of battles.)

Although it hasn't been tested with all version of the game, it'll probably work with any versions, with or without any expansions, and should be compatible with any mods and operating systems. It should also work with Heroes Chronicles.

This patch has also been incorporated into the HD mod (at least from what I can tell by their changelog), starting from version 2.80. Therefore, if you have a recent version of that mod installed, you probably don't need to install this fix separately from here.


Link to the newest version of the fix (19 September, 2010):
http://www.celestialheavens.com/homm3/patches/h3mss32fix.zip

If you have an older version of the fix already installed, you should uninstall it first.

To install this fix, simply copy the fixed mss32.dll file found in the archive to the game's installation directory, overwriting the existing file there. Do make a backup of the game's original file first, in case you need to restore it (if the patch doesn't work, for example).


The rest of this post details the older versions of this fix. You don't need to read it, unless the above fix doesn't work for you and you want to try one of these older releases instead.
  • Exe patcher from 9 January, 2010:
    http://www.celestialheavens.com/homm3/patches/h3sndfix.zip

    This is basically the same thing as the newest release, but it patches the game's exe files instead of mss32.dll, so I consider it less practical. Further information is available in the readme file within the archive.
  • DirectShow-based mss32.dll fix from 10 June, 2008:
    http://www.celestialheavens.com/homm3/patches/mss32.zip

    Installation instructions:
    1. Go to your Heroes 3 installation directory.
    2. Rename the file "mss32.dll" to "mss32old.dll". (Make sure you rename it correctly - the patch will need this file to work.)
    3. Copy (extract) the "mss32.dll" file from the zip into the Heroes 3 directory.

    If you want to uninstall the fix, just delete 'mss32.dll' and rename the backup 'mss32old.dll' to 'mss32.dll'.

    This version is not compatible with Windows Vista/7.

    How this version works: The patch replaces the MP3 playback functions of the original mss32.dll with new ones, and forwards everything else to the original dll (including sound effect playback, so those few stereo sound effects will still play in mono). The new functions are implemented via DirectShow. The DirectShow filters that the fix uses should be available by default on Windows XP, and possibly on older Windows systems as well. If it's not the case, the game will probably crash or just won't play any music - let me know if this happens. The filters are not available on Windows Vista/7, therefore the game will crash in the main menu if you attempt to run it with this fix under either of those operating systems.
Last edited by Narzoul on Jul 27 2011, 0:00, edited 9 times in total.

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Postby Pol » Jan 4 2008, 17:56

Affirmative, appears that it works on H3 Complete by 3DO. Just to the renaming the old dll, it must be exactly 'mss32old.dll' including the small caps, so caps sensitive...

PS Good job! :-D
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Postby ByteBandit » Jan 4 2008, 18:18

Pol wrote:Affirmative, appears that it works on H3 Complete by 3DO. Just to the renaming the old dll, it must be exactly 'mss32old.dll' including the small caps, so caps sensitive...

PS Good job! :-D


Pol, have you tried it on your HoMM3 by 3DO? I'm waiting for confirmation that it will work for 3DO products before I get it installed in mine.

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Postby Pol » Jan 4 2008, 18:26

ByteBandit wrote:Pol, have you tried it on your HoMM3 by 3DO? I'm waiting for confirmation that it will work for 3DO products before I get it installed in mine.

Of course. :D
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Postby ByteBandit » Jan 4 2008, 18:32

Alrighty then! :hail: :applause:

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Postby Pol » Jan 4 2008, 18:50

From the longer observation it appears that is slowing game a bit always when is the sound inicialized (going to town or battle). Well, it's hanged on like a WoG. Could be few ms to second.
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Postby Narzoul » Jan 4 2008, 19:19

Pol wrote:Affirmative, appears that it works on H3 Complete by 3DO. Just to the renaming the old dll, it must be exactly 'mss32old.dll' including the small caps, so caps sensitive...

PS Good job! :-D


Case sensitive? Err... actually, I had mine with mixed case ("MSS32old.DLL") and it worked fine. I tried other capitalizations too and they worked fine as well. Are you sure you didn't just misspell it? What version of Windows do you have, and what file system is the file on?

As for the performance issues... well, due to lack of time I didn't do much testing, but I don't think I ever encountered any serious slowdowns (except maybe the first time when the main menu music is loaded). I might be able to fix it so that the game could run smoothly and only the music would load with a bit of delay, if that's any better... thought I don't have much free time on my hands now.

Thanks for the feedback!

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Postby ByteBandit » Jan 4 2008, 19:21

Pol wrote:From the longer observation it appears that is slowing game a bit always when is the sound inicialized (going to town or battle). Well, it's hanged on like a WoG. Could be few ms to second.


Slows it down a little, huh? Where's Slava when you need him?

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Postby Pol » Jan 4 2008, 19:27

I gues until he will goes to release himself in smaller pocket version, free for personal use into every family. :-D
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Postby Narzoul » Jan 8 2008, 13:40

UPDATE: A new version is available - please re-download the fix and update your installation according to the instructions given in the first post.

All issues with the original version should be fixed. If you encounter any problems, let me know.

Thanks in advance for any feedback!
Last edited by Narzoul on Jan 8 2008, 20:29, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Pol » Jan 8 2008, 14:29

Whatever you did it's now working without a hitch. :D

Previously I tried (logically) to rename the old library to MSS32old.dll and got some memory error - the fact that it's on FAT32 should not affect that, all other conditions are normal.

Maybe you would need some weaker system to notice the slowdowns, it's hard to spot them on today generation computers with such an old game. But I have (silent) P3.

Good job once again. :-D
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PC Specs: A10-7850K, FM2A88X+K, 16GB-1600, SSD-MLC-G3, 1TB-HDD-G3, MAYA44, SP10 500W Be Quiet

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Postby Narzoul » Jan 8 2008, 15:37

Thanks for the feedback!

I'm not sure what you mean though... are you saying that the slowdowns are gone? If not, it's probably the slowness of DirectShow which is responsible. I'm afraid there's not much more I can do to help the situation, but still, let me know and I'll see what can be done. (I've used DirectShow because it seems to be the only free and legal way of decompressing MP3s - plus it should be available on all systems.)

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Postby Pol » Jan 8 2008, 15:44

Narzoul wrote:..are you saying that the slowdowns are gone?

Yes I'm. ;)
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PC Specs: A10-7850K, FM2A88X+K, 16GB-1600, SSD-MLC-G3, 1TB-HDD-G3, MAYA44, SP10 500W Be Quiet

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Postby Narzoul » Jan 8 2008, 17:22

Wonderful!

This'll probably be the last version then - unless, of course, someone reports a problem or would like to have something sound-related implemented. (For example, I could make it play more than just MP3 format music.)

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Postby ByteBandit » Jan 8 2008, 22:35

Have you also included the instructions in the zip file too?

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Postby Pol » Jan 8 2008, 22:50

In the new version aren't instructions included but hey, they are the same like were for the older one.
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PC Specs: A10-7850K, FM2A88X+K, 16GB-1600, SSD-MLC-G3, 1TB-HDD-G3, MAYA44, SP10 500W Be Quiet

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Postby Narzoul » Jan 9 2008, 0:57

I never put any instructions in either the old or the new zip file. Protecyon did that when I sent the first version to CH via e-mail - he just copied the important parts of the mail message into a text file, it seems.

The new version didn't have any instructions included at first because it wasn't hosted by CH. I just hosted it myself on a temporary location for testing purposes, until I had enough feedback to see if it's actually any improvement over the last. That's why Pol didn't find any instructions in the zip when he downloaded it. However, since then I've posted the update to CH for hosting and Protecyon packaged some instructions with it again. :)
So the current version does have instructions in the file too, now.

The old version is no longer available because it was replaced with the update. If you still want it though, just ask me for a copy.

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Postby Willow » Apr 15 2008, 20:14

YES!!! Thank you, you are a genius! I would kiss you, but you might not like that. ;|

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Postby Willow » Apr 15 2008, 20:15

PS: Now if I can only find a way to run the game in windowed mode...

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Postby Pol » Apr 15 2008, 20:39

Switch desktop to 16bits and then hit F4 in the game. ;)
"We made it!"
The Archives | Collection of H3&WoG files | Older albeit still useful | CH Downloads
PC Specs: A10-7850K, FM2A88X+K, 16GB-1600, SSD-MLC-G3, 1TB-HDD-G3, MAYA44, SP10 500W Be Quiet


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