Tomb Raider on Windows 7 and Windows 8, Vista, XP 32 and 64 bits
The first game of the Tomb Raider series is a DOS game from 1996 and therefore can only be played well with DOSBox on systems with Windows 7, Windows 8, XP or Vista, especially when those OS's are 64 bit. In this guide we'll explain how to get the game running in DOSBox, when you use the original installation CD. As the initial resolution of Tomb Raider is very low (320x240), we also have some options to upgrade the resolution of the game. Remember that running Tomb Raider in DOSBox requires quite some processing power and the experience while playing might be a little disappointing.
- Download the Windows package (that's the Win32 installer).
- Save it in a temporary folder on your hard disk.
- Install DOSBox by double clicking the installer file in Windows explorer.
Install and play Tomb Raider in DOSBox
- In Windows explorer, create a folder where you want to install Tomb Raider and/or other DOS games, for example c:\games\dos
- Start DOSBox from the desktop or the Windows start menu.
- To make folders and drives accessible in DOSBox, you need to mount them.
- To mount the folder in which you will install Tomb Raider, type in mount c c:\games\dos and press enter. This will create a virtual drive c: in DOSBox, which will use the c:\games\dos folder on your hard drive c:
- To mount your CD/DVD drive (in this example drive i:), type in mount d i:\ -t cdrom and press enter. This will create a virtual CD drive d: in DOSBox, which will use the CD/DVD drive i: in your system
- As you always will need these virtual drives in DOSBox after installation to play Tomb Raider, it is recommended to put the mount commands in your DOSBox configuration file. This way the games folder and your CD/DVD drive will be mounted automatically when you start DOSBox.
- Open the configuration file with Start button - All programs - DOSBox-0.7x - Options - DOSBox 0.7x Options
- Scroll down to the autoexec section (at the bottom of the file)
- Copy the mount commands below the comments (indicated by a hash). The lines below apply to this example:
# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
# You can put your MOUNT lines here.
mount c c:\games\dos
mount d i:\ -t cdrom
- Save the configuration file with CTRL+S.
- In DOSBox, access your CD drive by typing d: and press enter.
- Start the installation by typing install and press enter.
- Choose the install option, by pressing enter.
- Default installation folder is c:\tombraid. This is ok, the game will be installed in the c:\games\dos\tombraid folder on your hard disk. You can rename the folder with the back space key. The back slash key (\) might be under the slash key (/). When done, press enter.
- At sound card setup choose auto detect and then continue.
- At last, choose Save Settings to wrap things up and start the game!
Resolution of the game
Once you're playing the game, the resolution is very, very low at first. To make it a little more acceptable, press the F1 key when you are in the game. This will change the resolution to (presumably) 640x480. Please note that the game is very processor-intensive in this mode.
You also might want to have a look at our guide how to change the resolution of the program window of DOSBox.
Start the game from DOSBox
After installation, the game automatically starts. But how to start it when the game is already installed?
- You have followed all instructions as described above (install the game, edit the DOSBox config file).
- Place the Tomb Raider CD in your CD/DVD drive.
- Start DOSBox.
- In DOSBox, type in c: and press enter to access the virtual c drive.
- Type in cd tombraid and press enter to access the Tomb Raider game directory.
- Type in tomb and press enter.
High quality graphics with Glidos
You can play Tomb Raider 1 with high quality graphics and OpenGL / Direct3D support with Glidos. It is well worth trying. Tomb Raider runs a lot better on modern computers with Glidos. You'll have to read the manual carefully though. Glidos needs DOSBox to function. When you use 64 bit Windows, you'll need a special version of DOSBox, which also can be downloaded from the Glidos website. All this information is on the installation page of Glidos.
When you have Glidos running and you've reached the 3rd level, you'll see a rotating Glidos logo in the middle of your screen. If you want to get rid of that, you'll have to support the project with a humble fee, and your copy of Glidos will be unlocked.
In addition, high resolution textures are available to use with Glidos. Visit TombRaiderXtra.com for more information and screenshots.
There must be an alternative to Glidos...!
You're going to have a hard time finding it, especially when you're running 64 bit Windows. We got Tomb Raider running in DOSBox with OpenGL support, but it wasn't stable and satisfying enough to put a guide on this website. If you're determined to try, you'll have to start at the SVN Builds of DOSBox. We got the best results with the SVN Build from a fellow named Gulikoza. His version of DOSBox also supports Glide and Direct3D and pixelshaders for anti-aliasing.
You could of course also check out the high quality remake of the original Tomb Raider game: Tomb Raider Anniversary.
What about Tomb Raider II and other sequels?
We've managed to get Tomb Raider II running on a 64 bits version of Windows 7 by just installing it from the original CD and it worked quite well. Since Tomb Raider II also supports hardware acceleration (OpenGL) it doesn't seem to be necessary to search for additional software.