Hey! I have been cleaning up a lot of stuff on my computer recently for a variety of reasons, and between the huge to-do list that I was trying to deal with, one of them was finishing to figure out how to get that Daytona USA Deluxe installation I had on a folder properly working and playable. Anyone that happens to recognize me from a site or videos from years ago might know that I do have a backstory on dealing with these kind of games (as I wanted to share the easiest way to run them)…but I have been out of the loop on that business for a couple of years already.
But as I wanted to get this one going again on my Windows 10 PC, I finally came back to my roots: Daytona, throwing hammers at an old PC game to get it working for me…and sharing the process I went through so that anybody else can get this working on their own setup too!
(And also maybe document some options for this game and other silly information)
- Documented from testing on the following hardware:
- Intel Core i5-3470
- AMD Radeon HD 6570 1GB
- 4GB of RAM
- Windows 10 19H1
- The awesome soundtrack from this game
Returning from the great beyond after some years, the spirit from the retro-filled box is finally back here: The Abandonware Garage section brings you all the information and tools for getting that old but gold car’s engines up and running again today!
Today’s Game Information
So Daytona USA Deluxe is a bit of an interesting beast, at least if you were to take a look at its origins. Because the original Daytona USA port for the SEGA Saturn was infamously underperforming with its framerate and draw-distance, there was a new port made for it a few years later called Daytona USA Championship Circuit Edition, which basically was a new take with the same tracks, but using new and more “realistic” graphics (less colors, different textures and a redesigned Hornet), as well as a remixed soundtrack. and two new tracks Ironically, while Daytona USA on the Saturn was a joy to control as the drifting and such at least did feel as satisfying to a level like in the Arcade, CCE didn’t control particularly similar to the original Arcade or Saturn versions…which is a rather odd choice considering how it should have simply been a visually enhanced version of the original.
That version was released in America in 1996, but Japanese version of this game, Daytona USA Circuit Edition, arrived a year later…and you could tell that they used the extra time to add more to the game with some extra time of day options, three unlockable cars, tweaked handling, and even the original soundtrack avaliable as options to be used in-game. And this is the version that was used as a base for Daytona USA Deluxe, essentially being a Windows port of Circuit Edition.
That probably doesn’t sound too much like something special, but for starters, having a native version of the game to play on Windows is very convenient between avoiding possibility of input lag from Saturn emulation, running on computers that don’t have the power to emulate that console reliably, and two notable additions to this port: 8-player multiplayer through LAN, and a brand new track exclusive to this version (National Park Speedway and Desert City returned in the Dreamcast version, but this one added in Deluxe didn’t).
So…having access to this game sounds potentially convenient over using emulation…but as you might have read already, given the age of the game and how things change with newer hardware and versions of Windows, running Daytona USA Deluxe in your current PC as-is probably won’t go as smooth as you’d like to (which is what happened to me)…but here is where I share my findings and configurations to achieve this!
Some notes before starting
If there’s something that you might have to get used to from now on, is that I will mention a lot of disc installation stuff since that’s the media where these games were distributed, but I’m also going to talk about certain cases where the installers in the disc don’t work out of the box for some reason and you need to get the files out manually or if it needs compatibility enabled. Anything related to image mounting and stuff like running audio tracks from a mounted drive is something that I will leave for a dedicated post talking about it, since there’s a lot of cover between the amount of options and formats for mounting images, and how some games require extra hoops for them to recognize audio tracks from a mounted disc.
Regarding CDDA/Redbook Audio/music played from the CD, for the sake of convenience this will be handled outside of mounting discs with alternatives if avaliable, and while there is also the process of ripping audio tracks from the disc/image to be used with the game, this is a process that I also should dedicate its own page to (and for now will assume that you know how to do this and convert audio between formats, or at least find the music files you want to use them and rename them to what might get indicated later).
Mounting the disc and installing (from what I remember) was mostly painless, and if there was anything telling you about the wrong Windows version for some reason, you just needed to enable Windows NT as the compatibility option for the disc’s installer. The game also requires DirectPlay to be enabled in order to launch, and while this feature was enabled by defualt in Windows 7, it needs to be manually enabled in Windows 8, 10 and 11. You can follow the instructions below to enable this, or use registry keys to do that quickly (make sure to pick the right one for your OS if you do).
- Search for the windows features in the Taskbar search box.
- Click on the Turn Windows features on or off search result.
- Alternatively go to the Control Panel, Click Programs and Features (what you use to uninstall programs) and click the Turn Windows features on or off on the left.
- Find out Legacy Components and click the plus icon.
- Tick the DirectPlay
- Click the OK button.
- Restart your computer. (No idea if this step is actually necessary but if the game doesn’t launch after applying the fixes that will be described in the rest of this post, try doing it)
You could decide to run the game as-is but requiring the disc to be mounted at all times to be able to run (because of the disc check) and it might work with DDrawWrapper or DxWrapper, but upscaling would only work with dgVoodoo2 and you only get access to this, the time of day options and No CD only if you apply the D3D patch.
From a stock version to what I would be using here, you need to apply the D3D/v1.20E patch, then apply the NoCD patch over it for convenience sake (you can find both at MyAbandonware). After applying both of those, you should be ready to go…at least that would have been the case if you are using Windows 7 (and even then I wouldn’t be as sure if you are using a modern GPU with it) as I know from playing the game in a laptop with Intel Pentium B960…but on my new PC with Windows 10 there was something else I have to tackle first. Oh, and of course I will also mention how to have the music working as well.
Using dgVoodoo2 to make the game playable (and side effects)
There were a couple of options that I had at hand to try out with how running the game as-is threw me a “ERR_NORESOLUTION” message that blocked the game from running. I first tried with DDrawWrapper and DXWrapper as those were good for bypassing some old D3D/DDraw game hangs in some cases…but here they didn’t work. The other two options I tried were dgVoodoo2 and WineD3D…and while WineD3D unfortunately didn’t work for the game either (also got NORESOLUTION), dgVoodoo2 actually worked!
- Most compatible wrapper: dgvoodoo2
- Wrapper DLLs needed: D3DImm.dll, ddraw.dll
- Can output to: Fullscreen (customizable), Windowed (non-resizable, glitchy)
- Side effects?: Yes (depends of screen mode)
The settings that have worked reliably for this game are the ones below (aside from resolution scaling and Fullscreen/Windowed which I will explain in a bit, I didn’t mess with the default Glide settings):
For Windowed mode, resolution upscaling does work but the window cannot be resized no matter what you try so it will be stuck in the same window size, and the window can already be a bit glitchy as it is: Moving it around might cause some artifacts to show up (but that disappear if you bring up the game’s menu bar), and alt-tabbing or unfocusing out of the window not only can make the window have an artifact on the menu bar (which again, can also be fixed with using it) but also stops letting you move the window around. The one benefit from Windowed mode is to be able to see the options on the menu bar (they are invisible in fullscreen even if you use the keyboard shortcuts to bring them up), so probably the best setup is to use Windowed to configure the game’s options stuck in the menu bar, then change to Fullscreen when you want to play.
Fullscreen seems to work well and compatible with resolution upscaling; I would recommend using the integer multipliers (2x, 3x, 4x) or any of the Max ISF modes for this purpose, as specific resolutions do work too but 2D graphics and assets will have some artifacts from improper scaling. Also the game starts seamlessly on whatever resolution and scaling mode your screen is set at, but alt-tabbing/unfocusing and then focusing back on the game will make the game pretty much turn into a stretched window (though the upside is that you can actually screenshot with the Windows screenshot feature and record the game with OBS, though I think that Fraps could solve both of these without messing that up).
Probably the one thing where this whole ordeal with the “stretched fullscreen window” or using windowed mode at all might be of use is if you are going to try out the LAN Multiplayer option, as for some reason the game closes/crashes if you access the LAN lobby and then try to leave or start a game (or at least from what I can test on my own right now, if you try to leave, since I can’t actually start a LAN game without another player), but the game seems to be able to proceed if you were in Windowed mode (or the weird stretched window from alt-tabbing while fullscreen) instead. On that topic, you can probably get this working with a VPN like Hamachi, Zero-Tier One or Radmin, and the lobby will always display as a separate weird fullscreen dialog (even if you’re using windowed mode) with your name and a chat box below, adding more boxes for other players if they enter the game.
CDDA Audio Emulation: Making the music work
And this is the thing that many people never even heard about and yet is the culprit behind many abandonware games out there on the internet having no music (which happened to be my main motivation behind pushing the stuff I did related to abandonware years ago): Music that is (or should be) loaded from a disc’s audio tracks. However, a surprisingly simple alternative to having a mounted disc with audio tracks existed for a long while, and I even had knowledge of it but because of how it was needed for some games to even be able to load music from the disc in modern Windows.
This little beast is none other than the _inmm wrapper (yes, the underscore is part of the name), which I found out later on as a kid that it also allowed for loading MP3 tracks from a path instead of loading audio tracks from a drive, which is what sent me through the roof in messing around with old games and giving them the music they needed through it. And way later I found out about a “ogg-winmm” wrapper which worked with only a DLL (so it was more portable than _inmm for reasons I will explain soon)…but I tried several variants of the wrapper on this game with not very functional results. It actually played audio tracks…and for whatever reason it only played like 3 of the 23 audio tracks several times over the wrong places. But the music was working 100% fine with the _inmm wrapper!
- Compatible wrappers: _inmm (ogg-winmm wrappers don’t work properly with this game)
- Number of tracks for the game: 23 (Track01 is never used as it represented data on the disc + Track02 to Track24 which are the audio tracks)
To use _inmm wrapper, you need to have the program installed (since it uses a helper program in the background to control and playback music), but if you have installed it at least once to use on a game, it won’t be necessary to reinstall it for any other game you have patched with _inmm. While the inmmcnf program asks you to search and set a specific set of mp3 files which get saved into _inmm.ini with the exact path they are stored, you can use relative paths to have the game and music work as a portable folder. If you have the music stored in a “Music” folder inside the game folder, you can just create a _inmm.ini file in the game folder that contains the following:
And if you want to get the music files on your own, double check if the extracted music you got from the disc is properly ordered, or want to put your own music into the game, you can also refer to the table below that lists what each track corresponds to in-game.
Track 02: Rolling Start (Remix) - Used in Three-Seven Speedway Track 03: Let's Go Away (Remix) - Used in Dinosaur Canyon Track 04: Sky High (Remix) - Used in Seaside Street Galaxy Track 05: The Noisy Roars of Wilderness - Used in National Park Speedway Track 06: Pounding Pavement (Remix) - Used in Desert City Track 07: DAYTONA USA Medley - Used in Silver Ocean Causeway -The following are variants of the original songs used when you reach the GOAL in these tracks- Track 08: Rolling Start (Remix) - Used in Three-Seven Speedway and Silver Ocean Causeway Track 09: Let's Go Away (Remix) - Used in Dinosaur Canyon Track 10: Sky High (Remix) - Used in Seaside Street Galaxy Track 11: The Noisy Roars of Wilderness - Used in National Park Speedway Track 12: Pounding Pavement (Remix) - Used in Desert City -The following are variants of the original songs used when you enter the Victory Lane (Credits Roll and montage after getting Top 3 in a race)- Track 13: Rolling Start (Remix) - Used in Three-Seven Speedway and Silver Ocean Causeway Track 14: Let's Go Away (Remix) - Used in Dinosaur Canyon Track 15: Sky High (Remix) - Used in Seaside Street Galaxy Track 16: The Noisy Roars of Wilderness - Used in National Park Speedway Track 17: Pounding Pavement (Remix) - Used in Desert City Track 18 - Sons of Angels - Used in the Attract/Intro Track 19 - The American Dream - Used while watching Replays Track 20 - Lack of Speed - Used when you get a Game Over Track 21 - Sunset on the Daytona Beach - Used in Name Entry Track 22 - Crash and Burn - Used in the Credits Roll after completing all tracks (enjoy your Daytona supercar!) Track 23 - Gentlemen Start Your Engines - Main Menu Theme Track 24 - Gentlemen Start Your Engines (Part 2) - Originally CCE/CE's option screen theme...but goes unused here
The game experience: How it runs now (and some useful tidbits)
So thankfully, at least if I’m willing to ignore the jank about the windowed/fullscreen modes or if I just want to play the game in fullscreen and nothing else, this game is pretty much working spot-on through dgvoodoo2 and _inmm (music will restart if you pause in-game, but this is a symptom in many CD Audio based games in PC). It also detects DInput controllers properly and lets you configure the buttons whatever way you want, though it will only automatically pick up whatever the computer sees at the first two DInput controllers, and obviously it probably won’t see any controllers that don’t provide an option to be used in DInput games aside from external programs. You also can enable analog steering and accel/brakes on a separate menu bar option; for this game I probably won’t need analog pedals but it definitely would feel weird to have digital only steering when playing with an analog stick, specially with how it turns out that you can turn much faster with the analog mode (this also happened with the PC port of SEGA Touring Car Championship).
- Alt+F2: Reset Game (for whatever reason you want)
- F5: Keyboard Controls config
- F6: Joystick Controls config (The analog enable/disable is in a different tab)
From what I can tell, the game is almost entirely with all its modes (aside from the currently unconfirmed Multiplayer), being able to play in the Arcade mode, Time Attack mode, and the splitscreen 1P vs 2P mode in all tracks. It runs at a rock-solid 30fps (that’s what the game originally run at, so unfortunately can’t make it go higher than that if you ask) with upscaled resolutions as well as the original resolution if you wish, and some of the visual features like perspective correction, fog and texture filtering can be enabled or disabled in the D3D options tab. The ONLY feature that seems to be broken for some reason are ghosts, as I played a run in Time Attack, saved the ghost, loaded the ghost on a second run, and on the first turn that requires a sharp drift…the ghost starts spinning the wrong way instead. So yeah, unfortunately that’s the only thing that seems to be broken in this game. (no idea if it is because of the patches, dgvoodoo2 or if that feature was already a crapshoot in this port even back then). Replays after finishing a race do work though!
- Install the game
- Apply the D3D and NoCD patches to the game
- Download dgvoodoo2 and put it in the game folder
- Adjust resolution and window/fullscreen settings accordingly
- Install _inmm
- Extract the CD’s audio tracks into MP3 files from Track02.mp3 to Track24.mp3
- Put them in a “Music” folder then create a _inmm.ini file with the contents detailed above
- Put the extracted music (or any music you have found somewhere else) into the Music folder
- Drive like Sons of Angels!
I want to thank everybody that has worked on these compatibility tools and resources to patch old games and documentation on how to use them or where to find them (shoutouts to Play Old PC Games for saving me many times long ago), and to everybody that have been following me on this ride up to this point. I might or might not cobble up something that is…well, easier to get for less tech-savvy players, I’m still glad to be back at getting to document my findings on the newest misadventures between me and messing around with old Windows games since a good while, and with Daytona USA Deluxe since 5 years ago. It definitely has been fun to revisit these days!
I even got to record gameplay of the game again after 5 years; it feels good to get a grasp on the Phoenix car after never wanting to drive it any time I played the game before!
I might dedicate a full review or article throwing all my thoughts about this game here on my blog, as I think there should be enough material for that between my memories with the game and what I can take from it nowadays, but until then…I hope to see you next time! And yes, I’m going to try and bring more of these Abandonware Garage posts too! (There’s still a bunch of games that I had messed with just to get working in some way that I have yet to explain in the same way as this)
So…how am I supposed to extract the audio files using _inmm? I am absolutely clueless on how to use this tool. I’m using the Daytona USA Deluxe .iso I found on myabandonware.com
I hadn’t thought about describing that step, oops…while I will see if I can update this later, right now I can refer you to the “reduce Saturn game filesizes” guide here; specifically the PowerISO section.
That tool’s free version works fine for extracting audio tracks, though for this purpose of _inmm, make sure to extract as MP3 instead of OGG files.