AOE II Age of Kings - the ultimate catastrophe


New Member
Hello forumers. My name is v3rmin (as you can obviously tell from this post.)

Recently I have been touched by a burning desire to restore some memories of my boyhood by playing a bit of AOE II. I haven't touched the game in a while and it seems like a good way to spend time when I'm not able to use the internet, which unfortunately happens all too frequently. However, between my last play date and the writing of this post, one thing has changed (apart from my age) - my system.

I bought a new computer at the end of November, 2015. This system arrived in early December 2015, with Windows 8.1 pre-installed. My previous rig also had Windows 8.1 on it, but I was still able to play AOE on it just fine. There were no problems with graphics ("purple water", "red grass" etc) - everything was working. This new PC had infinitely better specs, yet there's a huge problem - the game installs alright, it just won't work.

Let me expand on that.
I have installed the full version of both the original game and the expansion pack, but neither will load properly. I click on the shortcut to run the game, I get a black screen suggesting some progress, before the whole thing crashes to desktop with zero explanation whatsoever. It just stops dead.

No level of settings tweaking has worked thus far either. Compatibility mode for all manner of systems does not work. I get the same result.

I was wondering if the helpful types on eightforums could help me out here, as I'm figuratively being driven up the wall by this frustrating cycle of hope and despair.

My current system's specs
Acer Aspire TC-705
Windows 8.1
Intel Core i5 @ 3.2 GHz (quad core)
Nvidia GeForce GTX745 4GB
2TB HDD (2 x 1 TB drive)

My old system's specs
Compaq CQ-2000
Windows 8.1
AMD Vision E1 @ 1.4 GHz (quad core)
AMD Integrated Graphics

As you can see, my new computer is far superior - and yet it can' play a 17 year old game?
What's going on?

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    V3rminious II
    Computer type
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Intel Core i5
    12 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GeForce GTX745
Due to your new rig having 12 GB RAM, I assume you now have a 64 bit o/s.
Those very old games are most likely 16 bit; they will work on a 32 bit version of Win 8.1 under compatibility mode.
However, if 16 bit, they will not work on a 64 bit operating system.

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 64 bit (updt)
    Computer type
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Samsung NP355E7C
    AMD A6