OK, so here are my updated results. I downloaded the above patch and changed the directory source in the dark.fix file to direct to my source directory
(the original hard drive crashed a few years back, and I got a new replacement. When I re-installed the BIOS and WinXP OS, it auto-assigned a new directory prefix of H: to the new HD, instead of using the original C: - I guess with all the USB ports and memory card slots already assigned, "H:" was the next available letter in the alphabet LOL. I later found out that I could have forced it to take the C:, but oh well)
and then now I open it with the "darkfix.exe" instead of the "dark.exe". The patch fixes most of the stuff great! The video cut scenes are no longer interlaced, and the audio doesn't crack and scratch. The pace of the game is much faster as well, more like the original CD game. Before the play speed was something like 60%-70% the true speed - now it's so fast its harder to kill the enemy than it was before - they zip and zap all over the place, but I remember that to be more like how it should be. There are some issues I've found with the patch however:
1) very minor one - the in-space flight music no longer plays. When you land on a planet the background music audio still plays, but when you launch into space, the 2-3 different background audios that played, including an ominous one when you reach a mission nav point or come into a nav point where there's pre-existing enemy, are now gone.
2) in some cases, when you're fighting enemy or there is military fighting enemy, there will be little comment audios that play, like the enemy calling you out ("prepare to die, fool!", "come and get some!"), or the military killing the enemy ("another law breaker meets his maker!"). The would play along with a little avatar image in the upper left corner, letting you know who's doing the talking. The image plays, but the audio doesn't. This only happens randomly, as other times it plays fine.
The top 2 are minor things, and do not really impact the game-play of the game. The following issues are bigger issues:
3) At times when in the midst of playing the game - usually in the middle of fighting enemies - the screen will quickly go black, and when it returns, the little Windows "Doink" noise sounds off:
When this happens, and the screen graphics return, everything seems fine in the game-play. However, should I have to go to any of the secondary screens, like "alt-d" (the mission direction and info screen), "alt-n" (the navigation screen), or "alt-o" (the game options screen), I need the use of the mouse because there is a curser that is used to select the options, but the curser no longer works. Its as if the mouse got unplugged or something. This is troublesome as a player needs the alt-d to check on pending missions and what nav points to set to go to them, and the alt-n to set the course in order to fly to the destinations. WIthout them, I can no longer play the game - just stay in that lone nav point and fly around in it. The "alt-x" still works, because that is the QUIT option in-game, and doesn't require the mouse - just type alt-x, and when the "Quit Game? Y/N" pops up, just hit the "Y" key, and the game quits. I can quit the game, and then restart it, and the mouse works again for a while. Now, if the nav point where I'm stuck on happens to be a planetary nav point, I can simply land on the planet, and quit the game from there. But I also cannot access the booths or transit, because all those require the use of the mouse to select options. I use a plain-jane logitech M100 wired optic mouse, but also have a logitech M310 wireless, and a microsoft wired, and none of them work when this happens.
4) lately a new way for the game to crash has been happening: Instead of the above - again, typically while I am in-game in space, and fighting enemy, the screen goes black and the game crashes, and I get the Windows XP error message dong:
There's no error message that appears, however. But when this happens, the game freezes and the screen is black, so I have no options for quitting the game, and can only hard-shutdown the computer from the CPU power button.
That's it, and if anyone can figure out fixes for these issues - especially the last 2 issues - it would be greatly appreciated. When these crashes do not happen, the game-play is great and flows like when it was the CD game. There have been times when it crashed only 3-4 missions in the play, and others when I went hours playing it before it crashed, so there's been no pattern or rhythm to it. I just recently got to the point just past where normally you put in the 2nd CD if it was the deluxe game, but I've been mostly just trying to do missions a lot, to build up credits and upgrade my ship, as often I've gotten my butt kicked by the enemy when the game isn't crashing. Thanks in advance!!