Betrayal at Krondor – How to make it sound great as you remember?

I’ve just purchased Betrayal at Krondor from gog.com. This game was one of my favorites when I was a kid, not knowing a word in English. I haven’t played it since then.

As I started to play, it was obvious that three things about the sound were different:

  1. Sound effects were totally different than what I remembered.
  2. The music, in stores or chest for instance, wasn’t looping as it should have been.
  3. The quality of the music was much better than before.

Solve 1

After a bit of researche I found what was the problem. Games of that time had different drivers for different sound cards. In a config file, it is possible to select which sound driver you want to use. Now that I run the game in DosBox, the game works regardless of the driver I choose, but the choice does change something. It changes the sound bank (sound font) used in the game. My old 486 had a SoundBlaster, so I just had to tell the game to use its SoundBlaster driver like that:
In the file

KRONDOR.CFG

change the line

soundDrv  = MT32.DRV

to

soundDrv  = SNDBLAST.DRV

That’s all.

Solve 2

This is caused by the fact that the music used by the game is no longer MIDI as it was back then, but “CD music”, which means, pre-recorded, high quality music. They improved the music, but in the process lost the loops. In order to bring the loops back, all you have to do is go to Krondor’s preferences, in-game, and disable CD music, that’s all. You’ll get a significantly lower quality music, but I prefer that over silence in long battles and while solving riddle-chests.

What about 3?

So we lost the high quality music, isn’t there anything we can do to get the good from both world?
Well, I don’t know whether it’s possible to make the CD music loop or not, but I do know that it is possible to significantly improve the quality of the MIDI music. I haven’t done that, because I’m happy with the music as I remember it, but if you want, you can follow this guide which is more complicated but achieves more.

Enjoy!

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