Need For Speed III Modern Patch v1.6.1 [2016/10/28] (HD + Widescreen + Portable)

“Need For Speed III: Hot Pursuit” is the first 3D game of my life. When I've seen the game first time, I was extremely amazed because I'd never seen 3D games before. It was in 2000. I can't count hours which I've spent in the Split Screen mode with my cousin. And the music... it's so awesome, so I'd recorded it on an audio cassette, and listened it hundreds of times.

And now, years later, I had tried to play this game. But the game refused to run on modern hardware. So, I had tried to investigate how to fix it. I had a little carried away by this. As the result I've created an impressive patch. 25000+ lines of assembly code, 150+ days of reverse-engineering and coding, 40 sheets of A4 paper were covered with writing during development, a huge list of changes...



Hometown in widescreen resolution

Key Features

  • Full widescreen and HD resolutions support. You can easily use resolutions like 1920×1200. Now the game supports all aspect ratios from the 5:4 to 16:9, inclusive 4:3 and 16:10. HUD will be adopted automatically for every aspect ratio.
  • Improved graphics. No more cars with non-rotating wheels, better textures and models for other's cars (original game reduces size of textures even on maximum graphics settings), better graphics in the rear view, etc.
  • New graphics settings: Rear View Detail (High/Medium/Low), Rear View Camera From (In Car Camera/Active Camera, it decreases the blind spot), Fog (On/Off, like in the NFS4), Wide View Angle setting (useful for the widescreen resolutions).
  • Fog effect and light beams support in DirectX 6/7 (they were exclusive effects for the 3dfx Voodoo).
  • Portability. All system settings are loaded from the ini file. No more registry!
  • Compatibility. Most problems with modern Windows were fixed. Full support of multi-core processors. Original game can work properly only on one core. This change dramatically improves performance of the nGlide and the dgVoodoo.
  • Alt+Tab support. You can safely minimize the game when nGlide or dgVoodoo driver is used.
  • Built-in screenshoter. Just press Print Screen key, and a screenshot will be saved into the screenshots subdirectory in the JPG/PNG/BMP format.
  • Improved keyboard support in the menu. Now it is much more consistent. You can also use the Tab and Shift+Tab to switch between elements.
  • Better modding abilities. The game doesn't crash when high-poly cars are used. Also it possible to use huge textures up to 2048×2048 (original limit was 256×256).
  • Optimizations. 10 times faster gameplay loading on modern systems. To skip loading animation just press any key.
  • Bugfixes. More than 200 changes at all!

Screenshots


Before and after: cars have better textures, side mirrors don't disappear


How to install

  1. Copy FEDATA and GAMEDATA directories from the NFS3 CD to a new empty directory.
  2. Extract contents of the nfs3_modern_patch.7z (1.6MB) into that directory with replacement of files.
  3. Done!

Download a full game bundle

The game is abandonware and you can't buy it anymore. So, I created a full bundle which includes all original cars, all official supported languages, and preinstalled Modern Patch v1.5.3. You can download it using this torrent file. If you wish to update it to the latest Modern Patch, just extract contents of the nfs3_modern_patch.7z into the game directory with replacement of files.

Find other NFS3 fans for the network games in our Telegram group chat!

If you are a server, ports 1030 and 9803 have to be accessible from the network, so you have to add the appropriate permit rule in your firewall for the nfs3.exe and configure a port forwarding properly. If you're a client, port forwarding isn't required. If you wish to find someone who wants to play NFS3 with you, join this Telegram group chat.

Plans

Donated: $270.
Status: suspended.

Planned features:

  • [Done] Sharp fonts and other elements in menus on D3D renderers, just like when Glide renderers are used.
  • [Done] The problem with visible black polygons (e.g. near the Old Church) on the DX7 renderer will be solved.
  • [Done] Movies support for the DX8 renderer.
  • [Done] 32bpp rendering for movies. Menu will also work in 32bpp video mode and it will look better. Now it works in 16bpp.
  • Simple windowed mode for the DX6/DX7/DX8 renderers. It will be possible to enable it using ini file.
  • Investigation about how to add an ability to restore minimized game when it works in fullscreen mode.
  • Separate “Frame Size” and “Frame Cropping” graphics settings instead of the current combined one.
  • Rewriting of the code which uses the mouse cursor in the exclusive mode. The game will use the default system behavior of the mouse cursor. It will solve many small problems with the mouse cursor in this game. For example, your cursor will be able to leave the window of the game (when it works in a window) without pressing any keys. Also it will solve problems with mouse lagging on some computers.
  • Solving of the problems with loading of ghost and replay files from other players (when the other player has a little bit different set of cars in his game).
  • An optional ability to change structure of the game directories using the ini file. It may be useful for modding. It will be more flexible than the install.win from the original versions. For example, you will be able to move all save files to some separate directory (e.g. "savedata").
  • An optional ability to load a thrash driver from the root directory, as it was in the original version of the game.

These features are planned for the v1.6.1, v1.6.2 and v1.6.3. A beta version is here.

  1. #1
    Rodrigo Sepulveda

    I haven't tested it yet but if it works, I will thank you forever :D

  2. #2
    daniel

    Cool. Super work.
    What is the recommend wrapper to play the game? nglide vs Dx?
    I tested a bit and saw that whatever way i play the loading screen for the race has wrong aspect ratin and i had chosen a wide screen res. Fog does work in dx 8.
    Again impressive effort.

  3. #3
    VEG Author

    daniel, I think that nglide will be a little bit better in most cases.

  4. #4
    daniel

    I've played a little more with this patch and saw that somehow the handling ot the cars are bit changed.

    Can you make a release with only the changes(wheels not moving, better view distance, alt tab support, multi core support etc, no changes to cars, handling, textures, etc) regarding only the game?
    No changes for the new drivers?.I play only with ngilde wrrapper from Zeus.
    I would love to have the stock game to have the fixes that affect gameplay and only this. Call me old fashion.

    Cheers.

  5. #5
    VEG Author

    daniel, there are no any gameplay changes. All cars have to behave exactly like they behave in the original version of this game. Probably, you've changed some options in the Tuning menu? Also it might be the placebo effect.

    And again, there is no any gameplay changes. Modern Patch is fully compatible with the original NFS3, so you can even connect to multiplayer games with people who are not using Modern Patch. See readme file. It describes all changes.

    Use nglide driver from patch's archive. It includes own version of glide3x.dll, so if you've installed nGlide wrapper, it will not be used.

  6. #6
    daniel

    Cool. I really like what have you done. Like you i play the game since childhood. ;)

    Now while playing the game with nglide i've noticed that the wheels of the other cars in the 1st person mode, in the mirror, are not spinning. I dont know if this happens every time, but i surely seen it twice.

    Also i'am thinking, i like to play the game 4k res. But for doing that i must set Resolution=1(avoid loading screen 4:3 aspect ratio) and in Nvidia CP i need to set the 4k res.(DSR or normal 4k res).
    I am wondering if you cand make a new setting for the game to use, related to the resolution i want to use, so that it can override the desktop res? So that we can skip setting the desktop res to 4k? Somehow what the ngilde wrapper is doing where i set the res i wanr to use.

    Cheers.

  7. #7
    VEG Author

    Hm. I've never noticed that wheels in the mirror are not spinning :) The mirror uses medium quality models, so non-spinning wheels are ok. It needs additional investigation to change this behavior.

    Patched version of the game have to allow setting any resolution with aspect ratio from 16:9 to 5:4. It affects gameplay only. The main menu always works in 640×480 and it is very hard to fix. Resolution=1 in thrash.ini simply stretches menu to your desktop resolution, so the result may have abnormal proportions or some other artifacts.

  8. #8
    daniel

    If i go to into settings i can only see 1600x1200 max resolution, with nglide. That's why i am trying to play at hightest possible resoltuion. I didnt not see any abnormal proportions or some other artifacts while playing with nglide wrapper from Zeus at 4k.

  9. #9
    VEG Author

    Are you using glide3x.dll from the Modern Patch's archive? glide3x.dll from nGlide 1.04.0 bundle doesn't support widescreen and big resolutions. Modern Patch includes special version of nGlide (1.04.3) with extended API (according to screen resolutions).
    If you are using glide3x.dll from Modern Patch's archive (nGlide 1.04.3), and the game doesn't allow to set widescreen and big resolutions, possibly, the problem is in the nGlide itself. Please try dx6 or dgvoodoo thrash drivers.

  10. #10
    daniel

    I downloaded again the patch and overwrite my setup and now i can see the 4k res using nglide. Cool. Must have set something wrong in the ini's. :D

    Now i tested the other drivers:
    dgvoodoo. Can set 4k(nvidia dsr) but has artifacts when loading and playing the game. Can see 32 bit color.
    dx6. Can set 4k(nvidia dsr) but crashes when trying to load. Can see 32bit color. 1080p works fine.Main menu is fuzzy.
    Ngilde Is using 16 bit mode only. I dont know if iit is capable of 32 bit mode..

  11. #11
    VEG Author

    16 bit mode is ok for nglide. The game thinks that it's 16 bit resolution, but nGlide uses 32 bit resolution in fact.

  12. #12
    daniel

    Thanks.

    Can we have a seeting so that we can change the aspect ratio? I know that will stretch the image but for my eyes it's better.
    If i set Resolution=1 i can see that the image is stretched. I played quite some time i didnt seen artifacts when stretched. Used alson ngilde wrraper with stretched image and everything seems ok.

    Preaty please!!!! This and the spinning wheels in the mirror and i think the game will be perfect.

  13. #13
    VEG Author

    Try to change “Aspect” setting in the thrash.ini of the nglide driver.

    I have a long TODO list according this project. There are about 100 ideas. But it requires too much time, so I've decided to stop developing at this point. Currently, I've done much more than I've planned before. Probably, in the far future I will have more free time, so I'll be able to return to this project.

  14. #14
    Brut

    Hello and thanx for really great job here, did not found any new bugs, everything works fine. Except the old bug from original game with police when u drive a map backwards. As i read here, there will be no more versions of this patch in near future?

  15. #15
    VEG Author

    Brut, a bug with police needs very deep investigation for fixing. Probably, I'll release a small update this year, but there are will be just a couple of small fixes.

  16. #16
    Brut

    I understand, I was just asking about this one bug, because as i know, it is the biggest bug in this game, that is destroying the whole gameplay on this setting, hope You manage to fix this one day... You have done a great work, more of my friends started to play this game again :D

  17. #17
    Stian

    YYYeeeeeeessssss :D :D :D finally a patch or a method to get the game to actually run. I am ever so thankful to you :-D i've tried other patches or methods, but i just get the stupid access violation: read attempted. and stuff like that.

    on the side note, I did not think strait when i actually skipped to copy the driver folder :( so i did not get it to work for a while hehe, but then i realized it and now it finally run after several days. :-D Thanks.

  18. #18
    Michael

    Very impressive work. Thanks for caring about this old classic. :)

  19. #19
    Milan

    Veg, I need your help with first Need For Speed Special Edition: http://www.old-games.ru/game/download/500.html if you have the time to look at it. The game has dos and win exe. With DOSBox it works but it's not ideal because it's lagging and sound is distorted. Tried different settings and nothing. Probably better CPU is needed. Win version won't even install and I tried manually to copy different files but couldn't do anything. I would be grateful if you could just look at the game and give me some advice how to make it work under Win. Thanks in advance.

  20. #20
    VEG Author

    Milan, sorry, but I don't have enough free time to see what's wrong with the NFS: SE.

  21. #21
    Milan

    VEG, could you remove the track limit? When I want to play tracks from this pack http://nfs3expansionpack.webs.com/ I have to backup and replace original ones first. If you could unlock slots after trk008 it would be great. I don't know if there is car limit also cause I didn't try other then default cars but if there is it should be removed if possible.

  22. #22
    VEG Author

    Milan, it is not easy to do. Also it is not clear how the game have to handle any new tracks in the tournament or knockout modes. Probably, in the future...

  23. #24
    Kamil

    I'm reliving my childhood right now. Thank you so much.

  24. #25
    Alex Z

    This is amazing! wow, HUGE respect for your skills.

    Works wonderfully! Thank you so very much!

  25. #26
    MV

    Thank you for the amazing work you've done here! This is one of the games I played the most back when it was new and I always wanted to be able to properly play it on a modern machine without the use of a virtual machine.

    Is there any chance you would release something similar for NFS 2 or NFS 4?

  26. #27
    Rixel

    This is beautiful, works like a charm! Any possibility to port it to NFS4? Both are awesome games of my childhood. Amazing work.

  27. #28
    Rixel

    Well, after a bit of fun did make it work with the newest nGlide. ;)

  28. #29
    VEG Author

    Any possibility to port it to NFS4?

    Probably, later. Currently I have no free time to do it.

    Well, after a bit of fun did make it work with the newest nGlide. ;)

    Newest version of the nGlide is used by default. It is even newer than the version from official web-site of nGlide :)

  29. #30
    Desaix

    Hey VEG,
    first I want to thank you for your work and passion. This patch is great! But I have a question concerning the hot pursuit mode.
    Somehow I can't choose the number of my opponents. It just remains grey overlayed. I'm pretty sure that I was once able to change it during childhood and I'd love to be able to do that again. Is there a way to do it or is my Installation corrupt?

    Greetings :)

  30. #31
    VEG Author

    Desaix, original game also doesn't allow to set number of opponents in the Hot Pursuit mode. You can check it.

  31. #32
    JimDiabolo

    First Great work ! I didn't expect someone could add this features to NFS III. Do you ever think of looking at NFS IV ? I think the main program is nearly the same as NFS III. It would be great if we could add a improved version 4.50 in the Stock / Expansion pack. (http://www.hsscoring.com/HSGuide/) We could drop a lot of work arounds for the game.

    JimDiabolo

  32. #33
    VEG Author

    Do you ever think of looking at NFS IV ?

    I already have started patch for the NFS4, but currently I have not enough free time to work on it. So, I don't know when some stable version will be released.

  33. #34
    Tuurngait

    Great work! And Hi Jim!!! I am Tuurngait from the IPL forum. The NFS4 stock pack is already quite good. Just could add nGlide 1.04 and some Win10 tweaks if neccessary and possible. If you want a patch for NFS Porsche, here is a bundle with all the fixes and improvements for the best experience on modern systems. I'm still working on it, but it should be almost final.
    http://www.iplounge.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2370

  34. #35
    Tuurngait

    Ah, and I forgot to say that NFS3 looks very good with your patch, VEG. Nice features added, but I prefer to play without the fog, because it's the original look of the game. Found a way to disable fog in the nGlide driver folder of your patch. I like the fog in NFS4.

  35. #36
    VEG Author

    but I prefer to play without the fog, because it’s the original look of the game

    It is not true. NFS3 always had this effect when 3dfx Voodoo is used. But DX5 renderer hadn't fog support when NFS3 was released, so developers disabled this effect for the case when D3D or software rendering is used. So, only owners of 3dfx Voodoo had seen this effect during gameplay. I've fixed this unfairness, so now the game can use the fog effect when DX6 renderer is used. Also I've added an option to disable fog effect for any renderer if you wish (in the thrash.ini). So you can disable fog effect even when 3dfx Voodoo is used :) And yes, I'm preserving compatibility of the game with the older systems, so the game still supports the Windows 9x and the real 3dfx Voodoo accelerators. And even more, because the DX6 renderer supports the fog effect on the Windows 9x also.

  36. #37
    Tuurngait

    Okay, interesting. I never played this game on a Voodoo graphics card. My first one was a GeForce 4. But I still don't like the fog, because the game is in my memories without the fog. With fog it looks like NFS4, but I prefer when NFS4 remains an improvement and not the same game with more tracks. Just my opinion. I like better graphics, but not when they change the original art style the game had in my memories.

  37. #38
    Milan

    Few months ago when I asked you for NFS4 patch you said that you will think about it and now you are working on it. Great news man.

  38. #39
    Tuurngait

    There is already a NFS4 patch by JimDiabolo. No need to make an other one. We could probably improve his patch with further compatibility fixes and tweaks. But it's already working very well. Before VEG decide to make his own patch, he should take a look at the Stock Pack 4.0 v1.76.

  39. #40
    Milan

    Tuurngait, I am using Stock Pack 4.0 v1.76 to play NFS4 with friends over the Tunngle and while it works I would rather have a proper patch from VEG.

  40. #41
    JimDiabolo

    "VEG:I already have started patch for the NFS4, but currently I have not enough free time to work on it. So, I don’t know when some stable version will be released."
    I completly understand that. I still got some ideas for T3ed but, haven't had the time to implement that. But anyway, here is some info about NFS4. We use the updated version 4.50 in our SP/EP with some patches added. (I'm still glad JeffR shared the information years ago.)

    Comparing files nfshsorg.exe and nfshsep.exe

    0005D707: 75 90 collision selectable patch (based on damage setting)
    0005D708: 3C 90
    0005D728: C4 C0
    0005D729: 27 4C
    0005D72A: 85 7C

    000C1E53: E8 90 no intro patch
    000C1E54: 48 90
    000C1E55: 6A 90
    000C1E56: 02 90
    000C1E57: 00 90
    000C1E62: E8 90
    000C1E63: 39 90
    000C1E64: 6A 90
    000C1E65: 02 90
    000C1E66: 00 90

    000F7324: 75 EB no cd patch
    000F7325: 22 7F
    000F74C7: E8 90
    000F74C8: A4 90
    000F74C9: CA 90
    000F74CA: 00 90
    000F74CB: 00 90

    00103ACB: 75 EB no cd patch or less than 1mb disk space check?

  41. #42
    Dsd

    Omg can't believe.. Its working fine... Thanks alotalotalotalotalot... Whooo!

  42. #43
    Tuurngait

    JimDiabolo, what's meant by the "no intro patch"? Will it remove/skip the intro or will it fix potential missing of intro play?
    I really like the intro and I never would remove it. People can simply skip it manually. Please don't add this to the patch (even optional is useless) until it's not a bug-fix.

  43. #44
    Name

    I wish someone could make remastered version of this game. All HD models, menu, textures and such. Would be awesome. This game has the best music and menu design I've ever seen.

  44. #45
    VEG Author

    JimDiabolo, thanks for this information.
    Tuurngait, optional “no intro” is very useful. Just because it's too annoying to skip intro movie every time :)

  45. #46
    Tuurngait

    I think not. It's just pressing one key.

  46. #47
    Milan

    VEG, what's the NFSHS patch status? Will you release it soon?

  47. #48
    VEG Author

    Milan, no. Currently, I'm planning to release NFS3 Modern Patch v1.4.0 (with a large number of features and bugfixes) soon. I've started developing NFS4 Modern Patch, but it is still far from any public release. NFS3 is my favorite game in the NFS series, so it takes most of my free time.

  48. #49
    Milan

    Your NFS3 patch is impressive and you even added option for changing port. I hope that NFSHS patch will have the same great features as NFS3.

  49. #50
    Brut

    reallly great news, hope it wil come soon :) Do not let yourself procrastinate with other nfs, I share with You the opinion, that No 3 is da BEST :D Did You manage to fix that annoying bug with bad AI on tracks with backwards on?