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!

Join our Telegram group chat!

Join this Telegram group chat. You also can find other NFS3 fans for network multiplayer games.

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.

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. #601
    VEG Author

    Daniel, there is a huge selection of camera views in camera settings.

  2. #602
    Larry

    Hi all,
    I am building a retro PC games library with Dosbox Pure in Retroarch :) I got all DOS, Windows 95 and Windows 98 games to work so far except for NFS 3, unfortunately. The original CD version doesn't start somehow and immediately returns to the desktop after starting the game. I also tried using your modern patch with all types of renderers (dx5-7, dgvoodoo, softtri) but it won't start giving me multiple different errors (I could paste them here). I guess this could be an driver issue related to the emulated S3 Trio64 and Voodoo graphics card in Dosbox pure? It shouldn't be hardware related as I even saw someone running NFS Porsche in Dosbox Pure on YouTube. I couldn't find anything about this issue online so maybe I am the only one trying to achieve this. Any help or tip would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  3. #603
    VEG Author

    Unfortunately, never tried to run NFS3 in DosBox, so can't help you here. But the patch is compatible with Windows 98 for sure.

  4. #604
    Larry

    Hm, too bad :( Thanks for your response though.

  5. #605
    James

    Salute to you Sir, I can't wait to play NFSIII on my steamdeck.

  6. #606
    Patrick

    I'm a little unsure. When checking for Virustotal I get several warnings. Indication of a Trojan.

  7. #607
    VEG Author

    It's a false-positive. These days antivirus software randomly triggers on almost everything that doesn't have a digital signature of a huge company.

  8. #608
    Dan

    I keep getting "Cannot init trash driver". Win11 laptop with Ryzen 5500U. I've installed latest nGlide too.

  9. #609
    VEG Author

    You don't need to install nGlide for this patch, it's included. If you tried to enable any additional compatibility settings or added other patches, it's better to revert them.

    Try to choose another Thrash Driver in the nfs3.ini. The list of available ones in the readme file.

  10. #610
    thecodemonkey

    I get an error "the required files are not found or they were corrupted". Any help is appreciated!

  11. #611
    thecodemonkey

    #610: update: since I have the European version, it can be solved, if I set language to German in nfs3.ini (Language=german)

  12. #612
    judovana

    Hi @veg

    I want to congratulate you to awesome work. You have my deepest admiration and gratitude for making this awesome patch. I will attempt to do at least some donation, as that is indeed more then well deserved. the donations have status of "suspended" but it seems the paygate is stillopned. Will it reach you?

    Have you ever thinking about publishing the sources and buiold scripts fo the patch?

    And jsut for record, it wiorked out of the box without issues.

  13. #613
    VEG Author

    The suspended state is related to development of the patch. It's in this state for many years already and I don't know when I'll come back to this project. The donations page is working. The status is just to tell people that there are no NFS3 Modern Patch updates coming anytime soon.

  14. #614
    judovana

    Sure. Here you go, ty and happy hacking!

  15. #615
    Alexis

    I second judovana's request of publishing the sources/build scripts/documentation. We all stand on the shoulders of giants, building upon the work of those who came before us. You made your patch while standing on EA's shoulders. EA stood on the shoulders of the people who created compilers, image editing software, 3D APIs, etc. Please consider being a giant, make it easier for others to build upon your work.

    I also made a small donation. (please credit as Alexis) Thanks for all the hard work. I salute you, sir.

  16. #616
    VEG Author

    Thanks for your support.

  17. #617
    fastfoot

    I have issue of headlight when using vertex mode, they just flash and flicker on the road. How to solve it? I use dgvoodoo.

  18. #618
    fastfoot

    Sorry, correction, it is "Projected" headlight mode.

  19. #619
    VEG Author

    Try different renderers that are listed in the readme. Maybe some of them will be better.

  20. #620
    KyoriAsh

    Hi VEG, do you plan to add support for Japanese version as recently I just discovered this version but not applicable with your NFS3 patch.

  21. #621
    VEG Author

    There are no such plans unfortunately. Japanese version uses an incompatible version of game executable. It requires to port all the changes to that version manually that would require too much time.

  22. #622
    FreCafe

    Hi Veg,
    can you help me ?
    I have a error when i dubble click the NFS3.exe i get the following "The thrash driver is not found" if i type another driver like "glide3x" in the nfs3.ini it stil gives me the error message.

  23. #623
    VEG Author

    Probably you didn't extract all the files of the patch from the archive? All of them are required.

  24. #624
    FreCafe

    ok i dubble checked that but stil i get the error message.

  25. #625
    VEG Author

    You should have drivers directory next to the nfs3.exe, and subdirectories with available drivers inside. Each subdirectory should have a thrash.ini and related dll file. Probably they are removed for some reason?

  26. #626
    FreCafe

    not all Drivers have the same dll file, for example. the nglide directory has a glide3x.dll a thrash.ini and a voodoo2a.dll

  27. #627
    VEG Author

    This is because nglide includes both a Thrash Driver and a wrapper for it. If you choose glide3x, it is expected that you have system-wide glide3x.dll (for example, if you run the game on Windows 98 with original 3dfx Voodoo 2).

  28. #628
    FreCafe

    ok, then everything seems to be in order. downloaded everthying again. i'm trying to playe the game without CD on my windwos 10 pc.
    but still getting the error message

  29. #629
    VEG Author

    Does the default nglide work? glide3x is not for Windows 10, it's for retro machines with original 3dfx Voodoo 2 GPU.

  30. #630
    FreCafe

    the default nglide from the original NFS3 i had worked but couldn't start a race, then i found this (your) site and followed the instructions but then the thrash error message came up

  31. #631
    VEG Author

    Try other values, like dx8 or dgvoodoo.

  32. #632
    FreCafe

    btw, thx for responding this quick !!! you're amazing!

    i tried those but no sigar.

  33. #633
    VEG Author

    Well, I don't know then. Normally, at least one of the renderers work. You can experiment with different versions of the patch also, and try the latest beta.

  34. #634
    FreCafe

    Veg,

    thx, the beta works with the dx8 driver set in the nfs3.ini

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