“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
- 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!
Before and after: cars have better textures, side mirrors don't disappear
How to install
- Copy FEDATA and GAMEDATA directories from the NFS3 CD to a new empty directory.
- Extract contents of the nfs3_modern_patch.7z (1.6MB) into that 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.
Sharp fonts and other elements in menus on D3D renderers, just like when Glide renderers are used.
The problem with visible black polygons (e.g. near the Old Church) on the DX7 renderer will be solved.
Movies support for the DX8 renderer.
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.
Awesome work VEG, I was trying to get my original copy of NFS3 working on a retro build I am still working on, however I was being met with blank screens after the intro sequences. Downloaded your patch, altered what needed to be done (using dx8 on my GF3Ti200), and it now works flawlessly. Many thanks! Just a quick question, any suggestions on how to edit the vehicle textures (TGA files within the VIV file) so we can still use the colour chooser in-game after editing? Back in my youth I used to edit the cars all the time, but the textures I never worked out how to do them properly, used to edit them in the VIV Editor and just stick with the colour given in the TGA file, but would like to clean up the HSV VT GTS and smooth its lines a bit, give the shape of the car real definition rather than it looking like a repurposed traffic car! Thanks again!
Actually, I don't know. I've never edited cars.
If you want a section of the TGA texture file to act as the primary color of the car in NFS III, you need to color that section: Hex#A8A8A8
If you want a section to act as the secondary color of the car in NFS III, you need to color that section: Hex#E4E4E4
Use this website for reference and type the Hex numbers that I listed into the # box and press enter:
It will tell you the corresponding RGB and HSL values of the colors represented by those hex numbers.
If you want to actually change the default colors and custom colors that you can choose in game, you will need to use the FCE Colors tool and FCE Converter tool.
1) export HSV VT GTS FCE file from the VIV file
2) Convert that FCE to NFS IV format using FCE Converter
3) Open that converted FCE file in FCE Colors and when it asks to create a TGA file based on the colors, click yes
4) Open the TGA file that was just created. The primary colors are represented by the left half of this image. The secondary colors are represented by the right half. Change them to your liking.
5) The alpha channel needs to be colored properly in order to be able to have the custom colors work in the game. Each section should be a shade of gray. Not sure if they have to be different from each other though. I don't think they do. Can make them different shades of gray just to be safe.
6) When you're done editing the main layer and alpha channel to your needs, apply the alpha channel layer mask and save the TGA file
7) Open up your converted FCE file in the FCE colors program. This time when it asks if you want to create a TGA file, select no. Then it will ask if you want to load a TGA file to represent the colors of your FCE. Navigate to the TGA file you just finished modifying and select it.
8) Convert the FCE file back to NFS III format using FCE Converter
9) Import the FCE file back into the HSV VT GTS VIV file.
Note: Converting an FCE file from NFS III to NFS IV format might make the FCE file lose its face properties (chrome, transparency etc...) and shading (because the normals are reset i think). You can open up the NFS IV format FCE in FCE Finish 2 to reapply these properties.
Thanks for the advice CallmeBK. I am going to assume for editing the TGA files, I will need Photoshop or GIMP? Been around 17 or 18 years since I've toyed with the cars in this game! I remember how to change the structure of the car, add/remove/change polygons and all that stuff, just the textures that always had me stumped.
Also, luckily for me, I own the GTS personally (like, the actual car), so obtaining high-res photos of the car will be a piece of cake, just a shame the car is black.
Oh nice. The car I've been modeling is the one I own too. Makes it so much easier when you can just go out and take a measurement or picture from any angle you want lol. Yeah I've used gimp and it works like a charm.
I was having issues with getting my controller recognised (when attempting to set the controls for the controller in the options, the buttons and axes I was pushing were ignored) but I found a solution for anyone looking:
Need for Speed III will only recognise the first controller plugged in. In Windows, you can set a preferred controller to be used with older programs that can only recognise one controller at a time; you can do this by typing "Set up USB game controllers" in the Start menu, hitting "Advanced" and selecting the controller you want to use. If this doesn't work (it didn't for me initially, but I think that was because I'm using a Mayflash GameCube controller adapter with 4 controller ports, and all of them have the same exact name, are active at the same time, and are likely in a different order on this menu than others/than you would expect from the physical layout of the adapter itself), you can try this:
Only plug in the controller you want to use, and unplug any other controllers
If you have a multitap-style adapter like me, and you're unable to "unplug" the additional controllers, go to Device Manager and look for your controllers. Mine were under "Human Interface Devices" as "HID-compliant game controller", but other controllers may show up under "Sound, video and game controllers". Use the controller testing screen for your controller to test that it's still working (Type ""Set up USB game controllers" in the Start menu, select your controller, and hit "Properties"; press some buttons and you should see them being registered as being pressed in the window"), and disable all other game controllers.
Also, if you have a gaming mouse with a high polling rate (more than 100 Hz), it likely will cause problems with the mouse on the main menu screens. As an easy workaround, use the arrow keys to navigate wherever possible.
Great job on NFS3HP! My only complaint is the PC version is not as good as the PS1 version, and that if you could fix the opponent AI in the PC version this would be a *much* better game. The AI doesn't have the drive to really want to beat you and it crashes too much into traffic cars.
Maybe you could fix this issue?
looking for the sound files for the cop voices that say pull your car over now and stop your car etc.. just like the PS1 copy
Hello everybody :)
today is Need for Speed III Hot Pursuit 22Years Old, congratulations and do not forget to play today at least one race :D *** Thanx Veg to You too to improve the game as much as You could :) Cheers and greetings everybody.
We still support this great game on our forum http://nfs3hp.brut.me and Discord too https://discord.gg/c4dc79r, how is Your situation Veg, are there any plans to continue the patch, or not for now?
Best Regards and Greetings from Slovakia
Hi Veg and all other guys :D If someone plants to play and doesn´t know yet, I want to share a discord server for people looking to play NFS3 (and maybe also NFS2SE, HS, Porsche and HP2), you don´t need the "iplounge" program to join NFS3 sessions, the hosters are always providing their IP. https://discord.gg/JMaypEd
Also VEG I have a question: Is there any chance you can change the default cop cars to Diablo SV or Nino cars (for multiplayer games)? It would the HP mode more interesting and challenging. Or any easy way to use the hosters cop car files so everyone has the specific cars?
@Shawn Weber PS1 version has rubberbanding AI, I´m glad they changed it in the PC version, it´s annoying in NFS2 if you lose but couldn´t drive any better tbh
Sry, missed one thing and for me it´s even more important than faster AI cop cars: Cops rarely do "Drift turns" on "Backwards" tracks, "Mirrored" or anything else still works fine. It makes the cops too predictable when you know about it. Is that a hardcoded thing and difficult to fix? Here is an example what the "Drift turn" is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZHdh_4tCTw
Hey VEG thank you very much!I'm so happy to play nfs3 on my windows 10. Could you please make a modern patch for NFSII if you have spare time? I have a image file of NFSII.Without doubt, it can't run on my Windows 10.Using a virtual machine is too tedious .I really love this game,could you help me?
There already is patch for NFS2, SE version. Seems to be not as non-problematic as VEG's patch is, but that can also be me using Wine and not Windows..
Hey the main menu is in a 4:3 resolution mode. My monitor has to keep switching resolutions every time I go between the menu and in-game. This of course screws with my other windows in the background. Can I change the menu resolution to be widescreen too?
How to install dgvoodoo for the game?
Hey I've been trying to get this game to work on magicdosbox for android. I have windows 98 installed. I read through the readme after not getting the dx drivers to initialize. I saw the suggestion to use the softtri driver for virtual machines and when I used it, it loaded further into the game but didn't quite make it to the loading screen (I had nomovies set to 1). I receive the error:
locateshape - 'back' SHAPE NOT FOUND IN '.\fedata\art\title_E.qfs'
I was thinking maybe I don't have some sort of driver installed on my windows 98 virtual machine... because the same game and settings run fine on my windows 10 modern computer setup (non virtual machine).
So once I changed the cpu type i was emulating in magic dosbox, the error went away and the game loaded up. The only thing I'm not sure of right now is if the cpu can be emulated fast enough to actually play the game. I get to the start of the race and it crashes when i start driving. I'll probably setup dosbox on my computer to see if it works there. That should at least tell me if it is a dosbox limitation or a device limitation.
Thanks VEG!!! This is awesome. My brother found my old copy of NFS 3 on CD at our parents house during the holidays. Put it in the computer, just for fun, but no... Then I googled and found THIS! Grrrrreat work! And thank you, once again. All best, E
savefileadr - OPEN FAILED FOR FILE '.\fedata\stats\records.dat'
Hi, did you remove the download for the NFS 3 modern patch, cannot seem to download it anymore and have not found any mirrors so far.
Recently got the game again and remembered there was a modern patch for this game. Let me know if you still have a copy of the patch.
Jack Foxtrot, no, menu is hardcoded to be 640x480. If nglide (it is used by default) messes your windows up, try to switch ThrashDriver in the nfs3.ini to other one, e.g. dx7 or dgvoodoo.
Muz, it is already in the patch. Just change ThrashDriver setting in the nfs3.ini. It is written in the readme file.
CallmeBK, unfortunately, I didn't try to play the game in such virtual machines. So, I don't know how it behaves there.
Titas21, check if the game have write permissions for its directory. It's an old-school program, it stores its data in the same directory as the game files. If you stored the game in the Program Files, try to move it out of there, for example, into C:\Games\NFS3\.
Bloodclot, no, why would I remove it? It is here, and always will be. It is one of my favorite projects. What browser do you use? Probably, it is the cause.
Yeah, it would be nice. There is a chance that I can do it =)
AI related stuff is very hard to understand in the binary code of the game. At this moment I'm not brave enough to try to understand this code =)
I'm not a magician, sorry.
It is in the .\gamedata\audio\speech\english\copspch.bnk. You can use foobar2000 with the foo_input_vgmstream plugin to play it.
This project is still suspended, I plan to get back to it one day, but there is no estimated time when exactly.
I would have no problem with Diablo as the default cop car instead of Vette, but ElNino is a thing that shouldn't be in the game in the first place. ;)
BTW, do you know Veg, why is the Diablo cop car never used on any track, while Vette is the second cop car on all tracks?
I didn't really investigate it much so maybe I'm missing something quite obvious. :D
Bruh you're a hero. It worked perfectly.
Hi! When i execute the game (with this patch) appears the message: cannot init the trash driver. How to solve this? Thanks a lot!
Nizcoz, try to choose another ThrashDriver in the nfs3.ini (e.g. DX6, or DX7, or dgVoodoo). You can find info about it in the readme file.
Just so you know I got hit with a copy right infringement letter from my ISP for downloading the bundle torrent from this site!
The game can be considered as abandonware because EA doesn't sell nor support it for 15 years or more. Pity that some lawyers don't care about this and bother people anyway.
The file you downloaded wasn't stored on this website, it was just a torrent link (I removed it just in case for now). Use a VPN or something like this when you download any torrents to hide your IP address if you live in a country where downloading torrents is being monitored.
Eric Cannon, the ESA made a mistake using just a bot to send automated scary letters. The infringing work, as they said, is NEED FOR SPEED - PC, which is clearly not NFS3, NFSIII, nor any Hot Pursuit. They think you torrented the 2015 game, so you can reply to them and your ISP that they are wrong and should invesigate more, now and in the future, as you DID NOT downloaded mentioned game at all. ;)
Anybody knows how I can fix the song that play in the Aquatica track? It seems to loop on the part over and over again. It only happens with the Techno track I think
Paode, I don't think that it's a bug. Probably, the police is chasing you? In this case, game plays a special music loop. It's a part of the "dynamic music" feature. Sometimes it sounds cool, sometimes it is a bit too repetitive.
Is there any way to unlock to rest of the cars? Like El Nino?
You can win them. Or use cheat codes =)
So I a trying to put it on Windowa Vista, I have the v1.6.1. Modern Patch with files on a flashdrive that have been copied from a windows 10 computer. Whenever I try and open the game, it throws the error "Cannot init Thrash Drivers" how is this fixed? I have tried installing the game via copying the files from the flashdrive to my computer, and then from the computer to a cd, but when I try and load from there it also throws the error.
Try to change renderer (ThrashDriver setting in the nfs3.ini). The list of renderers is available in the readme file.
Thanks, I got it to work
Hey VEG, thank you for your amazing work, i have an issue, after installing the original game using replaying.de software, i launch the game and after the intro videos the game crashes and an error pops up saying : SNDbankadd - INVALID BANK ID. Any help plz.
You don't need to install original game before installing my patch. Just copy required files (FEDATA and GAMEDATA directories) from the NFS3 CD into an empty directory, and then extract the patch files to the same directory, and that's it.
VEG already tried everything possible but the error just keeps on showing, its weird no one ever came across that error i searched all the net for solutions but desperate. i hope you can help man
Where can I turn on traffic? I check the track options and there is nothing like it to turn on the traffic.
Adamer, it is in the "Opponent car" menu in the "Hot Pursuit" mode.
I don't know if you care about wine compatibility, but anyway here's my problem.
Before I found your patch I used nglide, and set it to render at 1920x1200 aspect ratio corrected, there are some black bars at the side of my monitor but otherwise everything is correct.
Now with your patch I launch the game and this is what I see (I've set up wine to emulate a virtual desktop, wine 7.5 if that matters):
A 640x480 frameless window(?) in the middle of the screen, but I think the game/nglide/whatever thinks it actually renders to a widescreen screen, so you have those black bars and the whole main menu is squashed together. I have to press Alt-Enter twice to fix it, which wouldn't be a problem if I wouldn't have to do it every time I return to the menu. (Race is fine, probably because there the in-game resolution matches the actual resolution.)
Any idea what could be done about this? I've tried nglide version that came with the patch, setting ThrashDriver=glide3x and using the system nglide, heck even dgvoodoo does this (but it runs like shit under wine), tweaking the options in nfs3.ini, to no avail.
I didn't test it on Wine, but I know that a lot of people use it with my patch successfully. Don't know which settings they use though. Try dx6 and dx7 renderers also.
Well, dx8 renderer is super buggy under wine: https://0x0.st/ocLh.png
dx7 works, but it can't scale the menu, and during race it somehow manages to produce less FPS than nglide despite looking worse.
If in nglide I set screen resolution to by app, it doesn't do this, but it will also not scale up the menu either.
I also have 1920x1200 as my native res and I use NFS3 wint Veg's patch using nglide. But I use the latest 2.10 instead of the builtin one.
I also have virtual desktop enabled, but I don't have your problem (Wine 6.0 as it comes with Mageia and I don't need Wine otherwise much and compiling it on Mageia for both archs is total pain, as opposed to Fedora). Using Nvidia blob if it matters.
Anyway, here's my nglide's trash.ini:
Yeah, while talking nglide. Veg, do you possible have some info about Zeus? Site works, but not a single post from him for a very long time.
mk, I don't have any direct contacts with him. We communicated through his message board only.
Sorry for late reply. Notifications were broken.
is there a save data to unlock all characters?
if you have save data please send it to me
There are cheat codes for this. Just type allcars when you are in the menu.
Hey VEG, my solution was to use the beta, set the thrash thing to DX8, and then make the game used Windowed Mode. Then from there I just used Borderless Gaming to provide a fullscreen racing experience and then the menu is just a tiny little window now instead of it changing my monitor resolution.
The only thing that sucks about this game is the micro-stuttering where it consistently drops every few frames despite being 60. I'm assuming that has to do with the thing you mentioned in regards to it being like 128Hz or something. My monitor goes up to only 60Hz. Any advice on how to fix it would be nice because I can't use G-Sync or anything like that, and I'm pretty sure having it windowed/borderless like this forces it to use V-Sync anyways since that's a Windows thing.
Also, I wish there was proper wheel support with clutch and h-shifter, but it's an old game, what can you expect ya know?