FIRST USE   6-20-2024

Written and Edited By: MarkEAW

[ GOTO THE MAIN EAWHS PAGE ]

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

FORWARD
About The EAW Community

STARTING OFF
Why EAW?.... | Issues on Modern WinOS

OFFICIAL MICROPROSE VERSIONS
The EAW Demo | The EAW Trial | v1.0 Out Of The Box / Stock | v1.1 Standard | v1.2 Standard

OTHER GAME TYPES
HexEdited Patches | FXEXE Patches | CodeGroup Patches | GOG Type

ENDING HELP INSTRUCTIONS
Installing
 


INTRODUCTION

This help document is to provide information on what you may want to know and what you will need to know when you first get EAW. This is the first 'Help Document' you should be reading when rediscovering EAW today!

 


FORWARD:

European Air War (EAW) was released on October 31, 1998 published by Hasbro, under the developers name, MicroProse. It was a marvel, with 20 Flyable planes and a possible 256 planes in the air at one time. This game was out beating any other WWII Combat Sims of the time and afterwards. At twelve months old it was considered a classic but still full price on the store shelves. Given that it's had a few budget re-releases; on July 24, 2000 by Hasbro "Classic Series" and on June 8, 2001 by Infogrames, then again in 2002 by Atari. It's a must have if you're even vaguely interested in WWII combat flight simulators, or think you might like to try it one day.

 

About The EAW Community:
(This topic is a fairly brief 'time line', I'll try to update it, if I can get back to it)...
The EAW Community (of 1998 to about 2005) where a loosely structured collection of programmers, artists, modelers, and enthusiasts who have contributed their expertise to the relentless pursuit of immersion in World War II air combat. They where mostly in single form; meaning they worked and shared all their discoveries with each other. You should enjoy and appreciate the outstanding work presented here in this sites file archives (and files located in other places) of these good folks who keep real life Veterans' and their planes, their experiences, and their memories alive in a virtual form.

From 1998 to 2002 and beyond. There was an enormous mod scene that produced enhancements and add-ons. The EAW improvements have come in almost every area of modding and hacking at the exe and game data level, like; new aircraft, flight models, skins, sounds, cockpits, campaigns, terrain textures, terrain objects, sky's, horizon clouds, etc, all available to change the way the stock EAW looked and behaved, partially unrecognizable for the better. This was and is one of the major reasons for the games popularity. (Special attention must go to Paulo Morais for all his genius in designing all the necessary early tools to work with all EAW files and Charles Gunst for providing basic add-ons like the Enemy Coast Ahead (ECA), ECA Panel and the massive EAW Editing Notes. Without the contributions of these two men no custom fan campaign would have been made. (The very first campaign add-ons that most have studied and used as major examples of how campaigns needed to be done, were made by them; "1942 Turning Point in Europe" and the first "1940 Battle of France" were designed by Paulo Morais and Charles Gunst respectively.)

The community of 2002 and after where similar to what came before, but greatly reduced in size. There where major issues on Win2000 and WinXP, these problems associated with EAW, would keep the game from installing and from running for awhile. Long enough though that The number of modders and players would drop off for more modern WWII Flight Simulator games, which arrived just a few years latter than EAW.

Around 2005 you'll find that the remaining community where mostly made up modders for the game, rather than many players. Information sharing wasn't ideal and those groups split into several. A small number would still hang around up to 2008...

In August 2005 the EAW community officially obtained the source code and has since modified the game to remove many bugs from the stock version, including adding in long wanted fan requested features.

After 2008 and after the first un-official version was released, you would find virtual pilot players are all that's mostly left. Some stuck around waiting and others found it difficult to agree and moved on.

New versions of EAW by way of the un-official closed source code modifying by one group and another independent version made by machine level manipulation. New game data was added and existing old assets where modified to work with the new versions of builds or types of the game (Read below in the 'OTHER GAME TYPES' section to understand where and what form these un official updates take).

Of course there are many more important people during all those days, perhaps some time in the future I'll have a list made up. Right now, look at my 'Files Help Document' and see the other tool programmers and game modders names that where present during that time, witness there accomplishments as you browse through...

I made my EAW Help Site partially in hope you will rediscover EAW in working order on modern machines and use many of the fan resources to enjoy the game in whatever form you prefer. Read on to get started!

 

STARTING OFF

Lets start you off here to inform you of some of the information you will want to know, before you proceed with adding the EAW game to your computer.

Why EAW?....:
....and not some other WWII Flight Simulator? Most people play EAW for the intense battles you can have with 256 planes in the air at once. Others play it because of the (almost) full dynamic playable Campaign / Career Mode. (Read my 'Full Review Help Document' to learn more about this game, the good and bad is mentioned). 


Issues On Modern WinOS:
To some degree on Modern Windows OS, all versions and types of the eaw.exe when run natively, with no wrapper will have trouble with:

  • 7217 graphical EAW error 'may' occur when run in native mode (no wrapper). (Win compat not set in reg).
  • NoCD Function. (only works if a CD-ROM drive is present, even if it's not needed anymore).
  • HOTAS Controller configuration support is limited. (preferred is an all-in-one/three in one Joystick).
  • No Horizon Fog in Direct3D Mode for NVidia Cards. (They dropped support for Table Fog long ago).
  • Terrain Shimmer is present, mid distance is not smoothed. (mipmap issue).
  • Aliasing along lines is present, like wings etc. (jagged lines).
  • Mission Parameter Screen selections cycle too fast. (Mouse Polling 'speed' un regulated).
  • Garbled Colors on Menu Screens. (primarily Win7 users). (8-bit DirectDraw Screens).
  • Tearing of the Briefing Map Screen. (primarily Win7 users). (8-bit DirectDraw Screens).
  • View Objects screen crashes game. (typical, older draw code).
  • Career Movie Viewing crashes game. (typical, WinNT can't play older .smk movies).
  • Career Saves Error. (Win10 issue, at least from Dec 2023, can't create saved career file).

There are workarounds for most of those issues listed above. On this web site, I technically guide you the best that I can as I cover various topics in my Help Documents, including those workarounds. However!, the easiest way to 'fix more issues at once' is to use a Wrapper Program (I prefer the one named DxWnd by ghotik), I found that program works very well with EAW and Win10 (and other Window versions). The wrapper itself is a Win32 program meant to run on all WindowOS Versions.

For now, keep reading this Help Document, below.

 

OFFICIAL MICROPROSE VERSIONS

This section is for explaining the different official version available from the developer MicroProse. Below is listed information about the EAW Official game and official patches released after the game was.

Versions:

  • The EAW Demo:
    The official EAW Demo is a software only rendered game and allows you to play for 5 mins at a time, sometimes longer depending on how well you do in combat. See my 'Files Help Document' for some extra words about the EAW 5min Demo and links to Download it.

  • The EAW Trial:
    The official EAW Trial is really a full fledge game and allows you to play for 30 mins at a time. See my 'Files Help Document' for some extra words about the EAW 30min Trial and links to Download it.

     
  • v1.0 Out of The Box / Stock:
    This is the CD version. Of course, you must at least 'install' this version if you want the standard game. This version is said to be flawed in some areas and advisable to patch up to a more refined version of 1.1 or 1.2.
     
     
  • v1.1 Standard:
    This is the first Official MPS patch version. Often used for its much more difficult enemy A.I. (harder than v1.2 below). But lacks some features and multiplay fixes that are added into v1.2.

     
  • v1.2 Standard:
    This is the second and final Official MPS Patch version. This one can be applied without needing the previous version patch. I recommend that you play this version for a period of time to learn the in's and outs of the game. (The official MicroProse Dynamic Campaign / Career Mode is most playable with this version or type.)

 

OTHER GAME TYPES

This topic is for explaining the different types of the available un-Official EAW modified versions. From Hex edited exe's, machine level manipulated and source modifications. Some of these can be added on top of, or instead of an install of the stock EAW. (There are currently four types of un-official custom modifications of EAW).

Game Types:

  • HexEdited Patches:
    These are the un-officially tweaked by hex editing custom replacement 'exe's' that where made to replace just the games main exe file (eaw.exe) rather than modifying any additional game data. Thse are methods used by the old community to help fix issues with the game running. Plus they also dabbled in modifying other aspects to improve the duration of fun.

    You'll only want to use these if you have an English game installed as most of these replacement exe's are primarily for the English EAWv1.2. You apply these replacement exe's over a previous official patch or to a newly added full clean "installation" of the EAW game. More on this later.

    There are several HexEdited replacement eaw.exe's available. Some worth mention here includes the so called un-official 1.2a enhancement version, which presumably was hex-edited. There is also the un-official community made v1.26e patch updater with fixes to the exe with some game data modifications as well. (It is considered to be a 1.2 executable regarding compatibility and running it). There are many more.

    See my 'HexEdited Patches Help Document' for further details and install instructions for each of these custom HexEdit "upgrades". Also note that most if not all HexEdited exe's included a NoCD option built in, see the same Help Document for the special NoCD Instructions. You can even get a hexedited stock exe with just the NoCD change.


     

  • FXEXE Patches:
    The EAWPRO powered by the FXEXE (eaw.exe) is an un-official machine level manipulated special effects exe done by VBH. This new patch package includes much improved game data that takes advantage of developed improvements and enhancements. These changes take the game beyond the standard game, visually and gameplay wise. More on this later.

    The FXEXE: EAWPRO Edition special effects update / addition in concern with Windows compatibility is considered to be a EAWv1.2 executable, and the archive contains its own readme with install instructions.

    This release of the game can have add-ons converted to work with it, however, the game is intentionally self contained and has its own add-ons built in, including updated game data. The finished complete full update is known as 'The Final Cut', is available to members only. Basic Core files and required game data are available to everyone to download and try out.

    The FXEXE does not require your game CD to play other than for you to first copy the files from the CD for a full stock 'installation'. Then you take the EAWPRO archive and you overwrite some of the files with the new ones from the Zip.

    Please read my 'Install Help Document' to get the standard EAW up and running first. Also see my 'FXEXE Patches Help Document' for download links, install directions and additional information like changes with development background details for the EAWPRO!


     

  • CodeGroup Patches:
    The UAW (Universal Air War) Code-Group source code modifications (src feature changes, added game data, new gameplay and modding features. This includes what is labeled as un-official versions; v1.28x and higher).

    These Source Coded 'patches' have new bug fixes, features added, and a lot of community game data in them. The full blown game data add-ons usually come with very large and different individual theaters of operations and many plane sets to choose from.

    Most of the released CodeGroup archives after 2012 are even considered 'Standalone' where you don't need the game CD to install nor run the game; they will not require you to add the CD files to your computer before hand since the registered CD game data is already included.

    The latest versions contain the best of the best add-ons, and do not require any additional add-ons to be added to them. It may be possible to request from the CodeGroup members to up convert any old add-ons done by other authors that you may find.

    Versions above 1.28c, support more than a single controller (2). Later versions can handle three devices, but it may become difficult to configure.

    The main draw backs of these versions is that the hit bubbles on planes where reduced, made smaller. So small that primarily only the engines are the only places you can hit on a plane. Collision seems to be totally disabled as well. It also has newly built in gun convergence, fixed at a set distance on early versions, however it can be adjusted on later versions in the eaw.ini file.

    Also another drawback is the 2D standard cockpits where removed from the CDF gamedata files, meaning you have to use a higher resolution than default and the 3D less detailed virtual cockpits will be used instead.

    Another draw back is the steep learning curve of the pre game frontend (for the versions that include it). unfortunately there is no readme included. The pre game manager is a Visual Basic programmed frontend (requiring WinXP Visual Basic Runtime) that allows you to manage what Theaters and Planes you want to use. There are even a confusing amount of multiple eaw.exe files, they are all the current version, just that each one seems to have it's own use depending on the configuration you manage.

    To install any of the Code Groups un-official source code modifications, see my 'CodeGroup Patches Help Document'. Also see that document for more information on the revision changes and details of those released.


     

  • GOG Type:
    This particular version/type can be purchased, digitally, either on GOG or Steam. The re-re-release EAWv1.2GOG type of game is actually based on MicroProse's official v1.2 game exe. The GOG eaw.exe is considered a super type as it was hacked with brute force by Retroism / GOG, for use with DirectX 7 (standard EAW uses DX6).

    It is standalone (meaning all MPS standard v1.2 Files (the gamedata) are present) and comes with a modern automated installer which will also install the older DirectX 9.0c on all systems after it places EAW on your drive. This is safe and will not over write your systems current DX files.

    Comes with Four Wrapper Programs; two for Graphics (used for DirectX or Glide), one for IPX LAN usage and one for Direct Input. The full Smacker format in the MOVIES.CDF is present and will play properly (at full speed) on all supported systems, with the included GOG Wrapper.

    One of the changes in the super patched eaw.exe will allow Horizon Fog to be present on Win10 in D3D mode with Nvidia Cards. Terrain Shimmer is still present. However it should be possible to cure if the GOG Wrapper is configured correctly and your Video Card settings are Configured correctly...(you tell me?).

    You will be able to use add-ons, skins, terrain textures, skies, clouds etc.... that where designed for the MPS official standard v1.2 of EAW by the past community.

    It appears the hardest part to get started is getting your controller configured correctly even though it uses the same internal controller support that the standard EAWv1.2 games uses. Therefore most modern HOTAS (3 devices) will not work. There is support for control pads with the Direct Input Wrapper (dinput.dll), although this dll can prevent an 'all in one Joystick' from being detected by the game....you will need to remove or rename this file so the game ignores it to get that device working.

    See my 'GOG Patches Help Document" for some more details about the GOG re-released game. Technical information including troubleshooting.

    NOTES:

    (EAWv1.28GOG version is no longer available from GOG download). See my 'GOG Patches Help Document' for more details.

 

ENDING HELP INSTRUCTIONS

This section is to guide you with some helpful details, more may appear here soon...

Installing:
You will want to see my 'Install Help Document'. That document will teach you primarily how to get the CD and the official patches on your computer the proper way, plus other important info BEFORE running the game. Please read or skim it regardless of which version or type of EAW you intend to use.

Also, you will want to read and follow the steps provided in my other 'Help Documents', as indicated at the end of the "Install Help Document"!

 

 

 



[END]