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Theme Park World/Sim Theme Park Fix for Windows 2000/XP

Intro

Theme Park World is a strategy game developed by Bullfrog as the sequel to the successful Theme Park. For some reason (best known by the marketing suits of EA) the game was renamed to Sim Theme Park outside of Europe. Something to do with the [as then] recent acquisition of Maxis no doubt!

Anyways, you're probably here because you now run Windows 2000 or XP and cannot get the game to run. Well, you're not alone - there are many statements of complete incompatibility but hey, I don't believe in all that! Note that there is more than one problem (although many just experience the main one - a crash to the desktop when entering a park).


Background

Bizarre how some things in life are! I was here on Christmas Day 2002 (very much going on Boxing Day in all honesty) having a blast with some of my old games titles. In this case it was a game I 'd bought a long time back - Theme Park World. As I thought I'd accomplished enough for the 'day' I hit the sack at around 4.20 am. Next morning Theme Park World 'lured' me in for couple more hours punishment with the park visitors! Lunch time took me away from my PC for a short while and I shut it all down vowing to return later... which of course, I just HAD to ;)

Upon return, things weren't as they should be - Theme Park World didn't want to start up - crash to desktop (no error) after loading the intro. Bizarre I thought - I had changed NOTHING. You know how it is... what did I change, no - what COULD have changed? Went through the 'normal' steps of re-installation (about 30 times), checking sound, video and system configuration till I was angry. Dinner was served over the keyboard and soon the day was over. Most of the evening was spent surfing the web for the *golden* answer. All I found was a reoccurring theme (no pun intended!) - it simply didn't work under Win2K. Err, rubbish I say - I'd just spent 10 hours of my life with it - it worked fine!

The Fix

Being a software developer I grabbed an arsenal of tools. Various monitoring utilities tracked Registry, File and DLL activity. Up popped an error - a 1st chance exception in USP10.dll which to the uninitiated is a Unicode engine DLL that is used when rendering fonts and stuff. Hmm, so what was the game up to? A bit more focused debugging showed up that the game generated a host of True Type Fonts (TTF) on demand. Bizarre - why it should do this I've absolutely no idea. I was however spot on with the problem area - the thing was, what was the solution? After a few more reboots, I began to notice a pattern - it worked better after a reboot (get to player selection screen but then crash on entrance to park). As my attention was on the fonts I noticed that the TTFs looked 'invalid' after it crashed - they didn't show up in the standard Microsoft Windows Font Viewer utility - a reboot later and they were fine and dandy again :)

My fix isn't really a fix, it's a solution to the problem (if that's any different?!). It does not change any of the code as I've not reverse engineered anything, etc. Follow the instructions carefully and you be able to play the game once again!

Before you continue: I do not offer any warranty for this solution. Please do not contact me accusing me of trashing your system! Neither Bullfrog or EA have had anything to do with this fix so please do not ask them about it. The solution was tested on my system which is running Win2K with SP4. Theme Park World was patched to V2.0. Many people using Windows 2000 and XP continue to contact me with positive feedback.

There are two methods of installing the solution 1) Automatic (recommended) and 2) Manual (only useful if you have problems getting this automatic version to run). The automatic method uses a standard Windows Installer package whilst the manual method uses a ZIP file that *must* be extracted into the correct place . Which ever method is chosen, you must start by following these steps
 
*Uninstall any current installation of the game using Add/Remove Programs
*Reboot
*Delete any remaining game-related directories and files (save games, log files, etc.)
*Install Theme Park World
*Apply the Theme Park World V2.0 patch (link available from the Downloads section) - Please read the FAQ
*Reboot - you MUST reboot here!
*Download the required fix file from the Downloads section
*Continue by following the steps for the installation method chosen.
Automatic Method
 
*Run the installer by simply double-clicking the MSI file.
*Proceed through the installation wizard accepting all the defaults.
Manual Method
 Screenshot showing the files in the correct location and with the correct attributes. Click for a larger image
*You should *only* use this method if you cannot get the MSI to install.
*Using WinZIP, extract the contents of the ZIP file into Theme Park World's 'data' directory - making sure you preserve the folder structure contained within the ZIP.
*Check that the files are installed correctly by referring to the image to the right.
*You should also make sure ALL of the TTF files are Read-Only.

Please refer to the FAQ should something not go as planned.

Downloads
Here you'll find the files referred to by this page. My solution, game patches and other useful downloads! Click on an icon to download the required file. Not all files are required, check the FAQ for details.
 
Windows Installer Package containing Win2K/XP fix - Click to download the fileMy font file fix in a Windows Installer Package for automatic installation (recommended).
ZIP file containing Win2K/XP fix - Click to download the fileMy font file fix packaged as a ZIP file for manual installation - not recommended.
Microsoft Windows XP Patch for Safedisc - Click to download the fileMicrosoft Windows XP Patch for Safedisc games.
Microsoft Windows 2000/XP Patch for 16bit subsystem - Click to download the fileMicrosoft Windows 2000/XP Patch for 16bit subsystem.
EA's Theme Park World Patch (V2.0) - Click to download the fileEA's Theme Park World Patch (V2.0).
EA's Theme Park World Patch (V1.1) - Click to download the fileEA's Theme Park World Patch (V1.1) - not recommended.
FAQ

Q. It doesn't work, where do I start?

A. Read this page, yes *ALL* of it. You'll find answers to the most common questions asked.

Q. I can play Instant Action, but the game drops back to the desktop when I try the Full Simulation, Why?

A. You need to install my Font file fix, details are available in the The Fix section.

Q. I'm running Windows XP Home and I cannot install the game - it just says that the correct disk is not in the drive?

A. Microsoft provided a patch for Windows XP Home Edition which should fix this. The problem is related to the Safedisc copy protection mechanism as used on the game. Grab the patch from the Downloads section. For reference here is the original page from Microsoft.

Q. I'm running Windows XP and I cannot install the game?

A. Make sure you are logged on as an Administrator. Use autorun.exe and choose install from the menu. If that doesn't work, try copying the contents of the CD on to your hard disk and running the setup from there.

Q. I'm running Windows 2000/XP and I cannot install the game. Windows displays the error: "16 bit windows subsystem: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\AUTOEXEC.NT. The system file is not suitable for running in MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows applications."

A. Go to the Downloads section and grab the Windows XP/2000 fix for 16bit subsystems. Running this will correct the issue. Please note that you must be logged on as an Adminstrator.

Q. When I run Theme Park World it just crashes. The error references something called tp.icd, what is this all about?

A. The game uses a copy protection system called Safedisc. Some PC configurations have great difficulty in running applications protected by Safedisc. Hunt around the web for the NoCD executable - my previous provision of it was complained about!

Q. After downloading the NoCD executable, I get a different error message when starting the game. What is this?

A. You've almost certainly not got V2.0 of Theme Park World. The NoCD executable is most likely not for V2.0 of the game. Carefully follow the instructions provided in the TheFix section. Re-apply the NoCD executable for V2.0 of the game.

Q. I'm running Windows XP with the NoCD executable and the game is still crashing. The error references tp.exe, what can I do?

A. I'm sorry to say that I cannot help. Something on some systems just prevent the game from running and I've not been able to come up with a solution. Some users find that the workaround for 'LpkPresent not found in usp10.dll' in this section stops the crash.

Q. I'm running Windows XP and I receive an error message - 'LpkPresent not found in usp10.dll' when I run the game?

A. Theme Park World supplies its own version of this DLL when it installs the game. This is not always compatible with certain configurations of Windows XP. Open Windows Explorer at your Theme Park World installation directory and rename usp10.dll to _usp10.dll. This action will force Windows XP to use it's own (later) version of the DLL and should allow the game to play.

Q. The user account that I log on as hasn't got Administrator privileges and I cannot seem to run the game.

A. I use to say that it was not possible to get the game running without Administrator privileges but I decided that it wasn't good enough! So, more tools to the rescue! For Windows 2000, you need to login as an Administrator, run RegEdt32, Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software, Click on Bullfrog Productions Ltd, choose Security-Permissions from the main menu, Select Add..., Type in Everyone, Press OK, check Full Control and press OK. For Windows XP you'll find it's a very similar set of steps but there'll be a few different dialogs in there I'm sure!

Q. I can now get the game to run but now it keeps hanging and/or the announcer's voice is getting clipped, can I do anything about it??

A. Unfortunately, I've been unable to find out why this is happening. Signs point to driver issues with on board sound cards but I cannot be certain that this is the problem. A player has sent in this suggestion: Set the Compatibility Mode to Windows 98. This is done by navigating to the installation directory, right click on ‘tp.exe’ select the ‘Compatibility’ tab, in the ‘Compatibility Mode’ section, check ‘Run this program in compatibility mode for:’, and then in the drop down menu choose ‘Windows 98 / Windows ME’. Select OK and run the game to see if that has helped.

Q. How can I go online?

A. I'm not sure this is possible any longer. I've tried myself and get 'Authorization Failed'. EA/Bullfrog support make no mention of the game any more so it's probably a no go.

Q. When online there were many more rides and attractions. Can I get them?

A. Previoulsy yes! All additional rides (from the online version - which were released as part of the PS2 release!) were available here. Someone didn't like this so my download link was removed. The ride set came from the release of Sim Theme Park GOLD Edition (CD #2) so if you have that then you already have the rides!

Q. I run Windows 2000 but don't have a compatibility option, How can I get one?

A. Run a command prompt up (Start-Run: cmd)
cd %systemroot%\AppPatch
regsvr32 slayerui.dll
You will now have an additional tab called Compatibility on the properties of a shortcut to a Windows executable.

Q. What is the difference between Theme Park World and Sim Theme Park?

A. The name! Sim Theme Park is the basically the name used outside Europe. The game differences are that Sim Theme Park gets a Sim Theme Park logo (obviously) and an American voice over for the announcer.

Q. How do I tell what version of the game I have and what is the latest version of Theme Park World?

A. For the PC, the latest version is V2.0. Should you need it (and it's recommended download if you haven't got it), go to the Downloads section for a link. If you're running the latest patch, when you enter the lobby a version number (V2.0) will be displayed.

Q. I try and install the V2.0 patch and it says the game is not installed?

A. Sim Theme Park Gold Edition is *already* patched, you do not need to patch it again! If you haven't got this version, then you're most likely running a dodgy copy downloaded from somewhere. Buy they game, it's not exactly expensive.

Q. Why do I recommend version 2.0 of the game?

A. No company produces a patch for nothing! It fixes quite a few of the annoying bugs. I also enjoy having a large resolution instead of the rather limiting 800*600. Now I'm able to run 1600*1200 - way cool! (Continue reading the FAQ for details on how to do this.)

Q. I've [now] got V2.0, how do I enable the higher resolutions?

A. The feature is somewhat undocumented (there's a slim reference to it in the readme.txt). Follow these steps:

Q. Why have you got a password on the ZIP file?

A. I haven't! Quite a few people have 'accused' me of this but it's not the case. The file was probably corrupted on download so please retry the download.

Q. Wow, you're a cool guy - how can I repay you?

A. LOL, I may not be cool but I hope I've helped out! If you'd like to make a donation then skip down to the Donations section!

Q. Wow, you're conning everyone. This fix was posted by Sold Out or DICE!

A. I can only assure you that *I* created the fix and these companies are profitering from my effort. Neither asked for permission to distribute the details of this fix but I welcome DICE's usage as they've at least mentioned me! Sold Out on the other hand even have the cheek to rename my MSI file leading people to beleive that they've done something over and above what I originally provided. It really shows the nature of software re-issues - they've no idea about what they sell, just that it sells! I'll not be buying anything else from Sold Out again.

Q. Is this the most up to date information?

A. If you're reading this as page from my website, then yes. If not then go to the web site.

Q. I have another question or none of this has helped, can you fix my problem?

A. No. After a few years responding to a significant amount of requests from people who pose questions already answered, I no longer respond to any e-mails. All questions that are asked have answers on this page. Read it :)

Donations

If you find that this has really helped you out, then please consider a small donation.

Since I made this page available, the fix, patch and levels have been downloaded on average 1200 times per month. This uses up a lot of bandwidth and that's not free! All donations will fund the hosting costs alone and absolutely any donation amount would be great!

Many thanks to those that have donated! Any amount small or large is gratefully received.

A VERY big thank-you to Andrew Schoenfeld, Matthew Durell, Jonathan Marshall, Joseph McHugh, Paul Fieldhouse, Janet Holloway, Bjarne Hansen, Serge Seron, Christina Rogers, Joshua Olson, Michael Pusateri, Mark Sutter, Anthony Webb, Christopher Dugan, Angela Chandler, Donald Walker, Howard Vicars, Christoph Meyer, Samuel Bogdanove, Werner Hinkelmann, Sunanda Ghosh, Helen Wright, Brian Nixon Scott Gustafson, Roger James, ShareLive, Sabir Bashir, Todd Wallace, Lori Ferguson, James Hamilton, Nicholas Venturella, Paul Stone, Vicki Oliver, Robert Smithers, Nick Harshfield, Jeff Naylor, Michael Evenson, Gregory Hogg, Chris Wright, Lisa Nelder, Tim Plona, Ian McVittie, Amy Bass, Michael Voigt, Carey McNeilly, Norman Holtzhausen, James Gores, Alex Michlin, Miles Hesselgrave, Jurgen Gaeremyn, Lorne Matthews, Michael Turff, Paul Mann, Lynn Gilgut, Marc Calvert, Bradley Craig, Paul Savill, Ron Scott, Monica Conley, Robert Knight, Christine Matzulla and David Walsh for their kind donations!

Payments using PayPal accounts (mark as gift if you can):

All trademarks of companies mentioned on this page are respected.

This fix and all the information relating to it is © 2002-10 Adam Hearn.