X-COM: Interceptor under Virtual PC

The final stop in the X-COM series takes a distinct change of pace.  X-COM: Interceptor maintained the base building strategy aspects of the previous games – however the turn based strategy sections have been replaced with real time space combat against UFO’s.

I was able to install and run X-COM: Interceptor under Virtual PC with no special tweaks.  However – there were a couple of catches when it came to playing the game under Virtual PC:

 1) The joystick support under Virtual PC is not that good.  Okay – it sucks.  We need to fix that.  At any rate – using the joystick to play X-COM is not really an option.

 2) X-COM: Interceptor is very hard to play with the keyboard.  This is not Virtual PCs fault – as I observed the same on physical computers.

 3) X-COM: Interceptor is unplayable via mouse with the ‘mouse integration’ feature of Virtual PC turned on.

So – how do you play X-COM: Interceptor?  Simply turn off mouse integration – and use both keyboard and mouse.  Life is good:

X-COM: Interceptor under Virtual PC

   X-COM: Interceptor under Virtual PC   X-COM: Interceptor under Virtual PC   X-COM: Interceptor under Virtual PC

Why does mouse integration cause problems?  Because with mouse integration enabled the mouse under Virtual PC behaves largely like a tablet input device (technically tablets send absolute coordinates, while mice use relative coordinates).  A number of programs (mostly games) have problems with tablet / absolute coordinating devices.  This is the reason why we allow people to disable this.