The Elder Scrolls: Arena under Virtual PC

‘The Elder Scrolls: Arena’ is the first game in the Elder Scrolls series – the latest of which is the fantastic ‘The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind’ – available for X-Box and PC.  The makers of The Elder Scroll series have just recently decided to make this classic role playing game available for free download at:

Originally released in 1994 – this was one of the early generation of first person role playing games.  Unlike its peers – Arena had the player engage in live combat (rather than the turn based combat used by most other role playing games at the time).  ‘The Elder Scrolls: Arena’ is set in the same world as the rest of the Elder Scrolls series (the land of Tamriel) and shares many features with its descendants.

The main story of this game is that the reigning emperor – Uriel Septim VII – has been imprisoned in another dimension, and an imposter has taken his place.  It is your job to try and defeat the imposter and restore the emperor to his position.  This is, of course, a drastic simplification – and their are many steps and discoveries that you need to make to achieve your end goal.  There are also a myriad of optional side stories / quests that you can investigate.

In order to get this running under Virtual PC you will need to:

  1. Configure the sound card to use IRQ 5
  2. Use F3 key to change the ‘roll’ setting to ‘cross hatch’
  3. Use the F4 key to turn off pixilation effects
    1. Steps 2 & 3 are necessary to deal with video slow downs that happen with these two effects.
  4. Depending on the speed of your computer you may also need to use a slow down utility to get the speed right.

Then it is nothing but classic RPG goodness:


Update – 5/23/2010:

This post was originally written using Virtual PC 2004.  I have confirmed that this also works in Windows Virtual PC in Windows 7: