creatures caves welcome, guest
downloads   gallery   dev   community   creatchi   forum   mycaves
ccsf | links | advice | chat | polls | resources | post

Creatures Series on Windows 8 [Tutorial]   Games   Issy | 6/9/2013  log in to like post  6

This tutorial is meant for people who use Windows 8 computers, since installing the Creatures games can be a bit tricky!

I thought I'd make an in-depth step by step on how I got all of the programs to work the best they can on my Windows 8 computer. Some of this stuff is included elsewhere, but I thought I'd include it all in one post! These methods may not work for you since Windows 8 is really messed up when it comes to old games! This is merely how I got them to work for me.

I will approach this tutorial as if you have little knowledge of computers and/or you are new to the Creatures series. Bear with me computer geniuses and veteran players, I want everyone to be able to understand this tutorial!

Things you will need:

- Creatures The Albian Years ($5.99 from
- A Creatures 3 disc
- Docking Station
- Creatures 3 Update #2
- Docking Station Login Disabler

I do not have Creatures Exodus! I use my original Creatures 3 disc and the Docking Station download from the original site (or TreeSprite's Creatures Grove, I don't recall) both are the same. However, my tutorial may still work for those with Creatures Exodus, it just may need to be applied a bit differently. Ask for help here and either me, or someone else with Exodus and Windows 8, may be able to help!

Creatures 1 on Windows 8:

I have an original disc for Creatures 1, but because it is really old, it will not install the game. That being said, I am using the version, so this tutorial is not for those with a disc.

1. Install Creatures The Albian Years.

2. Run the game. Yep, that's it. Worked perfectly for me.

3. It may ask if you wish to switch to 16-Bit mode, click yes or whatever it says, because 16-bit mode is required or it will not run!

4. Follow a few of the steps as listed under 'Creatures 2 on Windows 8' in regards to getting Creatures 1 to run without prompting you to switch to 16-bit mode. This is optional.

Creatures 2 on Windows 8:

Now, this one gave me some headaches. I will hopefully be making a video on how I got it to work, in case you need a visual. I will try to be as descriptive as I can, however. Again, this is using the version, since my disc does not work. The following threads here and here may help too, if my way does not work for you.

Someone I know, who works with computers, identified the "Black Box of Doom" as a problem with the Windows 8 emulator. If you're good with that sort of thing, why not give it a go and try to make a good workaround? :D

1. Install Creatures the Albian Years from

2. Attempt to run Creatures 2 (in case it works for you).

3. An error more than likely should pop up, prompting you to switch to 16-bit mode. Please click to do so.

4. It should then pop up with an error, asking to 'Switch to' or 'Cancel'. Click 'Switch to' until Creatures 2 starts to run.

5. Once Creatures 2 is running, you may notice a black box covering much of the screen.

6. Close Creatures 2 if you see this box.

7. Go to the Creatures 2 folder in your 'Program Files' section, often located at:
Local Disk C: \Program Files (x86)\\The Albian Years\Creatures 2

8. There should be many applications within this folder, we are concerned with two. Right click on the application titled 'creatures2'.

9. Click on 'Properties' from the drop-down menu.

10. Select the 'Compatibility' tab.

11. Underneath the 'Settings' section, click the box labeled "Reduced color mode" and select '16-bit' from the drop-down box next to it.

We will NOT be running Creatures 2 in compatibility mode, OR as administrator. This causes Creatures 2 to not even start (I'm not sure why).

12. Click 'Apply' and then 'OK'.

Now Creatures 2 will run without prompting you to switch to 16-bit color mode, and will do so automatically.

13. Click on the application titled 'launcher' within the Creatures 2 folder.

14. Creatures 2 should start, but it will still have the black box.

15. Set Creatures 2 to full screen.

16. Then set it to Windowed mode again.

17. Move the Window (without adjusting it's size, leave it small, it should be the same size as the black box). Move it somewhere away form the black box.

18. Click it to full screen again, then return it to windowed mode again.

19. Close Creatures 2 while it is in Windowed Mode.

20. Start Creatures 2 again (it may start with Creatures 2 minimized, so maximize it) and you should notice that the black box has moved to where you moved the windowed box to last time.

21. Drag the windowed Creatures 2 down to the very bottom of your screen, so the top bar of it is visible over your Taskbar, but the game itself is below the screen where you cannot see it.

22. Full screen the game, and then window it again.

23. Close Creatures 2.

24. Run Creatures 2, and the box should be trapped off the screen where you cannot see it.

25. Enjoy playing Creatures 2! It is still slightly buggy on Windows 8, however, but at least you can see!

There have been accounts that cause the Hand to disappear, however it is not so for me. If the Hand does disappear for you, I'm sorry but I cannot help you. Describe your situation to me in detail and I will attempt to offer a solution, but it may not work. I cannot fix the problem because I've never encountered it. Also, thank you to Smelliot for this method, I just expanded it so people could understand it better. I myself didn't get what he or she meant at first!

If you encounter any other issues, post here, on the help forum, so I (or others) can try to help!

Creatures 3 on Windows 8:

Installation of this game is using my Creatures 3 disc, NOT Exodus! It worked for me very easily, and it basically has the same guidelines as Docking Station.

1. Install Creatures 3.

2. Run the game. If it prompts you to go to 16-bit mode, please click to do so.

3. Enjoy Creatures 3!

Optional Steps:

- Go to your Creatures 3 folder and select the application that launches Creatures 3. Right click on it and go to 'Properties'.
- Go to the 'Compatibility' tab and select the box 'Reduced color mode' under the 'Settings' section.
- Select from the drop-down box, '16-bit'.
- Click "Apply" then 'OK' and launch Creatures 3.
- Enjoy without being prompted to switch to 16-bit mode!

NOTE: You will need a patch for Creatures 3 to work with Docking Station. See 'Docking Station on Windows 8' below for more information.

Docking Station on Windows 8:

This is using the original download from the Docking Station site, or the one from TreeSprite's Creatures Grove. NOT Creatures Exodus!

1. Download Docking Station from either of the following links:

- Gameware Development: Most of the download links no longer work.
- TreeSprite's Creatures Grove: A little more reliable. Download the file listed as for Windows systems.
- Creatures Docking Station

2. Install Docking Station.

3. Run Docking Station. I don't remember what pops up, but if it asks you to update Docking Station, decline! It doesn't work since Gameware's site is all wonky.

4. You will be prompted to go to 16-bit color mode. Here we go again! Note: This has slightly different steps than before!

5. Go to Docking Station's folder and right click on the Launcher application (usually titled 'Docking Station' or 'engine').

6. Click on 'Properties' and go to the 'Compatibility' tab.

7. This is where it gets different! Click the box under the 'Compatibility Mode' section, and select 'Windows XP (Service Pack 2)' from the drop-down menu. This is to hopefully ensure it runs properly. DO NOT run the compatibility troubleshooter, it is a huge waste of time!

8. Under the 'Settings' section, click the box called 'Reduced Color Mode' and select '16-bit' from the drop-down box. You will no longer be prompted to switch to 16-bit to run the game!

9. Under 'Privilege Level' select the box called 'Run this Program as an Administrator' because, why not?

10. Click 'Apply' then 'OK'.

11. You may now run Docking Station. HOWEVER, you will need an initial log-in bypass of some sort, since you can no longer register an account with Creature Labs and play online!

12. Follow my 'Bypassing the Initial Log-in of Docking Station' steps and then enjoy!

Bypassing the Initial Log-in of Docking Station:

- Download Creatures 1 to Docking Station (C12DS) or the DS Offline Option.

- Install either of these once you download them and select 'Play Offline', or click the bypass button, when you start Docking Station.

Getting Docking Station to work with Creatures 3:

Only look at this if you have Creatures 3 and wish to play in docked worlds, or worlds that use both Docking Station and Creatures 3 metarooms!

1. Download the patch from TreeSprite's Creatures Grove.

2. Install Update.

3. You can now play with docked worlds!

Enjoy playing the Creatures Series! Visit Laura's post for other helpful guides! Please note that all these games may still be a little buggy, since they are designed for OLD Windows systems. This is to be expected an is often not fixable. But don't worry, you can still enjoy the games!

If you spot any errors in this post, let me know so I can fix them! Sorry if something like this has already been posted, but I searched and did not find anything this that directly addressed the possible issues on Windows 8.

If you have any problems list them here and we will try to help you!

~Issy [ngeek]


Updated by Laura on 6/10/2013 - added link to the DS Offline Option.
Updated by Jessica on 7/21/2013 - Added statement about 64 bit systems.
Updated by C-Rex on 8/3/2014 - Corrected slight error regarding 64-bit colour depth.
Updated by C-Rex on 8/5/2014 - Generalized topic to include both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 8 systems.
Updated by Malkin on 5/13/2016 - update Creatures Wiki link.

WatersMoon110 | 3/11/2016  log in to like post

I got Creatures 2 to work with Windows 10!

After changing the colors as directed for Windows 8, I went to windowed mode and moved the window way down to the bottom of the screen, so I could just barely close it. And I closed it in windowed mode.

I then had create a new world. When I opened the new world, the game was in windowed mode and where I left it; thus hiding the black box. Be sure to exit in windowed mode before creating any new worlds, or the black box will come back!

The game does start in windowed mode at the bottom of my screen every time, but at least I don't have to work around that black box of doom!
NoxTheNorn | 11/21/2014  log in to like post

For my money, the easiest way of installing Creatures games (preferably the updated versions from GOG) on a Windows 8 machine would to use a software program such as VMWare Player or VirtualBox (both of which are free to the user) to create a virtual machine or virtual partition under the Windows 8 operating system...and then install Windows 7 or even Windows XP onto that virtual machine. The only drawback to using virtual machines is that you need to have an installation disk for the operating system you want there. The virtual machine doesn't include the operating system, but only creates a platform for a different operating system to be installed.

I run VMWare Player on my Windows 7 laptop and installed Windows XP on it because it's unfortunately not possible for me to read discs that I burned using Windows XP in Windows 7. The virtual machine allows me to read the discs under XP (at least as long as they're still maintaining integrity) and transfer any files I might want to copy -- such as say, old Creatures add-ons which are no longer available online!! -- and copy them to a thumbdrive so they can then be transferred to the Windows 7 partition.
Laura | 8/12/2014  log in to like post

Might be best to wait until Lucy's posted a topic. As I said, it's just helpful to confine all problems and solutions to the Help forum. :)
C-Rex | 8/12/2014  log in to like post

Lucy, are you trying to run the original Creatures 3, or the Creatures Exodus version?
Laura | 8/12/2014  log in to like post

It might be worth posting about your problem in the Help forum, Lucy. That way, others can search and find answers to the same questions in the future. :)
Lucy_Mercury | 8/12/2014  log in to like post

I also tried to run "Install" from its directory on the disk, but the problem remains.
Lucy_Mercury | 8/12/2014  log in to like post

I still have problem with installing Creatures 3. I insert the disk, see the starting window with three options (Install, Play, Quit) and press Install, then Windows asks me if I want to permit this file to start, I press "Yes" and... nothing happens. I tried to turn on compatibility but it didn't change anything.
SpaceShipRat | 8/6/2014  log in to like post  1

If you're using the GoG version, this is how I got DS docked to work:
1 Install Exodus
2 Use this patch
3 Install Creatures3 Update #2
4 You'll probably want to make sure it switches automatically to 16 bit mode, just see the instructions above.
Issy | 8/5/2014  log in to like post

That sounds like it would probably work. If I had it, I'd try it, but unfortunately this laptop makes use of a Radeon graphics card which does not seem to want to let me really mess with anything. :\

The 64-bit thing overall was a bit of a misunderstanding though.
The method in the above resource should still work for most (probably all) 64-bit users, as I learned from a few people in the thread linked at the bottom of this resource.
Oh and, I mentioned it in the thread, but since regular members cannot edit our own resource articles, could someone please omit the portions about 64-bit systems not running the game, and generalize the topic to just "Windows 8" and not 32-bit and whatnot? ^^;
I do not want to confuse anyone. [nsmile]

If anyone tries what C-Rex suggested, let us know what happened in case someone needs to add it in as a much easier workaround to get these games to work with W8! [ngrin]

Edit: Also, the link to Laura's thread appears to be broken. [nscared]
C-Rex | 8/3/2014  log in to like post

This is me just putting in my two cents, but has anyone with an Nvidia graphics card and Windows 8 tried enabling 16-bit colour mode from inside the Nvidia control panel? I've just seen a few articles on the web saying Windows 7 64-bit doesn't support 16-bit colour depth either but I can run it perfectly from enabling it inside the control panel. Has anyone tried this with Windows 8?

hack shack
script reservations
dev resources
active projects
dev forum
log in
lost pw
0 online
creatures caves is your #1 resource for the creatures artificial life game series: creatures, creatures 2, creatures 3, docking station, and the upcoming creatures family.

contact    help    privacy policy    terms & conditions    rules    donate    wiki