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Running original Bolo® in a DOS-Emulator

Posted by on July 18, 2008

Since the original game is incompatible with modern operating systems, we need a DOS emulator in order to play it and revive our memories. Be warned that you will only have fun with it if you know the original game or if you are a true geek who is into old computer games 😉

My DOS emulator of choice is “DOSBox” together with “D-Fend Reloaded” as the graphical front-end which makes it relatively easy to use and supports many other old games too.
With DOSBox/D-Fend I was able to play the game smoothly though the graphics look a bit grainy nowadays and the sound lags. But then I’m happy to have any sound at all – which is not understood if you already tried emulating some of the old games you grew up with.

Now on to the instructions (related to D-Fend Reloaded v1.0.0):

  1. Get your hands on original Bolo. I assume you can find it on one of the “abandoned games” sites though you should notice that the game is still copyrighted by Dongleware and I don’t encourage you to break copyright laws.
  2. Put all Bolo files into folder where you have full write access as standard user. This is an important step since Bolo creates temp files in this directory.
  3. Download and install D-Fend Reloaded. It already brings the emulator DOSBox with it, so you don’t need to install DOSBox separately.
  4. Extract these D-Fend configurations files into the main program folder of Bolo. Replace file autoexec.bat.
  5. Start D-Fend Reloaded. Import the .conf file you have extracted in step 4.
  6. Edit the configuration by selecting the Bolo game entry and clicking “Edit” on the D-Fend toolbar.
    Go to the “Drives” tab and replace the path “E:GamesBolo” with the actual path were your Bolo folder is located.
  7. Click on the “Starting” tab to verify that it looks like this (if it contains a “mount….” line, remove the line):
  8. To start the game in the emulator, just double-click on the Bolo item in D-Fend. Bolo complains about “DOS 6.0” but that doesn’t matter. Just press any key on this screen to continue. You should see the main menu of Bolo then. From there on, anything should be pretty simple.
  9. Have fun playing this “oldie” game!

As I already mentioned, the sound lags severe. If you can find a better sound configuration in D-Fend for Bolo, please leave a comment on this post, so me and other Bolo fans can have more fun with this classic game.

EDIT (2010/09): I updated the steps for v1.0.0 of D-Fend Reloaded and also added a hint about required write access of the Bolo folder.

6 Responses to Running original Bolo® in a DOS-Emulator

  1. Martin

    Thank you so much for your instructions – I love this game so much…

    Best of luck with your project!!!

  2. zett42

    Thanks for your comment. It is appreciated very much.
    I wondered if anybody would care about this oldie game anymore.
    So since some people still seem to like the old game, this encourages me to continue the development of the remake!

  3. Joris

    I have tried to start Bolo in de Dos-Box, but it doesn´t start.
    In the autoexec-tab of D-Fend reloaded is now:

    mount c: “C:Program FilesBolo”
    call bolo.bat

    (In the folder c:Program FilesBolo” I have copied the complete Bolo game files.)
    Can you pls tell me what I have to enter correctly in the autoexec-tab?

    • zett42

      @Joris: I just tried it with my installed version 0.8.2 of D-Fend, but couldn’t get Bolo to run too. I assume sth. in the emulation parameters of D-Fend has changed. If I find some time I will try it again with a different D-Fend version. You could try to get a D-Fend version from 2008, this was the last time I run it successfully.

      SOLUTION: The Bolo folder needs write permissions for standard users. If you have Bolo copied under “c:Program Files” it won’t have these permissions by default (since “c:Program Files” usually is write-protected). Now it runs fine with D-Fend Reloaded v1.0.0. I also updated the steps above accordingly.

  4. Dirk Schwarzmann


    thanks so much for your efforts! I´d really love to see a bolo remake running on modern computers to have plenty of amazing hours again like in the good old days…
    I´ve never tried playing the org bolo in an emu… Will do that asap.

    I can only encourage you to keep up the good and promising work – looking forward to see the next prototype version!

    All the best,

  5. Frank

    thank you very much for this instruction. You made three people happy, who loved this game in former years.
    A remake?
    A wonderful idea! And surely worth some money.
    But it will be a hard amount of work.

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