DOSBox Saints of Virtue

Saints of Virtue was intended to be run on Windows-based systems. If you click the EXE, it’ll try to run wvrun.exe under the covers, which is a Windows binary. On modern x64 Windows 10 machines, this isn’t going to work for a variety of reasons. However, you aren’t stuck running a virtual machine or building a retro PC if you want to play Saints. Besides, with those approaches you can’t remap controls and you’ll struggle with bugs introduced by playing with uncapped framerates.

Your best option these days is DOSBox using an undocumented DOS executable included in the Saints directory. Running in DOSBox will let you bypass compatibility issues with Windows, customize your controls, and limit the framerate to avoid physics bugs. It’s pretty simple. You’ll need a copy of the game and DOSBox. I’ll assume you know how to use DOSBox. If not, go read on the internet and then come back here.

Just set your program file as VRUN.EXE and use START as the program parameters. This is basically saying, “boot up Saints in DOS mode at the main menu.”

To limit the CPU you’ll want to play around with your CPU cycles. For my setup, 150000 was the right number to get ~30 FPS in-game. Why do this? Saints will break in a couple important ways if the framerate is too high: you jump way too high, and the Sword Blaster fires very slowly even with the rapid-fire powerup.

Lastly, you’ll want to configure a custom key mapping file in order to get the usual WSAD keyboard controls instead of having to use the arrow keys. You can do this yourself, just be careful to remap any of the other hotkeys that Saints uses, such as S for scrolls. Otherwise both actions will fire at once and you won’t be able to play the game.

Or just use my mapping file:

hand_shutdown "key 290 mod1" 
hand_capmouse "key 291 mod1" 
hand_fullscr "key 13 mod2" 
hand_pause "key 19 mod2" 
hand_mapper "key 282 mod1" 
hand_speedlock "key 293 mod2" 
hand_recwave "key 287 mod1" 
hand_caprawmidi "key 289 mod1 mod2" 
hand_scrshot "key 286 mod1" 
hand_video "key 286 mod1 mod2" 
hand_decfskip "key 288 mod1" 
hand_incfskip "key 289 mod1" 
hand_cycledown "key 292 mod1" 
hand_cycleup "key 293 mod1" 
hand_caprawopl "key 288 mod1 mod2" 
hand_swapimg "key 285 mod1" 
key_esc "key 27" 
key_f1 "key 282" 
key_f2 "key 283" 
key_f3 "key 284" 
key_f4 "key 285" 
key_f5 "key 286" 
key_f6 "key 287" 
key_f7 "key 288" 
key_f8 "key 289" 
key_f9 "key 290" 
key_f10 "key 291" 
key_f11 "key 292" 
key_f12 "key 293" 
key_grave "key 96" 
key_1 "key 49" 
key_2 "key 50" 
key_3 "key 51" 
key_4 "key 52" 
key_5 "key 53" 
key_6 "key 54" 
key_7 "key 55" 
key_8 "key 56" 
key_9 "key 57" 
key_0 "key 48" 
key_minus "key 45" 
key_equals "key 61" 
key_bspace "key 8" 
key_tab "key 9" 
key_q "key 113" 
key_w "key 119" 
key_e "key 101" 
key_r "key 114" 
key_t "key 116" 
key_y "key 121" 
key_u "key 117" 
key_i "key 105" 
key_o "key 111" 
key_p "key 112" 
key_lbracket "key 91" 
key_rbracket "key 93" 
key_enter "key 13" 
key_capslock "key 301" 
key_a "key 97" 
key_f "key 102" 
key_g "key 103" 
key_h "key 104" 
key_j "key 106" 
key_k "key 107" 
key_l "key 108" 
key_semicolon "key 59" 
key_quote "key 39" 
key_backslash "key 92" 
key_lshift "key 304" 
key_lessthan "key 60" 
key_z "key 122" 
key_x "key 120" 
key_c "key 99" 
key_v "key 118" 
key_b "key 98" 
key_n "key 110" 
key_m "key 109" 
key_comma "key 97" "key 44" 
key_period "key 100" "key 46" 
key_slash "key 47" 
key_rshift "key 303" 
key_lctrl "key 306" 
key_lalt "key 308" 
key_space "key 102" 
key_ralt "key 307" 
key_rctrl "key 305" 
key_printscreen "key 316" 
key_scrolllock "key 302" 
key_pause "key 19" 
key_insert "key 277" 
key_home "key 32" "key 278" 
key_pageup "key 280" 
key_delete "key 127" 
key_end "key 279" 
key_pagedown "key 281" 
key_up "key 119" "key 273" 
key_left "key 276" 
key_down "key 115" "key 274" 
key_right "key 275" 
key_numlock "key 300" 
key_kp_divide "key 267" 
key_kp_multiply "key 268" 
key_kp_minus "key 269" 
key_kp_7 "key 263" 
key_kp_8 "key 264" 
key_kp_9 "key 265" 
key_kp_plus "key 270" 
key_kp_4 "key 260" 
key_kp_5 "key 261" 
key_kp_6 "key 262" 
key_kp_1 "key 257" 
key_kp_2 "key 258" 
key_kp_3 "key 259" 
key_kp_enter "key 271" 
key_kp_0 "key 256" 
key_kp_period "key 266" 
mod_1 "key 306" "key 305" 
mod_2 "key 308" "key 307" 

See also