Vampire TM: Bloodlines freezes when feeding

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Thread Starter
Jan 14, 2013
Hello everyone!

I'm having rather disturbing problem with Vampire TM: Bloodlines.

When I had this game installed on old computer, it worked decently with minor lagging during combat. I was using 7.8 patch, basic.

However, my pc died, so I bought myself laptop and decided to install the game there, with the same patch. However, despite the fact that game is loading faster, screen resolution is great, but when I try to feed, game just freezes up and then I hear audio loop (sound begins to skip, like it is stuttering) and only 3 things occur from that point.
1: My character pushes the victim away.
2: My character kills the victim, since I can't do anything during hard freeze.
3: Hard restart (turn off the laptop and turn it back on)

I'm not sure what is wrong with that. My laptop is stronger than the pc, so I don't understand what is happening.
I'll list what I have on laptop.
Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version
OS Version: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Service Pack 2, 32 bit
Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual CPU T2330 @ 1.60GHz, x86 Family 6 Model 15 Stepping 13
Processor Count: 2
RAM: 895 Mb (1 GB in total)
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon Xpress Series, 256 Mb
Hard Drives: C: Total - 71998 MB, Free - 66662 MB; D: Total - 80615 MB, Free - 44819 MB;
Motherboard: ASUSTeK Computer Inc., F5RL
Antivirus: AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2013, Updated: Yes, On-Demand Scanner: Enabled

That's all I can think of. o_O
Jan 11, 2012
I have the same issue (and I can see on forums that many have had it in the past even with GeForce series 8xxx).

I'm using an IGP (integrated graphics) - Radeon 2100. I can run the game on the highest settings, but I get audio and video stuttering when I try to feed, on most of the characters, even from the beginning of the game (with the homeless during the tutorial, with the sexy prostitues in Santa Monica) so bad that the game freezes.

I tried all I could think of and the last test turned out to be successful! The graphics chip seems to be the culprit indeed. I've read that Bloodlines has incompatibilities with many Radeon boards (and that it may have to do with the fact that it uses the Valve's Half-Life 2 engine), but it worked just as fine with my even older Radeon 9200SE as with the GeForce FX 5200 I used to play it on, and so did Half-Life 2...

So, to bypass the graphic chipset's limitations, one would use a graphic processing emulator such as the free 3dfx's 3D-Analyze. In this case however I don't think it will work with the latest version, so download version 2.26 from here. It may only work with that specific version. You also probably need to use specific settings, according to this post.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Run 3D-Analyze 2.26. It will ask for a location to unpack. Just select any folder, but it better be a permanent one (not a temporary folder and not a folder that you may likely delete by accident in a future). I just created a "3D-Analyze" folder inside "Program Files".
  2. Run 3DAnalyze.exe from the folder you created earlier (it creates no shortcuts by itself, you need to do it manually for convenience).
  3. Press the second "SELECT" button, browse to the game's installation folder - which by default is "Program Files\Activision\Vampire - Bloodlines", select the game's executable "vampire.exe" and press "Open".
  4. Make sure only the following checkboxes are checked (none are checked by default):
    • all from the "hardware limits" category need to be checked
    • from the "pixel and vertex shader" category, check only:
      • force max. pixel shader version 1.1
      • skip pixel shader version 1.4
      • skip pixel shader version 2.0
      • force low precision pixel shader
    • from the "ANTI-DETECT MODE" category, check both "shaders" and "textures"
    • and finally also check "force hook.dll"
  5. Press the RUN button below the image and if the problem is now solved, when you return from the game, don't forget to click the "Save batch file" button and save to the desktop. That way, you don't need to remember to run 3D-Analyze manually every time, but instead just open that batch file's icon in the future. The program stores these settings in configuration files in the game's installation folder in order to remember them when you select that game again anyway.
After searching the forums and trying different things, this worked for me. A minor inconvenience result from emulating shader features - the margins of some objects are blue when viewed from a distance, but that I can live with... I'll fiddle with 3D-Analyzer's settings and maybe find a way to get rid of that mild annoyance too. Good luck! (y) Oh and if I haven't been clear about what needs to be checked in 3D-Analyzers and what not, just see the picture from that forum post (or click here).

EDIT: If you're using one of the newer operating systems from Microsoft, you may need to run 3DAnalyze.exe as administrator and maybe set vampire.exe in Windows XP compatibility mode. I'm using Windows XP Professional 32-bit.

EDIT2: Also from the same forum post: if you want to enable the in-game console, you need to create a batch file in the game's folder to run vampire.exe with the "-console" command-line argument (without the quotes, of course), and select that within 3D-Analyze instead of vampire.exe. You can also append "-dxlevel 70" in order to get rid of the blue object margins, but the game runs in DirectX 7 mode, so it loses newer graphics features - the visual quality is affected and the image is also too dark sometimes.
Jan 11, 2012
To anyone who may encounter this same issue: I've found the cause and a good solution. I've been playing with the graphics processing features emulation options of 3D-Analyze and it seems that the issue has something to do with the "texture and lighting" feature. So you only need to check either "Force SW TnL" under "Performance" or "emulate HW TnL caps" under "Hardware Limits (cap bits)". None of the other features need to be checked (not even "force hook.dll"), but again, make sure you use the former version of 3D-Analyze, 2.26, and not the latest - 2.36b (the game just disappeared before the menu even showed up in my case when trying the latter). Forcing software texture & lighting works in my case with no visible negative visual effects whatsoever. Good luck!
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