Slowdown Programs

As the world of technology jumps new milestones at lightning speed, so have computer processing speeds. Unfortunately, many old games and programs get left behind in the slow dark ages, and either glitch out or run way too fast on today’s newer computers. If you have classic Sierra games, you may come across such problem spots that are caused simply by having too fast a system. Since many people do not have the luxury of owning multiple computers (one being an old pre-Pentium model) to run their old games and programs, thankfully, there are slowdown programs that can help to slow down the processing speed temporarily.

The links to slowdown programs below are to the official websites for those programs. You can download the program from those websites and get more information on them if you wish. You can also contact the program’s creator and/or check for any FAQ or support pages if you have questions or problems since neither Sierra Online nor Sierra Planet own any of these programs or provide technical support for them. There does not seem to be an official website for the Turbo program.

  • MO’SLO – This is one of the most popular and well-known slowdown programs. It works nicely for old DOS Sierra games. Most people use the free evaluation version 1.32b found near the bottom of the Mo’Slo webpage. When you download the program, run it by itself to read the instructions on how to use it. Note that this program is really meant to be used in DOS mode, and not in Windows. Therefore, if you have a Windows Sierra game, demo, or program you want to slow down, your best bet is to use either Turbo or CPU Killer.
  • TURBO – This is the most favorite slowdown program for Sierra game fans. Sierra even distributes copies of this program in some of the game collection CDs. The interface is really simple: the program starts out at 100%. Just put in a smaller number to reduce the computer’s speed (i.e. 50% to reduce the speed in half). Leave the program running in the background and load your game. Once you get past the trouble spot, just close the Turbo program to return to normal speed. Most older DOS Sierra games will work in Windows, so Turbo essentially can work for both Sierra DOS and Windows games. The download is a self-extracting EXE file, so you will not need Winzip for it.
  • CPU KILLER – Although not tested by Sierra Planet, some gamers have said that this program is better than both Turbo and Moslo in terms of effectiveness and stability. It is meant to be run in Windows. The drawback is that the program is shareware and the shareware version will only run in 20-minute intervals. However, for getting past trouble spots or viewing short demos for old Sierra games, 20 minutes is probably all you need anyway. You can always register the program and remove the time limit if you find this program suits your needs well.

Space Quest gamers are some of the most frequent users of slowdown programs since several of the games have trouble spots that have to be fixed via a slowdown program. Here is a list of some of the most common places in other games where people have trouble and have used a slowdown program to get past:

  • King’s Quest 4 Demo: The entire demo can run rather fast (like the fairies zipping across the screen at lightning speed), so many gamers slow it down reduce the annoyance. Note that the actual full version game runs at normal speed. It was tested on a Windows ME Pentium III 966 Mhz system and ran smoothly.
  • Laura Bow 2: Opening the safe in Act 3. The portrait will make a clicking noise but it will not open. That is a signal that your computer is too fast. Most people use Turbo to slow down that part. Save your game at the fireplace. Close the game. Run the slowdown utility and start the game. Once you are able to open the safe, save your game.
  • Quest for Glory 4: Getting past the notorious Error 52 in the swamp. This error rather common, especially on computers made within the past couple years, because it is mostly speed-related. The faster the computer, the harder it is to get past, making it really irritating. For many people, only one of the slowdown programs mentioned above will work, and for some none work, and the only other alternative known is to give another gamer your saved game so he/she can get you past that point and save a new game for you.

Gamers usually recommend that you use the slowdown programs sparingly — just to get past trouble spots in the games. In some extremely, extremely rare cases, overuse of such programs might burn or damage system hardware, but again, let it be stressed that this is an extremely rare occurence. So far, Sierra Planet knows of only one such case, and whether or not it was related directly do the use of a slowdown program was never officially concluded. As with any utility that alters the speed of one’s hardware perfomance, permanently or temporarily (like these programs), it is always best to be cautious. grin