Ever since I ran Hidden & Dangerous Deluxe in a VMWare Windows XP machine in order to get around Windows 7 and Vista incompatibilities I have wondered what other games this would work with and how to get it working a little easier.
I haven’t played Age Of Empires 2 or the Conquerors expansion in a while so I was surprised when after installing it and starting my first game I ended up with strange colour issues, eg, red grass and purple water, the game would also crash occasionally when trying out different compatibility modes. So I tried my Windows Vista laptop, but the same thing happened with it, I tried using Wine on my linux laptop but 9 times out of 10 it causes x.org to crash and other times it just ran too slowly.
I had since deleted my VMWare virtual machine, so I looked for a quicker option and came across this to quickly convert an XP mode virtual machine to a working VMware image usable in the free VMWare Player, in total it took about 15 minutes to get up and running and at no cost other than a Windows 7 license that can use XP Mode.
The game works fine out of the box, here’s an example:
That example was for the expansion pack but it also works fine without.