Support Notes for Attack of the Sunday School Zombies
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Zombies Tech Support
If you’re having the “acknex has stopped” crash error, skip down this page for the simple solution.
Some Quick “Zombie Game Play” Tips:
1. Yes, Pastor Bob is supposed to be floating off the floor in the sanctuary! Use your mouse to aim high. He’ll come down off his high horse to share something important when you whap him with enough donuts.
2. Fling donuts at the doors to open them. If it doesn’t open, you may need to step back a bit and try again.
3. At the end of the game after all the zombies have been converted, you’re told to go clean the chocolate off of you. You must go into the men’s bathroom (the game level changes at that point), then you can go to the Sanctuary to hear everyone’s comments.
4. Read all our game tips and guide linked at the Zombies CD page.
Security Warning During Installation
If the game is WORKING but you’re having performance issues…
Check your system specs and minimums to make sure your hardware is up to snuff. You can do this by clicking START, then RUN, and typing “DXDIAG” to open Windows’ DirectX Diagnostics. Click the ‘save as text’ option and email me that information, or, click the DISPLAY tab and write down the videochip brand/model, videodriver date, and amount of videoram and send it to me. You can ‘save all’ as a text file and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure your video chip is good enough. Some old Windows computers may have inferior video/3d capabilities. Make sure your video chip’s DRIVER is the latest version from the manufacturer. They update video drivers to solve problems. If your computer is more than 6 months old, odds are they have improved the driver. Run the DX Diagnostics program described above and read the date of your videodriver. Then….Go to the computer manufacturer’s website and look up your computer in their drivers/download area. This is true EVEN FOR NEW COMPUTERS. It’s not uncommon to receive a brand new computer which the manufacturer has ALREADY released a video driver update. Happened to me twice!
If your game crashes, and you can’t get back to your Desktop…
a) Try pressing your Windows key on your keyboard to get back to your desktop.
b) It’s possible that “acknex” the game engine will still appear to be running on your taskbar. If you see it there, you will need to manually kill it. To do so, press Ctrl-Alt-Del and pull up your Task Manager. Select “Acknex” and “end task.” (This is described below on this page in a graphic.)
Do you have Windows 8 and higher and your game starts up just fine but is skipping the opening video welcome by Super Kenz?
See the Windows 8 note below about the video player.
If your game starts to load, crashes
If you see an “ACKNEX stopped working” error message
The following solutions work on MOST Windows 7 and 8 computers, and always on Windows 10 (so far).
(1) Make the following 20 second tweak:
EDIT the START-ZOMBIES.bat file.
This sounds more techie than it really is. You’re just going to open that installed file in Windows NOTEPAD (text editor) and delete a word. By deleting the word “-diag” in the start instructions, you will be telling Zombies not perform a video diagnostic that some versions of Windows don’t like. Here’s how to edit that file:
- Find the text file “START-ZOMBIES.bat” located in the installed Zombies folder.
- Right click “START-ZOMBIES.bat” and select EDIT. This should open the ‘batch’ file in NOTEPAD.
- Delete the phrase -diag from the line that starts with sanctuary.exe -d hardware. This turns off the game’s “-diag” diagnostic step.
- SAVE the file and you’re done editing. Double click the Start-Zombies.bat file and the game should load.Here’s a graphic showing the text file and part you are going to edit:
(btw: you can edit the “echo” line to make is say something else besides “Zombies Now Loading.”)
(2) If the above editing tweak doesn’t cure the launch problem, continue with this next tweak.
- Uninstall, then re-install the Game to a different folder on your computer. See “how to” below.
- Once you reinstall the game to the new folder, go in and make the START-ZOMBIES.bat edit tweak AGAIN. Same thing: delete the phrase “-diag” and save.
How to re-install Zombies to a different folder on your computer:
- Delete your original Zombies installation and desktop icon, then REINSTALL Zombies to this folder: c:\zombies.
- Restart the CD and its installation process.
- In the second screen of the installation screen you will see a field where you can change the default installation folder. Type c:\zombies. Do that, then complete the installation. (Why does this work? The default installation folder is c:\Program Files (x86x) and for whatever reason, Windows applies special conditions to the x86 folder which thwart the game startup.)
Still not working?
In Windows 7 or 8 you may need to try additional tweaks and install locations.
1. First, try right clicking the Desktop startup icon and selecting “Run as Admin” and “Run as XP” from the “compatibility” options. This will tell Windows to handle the game gingerly. This sometimes works on some computers.
2. If the “Run as” tweaks don’t work, delete your original installation, and reinstall the game to a different folder outside of the Program Files (x86) folder. See the W10 instructions above for how to do that. Also, in W7 and W8, sometimes installing the Zombies game to a folder right on the desktop fixes the acknex problem.
*Techies: Microsoft continues to improve compatibility in these obscure folder security arrangements, so you may find that moving the folder into the root drive (ex. c:\zombies) works now, and you don’t need to put the folder on the desktop. Depends on your version of Windows. If it doesn’t work in c:\zombies, move the folder to the Desktop, then make the additional tweaks listed below and run it from there.
IMPORTANT: If you manually move the zombies folder to a new location (c:\zombies or your Desktop), the originally installed Desktop shortcut will no longer work because it is pointing to the old location. So make sure you delete the desktop startup icon when you uninstall the program.
If Zombies still won’t properly start, look at these last two possibilities….
If needed….these last two steps may work.
Set Windows Media Player as your default video player (W8/10 only)
Why? Because after making the above changes on my own church’s new Windows 8 computers, I noticed that the game was starting up fine but was SKIPPING the opening video of Super Kenz explaining the premise of the game. I knew why: Windows 8’s default ‘video player’ is set to a useless Xbox video app, which the Zombies game wouldn’t allow to load. The Zombies opening video is in the standard “wmv” (Windows Media Video) format, and Xbox video was set to open all such files in W8. Thus, I needed to tell Windows 8 to stop using the odd Xbox video app, and instead, make Windows Media Player the ‘default’ program to open all WMV files. Viola! The game now starts up with the proper video.
(This isn’t a problem on Windows 7 or 10, and a later update to 8 fixed this default video player issue.)
How to make Windows Media Player your default program for opening “wmv” files:(1) Open your Windows Control Panel (b) Select Default Programs (c) Select Change Associations (d) Scroll down and select WMV file extension (e) Select “Browse” and then Windows Media Player.
The “sometimes works” tweak:
Apply “Run as Administrator” to all three of these files:
(1) The Desktop Shortcut you created.
(2) The START-ZOMBIES.bat file found in the Zombies folder.
(3) The file named “SANCTUARY.exe” in the Zombies folder.
To apply this command, RIGHT click the file and look for the “Run as Admin” option. After doing all these things, you need to REBOOT WINDOWS for the admin permission changes to become permanent and the game to properly work.
Odd Zombies Tech Note:
This happened to me on one of my church’s “identical” Windows 8 machines. When I clicked “run as admin” the game tried to start up and the screen froze. If this happens to you, open your Windows Task Manager and click the acknex 32 bit program and select END TASK. when I did this and then rebooted Windows and started the Zombies game, everything worked fine. Go figure.
OTHER ERRORS or PROBLEMS
“3d compatible device not found” …or some similar message.
It means that your computer doesn’t have a compatible or modern-enough videocard and you need to install one.
Other things you can do to workaround start up problems:
RIGHT click the Zombies desktop icon, then select “properties” then “compatibility” and set it to “Run as XP or even Windows 98” …this will tell your system to take things easy.
Pastor Bob is floating 6 feet above the pews in the Sanctuary:
He’s supposed to! You can aim the donut flinger UP by either using pageup/pagedown or with your mouse. He will come down once Super Kenz has talked to him.
Sound Volume too low:
Press the ESC key and pull up the Zombies menu to adjust sound properties. Note: Laptop sound is notoriously soft. We recommend playing Zombies with amplified computer speakers.
At end of game, I can’t get all the zombies to go to sanctuary:
The game told you to go into the men’s bathroom. Be sure you do! This triggers a final setup for the last scene in the sanctuary.
I keep running out of donuts:
There are boxes all over the place. Go into one of the classrooms and load up. You might also check your game options menu to adjust level of difficult.
Do you have a partitioned harddrive and have problems with Zombies?
My older Vista laptop hard drive just happens to be partitioned into a “C” drive and a “D” drive. The C is for the operating system and main files, and the D drive part of the hard drive is labelled as “Data”. I don’t like that, but that’s the way it came. Not all hard drives come with “partitions” and generally speaking, I think partitions are annoying. And please note that most “D” drives are the label given to the DVD/CD drive. Not so on my laptop. Realizing that Vista applies different security protocols to different parts of the system, I copied the entire Zombies folder from my Desktop (where I had installed it -per the readme file instructions) to the “D” partition on my laptop’s hard drive. And guess what, Zombies started up fine from the D partition of the drive. I didn’t even need to “run as administrator” or set the compatibility option to “run as xp”. Who knows why. But Zombies worked from my “D” partition and not from the C side of my hard drive.
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