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Phantasy Star Online: Blue Burst on Wine

Occasionally I play the old multiplayer action-RPG “Phantasy Star Online: Blue Burst”. On Windows, it works fine, but to make it work better on Linux (via Lutris), some extra steps may be needed.

Данный пост также доступен на русском языке.

First of all, install the game using the “EphineaPSO” installer. This installer uses a version of the game designed for the Ephinea private server, which, to my knowledge, is the most popular one at the moment.

After this, the game should be perfectly playable, but on my machine, it had one minor graphical error:

missing scrolling textures

the transparent scrolling textures that the game often uses to display computer monitors were invisible (see screenshots here).

I tried using different versions of Wine, different settings in Lutris, and more to no avail, until I discovered this thread on the Ephinea forums. It describes a utility called “dgVoodoo” that can rewire an old Direct3D 8/9 program to use the APIs of DirectX 11. Given that, in current versions of Wine, most effort is being spent on DirectX 11, trying it out seemed like a good idea.

The official website mentioned in the forum post isn’t active, but the program is still being actively developed on GitHub.

However, when I first installed it, it resulted in an even worse outcome – the game launched with a permanent black screen instead of the graphics. Luckily enough, it turned out that the solution to that was even simpler: to turn on the “Enable DXVK/VKD3D” option in Lutris' settings for the game. After this, the game ran perfectly, and the previously-missing textures returned (see this excited tweet for a screenshot with confirmation).

So, to fix the scrolling textures:

And to get rid of the watermark:

russian text display and input

If you speak Russian and want to talk to, or read text from, other Russian speakers, you might need to change fonts and some settings.

alternative option: LibPSO font

Alternatively, I’ve made another font, called “LibPSO”, which does the same thing as “ArPSO”, but is based on “Liberation Sans Bold” instead of “Arial”. In my opinion, this font looks better than “ArPSO” when used in Wine.

The installation procedure is the same: extract the TTF file into the wine prefix’s C:\Windows\Fonts directory and choose “LibPSO” in the game’s settings.