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Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure On 64-Bit Windows

So, you still have Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure for Windows 95 on CD-ROM and are wondering if the game can run on 64-bit Windows? Afterall, many older comptuer games don't run well, if at all, on newer Windows operating systems without community patches or graphic wrappers. Worry not! It still runs out of the box, but does require a bit of tinkering. A virtual machine isn't required and you won't have to rely on playing ROM images in video game console emulators.

Load the CD-ROM into your optical disc drive and the game might autoplay. If not, don't worry about it. If it does, you'll see a title window and hear a jaguar sound effect. I recommend pressing Exit. If you press Play, you'll notice the splash video not appearing as music eventually plays. This is due to an unsupported codec. Press the Escape key to skip it. When the game loads, you'll get an error message that reads "Pitfall must be played in 256 color mode for optimum performance." Press OK and the game appears to work fine. The issue? You'll have CD music, but you won't have sound effects. In the game window, click on File, select Properties... then click on the Sound tab. You'll discover the Sound Effects options are disabled. You'll also notice Enable Joystick is disabled if you click on the Joystick tab.

Original booklet and CD-ROM inside open jewel case.
Pitfall Properties window before Compatibility mode is set.

To fix this, close the game. Open File Explorer, right-click on the drive reading PITFALL and select Copy. Go to the storage device and folder where you install games and paste the contents there. This creates a new PITFALL folder containing everything on the CD-ROM. Open the new PITFALL folder, open the ASSETS folder, right-click on PITFALL.EXE and select Properties. Click on the Compatibility tab, look under Compatibility mode, check the box for Run this program in compatibility mode for: and select Windows 95 from the drop-down menu. Click on Apply then OK. This will enable the locked out options.

Next, you'll need to replace a file that causes the game to lock up when a sound effect plays. There's a message board called VOGONS (Very Old Games On New Systems) that's great for discussing older games on newer machines, so I searched there. One of the results is a thread started by someone looking for a way to play Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure without the game disc. On the second page, forum moderator Vetz mentions the game crashing and attached an updated WAIL32.DLL. View that specific post and download the .ZIP file. Extract the new WAIL32.DLL into the ASSETS folder, overwriting the old one.

Press OK for both of these error messages.
Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure freezes here before replacing WAIL32.DLL

Double click on PITFALL.EXE, press Yes for the User Account Control prompt and press OK for the 256 color mode error. You'll see a new error saying "Bad or missing dispdib.dll - error 2." Press OK. Open the Sound properties and check the box for Sound Effects. If you want to use a gamepad, go to the Joystick tab and check the box for Enable Joystick. Now you can enjoy this PC classic once again! Remember to always start the game by running PITFALL.EXE from your computer, not from your game disc. You still need to insert the game disc in your optical disc drive to play the game. Creating a disc image and running it in a virtual drive doesn't seem to work, assumedly due to copy protection.

Bonus Tips

A wired Xbox 360 or One controller should work natively. No third party application necessary. You can remap the buttons in the game Properties under the Joystick tab.

Included on your Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure CD-ROM is a .HLP file that normally cannot be opened in 64-bit editions of Windows. You'll need to install Windows Help program to read it. Microsoft offers the program on their website for various versions of Windows, excluding Windows 10.

Music on the disc is stored via Redbook Audio. You can rip it to your computer or spin it in a CD player.