Install Need for Speed Underground and Most Wanted together

If you own both Need for Speed Underground and Need for Speed Most Wanted, you’ve inevitably tried to install them together. The first game will install and play flawlessly, however, something strange happens when you run autoplay on the second game. It doesn’t matter which game you install first, the second will exhibit the behavior I am about to describe. In my case, I had already installed Need for Speed Underground, and this is what I saw when running Autoplay off the disc for Need for Speed Most Wanted:

Need for Speed Most Wanted Autoplay dialog

Most Wanted has a play button instead of an install button even though I haven’t installed the game! The reason this happens is that both games have a main executable named speed.exe and the Autoplay program checks the registry to see if that executable is already installed. When it sees speed.exe (which is associated with Need for Speed Underground in my case) in the EA Games registry key, it assumes that Most Wanted has already been installed and gives you the option to play it. Of course, hitting play here isn’t going to work because the game isn’t installed yet.

There is a simple solution for this conundrum, but you’ll have to use the registry editor. Then again, if you’re playing Need for Speed on your PC instead of a console, you’re probably already a hardcore PC gamer and know your way around regedit. In any case, hit the Windows key + R on your keyboard to get a run dialog, and enter regedit and hit enter. Drill down on the left side to the Need for Speed game that you already have installed. If you’re on Windows 32 bit, you’ll find it in:

HEKY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\EA Games\

If you’re on Windows 64 bit like me, you’ll find it in:

HEKY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\EA Games\

Need for Speed Underground registry key

Simply right click the game key (in my case it was Need for Speed Underground), hit Rename, and add some text to the end of the key. It doesn’t matter what text you use because we’re going to change this back to the original value later. Keep regedit open and re-run the Need for Speed Autoplay for the game you are trying to install.

If everything went according to plan, you should now have the option to install. Start the install process and swap the discs out as needed.

Need for Speed Most Wanted install progress

When the game is finished installing, go back to regedit and rename the key back to its original value. Close the registry editor and you’re good to go!

Crouch toggling in Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead crouch If you have been playing Left 4 Dead for more than a few hours, you no doubt have come to the realization that crouching is a very important strategy. When a zombie horde hones in on you, it’s a good idea to huddle up with your team mates in a corner. You and another survivor can crouch in front and shove the zombies back, and two people behind can fire over your head to disperse the zombies more rapidly. Why then are you required to hold down the crouch button for possibly dozens of seconds to remain in this strategic position? I don’t know about you, but my finger gets tired holding that button down.

Fortunately, my friends, there is an easier way. If you hunt down your autoexec.cfg file that I told you about previously, you can add a command to the file to change the crouch behavior. The toggle_duck command will reverse whatever state of crouch you happen to be in; if you are currently standing up, you will crouch when pressing the button. If you are crouched, pressing the button will make you stand up. Sweetness, right?

I use mouse button 4 for crouch toggling, but make sure you insert whatever key or button you use in the following command:

bind "mouse4" "toggle_duck"

Now you just press or click once to crouch, and again to stop crouching.

I find this very helpful for the hunter as well, because you can be ready to pounce at any time without fear of standing up when in the heat of battle!

Play as infected in Left 4 Dead single player (Survival Pack update)

If you happened to read my previous article on playing as infected in Left for Dead single player and tried it out since the Survival Pack came out, you no doubt have cursed my name and damned me to hell. The set of commands in that article are no longer valid.

To get you pouncing in the comfort of your own single player game again, please follow the same steps in the other article, but replace the previous line:

alias "sp_versus" "sv_cheats 1; director_force_versus_start; director_no_human_zombies 0; sb_all_bot_team 1;"

with this one:

alias "sp_versus" "sv_cheats 1; director_force_versus_start; mp_gamemode versus; sb_all_bot_team 1;"

Good times.