PhiLiZound Software
Index
Page updated: 14-Dec-2011

Dance of the Planets font patch

This is a patch for the Dance of the Planets (DOP) astronomy simulator.

DOP is a DOS-based program dating back to the 90's, but is still one of the best simulators around. It will run in a command window under Windows (XP & 7 work ok), but some 'modern' PCs are unable to handle the graphic fonts resulting in corrupted or scrambled characters, specifically numbers 1 to 9 and a few punctuation symbols. See screenshots below. There is some discussion in this DOP forum.

One solution is to run it under an emulator such as DOSBox, but this patch allows you to fix the problem at source by overwriting the font table address used by DOP. 

A few addresses are built-in to the patcher for convenience, but they may not work on all PCs as it is BIOS-dependent. There is no harm trying as the screen will just appear more/less scrambled. If the built-in ones don't work, you can find the exact address manually using tools such as FindFont and tell the patcher to use that instead.

Before the patch...

Screenshot - date before patch       Screenshot - menu before patch

After patch...

Screenshot - date after patch       Screenshot - menu after patch

After optional 'zero' patch...

Screenshot - date after zero patch

Minimum system requirements

Windows 98SE and later, tested on Windows XP & Windows 7.
Although the patcher only runs in a command window, once it's patched, the Dance program can be run in either Windows or DOS.

Downloads

DOPFonts V4.00  14-Dec-2011
V4 adds an option to specify your own font table address; you can find these addresses yourself using tools such as FindFont.

The program is free, but if you pass it on, please keep the package intact.

Installing

There is no 'installation' - the downloadable file is the main executable you run, so download & save it to the folder containing your Dance.exe file, e.g. C:\Dance
There are several options when running the patcher so nothing will happen if you just double-click it - it needs to be run from a command window. Starting one of these varies according to your version of Windows; some examples are:-
In the command window, navigate to the folder containing the Dance.exe file, e.g.
c:
cd \Dance

Run the patcher by typing:
dopfonts

This will display various options for appling/removing patches.  For more information, type:
dopfonts /m

Contact me if you have any problems.

Uninstalling

Just delete the executable file you downloaded.

Phil Tipping, 2011