Boss Rally – Top Gear Rally’s PC Brother

Have you ever had one of those moments when clicking through Wikipedia you learn something that blew your mind? I had one of those moments in 2020. I was clicking through some pages about Top Gear games when I landed on Top Gear Rally and saw the sentence, “In 1999, the game was ported to Microsoft Windows as Boss Rally.” What? I had played Top Gear Rally on my Nintendo 64 since 1997 and never knew a PC version existed. Clicking the link to Boss Rally’s Wikipedia page revealed the original developer of TGR ported the game.  I knew at that moment I had to find a copy.

Obtaining a copy of Boss Rally turned out to be a challenge. There were no copies for sale anywhere I looked online. In contrast, Top Gear Rally had over 200 copies available on eBay. Nonetheless, I created an eBay saved search and went on with my day. About six months later, my search finally got a hit. A seller had a copy for sale and was asking $9.99. I felt that was a fair price for an uncommon PC game with little to no other listings. A few days letter I had the game in my possession.

The challenges of Boss Rally weren’t over yet. The game was developed in the late ’90s when 3D games for PC used graphics APIs like 3dfx’s Glide or Microsoft’s DirectX 7. Glide was never officially supported on Windows 2000/XP+, and Windows Vista or 7 dropped support for early versions of DirectX. With Boss Rally only supporting Glide and DirectX 6, there was no native way to play the game on my PC. That was until I discovered the utility dgVoodoo 2.

dgVoodoo 2 is an excellent piece of software. It’s able to map Glide GPU logic and DirectX pipelines to DX10+ shaders. This means old 3D games from the 90s and 2000s can be played on a modern version of Windows. Plus, installing the software is easy, only copying the required DLL files into the installation directory of a given game. dgVoodoo 2 has become my go-to solution for getting old games running on Windows.

Combining Boss Rally with dgVoodoo2

  • Download the latest version of dgVoodoo from http://dege.freeweb.hu/dgVoodoo2/dgVoodoo2/#latest-stable-version
  • Unzip the dgVoodoo download.
  • Open the MS\x86 folder and copy all the files to the game’s Program Files folder.
  • Navigate back to the top of the dgVoodoo2 folder, right-click on gvVoodooCpl.exe, and choose “Run as Administrator.”
  • Click the Add button and select the game’s install folder under Program Files.
  • On the General tab, choose to run the game as Full Screen or Windowed.
  • Under the DirectX tab, set the following settings:
    • Uncheck “Application controlled fullscreen/windowed state.”
    • Check “Fast video memory access.”
    • Set the desired resolution. This setting will help override the in-game menu from rendering at 640×480. You will also want to go into the game’s options and set the desired resolution.
  • Click the Apply button and close dgVoodoo Control Panel.
  • From the Start menu or Boss Rally install folder, launch the Display Wizard, and select a Direct3d video card. The exact card does not appear to matter.
  • Launch Boss Rally and get racing.

Have fun.
-Tony