StarCraft 2 will be available this Tuesday, so I determined that now would be a good time to refresh my memory of StarCraft and its Brood War expansion pack. And it wasn’t much of a surprise to find out that the resolution is fixed at 640×480 and the graphics aren’t quite up to modern standards, but I was surprised to find that after a few minutes the game will invert all colors on screen, even in Windows XP.
This sounds a lot like a problem to be solved with using compatibility mode on the application, but it strangely isn’t. After a lot more browsing and testing I finally discovered that StarCraft simply doesn’t like the explorer process of modern Windows versions. The resulting fix is very simple to set up and prevents StarCraft from inverting the entire screen while in-game.
Before you actually set out to employ this fix, it’s important to note that it merely resolves the full screen invert in-game. I’ve still had screen inverts when in the menus and match victory screens. And there are still some minor coloring glitches with water in-game. Still, it no longer inverts the full screen during play and that’s a massive improvement all on its own.
- Open Notepad.
- Type the following:
taskkill /f /IM explorer.exe
- Change the middle portion to correspond with your StarCraft installation directory.
- In the save dialogue screen select ‘all files’ instead of the default ‘.txt’.
- Save the file as StarCraft.bat
- Double-click on this .bat file in order to start StarCraft from now on and it will no longer invert screen colors during play.
This .bat file effectively kills the explorer process before starting StarCraft and then restarts the explorer process when you close the game. The result is that StarCraft no longer inverts colors during play, regardless of compatibility mode. It works on Windows XP, Vista and 7.
Also important for StarCraft players: in mission 8 of the Zerg campaign you’ll need to press the Escape button in order to cancel out of Zeratul’s response to Kerrigan, otherwise the game will crash!