Neverwinter Nights and Shadows Of Undrentide

Despite a few shortcomings, these two titles offer hours and hours of engagement.

Title: Neverwinter Nights and Shadows Of UndrentideManufacturer: BiowareURL: www.bioware.comPrice: $29.99 for both Neverwinter Nights and Shadows of Undrentide at various on-line retailers


  • SoU adds a lot of content to NWN.

  • The single-player campaign is shorter in SoU, but the story is much richer.

  • Many user-made modules are available.


  • Can't view movies in either NWN or SoU, disappointing when you reach the end of a campaign.

  • No native toolset.

  • Manual installation.

Neverwinter Nights is a third-person perspective role-playing game (RPG) built on Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition Rules released by Bioware. The game has a large single-player campaign and extensive on-line gaming possibilities. An expansion pack also is available, Shadows Of Undrentide. Additionally, currently over 2,600 user-made modules are available for download.

Linux and Neverwinter Nights

The Linux port of this game was beset by a series of delays. Originally, claims of out-of-box support for Linux were made. A few days before the game hit the shelves, however, support for Linux was changed to "coming soon". Many fans, myself included, opted to purchase the game at its release hoping that "soon" did indeed mean soon. I purchased my copy on June 22, 2002. In August, a Linux client development page was created, and the release date slipped from fall to winter 2002. The last estimated release date was noted on the Bioware Web site as moving from Dec 22, 2002, to March 21, 2003. The client Beta 1 was released on March 20, 2003. Since then, a total of five beta clients and two final clients have been released to the public.

The Beta Process

The most amazing thing about the first beta was it was truly playable. There were bugs, of course, and some performance/tweaking issues as well. It should be noted that the active Linux client forum, which includes both users and Bioware developers, handily overcame most of those issues. The second beta came exactly one day after the first, on March 22nd. The third beta was released one week later on March 28th. The fourth beta was released April 7th, and it fixed even more bugs. A fifth and final beta was released, and the full client came a few days before the Shadows of Undrentide (SoU) expansion pack hit the store shelves.


An installation guide for NWN and SoU can be found here. Recently, Bioware gave Linux users the ability to download the resource files for NWN, removing the requirement to copy the files from a Windows installation. An excellent user FAQ by an NWN forum user is a great place to start for issues that occur when running the game. The forums also are an excellent source of information.

Knowing several tips can help you get NWN running properly the first time:

  • Installing NWN is a manual process, meaning you have to create the directories for the game. No component of NWN lives in the user's home directory; all saved games and configurations are stored in the NWN directories you create. These directories must be writable by the user running the game. It may be possible to restrict access to some directories, but I chose to make the entire NWN directory writable to my non-root user for the sake of simplicity.

  • The installer script on the SoU CD-ROM is broken; use the manual installation instructions, linked above.

  • For optimum performance, set your desktop to 24-bit color depth. The game performs horribly at less than 24-bit color depth.

  • SDL is required for the game (links are provided on the linked install page).

  • The game plays only at resolutions defined in your XF86Config(-4) file.

  • You can run in windowed mode by changing nwn.ini as such:

    [Display Options]



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Bink Video Player for Linux Beta

Anonymous's picture

Bink Video Player for Linux Beta can be downloaded here:

movies in game for nwn on linux

Anonymous's picture

you may want to check these 2 sites for playing the movies in the NWN linux client:

Re: Bink Video Player for Linux Beta

Anonymous's picture

Yeah, that might work if you have at least ten times the recommended system requirements for bink.