NPS Image Editor for Legacy Systems
Windows 98 and XP systems have started gaining popularity for "vintage" or "retro" gaming purposes. At the same time, technology continues progressing and support for older operating systems requires more and more tradeoffs during the development process.
NPS Image Editor for Legacy Systems is a fork of NPS Image Editor that targets .NET Framework 2.0 and is designed to run on Windows 98 through 8. Whether you're stuck with ancient hardware that can't support newer Windows versions or are a retro gamer who wants a more modern image editing tool for assets and screenshots on the same machine, NPS Image Editor for Legacy Systems is for you!
The mainstream version no longer supports anything below Windows 7 and will soon stop supporting systems below Windows 10. Having this legacy version allows you to continue enjoying NPS Image Editor on older systems while allowing the mainstream version to take advantage of the latest tools provided by Microsoft that only work on newer opersting systems.
In order to install NPS Image Editor for Legacy Systems, you must be running Windows 98 or newer and must install the .NET Framework 2.0 which also requires Internet Explorer 6. For Windows 9x systems specifically, you also will need 7-zip if you want to save .NPSD files. All of these need to be installed manually.
- .NET Framework 2.0 redistributable, not needed on Windows Vista or higher
- Internet Explorer 6.0, not needed on Windows XP or higher
- 7-Zip 4.57 (7za457.exe), only needed for Windows 98 and ME
- VB6 runtime components, only needed if you want to run legacy NPS 2.x extensions. You can also install NPS 2.1 which will install the needed components for you.
The other system requirements are more or less the same as the regular version.
The original release of NPS Image Editor for Legacy Systems is based on NPS Image Editor 3.3.1. Subsequent releases are labeled with a "feature cut" indicating which mainstream release's features were ported over. For example version 1.1.0 is labeled "NPS 3.4.5 feature cut" which means it adds the layer blending features from 3.4.4 and the bug fixes from 3.4.5 on top of that. Not all features are guaranteed to be ported over, so please check the release notes for more details.
While NPS Image Editor for Legacy Systems is based on the same "Obsidian" code base and feature set of NPS Image Editor 3.3, it is treated as a separate application and thus restarts the version and build numbers at 1.0.0 and will continue from there.
Most of the regular NPS Image Editor features are supported. However, not all features can be supported on all systems.
- NPSD file format: Windows 9x systems cannot use the DotNetZip library necessary for this file format to work. You will need to install a version of 7-Zip compatible with your system and go into Tools -> Component Manager -> File Formats, select the NPSD format, click Configure, and find the path to the 7z.exe command-line utility on your system. If you don't care about saving NPSD files, you can still open NPSD files and work with multiple layers if you're OK with saving flattened images only.
- Web configuration dialog: Not supported due to IE6 rendering issues. The legacy NPS Configuration Panel is available instead.
- Online help: Online help is designed for modern(ish) browsers and will not render correctly unless your system has Internet Explorer 8 or newer installed.
Obsidian Extension Model extensions are supported but the necessary .NET Framework needs to be installed and supported by your operating system. For example an extension compiled for .NET 4.0 will not work on Windows 98 simply due to the .NET version, but that same extension will work on Windows XP. There is no need to match .NET runtime versions since this extension model runs on entirely independent processes.
Legacy NPS 2.x extension support has been re-enabled so if you have any really old extensions you want to run, they should work. A few filters that were never ported over from NPS 2.1 are included by default. If you want to add all of the NPS 2.0/2.1 extensions, you can download them separately. Note that they still do not support the alpha channel.
While NPS Image Editor for Legacy Systems is designed to run on these older versions of Windows, functionality is not guaranteed. If something is broken please feel free to submit feedback using the built-in feedback tool, but most of my development efforts will be focused on the current version.