the twisted gardens of the mind

Archive for June, 2011

game testing, you need it

(or “how to fix the myriad of unnecessary bugs in alice: madness returns” (pc version))

i spent over 30 mins last night trying to engage the fucking umbrella while getting my ass handed to me by an obnoxious sludge monster until i finally realized there was something wrong.

when i plunk down 50$ for a game, i expect to wrangle with some driver issues, or a “this service should be stopped to improve framerate”, or whatever – so the problems with alice are fairly unacceptable. seriously, did anyone do a clean install before ship? because every issue i’ve had so far dealt ENTIRELY with borked keybinding config files (those are the text files that map the keys of your mouse & keyboard to actions like move forward, attack, etc…). with all the things that could go wrong – this is the fuckup? really? ea should be ashamed of themselves.

so, the following is a collection of fixes that got me back up and running. your path will most likely be different from mine (so change [R:\Steam\steamapps\common\] to your path). there also seems to be a different naming convention between pc download/boxed vs. installed from steam versions in that steam’s files are “DefaultInput.ini”, but i’ve seen references to “AliceInput.ini” – these are the same files, just switch “Alice” for “Default” if needed. and of course, keep a backup copy of any file you change.


  1. umbrella glitch (changing the key that engages the umbrella deflect unbinds the action)
  2. cannon glitch (can’t fire cannons or depth charges on the ship minigame)
  3. hysteria (can’t change hysteria key in UI)
  4. ?? i’ve seen references to glitches that are in parts of the game i haven’t reached, but were fixed by some of the below items, so YMMV, but i’ll update this list if i come across any more.
  5. [submitted by spee] framerate glitch using nvidia twinview.
  6. BONUS: enable special edition dresses & weapons

here it is:

[edit] for x64-based windows, please check lepht‘s comment below…

  1. open the file R:\Steam\steamapps\common\alice madness returns\AliceGame\Config\DefaultInput.ini
  2. find the line: Key_Block = TriggerBlock
  3. change it to: Key_Block = TriggerBlock true | OnRelease TriggerBlock false
  4. everywhere you see a “|” character in the file, make sure that it has spaces on either side, like: ” | “
  5. the umbrella is glitched, so if you want to change what key does the umbrella deflect, find this line: +Bindings=(Name=”E”,Command=”TriggerBlock true | OnRelease TriggerBlock false”)
  6. change “E” to whatever key you want to use. i use “/” because i’m left handed, so my right hand is on the keyboard.
  7. likewise, on the line: +Bindings=(Name=”Enter”,Command=”TriggerHysteria”) change “Enter” to something else if you want to – there’s no option to change this in the UI, so here’s your chance.
  8. save & close this file.
  9. open the file R:\Steam\steamapps\common\alice madness returns\AliceGame\Config\DefaultControlLayout.ini
  10. find the line: KeyBindArray2=(Name=”E”,Command=”Use | push | PickUpActor | QuitFPS | SwitchWeaponGroup”)
  11. comment it out like: //KeyBindArray2=(Name=”E”,Command=”Use | push | PickUpActor | QuitFPS | SwitchWeaponGroup”)
  12. everywhere you see a “|” character in the file, make sure that it has spaces on either side, like: ” | “
  13. save & close this file.
  14. BONUS: dresses (i don’t know if this works for non-steam installed versions): unlock the special edition dresses and weapons by opening this file: R:\Steam\steamapps\common\alice madness returns\AliceGame\Config\DefaultEngine.ini
  15. find the section: [AliceGame.AliceGameEngine] at the very end of the file.
  16. change: GIsSpecialPCEdition=FALSE to GIsSpecialPCEdition=TRUE
  17. save & close this file.
  18. IMPORTANT: run the game, go into the configuration and reset the controls to DEFAULT. change your other keys as you see fit, just leave umbrella alone. this will also reset your mouse settings, so make sure you reset those as well.
  19. to use the special edition stuff, go to equip from the main menu – use the arrow keys to change equipped options – trying to change them with the mouse WILL NOT WORK.
  20. if you are using nvidia twinview and experiencing intermittent pauses in your framerate, try disabling your second monitor in windows (thanks spee!). considering that it seems to affect both the newer geforce 460 and my (quite a bit) older 8800, i’m going to assume that anyone with an nvidia card using multiple monitors is going to feel this one.

hopefully this will save you some time & energy – again, i will update this if i come across anything else, but this seems to have fixed everything so far. besides the specific umbrella glitch, the “|” change seemed to be the most important fix. weird, i know.

note: almost all of these i culled on a one-by-one basis from various forums and i take no credit for their discovery. they were, however, all the fuck over the place, so i thought i’d pull them into a single location (for my own benefit as much as yours).

all that said, other than this COMPLETELY FUCKING ANNOYING and TRAGIC flaw, the game is gorgeous and i’m totally loving the hell out of it. enjoy.

[edit] just a quick note on enabling the limited edition content – it will add a new item, to play the classic version of alice, to the main menu – unless you actually purchased the “complete edition”, this link will not work. just ignore it.