How to play Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy with a Controller

I’ve picked up Fahrenheit for $1.99 on Steam the other day. It’s been on my list of games to play for over 20 years, and I was eager to dig in. Being a controller player, I was a little disappointed that the setup didn’t seem to work out of the box. I didn’t give up though and made it work flawlessly. I’ll also address other issues I found, such as crashes and difficult parts of the game. Here goes!

Controller Setup

First of all, the game controller issues. Here’s what works for me:

  • disable Steam input. It’s the default, but just in case you’ve messed with it.
  • use an original Xbox 360 Controller. I’ve tried both my Luna controller and my PS4 controller, but neither of them seemed to work.
  • re-map the controls (my sticks were recognised incorrectly).

Although my Luna controller usually works as an Xbox One controller, I guess the game is so old that it doesn’t know the protocol, or there are significant differences between the old 360 controller and the new one (although I never knew that). Likewise, my PS4 controller is not recognised by the game. I had no luck with the Steam Input controls either.

The most important thing to remember is that if your game pad is recognised, make sure it’s plugged in and connected before starting the game. Steam is very dynamic, but the game is not, so it needs an active controller before it launches to react properly.

My Xbox 360 controller works a treat, but out of the box the right analogue stick was wonky. It took me a while to figure out that it was mapped wrong by default. To remedy this, head over to Options – Controls and select each property you deem wonky, followed by the proper command. First Axis means Light Stick, Second Axis means Right Stick (they could have just written that, but it would have been too easy). So click First Axis left followed by pressing the stick to the left and keep going until your controller is mapped properly. Here’s how I have mine configured (it’s all default values, aside from the left stick).

Avoiding Game Crashes

I’ve seen so many suggestions on how to make the game play nice on modern systems, including switching to Windows XP compatibility mode. It all seemed reasonable, but the one thing that really fixed my woes was to disable all overlays. Steam itself was the major culprit for me, and it’s easily fixed. In the library, click the gear icon and select Properties. Disable it to avoid any trophy pop-ups and other shenanigans.

That ghastly NVIDIA GeForce pop-up at the top right corner doesn’t seem to matter, but if you’re running anything else that frequently distracts, disable it (frame rate counters, memory overlays, email/chat notifications etc).

Air Force Base (Day)

At one point in the game we play Lucas as a child having a vision. He needs to warn his friends who are playing hide and seek at a military base. It’s a terribly unintuitive level with a useless tiny map displayed at the top right. What were they thinking? Here’s how to get into the hangar.

After speaking to the guy at the gate, make your way to the fence in the corner on the right. You can climb the fence there. Head for the ditch further up ahead and walk toward the bolder on the left. There’s a hole in the fence that lets you get to the next area. Walk towards the pile of crates up ahead, then to the next one and wait for the truck to leave.

Run towards the truck and walk with it, until you’re in the middle of the two hangars. Let the truck pass and run to the gap in between the two hangars, where the guard actually guarding the hangar doesn’t see you. If you’re spotted by the other guard, you’ve walked too far. At the far left corner there’s a hole into the hangar. Look around and find as many friends as you can. Choose “flee” at any point in the conversation to exit the hangar and save your life (it’s OK if some of your “friends” don’t make it).

Air Force Base (Night)

Some developers have this habit that when something really sucks, they put it in multiple times to make it suck more. This is one such game, and we’ll inevitably find ourselves in yet another Air Force Base level, this time with our brother at night. It’s not as terrible as previously, here’s how to do it:

Avoid the search lights, but don’t be afraid to graze their outsides. Head for the barracks’ stairs and avoid the first guard. Head for the second set of barracks stairs, then hide behind the jeep as the guard approaches. Wait until he’s gone and head around the corner. Next we need to find a way to distract a guard, so Lucas volunteers and heads back to throw a stone. Once his brother catches up, we can proceed.

We need to climb a lamp post in the next section, for which the brother becomes playable to distract another guard by kicking a barrel. Seize the chance to climb the lamp post, then dangle forward and across the light cones from various search lights. This looks worst than it is: it’s OK to graze the outsides of the cones, but try to time it correctly: if you’re caught by too much light, a guard catches you. Once you’re through, descend and head to the back left corner of a hangar and head inside.

That’s it for now! If anything else comes up, I’ll add it here.

You can leave a comment on my original post.