I came across this old tutorial I created on how to get sound to work in Mortal Kombat II under Windows XP. It’s irrelevant now, but I decided to revise it a bit and post it here for reference.
Getting DOS games to work in Windows XP can be a major pain, especially when trying to get sound to work. Here’s an application that will fix the sound issue in Mortal Kombat II when running in Windows XP. It’s called VDMSound. It emulates SoundBlaster/AdLib/MIDI in DOS games better than XP does. By default, XP tries to emulate DOS audio using A220 I5 D1 T3 P330. This obviously isn’t working for MKII, but getting it to work is incredibly simple by following the steps below. On a side note, VDMSound will only run on Windows NT 4.0, Windows 95/98/ME (with some tinkering), Windows 2000, and Windows XP. It will not work on Windows Vista and above.
Step 1) Download and install VDMSound 2.0.4.
Step 2) Download and install VDMSound 2.0.4 “Update 2”. Extract directly over the VDMSound 2.0.4 files, typically residing in C:\Program Files\VDMSound, and overwrite all.
Step 3) Download and install LaunchPad 1.0.1. Run install.bat
Press any key to close the window that follows, then locate your MK2.exe and right-click on it. You should see two options listed near the top called Run with VDMS. One has a musical note icon next to it and the other one doesn’t. Select the one with the icon. When ran for the first time, this will bring up a configuration wizard with the choice of using the default configuration or a custom. Let’s choose default for now. Continue by clicking Next. On the next screen, leave everything as is, with Remember my settings checked, and click Finish. This will start up MKII. By default, VDMS uses A220 I7, so make sure these are set correctly in the game (should be default), as well as configuring the sound (F10), which is generally Soundblaster.
I got my custom configuration to work without playing the horrible MIDI music. However, disabling the MIDI emulation (located within the custom settings) will not do this. If disabled, your system will take over. So simply uncheck Dev (Device) below Output located under the MIDI tab and change MKII’s sound to Roland LAPC-1. Also, once you create a configuration of any kind, it will create a shortcut in the same directory as the game’s executable that you may edit later by right-clicking on it and selecting Properties > Advanced.