#72: Rome: Total War Alexander historical battles do not unlock

On Windows Vista and Windows 7, I am unable to unlock all historical battles for Rome: Total War, Alexander. The Battle of Chaeronea is the only one available, and even though I have won it on Medium difficulty, the next battle in the sequence does not unlock.

UAC and historical battles for Alexander

Rome: Total War Alexander uses a series of files to control which historical battles are available. Namely, they are files called locked located in the $ROME_DIRECTORY\alexander\data\world\maps\battle\custom\[battle name] folders, where $ROME_DIRECTORY is where you installed Alexander to. Typically, this would be Program Files/Activision/Rome Total War or something similar. When you win a battle, the program deletes the corresponding locked file in the battle folder that immediately follows this one. For example, if you beat Charonea, it'll delete the lock file from Granicus.

Unfortunately, on Windows Vista and above, User Account Control or UAC prevents programs in non-Administrator mode from accessing global directories like Program Files. It will transparently route any access attempts to a per-user VirtualStore directory located in C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\ directory. Of course, when RTW tries to delete the lock file from the VirtualStore, it won't find it there. Therefore, nothing gets unlocked.

The solution is to 1) run RTW in Administrator mode, or 2) delete all the lock files from each of the battle directories. The second solution will unlock all battles immediately.

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