1. Install the base NHL 2004 game. When prompted, choose the Advanced User Select performance settings and directory option. Choose Full All files copied to system. (1337.36 MB) and then change the install directory. DO NOT INSTALL TO C:\PROGRAM FILES. The recommended location is to make the install folder in C:\, such as C:\NHL 2004.
2. Run the interface.exe and extract to your C:\NHL 2004 folder. Overwrite all existing files.
3. Install rosters. The files NHL 2004 Exh.exh, NHL 2004 Exh.exha.tdb, and NHL 2004 OLExh.exh, go to C:\Users\username\Documents\NHL 2004\db\. If this folder does not exist, either create it yourself in your My Documents directory, or launch the game once so it goes to the main menu, then immediately exit. This folder should now be automatically created.
The files db.viv and tuning.viv go to C:\NHL 2004\db. Overwrite any existing files.
4. Download and extract the rest of the files to your root C:\NHL 2004 directory. Overwrite any existing files.
5. Download and extract any desired add-ons from below, such as ditty packs and menu music. Ditties go to C:\Users\username\Documents\NHL 2004\USER\ditties while menu music goes to your root C:\NHL 2004 directory. DO NOT INSTALL ADD-ONS FROM OUTSIDE THIS FORUM. This includes official EA patches.
6. Start the game using launcher.exe found in your root C:\NHL 2004 directory. If Windows 10 users are having issues with the game starting, they may need to disable antialiasing and anisotropic filtering, or open up the launcher.ini file the program creates and add the line Windowed = 1. Additionally, try setting the compatibility mode for "nhl2004.exe" and/or "launcher.exe" to run for Windows 8, and check the box to Run as Administrator.
7. Once in-game, go to the Options AI screen and click the 04 Rebuilt AI button at the bottom. Then go to Play Now, Game Setup, and Rules. Set the Difficulty to Medium, Period Length to 6, Penalties to 4, Fighting to 3. If a greater challenge is desired, go to the Starting Lineups screen and set the Player Advantage to -1 (click the slider one direction to the left).
1. INTERFACE (Updated 2017-05-14)
2. ROSTERS (Updated 2018-09-15)
Extract the rest of the files to your root C:\NHL 2004 directory. Overwrite when queued.
3. FACEPACK (Updated 2018-09-15)
DOWNLOAD MENU FACES
DOWNLOAD IN-GAME FACES (gamedata)
4. CYBERFACES (face2004) (Updated 2018-04-21)
5. ARENA (Updated 2018-06-15)
6. ARENA-LITE (Updated 2015-09-27)
Required for Dynasty Mode.
7. JERSEYS (Updated 2018-04-21)
8. MASKS (Updated 2018-05-27)
8b. OPTIONAL Sochi Olympics MASKS (Updated 2014-02-22)
Optional masks file for 2014 Sochi tournament, only works with default ESPN Interface.
9. COMMENTARY/PLAY-BY-PLAY (Updated 2018-02-07)
10. GOAL HORNS (Updated 2013-11-10)
Set In-Game Music to Imported in the Sound Options.
Some great additions (not necessary, but very nice to have):
DITTIES AND MUSIC:
DOWNLOAD OFFICIAL DITTY PACK (MediaFire)
UPDATED October 14, 2015[/size]
All goal songs for each NHL and SM-Liiga teams. Also contains fight, end of period and generic ditties. Utilizes vod's individual team specific goal song mod. Extract the RAR package to your C:\My Documents\NHL 2004\user\ditties folder.
Installation instructions and more info HERE.
Alternative ditty packs:
HERE is Netso's alternative Ditty pack.
Jusu's SM-Liiga Ditty Pack (2015-16)
ZeroPucks ditty pack Song list here.
MP3 Version for Launcher 1.5: http://www.mediafire.com/download/93f3s ... ies_MP3.7z
You can get these working ONLY when you have game music = imported in your sound options. Unzip to folder C:\documents and settings\nhl 2004\user\ditties\
Load DEL, Elitserien & Vancouver Olympic Tournament goal songs here.
NHL 2015-2016 Goal Horns and Songs in MP3 format for Launcher 1.5. All credit goes to YouTube user NHLHornsandSongs (https://www.youtube.com/user/nhlhornsandsongs/videos): http://www.mediafire.com/download/cj7sl ... Ditties.7z
New menu interface music: ESPN, Versus, NBC, ABC, NHL2Night, etc. DOWNLOAD NEW MENU TUNES HERE and extract into your \nhl 2004\feaudio folder, over the old files.
Interface menu music from ESPN NHL 2k5 console game. DOWNLOAD ESPN 2K MENU TUNES HERE
MP3 Version for Launcher 1.5: http://www.mediafire.com/download/y54or ... sic_MP3.7z
Interface menu music from NHL 15 Xbox One/PS4 console game. DOWNLOAD NHL 15 MENU TUNES HERE
MP3 Version for Launcher 1.5: http://www.mediafire.com/download/k87d5 ... sic_MP3.7z
ADDITIONAL MISC. FILES:
Download alternative NHL.com interface from HERE. Extract like the ESPN version, to the \nhl 2004 folder and overwrite everything.
Download Bagel's alternative glossy NHL logos Extract to \fe\nhl\logos2\
NOTE: Only NHL is supported in both interfaces. EU leagues and the Olympic Tournament use the ESPN graphics.
Get NHL 2004 stats exporter HERE. MIRROR Allows you to extract all stats from your season roster and archive the data to word processor format.
Get Egorgiy's NHL 09/04 GamePlayCenter here. Great tool to save stats to word processor format from the online games.
Spy has archived some old rosters and other mod files. You can browse them HERE.
TIPS TO MAKE THE GAME MORE CHALLENGING FOR THE "SUPER PLAYERS"
1. Play with manual line changes!!! I can't stress enough how important this is. You'll get an immediate challenge boost + much better atmosphere. One of the few AI issues with 2004 is that the goalies don't close the puck enough and create enough breaks. Breaks are part of hockey and increase the realistic atmosphere. Playing with manual line changes cause your lines to fatigue, and thus will also increase the occasional need of icing and closing the puck with your goalie (when you don't have a chance to switch lines).
2. Go to NHLView and open your season roster (*.sea). Then set the faceoff attribute to 50 from all your players. It's too easy to win faceoffs against AI and this definitely fixes the problem.
3. Give one click of boost advantage for the CPU. The interface remembers this setting as long as you set it again. This is an excellent setting for advanced players. Go to the "starting lineups" screen and set the advantage (-1 for the player).
4. Set the pass assist all the way to 0 if you find scoring from one-timers too easy.
TIPS FOR MORE REALISTIC GAMING EXPERIENCE:
THIS post offers some great tips to increase the realism.
And don't forget: Have fun!
Why NHL 2004? An Introduction to Modified NHL 2004 by trent:
Yes we know Ernest... most of us own consoles and many NG hockey games. I have them all (save NHL 2k9 and the newest NHL 10 from EA).Crosby.is.God@aol.com wrote:
WHY 4R3 YOU L4M3RZ PL4YiNG 4N OLD TiTL3 LIK3 2004? 7H47'S NOT K3WL 47 4LL. D0N'7 YOU KNOW TH3R3 4R3 N3W3R G4M45 WiTH MUCH NiC3R 3Y3C4NDY?
I admit it might sound weird for people who have been brainwashed to "newest is always better", or "play it for a year and throw it away" mentality. That's pretty much how the gaming communities have always behaved. I always thought this game is the "million monkeys thing" for EA... they actually made a superb PC sports simulation for once (well, MVP 2005 is another). Who forces you to play and modify the newest one anyway? Personally, I'd much rather stick with the best one.
But since you asked, I try to explain the main reasons (Of course 2004 has some shortcomings but I only concentrate on the good points here).
- Agility. In my opinion, no other hockey game has as realistic player movements. Yes, they have skating engines that are visually more pleasing but in our mod, with zeroed player agility, you'll get a noticeable "slide" when you stop the skating from full speed, and it also increases the amazing board play. And board play is not there "just for the sake of it"... it's an actual & important gameplay element. I think both of these features are unique among hockey games.
Performing 360 degree turns on the ice is pretty realistic as well. In many other hockey games (esp. 2k games, EA next-gen games are much better in this regard) players are able to make that full turn at insane speeds. If you compare standard video hockey game to an actual hockey broadcast, you're bound to realize how stupid those games look... players move and behave like robots (or Duracell-bunnies). Some people claim that modded 2004 controls become "unresponsive" because of the low agility. To each their own of course, but I don't know how people refuse to see that terrible and fundamental flaw in gameplay... those ultra-agile players, non-existant slide in skating and the superfast body movements. Anyway, for many of us this "sloppy player response" is yet another thing that we like about 2004.
- Reduced puck control. This is another notorious problem with ALL hockey games... yes, even with 2004. And our manually zeroed puck control is still too strong. The puck is too much "glued to the stick" when you carry it.
But at least you're not able to make those circles on the ice while simultaneously maintaining 100% flawless puck possession. The forechecking ai is very strong on 2004... it hits you, poke checks you, hooks you, and simply takes the puck away when you're trying to make fancy moves with an average player. In real hockey there isn't much time to figure skate in the offensive zone... and especially not in front of the opposing teams' goal.
Zeroed puck control increases "sloppy" neutral zone play too, which actually happens a lot in real hockey. Real hockey isn't constant dekes and gigantic, bone crushing hits. In my view, there must be certain amount of sloppiness and uncontrollable "bouncing" when the players receive the passes or fight for the puck possession. If you watch the embedded gameplay clip from 2:00 to 2:30, you'll see that poke check is very heavy and useful tool to defend and forecheck, and enables this mod have more of just that... occasional bad passes & realistic general "sloppiness" (for both player and CPU).
- More challenging passing game. In many hockey games you can make those previously mentioned sick turns on the ice and simultaneously throw perfect passes at full speed, even behind your back! That's simply ridiculous... it's not going to happen in this mod.
- Best interface in any non-manager sports game. This is a bold statement but it's easily backed up... you only have to look at the previews above. And it's constantly developing. How does "write your own hockey game" sound? Well, at least it's partially true with 2004... there are virtually no limits at all what we can add to the html-based frontend. Personally, I find this extremely fascinating.
Statistics are very important part of hockey. Following the simulated games and team reports, injuries, etc. is a big part of genuine season "atmosphere" and fun. In newer EA games you can't even see the basic game boxscores. Not from your own games, let alone from the simulated ones. Our mod has pretty much all imaginary statistics available, plus an automated boxscore extractor which saves every single user played game (full scoring & penalty summary & player/goalie stats) to your \stats folder. You can maintain a perfect "season archive" this way, and go back and see what happened in your old season games. Show me a better and deeper interface in ANY (non-manager) sports game and I'll show you a three legged woman.
- Challenge. There are always countless ways to make this game more challenging. Through roster tweaks, from player/cpu advantage slider or from AI. You can never master this game fully. There is the one-timer goal which is the best way to score in 2004, but when the pass interception level and pass assistance have been reduced accordingly, even those are tough to execute. There is a surprising amount of different ways to score in 2004, as long as the goalie attributes have been properly set. The game is pretty hard and genuinely challenging (without being unfair). That's probably the biggest reason why this game has maintained its popularity and cult following, and even dramatically increased it lately. It's the same reason why PES 5 & 6 are preferred over the fancier looking new titles. It's called "artificial intelligence" = ai. We think that NHL 2004 ai is unique and it completely "stands out" from other EA PC titles. It's also extremely reponsive to all kinds of tweaks... that's why we chose to build our efforts around it. It's far from perfect and the game shows its age in certain departments (mostly in stuff like replays and goalie animations, etc.)... and there are no absolute truths about "best hockey game"... but for us it's the best and most realistic "overall package" from all available titles.
- Friendships. I doubt there is another sports game title (besides MVP 2005 baseball) that has as dedicated and passionate group of contributors. I think it's safe to say that we have completely transformed this game, and have had TONS of fun during the process. Of course a lot of credit and thanks go to the original Superpack creators, original interface contributors... and geniuses like Egorgiy and vod, and the whole NHL 09 community. And of course my old pal Randy with whom I started tweaking and adjusting hockey games nearly a decade ago.
- Adjustability. Besides adjusting rosters with a gamepad you can't make any serious mods to a console game. You're in the mercy of the gaming companies. We don't really like that... our mod gets new stuff and updates virtually every day. And it's nice to have superb interface, all genuine rosters, jerseys, ices, boards, team specific genuine musics and countless of other features that console games can never offer.
- Feeling. I was a hockey defenseman... a bad one... but good enough to stay in the local junior leagues up until I was 17... and I played in our local "beer leagues" after that. I know hockey and I'm not stupid enough to claim that any video game could represent the sport ultra realistically... just like all sports simulations, 2004 has many glaring flaws... but trust me, I have played them all for PC and consoles... but in 2004 there's just something that you can't put your finger on... you can list the flaws as much as you want, but for me it has always been the only game that has the "hardcore balls-to-the-walls hockey feel". I still find it extremely fun and challenging. But don't take my word for it... try it. If you don't have the game, pm me and I might give you a good tip where to find the base game real cheap.
PS: Remember to read Digital Trend's popular article of NHL04 Rebuilt It sums up our community nicely.