Back in 1997 or so, I was putting together a new computer with my web development income to take with me to college and stuff. And the popular options for graphics cards were the S3 ViRGE, the ATi Rage and the Matrox Mystique.... oh, and the Voodoo, which would work as a second graphics card and only work in full-screen mode.

I loved video games, but not enough to actually bother getting a card that only did full-screen. And I still had aspirations of being a games or graphics coder or maybe a 3D artist. I also did Photoshop and web development, so 2D performance was fairly important to me. So, with this, my friend Kenny talked me into getting a Voodoo Rush card.

See, the Voodoo Rush made sense at the time. The only people who could cook up a good 3D chipset were SGI and 3Dfx. 3Dfx had made the best of a small development team and ignored any 2D rendering effort, which meant that the basic design was totally useless for anything but fast 3D arcade graphics. Also, it was assumed that one would want to buy a bare 2D card and add 3D capabilities as a special option.

So I bought one, basically one of the first Voodoo Rush cards you could buy. I got a Dual Planar Hercules 128/3D.

The product died quickly in the market. First, it was at least 10% slower, more when windowed. Second, the drivers sucked. And third, nVidia came out with the RIVA 128 which was a more balanced and bug-free product.

People were pissed off when they really started to try and use it. Really pissed off. The people who had a Dual Planar board were offered a deal where if they turned in the second plane (which was where the 3Dfx chip lived) they could get a discount on a real 3Dfx Voodoo card and could use the rest of the card as a reasonably performing 2D card. I forget this now, but the drivers were defective in such a way that, until a usable driver came out almost a year later, it would mysteriously crash while scrolling in Netscape 4.

Hercules probably thought they were landing a big coup by launching the Voodoo Rush. In the end, they got acquired by ELSA then by Guillemot. And looking through everybody else who made Rush cards, most of them are no longer around.

Eventually, I managed to score myself a series of better graphics cards. 3Dfx died, as did Alliance Semiconductor. 2D performance became so good, even for the cheap circuitry integrated into the motherboard, that nobody bothers to review it anymore. And it's very likely that the cheap circuitry integrated into your motherboard probably outperforms a Voodoo Rush. If you are offered a Voodoo Rush, don't bother buying it. If you've got one, I think I got a good index of Most of the different cards on the market.

It was a fun go. I was one of two people on my floor my freshman year who had a real 3D card, and they all copied my pirated copy of Quake which had the Vispatch levels installed to make the water transparent. I got really good at Quake, until I had some really bad hand problems and basically gave up all video games and then lost my touch. We were hanging out on a 3dfx newsgroup, hacking up bits of drivers so that we could make things work a little better.

But, you may have a Voodoo Rush. And you may want to play with it. That's why this page is still here...

I did find that the best available Hercules driver is still up: ftp://ftp.hercules.com/video/old_products/Stingray%20Series/Stingray%20128-3D/

These are probably the best available driver sets, as they fix most of the crashing errors. If you have any of the boards that used an AT3D chipset, it should be made to work.

Some sound cards will stutter when you use them with a Voodoo Rush. It's actually the fault of the whole system. In fact, there wasn't anything really hideously wrong with the hardware that Hercules built -- all of the problems were either shortcomings in the integration of the two chipsets or driver bugs.

You cannot do multi-monitor graphics in Windows 98 with the Voodoo Rush.

Last time I tried to use it with Linux, it worked just fine, but I don't have much other information.