On certain machines Startopia can run into startup issues where you’ll only see a black screen and possibly your mouse. Some users also hear game sound when this issue occurs. One possible workaround is the following (original solution posted by mp.73):
- Open up the DirectX control panel. Press the Start button , and type
dxdiagin the Search box, and then press ENTER.
- Enable “Use ModeX for 320 by X(DX7-)”. From within the DirectX control panel, switch to the directdraw tab and select the group tab labelled performance. From here enable “Use ModeX for 320 by X(DX7-)”.
- Run Startopia again. If everything worked as expected you should now land on the main menu on your first try.
If you’ve followed the above steps and are still having trouble with the Startopia black screen issue, please post in the comments below. To increase your chances of a solution being found include as much detail as possible (which version of the game you’re running, what operating system you have, what video card you have and steps to reproduce the issue). Screenshots are also very useful!
sources: link 1