Smoke/Fire/Explosion Difficulties

I recently stumbled upon a feature that for several years of using the BGE, I’ve seemed to overlook: the ObColor setting in the materials panel. The feature allows for the fading out of an object via alpha keys.
However, when applied to any object with the need for alpha maps (smoke particles, or explosions in this case), there is a bit of a problem. The object collectively needs to start at 100% opaque in order to show up in the game at all, and then sinks to 0% opaque according to my settings. So, how do I make the engine take my alpha map into account?
Particles are a pretty major thing, and if I set the keyframed alpha setting to 0 it works perfectly until it readjusts, so I know there has to be a solution. I’ve tried using RGB curves. I’ve also tried using texture ipos with no success. What am I doing wrong?

Edit: Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention. Don’t laugh, but I’m still using good-ole’ 2.49. I don’t know if that makes any difference, but I would think someone happened upon a solution earlier than that.

I think if you use an ipo curve it should work, haveing frame 1 be 100% and frame 100 0%.