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Customizing the first 91 terrain slots

Ishad Nha

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Customizing the first 91 terrain slots.


This is impossible using the official Editor; the changes will be lost as soon as the Edit Terrain Types screen is closed. However, this is easy to do via hex – editing.

(Hex – editing is alteration of the exs file using the MS-Dos Edit command, or its Mac equivalent.)


The procedure is:

Open the MS-Dos Edit command, “cmd.exe”, probably found in Start Menu > Programs > Accessories.

Type “Edit”, and press Enter.

Choose File menu and Open the relevant exs file: note that “Open Binary” is simply a word wrap feature.


Tweaking of Terrain

Here L equals the Line Width.

When L = 16:

line 1,962 column 9 thru line 2,218 column 8 hold the terrain listings.

When L = 70:

the listings are found from line 449 column 25 through line 507 column 60.


The following values are true for Windows scenarios.

Column 9: Picture number in ASCII code.

Column 10: Picture number in ASCII code.

Column 11: Terrain blockage (0 thru 5) list.

Column 12: Extra values.

Column 13: Extra values.

Column 14: Special properties.

Column 15: Transform to what?

Column 16: Can fly over?


Listed on the line below

Column 1: Can boat over?

Column 2: Blocked to horses?

Column 3: Light radius

Column 4: Step on Sound

Column 5: Shortcut key, if any*.


Columns 6,7,8 appear to be empty.


Picture number is recorded as a two – bit number. In Windows scenarios column 9 is the base – 256 digit while column 10 is zero or 1*256)


*It is recorded as the actual letter, not as an Avernum-style numerical encoding. It too is listed on the line below.


Control + Key Inserts

Hex – editing is done using the ASCII character set. Really you will need a list of the entire character set. This can be copied from many programs. When L = 70, line 4,308 of the editor program has about four – fifths of the total symbols.


Once you have the list you can just copy and paste from it. Some symbols can be entered directly because they are on the keyboard while others can be entered as shown below.


Control + P Inserts

After pressing Ctrl + P, press Ctrl + the appropriate letter of the alphabet to get the ASCII symbols with numerical values 1 through 26. Unless it is one of the letters listed in the paragraph above. Press Ctrl + [ to get the symbol with the value 27.


Some symbols can be entered without first pressing Ctrl + P:

Key 	2	 \	  ]	  6	  -	Space	BackspaceValue	0	28	29	30	31	32	127
They are all symbols above, and those entered by the letters B,I,J,K,N,O,T,U. Pressing Ctrl + M gives the two symbols having the numerical values, V, of 13 and 10. Apparently, if the document has not been saved already: Ctrl + I and Ctrl + M won't have the same effect. The Space, V = 32, can also be entered via the Spacebar.


Quality control, type the End button, the cursor should move to column L + 1. So if L = 70 the cursor should move to column 71. If it doesn’t you have something that can really stuff up the scenario.


Morality of hex – editing, I don’t think Jeff really minds, the program is about to become open source soon anyway.

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Morality of hex – editing, I don’t think Jeff really minds, the program is about to become open source soon anyway.
And besides, you're just editing something that's coming out of the scenario editor. I don't speak for Jeff Vogel, but I'm pretty sure that "no discussion of hex editing" rule is meant to apply to executables and to data files in the non-Blades games.
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