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Exile 1 Maps

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Thought some folks here would be interested in an outdoor map of Exile EFTP made from the game's data files. This map is different from the ones I have seen as it uses the tile set from the game instead of the minimap colors. Since this comes from the game's data files, I also highlighted special blocks like lava that is safe to walk on and secret passages in yellow. I have maps of towns as well that I could share if there is interest - especially the unmappable ones like Erika's Tower and the Gremlin Maze.



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Hello IMakeMaps,


Great work on producing this map! It’s nicely presented, and the inclusion of secret passages and safe lava squares is a particularly nice touch. For that alone, I think this could become a useful community resource!


I would definitely suggest that you upload the maps of the towns and dungeons. To my knowledge, this hasn’t been done in a detailed way for Exile I before.


It could also lead to interesting insights into the game. There are quite a few things that are very well hidden in the Exile trilogy, and some of these took a long time to come to light. Amazingly enough, new secrets in the Exile games are still being discovered, even to this day! And a mapping project like this is a great way of discovering little hidden gems (such as Jeff writing messages in town walls, which has happened on occasion).


You might be interested to know that there is some history of mapping projects like these on these forums. They’re mainly put together for the Avernum games, a series that began as remakes of the Exile games, and eventually span off into its own brand new trilogy. However, there have been mapping projects for the Exile games too, in various capacities.


For example, there has been one previous project to produce a map of the caves from Exile I. You can see the results of that project at the link below. Note that you can zoom in!




One immediate difference is that this map uses the old v1.x graphics from Exile I, rather than the newer v2.x graphics which you’ve been using. The compiler also filled in the walls in the various spaces on the map that are inaccessible, and can’t be seen by the player.


However, this older map has a couple of mistakes in it. There are one or two tiles that are incorrectly painted, and are instead shown by a dummy lava or wall tile. These are all pretty obvious when you come across them, though. It also doesn’t show secret passages or safe lava squares, so in several regards your map is a significant improvement!


I do have one slight criticism of your map. This might just be me not driving imgur correctly, though, so do ignore me if I’m missing something obvious! The map you've posted above doesn’t seem to be quite at the same resolution as the game's tiles. I can’t quite zoom down all the way without the tiles becoming blurry. At least for me, this makes some of the special dots a little hard to see – and they’re important!


It would drive up the file size a little, but would it be possible to create a version of this map where the tiles on the map are the same resolution as the tiles in the game? I think this would make things a little clearer overall. To see how that might work in practice, take a look at the Exile I map I linked in this post – that map is formed of tiles that are the same resolution as those in the game, without any blurring. Again, do forgive me if you've already done this, and I'm just missing it!


For fun, here’s a little more mapping information. It might make some sense to put together a few more maps in this thread, after all! For starters, here’s a map of the caves from Exile II:




This is more in the style of your own map, since it includes secret passages.


Both this map and the map for Exile I are taken from the topic below, which contains a little more information about how they were put together:




And here’s something from a little later in time. This is a complete map of Avernum 1, the first remake of Exile I. It shows the caves in three dimensions, including height!




The map is taken from this topic:




There have also been various projects to convert the maps of Exile to Spiderweb’s other games, including the scenario creation package Blades of Exile. Your post here reminded me of a very old project from the 2000s, where a designer stitched together maps from Exile I, II and III into a contiguous series of caves. It was all put together into a Blades of Exile scenario, apparently. See here:




The map is long lost to the internet, but here’s a picture. Apologies for the blank space below it, but that's part of the original image:




(Also, just for my curiosity, did anyone actually get a copy of this scenario? I think the only person who is still around from the original topic might be @Kelandon?)


10 hours ago, The Almighty Doer of Stuff said:

But is it missing the road overlay?


The roads are already there, but you might not be seeing them! Exile I deals with roads a little differently than the later games. They’re marked by piles of rubble placed one tile apart on either side of the road, which is one space wide. See this, for example, which is a road leading west out of Almaria (with apologies for using the old graphics, but that’s the easiest example I have to hand!):




Don’t forget that you can always fire up the games and check for yourself, rather than waiting for replies on here :)

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2 hours ago, Ess-Eschas said:

(Also, just for my curiosity, did anyone actually get a copy of this scenario? I think the only person who is still around from the original topic might be @Kelandon?)

I'll have to look more thoroughly later, but I don't believe this person actually emailed the scenario as requested.

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5 hours ago, Kelandon said:

I'll have to look more thoroughly later, but I don't believe this person actually emailed the scenario as requested.


I had a sneaking suspicion something like that might have happened. The original thread did suddenly go quiet, after all, and I imagine something this large would probably have turned up in scenario lists sooner or later – not least on your old archive!


It would be a pity if this scenario never saw the light of day. After all, while there’s a scenario that reproduced Upper Exile, and a couple that reproduced Valorim, I don’t think a scenario was ever publicly released that reproduced the main caves of Exile to any real degree, nor the Vahnatai lands from Exile II. What a useful community resource that could have been!

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Posted (edited)

@Ess-Eschasthanks for the backstory. I've never used imgur before, but I did reduce the size of the map by a factor of two so it would more easily fit on my screen. Plus I was forgetting to save the image using a compressed format, so the full size map was 80MB which is over the imgur limit. I put links at the end of this to the full size maps, compressed this time.


I like the old graphics map, it looks like the author filled in the blank areas with cave walls to make it look nicer. I personally prefer the older graphics anyway as that was what I grew up with.


For the town maps, things in yellow are either normal locked doors, containers/books with stuff in them, secret doors, and shock floors. Red doors are either unlockable or require a key/flag to be set. I think green floors block monsters, but I'm not sure. I can dump the locations of NPCs in the towns too, but there are two issues. Some of the starting locations don't make sense, like monsters starting in walls, or shop keepers starting in a different spot. I also haven't done the work to map the monster ID to the graphic, so most monsters appear as either red (hostile) or green (friendly) boxes. I'm hoping to find something in the binary to help with this.


There is no town 13, that segment of TOWN.DAT contains stuff might be metadata or something else. For town 62, the gremlin maze, I still have a few tiles that I don't know about - they are opaque yellow. If anyone can get there and tell me what the tile is I can fix that map. My guess is it's the marble floor or fancy wall with some kind of trigger Never mind I found the table for this - it's a barrier. A lot of graphics have multiple IDs if they have special properties. Locked doors have a different ID from unlocked doors for example.


Interestingly the tool I made also lets me edit the maps, and I was able to take down the barriers in the Vahnati barrier cave (they are un-dispellable). Sadly there is nothing on that body (there is another post that talks about this), and the other end of the cave doesn't have an exit. Still neat to wander over there. I also checked out what was on the special dots in castle hawthorne behind the specials that kill you. These are just dummy dots that don't allow you to move over them.


Here are the towns


Here is a full size outdoor map



Edited by IMakeMaps
fix map
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Huh, no idea that the map making had been so extensive.


Idea 478 for a scenario for BoE I'll never actually get around to making involved going to an alternative universe version of Kriszan, using modified E3 map, where the slimes had taken over and those weird experiments from the slime caves were running around.

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Excellent work, IMakeMaps! Many thanks for uploading the town maps, and the full-resolution version of the map of the caves. This is a fantastic resource to have, and your maps are put together brilliantly.


Your annotations of special squares are particularly helpful, and quite revealing. For example, looking through your maps, I noticed a number of places where I just ploughed through a bunch of shocking squares, or the odd lava tile – without realising that there was a safe passage through them!


I wouldn’t worry too much about putting in the NPCs, unless it turns out to be straightforward. I feel the most useful part of a map like this is the geometry – being able to tell the shape of the map, the various paths the player can travel down, and where secret areas are hidden. At least to me, character placement is only really a small bonus on top of this. I’m not sure it informs the player quite as much as the map geometry does. But other players may disagree!


And, as you’ve pointed out, characters aren’t always placed logically. For example, in the outdoors in Exile II, I once came across a merchant locked away in a set of cave walls. It was near Akhronath if I recall correctly. Interacting with the sprite launched an outdoor battle with a group of merchants, which was interesting! Here’s a picture of the battle:




Good to hear about your exploits looking around the maps, too. If you come across anything else interesting there, do let us know!


Also, it’s nice to see someone who likes the old Exile graphics! There are a few people with a preference for them on these forums. For what it’s worth, there are still plenty of copies of the old-graphics versions of Exile around. Quite a few members of these forums have them, and there are various places in the wider internet where you can get hold of them. If you’d like a copy of the old-graphics versions of these games, I’m sure there are people on here who could send them your way. If you’re a Mac user, I could send you some myself.


You might also be interested to see the topic below. A member of the forums created a little graphics mod that applies the old v1.x Exile graphics to the new v2.x versions of Exile I and Exile II. That way, you don’t have to choose between quality of life and the graphics you prefer! This mod is set up of Windows only – although it strikes me that putting together a similar mod for Macs would actually be quite easy. I may do that at some later point when I have fewer commitments on my time!




1 hour ago, Thaluikhain said:

Idea 478 for a scenario for BoE I'll never actually get around to making involved going to an alternative universe version of Kriszan, using modified E3 map, where the slimes had taken over and those weird experiments from the slime caves were running around.


You know, I actually rather like that idea. And we do have BoE maps for Kriszan – several of them in fact – so you would even have had a base to work on!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/16/2021 at 5:32 PM, IMakeMaps said:

There is no town 13, that segment of TOWN.DAT contains stuff might be metadata or something else.

That's interesting… does attempting to interpret it as a town just produce gibberish or something?


On 6/16/2021 at 5:32 PM, IMakeMaps said:

I also haven't done the work to map the monster ID to the graphic, so most monsters appear as either red (hostile) or green (friendly) boxes. I'm hoping to find something in the binary to help with this.

The Blades of Exile source code might give some insights into the file format. You can get it straight from SpiderWeb Software's website. (The open source project is probably inappropriate for this purpose since many things have changed.)


The format probably isn't identical, but I believe the series is an evolution of a single code-base, so there may be enough similarities to help you figure out the format.

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Yes I've been using the BOE source from SpidWeb as a reference for a lot of the structs that represent the monsters and towns. There are close, but not exactly the same. If E1 works the same as E3, then the monsters will be stored as a table in the binary somewhere, where the monster's ID serves as the index into the table, and the value at that index is the position in the monster BMP files. I believe the BMP order is column-major.


The trick is just finding that table in memory so I don't have to painstakingly visit each town and check what monster goes where.


I put the town 13 in the dropbox folder so you can take a look. Note that yellow squares are bytes that I haven't mapped to an image - I guess E1 uses less than 256 unique map tiles. My code just reads the bytes in the town.dat file and draws the appropriate tile at that location, so whatever is there is getting turned into map tiles.


For some technical info, the towns are stored in 2582 byte chunks. I think the first 144 bytes are for monsters, followed by 48*48 bytes of map tiles, followed by other data I haven't looked too much into. I would guess it contains info for specials, wandering monster locations, or sign data. The BOE source did help me here with the monster formats, from what I can tell there are 6 bytes representing a placed monster (monsterID, ???, xPos, yPos, hostile/friendly status, stationary/Movement flag), but again I'm not sure because sometimes the maps start monsters in walls which is weird.

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Found the table of monster graphic numbers, so I made a new folder in the town link called WithMonsters so you can see the maps with the monsters placed in the towns. I underlined monsters in green if they are friendly and red if hostile. And yes the invisible enemies are shown in these maps - they are the empty squares with the red underlines.


There are some weird things I don't understand, like in town_1 why the townsperson starts in the wall instead of inside the building, and in town_2 why the shopkeepers start in front of their tables instead of behind. Maybe there is logic to clean this up in the game's code that I haven't seen, but in any case this is how the towns are represented directly from the dat file.

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