Did you ever want to finish Level 01 with a Heavy? Well, I always wanted to...
I was inspired by this topic, where it is shown how to modify unit stats: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=289 . I thought it must be possible to edit the levels, more precisely the building types, empty vehicles and more. As I know now, it is possible. This is what I mostly found out by trial and error or by looking at the files of already existing levels.
Obviously, the files of interest are the LEVELxx folders found on the CD (DOS) or in the installed game directory (Z95). The xx stands for the respective level, obviously too. I have investigated BUILDxx.DAT and OBJECTxx.DAT, which contain the buildings and objects of level xx, again that was obvious. You will also need a hex editor to edit those files. The values below are in hexadecimal format if not specified otherwise. Note: byte #1 means the first byte of a building.
Buildings are crammed into 50h bytes (or 80 decimal bytes), starting from the very first byte of this file. I have listed only the interesting bytes that have a visible effect. Also, forts don't seem to be in those files.
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byte# effect 1 x-coordinate in territory 2 x-coordinate sector 3 y-coordinate in territory 4 y-coordinate sector 5 building type: 00 repair facility 01 vehicle factory 04 robot factory 08 radar facility 09+ crash (don't use) FF disabled 14 star rating: add 4h for each star this factory shall have should have at least one star if building type is a factory radars and repair facilities have the value 01, unknown what it does to them 03 one-star 07 two-star 0B three-star 0F four-star 13 five-star
Objects are stored in ah bytes (10 decimal bytes), also starting from the very first byte of this dat. There are a lot of object types, most of which I did not list because they are landscape objects, e.g. rocks.
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byte# effect 1 x-coordinate in territory 2 x-coordinate sector 3 y-coordinate in territory 4 y-coordinate sector 5 object type: 05 Gun 08 Medium 0A grenades 15 Missile 16 Gattling 17 Howitzer 18 Mobile Missile 1A Heavy 1D Light 1F APC 21 Jeep 23 Crane 6 FF for objects other than empty vehicles and guns this byte contains the attributes of the vehicle/gun if not set appropriately, this will produce weird results i.e. a vehicle with speed, power, rof etc. of another vehicle 00 Gun 01 Medium 05 Heavy 06 Mobile Missile 08 Light 09 Missile 0A APC 0B Gattling 0C Howitzer 0D Jeep 0F Crane
I nearly forgot to add: if you are using Z DOS (most likely with DOSBox), you will need to extract the entire ISO image you are using to install and start the game. Then, you can edit the files to your likes. Once finished, you need to pack the extracted files back into an ISO file and use it to start Z. There are several packing tools that can do this for you, e.g. Linux has the very simple command line application named 'genisoimage'.
Additionally, I am seeking to edit the starting units and the levels of the forts. If anyone knows about this or something related, add it here.
Cheers, lil' T