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Darklands

Darklands (1992 game from Microprose) file reading utils and preserved file format docs

Based heavily upon work of Merle (wallace.net/darklands) and Joel "Quadko" McIntyre. IMC decoding done with help of arcane remarks of Olemars from bay12forums. PIC reader/writer based od darkapandaman's JCivED PIC codecs finally.

Probably not suitable for Windows because of lazy filepaths handling.

Some outputs and file format docs online

Latest News

  • Given up resolving MSG dialogs logic (it seems impossible - hidden in executable completely)
  • PIC reader rewritten, writing added
  • FNT reader - writting added
  • IMC mostly resolved
  • Enemy palette done
  • MSG reader done
  • FNT reader done
  • FNT file format blurry contures
  • IMC inner format partly dissected and documented
  • IMC compression resolved.
  • Up-to-date file format docs using updated Merle's XML files.

TODO (Short term goals)

  • replace dicts by classes & clean up the code a lot (replace reader_* with format_* gradually)
  • systemize readers/scripts interface/flow
  • Fixing up-to-date XSLT

Repository contents

Dirs

  • DL/ - put your Darklands installed files here

  • game_patches/ - essential patches to upgrade Darklands to the latest version (.7)

  • file_formats/ - gathered docs on DL file formats (up-to-date/ contains updated Merle's docs)

  • tmp/ - you may direct output there

Scripts

Auxilary

  • aux_color_bits.py - file bits to ASCII

  • aux_color_bytes.py - file bytes to ASCII

  • aux_count_bytes.py - file byte histogram counter

  • aux_find_bytes.py - find bytes in file, limited by max distance from first found to last

  • aux_generate_simple_map.py - very simple HTML map with cities and locations

  • aux_check_pics.py - some PIC files scanning

  • aux_show_fonts.py - renders system fonts usable by Pygame

  • aux_hexdump_dir.sh - first N chars of hexdump of all files in directory

  • aux_convert_pics.sh - convert all DL/pics/.pic to tmp/pics/.pic.png

Extracting

  • extract_cat.py - extracts catalogue (.CAT) files

Generators

  • generate_font_png.py - blits font archive to image
  • generate_map_js.py - outputs map JS data struct
  • generate_map_png.py - outputs HUGE image of DL landscape with city and village names
  • generate_map_web.py - outputs HUGE webpage of simplified DL map with city info

Readers

  • reader_cty.py - cities
  • reader_drle.py - "DarklandsRLE" decompression (used for .IMC, in imap.cat, bc) (can decompress file if run directly)
  • reader_enemypal.py - Enemy palettes
  • reader_enm.py - Enemy types & enemies defs
  • reader_exe.py - strings extraction - WIP (aux maybe?)
  • reader_fnt.py - fonts reader
  • reader_imc.py - battle sprites - WIP
  • reader_loc.py - map locations (cities, villages, castles...)
  • reader_lst.py - item types & attrs, saints and formula names
  • reader_map.py - tile map
  • reader_msg.py - dialogs
  • reader_pic.py - image format (can convert .PIC to .PNG if run directly)
  • reader_tacanim.py - mysterious file loaded before battle

Common libs

  • utils.py

Misc

  • dosbox.conf - to ease running of the game

Dependencies

  • Pygame lib for imagery

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