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Decoding the Character SAV Import files (starting with QFG3)


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#1 UnknownHero

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 03:04 AM

Hi All... it's been a long-long time since I've posted anything on these boards, but I've started trying to fully decode the QFG character SAV file, and I could use your help.

 

Way way back when, I wrote the QFG Importer '95... which Collector has graciously been hosting on his SierraHelp.com pages for quite a while.  I just recently released the source-code on github (https://github.com/B...x/QFGImporter95), too. I'm pleased that many of you have found it useful over the years, but that program doesn't help me now because the hidden secret of my program from all those years ago is that it never created any files from scratch... it just regurgitated SAV files the games themselves had spit out.

 

I'm sure many of you have seen the awesome work by Adam Plocher, in the last couple of years, of actually decoding QFG1 and QFG2 (http://www.bitcollec...CharacterEditor). He reverse engineered the field format for the first two games in the series, and I've expanded on his original work by mapping out neary every bit and byte of the QFG1 and QFG2 import files.

 

I think this is really cool stuff, but not nearly as impressive as Adam's work in actually decoding them in the first place. You can look for yourself and see some amazing hidden secrets of what actually got stored in the import files... things that maybe only the AGDI's had seen before: https://github.com/B...porter/QFG1.txt

https://github.com/B...porter/QFG2.txt.

 

The format of QFG3 and QFG4 is subtly different from QFG1 and QFG2, but I think I have a large portion of it figured out (I can show more details in a follow-up post).  I can clearly identify *where* the skills/attributes are (strength, climbing, stealth, etc.), but I cannot correctly identify their values. And here's where I can use your help... I need as many QFG3 SAV files as I can get, in order to compare them against one another, and help see patterns. It would be most helpful if I could get both the .sav file *and* a screenshot of the stats (and inventory and magic) at the end of QFG3, but if you only have the sav file, that is excellent too.

 

I can also greatly use QFG1 .sav files because there is one bit of the QFG1 format I haven't identified... literally one bit (i.e. 1/8 of a byte)... the 7th bit of the 5th byte.

 

Anyway, I cannot guarantee success, nor even expediency... I'm only able to work on this in the little spare time I have, but I could very much use all the help I can get.

 

Thank you for listening.


Edited by UnknownHero, 01 February 2014 - 05:03 PM.


#2 Ghost_Rider

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 04:20 AM

Hi there.

 

I wouldn't mind helping out.  I think I have some QFG3 character saves near the end of the game, so I could get screenshots and then send you the QFG3 sav "export" file by finishing the game.  Did you just want those e-mailed to you?

 

Cheers



#3 Collector

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 04:35 AM

Hi, Charles. Did I ever give you the source of your QFG Importer '95 that I ported to C? It still needs a couple of things fixed, but it does compile. If you do not have it, do you even want it? It does not require the old ActiveX files that original Basic version does.

 

Anyway, I can't seem to find my old SAVs, but I at least still have some old save games close enough to the end of QfG1VGA that I could finish in short order to create a new SAV, unless you were referring to the Hero Quest's SAV. Not sure about QfG3, but I could look. Since Elsa does not have the space to enable attachments, you could also start a thread on SHP where people can attach their SAVs or anything else of relevence.


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#4 Ghost_Rider

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 11:55 AM

Hello again.  I checked and had a Fighter and a Wizard saved near the end of QFG3.  I have finished the game and took a screenshot of the stats for each, and have a SAV file for each as well.  Just let me know how you'd like those sent to you.



#5 Elsa Von Spielburg

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 04:42 PM

We have a Qfg 3 forum here :hammer:



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#6 UnknownHero

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 04:49 PM

Collector:

Thanks for the suggestion of posting to SHP as well, I'll do just that.  I don't recall if you gave me the C# source you converted, but I'm okay without it. I'm glad you've been able to port it to a more modern language and made it more accessible to people who want it, but my interests right now lie in making that old program obsolete. ;)

The SAV files for Hero's Quest, Quest For Glory EGA, and Quest for Glory VGA are identical... there's no way to distinguish one from the other, so QFG1VGA is perfect.

 

Ghost_Rider:

Thank you for finding your old QFG3 saves. I've create a thread on SHP (http://www.sierrahel....php?f=9&t=3887), where you can post your attachments.

 

Elsa:

I'm so sorry; you're absolutely right... I should have posted here in the first place, rather than in Rants and Raves.


Edited by UnknownHero, 01 February 2014 - 05:02 PM.


#7 Collector

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 06:28 PM

What language will you be using? Something that is managed code?


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#8 UnknownHero

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 03:49 AM

I'm using .net. I'm competent with C#, but I've preferred VB.net for, oh probably 10 years now... this one's programmed in VB.net 2010. In fact, I've uploaded its source code to github, too: https://github.com/B...tix/QFGImporter



#9 Collector

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 07:05 AM

I started .NET with VB, but quickly moved on to C#. Reading VB now gives me a headache. I enjoy C#. The curious thing is that by now, even though I am not that familiar with it,  I find it easer to read C++ (because of the syntax similarities) than VB.NET. I usually just port anything that is in VB.NET that I want to work with to C#. Most of it is pretty straight forward, but then there are some of those quirks of VB that pop up from time to time that have no direct corollary in C#. The Interaction.InputBox is about the only one that would be kind of handy to have in C#, but it is easy enough to roll your own or make a reference to Microsoft.VisualBasic to use it in C#. The thing that annoys me the most in VB is the inexactness of variables.


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#10 Ghost_Rider

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 10:52 PM

 

Ghost_Rider:

Thank you for finding your old QFG3 saves. I've create a thread on SHP (http://www.sierrahel....php?f=9&t=3887), where you can post your attachments.

 

Cool.  I posted a comment with the files (single .zip attachment).






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