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How the map tile graphics are stored

In maindat.war there is a section for each terrain-type, consisting of 7 entries.
I will refer to these entries as "entry A" ... "entry G"

For summer these are entry 2-8, wasteland: 10-16, winter: 18-24 and swamp: 438-444.

I will use the expressions
- "minitile" for 8x8 pixel raw graphic data
- "megatile" for 32x32 pixel graphics, composed out of 16 minitiles
- "map tile" for the values used in the MTXM section in PUDs

Entry A: Color palette for the terrain type (256 * 3 bytes [RGBRGBRGB... and so on])
Entry B: Information about how to find the "minitiles" (8x8) for "megatiles" (32x32)
Entry C: Contains 16 masks (32x32) for the fog of war, followed by the minitile-data
Entry D: Information about how to find the "megatiles" for "map tiles" (the values in MTXM)
Entry E-G: Still unknown.

Confused by now ? Well, it isn't too complicated:
Each megatile is composed out of 16 minitiles in this order:

01 02 03 04
05 06 07 08
09 10 11 12
13 14 15 16

Entry B contains 16 words for each mega-tile; the last two bits of this word are mirror-flags.
if bit #0 is set you have to flip the minitile about its Y-axis, if bit #1 is set, the X-axis.
The rest of the word (word AND $FFFC) has to be multiplied by 16 to get an offset into entry C:
there you find the respective mini-tile data.

Entry D contains a chunk of 42 bytes for each unique map tile ($000x - $09Dx).
The first 16 words of this chunk contain tile-numbers for the variations of this map tile (the "x" above).
If one of these words is zero, that means the respective tile-number is not used.
(to get the correct offset just use this formula: ((map tile >> 4) * 42 + (map tile AND 15) * 2)
Then come 8 bytes and 1 word; these are still unknown.

Ok, I think an example will make this *much* clearer:
Suppose we find map tile $0052 (light grass) in MTXM.
This means we need the third (counting starts with 0) word in the fifth chunk of entry D:
5 * 42 + 2 * 2 = 214, so we read the word at offset 214 in entry D. (This is 356 for summer)
Now we have the tile-number. We need to multiply this by 32, because entry B contains 32 bytes (16 words)
for each tile-number: 356 * 32 = 11392. We go to offset 11392 in entry B; there we find an array of
16 words: $1288, $10F8, $1104, ...., $114F, $11F8.
^__ notice this one ! (see text below)

Each of these (words AND $FFFC) is the file-offset into entry C, divided by 16.
So to read the data for the first mini-tile we go to offset $12880 (= $1288 * 16) in entry C and read
64 bytes of data (64, because each minitile is size 8x8). This minitile goes directly (because neither
bit #0 or #1 is set) into the upper left corner, of the megatile.
Now the next minitile: go to offset $10F80 (= $10F8 * 16) in entry C, read 64 bytes,
place it into the second "column" in the first "row" (see illustration above). And so on...
We eventually reach the word $114F - this has both bit #0 and #1 set, meaning the tile we find at
offset $114C0 (= ($114F AND $FFFC) * 16) has to be X-flipped AND Y-flipped before copying it into
position 15 (according to the diagram above).
Continue, until we have read the last minitile at offset $11F80 and placed it into the lower right corner.

Note that there are a lot of zeroes in entry D, because not all theoretically possible map tiles are used.

If you find that there is something wrong with the above explanation, please let me know.

Alexander Cech <>


The tilenumbers 0-15 are reserved for the masks; the first "real" tilenumber is 16.
Entry B contains the following data in its first 16 chunks (each 32 bytes long):
(Offset) (Data)
$0000 $0000, 15 x $0000
$0020 $0004, 15 x $0000
$0040 $0008, 15 x $0000
$0060 $000C, 15 x $0000
$01E0 $003C, 15 x $0000

The 8 unknown bytes for each megatile in entry B are used by the map editor to
set the surroundings of a placed tile.

Thanks! Tupac Administrator