Falcon 3.0 mods and utilities

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Falcon 3.0 mods and utilities

Postby 3371-Alpha » 2018-7-31 @ 19:26

I noticed you had a thread for various VBE/VESA utilities and was wondering if someone could help me compile a list of mods, utilities and possibly even patches for Falcon 3.0. I'd prefer if they were uploaded to this thread as the sites I've found that do host Falcon 3.0 content are either really unorganized or really old and can disappear at any second. I also understand your abandonware policy so no Strategic Falcon or Falcon Test Pilot unfortunately.

Also does anyone know of a speed fix for the game's intro?
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Re: Falcon 3.0 mods and utilities

Postby akula65 » 2018-8-01 @ 00:43

Mirrors exist for most if not all of the official patches:

Hornet Version 1.02 Patch
hor_102.zip http://ftp.funet.fi/pub/msdos/games/pat ... or-102.zip

Mig29 Version 1.04 Patch
mi29_104.zip http://ftp.funet.fi/pub/msdos/games/pat ... 29-104.zip

Operation Flying Tigers Version 3.01.1 Patch
oftpt1.zip http://www.gamers.org/pub/games/uwp-uml ... oftpt1.zip

Version 3.05 Patch (NOT for Falcon 3.0 Gold)
f305.zip http://ftp.funet.fi/pub/msdos/games/patches/F305.ZIP

Version 3.05-Version 3.05a Patch
305fix.zip http://www.gamers.org/pub/archives/cact ... 305fix.zip

Falcon Gold Art of the Kill Patch
naotk.zip http://files.mpoli.fi/software/DOS/GRAPHICS/NAOTK.ZIP

The only link I still have for unofficial files is John Achor's site (use the Wayback Machine, archive.org to view it):
http://members.aol.com/jachor/jafalcon.htm

I have attached a copy of the Spectrum Holobyte Support FAQ as I don't know where you can download this anymore.
Attachments
FAQ.txt
Spectrum Holobyte Falcon 3.0/3.0 Gold Support FAQ
(11.38 KiB) Downloaded 29 times
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Re: Falcon 3.0 mods and utilities

Postby 3371-Alpha » 2018-8-01 @ 08:54

Thanks, I probably should have mentioned where I've found some unofficial files.

http://www.gamers.org/pub/archives/cactus/falcon3/ is probably going to be the main source. cd.textfiles.com also has some although they're scattered throughout and not very organized.
Also found a short list here (all links are broken). Stuff is relatively easy to find on other sites if you copy and paste the file name in google, except for the infrared goggles. Could never find those things.
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Re: Falcon 3.0 mods and utilities

Postby 3371-Alpha » 2018-9-01 @ 04:55

Well I uploaded most of the files on to archive.org, the ones that were compatible with the latest version and useful ect. Still can't find niteeye2 for the life of me.

I did find a few things of interest though. The menu program included with the Gold Falcon Utilities gives a memory error in DOSBox.
The jungle camo's included "original" file has the following byte differences compared to the default 305/gold vgraph: at 66A, 1A was replaced with 20. At 688, 30 was replaced with 34 although JUNGLE has this as 31. And at 68B, 2D is instead 2B. This leads me to believe that the include "original" vgraph is from an older version of the game. I broke out my original copy of Falcon 3.0 version 3.0D and compared the vgraph to the 305 version and found it's completely different. I then updated it from 3.0D to 302 and found the file was now the same as the 305 one. This likely means that the "original" vgraph is from 301/3.0E, which I unfortunately cannot test as 301 requires the OFT expansion (which aside Gold I don't own) and 3.0E isn't available on the internet.
Lastly, the "Chad" theater (which I didn't upload yet for this very reason) is only playable in Falcon but not MiG or Hornet. A quick inspection and the theater's missing these files: .hpl, .mff, .mfm, .rpl, .msm, .nwm, .stm, .thm. In addition some theaters included a .amo file, Japan includes a .shp file and Nelis includes a .msf but lackes a .nws and .nwm.
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Re: Falcon 3.0 mods and utilities

Postby akula65 » 2018-9-01 @ 19:57

3371-Alpha, this won't help you in your hacking efforts, but the Cactus folks put together a digest of Falcon 3.0 USENET messages into an easy-to-read format here (use the Wayback Machine to view it):

http://www.cactus.org/~knutson/UGF3/UGF3.book.html

This may be of interest to those playing Falcon 3.0, but bear in mind that it pre-dates Falcon Gold, so some information may not be up-to-date.
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Re: Falcon 3.0 mods and utilities

Postby 3371-Alpha » 2018-9-02 @ 20:38

Thanks. I wasn't really planing on hacking anything. That's way beyond my skill level, besides Chad seams to have issues with some missions where it will spawn you inside a mountain and slowly kill you. But I was hoping someone could help me compare files. I hoping someone with a non gold version at 301 or 3.0e can compare their vgraph to the f3org file in the jungle camo pack to see if they are the same. Also testing if Chad has the mountain spawn issues on earlier versions too would be helpful but not imperative.
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Re: Falcon 3.0 mods and utilities

Postby akula65 » 2018-9-03 @ 01:42

In spite of the fact that my original Falcon 3.0 floppies have apparently succumbed to bit-rot, I was able to determine that the floppy set has a Readme file that indicates 3.0e while executing the game shows Version 3.01. Here is the md5 checksum for VGRAPH in this package:

5bc42d91543ae68ed588dd5dae3178e8 VGRAPH

The VGRAPH file size is 12,005 bytes.
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Re: Falcon 3.0 mods and utilities

Postby 3371-Alpha » 2018-9-03 @ 03:00

You think you can do a file compare with a hex editor? HxD or 0xED are good choices. If it says files identical then f3org is indeed from 3.0e/301. The camo can be found here.
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Re: Falcon 3.0 mods and utilities

Postby akula65 » 2018-9-03 @ 11:34

3371-Alpha wrote:You think you can do a file compare with a hex editor? HxD or 0xED are good choices. If it says files identical then f3org is indeed from 3.0e/301. The camo can be found here.


I was afraid you would ask that, and that's why I included the MD5 checksum for VGRAPH in my previous post. All you need to do is use a program capable of generating MD5 sums against any other versions of VGRAPH you are examining and compare to the value I gave above. If the checksums match, the contents are the same, and if not, they are different.

One program you could use is md5deep which is available here (use the download link under Stable Version):

http://md5deep.sourceforge.net/

It provides both 32-bit and 64-bit versions for Windows.
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Re: Falcon 3.0 mods and utilities

Postby 3371-Alpha » 2018-9-04 @ 18:49

Wasn't very familiar with checksums but tried anyways. Checksum for 305's vgraph is 5BC42D91543AE68ED588DD5DAE3178E8, same as your 301/3.0e. F3orig however is 7BE6F7F7F94237C8ED3712A28E49A4C6; where this heck did this file come from?
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Re: Falcon 3.0 mods and utilities

Postby akula65 » 2018-9-05 @ 11:51

It may be that "Edster" thought he was doing users a favor by making (minor?) adjustments to palette colors in the so-called "original" VGRAPH file. He wouldn't be the first mod maker to view things this way.

The Jungle Camouflage only applies to Falcon 3.01+ versions

You must have OFT to effectively run this utility.

I think the above statement pretty much precludes the use of any earlier versions of VGRAPH since they would not be organized for the additional Israel, Kurile Islands and Panama campaigns provided by OFT.

This is the Jungle Camo version 2.0.

It's also possible that the adjustments to the "original" VGRAPH were discussed in the initial release, but it was taken as a given that they would be included in subsequent releases (perhaps everyone who tested the mod agreed that the "original' changed version should be retained as the default since it improved the palette colors in some respect).
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Re: Falcon 3.0 mods and utilities

Postby 3371-Alpha » 2018-9-07 @ 04:53

Hmm, that makes sense. I remember those times before version history and complete information was a norm for downloads. I love these old games but boy am I glad those days are over.
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