First post, by ElBrunzy
After reading on the cutting room floor that there is a Dawn face drawn in the game data but never implemented I had the idea to replace the face of a protagonist. Ak'shel would be the one that made the most sense to me since his points are the most of what you would expect from Dawn as presented in the story. After reading that .pak are just an aggregation of different files with an offset table where file start I extracted and peeked around in binary the faces0?.shp files. Apparently .shp files use a form of compaction that make it hard to draw without some logic.
Anyway there is an editor called WestPak2 (version 0.68a) that allow to confirm that "face09.shp" is Ak'shel and "face07.shp" is Dawn. The palette of course is a quick fix since I could not easily find the color value reserved for players face but it's not important for this project. Another popular utility would be XCC Mixer that allow to edit .pak files (add, replace, remove files inside a .pak file). So, what seem obvious to me would be to swap name of face07.shp and face09.shp and update general.pak.
At this point it would be surprising that it would work since such an easy hack would probably had been done before. Unfortunately after the select screen (I think it's using a different sprite resource and so it's expected to have Ak'shel face there) the program crash complaining that the file FONT9P.FNT (also on general.pak) would be missing. A binary comparison with original general.pak show that XCC Mixer might not produce a valid .pak file. westpak2 produce an error at loader general.pak and another program (librarian 1.0.3 by Nyerguds) dont want to load the file but dont say why. Maybe that french version dont play well with those utilities.
I have a cd version that might be more compatible, I'll try my luck with it. Also it would allow compatibility with carlostex's gm port hack.