I was playing with the Colonization SAV files and a hex
editor trying to recreate EdBigHead's experience of playing the Sioux. I doubt
that's possible (by just hexing .SAV files), but I did find a few things I found
(This is for the DOS version of Colonization, v.2.25, I
have no idea about other versions.)
There is a flag for each European
power, which is on if the power is AI-controlled. In other words, you can turn
multiple flags off for (single-terminal) multiplayer Colonization!
would probably be some unexpected effects as independence approaches, since
there appears to be a relationship between a withdrawn power and the king's
troops. I altered the withdrawn English to play as them, and my newly
independent French onto AI. I became the Tories, but I couldn't attack unless I
turned the French AI off, to play as both Tories and Rebels.
would also be odd, because the game would have its own ideas about who's at
peace, and who's at war.
The bytes where this flag reside are, in
&0CF English &103 French &137 Spanish &16B
Just set this byte to "&00" to control the power, or
"&01" to let AI control it. "&02" appears related to whether the power
has withdrawn, and the byte before this one appears related to diplomacy, but
I'm not sure yet.
Byte "&36" controls the game level. The levels I've
tried so far include:
&00 Discoverer &01 Explorer &02
Conquistador &03 Governor &04 Viceroy &05 Spring (Harder
than viceroy, but includes tutorial?) &06 Tundra (No tutorial for this or
any additional level I tried) &07 Ocean &08 " "*,***** &09
Spring (Repeated title; Colonies inefficient at size 1,*****) &0A Spring
(Crashed on colony founding: "DIVIDE BY ZERO",*****) &0B Spring (Colonies
"inefficient"** at -1, crashed after some time,*****) &10 Spring
(Colonies "inefficient"*** at -6,*****) &11 Spring (Colonies
"inefficient"*** at -7,*****) &FF Spring (Colonies "inefficient"*** at
* Title is just one blank space instead of
**"Inefficiency" at this level gives +1 benefits for every Tory
citizen, so a size 4 colony got +4 work from each person! This would be strange
to play, since your colonies would become less efficient the closer you got to
declaring independence. Unfortunately it crashed, "DIVIDE BY ZERO", after I had
a colony of 4 extremely efficient workers. Of course, I had to keep my Elder
Statesman out of City Hall to keep them working so hard!
levels, "inefficiency" had no noticeable effect.
****REF grows every
turn, with extremely high native alarm; however, the king of Netherlands gave me
3 soldiers and an artillery for -$644, giving a much needed boost to my army and
*****At these levels, other European powers gained Independence
before I reached landfall, although they had no rebel sympathizers.
Have you tried to run opening -d:0? That makes an AI only play.
It is also interesting that the text-files contains Multiplayer strings.
Just started a recent game of Colonization, as I happened to
get in a discussion with a mate about the superior strategy. Then of course we
both had to play a game right away to show the other who was the superior Col
Anyway, somewhere around 1600 I had captured a Dutch colony with
that hated stockade. Since it was founded too close an already existing colony
and had no use at all, I wanted to disband it. Turns out it's quite possible to
get rid of that stockade through .SAV hacking.
If you open a .SAV in a
hex editor, you'll discover that each colony is represented by 202 bytes, and
the colonies follow each other in a certain segment of the .SAV file. You can
easily find the colony by searching for its name. When you have finally found
it, the bytes describe the following stuff (from now on all numbers in hex
unless noted Xd (X decimal number), and byte 00 is the initial byte the colony
is described by.)
Byte index 00-01, X,Y-coordinates The coordinates
(in hex) of the colonies. Note that colonies does not work well in
Byte index 02-17, Colony name Name of colony in ASCII, max
length 22d characters (obviously)
Byte index 1F, Number of
colonists The amount of colonists currently _in_ the colony, max
Byte index 20-3F, Colonist occupation The colonists are
"numbered" 00-1F and for each colonist their occupation is described here. Note
that for the colonists working in the fields, the actual tile is not noted here,
only what they are extracting from it.
Byte index 40-5F, Colonist specialization Each byte
corresponding to the colonist in the same position as above, but now denoting
the expertise of the colonist. Here you can choose some unexpected values (some
included below), but most of them will probably crash the game sooner or later.
The list below isn't complete, I haven't researched all
12 Teacher (has been found in game in
other ways as well) 17 Veteran dragoon (yup, unit with horses and all inside
colony..) 1D Armed brave 1E Mounted brave
Byte index 60-6F,
Colonist time in spot Here each byte is for two colonists (one hex
digit/colonist). The order is inversed though, so the four least significant
bits in the first byte (2nd digit) denotes the first colonist. Also mapped to
above. Each turn the colonist stays in the same place his value here is
increased by one. I think the only use of this variable is to decide when a
teacher teaches a teachable colonist his profession. Max 15d=F.
index 70-77, Colonists working tiles These 8 bytes each represent one tile of
the 8 surrounding the colony, and in the order N, E, S, W, NW, NE, SE, SW. If
there is a colonist working a tile, the byte is the corresponding "index", if
not the byte is FF.
Summing up colonists: A free colonist farming in
the northern tile as the first colonist would be represented by a 00 in byte 20,
1C in byte 40 and byte 70 would be 00. An seasoned scout generating bells (as
2nd colonist) would be a 11 in byte 21, and a 16 in byte 41. No "tile byte"
would be set for him.
Byte index 84-89, Buildings The target that
started this "project". Here an existing building is denoted by a single bit
being set to 1. The starting set of buildings is: 00 02 20 09 89 00. This
corresponds to 7 set bits (houses for distiller, tobacconist, weaver, fur
trader, carpenter and a town hall).
By setting these bytes to 00 00 00
00 00 00 you get a colony with absolutely no buildings (works in game, as far as
I can tell). You can even build these basic buildings (39 hammers for Carpenters
House, 56 for Fur Traders House and 64 for the other specialist houses, as well
as town hall).
A quick fix to get no stockade/fort/fortress would be to
set the second digit in byte 84 to 0 (no armory) or 8 (with armory). I haven't
tried this with Sieur de La Salle yet (I refrain from choosing him until I
absolutely have to, for disbanding reasons). Hopefully the "La Salle"-stockade
is only ever added when you change the population to 3+, so removing colonists
down to 3, editing savefile, loading, and then removing the rest of the
colonists should do the trick. But as said, not tested, I'll update here when I
am forced to add La Salle.
The game "keeps" the former building when you
build it's successor, for example the game says you have stockade+fort when
you've built the fort. I have not played around a lot with this, but at least if
you set to ONLY fort/fortress the map shows only a stockade, but the colony
screen shows the appropriate building. There's also a few buildings not
The full set of buildings (allowed by game) would be: FF F3
FF 3F FF 03
Here are the buildings, bit for bit. Buildings
Byte 1 Byte 2 Byte 3 Byte 4 Byte 5 Byte 6 1 Stockade Shipyard Warehouse Exp
Tobacconists house Fur traders house Blacksmiths shop 2 Fort Town hall
Stable Tobacconists shop Fur traders shop Iron works 4 Fortress Town hall*
Custom house Cigar factory Fur factory - 8 Armory Town hall* Printing press
Rum distillers house Carpenters shop - 16 Magazine Schoolhouse Newspaper Rum
distillers shop Lumber mill - 32 Arsenal College Weavers house Rum factory
Church - 64 Docks University Weavers shop Capitol** Cathedral - 128
Drydock Warehouse Textile mill Capitol Exp** Blacksmiths house -
*Apparently this is buildings that was not included in the final
game - The mouseover says town hall, there is no graphics and no bonus bell
production. **Not included in the final game. Replaces town hall, but no
graphics for this one, mouseover says Capitol/Capitol Expansion, no bonus bell
Byte index 92-93, Accumulated hammers Number of hammers
accumulated in build progress. Byte order is reversed though. so FF 00 would be
255d hammers, but 00 01 would be 256d.
Byte index 94, Building in
production This byte denotes what the colony is currently building. You can
actually build (for example) the Capitol here. Not much use though it
00-29 (0d-41d) As in table above, 00=Stockade, 01=Fort,
02=Fortress, ... 2A Artillery 2B Wagon Train 2C Caravel 2D
Merchantman 2E Galleon 2F Privateer 30 Frigate 31 Nothing (anything
not recognized by the game seems to set it at Nothing)
Here is a minor
disappointment, I had hoped for the ability to build the Man-o-war. Not 100%
it's impossible though, maybe it's there, I haven't tried _all_
Byte index 9A-B9, Storage These bytes say what you have in
store. Each good is denoted with 2 bytes, using the reversed denotation as in
accumulated hammers (first byte 0-255, second byte value multiplied with 256).
You can set to really big amounts here, even getting the number on screen to a
The order is the same as in the colony screen: Food
(9A-9B), Sugar (9C-9D), Tobacco (etc.), Cotton, Furs, Lumber, Ore, Silver,
Horses, Rum, Cigars, Cloth, Coats, Trade goods, Tools, Muskets.
index C2-C3, Accumulated bells The total number of bells ever produced in the
From now on, it's mostly speculation, but this is how I THINK it
works, I can't back it up (yet): Every rebel colonist need a certain number
of bells. If each rebel needs, say, 200 bells (haven't researched the exact
number, might be different in different difficulties also), 101-300 bells means
one rebel in the colony, 301-500 two rebels and so on. The percentage will still
rise inside the intervals though, so 101 bells in a 5 colonist colony will
result in a 10% freedom rating (5x200=1000 bells to get 100%), but one
The Simon Bolivar is added after this, for example: 8 colonists in
colony, 700 accumulated bells = 3.5 rebels, 700/1600~=44%. 20% is added for
Bolivar, meaning 64% and a total of 5.1 (rounded to 5) rebels.
that number of 200 bells/rebel is (most likely) not accurate! Maybe this is
researched somewhere else, I haven't read every post in the
That's all I have, the unknown bytes should probably
include custom house settings, nation, and more that I have no clue about. Units
outside the colony I think are NOT saved together with the colony, but as
independent units which must be somewhere else in the save file.
find time, I will complete this guide. For now, I have to apply my
stockade-erasing abilities and go kick some French butt. They threaten to go
independent if I don't reduce their numbers, and that I can't have, can I? One
more note on this btw - capturing a foreign colony and removing the colonists
(leaving the colony open for recapturing) is not very efficient, since the bells
accumulated stays. If you raze the colony and let the foreigners rebuild it,
they have to start over generating rebels instead of just adding on more
colonists again. And you can get the extra 3 colonists of course, which can be
put to better use in a colony near the rest of your empire.
another question arises - removing stockades, is that a function merely
forgotten by the programmers, or is it cheating?