by David Sellick
- Some salvage mechs in MW2.PRJ, but NOT in Mercenary Commander (economy on):
23F776A JAV50 No Cam1.BWD!
23FA87A JAV50 RANMCAM1.BWD?
- Unused Campaigns in MW2.PRJ: These are campaigns (???#CAM1.BWD) that have no mission to go with them and do not work in the single-player games. These campaigns can point to another mission and will work in the single-player games, IF you tell the campaign which missions come after it AND turn on the continue campaign/game flag.
- How to get the Timberwolf SALVAGE: Theoretically, there is some way to legally salvage a Timberwolf in the mission MAS6CAM1 - but not always or there'd be more complaints about "Why does everyone ELSE get a Timberwolf?"
The WAY to salvage a Timberwolf mech is to LOSE the last mission of the Solarius VII arena games then WIN MAS6CAM1. You'll even get a Zeus mech as salvage (from SOL3CAM1) to boot!
- This is what I KNOW FOR CERTAIN about salvage: 1.Salvage is sometimes gotten even if a mission isn't "properly" completed. Like the capture the Kodiak mission for instance.
2.Otherwise, (near) total success in a mission is required to salvage a mech.
3. In the mission (WOL3CAM1) where you CAN capture a Warhawk, you don't actually destroy the mech - you have to disable it by shooting a leg off! More specifically, the mech must be identified, all the other mission goals must be completed and the mech must survive the mission. This means you don't actually have to disable the Warhawk. In reality, this is just another condition you have to reach to complete the mission - then you get a salvaged mech, BUT goes to show that there's weird mission conditions (and completing conditions) that aren't known to just anyone.
4. It >IS< possible to salvage more than 1 mech in a mission, although 1 mech per campaign (at most) is the norm. 5 salvaged mechs per mission is the greatest number I've seen, and that's in the Solarius VII games.
5. Salvage is unrelated to the mechs found in the mission. In the LAST mission of the Solaris VII games, a Zeus is salvaged - even though no Zeus was IN the mission!
6. Damage on salvaged mechs is totally unrelated to how "destroyed" the mech was. Salvaged mechs ussually have a MEK50STD.MEK designation. Like TBR50STD.MEK, for instance. The capture the Kodiak mission is interesting; because, you're supposedly IN the mech you salvage at the end of the mission. So, if you get badly damaged, use up ALL the ammo on the mech but somehow finish the mission you get a brand-new, unscratched, fully-loaded KODIAK mech (for no money down!)
7. Something MORE than mission completion is required on some missions to get mechs as salvage. These missions are set up so you only win salvage from them if you lost a mission that always gives salvage on completion.
8. If you lose a mission that normally (always) gives you salvage, the next mission you complete gives you that salvage mech. Also, if the mission has salvage mechs of its own in it, you may get them as well even though you wouldn't if you played that mission by itself. This makes no sense, but it's the way the game works.
- MW2.EXE information: MW2.EXE is stored in a compressed form called WARPWRAP1 for v1.05 and v1.06. It uses a Causeway DOS Extender v3.25, and was probably originally written in Visual C++. If the utility WW.EXE could be gotten out of the Causeway DOS Extender, MW2.EXE could be UNCOMPRESSED and it would run much faster, PLUS it could be directly edited.
- MW2.PRJ information: This is the BIG (41 MB) file that contains all the data used in the game.
Among the data is mech pictures and mech animations, missions, mech varients, campaign structures, mechwarriors for hire, and mech star configurations.
- Quick Way to Jump Between Menus in the Spaceport: Try the Function Keys F1 to F10, each one will instantly take you to a separate menu in the spaceport.
- The HUD: While in a mission, you can configure the Heads Up Display (HUD) using the F1-F12 keys in combination with the shift key. The fewer displays you have on your HUD, the faster the game runs. Running a graphics accelerator application (like UNIVBE) will also speed the game up.
- Other info / future updates: On top of working on the salvage mech problem, I'm working on making a hacked lancemate with A++/A++ abilities. I'm checking out ALL the mechwarriors for hire looking for the best one to use as a template for doing so. It doesn't matter if their original abilities are C-/C-, I just want a pilot that says something cool whenever you order them to do something.
I've done that, and what's more used an aerotech pilot to start hacking with. He/she always uses the same mech, and it's repaired for free after every mission. A Kodiak that has 2 Arrow IVs, lots of ammo, some large lasers, an AMS, jump-jets, and a few extra heatsinks seems to work nicely as an "aerotech".
- This is the ???##STD form for ALL the mechs found in Mercs: (HOWEVER, not all of them have a chassis to go with them!)
(This was compiled from MECH.TXT at 2470BC0.)
ARO00STD ARO01STD ARO02STD
ASA00STD ASA01STD ASA50STD ASAFASTD
ATL00STD ATL01STD ATL50STD ATLFASTD
AWE00STD AWE01STD AWE50STD AWEFASTD
BHM00STD BHM01STD BHM02STD BHM03STD
BMB00STD BMB50STD BMBFASTD
BTM00NET BTM00STD BTM01STD
CAT00STD CAT01STD CAT50STD CATFASTD
CEN00STD CEN50STD CENFASTD
CIC00STD CIC50STD CICFASTD
CMD00STD CMD50STD CMD51STD CMD52STD CMD53STD
CMDFASTD CMDFBSTD CMDFCSTD CMDFDSTD
CNT00STD CNT50STD CNTFASTD
CRB00STD CRB50STD CRBFASTD
CYC00STD CYC50STD CYCFASTD
DOR00CYN DOR00MGU DOR00MLA DOR00PPC DOR00STD
DRA00STD DRA50STD DRAFASTD
DROP02ST DROP02~1 DRP00RED DRP00SPC
DRP00STD DRP01STD DRP02STD DRP20STD
DRW00STD DRW01STD DRW02STD
ELE00SPC ELE00STD ELE01STD ELE02STD
EXE00STD EXE01STD EXE02STD EXE03STD EXE04STD
FLA00STD FLA50STD FLAFASTD
FRM00STD FRM00TRN FRM01AFU FRM01STD FRM01TRN
FRM02STD FRM02TRN FRM03STD FRM04STD FRM50STD
GRG00STD GRG01STD GRG02STD GRG03STD
HCH00STD HCH50STD HCHFASTD
HLB00STD HLB01STD HLB02STD
ISB00STD ISB01STD ISB02STD ISB03STD
JAV00STD JAV50STD JAVFASTD
JEN00STD JEN50STD JEN51STD JEN52STD JEN53STD
JENFASTD JENFBSTD JENFCSTD JENFDSTD
JNR00STD JNR00TRN JNR01STD JNR02STD JNR03STD
KTF00STD KTF00TRN KTF01AFU KTF01STD KTF01TRN
KTF02STD KTF03STD KTF04STD
LBK00STD LBK01STD LBK02STD LBK03STD LBK04STD
MDG00STD MDG00TRN MDG01STD MDG01TRN MDG02STD
NVA00STD NVA01STD NVA02STD NVA03STD NVA04STD
PNT00STD PNT50STD PNT51STD PNT52STD PNT53STD
PNTFASTD PNTFBSTD PNTFCSTD PNTFDSTD
PTM00STD PTM01STD PTM02STD PTM03STD PTM04STD
RFL00DMG RFL00STD RFL01STD RFL02STD RFL03STD
SEN00STD SEN50STD SENFASTD
SMN00STD SMN01STD SMN02STD SMN03STD SMN04STD
STK00STD STK01STD STK50STD STKFASTD
STM00STD STM01STD STM02STD STM03STD STM04STD
TBR00STD TBR00TRN TBR01STD TBR01TRN TBR02STD
TBR03STD TBR04STD TBR50STD TBRFASTD
THG00STD THG50STD THGFASTD
TRE00STD TRE50STD TREFASTD
TUR00DRP TUR00MGU TUR00MLA TUR00MPL TUR00PPC
TUR00SLA TUR00STD TUR01DRP
URB00STD URB50STD URBFASTD
VIC00STD VIC50STD VICFASTD
VIN00STD VIN50STD VINFASTD
WHK00STD WHK01STD WHK02STD WHK03STD WHK50STD
WHM00SPC WHM00STD WHM01STD
WHW00STD WHW50STD WHWFASTD
ZEU00STD ZEU50STD ZEUFASTD
- What Mechs are encountered in the game as Enemies! A few random mech locations in the game... (THIS ISN'T 1/100 TOTAL NUMBER!)
217B4AD LBK00STD SJ Linebacker LUT2CAM1
218FCF3 WHK00STD SJ Masakari (WARHAWK) LUT2CAM1
2191F49 WHK00STD SJ Masakari (WARHAWK) LUT1CAM1
21986C5 ELM00STD SJ Elemental LUT4CAM1
2198B3B TBR00STD SJ Madcat LUT4CAM1
2198B9F HLB00STD SJ Loki -PILOT: Matt Chandler LUT4CAM1
2198C03 HLB00STD SJ Loki LUT4CAM1
2198863 WHK00STD SJ Masakari (WARHAWK) LUT4CAM1
21988C7 CAU00STD SJ Cauldron-Borne LUT4CAM1
219892B CAU00STD SJ Cauldron-Borne LUT4CAM1
2198A01 STM00STD SJ Ryoken LUT4CAM1
2198A65 MDG00STD SJ Vulture LUT4CAM1
220FA3A FRM00STD GB Dasher - KDK CAPTURE CAMP. OUT1CAM1
220FBC8 ART00STD Rebel artilery - MCC1CAM1 MISSION 2 OR 3
2215A2A FRM00STD GB Dasher - KDK CAPTURE CAMP.
2218EB4 FRM00STD GB Dasher - KDK CAPTURE CAMP.
221939C KDK00STD RAIDER 1, USED IN CAPTURE THE KODIAK CAMP., LAST MISS.
222D4E3 WHK00STD Clan Wolf Commander - SIG1CAM1, MISS. 3
222E090 TBR00STD UNKNOWN MECH (WOLF) - SIG1CAM1, MISS. 1
22654A2 FRM00STD WOLF Dasher - SIG1CAM1 MISS. 2, ESCAPE IN HOVERTANK
2302B3D FRM00STD UNKNOWN MECH MAS5CAM1
23AD840 FRM00STD SJ Dasher
23F904B FRM00STD SJ Dasher
244E2B9 KDK00STD ???!
- Mechs Seldom / Never seen in the single-player game: Hornet HOR00STD 30 tons also HOR01STD
Battle Hawk BTK00STD 30 tons
Raven RAV00STD 35 tons
Wolf Trap WTR00STD 45 tons
Grim Reaper GRM00STD 55 tons
Rakshasa RAK00STD 75 tons
Hatamoto Chi HAT00STD 80 tons
Salamander SAL00STD 80 tons
Cyclops CYC00STD 90 tons
Highlander HIL00STD 90 tons
Mauler MAU00STD 90 tons
Annihilator ANI00STD 100 tons also ANI01STD
Dire Wolf DRW00STD 100 tons also DRW01, DRW02
To my knowledge, these mechs are never seen as enemies except maybe in random missions. The mechs that are seldom seen can only be bought at one or two points in the game. Activision might have included more of the mechs in the game had they spent more time making the game. The Direwolf was probably supposed to be in the game for mission WOL3CAM1, since that's the mech picture it shows in the briefings video.
- This is all the SCN1 files in MW2.PRJ: BIG1SCN1 MAS1 CAM1 <- is the campaign that uses BIG1SCN1
BUZ1SCN1 MAS8 CAM1
DOM1SCN1 MAS6 CAM1
DOW2SCN1 MASG CAM1
MED1SCN1 MASD CAM1
MOU1SCN1 MASE CAM1
MYB1SCN1 MASC CAM1
REC1SCN1 MAS3 CAM1
REC2SCN1 MASA CAM1
REV1SCN1 MAS5 CAM1
ROG1SCN1 MAS4 CAM1
SUR1SCN1 MAS2 CAM1
WOU1SCN1 MAS7 CAM1
MIS0SCN1 <- these are used to create the random missions.
GRA1SCN1 <- these are used by missions of the same name in campaigns
- Common mission errors: Some main game missions have the wrong logos on mechs. In a few MercNet missions, your star even appears as red enemies on radar. (This causes AMS to not work because other enemy mechs are on the same "side" as you!) Your star is a mech totem pole on some of the missions.
All 3 errors are caused mistakes in the ????SCN1.BWD file for that mission. If the STAR table near the beginning of the ????SCN1.BWD file does not having the right 2 numbers in it for each star, mechs could have the wrong symbol on them or be on the wrong side (friend/enemy). The first number tells which logo (0=FC, 1=DC, 2=FRR, 3=WOLF, etc.) to put on mechs in that star, the second number tells whether the star is friendly, enemy, or neutral.
For a 2-star mission (USERSTAR and EN00STAR), it looks something like this:
STAR 0 0 WEDGE 3 1 WEGDE
where the spaces are zeros, and the numbers are the values in hex/decimal. The first 2 numbers, 0 and 0 tells the mission that USERSTAR (always the base star in a mission) is on the FC side and is friendly (green) on radar. The second 2 numbers, 3 and 1 tells the mission that EN00STAR (which happens to be the second star declared in the SCN1.BWD file) is a Wolf Clan star that shows up as an enemy on radar. WEDGE tells the star what formation it is in, preventing the mech totem polem effect >IF< "INCL# â formatns" is included in the ????SCN1.BWD file. (# = 14 hex, â = 83 hex)
The reason why mech totem poles exist in some missions is either the star of mechs wasn't told a formation to be in (and as such are on top of each other), or they are told a nonexistant formation (like: FORMATION = DOWNWARDS). This can typically be corrected by inserting the correct formation in the beginning of the SCN1 file and/or adding INCL# â formatns to the SCN1 file.
Since MAS7CAM1 / WOU1SCN1 is missing the "INCL# â formatns", all stars of mechs appear as mech totem poles. (The reason why the 3 IS mechs aren't that way is because each mech is in a separate star placed near one another.)
- Instant Action Planents in Mercs: Name Gravity Temp Time Of Day Description
-------- -- -- ----- -----------
Corsica Nueva 1G 0T Night Plains w/ spire mounts
Bad News <G -T Day Ice World! low hills + spires
Orestes <G 0T Day Pink Ground,Orange sky,low hills + spires
Al Hillah <G 0T Night black on black
Grumium 1G 0T Day Red Ground,Light brown sky,little hills+spires
Karbala <G 0T Day Brown sky and ground,low hills, mesas
Ueda <G 0T Night totally flat
Glen Gary <G 0T Day Light brown ground,blue sky,low hills + spire
Whittington <G -T Day Ice World! Blue sky, low hills + spire
Kansu <G 0T Sunset dark ground,setting sun blue sky,low hills
Mississauga >G 0T Day dark green ground,blue sky,big hills,spire
Woodstock >G 0T Day green ground,yel/blue sky,hills,spire
Alegedi >>G 0T Sunset black ground,yellow sky,huge spires
Tok Do <<G 0T Night black, 1 huge spire
Lands End >G 0T Sunrise brown ground,dim blue sky,hills,1 big spire
I've since found out that most of the description is in error. Scenery on a world is RANDOM! One time, you may see a big city - the next time mountains. This allows for more variation in the game, although many gamers don't notice little things like that.
- Misc: If failing a mission in a campaign causes you to be killed or captured, you cannot quit that campaign - you must play it to the bitter end or reload from a savegame. Removing the "death" condition from the campaign will make the campaign quitable.
The campaign WOL3CAM1 shows a briefing video of a Direwolf, yet there's no Direwolf in the WOL3SCN1 mission. That should probably be changed.
The campaign IVA5CAM1 uses IVA3SCN1 for its mission instead of IVA5SCN1, which is a slightly different mission (it's harder). This is a bug.
It might be possible to extract parts of the earlier games (MW2 and GBL) to make into missions for Mercs. Then, the game could be made to continue LONG after the Battle for Luthien. The battle of Tukayyid could be added, at least in part. One mission of it >IS< in my game - I'm fighting FOR Clan Ghost Bear against Comstar. That's the only mission I have for Tukayyid however.
New campaigns could be added, but just like there's a 100-mission limit in MercNet, the number of missions that can be added is equal to the number of unused missions in the game - UNLESS you want to delete some of the original missions. One hacking trick that can be done is use the BETVCAM1- BETZCAM1 campaign since it's identical to the BET1CAM1-BET5CAM1 campaign for an additional campaign. This same trick can be used on the training campaign running from TRAWCAM1-TRAZCAM1. That would give 10 more missions to play with. Using them and the spare CAM1's in MW2.PRJ will give room for 32 missions to be added - about half as many as already in the game.
A good bit of the information in MercAdds.Zip is relavent for hex editing *.MWM files used by MERCNET, NAIS, or SINGLE. By extracting all the little *.BWD files (starting with BWD by itself, not the NAME.BWD of each section) in a *.MWM file and telling a ????CAM1.BWD campaign file in MW2.PRJ to use the ????SCN1.BWD file from the *.MWM file, the *.MWM file can be used in the main game. The only problem is, Mercs is unable to find the mission briefings or debriefings.
If this part about adding missions to Mercs doesn't make sense, download my add-on campaign for mercs and look at individual *.BWD files from it. Then compair that to portions of a *.MWM file. They are the same because I copied them.
If you start a random campaign or an instant-action mission then exit the mission to DOS/windows, you'll be left with the *.BWD files needed to run that random mission. The *.BWD files are complete with a mission table, a random map, random enemies, and random mission goals. And the most amazing part is, the mission always seems to work -- that part ISN'T random! Seems kind of strange that we have to really struggle to make a mission on our own, but the game can create new (simple) ones at random! To make a new mission of your own, you might want to run a few random missions until you find one you like. Then you exit to DOS and save all the *.BWD files it makes for use in your own missions.
Little known fact: the designers of the game accidentally screwed up the number of internal structure points that mechs are supposed to have on a few mechs. The Executioner and the Cauldron Borne have too much in one location. The Urbanmech salvage found in a Solarius VII mission has the same as a Clan Elemental - complete with the Clan ER small laser that you can't remove because the mech is overweight. The WORST case is the Salamander - it has the internal structure of a Firemoth! That can be fixed by hex editing MW2.PRJ where the SAL00STD.MEK is stored and by putting in the correct (80-ton mech) values.
None of the 3050-era mechs are found as enemies anywhere in the game, and every clan mech you encounter is the primary varient (00STD) of it. Did Activision forget the purpose of Omnimechs? Or that the Kodiak is NOT an Omnimech but a second-line garrison mech? What about pilot names? Since Mercs only supports a limited list of equipment from Battletech (tm), some mechs have been change to fit into Mercs. The Hellbringer for instance doesn't have any of its electronic warfare equipment, and ends up being a very hot-running poorly armored mech. Quite a few of the mechs don't even have the AMS that they should or appropriate armaments, despite the game being able to support it. All the Nova mechs are examples of this. To make matters worse, Activision didn't do much homework on making the missions in the game even vaguely resemble the mech distributions in Battletech. Clan Smoke Jaguar using Phantoms and Nagas? Does Clan Wolf know this? Flashman mechs being used by Federated Commonwealth? Did ComStar have a garage sale? Why isn't a Direwolf ever seen as an enemy? Did Activision think it was too powerful or too headshot prone to be a worthy opponent? How come Clan stars of mechs are never more than 3 mechs? Why is there never more than around 10 mechs in a mission? (The game can handle 30 mechs in a mission.) Very few missions give you any supporting mechs or neutral mechs that are neither friend or foe. Why is it that in most missions you can only use 1 starmate - or NONE? (There's 4 mechs in a lance, the smallest IS house grouping of mechs.) Makes me think that the game should have been called Mercenary (singular) instead of Mercenaries. Mercenary Commander, econmoy on is a far cry from the massive merc units often created in Battletech games. Despite appearances, the aerotechs really suck - except the one found on MASGCAM1 (DOW2SCN1) which is a Warhawk in disguise. Everything that moves from one point to another is a mech in funny clothing - there's even a building in one mission that is more mech than monument.
- To use the new chassises: Put all .BWD files in the mercs/chassis directory (or wherever you have mercs). Put the .MEK files in the mercs/mek directory (or wherever you have mercs) Then go into instant action and modify a mech. Make the mechs name start with the BWD file that you want the chassis to be (e.g. if I wanted my mech to be a phoenix hawk and the BWD file was named PHAWK.BWD my mechs name was test1 I would name the mech: "[phawk] test1". (NOTE: you must put the bracket in the name for the mech to work (but not the quotation marks )). ALSO NOTE: you need NAIS SHELL for this to work.
I do not claim to have made ether these chassises or Nais Shell. But my hat is off to whoever did.