Email me any news/info about Tomb Raider's Room Editor and/or other level editors, utilities, levels, etc!
But I have a hard problem: it is not just put and wake up animals, the animals don't see me and run crazy if I don't correctly put the camera values on each tile floor. Right now I don't know how to use the camera, and discovering how could take me a while, so I can not implement the creatures if I don't discover this first. Maybe someone like Dr. Splat, Stefan, Fastbyte. the anonymous TR2 level author, or someone else can tell me how the camera work."
If you can help Turbo Pascal out, email him.
Subject: The TRosettaStone - TR2 Internal Documentation!
Date: 31 Dec 1999 20:05:40 -0000
From: Anonymous remailer <Use-Author-Address-Header@[127.1]>
"(Sorry for the binary post, but I didn't know any other way to get this information to the people who could best use it.)
Attached to this post is the TRosettaStone [(336K, or download 57K ZIP)], an HTML document that describes the internal details of the .TR2 file formats. While incomplete, the information therein is sufficient to modify levels, and also to build them from scratch (although many tools have yet to be written to make the latter a reasonable proposition).
Anyone with a web site and some chutzpah (Mr. Eep, are you listening?) [yup! :)] is free to post this document, so long as it remains in its original form. The information in the document has been tested and is believed to be correct, but may contain errors or omissions. Use this information at your own risk. The document contains many links, all of which refer to itself (no outside web sites). The document contains no graphics.
The document is more of a reference than a tutorial, so if you are truly interested in writing some level editing tools, you'll need to study the information to understand some of the interactions between the various data structures.
Note that TR2 was the focus of this effort, and that TR1 and TR3 were added as afterthoughts; information on these games is more prone to error than that for TR2, but again, the information presented is believed to be correct. The TR4 demo came out as version 1.0 of this document was being finalised, so it is not yet covered; there will presumably be updates to this document, and TR4 will presumably be addressed in one of those updates. Preliminary examination indicates that the TR4 data structures are quite similar to those in TR3, with the added complication that the entire TR4 file is compressed (in chunks; the textures in separate chunks, followed by all of the "old-style" level data).
Please spread this information far and wide, and if you're capable (and up to the challenge!), write some editing tools for the rest of us to use!
-- M. Bartoli"
"Today a anonimus person sent me a copy of the "TRrossetaStone" document, it contains the totally info for the tr1, tr2 and tr3 file format!! all that i need to know is there!. Wow, now i no need to hack the file format anymore, just program the editor!. millions Thanks to this anonimus person. :))))
Well epp2. Thanks for helpme to get this document, give me 2 week and i will send you a draft copy of the early yet editor, i promess you. The anonimus person recomend me to put the editor using the Usenet becose is more safe and Eidos will not get me, what do you think?
If all go well the version 1.00 that will be called "Lara Croft Forever" will be ready in about 2 months.
Wish me luck. bye."
12/29: Core/Eidos email addresses updated.
12/8: Seems Stefan doesn't have time to consult with other TR utility programmers to try and crack TR4's compressed level files. Perhaps some other programmer could take a crack at it? Stefan might be willing to release the source code to Jack! if so...
12/6: From Stefan (Jack! author): "No, I'm not planning updating Jack, because the TR4 file[s] are compressed. I don't know how to decompress the files." Email him if you can help him out.
12/4: It seems the sound effects (WAVs) are back in the level files (*.TR4), like in TR1, instead of keeping all of them in a single file (main.sfx) like in TRs 2 and 3. This means common sound effects (like Lara's grunts, footsteps, gun sounds, etc) are duplicated in each level, unnecessarily increasing the file size. Bad design decision, Core. Also, I've emailed the author of Jack! to see if he's going to update it for TR4's levels. Still no word on FastByte's TEdit progress.
11/28: If the article about an "exclusive" level for some online webzine called The Times is true, it would seem Core/Eidos have no problem letting some people use Room Editor to create levels, yet they still won't release it to the public. Go figure...
11/27: Larisa's TR clone (which's s/he claims the engine is similar to TR3) will supposedly be ready for beta testing in about a month.
11/11: Turbo Pascal releases Room Viewer.
10/26: A few days ago I emailed Stefan (author of Jack! utils) about accessing the TR4 demo textures and he replied that he heard the level files are compressed so he has to figure out how.
10/21: Drakan's level editor (1.6MB/Win9x) released. Screw you, Corpse.
10/1: Added TR4 article.
9/26: More cool TR Gold utilities and info from Turbo Pascal.
i don't know if you remember me but i am the guy that told you that i was making the Tomb Raider Level Editor
Well guess what!
i finished it
and the funniest thing is that it looks and functions just like the one on the screenshots of the editor from the Eidos place.
i have made already some stages with it
it is greate!
i willl poblish it as soon as i get home.
(i have been working on it from Japan with some friends)
wait for it's bublishing!!!!!"
9/15: Comment added.
9/12: Tpascal has sent me some more Unfinished Business patches!
9/6: Wernbowl got the custom TR2 level to work with, surprise, surprise, the TR2 demo (after renaming the level appropriately, of course). Oh and the anonymous creator of the level reminded me that in order to use the level with the CD version of TR2 people will need to either use a CD redirection program like VirtualCD, FakeCD, etc, a hacked version of the tomb2.exe which bypasses CD detection (available from the warez version--but you didn't read that here--<whistles innocently>--oh, hey, typing of which, can someone hack the CD check for the orginal TR ATI patch "tombati.exe"? :]), or just use DOS' "subst" command.
9/3: OK, people, look, please stop emailing me asking me for the level editor because I don't have it! Stay informed by looking at this page and as soon as I get it (if I even get it), I'll let you all know. Core/Eidos, this should be more evidence for you that people really want a level editor; wake up and realize the potential, please...
8/31: Breakthrough! That person I told you about yesterday sent me a custom TR2 level...and it actually works! This could be it, folks! Get it here (~1MB). It's only been tested with the full version of TR2 but may work with demos too (may have to rename it to venice.tr2 for the Venice demo, though). It's kind of slow for me and has clipping problems, but at least custom TR2 levels seem possible! As soon as I figure out how it was done and/or get the program used to do it, I'll let you all know! Woo! :D
8/15: I recently (5 days ago) asked FastByte what's going on with TEdit: "But last time I checked, TEdit (or whatever you're calling it now) could move polygons up or down, right? How about releasing THAT version? That would at least be somewhat of a level editor...:/ Of course it would be better if textures could be changed on polygons..."
He replied: "Those polygons were raised/lowered/slanted using TEdit, that's true, but I had to hardcode a lot (I mean, I made a lot of references to THAT file, and THAT room, and THOSE polygons by hand inside the program.) Choosing files/rooms/polys automatically or somewhat more user friendly isn't developed yet, and I realized that there's still lots more work to do than just raising polys. I'm sorry, but those screenshots were a bit hasty."
Oh well... I'm trying to get FastByte and Stefan working together to actually make a level editor instead of specialized utilities, but it's just not happening. Something about not having enough time or some other excuse. Feh...
8/7: Well, I'm reluctant to even mention this, but it seems yet another level editor claim is being made:
"Hello! I finish my Tomb Raider Editor, and I put for first time it in the Net, the version 2.3 is avaiable, I send it you by e-mail!
I hope you like the first Tomb Raider Editor thats works.
I make a level called the Snake temple with it and have the same cuality or higher than the Core desing levels.!"
I emailed him asking for proof, to which he replied:
You must understand me!
Bye for now..."
"The URL of the Editor is http://dbzibook.hypermart.net/editor.zip
Save this url from Core / Eidos, please.
Editor Raider is the best tomb editor!
Editor Raider is "Er"
The Editor is freeware, you can distribute it for free.
Don't download now, it will be uploaded the 7-8-99
Why it seems some people (immature kids) need to resort to this I just don't understand. Probably some lame attempt at getting attention or something...negative attention anyway...
8/1: Petition added.
7/30: Finally got an email from Stefan with the new URL to his Jack! page.
"Attached with this email is the screenshot of the beta version of the editor. Note that this is strictly unofficial thus illegal. I don't want to get into trouble like others did.
The editor (TREdit) will go on BETA testing in September. I realized it is impossible to meet the August dateline. Doing so will mean subtracting some pretty cool features (model retexturing and such). So please forgive me. I can't release the compiled code now because of the high interest in the editor and the potential legal threat.
I would also like to have someone host the editor on his site. So if you've webspace, email me. (NOT TRIPOD OR GEOCITIES).
I plan to include features like CD check so that people w/o the TR CDS can't use the editor.
TREdit (Public BETA 1.0)
Scheduled release: 4th September 1999
TREdit (Version 1.0)
Scheduled release: 20th September 1999
SIGN UP FOR BETA TESTING NOW!!!
PS: Keep this from Core."
"The level editor never existed. It's just a wager between my friends and I that I can fool the most people. Now thanks to all of you, I've won the bet. I've won a hundred US bucks. Howz that for consolation.
Thank you all for your gullibility.
The biggest sucker award goes to: Theresa (www.tombraiders.com)
Sorry Theresa but it was really fun tricking squids like you. Can't believe you all actually fell for that screenshot. Notice that the Top, Front, Left and Perspective windows are just empty text boxes!!!
Ha! Ha! Ha!
BUT SORRY REALLY! :("
Then I finally got this from The Irritator:
"Unfortunately, I'm not going to release my level editor (TREdit) after reading the whole dialog between Chris and Susie Hamilton. I don't wanna be sued.
If you are interested, please sign up for my mailing list by dropping mail at email@example.com
Tomb Raider is trademarked and copyrighted to Core Design and Eidos. All rights reserved."
7/24: I'm checking to see if this is legitiment, as it's the first I've heard of this:
"Hear is a piece of news for you, the Tombraider Level Editor, TREdit, is almost done. It is programmed by me during the past 5 months. It's pretty capable and runs on Tombraider, Tombraider II and Tombraider III.
Enclosed with the email is it's screenshot. The problem with level editor programmers is that they dunno how to run the level. I've found the solution. If you created a TR3 level with TREdit, name it Shore.tr2 and put it in your TR3 South Pacific demo directory. If you want to run it on TR2, substitute it into the Tombraider II Cold War directory as level1.tr2.
The full version will be released on August 20th (if everything goes OK). I've still got a few problems to work out (like set-piecemoves). I will send you all a copy to preview on August 15th. A custom-made level will be sent to you in 2 weeks' time.
Because it is illegal to create a Tombraider level editor, I can only send the screenshot to people with valid email addresses (not free ones like Yahoo! or Hotmail). So that the Core people can't find me (and sue me). If you're interested, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for the level editor screenshot. I'll only reply to people with paid-for email addresses. If your email address seems to be one from any TR-company guy, I won't respond. Give me 5 days to reply."
7/23: Seems Stefan's page is down so I've made the latest versions (that I have anyway) of his Jack! utilities available.
7/17: Comments section added. Dead links removed.
6/20: Supposedly Room Editor was shown on BBC2's 6/19 "Ancient Voices" show in an episode entitled "Mazes and Labyrinths" at 7:20PM (see listing). Mulefire from the newsgroup reported: "It was a little doc[umentary] on mazes and such, but it had a section where they talked about the ancient labyrinth and it's present day influences. They mentioned Tomb Raider and showed some shots of CORE using the Room Editor with a level in progress. The graphics looked pretty fabby and wasn't of any level I recognised. Could this be TR4.. wish I had a date for when the programme was made, probably old though." If anyone has more info on this show (website, transcript, and more preferably a video clip of the part with Room Edit, please email me! Release the level editor, Core/Eidos!
5/30: Seeing as how two people have emailed me already, I figured I'd mention this here: the LightWave 3D model link hasn't been working for about a week or so now. I don't have the email address of the artist and the root directory doesn't work so I don't have any way of contacting him.
5/28: Tomb Raider Comparison changed to "3D Game Comparison" and moved out of TR directory since it now includes Active Worlds and Half-Life.
5/20: A "Tomb Raider Room Editor Now!" image is now available, so please use it to link to this page and show your support of Core/Eidos releasing Room Editor. If you have another image you think is better, let me know and I'll add it here.
The code to get this (for those who may not know) is:
<img src=http://tnlc.com/eep/tr/trrenow!.gif border=0 width=135 height=101 alt="Tomb Raider Room Editor NOW!"></a></center>
5/14: Added LightWave 3D model.
2/26: MeshJack! beta 3 screenshot and info.
2/23: A general, all-purpose Tomb Raier level editor poll is up. Hopefully Core/Eidos will see that most people want one...
2/19: The Tomb Raider III Viewer Project added.
2/16: FastByte's TEdit can now modify triangular polygons.
2/12: From FastByte: "I finally reached a state in which I can show some results. They are on my page.
It can load TR levels and modify its collision map structure (the sectormap). It then recalculates all the texture patches needed to cover the map and resaves the file. So, you can load a map, raise or lower portions of the floor/ceiling and save it. Then, TR loads the level (using a CD emulator) and you can see Lara jumping, climbing and running over your modified map.
It still needs more work. It still doesn't support (but will) :
Triangular faces (coming soon)
Sloped surfaces (as soon as we know how does TR manage this)
Ability to edit more than one room (yes, this would be an interesting option...)
Full level editor (I mean, going from room to room, attaching one to another and generating automatically all the portals)
Textures (Edit them, create new ones, import/export, attach to surfaces, etc)
Lights (Modify the illumination of every surface, place 3D omni light sources, etc)
I'll post some screenshot of the editor on the web also.
BTW, I can't remember how to take screenshots in TR2. I'll like to post direct TR screenshots rather than the TMap ones.
Hmmm.... I think that's all. Take a look at my page, and mail me any question you may have. The Editor is going to be a FACT !"
1/22: MeshJack! beta 2.
1/19: Tomb Ripper 2.2; also, the programmer is thinking about implementing texture editing features.
1/16: Jack! .95 and SoundJack! .2
1/10: Well, I've been trying to get the webmaster of PlayStation Paradise to put the "Tomb Raider 3 WORK IN PROGRESS REPORT" page back up with the high-resolution level editor pics, but just doesn't seem to get the point that just because Tomb Raider 3 is released, doesn't mean all preview info/pics/web pages should be removed, especially with development info. Oh well. I've put the level editor pics and thumbnails back.
1/3: Jack! .94
12/28: Found Tomb Ripper.
12/27: Jack! .93 can now view Tomb Raider 2 sprites (polygons that face the camera all the time) and object textures (showing which textures are on what objects).
12/24: The closest thing to an official level editor from Eidos!: Flatland's "Build a Tomb" (endorsed by Eidos), which uses original textures from Tomb Raider 1. Well, it's a start anyway...perhaps Eidos is starting to listen to what the fans want, eh?
To which I replied: How did they "tell" you?
Mig: "I have several friends at Core Design, whom I talk to on weekly basis."
Any way of proving it? I'm a tad skeptical...
"Well, they request to be anonymous."
Bah...how am I supposed to take you seriously? Give me a break...if you have something LEGITIMENT, don't be a pussy and spew this bullshit saying you have friends at Core. If you have info, back it up with LEGITIMENT references, or don't say anything in the first place.
I mean, come on...what's the big deal about all the anonymity? A Tomb Raider IV level editor isn't the end-all be-all of the gaming world, and I seriously doubt anyone at Core will lose their job for leaking the rumor. I simply want to confirm it. Feh...I await Mig's response...
12/19: Loren releases Data Raider: "This is my first version of it, and it only exports textures. However, it exports both 8-bit and 16-bit textures, it exports the transparency masks, and it offers the choice of all in one strip or as separate tiles. Later versions will export geometric objects, as I learn how to read them in."
12/17: More from Loren: "Data Raider is in good-enough shape for me to be able to check this out. I can now export the 8-bit and 16-bit textures as PICT files with those color depths; what I'm doing now is adding a lot of helpful options -- all in one piece or tiles; whether to export the masks also; etc. "
12/13: From Loren Petrich: "Sorry my MacOS Data Raider has been so slow, but I've had the obstacle of writing PICT files. I had once tried to do that, but I got some nasty crashes. However, I've found some code that successfully does that, and I've got it to work inside my Data Raider, so all I can say is "The-e-e-ere".
Color Table (Photoshop format)
8-bit Texture Mask
16-bit Texture Mask
Choice of one complete strip or set of 256*256 tiles
I'm not going to implement a viewer the first time around, but I might put in some preview mode in a later version. However, I plan to have my Data Raider be open-source, so any one of you who wants to can put in a viewer."
12/12: SoundJack! .11
11/27: Added blurb from GameSpot UK's "Tomb Raider III Review".
11/24: Loren Petrich releases Sound Raider: "Of course, I'm not going to stop there; I plan to work on a Data Raider for the data files, and improvements on my Sound Raider. In particular, I've thought of this hack for looking for embedded soundfiles -- look for instances of the text string "RIFF". I plan to get around the problem of coincidence by specifying a dialog-box option that enables one to start at the second, or third, or whatever example of that string, just in case of some coincidence(s) earlier in the file."
I'll make the editor, which does not need to draw the entire map every time (at least not at full detail), and does not need to be real-time. I'm going to start working on it right now, so there won't be another version of [the Map Viewer] for a while (only the Direct-X port, of course).
I guess the next thing I'll release will be the first home-made TR test level (wish me luck...)."
Good luck, FastByte!
11/21: Level editor poll removed because it was closed on 11/21/98 with a tally of 124:9 in favor of releasing the level editor. Here are the poll results. Release it already, Core/Eidos. Punks...
11/21: From Fastbyte (edited): "Finally I set up of the viewer for software rendering. It runs SLOW, and lighting/screenshots are disabled. I'm sorry, but I don't really want to mess with these kinds of things. When the DirectX version comes, all these things should be fixed (let's hope)."
11/17: Poll results now 118:8 in favor of releasing the level editor.
11/16: Jack .91: "try page up/down, home/end, cursor up/down and ESC in view mode".
11/13: From Fastbyte (edited): "I updated my page. I posted the version -13 of the Level Viewer. It can load the demo level of TR3 and it now uses transparency correctly.
I'll start working myself soon on the DirectX port. I also have a semi-working version of the program that uses software rendering, but I don't know if I should release it. It looks really bad (textures not properly aligned, screen clipping problems and lightning problems), and I don't want to concentrate on software rendering, since DirectX will include it. Anyway, would you like me to release it, even with all this problems?"
I of course replied "yes!", so hopefully us non-3Dfx users will have something soon...
Pat McComack sent me a mail a couple of days after the release of the PC demo, with the changes in the file format of the demo (thnx Pat, you're FAST). [There] are very very few [changesó]I mean, the TR2 file in the demo is structurally identical (quite) to the previous TR2 files. Thanks to that, I can read the jungle.tr2 file and display it. I'll include a switch in the program (something like -tr3) to select between 'old' tr2 files and 'new' tr2 files (aka .tr3)
Unfortunately, though the structure is the same, the info inside the structures has slightly changed. [For] example, where we had only [an] 'Intensity' setting for the lights, I guess we'll find now three values : R,G,B [(red, green, blue)]. That's why I still don't release this version; there are some minor readjustments that need to be done.
Moreover, I'm still guessing how the full .TR2 file format work[s]. I don't need to know exactly what every byte mean[s], but at least I need to know which are the important bytes to manage to create maps.
Moreover, I have to start thinking how I am going to do the editoróhow will it look like, how will it work, user interface, etc, etc.
As you can see, there [is] loads of work ahead. At least 4 independent lines (DirectX, TR2 format, TR3 format, and the editor itself), but the amount of spare time I can dedicate to this has recently increased, so I'll keep working on this a bit faster.
And don't worry ! the port is coming, one way or another!"
However, I've found the TombEdit home page, and it looks as if it may take some trial-and-error to get a saved-game editor working exactly right (there are some things I'm not quite sure about in it).
However, I'm not likely to be making a particularly fancy-looking saved-game editor; just some plain dialog boxes and not anything like those TombEdit screenshots. I'm not the world's best GUI programmer.
In other news, I've gotten a MacOS Sound Raider working (it extracts all the WAV's from MAIN.SFX), and I hope to get it on my personal website before long."
11/9: Jack! site properly updated with version .81.
11/7: From Loren Petrich: "Having succeeded in making a Monica Lewinsky Quake skin, even though I'm not completely happy with it, I have started work on a Lara Croft skin. These are for Classic Quake, so anybody who has QuakeWorld (an unofficial version of it that is adapted for netgames) will be able to appear as our favorite computer-game character.
Also, it looks as if Eidos and Core's lawyers won't be jumping up and down on me for writing editing utilities; I will be going ahead with plans to write such utilities, though I will release extractors first. In particular, I hope to write a Sound Raider and a Data Raider, both for the MacOS."
11/5: With the release of the Tomb Raider 3 demo, Xtract Tomb Raider WAVs had its name changed since it can extract the sounds from it as well. I emailed Jack!'s programmer so hopefully it'll be able to view/extract the TR3 demo textures soon. :)
11/4: Another blurb about TR3's level editor added to the end of Core Design's Official Level Editor.
11/2: Jack! .7 out.
(before I took over)
10/19: Steve Purbrick found a Lara-look alike 3DS mesh. I had actually found this a few months prior to this but couldn't remember the URL when I became interested in doing a Tomb Raider level editor site.
10/14: G3 Power's MacMyLaraUp added.
10/1: Duke Nukem "Enigma of the Sapphire Scarab" Tomb Raider total conversion added.