H4: Is this possible?

The old Heroes games developed by New World Computing. Please specify which game you are referring to in your post.

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Metathron
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H4: Is this possible?

Postby Metathron » Nov 26 2006, 11:52

I have HoMM IV installed with both expansions and Equilibris. Whenever I start the game, the main menu (where one picks New game, Load game...) is the WoW one, with its specific screen and music. The thing is, the WoW menu has always been my least favourite and I have gotten quite tired of it.

So is there a way to change the main menu screen (and music) back to the one from the original HoMM IV or that from the Gathering Storm?

I am aware that this is a tiny, nitpicking issue, but if it is possible to do, I would very much like to know how.
Last edited by Metathron on Nov 26 2006, 19:42, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby theLuckyDragon » Nov 26 2006, 12:03

/signed :D
You read my mind, Metathron; I was actually thinking of asking this.

Can anyone help?
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Postby ThunderTitan » Nov 26 2006, 12:29

I'm thinking not without some modding. Maybe you should request this in the Equi forum.
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Postby HellSpawn » Nov 30 2006, 4:20

Well, I'm not sure about the screen itself, but I modified the Main Menu music, which is found in the x2_override.h4r file..

I hope that helps

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Postby Metathron » Nov 30 2006, 17:26

So how would a simpleton go about tampering with said file?
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Postby HellSpawn » Nov 30 2006, 18:14

With the x2_override file, you can simply use the h4 builder/extractor, and use it the same way you would with the music.h4r file.

once extracted, replace the original file with the new one then build it.
I'm not sure about images, but if it's anything like changing music tracks (Like making the track the same length and bitrate as the original), then it should apply to images as well: aka-same format and size..

Just remember that I've never tampered with the images before, so i'm not totally sure.

Just make sure you backup your original file first..

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Postby Dalai » Nov 30 2006, 18:31

:D

My menu :creative:

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Postby Metathron » Nov 30 2006, 20:26

I can't open the file with the H4 Exporter that I downloaded from this site. And even if I could, I'm not sure what I would have to do next anyway.

And Dalai, you braggart! :D How were you able to change the main screen? Seems if Hellspawn knows how to change the music score, and you can change the screen, we could put something together still?
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Postby theLuckyDragon » Nov 30 2006, 20:53

And if Dalai also contributes with what that fineprint in the lower left says, it'd be even better! :D
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Postby Metathron » Nov 30 2006, 22:13

8|

I did not even look at that - I just thought Dalai had a custom main menu of his own, I didn't associate it with the new equilibris at all, and after all this time, who could blame me? :D
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Postby HellSpawn » Nov 30 2006, 23:58

I'll just tell you how I successfully created my music mod. step by step.
Hopefully it'll help:

01. First I created a new folder in a directory I could find easily, and named it accordingly, in my case "HoMM4 Music Mod..

02. I used the h4r builder/extractor, and extracted the original *.h4r file located in the following directory:C:\Program Files\3DO\Heroes of Might and Magic IV\Data, and then extracted it to my new folder.

03. I would convert the track I wanted to modify into *.wav format and then open it in a wave editor like Sound Forge, and write down its exact time down to the millisecond.

04. Then I'll start creating my edit and make sure that it doesn't exceed the original time by more than +20 milliseconds...Then I'll make sure that the whole track peaks at -2.0 DB....Make sure your edit is saved in a seperate directory.

05. I'll then encode it back to MP3 format at: 128kbps, joint stereo, using the Lame codec, and make sure it's normalized.

06. Make sure the edit you made is the same exact filename.. Then open up the original MP3 and the modified MP3 at the same time using a hex editor (Like Hex Workshop), and I copy the very first line of code from the original, and paste it over the first line of the edited MP3...I also Copy the last 2 lines of code from the original, and paste them over the last 2 lines of the edit.

07. Once that's done, save it, and then copy, paste and over write the original MP3 with your edited one in your new folder.

08. Once you've made all of your changes, open up the H4r builder/Extractor, and click on "Build H4r File"....The finished build should be about the same exact size as the original....Then just copy and paste it to the HoMM4 directory and over write.

Ps. Not all music files are located in the music.h4r file.
Also make sure you create a backup of your original *.H4r file first.

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Postby Dalai » Dec 1 2006, 14:05

Menu look and left lower corner are not connected :)

Theoretically HoMM-IV is easily skinnable, and we are moving slowly toward making it real. ;) If one can draw a good menu pic in all HoMM-IV resolutions - there are chances it may become selectable menu picture.

If you want your menu to look just as it was in Original heroes, you need to increase it's menu-files priority.

Simple way (recommended):
You extract all files with names bitmap_raw.menu.main.**** you like (where **** is horisontal resolution) and pack them into new_mod.h4r file (for Heroes without Equilibris - new.h4r), which should be put in Data folder of the game.

Complex way:
You unpack h4r files, remove all other menu graphics files (TGS and WOW pictures) that you don't need and repack the rest. This way there will be no other menu files to force out the files you like.

We also studied the issue of changing music. There are some landmines that prevent you from simply switching 2 music files, and our programmers found and disarmed them :) Those complex steps that HellSpawn took may be avoided, but I'm not competent enough to give details.
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Postby Willow » Dec 1 2006, 23:25

Argh, I would love to change my menu screen and use different music, but all seems like such a challenge :baby: Dalai, is it possible one of your programmers could post and tell us how to change the music the easy way? Also, the way you described to change the menu doesn't make 100% sense to me :S

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Postby Metathron » Dec 3 2006, 16:00

I've tried your simple way, Dalai, but to no avail. First the Heroes exporter program extracted three bitmap files from Gathering Storm, and then I packed them into a new file like you said but nothing changed. All this just looks way too difficult for non computer-savvy people. :S
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Postby HellSpawn » Dec 4 2006, 7:04

I'm surprised the image didn't work.. Did you make sure it was the exact size and format?...
If so, then the hex editing might have to begin..
It should work the same way as I stated on the music mod. technique above.

I've gotten ridicule for my hex-editing technique when it came to the music, but it was the only way to get my music files, playing and looping correctly...

If anyone knows of a better and easier way, then I'm open to suggestions.

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Postby Dalai » Dec 4 2006, 12:13

Metathron wrote:I've tried your simple way, Dalai, but to no avail.

Hmmm.... :|
I'll investigate it further, no time for it now.
I have three files I made for myself and for some Equi-development experiments, you can use them as-is. It's 1024*768 (only!) screens from all three versions: Original, TGS, WOW

Warning: it also contains Russian fonts, so it is strongly not recommended to use if you have other than English or Russian version of the game.
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Postby Metathron » Dec 4 2006, 15:01

Hey, those work! I looked inside the .pak files and I think I extracted those very same files last time I tried, so I can only guess the problem was that they were not named skin.h4r but new_mod.h4r like you suggested in an earlier post.

Anyhow, thanks a bunch, Dalai. It is refreshing to be able to change the main menu screen once in a while.

Now perhaps I'll even try Hellspawn's method for changing the music score, though I doubt I'll be successful.
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Postby TheUndeadKing » Dec 4 2006, 21:12

(To change both the main menu AND the music!) Here's what you need to do:

1. Use this program:
http://www.celestialheavens.com/homm4/u ... 32.006.zip

2. Extract this file from heroes4.h4r:
bitmap_raw.menu.main.1024.raw

3. Extract this file from music.h4r:
sound.main_menu.mp3

4. Create a new text document and type (or copy) these:

[H4R File List]
new.h4r
2
sound.main_menu.mp3
bitmap_raw.menu.main.1024.raw
[End]

(Note: If you copy-paste the script above, you will also need to remove the added "spaces" at the end of each line.)

Then click on File > Save As... and save the document as "new.h4l".

5. Copy these three files (2, 3, 4) into the same folder.

6. Open the extractor (1) and click Options > Build a h4l file. Then select the "new.h4l" file you just created (4). This will create a new file named "new.h4r". Copy this file into your Heroes 4\Data folder.

Note: Rename "new.h4r" to "new_mod.h4r" for the Equilibris mod.

Voila! Enjoy your new menu & music! :)
Last edited by TheUndeadKing on Feb 2 2009, 5:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Willow » Dec 9 2006, 11:55

I finally managed to get my custom music to work following Hellspawn's instructions :D Thx Hellspawn!

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Postby HellSpawn » Dec 9 2006, 17:54

No problem..
If you have any more questions, you can send me message.


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