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#183692 Zombie's Ultimate X-COM Collection

Posted by magic9mushroom on 13 October 2020 - 09:37 AM in Support

I do have to ask, Zombie; with all the stuff you know and have and some of it not publicised (like the annotated source code of TFTD), have you thought through what happens to safeguard it if you were to die? This sort of thing has a nasty tendency to slip between the cracks, since relatives won't have your passwords to get into things and frequently won't even know that they're supposed to be looking, never mind what for.

Very morbid, I know, but I just want to be sure we don't lose some of this stuff.

#180345 Feedback on StrategyCore

Posted by magic9mushroom on 15 May 2020 - 09:09 AM in Your Views

I can't post new threads. It says there's a problem with the database ("driver error") and that an admin may need to fix it.

#180629 Feedback on StrategyCore

Posted by magic9mushroom on 29 May 2020 - 10:46 AM in Your Views

Hooray, I can post threads again!

#183228 Let's Play X-Com: Terror from the Deep

Posted by magic9mushroom on 20 September 2020 - 07:01 AM in Terror from the Deep

Would anyone be interested in me doing an LP of a Superhuman run with Council Funding Only? I've beaten Superhuman before; it's tough but I know the basic traps (early intercepts are playing with fire, make sure to get a dead and live Deep One in January, carry Tazers on every unknown mission until you get Sonics, get Displacers before June and use them as Tentaculat bait). But Council Funding Only is a step beyond anything I've done.

I'd be doing CFO via hacking PURCHASE.DAT to zero sell price for manufacturables and recoverables; manually destroying items or building a billion General Stores is just tedious.

#177798 "Tentaculat Trap"

Posted by magic9mushroom on 17 December 2019 - 10:07 AM in Terror from the Deep

View PostNickAragua, on 17 May 2004 - 02:24 AM, said:

Yeah, there's this one room in the second stage of the artefact sites - it's got a central elevator which leads up to the "double-ring" device. And, on the second level are little alcoves, each of them potentially holding a tentaculat. So, of course, what happend the first time I saw one of these rooms, I didn't think twice about sending in a pair of guys through one entrance -

"Hey, look, a tentaculat", the dudes shoot it down. I click end turn, and then the next turn, I see a pair of those guys come out of little alcoves and zombie my guys.

Over the years, I haven't had any particular luck with those rooms in any case, and I usually wind up losing one or two guys going in there. So, I was curious what people do to beat the "Tentaculat Trap"...
Send the Displacer in first, wait for all the Tentaculats to mob it, circle the room to finish off any that didn't take the bait, THEN send the soldiers in.

View PostNKF, on 11 September 2005 - 12:27 PM, said:

I haven't got TFTD or a reference image handy at the moment, but is there a clear line from the ground level up to the synonium device? Because if there is, I imagine destroying it would be simply a matter of arming a gas cannon with HE shells, stepping out, blasting the ceiling, then proceeding with a mad dash towards the exits.

Oh, DPLs are always the easier solution, but the gas cannon's the cheaper solution.


View PostFullAuto, on 11 September 2005 - 04:11 PM, said:

Sadly not, the device is behind a pair of doors.  Easily sorted with DPLs obviously, or, alternatively, if you're extra cautious:
Prime a grenade and get on the lift.  Go up a level.  Drop grenade, go down a level.  Grenade will detonate, taking out the doors.  Prime another grenade, go back up, toss that inside, go back down.  Grenade blows, destroying the device.
The ceiling of the main chamber (where the massive ambush happens) is indeed the floor under the Synomium, so shooting up from ground floor will indeed get the Synomium (due to the bug where explosives fired into a ceiling phase through it). I'm not 100% sure the Gas Cannon does enough damage to pop the Synomium, though.

#183226 Mushroom Cloud (mod)

Posted by magic9mushroom on 19 September 2020 - 10:32 PM in Apocalypse

View PostSkin36, on 19 September 2020 - 04:09 PM, said:

If you need help developing a mod, write. I have already developed a patcher. It is also possible to edit the code of the original game by injecting the code (inserting a new part of the code).
The stuff I've needed help with, I've asked for as I needed it.

The roadblock is mostly in testing whether my changes work properly, not in making them in the first place.

#181562 Mushroom Cloud (mod)

Posted by magic9mushroom on 09 July 2020 - 08:33 AM in Apocalypse

View Postmakus, on 09 July 2020 - 01:29 AM, said:

Hey M9M hows your mod going?
btw want to mention that skin36 doing something like Apoc.D but better  and its WIP

More or less done, although there are a couple of things I still need to alpha-test (alien tech levels might need to be slowed down given the somewhat-increased amount of UFOs, and I need to make sure the Battleship and Mothership loadout fixes actually work). Once I've done those and done my own playthrough test it'll be beta-test time.

#177908 Scheduled Floating Base Attack race selection

Posted by magic9mushroom on 25 December 2019 - 02:43 AM in Terror from the Deep

- I know retaliation in both games that's triggered by you shooting down a UFO/sub is always the same race as the UFO/sub shot down.
- I know "scheduled" retaliation in UFO (i.e., the retaliation at the start of the month that begins once you research The Martian Solution) is a flat 20% for each race.

I'm asking about "scheduled" retaliation (i.e. Floating Base Attack) in TFTD (after researching The Ultimate Threat). My first guess was that it was also 20% for each race (Aquatoid, Gill Man, Lobster Man, Tasoth, Mixed), but it's not. No Mixed Crews appeared in over 70 trials; that's P < 0.000001. I'm wondering if someone knows whether it actually uses the Alien Appearance Ratios table or something hardcoded like UFO (and if so, what).

(You can still get a Mixed Crew Floating Base Attack, but only by shooting down Mixed Crew subs.)

#177912 Scheduled Floating Base Attack race selection

Posted by magic9mushroom on 26 December 2019 - 04:41 AM in Terror from the Deep

Just did 100 tests in October. 26 Aquatoid, 21 Gill Man, 28 Lobster Man, 25 Tasoth. Could definitely be 25% each, could be some permutation of 30:30:20:20, definitely isn't the 10:10:60:20 in the Alien Appearance Ratios table.

#179206 How does the game determine where to send Alien Terror missions?

Posted by magic9mushroom on 18 March 2020 - 09:32 AM in Enemy Unknown

Does somebody know what the weights are for TFTD? I know the zones which don't get Alien Surface Attacks are different (it's Antarctic/Arctic only, of the zones in ZONAL.DAT).

#183689 Strange things in TFTD

Posted by magic9mushroom on 13 October 2020 - 07:17 AM in Terror from the Deep

View PostNKF, on 09 October 2020 - 04:08 AM, said:

I forget, but can you have two unitpos objects point to the same unitref entry? In more normal language, you would have to physical unconscious bodies pointing to the same set of unit stats? So if you were to detonate one in a remote location, the other would die with it.

This would not happen normally.
Um, it does happen normally. Large units have 1 UNITREF entry and 4 UNITPOS entries.

If it is TFTDextender, it's probably an intended feature rather than a mistake; unconscious units from the first stage getting converted into corpses is a known bug in TFTD and Tycho could well have fixed it.

#183436 Strange things in TFTD

Posted by magic9mushroom on 30 September 2020 - 06:47 AM in Terror from the Deep

View PostNilex, on 29 September 2020 - 05:04 AM, said:

In my just completed colony mission, command module spawned just south of the magic line, completely vacant. Attached save shows my boys closing in from the north but killing that one last Lobbie in the far west ends the mission.
I'm currently doing another abandoned TFTD playthrough but in my old one - 3rd T'leth stage, south section was too completely devoid of alien life. Went hand in hand with forbidden save feature (wtf lol, didn't expect that).

* * *

On another note, doing all this UFO/TFTD things lately somehow sparked desire to try out OCX with FMP/X-Files/Piratez mods. Not only have I avoided practically all kinds of community mods in all games my whole life, but instead of getting saturated and bored of classic XCOM gameplay (doing only that for last 2.5 months), I find myself somehow wanting even more...
But not before wrapping up yet another abandoned playthrough, Apocalypse this time, played and quit all the way back in 1998. I see m9m is pretty active on that forum too. Too bad I only got a couple of alien buildings left to clear so I won't get to use all the juicy info.
So, uh, what is the save file you've attached? Posted Image

#183459 Strange things in TFTD

Posted by magic9mushroom on 01 October 2020 - 02:00 AM in Terror from the Deep

View PostNilex, on 30 September 2020 - 09:19 PM, said:

Hm, you don't see the attachment or is something wrong with the the save itself? Looks normal on my end.
I can see it, but I haven't downloaded it because it's not clear from your post what the save is there to demonstrate.

#183490 Strange things in TFTD

Posted by magic9mushroom on 02 October 2020 - 02:05 AM in Terror from the Deep

View PostNilex, on 01 October 2020 - 04:45 PM, said:

Save shows module has been empty for the entire mission. Either its south placement overruled spawn rules or Sherlock's changes I've been using affected it indirectly, or a mix of both. Either way I ain't complaining - one less room to worry about!

Okay, maybe I wasn't clear enough.

1) The commander spawns avoid the "only first ~50 spawns used" issue (because it's "first ~50 spawns" of the ones considered, and if there are appropriate spawns it doesn't consider inappropriate ones) if they exist. They are still subject to the "spawn points gone missing" issue, and if they're not there the commanders will go to generic alien spawn points which have the "only first ~50" issue.

2) Sherlock's route mod dramatically worsens the "spawn points gone missing" issue, because it adds a whole bunch of waypoints which clog up ROUTES.DAT (I don't think he knew about this issue when writing it).

#183279 Strange things in TFTD

Posted by magic9mushroom on 23 September 2020 - 08:15 AM in Terror from the Deep

View PostSpace Voyager, on 23 September 2020 - 05:43 AM, said:

? I wasn't aware of this feature... What is it?
I mentioned it further up. Aliens in phase 2 of colonies always seem to spawn in the North, apart from the commanders (who have dedicated spawn points in the command module). I believe it's a result of there being too many spawn points for the engine to correctly roll among all of them - those maps are FAR more complicated than anything from UFO*.

They can move southward as the mission progresses, but generally you're going to find most of them in the North.

(I think this is also why there's the long stretch of nothing in T'leth L2/L3, as the usually-abandoned section is in the South. It's not nearly as striking as the colonies, though, probably because the map isn't 3D.)

*Remember, the Gollops made UFO's engine and all the data was designed around it; TFTD was made by a MicroProse team in a year, and they didn't understand the (shared) engine anywhere near as deeply. This is why they made rookie mistakes like changing the UFOpaedia-displayed values for craft-weapon fire rates without changing the real ones, or removing the limit on how many Engineers you can put on a project without twigging to the fact that the limit was there to mask an underlying engine limit on manufacturing rate. And then there are the various ways TFTD expands on UFO, whether that be more aliens, bigger maps, aliens with carried melee weapons or two-part missions, which often run into hidden engine limits (the obvious stuff they noticed and could kludge, but a lot of the subtler stuff got missed).

#183522 Strange things in TFTD

Posted by magic9mushroom on 05 October 2020 - 02:57 AM in Terror from the Deep

View PostNilex, on 05 October 2020 - 01:46 AM, said:

#11 Impossible Xarquid (revealed via XcomUtil using "vis" parametar)
Attachment Impossible Xarquid.jpg
Spent probably 90 minutes searching him before giving up and re-learning how to use XCU again to reveal map. Took 5 installs with different setup each time before program stopped complaining about not wanting to execute reveal command. Writing this I see X-Com Hack, which I've been using all along, has the same damn feature. FML. Fingers crossed that salvaged alien grenades (only explosives on the map) will be able to tear down that wall.
I just use hex-editing. UNITREF and UNITPOS are pretty easy to read and modify with the UFOpaedia articles as a guide; this particular one is just a matter of scrolling down to the aliens and flipping the "is unit visible" flag.

(With hex-editing it's also pretty simple to move a unit, because location of units and items is stored as where-is-this-thing rather than what-is-here.)

#183625 Strange things in TFTD

Posted by magic9mushroom on 09 October 2020 - 03:08 AM in Terror from the Deep

View PostNilex, on 05 October 2020 - 04:57 PM, said:

Captured Triscene from 1st ship stage transferred over to 2nd stage, resulting in 2 live ones. Only I expected dead+live combo. Always thought all 1st stage (of any kind) captures convert to corpses by the end.
This could be TFTDextender; not sure.

#182353 Strange things in TFTD

Posted by magic9mushroom on 16 August 2020 - 06:55 AM in Terror from the Deep

View PostNilex, on 15 August 2020 - 06:14 PM, said:

Yep found the lift too. Glad no one got dumped there in isolation! Btw thanks for playing around with the save. Certainly didn't expect anything more than a courteous glance at most, if that. It's cool seeing a classic getting quality attention decades after release. Being a small part of it makes it that much more enjoyable. Of course my gratitude extends towards mentioned contributors as well. It's hard to imagine playing UFO/TFTD without consulting wiki nowadays.

About waypoints &amp; spawn nodes: I've applied Sherlock' route fixes, meant to be used on top of Zombie's fixes available in the files sections, before starting playing. They may very well be the source of oddities. I've put my faith in it solely going off author's meticulous documentation of changes and reasoning behind them. He may have missed something hehe. If you hadn't said anything I wouldn't have known any better so I plan sticking with it for the time being.
In fact I've had two consecutive Fleet Supply Cruiser (or was it Hunter?) missions where both times all aliens were well outside the sub, sparing me the effort of going in full SWAT mode. If only this happened on Dreadnought too... Don't recall it happening before so I want to believe those route/spawn fixes are to thank!

Did a bit of testing with my own (clean) copy. The issue with ROUTES.DAT overflowing and not getting all the points it should seems to be there in vanilla, although the fix may have worsened it (I only got 2-3 modules left out, not 11) - this is the one connected to a lift being unavailable. The issue with the aliens all being in the North is definitely there in vanilla (as I said, I first noticed it myself, and I don't use utilities).

(EDIT: although it could well have extended the issue - normally only an issue in the interior of bases - to Alien Sub maps, since it ups the amount of spawn points there.)


Damn dude, thanks so much for this! I might even finish this playthrough before 2020 runs its course (or scheduled comets hits, whichever comes first). No more endless salvage runs unless Zrbite shortage or getting some Rookies beefed up.

Yeah, most people go to interception-only once they've got everything they need and are just spinning the wheels researching/building/psi-screening for the endgame. Can't completely lock down the globe in TFTD the way you can in UFO (ship terror sites and artefact sites are unavoidable), but you can certainly skip the dozens of Cruisers and Fleet Supply Cruisers.

#183274 Strange things in TFTD

Posted by magic9mushroom on 23 September 2020 - 03:11 AM in Terror from the Deep

View PostNilex, on 22 September 2020 - 10:42 PM, said:

#7 Unconcious Tasoth in equip screen
Attachment Unconcious Tasoth in equip screen.jpg
Pretty weird when I first saw it, didn't know what to expect when starting the mission. Happened only two times in just over 200 missions. Body was nowhere to be found after I started the mission (regular downed USO type). Dunno what to make of it. Directed by Ridley Scott perhaps?

My guess based on your mention of a downed Alien Sub is that an IBA explosion knocked out the Tasoth and one of your utilities mistakenly gave it to you on the equip screen. Not sure what else could have done it.


#9 Alien Base in the Arctic (many miles from nearest sea, the real reason ice is melting)
Attachment Alien Base in the Arctic.jpg

Yeah, the algorithms aren't very good at keeping things in the water. Alien Subs touching down on land are much worse, since if you attempt to recover them the game crashes.

#182342 Strange things in TFTD

Posted by magic9mushroom on 15 August 2020 - 10:18 AM in Terror from the Deep

View PostNilex, on 14 August 2020 - 08:41 PM, said:

Hey man, I highly appreciate your UFOpedia contributions - practically my 2nd home. Super insightful hidden details you've managed to dig up. Of particular interest became "Alien Appearance Ratios" as I'm trying to unlock Vibro Blades research tree (dubiously requiring rarest specimens in the game, if they ever appear). Figured saving just before the month ends and reloading till surface Terror mission featuring an elusive Calcinite generates on the 1st next month @ 1:00 AM. Will make dealing with base Lobbies more bearable.
Not quite the rarest - that's Triscenes - but definitely less common than we'd like. That was why I gave up on my "no psi" rule on my Superhuman run; it was just getting tedious fighting Lobbie after Lobbie with no drills (I didn't want to do a colony without them).


I may have jumped the gun regarding #6. Prolly 2 lifts as you say. I'll get around to it in few hours and check (thought every atom in my body dreads of 2nd base stages in TFTD so I make up other activities just to delay the nightmare). Pretty neat they were dumped all in one place tho, near the corner no less, making line sweep easier to organize. I still believe it's rare having never encountered it before.
Fairly rare, yes. I'm not sure quite how rare, though; I've noticed before (as well as in this save, via hacking everything visible) that aliens in that second part tend to be clustered toward the "start" of the map (North and to a lesser degree West), and that might apply to your soldiers as well (there is another lift, but it's toward the South of the map).

It probably has something to do with the extreme size and complexity of the colony maps; ROUTES.DAT (the set of waypoints on the map, which are also used as spawn points) is huge in those missions because they're 60x60x4 with three levels of connections (e.g. 249 records in your save; Cydonia II only typically has ~160), and some of it might be bigger than the .exe is designed to handle.

EDIT: Yeah, there's definitely something wrong with the waypoints/spawn points. Those 249 waypoints aren't even all the ones there are supposed to be - a decent chunk of them are straight-up missing. Specifically, the last 11 modules (the bottom two rows apart from a large module poking in, and the last module on the fourth row) don't have any waypoints set (this includes the second lift, which is why none of your soldiers spawned there).

On top of that, not all the waypoints seem to have been considered for use; aside from the commanders, which are correctly inside the command centre, all the aliens are in the top row (plus the bottom bits of the large module in the top row; ROUTES.DAT treats large modules as one piece for ordering purposes). I think it might be that too many waypoints are set as spawn points, so the routine only rolls among the first N valid ones (N ~= 50); that would make sense of the commanders being in the right spot, as the spawn points there are the only valid ones for them.

Yet another example of the TFTD team having no idea what they were doing.


I knew of 12 Atry sites (cleared 2 thus far) and loving how easily manageable they are compared to bases. Devs prolly threw us a bone with that one. Thought about doing all 12, for completionist sake, but don't think I have it in me. Maybe if they coded complete USO destruction like in UFO. Shooting USO over land gives reduced rewards while skipping tactical or something along that line. Having to practically fight every battle makes reaching 2042 too tedious for my liking.
You can still destroy alien submarines in TFTD, although destroying Escorts and Cruisers is pretty hard.

Shooting down UFOs or alien subs and then simply not recovering them has the same results as shooting down a UFO over water - you get points for the shootdown, but no mission.


Zonal mission info is very interesting. Also read it before (might be last night actually lol). Your info rip too I presume.
Nah, that wasn't mine. NKF, Zombie and Hobbes found most of the guts of UFO and TFTD before I ever came on the scene, and half the stuff I've added has been from bugging them about it. I've tested a few things and done a couple of code digs, but they were mostly pretty minor.

#182313 Strange things in TFTD

Posted by magic9mushroom on 14 August 2020 - 04:56 AM in Terror from the Deep

#2 NKF's put in Known Bugs, as the game doesn't check properly whether the Triton is there before putting the wing there.

#5 I'm not surprised by; I've seen a sub touch down on land in the Caribbean myself (if you attempt to recover it, your game crashes).

I think #6 might be two access lifts but all your guys being rolled as in one of them (probably the one closer to the top-left of the map). Will download the save when I have some time.

WRT second post: there are a few interesting things that happen if you keep going long enough:

- the game actually keeps track of how many artefact sites have been generated, and after the twelfth one (probably some time in 2042) there won't be any more (because Alien Origins mentions twelve of them).

- the game will run out of zone/act combinations in June 2042, so after that you'll only get Alien Surface Attacks, Floating Base Attack and Colony Supply Missions. For UFO it's April 2001, because ACTS.DAT is different and there are a couple less acts.

EDIT: the images don't look low-quality to me, at least once I click on them.

#179953 UFOpaedia down

Posted by magic9mushroom on 24 April 2020 - 07:06 AM in

Can't get into the site. I'm getting "tunnel connection failed" - "might have moved".

#179959 UFOpaedia down

Posted by magic9mushroom on 24 April 2020 - 10:36 AM in

View PostNKF, on 24 April 2020 - 08:29 AM, said:

Might be something to do with the host in general. Even the Openxcom forum is down.
Back now.

#179372 Are we totally screwed?

Posted by magic9mushroom on 26 March 2020 - 07:03 AM in The firing range - politics and religion

 Thorondor, on 22 August 2019 - 06:29 PM, said:

Even then, this too speaks poorly of the rest of us, seeing as majorities among us, in the supposedly developed world, had the questionable judgement of placing those who are now in the seats of power up there, choosing the very fates our children will have to endure.

Some of that is due to democratic backsliding. I wouldn't say all of it; Tony Abbott ran on a platform of undoing a carbon tax, so that one's on the Aussie public. But in a lot of the modern West, democracy is choosing which head of the hydra eats your leg; in the US, for instance, there are only two major parties (no hope of starting a challenger because of spoilers) and both are bought out by roughly the same interests on most issues, so unless an issue is one of the few on which the parties choose to distance themselves, the public has no power to decide it.

#182687 Maybe its time to add Xenonauts to Ufopaedia?

Posted by magic9mushroom on 29 August 2020 - 12:35 PM in

I'm neutral, but I'll lay down that if we do add Xenonauts, UFO: After_____ should go in as well.