Dead End: What Cheat Can Work?


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#1 Jake Gaston

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 11:22 PM

Hello,

I thought I was doing well while playing X-Com: Terror From The Deep (though I wasn't paying attention to charts), and I was pretty close to complete the last couple research items (a couple subs)
and the final mission info, when I got to the point of a dead end: a -2575 score for May 2041 and a funding of around -400 000 to around -700 000 (it changes each time I restart from that last save), and always the ending sequence.

I know what I did wrong, apart from always counting on my own money from selling items: I skipped many alien subs to get fast in research. I thought doing just one colony would save me from failing but nope, the governments are really angry and just stop everything.

Because I don't feel like restarting anew, and am not too fond either of restarting but with the research file replaced so I keep all those items, I was wondering.... Is there any Hex file editing method that works to instantly make the government happy and a great score etc, so I can go on
and finish this videogame from right where I am?

I looked at the Diplom.Dat file, there is good info about it on UFOpedia but I don't understand everything and what I should change to make it work.

http://www.ufopaedia....php/DIPLOM.DAT

I have tried the utility that gives you lots of money, but that doesn't work. I'm not really missing money if I sell lots of items. I still get the ominous end video regardless that I've got 4 millions and more in my account (after selling items).

I tried starting back a couple saves older, but then I have to do many alien subs, and after doing about 3 or 4, I skipped to see if there was a change in the month score and, err, it's -3906 score.
Unless... If I do 2 or 3 colonies, would that work? The other score above was just 1 colony. colonies are long and tedious to complete, I want to be sure I "win the month" if I do them, or I'd rather just cheat at this point because, well, it's a lonnnnng way to the end, I don't feel like restarting just now, and my strategy was never to reach the end fast but to try get everything and find all types of alien subs, build one base with every compartment, etc, and I know now that's how I fucked up.

Any help would be deeply appreciated. Would replacing the Diplom.Dat file from the same file of someone about to win improve things? (Or is there someone with a zip of the files from just near when they are about to win?)


Thank you so much for reading!


(Not) Jake Gaston

#2 sp1ke

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 11:30 PM

Hi (Not) Jake

Remember your mission is to save Earth, or at least, save the Governments that are funding you? It's not about making money or developing technology. It's about saving the earth from alien takeover. That is your primary objective and everything else is just a tool in that fight.

So yeah take out the colonies. :-)
Losing my favourite game... I am "spike" on UFOpaedia.org

#3 sp1ke

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 11:39 PM

If you really want to cheat and really find the Colony Assault missions boring, you could install xcomutil and use the "win" option to kill all the aliens in the tactical mission. (OK, I admit it, I've done that too when the tactical game gets boring and repetitive.) To be fair when you do that cheat you really should blow up some of your own guys to simulate whatever casualties you probably would have taken, and then on your next USO mission just throw all the loot out of the boat and abort. (OK, I admit it, I've never been quite that conscientious when cheating).
Losing my favourite game... I am "spike" on UFOpaedia.org

#4 sp1ke

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 11:46 PM

Another, less-cheaty option is to "milk" the Colonies for score. Kill most of the aliens and then abort without destroying the colony. Rinse and repeat as often as you can. Then before the month is over do a final mission and take out all the Colonies. The undefeated Colonies are what is killing your Score and driving the governments into the hands of the aliens. So you need to destroy all the ones that you know about. You also need to patrol aggressively to find the other Colonies that probably exist that you haven't detected yet. And I guess if you are restoring saves (which is also cheating, of course) go back as far as you can. Because the "earlier" you detect, assault and destroy the Colonies, the less Score you will lose.

You are responding to Terror sites right? If not then you will also lose loads of Score.
Losing my favourite game... I am "spike" on UFOpaedia.org

#5 NKF

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Posted 27 November 2016 - 12:44 AM

Depending on your difficulty level and whether you have the v2.0 patch, a successful mission in a colony or a ship mission can potentially net you well over 1000+ points. They're worth the tedium if you can take a few on before the end of the month. To help reduce the tedium, use MC (and in colonies DPL torpedoes) liberally.

If that's not an option, then I think you may want to work on the alien.dat file. Alien.dat holds the current month's activity level scores for the aliens.

In theory, if you were to make a save from a brand new game and copy the new alien.dat into your current save, you will reset the monthly alien activity levels for the month, at least up to the point you reload.  Be sure to make a back up copy before trying.

This won't stop the root of the problem, but it should get you through the current month so you don't get your second negative score strike and instant termination.

- NKF
NKF, narrow minded fuddy duddy who refuses to let go of the past and will not accept anything newer than 1979.

#6 Jake Gaston

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 05:01 AM

Ok well,

I messed again, I did 2 colonies out of the 3 I saw on the map but... "Duh!" I didn't pay attention that the save I restarted from wasn't "old enough" and so I was just too short on time to reach the 3rd colony (I could only see 3 colonies on my map).

And I was still too short with score to pass, or maybe there is something else the program didn't like, so I end up using the cheat suggested above: editing the ALIEN.DAT file. Except I didn't use a special editor. I was disappointed that none seemed to let you edit the governments stats (how much they like you, etc...), so instead I was trying to edit the DIPLOM.DAT file with an Hex editor, trying all sorts of figures because I don't fully understand the structure of that file (despire the explications on the website linked in my first post). That gave me all sort of silly results but never worked out. With the ALIEN.DAT file, I was exasperated and just type "00" to all entries (basically just pressing 0 nonstop on the keyboard). Well guess what? That worked wonder! Great score, great governments appreciations, and yet the governments that went with the aliens (that are marked 0 on the graphs) didn't change either.

So I figure it's an acceptable cheat given how desparate I was. I know I played this badly. As Sp1ke mentioned, I wasn't thinking of saving the earth, I was playing like an obsessive geek, just trying to build a megabase (I have 3 bases but one has everything), getting all items, etc... I'll try again later without cheat, but I've been playing since a while and needed to get over this badly. Especially since it's so tedious to play: my survival strategy is really to advance a couple steps at a time in many situations (one wall to the next) and it takes a whole lot of time.

I have yet to get some Research info: a live Calcinite, a live Hallucinoid, a live Triscene, a live and a dead Xarquid.
I am also missing Examination Room (at the moment, researching Bombardment Field and building the Leviathan).

I think I have done 4 or 5 Artefact sites, and I'm not sure if it's important to do them all 12 or if it makes a difference.

Thanks for all the suggestions, and really if anyone is in a really bad situation, make copies of your files and try just type 0 everywhere in the ALIEN.DAT file, that should uplift your situation, or at least it did for me.


(Obviously Not) Jake Gaston

#7 magic9mushroom

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 12:03 PM

Edit bytes 65-68 of XCOM.DAT (offsets 0x40-0x43) to FF FF 00 00. That will give you 65,536 points for the month in North America, which should avoid a loss from poor performance.

Alternatively, if you want to actually earn your victory, start from the start of the month and actually fight the Artefact Site which I'm guessing spawned at 00:30 on the 1st, followed by blowing up some of the alien colonies. In both cases, fight the mission to the end (kill all aliens in both halves of the mission).

(Artefact Sites give the aliens 2,000 points if you ignore them. Alien Colonies give the aliens 2 points per day they're on the globe. I'm guessing those are why you had such an insanely-terrible score. You get 750 points for stopping an artefact site and 500 points for destroying a base, plus generally about 1-1.5k in recovery points if you finish by killing all the aliens (and thus recover the entire base/artefact as loot).)

EDIT: Just saw the last post. Yeah, countries that outright defect are caused by alien action and not by poor score. As a general rule, you can get away with not doing many missions as long as you 1) still do all the Alien Terror and Alien Artefact sites that appear, 2) shoot down as many subs as you can (even without assaulting them). That'll get you a bit of score and prevent the aliens from racking up big points.

EDIT2: 5 points per day per base, not 2 (so ~150 points per month per base). My mistake.

#8 Jake Gaston

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 06:05 AM

Thanks for this precious information, magic9musroom!


I've had a new Artefact site numbered 7, and I'm sure I did only 4 or 5 of those, so maybe that's clue that I bypassed some of them and it caused me trouble. I had read the FAQ (the main one on GameFaq) thoroughly so I knew about not letting those pass, but I wasn't aware that it's better to destroy every alien, I mean mostly for the Colonies I might have given up because once the main device is destroyed, it's hard sometimes to find the last couple hiding aliens.

I'm doing fine now. Well, one base is doing fine. I may be loosing point in some parts because governments aren't satisfied with my unskilled newbies there.

Cheers!

(Not) Jake Gaston




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