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Unfinished Business Map-File Editor

Beta 3

Readme v. 0.3

by Roadkill


Beta notes
Zip contents and installation
Step by step walkthrough
Other issues & options
Copyright & credits
Contact & availability information

UB-MFE is designed to allow users to place characters in JA2:UB map-files that can not be placed by the UB-editor.
The UB-editor lets users place enemies and bloodcats on the map. In the game, however, other characters appear such as civilians, NPC's, RPC's and so on. These types of characters bring maps and campaigns to life, but can not be placed in the UB-editor.
Adding these characters requires users open the map-files in a hex-editor and changing several byte values. This is a laborious process and it's easy to make mistakes, rendering the map-file unusable.
This program is an attempt to make this process easier, so more users can create the maps and campaigns they want to.
The program requires users to add bloodcats to maps that can be replaced by the program.
Replacement possibilities are: civilians, NPC's, RPC's, militia, bugs, cows, crows, Madlab's Robot, Hamous' ice-cream truck, Dave's Hummer, hicks and both enemy and militia tanks.
Beta notes

This release is a beta version of the program. That means not all functions described below are available yet. When you attempt to do something that's not ready yet, the program will bring this to your attention.
This also means that UB-MFE can still have some bugs in it, that may result in your map becoming corrupted and therefor unusable. Please read the 'Disclaimer' section of this Readme file.
When inventory can be written by the program it will include an installation progam, as the program will require the location of the JA2UB.exe or JA2.exe file (modified or not). This will mean that the non-beta release will not support all exe-versions as some of them haven't been decoded yet. Everyone will still be able to use the program by pointing it to a downloaded and supported exe-file. However, those that have a non-supported exe-file that they've modified won't be able to
use the inventory option correctly (supported version will include US JA2 v1.03, v1.04, v1.06, US UB v1.00, Polish JA2 v1.05r, French JA2, Dutch JA2, Russian JA2 v1.02, German JA2 v1.00, v1.01, v1.02, v1.02beta, v1.05, other version may be supported upon release, depending on whether we'll be able to decode the information).
Future releases will propably have lock adding capabilities (requires map with lock already present). Other features may be included, depending on discoveries made. Just don't hold your breath ;-)

Beta Release 3 - July 29, 2001

- inventory not written (use UB-editor to set inventory)
- clothes colors not written yet, i have some trouble getting them to work
- improved bloodcat searchtime in maps
- fixed some problems concerning stats
- updated Readme
- groups are now correctly written (as far as i know ;-)
- spitting bugs don't spit yet
- still need to check it all in the game and disect the testmaps (all appears allright in the UB-editor)

About future updates: I won't commit to an update schedule so don't ask ;-).
I'll fix any confirmed bugs as soon as possible, but for now, further development of UB-MFE will be on a backburner. Don't worry though, it will get finished as soon as i have the time. It's just that the next few weeks are kinda busy for me. I'm working on some things in my appartement (installing a new kitchen, finishing up some things that still need to be done - painting doors etc.), getting my website up
, making at least one other program for LotB, and of course playing the game.

ZIP contents and installation

The zip-file ( should include the following files:

  • UB-MFE.exe (the program itself)
  • UB-MFE.ini (configuration file)
  • Readme.htm (this file)
  • NPC-RPC.ini (ini-file containing the names of JA2 and JA2:UB NPC- and RPC-characters)
  • Setup.exe (installation program - not included in current beta)

If any of these files are missing, please report it to me (see 'Contact and availability information' section).

For now the installation of the program is quite simple: just unzip it to it's own folder and start the program

Step-by-step walkthrough

1. Create map

Open the UB-editor and create a map. Place bloodcats that will later be replaced by UB-MFE. Make a note of the gridnumbers of the bloodcats (the number in the bottom left of the screen). I suggest you write them down with a comment about what you'll replace them with later on. Remember to save the map and reload it to see if your bloodcats are still there (sometimes the UB-editor doesn't save them correctly).
Please read the note about tanks under '3. Replacement characters'.

2. Check for bloodcats

Start UB-MFE. Open the map-file. Click on the 'Search' button to search for the bloodcats in the map, or if you've checked the 'AutoSearch' option (default setting), this will be done automatically. All found bloodcats will be added to a dropdown list. Pick the bloodcat you want to replace.

3. Replacement character

The 'Replacement' section has a dropdown list of replacement characters available. Depending on the choice of replacement character the 'Additional' section offers more options concerning the in-game behavior and appearance of the replacement.

NOTE: if you replace a bloodcat with an enemy tank, remember that JA2:UB only allows a maximum of 32 enemies! The tank counts as 1, so you should only place 31 enemies. Of course 5 tanks means 27 enemies and so on. On some systems loading a map with more than 32 enemies in the UB-editor crashes the editor, so be carefull when placing enemy tanks.
Or you could place the enemies in the UB-editor after replacing the bloodcats with tanks.

4. Options

NPC name: This offers a list of NPC's available. This list is influenced by the 'Game used:' option. Selecting JA2 presents those NPC's unique to the original Jagged Alliance 2 game. Alternatively selecting JA2:UB offers a list of possible NPC for use in the Jagged Alliance 2: Unfinished Business expansion game.
RPC name: This works the same as the NPC list, but offers the choice for in-game recruitable mercs.
Group: A list of possible group affiliations is available. Most of them don't do much. The most import one of the groups is 'hicks'. Like in the F10 sector of JA2, characters belonging to this group will attack if you steal something from them, if they see you at night etc. Most of the time setting the group to 'none' is enough. (see 'Other issues & options' for information on how to create Hicks)
Existence: selecting 'definitely' means when you play the game you'll meet the replacement character for sure, and random means just that: they may or may not be there.
Level: This option is unique for Militia and tanks. If you've played the game you'll know what this means.
Statistics: Clicking on the 'Statistics' button brings up the Statistics window. If statistics have been entered in the UB-editor, they will be read by the program. Otherwise all statistics will be reset to 0. Setting them to 0 will allow the game to set them randomly. Again: if you've played the game you'll know what the statistics mean. (if you don't enter stats in the UB-editor they'll be reset to 0)
Inventory: Clicking on the button presents you with the inventory screen. Here you can select what the character will have in his possession. The items available are once dependant on the exe-file selected (JA2 or JA2:UB).
[b]Appearance[/b]: Clicking
on the button brings up the Appearance window. Here you can set the way characters appear in the game. Most of the time keeping it to random is allright. But if you want characters to have a specific clothes' color (to create groups for instance) you can set it here.
Game used: Depending on which of the 2 you've selected, the lists of NPC's and RPC's are changed to present only those that are available in the game.

Notes about the inventory screen:
The inventory screen doesn't work yet - description and procedures to follow.
Use the UB-editor for now.

5: Save your replacement

If you're satisfied with your replacement character click on the 'Save' button to write the data to the map-file.

6: Check your work

Open the altered map-file in the UB-editor to see if the changes have indeed been made. Also, play the map in the game to see if the situations you've created come out the way you wanted them to.

That's really all there is to it.
In short: Create a map with bloodcats, open the map in UB-MFE, select replacements and save.

Other issues & options

Configuration & readme

Under the system menu you'll find the configuration options and the readme file. Clicking on these will bring up a new window that displays either the configuration options or this readme document. Under the configuration options you'll be able to set the exe-file to be used when setting the character's inventory. Setting the exe-file's location folder also assumes that a 'exe-location\data\binarydata' folder is present that contains the ItemDesc.dat or Itmdsc25.dat file. If one of these files is not present an error-message will be generated and the inventory screen will be unavailable.
For information on obtaining an ItemDesc.dat or ItmDsc25.dat file, see the Lords of the Bytes Forum.

Making hicks, Militia and other group-soldiers

To make hicks and other group characters (including Militia) select one of the 3 soldier body-type at the top of the list. Use the group-list to determine to which group they belong (militia is at the bottom). As mentioned above, most of the groups don't really do anything in the game. The most important groups are 'Hicks', 'Kingpin' and of course 'Militia'. Selecting one of the soldier body-types and group 'none' is not possible and generates an error.

Other issues

There a several thing that could be done by UB-MFE, but are not available. That is because it is much easier to do and change in the UB-editor. These are the settings for 'face direction', 'attitude' and 'order'. Especially 'face direction' is much easier done when you look at the complete map.

Use UB-MFE only for JA2:UB maps. The program happily searches and replaces bloodcats in JA2 maps, but there are some internal differences between the two. This could result in your map becoming unusable, so don't use JA2 maps.
If you want to use your map to replace a sector in JA2, use Gold's map converter to change them (available on There have been some reports concerning errors in the converted maps, so check them thoroughly. Deleting all enemies and triggers usually solves most of the problems. Also remember that JA2 uses a different way of determining the enemies in maps. This may result in for instance tanks not showing up. Read the Lords of the Bytes and Bear's Pit forums about further information on these issues.

If you want to create enemy tanks: set the group to 'None'.
Remember that tanks also count as enemies, so place enemies in the UB-editor accordingly (max. 32 enemies).

The Hummer, ice-cream truck and robot are for use with maps that will be used in JA2. In JA2:UB maps they can be placed, but only as decoration for the map.

The same goes for most NPC's (those not found in JA2:UB). They only interact with the player in JA2 maps. Placing Tony in an JA2:UB does not result in another gun trader. He will talk to you but hasn't got anything for sale (probably left his goods in Arulco).
For NPC's and RPC's to appear in the game and to do anything other than stand around requires additional steps from the user. Check Deutscher's post 'JA2 RPC's in JA2:UB' on the Lords of the Bytes website and forum (www.lords-of-the-bytes).
Also, you cannot set attributes and inventories for NPC's and RPC's. These are controlled by separate files (prof.dat for JA2, JA25prof.dat for JA2:UB). Again, check the posts on the Lords of the Bytes Forums. Important to do is set the NPC or RPC's sector correctly using ProEdit (and again: available from Lords of the Bytes, in the 'JA2 Files' section).

NPC and RPC names are read by the program from an ini-file (NPC-RPC.ini). If you plan on changing the names for a campaign, open this files in a texteditor (for instance Notepad) and replace the names as desired. This not really necessary, but will make using UB-MFE a little easier.

Theoretically you could have bloodcats and bugs fighting on your side. This would be unrealistic and I don't know (yet) how this will work in the game. So for the moment that is not possible without hex-editing the maps yourself. Once again, check the posts on the Lords of the Bytes Forum ( If I get enough requests and/or have the time to try it out, that may be changed in a future release.

The program searches only for bloodcats, although other characters could be found by the program with some modifications. This is done for 2 reasons: 1: replacing bloodcats doesn't interfere with the enemy count on maps (32 enemies required in map-files, only exception are enemy tanks); 2: the gridnumber is found at least twice in the map-files, searching for additional values that are unique to bloodcats lowers the chance for errors significantly.


This might sound rude and unfriendly on my part, but don't send me any unsollicited maps, i won't examine them for errors. Also don't mail me with questions which you can find the answer for on the forums or in this readme. I will respond to this once and delete any subsequent e-mails from you unread. Like i said, this sounds unfriendly, but we have forums and i made a pretty comprehensive readme for UB-MFE, so if you don't read through them, that's your choice, just don't bother me with that. That being said, don't be shy to post on the forums or contact me, 'cause i'm really a very nice guy :-).
Using the program could potentially result in your map-file becoming corrupted and unusable (hey, that could also happen in you use the UB-editor), so back up the map-file before using this progam (but you always do that, right ;-).

Copyright & credits

UB-MFE - Unfinished Business Map-File Editor is copyright©2001 by Roadkill.
Jagged Alliance 2 and Jagged Alliance 2: Unfinished Business are copyright(c)1999-2000 by Sir-tech Canada Ltd. (Thanks)

The program itself is freeware. You can distribute to anyone in anyway you want as long as you don't charge any money for it and inform me about it. Just make sure you include the complete zip and don't alter anything (hey, it's copyright by me ;-). The only thing that may be altered is the included NPC-RPC.ini file. The original ini-file must be included in any release in a folder named 'backup'.
If you post it on a website, let me know so i can inform you of any updates.

Many thanks go to everyone at the Lords of the Bytes and Bear's Pit Forums for their input and information.
Special thanks go to Deutscher, Dekadent Viking and Blast for their research into UB map-files. Without that information this program would never have existed. Also a big thank you (in no particular order) to Toxic, Cortexx, Linx, Mack, Snap, Batman and everyone else who has made a contribution to UB-MFE in one way or another and who's name should be here, but has been forgotten by me (sorry about that).

Contact & availability information
The program will be distributed through Lords of the Bytes, so check there regularly for any updates.
It will also be available from my own website at
Comments, suggestions and bug reports can be placed on the Lords of the Bytes Forum (by registered Lords of the Bytes members only, so if you're not registered yet, i suggest you do so). I will try to respond to all subjects concerning the program and iron out any confirmed bugs as soon as possible.
You can also contact me by e-mail: Roadkill
Now go and have fun... Roadkill
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