Hacking the Armada savegame file (using DC Link)
Released 10/30/2000
Written by James Roman (aolsucks_hard@yahoo.com)

Version 1.0

1. Contents
        1. Contents
        2. Introduction
        3. Version History
        4. What You Need
        5. The Process
          A. Raising Your Credit Limit (so to speak)
          B. Taking Your Game To A Whole New Level
          C. Experiencing New Things
        6. Other Slot Locations
        7. Acknoledgements and Stuff
        8. Things Missing From This FAQ
        9. Copyrights
       10. Bad Sites (AKA Ripoff Sites)
2. Introduction

        I recently bought a used copy of Armada from Games 4 Less
($15, I couldn't resist) and a NEXUS memory card. I played Armada
for a while, and then I decided to see if I could mess with the
savegame. This FAQ contains my findings.

3. Version History
        - Version 1: Original version of this FAQ. Section 5 partially
          complete. Section 5 only has instructions for editing the first
          save slot's credits. I need to figure out the positions of the
          other slots information before I add anything else to this
          document. I also need to figure out how Items are stored. If you
          can help me, email me.
          (Released 10/30/2000 (my 20th birthday))

        - Version 1.5: Added 2nd character save slot information, and cleaned
          up a lot of my errors.
          (Released 10/30/2000 (later that day, natrually)

        - Version 2: Added the Good Sites/Bad Sites sections. I haven't been
          playing Armada much lately, so I haven't gotten anything done with
          the FAQ. I should be starting work on it again pretty soon, though.
          No finish date is possible right now, since I never know when I'll
          get the urge to do some more work on it. Oh yes, this FAQ is now
          mirrored at Al Amaloo's site (http://www.gamewinners.com and
          http://vgstrategies.about.com).
          

4. What You Need

- Dreamcast (duh)
- Armada by Metro3D (duh)
- Nexus Memory Card (I used the 4meg, 16meg should work too) with PC link cable
- DC Link (I used 2.3b; there might be a new version out by now:
  http://www.hkems.com/download.htm)
- Windows Calculator (in Scientific mode, used to convert decimal numbers to
  hex with absolute ease)
- Some patience.

5. The Process

        A. Raising Your Credit Limit (so to speak)

        NOTE: Make a backup of your save file (double click it, click Export,
and give it a name) before you edit it, especially if you've never done this
before.

        I'm going to assume that you have a little knowledge of hexadecimal.

        First, hook everything up. Turn on your Dreamcast. Open up DC Link and
pray that it works. If not, take out the Link cable from the top of the NEXUS
card and re-insert it. It's a cheaply made cable, so it doesn't work 100% of
the time. Once you do get it working, click on the Armada savegame (hint: its
the A). On the left, a small toolbar will slide into view, with two buttons on
it: Edit and Disasm (Disasm = disassemble and is disabled). Click Edit. A
window will pop up with HEX on the left (lots of two character bytes) and
ASCII text on the right (the ASCII equivalent of the HEX bytes).

        I've found that Armada stores the numerical data with the first and
last bytes transposed. Meaning, that if you have 915 credits (393 in HEX),
then it'll show up 93 03 in the save file. Keep this in mind.

        Okay. Credits are stored in the line 0xA30 for the first character
save slot. You'll know its the first character save slot because on the right,
you'll see the name of the character that is in the first slot. The credits are
the first three bytes in the line. Change them to FF FF FF. Now, hit
File - Save and close the window. DC Link will transfer the edited save file
to your NEXUS, overwriting your original save file. Unplug the link cable from
your NEXUS card, and start up Armada like usual. BAM! You should have somewhere
in the range of 16 million credits.

You're done, if all went well.

        B. Taking Your Game To A Whole New Level

        For the player one spot, the level is hidden in the 0x390 line, 5
bytes in (aka 0x395). You'll spot your characters current rather easily.
Change this number to something (44 (2c in hex) is the last level where you
get ship powerups for gaining levels). I don't know what the max is here,
but I would think 255 (FF in hex) would work.

        C. Experiencing New Things

        Experience is also in the 0x390 line, only this time its 13, 14 and 15
bytes from the left (the number at the 13th byte may be blank if you don't
have more than 255 experience). Changing these bytes to FF FF FF will give
something like 16 million experience points.

6. Other Slot Locations

   A. Slot 2

      1. Experience
      Experience for the second save slot is located on line 0x500, bytes
   5, 6 & 7. Change them to FF FF 4A for all the experience you can handle.
   Note that there seems to be a limit on experience.

      2. Credits
      Credits for the second save slot is also located on line 0x500. The
   bytes to change are bytes 9-11. Set them all to FF, and you'll have 16 million
   credits.

      3. Level
      The level for the second character save slot is on line 0x4F0, byte 12.
   I think theres a cap on this. Read above in section 5 for more details.

7. Acknoledgements and Stuff

Thanks!
=======

        - Metro 3D      For taking a game that had a lot of
                        production problems, and was originally
                        panned by most reviewers (before release)
                        and creating this absolute work of art.

        - Sega          For creating a DAMNED good video game
                        console, and keeping the prices down so
                        that small time video game companies like
                        Metro 3D could create absolute gems like
                        this.

        - Sony          For not being Sega. THANK YOU! If Sony
                        owned Sega, we'd have wound up with a
                        crappy video game system (can anyone say
                        POS2? I knew you could)

        - Wedge55       For allowing me to discover the Dreamcast
                        through a LOT of multiplayer play. And, of
                        course, for having the guts to rent Armada
                        and get me hooked on it.

        - Games 4 Less  Damn BIG store, great selection, EXCELLENT
                        prices. Check this place out if you can.

       - You!           For taking the time to read this. Hopefully,
                        now you know how to 'hack' Armada's save
                        file, and might even be able to help me.

8. Things Missing From This FAQ

        1. Item hacking       - I'm working on this, but it doesn't look too
                                good. It's pretty hard to figure out the
                                bytes that are changed when you buy/sell new
                                items. If you can help me with this, let me
                                know.

        2. Other Save Slots   - Again, I'm working on this, but the going is
                                slow. Once I get this done, I'll have to
                                re-organize the FAQ, which isn't that big of
                                a problem. Again, if you can help me with
                                this, please let me know.

        3. Review             - Hopefully, by the next update, I'll have
                                written my own review of this game. It's
                                certainly worth the effort. Any Dreamcast
                                owner who hasen't at least rented this game
                                is missing out.

9. Copyrights

This FAQ is Copyright (c) 2000 James Roman. All of the text within this
document is mine and mine only. All views/opinions represented here are mine,
and don't necessarily represent anyone elses point of view.

DO NOT COPY THIS FAQ UNLESS YOU EMAIL ME. If you want to use this FAQ in a
magazine or distribute it on ANY media (including Floppy Disk, CD-ROM, DVD,
Digital Tape, Internet) send me an email.

Questions or comments should be sent to aolsucks_hard@yahoo.com

Any mail from idiots (aka flamers, spammers, people who don't know what
Windows Calculator is) will be ignored. Repeat offences will be dealt with,
without warning, by using the Block Sender function of Outlook Express.

Armada is a copyright of Metro 3D, and Dreamcast is a copyright of Sega. Yadda
yadda yadda.

These programs were used in the making of this FAQ:

1. DCLink 2.3B
2. Notepad
3. Hex Workshop
4. Hackman
5. MS-DOS Edit

10. Bad Game Sites (Aka Ripoff sites)
==

        Well, I just got an email from someone over at FBGames.com (at the
mention of this site, the crowd begins to load their guns) asking permission
to use my FAQ on their site. I was all ready to accept, but before I did, I
decided to take a look at the site, to make sure it was something I wanted to
be a part of. The site wasn't quite finished, but there was enough there for
me to navigate around relatively easily. I went to the Dreamcast section,
looked for Armada, and, lo and behold, my FAQ was already up there, even
before I gave the O.K.! Needless to say, this pissed me off. I have declined
their invitiation to host my FAQ, and I suggest that any current or future FAQ
writer does the same. I'll be checking back tomarrow to make sure that my FAQ
was taken down, and if not, I'll be sure to look into any means necessary to
force its removal.

11. Good Sites (Aka: Ones that are allowed to mirror this FAQ)
==
        The following sites have been given permission to mirror this FAQ:
        
        - GameFAQs (http://www.gamefaqs.com)
        - Al Alamoo and Company (http://www.gamewinners.com and
          http://vgstrategies.about.com)

        If you see any other sites out there hosting this FAQ, then send me an
email at aolsucks_hard@yahoo.com . Action will be taken.

Thanks!

== END