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Modifying the Falcon 4.0 keyboard file

By Kurt ‘Froglips’ Giesselman

So many people are contributing so much to Falcon these days. The cockpits, missions, sounds, and even data file corrections and modifications (see the Hex code threads on the Microprose Falcon 4.0 message boards!) are all adding to the sim in tremendous ways. One weekend this past summer I got frustrated that I could not operate the HSI from the keyboard. I went on a hunt to try to find out if anyone had done much work on the keyboard file and was surprised to find that most of us were still trying to find the command to turn on the frame rate counter. It looked like I was going to have to figure this out by myself! Fortunately the keyboard file is just a text file and requires no (or very little) understanding of hexadecimal coding, machine language, or any of the stuff that really smart people understand (this stuff is just a mystery to me). Delving into the Falcon 4.0 keyboard file was time consuming but not too tough. If you don’t want to mess with the file but just have access to all the possible commands then download my modified file from this web site and place it in your Falcon4\config subdirectory. In Falcon 4.0 you will need to go into the controller set-up screen and LOAD my file as your default keyboard set-up. One caution, and a big one, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REDEFINE THE KEYBOARD MAP WITH THE NEW FILE! Reprogram your HOTAS instead. Falcon 4.0 attempts to re-sort the keyboard mapping in ASCII order. With my highly modified file, Falcon fails and leaves the keyboard file totally fragged. Write me after you have attempted to re-map a key press from inside Falcon and you will get shot down in flames. All this said, if you want to understand the mysteries of the keyboard file, read on.

Each line in the Falcon keyboard file has a series of data that tells Falcon what you expect a key press to do. Each line also has a number of ‘switches’ that allowed the Falcon programmers to hide commands from us that they needed for debugging but they felt should not be accessible to the game players. Well, we aren’t going to take that are we? A typical line in the keystrokes.key file looks like this:

SimNextAAWeapon 1013 0 0X1C 0 0 0 1 "Cycle A-A Weapon"

 

SimNextAAWeapon

The first long word is the variable name for Falcon. For goodness sakes, do not mess with these! Changing the variable names is the only thing you can do in this file that will crash Falcon. Other changes may not work or do what you expect but changing these variable names is not going to make you a happy camper.

 

1013

The next data is either a number 1001 through 1097 or a –1. This four-digit number maps the key press to a control in the cockpit. When you press a key, and the switch in your 2D cockpit changes position, it was caused by this code calling a routine in either the 8_ckpit.dat file (800 X 600) or the 6_ckpit.dat file (640 X 480). These cockpit files are buried in the Falcon Zip files or are located in your Falcon4\art\cockpit subdirectory if you have a custom cockpit loaded. You can change these numbers but frankly it just messes up your cockpit by calling the wrong subroutine.

 

0

The next data only appears to be able to have two values, 0 or 1. If it is a 0 then the keyboard is allowed to actuate the cockpit switch in addition to mouse or other forms of non-keyboard control. If it is a 1, like in the case of HSI course and heading increment and decrement, then the keyboard input is blocked.

 

0X1CB 0 0 0

The next four pieces of data work together to define the key code(s), from your keyboard, that will actuate each specific function. There are four codes to accommodate the two step entries used for the debugging code hidden in this file. Most people know about the frame rate counter that is accessed by pressing the <control> key and ‘z’ key together followed by the ‘r’ key. The command line for this command looks like this.

OTWToggleFrameRate –1 0 0X13 0 0X2C 2 –2 "Display frame rate"

The code 0X13 means key ‘r’. The 0 following means no shift, control, or alt keys modification. The next entry 0X2C means ‘z’. A ‘2’ follows the key code. That means the control key must be held down while the ‘z’ key is pressed. The final two digits of the four digit 0X codes are right out of the DOS handbook for key codes. Unfortunately, you have to know these codes if you want to re-map keys in my modified file. I repeat, you can not re-map keys in Falcon with my custom file! There are seven possible values for the modifiers after the key codes.

0 = none

1 = key plus shift key

2 = key plus control key

3 = key plus shift and control key

4 = key plus alt key

5 = key plus alt and shift key

6 = key plus alt and control key

7 = key plus alt and control and shift key

If the second pair of codes is 0 0 then Falcon just uses the first pair. You may see a line with the key code 0XFFFFFFFF. This means that the command has not been mapped to a key press yet.

 

1

The final piece of data is the key to unlocking the power of the Falcon keyboard file. This code determines if the keyboard command is displayed in the Falcon Set-up keyboard re-mapper and if it is re-mappable. I was fortunate to figure out this code first. There are three possible values for this data.

1 = display key code and allow re-mapping

-1 = display key code and prevent changes

-2 = hide key code

When I went through and changed every data location to a 1, I was able to see every possible keyboard command in Falcon. From "Blackout/Redout-toggle" to "Invincibility", they were all there. Frankly, I have messed with all of them and most of them have no value during a mission or are just outright cheats. But they are all there for you to see now! I have changed all these key codes to –1 in my custom file to prevent anyone trying to re-map a key press and messing up there file inadvertently. You will see that the Radio and Menu commands are also not displayed (because you know those codes right?).

Finally, there are eight lines at the end of the file that have this format:

SimTrigger 0 –1 –2 0 0 0 "Fire gun"

Do not mess with these. I believe that they are mapping keys assigned to game ports. Early on I deleted them with Falcon promptly reinserting them and trying to re-sort my file. I have tried changing them to determine if some new values might do something interesting but it has not to date.

If you have any questions you can reach me at

 

Froglips@club-internet.fr or via my squadrons web page www.404th.com

Please make copies of a file before you change it. I don’t respond to emails that begin with "You messed up…" or "Your file messed up…". However, I will respond to people with interesting questions or new knowledge about Falcon 4.0

Major Kurt ‘Froglips’ Giesselman

404th TFW

Download custom.key here

 

Modifying the Falcon 4.0 keyboard file

By Kurt ‘Froglips’ Giesselman

So many people are contributing so much to Falcon these days. The cockpits, missions, sounds, and even data file corrections and modifications (see the Hex code threads on the Microprose Falcon 4.0 message boards!) are all adding to the sim in tremendous ways. One weekend this past summer I got frustrated that I could not operate the HSI from the keyboard. I went on a hunt to try to find out if anyone had done much work on the keyboard file and was surprised to find that most of us were still trying to find the command to turn on the frame rate counter. It looked like I was going to have to figure this out by myself! Fortunately the keyboard file is just a text file and requires no (or very little) understanding of hexadecimal coding, machine language, or any of the stuff that really smart people understand (this stuff is just a mystery to me). Delving into the Falcon 4.0 keyboard file was time consuming but not too tough. If you don’t want to mess with the file but just have access to all the possible commands then download my modified file from this web site and place it in your Falcon4\config subdirectory. In Falcon 4.0 you will need to go into the controller set-up screen and LOAD my file as your default keyboard set-up. One caution, and a big one, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REDEFINE THE KEYBOARD MAP WITH THE NEW FILE! Reprogram your HOTAS instead. Falcon 4.0 attempts to re-sort the keyboard mapping in ASCII order. With my highly modified file, Falcon fails and leaves the keyboard file totally fragged. Write me after you have attempted to re-map a key press from inside Falcon and you will get shot down in flames. All this said, if you want to understand the mysteries of the keyboard file, read on.

Each line in the Falcon keyboard file has a series of data that tells Falcon what you expect a key press to do. Each line also has a number of ‘switches’ that allowed the Falcon programmers to hide commands from us that they needed for debugging but they felt should not be accessible to the game players. Well, we aren’t going to take that are we? A typical line in the keystrokes.key file looks like this:

SimNextAAWeapon 1013 0 0X1C 0 0 0 1 "Cycle A-A Weapon"

 

SimNextAAWeapon

The first long word is the variable name for Falcon. For goodness sakes, do not mess with these! Changing the variable names is the only thing you can do in this file that will crash Falcon. Other changes may not work or do what you expect but changing these variable names is not going to make you a happy camper.

 

1013

The next data is either a number 1001 through 1097 or a –1. This four-digit number maps the key press to a control in the cockpit. When you press a key, and the switch in your 2D cockpit changes position, it was caused by this code calling a routine in either the 8_ckpit.dat file (800 X 600) or the 6_ckpit.dat file (640 X 480). These cockpit files are buried in the Falcon Zip files or are located in your Falcon4\art\cockpit subdirectory if you have a custom cockpit loaded. You can change these numbers but frankly it just messes up your cockpit by calling the wrong subroutine.

 

0

The next data only appears to be able to have two values, 0 or 1. If it is a 0 then the keyboard is allowed to actuate the cockpit switch in addition to mouse or other forms of non-keyboard control. If it is a 1, like in the case of HSI course and heading increment and decrement, then the keyboard input is blocked.

 

0X1CB 0 0 0

The next four pieces of data work together to define the key code(s), from your keyboard, that will actuate each specific function. There are four codes to accommodate the two step entries used for the debugging code hidden in this file. Most people know about the frame rate counter that is accessed by pressing the <control> key and ‘z’ key together followed by the ‘r’ key. The command line for this command looks like this.

OTWToggleFrameRate –1 0 0X13 0 0X2C 2 –2 "Display frame rate"

The code 0X13 means key ‘r’. The 0 following means no shift, control, or alt keys modification. The next entry 0X2C means ‘z’. A ‘2’ follows the key code. That means the control key must be held down while the ‘z’ key is pressed. The final two digits of the four digit 0X codes are right out of the DOS handbook for key codes. Unfortunately, you have to know these codes if you want to re-map keys in my modified file. I repeat, you can not re-map keys in Falcon with my custom file! There are seven possible values for the modifiers after the key codes.

0 = none

1 = key plus shift key

2 = key plus control key

3 = key plus shift and control key

4 = key plus alt key

5 = key plus alt and shift key

6 = key plus alt and control key

7 = key plus alt and control and shift key

If the second pair of codes is 0 0 then Falcon just uses the first pair. You may see a line with the key code 0XFFFFFFFF. This means that the command has not been mapped to a key press yet.

 

1

The final piece of data is the key to unlocking the power of the Falcon keyboard file. This code determines if the keyboard command is displayed in the Falcon Set-up keyboard re-mapper and if it is re-mappable. I was fortunate to figure out this code first. There are three possible values for this data.

1 = display key code and allow re-mapping

-1 = display key code and prevent changes

-2 = hide key code

When I went through and changed every data location to a 1, I was able to see every possible keyboard command in Falcon. From "Blackout/Redout-toggle" to "Invincibility", they were all there. Frankly, I have messed with all of them and most of them have no value during a mission or are just outright cheats. But they are all there for you to see now! I have changed all these key codes to –1 in my custom file to prevent anyone trying to re-map a key press and messing up there file inadvertently. You will see that the Radio and Menu commands are also not displayed (because you know those codes right?).

Finally, there are eight lines at the end of the file that have this format:

SimTrigger 0 –1 –2 0 0 0 "Fire gun"

Do not mess with these. I believe that they are mapping keys assigned to game ports. Early on I deleted them with Falcon promptly reinserting them and trying to re-sort my file. I have tried changing them to determine if some new values might do something interesting but it has not to date.

If you have any questions you can reach me at

 

Froglips@club-internet.fr or via my squadrons web page www.404th.com

Please make copies of a file before you change it. I don’t respond to emails that begin with "You messed up…" or "Your file messed up…". However, I will respond to people with interesting questions or new knowledge about Falcon 4.0

Major Kurt ‘Froglips’ Giesselman

404th TFW

Download custom.key here

 

Modifying the Falcon 4.0 keyboard file

By Kurt ‘Froglips’ Giesselman

So many people are contributing so much to Falcon these days. The cockpits, missions, sounds, and even data file corrections and modifications (see the Hex code threads on the Microprose Falcon 4.0 message boards!) are all adding to the sim in tremendous ways. One weekend this past summer I got frustrated that I could not operate the HSI from the keyboard. I went on a hunt to try to find out if anyone had done much work on the keyboard file and was surprised to find that most of us were still trying to find the command to turn on the frame rate counter. It looked like I was going to have to figure this out by myself! Fortunately the keyboard file is just a text file and requires no (or very little) understanding of hexadecimal coding, machine language, or any of the stuff that really smart people understand (this stuff is just a mystery to me). Delving into the Falcon 4.0 keyboard file was time consuming but not too tough. If you don’t want to mess with the file but just have access to all the possible commands then download my modified file from this web site and place it in your Falcon4\config subdirectory. In Falcon 4.0 you will need to go into the controller set-up screen and LOAD my file as your default keyboard set-up. One caution, and a big one, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REDEFINE THE KEYBOARD MAP WITH THE NEW FILE! Reprogram your HOTAS instead. Falcon 4.0 attempts to re-sort the keyboard mapping in ASCII order. With my highly modified file, Falcon fails and leaves the keyboard file totally fragged. Write me after you have attempted to re-map a key press from inside Falcon and you will get shot down in flames. All this said, if you want to understand the mysteries of the keyboard file, read on.

Each line in the Falcon keyboard file has a series of data that tells Falcon what you expect a key press to do. Each line also has a number of ‘switches’ that allowed the Falcon programmers to hide commands from us that they needed for debugging but they felt should not be accessible to the game players. Well, we aren’t going to take that are we? A typical line in the keystrokes.key file looks like this:

SimNextAAWeapon 1013 0 0X1C 0 0 0 1 "Cycle A-A Weapon"

 

SimNextAAWeapon

The first long word is the variable name for Falcon. For goodness sakes, do not mess with these! Changing the variable names is the only thing you can do in this file that will crash Falcon. Other changes may not work or do what you expect but changing these variable names is not going to make you a happy camper.

 

1013

The next data is either a number 1001 through 1097 or a –1. This four-digit number maps the key press to a control in the cockpit. When you press a key, and the switch in your 2D cockpit changes position, it was caused by this code calling a routine in either the 8_ckpit.dat file (800 X 600) or the 6_ckpit.dat file (640 X 480). These cockpit files are buried in the Falcon Zip files or are located in your Falcon4\art\cockpit subdirectory if you have a custom cockpit loaded. You can change these numbers but frankly it just messes up your cockpit by calling the wrong subroutine.

 

0

The next data only appears to be able to have two values, 0 or 1. If it is a 0 then the keyboard is allowed to actuate the cockpit switch in addition to mouse or other forms of non-keyboard control. If it is a 1, like in the case of HSI course and heading increment and decrement, then the keyboard input is blocked.

 

0X1CB 0 0 0

The next four pieces of data work together to define the key code(s), from your keyboard, that will actuate each specific function. There are four codes to accommodate the two step entries used for the debugging code hidden in this file. Most people know about the frame rate counter that is accessed by pressing the <control> key and ‘z’ key together followed by the ‘r’ key. The command line for this command looks like this.

OTWToggleFrameRate –1 0 0X13 0 0X2C 2 –2 "Display frame rate"

The code 0X13 means key ‘r’. The 0 following means no shift, control, or alt keys modification. The next entry 0X2C means ‘z’. A ‘2’ follows the key code. That means the control key must be held down while the ‘z’ key is pressed. The final two digits of the four digit 0X codes are right out of the DOS handbook for key codes. Unfortunately, you have to know these codes if you want to re-map keys in my modified file. I repeat, you can not re-map keys in Falcon with my custom file! There are seven possible values for the modifiers after the key codes.

0 = none

1 = key plus shift key

2 = key plus control key

3 = key plus shift and control key

4 = key plus alt key

5 = key plus alt and shift key

6 = key plus alt and control key

7 = key plus alt and control and shift key

If the second pair of codes is 0 0 then Falcon just uses the first pair. You may see a line with the key code 0XFFFFFFFF. This means that the command has not been mapped to a key press yet.

 

1

The final piece of data is the key to unlocking the power of the Falcon keyboard file. This code determines if the keyboard command is displayed in the Falcon Set-up keyboard re-mapper and if it is re-mappable. I was fortunate to figure out this code first. There are three possible values for this data.

1 = display key code and allow re-mapping

-1 = display key code and prevent changes

-2 = hide key code

When I went through and changed every data location to a 1, I was able to see every possible keyboard command in Falcon. From "Blackout/Redout-toggle" to "Invincibility", they were all there. Frankly, I have messed with all of them and most of them have no value during a mission or are just outright cheats. But they are all there for you to see now! I have changed all these key codes to –1 in my custom file to prevent anyone trying to re-map a key press and messing up there file inadvertently. You will see that the Radio and Menu commands are also not displayed (because you know those codes right?).

Finally, there are eight lines at the end of the file that have this format:

SimTrigger 0 –1 –2 0 0 0 "Fire gun"

Do not mess with these. I believe that they are mapping keys assigned to game ports. Early on I deleted them with Falcon promptly reinserting them and trying to re-sort my file. I have tried changing them to determine if some new values might do something interesting but it has not to date.

If you have any questions you can reach me at

 

Froglips@club-internet.fr or via my squadrons web page www.404th.com

Please make copies of a file before you change it. I don’t respond to emails that begin with "You messed up…" or "Your file messed up…". However, I will respond to people with interesting questions or new knowledge about Falcon 4.0

Major Kurt ‘Froglips’ Giesselman

404th TFW

Download custom.key here

 

Modifying the Falcon 4.0 keyboard file

By Kurt ‘Froglips’ Giesselman

So many people are contributing so much to Falcon these days. The cockpits, missions, sounds, and even data file corrections and modifications (see the Hex code threads on the Microprose Falcon 4.0 message boards!) are all adding to the sim in tremendous ways. One weekend this past summer I got frustrated that I could not operate the HSI from the keyboard. I went on a hunt to try to find out if anyone had done much work on the keyboard file and was surprised to find that most of us were still trying to find the command to turn on the frame rate counter. It looked like I was going to have to figure this out by myself! Fortunately the keyboard file is just a text file and requires no (or very little) understanding of hexadecimal coding, machine language, or any of the stuff that really smart people understand (this stuff is just a mystery to me). Delving into the Falcon 4.0 keyboard file was time consuming but not too tough. If you don’t want to mess with the file but just have access to all the possible commands then download my modified file from this web site and place it in your Falcon4\config subdirectory. In Falcon 4.0 you will need to go into the controller set-up screen and LOAD my file as your default keyboard set-up. One caution, and a big one, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REDEFINE THE KEYBOARD MAP WITH THE NEW FILE! Reprogram your HOTAS instead. Falcon 4.0 attempts to re-sort the keyboard mapping in ASCII order. With my highly modified file, Falcon fails and leaves the keyboard file totally fragged. Write me after you have attempted to re-map a key press from inside Falcon and you will get shot down in flames. All this said, if you want to understand the mysteries of the keyboard file, read on.

Each line in the Falcon keyboard file has a series of data that tells Falcon what you expect a key press to do. Each line also has a number of ‘switches’ that allowed the Falcon programmers to hide commands from us that they needed for debugging but they felt should not be accessible to the game players. Well, we aren’t going to take that are we? A typical line in the keystrokes.key file looks like this:

SimNextAAWeapon 1013 0 0X1C 0 0 0 1 "Cycle A-A Weapon"

 

SimNextAAWeapon

The first long word is the variable name for Falcon. For goodness sakes, do not mess with these! Changing the variable names is the only thing you can do in this file that will crash Falcon. Other changes may not work or do what you expect but changing these variable names is not going to make you a happy camper.

 

1013

The next data is either a number 1001 through 1097 or a –1. This four-digit number maps the key press to a control in the cockpit. When you press a key, and the switch in your 2D cockpit changes position, it was caused by this code calling a routine in either the 8_ckpit.dat file (800 X 600) or the 6_ckpit.dat file (640 X 480). These cockpit files are buried in the Falcon Zip files or are located in your Falcon4\art\cockpit subdirectory if you have a custom cockpit loaded. You can change these numbers but frankly it just messes up your cockpit by calling the wrong subroutine.

 

0

The next data only appears to be able to have two values, 0 or 1. If it is a 0 then the keyboard is allowed to actuate the cockpit switch in addition to mouse or other forms of non-keyboard control. If it is a 1, like in the case of HSI course and heading increment and decrement, then the keyboard input is blocked.

 

0X1CB 0 0 0

The next four pieces of data work together to define the key code(s), from your keyboard, that will actuate each specific function. There are four codes to accommodate the two step entries used for the debugging code hidden in this file. Most people know about the frame rate counter that is accessed by pressing the <control> key and ‘z’ key together followed by the ‘r’ key. The command line for this command looks like this.

OTWToggleFrameRate –1 0 0X13 0 0X2C 2 –2 "Display frame rate"

The code 0X13 means key ‘r’. The 0 following means no shift, control, or alt keys modification. The next entry 0X2C means ‘z’. A ‘2’ follows the key code. That means the control key must be held down while the ‘z’ key is pressed. The final two digits of the four digit 0X codes are right out of the DOS handbook for key codes. Unfortunately, you have to know these codes if you want to re-map keys in my modified file. I repeat, you can not re-map keys in Falcon with my custom file! There are seven possible values for the modifiers after the key codes.

0 = none

1 = key plus shift key

2 = key plus control key

3 = key plus shift and control key

4 = key plus alt key

5 = key plus alt and shift key

6 = key plus alt and control key

7 = key plus alt and control and shift key

If the second pair of codes is 0 0 then Falcon just uses the first pair. You may see a line with the key code 0XFFFFFFFF. This means that the command has not been mapped to a key press yet.

 

1

The final piece of data is the key to unlocking the power of the Falcon keyboard file. This code determines if the keyboard command is displayed in the Falcon Set-up keyboard re-mapper and if it is re-mappable. I was fortunate to figure out this code first. There are three possible values for this data.

1 = display key code and allow re-mapping

-1 = display key code and prevent changes

-2 = hide key code

When I went through and changed every data location to a 1, I was able to see every possible keyboard command in Falcon. From "Blackout/Redout-toggle" to "Invincibility", they were all there. Frankly, I have messed with all of them and most of them have no value during a mission or are just outright cheats. But they are all there for you to see now! I have changed all these key codes to –1 in my custom file to prevent anyone trying to re-map a key press and messing up there file inadvertently. You will see that the Radio and Menu commands are also not displayed (because you know those codes right?).

Finally, there are eight lines at the end of the file that have this format:

SimTrigger 0 –1 –2 0 0 0 "Fire gun"

Do not mess with these. I believe that they are mapping keys assigned to game ports. Early on I deleted them with Falcon promptly reinserting them and trying to re-sort my file. I have tried changing them to determine if some new values might do something interesting but it has not to date.

If you have any questions you can reach me at

 

Froglips@club-internet.fr or via my squadrons web page www.404th.com

Please make copies of a file before you change it. I don’t respond to emails that begin with "You messed up…" or "Your file messed up…". However, I will respond to people with interesting questions or new knowledge about Falcon 4.0

Major Kurt ‘Froglips’ Giesselman

404th TFW

Download custom.key here