Dark Ages Map Format

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Dark Ages Map Format
Dark Ages Map Format.png
Format typeMap/level
Map type2D tile-based
Layer count1
Tile size (pixels)16×16
Viewport (pixels)240×144

This format is used by Dark Ages to store game levels. It is stored as file05.da[123].


There is no header or signature in the file. Each level is 1152 bytes long, so the file must be a multiple of this size. Since the game has 10 levels, all the files are 11,520 bytes long.


All levels in the episode are stored in the same file, one after the other. Each level is 128 cells wide and 9 cells high. Each cell occupies one byte in the map file, so each level takes up 1152 bytes (128 × 9).

Map codes

Map code 0 maps to the first image in the first tileset, 1 maps to the second image in the first tileset. Map code 50 maps to the first image in the second tileset, etc. This is true for all 256 map codes, except for map codes 100 through 143 inclusive. Those map codes must be mapped back to images manually, via a lookup table. Lookup tables are available in those level editors/viewers that include source code.


This file format was reverse engineered by Frenkel. If you find this information helpful in a project you're working on, please give credit where credit is due. (A link back to this wiki would be nice too!)