Xargon

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Xargon
Xargon.png
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Levels?Tick.png Editable
Tiles?X mark.svg Not editable
Sprites?X mark.svg Not editable
Fullscreen?X mark.svg Not editable
Sound?X mark.svg Not editable
Music?Tick.png Editable
Text?X mark.svg Not editable
Story/cutscenes?Tick.png Editable
UI/menus?X mark.svg Not editable
Xargon is based on the Jill of the Jungle engine, with support for CGA and EGA removed, and a few minor additions such as palette animation. The two games share many features, such as the file formats for game levels and graphics.

Xargon is now open source, and the released code has also been useful in reverse engineering Jill of the Jungle.

Tools

The following tools are able to work with this game.

Name PlatformGroup/archives Levels Graphics Music Sounds Text Saves .exe patch Notes
Camoto Linux/WindowsN/AEditReadEditNoNoNoNo
Xargon open source SDL (Linux/Mac/Win)N/AEditNoNoNoNoNoNo


File formats

This section lists the major file formats used in the game. The file extensions .xr[0123] refer to a specific episode - this will be .xr1 to .xr3, and .xr0 for a "global" file that is used by all episodes.

File name Description
config.xr[123] Configuration file in CFG Format (Jill of the Jungle)
song_*.xr[0123] Music in CMF Format
tiles.xr[123] Tile information in DMA Format
board_*.xr[123]
map.xr[123]
demo?.xr[123]
intro.xr[123]
story.xr[123]
Game levels in Jill of the Jungle Map Format. map.* are the overhead maps, demo* are the demo levels, intro.* are the main menu backgrounds and story.* are the backgrounds behind the in-game story screens. The overhead map is saved into board_t.xr[123] when entering a level, so that it can be restored when the level is complete (so this file is regularly overwritten by the game.)
*_mac.xr[0123] Input macros for demos in MAC Format (Jill of the Jungle)
graphics.xr[123] Shapes (images) in SHA Format
audio.xr[123] Digitised sound and PC speaker effects in VCL Format
save_[0-9].xr[123] Saved games - just dumps of the entire level in its current state (same format as actual levels)
screen_[12].xr0 Images used for episode selection menu, in PCX Format
screen_3.xr0 B800 Text screen shown after quitting the episode selection menu

A palette is also located at offset 0x26b32 in each episode's .exe file (i.e. xrfile0[123].exe.) The offset is the same for each episode, and there is only one known version of each file. The palette is 768 bytes long in 6-bit VGA format. This palette however, does not appear to be used, and is likely a leftover from Jill of the Jungle. The game's main palette is stored in graphics.xr[123] as tile #0 in tileset #5. (There is also another palette in tileset #53, tile #0, but its purpose is currently unknown.)

Notes

  • The text image shown during init (when detecting and configuring hardware) is stored inside the .exe in "TheDraw Crunched Screen Image" format. At first glance this appears to be a relatively simple RLE-based format. It appears to be the only type of compression used throughout the entire game, so reverse engineering it is perhaps not so important. (The decompression code was not included in the source release.)

Further information

Allen Pilgrim released Xargon as freeware on 4 August 2008, and included the source code in the release. It can be downloaded from the Classic DOS Games archive.

The code is currently being ported to SDL so it will run natively on modern platforms (latest code is at https://github.com/Malvineous/xargon)

See also

  • Jill of the Jungle - the forerunner to Xargon (which shares many similarities and file formats)