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RA2 Missions Argentina -English-

Modify Skirmish Flags
Submitted by ArgCmdr

Many may have tried doing this, and seeing how your attempt got flushed through the toilet because the flag was seen corrupted ingame. This tutorial will show you the basics of why this happens and how to solve it.

First off, lets remember that the flags that work are the .PCX files, NOT the .SHPs. Palette is independant for each flag. So there shouldnt be any problem.

Before proceeding; make sure you have:

XCC Mixer
XCC Mix Editor
PSP / Photoshop / Corel / IrfanView ; notice that some versions of these programs dont add junk code.

And make sure you know how to open the middle tab in XCC Mixer...

Now, open XCC Mixer.

You will see that, the original flags are in local.mix / localmd.mix. They must be put in an ExpandmdXX.mix file to overwrite the others, or inside the interface tab, if youre using XCC Mod Creator / Launcher.

The filenames are:

arbi.pcx -> Iraqi Flag
lati.pcx -> Cuban Flag
usai -> American Flag
rusi -> Russian Flag
yrii -> Yuri Flag
djbi -> Lybian Flag
frai -> French Flag
gbri -> UK Flag
geri -> German Flag
japi -> Korean Flag

You might also have noticed that theres a nodi.pcx and a gdii.pcx. Curious, eh?

Now, keep in mind that you cannot add new filenames but override others. Extract one of this to your computer (if its a parent country its best, because then you can erase the parts that get topped by the faction logo)

What to do...well, first grab your new flag, and resize to 27x18. Increase color depth on the base PCX. Now back to the resized flag, copy it. Back to the base file, paste it. If you see the flag looks bad, remember you can always use the retouch tools (in PSP) or its Photoshop similes to blur, dodge, burn, darken, rehue, etc.

Once your flag is pasted there, you may or may not want to paste a logo above it. You can just copy paste this last one, or resize one of yours to 21x21, 23x21 or similar (It highly depends on the proportion youre basing yours on. if it doesnt fit, cut it somewhere). When you paste, make sure its first pixel is on coordinates 1,1.

Now, youre done with the flag (remember to paint all those pixels that shouldnt appear as 255,0,255, as we will use that color as transprent ingame.

Next step is decreasing color depth, use Optimized Median Cut, and Nearest Color Matching. This will ensure no quality lost (as you probably will not use 255 colors you have availble...). After this is done, save your work as a pcx file.

Go into XCC Mixer, and right click on the PCX. Click on copy as PAL.

Now open XCC Mix Editor and place the .pal file inside an ExpandXX.mix (where XX is a number between 02-99). Notice this is IMPERATIVE for the flag to be outputted correctly ingame, since we will convert that pcx into a SHP, and then back into a PCX. The reason is that some versions of these programs, for example PSP 6 and older versions, insert "junk" 21 bytes, which mess the order the game reads the file, hence it displays it "twisted".

So, do as said, save that mix file, place it on the game folder, then close XCC Mixer, and open it again. Select the PCX. Click on copy as SHP(TS). Go to View -> Palette -> Select.... Click on your newly created mix file, and choose your palette. Now select that SHP, and click on copy as PCX (Dont worry, if you didnt add the 0000 to the end of the filename, it wont be overwritten, since every time you add no 0000 it eats a character of the filename on SHP comversion). This PCX should be clean from junk additions. Make sure you dont edit it again after.

Now, you can get rid of the ExpandmdXX.mix you created, since all its purpose is being there so XCC Mixer uses the proper palette for conversions. The resulting PCX files should be enough to add in the game.

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