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Gaming Hacks by Simon Carless

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Buff Your Saved Characters

Hex editing your saved games can relieve tedious single-player leveling.

What if you knew you had a bunch of information about your character saved in a PC saved-game file, but you weren’t happy with it? Suppose your character has $10, but you want him to have $20. Following the general path of the saved-game hacking ideas on GameHacking.com (e.g., http://www.gamehacking.com/view.php?link=../tutorials/savehacktut.php), you can solve this little problem, too.

For this example, we’ll use HexEdit 2.1 (http://www.gamehacking.com/download.php?type=tools&file=hexeditors/hedit21.zip), a relatively old, but still serviceable hex editor.

Tip

You’ll need a passing familiarity with hexadecimal notation, which is where the name hex editor comes from. You’ll have to enter the value to search in hex. In this example, 10 in decimal is 0A in hexadecimal. The number 20 in decimal is 14 in hex. With a little practice, it’ll make sense to you.

To start, you need to know the current value of the item you hope to change. If you’re lucky, it’ll be unique and easier to find within the saved game. Once you’ve found it, simply replace the correct 0A with 14 and reload the game to see what happened. Keep multiple copies of the save file in case you messed up, of course. There’s more trial and error in this approach, but the game saves often follow very similar formats. Don’t be confused if you see 10 in the right column. This shows ASCII equivalents of hex values. Any text here is ...

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