"Oh, wow--that totally rocks!
Thanks a million. You've saved me an incredible amount of work."

Mon Ful Ir, Aug 29 2008

"So I checked out the XSLT converter and my goodness: this is an amazing piece of work!
It's fantastic that you can convert DUNGEON.DAT into XML because this info can be used by anyone now (well, anyone who knows how to use XML files).
Excellent work!"

Gambit, Feb 13 2008

"Greatstone's work looks interesting."
Paul Stevens, Feb 14, 2008

i'm gathering info enough to render complete dungeon viewport (DM snes style) in some ways: (i) using sck (swoosh construction kit) to extract viewport information. it includes decoder for "558 item", very excellent!
Kentaro, Mar 11 2007


This site is devoted to the extraction of data from Dungeon Master and Chaos Strikes Back, games developed by FTL (Software Heaven). You will find here currently extracted data from a lot of different versions of these games, tools to be able to extract yourself data from your own original or customized versions and some technical articles explaining the algorithm/format used by these games. Consequently, most graphics on this web site are copyrighted © to FTL Games / Software Heaven, Inc.

Here is the original team, responsible of Dungeon Master on Atari ST:

  • Doug Bell: Director
  • Dennis Walker: Assistant director
  • Mike Newton: 2nd unit director
  • Andy Jaros: Graphics
  • Wayne Holder: Producer

What's new?
2011-04-26Savegame and GUI

Today is a big milestone for the sck! With this new release, one of the main remaining file format is now supported: the savegame files.
It means that graphics, dungeon, hints, portraits, ftl, sounds, and now savegame -so all major files types- for nearly all platforms are extractable by the sck.
When I see the first date in the news (2005), I realize that I took me 6 years (!) of spare time to achieve it.
Should I be happy or desesperate? Don't want to know :)
Now, the features list:

2011-01-093D2D1D maze from Paul

Paul's 3D2D1D
Happy new year!

Perhaps after some good resolution for 2011, Paul has provided me enough data to decode his incredibly difficult "3D2D1D" dungeon.
You can have a look at it in the "Custom dungeons" section.
More specifically here (maps), here (xml) and here (graphics)!

2010-12-05DM2 Macintosh videos

Dungeon Master 2 Macintosh videos (english and japanese), encoded using an old Mac-specific QuickTime moov format, are now available on the YouTube channel .

An article have been published also, explaining how to convert this very old Mac-specific format into a modern (ex: mp4, H.264+AAC) one, suitable for any actual media players.

2010-11-29sck v1.4: All DM2 graphics

DM2: Kung-Fu attack!
Second major release in the same year: DM is still in the heart and the head!

The last release (1.4.4) of the sck is available and allows now to extract and user-friendly describe 99% of the items from any DM2 graphics.dat releases (Amiga, FM-Towns, IBM PS/V, PC-9801, PC-9821, PC 0.9, PC 1.0, PC demo, Mac, Mac demo, SegaCD, MegaCD, all languages).
As usual, all supported games versions and files are referenced in the pages (DM2) of this site, along with all the extracted data.

New images, sounds, palettes and misc formats have been defined to achieve this milestone, some of them based on the work of Kentaro, who had contributed to this release with palettes advices and U4/C4/U8/C8 own formats (thanks!).
IMG2 format is now fully decoded, even when nibble1 = 0x0D, for which the decoding algorithm was previously unknown.

DM: teaser demo
But the real challenge was not only technical: DM2 is a matter of size after all and it is perhaps not a big deal for girls, but for DM2, it is a defiance. graphics.dat files (15 different game version!) contain between 3000+ and 5000+ items, an interesting amount of data when you want to put a meaningful description of all of them and a good performance for the extractor. It means nearly 60000 items to handle :)

sck brings also more updates:

  • DM Atari teaser demo draft mapfile
  • CSB Atari switch.dat support (thanks christophe)
  • DM2 Amiga lang.ftl support
  • COD1 item format support
  • DM Amiga 2.1 (en) and 2.2 (en) Atari detection
  • minor updates for DM SNES extraction (thanks christophe)
  • minor bug fixes
DM: teaser demo

WANTED: help needed to understand sound format for DM 2 PC-9801 and PC-9821, still unknown!
Some DM2 raw binary items are also waiting for the Light...

2010-03-13sck v1.3: Animation files

DM2: PC end animation is playing
Another black hole has stolen nearly 1 year and a half for the news. But there are some news after all!

The last release of the sck is available and allows now to extract all items from any DM/CSB/DM2 animation files if they follow the format described on the corresponding technical page from the DM & CSB Encyclopaedia.
As usual, all supported games versions and files are referenced in the pages (DM, CSB, DM2) of this site, along with all the extracted data.

But wait a minute! As we speak about animation, it should be interesting to be able to play them from the original files, on a standard/modern PC/Linux/Mac, isn't it?
You bet! Sure it is interesting! And it is exactly what is also possible now with the sck. An engine to play such animation and their extracted items has been built and put inside.
Let me tell you that using the fullscreen option and the anim.dat file from CSB utility disk is a pure moment of joy. Really.
Try it using the batch file included in the sck zip archive: you just have to left-click on your file and drap-n-drop it on the sckView_fullscreen.bat script. No more any awfull command-line to enter, as soon as your java is well configured.

To give a chance to the lazy people, YouTube is just one click away :)
And, yes, all the animations have been put on YouTube in fact. Even the best one, the DM2 SegaCD story animation.

This release also brings other minor improvements like better item 559 extraction, item 558 partial extraction, preparation for DM2 graphics.dat extraction (IMG9, TXT3, ENT1 for example).

2008-10-28CSBWin support

Conflux: alternate monster graphic: xorn attack
Not a lot of news, but a lot of work :)
To go on the support of custom dungeons, the sck tool is now able to extract any CSBWin resources.

  • Custom dungeon file format
  • Classical graphics (graphics.dat)
  • CSBWin specific graphics (csbgraphics.dat)
It means that alternate monster graphics, sound, images, background definition, background code, background mask, wall and floor decoration, etc. can be decoded.
But the most important point is the automatic Maps of all the Conflux dungeon (if the file is not encrypted)!
Feel free to see all the CSBWin resources extracted in the "Custom dungeons" section.

The new custom dungeons extracted are:
Conflux: background mask: bushes
  • 3D Maze - CSBWin - (en) [PaulStevens]
  • 5D Maze - CSBWin - (en) [PaulStevens]
  • Angel's Egg - CSBWin - (en) [Des]
  • Conflux II - CSBWin - j (en) [Zyx]
  • Conflux III - CSBWin - BugFix3 (en) [Zyx]
  • Conflux III - CSBWin - BugFix4 (en) [Zyx]
  • Conflux III - CSBWin - BugFix5 (en) [Zyx]
  • Dungeon Master 1.5 - CSBWin - (en) [Sousou]
  • Imprisoned Again - CSBWin - 1.3 (en) [sucinum]
  • Imprisoned Again - CSBWin - 1.5 (en) [sucinum]
  • Imprisoned Again - CSBWin - 1.5a (en) [sucinum]
  • Shadow Shepherd - CSBWin - R1 (en) [TyGuy6]
  • Small demo dungeon - CSBWin - (en) [Sphenx]
  • Teleporter Puzzle - CSBWin - (en) [PaulStevens]
  • The Black Flame - CSBWin - 2.00 - (en) [PaulH]
  • The Prison of Dragoth - CSBWin - 1.4 (en) [sucinum]
  • The Tower of Chaos - CSBWin - 3.0 (en) [PaulH]
  • The Tower of Chaos - CSBWin - 3.1 (en) [PaulH]
  • Theron's Quest Conversion - CSBWin - (en) [Sphenx]
  • Traps and Monsters - CSBWin - 2.2 (en) [TyGuy6]
  • Well of Fortune - CSBWin - 1.2 (en) [Zed5Duke]
  • Well of Fortune - CSBWin - 2.0 (en) [Zed5Duke]
Conflux: background: wall hole 2
The other noticeable features are:
  • Fix for dungeon extraction with miscellaneous items on tiles
  • Fix Atari PAK decompression
  • Add creature possessions in any extracted dungeon
  • Fix a very annoying bug in the LZW decompression algorithm
  • Prepare graphics.dat item 559 extraction
  • Add support for JASC Paint Shop Pro palette format, more frequently used in modern software than the Microsoft RIFF palette format initially supported.
  • Prepare extraction of some items from the Amiga game "Black Crypt"

Please, not the "Black Crypt" little line :) I will publish as soon as possible this early work to show my progress with this brilliant game. To support it, IMGEHB item type has been added to the sck to handle the specific Amiga Extra Halfbrite mode (64 colors with a 32 colors palette).

sck@1.2 has been published accordingly, with the corresponding add-on.

2008-04-06All DM PC custom dungeons extracted

Conflux: entrance
I decided to extract and publish all the maps of the known custom dungeons done for DM PC (released as new dungeon.dat file, not savegame), to show some possibilities of the sck and provide help for beginner player (is there any people like that, these days? not sure...).
If you don't need to be spoiled, please don't click on the maps.
As sck is also able to extract graphics.dat resource, I have published the graphics.dat items of the known custom dungeons for CSBWin , allowing everyone to see the brilliant work of some dungeon designers. And there are a bunch of very interesting custom graphics, in fact!

To be able to extract these dungeons, the sck has been updated to better handle "wrong" data (wrong = not like official DM/CSB).

Moreover, as some of them are very big in term of teleporters and actuators ("Team dungeon, map 7...), the sckExtraPack has been updated too to reduce the global size of the dungeon html files and decrease the loading time.
Conflux: wall ornate

The new extracted custom dungeons are:

  • Well of Fortune (Survival Art) for CSBWin 2.00 (en) [Zed5Duke]
  • Well of Fortune (Dagoth Crypt) for CSBWin 1.20 (en) [Zed5Duke]
  • The Tower of Chaos for CSBWin 3.1 (en) [PaulH]
  • The Tower of Chaos for DM PC (en) by PaulH
  • The Black Flame for CSBWin (en) [PaulH]
  • Angel's Egg for CSBWin (en) [Des]
  • Conflux for DM PC (en) [Zyx]
  • Conflux II for CSBWin j (en) [Zyx]
  • Conflux III for CSBWin (en) [Zyx]
  • Traps and Monsters for CSBWin 2.2 (en) [TyGuy6]
  • Dungeon Master Plus for DM PC (en) [Ian]
  • The Core for DM PC (en) [Toni]
  • CSB! for DM PC (en) [George]
  • First test dungeon for DM PC (en) [Daniel]
  • Conan and the Mountain of Tor Al'Kiir for DM PC (en) [Daniel]
  • Dungeon Master 2 Legend of Skullkeep for DM PC (en) [Toni]
  • Kid dungeon for DM PC (en) [Ian]
  • Return of Chaos for DM PC (en) [Toni]
  • Bennis dungeon I for DM PC (en) [sucinum]
  • Bennis dungeon II for DM PC (en) [sucinum]
  • Enfers for DM PC (en) [Zyx]
  • The grave of King Millias for DM PC (en) [Toni]
  • Chaos Strikes Back Prison for DM PC (en) [Sphenx]
  • Venture deeper in the Prison for DM PC (en) [Sphenx]
  • Dust and Blood for DM PC (en) [Alpha]
  • Beastmaster for DM PC (en) [RobikZ]
  • Diablo dungeon for DM PC (en) [RobikZ]
  • Small demo dungeon for DM PC (en) [Sphenx]
  • The Tomb of the Firestaff for DM PC (en) [PaulH]
  • The Prisoner for DM PC (en) [Alpha]
  • The Tomb of King Hissssa for DM PC (en) [Florian]
  • The Black Flame for DM PC (en) [PaulH]
  • Kid Dungeon for DM PC (en) [Gambit]
  • Team Dungeon for DM PC (en) [Collective work]
  • Mildew and Vinegar for DM PC 1.15 (en) [Zyx]
  • The Prison of Dragoth for DM PC 1.3 (en) by sucinum

2008-03-25Another custom dungeons extracted

New custom dungeons extracted:

  • The Prison of Dragoth for DM PC 1.3 (en) [sucinum]
  • The Tower of Chaos for DM PC (en) [Paul] (with some very interesting graphics!)
  • Mildew and Vinegar for DM PC 1.15 (en) [Zyx]

2008-03-24New custom dungeon extracted

Today is the turn of the custom dungeon "Imprisoned Again for DM PC 1.4 (en) by sucinum" to be extracted and uploaded here.
No problem to do the extraction of the dungeon maps, so here it is in the "Custom dungeons" section.
But it seems clear now that the look and feel of the maps summary of each dungeon is quite ugly and all dungeons summary have been updated also.
Here are the other minor fixes done:

  • DN SNES extracted items from graphics.dat updated to correctly strech images map at the end
  • all dungeon maps have been updated to show X coordinates
  • new sckExtraPack release (2.2) to support these changes

2008-03-23First custom dungeon extracted

Theron's Quest conversion
I will update this page more frequently to better monitor the progress of the sck.
Today, I have tried to extract something from a custom dungeon designed for "regular" DM/CSB releases (no RTC/Java, etc.).
I took the "Theron's Quest Conversion for Dungeon Master PC" from Sphenx and the result is not so bad I think:

  • all 7 dungeons extracted with success
  • graphics.dat extracted also to show graphical modifications
  • a new resource in the sckExtraPack has been created to handle specific items/champions names: tq_sphenx_en.xml (see the tutorial to understand how to use it)
  • minor fix of the sck itself to handle specific case for this dungeon not seen before
A new "Game/Custom dungeons" section have been added to show these results.

Another new section has been added to show that the sck can also be used to extract resources from other games than DM/CSB one.
Consequently, the "R-Type III for GameBoy Advance" items are also online.

2008-03-21Extracted Dungeon Master items are online

Nearly one year between two news... Doesn't seem to be a very intensive job, huh?
But, you know, things can move also IRL!
Anyway, sck is still alive, even if no public release have been done since the beginning of previous year.
The priority was to focus more this website on the extracted Dungeon Master items themselves, instead of the tool.
So, a new "Game" section have been added and a lot of files of a majority of the DM/CSB releases have been processed and displayed here.

2007-03-17Dungeon as XML and HTML

Dungeon map
Two news in two weeks... incredible!
The next task is now the dungeon.dat extraction. By extraction, I mean "conversion" in a more friendly format. XML was the choosen one.
So, the goal here is to take care of all the FTL specific stuff (compression, endianness, specific format) to generate a dungeon in a format that everybody can read and use.
Everybody... in fact, all the people enough sick and strange to be interested by the DM maps, 20 years after the release of this game. Is it everybody? Not sure. So, let says: "people like me".
The challenge is more being able to really use the resulting XML than generating it. As the dungeon.dat format is well described in dmweb (even if minor corrections have been highlighted), generating XML is quite easy. The hugh work is to write a full XSL file to be able to convert this plan XML to beautiful HTML, automatically. And add images, icons, javascripts, actuators, css, etc.
As this specific task is not the primary goal of the sck, I have added an add-on, called the "sckExtraPack", to take care of the XML2HMTL part.
Everyone can open the sckExtraPack archive and modify all the files to be able to automatically generate maps for their own custom dungeons.
As usal, you can take the sck and the sckExtraPack from the download section.
Moreover, a new section has been created on the Web site to show the extracted data themselves. All the DM maps (and the mini CSB maps) are now available online for multiple platforms (Amiga, Atari, SNES, PC-98, X68000, FMTowns, Apple II GS, IBM-PC).

2007-03-10SNES multi-palettes images

After a loooooong silence, here is the return of the sck. Even if there is no news on this web site, a lot of work has been done to decode dungeon.dat format and I will post a full news about this later.
But now, back to DM SNES.
The sck was not able to extract the correct colors for DM SNES images that use more than one palette, in fact one for each group of tiles.
That's now done and I wrote a little article explaining this, with examples.

2006-07-05PAK format

Another update of the sck to introduce the extraction of Atari PAK files. You can found a "START.PAK" file in DM and CSB Atari. It's the main program in a compressed format, like a zip file for example.
The mapfile associated must describe the uncompressed data. You can easily decompress a PAK file if you use a simple mapfile with only one RAW item. The resulting dat file will be the uncompressed data, allowing you to explore it and describe it in more complex mapfile.
Here is the summary of the new features of the sck:

  • PAK file format support
  • ZIP file format support
  • SNES mapfiles minor updates
  • SNES extraction regression fixed

2006-05-28FTL file format

Insert disk
In the "Technical documentation" section, a new file format is now described: FTL.
You may know it or not but some resources (sound, image, text, palette, image properties (x, y, width, height), etc.) are not located in the graphics.dat file.
They can be found in FTL files, named *.ftl, and a lot of DM/CSB versions are using this format (ANIM.FTL, APPA.FTL, APPB.FTL, CNFG.FTL, GRF1.FTL, KAOS.FTL, MEM1.FTL, SWSH.FTL, USIO.FTL, VDEO.FTL, etc).
In DM Amiga 3.6 SWSH.FTL file for example, we have found the initial palette for the logo image, the logo image itself, the swoosh sound and the animation (delays and color modifications).

The FTL file format is now fully understood and there is a lot of interesting points in it: compression, protection, checksums, headers, data part, etc.
It is now possible to change a FTL file and rebuild it without any error when loading the game as all the compressions and checksums can now be computed again.
The new release of the sck tool is now able to deal with this new file format. Consequently, associated mapfiles have been modified and are just needed to describe to data part of a FTL file. A lot of mapfiles have been corrected and updated to include new resources.
Language choice
Extracting images, sounds, texts, locations is now very easy.
The next step can be: add the FTL files support in a DM/CSB editor...

Another major feature is the ability to use external mapfiles to extract a mapfile. It allows to link images with palettes when they are not in the same files in order to extract images with a real colors.

Here is the summary of the new features of the sck:

  • FTL file format is now completely understood and implemented
  • New mapfiles to extract more items from a lot of FTL files
  • Mapfile can now use other mapfiles: necessary when a palette and the corresponding image are not in the same file. Mapfile specification has been upgraded to 2.3
  • Palettes for graphics.dat items have been found for DM/CSB Amiga in KAOS.FTL
  • Palettes for *.ftl images have been found
  • Extracted graphics.dat/*.ftl images use now the correct palettes/colors
  • Palette animation (PALAN item) is now applied when corresponding image is extracted (ex: FTL logo in swoosh file)
  • CMP specification updated to use the in-game palette!
As usual, the detailed release notes can be found in the download section.

2006-01-21Technical documentation

I have added a new section here: the "Technical documentation", in order to explain the new item formats found or not yet explained in the "Encyclopaedia".
Currently, only IMG5 format (found in DM Amiga 2.0 swoosh file) is published and I hope to add more if I can find a significant amount a free time.


Wu-Tse portrait
It's the first release of this new year: Happy New Year!.
I have included the extraction of CMP files (portraits inside Chaos Strikes Back utility disk) with all their attributes (name, title, system reserved words and image).
The summary of the release notes is:

  • support of a new format: CMP = Portrait files of Champions used by the editor of the Chaos Strikes Back utility disk.
  • add support for DM Atari ST 1.2 german original (graphics.dat)
  • preliminary modifications to support a basic user interface to do extraction
  • add new parameter '-resmap' to enable resmap.xml file generation used by the resmapui command.
  • add new parameter '-tilemaps' to enable tilemaps.csv file generation.
  • add new parameter '-cleanoutputdir' to remove existing files before extracting items.

2005-12-18GBA ready

R-Type III GBA - Eye
A new release of the sck has been published to provide a full mapfile for R-Type III (European) in order to show the power of sck.
Nearly 1300 images have been described and 240 palettes in this mapfile. See the samples section to have an overview.
Also, a new attribute is now available for all images: COLORCHANGE. It allows to change the R,G,B parts of a color index in order to avoid a awfull background color.
Then, the speed increase explained in the previous news is included.
Finally, don't hesitate to write your own mapfile for your favourite game and share it with us!

2005-12-13Work in progress

First, the two Dungeon Master SNES mapfiles have been fixed to use correct palette for one image.
Then, the images and tilemaps extracting code has been heavily optimized/debugged and it now shows an extracting time divided by 2.2 for SNES JP.
I have also decided to show a proof of concept about this tool: it is not restricted to DM/CSB games! Consequently, I have added an optional attribute to ROMIMG1 image type to handle one GameBoy Advance image type (4bpp linear reverse-order). A little mapfile is also born to extract 16 images from the game R-Type III (European).
Nothing has been published here as it is just a work-in-progress but it will be soon available.

2005-12-01First release

After hard work, it's party time!
This is the first public release of this site related to a Dungeon Master tool.
You can find here the sck repository, sck news and the mapfile syntax.

This tool is the result of months of hard work because a lot of research have been done a in close collaboration with the Encyclopaedia webmaster to find new items, new formats in new or already known resources (ex: SNES Dungeon Master rom, swoosh, etc).
These new algorithms will also be published as soon as possible: here or preferably inside the Encyclopaedia in the technical documentation section.