Multimedia Exploration Journal: April 26, 2003

This entry is mostly a roundup of a few titles that I have accumulated over the past few months. Nothing groundbreaking; indeed, many of these games appear to use company-specific multimedia files (Interplay MVE, LucasArts SAN, etc.).

Swat (MobyGames entry)

Daryl F. Gates' Police Quest SWAT, by Sierra. 4-disc game. Each disc contains a VMD/ subdirectory which contains many files with the .vmd extension. VMD files are known to be Sierra's custom multimedia file format. VMD stands for Video and Music Data. This is a positive development since previously the only VMD files I had access to were contained inside resource files that I had not yet figured out.

Followup: The VMD multimedia system has been reverse engineered. See the multimedia formats page for more information.

[Link: Sierra VMD samples]

Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II (MobyGames entry)

This is LucasArts' sequel to the 1995 Dark Forces title. Several Smacker files.

[Link: Smacker samples]

Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith (MobyGames entry)

This is an expansion pack for the previous title. There is a gamedata/resource/video/ directory that contains 23 SAN (Smush Animation) files. This is curious since the original game uses Smacker files.

[Link: LucasArts SAN samples]

Descent III (MobyGames entry)

A 2-disc game. Each disc has a movies/ subdirectory with 2-3 (large) Interplay MVE files. The game also came with a third disc called "Sol Ascent" (expansion pack?). But it has no Interplay MVE files unless they are contained in the ~120MB file.

[Link: Interplay MVE samples]

Railroad Tycoon II (MobyGames entry)

The game disc contains an anim/ directory with 40 Smacker files. Further, there is a movies/ directory with AVI promos for other games and products. The jazz2.avi file made me rather nostalgic for Jazz Jackrabbit (MobyGames entry).

[Link: Smacker samples]

Lands of Lore: Guardians of Destiny (MobyGames entry)

This is a Westwood Studios title so it only makes sense that it would contain WS's own VQA multimedia file format contained within MIX resource files. Each of the 4 discs contains several large MIX files in its root directory. Indeed, every disc except the first one contains nothing but MIX files.

[Link: Westwood VQA sample files]

X-wing vs. Tie Fighter (MobyGames entry)

First, there was X-wing. Then, there was Tie Fighter. Next, there was X-wing vs. Tie Fighter. The game disc contains an amovie/ directory and a bmovie/ directory. Each directory contains filesnames ranging from a..k with the extension .wrk. The first few bytes of the files have the number 320 and 200 encoded in little endian format.

Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel (MobyGames entry)

A strategy game set on the same post-apocalyptic stage as the hit RPG Fallout. This game actually uses Bink multimedia files rather than Interplay MVE files.

[Link: Bink samples]

by Mike Melanson (mike at

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