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.: Sid Meier's Pirates! Iron Man Mod | 2014-02-22 10:26AM :.
Update: This mod has been incorporated into The Challenge Pack.

I played Sid Meier's Pirates! (the 2004 remake) for the first time this week, and it was a really fun game, but unfortunately it was too easy. The game helpfully autosaves every time you enter a town or start a battle – basically any time something bad can happen – so by reloading your game you can avoid all the consequences of mistakes and retry difficult parts until you succeed rather than having to be careful to avoid unnecessary risk. This also renders various special items useless. For instance, if you never go to jail you have no need to invest in lock picks or holy relics, and if you never mess up too badly on the dance floor you have no need for fancy dance shoes. If you never lose battles, you have no need to acquire and upgrade multiple ships (unless you're a trader) or to get tools to help you get rescued if you're marooned. I don't have the willpower to resist loading my game if I screw up, so I really wanted an Iron Man mode. Since the game doesn't provide one, I decided to mod the game.

Here are the changes I made:

  • You can't load your game except from the main menu.
  • You can't save your game except by quitting, in which case the game will be saved in the "quit" slot. However, quitting in the middle of a battle does not save your game, so don't do that. (There are no autosaves. So if you're worried about the game crashing, quit and restart once in a while. But it's never crashed for me, except once when I alt-tabbed out of it.)
  • The option to abandon your game (i.e. quit without saving) has been disabled, so you can only quit and save.
  • The usual Windows close mechanisms (Alt-F4, etc.) have been disabled. (new in version 2)
Because making complex changes to executables in a hex editor is painful, I didn't make the Iron Man mode optional. It's just always enabled. If you really want to toggle it, you can swap executables. The modded executable works with both the Steam version and the non-Steam version of the game, although it does not integrate with Steam, and is based on version 1.0.2.0, which was the latest version available.

Download: piratesmod.zip (version 2), or get The Challenge Pack.

To use the mod, simply replace Pirates!.exe in your game folder with the version from the archive. (Make a backup first, of course.) As usual, if you have any trouble, feel free to contact me. Enjoy!

If you want a copy of the IDA Pro 6.1 database for the executable, it's here. Also, this mod is for the latest English version of the game. If you want to combine this with other EXE mods or change a non-English version of the game, here are the bytes I changed and nearby offsets. The bytes to change are bracketed by underscores and there's enough context to make them unique. If the offsets don't match exactly you can search for the bytes in the first line and change them to those from the second line, but I can't guarantee that these changes will work with any other version or language of the game. Also, you will not find these in the Steam version of the game because the Steam version of the executable is packed and encrypted.

# disable 'battle' autosave
5E699: 00 6A 00 68 48 BB 86 00 _ E8 3A 38 FA FF _ 8B 1D 64 C1 85 00 A1 FC
5E699: 00 6A 00 68 48 BB 86 00 _ EB 03 90 90 90 _ 8B 1D 64 C1 85 00 A1 FC

# disable 'arrival' autosave
66EB0: 00 6A 00 68 48 BB 86 00 _ E8 23 B0 F9 FF _ A1 54 C1 85 00 83 C4 0C
66EB0: 00 6A 00 68 48 BB 86 00 _ EB 03 90 90 90 _ A1 54 C1 85 00 83 C4 0C

# disable quick-save
72F3B: 04 57 55 68 48 BB 86 00 _ E8 98 EF F8 FF _ 83 C4 0C E9 41 07 00 00
72F3B: 04 57 55 68 48 BB 86 00 _ EB 03 90 90 90 _ 83 C4 0C E9 41 07 00 00

# disable quick-load
72F67: E8 F4 46 08 00 83 C4 04 _ 55 57 55 68 48 _ BB 86 00 33 FF E8 62 F3 
72F67: E8 F4 46 08 00 83 C4 04 _ E9 1D 07 00 00 _ BB 86 00 33 FF E8 62 F3 

# disable load/save menu in-game
B24A7: 35 FA FF FF 38 5C 24 7C _ 75 26 _ 8B 75 40 3B F3 74 1F 8B
B24A7: 35 FA FF FF 38 5C 24 7C _ 90 90 _ 8B 75 40 3B F3 74 1F 8B

# disable abandoning the game (i.e. quitting without saving)
B5DD9: F1 FF FF E9 1F 02 00 00 _ B8 0C 00 00 00 _ E8 15 89 F7 FF 8B 0D E8
B5DD9: F1 FF FF E9 1F 02 00 00 _ E9 A5 F1 FF FF _ E8 15 89 F7 FF 8B 0D E8

# prevent the game from copying the 'arrival' or 'battle' saved
# game over your 'quit' slot if you quit in town or a battle
B5FD6: 86 16 04 00 83 C4 04 50 _ E8 2D BD F4 FF _ 83 C4 0C 8D 4C 24 1C E8
B5FD6: 86 16 04 00 83 C4 04 50 _ EB 03 90 90 90 _ 83 C4 0C 8D 4C 24 1C E8

# disable the usual Windows close mechanisms (Alt-F4, etc.)
D4B94: F5 FF 83 C4 04 84 C0 74 _ 11 _ 8B 4C 24 0C 5F C7 01 00
D4B94: F5 FF 83 C4 04 84 C0 74 _ 1D _ 8B 4C 24 0C 5F C7 01 00
F617E: 5B C2 10 00 83 FE 10 74 _ 50 _ 81 FE B1 02 00 00 75 54
F617E: 5B C2 10 00 83 FE 10 74 _ 28 _ 81 FE B1 02 00 00 75 54
Comments
.: character body | 2014-03-10 07:24AM :.
i whant to change hair for player
an anonymous Marian
.: RE: character body | 2014-03-11 05:15PM :.
Changing the hair can be done. You'd need to unpack the .fpk file containing the game assets, find the .dds files for the character, and repaint them to change the skins. For more information, you should ask around in the Customizations & Modding forum on the Hooked on Pirates website: http://www.hookedonpirates.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=11

The people there know more about modding the game's graphics than I do.
.: RE: character body | 2014-03-13 09:54AM :.
I think you have to go to the tavern. Buy the barmaid a lady drink and she might cut it or dye it for you. If not then head over to the bartender and explain the situation to him. He can help you get plastered enough so that you don't mind who does your hair. If that be to much for you then you can always come to Hooked on Pirates with most of them folks having a ton of know how to pass on to you. Just stay clear of the idiot they call Pirate.
an anonymous Pirate

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