SCX format


Scx format was formed by Esemble Studios, Microsoft for their games, first time for Age of Empires (1997) and second for Age of Empires 2 (1999), and for their last game on genie engine Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds. Format is used to store maps (scenarios). It's uses C++98 standart datatypes. Also scenario data are compressed with DEFLAT method. This document primary describes scx format used for Age of Empires 2, version 1.21.

Format Standart

Most of this document originaly writen by DiGit's. specification with knowledge by AOHH and Iberico format and finally extend with me.

List of Structures

About Scenario

Here you will find interesting info about scenario files


Coordinations [0, 0] starts from left point of map, continue to top of map [0, mapWidth]. Tiles are one dimension array, starting from position [0, 0].This image shows how are Tile[x, y] calculated.

Map Coordinations


Data Types

A note about data lengths: they specify both the length of the data and how to interpret it. For example:

Variable-length character strings are stored in the scenario as length/data pairs. For example "str16" means there is a 16-bit length field with value n followed by n bytes (characters). str32 is also used, but more rarely.

Uncompressed Header

Length Requires Description
c4 Version (ASCII): 1.10, 1.18, 1.21
u32 Length of header (excluding version and self)
s32 Savable
u32 Savable >= 2 Timestamp of last save
str32 Scenario Instructions
u32 Individual Victories Used
u32 Player count (thanks iberico)

Compressed DataIt uses Deflate method with (-MAX_WBITS, for python)

Length MinVer Description
u32 Next unit ID to place
f32 Version 2
16*256 ASCII player names
16*u32 1.18 string table player names
16*16 Player Data#1 see sub-struct below
u8 Conquest Mode
u16 Mission Items Counter = n
u16 Mission Available
f32 Mission Timeline
n*30 Mision Item (each 30 bytes)
str16 Original filename, created while first scenario save
Player Data#1
Length MinVer Description
u32 Boolean: Active
u32 Boolean: Human
u32 Civilization, see IDs at this document
u32 CTY Mode


Length MinVer Description
u32 1.18 String table, Instructions
u32 1.18 String table, Hints
u32 1.18 String table, Victory
u32 1.18 String table, Loss
u32 1.18 String table, History
u32 1.22 String table, Scouts
str16 ASCII, Instructions
str16 ASCII, Hints
str16 ASCII, Victory
str16 ASCII, Loss
str16 ASCII, History
str16 1.22 ASCII, Scouts


Length MinVer Description
str16 ASCII, Pregame cinematic filename
str16 ASCII, Victory cinematic filename
str16 ASCII, Loss cinematic filename
1 Separator (! in some version)

Background Image

Length MinVer Description
str16 ASCII, Background filename
u32 Picture Version
u32 Bitmap width
s32 Bitmap height
s16 Picture Orientation
40+SIZE BITMAPINFOHEADER (if width >= 0 && height >= 0)

Bitmap Info Header

WARNING: This section is readed only if above Include value is -1 or 2 ! Look at this btmp info header article about format spec for more information

Length MinVer Description
s32 Size
u32 Width
s32 Height
s16 Planes
s16 BitCount
u32 Compression
u32 SizeImage SIZ
u32 XPels
u32 YPels
U32 Colors Used CLR
u32 Important Colors
u32*CLR Calculated: u32*ColorsUsed
u32*SIZ Calculated: u32*SizeImage

Player 2 Data

Length MinVer Description
32str16 Unknown strings (2 per player?)
16str16 AI names, one per player
16*var AI files, see sub-struct below
u8 AI type, 0 = custom, 1 = standard, 2 = none. Thanks iberico.
u32 Separator, 0xFFFFFF9D
16*24 Resources, see sub-struct below
Struct: AI Files
Length MinVer Description
u32 unknown, always 0
u32 unknown, always 0
str32 AI .per file text
Struct: Resources
Length MinVer Description
u32 Gold
u32 Wood
u32 Food
u32 Stone
u32 "Ore X", not used in AOK
u32 Trade Goods

Global Victory

Length MinVer Description
u32 Separator, 0xFFFFFF9D
u32 Boolean: conquest required? (for custom vict)
u32 Ruins
u32 Artifacts
u32 Discovery
u32 Explored % of map required
u32 Gold
u32 Boolean: all custom conditions required?
u32 Mode, see below
u32 Required score for score victory
u32 Time for timed game, in 10ths of a year (eg, 100 = 10yr)


Length MinVer Description
16*64 Per-player diplomacy, see sub-struct below
161260 Individual Victories (12 Conditions per 16 Players)
u32 Separator, 0xFFFFFF9D
16*u32 Boolean: Allied vict, per-player. Ignored (see PData3). Thanks iberico.
Struct: Diplomacy Per-player
Length MinVer Description
16*u32 Stance with each player, 0 = allied, 1 = neutral, 3 = enemy


Length MinVer Description
16*u32 Per-player, number of disabled techs
16*120 Per-player, Disabled technology IDs (30*u32)
16*120 1.30 Per-player, Extra disabled technologies (30*u32)
16*u32 Per-player, number of disabled units
16*120 Per-player, Disabled unit IDs (30*u32)
16*120 1.30 Per-player, Extra disabled units (30*u32)
16*u32 Per-player, number of disabled buildings
16*80 Per-player, Disabled building IDs (20*u32)
16*160 1.30 Per-player, Extra disabled buildings (40*u32)
u32 Combat Mode
u32 Naval Mode
u32 Boolean: all techs
16*u32 Per-player, starting age. See below. 0-8 Players, 9 - Gaia, 10-16 Unused players


Length MinVer Description
u32 Separator, 0xFFFFFF9D
s32 Player 1 camera, Y
s32 Player 1 camera, X
s32 1.21 AI Type (see list at bottom)
u32 Map Width (AOK caps at 256), W
u32 Map Height (AOK caps at 256), H
W*H*3 Terrain data, see sub-struct below
Struct: Terrain

Tiles are one dimensional array. There's not any X or Y. It's calculated internal. First tile[X:0, Y:0] starts at leftmost corner and continues at uppest corner of minimap. See example image how tiles are readed.

length minver description
u8 terrain id, see list at bottom
u8 elevation
u8 unused = 0

Units Section

length minver description
u32 number of unit sections. I've always seen = 9. P
8*28 Player Data 4, see sub-struct below
P*var Player Units, see sub-struct below. GAIA units come first.
Struct: Player Data 4
length minver description
f32 Food, duplicate
f32 Wood, duplicate
f32 Gold, duplicate
f32 Stone, duplicate
f32 "Ore X", duplicate
f32 Trade Goods Not in SW:GB.
f32 1.21 Population limit
Struct: Player Units
length minver description
u32 Unit count, N
N*29 Units, see sub-struct below
Struct: Unit
length minver description
f32 X position
f32 Y position
f32 Z position
u32 ID (for triggers, etc.)
u16 Unit "constant", e.g. Archer, Man-at-arms
u8 Status = 2
f32 Rotation, in radians
u16 Initial animation frame
u32 Garrisonned in ID

Player Data 3

length minver description
u32 Number of players? Always = 9
8*64 Player Data 3, per player. See sub-struct below.
f64 Trigger Version = 1.6
Struct: Player Data 3
length minver description
str16 Constant name, like "Player 1"
f32 Initial Camera, X (for Player 1 = editor camera)
f32 Initial Camera, Y
s16 Unknown, similar to camera X
s16 Unknown, similar to camera Y
u8 Boolean: Allied Victory (AOK reads this one)
u16 Player count for diplomacy, P
P*u8 Diplomacy for interaction: 0 = allied, 1 = neutral, 2 = ?, 3 = enemy
9*u32 Diplomacy for AI system: 0=GAIA, 1=self, 2=allied, 3=neutral, 4=enemy
u32 Color, see values below
f32 Victory Version, TODO: below are Victory conditions and effects (need to clarify these structures):
u16 Unknown, DAT
8*u8 Only included if above f32 value == 2.0
DAT*44 Unknown structure, found in Grand Theft Empires
7*u8 Usually 0
s32 Seems to be 0 if Unknown == 1.0, -1 if Unknown == 2.0

Triggers Section

length minver description
s8 Trigger instructions start
s32 Number of triggers = 0, T
T*var Trigger data, see sub-struct below
T*u32 Trigger display order array
Structure: Trigger
length minver description
u32 Boolean: enabled?
s8 Boolean: looping?
s32 String Table ID = -1
u8 Boolean: objective?
u32 Description order (in objectives)
u32 Trigger starting time
str32 Trigger description
str32 Trigger name (max 44 characters in UI)
s32 Number of effects = E
E*var Effect data, see sub-struct below
E*s32 Effect display order array
s32 Number of conditions = C
C*var Condition data, see sub-struct below
C*s32 Condition display order array
Structure: Effect
length minver description
s32 Effect type
s32 Check, always = 0x17
s32 AI script goal
s32 Amount, used for hp and attack
s32 Resource type
s32 Diplomacy, state for change
s32 N.o. units selected = N
s32 Unit ID
s32 Unit Name
s32 Player Source
s32 Player Target
s32 Technology
s32 String ID
s32 Sound resource ID
s32 Display Time (display instructions)
s32 Trigger ID (activate/deactivate)
s32 Location X
s32 Location Y
s32 Area 1 X
s32 Area 1 Y
s32 Area 2 X
s32 Area 2 Y
s32 Unit Group
s32 Unit Type (Civilian, Military, Building, Other)
s32 Instruction Panel
str32 Instruction Text
str32 Sound filename
s32*N Selected units IDs
Structure: Condition
length minver description
s32 Condition Type
s32 Check, always = 0x10
s32 Amount (of Object, Diffculty)
s32 Resource Type
s32 Unit object
s32 Unit ID
s32 Unit Name
s32 Player
s32 Technology
s32 Timer
s32 Unknown
s32 Area 1 X
s32 Area 1 Y
s32 Area 2 X
s32 Area 2 Y
s32 AI Signal

Included Files

length minver description
u32 Boolean: files included?
u32 Boolean: PER File Error, data included?
396 PER File Error, if PER File Error included
var Included files

PER File Error

This data contains details about the last error occurrence in the PER files. This data is ignored during reading, but is written when saving a scenario with a PER file error. The engine outputs the details on debug mode. The developers must have needed this feature to debug their AI scripting in scenarios. Normally, a dialog box contains a message about the details of the error. I don't see why they needed this; maybe they wanted to see the data in raw binary form. -by AOHH

length minver description
256 Name of corrupted PER File
u32 Unknown ID (either PER file ID or Player ID)
u32 Line of error in PER File
u32 Interruption line in PER File
124 Extracted code from PER File
u32 Error Code