Restoring Earth to a blue/green paradise

One disappointing thing about Frontier First Encounters is that Earth was rendered as a featureless brown blob instead of the beautiful blue paradise it should have been. This was apparently due to memory restrictions when the game was being developed.

By following this guide you will be able to make a simple alteration to the FFE executable file which will allow you to transform Earth and make it look the way it always should have!

Using this hack in FFED3D will not alter the appearance of Earth from a distance - this has already been fixed - but will improve its appearance when landed.

Earth in the original FFE

Earth in the new FFE

In order to make the changes, there are a few things you need.

A good Hex editor, such as Hexed. You can download a copy of Hexed from here at FrontierAstro

The main FFE exe file. I would recommend downloading shareware FFE and then downloading JJFFE but other versions exist.

Knowledge of how to edit exe files with your hex editor.

The most important thing is to make a back-up of your original exe file, whichever you decide to use.
I cannot be held responsible if you ruin your only copy of the program, or otherwise affect your computer, by editing the code incorrectly - you make these modifications at your own risk.

Having said that, if you follow these instructions carefully, and *MAKE A BACK-UP* you'll be fine

1 Run your hex editor and select the exe file for editing

2 Use the search function to locate the following hexadecimal byte stream - D8 18 00 00 50 68 81 (don't include the spaces, they're here for clarity). This sequence should only occur once in the entire exe file, so you'll know when you've found it. It should be the same sequence irrespective of which version of the exe file you're using.

3 Change the last value - 81 - to one of the following: 7D - living planet 7E - living planet 7F - ice planet 80 - living planet 81 - the brown smudge you've already got 82 - living planet 83 - brown planet 84 - brown planet 85 - living planet 86 - living planet

4 Save the changes, exit your editor and run the exe file. With any luck, Earth should now appear in the game as a proper planet according to the value you input. If nothing changes, or the program crashes, then you probably edited the file incorrectly. Restore your original version and try again.

London, Earth

Tokyo, Earth

The above hack only changes the planet reference for Earth in the game. The positions of the starports on the planet will not be changed so you may find London on water or New York on ice. The best thing to do is experiment with different planet values until you get an arrangement which works to your satisfaction.

Thanks to John Jordan for providing the information in the first place!

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