New Creatures Framework (NCF)


The New Creatures Framework, referred to as NCF, is a game executable modification allowing adding multiple creatures without replacing original files and without risk of mod conflict. The newest version enables creaure slots up to 499 and is updated for Tribes of The East 3.1. NCF core engine does not contain any creatures on its own, yet there is a long list avaliable to dowload (see below). These creatures may show up as a random stacks on the maps or be used directly with NCF map editor or called by script.

Since it is the major mod which overwrites the .exe file, it is recommended to use only mods which do not do the same or are based already on NCF.exe for further development and compatibility issues.


The framework .exe (H5_Game.NCF.exe) is based on the Tribes of The East executable and does not support older versions of the game. Originally, the creatures list length has been updated from 180 (B4 00 00 00) to 300 (2C 01 00 00) at two offsets: 6C0A50 and 6A91F1

These are the only two changes.

As you can see, the creatures list length is stored in a 4 bytes integer, in little endian (reversed order): 180 is B4 in hexadecimal, which gives “B4 00 00 00” 300 is 012C in hexadecimal, which gives “2C 01 00 00” 500 is 01F4 in hexadecimal, which gives “F4 01 00 00” 10000 is 2710 in hexadecimal, which gives “10 27 00 00”

Pushing the limit in the .exe is not enough of course. If the index files do not provide a creature in an existing slot, the game will not start, and instead tell something like “Empty pointer to creature #300”. That’s why the framework also has a mod, with the types.xml and Creatures.xdb files inside. Then, the Creatures.xdb list points each slot to an actual creature file, like Creature_246.xdb, which allows to plug in a creature on this file without editing the indexes. In the framework mod, it means that these files have to exist, or the game will stop onother DB error, like: “Creature 300 has no visual or it’s missed.".

Instalation and usage

NCF Core

 1.  Copy the contents of the archive in your ToE installation folder. This will add 3 files:
        * bin/H5_Game.NCF.exe (the new executable to launch the game)
        * UserMODs/NCF__Core.h5u
        * UserMODs/NCF__DefaultStats.h5u (optional)
 2. Install at least one NCF-compatible creature mod (see the list below)
 3. Launch ToE through the new executable (H5_Game.NCF.exe)

NCF map editor

The Mapmaker Pack 3.0

 1. Copy the contents of this archive in your ToE installation folder. This will add 2 files:
        * bin/H5_MapEditor.NCF.exe (the new map editor executable)
        * data/NCF__MapEditor_Core.pak
 2. Move the framework core mod (NCF__Core.h5u) in the data/ folder, and rename it to "NCF__Core.pak"
 3. Likewise, move any creature mod you want to use in data/, with the .pak extension
 4. Launch the map editor through the new executable (H5_MapEditor.NCF.exe)

The new creatures icons will appear right in the map editor Monsters panel, with the official creatures. If a creature does not appear, contact the mod author so that he adds the AdvMapObjectLink file in his mod.

Note that the map editor only loads the .pak files from the data/ folder, while the game also loads the mods from UserMODs/. This means in particular that you don’t need to keep two copies of the mods: if you have them in data/, the game will load them as well.

The NCF editor is reported to cause errors when using creatures starting from 300. This might be caused by the lack of update from the first version, which supported only 300 creature slots.

Using creatures

To use specific creature mod, just install it as any other. The basic files should go to the userMods folder, other advanced issues should be described in enclosed readme file.

It would be appreciated for creators to use .pak format for archives put directly to the \data folder so that editor could read them easily.


The updated creature list of creatures avaliable for download featuring around two hundreds of them is maintained on the following page on HC board:

Updated NCF thread

In order to add new creature, contact one of the NCF developers to reserve a slot. It is in case more people tried to use the same creature index and thus the mods would not be compatible.

new_creatures_framework.txt · Last modified: 2008/09/13 08:00 by warmonger1
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