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SimCity 3000 Unlimited Music Conversion #1167
Updated: 3/22/03 OS/platforms(s): Windows only Versions: Unlimited

Contributor/author(s): Rich

Warning! This article contains information that may alter your copy of SimCity 3000! Proceed with extreme caution!

Throughout the years this has always been a popular subject, so I figured that I would provide complete instructions on how to do this... the flawless conversion of SimCity 3000 Unlimited's "XA" format music files to "WAV" format.

First of all, you will need the utility "Game Audio Player v1.32" which can be found on the Internet at ftp://ftp.externet.hu/pub/mirror/sac/sound/gap132.zip. There are two other utilities that can convert XA format files to WAV format (XABatch and Xantippe), but unfortunately the resulting WAV files have a strange high-pitched sound mixed into them, so use the GAP utility instead.

You may also need some form of a decent hex editor for some of the music files. I myself have been using an ancient DOS artifact for quite a few years now called "FED v1.65". You can find FED on the Internet at ftp://ftp.externet.hu/pub/mirror/sac/utilprog/fed165.zip. Be extremely careful with a hex editor, you can really make a mess of things with one. When editing your original XA music files, make sure that you back them up first.

GAP will convert the XA format files to WAV format flawlessly, but seems to be dependant on the specific version of the XA files. It has been confirmed that the music for the original SimCity 3000 does NOT require hex editing the XA format files in order to load them into GAP, only the music from the Unlimited version of the game. In SC3KU the XA files are missing one byte in the "XA" header that GAP uses to identify the files as being in true XA format. Without this one byte, GAP won't even attempt to load in the XA file.

In all of SC3KU's XA music files, you must use a hex editor and change in the files' header (the first three bytes of the file):

XA (hex 58 41 00)

- to -

XAI (hex 58 41 49)

Simply change the third byte of each XA fomat file from a hex 00 to an ASCII "I" (hex 49) so that the header reads "XAI". Note that the music file "SC2KBUG.XA" will properly convert to WAV format in it's existing state without any hex editing. The header of that file is "XAJ", which seems to work properly with GAP. All of the other SC3KU XA format files have the header "XA(hex00)", and must be hex edited.

After hex editing all of the XA files' headers, GAP will load in and convert the music to WAV format files with no problems at all. If you wish, you can then encode the WAV format files to MP3 format with your MP3 encoder/converter of choice.

Here is a list of the XA format filenames and their matching song titles (which many of you probably already know anyway):

3KD1.XA    = "Window Washer's Dream"
3KG2.XA    = "SIM Broadway
3KJ1M.XA   = "Updown Town"
3KJ2M.XA   = "Night Life"
3KJ3M.XA   = "South Bridge"
3KJ4M.XA   = "Central Park Sunday"
3KLOOP.WAV = "SimCity 3000 Theme"
3KP1.XA    = "Building"
3KP2.XA    = "Magic City"
3KP3M.XA   = "Illumination"
3KP4.XA    = "New Terrain"
3KP5m.XA   = "Concrete Jungle"
3KSE1.XA   = "The Howling Wind"
3KSE2.XA   = "Sixth Floor"
3KSE3.XA   = "Desert Sand"
3KSE4.XA   = "City Lights"
3KSE5.XA   = "City of Dreams"
3KT1.XA    = "Power Grid"
3KT2.XA    = "Infrastructure"
3KT3.XA    = "Urban Complex"
SC2KBUG.XA = "SimCity 2000 Theme"


See also
Listen to Music CDs with SimCity 3000
How to add an additional tune to Unlimited
Getting SimBroadway back in Unlimited (original version required)

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Last updated: 3/22/03

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