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Data Changing

First you have to figure out what you want. That's the part that NOBODY can help you with. It's best if you do this on paper and not on the computer. Just collect ideas for names, attacks, and the appearance of your character. The name is very important for the character, so you shouldn't use names like "tpr753a9" (I know several guys with nicknames like this) and you also shouldn't give your character a degrading name (for example, "Shitman"). If you really can't think of a good name, you can use the Names Generator, which can generate names between two and eleven letters, some of which are really good.

Names Generator

So after you plan out the moves and the rough appearance of your character, the "Creation Process" begins. It is essential to have a basic foundation in Data Changing. A character without any modified dat.-files doesn't include anything new and will fade into oblivion very quickly. You should try to read several tutorials about Data Changing.  There are plenty at this site, and the tutorials in Other are especially helpful as they allow people to learn a lot very quickly.
If you don't have any graphics programs (except Paint) you can download a template from the LFE-Download Planet or you can download a program to edit sprites or create some of your own (which is much more original, of course). I recommend PhotoFiltre (please read tutorial 5 in graphics about this, too) - a small and free graphics program with lots of filters and other features.
Now you can start Data Changing. You can only get a limited amount of help with Data Changing. Once somebody asked me if I could make the Data for his character so he could then publish it - what the hack? I think it would be my character then... If you encounter problems or get stuck somewhere, try to solve the problem by yourself first. You'll learn more if you do so and usually it's just an easy problem which has already been answered hundreds of times by DC-Masters. Of course, you can probably find the answer in the Allround-Section anyway. But if you have a more complex problem and don't have any clue about how to fix it then there are plenty of forums where you can request help. And who knows?  In some cases your problem might be an interesting discussion theme, even for DC-Masters.
After you finish your character, ask yourself if it's a really good character or if it kills everybody with one punch. From my own experience, I know how hard it is to create an original, well-balanced character. If you think he's good then pack ALL of the files you modified into a Zip-file along with a readme. In the readme, you should note the new lines for data.txt, your name, contact information, and any info about your character. One of the common problems with downloads starts here: files are missing. In most cases, sounds files and data-lines are missing (when I went through like 4 GB of stuff for the downloads of LFE this happened with like 25 percent of all downloads!!!). It's best if you copy a new version of Little Fighter to your desktop and try to install your character there. If you don't have any problems, other guys won't have problems, either, as long as they read the readme. Too bad most people still can't read; why else would they ask how to install characters when everything is explained in the READ ME?
If you go through this process and publish your character, I hope it's a good one. In the event that he's very good, he might get a place in the archives of LITTLE FIGHTER - EMPIRE.

With the information I explain here, it's not possible to create your own characters, but you can modify characters which already exist and make them stronger. However, with this, you can't create high-quality characters.  If you want to do this, you'll need a lot of time, patience, and a desire to learn new techniques. 




#1 How do I make my character faster?
At the beginning of the dat.-file there's a long list of basic characteristics concerning the movements of the character. The speed for walking and running is defined in "walking_speed" and "running_speed". The following lines with a "z" at the end set the movement speed toward and away from the front of the screen.

#2 How do I make my character jump higher?
Also noted at the top of the data file are the jump-heights and distances of the character. "Jump_[...]" is for the normal jump, "Dash_[...]" for the jump while running, and "Rowing_[...]" for the jump out of falling. You have to keep in mind that all of the heights have to be negative.

#3 How do I change the mp cost of my character's moves?
Normally, energy is only used in the special attacks of the characters - usually they begin around frame 235. The energy is always noted in the first frame of a move by the "mp" tag. Keep in mind: a character has a maximum of 500 mp points.

#4 How can my character shoot multiple balls at once?
To create multiple objects during a move you have to modify the "facing" part of the opoint. The "facing" value should be 10 times the number of objects that you want to appear. So "facing: 50" creates five objects.

#5 How do I change the damage of an attack?
All damage is defined by various instances of "itr" tags. In itrs, the "injury" allows you to set how much hp a character loses if they are hit by the attack. At the beginning of the game the character has 500 hp, so an "injury"larger than 500 is usually overkill.

#6 How do I add an effect?
The effect of an attack is also noted in "itr". The "effect"-tag is optional and so you won't always see it in itr. "effect: 1" creates blood, "effect: 2" burns, and "effect: 3" freezes the enemy.

#7 How do I add new attacks?
If you want to copy a move from one character to another, you have to copy the frames to the character's dat.-file. Keep in mind that you can't have frames with the same number. If the frames you copied are already in use, you have to change the frame-numbers (do not use frames bigger than 399!) and the next frame noted by "next".
Then, in order to use the move, you have to allocate a key-combination to it. The possible combinations are:

D + > + A = hit_Fa:   D + > + J = hit_Fj:    
D + ^ + A = hit_Ua:   D + ^ + J = hit_Uj:   D + J + A = hit_ja:
D + v + A = hit_Da:   D + v + J = hit_Dj:    

Finally, add this tag with the first frame-number of the move behind the other input tags in the "standing", "walking", and "defend" frames.

#8 How do I make my ball fly forward?
Forward movements of the ball are noted by "dvx". Using this, you can set the speed of the ball.

#9 How do I make a ball chase an enemy?
To make the ball chase an enemy, just note "hit_Fa: 1" behind "hit_j". Also make sure "dvx" and "dvy" are both zero in order to make the chasing work properly.

1) Characters
I'll explain this with an example. I have a character which replace the images and all three dat.-files of John and I want to change this character into an Add-on.

First thing you have to do is changing the id-numbers. To do this, go to the data-folder and open data.txt. Copy these lines (they're spread out over the whole file):
     id:   2   type: 0   file: data\john.dat
id: 200 type: 3 file: data\john_ball.dat
id: 214 type: 3 file: data\john_biscuit.dat
Now paste them somewhere in the object-part and rename them like this:
     id: 400   type: 0   file: data\newchar.dat
id: 401 type: 3 file: data\newchar_ball.dat
id: 402 type: 3 file: data\newchar_biscuit.dat
The oid part of an opoint references the id-number of the object that is created. Because you changed the id-numbers of the attacks in data.txt, you also must change the oids in the dat.-files. Open newchar.dat with the Data Changer and search for "oid:" (without quotes) with the search function (Crtl + F / F3). If you see the number 200 after an oid, replace it with 401 and if you see 214, replace it with 402. All other oid's can stay the same.

There are some cases where you may have changed the oid and the id of an object, but the original object is created instead. This occurs when the object is activated in a ratio by a special hit_Fa: function (Overwhelming Disaster...) and can't be changed easily. You'll need more DC knowledge to solve this in an acceptable way.

Finally, rename the pictures to "newchar_xyz.bmp". Then open the dat.-files. At the top of the file you'll see the image-list, change the title of the images.

This should do it in most cases. If you just have some images to replace, copy the data of the existing character and continue as I described above. If you just have new dat.-files you don't have to care about the image stuff...

2) Backgrounds
If you have some pictures which should replace an existing background you can also change this to an add-on background. I take Lion Forest as example since it's often replaced with a darker version.

Begin by copying the entire "lf"-folder (Lion Forest) and rename it to "nf" (Night Forest). Then put the replacement pictures into this folder. Next open the bg.dat with the Data Changer and change the locations of the pictures from "bg\sys\lf" to "bg\sys\nf". Don't forget the shadow picture in the head. You can also change the name to "Night_Forest" if you want.

Finally, open data.txt and scroll down to the background-part. Add a line for the new background like this:
     id: (not important here)   file: bg\sys\nf\bg.dat

3) Weapons
Well, dealing with weapons is always a problem because of one thing: broken_weapon.dat. Broken weapon data depends a lot on the source code. So if you replace a weapon into an add-on (you should know how to do this now) you won't have any broken_weapon sprites. It's your choice...

You have installed everything correctly and there are still errors? Unfortunately, a lot of downloads have errors - sometimes files are missing or sometimes they're in the wrong place. Below are a few of the errors you may encounter and how to solve them.

1) Error Message: "Couldn't Create Art Surface"
This surely is a common error message - it means that a certain picture couldn't be found. Before you close LF2.exe, open the text file "temporary.txt" in the data-folder. The dat.-file being read when the error occured will be shown. In the first few lines, you can see the noted pictures and where they should be (starting from the folder with the EXE-File). Check if they're really in the right location - if not, move the images to the right folder.

If the picture is in the right place but you are still encountering this error, then there is something wrong with the bmp file. Open the picture in mspaint, select the entire canvas (ctrl+a) and copy it (ctrl+c). Then create a brand new mspaint document and paste the image. Save the file and try using this new bmp file instead of the old one. Be sure to keep the original as a back up!

2) Interruption of the Loading Process
If the loading is interrupted without a specific error message and nothing is shown in temporary.txt it is probably because a dat.-file is in the wrong place. Make sure all dat.-files you added in the data.txt are in the corresponding place




3) Error Message: "Could not open Wave File"
When this error message occurs, the corresponding dat.-file is also shown in temporary.txt. If the sound is just in the wrong place, it's easy to solve the problem. Unfortunately, sometimes the creators forget to send the sound files. If this is the case, you have two options: You can copy an existing sound and rename it to the one which is missing or you can open the dat.-file with the Data Changer and delete all lines which request the missing sound.

4) Menu-Crash
You've already added several files to the game and if you select a character from the menu the game crashes or stops reacting to the button inputs? Then you have probably surpassed the 100 object-limit.  In the <object_part> of data.txt, you can note a maximum of 100 dat.-files. If you have more, you will encounter errors. There's no way to fix this other than removing some of the files from the game (for example weapons).

You have experienced other possible errors with downloads and know how to solve them? Then contact me and I'll submit your solutions here!

When installing new downloads, people often make mistakes - here are some basic guidelines to ensure that everything works:

1) Always Look at the Readme!
Most downloads already have a Readme which lists the lines for data.txt and where the files should go. Most problems can be solved simply by reading the Readme. If nothing is there, move the images to "sprite/sys" and the dat.-files to the "data" folder. The following tips are just in case there are no installation instructions.

2) Versions
Many people get errors when trying to install a version - especially R-LF2. To minimize the size of the installation file, sounds and pictures which already exist in the original version are left out. In such cases, you have to make a copy of the original version of LF2, then move the setup-file in the corresponding folder and begin the installation (Warning! Some setups start with the folder "LF2_v1.9". It's safer if you install the version in a separate folder and copy the extracted files over the original version). Some parts are remade, some stay the same, some are new. If you did everything right, you'll have a new version.

3) No Instructions for Installing
If there are no instructions on how to install the download, then there are three possibilities. In the first scenario, you have a replacement. If this is the case, you just have to move the files so they replace the existing ones.
In the second case, the new download has only one new dat.-file (the one of the character). Just copy the line of template in data.txt, change the id-number to over 300, and move the pictures into "sprite\sys" (if you get errors, open the dat.-file with the Data Changer and search for where the images should be in the file part of the bmp section of the dat.-file).
The last case is hopeless - you have more the three dat.-files, no replacements and no advice on how to install it. It's possible to make this character work, but it's difficult, requires a lot of time, and is often not worth the effort.
All versions from Little Fighter EMPIRE can be installed in the same way. In the download, you'll find a setup file. Go to C:/Program Files/LittleFighter2/ and create a copy of an original version of LF2 (LF2v1.9 or LF2v1.9c only!). Then, rename it to the name of the version (look at the "Installation.txt" file or the setup file to get the name of the folder). After you rename the folder, you can start the installation. To save space, all files which are already in the original version are left out. There are some versions in which most of the files are new. In these cases, you don't have to install over the original version (Seed-LF2, LF2-NS).
To install a new character, the most important thing you need to do after checking the zip file is to look at the readme which most decent authors should add.

1st step:
Follow this treasure map and you shall find what u seek. C:\ => Program File => LittleFighter2 => LF2_v1.9c => Sprite => sys
Put all the .bmp files of the new character in there (the folder sys)

2nd step:
go to C:\ => Program File => LittleFighter2 => LF2_v1.9c => data
put all the .dat files (and .wav files if there are any) into the folder (data)

3rd step:
open data.txt and add sth along the lines of
id: ?? type: ? file:data\???.dat
id: ??? type: ? file:data\???.dat
as in the readme which you can copy from * u should add them between and which you can see in data.txt

4th step:
save the changes to data.txt u hv made and play ur new character

** Special case:
some characters do not work in the same way when installing (maybe the author wants to confuse noobs ) look at the lines of id you r required to add. eg Havoc creator's Tiger

id: 500 type: 0 file: data\Tiger\Tiger.dat

the words in red actually tells you that where the .dat files are supposed to be, so all you hv to do is to create a folder called 'tiger' in the 'data' folder.

Don't change the ids in data.txt when installing custom characters! Make sure they don't have the same ids as the other custom characters as well! Or else you will either create shadows or using some else's move...

Custom Character Installation
A tutorial on how to correctly install lf2 characters.

Version Installation
A tutorial how to correctly install LF2-Versions.

How Do I Install New LF2-Downloads Correctly?
There are innumerable new characters, backgrounds, and weapons for Little Fighter 2. How to install them and what you have to care about is explained in this tutorial.

How to Correct Errors in LF2-Downloads?
It's so sad that a lot of downloads are incomplete. Sometimes files or data-lines are not included or there are programming mistakes. Most of the time, it's easy to correct these bugs. If you want to know how to do fix these problems, you should read this text. I can guarantee that the downloads from LF-EMPIRE work perfectly. All  of the downloads on this site include installation instructions in the readme!

How to Change a Replacement into an Add-on
A lot of good characters are only available as replacements. Many people ask if it is possible to change these characters into add-ons - here you can read about exactly what you have to do.

Basics of Data Changing
If you just want to edit a character or add new moves instead of creating a completely new character, you don't need an allround knowledge of data changing - here I explain some techniques to modify a character in a fast and easy way.

The Way to Your Own Character
We're often asked about how to make custom characters - well, here's a rough guide on how to make one. But it's not a recipe that anyone can follow without any effort!!!

Nowadays, a number of Data Changers is available. A couple of them are bundled in the Data Changer Pack (bottom of the page). If you're looking for more, check out the list below! Some are still in active development, so if you're missing a feature, try asking the author in the thread!

  • Som1Lse's Real Time Data Changer
    So far, the only Data Changer which lets you edit and review your changes in real time, meaning you won't have to reload LF2 all the time!
    Project thread
    If you are just a regular user, you should download LF2DCWindowsWTE.7z, but if you would like to experiment with the source, then download LF2DCSource.7z.
    "LF2DCWindowsWTE.7z" might trigger your Anti Virus software, and in that case either allow it to pass, or use LF2DCWindowsNoWTE.7z. If you choose the latter option you won't have "Write To Exe" functionality.
  • Nightmarex1337's LF2 IDE
    A Data Changer supporting visual alignment of hitboxes, advanced code-manipulation, and many more features.
    Project thread
  • wirwl's LF Studio
    Supporting syntax highlighting, has an auto-complete window, a projects explorer, and you can run lf2 exe directly in the app.
    Project thread
  • Qendolin's Data Changer
    A work in progress, currently including visual alignment of boxes, a sprite sheet manager, a character feature editor as well as a number of other features.
    Project thread
  • YinYin's Visual Data Changer (VDC v1.5)
    A minimalistic, yet powerful DCer that focuses on few features such as syntax highlighting or visual placement of hitboxes to keep the program slim.
    Project thread
  • MangaD's LF2 Online Data Changer
    A small website written in HTML5, CSS, and Javascript that can be also viewed locally.
    Project thread | Direct Link

The Data Changer Pack include the following tools:

1) Jiquera's Data Changer
Version 1.0 of Jiquera's Data Changer still needs a long loading time to open dat.-files, version 1.4 (available in english and chinese) open them instantly and has several practical features.

2) RaMMicHaeL's Data Changer
Version 1.5 is just Jiquera's Data Changer 1.5 without the "non registered" popup when you start the program. His own Data Changer can open R-LF2 dat.-files, can read the encrytion key from LF2.EXE and you can use external text editors while working on your dat.-files.

3) Celebix's Encrypt- & Decrypt Programm
This is not really a Data Changer. With these two programs you convert textfiles into dat.-files or other way. You can also encode R-LF2 dat.-files.

4) Azriels Visual Frame Maker
Not a Tool where you can data change with, but very useful to find out points in the sprite-frames or an area!

5) Data Changer 1.5 by blow_fly98
An awesome new Data Changer which make a lot of stuff easier.

Data Changer Pack v3.0
No idea what D.C. means?

Ok, D.C. is short for Data Changing, which means editing or coding Little Fighter 2 dat-files. You can find most of these files in the "data" folder. To open dat-files you need a special program. The best one is the Data Changer made by Jiquera, which you can download here.

Data Changer Pack v3.0

With the data changer you can create and edit characters, special attacks, weapons, backgrounds, stages, and criminals.
However, you can't change the cheat, the menu pictures, or the LF2.exe icon. For this, you need the resource hacker. An explanation on how to use this program can be found in the "Advanced" section.

To learn Data Changing, you have to first consider how far you're willing to go. In the "Basic" section you will only find beginner stuff. In two tutorials, I explain how to install new characters. In another tutorial, you can learn how to install replacement characters without overwriting an existing character. Finally, the last tutorial explains how to make simple additions or edits to a character's attacks.
In "Allround" you can find an extensive collection of D.C. information. Starting with the functions of the text files, sprite notation, and how to define areas, this section then continues on to describe the effects each tag has in the different types of dat-files in detail.
If you have a solid foundation in D.C. and are looking for something more difficult you can go to the "Advanced" section. Here I explain several techniques used to create special effects. The tags are not explained here; you are expected to already know about them.
In the "Other" section you can find tutorials written by other data changers. All the information in these tutorials can be found elsewhere in the D.C. section. These tutorials simply provide a compact explanation of Data Changing from different perspectives.

I hope you enjoy Data Changing! ^_^
© Little Fighter Empire

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