“Escape Velocity Nova” – Marooned with no fuel

by on Feb.25, 2010, under PC Game Hints & Tips

Run out of fuel in a deserted star system? We can help!

One of the most common problems experienced by fledgling players of Ambrosia Software’s Escape Velocity – Nova game, is running out of fuel in a deserted star system with no solar panels to recharge your fuel tanks. A quick keyword search using Fuel o­n the EV-Nova web boards shows just how prevalent this problem is. I’ve always been of the opinion that good game design should ensure that there are in-game mechanics to address events that force a player to either restart a game from scratch or give up in frustration and search for some other amusement to keep them entertained.

Fortunately there is now a way for players of the Windows version of EV Nova to refuel their prized starship and return to civilization.

First, you will need a copy of the latest version of EVNEW (Escape Velocity: Nova Editor for Windows) which can be located here. Extract the EVNEW.exe file from the archive to a folder o­n your workstation.

[IMPORTANT: Before you continue, be aware that you are about to edit an actual EV-Nova game file (Nova Data 1.rez). In order to quickly return this file to its default settings, make a backup copy of this file and store it in a separate folder for later use.]

Click o­n File > Open, highlight the Nova Data 1.rez file and click the Open button.

If you look at the Resource Types column you can see numbers indicating how many game resources have been loaded into each category. The category we are interested in is the ship category which should have 288 resources (as of Version 1.08 of the game.)

In the Resource List column there should be a number of different ship types displayed (eg. Shuttle, Heavy Shuttle etc.) Carefully scroll down the list until you find the name of the ship you currently possess, highlight it and click the Edit button.

[IMPORTANT: Note that there are multiple instances of some ship type within this file, however the chances are that you managed to get stuck in the game at an early stage thus the first instance should be the correct o­ne to edit. If this procedure doesn’t work, make changes to ALL instances of your ship name to make sure that your craft will be affected.]

We will now give your ship the ability to automatically regenerate fuel. There are two variables you will need to change. Change the Fuel Regeneration value in column o­ne from zero to 25, and make sure that the Uses Fuel Regeneration property box in column 3 is ticked. Click o­n the OK button to close the Edit window. Now save the modified .rez file by clicking o­n File > Save. Exit the EVNEW program by clicking o­n File > Exit.

Fire up your copy of the game and load your pilot file. If everything was done correctly, you should see your ship’s fuel tanks rapidly fill up! Simply jump to a friendly nearby system and land o­n a planet to save your pilot. Now exit the game and replace our modified Nova Data 1.rez file with the original. Restart the game and load your pilot file. The ship should no longer be automatically regenerating fuel and you should be free to continue your adventures. At this point, I’d recommend picking up a few Solar Panels so that you don’t have to go through this rigmarole the next time you run out of gas in the empty fringes of the galaxy!

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