Creating Unicode Strings

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Unicode String Files

Halo 2 is available to people all around the world, speaking (and writing) different languages with different alphabets. To enable translation and support all these languages, it uses a special type of text format called Unicode. Unicode is a format that supports different alphabets.

For the purposes of creating a level, there will typically only be two of these files needed, one that contains the descriptive text displayed on the Level Selection screen and another that contains the names of the various locations within the level (used for the Territories game type).

Creating a Unicode Text File

Using Windows Explorer, browse to the appropriate folder. Typically this will be either data\scenarios\descriptions or your level's folder within data\scenarios\multi. Halo 2 Map Editor contains an example Unicode text file, and you'll want to open it to see the contents. Note that although the file is a .txt file it is using an extended Unicode form of this file.

Using Notepad, open one of the example text files. If it’s a description file, you'll see something like this:


Name= "MyLevelName"

Description= "A written description of my level"

To create a Unicode text file

1.      Fill in the fields inside the quotation marks with the appropriate information.

The Name box is the level name. The Description box is the text displayed as the level loads in Halo 2.

2.      Replace any other strings with appropriate information for the level, and then select Save As on the File menu.

3.      Make sure the Encoding drop-down list is set to Unicode, and then save the text file in data\scenarios\descriptions with an appropriate filename.

Compiling Unicode Strings

The Unicode file must be converted into the Halo 2 format, which is a multilingual_unicode_string_list file.

For description text, use the following command line:

C:\<Halo2ArchitectDirectory>\H2Tool new-strings data\scenarios\descriptions

For location text, use the same command but directed to the levels folder:

C:\<Halo2ArchitectDirectory>\H2Toolnew-strings data\scenarios\multi\MyLevelName

Compiled Unicode text files are placed in the same folder as the original uncompiled text file—either tags\scenarios\descriptions or tags\scenarios\multi\levelname. To complete the process, use Halo 2 Guerilla to associate the Unicode file to the level.


Courtesy of Halo Maps website
Halo 2 Vista Maps