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The Architecture of DID Classic Flight Sims (EF2000, F-22 ADF, F-22 TAW)

DID flight sims are unique in architecture in that the EXE file that launches the program is merely a pointer to a datafile. In the case of F-22 Air Dominance Fighter (ADF) and F-22 Total Air War (TAW),_f22.exe points to the data file f22.dat. If you bring up the Windows Task Manager, you will see f22.dat (and not _f22.exe) as the program that is using resources. You will also see that the resources that f22.dat is using are much more than the size of f22.dat itself.

F22.dat contains the executable code for ADF and TAW, but it also contains pointer information for a much larger file, called DID.dat. DID.dat is the meat of the program, as it is a cabinet file that contains all of the data files necessary to run the program. These files include the following:

  • GUI graphics (PCX format in indexed 256 color)
  • GUI "Gadget" Files (Menu structure files in ASCII text format with a GDD extension).
  • GUI Menu layout files (ASCII text files with a TAW extension)
  • Terrain and Object Textures (proprietary TM format)
  • Palette files (proprietary COL format) for Indexed 256 color textures at different times of day.
  • Campaign Datafiles (datafiles pertaining to all campaigns across the board, including orders of battle, mission types, target values, etc.). These are all in ASCII text format.
  • Mission Files (Single player and multiplayer mission files, which include briefings, orders of battle, specific asset tasking and loadouts, etc.) These are all in ASCII text format.  Files pertaining to specific campaign scenarios are covered here as well.
  • 3D Object Files (proprietary 3 format)
  • MIDI music files (MDS format)
  • Sound Samples (WAV format)
  • Miscellaneous INI files (ASCII text format)
  • And much more...

The Origin of TAW Modding: Extraction of DID.dat

The possibility for modding TAW came about when it was discovered that Dragon UnPACKercould extract the DID.dat file. Unfortunately, without cueing of any kind, the files were extracted as noname0001-nonamexxxx. All of the cueing for the DID .dat file exists in the f22.dat file. A modder who goes by the handle "Krusade" was able to determine the cueing of 9,459 of the files and 72 of the folders in DID.dat. He developed an extractor for the D3D versions of f22.dat (both English and International).

It should be noted that this extraction, while extensive, is not comprehensive. A number of files are still hidden in DID.dat. It is believed that most of these files are datafiles from ADF (TAW was originally supposed to be an add-on to ADF, as opposed to a sequel), whose hooks have been disabled in the f22.dat. However, some of these files are related to TAW. These include the Win/Lose Campaign Debriefings and D3D sky gradient files.

Krusade's Extractors can be found here:

Extractor for English D3D version of TAW

Extractor for International D3D version of TAW

Available Mods

This is a list of the more popular mods available for Total Air War. Most mods require that the copy of TAW being modded has been extracted. Mods that work with unextracted TAW are marked in italics.

TrackIR Mod

This mod by Formski allows the use of TrackIR (or FreeTrack) to provide natural head movement within TAW. The mod works with Direct3D and Glide versions of TAW, and provides head movement in the pitch and yaw axes (2DOF). Version 1.1 of the mod allows for tracking 180 degrees per side in the yaw axis.

This mod requires at least Windows XP in order to install the required VC++ Runtime Libraries.


Direct3D 1024x768 Resolution Patch

Manteau's patch allows for the Direct3D version of TAW to be run in 1024x768. There are still a few graphical anomalies that are fixable with the next mod. If you wish to use this mod in conjunction with the TrackIR mod, ensure you install the TrackIR mod before applying this patch.


Faustan's updated MFD

Cockpit MFD Fix

Faustan originally wrote this to fix the graphical anomalies with the IRST panel while using the 1024x768 patch. He took the mod to the next level and increased the detail present on the displays when not zoomed in.

Detail enhancements include text in the annunciator panel, LANTIRN display in the Attack MFD, and greater detail in all panels (to include labeled range rings, ADI markings, and other miscellaneous details).

Just save the file in the TAW\PROGRAM\huddle folder.

Link available on SimHQ forum

Updated Campaign Debriefings

This fix by Home Fries is for users of the extracted TAW, as it reintroduces the campaign files that were omitted in the TAW extraction. It also fixes bugs in the debriefs of two campaigns.

All of Home Fries' mods can be found in this folder

Weapon Descriptions

This fix by KoiMaxx restores the weapon descriptions to the campaign loadout screen. The weapon descriptions were omitted when the DID.dat was extracted.

The file can be found with Home Fries' mods in this folder

Khaki Flightsuit in Wideview (seen in TAW 2008)

Desert Flightsuit

This mod by Home Fries replaces the default black flightsuit with the khaki flightsuit that is normally worn by flight crews while in the CENTCOM AOR. Thanks go to MikeW for his contributions with the 3D files.

All of Home Fries' mods can be found in this folder

NVGs with the Glide palette

Night Vision Mods

A limitation of the original TAW is that regardless of whether NVGs are activated, the natural light palette is always displayed when zoomed into the MFDs. This can cause difficulty in targeting with LANTIRN at night, especially in the no-moon night palette. The NVG mods are intended to provide the NVG palette to be displayed while zoomed into the MFDs.

The following are the NVG mods available at this time.

NVG Mod 1.0 for Glide

Home Fries, with the help of Faustan, changed the NVG palette to one better reflecting today's NVG hardware. The Glide version defaults the NVGs to on to allow for their use in LANTIRN targeting at night.

This mod has been superseded by v2.0, but can be used in lieu of 2.0 for Glide users runing Windows 98/ME, or if people do not wish to load the utility included in 2.0.

NVG Mod 2.0 for Glide and Direct3D

Zoomed MFD in Direct3D

A discovery by Eagle_Flight currently allows hot-swapping the night time color palette that in use by F22 TAW to the NVG palette. This mod makes use of the hot swap in memory to allow use of NVGs while zoomed into MFDs. The mod runs transparently in the background, and when you zoom to an MFD, the color palette displayed is the one already selected (i.e. Natural Light or NVGs). You can also swap between natural light and NVGs while zoomed into an MFD.

A bonus feature of the mod allows switching between the brighter and darker night time in game. This will give you better visibility in case for example the full moon night palette is preferred over the NVGs.

The NVG palette for Glide from v1.0 has been enhanced and included for Glide users.

This mod is currently at version 2.0a, which corrects minor issues for extracted TAW users.

All of Home Fries' mods can be found in this folder

Multiplayer ADF/RSO Missions

The original tours of duty from Air Dominance Fighter and the Red Sea Operations expansion pack were extracted by Krusade and converted to multiplayer by Home Fries. You may now fly the original ADF/RSO missions with your closest friends. This mod is still a work in progress. There are separate versions for extracted TAW and original TAW. Be sure to select the correct version.

All ADF/RSO Multiplayer related files can be found in this folder

TAWC v1.0

TAW Configurator (TAWC)

TAWC is a program by MGonzales that allows for individual mods to be swapped in and out in an extracted TAW. TAWC also allows you to tweak the game settings and the Heads-Up Display (HUD).

TAWC Mods and HUD functionality are not recommended for use with TAW 2.0 or TAW 2008.

TAWC Files (download all 3)

F-22 Total Air War 2.0

thumb|right|300px|F-22 Total Air War 2.0 Promotional Video The most expansive modding of TAW is F-22 Total Air War 2.0, a total conversion of F-22 Total Air War (TAW), which also includes the campaigns from F-22 Air Dominance Fighter (ADF) and the Red Sea Operations (RSO) expansion disc. TAW 2.0 is the follow-on to Total Air War 2008.  Almost all of the mods listed above are included in TAW 2.0, along with many more enhancements.

TAW 2.0 provides a brand-new simulation experience that equals or surpasses your fond memories with the original ADF and TAW

The TAW 2.x Wishlist contains items that have not yet been modded, but would be great enhancements to TAW.

TAW 2.0 can be found at www.Combatsim.com

Works in Progress

TAW Configurator 2.0

Reportedly adjusts campaign balance as well as mod management. Enhanced features and TAW 2.0 compatibility are also on the list of things to implement.

Past and Superseded Mods

thumb|300px|right|Polak's 1200 Texture Mod

Polak's 1200 Texture Mod

Polak's 1200 Texture Mod was a proof-of-concept for enhanced graphics in TAW. It uses the same 256 indexed color format for textures and palettes, but provides a more realistic look with 3D acceleration.

Home Fries made adjustments to this mod in both compatibility with the standard TAW palettes, as well as palette adjustments for all times of day. Additionally the water as ground issue in the original version has been fixed. These texture and palette edits were incorporated into Total Air War 2.0.

F-22 Total Air War 2008

thumb|300px|right|F-22 Total Air War 2008 Promotional Video The most expansive modding of TAW at the time was F-22 Total Air War 2008, which has since been superseded by Total Air War 2.0. Both TAW 2008 and TAW 2.0 were modded by the Air Dominance Project.

TAW 2008 can still be found at www.Combatsim.com

Profiles for Gaming Peripherals

This section is dedicated for gaming profiles for hardware such as TrackIR, programmable controllers, and voice recognition software. Unless specified otherwise, all profiles here should be compatible with legacy TAW as well as TAW 2.0.

Programmable Controllers

Most flight simmers consider a programmable controller to be a must given the complex key combinations required to operate aircraft and avionics systems. This section addresses available programming profiles for Total Air War.

Thrustmaster Cougar

Graphic Layout of Home Fries' Cougar Profile

Considered by many to be the premiere HOTAS controller on the market, the Cougar is faithfully based on the F-16 stick and throttle. It has its own programming language, including logic flags which can be used to create simple if-then style routines.

  • Total Air War Cougar Profile v1.3 by Home Fries can be found in this folder. Just download and install to the location you keep your Cougar profiles (usually \TM\Files).

Voice Recognition Software

Voice Recognition software adds an immersive dimension in flight simulators with the ability to actually speak wingman commands, and have the software interpret the command and send the appropriate key combination to the game. Voice recognition is not restricted to wingman commands, but can be used for any in-game function that requires a keystroke.


  • Total Air War VAC Profile v1.1 by Home Fries can be found in this folder.