K240 Buildings

Construction data

Disassembly of K240 v1.886 using IRA reveals a data structure 400 bytes long, beginning at $1c338 in the main game executable. Analysis reveals that this stores data on the game's buildings, including all 40 Terran buildings but not alien buildings. Ten bytes are used to store each in the following format:

Datatype Name Description
WORD Name Index of the building name in the game's strings list
WORD Description Index of the building's description in the game's strings list
WORD Cost Build price of the building
BYTE Hitpoints Building hit points
BYTE Build time Build time in days
BYTE Scaffold Scaffold height
BYTE Empty Empty
Name Description Cost Hitpoints Build time Scaffold Actual name
0001 0013 03e8 05 20 00 Living Quarters
0002 0023 05dc 22 20 00 Power Store
0003 0024 05dc 18 14 00 Storage Facility
0004 0025 1b58 10 24 00 Anti-Missile Pod
0005 0026 01f4 05 08 00 Solar Panel
00ba 00bb 1f40 18 20 02 Decontamination Filter
0007 0028 05dc 0a 0a 00 Solar Generator
0008 0029 1130 18 20 00 Weapons Factory
0009 002a 0fa0 14 20 00 Mine
000a 002b 1388 0a 18 00 Satellite Silo
000b 002c 4e20 24 34 00 Screen Generator
000c 002d afc8 24 30 01 Ore Teleporter
000d 002e 88b8 18 34 01 Gravity Nullifier
000e 002f 157c 14 24 00 Deep Bore Mine
000f 0030 10cc 0f 20 00 Missile Silo
0010 0031 4e20 14 24 01 Repair Facility
0011 0032 0dac 0f 24 03 Sensor Array
00bc 00bd 157c 14 1e 00 Plasma Turret
00be 00bf 1d4c 14 34 00 Photon Turret
0014 0033 32c8 18 30 02 Life Support
0015 0034 1f40 24 28 03 C.P.U
0016 0035 6784 18 2a 02 Seismic Penetrator
0017 0036 afc8 1c 40 01 Asteroid Engines
0018 0037 2710 22 28 02 Powerplant
0019 0038 1f40 24 20 02 Command Centre
001a 0039 1d4c 14 20 02 Construction Yard
001b 003a 012c 05 10 00 Landing Pad
001c 003b 0d48 10 18 00 Laser Turret
001d 003c 1388 0a 20 03 Solar Matrix
001e 003d 0bb8 0a 30 03 Resiblock
001f 003e 0bb8 20 28 02 Storage Tower
0020 003f 1c20 14 30 03 Protected Solar Matrix
0021 003f 2134 14 38 03 Protected Resiblock
0022 003f 1d4c 20 30 02 Protected Storage Tower
00c0 00c1 1388 0f 1e 03 Medical Centre
00c2 00c3 0c80 22 14 02 Environment Control
00c4 00c5 2134 34 20 03 Protected Environment Control
00c6 00c7 1b58 18 10 03 Hydroponics
00c8 00c9 1388 14 14 03 Hydration Plant
00ca 00cb 1194 0f 18 02 Security Centre

The C.P.U. is listed as costing 8000, although it cannot be built except automatically when a new colony is started.

The Decontamination Filter, Plasma Turret and Photon Turret have high numbers in the string list, appear out-of-order, and have their descriptions immediately following. This suggests they were added later in the game's development. They may have taken the place of three deleted buildings.

The Medical Centre, Environment Control, Protected Environment Control, Hydroponics, Hydration Plant and Security Centre all appear at the end of the list, have high numbers in the string list, and have their descriptions immediately follow in the string list. This suggests that they were added even later in the game's development. Early on, Life Support may have supplied all air, food and water.

Except for building hit points, all data in this table is visible in the game or in the game manual. Building hit points in decimal are as follows.

Hitpoints Building name
5 Landing Pad
5 Living Quarters
5 Solar Panel
10 Resiblock
10 Satellite Silo
10 Solar Generator
10 Solar Matrix
15 Medical Centre
15 Missile Silo
15 Security Centre
15 Sensor Array
16 Anti-Missile Pod
16 Laser Turret
20 Construction Yard
20 Deep Bore Mine
20 Hydration Plant
20 Mine
20 Photon Turret
20 Plasma Turret
20 Protected Resiblock
20 Protected Solar Matrix
20 Repair Facility
24 Decontamination Filter
24 Gravity Nullifier
24 Hydroponics
24 Life Support
24 Seismic Penetrator
24 Storage Facility
24 Weapons Factory
28 Asteroid Engines
32 Protected Storage Tower
32 Storage Tower
34 Environment Control
34 Power Store
34 Powerplant
36 C.P.U
36 Command Centre
36 Ore Teleporter
36 Screen Generator
52 Protected Environment Control

Interestingly, the "protected" buildings are actually tougher than their non-protected equivalents, except for the Protected Storage Tower.

This table does not store sprite reference or whether the building takes up 1 square or 2x2 squares.

Current building data

Disassembly using IRA reveals that nine areas of memory are written to disk in order to form the save game file, which suggests that these nine areas hold the entire game state. Analysis of PART4, which begins 93,658 bytes into the save game file and is 33,600 bytes long, reveals that the game stores building data for 24 asteroids, 100 buildings per asteroid, and 14 bytes per building. The hex editor HxD was useful for this analysis.

The limit of 100 buildings per asteroid explains why attempting to build too many buildings returns the message, "Asteroid structure too weak!" Tests reveal that the size of buildings (1 square or 2x2 squares) is irrelevant, only the number, which cannot exceed 100 due to a limitation of the data structure. Relatedly, it's possible that the reason why Landing Pads can't be built close to the edge of the asteroid is to prevent a ship taking off from a Landing Pad at the very top row of a large asteroid and rising above the top of the screen. Since an asteroid can be rotated, all edges are potentially "top".

The format is as follows:

Datatype Name Description
Byte ID The building's index in the buildings construction data, not necessarily its string index
Byte Hitpoints Current hitpoints
Byte Time to build? Last 7 bits seems to be the number of days left to build.
Byte BYTE03 Empty?
2 Bytes Coords Coordinates
6 bytes Big coords Additional coordinates for four-square buildings, also used by missile silos for animation frames while firing
Byte Turret recharge Seems to be an "initiative count" or time-to-fire for turrets
Byte BYTE13 ??

Save state viewing with WinUAE reveals interesting features.

Building Armour doubles the hit points of new buildings, not existing ones. However, a Repair Facility will repair old buildings up to the Building Armour maximum. It seems as if Building Armour doubles the "maximum" hit points of all buildings, which allows existing buildings to be repaired to the new standard.

Watching the data of a colony under attack reveals that a Screen Generator halves all damage taken by buildings in its range, rounded down.

Detonating buildings

Destroying a building with the green bomb tool appears to deal that building 120 damage. This ensures destruction of any building, even (hypothetically) a 60HP building with Building Armour. The strongest Terran building is a Protected Environment Control with Building Armour at 104 hit points.

As building hit points is a signed integer, it's theoretically possible to have a building with 128 hit points which would survive this hit, but presumably no Terran or alien building can acquire this many hit points. This also implies that the Kll'Kp'Qua cannot acquire Building Armour, as their Queen's Chamber has 100 hit points, and Building Armour would raise this to 200, which the game would read as negative, thus destroying all new Queen's Chamber buildings one day after they are placed.


The following buildings require eight colonists each: Mine, Deep Bore Mine, Seismic Penetrator, Construction Yard, Command Centre and Missile Silo. No other buildings require workers. Ships do not require colonists for crew.


  • Alien building data
  • Information on the function of alien buildings
  • Damage values / to-hit functions for Terran turrets and the turrets of Protected buildings
  • Sprite rips
  • How the game determines a building's type for the purpose of spy satellite reports
  • What determines the order in which buildings disable in event of power loss
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