The Three Save Files

  • .Mis files are levels.
  • .gam files are gamesys files – this is where things like the object hierarchy lives. Thief has a bunch of .mis files and one .gam file; System Shock 2 has a different .gam file (with science fiction-type objects) and completely different .mis files.
  • .cow files are the silly old name for .mis files. (p_portal.cow is created when you portalize and may be useful as a backup if you crash while doing so).

Actually, technically .mis files and .cow files are slightly different. A .mis file contains a reference to the .gam file which is intended for use with the level. This .gam file will automatically be loaded when you load the .mis file. A .cow file has no such thing, and you’ll get whatever default .gam file DromEd decides.

The distinction shouldn’t affect you unless you want to go around using several different gamesys files: in general you’ll just want to use .mis files and not worry about .cows.


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