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This article describes the current localization efforts in the The Ur-Quan Masters project.

General information[edit]

Current status[edit]

The resource system is suitable for creating language packs. An add-on package can be created to override any content file.

The game works with UTF-8 encoded UNICODE characters. The currently available characters are mostly the ASCII characters. The various translation projects use their own characters where needed. Eventually, we will want to have shared font packs.

Currently, all text is in simple text files. Eventually, we'll move to a richer XML-based file format. A conversion tool will be created to convert existing material.

Some text still is hard-coded in the game. This will change at some point in the future.

Currently, only left-to-right writing systems are supported.

Support for non-ascii input in text fields is still limited.

Using language packs[edit]

A language pack can be used like any other add-on package.

Creating language packs[edit]

Language packs are normal add-on packages, which means they will be a .zip file (renamed to .uqm), with in it a directory structure which overrides the files in the default content.

NOTE: You can skip manually extracting files below and use the contents of this skeleton translation pack.

Text files[edit]

The game expects all of its text files to be in UTF-8 format.

The subtitle files can be found in comm/<race>/<race>.txt in the content tree.

The melee strings for the various ships can be found in the <race>/<race>.txt files.

The text displayed for planetary exploration finds is contained in the ipanims/*.txt files.

The file lbm/starcon.txt contains various other game strings.

The file slides/intro/intro.txt contains the text for the intro sequence, as used by the DOS version of Star Control II. The files slides/ending/victory1.txt, slides/ending/victory2.txt and slides/ending/final.txt contain the text for the victory slides.

Hard-coded strings[edit]

There are several places in the game where strings are used that are hard-coded in the source code. Most of those are error strings you may never see, but some are actually important in the game. For now, it would be best to ignore these strings, and translate them when these strings are no longer hard-coded. If you do translate them at this time, you would need to distribute game binaries of your own.


If you need additional characters you will need to add appropriate entries to the font dirs slides/slides.fon/, ipanims/lander.fon/, lbm/micro.fon/, lbm/tiny.fon/, lbm/player.fon/, lbm/starcon.fon/, credits/pt13.fon, credits/pt17.fon, credits/pt45.fon and comm/<race>/<race>.fon/ (note that starbas.fon, rebel.fon and spahome.fon do not exist). The number of the file is the UNICODE character code converted into decimal (from hex). Here are the official UNICODE character code charts. For hex-decimal conversion you can use this online converter.

Note that translation projects for other languages may have already created glyphs usable for your language.


Some game images include text. A full translation would need modified versions of those. Here goes a full list:

lbm/activity.[0-1].png, modules.[0-15].png, newgame.[0-5].png, playmenu.[0-37,58-66].png, shipyard.[3-16,20,22,23].png, sismods.55.png, title.png, title.0.png




shofixti/oldcap.0.png, shocap.[0,12-19].png

ipanims/lander.32.png, orbenter.0.png




If you want to dub the actual speech, you'll need to create new versions of the .ogg files in comm/<race>/ in the content dir. You'll also need to create new .ts files for synchronisation with the subtitles. See Tools below.


In melee, some ships play sound effects containing speech. Here's a list:

orz/intruder.wav, secondary.wav





The game comes with several documentation files. In particular the game manual would be a good candidate for translation.


The Russian translation project created a program to make editing the UQM fonts easy. It's available here.

Unix-like systems will have a program iconv which can be used to easilly change the encoding of a text file (from latin1 to UTF-8 for instance).

A tool for generating the time stamps used to synchronise the speech with the subtitles is available in the official CVS tree of the The Ur-Quan Masters project, in the tools module. [1]

Translation projects[edit]


Project site:

Download link:

Forum thread: [2]

Status: almost complete


Home page:

Project site:


CVS tree:

Forum threads: [3], [4], [5] [6]

Status: almost complete


Home page:

The project is just started. We need help. If interested in contributing contact Giacomo

Forum thread: [7]

Status: ?%, accelerating towards light speed


There currently is no Japanese translation project underway, but the original 3DO version was also released in Japanese. We have a copy, and if the copyrights allow it, we may be able to add Japanese speech files without much problems.

Bugzilla entry: #605

Status: 0% complete


For information contact Arael

Forum threads: [8]

Status: temporarily stalled


The project has already been started. Plans are to do both a Brazilian and Portuguese version. A call for contributors has been made. Contact nightshadow if interested.

Project Site:

Forum threads: [9],[10], [11], [12]

Status: Just Started


Main site:

Forum threads: [13], [14], [15] [16]

Status: complete


The Spanish translation project has been halted at 80%. The last available version of the translation only works for uqm v0.6.2. A playable translation for Windows (uqm v0.6.2 + translation installer) can be found here as a .zip file:

Download (311 MB)

Contact Volka if you're interested in contributing.

Forum threads: [17] [18] [19]