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June 12, 2021, 12:44:04 pm


Use of ePSXe before 2.0 is highly discouraged. Mednafen/RetroArch is recommended for playing/testing, pSX is recommended for debugging.

Importing Custom Formation Sprites and Portraits [Warning! Image Heavy Post!]

Started by Celdia, February 11, 2011, 01:02:40 am


March 16, 2020: This tutorial is outdated thanks to updates to Shishi that allow it to access the UNIT and WLDFACE images.

Feel free to follow the rest of the guide for actually editing the images, but when it comes to extraction and insertion, just switch tabs in Shishi and use the dropdown menu.

Now this is something I know there have been a lot of requests for, including from myself back in the day.
Well as the saying goes, "If you want something done right, do it yourself." and that is what I've aimed for here.
Just so there's no confusion: Images will be posted ABOVE the text referring to them. If a picture doesn't make
sense on its own, scroll down and read a bit.

Here's the list of programs you'll need for importing new formation sprites: Shishi Sprite Editor, Graphics Gale, FFTEVGRP, CDMage
This tutorial will start by assuming you have already replaced the sprite in your  ISO with Shishi. If you haven't done that already,
do so.

Ready? Okay, good. You made sure to set the new sprite's SHP and SEQ to the proper Type for the new sprite, right? I'll wait.

Okay, for this tutorial we'll be replacing the Male Monk with Vanya's Spikey Warrior custom sprite.

Step 1: Open your ISO (or BIN or what have you) in CDMage (as "M2/2352 track" - nothing else seems to work for me).
If you do get an error as in the image above, just click Yes. This has never caused an issue for me and it frequently happens.
Locate the EVENT folder, scroll to the bottom and right-click UNIT.BIN and select Extract Files. Repeat this process for WLDFACE.BIN.

Step 2: Open UNIT.BIN and WLDFACE.BIN in FFTEVGRP. This is pretty self-explanitory, I hope. Here's a picture just in case.
Each one will be accessible through their own tabs at the top-left of the window once opened.

Step 3: Find the sprite you're replacing on the list in FFTEVGRP and use the Save BMP function.
(Its possible that this step may be redundant but I find it is the most effective way to get an image
file that FFTEVGRP will accept for Import later.)
I always just save them as the default filename FFTEVGRP creates for them as you can see here.

Step 4: Close CDMage (if you haven't already) and open your ISO in Shishi (Note: Failure to close CDMage
or Shishi when trying to load your ISO into the other program will give you an error.) 
Load up the sprite you have already replaced in the ISO with Shishi and take a screenshot with PrntScrn.
Also if you do not have your new sprite saved in BMP format, select Export As BMP from the menu and save
the sprite into a new file. (Yeah, this probably didn't need an image but I'm being thorough.)

Step 5: Open Graphics Gale and create a new image. Paste your screenshot into this new image. This is
where we will get the graphics for the new formation screen. Just keep it open for later.

Step 6: Open the exported UNIT and WLDFACE images you got from FFTEVGRP in Graphics Gale. I like to zoom
these images up a bit to make lining up things for editing easier.

Step 7: Now we're going to load the color palettes for the new formation sprites. If you don't have a Palette window
open in Graphics Gale already you can get one by going up to View > Palette. In the Palette window click the little
underlined down-arrow and select Load Palette.
Next, click the File button and choose Import From File. This is why we exported the new sprite from Shishi as a BMP.
Open that BMP file and you will get a new window with a whole bunch of little colored tiles. On the left are the palettes
from the BMP you opened. On the right is the palette for the image you're editing, be it the unit or the portrait.
The top 8 rows are the unit palettes while the bottom 8 are portrait palettes. Drag and highlight the top row of colors
from the one you're editing, unit or portrait, and then click the left-most tile on the right. This will replace the entire
IMPORTANT NOTE: The 'Match pixels with colors' checkbox must be flagged (default) for portraits and must be
UNFLAGGED for the unit palette. If you don't get this right your images will look all wonky. I can't count how many
times I messed this up before I realized what the problem was.
Once you've got your new palette loaded to the tiles on the right, click OK and you should see a change in your image.
Repeat this process for both the unit and portrait images and we'll move on.

Step 8: Now this is where we need that screenshot of Shishi. with the new palettes loaded into the UNIT and
WLDFACE images we can now just copy and paste the sprites from the spritesheet and they will look correct. The unit
sprite is easy enough but the portrait will need to be rotated counter-clockwise 90 degrees. Once again, zoom is applied
for ease of editing.
Just grab that little box attached to the line once you've selected the portrait area and drag it up and left until everything
looks nice and aligned.
Then Copy from the spritesheet and paste over the old portrait. Now save your modified UNIT and WLDFACE images.

Step 9: Back to FFTEVGRP. If you followed all the steps thusfar there should be no errors here. Simply select Import BMP
and load up your UNIT and WLDFACE images. Note the blue exclamation points on the tabs for the different files.
These indicate unsaved changes. To save, just click the Save File button in the bottom right on each tab. You will also
want to click Save WLDFACE4.BIN (I have no idea what this file does, honestly, but I create and import it to my ISO
everytime and everything works so I continue to do so. If someone knows if this is redundant, let me know.)

Step 10: If you still have Shishi open, close it and re-open your ISO in CDMage just like in Step 1. You'll want to do
much the same as you did in Step 2 except now we'll be using the Import File function from the right-click menu. Do this

That's it! Close CDMage, load up your ISO and check out the new formation sprite!

Happy hacking! ^_^

(Thank you to DarthFutuza for rehosting the tutorial images, even if the whole thing is greatly out of date.)


Have you tried CDProg, Celdia? I find it to be way way superior and faster to CDMage.
Current Projects:


I can't say I have but CDMage works plenty fast for me. In fact the idea that I would need something faster almost seems silly since it never really has any wait time in it.


Under step 8, when copying the custom sprite off of shishi, how much leeway should you have away from the yellow border? I'd like to have the sprite centered within the 24x40 dimensions, so knowing this vital info would be of great help for this tutorial.

Seriously, what an awesome tutorial, Celdia!

edit: Nevermind. Resolved within mIRC.

Mary Quite Contrary

This is a great guide, I appreciate the work!

I was wondering if you could help me out a bit, though. I'm having this weird problem where CDMage opens my fresh ISO just fine, everything displays properly, no error messages. But after patching sprites with Shishi's, CDMage opens the ISO and gives me a similar (but not the same) error message to the one you mentioned:

After that, the ISO loads, but I only have the BATTLE and DUMMY folder.

I'm pretty careful about following steps (I think!) but I am not sure what might be the problem.

For reference, I'm using CDmage 1.01.5 and the most recent Shishi's downloadable from the front page (Can't seem to find a version on the darn thing).
Edit: Just tested, and even if I don't change any sprites, just opening it in Shishi's and restructuring the ISO seems to result in this.

Edit: Just tried it using a very old version of Shishi's from several years ago, and it works fine. Go figure!!



Excellent guide, works every step of the way! 

One question, though.  Whenever I try to export BMP in Shishi, the portrait changes.

Is there a way to export with the portrait intact?  Having the portrait screwy is messing with the color palette.


That's normal, to my knowledge. I think every exported spritesheet has a screwy portrait.
  • Modding version: PSX & WotL
"You, no less human than we? Ha! Now there's a beastly thought. You've been less than we from the moment your baseborn father fell upon your mother in whatever gutter saw you sired! You've been chattel since you came into the world drenched in common blood!"
  • Discord username: eternal248#1817


Hmm, maybe I'm selecting the wrong lines of the color palette, then?

That's what happens when I copy the image... it's not that noticeable on this portrait, but it's pretty ridiculous on others.  Note: it's barely noticeable on the sprite itself.


That looks like you've got the wrong palette loaded into the WLDFACE image before pasting in the portrait. Make sure you're grabbing the 9th row of colors from the sprite sheet palette. Those look like the first row looking at it closely.

Also you're one pixel off on that copy/paste.


Well, step by step, this is what I do.

I select the bmp of the sprites with the goofy portrait to load the palette from ->

I replace the line on the right with the top line on the left ->

I get this ->



Exactly your problem.

From above: "The top 8 rows are the unit palettes while the bottom 8 are portrait palettes. Drag and highlight the top row of colors from the one you're editing, unit or portrait, and then click the left-most tile on the right. This will replace the entire palette."

Do you see where you're going wrong?



Any chance you'd be able to make a youtube video of this? I thought I understood all of the steps, but when I loaded up the iso, instead of my custom sprites being present, no sprites were present at all, and when I wanted to go into battle the game crashed! I have no idea where I went wrong.
  • Modding version: PSX


@ Ultros: Yes, but the process in extracting the unit.bin and WLDFACE.bin is different for the WotL version. Instead of CDMage, you use UMDGen. If you have any more questions on how to go about this, please use the search function; there are topics and answers regarding custom sprites in battle and in the formation screen.

edit: Also, Durbs, it helps immensely if you can detail the problem you are witnessing the best you possibly can, step-by-step, so that we can understand what your issue is. I'm banking on the assumption that you have an unclean iso, but it also helps us if you can tell us if you're using an already patched iso, WotL version iso, etc.

Really, truly, emulate with your words and do not leave any one description to the problem with any generalization.


Great guide, it really helped me out! Thanks Celdia!

@Wasabi and @Ultros

I know this is a dead issue by now, but you can use CDMage to mess with WotL. All you have to do is:

1 - Open the PSP iso as M1/2048 track .iso;
2 - Go to Track 1/PSP_GAME/USRDIR and extract "fftpack.bin";
3 - As an extra step, launch a FFTPatcher (I'm using version .478), go to PSP=>Utilities=>Extract fftpack.bin..., and extract into an empty folder;
4 - Navigate to that folder and find your UNIT.BIN and WLDFACE.BIN (it's at the same place it would be in the PSX .iso as shown by Celdia, i.e.: <folder>/EVENT);
4 - Do stuff as Celdia said;
5 - When you have the resulting UNIT.BIN, WLDFACE.BIN and WLDFACE4.BIN, launch the FFTPacher again and go to PSP=>Utilities=>Rebuild fftpack.bin... and select your folder;
6 - Finally, just import the resulting fftpack.bin into the .iso, using CDMage.


I personally favor this guide ^_^... very well explained and very helpful!


or 100/100

That may be, but the mental image of Velius/Belias rifling through a panty drawer like a dirty old man set to this music is too hilarious.

Diil Fenrir

Really Nice tutorials but I have a problem.

I follow the guide until I open the UNITBIN and the WLDFACE.BIN with the FFTEVGRP But I can see The dark Knight anche the Onion Knight Bmp, Why?

Other thing; I'm working on Alicia, Lavian and Ladd creation, I make for them a special sprite and face, now, I can use an Empty slot for the Face, but where the sprite go? (I used the Melidaul, Rafa and Mustadio Png for all over things but in the Unit.bin there is only a sprite for chara.....)