ANCS (File Format)

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Revision as of 08:01, 3 March 2017 by >Aruki (→‎AnimationSet: wooooOOOOOOAH LIVIN ON A PRAYER)
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The ANCS format defines character sets and animation sets in Metroid Prime 1 and 2. Starting in Metroid Prime 3, it was replaced by the CHAR and SAND formats. The extension stands for ANimation Character Set.


Type Name Notes
u16 Version Always 1.
Character Set Character Set Set of characters that share animation data.
Animation Set Animation Set Set of animations used by the characters in the character set.

Character Set

Type Count Name Notes
u16 1 Version Always 1.
u32 1 Character Count Count of characters in this set.
Character Character Count Characters Array Array of characters.


Type Count Name Notes V1 V2 V4 V5 V10
u32 1 Character ID Typically begins at 0 and increments by 1 on each successive character in the set.
u16 1 Version This can vary between different files/characters. Usually 5 or 6 in MP1 and 10 in MP2.
string 1 Name Name of the character. Not used by the game; was likely included for debugging purposes.
Asset ID (CMDL) 1 Model ID ID of the model used by this character.
Asset ID (CSKR) 1 Skin ID ID of the skin used by this character.
Asset ID (CINF) 1 Skeleton ID ID of the skeleton used by this character.
u32 1 Animation Name Count Count of animation names in the next array.
Animation Name Animation Name Count Animation Name Array Array of names of animations used by this character.
PAS Database 1 PAS Database Not much is known about how this data is used.
Particle Resource Data 1 Particle Resource Data List of particle assets being used by this character. This includes particles being used by attached effects as well as by animation events.
u32 1 Unknown
u32 1 Unknown
u32 1 Animation AABB Count Count of animation bounding boxes.
Animation AABB Animation AABB Count Animation AABB Array Array of animation bounding boxes for this character.
u32 1 Effect Count Count of attached effects.
Effect Effect Count Effect Array Effects attached to this character.
Asset ID (CMDL) 1 Frozen Model Overlay model that appears when the character is frozen with the Ice/Dark Beam.
Asset ID (CSKR) 1 Frozen Skin Skin for rigging the Frozen Model to the character's skeleton.
u32 1 Animation Count Count of animations used by this character.
u32 Animation Count Animation ID Map Array of animation IDs. Indexing this array with the character-relative animation ID returns the animset-relative animation ID.
Asset ID (CSPP) 1 Spatial Primitives ID ID of the spatial primitives used by this character.
u8 1 Unknown
u32 1 Indexed Animation AABB Count Count of indexed animation bounding boxes.
Indexed Animation AABB Indexed Animation AABB Count Indexed Animation AABB Array Unknown purpose.
Animation Name
Type Name Notes V1 V10
u32 Animation ID Character-relative animation ID. Must be remapped via the Animation ID Map to access the corresponding animation in the animset.
string Unknown Always empty.
string Animation Name The name of the animation.
Particle Resource Data
Type Count Name Notes V5 V6 V10
u32 1 Generic Particle Count Count of generic particle systems.
Asset ID (PART) Generic Particle Count Generic Particle List List of generic particle systems used by this character.
u32 1 Swoosh Particle Count Count of swoosh particle systems.
Asset ID (SWHC) Swoosh Particle Count Swoosh Particle List List of swoosh particle systems used by this character.
u32 1 Unknown Always 0.
u32 1 Electric Particle Count Count of electric particle systems.
Asset ID (ELSC) Electric Particle Count Electric Particle List List of electric particle systems used by this character.
u32 1 Spawn Particle Count Count of spawn particle systems.
Asset ID (SPSC) Spawn Particle Count Spawn Particle List List of spawn particle systems used by this character.
Animation AABB
Type Name Notes
string Animation Name
AABox Animation Bounding Box
Indexed Animation AABB

Similar to Animation AABB, but with animations referenced via ID instead of name.

Type Name Notes
u32 Animation ID Confirm this is character-relative?
AABox Animation Bounding Box
Type Count Name Notes
string 1 Effect Name Name of the effect.
u32 1 Effect Component Count Count of effect components
Effect Component Effect Component Count Effect Components Array of effect components used by this effect.
Effect Component
Type Name Notes
string Component Name Name of this effect component.
FourCC Particle Asset Type Type of the particle used by this effect.
Asset ID Particle Asset ID Particle resource used by this effect.
string Bone Name Bone that the component is attached to.
float Scale Scale of the component.
u32 Parented Mode Needs documentation
u32 Flags Needs documentation

Animation Set

Type Count Name Notes MP1 MP2
u16 1 Version Always 4. Note there are format differences between MP1 and MP2 despite them both being version 4.
u32 1 Animation Count Count of animations contained by the set.
Animation Animation Count Animation Array Array of animations.
u32 1 Transition Count Count of transitions contained by the set.
Transition Transition Count Transition Array Array of transitions.
Meta-Transition 1 Default Transition
u32 1 Additive Animation Count Count of additive animations contained by the set.
Additive Animation Additive Animation Count Additive Animation Array Array of additive animations. Although any animation can be used as additive, this array allows for customizing the fade in/out time for each animation.
float 1 Default Additive Fade-In Time Fade-in time used for additive animations not listed in the above array.
float 1 Default Additive Fade-Out Time Fade-out time used for additive animations not listed in the above array.
u32 1 Half Transition Count Count of half transitions contained by the set.
Half Transition Half Transition Count Half Transition Array Array of half transitions.
u32 1 Animation Resource Count Count of animation assets used by this set.
Animation Resource Pair Animation Resource Count Animation Resource List List of animation assets used by this set.
u32 1 Event Set Count Count of event sets. Matches the animation count.
Event Set Event Set Count Event Set Array Array of animation events. Each event set maps to the animation at the same index. Note this is basically MP1's EVNT file format, but embedded in ANCS.


Type Name Notes
string Name Animation name.
Meta-Animation Animation Meta-animation data.


Type Name Notes
u32 Unknown
u32 Animation ID A The animation being transitioned from.
u32 Animation ID B The animation being transitioned to.
Meta-Transition Transition Meta-transition data.

Additive Animation

Type Name Notes
u32 Animation ID
float Fade-In Time Fade-in duration.
float Fade-Out Time Fade-out duration.

Animation Resource Pair

Type Name