Ascendancy Mod


May 30, 2009
near Munich

First of all: It is legal to release my Ascendancy Data Files. The Logic Factory
sells the 1995 released PC Game Ascendancy as a Universal App for iPad,
and dont wants free Downloads of the whole Game (but you could find in Internet!).
So i release only two modded Files, and not the whole Game.

After all these Years i found a Way to mod Ascendancy.
Yes, it is a damned old Sci-Fi Game, but it was quite Fun, and on my DOS-BOX
it is quite Fun, still. I modded a Data File called Ascend00.COB, and thats the File,
necessary to replace in your Original Game.

So, who of you wants to play Ascendancy a bite more challenging and just better,
download the CRACY and the SUPREMACY Zip Files, and unpack into your Main Folder
Ascendancy. You will find two new Sub-Folders CRACY and SUPREMACY, the Supreme.exe,
the, a BATCH File and a README.
Open the BATCH File to choose one of the three available MODs, and one of
the 6 Difficulty Levels each of the three MODs includes.
Then close, and open the Supreme.exe to play a brandnew Ascendancy Game.

My Files are NOT the whole Ascendancy Game, only some modded Files!
You will NEED the Original Game. I downloaded the English Version of Ascendancy,
a no-CD Version, and my Supreme.exe and my BATCH worked, on a 32Bit System, XP,
and on DOS-BOX. Hopefully it will work for you, too.

The SUPREMACY MOD is the basic MOD.
The CRACY MOD includes redirected Prerequisites for Planet and Ship Stuff.
The TOTALLY CRACY MOD is the CRACY MOD with deleted Specials.

Modding Files and Explanation at Abandonia:


It is very important for me, to release my sweet little MOD, yes, it is a damned old Game,
but i waited for over 10 Years to play that Favorite Game quite better, and i hope,
some Guys out there, will have at least a better Ascendancy, like me. Have Fun.



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There is an iOS version which costs 3,99 euros and its pretty nice

But always better in a computer (and freeeee)
Yeah, i know, that there exists an iPad Version, as Universal App.
Never played, never had. Have you played that Version?

Has anyone played that iOS Version, and could tell a little bit?
Has anyone played Ascendancy hard, AND that iOS Version, to tell the Changes?

I only know the PC Version, with a huge Lack of the AI. Too stupid,
for playing it hard. Therefor i modded that Version, see above.

My Version changed many Things, and is much better than Original Game, i think.

Saw by Google Search, this Thread is only shown by Archive.
This Thread for real at this Link here with Download Options on CivFanatics.
It is important to me, that every Ascendancy Fan could download this, cause its a real Joy.

Really no Comments, Folks?


I am very happy for Guys like you, having found my Mod. I was ever, since its Release, the biggest Fan
of Ascendancy, like the other biggest Fans of that sweet little Game. And i hate the Thought, that
the Logic Factory released for iOS and all these Apple Toys, but not for their true Fans Community.

Perhaps you read my READMEs and found out, how my Mod works: To unpack the TWO .zips into the
already existing Ascendancy Main Folder, AND to load a hopefully working BATCH, to automatically
load the required ASCEND00.COB into Main Folder, and thats my Answer for your Question:

I used nothing, but the Notepad Editor to alter the Ship Stuff, Planet Stuff and some other Stats.
I altered the ASCEND00.COB, into three Mods, SUPREMACY as Basic Mod, CRACY and TOTALLY CRACY.
Three Mods, and every Mod includes 6 Difficulty Levels. The BATCH should load automatically the required Files.

To choose a Mod in BATCH and a Difficulty Level will load the required ASCEND00.COB and the RESUME.GAM
into Main Folder Ascendancy. And as i told another Guy out there: If you wonder, why Ascendancy
has not changed "a lot", and you are disappointed by another Ascendancy Hope, i have to tell you this:

If you havent loaded that damned new ASCEND00.COB into Main Folder, then there was quite a damned
Zero Change in Ascendancy!!!!!!!!!! There cannot be a damned Change in Game, if the new Files arent loaded.
You need any of the Files out of the two new Sub Folders Supremacy or Cracy plus the RESUME.GAM!!!!!!!!!!

And if the Solar System Names havent changed, then it is quite only the same damned old Game...

The SUPREMACY MOD has Basic Changes, and is the Basic Mod.
The CRACY MOD changed the Prerequisites of Ship and Planet Stuff, which MOD i prefer.
The TOTALLY CRACY MOD is the CRACY MOD plus deleted Special Stuff,
so that the AI Ships are damned heavy to kill.

Three MODs in one, and each 6 Difficulty Levels, but that is quite easy, too:

I used the former LABORATORY as the Planet Improvement the AI ONLY should build.
The Human Player could everything build, but NOT the Laboratory, which is now the SCIFACTORY.
The Human Player gets his Research Rate by producing Factories, and then the other Stuff.
But the SciFactories are for the AI ONLY, and that means the 6 Difficulty Levels:

20, 30, 40.

That is the Factory Rate the SciFactory gives to the AI.
While the Human Player gets for his Factories 1/2, or 1/1 Research and Production, the AI gets
1/20, 1/30 and 1/40, and thats why my MOD works: Cause the damned stupid AI gets,
what the Human Player has to achieve by a lot of more Production and Improvement Rebuilds.

So the 6 Difficulty Levels include that System of Factory, Human Player versus AI:

2/20, 1/20, 2/30, 1/30, 2/40, 1/40.

While the AI gets an Increase from 20 til 40 of Factory, the Human Player can choose,
how much he will get against: 2 or only 1. So 1/40 is the highest Difficulty of the MOD,
and the TOTALLY CRACY MOD plus Difficulty 1/40 SUPREME is the damned heaviest Game you could play.
So, Nodstradamus, the only Tool i used was Notepad Editor, and i hope, you have played the MOD,

not the Original Game while being disappointed...



nobody reads the f*****ing manuals...

>>>YOU SIMPLY NOT PLAYED MY MOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Man you are a hero to me! I am a BIG fan of Alien Ascendancy, nobody could ever count the hours i spent playing this game, even with bad AI...

I'm going to test your mod right now, and I will later make a little review of it. The Minions Assimilation shall begin!

Can you tell me what tools you used for modding?
Hello Folks!

It isnt necessary to "have the Disk". It is a Game from 1995, it should be for free, but
The Logic Factory earns Money still, or just again, by Universal App Contract, so the
most free Versions are off the Download Sections... but there are some british Versions
downloadable, no-CD and free british Ascendancy Version, like mine.

I am a German Guy, and my Original Disk would include German Language only,
and CD-Check, so i downloaded that no-CD and british Version, it is still available.

My Mod includes a Batch File which automatically loads the required Ascend00.COB,
and now hopefully i changed this Batch File to also work for 64bit Systems, sorry Folks,
i use still XP... @Birdjaguar: Yes, CD-Checks are sad, in DOS-BOX, and just annoying...
so download the no-CD british Version, that works on DOS-BOX, without CD, and with my Mods!

Hi, I just created an account to answer to this, even if it is quite an old thread. I loved ascendancy but was utterly disappointed at the stupid AI and unchallenging experience it offered once you learnt the basics of the game. I 've dreamt of someone coming up with a patch that improves the AI truly, and just found this. The only problem I have is that I hate when, in order to improve an AI, its tweaked to cheat massively, and that's what this mod basically does.

So I guess I thank you for having taken time to try to improve the AI, but I'll just keep dreaming for someone to truly make it better, not just make it cheat. If you ever read this and want to try to do that, know that there is at least one person who'll be anxious to play the game with a truly better AI.

I guess I missed this originally. I still play Ascendancy once in a great while. I still have my manual, such as it is and CD. The real pain for me was later in the game clearing planets with those grey dead tiles and routing ship long distances.
Thanks @Nicheal ! I love this game and have been thinking of replaying Ascendancy ever since I did a minor tribute to it on my Imperium Galactica and similar games website (been 20yrs so I want to play again and do a proper big tribute to it). Your AI mod should make it a more interesting experience!

Might interest you guys to know that Ascendancy's creator recently posted on the Ascendancy FB page for the first time in 4 years about how busy his life is etc but that he's never forgotten about the dream of creating a sequel. Can't find his post now but he's since posted a poll on whether fans would want humans as a faction in the sequel if it gets made.
Hello Nicheal. I also created an account for the purpose of thanking you. I love this mod. It improves the game so much. Now you actually have to fight hard to defeat the AI.

By the way, I would really like to know what races you like to play. This mod changes the strength of races quite a bit. I wonder if you would agree to my assessments:

* The Baliflids were underrated in the original game. In this mod, I think they are the best race. The only race with which I managed to do diplomacy in your mod. Being able to pacify the now uber aggressive AI is huge.
* The Chamachies (massively OP in the original) are still strong, but feel more balanced. Their starting planet is now quite bad and they can no longer exploit ruins.
* The Orfa are a much better race than in the original. With much more black tiles on most planets, and with the improvement to outposts, they're one of the stronger picks when they used to be garbage.
* The Mebes are somewhat less interesting, because of the improved outposts. In the original they were great because their ability was so much better than outposts.
* The Marmosians went from somewhat bad to garbage tier, because their ability to make the AI attack each other does nothing (the AI are already constantly at war).
* The Govorom took a big hit, I'd say they went from good to barely above garbage level tbh. An unfortunate side effect of the (much needed) nerf to Cornucopia planets.

The tech tree and weapons are much better balanced than in the original, just two small things I would have done differently:
* The Self Destructotron is available very early now. I think it is too good for an early tech. I like to put them on a small ship and call it a "starmine". They are my main weapon against the massive AI fleets in this version. Park them at the starlane entrance, and when the enemy arrives -> boom.
* The Smart Bomb has perhaps been nerfed a little too much. It serves the same role as the Self Destructotron, but it is now overshadowed by it.. a small ship hull is a small price to pay to deal 5 times as much damage as this.
* There is one technology that no longer gives you anything, if you play the "heavy delyxe" version. Repulsion beam tech?

Anyway, absolutely great job and I think your mod deserves to be a standard extension offered at any site where you can download Ascendancy, it is miles better than the Antagonizer mod.
Somewhat super cool!! :) My last entry was 2012, kahaha, internet is a funny thing.

@Blake00 told me there is another comment, thnx dude!

So, something very rare in internet: An instant answer.

The most annoying thing is, that I never finished my final Ascend Deluxe version, FKKKKKKKKKKKK! I always hate myself for not getting a mod job done! I just had to do some tweak weapons stuff plus the description and ran out of mood, since, I had a long stream of RSL (Real Life with a HUGE S in the middle, it is something related to brown and dog and smelling).

> I had very tough games where you have to fight wave after wave of fast built enemies, and you have to push through system after system while establishing defenses, that is always super awesome to play! Especially cause I dreamed as a child to get a serious fight - playing Ascendancy unfortunately even if you play super slow and super dumb - doesnt help when the AI is de facto braindead with no use of hard weapons. Therefor it is necessary to make war instantly, otherwise the AI would never attack nobody - or just the human player - after a while. Instant total war means, that the AI actually grows and is an instant threat, that is a key element. The Antagonizer is just a stupid C. It boosts some stuff, but, if I remember correctly, makes war JUST with the Human Player ONLY! What a dumb S. That means, while the AI just cannot colonize fast and ALL THERE IS, it cant conquer it too, so, AI factions would always remain small and weak and gappy. Antagonizer crashes with Special Weapons shooting, Antagonizer prevents total war cause of the smart thing to make war ONLY VS homan. The Antagonizer is just another helpless piece for the trashcan. sic.

I just wanted to do some things: You get the telescope SOON, as long as you still would like to make use of it. You get the ship hulls not during five seconds, all. That was a major stupidity to give Huge, and right after Giant! Hilarious. So, I liked to play all species. That is not a matter of special ability but of different space ships and a different feeling, nothing more, for me. I am no fine spirit to actually.... em.... give much about minor stuff like "which tier were the Marmosians and which tier are they now?" - em, I liked to play them, and "tier" doesnt matter - in vanilla game nothing matters, too dumb for any special abilities, in my version nothing matters, too hard, it will smash any special ability. So, I just have fun to play and enjoy ANY species - in my version. :)

Wow! Okay. I thought that the Human Player would not waste expensive ships for auto destruction. If that is over powered, I should put it into a far later tec!

I wanted to reduce the Smartbomb to nothingness. One hit to hit them all is unfair. I remember that I experimented with these weapons like delete all movement, push back, plus a damage as high tier weapons, grrrr, never finished that up.

Sorry! I didnt care deleting Tec out of the difficulties. I placed them all nice and sweet - and then I just deleted not used stuff for the higher difficulties with no intention to tweak around after that. If it happens that nothing is in a tec slot - bad luck! :) Not an issue I would think twice for. If there is just not enough stuff - and you dont want the AI to always fill the boat with crappy bull S, you NEED to just delete over a dozen "weapons", and, a tec slot empty, I didnt care. :)

I actually like the Marmosians and the Minions most, I like their aggressive ship style. These special abilites are a nice idea, but as long as the main game doesnt work there is no point, especially when a handfull is OP. Plus, I dont play my Easy Difficulty, I ALWAYS prefer the versions with deleted bull S "weapons", they just weaken the enemy for nothing - I want the hard fight I ever dreamed of. Sad, that I never finished my final version, nor played that for a long while now.

WAIT!!! You played the Ascend Mod from above, the CRACY and SUPREMACY mods? But you talked about "Heavy Delyxe" hopefully that is my Ascendelyxe latest version you played with special weapons shooting, think so! :) Good!!! :)

Oh, fun! Looked at my Ascendelyxe working ground, I stopped working on that 21.5.2020, wonder why! Freakin drug overdose may 2020, then august 2020 Corona, then two years feaver and just murder sleepy all the time. Poor Ascendancy! :)
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Hey, are you Nichael with a new account? Thanks, Blake! I was afraid you'd never see my comment.

Yes, I downloaded your "(heavy) Delyxe" version, still hosted on Abandonia. The link in your original post leads there, so I assumed that it is a newer version of the same thing. And I play the Heavy version.

So, to explain the Self destruct device tactic. The "starmine design" is a very cheap ship to build:

Small Hull
1 self destructotron
1 energy module (I like second cheapest)
1 engine (cheapest)
0 - 2 starlane engines

If you see an enemy fleet coming, you can send a "starmine" ship very close to the starlane exit that they are travelling to.. you will then hit the entire enemy fleet if you self destruct, doing 20 damage to every ship. That is why I said it's like a smart bomb, but better. It is the only way I'm able to win at higher difficulty settings tbh. ;)

Placing the telescope early in the tech tree was a nice improvement, I agree. I enjoy using those early now. And the pace at which your shiphulls improve is better too, I agree.

Nice to hear that you play all races, just for flavor. Some racial specials do have a big impact, even in your mod. Especially Baliflids. You can win by diplomacy with them in Heavy Delyxe. Although there is a small problem, because you gain the AI-only tech if you agree to trade technology.

Oh, one more thing. There is supposed to exist a tool that allows you to mod .cob files, but the only link that I can find on the internet no longer works. Do you still have it?
edit: man, two seconds after asking the question I find the answer, in a post you posted on Abandonia:
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Hi! Interesting! YES. The use of the telescope is a SUPER NICE THING. In vanilla you get it late - so, no use anymore. In my version you get the telescope early with a HUGE range, so you can just fly through the system and shoot at the bubbles. Actually, that is fun! :) That is a most welcome useful fun gimmick now.

Yes, I looked into the version you played, Self Destructotron got a 20 hit power! Far OP! I reduced it in my "final version" to 10, perhaps still too high. I made it more costly and lower. But - from a Modder perspective, you dont need over hard perfection with spamming enemies, some imperfections, some possible cheese is always appreciated and makes the game more welcoming. Nobody likes to play a cruel brickwall. :) Perhaps I shall make it a hit power 6 and super costly. :) My problem of thinking was/is: How could the Self Destructotron need much energy or super much costs? While SG1 needs just some C4 near ship engine to blast ships. That is just a cheap BOOOM. I reduced the firepower already, just didnt reach public. :)

The Baliflids, nice. Never thought about that, that they have special ability to force peace - but anyway! I didnt waste any thoughts about the changes of "tiers" or "abilities", sorry. Ascendancy vanilla is not in the position for "tiers" or "abilities", sadly - it just doesnt work. If the guys making that game invent super many super weapons which are not even used by AI - there are no doubts. I was able to improve that with finally shooting super weapons and got my war and fun - if some abilities change course, might be, but that is just a sidekick compared to all of these lacks solved! :)

Yes, the AI ONLY tec, that was my only chance to get that game done. Sadly, the Antagonizer gives bonus for industry etc on its "higher difficulties", to hex the Antagonizer would have been nice, or, to copy and exaggerate these bonus values into the Ascend.exe, that is the only use of the Antagonizer - oh, and its planetary building.

You got that tool? I should have provided it, cause the only tool I found was an empty version of the COBextractor. If you downloaded the COBextractor, and you seem to love the game, your euphory would love to tweak these values too. You could do your own creation. The even more interesting point would be, that you could download the software "Notepad++" to actually tweak the ASCEND00.COB just by tweak and save, I think.

Make sure to not ADD a space or an enter, NO ADD of ANY signs, just a tweak of existing ones, so that you by yourself could tweak the Self Destructotron down from 20 to 10 just by Notepad++ and tweak and save - if the COBextractor might be too complicated for you, BUT. My provided COBextractor is the fully potent one, working! You can be able to tweak all stats by yourself! With Notepad++ do not ADD ONE SINGLE SIGN, just tweak existing ones. With COBextractor, do nearly what you want.

Important thing is, that the once Special Weapons in the Special Weapons sections of the vanilla game, to actually be used by AI, have to be in Weapons section, like the German Franky found out. You have to put the Special Weapons into the Weapons section, like I did already, PLUS, keep in mind that the AI prefers higher value weapons to build its ships, so, THINK, which weapons in your desired tier categories you would like to face in AI ships mainly.

If you know, that a new cycle of higher tiers will appear Tec Tree, think, what special ability you might prefer to get as a main AI weapon, and make sure the AI will prefer to build your prefered tier weapons by higher values! :) This way you get your brute badass enemy ships! :) That is the reason I prefer the Heavy versions, cause they delete over a dozen of crappy "weapons" or "specials" which would waste AI ship slots to crappy weapons instead of high tier booom babies. Spare the crap, lure the AI into prefered high tier stuff.

Good thing is, that I am a smart dude. My last work at the final version was may 2020, even BETTER planetary squares, I remember, better Tec Tree, better weapon values, better weapons, but I dont remember exactly the changes, the good thing is, that I can let COBextractor create a new ASCEND00.COB out of my existing changes and then load BOTH, old version, and new version, into the Notepad++ and let the software compare the both existing files for differences, this way I can easy and fast see which changes are made already. :)
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10 damage from the Self Destruction device sounds good, yes. I believe in moderate changes, rather than nerfing too hard.

I would absolutely love to try your newest version. Would prefer that before I try any modding of my own. If you would be able to upload it, thank you so much! Can't believe I got to talk to you after all these years. :D
Yes, I had that luck too a while ago! Modded some Civ3 Carthage stuff to a great level - but I just HATE Civ3 battle algorithm - I was able to talk to the Mod creator of the Mod I tweaked hard. :) But as I told, in this case @Blake00 told me - I didnt even know that I had a civfanatics thread for Ascendancy runnin! :)

My "problem" once was, that I would have to double check the turn times needed for each tec, cause a kind of hardcode algorithm obscures the real result, I would have to tweak some weapons plus write the descriptions new, buaaarrks, that is an effort I despise. But perhaps my absolute main problem was two years of feaver and badass sleepiness. Not the kind you could overthrow after twenty minutes of coffee. I actually looked into my working ground and was NOT confused too much, that were two good signs. I remember I had invented a new weapon I knew I would just LOVE in-game. After the movement to zero weapon which I gave a hit power too, thats nice, I think it was that push away weapon I wanted to upgrade to a main tier badass weapon to give hard hit power too - so, you would push away the enemy vessel while punching it hard, it would either have range weapons or would have to come close again - just to get the next hit. I found that invention shaweeeet! :) (sweet!)

ESPECIALLY, if you think about that: I know how to get that push away badass weapon as main weaponry into AI ships by giving a high tier damage value, so, you would actually FACE that stuff - until you have to fall back, or you get Accutron. I remember, that the stupid AI did stuff in vanilla like these "side switching specials", where the AI just catapults through the system in endless annoying stupid manouvres. Now, these manouvres are badass.

In case of Ascendancy vanilla "moderate changes" would have been zero results. In case of my mod, moderate changes are all what is "necessary", or, would improve a little bit further.

I never finished up my polished final version - otherwise it would be up already. And no. Your own tweaks I actually would recommend to not do - cause for example my building values are designed FOR THE AI, so that planets actually build up properly, that is a dammet balanced and polished thing, plus, the most weapons are balanced by an Ascend fanatic like me. Dont want to be arrogant, but these values have some kick! Perhaps after my final polish, THAT would be the peak of Ascendancy modding.

If I would be able the next few days to actually dig in and punch it through, you could be testplayer No1! :)

Here is the link to Ascendelyxe 1.6 Mod:

first thing, I have to download that by myself to get what I did. second is to compare my final advance with the existing older files. third is to actually finalize it, perhaps.

Ohhhh, yes! The "Particular Burst" to push vessels away was deleted for Heavy Delyxe Difficulties as useless gimmick - now called "Brutal Burst", to actually punch vessels away plus hard tier damage, nice. I rescued another sweetheart to usefulness.
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Yes, that is the link I got it from. Your original post leads there too. I will wait for you to do your magic and play around a little more with version 1.6 in the meantime. :)

Hope you're feeling much better now after your real life troubles. Stay healthy.
Today my health is kind of nice, perhaps it will become better finally.

I should finally do an Ascendelyxe 2.0, like always planned and wished for.

There are 8 difficulty levels I created once: The Delyxe Easy/Middle/Heavy/Brutal with ALL weapons and specials active, no deleted, and the AI industry gets 0 / 30 / 60 / 90 boost, while the Heavy Delyxe Easy/Middle/Heavy/Brutal gets some dozen specials deleted, and the AI industry the same boost - I just NEVER played the Delyxe, cause the specials, nice for the human player, just let the AI wank around silly and weaken its ships, so, always the Heavy Delyxe with that dozen deleted specials, a kind of sad to not have them, but better for a hard AI.

Any recommendations? Self Destruct is nerfed already to 10, range perhaps down, dont know. Particular Burst will be Brutal Burst now, I LOVE that weapon already. AI industry boosts too high? What you recognized perhaps is, that the AI ONLY tec gives both, AI industry for planets with a drastic boost, plus AI energy engine for ships with a drastic boost. Too far? Too much? Kind of necessary, still.

>>> No wonder I ran out of mood! I thought the values would slightly change, but Notepad++ compared an overhauling total massacre! That is immense, plus, to re-write the descriptions would be immense too, FK.
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