• Morrowind,  Other Commentary

    How to fix misnamed save files in Morrowind

    Tried out my Morrowind playthrough on the Deck tonight, and this mostly went swimmingly (with a couple of minor exceptions which I’ll go into when I do the session post). This post, however, is me running into an unexpected hurdle that I didn’t run into with Skyrim: namely, that Morrowind actually makes you name your save files when you save your game.

    Which you have to do often! Ten sessions in, and I am so far definitely saving more often than I do in Skyrim, just because Morrowind’s been prone to crashing on me a lot more often than Skyrim is.

    And here’s the problem with doing that on the Steam Deck: I am still not comfortable with its on-screen keyboard, and this caused me to wind up creating bad save file names for most of tonight’s saves.

    I’d been trying to maintain a pattern of “Tembriel” followed by simple increasing numbers. So tonight my last save was supposed to be “Tembriel 46”. But I fucked this up in various creative ways, which wound up getting me save file names like “46” and ” Tembriel 40 ” (with spaces on either side) and “Temm”.

    I knew this was going to nag at me if I didn’t figure out how to fix it, so after I stopped actually playing Tembriel tonight, I dug into this problem. And found, once I located Morrowind’s save files, that I’d also fucked up a few earlier ones from the PC side, too, where I’d mistyped “Tembriel” as “Temtiel”. And I hadn’t figured it out at the time because the font that Morrowind uses for its text makes it very hard to tell a small r and a small t apart.

    It ultimately had to be solved on my PC, just so that I could manipulate files without having to fight with the Deck’s on-screen keyboard, or try to manipulate files in its file explorer, Dolphin.

    This is what I had to do, in two phases, first re-saving each impacted save file in-game to generate better in-game save names, and then renaming the actual physical save files outside the game itself. Like so:

    1. Open up Morrowind and load each save file in sequence, starting with the first one with a fucked up name, which happened to be “Temtiel 33”. I saved back out correctly as “Tembriel 33”. I had to start with the oldest one first, so that they’d still be in chronological order next time I actually played.
    2. Exit the game.
    3. Then re-load the launcher from Steam, to make a point of having it open, so that when I changed my files locally the changes would immediately go up to the cloud.
    4. Starting with the newest save file, I worked my way backwards to rename the actual files that had been badly named before, now that they had better save names inside the game data.

    What made that process of renaming the physical save files a bit more interesting than I expected: I discovered they were named with hex numbering. So not just Tembriel0001, etc. They ran up through Tembriel001A, Tembriel001B, etc. So I had to rename files accordingly, which took me up through Tembriel002D.

    And yes, this was absolutely fucking tedious, but I knew it was going to nag me if I didn’t do it, so I went ahead and did it.

    Only afterwards did I also see that I’d missed a t in the save file for “Tembtiel 35”. That one I have decided to let stand, just because doing this once was enough. Wanted to write this up in a post, though, for the sake of Future Me in case I have to do this again. And also for any curious Morrowind players who might need to know what I did.

    In the process of doing all this, it’s also worth noting that I did finally figure out a control combination on the Deck that let me properly double-click in its Dolphin: Steam button + Right Trigger, which is a Left Mouse action. So if I do it twice, it’s a double-click.

    I was driven to look this up after repeatedly trying and failing to double-click via the right side trackpad. Which can work in theory, I guess? But I find it super awkward to do correctly. Steam + Right Trigger worked much better and will help me a lot in working in Dolphin when I need to.