Dark Forces PDA Font

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by Goatmeal

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Font used in the menu screens, Kyle Katarn's PDA, and subtitles from Star Wars: Dark Forces, (C) 1995 LucasArts.

While there have been at least 2 previous recreations of this design (Peter 'The Hutt' Klassen's "DFFonts 1.5" FON fonts and James 'Burning Gundam' Milne's "Katarns PDF"(sic) TTF font) -- as well as a FontStruction from 2008 (Magic_Al's "Rebel Agent PDA Classic," based on Klassen's FON fonts) -- this is a wholly original version based on recent screencaptures and an FNT export.

The PDA / menu font used in the game isn't generated from a file within the game's resources; they are actually pre-rendered static images in the game's art assets. As a result, the spacing between words and after punctuation is highly variable in these pictures.  Most of the spaces appear to be either 3 or 4 pixels wide (or combinations thereof for doublespaces); the width of 3 pixels was chosen in this font because 3-pixel spaces occur more frequently in the images than 4-pixel spaces do.

(And in a pre-rendered video cutscene used for Jabba the Hutt's speech subtitles, the spacing widths of the PDA font vary anywhere from 3 to 6(!) pixels.)

The numerals 1–3 used in the PDA screens were also located in an FNT font file containing 0–9.  They are used with the game's mapping system, along with a 'standard' S for maps containing 'sub-levels' (which I have placed in the $ position).  So, the numerals are now finally screen accurate for the first time in any version.  While the apostrophe (') was reversed in-game, it has been corrected here; the original apostrophe can be found in the grave accent (`) position.  The mission task's bullet point (a hollow circle) is located in the @ position.

The exclamation point (!) is found only once, in a single line of Jabba's subtitles (previously mentioned above).  However, the dot of the ! dips _below_ the baseline in the video.  I have corrected it to rest upon the baseline, matching the other punctuation; for sake of completeness, I've included the original 'lower-dotted' version in the More Latin section.

3 Comments

A much belated sample (by almost three years), in the style of @Patrick H. Lauke (redux):

Comment by Goatmeal 20th march 2023
Comment by Goatmeal 20th march 2023

And for all the "Rogue One" fans... this ain't planet Scarif.  ;^)

Comment by Goatmeal 20th march 2023

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