ResEdit and NovaTools


ResEdit, once an essential part of any Macintosh developer’s toolbox, sets the standard for applications working with the Macintosh resource fork. It is also the original and authoritative editor for Ambrosia’s Escape Velocity games, with which all three scenarios were constructed. Last updated in 1994, it was never updated to run natively on PowerPC Macintoshes or in Mac OS X, but it remains functional except on Intel-based computers and in Mac OS 10.5.

ResEdit includes editors for most of Apple’s standard resource types, but requires additional templates to edit the custom resource types used by the Escape Velocity games. As the format became more complex with EV Nova, however, these templates began to become inadequate, and so the game’s developers enlisted Dr Ralph Sutherland to create NovaTools, a series of full-fledged editors which plug in to ResEdit and give it full support for all of EV Nova’s resource types.


Accompanying the NovaTools editors are a number of stand-alone utilities such as ConText, ResStore, EnRLE, DeRLE, BlitZen, and Duped, which provide additional functions for plug-in developers. These utilities, unlike ResEdit and the main NovaTools package, are fully Mac OS X-native and so are still useful on modern systems and hardware.

The NovaTools package, released under the w00tWare banner, was hosted first on, and then on the former All of its components remain available from Ambrosia’s official add-ons directory, but I have provided this page in order to once again make it possible to find all the relevant links from one place.

—David Arthur, January 2008

A brief word from our sponsor: For a stand-alone, Mac OS X-native editor for all three Escape Velocity games, try MissionComputer.

  1. ResEdit 2.1.3 (465 K, .sea.bin)

  2. ResEdit Reference (1.1 MB PDF)

EV Nova’s Documentation folder includes information describing how to use game’s custom resource types, along with basic templates for editing them with ResEdit.