Fdgh Converter

For FDGH files from HAL Laboratory games
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FDGH Converter 4.0

A script that converts FDGH files (found in many HAL Laboratory games) to and from XML. Copyright (C) 2016-2022 RoadrunnerWMC

FDGH Files

FDGH is a file format used in many HAL Laboratory games since Kirby's Return to Dream Land, including most of the subsequent Kirby games as well as the first three BoxBoy games. It lists the files (models, animations, etc) that the game should load in advance of each level. If a level calls for enemies not named by the FDGH file, older games (such as Return to Dream Land) will tend to lag as the files are loaded during gameplay. Recent games can handle it better, but it's still best to set up the FDGH correctly.

In all known games that use this format, there's a single FDGH file, located at <fs_root>/fdg/Archive.dat. The FDGH data is embedded in a very thin wrapper called an XBIN. While most XBIN files have a .bin extension, this particular one has a .dat extension for unknown reasons.

All FDGH files to date have identical semantics, but the binary representations have varied from game to game. FDGH Converter auto-detects the details when loading a file, notes them in attributes of the root XML node, and reproduces them when saving. The attributes are specifically:

  • endian ("big" or "little"; default "big" for backward compatibility) -- the endianness of the file, which always matches the native endianness of the console the game was released for.
  • xbin_version ("2", "4", or "5"; default "2" for backward compatibility) -- the version number for the XBIN wrapper. Version 4 XBINs (found in Kirby Battle Royale and newer games) have a small amount of extra, constant data. Version 5 XBINs (found in Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe and newer games) seem identical to version 4.
  • num_string_null_terminators (any number; default "4" for backward compatibility) -- the number of null terminators to use at the ends of strings. Kirby and the Forgotten Land uses 1; all prior games use 4.
  • asset_name_hashes (either not present, or "fnv1a_64") -- if present and set to "fnv1a_64", indicates that the asset names table should include hashes of every string, using the 64-bit FNV-1a algorithm. Kirby and the Forgotten Land is the first game to do this.

Tested Games

Games known to have FDGH files (all are compatible with this tool):

  • Kirby's Return to Dream Land
  • Kirby's Dream Collection
  • Kirby Triple Deluxe
  • Kirby Fighters Deluxe
  • Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe
  • BoxBoy!
  • Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
  • BoxBoxBoy!
  • Kirby: Planet Robobot
  • Bye-Bye BoxBoy!
  • Team Kirby Clash Deluxe
  • Kirby's Blowout Blast
  • Kirby Battle Royale
  • Kirby Star Allies
  • Super Kirby Clash
  • Kirby Fighters 2
  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Demo)
  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land
  • Kirby's Dream Buffet
  • Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe (Demo)
  • Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe

Games developed or co-developed by HAL Laboratory after RtDL that are known to not have FDGH files:

  • Face Raiders
  • Picross 3D: Round 2
  • Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn
  • BoxBoy! + BoxGirl!
  • Part Time UFO
  • !! (Hosu de Shobu!!Kame Sampo)


If using a release build, you can simply drag-and-drop Archive.dat or Archive.xml onto the executable.

If running from source, run fdgh_converter.py with a recent version of Python 3. (Tested with 3.10 on Ubuntu.)

Run with -h or --help for additional help with CLI options.

An "xbin_cli" script is also provided, which lets you manually add/remove XBIN headers to/from files.


Licensed under the GNU General Public License version 3 or (at your option) any later version. (See the "COPYING" file for more information.)

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