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The Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 Color Porting Guide

The Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 Color Porting Guide

By Eternal Yoshi

What you Need:

  • 010 Editor(Because it has a feature that this guide uses that other Hex Editors may not have.)
  • ThreeWorkTool
  • Basic Knowledge About the Game’s File Structure
  • Patience and Persistence
  • The Color Expansion Kit installed, to load extra color slots. (Community Edition includes The Color Expansion Kit)

This is a guide on how to port character’s costumes/colors to another color slot.

This will also get you started on importing colors, existing or otherwise, to new color slots

which will let you use the Power User features that Color Expansion V2 offers, the ability to add

as many costumes as you want. It’s not as simple as renaming the arcs, quite a bit goes into it.

What You Need To Know Before Starting

There’s no getting around needing to know how the game’s file structure works on a basic level. Here’s a summary

to give you the gist of things.

This game packs various files into archives called .arc files. The ones we need to concern ourselves with are in the directory:


Inside you’ll see arc files with numbers and whatnot. Each character is identified by their character ID and their respective

arcs will have the ID as the first 4 characters of the arc name. The character ID list is here:


  • 0001 – Ryu
  • 0002 – Chun-Li
  • 0003 – Gouki (Akuma)
  • 0004 – Chris
  • 0005 – Wesker
  • 0006 – Viewtiful Joe
  • 0007 – Dante
  • 0008 – Trish
  • 0009 – Frank West
  • 0010 – Spencer
  • 0011 – Sir Arthur
  • 0012 – Amaterasu
  • 0013 – Zero
  • 0014 – Tron Bonne
  • 0015 – Morrigan
  • 0016 – Lei-Lei (Hsien-Ko)
  • 0017 – Felicia
  • 0018 – Crimson Viper
  • 0019 – Haggar
  • 0020 – Jill
  • 0021 – Strider Hiryu
  • 0022 – Vergil
  • 0023 – Naruhodo (Phoenix Wright)
  • 0024 – Red Aremer (Firebrand)
  • 0025 – Nemesis
  • 0026 – Spider Man
  • 0027 – Captain America
  • 0028 – Wolverine
  • 0029 – Magneto
  • 0030 – Hulk
  • 0031 – She Hulk
  • 0032 – Taskmaster
  • 0033 – Iron Man
  • 0034 – Thor
  • 0035 – Doctor Doom
  • 0036 – Phoenix
  • 0037 – Shuma Gorath
  • 0038 – Modok
  • 0039 – Dormammu
  • 0040 – Deadpool
  • 0041 – Storm
  • 0042 – Super Skrull
  • 0043 – Sentinel
  • 0044 – X-23
  • 0045 – Nova
  • 0046 – Rocket Racoon
  • 0047 – Ghost Rider
  • 0048 – Iron Fist
  • 0049 – Dr Strange
  • 0050 – Hawkeye
  • 0051 – Galactus


Costume Arc files have a suffix with underscore and the costume ID, starting from 0 as the default.

For example, Sentinel’s default costume arc is named 0043_00.arc. By default, almost all the default cast

will have 8 costume arcs, with 00 being the default, 06 always being the Herald costume and 07 being

the alternate costume. My Color Expansion Kit fills in arc numbers 8 – 19, bringing everyone in

the default cast 20 colors. 

This guide will cover how to port a color to Color ID 21 using Otohadou’s Casual Logan(This means Wolverine)

as the example. You can download the mod here.

The arc number of the mod is 0028_05.arc, which means it’s over Wolverine’s 6th costume.


Some characters’ alternate costumes have different skeletons and visibility groups from the default costume, and thus can’t be
properly ported to other color slots. The extra color slots follow
the same skeleton and visibility
group rules as the default costume. 


Before You Edit Things:

We must discern what needs to be changed and what doesn’t need to be touched. Open the arc file using ThreeWorkTool.

There’s quite a bit of stuff we need to pay attention to— the filenames with numbers in them, the folder organization, and certain file types.
Below is what the arc should look like when opened.
Keep in mind
this will vary a bit depending on the character. Some characters are easy and can be ported within minutes, while others require massive amounts of renaming that will take over an hour to do right the first time.
You need patience for this until you get the swing
of things and be prepared to try again if you fail.

I also recommend not using a default costume as a basis for porting.


The arc has 2 main folders: chr and ui.


The UI folder contains portraits for the costume and have 2 numbers in their filenames that change based on the color slot. The chr folder

is what contains everything else. It has a folder name that is colloquially known as the Color ID,

which starts counting from 1. In this costume it’s 6p meaning it’s color 6. Generally, almost everything that needs to be changed in the chr folder

will have the color ID in the name somewhere. In this case 06. Also, the materials of the models in this folder have to be checked for the number,

whether that be in this case 6p or 06. The best way to be sure what needs to be renamed is to

open another costume file of the same character and compare the file names directly.


In this example I’m opening Wolverine’s 2nd costume and comparing.


We can see a few differences. The name of what I will call the player folder(6p and 2p),

The name of the ResourcePathList, aka eftpathlist, the efl names(We will have to check the EFLs themselves later),

the model names in the mod folder, and a few texture names.


Everything in the UI folder has 2 numbers in the texture filenames.

These numbers always match the arc number.

Since we are porting to Color 21, we have to name everything in this folder to have the number 20 instead of 05.

All those have to be adjusted to port a character to another costume slot. 


Renaming Certain Assets


Let’s Export the EFLs first and then start renaming. Using ThreeWorkTool, go to Tools-> Find And Replace In All File Names and replace 6 with 21.


Things will look like this: 

Do not Use This Feature if you are using the Default or second costume or you risk renaming assets that are

not supposed to be renamed.


We need to rename the eftpathlist file to only have 2 numbers at the end. In our case from 021 to 21.

While we have it selected, we can change all the references in 1 simple step. Right Click and select Replace Text.

It works similarly as above, but for the eftpathlist filelist. It should look something like this now:


Wolverine lacks chain/physics files but if you have chain files, you can do the same to the .cst, AKA the ChainList to update the references in

there as well.


Next we check each Material in ThreeWorkTool. Materials nodes are brown blocks in the program.

Expand the material and the Textures folder inside. This example is Wolverine’s main material.

It has several folders that have to be changed.


We need to check the material of other model files in this arc as well. In Wolverine’s case this has to be adjusted as well.


Same method as above.


Some characters will have more stuff to check but for Wolverine, we are done with this for now. Don’t close or save the program yet.

We’ll be coming back to it.


Next we have to go to nativePCx64\ui\chs\chs_face_a\chs_cs_f to create a certain asset. Just copy one of the existing ones

of the same character and rename it to the needed number. In our case, we copy

f_Wolverine00_BM_HQ_NOMIP.tex to f_Wolverine20_BM_HQ_NOMIP.tex.

This is for the license board.

Into the EFLs

EFLs in costume files like this one tend to reference model and texture assets that we had to rename to port. We need to look into the EFLs
in a hex editor to update those references or the game will crash looking for the no longer present asset.
I’m using 010 Editor for a feature I found that will make finding the relevant places to check much faster.
Let’s use ThreeWorkTool to export all the EFLs and then open them in 010 Editor. 


First things first, let’s ensure that we are using Overwrite Mode and NOT Insert Mode. You can switch between the two by pressing the
Insert Key on your Keyboard and the mode is displayed on the bottom right of the 010 Editor Window.
This is what it looks like in Overwrite Mode.

OVR = Overwrite, while INS = Insert. We want OVR.


Go to Search -> Find Strings and use these settings on each of the EFL files to get all the relevant strings we need to check.


Afterwards the strings will be listed below the hex. Click the string and the program will jump to it.

In this case, there are references to chr\Wolverine\effect\mod\6010 which must be changed to chr\Wolverine\effect\mod\21010.

Because the latter has more characters than the previous one, we can’t use any replace function safely.
We must manually type in the new term. Click the mouse where the terms differ and
type in the new term fully. This is case sensitive so you can’t afford any typos.


Not every EFL will have name references that have to be updated but it can’t hurt to check if you aren’t sure.


This one has nothing we need to change.


Because we didn’t change the name of any of these textures, we do not need to change anything here either.


Afterwards, Save the changes in 010 Editor and then use ThreeWorkTool to replace the efl files that have been changed.
Since we are using Wolverine, only one EFL needs stuff changed. Right Click the EFL node that has to be replaced
and select replace, and then choose the file we just edited in a hex editor. Lastly we need to check the UI folder.

The UI Folder 


Everything in the UI folder has 2 numbers in the texture filenames. These numbers always match the arc number.
Since we are porting to Color 21, we have to name everything in this folder to have the number 20 instead of 05. 


You can use the Replace All File Names Option, but depending on the number you may be safe just renaming these manually.


Again, make sure there are 2 numbers instead of 3. So it needs to say f_Wolverine20_BM_HQ_NOMIP and NOT

Now we can save, name it 0028_20.arc and drag it into chr/archive. One more thing to do.


Color Expansion Kit’s ini


We have to update ColorExpansion.ini to account for our new costume in a way that respects the other characters’ color counts.
Open it in Notepad or Notepad++, and read the comments. They’ll tell you how to edit the file safely. In our case, we change Toggle ColorCount to equal to 21,
UseIndividualColorLimits to equal to 1, and ColorLimitWolverine to equal to 21. Should look like this.


This will get the game to allow us to select Color 21 for Wolverine but revert to 1 for everyone else to prevent crashing.
Always restart the game to test changes to ColorExpansion.ini if it’s open.


About Arcade Mode

Arcade mode has specific UI files that have to be added/updated in order for the color to not crash when clearing a stage in Arcade Mode. The way they are organized makes it so you can’t do any mass creation of these specific arcs. We need to go to the directory:


We need to make a copy of two arc files and then go in the copies and rename the needed references. For Wolverine, we have to copy l0028_00.arc and s0028_00.arc. Rename them to l0028_20.arc and s0028_20.arc respectively. Then we 

Open both of them in a hex editor because it’s faster in this specific case. In our case we just change 00 to 20, making sure that the editor is in Overwrite Mode.


Save and put them in the proper place.


Open the game, go to Training Mode, select the Color and Character and if it loads successfully you will see the portrait.


If you load into the match you’re done. 


Go have fun or explore porting other costumes for yourself.
I heavily recommend getting permission from the original modder before uploading ports,
or not uploading at all.



If the game fails to load the costume it will almost always put out an error message and fail to load the portrait.
You will need to in order to fix the problem. A 3 at the end of the message means the game cannot find the file.
A 2 means the game failed to load said file. You’ll encounter 3 much more often.
If you see an effect name(has .efl at the end), check the name of the effects and the eflpathlist
for any errors or problems.
If you see a texture name(.tex at the end),
Check all the EFLs and material names
that could be related. For example, the main model’s texture files
will be controlled by the material of the same name.


If it doesn’t put out an error message and crashes, check the chain list’s references if the character has one.
Wolverine in particular doesn’t have one but some characters do.


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