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Author Topic: Help making SOTN from Dracula X Chronicles playable on PS1 hardware  (Read 4302 times)

modsbox

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Hi all,

Longtime lurker/reader here that's interested in a project, so posting for the first time.

I've played Castlevania SOTN a ton, and have really enjoyed playing the version included in the PSP game Dracula X Chronicles, because it has a new (different, not necessarily better) translation and a few differences from the USA PS1 release. Notably that the keep-all-items trick can be done without the luck code, and more importantly that you can both play as Maria and fight against her as Alucard in the game. To me it's perhaps not the definitive version of the game but a wonderful alternative. But it annoys me to no end that I cannot play this version on a PS1 or even PS TV (because the title is blacklisted from use on PS TV).

Upon analysis the .iso for this PSP title includes a subdirectory for SOTN PS1, and when triggered from the menu launches itself as a PS1 game on PSP. It would be awesome to take this version and turn it into an ISO that could be played directly on a modded PS1 or hacked PS3.

I'm a software engineer by trade and have looked into this a bit, but have had problems getting modded .BIN/CUEs with some files tweaked running on PS1 emulators or hardware. It looks to me like Konami took the original PS1 game and modified it to add Maria and other tweaks, so with some work we should be able to get this to launch on PS1 hardware.

Any takers to help me out? I'm particularly focused to start with on getting some help from folks who know how to get PS1 isos to launch in various emulators with iso changes or as extracted sets of files so we can start experimenting. The moment I change out any files (replacing Alucard character with Maria for example) the game won't launch.

Regards,
-modsbox

jink640

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Re: Help making SOTN from Dracula X Chronicles playable on PS1 hardware
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2016, 07:38:27 pm »
I know nothing about how to get this to work, but I want to give some encouragement on this project. I would greatly enjoy being able to play as Maria without having to play the PSP version. :thumbsup:

Gemini

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Re: Help making SOTN from Dracula X Chronicles playable on PS1 hardware
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2016, 09:32:03 pm »
It's not a modded version that can be extracted and used as is, it's actually a port.
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modsbox

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Re: Help making SOTN from Dracula X Chronicles playable on PS1 hardware
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2016, 03:12:07 pm »
It's not a modded version that can be extracted and used as is, it's actually a port.

Hmm, that's not the way it looks from the files in the Dracula X Chronicles ISO, and anecdotally from attempting to play this SOTN version via running the PSP game on a modded PS3 (in that case the base drac x game plays fine, but when you go to load the SOTN game within the PS3 crashes).

Also, upon extracting it you get a resources folder (PSP_GAME/USRDIR/res) and within that you get a 'psp' folder which has the dracula x psp remaster, a 'peke' folder which I'm not sure what it's for, a 'pce' folder which appears to have a PC engine emulator and the PCE version of dracula X, and then finally a 'ps' folder.

Within that folder you've got many files that are the same exactly as the PS1 version and then an array of .BIN files with the same names as the .BIN files containing the game data on the PS1 version. The file contents are different however, and there are some new ones, like mar.bin which presumably contains Maria data. It really looks like the PSP version kicks to PS1 emulation mode when loading the game and essentially runs a modified PS1 ver.

What I'm interested in doing is, if one could understand the .bin file format, is replacing/modifying certain files in the PS1 version to bring in Maria as a playable character and perhaps swap in the new translation. I haven't seen any documentation on the .bin files as used by Konami so that's a blocker, but I do know that people have worked on making extensive modifications to SOTN in the past. It seems to me if someone with experience modding SOTN previously took a look at this we might be able to make some progress.




Bahamut ZERO

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Re: Help making SOTN from Dracula X Chronicles playable on PS1 hardware
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2016, 03:42:28 pm »
Quote
Upon analysis the .iso for this PSP title includes a subdirectory for SOTN PS1, and when triggered from the menu launches itself as a PS1 game on PSP

It does??? How'd you do this? Were you able to play around with settings as if you playing it as a PS1 game (like resizing the screen, etc)?

Or am I misreading this in some way? Having that version of SOTN stand alone and playable on PSP sounds remarkable!
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MathUser2929

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Re: Help making SOTN from Dracula X Chronicles playable on PS1 hardware
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2016, 04:22:56 pm »
There are two SOTN hacks on the website. One is esentially a hard version of the game. The other is one that triples most bosses energy. There are also translations I believe. Other than that there's no other hacks to the game. There was SOTN hacked by esco, but he quit working on the ps1 iso and decided to make a game maker game.

Gemini

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Re: Help making SOTN from Dracula X Chronicles playable on PS1 hardware
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2016, 05:34:51 pm »
Hmm, that's not the way it looks from the files in the Dracula X Chronicles ISO, and anecdotally from attempting to play this SOTN version via running the PSP game on a modded PS3 (in that case the base drac x game plays fine, but when you go to load the SOTN game within the PS3 crashes).
It's still got PSP exclusive code, overlays, and assets. It uses part of the original files to load resources, but that's all.

Quote
It seems to me if someone with experience modding SOTN previously took a look at this we might be able to make some progress.
Already looked into this years ago.  You can't port it with a simple copy and paste, it's not a PlayStation game anymore.
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tryphon

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Re: Help making SOTN from Dracula X Chronicles playable on PS1 hardware
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2016, 08:02:19 am »
Many ports work like that : they have the original files only for data, and use their own code. For example Princess Crown for PSP.

modsbox

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Re: Help making SOTN from Dracula X Chronicles playable on PS1 hardware
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2016, 01:25:00 pm »
Good to know, thanks for the information all.

Seems a better path then would be to looking into how to make the game run properly on a CFW PS3 then.

Has anyone looked into that? Using the two methods I'm aware of to play PSP on CFW PS3 only one of the two works (the version I made using the minis method doesn't boot). And as I mentioned before for the working method to get Dracula X Chronicles running on PS3, the system crashes when you try to launch the SOTN game within. Perhaps with some tweaking we could coax the game to boot directly into SOTN and avoid the crashing.

Bottom line I'm interested in being able to play the game on a nice TV with a dual shock instead of a vita or psp.

Seems my options are PSP Go + TV out + DS3, or hacked PSTV (the game is not on the whitelist so is blocked on stock PSTV). I'm headed the latter route now, will let you know how it pans out.



MathUser2929

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Re: Help making SOTN from Dracula X Chronicles playable on PS1 hardware
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2016, 04:32:15 pm »
Your other option is also PSP 2000+ with the component out cord. The composite out cord only works for video.

modsbox

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Re: Help making SOTN from Dracula X Chronicles playable on PS1 hardware
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2016, 01:46:18 am »
Just a quick update here. Dracula X Chronicles and the updated SOTN version within work just fine on PSTV. Provided you apply a whitelist hack. I have a PSTV on 3.51 and with some careful setup was able to bring over my purchased psp copy from my PS3 and get it to load. Works well, and via options the game lets you put SOTN at full screen (with sidebars). Nice to be able to play it on a DS4 as well; wing smash and transformations are far more consistent for me than on the vita.

At some point I'll look into tweaking the PSP ISO to boot directly into SOTN, at which point I think we could get it running on CFW PS3, but until then, there's this. I still think it would be a worthwhile project to try to bring the translation or Maria playability into the PS1 ISO but it seems there's not much support for that undertaking based upon previous research.

PhyChris

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Re: Help making SOTN from Dracula X Chronicles playable on PS1 hardware
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2016, 04:51:13 am »
just tried to load PCE.ELF, PS.ELF and PEKE.ELF in ppsspp... no luck