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Topics - Dashman

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ROM Hacking Discussion / Weird BMP format?
« on: July 01, 2014, 08:09:28 pm »
I've run into these files that hint heavily at containing bitmap images (they originally had no extension, I saved them as BM for clarity). The header seems to be 32 bytes long and this is its likely structure:

bytes 0 - 2: "BMP".
byte 3: unknown. either 06 or 09.
bytes 4 - 7: number of colours (?)
bytes 8 - 11: height.
bytes 12 - 15: width.
bytes 16 - 31: all zeroes.

Values are big endian. The rest of the file would be the image data. Here are some examples:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ieiibbxvef61vwc/AACuO9Jx-E409qiVftPM414va

I've tried looking at the graphics data in the files with crystaltile (after changing the extension to .bin), but they appear to be garbage no matter the mode I choose. Has anybody run into a similar format before?

Some files (0018.BM in the folder) have byte 3 set to 07 and both height and width set to 0. These could be palette files.

There's other files (0007.BM in the folder) whose byte 3 is set to 0a. The size in the bitmap data of these files is not height * width unless we assume 6bpp, which is a pretty unusual colour format (at least for me).

Any thoughts or suggestions?

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ROM Hacking Discussion / Compression in NGC's PAK files?
« on: February 25, 2014, 09:14:47 am »
I'm trying to figure out how the text is compressed in Super Robot Wars GC. Who knows, maybe I can actually make a patch for the game instead of a bazillion texture files to translate it.

Looking at the PAK files in hex, I've kinda figured out how some of the ones with textures work, and now I want to see if I can get to the text. The iso has a lot of rXXXX.pak files, these are the main suspects of having it.

A PAK file has this inside:

Bytes 0 - 3: Number of files inside the PAK (there's PAK files that have other 8 PAK files inside, for example). In the rXXXX.pak ones, it's always 1.
Bytes 4 - 7: Seems to indicate the type of file. All the rXXXX.pak files and the font.pak have it set to 9.
Bytes 8 - 15: Name of the file
Byte 16: What seems to be a delimiter. It's value is always 5f
Bytes 17 - 19: Size of the file minus 25 (written in reverse, for example 'da 4b 07' should be read as 0x74bda). Might indicate the header is 25 bytes long.
Bytes 20 - 23: Unknown. Some key to decompress the text, maybe?
Bytes 24 - 27: Always 0.
Bytes 28 onwards: what seems to be compressed text.

Here's a couple of example files:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/144016034/r001.pak
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/144016034/r002.pak

As you may have guessed, I'm pretty cueless when it comes to compression (and a lot of other things, to be honest). Can anybody help me with this, please? It might not even be text after all, but it's worth a try.

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ROM Hacking Discussion / Reinserting TIM2 textures into PS2 iso
« on: November 21, 2013, 07:06:38 am »
So I ran this tool:

http://www.romhacking.net/utilities/659/

with PS2 game iso and got a bunch of tm2 (TIM2) texture files, some of them wrong, some of them duplicates.

Then I used a program (OPTPiX) to export those textures to PNG so that I can edit them on Gimp. I turn the edited textures back to tm2 files with the same program and use the tool above to reinsert in the iso file, but when I run the game there's no change at all. The edited stuff looks like it was originally, there's no missing graphics or crash.

What did I do wrong? Do I have to update the "spec.txt" file with the new file sizes or something?

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UPDATE (July 20, 2014):

The project has evolved from an emulator-specific patchwork to a full-hacking attempt. This will eventually produce a patch that will make the translation work on real hardware (hopefully). Most graphics and text are available for edition via custom tools already. Once VWF is implemented, we'll try hacking the rest of the text and insert the one we already have translated (up to stage 20).

Most of the team is awfully busy or on holidays at the moment, so please be patient.

For those who want a taste of the translation, the first 20 stages are available through the old texture replacement method below. This method will be discontinued though, so don't expect more updates for it. Also, bear in mind that you'll probably want to restart your game once the final patch is out, since the texture replacement uses the main character's default name in Japanese, and once hacking is done and you resume your game you'll be stuck with a character a name in kanji...

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Well, this has been happening for the last 3 - 4 months (can't remember exactly) in 4chan's /m/ board. We recently went past stage 10b (that's the substage after stage 10) and considered it was time to gather a first official patch. In case you're wondering, that's almost 20% of the game.

Here's a little preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93IHK2DraFE

We're taking advantage of Dolphin's "load custom textures" feature to make this translation possible. It has a series of inconveniences, but saves us all the trouble of hacking the game itself.

Pretty much everything you need to know for running the translation is explained in this pastebin, along with some FAQ:

http://pastebin.com/CYDquvFD

The tools we've been using for the translation have been available in RHDN since the start of the project, although I didn't announce them at first since I considered them work in progress... then I kinda forgot (sorry).

We're releasing content publicly in a thread in /m/, where we get some feedback from other users. It's kind of an open project, although the official team working since the beginning is 4 guys: Steve, Oppai-missile, Bring Stabity and me. Feel free to give your opinion or ask any questions here or in /m/, but please read the pastebin first.

Progress has been slow lately. Personally I'm taking a break from it for at least a month due to other projects, which means at least the battle dialogue is not going to advance for a while. If anybody has free time to spare and (at least) a basic understanding of Japanese (and obviously a good level of English), we would welcome his/her help.

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Hello people, it's been a while silent. I'm writing here today because of a little project outside of RHDN that has caught my attention. A poster in 4chan by the name of Steve started making a menu translation for Super Robot Taisen GC using a (to my knowledge) unconventional method: he makes use of the "load custom textures" feature of the Dolphin emulator to replace the Japanese textures with the translated ones. Fortunately enough, not only the icons of the menu are stored by Dolphin (or maybe the game itself?) as textures, but full boxes of text (such as info text) follow this rule. Here are some examples of his work:

























* These pictures are currently posted in 4chan, so they will disappear in a matter of days. I've been trying to figure out the login of the flickr account I opened 5 years ago for half an hour with no results. If I manage to access it, I'll update the links. Sorry for the inconvenience.

These pictures are still work in progress, but they show this method actually bears results. Battle dialogue can't be translated this way apparently because it draws every character from the game's fonts and displays it individually *BUT* I've performed some tests myself and the rest of the dialogues can be translated with these means:





I would love to say I'm showing these pictures to interest some translation group into taking on the game, but as pointed out by Steve, this isn't an efficient nor elegant way of making a translation patch (as it involves storing each translated texture as a file in a folder) and I know this is not the place to make requests (yeah, I've read the rules). The main reason I'm writing and showing all of this is because, after some google searchs and checking on RHDN, I've noticed nobody has ever used this method before, which by the way is extremely simple in execution and applies not only to this game, but also to many Gamecube and Wii games:

Mobile Suit Gundam: Pilots' Locus (Gamecube)

* Only the name of the pilot is translated (it was a little test)

Super Robot Taisen NEO (Wii)




I could not help but notice how the translation scene for Gamecube and Wii games is pretty much non-existant, so I wrote this "little" post in order to show any would-be translator an easy way to approach the problem.

How does this work?
Dolphin emulator has options in the advanced tab of the graphics configuration for dumping textures to a folder (/User/Dump/Textures/<game id>) and load custom textures from another one (/User/Load/Textures/<game id>). This method involves:

1) Activate "dump textures". From that moment on, Dolphin will store all the textures in the <game id> folder before showing them, that is, what you see is what you get (you would have to play through the whole game to get every dialogue texture, for example). Plugins for Direct 3D 9 and 11 store the textures as PNG, whereas OpenGL stores them as TIFF (we've been using Direct3D for these examples). A good way of getting the textures you want (and not populate your folder with every possible texture) is to only activate this feature at the times where these textures are shown (the use of savestates is also recommended). WARNING: Don't activate "dump textures" while a video is playing, as video frames will be stored as textures as well (I got 1,5 GB of textures while testing SD Gundam G Generation World).

2) Locate the texture you want. There's going to be a bunch of files depending on when you started grabbing them, but it's not impossible.

3) Edit the texture. Using a program like Photoshop or GIMP you can edit the texture into whatever you want to make it. Just try not to change the size (or at least proportions) of it if you don't want to see the emulator making funny stuff (I haven't actually tested this, but I imagine textures can be bigger than their size or there would be no HD remasters of games).

4) Save the texture with the same name it had when it was dumped in the /User/Load/Textures/<game id> folder and activate "load custom textures" in the graphical options. When Dolphin gets to the point it has to show said picture, it will use the one you have in the "load" folder. I must note that Steve has both the "dump textures" and "load custom textures" options active at the same time while using D3D9, but I can't make Dolphin load custom textures if "dump textures" is activated (and I'm using D3D11).

And that's pretty much how it works. During testing we confirmed that menu textures are stored with the same names regardless of the computer, so exporting translations to other computers seems possible, but I've run into some instances of duplicate textures, which rises some doubts about this method (that can only be cleared through experimentation), the main one in my mind right now being if filenames are reused for different textures (which would prove disastrous to any translation project).

Well, there's the info. I hope somebody can make good use of it. And remember that editing textures has more uses other than translation:


If you've played the game, you know that robot is not pink.

* The original thread can be found in the /m/ board of 4chan if anyone feels like contributing to it. It shouldn't be difficult to find through the catalog, but I won't give any link as threads in 4chan can disappear at any time.

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