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Author Topic: How can I tell if I have the source code to a GBC game?  (Read 4390 times)

RetroProf

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How can I tell if I have the source code to a GBC game?
« on: December 10, 2011, 10:16:22 am »
OK, I can't reveal too much about this, since 1) I'm planning a big website reveal in the new year and 2) until I know what I've got it might actually be nothing at all.

I've been speaking with a major localiser who gave me some files, including a whole bunch relating to an extremely popular GBC game. The majority are Japanese and English text files, since it was localisation work, but a couple of files caught my interest.

One doesn't have a file extension but is called "[GAME NAME] Full"

Inside it seems to contain text from all the other files, in ASCII format, but also a tonne of gibberish code which neither Notepad++ nor Word nor anything else I have can open correctly.

Random section of code, there are reams and reams and reams of this stuff.
Quote
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Is this Notepad++ trying to display some kind of assembly code? Is there a program I should try opening it in? How do GBC games work? Surely they need to be compiled into a BIN file for burning to cartridge ROM chips, right? And why would a localiser be given the source? I'm just being naive and hopeful.

I should add, these have been through several OS and programs during editing, so this might be leftover junk from a Mac word processor.

I don't know what I have, so am asking here.

I'll be making all files available in the new year, NDAs be damned.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2011, 12:52:29 pm by Szczepaniak »

Auryn

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Re: How can I tell if I have the source code to a GBC game?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2011, 11:06:13 am »
I think that it's too regular to be programming code, I think it's more a pointer table but it's difficult to say like that, an hex view should tell more.

BRPXQZME

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Re: How can I tell if I have the source code to a GBC game?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2011, 06:04:56 pm »
Is there a program I should try opening it in?
Well, it probably won’t have the answer, but the first thing Unix junkies will try is running it through file.
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IIMarckus

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Re: How can I tell if I have the source code to a GBC game?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2011, 01:24:06 am »
It could be a pointer table; converting that text to ISO‐8859‐1 seems to show a lot of values between $4000 and $8000, which makes sense on the GBC. But it’s dangerous making this kind of assumption without the actual file.

OK, I can't reveal too much about this, since 1) I'm planning a big website reveal in the new year and 2) until I know what I've got it might actually be nothing at all.

I've been speaking with a major localiser who gave me some files, including a whole bunch relating to an extremely popular GBC game. The majority are Japanese and English text files, since it was localisation work, but a couple of files caught my interest.

One doesn't have a file extension but is called "[GAME NAME] Full"

Inside it seems to contain text from all the other files, in ASCII format, but also a tonne of gibberish code which neither Notepad++ nor Word nor anything else I have can open correctly.

Can you provide a hexdump of offsets 0x100 to 0x150? That would conclusively show if it’s a Game Boy ROM. (It would also reveal the internal title.)

RetroProf

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Re: How can I tell if I have the source code to a GBC game?
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2011, 09:19:33 am »
I know what the game is, I just don't want to say it otherwise everyone will get excited over nothing.

Is this what you mean? I got a hex editor (thanks for the suggestion) and opened it up, which tidied things up a bit. Looking through it, I'm now pretty sure it's just some kind of translation file. There doesn't appear to be enough stuff to constitute a game. Regardless, even if it isn't, I'm sure fans of the series will want them. It's not often corporate files get leaked to the public. Expect a Hardcore Gaming 101 release in the new year. :D


RedComet

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Re: How can I tell if I have the source code to a GBC game?
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2011, 10:08:13 am »
Is that the entire file?
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RetroProf

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Re: How can I tell if I have the source code to a GBC game?
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2011, 04:25:33 pm »
No, that's just all that would fit in my screengrab. It's from the top, so I would assume anything pertinent would have been in the opening section. The file itself is about 233kb. This thing scrolls and scrolls for ages. The game dialogue is readable as ASCII if you scroll down.

I'm making the file available for download early January on HG101. I just wanted to check in case I'd struck real gold and could describe it as such. Looks like I haven't, so it's being bundled with a bunch of other mostly Japanese and English text dumps from my same contact. It might have some academic worth to a GBC romhacker, I have no idea.

RetroProf

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Re: How can I tell if I have the source code to a GBC game?
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2012, 10:40:31 am »
The file in question was from Ghost Babel on the GBC. Grab it via this blog entry:
http://blog.hardcoregaming101.net/2012/01/konami-files-4-metal-gear-and.html

Is it anything valuable? Or is it just a regular dialogue file that ended up with extra stuff in it?

KaioShin

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Re: How can I tell if I have the source code to a GBC game?
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2012, 11:07:41 am »
Get a ROM of the game and search it for a longer hex string from that snapshot (one that looks unique, so not D8D8D8D8...). If you find that code in the game you know it's from the ROM. If not it's something else obviously. Might be scripting data for example. The part you showed a screenshot of is definitely no assembly code, it could be anything from junk data to padding.
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RedComet

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Re: How can I tell if I have the source code to a GBC game?
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2012, 11:12:38 am »
Looks more like a screenplay in a way. I didn't take a close look at it but it has scene information like Snake's positioning and such before some of the dialogue. The first $600 bytes could be a header that some text editor they used attached to it. Also, the final and full files look like compilations of the smaller files (which you can open in a text editor for viewing). Hope that helps some.
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Nagato

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Re: How can I tell if I have the source code to a GBC game?
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2012, 11:21:44 am »
Ghost Babel\Metal Gear-Jtext, Locked\*.txt - All ISO-2022-JP text files
Ghost Babel\Metal Gear-Jtext, Locked\Metal Gear Text - Plain .rtf file
Most of the filetype-less files in the Ghost Babel folder: EUC-JP text scripts. EUC-JP and not just plain ASCII is because of 99-129C.
Ghost Babel\MG English Final - Not sure which version exactly (judging from some of the strings in the file, probably Microsoft Word 97) .doc file. Definitely has the same format as a .doc file though.
Ghost Babel\MG English full - Same deal as MG English Final
Ghost Babel\syn.chara 1.doc - As the filetype says, just a doc file

Edit: Fixed some things.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2012, 05:20:05 pm by Nagato »

RetroProf

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Re: How can I tell if I have the source code to a GBC game?
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2012, 02:07:51 pm »
Ahh, too bad. Thanks for the confirmation. :)