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Author Topic: Playstation Pointer Hacking without pSX debugger?  (Read 3741 times)

blakekl

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Playstation Pointer Hacking without pSX debugger?
« on: May 24, 2012, 02:25:27 pm »
I'm working on a translation project on a Playstation game. I'm curious as to how one would go about finding the pointer table for the text strings in the game on playstation. I've tried reading the available documentation here, like the playstation pointer hacking document, but I can't find anywhere that addresses this without using the pSX emulator's debugger. My ISO will not run in pSX. Can anyone point me to some helpful documentation or techniques? Would hacking an epsxe save state get me anywhere?

rveach

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Re: Playstation Pointer Hacking without pSX debugger?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2012, 03:40:11 pm »
pscxR has a debugger in it, if you can write a tool that talks to it over TCP, then you can use that. I don't really think anyone has made one yet.
I built my own debugger into pscxR, but I haven't really finished implementing stuff in it.

Another option is to just find a emulator that will do a line by line trace log, and search for the pointer that way.

blakekl

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Re: Playstation Pointer Hacking without pSX debugger?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2012, 10:24:01 am »
any suggestions on emulators that do line by line trace log?

Klarth

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Re: Playstation Pointer Hacking without pSX debugger?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2012, 06:17:47 pm »
If you can find the text in RAM, you may be able to search a trace log for the RAM pointer and then work backwards.  PCSXTrace works well for tracing, but it has no debugging capabilities.  If you go this route then I suggest:

1. Find the string in RAM.
2. Create a tracelog in PCSXTrace like so:
  a. Do a mark-only trace while not in the text.  (ie. in town with no dialogue if it's an RPG)
  b. Start a trace with all instructions right before you talk to the person
  c. Stop trace as soon as you see the first letter of the string (to reduce log size)
3. Search trace log for the start address of the string in RAM.  (It should be an $80xxxxxx value)
4. Work backwards from the RAM address to find the pointer.  You may want to use a debugger for this.

The pointer table will hopefully be in RAM.  If so, then copy 16 bytes or so of the file and search the CD image for them.  Hopefully you'll get a match.  If not, then the pointers are in a compressed file.  The pointers could also be hard-coded.  In that case, then they'll be split into half.  Each half will be an immediate for an assembly instruction.

blakekl

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Re: Playstation Pointer Hacking without pSX debugger?
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2012, 10:42:46 pm »
Thanks Klarth. I'll have to try that method. I appreciate the help from both of you. The game appears to be working in pcsxTrace.