Any help with extracting a PC Engine Iso for translating?

Started by wyndcrosser, December 01, 2013, 12:11:18 AM

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I'm looking to try to extract an iso/cue or bin/cue to display what I believe should be an iso and wave/mp3 files. I'd then like to extract and mess around inside the actual iso of the game. I don't quite know how to do that for Turbo cd or pc engine supercd games.

Any help or direction would be great.


Ok, I'm not very knownledgable but since it seems nobody is answering I'll give it a try.

CDs are always divided in tracks, this comes from the fact they were originally made for audio data (not for computer data).
CD-ROMs are a particular case where one of the tracks contains computer data instead of audio data. In some cases the computer data track is the only track, therefore there isn't going to be any sound data on the disc (or at least not stored in a format CD players can understand).

Now, as far I know most CD-ROMs have a standard called ISO-something, which makes them readable by a PC (at least if the data track is track #01 which is usually the case). The ISO-something format is roughtly similar to a limited version of FAT. Those are used by most systems that use CD-ROMs.

However the PC-Engine is different because it's so old they didn't use the ISO-something format yet. So the data tracks basically contains raw data that is structured as the programmer wishes. You can see it as a ROM. It could have or not have a filesystem and all that goes with it, depending on the developers' decision.

So basically you need to extract all tracks, find the data track (this should be easy it's the only one with no music in it) and then reverse-engineer the data track (this should be the hard part). Knowing nothing about the PCE hardware (I don't even have one) I can't help much.


Hi, wyndcrosser :) Nice to see you again even over here ;)

If I understand correctly, you have a game in cue/bin or iso format with the music tracks baked in, and you want to split it into separate files for each track (including a data track) so you don't have to wade through a bunch of audio data in your hex/tile editor in search of the good stuff... is this correct?

The simplest way I have found to deal with this situation is to just mount the all-in-one image with e.g. daemon tools, and then use turbo rip on that virtual drive. It will output the .cue, .iso, and .wav files. You can find turbo rip here:

Good luck with your project(s) :thumbsup: Always great to see more people interested in working on PCE stuff!  :beer:


This might help:

Look at the "Dumping and Modifying the ISO" section. It will spilt the file to .iso & .ogg

If you need to convert the sounds to a different format, use ""MeowMultiSound" and edit the .cue file to change the sound file types.
Avatar by LazyNinjartist


Thanks for the love.

I've tried Turborip using a iso/cue mounted via Daemon Tools and it only produced another iso/cue, the tracks never split, unless I'm doing something wrong...

I'll try the link that RadioShadow provided (looks highly promising).

thanks again,

December 02, 2013, 08:20:13 PM - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)

Okay, can anyone explain the multiple ISO's I'm seeing within the dumped files.
I'll continue doing research, but I thought I'd ask here.

Btw, Shadow, awesome program/guide.


From what I've heard (and the few I looked at), it's typical for PCE CDs to contain two data tracks (usually track 2 and the last). It's said the last track is usually some kind of "stop" track for the CD player.
"My watch says 30 chickens" Google, 2018

Burnt Lasagna

Certain PC-Engine CD games can even contain more then 2 data tracks, such as Spriggan Mark 2, all of which contribute something to the actual  game (if memory serves).

Most of the time there are two, with the last one being a duplicate of the first, this is used if your CD is scratched. For example, if an area of the disc is scratched, making a certain section of Track02 unreadable, it will attempt to read the duplicate track at the end of the disc, which contains the same data. However, not all games do this, especially not the ones with only one data track.


So, I was running through the game Babel.

I used the tool that RobinShadow supplied. it broke the ISO/CUE into about 82+ parts, their are 40+ .ogg (audio files) and 40+ Iso files.

Now the first and last .iso file contains the same information (same graphics etc.), so you guys are right :). The rest of the Iso files contain chunks of the background and artwork of the game, however I'm not seeing any real text, I've seentwo instances of Text (non Kanji 8x8 tiles) in the initial and last ISO file, however these can't be the tables they use, as the game does have Kanji, which I believe to be 16x16. I'm used to doing NGPC/NES translating, where it's pretty obvious how the text should be (usually), but those systems usually only use 8x8 tables as well.

Any support,evidence would be greatly appreciated.


For 12x12 text. have you tried searching for text in Shift-JIS? (I think that is the standard format the PCE-CD BIOS supports)
There's a font table for it on this site.
"My watch says 30 chickens" Google, 2018


Quote from: KingMike on December 03, 2013, 06:56:37 PM
For 12x12 text. have you tried searching for text in Shift-JIS? (I think that is the standard format the PCE-CD BIOS supports)
There's a font table for it on this site.

Thanks King, as always. I loaded the iso up and then the SHIFT-JIS that you uploaded in the documents section. I am able to see specific weapons, etc. I was messing around with Blood Gear, as it appeared to have some english letters to help identify if the table worked. Problem now is I'm not seeing any dialogue... Still reviewing this, I'll update soon with clearer questions/answers.


What game are you trying to work on?

Here's the rundown:
- Most main dialogue and stuff that uses 12x12 or 16x16 font, is almost always SJIS. The reason for this, is the huge majority of the system card bios (rom) is actually just a sjis table of 12x12 and 16x16 characters. The bios has a get char function that takes a sjis value and size, as the argument.
- most CD 2.0 games use no compression. You can see the sjis plain as day in the data tracks (usually only 1 data track is the script and code, the last being a redundant data track, and any in between are either adpcm tracks or graphics for cinemas. The reason they break them up and interleave them, is to cut down on track seeking for segmented cinema loads).
- most CD 3.0 games and later gen games DO employ compression. All of the compression schemes that I've seen, are LZSS based. Usually nothing fancy. But you can't see a lot of the sjis text because of this compression.
- sjis is a two byte encoding. Very few games have single byte ascii support, at least for main text routines. Japanese sjis two byte still takes up less than English 1byte encoding. So assuming the game only supports 2byte encoding, and you don't know how to do ASM hacking (which for CD games is a pain in the ass, unless you find a way to get more ram - like upgrading the 'CD' to a higher level card), you won't be able to fit the english translation back in without cutting it down dramatically. The font spacing will also look like the infamous 't e r r a  a n i g m a' translation.
- ASM hacking for CD games (especially 3.0 games) is pretty advanced. It's not uncommon for CD games to treat different parts/load of the game as completely different game engines. I.e You have to make multiple asm hacks. And it's possible free resources that you exploited to put in the hooks and new asm code, are in different areas and/or different in size for different areas of the game (Ys IV translation had this problem. So does Spriggan Mark 2).
- There isn't always room for a replacement font, let alone for new code (we ran out of space for the Super Raiden hack and that didn't even have replacement font routines).

What would be nice, is if there was a new system card with a few more ram space (even just 8k of ram) - for making translations. You could cheat and use the SuperGrafx for extra ram (24k extra ram), but how many people have SGX let alone SGX+CD. Myself and a handful of other people in the world.

Not sure what you goal is, but CD hacking on the PCE is not a beginners task. There are exceptions, but you'll have to look for those exceptions.