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Author Topic: Playstation 2 game hacking  (Read 32143 times)

Haruhater

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Playstation 2 game hacking
« on: April 23, 2014, 06:58:52 am »
Hi, I'm brand new to this forum and I would like to ask a question about hacking Playstation 2 games:

Does any sort of documentation on this subject exist anywhere? Has anybody ever done any sort of romhacking with a Playstation 2 game?

Can it even be done yet?

Please and thank you.

Dashman

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Re: Playstation 2 game hacking
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2014, 07:47:26 am »
This site has sections for Documents, Translations, Utilities and Rom Hacks, all of them with a search function. Just select the platform as Playstation 2 when searching and you'll see what there is here. If you're looking for stuff that hasn't been published in RHDN, I guess you'll have to google it.

Haruhater

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Re: Playstation 2 game hacking
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2014, 09:58:49 am »
The problem is there's absolutely no documentation for the Playstation 2 on this site.

So if I want to start on something I am at an absolute loss as to how to begin.

I would like to know if anybody here has extensive experience witht he platform and its games.

Bob Liu

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Re: Playstation 2 game hacking
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2014, 10:43:49 am »
Yea I looked into it before and there is nothing on the net to help you out, I guess you could use relative searcher or windhex to try and find some English text and then build a table from it. You would have to wait 30 minutes + for it to do one search though due to the size of a PS2 disc. That's the only option I can suggest, that and messaging other people who have hacked or translated PS2 games before but I tried that and got no response. I really wish people would share their knowledge on PS2 hacking, I really want some Japan only games in English.

FAST6191

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Re: Playstation 2 game hacking
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2014, 12:00:55 pm »
A few people have fiddled with texture replacement (some of the Dragon Ball ? games), asset extraction and more besides for the PS2. However you would be breaking new ground a lot of the time if you view things on a system by system basis. This is not to say you would be breaking new ground as far as actual ROM hacking technique as it would be much the same as any other filesystem using system, which in turn is not radically different from a lot of the NES/SNES stuff many focus on around here and is why you can still be pointed at the "getting started" thing. Once you go past cheat making then the existing debugging emulators are not great ( http://www.romhacking.net/utilities/617/ is better than stock, or was when I last checked which was a while ago) and hardware docs are not much better, though http://www.philvaz.com/games/PS2.htm and http://research.scee.net/files/presentations/agdc2002/PS2forPCprogrammers.pdf (warning PDF) are not bad.

For the most part the PS2 uses the standard iso format (though UDF unlike the PS1 which tended to opt for iso 9660), some games (most notably a lot of Square Enix's stuff) go outside the iso format in a method known as raw DMA/LBA addressing/raw LBA, most people that did anything with raw LBA were concerned with audio formats and I found a fair bit here in some of the Russian hacking circles. Known formats.... there are a few though most are more concerned with audio. There is some carry over, or new versions of old stuff, coming off the PS1 as well. You might get a tiny bit from some of the dreamcast stuff and maybe even some of the later stuff, also the usual suspects ( http://www.radgametools.com/binkgames.htm#games and http://www.cri-mw.com/product/adoption/platform/playstation2.html ).

In the end I would not suggest someone learns on the PS2, though if some PS2 game is enough to keep you motivated then carry on, but you are not in completely uncharted waters.

Scio

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Re: Playstation 2 game hacking
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2014, 12:05:50 pm »
There isn't much on the PS2 because:
1) Most of what applies to prior systems (NES, SNES, GBA, PSX) can also be applied to the PS2.
2) Few people tried their hand at it.
3) Emulation just took off in 2010.

Again, there aren't a lot of specific things about the PS2 - so most of it is just how you open this format or the other. Look at your game and see what are the file extensions, and if there's any tool that can open them (usually on XentaX's website).

@Bob Liu
You didn't just open up an ISO and do relative search, did you? I...  :-\

Bob Liu

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Re: Playstation 2 game hacking
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2014, 12:52:33 pm »
There isn't much on the PS2 because:
1) Most of what applies to prior systems (NES, SNES, GBA, PSX) can also be applied to the PS2.
2) Few people tried their hand at it.
3) Emulation just took off in 2010.

Again, there aren't a lot of specific things about the PS2 - so most of it is just how you open this format or the other. Look at your game and see what are the file extensions, and if there's any tool that can open them (usually on XentaX's website).

@Bob Liu
You didn't just open up an ISO and do relative search, did you? I...  :-\

Well I haven't tried it for a PS2 game yet but embarrassingly yes for the Japanese version of Symphony of the Night on the Sega Saturn. I don't really know what else to do to get me started, im not the best at this sort of thing.

Scio

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Re: Playstation 2 game hacking
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2014, 06:23:43 pm »
It's not really that embarassing, almost everyone here did something of the sort when they were beginning. I tried to edit .exe files with Notepad back in 1998.

You should have opened an individual file, not the whole ISO. That just a time waster. Anyway, there's usually some sort of clue to where the text is stored, likely a directory or file named "STAGE", "DATA" or even "TEXT". Not to say the text won't be scattered everywhere (some PS1 games are notorious about this) in the ISO, but usually there's some sort of clue to where it is.

MarkGrass

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Bob Liu

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Re: Playstation 2 game hacking
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2014, 04:28:10 pm »
I wish I knew how to use decompilers, my head hurts.

krat0s

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Re: Playstation 2 game hacking
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2014, 07:28:50 pm »
I wish I knew how to use decompilers, my head hurts.

There is no need. I have experience in PS2 coding and hacking.
First of all, the decompilers, do not exits for the PS2,there are dissasemblers , like PS2Dis, and IDA Pro.

As for the text, the main ELF file , renamed something like Sxxx.XX , the file which SYSTEM.CNF points to can be normally hex edited for strings. If you cannot find them then you have to search for other datas,although most of the cases they can be directly hexedited. PS2 is a marvellous console, but with very few information, and i can barely program for it, becuase it is hard, but it is worth it.
Any questions feel free to ask.
Best Wishes, krat0s.
Cheers.

Bob Liu

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Re: Playstation 2 game hacking
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2014, 07:40:51 am »
Interesting, I want to eventually translate the Saikano PS2 game in the future but am unsure on how to do so. With a dissaembler, could you get the games Graphics or stuff like that. It's good to see someone with experience on PS2 hacking, the games is mostly .DAT files and a long time ago I tried to figure out how to open them but failed.

krat0s

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Re: Playstation 2 game hacking
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2014, 07:59:40 am »
Interesting, I want to eventually translate the Saikano PS2 game in the future but am unsure on how to do so. With a dissaembler, could you get the games Graphics or stuff like that. It's good to see someone with experience on PS2 hacking, the games is mostly .DAT files and a long time ago I tried to figure out how to open them but failed.
I have some experience with unpacking, check my posts, I am trying to transalte a Ps2 gamemyself and have done quitesome progress. Now all I need a transalator. I can take a look at those .DAT files, if you want.Btw you have a translator? Or you speak Japanese?

Forgot to answer your question. No , you can't get graphics with a dissabmler, becuase all it does is that it show the MIPS ASM. You can however search for string (englidh mostly( and this only appiles to the XX.XX file. The only image/grphic that you will find in a offical PS2 game, in its Sxx.XX file is that logo that comes from the dics , when it boots, the "PlayStation 2" one.

You see you have a confussion becuase you are probly used to SNES, NES hackoing where there is only one file and it is small and you probably think the same thing about the PS2 , you maybe consider the ISO to be the whole game but it is not. The iso contains other data.

You will ALWAYS find a SYSTEM.CNF there,)that opens in text editor and the BOOT2 line shows the SXX.XX which is the file that will be booted. THink of that file as the main exe and  the other files as datas and drivers. Remember that you are dealing with the first game copnsloe which used DVD media.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2014, 08:10:54 am by krat0s »

Bob Liu

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Re: Playstation 2 game hacking
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2014, 07:20:05 am »
Yea I have a translator but he's currently busy, I can do it myself but it's not the best quality. Anyhow im gonna try opening the game with crystal tile 2 and try to see if the Japanese text loads. That's how I'm finding the text in a DS game I'm translating, no need for string searches or anything like that. I know how to implement a translation but have little to no knowledge of hacking, I edit from ISOs directly.

krat0s

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Re: Playstation 2 game hacking
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2014, 07:28:45 am »
Yea I have a translator but he's currently busy, I can do it myself but it's not the best quality. Anyhow im gonna try opening the game with crystal tile 2 and try to see if the Japanese text loads. That's how I'm finding the text in a DS game I'm translating, no need for string searches or anything like that. I know how to implement a translation but have little to no knowledge of hacking, I edit from ISOs directly.

I can take a look at the game files ig you wnat. Post them here, or shot me a PM.
Cheers.

Bob Liu

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Re: Playstation 2 game hacking
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2014, 04:38:12 pm »
Sure, that'll be great. I'll explain in the pm.

saito

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Re: Playstation 2 game hacking
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2014, 07:25:24 pm »
Looking at this post it seems that nobody hacked ever a psx or ps2 game. The documentation about psx is enough to get an idea of how everything inside a ps2 disc works (even looking into any disc based system is enough) the only thing that is not the same as the psx is the file format. :woot!:
.: TransGen :.

krat0s

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Re: Playstation 2 game hacking
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2014, 05:30:34 am »
Looking at this post it seems that nobody hacked ever a psx or ps2 game. The documentation about psx is enough to get an idea of how everything inside a ps2 disc works (even looking into any disc based system is enough) the only thing that is not the same as the psx is the file format. :woot!:
Hah , not quite, check my threads. I already hack DC , and know the font and extracted all theat is there. I have made a lot of mods, and extraction for PS2 games only , but this is kind of different becuse it is a translation. Still looking for a translator.

creeperton

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« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2014, 07:16:02 am »
.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 01:41:10 am by creeperton »

krat0s

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Re: Playstation 2 game hacking
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2014, 01:59:07 pm »
Which PS2 game?

Well the user, didn't had any specific game, he was asking general questions.
Cheers.