Retro: ZX Spectrum Hardware Mods ‘n’ DivMMC Enjoy!

May 20th, 2014 by Mr.Mouse

Here’s a small blog on prepping your old 8-bit ZX hardware to do some retrogaming: on fixing keyboard membranes, creating a composite video signal and using the DivMMC Enjoy! cartridge to ease your storage life. 

But before that first a word on Internet sellers of second hand Sinclair computers. You should be aware that a reknown problem of the ZX keyboards is that the membranes die in the course of 20 years. If you happen to stumble upon a ZX being sold on the internet, always ask them to check the keyboard. I’ve bought three computers the past few weeks, and ALL of them had worn keyboard membranes. But only one seller reported this before finishing the deal! The other’s claimed “it worked before I shipped it!”. Yeah right. Not in a million years, buster! However, I fixed them like this:

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The Week at the Game Research Forum #18

May 19th, 2014 by Devilot

No rest weekend, hence this happens on Monday :D

3D/2D Models

  • ME2\ME3: help wanted in order to extract models.
  • Wild Arms 3: work continues on the BIN file.
  • KH1: toolset is a WIP of the excellent Gova :) .
  • Diablo III: model viewer on the way.
  • Havok Structure: vertex data needs to be read.
  • S4 League: script updated.
  • Splinter Cell 1: meshfile extracted.

Audio File Formats

  • KH Cutscene: audio cutscene ripping in progress, I’d say.

Graphic Formats

  • Nothing new under the sun :(

Game Archive Research

Compressed files and methods

  • Tales of Vesperia: update after Ekey’s script was released.
  • The Lost Vikings: DOS game needs some work done, for the author.
  • Havok ANIM: how difficult this appears to be.

Game Localization

  • GTAV: more info released about the in-game font.

Noesis

  • Nothing relevant, this week. But the tool is as wonderful as ever. Wish it could view Metroid models, ah well. It can view ActorX stuff tho.

Other Tools

  • BTS Tool: more progress is made.
  • Bloodrayne Betrayal: tool released by Ekey. Will upload to the tools section.
  • DisUnity: more questions asked, less answers given.

Fix Soundblaster X-Fi ‘no sound’ issue in Windows 8.1

May 14th, 2014 by Mr.Mouse

After weeks of frustration I seem to have the solution to a X-Fi issue in Windows 8.1. There would be no sound each time after a reboot or after cold start. I’d have to go into Configuration Panel, go to Hardware and deactivate / reactivate the Soundblaster and reboot to get the speakers to play. Bottom line: the SB software / card thinks a headphones is connected. Solution:  go to the SB Configuration Panel, go to Headphones settings and disable “autodetection of headphones” AND disable “mute speakers automatically”. Reboot. Done. 

The Week at the Game Research Forum #17

May 13th, 2014 by Devilot

Happy Mother’s day to all mommies out here. A few, I bet, but still.

3D/2D Models

  • FFX HD: progress update.
  • MGS HD: script released, in embryonal state.
  • Enchanted Arms: Noesis script request.
  • Diablo III: progress continues happily.
  • S4 League: progress is being made with help!
  • Wipeout: the 1995 game has found a useful website!
  • KH1: Giov is still working his magic :)
  • Wild Arms 3:  the bin file is finally being experimented upon!
  • Bots .bsc: seriously good progress.

Audio File Formats

  • XWC: new script and information released.

Graphic Formats

  • Swizzled: author has answered himself. Lucky him!
  • Gladius PS2: tool is a WIP.

Game Archive Research

  • Captain America: the game of the Winter Soldier, obviously!
  • Shadow Warrior: erm, I’m not sure I understand what’s going on here.
  • Darksiders WOW: script released.
  • Farming Simulator: work on .shapes format.
  • Diablo 3: info wanted on how to access levels.
  • TOTEXB: unknown file format, info wanted.

Compressed files and methods

  • J Stars: data provided.
  • Rayman 2: tool provided for this. Amazing!
  • GOD X360 Games: bad news for the author
  • Illusion Softworks SFL: Ekey has shared details on compression methods.
  • Tales of Vesperia TLZC: Ekey has released script.

Game Localization

Noesis

Other Tools

  • Ninja Ripper: development stopped

 

The Week at the Game Research Forum #16

May 4th, 2014 by Devilot

Labor day week. And Star Wars Anniversary! May the 4th be with you :)

3D/2D Models

  • Darksiders WOW: maxscript released.
  • S4 League: fatduck is putting some serious effort in the script.
  • Shenmue 2: textures being worked on. Didn’t know this game existed!
  • Princess and the Frog: more than a kiss will be required to make those models appear, I fear.
  • Survarium: zaramot promises to work on the script and he is known to deliver :D
  • Corpse Party: no joke, that’s the game name. Noesis plugin wanted.
  • Star Wars TOR: alpha plugin for gr2 discussion and release here :)

Audio File Formats

  • Still working on those pesky ME2 files.
  • .AWB: files being worked on!

Graphic Formats

  • Gladius: textures are still being worked on.

Game Archive Research

  • Child of Light: released QuickBMS script for unpacking archives.
  • 2Dk Drive: chipicao has released a script for this game.
  • Android .Obb: and also a script for this format.
  • Black Desert: .paz archives being investigated.
  • KOTOR iOS: Ekey saves the day!
  • 1954 Alcatraz: first time a .myn file is encountered..
  • Darksiders: .oppc archives should not be too different from Warhammer files.
  • BlackGold: 2 scripts and a friend at Snailgames make OP a happy bunny.
  • LB DAT: more info on Hex offset data.

Compressed files and methods

  • Wargame Red Dragon: edat files failed by QuickBMS script..
  • Dawngate: chrrox has released a model script for this game :)

Game Localization

  • Just one thread there was, solved with abundant suggestions of Notepad++. I like that utility!

Noesis

  • A pretty silent period with no updates…

Other Tools

  • Beyond Two Souls: tool close to being updated! Thanks HugoPeters!

The Week at the Game Research Forum #15

April 28th, 2014 by Devilot

This week was refreshing. little work, lots of studying and now 8GB of RAM. I only need a new GPU and I am set :)

3D/2D Models

  • Heroes of the Storm: obscure format models (with an extractor already present somewhere else).
  • Fist of Fu: CE is still working on this game, with chrrox’s help.
  • Diablo III .app: still going strong and more progress is made.
  • Asphalt 8: .pig files are being worked on. No joke, nor pun, intended.
  • Project Blackout: Napoleon needs help for those models.

Audio File Formats

Graphic Formats

Game Archive Research

  •  .HVP: don’t worry, it’s not a STD :)
  • Wild Arms 3: SmashFan is doing some nice work on the BIN file.
  • Dark Souls 2: it was only a matter of time, I suppose, before someone would notice this game and its BHD archives ;)
  • LA Noire: even more interest for a longtime lurker of the forums.
  • GTA V: information on PCC files and help wanted.
  • TaoYuan: CriticalError is looking for script help for this game, in order to get everything.
  • The First Templar: necroposting, at least accordingly to the author.
  • Chao Ring: OBB file extraction help for this Android game.

Compressed files and methods

  • Wild Arms 3: additional information is provided on the compression method.

Game Localization

  • Telltale Games: working on the encrypted files.
  • Splinter Cell Blacklist: a small mistake with QuickBMS can lead to a serious disaster.
  • Final Fantasy X PS2: help for a translation in an unknown language is needed.

Noesis

  • No update since the 14th :(

Other Tools

  • No tools were released in the Tools section this week, I fear.

The Week at the Game Research Forum #14

April 22nd, 2014 by Devilot

Disasters permitting, here is another week of research.

Hope everyone’s had a great Easter and a relaxing\stuffy Holy Monday!

Tremendous headache…

3D/2D Models

  • HOTD fan is back in the habit!
  • KH1: GovaniF has released a beta tool, everyone say “thanks” :)
  • FFXHD: Jecht (oh, the irony) is working on the models.
  • Natural Doctrine: Zaramot has released a maxscript.
  • And also one for Lost Planet 2.
  • Luxox18 needs help to understand if meshes have Havok baked in.
  • Released an experimantal tool to convert the Old Republic models to obj.
  • Reaper of souls continues to make interest spark for Diablo 3.

Audio File Formats

  • Yours Truly wants help for both ME2 and RE4 Wii. Wii!
  • Alpha23 still needs some help for an iOS adpcm.
  • .PCK files have to be worked on more
  • Dead Rising 2: the XMA2 format is worked on :D

Graphic Formats

  • LOS HD: only new thread is about Mirror of Fate HD Textures.

Game Archive Research

  • Warthunder: official tools discovered!
  • Titanfall is still a hot topic. Why, it’s beyond me.
  • RE4: UHD file solved.
  • Sleeping Dogs:  bigfiles see still a lot of work on them, especially for textures.
  • Black Desert: .PAZ files are still being worked on.
  • Naruto Ninja Storm: tools effectively under development.
  • World Tour Fishing: tool released by Ekey.

Compressed files and methods

  • Havok: SergeantJoe and Graty did their magic!
  • Wargame Red Dragon: edat files need to be cracked
  • Ishtaria: Ekey has saved the day once again. Wish he helped me too..
  • RaiderZ: still being worked on.

Game Localization

  • ACIV Black Flag: translation tools “badly needed”.
  • GTAV: Haider has made a very nice post with info about the game font.

Noesis

Other Tools

  • Beyond two Souls tool: Major update last Wednesday.
  • DisUnity: more work required, apparently. And more investigations.

The Week at the Game Research Forum #13

April 14th, 2014 by Devilot

Disasters permitting, here is another week. Exam on the 12th, so apologies for any lateness but there is nothing I can do about it.

Happy Easter to everyone :)

3D/2D Models

  • Diablo 3 app: Victory at Last!
  • Star Trek: script released for the movie game :) thanks!
  • Persona 4: rmd files need to be analyzed.
  • Dark Souls: flv templates released!
  • Lords of Shadow 2 demo: some useful insight by Zardalu.

Audio File Formats

  • Soul Calibur 5: first thread about this game’s music.
  • Street Fighter X Tekken: .awb file investigation.
  • .AWB: and speaking of the Devil, another thread about those!
  • Super Robot Taisen: completed, I think?
  • Grim Dawn: from yours truly.

Graphic Formats

  • LOS Mirror of Fate HD: textures are still being investigated, and a repacker is asked for.

Game Archive Research

  • Resident Evil 4: help wanted for unknown archives.
  • Titanfall: work continues on the vpk archives.
  • Tenchu: .vol files need to be investigated, for this old goodie.
  • Tomb Raider: GhostBlade has released a tool. Congrats :)
  • Batman Arkham Origins Blackgate Deluxe: a format made by MrAdults should be investigated.
  • Hack: UV maps issues after extracting. Odd.
  • Lords of Shadow: continued interest for this game, way better than its sequel.

Compressed files and methods

  • Havok: SergeantJoe would like to know if some progress has been made.
  • Rugby 2004: help wanted, also knowledge wanted.
  • Sonic Secret Rings: an extensionless header needs to be decrypted.
  • Diablo III: yours truly needs a reminder how to get stuff from the game.

Game Localization

Alas, nothing new under the sun. Everything worthy of translation is being worked on.

Noesis

  • Another format in the works?

Other Tools

  • Comparison between Noesis and 3d Object Converter.
  • Released tool for Beyond two souls. Second tool already!

The Week at the Game Research Forum #12

April 7th, 2014 by Devilot

Another Week at the Xentax Forum. Aren’t you happy about it?

EDIT: Major system failure, lost 600+GB of data. Life sucks. Extremely angry. Spent saturday and sunday putting everything in place, that’s why I am late.

3D/2D Models

  • Marlow Briggs: DarkMan wants to understand its obscure format.
  • Webgl: success on both Chrome and Opera!
  • Samurai Showdown: testing is done on these models yay! I still remember Amakusa at the Arcade, the girl with the magic ball weapon.
  • Magic World II: CE needs help for those amazing NIF files.
  • Webgl: figuresculptor has released a massive script! thanks a lot!
  • Diablo III: amazing progress by TaylorMouse!
  • Saint Seiya Online: someone help CE! OMG a game about the Saints! a game with the damn CAPES!
  • Dead or Alive: work continues apparently. Porn galore.
  • LOS2: fix found for UV maps of Lords of Shadows 2.
  • 35$ Offer: Zaramot has given in to the dark side, and made some scripts :)
  • .RES: First post of Darkman
  • SB: bug report and update.
  • Ps3 EMB: lots of work being done here.

Audio File Formats

  • ADPCM: a new version in the new Batman game?

Graphic Formats

  • Mirror of Fate HD: progress is being done on the textures!
  • SW TFU: textures need to be investigated.
  • NTP3 to DDS: apparently there is this possibility.
  • Dark Souls 2: a very small bit of insight about the textures of this game, TPF.

Game Archive Research

  • ZuOnline: CE needs help in understanding this game’s archives.
  • Legend of Wukong: and this.
  • World Zero: and this!
  • Dungeon Striker: and this! Gee, prolific is an understatement.
  • Naruto Ninja storm: archive info posted and help wanted.
  • XPAC Unpacker: released by Ekey. Congrats!
  • DAT Unpacker (Anomaly): another release by Ekey!
  • DAT Unpacker (Hydrophobia): again, prolific is an understatement!
  • Lightning Returns: TRB Extractor worked on for two years. Kudos for persistence.
  • Arkham Origins: ARA files should be investigated.
  • Syphon Filter: resolutive necroposting for this PSP game.
  • NASCAR 2011: more work on the script.
  • CN Punch time: quickbms script made and working.
  • Tomb Raider: interest continues after the 2013 release of the script.

Compressed files and methods

  • Magic World II: compressed NIFs are the issue.
  • .ARA: info on this? Completely unknown the format is.
  • TDKR: cra0 should release a tool soon-ish. I didn’t even know the game existed, and I am a Batman fan!

Game Localization

  • The Wolf Among Us: problem solved. Props!
  • GTAV: test tools by Ekey. Getting better and better Ekey is.
  • Goat Simulator: apparently it’s getting localized!
  • Ground Zeroes: being worked on… lots of work ahead!

Noesis

  • As popular as ever, the interest for this majestic tool never ends.

Other Tools

  • Dissidia 012: I am persistent.
  • Defiance tools uploaded to the tools section.
  • Evolution Engine Cache extractor is still a work in progress.
  • StarFox tools uploaded to the tools section.

The Week at the Game Research Forum #11

March 29th, 2014 by Devilot

Those who do not die, every now and then, return. Sometimes, even those who are dead return.

UPDATE: Lost two sections while writing this, have to restart. No idea why, so entries will be rushed, as I had almost finished… very pissed. Only Game of Thrones main title in flac can soothe me.

3D/2D Models

  • $ offer: lumix continues his quest for the importer-exporter.
  • Another $ offer: for King of Fighters, none the less.
  • Unity: more work continues for this simple and flexible engine.
  • FFXHD: last month’s issues have not been resolved.
  • Dawngate: chrrox has released one of his scripts!
  • Cabal 2: CriticalError is working on this game, and has solved most of his hiccups apparently.
  • XT: he also solved them for this game, thanks to Ekey!
  • Nine Days Myth: not so lucky for this peculiar game here.
  • Diablo III app: what?
  • Scarlet Legacy: cra0 has made some progress.
  • HOTD: HOTDfan tries it again!
  • J Stars: help wanted in getting the models out.
  • Dead or Alive: yay, more development!
  • God Eater 2: help wanted for this PSVita game. The original was quite nice..
  • SW TOR: zaramot updated the scripts. Kudos!
  • Sengoku Basara 4: he also released scripts for this game here.
  • .BIN files: models do exist in those.
  • Sonicomi: I admit I haven’t quite understood this.

Audio File Formats

  • XMA Transform: Alpha23 has only ever worked with towav. Rejoice.
  • ArcheAge: apparently this game has some good audio?
  • FIFA: looking for a NFS Sound Extractor.
  • Project Spark: Linkin Park galore!
  • Dead Rising 2: currently under inspection. will be back for more.

Graphic Formats

  • Castlevania Mirror of Fate: bad textures! Headers should not be missed!
  • SEGA TPL: first investigation of this difficult format.
  • Dark Sould 2: first thread about TPF textures of a maddening game.
  • Hay Day: interest for a relatively unknown game.
  • Eutechnyx: NASCAR textures need to be investigated a bit more, apparently.

Game Archive Research

  • Archive X: development continues!
  • Sine Mora: super update due soon!
  • Dreamy Theater: development stopped.
  • Fox Online: Ekey has released a decrypter.
  • Titanfall: work continues, cra0 confirms it.
  • UE4: some interest on this engine!
  • MGS DAT: little development every now and then..
  • Ninja Gaiden Z: coalesced.bin being investigated.
  • LEGO Game: first post, no new info.
  • LEGO LOTR: again, some small development every now and then.
  • South Park: compression method investigated.
  • Dawngate: extractor being worked on.
  • Audition 2: Ekey is making his magic.
  • Mitsurugi: the unpacker for this game works, apparently.

Compressed files and methods

  • J-Stars: leyme wants help for the archives.
  • LOL: progress is being made by thread creator, but some more support is still needed.
  • TalesWeaver: a rather obscure MMORPG needs to be cracked.
  • .DTA: Ekey needs support in understanding this format of Illusion games.
  • Fist of Fu: another pretty obscure game, which needs to be investigated.
  • .PT: format of those rhytm games needs to be understood. Let’s MaMbO!

Game Localization

  • Blackguards: .lang files being investigated. Never heard of the game tho.
  • Ground Zeroes: once michaelss has the time, he will look in the game files. He still needs help for Thief.
  • Digimon Rumble Arena 2: help wanted for translating a Pokèm- wait..
  • Bioshock Infinite: little progress, perhaps?
  • LEGO Movie: author needs help for every boy’s favourite construction tools video game.

Noesis

  • A quiet past week for Noesis, this was. And yet, more people have donated. Some more would be appreciated (myself included in this invite).

Other Tools

  • 3D Object Converter: backlash of interest.
  • Ninja Ripper: someone needs to better understand the heir of 3d ripper dx.
  • F-Zero GX Viewer: from 2011, a new tool is arising, in c++. Thanks StarkNebula!
  • Defiance Tools: those are being updated somewhat regularly. Nice job!