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Old 05 January 2009, 20:03   #61
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Exl and jotd thanks for you! It is work perfect now! with tilsets 4a and 4b. My version draw only tiles just put cas file on the exe-file.
But I confused with my files what i extracted from my PC version... May be I did not right extract it? but I will think about it again.
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Old 05 January 2009, 21:23   #62
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Quote:
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Exl and jotd thanks for you! It is work perfect now! with tilsets 4a and 4b. My version draw only tiles just put cas file on the exe-file.
But I confused with my files what i extracted from my PC version... May be I did not right extract it? but I will think about it again.
Looks good! The rest wont be as easy, though I so wish it was.

I'm having problems finding the locations for Nodes and player starts (and other sprite related things like exit markers, and "teleports"). I cannot find any direct coordinates for any of these in the game's files, even though I can find them in memory when the game is running, and modify them. But where on the disk are they read from?! Is there anyone who could assist in tracking this down (jotd maybe?) ?
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Old 05 January 2009, 21:44   #63
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Exl

- can you give us the values for node/player coords?
- have you checked the file LEVSDAT.BIN. It's a multi-block file, but I don't know what's in it...

Last edited by jotd; 05 January 2009 at 21:53.
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Old 05 January 2009, 22:55   #64
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For the very first level;
The first node's coordinates are 288, 800. That's 18, 50 in tile coordinates (I searched for both without luck).
Node to the left of the exit is at 47, 5 (752, 80)
Node to the right of the exit is at 60, 5 (960, 80)
Player start should be at 128, 1216 (8, 76), but I'm not 100% sure about this.

In memory during run-time they are stored as unsigned shorts. I tried looking in levsdat.bin too, but didn't find anything. I'm still trying to figure out what exactly is stored in it.
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Old 06 January 2009, 09:02   #65
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Hey all,

Has anyone got a copy of LvlRip 1.2 (or equivalent)? I'm still fiddling with some tilemaps and need a tool to quickly render maps based on the data and tile gfx etc. Seems the original website for LvlRip is offline or something..

Many thanks,

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Old 06 January 2009, 09:39   #66
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I'll provide you with a command line tool of mine which does the same thing if you want.
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Old 06 January 2009, 19:49   #67
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I'll provide you with a command line tool of mine which does the same thing if you want.
That would be cool if you don't mind sharing. I may code my own, but if you have one handy that saves me the hassle, I have the magic pockets demo map extracted, just need to view it really, see what's different, if anything. (again, 128x128 bytes/blocks in size).

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Old 06 January 2009, 22:26   #68
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Sharing is my motto.

Download the command line tool with source here:

http://pagesperso-orange.fr/jotd/misc/map_writer.zip

please share magic pockets demo level, as it's the same as magic pockets NTSC first level. HOL may need it, because they only have PAL levels.
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Old 07 January 2009, 01:33   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jotd View Post
Sharing is my motto.

Download the command line tool with source here:

http://pagesperso-orange.fr/jotd/misc/map_writer.zip

please share magic pockets demo level, as it's the same as magic pockets NTSC first level. HOL may need it, because they only have PAL levels.
Thanks for the tool!

I did just try it out, but it seems the magic pockets map is rotated and flipped and I can't get that to work with your viewer, so I attached it here for you to have a tinker.

For info, tiles were at mem offset 304284, map at 211612, the map appears to be 128x128 tiles.

Q;

P.S. I also think I've found the First Samurai map at mem offset 333022, marked by "MAPD" string also, but appears to be in a weird custom format with extra information perhaps.
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Old 07 January 2009, 22:39   #70
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@Qube: you're right, there's something wrong with the demo.

I just improved my map_writer tool, and it supports Magic Pockets too.

I unpacked PC files using XFDDecrunch on amiga (was RNC format!!), and added an offset for tile index in the config file of my tool.

I have ripped the PCMAP.PAP map, which is the PC / NTSC first level and also the demo level. A funny thing is that LEVEL1B.PAP contains PAL level 3 of world 1 whereas it never appears in the PC / NTSC version (PAL level 1 shows up instead)

We don't need to rip the demo map, since it's 100% the same as the one attached => problem solved, thanks to the PC files & XFDDecrunch.


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Last edited by jotd; 07 January 2009 at 22:46.
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Old 08 January 2009, 20:35   #71
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Thanks for the new map writer! I was thinking about using XFDDecrunch myself, you beat me to it I don't know what the score is with the map in the demo memory, very odd, perhaps they did this to stop people snooping, I think it just needs to be read out of memory differently, but we have it now, so the task is completo..

It's weird how the NTSC version had a different first level, plus it had the level code feature. I guess the game was a bit tough?

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Old 08 January 2009, 20:59   #72
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Originally Posted by Qube View Post
Thanks for the new map writer! I was thinking about using XFDDecrunch myself, you beat me to it I don't know what the score is with the map in the demo memory, very odd, perhaps they did this to stop people snooping, I think it just needs to be read out of memory differently, but we have it now, so the task is completo..

It's weird how the NTSC version had a different first level, plus it had the level code feature. I guess the game was a bit tough?

Q;
Well, when headers are RNC it helps

Me neither, I don't understand why demo files (Gods & MP) are so "encrypted" compared to the full games.

NTSC version is published by Konami, for the american market. PAL version is tougher/more technical in 3 aspects:
1) level 1 is way harder. it is less obvious to get the warp to world 2.
2) there are no codes. The only way to play directly to level 4 is to activate the 3 warps from the previous levels...
3) to perform a big jump you had to pull the joy down. In the NTSC version the big jump is automatic, which can be annoying but is easier. Looks that someone took US guys for dummies...

What's funny is that they left the warp from original level 1 (now level 3). It means that you can warp to world 2 either from level 1 or level 3. Unfortunately, original PAL level 3 (still talking about world 1) is not playable (but still on the map. I'm sure that if you hack the NTSC/PC game by setting the kid coords properly you could play it)

Personally I think level codes are cool. But in a score point of view it's less great
Another funny thing with the NTSC/PC version is that even if the version you're playing is not cracked (a password is asked when you complete a level the first time), if you have all level codes, you can still play all the levels
The Chaos Engine system is just perfect, because it retains your score, does not write to disk, and appears only 1 out of 4 levels, which keeps the challenge intact (I heard that they intended to show the code once every 2 levels but backed off for this reason exactly).
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Old 10 January 2009, 01:03   #73
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Another update on Chaos Engine. http://www.dvdflick.net/storage/disarraydevice.zip

The level viewer in the chaosspy dir has been updated with all the new stuff I've figured out. The docs describing the format have been cleaned up a bit, too. World 1 has all it's used pickup tiles added from screenshots, so their colors are a bit off. I didn't rip the tilesets originally, but the pickup tiles weren't included for some reason.

I'm still looking for the place where sprites are stored, no luck yet... levsdat.bin remains a mystery. I wish I had some 68k assembler skills!
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Old 10 January 2009, 01:29   #74
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The levsdat.bin file seems a mystery indeed. I've just decrunched the demo's levsdat.bin and had a snoop. Seems in some areas there is a lot of repeated data, similar to in a tilemap, so perhaps some sort of array/list etc, indeed data to do with the level map, which would fit with the filename. But I think JOTD is right in that the file contains multiple sections or data blocks for different things.. One way to work out the use of this file may be to snoop in a save state for the location of the decrunched levsdat.bin data, then put a debug watch in there or something and see what triggers it while playing the game.. may work or may confuse things even more!

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Old 10 January 2009, 01:45   #75
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But I think JOTD is right in that the file contains multiple sections or data blocks for different things..
That's as far as I got, there's 19 offsets + "ENDS" at the very start of it. Can't make heads or tails of the block contents yet though.

Quote:
One way to work out the use of this file may be to snoop in a save state for the location of the decrunched levsdat.bin data, then put a debug watch in there or something and see what triggers it while playing the game...
With WinUAE's debugger that's reasonably easy (for me!). Good idea.
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Old 10 January 2009, 12:16   #76
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That's as far as I got, there's 19 offsets + "ENDS" at the very start of it. Can't make heads or tails of the block contents yet though.



With WinUAE's debugger that's reasonably easy (for me!). Good idea.
I don't think the file is packed anyway.

I just checked the editor. Excellent job. I mean it.
I think you could use my item codes to display items like in my viewer. I made the correspondence for all items.

I also checked your engine. It looks great too. Scrolling is a bit strange sometimes, but it's great stuff!

That motivates me even more to let you redo this game yourself, but I'll certainly help:
- rip all AGA sprites/screens I can (I see you've integrated the AGA sprites I sent you)
- finish my RJP replayer (the format of the replayer is pretty much figured out by now, and I'm trying to replay songs like Cannon Fodder first).
- I can help in C/C++ and VB if required too, though I wished you'd use pure C++ for the game itself (for the editor VB is ideal). Maybe I can port your code in C++.
- figure out the last remaining unknown stuff maybe by snooping in the 68k code

BTW 2 ideas:

- all samples can be clearly extracted from in-game songs (extra life, ...) with correct offsets, so no need to rip them from WinUAE (some of them are missing from your archive). I'll extract them as WAV when needed.

- you can guess where the nodes are by locating the node shadow tiles in the map. Works at all levels. Not sure they did like this, but this can be deduced automatically, which is already cool
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Old 10 January 2009, 13:36   #77
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I think you could use my item codes to display items like in my viewer. I made the correspondence for all items.
Do you mean pickups by items? They're referenced as tiles in the pickups table, so I kept them there. There's also two variants of a pickup usually, one for "dirt" backgrounds and one for "rock" for world 1 for example. They probably did this to be able to do better anti-aliasing on the pickup graphics.

Quote:
I also checked your engine. It looks great too. Scrolling is a bit strange sometimes, but it's great stuff!
No VSync, so those "lines" appear across the image sometimes

Quote:
- I can help in C/C++ and VB if required too, though I wished you'd use pure C++ for the game itself (for the editor VB is ideal). Maybe I can port your code in C++.
I'm not happy with VB either, but programming is a hobby for me. My experience in C\C++ is limited, the little render DLL is the best I can do right now. If I had written the viewer and engine in C\C++, I would never have gotten as far as I have now.

Quote:
- all samples can be clearly extracted from in-game songs (extra life, ...) with correct offsets, so no need to rip them from WinUAE (some of them are missing from your archive). I'll extract them as WAV when needed.
Great! I couldn't rip all samples at the right frequency either anyway.

Quote:
- you can guess where the nodes are by locating the node shadow tiles in the map. Works at all levels. Not sure they did like this, but this can be deduced automatically, which is already cool
Not in all cases unfortunately:



In-game there's a node on the platform in the middle. It's also not at a tile offset There's also cases where sprites are spawned like this, like some of the projectile popping things in W1L2. Most nodes also seem to have some relation to links which are harder to guess. The missing sprites are still the biggest problem, so any help in figuring them out would be awesome!

At this point my aim is to document the level format. Doing a remake is still a big project, so even if I can't find the motivation to finish that, at least someone else will be able to.
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Old 10 January 2009, 14:21   #78
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Exl - I concur with Jotd that your ChaosSpy viewer is great. You've found so much detail already, continue developing it and with Jotd and others I can see this being the foundation for a remake using the original data files and AGA gfx, perhaps even the CD32 CDDA tracks too, as OGG for example. The nodes are likely inside the infamous levsdat.bin and cross-referenced perhaps, hopefully they are not code-driven as that would be annoying but would just mean doing similar in a remake or creating one's own levsdat.bin type file for use for that task.

Jotd - cool that you are making a RJP re-player. I remember years ago emailing RJ, he was back at his sound company, he exclaimed that it was fun to create the modules and that there was no x86 replayer for that code, at that time. Now I may be wrong, but I think he said he created them as standard tracker MODs and then they would be converted over into RJP format so that his replayer would play the right patterns as and when required using the trigger zones within the game, which makes sense.

Good stuff all round!
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Old 10 January 2009, 14:35   #79
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@Exl: too bad for the node stuff. But it's already a big help. If the node coords are not tile aligned, it means that they are either in full coordinates or in half/quad tiles coordinates. But where ?
I'm willing to code the remake fully in C++, but the decision is yours. And it's a bit early anyway. We still have some stuff to code first / figure out.
About the various flavours of items depending on the context (dust/clean) I decided to ignore the differences. There are 2 different codes, and I display the same icon, except that I mask using transparent color. I hardly see the difference and it's easier to manage.
Careful: most item codes vary from one level to another (except for basic ones such as money, food...)

If you do CE, I'll do Cadaver and if I can find the item pos in Magic Pockets, I'll finish the remake.

BTW I extracted pixel-perfect positions from Gods demo tilemap and converted them back in my remake. It's cool to use the exact coords (only for visible items, though).

Last edited by jotd; 10 January 2009 at 15:30.
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Old 12 January 2009, 19:50   #80
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I just noticed that the PC version of Chaos is slightly different, has a compressed CHAOS.DAT containing all data, but there is no LEVSDAT.BIN in there. Interestingly there is a file called LEVSDAT.GFX, weird.

The PC's CHAOS.DAT file seems to be a custom archive or something, but there is a structure at the start showing the file names, presumably lengths are in there also or start pos etc. The actual exe seems to use PKWare, so who knows..

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