Ecco 2 Beta files ?

Discussion in 'File Downloads - Share and Request' started by Evangelion, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. Dreamcast

    Dreamcast Intrepid Member

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    Here's an update on what I've found so far:

    I've been working on figuring out the GDE format. I've been able to successfully extract PVR data. If it's just a packaging implementation, then it's really simple. The data is stored with a four-byte file length preceeding it. You can double check this against the file's own file length (for example, PVR files store the length of the file in the first four bytes after the "PVRT" identifier). I think an incorrect length is why some of the levels will not work (or at least a significant part of it).

    I've been able to extract PVR data from some of the exclusive Ecco II levels, but the first PVR file (the loading screen image) hangs because its length is incorrect (which can go into megabytes in length). I'm going to try correcting it. It should be around 250 KB. Hopefully this will allow some of the levels to be viewed.

    As a side note, the GDE package was an interesting choice by the developers. Because each package is completely self-contained, modifying a texture of a global element mean they would have had to recompile each package with the new data unless they had a way of injecting it in with a batch script.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2008
  2. Storm

    Storm Robust Member

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    Even better. Source AND specification. Thanks!

    Sidenote: I can not send you personal messages DC(tm), because:

    "The following errors occurred when this message was submitted:
    1. The following users were not found:
    1. Dreamcast ™"

    I assume the ™ is acting up in some way. Does this work for anyone else, and if so in what browser?
     
  3. Dreamcast

    Dreamcast Intrepid Member

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    No problem on the AFS information. He also has a lot of other great information you might want to check out as well.

    I modified my extractor to detect file lengths over an acceptable limit and so far I've found over 400 instances in one file and 200 in another. That's just PVR data and I'm not sure what a lot of the other data is. To ensure it wasn't an error on the extractor's part, I ran a few of the GDE files from the retail version of Ecco: Defender of the Future and all of the lengths were correct.

    I think it's safe to say with a much higher degree of certainty now that most if not all of these files are unusable. At least some of the textures can be seen to give an idea of what the level is about.


    That's odd about the private messages. I've been able to receive PMs in the past. I just cleared out my inbox incase that helps and you want to try again.

    EDIT: Major correction. The map files may not be as problematic as I thought. I thought something didn't seem right about there being so many corrupted PVR files in the GDE package, so I checked the total number of instances of "PVRT" in the file against the total number of seemingly corrupted files. The number is exactly double. It appears that the new GDE format includes an additional "PVRT" in the header for each file it contains. For example, the Ecco II files contain this information: "GTEX ATLANTIS\(filename).TGA PROP PVRT ZIP KAMU PVRT(then the actual PVRT data)." The extractor I wrote saw the first PVRT and thought it was from the header of an actual PVR file contained in the GDE package.

    So, there is a significant difference between GDE formats and that's most likely why using the original Ecco 0.bin file won't work. The GDED Binary Format for Ecco: Defender of the Future is 2.1.12.1. The revision for Ecco 2: Sentinels of the Universe is 2.3.2.1.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2008
  4. Blai

    Blai Enthusiastic Member

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    Dreamcast â„¢ you are really doing a great job with this Ecco 2 files.
    Keep on trying, don't give up! You have all my support and all of the dreamcast.es users' support :nod:
     
  5. Dreamcast

    Dreamcast Intrepid Member

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    Thanks for the kind words, Naonak. :). Hopefully the information could be of some use to anyone else interested in seeing the Ecco II levels.

    I'm not sure if any other game uses the GDE format. If so, then it might be worth figuring out how the data is stored. If we know what does what, we could essentially downgrade the Ecco 2 level packages back to Ecco 1 format.
     
  6. arnoldlayne

    arnoldlayne Resolute Member

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    I also want to show my support... I don't understand a word of it but it sounds like you really know what you're doing.

    Good luck hombre.
     
  7. Dreamcast

    Dreamcast Intrepid Member

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    Thanks, Arnoldlayne. :)

    I'm waiting until I have a just bit more information before my next update, but a lot of progress has been made in unpackaging the files. In addition to the PVR files, I've been able to extract sound files, model files, and the dialog script file (all of the text for each level). Also, I believe that the reason why you see the loading screen with Atlantis Lost and nothing with the other levels (just the text with the line) is because the PVR information is missing for each of them. The loading image is 512px by 256px and is the first object in the package.

    Out of the around 10MB I started with, I only have to figure out what the last 2MB does for the Ecco II files. Everything else was the extractable content. I'm guessing the other information is what ties it together into a level.

    I also found yet another version of the "Binary Format" format. (2.2.10.27). That's the version of the 180_Atlantis.gde file in the image/root path of the Ecco II beta Evangelion posted.
     
  8. neoblast

    neoblast Robust Member

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    You can always try to ask to stingerhu about this, mayube he will handle some clues to get this working.
    BTW you're doing a great job with these files
     
  9. Dreamcast

    Dreamcast Intrepid Member

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    Does anyone know where Stingerhu posts? I did a search and the username couldn't be found. The only other forum mentioned was SegaKatana and that's not around anymore.

    I finished a very basic GDE viewer / extractor for all GDE files. There is still a lot that needs to be filled in. Because of the different ways the resource files (section RSRC) are stored for the different versions, I didn't add the option to extract them. Instead, you can extract the main sections (extractable sections are surrounded by brackets).

    You can download the GDE viewer here (Note: some of the Ecco 2 files (like 100_Atlantis) cause the viewer to lock up because they contain misaligned data. If output doesn't appear after a few minutes, you'll have to manually end its task. I'll work on adding in some better error handling. Extracting does take a bit of time, so give it a few extra minutes.)

    From my research, it looks like a valid GDE file contains about ten main sections. It starts with the TSCR data, which is the PVR image used at the loading screen. Without the PVR image data, you get the text with a line output. I've successfully added in my own PVR loading image into 120_Galleon.GDE. After that, you get to the format version outlined below:

    After that comes the main sections. So far I've determined that RSRC is a resource file and contains sound effects, textures, model data, etc. CLAS contains class declarations and primitives informtion. Both of these files are what I call "pure containers." That means they're purely containers containing extractable data and don't include any additional header information, etc.

    Please feel free to add any information or make any corrections.

    It looks like the only two GDE files from Ecco 2 that might work are Galleon and IceEdge. The others don't contain the same amount of main sections or are corrupt.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2008
  10. neoblast

    neoblast Robust Member

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    There has to be some docs about GDE format and verison diffferences in some sega SDK that sure might come in handy.
    Well I sure don't know where he posts, but someone should know....
    Thing is it seems some of the files seem really corrupt, maybe another HDD DUMP might do the work.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2008
  11. Jaysmith2000

    Jaysmith2000 Peppy Member

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    Wow, what a GREAT find! Thanks for sharing, if time permits, I'll fire up the Katana and see if I can help with this....
     
  12. Dreamcast

    Dreamcast Intrepid Member

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    Neoblast: GDE was most likely an internal format by Appaloosa Interactive. I haven't seen it used anywhere else, but that's not to say it wasn't (I haven't gone through every Dreamcast game made.). So, there probably isn't any documentation on it. If there is, it's with Appaloosa. AFS is the popular packaging format, but that's more of a container than what GDE is. GDE is like a map pack file (think Unreal Tournament's UNR files, etc).

    I did some research to see if there were any other Dreamcast games developed by Appaloosa and found this list: link. I was excited when I saw Wacky Races, but that was developed by Infogrames. The Wacky Races they're referring to appears to be something developed back in the 8-bit days.

    Jaysmith2000: The Ecco 2 0.bin file appears to be completely corrupt, so you'll want to use Ecco 1's 0.bin file. All you need from Ecco 1 is 0.BIN, AUDIO64.DRV, CONFIG.TXT, and the sound folder (with sound files). To be safe, I also include DUMMY.DAT, and 0GDTEX.PVR.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2008
  13. APE

    APE Site Supporter 2015

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    I'm here rooting for you all, leave for a week and something awesome breaks loose!

    If anyone needs someone to sift through a bit by bit dump I'd be happy to do it seeing as I'm putting a new box together tomorrow.
     
  14. asasega

    asasega Rising Member

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    Last edited: Oct 15, 2008
  15. Dreamcast

    Dreamcast Intrepid Member

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    Thanks for the link, asasega. :) Hopefully he still has the beta.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2008
  16. neoblast

    neoblast Robust Member

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    Even if he has not the beta he might help in the booting process.
     
  17. APE

    APE Site Supporter 2015

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    He doesn't seem to be the type to know this sort of thing. Last time I spoke with him he was just trying to irk every dollar out of what he had.
     
  18. Dreamcast

    Dreamcast Intrepid Member

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    Update note: The link above to the extractor works again and I've added a text file to it with notes I made about the GDE format. Hopefully I will be able to find the original working source for the extractor and I will upload that as well.
     
    CodeAsm likes this.
  19. CodeAsm

    CodeAsm ohci_write: Bad offset 30

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    Is it just me or is there a time diference of 2 years?

    ;-) But Awesome files man, hope you can fix something together here.
    So if your post is indeed thread related :thumbsup: and I have a new website to investigate :D
     
  20. Dreamcast

    Dreamcast Intrepid Member

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    Haha, no you're seeing correctly. A member here PMd me to let me know the link no longer worked, so I fixed it and just thought I'd post here incase anyone else could use the files.
     

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