Project i-mode / EZweb, to preserve the dying unpreservable

Discussion in 'Rare and Obscure Gaming' started by Gemini, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. dr.slump

    dr.slump Rapidly Rising Member

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    There used to be an iMode service for PlayStation but it shut down a long time ago. Don't know if you can still do anything with that cable at all, let alone anything useful.

    http://www.netfarm.ne.jp/idomov4/
    ^ Another emulator here

    I really doubt it'll be possible to download i-mode apps with any emulator, though. You need to pay an i-mode subscription fee to even do so from a phone. Some of the apps even connect to the network to check your subscription each time they're run.

    There are plenty of emulators that will run (most of) the games, though. They're just java apps (or sometimes flash) afaik. There are some to be found online, so some people presumably know how to decrypt the phone files, or there are models that don't encrypt them in the first place. I tried to read up on it but couldn't find much. Japanese people don't really talk about that sort of thing online, I suppose.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
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  2. Fahrenheit

    Fahrenheit Newly Registered

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    I admit I know very little about the i-mode service as a whole (only learned about it last week in fact) but the ps1 adapter got me a little excited because I guess I imagined it worked by allowing you to play i-mode games on your tv through your ps1? And if so would that make dumping any easier? How wrong am I, lol?

    Otherwise it seems the only way this would be possible is to acquire a used phone with the software already in it and attempt a flash dump, something I know even less about. It doesn't seem like anyone even tried to yet. Is the Japanese emulation scene not as big? I'd hoped I can find answers on niche Japanese gaming boards but my Jap is very novice still.
     
  3. TripleDaGod

    TripleDaGod Member

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    I was able to locate the APK. I can confirm it is what it says it is but I didn't install it.

    I want to find a safe way to do so or if somebody has a safe way to confirm the APK then I'll gladly pass the link along to whomever has use for it.

    Hopefully finding the APK put this project one step closer to becoming a reality.
     
  4. speedyink

    speedyink Site Supporter 2016

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    I can install it on my old phone and report back if needed.
     
  5. unclejun

    unclejun Site Supporter 2011-2014

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    I have the PS1 i-mode disc and cable, it's only a webbrowser and email client.
     
  6. AntiPasta

    AntiPasta Fiery Member

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    A web browser for PS1? Quaint, I knew of no such thing. Does it allow 'open' web access (ie type any URL) or just i-mode?
     
  7. jdog320

    jdog320 Spirited Member

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    Question is how does it even connect to the web? Also is it possible to run i-mode games through something like Kemulator, or any j2me capable phone?
     
  8. unclejun

    unclejun Site Supporter 2011-2014

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    You connect a phone to the PS1 using the included cable, which goes to the 2nd controller port.
    2 videos about it:

     
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  9. sheepytina

    sheepytina Member

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    I don't believe KEmulator supports i-mode games, and J2ME phones definitely don't since i-mode software uses a different type of Java called "DoJa". However, you can set up the i-appli development environment and run games that way, which is better than nothing. Most other i-mode emulators just emulate the browser functions rather than the actual Java apps.

    The main problem is actually finding the software, since there wasn't rampant piracy on i-mode like there was with J2ME, and there seems to be a bit of DRM in place too. Also, don't quote me on this, but from what I understand, many i-mode games were launched via the browser (like PC Java games, e.g. RuneScape) so I'm not even sure if many people would have them saved to their phones, if they even still have them. And some publishers still have their i-mode game service still up, but others don't.

    Of course, there's still so much that I don't know about it, despite all the research I've been doing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016
  10. ItsMeMario

    ItsMeMario Gutsy Member

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    I had the nec n21i here in germany back in the days. The soundchip could play the NES mario theme just like if you were sititng in front of a NES. I miss it...even if imode was dead boring here in germany.
     
  11. dr.slump

    dr.slump Rapidly Rising Member

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    The main problem is to decrypt/crack the app files, which I can't imagine is even that hard. The majority of games are downloaded and run off the phone, not via the browser.
     
  12. sheepytina

    sheepytina Member

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    I'd been meaning to do this for a while, but I finally crawled through that i-mode game site I mentioned a while back and downloaded every .jar file I could find.

    A few of them came with pictures too, so you can see the kind of thing we're dealing with here.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    As you may be able to see, it's all pretty basic stuff. Lots of free games and homebrew, rather than the awesome games from big publishers we were after. However, out of 626 games, I managed to find 323 .jar file links that weren't dead (although I haven't tested every single one), so I've backed up quite a few things here.

    As for being able to play them, you can convince them to run in the i-appli development environment, as long as you have both the .jar and .jam files. (otherwise you'll need to set the .jam file parameters yourself.) Although results haven't been 100% consistent and some games just refuse to run.

    Anyway, here's a GIF of me playing a Tetris game starring totally-not-Kirby.
    [​IMG]

    And here's the download link! It's a bunch of .jar and .jam files and some images in their original directories, with most (if not all) of the empty files and HTML error pages removed.
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-J78jBbC9ApYUk2d2pTVHJuTFU/view?usp=sharing

    I'm in the process of sorting the files, finding stuff that wasn't linked directly (due to copyright, etc., such as this developer), stuff like that. It's a work in progress. ^^; But I hope this helps somewhat.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  13. dr.slump

    dr.slump Rapidly Rising Member

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    Nice!

    I'm still hoping someone can help convert the encrypted phone files to jar files...
     
  14. yksoft

    yksoft Member

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    I only know that Softbank's Java solution is MIDP2.0/CLDC1.1 with proprietary extensions. If you have an older (Vodafone branded) Softbank Garake with its APN adjustable and/or SIM unlocked, you could download most standard non-Japanese MIDP2.0 games on it as long as no Nokia APIs are used and the Canvas Key mapping is the same as Motorola E1000.
    IMG_20161127_151040.jpg
    IMG_20161127_155347.jpg
    IMG_20161127_154716.jpg
     
  15. yksoft

    yksoft Member

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    Softbank's multimedia lock (ネットワーク自動調整) is nasty, however except for 905SH, older Vodafone branded Softbank Garakes doesn't have multimedia locks and you could use a void SIM card to play the preinstalled games. For downloaded games, they will only work when the SIM card used for downloading is inserted.
    The real problem is that many Japanese mobile games require online license verification even if an Internet connection is unnecessary for the game itself. What's worse many game publishers are withdrawing from Garake content networks (In fact i-mode/EZWeb/Yahoo! Mobile themselves are dying as all Garake makers discontinued their old style flip phone product lines in 2015~2016.
    Newer feature phone product lines of the 3 operators are all running heavily customized Android and use standard APN methods to access Internet instead of i-mode/EZWeb/Yahoo! Mobile.
     
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  16. dr.slump

    dr.slump Rapidly Rising Member

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    Thanks for the info. I've had AU and Docomo but never Vodafone/SB. Didn't realize the were discontinuing iMode etc, either (although it seems for Docomo the "rakuraku" old people iMode phones will still be produced, at least)
    Not a very good situation, like you say... :(
     
  17. yksoft

    yksoft Member

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    Rumors said that KDDI planned to close their CDMA2000-based 3G network in 2018. As 3 big carriers all got their VoLTE ready we might not only lose i-mode/EZWeb/Yahoo! Mobile, but also most un-unlockable Garakes will become industrial waste as well..
     
  18. Protodude

    Protodude Member

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    Greetings! An aquaintence of mine has a P905i phone with Rockman DASH: Great 5 Island Adventure on it in its entirety. It's an iMode game. Any ideas how we can extract the game?
     
  19. GoodTofuFriday

    GoodTofuFriday Site Supporter 2015,2016,2017

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    You can make backups of the phone. That would be a start. Can you private message me?
     
  20. rareseeker

    rareseeker Member

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    This is a topic that wildly fascinates me, because some games will be forever lost if we don't find some way to dump them.
    One particular game I would really love to play is Ni no Kuni: Hotroit Stories (二ノ国 ホットロイトストーリーズ, in Japanese), which was released for I-mode through a service called ROID, created by Level 5.
    You can google it for more info, I'll post some photos here so that you can see how it looks like (to describe it in a few words it looks like Ni no Kuni meets Earthbound).
    22i3u.jpg
    22i3v.jpg
    Ni_No_Kuni_Hotroit_Stories_screenshot.jpg
    Another one that fascinates me is Miracle Quest (ミラクル くえすと, in Japanese), which was released by Hudson. This one, sadly, might have been lost forever though, because it was kind of a MMO game.
    3f21d3133f6f25f68df4d90069c28bab.jpg
    hud01.jpg
    hudson.gif
    hudsons.jpg
     
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