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

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

  1. Sato

    Sato Newly Registered

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    Reddit's /r/emulation board has become rather interested in these sorts of games over the past few days, which in turn re-sparked my own search for some of them.

    I've found this website, seemingly a Chinese fan page dedicated to the Shin Megami Tensei game series. If you CTRL+F for ".jar", you'll see there's two files with the title "Shin Megami Tensei.jar". The text above these links translates to something like "Two .jar files of unknown origin".

    Unfortunately, both the download links for these files are dead. I've checked the internet archive as well but sadly they don't have them saved. I'm posting it here on the off chance someone might be able to contact the site owner and ask for the files/ask them to reupload the files to the site. They could just be nothing, but it's killing me that we might not find out what they are.

    Also for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, there's a new emulator for these sorts of mobile games called FreeJ2ME. It's quite compatible already so definitely seems worth a look!
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
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  2. rareseeker

    rareseeker Member

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    I spent the whole day researching about this and found some interesting things:
    1) Apparently some phones come with pre-installed demos, so if someone could buy the phone we would have access to the games. For example, the docomo PRIME series P-03C comes with a demo of Katamari Damacy Mobile, a demo of Ridge Racer Mobile, and (!) the first chapter of Ni no Kuni: Hotroit Stories, among other stuff (got all this info from the Japanese wikipedia): https://ja.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-03C
    I was taking a look at Yahoo! Auctions (ヤフオク) and there seem to be quite a lot of these phones for sale.
    2) Found a page with lots of games (sadly they're only accesible through I-mode. I guess if someone has access to i-mode the games can be obtained, though):
    http://daisyuugou.opendoor.co.jp/pc/
    3) It seems that some companies and individuals are releasing ports of games released for keitais. Kemco has a lot of games in their Play Store page which where originally released for i-mode:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/dev?id=5728226595623103050
    Also this game was made originally for keitai but ported by its developer to Android:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.ne.mgmg.sakura.lf2p11&hl=ja
    And a website with tons of ports of EZweb games:
    https://m-app.jp/
    Looks like there's some light at the end of the tunnel!
     
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  3. dr.slump

    dr.slump Rapidly Rising Member

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    I'm sure it would be easy enough to buy old phones with full versions of apps installed also (and most of us who live or have lived in Japan probably already have one) but the problem is that no one seems to know how to rip them.
     
  4. Sato

    Sato Newly Registered

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    It might be a good idea to contact existing hackers/emulator developers who have cracked hardware in the past to see if we can find an interested party who would be willing to experiment with some of these phones and find a way to rip their memory.

    If i-mode is still online in some capacity then we'd need some Japanese folk to help download titles. Unfortunately a lot of companies (a lot of the major RPG developers included) have already shut down their old mobile services, so the options available for that are pretty limited.
     
  5. dr.slump

    dr.slump Rapidly Rising Member

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    I don't think it's a hardware problem. As was discussed previously in this thread, later phones (like the one I have) let you copy the apps to sd cards, etc, but they're encrypted/locked to that device.
     
  6. GoodTofuFriday

    GoodTofuFriday Site Supporter 2015,2016,2017

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    I have a few i-mode jp phones with games like dragon quest and final fantasy thatd id be willing to donate
     
  7. rareseeker

    rareseeker Member

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    I have some exciting news. I somehow managed to contact a Japanese developer who worked for Hudson and was directly involved with i-mode games. He seems to be very friendly and was impressed by the fact that a westerner is interested at all in i-mode games. He told me he has in his possession TONS of i-mode games. The problem is, I asked if he could share them with me but he said that due to a non-disclosure agreement it wouldn't be possible. Any ideas on how I could convince him to share the games?
     
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  8. Sato

    Sato Newly Registered

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    That's excellent! Can you tell us which specific games you have?

    My immediate thougts on this are: you probably won't be able to make them release the games. It seems pretty legally risky for them to do that. If possible, maybe ask him which games he has, and specifically if he has any games which are undocumented/no longer available at all for download/play.

    It also might be interesting to find out if he still has contacts at Hudson or other companies. If there was a clear demand for these games to remain available, it might encourage more developers/publishers to re-release these titles on iOS/Android or other platforms as has happened in the past (honestly I'm surprised Square never re-released Before Crisis, seeing how hard they're pushing the FF7 universe).

    Out of interest, what did your initial message to him say (if you'd be willing to share, of course).
     
  9. GoodTofuFriday

    GoodTofuFriday Site Supporter 2015,2016,2017

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    They are final fantasy 1 and dragon quest 2
     
  10. rareseeker

    rareseeker Member

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    I just introduced myself, and then proceeded to ask about the I-mode games. Apparently the guy worked not only at Hudson, but also at other companies and participated in the development of several unreleased games. If you want to try your luck here's his Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/microom
     
  11. rareseeker

    rareseeker Member

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  12. Desert Bandit

    Desert Bandit Active Member

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    Level-5's ROID titles are definitely a point of interest for me. They're all very high-end looking and makes me wish they were released as downloadable titles on other platforms.

    I'm also interested in getting Sony's mobile titles. Their western games are largely on the .jar piracy sites (Ratchet & Clank: Going Mobile, God of War: Betrayal, Socom: Mobile Recon, LocoRoco Hi, though I can't find these two) but the Japanese ones are gone (except Ape Escape M, which got translated into English - Everybody's Golf Mobile may be out there somewhere, but that name isn't exactly SEO approved). Ape Escape Lemmings, Arc the Lad, some nice PoPoLoCrois titles, etc. They released games between 2002 and 2011 and there's little out there on them.

    There are also loads of Dragon Ball (including a kart racer) and other licensed games I'd be interested in, but I'm sure those are high quality ...

    You could tell him that since Hudson is long dead, that NDA probably isn't valid anymore. Not that anyone would likely go after him for 10+ year old mobile games anyway. All of the attempts to re-release i-Mode titles have been from the small studios, not someone like Konami, Square Enix or Capcom. Though, modern Capcom is so desperate they might eventually dig them up.
     
  13. shicky256

    shicky256 Active Member

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    They already did, remember Mega Man Mobile?
     
  14. PixelButts

    PixelButts Site Soldier

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    Megaman legends phone game. I'm still looking to get that in my hands.
     
  15. sheepytina

    sheepytina Member

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    Hello again! Apologies for my absence.

    I received a message the other day asking me to share a mirror of the i-appli Development Tools, which includes an i-appli emulator, as the link has apparently been taken down now. It's taken me until now to get around to it, but here it is!

    i-mode development tools mirror.7z: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-J78jBbC9ApRDBhZ09XcWE1Zms

    I've actually included a few other goodies too, such as the web browser. Do give it a look!

    (There's a second archive with some less important files, specifically an old version of JDK required for i-appli Tool, that I still need to upload, but due to my poor connection it'll take some time. Will edit the link in later.)

    --

    On the subject of Android ports of i-appli games, I think I may have talked about this this already, but if not, here's some footage of a Valkyrie game from Namco! I avoided sharing it originally because of the poor sound quality, but since I'm unable to make anything better without getting an MHL cable for one of my older handsets, this is the best I can do for now.



    It was delisted long ago, but I still have the .apk. If it's okay, I'd like to share that here too.
     
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  16. aesop frock

    aesop frock Active Member

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    i would like to know anything at all about dragon quest monsters i mode, all i have ever found online are a handful of tiny thumbnail screenshots of the game. seems to be its own game, not a port of an older title.
     
  17. Siskan

    Siskan Newly Registered

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    I don't think you can. I understand that people also want to play these games, but you could at least ask him if he'd be willing to send them to the Japanese Game Preservation Society: https://www.gamepres.org/en/ Preservation should be the first priority.
     
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  18. ItsMeMario

    ItsMeMario Gutsy Member

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    But, will it leak ? ;)
     
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  19. Shademp

    Shademp Active Member

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    Thank you sheepytina for uploading the i-mode development tools =)

    Over at the official NTT DoCoMo website, one can view and download the phone user manuals. Usually these are available both in English and in Japanese!
    - English search window
    - Japanese search window

    The user manuals reveal what games came pre-installed on the phones. Here is a sample list of some phone models and their pre-installed games.

    D901i:
    - GO by Train! 3D Sound: Going round in Yamanoteline

    D902i:
    - Columns Jewel
    - Mr Chin's Cards & Fortune Telling

    D902iS:
    - Chin-san's Fishing
    - Column's Jewel

    F901iC:
    - RIDGE RACER FOR F
    - SUPER PUZZLE BOBBLE F
    - SPACE INVADERS 3D Surround F
    - 3D sound simulator
    - FreeCell (card game)

    F901iS:
    - RIDGE RACER FOR F
    - ZOOKEEPER F
    - SUPER PUZZLE BOBBLE F
    - Outing ♪ Princess
    - FreeCell

    F902i:
    - Mobile Sanguozhi 2
    - ZOOKEEPER DX F
    - LOGIC PUZZLE F
    - FreeCell

    F902iS:
    - Take the A train i for F
    - Mobile Sanguozhi 2
    - ZOOKEEPER DX F
    - LOGIC PUZZLE F
    - FreeCell

    N900i:
    - DRAGON QUEST 1
    - Mini game island

    N900iS:
    - DRAGON QUEST 1
    - CHAIN ARROW

    N902i:
    - DRAGON QUEST II first volume
    - Number Bombs!
    - Derby Stallion

    P900i:
    - Final Fantasy
    - BombLink

    P900iV:
    - Final Fantasy
    - BombLink

    P901i:
    - Final Fantasy II
    - BombLink 2 Surround
    - TRANCE PINBALL SURROUND

    P901iS:
    - Final Fantasy II
    - BombLink 2 Surround
    - TRANCE PINBALL SURROUND

    P902i:
    - PGA TOUR (Tiger Woods PGA TOUR)
    - SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

    P902iS:
    - 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany
    - SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2

    P903i:
    - Dirge of Cerberus: Lost Episode (Incomplete version)
    - PuyoPuyon & COLUMNS

    P903iX HIGH-SPEED:
    - Dirge of Cerberus: Lost Episode (Incomplete version)
    - PuyoPuyon & COLUMNS

    P904i:
    - Katamari Damacy Mobile
    - PuyoPuyon & COLUMNS

    SH700i:
    - pop'n music SH

    SH900i:
    - Pilot Training

    SH901iC:
    - 3D MUSICAFE SH

    SH901iS:
    - 3D MUSICAFE SH

    SH902i:
    - EVERYBODY'S GOLF mobile 2 for SH

    P-01A:
    - KINGDOM HEARTS coded Olympus Colosseum -Side Episode-
    (upgrade to play Traverse Town Special Edit Version, the prologue of the main story)
    The i-motion version of its introduction video is pre-installed.
    - Professor Layton and the Curious Village Prologue (Incomplete version)

    N-02A:
    - TOBAL M
    - Itadaki Street MOBILE
    (Network games can be used after this i-αppli is upgraded)
    - Avatar Bowling


    P-03A:
    - Professor Layton and the Curious Village Prologue (Incomplete version)
    - ZOOKEEPER DX Ver.P (Incomplete version)

    There are of course many more phone models to check. I may also have forgotten to double-check with some games if they were the demo/incomplete versions or not.


    With the P903i and P903iX HIGH-SPEED phones, the user manual also says this:
    The first point means that "Initialize" does not delete the pre-installed data on its own. You can delete i-αppli programs separately but they won't be removed simply by initializing the phone.

    Yes, Dirge of Cerberus: Lost Episode is a pre-installed i-αppli program on the P903i and P903iX HIGH-SPEED phones. In other words, even if a P903i has been initialized, it will still hold DCLE (demo/incomplete version) as long as the user did not SPECIFICALLY delete that game.

    The reason this knowledge is important is of course because many phones on sale in auctions will have been initialized/factory-reset. Knowing the above, buying an initialized P903i or P903iX phone may still be worth it.

    I have not checked if any other phones work like the P903i does in this case, apart from observing that the P900iV does not seem to have had a straightforward "Initialize" function at all. With the P900iV it looks like users would have had to manually delete whatever they wanted to when leaving the phone behind or passing it on.
     
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  20. Sato

    Sato Newly Registered

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    This is really good news, and not just for Dirge of Cerberus. At the very least it means some of the more in-demand games (I see a few Dragon Quest titles in the list you gave) should be dumpable if someone can figure out how to do that. Though it's a shame we might only be able to access demo versions.
     

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