Request - 'Dirge of Cerberus Multiplayer' Videos

Discussion in 'File Downloads - Share and Request' started by Shademp, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. Shademp

    Shademp Active Member

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    I am currently working on an extensive archive to preserve and analyze material from the defunct online mode of Dirge of Cerberus.

    - The DCFFVII Multiplayer Archives

    My posting this thread here is more or less a desperate attempt to see if anyone can find relevant videos or images on their own harddrive(s), seeing as I have already scoured both the English and Japanese parts of the web for hundreds of hours, both conventionally and by using the Internet Archive as an indispensable source.

    The Multiplayer was only ever available in Japan during two phases.
    1 - Beta Testing from 20050922 - 20051031
    2 - Public launch version from 20060126 - 20060929

    I highlight "videos" in the title because there are three clips in particular that I search, both which are recordings from the game's beta testing phase. All download links to these files are no longer functioning. All I have are the file names and limited content descriptions.

    Video 1: up0023.zip
    Shows the mission "Collector's Mind", where capsules are collected. Presumably the zip unpacked a .wmv file.

    Video 2: up0025.wmv
    Team Battle taking place in the Kalm "Church" map.

    Video 3: up0044.wmv

    Only the latter two files were ever linked to on English websites and they had the filesize 8.1mb and 15.8mb respectively. I get the impression that the English download links provided lower quality video files than their Japanese counterparts, but I can't confirm this.

    Info sources:
    - http://dcff7.seesaa.net/article/7264517.html
    - http://www.paradigm-city.com/forums/thread/9448-5.html
    - https://web.archive.org/web/2007081...children.net/showthread.php?s=&threadid=53719


    If you happen to possess these video files, or any other DCFFVII Multiplayer media which is no longer available online, I would be extremely grateful if you could share those with me and thus expand the archive. =) Also if you own the Beta Version disc I am very interested in buying it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
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  2. GoodTofuFriday

    GoodTofuFriday Site Supporter 2015,2016,2017

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    Assuming youve seen this?
     
  3. Shademp

    Shademp Active Member

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    Indeed. I have collected all Multiplayer recordings available via YouTube, NicoNico and Grimoire Valentine's website "FFVIIExcavation". All currently available Multiplayer recordings are from the 2006 era, nothing from the Beta testing of 2005.
     
  4. GoodTofuFriday

    GoodTofuFriday Site Supporter 2015,2016,2017

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    okay. I imagine that you have artcles on it too then.

    Do you know if servers can be set up like with other ps2 online games? If so maybe create your own footage.
     
  5. GoodTofuFriday

    GoodTofuFriday Site Supporter 2015,2016,2017

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  6. Shademp

    Shademp Active Member

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    I have no idea. Apart from figuring that I'd first have to acquire a fat PS2 with a BB Unit, I do not know if it would even be conceivably possible to forcibly set up servers for the Dirge of Cerberus Multiplayer.

    If you can direct me to some enlightening examples of how online functionality has been restored by fans in some games, I'd appreciate it. Perhaps I'll pick up on some useful knowledge, even though I have nowhere near the months or years of programming- and tech experience that may be required to set up servers.

    Dirge of Cerberus used the PlayOnline service in Japan. The game initially started out with only two public servers but eventually they grew to seven login servers. These were their names:
    JP-01 Vincent
    JP-02 Cait Sith
    JP-03 Cloud
    JP-04 Barret
    JP-05 Tifa
    JP-06 Aerith
    JP-07 Red XIII



    Creating my own footage and unearthing recordings from the old, genuine/official Multiplayer are both important. Thanks to the game disc holding plenty of files (though far from everything) relevant to the online mode, I have been able to unlock some content in an offline form. See for example my exploration videos or the result from replacing Vincent Valentine with the model for the Online Player Character:



    Cheat Engine was used to explore normally inaccessible areas and to replace Vincent's model with that of the online player character. The next step in the latter endeavor is to find the addresses to change the OPC's headgear, suit, gender, hair, voice, colors etc.
     
  7. GoodTofuFriday

    GoodTofuFriday Site Supporter 2015,2016,2017

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    Biohazard (resident evil) outbreak has had the online restored by fans and there is a fan server. While there are plwnty of gyides on how to access the fan server, ive not seen much on what creating such a server entails.
    It can be accessed using the ps2 emulator out there.
     
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  8. Killah

    Killah Active Member

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    id speak to the guys over at http://www.ps2onlinegaming.com/
    they know all about the server tomfoolery
    and someone might have old footage never know your luck
     
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  9. Borman

    Borman Digital Games Curator

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    Not sure where my original disk is right now. Had two at one point, and I know I sold one.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Shademp

    Shademp Active Member

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    @Borman

    Did you acquire that snapshot from the β Version by booting up the disc yourself? If yes, then were those four options (Single Player - Multiplayer - PlayOnline - Tutorial Menu) available from the get-go or did you have to install the PlayOnline Viewer to unlock the Multiplayer option? If no, where did you find that snapshot?
     
  11. Borman

    Borman Digital Games Curator

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    I took the screenshot, yes, but I only have my backup copy. Ran from a PS3 with CFW. Those options are all there, but PlayOnline is the only thing that attempts to load, but I dont have the BB stuff installed so it doesnt even try to really go past that.
     
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  12. krHACKen

    krHACKen Enthusiastic Member

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    W00t. I wonder if DCFFVII β Version installs a beta version of the POL Viewer.
    Last year I bought Front Mission Online β Version, and it installs a retail POL, v1.14.xx if my memory serves me right. Been quite disappointed lol. So I ended in patching 1.09 beta, which came with the japanese FFXI Online β iirc.
    The archived goodbye! version (retail) should be able to install beta games. Although, since I don't have an active subscription for FFXI β, I haven't tried.

    EDIT :
    Oh, the DNAS servers went kaputt 3 months ago. Now the dnasload.elf patches for the DNS redirections are useless, POL does 5 connection retries and those loooooong timeouts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
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  13. Shademp

    Shademp Active Member

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    krHACKen, words can't properly express how hyped that video makes me. I didn't dare think that I would get to see the installation screen so soon. All I had found so far were photographs of the installation screen taken by beta testers.

    Would you mind sharing your original video recording either over here or through PM? I would very much like to have the original video, instead of just a download of the YouTube version. If you could also tell me the context of exactly how- and when you made that video just now that'd be awesome. I assume the installation fails in the end?

    Both for research and for the collecting of it, I recently bought a BB Unit. I am yet to buy a Japanese PS2, because money. Hoping to gain a better understanding of how this old tech works.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
  14. krHACKen

    krHACKen Enthusiastic Member

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    It's the retail version by the way, not beta.

    Here's the original video, 50453546.mkv, recorded today. Unfortunately the quality is quite poor.
    Feel free to edit and share it.

    Well, it's hackish.
    Firstly, I've restored a HDD image (which contains just the HDD OSD and the PlayOnline Viewer) to my PS2 hard disk.
    Then I started the installed POL Viewer from the HDD OSD, and installed the game from its DVD, using the disc installation option of the POL Viewer main screen.

    So my video doesn't show the whole process, as the PlayOnline installation part (from the actual game disc) was skipped. Anyway, the PlayOnline Viewer that is installed by the game disc cannot be used as is. It requires patches to go online and update to the latest version, to bypass the DNAS authentication and the infamous termination screen :
    [​IMG]

    Normally it should complete no problem. Still installing at the moment. 10% complete / ETA 0 minutes lol.
    I'll take a screenshot of the installation completed screen if any... For now, here are the things shown during the installation :
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The installed game with not be bootable at all, since the launch script no longer exists, I don't have a DoC subscription and the server that hosted the mandatory game updates is probably down, just like the FFXI one.
    Also, I used my japanese PS2 to install it, and the PlayOnline Viewer of the HDD image is tied to another console. So even if the game was still in service, it would not run until I put my HDD back to the console it belongs to...
     
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  15. Shademp

    Shademp Active Member

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    @krHACKen

    Would you think that all the artwork displayed during the installation screen is already on the Dirge of Cerberus disc, or do they exist inside the PlayOnline Viewer you used? I'm asking because I'm curious as to what source one should look at if one wanted to one day acquire clean rips of all the artwork, without all the menus being in the way and without the character concepts spawning at an angle like they do during the installation screen.


    Notice by the way that the background music for the installation screen is slightly different from what is used in the normal game. It includes a variety of sound effects and reverberations which is not present in the standard "Fragment of Memory" track.

    I can spoil already that there is at least one big difference between the installation screen of the retail- and β version: The color scheme and text font of this piece of artwork.

    β Version:
    [​IMG]
    Source: kupoa's blog (inside the blog you'll also see that the artwork of the Deepground rank medals/icons isn't tilted, unlike in the retail installation artwork)

    Retail:
    [​IMG]
     
  16. krHACKen

    krHACKen Enthusiastic Member

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    Sorry for the delay in my reply. I had to repair the CDVD drive of a debbuging station, to get my facts straight as for the consequences of the servers shutdown on the HDD DNAS binding...
    We can still bind things (offline) as long as our HDDs have their __net partition tied to the hardware it seems.
    I'll try to find my hacked up PSBBN kernel launcher (which handles the HDD ID and i.Link ID from files) and see if it still allow me to renew the __net binding...

    I'll take a look at the POL Viewer ressources as soon as the DoC installation is completed. Yesterday I canceled it because I had to go to bed. Figured that it was stuck at 10% because my PS2 HDD was messy. Common issue when tampering with HDD images...
    So I wiped my HDD and started a new installation. This time without updating the PlayOnline Viewer. The game is getting installed from the original POL Viewer version 1.14.03. The same artwork were shown during the DoC installation.

    Some pics of the POL Viewer installation, and the glitchy web interface of 1.14.03.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Worthless videos of installing the POL Viewer (using the retail DoC disc) :
    - Steps 1 and 2 : Network configuration and installation

    01_POL_Installation.mkv

    - Step 3 : POL Viewer update

    02_POL_Update.mkv

    Again, sorry for the long and boring DNAS certification. I didn't know it would behave this way when I've patched it.
     
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  17. krHACKen

    krHACKen Enthusiastic Member

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    The message I had at the end of the installation. Selecting "OK" goes back to the POL Viewer main menu.
    [​IMG]

    I did not find the artworks in the installed POL Viewer files. Might be on the game disc. Since the DVD files are encrypted, I took an EE RAM snapshot and bingo, found the TIM2s. But...
    [​IMG]
    ... I can't decode them.

    Here's the chunk of memory if anyone wants to investigate this : 0x00FAE530.BIN

    EDIT : Nevermind, they convert fine with Tim2bmp Converter.
    EDIT2 : Done ! artworks.zip
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
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  18. Shademp

    Shademp Active Member

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    Absolutely amazing and stunning work krHACKen! No need to worry about the pace of your responses, since it takes a lot of time for me anyway to process all this new content. Quite neat that you even found three unused artwork pieces in there.

    To make me feel a bit less lazy, I just compiled the first version of my DCFFVII Multiplayer image gallery. It contains all the screenshots I've found of the Multiplayer after countless of hours searching the web. Included is also the artwork just unlocked by krHACKen AND the Deepground Lobby menu maps I unlocked some time ago.

    Click here to download the 228MB zip file, which contains over 2000 images.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
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  19. krHACKen

    krHACKen Enthusiastic Member

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    Anyway, they've buried the PS2 Content ID system recently...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    ...and no more PS2/X360 option in the account manager.

    Although I knew it would happen some day, I'm quite in a bad mood now because I wanted to do some last packet capture before archiving my POL shit, and those fools discouraged me from doing anything else with that HDD space wasting hunk of trash.
    Sorry for the rude comment, but that pisses me off, and it kinda hurts to see the legacy PS2 stuff dying.
     
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  20. Shademp

    Shademp Active Member

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    Does it help in any way, for any future project where someone knowledgeable digs into the assembly code and tries to figure everything out, to have videos like this one where a PlayOnline account is created?

    I recently purchased a PS2 SCPH-50000 and a compatible BB Unit. Will probably take around 3 weeks before both of these have arrived. I should be able to familiarize myself with this (dying) tech by then.

    Meanwhile I don't have the time to do much else other than trying to expand my DCFFVII Multiplayer archive. Recently got help writing up a Japanese mail to send to those who played the online mode, asking them if they have any documents, images or videos they'd like to share for the archiving project. Messaged about five people (most former players I have no way of contacting) and I'm holding out some hope that at least one of them will reply and still have some neat media on their harddrives.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2017

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