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Burning Rangers level & model extraction

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by Energy, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. Energy


    Hi all -

    Sorry if this is in the wrong place it's not Sonic, but it's sega & sonic team.

    Burning Rangers has some real interesting history behind it, yet it rarely gets much interest. Whatever you feel for the game from a gameplay standpoint - it was an important game in the Saturn's life. A dying age gave it less time than it needed in development and many features and gameplay mechanics were tweaked and removed prior to release.

    I've seen little evidence of people playing with the contents of the released game to see what maybe hidden - yet there are clues on the disc that there might be more than the standard contents. Within the game you get a code for access to a soundtest, this allows you to hear a large amount of speech that never made the game.

    There is audio from the removed multiplayer mode, and what appears to be speech for every character to go through levels with (yet when you play as them you just get the soundtrack on repeat). According to someone there was at one point a co-op mode for the game too. I've done a bit of programming but would love to try and play with the ISO to try and unlock some of its secrets. If there was a way to access the multiplayer mode (screenshots can be seen on this site: that would be the jackpot to me.

    So far the most I've done is rename some files, I noticed that some of the levels were called TAISEN - which google told me was competiton in Japanese. I tried replacing the TUTORIAL files with the TAISEN ones to see what would happen. Very buggy but does appear to show possibly a bit of a test level (?).

    Does anyone here know much about the engine the BR runs on? Is there a way to view the models of the levels and characters / items?
    Some pushes to get started would be really helpful.
  2. Energy


    Ok sorry for the double post but found something interesting.
    First off there is a refrence or two to both Nights & Xmas Nights on the disc.

    The really weird thing that I've found though is that there seems to be a lot of HTML data contained within the WAV files included on the disc. It appears to be emails from and to sonic team.

    Grab yourself an ISO or your disc of BR: copy a wav file out of the EXTRA\WAV directory and rename the file to something.html and view in chrome or firefox. At first there will be garbled text (the actual wav data) then you start to get something that actually looks like an email. The encoding is screwed up so you can't read it all, but there's stuff like this:
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  3. Well, that's definitely interesting. I wonder if there's a way to read what's in the ?'s.
  4. Energy


    My guess is that it's just an encoding issue of the HTML. This is utf-8, and it's obviously not worked. I haven't had time to try lots of different encodings. I did look at some more files and it seems the files are just padded with random files off the PC, though there seems to be a large amount of these email files.
  5. Overlord


    Now playable in Smash Bros Ultimate Moderator
    Long-term happiness
    Possibly, provided that the actual text is pasted in and that's not already just been lost to question marks in the data, it's possible the board's eaten what the letters should actually be. Throw it into this thing and see what it spits out:
  6. Meat Miracle

    Meat Miracle

    Which files have that, I'm checking the disc now but a string search to "sonic" or "aol" returned 0 results in that wav folder.
  7. Cooljerk


    Professional Electromancer Oldbie
    So, I'm guessing this is some sort of buffer deal? Like they had to buffer the wav files to specific sizes and just used whatever was in memory at the time?
  8. Shadow Hog

    Shadow Hog

    "I'm a superdog!" Member
    Code (Text):
    1. J:\EXTRA\WAV>grep -I sonic *.wav
    2. Binary file BOOT01.WAV matches
    3. Binary file OTHER01.WAV matches
    4. Binary file OTHER04.WAV matches
    5. Binary file OTHER05.WAV matches
    6. Binary file OTHER07.WAV matches
    7. Binary file OTHER08.WAV matches
    8. Binary file OTHER10.WAV matches
    10. J:\EXTRA\WAV>grep -I aol *.wav
    11. Binary file OTHER05.WAV matches
    12. Binary file OTHER07.WAV matches
    13. Binary file OTHER08.WAV matches
    15. J:\EXTRA\WAV>grep -I "<HTML>" *.wav
    16. Binary file BOOT01.WAV matches
    17. Binary file BOOT02.WAV matches
    18. Binary file BOOT04.WAV matches
    19. Binary file CLEAN04.WAV matches
    20. Binary file CLEAN05.WAV matches
    21. Binary file CLEAN06.WAV matches
    22. Binary file ERROR02.WAV matches
    23. Binary file MAIL01.WAV matches
    24. Binary file MAIL03.WAV matches
    25. Binary file MAIL05.WAV matches
    26. Binary file MAIL06.WAV matches
    27. Binary file OTHER01.WAV matches
    28. Binary file OTHER03.WAV matches
    29. Binary file OTHER04.WAV matches
    30. Binary file OTHER05.WAV matches
    31. Binary file OTHER07.WAV matches
    32. Binary file OTHER08.WAV matches
    33. Binary file OTHER09.WAV matches
    34. Binary file OTHER10.WAV matches
    35. Binary file OTHER13.WAV matches
    Checking out BOOT01.WAV in Notepad++, there's definitely HTML shoehorned in the middle of the file. To wit:

    Code (Text):
    1. <HTML><HEAD><TITLE>tools</TITLE><HEAD><BODY BGCOLOR="#555555" TEXT="#ffcccc" LINK="#ffffaa" VLINK="#88ffff">
    2. <CENTER>
    3. <h2>Ninja ŠÖŒW‚̃c[ƒ‹‰ðà</h2>
    4. <hr>
    5. <P>
    6. <TABLE BORDER=0>
    7. <TR>
    8. <TD[IMG]" width=176 height=290></TD>
    9. <TD>
    10. <CENTER>
    11. <hr>
    12. <B>I@@N@@D@@E@@X</B>
    13. <hr>
    14. </CENTER>
    15. <P><br><P>
    16. <A HREF="NJView.html">
    17. œNJViewer‚ÌŽg‚¢•û (03/02/98 0.72alpha1)</A><BLINK>! NEW !</BLINK>
    18. <br><P>
    19. <A HREF="SoNJE_FRAME.html">
    20. œNinja Export Version (0.72ƒ¿2) SGI”Å/NT”Å</A><BLINK>! NEW !</BLINK>
    21. <br><P>
    22. <A HREF="08VQ.htm">
    23. œ‚u‚p@ver.0.3IƒeƒNƒXƒ`ƒƒ[ˆ³k‚¨‚½‚ß‚µ”Łj</A>
    24. <br><P>
    25. <A HREF="pvrconv.html">
    26. œpvrconv—pvrŒ`Ž®‚ւ̃Rƒ“ƒo[ƒg(ver.0.72alpha1) SGI”Å</A>
    27. <br><P>
    28. <A HREF="pvpv.html">
    29. œpvpv—pvrŒ`Ž®‚Ö•¡”ƒtƒ@ƒCƒ‹‚̃Rƒ“ƒo[ƒg</A>
    30. <br><P>
    31. <A HREF="pl.html">
    32. œ</A>
    33. <br><P>
    34. <hr>
    35. <br><P>
    36. <A HREF="">
    37. œOnline Manual---ƒ\ƒt‹ZƒeƒNƒjƒJƒ‹ƒTƒ|[ƒgWWWƒT[ƒo[</A>
    39. </TD>
    40. </TR>
    41. </TABLE>
    42. <br><P>
    43. <hr>
    44. [i]
    45. <script LANGUAGE="javascript">
    46. <!-- To hide javascript from old browsers
    47. document.write("<font size=2>Last updated on " + document.lastModified +".")
    48. // end of javascript -->
    49. </script>
    50. <br>
    51. [/i]
    53. </CENTER>
    54. </BODY></HTML>
  9. Energy


    Overlord, that tool works! Thank you, will post some findings at the bottom of this post.

    The files are dated post JAP release, so it may just be US releases with this issue. I'm working with an ISO file but will check my PAL release later if I can find it.

    That's my guess, but it seems really odd! Padding is normal in commercial releases, but in WAV files (that have been thrown on as an extra?), and containing random emails and other files off a pc?. It seems really odd!


    So thanks to the tool that Overlord suggested I can start to read some of the files. They're obviously in Japanese so I'm having to put them in Google translate. So far most seem to be fan requests...

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  10. Meat Miracle

    Meat Miracle

    edit: nevermind. It's in the US version, I was checking the JP one.

    It appears that they changed the WAV files, but did not update the script that compiled the disc data, so all the changed WAV files still come out to the same size despite being smaller (maybe even bigger in same cases).

    BOOT1.WAV, in the usa version, should be 101366 bytes long - but it is instead 226744 bytes long just as the file in the Japanese version. The disc compilation script padded the rest of the stuff with junk from who-knows-where, but judging from the parts, they are most likely from the RAM or the temp files of the machine that was used. Perhaps even directly the hdd sectors adjacent to where the WAV files were.

    Just in those files I see HTML pages from Sega and Sonic Team bulletin boards, partial registry database snapshots (they had Office, Lotus 1-2-3, McAffee antivirus, and Norton Utilities installed on the machine).

    This isn't some super secret hidden stuff... just a lot of random, disorganized computer junk. I doubt you will find anything meaningful or remotely useful there.

    Still interesting stuff.
  11. Cooljerk


    Professional Electromancer Oldbie
    Reminder: A large portion of Zelda: LA DX's source code was found this way. Just sayin'.
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  12. Energy


    Yeah - don't think I'll be that lucky, but it's an interesting error with an interesting outcome.

    None of this helps me working out the models or anything really. Supposedly the engine is similar to Nights / Sonic World. Anyone know of how to view models on those games?
  13. Andrew75


    Technical Artist Member
    Project AXSX(Sonic Xtreme) + Misc Projects
    The only person that I know of that can rip models from Sonic World and Nights is SANiK. He's pretty much vanished from the community and took all his Sega Saturn hacking secrets with him....