don't click here

Gamecube HDD (NPDP) Cart with 3 Sonic "Betas" Found!

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by MSX, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. MSX

    MSX

    Lives on the internet. Member
    Well, here hoping I can make one of my earlier threads something of interest. While surfing the magical internet, Google listed a thread about a NPDP cart that drx found with 3 Sonic "betas." The contents on said cart were builds of Sonic Heroes, Sonic Riders, and Shadow the Hedgehog. The efforts to raise money to buy it fell short. About one year later, I have in my possession a NPDP cart that has those 3 games. I don't know if it's the exact cart found one year ago, but it matches the general description.

    Sonic Heroes: The speculation on the old thread was that it used a different. Unfortunately, this is not the case. In fact, this build is slightly newer/more complete than the 10.8 build, but not as complete as the 11.18 build. Maybe 10.9 or 11.0? However, holding L + R and pressing UP, DOWN, LEFT, or RIGHT on the D-pad still bring the same debug commands as in the 10.8 proto. At this point, the "unlockables" such as super hard mode, 2P modes, and CG theater cutscenes are locked and need to be unlocked (except for the sound test for some reason and you can still see the thumbnails for the team's cutscenes in the CG Theater despite being locked). Casino Park, Ocean Palace, and Hang Castle all have their new music. Final Fortress's music (or Final Fortless as the great translation calls it in sound test) is still a WIP and sounds sort of trippy. Robot Carnival/Storm now has its music but sounds slightly different (maybe WIP?). Hang Castle inverted, Egg Emperor, Follow Me, Metal Madness/Overlord, sytem menus, and 2P mode are all missing their music. When selecting a team, they are in their final team pose and when you actually select a team, they have their animation. However, there are no voice clips when selected. There are probably still other details to point out, but there are the major ones I can pick up right off the bat.

    Sonic Riders: Sorry to say, but there is not much to say. This build seems very finished. Possibly a review build? Can't tell until it's dumped, but there doesn't seem to be any differences.

    Shadow the Hedgehog: Not a prototype, but a demo, and in Japanese. It features 3 stages (Westopolis, Glyphic Canyon, and Cryptic Castle) and a boss (Black Bull (the Westopolis fight)). You can't go past the goal ring in Westopolis, due to lack of ramp. Gylphic Canyon is pretty much the same as the final. Same for Black Bull. Cryptic Castle on the other hand ends much sooner in the stage (so Cheese is in a different spot if you are doing the hero mission. However, the results screen takes place at the alter with all the chao. There are still 5 lanterns to light for the dark mission, but I haven't tried that yet, so I don't know how the stage ending sooner affects that mission). As per most demos, completing a stage gives you a coming soon screen and then takes you back to the title screen.
     
  2. What is a NPDP cart?
     
  3. It's a HDD cartridge for Gamecube development kits.
    This way, devs didn't have to waste disks when they are testing the games.
     
  4. GerbilSoft

    GerbilSoft

    RickRotate'd. Administrator
    2,906
    40
    28
    USA
    rom-properties
    Is it possible for you to dump the three GCM images from the NPDP cartridge? I'm interested in checking these out to see if there's anything else that's different internally but isn't obvious by playing the games.
     
  5. MSX

    MSX

    Lives on the internet. Member
    Currently trying to find a way. I asked the guy who dumped the Metroid Prime 3 E3 prototype from a NPDP cart, but he hasn't been online in a couple days. Hopefully he can shed some light.
     
  6. Lanzer

    Lanzer

    The saber calls for its master... Member
    6,845
    3
    18
    Glendale, AZ
    Living life.
    I'm sure we will find some internal goodies, we allways do.

    1 thing for the SHTH beta, is this cutscene in tact?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2be_MIrfvY

    I know its such a minor cut and all but it would still be super cool to see that original scene in HQ for a change.
     
  7. MSX

    MSX

    Lives on the internet. Member
    Unfortunately no, unless something is buried in the data. The only cutscene that plays in this demo is just the opening (which is the same as the final). The alien's blood color is also changed to green at this point. The only thing I noticed off the bat is slight change in object placement, and that Cryptic Castle ends much earlier (the level being only about a minute and a few seconds). But I do have a couple pics to share if you are interested.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I tried searching google, but didn't find anything on this demo. So if it's already circulating the web, then that's one useless build on this cart.
     
  8. GerbilSoft

    GerbilSoft

    RickRotate'd. Administrator
    2,906
    40
    28
    USA
    rom-properties
    If you're willing to take it apart and you know how to dump a raw disk image from a hard disk drive, the internals of an NPDP cartridge are basically a laptop IDE hard disk with Nintendo DI emulation hardware. All you need to do is connect the HDD to a computer and run something like the following to dump the disk image:

    Code (Text):
    1.  
    2. dd if=/dev/sdb of=npdp.img
    3.  
    You may want to use ddrescue instead, since it provides a progress bar:

    Code (Text):
    1.  
    2. ddrescue /dev/sdb npdp.img npdp.log
    3.  
     
  9. Sappharad

    Sappharad

    Oldbie
    1,398
    67
    28
    If you go this route, you'll still need someone to decrypt the data for you, since there isn't a tool to do it. It's a fairly straightforward XOR however, like 3DS save files.

    Edit: I confirmed with someone that owns one, and he also uses the IDE drive directly to get stuff on and off of it. He said the XOR is something ridiculously easy, something like "NPDPMaster" but he wasn't positive since it's been many years.
     
  10. GerbilSoft

    GerbilSoft

    RickRotate'd. Administrator
    2,906
    40
    28
    USA
    rom-properties
    I don't think it'd be too hard to brute-force XOR, especially since a big part of the GCM header is 00.
     
  11. Eric Wright

    Eric Wright

    Born into this. Oldbie
    The alternate music in the Heroes build kinda caught my interest... I actually really enjoyed the music in Heroes (and the game grew on me over the years despite my initial vocal criticisms lol).

    Is there an archive anywhere of other incomplete/early music for the game? The only prototype music I think I've heard is the Casino Park song that was included on the CD soundtrack...
     
  12. Skyler

    Skyler

    Neonネオン Cowgirlカウガール Site Staff
    3,289
    28
    28
    Hellafornia
    The next audtion
  13. Eric Wright

    Eric Wright

    Born into this. Oldbie
    I come here once every couple months at this point :P but cheers, thanks
     
  14. Zingela

    Zingela

    Member
    14
    0
    1
    IL
    About the What I'm Made Of demo version, there was another version of that that was leaked a long time ago (before Heroes' release iirc) that I have in my files that seems to be a lower quality version of the same recording, but with an actual end rather than a loop and fade out. Does anyone remember where exactly that one came from?
     
  15. Eric Wright

    Eric Wright

    Born into this. Oldbie
    maybe the really early stuff that leaked back on Sonic CulT? I have a couple really early Heroes demo tracks somewhere on my other machine from about that time.
     
  16. Vangar

    Vangar

    Member
    3,639
    55
    28
    Can we get the title of this topic changed to be more accurate? It's making me excited every time I see it, but there are only 2 betas, and one that has no differences.