The House Of The Dead

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by NiktheGreek, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. NiktheGreek

    NiktheGreek

    Grumpy old bastard Oldbie
    1,395
    1
    18
    Writing for the best video game magazine in the world
    Hello friends. If not you're the sort of person what does a read of Retro Gamer, you might not know that I did an Ultimate Guide feature on The House Of The Dead in the latest issue. But I'm not here to do a cheap plug for the thing I wrote.

    As part of the feature, I interviewed one of the artists who worked on the Saturn version. As it turns out, he had some very interesting things to say about the game. Check this out:

    Better yet, there's evidence of all of this, as textures for those characters were provided to me alongside assets from the finished game. As they were for the Model 2 board, they're all greyscale.

    Here's some texture work for Syndy:

    [​IMG]

    Here's some for Mr. G:

    [​IMG]

    And lastly, the Dredd-related stuff:

    [​IMG]

    Now, I don't know the first thing about hacking Model 2 games. But you lot might just do, and I figured that this information might jumpstart interest in The House Of The Dead, and give you all a bit of a jumping-off point. If not, it's at least some neat info.
     
  2. Overlord

    Overlord

    I want to get off Madame Rona's wild ride Moderator
    17,925
    182
    43
    Berkshire, England
    Learning Cymraeg
    Interesting stuff! Yeah, the bondage villains might have been a tad too risqué =P
     
  3. Icewarrior

    Icewarrior

    I'm a member of S.T.A.R.S !!11!!!1!! Member
    I love the first THOTD so thank you very much for sharing these.

    Funny though that the bondage-like ennemies might have been too much for them back in 1996, since I'm pretty sure other games soon after featured such concept, like Carnevil for example back in 1998.
     
  4. Sploit

    Sploit

    Member
    456
    0
    16
    I still haven't actually played the first House Of The Dead. Interesting that it may have had different origins.

    I got the digital versions of 3 and 4 for my PS3 some time ago. Between the PS3 and Wii, you can get most of the series pretty cheap. :v:
     
  5. VolgShan

    VolgShan

    Member
    House of the dead is one of my favorite arcade games ever!XD Wish we could a pc release or a complete collection on something. But wow what a great find!
     
  6. Aesculapius Piranha

    Aesculapius Piranha

    つづく Oldbie
    4,303
    30
    28
    Unknown
    Diva
    The House of the Dredd
     
  7. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

    Model2wannaB Tech Member
    1,155
    113
    43
    Formerly Sonic the Fighters
    I'm kind of shocked no one called me out on this. I specalize in arcade hacking, specifically Sonic the Fighters but I have dabbled into HotD. There is, just like Sonic the Fighters, a debug mode, seemingly intact in the ROM last I looked, but due to the closed source nature and my limited resources, no one ever wanted to peruse it. If you are willing to help me out on the Sega arcade hacking front I'd love it but yes, HotD held many treasures.

    EDIT: I thought the HOTD encyclopedia went over this?
     
  8. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

    Model2wannaB Tech Member
    1,155
    113
    43
    Formerly Sonic the Fighters
    So after some time, I've decided to look at HOTD again on Arcade, Saturn, and PC.

    The PC version has a hidden character test which will GREATLY assist me in documenting the game. However, Syndy's only model and animation have been removed:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

    Model2wannaB Tech Member
    1,155
    113
    43
    Formerly Sonic the Fighters
    So I am very lazy and have been neglecting this project, but there is a plan of attack to see if Syndy is in the arcade ROM:

    The PC port is so faithful to the Arcade original, that all the debug flags and arrays are identical. Meaning if we document the correct character model array structure and animation array structure, we could identify what models and animations are being used at the same time.

    The best instance of this I can think of is when Sophie cries during the attract mode. If we can identify the area of RAM which loads creature objects and animations, we can probably replace those two values with the values found in the array for Syndy and it would give us a nice camera visual of it.

    [​IMG]

    Similar to the Sonic the Fighters/Fighting Vipers character select timer, HotD has a timer, or frame count, of until a scene should be switched. If paused, I believe we could have a nice looping visual of MO_synd_demo in action.
     
  10. NiktheGreek

    NiktheGreek

    Grumpy old bastard Oldbie
    1,395
    1
    18
    Writing for the best video game magazine in the world
    Pleased to see you've picked this up, BSF - it'd definitely be a shame if this info went to waste. If there is anything left in the arcade ROMs, I should still have the original files I was given for some restoration work if needed.
     
  11. egregiousguy

    egregiousguy

    Member
    7
    4
    3
    Glad you decided to pick this back up. If you need textures then I can provide the full texture dump from the arcade ROM, prototype ROM, and PC CD-Rom that I've pulled. None of Syndy's textures show up on the PC version's texture file though, I wonder if her data is just referencing a blank texture and that's why it appears empty in creature test mode.
     
  12. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

    Model2wannaB Tech Member
    1,155
    113
    43
    Formerly Sonic the Fighters
    "Pick this back up" are very strong words. I am still a one-man hacking crew with no real motivation to continue hacking model2 games after the discovery of debug mode for several other model2 titles. It just seems like there are other people better qualified to do this faster than me, however, I seemed to be the first to care or theorize about such things.

    Although the textures won't be necessary, I am curious how you accessed them in their raw formats, as I've never explored that avenue of hacking. I assume you load the corresponding dumped ICs in some sort of program which allows you to view the bitmap-like data.
     
  13. egregiousguy

    egregiousguy

    Member
    7
    4
    3
    I know what you mean by bring a one man crew. Spent the last year working on my own learning to read hexadecimal and understanding different 3D formats and if it weren't for the small HotD community wanting to see all the games assets I probably would have given up a long time ago.

    That being said, the textures gave me a bit of trouble in the beginning but here's how it's laid out. All the data ROMs are in pairs so one holds the even bytes while the other holds the odd bytes (this is actually how I was able to recognize the bad data dump on the damaged prototype rom and find a fix for it). After interleaving the texture roms they needed to be split again by the width of the full texture and interleaved once again. Once that was in order it was as simple as importing it into GIMP and setting the correct width and bit depth.

    I haven't had the chance to work on HotD1 lately as I've been working on extracting the stuff from the sequels but I do plan on jumping back to HotD and solving this Syndy and Mr G mystery. If only we had a reference image.
     
  14. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

    Model2wannaB Tech Member
    1,155
    113
    43
    Formerly Sonic the Fighters
    hotd001.png

    So there's not much progress on finding Syndy, but I did find this interesting debug menu in the HotD proto ROM.

    "N_E_Num:" I think is how many enemies are on screen
    "N_E_A_Num:" How many enemies are alive
    "enStFlag" an interesting way to show the current active flags, of what I assume is a byte?

    The other two flags seem to fluctuate with any action an enemy is doing at any given time.

    Cheat codes were recently posted for HotD and I wanted to investigate them again.

    [​IMG]

    Starting at offset 0xD258, the cheats are bizarrely stored as plaintext in the ROM.

    Below these are branching conditionals, where if met, they store a value to the memory address 0x51EDAC.

    A cheat menu in the model2 emulator can be created based on these findings:

    Code (Text):
    1. require("model2");    -- Import model2 machine globals
    2. local cheat = RAMBASE+0x1EDAC
    3. local cheat_names = {
    4.     "Disabled", "P1 is Rogan2", "P2 is G2",  "P1 is Rogan2 and P2 is G2", "P2 is Sophie", "P1 is Sophie", "Both Players are Sophie", "Score Display"
    5. }
    6.  
    7. function table.copy(t)
    8.   local t2 = {}
    9.   for k,v in pairs(t) do
    10.     t2[k] = v
    11.   end
    12.   return t2
    13. end
    14.  
    15. function createcheatlist(default)
    16.     local rtable = table.copy(cheat_names)
    17.     --table.insert(rtable, 1, "Current (" .. state[stateNo] .. ")")  
    18.     return rtable
    19. end
    20.  
    21. function cheats(value)
    22.     I960_WriteByte(cheat, value)
    23. end
    24.  
    25. Options =
    26. {
    27.     trigger_cheats={name="Easy Cheats", values=createcheatlist(1),runfunc=cheats}
    28. }
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  15. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

    Model2wannaB Tech Member
    1,155
    113
    43
    Formerly Sonic the Fighters
    Oh ho, so I found out how the P1/P2 models are loaded in this cheat!

    There's a table that stores the player model values at 0xCA680!

    Sadly, changing anyone to Syndy's value did not work... but I DID get Zombie Sophie to work:
    hotd013.png

    She looks different than her PC version though:

    zsophie.png

    EDIT: OH! Both Syndy and Mr. G have intact geometry data. I have no idea how I'd get this to load proper in the game's engine though....

    mrg.png syndy.png

    EDIT2: I've now found a way to extend that Sophie sequence. Just gotta freeze her movement, change her BO object and MO objects!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  16. egregiousguy

    egregiousguy

    Member
    7
    4
    3
    This is insane progress! Sadly I haven't had much time to do any data digging lately. It's only a matter of time now before Syndy and Mr G make their debut. Great work.
     
  17. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

    Model2wannaB Tech Member
    1,155
    113
    43
    Formerly Sonic the Fighters
    Well, it looks like the mad lad @egregiousguy managed to do it and I'll crosspost it here for him:

    Behold, Syndy has been exported from the game! It's noted that it's not entirely 100% accurate, this data is deciphered from model2c game data!

    EZOXgr8VcAUqtDJ.jpeg
    EZOXjpWUwAIR-5e.jpeg
     
  18. Aesculapius Piranha

    Aesculapius Piranha

    つづく Oldbie
    4,303
    30
    28
    Unknown
    Diva
    Is there more of a hotbed for discussion on hacking for this platform? I see a few various threads in the reversing subforum but I have to say seeing that it has gotten this far with hacking that era's hardware finally has me pretty inspired to learn more. Awesome work to all of you.
     
  19. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

    Model2wannaB Tech Member
    1,155
    113
    43
    Formerly Sonic the Fighters
    Very few people care about the Model2 era it seems. Admittedly, the entire Model2 lineup was single handedly emulated by a single emulator, which killed many developers interests in attempting to emulate it themselves. I can imagine if more work had been done to create alternate emulators, more work on hacking would have evolved from that.

    For now, however, the Model2 lineup really comes down to a dedicated fanbase of that specific game, such as Sonic the Fighters or House of the Dead. I've dabbled a bit into Dead or Alive, Fighting Vipers, Rail Chase, and Pilot Kids, but there's only so much interest out there that I don't think trying to set up a Model2 forum or something would work. The old Model2 forums previously linked on ElSemi's homepage was nearly nothing but Daytona emulation questions and discussion.
     
  20. Aesculapius Piranha

    Aesculapius Piranha

    つづく Oldbie
    4,303
    30
    28
    Unknown
    Diva
    Bummer. You'd think HotD and Virtua Fighter would be plenty to get interested in hacking, especially if we are at the point where there are disassembles and model dumps. I guess I'll just try to find what people have already done and throw it into Ghidra or something and just gradually get my bearings.