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Request for inclusion of TAW in the list of games

Old posts about game archives and other formats.
bored
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Post by bored » Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:38 am

Damn, I still haven't had the time to try out krus/krusade's program. Although the at the rate that you're going Xela, I may not need to. :)

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Post by Xela » Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:22 am

Damn, I still haven't had the time to try out krus/krusade's program. Although the at the rate that you're going Xela, I may not need to.
But sure I am glad you are around. Do not worry there is plenty of stuff there to bite your teeth into. Like this :cry:
BTW this 8D looks like it belongs to that green guy above.

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Post by Xela » Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:29 am

I decided to give you small update whats happening on this front. I am glad to report that with some members of simHQ TAW forum we undertook quite interesting excursion into the Hex world of TAW's 3D files. Here:

http://www.simhq.com/simhq3/sims/boards ... 4;t=001237

Not much of a progress yet, but what initially appeared terrible muble jumble, after some careful and repeated reformating in notepad revealed quite recognisable patterns. Here goes my special Tip of The Hat to Mr. Mouse and others here on this forum for their very insightfull PDF "Guide to exploring file formats". This is the document which thought me how to approach each hex file and simply look, look and then LOOK some more until you can see something there.

I hereby invite all who want to assist in this adventure together. And thanks.

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Post by Mr.Mouse » Wed Aug 02, 2006 7:41 am

Thanks, Xela, you've done some cool work there! :D :D

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Post by bored » Mon Sep 11, 2006 10:50 pm

Even though a lot of progress has been made, I still have some questions regarding this game:
Using Multiex it is possible to extract 12588 files although there are no names attached to them. Where are the filenames likely to be stored? in the .dat file itself or the game .exe?
On page 2 of this thread Mr.Mouse lists some likely file extensions....where do these come from?

...and a more general question. Is it possible that the .exe itself contains separate files that can be extracted...or does the Windows PE format not permit this?

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Post by Mr.Mouse » Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:52 pm

I've been unravelling so much archive formats that I can't readily trace what I did in this instance. I'm sure it's all pretty nifty or straightforward, but I will have to see exactly what I did to uncover those file extensions. :/

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Post by bored » Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:06 pm

....but it was only six months ago!

It's your activity on March 5th 2006 I'm interested in. You provided the script to extract files from the DID.dat file and then suggested what the file extensions were, most of which have turned out to be correct.

I know it was a long time ago but I was wondering if you have any general advice about where to find filenames associated with an archive when they are buried, in this case, a '.dat' and/or .exe files.

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Post by bored » Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:07 pm

Latest TAW news......

Well, the question above can be ignored since it seems the filenames are created 'on the fly' from various sources.

Interestingly, the area of DID.dat containing the strings for the file structure and extensions (from offset 3cc22ae) is not identified as part of a file by Multiex.

At the moment we have an excellent extractor from Krus which gives us information on most of the 'active' files in the game. This allows us to play the game without DID.dat...but does crash when a missing file is needed.

At the moment this extractor gives us 9804 files for a total of about 31MB. However, Multiex (not version 4.3) finds 12588 files for a total of about 56MB, but without filenames. The total size of DID.dat is just under 64MB.
The Multiex total was obtained by adding up the file sizes from the list it produced. If this is a valid mehod we have lost about 8MB somewhere.

Many of these missing files may not be used at all by the game and could be relics from previous DID games...I'd like to know for sure though.

One thing that would be helpful is to understand how the 'RA' compression system used by DID works. Thanks to Krus and Multiex we now have examples of compressed and uncompressed versions of the same file.

I've attached an example here if anyone wants to take a crack at identifying the type of compression used.
Seq4.dat is the uncompressed file and noname11427 is compressed.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

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Post by Xela » Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:22 am

About large DAT files ...
I remember case of Gunship! CAT file, where Mr. Mouse gave us too an opener in MultiEx. It had also many items of legacy from M1Tank Platoon 2, eventhough we were hoping to find more than it really was there.
Since M1Tank Platoon has been cancelled there was suspicion and hope that many development files could be hidden in Gunship!. It turned out not to be, but the hope and anticipation was high.

Thank you Mr. Mouse for your input and opening that CAT file. Perhaps we can count this time again on you and others to help us with this RA compression.

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Post by Xela » Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:30 pm

But meanwhile, why not to take a look at those files. I bet that I maybe repeating somone elses steps or for experts like guys here this puny attempt below may really look like baby steps. But still.....

I looked them over in Hex Editor and see the they are 50% compressed. Some of the elements and strings found in the compressed form are clearly visible in uncompressed form. Since I am a human :roll: I tried to read them in text form. I try to format the compressed part as much as I can to conform the shape and format of uncompressed one and then switch to the hex numbers to look for some relevance if any.
NOTE: the compressed format is in very rough shape just to give the idea. Further refinement and identification of characters may be necessary.

First this file in uncompressed form:

; Must be in this order!

; "Hash" (VIEW CALL NAME)
; NAME (Displayed Name)
; KEY (F?)
; REPEAT (on/off)
; VIEW-NAME TIME/secs MAXDIST/feet
; : : :
; : : :
; END

# HIT_L_FLYBY
Name "SEQ"
Key NONE
Repeat ON
HIT_FLYBY 4 3000
END

# MISSILE_SEQ
Name "SEQ"
Key NONE
Repeat OFF
MISSILE_VIEW_1 4 0
MISSILE_MOVE 4 0
END

# LOOP_FLY_BY
Name "LOOP FLYBY"
Key SF6
Repeat ON
FLYBY 4 4000
END

# PV_LOOP_FLY_BY
Name "PADLOCK LOOP FLYBY"
Key SF10
Repeat ON
PV_FLYBY 10 2000
END

# FLY_BY_SEQ
Name "SEQ" ; so we get PLANE FLYBY
Key F6
Repeat OFF
FLYBY 4 4000
FIXED_EX_1 10 0
END

# PV_FLY_BY_SEQ
Name "SEQ" ; so we get PLANE FLYBY
Key F10
Repeat OFF
PV_FLYBY 10 2000
PV_FIXED_EX_1 10 0
END


; *** AID SEQs ***

# A_TAXIING
Name TAXI_VIEW
Key NONE
Repeat ON
AID_LONG_FIXED 5 0
END

# AID_CLO_FB
Name CLO_FB
Key NONE
Repeat ON
AID_CLOSURE 5 0
AID_LONG_FLY_BY 5 0
AID_FLY_BY 5 0
END


and now in compressed:

RA 4 }ÛmÃŒ{ 8!PpÂ(ÉÀRÃ

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Post by Deniz Oezmen » Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:35 pm

Hello all,

Mr.Mouse pointed me at this thread to take a look at the compresion used in those "RA" files.

However, before beginning work on this particular topic, I have one question (just to be "up to date"): In the thread here a decompressor for those files is mentioned. Is the format thus not already known? Or, if not, could someone at least provide me with a copy of the program (since the link in the original post is dead)?
Also, two or three additional example pairs of compressed/uncompressed files would be great.

Thanks a lot,

Deniz

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Post by Mr.Mouse » Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:52 pm

Deniz Oezmen wrote:Hello all,

Mr.Mouse pointed me at this thread to take a look at the compresion used in those "RA" files.

However, before beginning work on this particular topic, I have one question (just to be "up to date"): In the thread here a decompressor for those files is mentioned. Is the format thus not already known? Or, if not, could someone at least provide me with a copy of the program (since the link in the original post is dead)?
Also, two or three additional example pairs of compressed/uncompressed files would be great.

Thanks a lot,

Deniz
That was my question as well, but I believe the program you refer to extracts the files from memory after they have been decompressed by the games executable. The game needs to be launched for the tool to work. So, the compression method is not clear yet.

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Post by Deniz Oezmen » Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:09 pm

Mr.Mouse wrote:That was my question as well, but I believe the program you refer to extracts the files from memory after they have been decompressed by the games executable.
Ah, I see. Is there any place I can (legally) get a copy of the game executable? A demo perhaps?

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Post by Mr.Mouse » Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:50 pm

Yes, there is. But I had trouble getting it to run on my high-end PC and did not really try hard to fix that problem.

http://www.3dgamers.com/dlselect/games/ ... o.zip.html

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Post by Deniz Oezmen » Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:57 pm

Mr.Mouse wrote:Yes, there is. But I had trouble getting it to run on my high-end PC and did not really try hard to fix that problem.
Thanks, I am enqueued now. I do not intend to run the game, I just want to peek into the exe ... ;-)

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