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The DDR Research Master Thread - UPDATED 5-21-2019: Some Arcade MAX-era Engine Notes Added

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Post #181 · Posted at 2019-09-15 08:59:21pm 2.2 months ago

Offline travelsonic
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Last updated: 2019-09-15 09:09pm
Actually, I too am curious about how he got the AC data extracted in such a neat fashion... BeMedia Ripper, or something else?


Bad news folks, the research efforts are officially on hold for now. My external drive with all my research, including that I had yet to put on my GitHub, is facing problems - and unless I can get it working again, I need to go back through hours of live streams (on my old YouTube channel, and current gaming oriented channel) to recollect what data I can (including painfully re-creating my disassembly ~_~)

It's not over. I in all probability will even keep researching stuff while I do this, but new finds may be slow(er than they already are, damn being busy lately XD) for some time.

I am not giving up though; I want to make the PS1, PS2, and 573 mixes customizable, and damn it, I don't wanna stop with all the work in the past 2 years that has been done no matter WHAT pains in the ass pop up.

Post #182 · Posted at 2019-09-15 10:47:19pm 2.2 months ago

Offline Bostengaable
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Travelsonic you big research project is awesome, i've watched some of your youtube livestreams.

You is good on it! I've lost some projects from" other game comunity" customs songs too, was in my HD and i didn't create a backup, but i will promisse come back to that comunity one day, so continue your project and thanks for this big information that you give to us, don't matter the time, keep on.
Siga me os Bons..

Post #183 · Posted at 2019-09-16 02:48:00am 2.2 months ago

Offline DDR_Oshawott
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Quote: travelsonic

Bad news folks, the research efforts are officially on hold for now.
OOF, maybe we can possibly take this time to look into the Xbox games, find some unreleased songs like those 5 DLC songs in Universe 3 and the unreleased Universe DLC that was gonna be in Universe 3, or possibly find a way to use the Ultramix dance routines in Stepmania by getting access to the dancer files. But due to the popularity of the Ultramix/Universe games, that might not happen.

Post #184 · Posted at 2019-09-17 02:35:27pm 2.1 months ago

Offline travelsonic
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Quote: Bostengaable
Travelsonic you big research project is awesome, i've watched some of your youtube livestreams.

You is good on it! I've lost some projects from" other game comunity" customs songs too, was in my HD and i didn't create a backup, but i will promisse come back to that comunity one day, so continue your project and thanks for this big information that you give to us, don't matter the time, keep on.

I feel a lot more human knowing I am not the only one who has erred in not backing up things in a timely manner... hopefully you too will be back on your feet with your endeavors.

The thing for me that sucks most is that it will take a lot of time to go back to my previous streams, see what I am missing, and re-construct that, as even if I restrict the searching to my streams from the past 8 months, that is still almost (if not over) 100 hours of stuff I need to comb through.

Post #185 · Posted at 2019-09-26 01:17:06am 1.8 months ago

Offline Wan
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Weeks later....

I ripped stuff with DDR Utility, that was made by Saxxon AGES AGO (almost 11 years). Thanks to some divine providence, the files for a song end being together... unless it's unreferenced data, in which case they may NOT end like that.
Fun fact: it was me who initially posted the pics of the unused "Dancing Stage Solo" data that I found thanks to this utility =P

Playing around with Cheat Engine I found out:
- By forcing the chart played with P1, the Love Shine Challenge chart exists since DDRMAX2 CS JP. (I was getting hyped that this was its earliest appearance but it came out 4 months after Extreme AC)
- Freedom (from Party Collection) has a dummy Single Challenge chart.
- charts in PS2 games are in SSQ format (you probably know this already, travelsonic)... but I haven't been able to find the SSQ header, namely BPM(s) and start/end data. I've yet to find where the game takes that information from.
- The gameplay options in memory.
-- MAX2 JP: P1 0x0056F560.
-- Party Collection: P1 0x00590418
... etc. And yes, this will require a separate section below.


Among other findings, I found that at least DDR Ultramix 4 uses SSQ files... but all songs are offset by 1 measure (compared to arcade official data)

More about the options section, byte by byte.
Special Thanks to DS EuroMix2 that has step codes so the values change immediately in the music selection screen


Byte 1: chosen difficulty, as (partially) mentioned in the first post...
01: Basic/Light
02: Medium/Standard
03: Hard/Heavy
06: Challenge/Oni
07: Beginner

Byte 2: Turn section.
01: normal.
02: Left.
03: Mirror.
04: Right.
05: nothing?
06: Shuffle (though when entering the step code it can also change to anything between 07 and 0D! ).
0E and 0F do nothing

Byte 3: Game Mode.
01: Single.
02: Doubles.
03/05: Versus. 03 is "versus for 1 credit" with allows only one song. 05 is the regular one.

Bytes 4 to 8: Haven't figured what they do. 7 and 8 are always FF from what I've seen.

Bytes 9 to 11. OH BOY THIS GETS TRICKY. They change A LOT depending on the combination of mods used and even changing one bit is a whole thing. So I'll split my findings in BITS.

Byte 9, bit 1:
2: Boost On
4: Brake
6: wave
8: indicates the .5x in speeds over 1x. More about this below!
A: Boost On + .5x
C: Brake + .5x
E: Wave + .5x

Byte 9, bit 2:
0: visible
1: Hidden
2: sudden
3: Stealth
4 (game also uses C): Little
5: Little + Hidden
6: Little + Sudden
7: Little + Stealth


Byte 10, bit 1:
0: Flat + Freeze Off
1: Flat + Reverse + Freeze Off
4: Just Flat
5: Flat + Reverse
8: Regular arrows + Freeze Off
9: Regular arrows + Reverse + Freeze Off
C: Regular arrows.
D: Regular arrows + Reverse

Byte 10, bit 2: Speed multiplier.
* It can be from 0 to F and the game uses the speed accordingly, so if I put a 4 the song will go at 4x... it just won't show the "text" ingame.
* It also works if used with the 1st bit of Byte 9. So for example 80 C3 it's regular arrows at 3.5x. This also means that the maximum possible multiplier is 16.5x !
* What happens if I set this bit to 0? I get TRICK speeds! With B9b1 set to 8+ it's 0.5x, and set to 0 it's 0.25x


Byte 11, bit 1: Apparently does nothing

Byte 11, bit 2:
2: Solo
8: Dark
A: Solo + Dark! Not normally possible since they are in the same line.


Mixing those settings from bytes 9 onwards some "impossible" combinations can be made, for example:
00 41 02 - 1x solo + flat. This was the bug in DDRMAX that occured if one player chose Flat and the other chose Solo, the player using Flat would use the Solo color.

Also, the above options work in Arcade and PS2, and in all modes. So they can be forced to cheat in Oni Mode Green Grin

Post #186 · Posted at 2019-09-26 02:22:01pm 1.8 months ago

Offline travelsonic
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Quote: Wan

unless it's unreferenced data, in which case they may NOT end like that.

From my own exploration in MAME + Cheat Engine, it does seem like each song has its own data sectioned off into its own folder. A path string is visible in multiple locations, with specific folder names (abbreviated song names for each folder's name) changing depending on what song is selected (OR about to be selected? Been a little while).

Actually, as I was typing that, I JUST had a revelation regarding the metadata structures that had been partially figured out by on AIJ ages ago by user Taren (that I want to complete, as there are some information gaps) - that initial abbreviated song name that starts each song's metadata structure ... holy shit, I feel stupid, is it possible that those abbreviated names are the song folder names, and the game just takes that name, slaps it on to the hard coded data path, and thus has the right place to load game data? Seems so simple, yet I overlooked it for too long.

Post #187 · Posted at 2019-09-26 03:58:45pm 1.8 months ago

Offline Wan
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Quote: travelsonic
Quote: Wan

unless it's unreferenced data, in which case they may NOT end like that.

From my own exploration in MAME + Cheat Engine, it does seem like each song has its own data sectioned off into its own folder. A path string is visible in multiple locations, with specific folder names (abbreviated song names for each folder's name) changing depending on what song is selected (OR about to be selected? Been a little while).

Actually, as I was typing that, I JUST had a revelation regarding the metadata structures that had been partially figured out by on AIJ ages ago by user Taren (that I want to complete, as there are some information gaps) - that initial abbreviated song name that starts each song's metadata structure ... holy shit, I feel stupid, is it possible that those abbreviated names are the song folder names, and the game just takes that name, slaps it on to the hard coded data path, and thus has the right place to load game data? Seems so simple, yet I overlooked it for too long.

You mean something like this? For example with EuroMix 2:
https://i.imgur.com/YRQH98d.png

Green Grin

Post #188 · Posted at 2019-09-26 10:07:47pm 1.8 months ago

Offline Nightime
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The "Versus ~ 1 song/1 credit" feature is a carryover from 3rd Mix, where you could do this. I think it was also referenced in DDR X Arcade's "Happy Mode." If that's any help whatsoever.
https://i.imgur.com/C2il3tl.png

Post #189 · Posted at 2019-09-26 10:48:11pm 1.8 months ago

Offline Wan
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Last updated: 2019-09-26 10:55pm
That also happens in 4th Mix, where you can play one song in Versus with just 1 credit.
I found it funny to be still in the code of games that don't have that mode normally accessible

Important to note, the above information for options may be different for some games. For example :
- The bits act a bit different in 5th Mix because of the obvious lack of player options
- The bit settings for Brake and Wave don't work in games prior to Extreme

Another fun fact: if I force the games to always load a Challenge chart, for songs that don't have it in most cases it won't crash and will either load an empty chart or the Heavy one.
But if I try to load a Heavy chart from a song that doesn't have it, the game WILL crash.

Post #190 · Posted at 2019-09-27 08:51:32am 1.8 months ago

Offline Dancefreak
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Quote: Wan


Another fun fact: if I force the games to always load a Challenge chart, for songs that don't have it in most cases it won't crash and will either load an empty chart or the Heavy one.
But if I try to load a Heavy chart from a song that doesn't have it, the game WILL crash.

That was a popular thing to do back in the days of extreme when trying to find the songs with the challenge charts you couldn’t select. It was basically discovered if a chart doesn’t exist it’ll drop down to the next known chart with any data even if it’s blank. If there’s none it crashes as you said. I think the only challenge only song that didn’t crash was higher next morning mix where it was all left arrows , and we theorised at the time it was a lighting chart.

As the games sort of work in mame and you’ve had some luck seeing song data, someone once mentioned years ago by hex editing he was able to get bye bye bye showing up in dynamite raves slot on EM2 but it still played dynamite rave. I’d be keen to know if this is actually something that was doable though, the step and graphics data were definitely on the game as they were ripped a while ago.

Post #191 · Posted at 2019-09-27 12:54:49pm 1.8 months ago

Offline Wan
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Quote: Dancefreak

As the games sort of work in mame and you’ve had some luck seeing song data, someone once mentioned years ago by hex editing he was able to get bye bye bye showing up in dynamite raves slot on EM2 but it still played dynamite rave. I’d be keen to know if this is actually something that was doable though, the step and graphics data were definitely on the game as they were ripped a while ago.
As travelsonic mentioned in the topic, you can manipulate the musicwheel entries.
The graphics for the "lost" songs can be swapped manually to show but it won't go past that since the game doesn't have the audio files for those songs.

Song entries in DSEM2 go (in hex) from 01 to 44. If I dare to change an entry for example to 45, the game crashes with a "call attendant" message.

______________

In other news... I found that Look to the Sky (Trance Mix) has an unused Doubles Heavy chart. And it seems to suffer the Dam Dariram Challenge chart syndrome, as it looks to be for a different song (it even ends before the actual song ending, as well)
If there was a way to enable some sort of Autoplay with Cheat Engine...

Post #192 · Posted at 2019-09-27 08:19:06pm 1.8 months ago

Offline travelsonic
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[quote=Wan][quote=travelsonic][quote=Wan]


You mean something like this? For example with EuroMix 2:
https://i.imgur.com/YRQH98d.png

Green Grin[/quote]

I gotta get MAME reinstalled on my current rig, and copy over game CHDs off of what little backup I have, but possibly. Been a while since I last looked (hard to explain the slump that followed my external hard drive seemingly failing before I could back all my research up, and how that kept me away for a little while. Luckily, not -ALL- is lost. )

Post #193 · Posted at 2019-10-01 03:13:43pm 1.6 months ago

Offline Wan
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Last updated: 2019-10-01 05:02pm
In case you're curious, there's an utility by WindyFairy that can extract the contents of CARD dat files in the way like in the above screenshot. It's in this github: https://github.com/windyfairy/sys573tools and the tool you want is dump_sys573_gamefs.py

With this tool you must be aware that YMMV. For example, with the --bruteforce-ddr parameter it extracts from DSEM2 an obscene amount of leftover data (mostly charts) ... but for some reason it doesn't extract the "famous" leftover data (Bye Bye Bye, What Can I Say to You and Te Amo)

________________

More interesting things I found in DDRMAX2 CS JP:

1) Dive to the Night has a Single-Challenge chart.
This chart WASN'T carried over in later games, it isn't in current game's data like Love Shine S-Challenge
This chart ends after the song so it most probably was meant for another song.

2) Dynamite Rave has the Single-Challenge chart (that's present from Extreme onwards) hidden.
It makes sense. The game was released after Extreme AC so the chart was already made... but the chart wasn't present in DDRMAX2 AC.

3) Some Oni-only songs share many different full (Light, Standard and Heavy!) sets of Doubles difficulties.

(this will take time to document, please bear with me)

In an unusual oddity from Konami, they weren't carried over in later games.
They don't fit any of the songs I've tested anyways (they either end after or before the song itself), so they probably were used in later song(s)

Post #194 · Posted at 2019-10-06 04:00:37pm 1.5 months ago

Offline Nightime
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Quote: Wan
Another fun fact: if I force the games to always load a Challenge chart, for songs that don't have it in most cases it won't crash and will either load an empty chart or the Heavy one.
But if I try to load a Heavy chart from a song that doesn't have it, the game WILL crash.

It's because the default action is to roll *backwards* through the difficulties. KONAMIX does this with Club Mix songs with no Double Heavy, it'll default to the Double Standard chart instead. But since Challenge-only songs don't have any data in those, the engine has no resolution.
https://i.imgur.com/C2il3tl.png

Post #195 · Posted at 2019-10-06 08:53:13pm 1.5 months ago

Offline Wan
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Quote: Nightime
Quote: Wan
Another fun fact: if I force the games to always load a Challenge chart, for songs that don't have it in most cases it won't crash and will either load an empty chart or the Heavy one.
But if I try to load a Heavy chart from a song that doesn't have it, the game WILL crash.

It's because the default action is to roll *backwards* through the difficulties. KONAMIX does this with Club Mix songs with no Double Heavy, it'll default to the Double Standard chart instead. But since Challenge-only songs don't have any data in those, the engine has no resolution.
Not always. When I was experimenting with EuroMix2, in most songs where I tried to load a Challenge chart it'd load nothing... in only few cases it would play the Heavy chart.
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