DCFFVII Research Thread

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
If all of this is still in the code somewhere, do you think it's possible that NPC dialogue from the Multiplayer Mode may be? Or was all that stuff probably stored on the servers that went down 10 years ago?
 
I absolutely have to pop in here and commend you on your dedication and talents, Shad. I mean, no doubt you've been receiving that kind of praise for a long time now, but I hope this well-wishing message still means something
Your praise means a lot. :properhug: Researching Dirge of Cerberus is almost always a lonely affair because of how few are interested, but my loneliness is counteracted by the few who do follow my work and the occasional appreciation from larger groups.


Are those duplicate elemental Materias used in the Tutorial mission?
Thank you for your clarity of mind! I did not even consider the Tutorial. *facepalms*

I confirmed now that those three materia are indeed used in the Tutorial. Simultaneously discovered that the second Sniper Scope I unlocked, which can't be discarded, is from the Tutorial and thusly not an unused item. Item list info updated accordingly.


You know what you just made me do JBedford? You made me complete the Tutorial Mode for the first time in 3-4 years. :lol: Because of how profoundly bored the tutorial made me I have avoided it like the plague since that original playthrough. Will soon post my observations from this refreshing replay.

If all of this is still in the code somewhere, do you think it's possible that NPC dialogue from the Multiplayer Mode may be? Or was all that stuff probably stored on the servers that went down 10 years ago?
It is certainly possible. While I have no way of telling intuitively what data belonged only to the servers, the fact that so many Multiplayer items were still in the data makes it reasonable to think that more might be found. For example if I find the Shop IDs, I will be looking around for a Multiplayer Shop.

The relative downside is that whatever we find will almost certainly represent the Beta or Pre-Beta stage of the Multiplayer however.

Notice the odd names of the online barrels in the list: Vernis, Rouge and Parfum. I can understand the name "Vernis" if it refers to "Vernissage", as in an exhibition or private viewing. But make-up and perfume? XD

The barrels listed in Final Fantasy cheats are way less wild.

Short Barrel
Short Barrel Ⅱ
Short Barrel Ⅲ
Middle Barrel
Middle Barrel Ⅱ
Middle Barrel Ⅲ
Broken Barrel
Long Barrel
Long Barrel Ⅱ
Long Barrel Ⅲ​


The barrels I found in the game data match up with the lists from DirgeofCerberus.net, which come from the Beta version.


If I ever do find NPC dialogue from the Multiplayer, I expect that it's going to be a pretty small amount and not help answer the many questions we have about the Deepground lore of the online mode. Not saying the discoveries won't be neat, just recommending that we don't get our hopes up. :monster:
 
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Report now that I have played the Tutorial Mode/Mission in both DC:International and in JORG. (Today is the first time ever that I completed the Tutorial in JORG! :monster: )


- You can't skip cutscenes. This becomes quite annoying, especially when you want to revisit the tutorial for research.


- You are actually ranked when you complete the tutorial! I had totally forgotten about this. The demands for S rankings are quite lenient, as they should be. Your values get reset each time you start up the Training Tutorial, so your progress through each area of the tutorial will not be saved for later. Too bad. I would have liked for the game to remember my results even after I exit the tutorial.
















If I had bothered to use the Limit Break in this JORG playthrough I would have gotten All S Rankings. I might make a bonus video in the future where I achieve top results in the Tutorial. Maybe.






Even if you don't clear the "Master All Basic Controls" Stage Mission in JORG, you will get an S ranking. See above how I got a D rank in DC:International for not completing that mission.



- When you are about to go through the final door and exit the tutorial, two things can happen. Either you go straight to the Stage Results, or you get to play an extra segment. The game goes "Warning! Warning! System failure imminent!" and a dozen red saucers that have gone haywire will appear. Dispose of them and you can then exit the tutorial properly.







A handful of Turk clones come to aid you. :monster: They must be people injected with Turk Cells, thus becoming Turk Copies. :awesome:

I have not found what determines whether this extra tutorial segment happens or not. When the Tutorial is cleared you are recommended a difficulty mode to choose for the main Single Player game, but there was no correlation there between the triggering of the "System Failure" segment and the difficulty mode recommended to you.


- Apart from knowing what triggers the System Failure, I would also like to know the exact values that decide whether you get recommended Easy, Normal or Hard. I am yet to be recommended "Easy".


- In JORG, the controls for Turk Vincent and his red-clad future self (let's call him "Red Vincent") are consistent and equal to one another. Post-JORG there are more differences between the two.

Post-JORG Turk Vincent:
-- Longer melee chain of JORG intact. Four button presses, with a total of six melee swipes from Vincent.
-- Mid-air combo consists of 2 presses/kicks, compared to Red Vincent's very long mid-air melee chain.
-- Turk Vincent still rolls and crouches. He does not dash, which is something Red Vincent does post-JORG instead of rolling.
-- When Turk Vincent is finished with a roll, he stands straight back up again. In JORG, Turk Vincent (just like Red Vincent in that version) remains crouched after a roll.​

At least post-JORG Turk Vincent can double jump, just like post-JORG Red Vincent. :awesomonster:


- The tutorial is set to default, Japanese control settings. This means that the circle and the cross buttons are switched and that the cameras and sights are inverted. You can't change the buttons in the Tutorial configuration menu, but you can change the camera, sights and sight support (manual, semi-automatic or automatic). In JORG, I found the controls being reset to their default way more often than post-JORG.


- When the Handgun training session starts, JORG includes a tutorial that explains the Auto Scope and the S Auto Scope, which are used for auto-targetting.


- Though you can't throw away the Sniper Scope and three elemental Materia, nothing prevents you from discarding a Gun Frame or a Barrel, once you have enough frames and barrels to have either unequipped. You can't customize yourself to have no gun frame and no barrel equipped, which is true for every part of the game.


- Turk Vincent's Limit Break works like it does for Chaos-Vincent during the battle against Weiss the Empowered. HP is restored, ammo is no longer consumed and Vincent is stronger. This type of limit break is the same for Chaos in the final chapter, except the effect only lasts for roughly 8-9 seconds instead of 43 seconds.


- Because the camera stays far back when you raise your aim in post-JORG, you can see that Turk Vincent gets a very arched back when he raises the rifle. Consider also that the snapshot is compressed to 512x448, so his arch looks even worse in 640x480. I have no idea why the snapshots are always 512x448 even though I play with the window in 640x480.

 
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This error in the Tutorial mode texture is present in all versions.



"Do not proceed beyond this lin area"

There are many spots where the text properly reads "Do not proceed beyond this line", but here somebody screwed up with the ground texture.



After finding the DG headgear and armor I searched online to see if anyone before me had unlocked unused Dirge of Cerberus content. My only finding was a video uploaded just 3 1/2 months ago by a SolidSnake11. He unlocked...
- Phoenix Pinion
- Hero Tonic
- Hero Tonic Gold
- Limitizer
- Limitizer SP
- Bullet 4
- Bullet 5
- Bullet 6
- Bullet 7
- SB7
- SB15
- SB23
...and triggered two invalid IDs. The language here is Italian.

The only other Dirge of Cerberus video uploaded by SolidSnake11 is one where he freely explores a Kalm map by removing collision. I wonder how he did that.



SolidSnake11 has uploaded a ton of videos showing unused content from many different games.
 
When researching limit breaks in Dirge of Cerberus, keep in mind that there are four Limit Break variations/types in the post-JORG editions.


#1: Vincent turns into Galian Beast. Form duration is 43 seconds.

#2: During the battle against Weiss the Empowered, Chaos-Vincent (actually, I will call him "Empowered Vincent") will receive a boost in power and have infinite ammo for 43,5 seconds. This is akin to the effect of Limit Breaker in the Tutorial Mode (Turk Vincent) and in the Multiplayer.

#3: Chaos is powered up by Limit Breaker in the same way as the previous example, but this only lasts for 9,45 seconds.

#4: Turk Vincent. Acts the same as when using Limit Breaker on Empowered Vincent. Duration is 44,5 seconds.


The duration of the limit break is the same no matter if you are employing the normal "Limit Breaker" item or the unused "OI7", which has the same effect as Limit Breaker but was intended for the Online Mode.


Two accessories I found in the unused data are relevant to the topic.
Limit Breaker: "This accessory increases the duration of a limit break."
Limit Breaker Revo: "This accessory significantly increases the duration of a limit break."​

Are these items functional? No. After having carefully tested out every possible variation of limit breaks, with and without these accessories, I found for certain that these accessories do not at all affect the duration of your limit break.

I mention this now because it only occurred to me today that I had to test out the OI7 item and Turk Vincent variations. Now with all 24 variations investigated I can rest easy.


EDIT: In this Multiplayer recording, the limit break triggered by a Limit Breaker lasts for roughly 20 seconds.



Tested out the unused Motion Detector, Item Radar and Composite Radar in JORG. These accessories still don't work. No item detection, no motion tracking of enemies. I was kind of hoping that the Item- and Composite Radar could detect capsules, but those aren't spotted either.
 
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The files unpacked from the DC:International ISO all have their last date of modification as "2006-10-24". There is even a "PATCH.VER" file which, when opened in Notepad or Word, shows only the text "20061024_0".

Are you effin' telling me... That DC:International was completed in late October of 2006, then remained UNTOUCHED even until its release in September 2008? :@

Keep in mind that I only see these 20061024 modification dates for when I have unpacked the ISO of the game. When I use Noesis to unpack the FILELIST.BIN and KEL.DAT files, all the files have a modification date that matches the time of extraction with Noesis (present day). So there are tens of thousands of files I strictly speaking don't know the modification date for.

So here are the modification dates for all versions with their ISOs unpacked.

JORG: 2005-12-10 (For files in PlayOnline folder: 2005-11-21)
US: 2006-06-21
PAL: 2006-09-04
INT: 2006-10-24​

Interesting how the gap between official release date and these modification dates, with the first three versions, ranges from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 months. Does it really take that long to get all the game copies printed and shipped?




Revisited Noesis to unpack the FILELIST.BIN and KEL.DAT files, like I tried to do but failed 17 months ago, and I finally succeeded! The problem was that back then my computer settings were such that I couldn't edit file extensions. Now with the proper freedom to edit extensions, I could change the KEL.DAT to "whiteimgu.x360.bin". In the past I had unknowingly only changed it to "whiteimgu.x360.bin.dat", which is not at all what Noesis wanted to read.

Thusly I found the same zonelist.txt file that ultima espio shared with us and that hito translated. I checked all four versions of DoC and discovered the following about the zone folder.

- JORG doesn't have a zonelist.txt file. Between US, PAL and INT, the contents of each version's zonelist.txt file are identical.

- The number of zone folders differ between versions. I created a spreadsheet where I compare the existing folders.

DCFFVII Zone Sheet
First tab compares the zone folders and second tab compares the zonelist.txt files.​
Version - Number of Zone Folders
JORG - 43
US - 57
PAL & INT - 60​

Between JORG and US, the following zone folders were added (zone folder number matched with zonelist data) :
z001 - 001:0:"超テスト" (Super Test)
z002 - 002:0:"ムービーテスト" (Movie Test)
z120 - 120:0:"ステージ1「風の台地」" (Stage 1 "Zephyr Heathlands") *INT mission 1
z123 - 123:0:"チャレンジミッションリスト" (Challenge Mission List)
z214 - 214:0:"マルチ・魔晄炉前" (Multi - In Front of Mako Reactor)
z238 - 238:0:"マルチ・玉座の間" (Multi - Throne Room)
z240 - 240:0:"OEジャングル" (OE Jungle)
z241 - 241:0:"OEディープグラウンド" (OE Deepground)
z242 - 242:0:"OEロビー" (OE Lobby)
z243 - 243:0:"OE0番魔晄炉外観" (OE Mako Reactor 0 Exterior)
z244 - 244:0:"OE大断層" (OE Large Fault)
z246 - 246:0:"OE渓谷" (OE Valley)
z247 - 247:0:"OE山道" (OE Mountain Path)
z255 - 255:0:"マップ読み替えテストゾーン" (Map Loading Test Zone)

Between US and PAL/INT, the following zone folders were added (zone folder number matched with zonelist data):
z220 - 220:0:"マルチ・処理場" (Multi - Processing Area)
z248 - 248:0:"OEヴァイスの間" (OE Weiss' Chamber)
z249 - 249:0:"OEエンディング" (OE Ending)


What does all this mean? Apart from the zone folders *probably* referring to the game's maps, I have no idea. I just wanted to list and compare some data.

Consider this though. The filelist.txt shows us 169 zones, but the number of zone folders are way fewer than that. Does this mean that the actual available maps in the game data are way fewer than what is described in filelist.txt? It seems unlikely, because many of the zone folders not available represent a ton of Extra Missions in the zonelist.txt file. Another confusing aspect is that the zone folders only lead to a "sound" folder with "bgm_XXX" files.

:monster: Just playing around with my ignorance at this point.
 
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Today I quested to try and rip the audio files from Dirge of Cerberus. Ultimately I reached a dead-end, but here is what I found along the way.


- Tool to extract Dirge of Cerberus FMVs from original Japanese version. It does not work with any other version. This might be what Cloud_S used to rip the Dirge of Cerberus FMVs.

Mount your JORG disc/ISO, start the program and you will get all 12 FMVs in the form of .pss files. You can then use PSS Demux to extract any .pss file into two files: A silent video file and a separate audio file.

If you have a form of VirtualDub that can decode MPEG-2 video stream, you can then combine the video and the audio file into one complete .avi FMV. There may be better programs and methods out there to combine the two files created from the .pss. This guy uses RIPBOT264 to combine the video and audio, which might be a better method but I haven't tested it.


- Guide on how to rip PS2 FMV files
This could also potentially be what Cloud_S used, but the problem here is that the "Nova software extractor" listed in the tutorial can no longer be found online! This is too bad because this tutorial tells you how to get all the .pss files, which would include both movies and audio if my understanding is correct.

Extracting files with Noesis does not give me any .pss files. There are a ton of .at2 and .at3 files which appear to be audio files but I have found no way to read these.
 
When I extract the DCFFVII JORG ISO, among the files I find "POLKEY.DAT". Clearly some sort of key that was to work in conjunction with PlayOnline. There is also a separate "POL" folder with files like INSTALL.DAT, POLMOVIE.PEX and VERSION.DAT.

When you unpack the ISOs for the other versions via normal means, you don't find anything that clearly references the online feature. But when you unpack using Noesis, you find these files in the US and PAL versions:

polkey.dat
polkey_beta.dat
polkey_rel.dat

These are small files, 65KB each, so nothing juicy apart from their file names referring to PlayOnline and even a "beta" key, presumably for the Beta version of the Multiplayer. None of these files are present in the INT version, and JORG curiously lacks the "polkey_beta.dat" file.



I randomly open a file called "IOPRP.IMG" in my standard rip of the INT ISO. I opened it as a text file and these were the readable words I got. Lots of gibberish removed.

RESET
ROMDIR
EXTINFO
LOADCORE
SIFCMD
SIFMAN
THREADMAN
IOMAN
MODLOAD
FILEIO
CDVDMAN
CDVDFSV
LOADFILE
TIMEMANI
ROMDRV
EESYNC
SYSCLIB
STDIO
20050215-154210
ioprp2305e.conf
ioprp2305f.img
xokano@rel-[B]linux[/B]/~/tlib_2305f/ioprp2305e.img.dir Module_Manager
IOP_SIF_rpc_interface
IOP_SIF_manager
Multi_Thread_Manager
IO/File_Manager
Moldule_File_loader
FILEIO_service

cdvd_driver
cdvd_ee_driver
LoadModuleByEE
Timer_Manager
ROM_file_driver
SyncEE
System_C_lib
Stdio
ELF
Module_Manager

I mostly thought the reference to "linux" noteworthy. :monster:
 
Many thanks to ultima espio for referring me to PSound, with which I was able to listen to four files that exist in the sound2 folder:
wave0000.wd
wave0001.wd
wave1000.wd
wave1001.wd​

These include stock sound effects, various grunts and exclamations. All the voiced clips are in Japanese, no matter the version, and the number of sound clips within each .wd file ranges from 100-270. Between US, PAL and INT the files are identical. In JORG, wave0000.wd is slightly larger (with one less sound clip though) and wave0001.wd is way bigger and with many more clips.


The file wave0001.wd contains...grunts and exclamations from the player character in the Multiplayer! :D The JORG file has dozens more voice clips than the post-JORG file does, but I'll include download links to both. The end of wave0001.wd in post-JORG has a number of clips that sound either like the voice has been slowed down or like it is just a very low voice. Those clips also sound particularly...sexual.

- JORG wave0001.wd
- Post-JORG wave0001.wd

Many of these voiced lines and calls I recognize from my repeated viewings of the Multiplayer gameplay recordings. It is awesome to have these saved samples of so many different voice types despite the online mode no longer being with us!



Apart from digging into the .wd files, there is another curiosity in the sound2 folder: The "jsndbb.txt" file. It exists only in the US and PAL extractions I've made, (I make this specification because I honestly have no idea if Noesis just doesn't perform as well of an extraction with JORG and INT) and lists which sound files belong to what part of the game. Like the zonelist.txt, the descriptions are in Japanese but can mostly be made sense of with the help of Google Translate.

The documented sound files concern pretty much everything. Background music, menu sounds, footsteps, battle sounds and possibly even voice acted lines (I am hesitant to claim certainty on that last one).

The files are without proper linebreaks which makes the file very much a mess, but I sorted that out. You can read the comparison I made between the US-jsnddb and the PAL-jsnddb below.

- Comparing jsnddb.txt

The only difference turned out to be that the PAL file has more references to online mode events. None of this ensures that there are actual, juicy, online mode sound files for us to find in the data but it is certainly an interesting documentation.

Near the bottom, in row 5552, we see something exciting.


dsj_862 Hirenイベント1 [Hiren Event 1]
dsj_863 Hirenイベント2 [Hiren Event 2]
dsj_864 Hirenイベント3 [Hiren Event 3]
dsj_865 Hirenイベント4 [Hiren Event 4]
dsj_866 Pullumイベント1 [Pullum Event 1]
dsj_867 Pullumイベント2 [Pullum Event 2]
dsj_868 Pullumイベント3 [Pullum Event 3]
dsj_869 Pullumイベント4 [Pullum Event 4]​


Direct references to two NPCs from the Multiplayer! These are the only such references in this sound archive document. If we can ever dig through the entirety of Dirge's sound library, perhaps having this jsnddb document will help us on where to look for extra juicy content.



Some sounds have strings like "e049" and "z223" preceding them. Examples:
bsj_508 e049サイレン音 [Siren sound]
dsj_870 z223砦/砦全体の風の音 [Wind sound of the fort / fort as a whole]

We recall the "zXXX" numbers from the zonelist file (see tab 2 or tab 3), and indeed this is what is said about z223 in that file:
223:0:"マルチ・砦" [Multi - Fort]​

Online I have seen the "eXXX" strings linked to lists for the game's 3D models but I haven't unlocked such content myself yet.
 
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- Guide to jsnddb.txt

This document translates the document which, for the most part, is easy to understand even with only Google Translate to help. I have corrected obvious errors in the translation, like when "Shalua" was written as "Sharua". There is a lot of room for improvement, but I doubt anyone other than me is going to desire editing it.


Remember that scene with Cait Sith on the Shera that has multiple variations? I have only unlocked the first two, but Clement somehow unlocked a third.
"Number 5 is alive"
"Number 6 ready for action"
"Number 7. Nice to meet you"

It is possible that these variations, and maybe even more, are what we see listed in row 4169 and below in the jsnddb document:

csj_471 リーブとの会話2-2-1 Conversation with Reeve 2 - 2 - 1
csj_472 リーブとの会話2-2-2 Conversation with Reeve 2 - 2 - 2
csj_473 リーブとの会話2-2-3 Conversation with Reeve 2 - 2 - 3
csj_474 リーブとの会話2-2-4 Conversation with Reeve 2 - 2 - 4
csj_475 リーブとの会話2-2-5 Conversation with Reeve 2 - 2 - 5
csj_476 リーブとの会話2-2-6 Conversation with Reeve 2 - 2 - 6
csj_477 リーブとの会話2-3 Conversation with Reeve 2 - 3​

Finding these files was the original cause for me wanting to dive into the audio files in the first place. If only I could find the corresponding files and get these to play, we could confirm the number of variations to this scene (and other scenes).
 
While I did find a value that is associated with each sound clip, and which ends up matching the jsnddb document excellently, I have not been able to use it to change what clip is being played.

Example of the value I found via Cheat Engine. A 4-byte address (actually I found half a dozen addresses that follow this).

jsnddb ↔ value: spoken line
Conversation with Yuffie 2 - 2 ↔ 56067: "Now if I was there, dad wouldn't..."
Conversation with Yuffie 2 - 3 ↔ 56068: "I could take out Deepground with one hand..."
Conversation with Reeve 2 - 1 - 1 ↔ 56069: "So, no costume today?"
Conversation with Reeve 2 - 1 - 2 ↔ 56070: "Number 5 is alive."
Conversation with Reeve 2 - 2 - 1 ↔ 56071: "Tell me Reeve. Who is backing your operation?"


The utterly curious part here is that even when Cait Sith says "Number 6, ready for action" the value is STILL 56070. My best guess is that this clip contains all variations of Cait Sith's line, just that the game is programmed to begin and end the clip at different times depending on the conditions you have met.

Even just trying to figure out the exact mechanics for the two Cait Sith lines I've seen has so far been a (mostly) fruitless endeavor.
 
While archiving the DCFFVII Multiplayer blogs in the Web Archive (yes, apart from having my own archive I'm making sure that the Wayback Machine has more complete backups too) and re-reading some of the blog entries, I spotted a neat reference.

In the event "Turk of Turks" that lasted from June 5 to June 26, you gained access to one of the basements in the North Lobby (possibly the same that I am able to enter) where the friendly Black Widow robot "Black-J" is located.

Black-J would tell you that the data of "GAI012" has been dispersed across various missions and that you need to collect them. GAI012 ring a bell? Well, it does now to me.

"Verifying data. Access number GAI012. Good day, Mr. Valentine."





When you've collected the data you will be given a passcode that grants you access to the battle against Turk Vincent. Once the "Turk of Turks" event ended on June 26, players never again got a chance to battle Turk Vincent.
 
After bashing my head against the wall for a long time, repeatedly failing to find the address for adjusting how many times Cait Sith gets discovered in his Chapter 5 segment, I have at last figured it out.

Instead of predictable values I had to think about flags. The flags activated in byte values, represented this way:

00000000 = 0
11111111 = 255 (or "FF" in hex)

With this approach I have found the addresses for many Stage Mission values. In the same memory region there were also the addresses that decide how many readable Omega- and G Reports you have. By changing the number of readable G Reports to fewer than three, I can prevent the "Secret Ending" from happening.

Each time you leave the game and enter the Start Menu however, the values in the address representing for example "Cait Sith Discovered 13 Times" or "4 Omega Reports Collected" changes. At one time the address value for having been discovered 13 times was 224, another time it was 177, then it was 56 and so on. A value that was valid at an earlier playtest was not valid on a second try.

There is definitely a key in the game that makes it know what address value represents value X for any given Stage Mission but I do not yet know what that key is.

So despite the problem with values changing, am I able to change Cait Sith's line on the Shera? No. Yes, I have tested out the feasible values that represent "Cait Sith Discovered 13 Times", which should have changed the line from "Number 5 is alive" to "Number 6 ready for action", but alas nothing happened.

Because I know from multiple playthroughs that your performance in the Solid Cait segment in Chapter 5 determines what Cait Sith will say on the Shera, I have to conclude that the game memory stores your performance elsewhere for this particular "cutscene calculation".

Manipulating the scene on the Shera still eludes me but I feel happy for having made so much progress with changing the Stage Mission values.


In contrast, changing values like "Targets Destroyed", "Critical Hits", "Damage Sustained" and all those other ranking values turned out to be super-simple. The same addresses apply through all areas of the game! Among the least complicated values I have found in the game.

Thanks to Cheat Engine I can easily confirm things that normally would have taken heaps of work. Three examples below.

- When playing as Cait Sith, the enemies you kill and the damage you sustain is calculated into your ranking for that chapter.

- The damage you receive during the un-winnable battle against Weiss the Immaculate is still counted into your ranking.

- Typically, defeating a boss will not count as a kill for your "Targets Destroyed" score.​


A simple solution is not available however for the "Cumulative Results" that you see when you have defeated Omega Weiss. You can't just search for the values seen in this Stage Results screen, then change them to get All S Rankings after the final battle is over. I conclude that the game remembers your performance from previous chapters and adds them all together. Meaning that in order to cheat with your final ranking values, you'd have to find where this calculation takes place.

Maybe if I can figure out how to find a calculation for something such as the Cumulative Results, I might be able to find the calculation for the cutscene on the Shera...
 
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The description for the Death Penalty is a bit curious.


This weapon is only available when Vincent has regained control of Chaos. Firepower increases as Vincent collects the essence of corrupted life.

There is no mechanic in the final game where Vincent can collect the essence of corrupted life and increase the firepower of the Death Penalty. I wonder if the collection of corrupted lifestream was meant to be a part of the final stage. Wouldn't be too farfetched, since Nero and his darkness became involved in the awakening of Omega. The game doesn't make clear if any particular aspect of Omega that we see is an expression of Nero.


Another curiosity is the Stage Mission "Omega Weiss Defeated 0/1" only seen in the status menu during the final battle.



The player will never see this counter reach "1/1". The flag (if there even is any) for affecting this value isn't even in the memory region that concerns Stage Missions! This is definitely a contender for most redundant Stage Mission in the entire game. Unlike with other Stage Missions, you are thankfully not interrupted by an obscuring menu screen that says "Defeat Omega Weiss!" while the gameplay is going on.
 
There is so much to play around with in Cheat Engine that it can take you a while to even think about some basic values you'd want to change. For example how much HP a boss has left!

Here are some HP values for bosses that I confirmed. Note that these values are only confirmed for Ex Hard mode on DCFFVII International. In other difficulty modes and at least in JORG they may have other HP values.


Black Widow (Shinra Manor) - 10000HP

Rosso - 17000HP

Her "Rosso the Crimson" and her "Bloodburst Rosso" forms both share the same HP bar. Her trigger for going into her second form is when her HP gets somewhere below 12921-12914, under the condition that she is damaged by a shot or a melee attack. If you just change her HP value to 0, instantly, she will go down without even turning into Bloodburst Rosso!


Mwahahaha! At last I have bypassed the damage cap that normally doesn't allow you to insta-kill Rosso! Skipping her second form didn't cause any glitches or change how the following cutscene played out. Wouldn't it have been fun if Rosso became more shocked at her defeat when you defeated her in one move?

Crystal Feelers: 3000HP
In other words, 500HP per Crystal. Remember, these are the six crystals you melee down before you get to battle Omega Cocoon.

Omega Cocoon: 20000HP

Omega Weiss: 240000HP

Being able to defeat Omega Weiss in less than a second will make playtesting this area, particularly for the Cumulative Results screen that follows, much quicker.
 
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JBedford

Pro Adventurer
AKA
JBed
The description for the Death Penalty is a bit curious.

This weapon is only available when Vincent has regained control of Chaos. Firepower increases as Vincent collects the essence of corrupted life.

There is no mechanic in the final game where Vincent can collect the essence of corrupted life and increase the firepower of the Death Penalty. I wonder if the collection of corrupted lifestream was meant to be a part of the final stage. Wouldn't be too farfetched, since Nero and his darkness became involved in the awakening of Omega. The game doesn't make clear if any particular aspect of Omega that we see is an expression of Nero.
Don't know whether they intended to include such a mechanic, but it could just simply be a reference to the original game. Death Penalty's damage calculation is based on enemy's killed.
 
When will the timer for your Total Playtime reset in the menu? When 4294967295 + 1 seconds have passed. :monster:

So here is the menu timer at maximum before it moves back to zero.



4294967295 seconds = 1193046h 28m 15s = 49710 days 6 hours 28m 15s ≈ 136 years, 70 days, 6 hours, 28m 15s

Not counting leap days and seconds here.




So back to zero after one more second.

After this point your playtime in the Stage Results screen is frozen at 0:00:00, even though the menu timer keeps counting up after being reset.

The value 4294967295 comes from the total playtime being a 4-byte value, where the maximum value in hex is FFFFFFFF which is 4294967295 in decimal.
 
Even though it's not directly related to Dirge of Cerberus, I have to highlight this youtube channel dedicated to breaking the boundaries of a number of video games.



Another video of his taught me the word "culling", which means that when something is off-camera it makes the objects vanish so that the game can save processing power. I bring this up because when breaking the boundaries in Dirge of Cerberus, I have experienced the culling effect A LOT. Particularly on the Shera.

Example from when I was still struggling to get inside the hatch room:

 

Strangelove

AI Researcher
AKA
hitoshura
look who's been a busy boy

i've had a quick look at ''guide to jsnddb.txt' spreadsheet for any of the title translations that could use a change

Test 1 to test/To crap test 2 = Kashitani test 1/2? ('kashitani' sounds like it could be a name and google does tell me that a 'yoshiki kashitani' worked on the game)

Heliobos 2 defeated = heli[copter] boss...

Mechanical boss = mech/mecha boss (not really a big change i know, probably not important)

Members who are breathless = dying [squad] member

To be killed by the treasure = being killed by Hojo

Rasubosu = last boss

After a long absence = Long has it been... (i think this is from the start of one of azul's line, which iirc was 久方ぶりの殺し合いだ!!, but i haven't checked it)

In the skyboat = airship (obvs)

Members of the hangar = [squad] members in the hanger

Kettse infiltration = Cait Sith (which i think you got in a later note anyway)

GH reader appeared = *leader

Kill the GH leader = defeat? (idk i guess in the end you do kill him, but that sounds so harsh)

Clear flow without debris = Quelling Impurity, Purging the stream (quote from the first omega report)

Shinra House (sewage) = Shirna Manor (sewer)

WRO Honbun District = WRO HQ

that's up to about row 100 but now i am going to get some sleep :sadpanda:
 

Cloud_S

Pro Adventurer
Today I quested to try and rip the audio files from Dirge of Cerberus. Ultimately I reached a dead-end, but here is what I found along the way.


- Tool to extract Dirge of Cerberus FMVs from original Japanese version. It does not work with any other version. This might be what Cloud_S used to rip the Dirge of Cerberus FMVs.

Mount your JORG disc/ISO, start the program and you will get all 12 FMVs in the form of .pss files. You can then use PSS Demux to extract any .pss file into two files: A silent video file and a separate audio file.

If you have a form of VirtualDub that can decode MPEG-2 video stream, you can then combine the video and the audio file into one complete .avi FMV. There may be better programs and methods out there to combine the two files created from the .pss. This guy uses RIPBOT264 to combine the video and audio, which might be a better method but I haven't tested it.


- Guide on how to rip PS2 FMV files
This could also potentially be what Cloud_S used, but the problem here is that the "Nova software extractor" listed in the tutorial can no longer be found online! This is too bad because this tutorial tells you how to get all the .pss files, which would include both movies and audio if my understanding is correct.

Extracting files with Noesis does not give me any .pss files. There are a ton of .at2 and .at3 files which appear to be audio files but I have found no way to read these.
So while I used the first method, I believe I found the elusive program! (you'll want to click on "Скачать с сервера").

As for those AT3 files, they should indeed be audio files. I have a player on my PSP for them, which I think also converted them (it's been many years since I booted up that old thing, and I don't think I even have a power cord or a battery for it at the moment :monster:). However there seems to be a PC method for conversion.
 
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@hito
Thank you! I have edited the document with your observations.

Here is what Azul says in Chapter 4, compared to 久方ぶりの in the row 77 of my jsnddb sheet.


If you have the time and energy to look over it, here are the rows I am the most curious about what they actually mean.

Row 88
お弁当食べる? Do you eat lunch box?

There are more examples of odd references to eating. See also row 3986 and 4143.


Row 3757
z217キャラ選択個室環境音 z217 character selection private room environment sound

Does it really say "character selection"?


Row 3896
ジェノヴァプロジェクト1 Genoa Project 1

Do you think it was meant to say "ジェノバ" as in "Jenova"?


Row 4049
影狐急停車1 Kagekitsune sudden stop 1


Row 4737
流れこむ魔洸1 Komu flow McCaw 1

McCaw = Mako?


Row 4850
そうだ私だ宝条だよ1-1 It does so I'm I'm Takarajo 1 - 1


Row 5154
頭部方面から敵ワラワラ1 Enemy from the head towards Walla Walla 1


Row 5412
z211オンライン神羅屋敷/神羅屋敷内 z211 On-line Shinra Land / in Shinrana Yashiki
 
@Cloud_S

I can't thank you enough for finding that software! I have now been able to satiate my curiosity and discover what I expected: The method for ripping PS2 videos and sound as described in this tutorial from 2005 does not work for Dirge of Cerberus.

With all four versions of Dirge of Cerberus I tried to rip all selectable file formats using the Nova Software Extractor. For the post-JORG editions, the only result was a .png image with the Square Enix logo.

For JORG however, I got 736 viewable images. The Square Enix logo AND 735 images from the PlayOnline interface. Not the DCFFVII Multiplayer interface mind you. Just the PlayOnline menus for handling your account, your emails, POL news etc.

The images show backgrounds, menu tutorials, icons and other goodies. Nothing juicy in regards to the online mode of Dirge of Cerberus, but still kinda interesting. See download link below to zip file containing all 736 viewable images.

- PlayOnline images ripped from DCFFVII JORG, using Nova Software Extractor

Here are highlights from the images that got extracted.
























Cursor 1



Cursor 2










Is that Nobuo Uematsu to the left?












I actually recognize the second cursor from a capture of the menu from somebody trying to install the Beta Multiplayer of Dirge.



Thank you also Cloud_S for linking to a thread that properly explained how to use foobar to play .at3 files. Sadly my attempt at playing the Dirge .at3 files confirmed what I had already heard elsewhere: Foobar can't play the PS2 .at3 files, only the files from PSP and PS3.
 
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