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Post-Crisis Final Fantasy VII All content in Advent Children Complete, On the Way to a Smile, & Dirge of Cerberus detailing the 3 years since the conclusion of Final Fantasy VII.

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Old 03/30/2018   #886
Shademp
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Almost definitely now solved the TTTT encryption! I just need to generate some more tables and do some more tests before I can be confident enough to request that JBedford (or anybody who might be willing, really) write up a decryption program. Since I can't code, I can't write the program myself. The day will come when I can take care of programming myself but this is not that day.

The timing of me getting to the near-end of this encryption/decryption adventure at the end of March is perfect. April is going to be a very busy month for me and I'll have to take two steps away from Dirge of Cerberus during that time.

I'll be gone for the weekend due to visiting family, but sometime next week you can look forward to a lengthy post about the ridiculously roundabout encryption of the TTTT files.


On a less technical note, the "TTTT" header reminds me of the "TTT terminal" found in Tutorial Mode.

Information can be accessed from the TTT terminal











The file header probably isn't a reference to the TTT menu but I'd be amused if it was.

The acronym TTT in the tutorial might stand for "Turks Tactical Training", "Tactical Training Tutorial" etc. The acronym might even contain the word "terminal" even though that word is sometimes added after the acronym.


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Old 04/02/2018   #887
Strangelove
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now i want to know what ttt means

i looked at a video of the japanese version and that line doesn't use a word for terminal, just 'ttt'
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Old 04/03/2018   #888
Shademp
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So far it is appearing that the TTTT encryptions are not used for the Text Preview files. Even so, I am proud to reveal the full key for the TTTT files.

Before reading the rest of this post I recommend that you read the post from two weeks ago where I show some basics.


Setting the stage: T-Blocks

Each TTTT file begins with this 8-byte array, hence the name.
Code:
54 54 54 54 00 00 2E 00
T  T  T  T  .  .  .  .
This file type is divided into blocks of 8 bytes each. The header seen above is a block that remains untouched during our decryption. In actuality the header changes from "TTTT" to "SSSS" after all the other blocks have been decrypted, but that's not important for our purposes.

Yet again file18379.raw, the TTTT file for the Online Mode Ending Credits, is the example we shall observe.

Including the header, the file has a total of 959 blocks, each one 8 bytes in length. The blocks are devoted to making sure that the decryption of the TTTT file runs smoothly and that the ending credits roll successfully.

To visualize, here are the first 14 blocks.

Code:
54 54 54 54 00 00 2E 00 62 36 11 4B 88 59 A7 32
6B 6F 0A 5B 51 71 1A E3 68 61 4B A9 E6 54 7E 8F
CE 74 BE 8D 5E 24 C7 0E 2D 86 5D 14 6B BC 3E C3
82 E5 D8 26 33 19 8C 77 5D E7 EA 94 43 7A 8F 7F
8C 5F 69 9A E5 CF 18 A5 58 3A 3D 75 CD 2B 61 A7
1C B9 A0 4A D7 5E FE 12 87 9A B0 E9 38 81 05 AC
6F EA 83 A9 A2 08 29 77 8E 4A 53 34 1B 43 68 B4
For the decryption, as mentioned before, the header block does not count. The first block that counts is the one immediately after and it is defined as the 0th block. We shall henceforth refer to these numbered TTTT blocks as T-Blocks. As such...

Code:
T-Block 0:   62 36 11 4B 88 59 A7 32
T-Block 1:   6B 6F 0A 5B 51 71 1A E3
T-Block 2:   68 61 4B A9 E6 54 7E 8F
T-Block 3:   CE 74 BE 8D 5E 24 C7 0E
T-Block 4:   2D 86 5D 14 6B BC 3E C3
T-Block 5:   82 E5 D8 26 33 19 8C 77
T-Block 6:   5D E7 EA 94 43 7A 8F 7F
T-Block 7:   8C 5F 69 9A E5 CF 18 A5
T-Block 8:   58 3A 3D 75 CD 2B 61 A7
T-Block 9:   1C B9 A0 4A D7 5E FE 12
T-Block 10:  87 9A B0 E9 38 81 05 AC
T-Block 11:  6F EA 83 A9 A2 08 29 77
T-Block 12:  8E 4A 53 34 1B 43 68 B4
...
T-Block 957: 75 50 90 AF 12 DA 99 67
Where T-Block 957 is the final, 959th block of the file.


We shall now observe, step by step, how T-Block 574 is decrypted.



Decryption Step 1: Initial Offset Changes

T-Block 574 is seen below in the memory region 20A04EF8 → 20A04EFF.



As mentioned in the post from two weeks ago, the value of the first byte in the array is changed 9 times before the next byte is handled and goes through 9 changes, then the same thing happens to the next byte and so on until the 8th, final byte goes through its series of value changes.

20A04EF8:
16 → 6D → E4 → B8 → 9F → 31 → 56 → B9 → 80 → 73

20A04EF9:
BA → AC → 23 → F7 → DE → 70 → 95 → F8 → BF → B2

20A04EFA:
B3 → 09 → 80 → 54 → 3B → CD → F2 → 55 → 1C → 0F

20A04EFB:
E6 → 55 → CC → A0 → 87 → 19 → 3E → A1 → 68 → 5B

20A04EFC:
8A → 6C → E3 → B7 → 9E → 30 → 55 → B8 → 7F → 72

20A04EFD:
AA → 20 → 97 → 6B → 52 → E4 → 09 → 6C → 33 → 26

20A04EFE:
F6 → 5C → D3 → A7 → 8E → 20 → 45 → A8 → 6F → 62

20A04EFF:
BA → 4C → C3 → 97 → 7E → 10 → 35 → 98 → 5F → 52

...and now T-Block 574 has transformed into this array:
Code:
73 B2 0F 5B 72 26 62 52

How do we know which values each byte will take on? I'll show you. Remember that the Calculator likely available on your computer can be set to "Programmer" and that, among many other things, you can do calculations in Hex, Dec and use the Xor function.

Before the first byte received its first change, this calculation happens:
45 XOR [T-Block ID]
T-Block 574, in hex, is T-Block 23E.

45 XOR 23E = 27B

Only the two low-order digits are used for the subsequent calculation, so we are left with 7B.

Note that the above calculation, using the constant 45, only happens in preparation for the first change to be done to the very first byte in the block. The constant isn't re-used for later calculations in the block.

In the next step, the result we got from...
45 XOR [T-Block ID]
...is XOR'd with the start-value of our first byte, in the offset 20A04EF8.

In other words...
7B XOR 16 = 6D

20A04EF8:
16 → 6D

For convenience, we can move ahead and show how the first change occurs in each subsequent offset, 20A04EF9 all the way to 20A04EFF.

To get this change, the formula is...
[Start-value of previous offset] XOR [Start-value of current offset]

We know that the start-value of 20A04EF8 is 16. The start-value of 20A04EF9, the offset we are now calculating, is BA. Thus, the new value of our current offset is 16 XOR BA = AC.

You can test this yourself in a calculator and confirm that the pattern repeats.
20A04EF8:
16 → 6D
 {45 XOR [T-Block ID]} XOR 16 = 6D

20A04EF9:
BA → AC
 16 XOR BA = AC

20A04EFA:
B3 → 09
 BA XOR B3 = 09

20A04EFB:
E6 → 55
 B3 XOR E6 = 55

20A04EFC:
8A → 6C
 E6 XOR 8A = 6C

20A04EFD:
AA → 20
 8A XOR AA = 20

20A04EFE:
F6 → 5C
 AA XOR F6 = 5C

20A04EFF:
BA → 4C
 F6 XOR BA = 4C
We have thus covered the ground of the first value change that happens in each offset. The remaining eight value changes are done quite differently.



Further Setup: K-Blocks

A series of decryption keys, each key block being an array of 8 bytes, are present in memory during this process. There are in total 32 of these key blocks, or "K-Blocks". Like with the T-Blocks, the first block is numbered 0.

Code:
K-Block 0:  99 E0 CD 84 0D 90 97 72
K-Block 1:  FD 62 05 98 43 D0 F5 3C
K-Block 2:  F1 EE 1A F8 51 11 CD 30
K-Block 3:  B5 AA 86 D8 99 56 01 F4
K-Block 4:  89 55 A1 3A 01 B1 06 C4
K-Block 5:  AD AB 26 25 06 75 21 D4
K-Block 6:  61 5A C1 B9 1E 49 A7 24
K-Block 7:  E5 C3 C6 A0 99 6D 44 B7
K-Block 8:  79 D3 E1 23 00 24 56 94
K-Block 9:  5D 21 69 B3 00 B4 AE E5
K-Block 10: D1 A6 0D 81 03 84 69 7C
K-Block 11: 15 42 44 85 11 94 0F 6E
K-Block 12: 69 4A 55 9A 57 E4 4D 26
K-Block 13: 0D 74 AA 03 B6 75 85 BF
K-Block 14: 41 44 54 12 8E 4C 9B BD
K-Block 15: 45 55 A5 5B C6 7E 08 B4
K-Block 16: 59 AA 3A CA DF 79 2A 84
K-Block 17: BD 53 25 F3 5E 61 D4 94
K-Block 18: B1 A2 BA BF DA E6 25 E8
K-Block 19: 75 2D A5 BE 45 82 BD 88
K-Block 20: 49 E3 39 B9 5C 8B B3 AB
K-Block 21: 6D 70 21 9E CF B8 81 5A
K-Block 22: 21 32 A7 16 0E 9C 88 C4
K-Block 23: A5 FA 43 71 46 0C AB D6
K-Block 24: 39 E5 53 36 60 3D 57 31
K-Block 25: 1D 7A A3 0F E1 32 B4 F6
K-Block 26: 91 62 31 4E 65 FE 84 D1
K-Block 27: D5 EC F6 86 FA F7 98 17
K-Block 28: 29 A0 D2 A2 E4 D7 FC 75
K-Block 29: CD 20 1D 2E 77 37 F0 4D
K-Block 30: 01 A4 91 E6 53 15 B1 85
K-Block 31: 05 34 D8 80 A3 6A 75 9C
Each T-Block only uses one particular K-Block for its decryption/encryption. The K-Block in use is especially easy to spot for the first 32 blocks, since the block IDs match each other.

T-Block 0 will use K-Block 0. T-Block 1 will use K-Block 1. T-Block 2 will use K-Block 2 and so on.

Once T-Block 31 has been decrypted with help of K-Block 31, we move on to T-Block 32 which will use K-Block 0 for the decryption. Thus, the game continuously cycles through the 32 K-Blocks. See examples below to visualize.

Code:
T-Block 0   ←→ K-Block 0
T-Block 32  ←→ K-Block 0
T-Block 64  ←→ K-Block 0
T-Block 96  ←→ K-Block 0
T-Block 128 ←→ K-Block 0


T-Block 1   ←→ K-Block 1
T-Block 33  ←→ K-Block 1
T-Block 65  ←→ K-Block 1
T-Block 97  ←→ K-Block 1
T-Block 129 ←→ K-Block 1


T-Block 18 ←→ K-Block 18
T-Block 50 ←→ K-Block 18
T-Block 82 ←→ K-Block 18
T-Block 114 ←→ K-Block 18
T-Block 146 ←→ K-Block 18



Decryption Step 2: Calculating the eight offset value changes

Which K-Block will our T-Block 574 use? With a little bit of math, we know that it is...

K-Block 30: 01 A4 91 E6 53 15 B1 85

From here, the game will use the bytes in the key-block to calculate the subsequent value changes in the current offset. The value is changed eight times, matching the eight bytes in the array above. So the formula can be expressed as...

Code:
1st calculation:  Current Byte Value + 78 - 01 = New Byte Value
2nd calculation:  Current Byte Value + 78 - A4 = New Byte Value
3rd calculation:  Current Byte Value + 78 - 91 = New Byte Value
4th calculation:  Current Byte Value + 78 - E6 = New Byte Value
5th calculation:  Current Byte Value + 78 - 53 = New Byte Value
6th calculation:  Current Byte Value + 78 - 15 = New Byte Value
7th calculation:  Current Byte Value + 78 - B1 = New Byte Value
8th calculation:  Current Byte Value + 78 - 85 = New Byte Value
Color coding to emphasize that what becomes the New Byte Value on one row/calculation is used as the "Current Byte Value" on the next row/calculation. The number 78 is a constant and is the same for all T-Blocks and offsets. Observe how the column that reads "01 A4 91 E6 53 15 B1 85" are the bytes from K-Block 30.

Remember that we previously advanced our first offset from the hex value 16 to the hex value 6D.

20A04EF8:
16 → 6D

Thusly, 6D is the "Current Byte Value" we use for our first calculation. Using the calculations for our offset 20A04EF8, we get...
Code:
6D + 78 - 01 = E4
E4 + 78 - A4 = B8
B8 + 78 - 91 = 9F
9F + 78 - E6 = 31
31 + 78 - 53 = 56
56 + 78 - 15 = B9
B9 + 78 - B1 = 80
80 + 78 - 85 = 73
We see that this calculated progression of value changes matches what is spotted in-game.

Code:
20A04EF8:
16 → 6D → E4 → B8 → 9F → 31 → 56 → B9 → 80 → 73
Note that whenever a calculation leads to a value of three digits or more, only the two lowest-order (or "rightmost") digits are used.


The same formula is applied for all other offsets in the T-Block. If you have any doubts, you can use the formula to confirm how these value changes come about.

Code:
20A04EF9:
BA → AC → 23 → F7 → DE → 70 → 95 → F8 → BF → B2

20A04EFA: 
B3 → 09 → 80 → 54 → 3B → CD → F2 → 55 → 1C → 0F

20A04EFB:
E6 → 55 → CC → A0 → 87 → 19 → 3E → A1 → 68 → 5B

20A04EFC:
8A → 6C → E3 → B7 → 9E → 30 → 55 → B8 → 7F → 72

20A04EFD:
AA → 20 → 97 → 6B → 52 → E4 → 09 → 6C → 33 → 26

20A04EFE:
F6 → 5C → D3 → A7 → 8E → 20 → 45 → A8 → 6F → 62

20A04EFF:
BA → 4C → C3 → 97 → 7E → 10 → 35 → 98 → 5F → 52

Just remember that different K-Blocks are used for different T-Blocks, so a more general formula for calculating these eight value changes could look like this:
Code:
1st calculation:  Current Byte Value + 78 - [K-Block 1st Byte] = New Byte Value
2nd calculation:  Current Byte Value + 78 - [K-Block 2nd Byte] = New Byte Value
3rd calculation:  Current Byte Value + 78 - [K-Block 3rd Byte] = New Byte Value
4th calculation:  Current Byte Value + 78 - [K-Block 4th Byte] = New Byte Value
5th calculation:  Current Byte Value + 78 - [K-Block 5th Byte] = New Byte Value
6th calculation:  Current Byte Value + 78 - [K-Block 6th Byte] = New Byte Value
7th calculation:  Current Byte Value + 78 - [K-Block 7th Byte] = New Byte Value
8th calculation:  Current Byte Value + 78 - [K-Block 8th Byte] = New Byte Value
The K-Block bytes are here counted from left-to-right and with the block bytes printed in "little-endian" (backwards) style. We'll get back soon to the topic of little-endian (backwards) versus big-endian (forwards).



And that is how T-Block 574 gets transformed from its initial array of byte values...
Code:
16 BA B3 E6 8A AA F6 BA
...to the following array of bytes.
Code:
73 B2 0F 5B 72 26 62 52



Decryption Step 3: Endianness & Special Keys

Let's take the decimal value 7777. If you enter this value into your calculator and then transform it into hex, it becomes written as 1E61. This style is "big-endian" (or as I like to call it, "forwards") where the bytes are arranged in the order you'd expect them to from calculations both manual and on a calculator.

When changing from big-endian to little-endian ("backwards"), 1E61 becomes written as 611E. They both still mean the decimal value 7777, just written differently. I prefer to write little endian with spaces between the bytes, so 611E becomes "61 1E", as that is also how the bytes are displayed in hex editors and in the Cheat Engine memory viewer.

I talk about endianness because in order to get the calculations right, we need to change some "little-endian" array of bytes to "big-endian" style.


See here our current array for T-Block 574:
Code:
Little-endian: 73 B2 0F 5B 72 26 62 52
Big-endian:    526226725B0FB273
We will also need our K-Block, K-Block 30, in big-endian.
Code:
Little-endian: 01 A4 91 E6 53 15 B1 85
Big-endian:    85B11553E691A401
Notice the color coding. What we are going to do is subtract the first half of (big-endian) T-Block 574 with the first half of (big-endian) K-Block 30. The result will then be XOR'd through a special key.

We will also subtract the second half of T-Block 574 with the second half of K-Block 30. The result will be XOR'd through its own special key.

The two results from the calculations above will be splashed together to form our new array for T-Block 574.


52622672 - 85B11553 = FFFFFFFFCCB1111F

5B0FB273 - E691A401 = FFFFFFFF747E0E72

We are only interested in the eight rightmost digits, so we can ignore all those Fs. These results are going to be XOR'd through two special keys.


Special Key 1
This key will be XOR'd with the result we got from calculating the first halves of our big-endian T-Block & K-Block arrays.

The following formula creates the first Special Key:
Code:
[T-Block ID in Hex] multiplied by 2
The T-Block ID in decimal is 574. In hexadecimal it is 23E.
23E * 2 = 47C. Thusly...

Special Key 1 = 47C


Special Key 2
This key will be XOR'd with the result we got from calculating the latter halves of our big-endian T-Block & K-Block arrays.

Special Key 2 for T-Block 0 is the following value:
 A1652347

Special Key 2 for T-Block 1 is the following value:
 A1652347 + 802008 = A1E5434F

Special Key 2 for T-Block 2 is the following value:
 A1652347 + 802008*2 = A2656357

In other words, the value of Special Key 2 is expressed by the following formula:
Code:
A1652347 + 802008 * [T-Block ID in hex]
What then is Special Key 2 for T-Block 574 (hex 23E)?

A1652347 + 802008 * 23E = 1C0ACF537

We only want the eight rightmost digits, so we can discard the 1 generated in the leftmost spot above.


Now we just refresh our memories of the subtractions we perform earlier and XOR these through their corresponding keys.


52622672 - 85B11553 = FFFFFFFFCCB1111F

CCB1111F XOR 47C = CCB11563


5B0FB273 - E691A401 = FFFFFFFF747E0E72

747E0E72 XOR C0ACF537 = B4D2FB45

Our new array of bytes in big-endian is thusly...
CCB11563B4D2FB45

Or written in little-endian...
Code:
45 FB D2 B4 63 15 B1 CC

That was the heavily complicated way that T-Block 574 changed from the array...
Code:
73 B2 0F 5B 72 26 62 52
to its penultimate set of byte values.
Code:
45 FB D2 B4 63 15 B1 CC
We are close to the finish line!




Decryption Step 4: The Last XORing

We actually don't need to rewrite the arrays to big-endian for the calculations done in this step but I included the big-endian form simply because the previous decryption step conditioned me to.

The current array of bytes for T-Block 574 as written in both endian forms.
Code:
Little-endian: 45 FB D2 B4 63 15 B1 CC
Big-endian: CCB11563B4D2FB45
Below is, again, K-Block 30. Match the color codings of T-Block 574 and K-Block 30 to know which values will be XOR'd together.
Code:
Little-endian: 01 A4 91 E6 53 15 B1 85
Big-endian:    85B11553E691A401
CCB11563 XOR 85B11553 = 49000030

B4D2FB45 XOR E691A401 = 52435F44

The final twist is that we do NOT combine 49000030 and 52435F44 to form 4900003052435F44. What you must do here is to have the two halves switch places.

52435F4449000030

Rewriting the value above to little-endian we get our final, decrypted values and the text that is associated with T-Block 574.

Code:
30 00 00 49 44 5F 43 52
0  .  .  I  D  _  C  R





...and that is how it's done.

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Last edited by Shademp; 04/03/2018 at 07:31 PM. Reason: *correction about step 4
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Old 04/23/2018   #889
Clement Rage
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So, I played the Dirge tutorial today, and the voice over said 'Good day, Mr. Valentine'. I swear every other time I've done it she said 'good evening'. Am I delusional?
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Old 04/23/2018   #890
Shademp
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Clement Rage wrote: So, I played the Dirge tutorial today, and the voice over said 'Good day, Mr. Valentine'. I swear every other time I've done it she said 'good evening'. Am I delusional?
You are not delusional. See this post and this post.
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Old 04/24/2018   #891
Clement Rage
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Wow. I am inordinately impressed by that little detail, it's a very nice touch.
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Old 04/27/2018   #892
Shademp
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While browsing the Dirge of Cerberus screenshots on a Spanish gaming website I found a (to me) new screenshot from the beta phase of the multiplayer.



The screenshots on the site are watermark nightmares! I am amused by how I was able to instantly spot that among the over 800 screenshots I have from the beta testing phase that this image was not among them. Naturally, because the brain is an imperfect storage device, I made sure to browse all my folders before saying with 100% certainty that this snapshot is indeed new. The original source is unknown though it's probably from a deleted Japanese blog.


I really should do a better job at browsing websites that are in neither English nor Japanese. So many treasures could be hiding out there in plain sight simply because I'm not bothering to google translate search terms for Spanish/Portuguese/French/Italian/German/Dutch/Russian etc.
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Old 04/28/2018   #893
Shademp
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I made searches in German and I was rewarded accordingly. Found great treasure on a website I am actually quite familiar with: CetraConnection!

What did I find? Two of the long-sought video recordings from the beta phase of Dirge's online mode!

Download link: gameplayonline_1.wmv
Length: 5m15s
Team Battle in the Kalm Streets.
Resolution: 208x160
Observe the beta-style timer in the top-middle and the beta icon to the top right. Reference photo below from Haggy's blog to help you know what you're looking for:


Notice also that nobody can shoot in mid-air since that feature wasn't available in the beta. After the battle is won the player receives the Slayer Medal which is rewarded to the player with the most enemy kills.


Download link: gameplayonline_2.wmv
Length: This video is meant to be 3m50s, but it is only 9 seconds long. Probably due to an error when the video was uploaded.
Resolution: 320x240


We can make out the player name "Topix" in the second video. I am familiar with this player name from other archived media and websites about the online mode!




There are three beta recordings that I know of.
- Collector's Mind Mission. Original file name: up0023.
- (Kalm) Church Team Battle. Original file name: up0025.
- Kalm Streets Team Battle. Original file name (probably) : up0044.

up0044 is accounted for with gameplayonline_1.wmv. It is unknown if a higher resolution version exists/existed. The second downloadable video, if we had it in its entirety, would probably prove to be up0025.



I am so thankful to CetraConnection for uploading these files to their own servers! The original Japanese servers were quickly lost, followed by the loss of RapidShare and FileFront where the English-speaking fans had reuploaded these videos.


EDIT: I shall let this classic theme express my feelings for me. So happy right now due to finally having recordings from the beta testing phase!

YouTube Video
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Last edited by Shademp; 04/28/2018 at 02:08 AM.
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Old 04/29/2018   #894
Shademp
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The more I look at the Beta Kalm Streets Team Battle video the better it gets. Add to that I have the documentation to provide plenty of context to what we see.

YouTube Video



- The point-of-view player character is "Guin" and I recognize them from multiple comments on monster_78's blog and from one comment on Bonnie's blog. Both are from the 2005/beta era.

Bonnie's blog, October 31 entry

Entries on monster_78's blog where Guin wrote comments:
October 4
October 6
October 7
October 9
October 20
October 23
November 1


- Guin belonged to the beta version of Team2ch, one of the top dominant teams of the online mode. The players Unicorn and Jeil, visible here only in chat, played faithfully in Team2ch throughout the 2006 era. Since Team2ch was affiliated with Area/Sector 3 of the Deepground Lobby in the beta phase, the players could acquire and equip the Tonberry Mask. There is no sign of Guin playing the online mode during the 2006 era. If they did, they probably did so under a different player name.


- The presence of the player SQEX-Soldier12 pretty definitively dates the recording to be from the beta's final day: October 31, when the Square Enix staff joined the other testers for a "Last Shooting" event. The staff did the same on September 29, 2006, just before the servers were shut down for good.


- Judging by the ammo round caps, and the fact that this is the beta, we can tell that Guin has equipped the handgun Caballerial, the rifle Caol and the machine gun Ullman or Smith. The barrels match their respective gun type: Medium/Normal for handgun, long barrel for the rifle and short barrel for the machine gun. No materia equipped. Guin is wearing the Tonberry Cap and the Sniper Suit.


- At the bottom left of the screen there are normally the numbers "123" with one number being highlighted to show which of the weapon slots you are using.



There are exceptions, like when the online mission "Silent Killing" restricts you to only one weapon slot, the numbers "123" aren't displayed.

In the beta the weapon slot numbering isn't present at all in the bottom left corner!

This was already strongly indicated via screenshots from the beta but now we get to see it definitively in both beta videos.


- Mako Point at 0:21! These were not present in the 2006 version of the online mode. You can hear other players stepping on the Mako Point but for some reason Guin doesn't step on it. On one hand Guin doesn't have any materia equipped, on the other hand you could use MP to trigger limit breaks in the online beta. For whatever reason Guin doesn't prioritize limit breaks.


- Guin starts out with an X-Potion [エクスポーション] and later picks up a Hi-Potion [ハイポーション]. Both these items went unused in the online mode of 2006, seeing as they were overkill when it came to HP restoration. The standard Potion was already potent enough.

At 3:23, Guin picks up a Phoenix Pinion [フェニックスの羽根] and proceeds to use it. This generates a two-winged icon at the bottom left.



When you use a Phoenix Down, it generates two wings with a halo on top.



Going back to the video, we get a wonderful confirmation at the very end. Guin is KO'd...but is not revived! The two-winged icon, or the "Phoenix Pinion status effect", is removed while Guin waits to be respawned at a standard spot.

So what just happened? This is the description to the Phoenix Pinion item:
戦闘不能時に 50%の確率で自動的に復活し、HPを全回復する。
Instantly restores all HP when
user is KO'd. Has a success
rate of 50 percent.
Thus we see that Guin was not revived because the dice did not roll in their favor. The reason I am so ecstatic to see this 50-percent mechanic in effect is because it is not present on the game discs. If you unlock the Phoenix Pinion, use it and then get killed, you ALWAYS get revived but only at 10% of your max HP.

The beta recording proves that, for the online play, the item had been fully programmed to match its in-game description.

The Phoenix Pinion would become an unused item after the 2005 beta.


- Team Ifrit wins with a score of 30-24 (win by kill count), with Guin being on the victorious side. By receiving the Slayer Medal Guin also receives 80 Ranking Points. This leads to a total RP of 108595! As a reference point, you needed 70000 points in the 2006 era in order to qualify for the Tsviet exam mission.

Guin has 214953 gil at the end. Quite a large amount!



I hope that one day I can get one or more people to transcribe and translate all the chat messages in these recordings. So much more life and detail is lost on me because I don't know what is being said. Thankfully my deep knowledge of the game makes it possible for me to enjoy the recordings regardless.
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Old 05/08/2018   #895
Shademp
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Finding the beta video reawakened my transcribing obsession. I've been transcribing the majority of the Japanese text from doonkonishi's and Northern Kingdom's videos, with some help here and there from hito and X-SOLDIER. Many thanks to these guys!

It's been fun to confirm what type of messages the game chat is usually filled with. Most of chat contains stock phrases for greetings, hyping up for battles and thanking people for a good session. Some stock phrases in chat will appear when the player uses emotes.

After one of the "Deepground Assault" tournament matches, specifically the Team2ch vs Rabid match where the latter got quite slaughtered, the SQEX judge writes "Both teams were awesome". To this Muimui, member of Rabid, writes a chat message to their own team that basically reads "Yeah...except we were utterly defeated ".


The additional observations I've made while, yet again, applying a fine-tooth comb to the online mode are too many to count in full. Here are some of these observations.


- After joining Team Shiva, the player arrow on the menu map turns blue. No doubt it turns red when you join Team Ifrit.


- Recall that the FA Mode, at least in name, is a battle mode that was never available for players. In the DC Complete Guide, which contains screenshots that represent a development phase after beta but before retail, I suddenly saw this on page 238 and 241...

(SPOILER)








What a tease!


- Thanks to a screenshot from page 247 of the DC Complete Guide, I can guess with confidence what the equivalent screen in the low-resolution beta recording is saying.

Page 247 screenshot plus transcription



リザルト

戦闘結果

敵の撃破数
戦闘不能になった回数
NPCの撃破数
バトルに敗北

合計

ランキングポイント


Compare this then to the end of the beta video that I analyzed in my previous post.



The 敗北 from the guide screenshot will here be 勝利, since the former is a lost battle and the latter is a victory. The 勝利 kanji are derived from the text used for the "Combat Results" screen in the retail 2006 era.

Translation wrote: Results

Combat Results

Number of enemies killed     20 x10   200 pts
Number of times KO'd in battle  -10 x2   -20 pts
Number of NPCs destroyed    5 x0     0 pts
Victory in battle          50     50 pts


Total 230 pts

Ranking Points: 108515 pts
NPCs here refer to enemies such as DG Beasts, Bull Heads, Dual Horns etc. I have only seen references to these "NPCs" appearing in Team Battles during the beta phase so it's possible the feature was disabled for the 2006 era.

The "Combat Results" screen text for TBT changed a bit for the retail era.
リザルト

戦闘結果

撃破数
戦闘不能回数
味方を戦闘不能にした
連続撃破ボーナス
チーム:総撃破数
チーム:バトルに勝利
対戦規模ボーナス係数

合計

ランキングポイント
Google Translate wrote: Results

Combat Results

Number of defeated
Times KO'd
I made my allies unable to fight
Continuous killing bonus
Team: Total defeated
Team: Win the battle
Battle Scale Bonus Coefficient

Total

Ranking Points



- Subtitles for the Victory!/Failed screen was removed at some point during 2006.



Victory!
Team Shiva Wins by Kill Count


The screenshot above is from ITmedia's review of DoC, uploaded on February 8, 2006. Sometime after this point, the row of text below Victory!/Failed (for TBT at least) was discarded.




More examples of the subtitle(s)

PlayOnline image from 2005, beta (or slightly after or before beta)

Flan Wins by Mako Capsule Count

End of 5-minute beta recording

Team Ifrit Wins by Kill Count

DC Complete Guide: Page 247

Team Shiva's Base Captured

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Old 05/12/2018   #896
Shademp
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It is a wonderful shock each time to find "new" blog entries about the online mode. In today's case, blogger zerohour_co made two posts about Dirge's multiplayer.
- January 27, 2006
- January 29, 2006

This means two new screenshots to my gallery. New screenshots and blog discoveries are few and far between these days.





I've been transcribing Japanese text from the DC Official Complete Guide like a man possessed. No OCR, all manual. Firstly OCR is too unreliable, secondly by doing it manually I feel more motivated to *actually* try to learn and remember a few symbols. Naturally I am focusing all my efforts on the pages about the multiplayer mode.

Mistakes are inevitable but I AM improving!

From page 244:


ミッション
「DGソルジャー50人撃破」などのクリア条件を達成して
いくモードで、階級によって受けられるミッションが異な
る。ほかのモード
と違い、ガードハ
ウンドなどSingle
Playerモードで出
現した敵が相手。
1人でも遊べるが、
複数人の協力が必
要な難昜度の高い
ミッションもある。
Google Translation wrote: Mission(s)
It is a mode that achieves the clear condition such as
"Destroy 50 DG Soldier", the mission accepted by the class
is different. Unlike other modes, enemies who appeared in
Single Player mode such as Guard Hound are opponents. Even
a single person can play, but there are also missions with a
high level of difficulty that require cooperation of more than
one person.
This seemingly confirms my suspicion that after the beta, NPC enemies like Guard Hound and Dual Horn would not appear in Team Battles. They became limited to the missions in the 2006 era.


Recall that new players in the 2006 era (I have never seen this mentioned for the beta phase) had a beginner's mark next to their player name.

Page 240:

Beginner's Machine
ディープグラウンド・エリア3のE-8のみ、設置されてい
る端末。調べると「ビギナーズマシンメニュー」が表示さ
れ、初心者マーク
(石ぺージ参照)を
消したり、バトル
時のアドバイスを
聞くことができる。
ちなみにアドバイ
スは複数あるの
で、何度も調べて
みるといい。
Google Translate wrote: Beginner's Machine
Terminal installed only in E-8 of Deepground Area 3. When you examine it,
"Beginner's Machine menu" is displayed, you can erase the beginner's mark
(see page 2) and hear advice on battle. By the way there are several advice,
so please check it over and over.
Page 241:

TIPS 初心者マークを消すには?
Multiplayerモードを始めたばかりのプレイヤーには、
名前の横に「初心者マーク」が表示されている。これは
そのプレイヤーが新米ソルジャーであることを意味する

のだ。これを消すには、ディープグラウンド・エリア3の
E-8にある「Beginner's Machine」を調べて「初心者
を卒業する」を選ぶか、バトルで20人倒せばいい。
Google Translate wrote: TIPS How to erase the novice mark?
For players who have just started Multiplayer mode,
"Beginner Mark" is displayed next to their names.
This means that the player is a brand-new soldier.
To eliminate this, check "Beginner's Machine" in E-8 of
Deepground Area 3 and choose "to graduate beginner"
or 20 battle to defeat it.
That's neat to know you had two options for removing the beginner's mark: Select the option via the Beginner's Machine or do 20 battles.

On the same topic, I learned that the battle mode "Beginner Match" is only available to those who still have the novice mark.

Page 244:

初心者対戦
初心者マークが付いた新米プレイヤーのみが参加できる
モード。このモードに参加できるプレイヤーは、初心者ば
かりなので、ゲー
ムに慣れていなく
ても気軽に参加し
てみるといい。こ
こでバトルの経験
を積み、腕を磨い
ていこう。ある程
度上達したら通常
対戦に挑戦だ。
Google Translate wrote: Beginner Match
Mode in which only a brand-new player with a
beginner's mark can participate. Since only
the beginners can participate in this mode,
even if you are not accustomed to playing the game,
feel free to join in. Let's build the experience of
the battle here and hone our skills. If you improve
to a certain extent it is usually a challenge to play against.
This knowledge adds more context to my analysis of the Battle Entry menu.
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Old 05/13/2018   #897
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Each Unit creator decided on their own emblem which was created using the game's templates, combining a "shield" and a pattern to have on said shield.

I sincerely hope that the emblem graphics are still on the game disc. This is yet one more aspect of the online mode where we lack complete documentation, as we don't know all the shields and patterns one could choose.

Here are all the sources we currently have of said graphics.

Beta Manual, page 17




DC Yasiro's Unit emblem: Beta phase

From Kupoa's blog, their Unit's progression from 0 ranking points to 63431 points.

  


JORG manual, page 28




DC Official Complete Guide, page 240




Team_2ch's Unit emblem in 2006




Unless I'm forgetting some brief moment in a video recording that showed Unit emblems, these are all the sources we currently have. ...Actually, there might be one more.

From the post-JORG game: Extra Features → Art Gallery → Shinra Building → Shinra Building Subterrane 3



After showing artwork for the gate to Deepground that was used in the final game, we see this concept art for alternate versions of the gate.

One of the gates show a mirrored version of the unicorn/lion/chimera that we saw earlier. The two are not identical but I'm willing to bet that we're seeing more Unit emblem patterns in this concept art.





So which Deepground Unit are you? Midgardsormr? Leviathan? Chimera? Phoenix? The concept art does trigger the imagination.



If you were to create a Unit in Dirge of Cerberus, what would you name it? I sometimes fantasize about what units TLS members would create if they played the online game.

"The Lifestream"
"LTDeath"
"Shilly Shally"
"Dilly Dally"
"Cookie Monsters"
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Old 05/17/2018   #898
Shademp
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Cloud_S has just shared their treasure trove of recordings from the online mode. I am absolutely stunned by the amount of new stuff. You can download it all here. I can't thank Cloud_S enough. Stunned with gratitude, I am.

YouTube Video

Translation wrote: Officer-East: I am the one who is responsible for the level promotion exams. If you want to raise your level, you need to pass through all the exams given by us, the officers.

*Then Officer-East goes into a thinking posture.*

Officer-East: ……Is this the first time that I’ve met you? No, in fact, before I bother remembering your face, there are many others who die before their face is worth remembering as well. And then naturally, I’ve abandoned all effort in trying to remember them. Let me know if there is anything wrong.

*Officer-East goes back to his normal posture again.*

Officer-East: Well then, you’d probably know by now, in Deepground, strength is everything. You have the right to keep on winning in order to prove your survival in Deepground, and that way, the roads will be opened for you. That is the rule of this world. It is good thing to know this from the start.

*Scene cuts as to another angle of Officer-East.*

Officer-East: Then hurry up and complete the following battle three times. We will know whether if you can go on and continue here from the results you get from your tests. For everything, the “beginning” is essential. First, go to “Beginners’ Battle” and fight, and then you will probably be used to how everything works around here. If you’re not confident enough in yours skills yet, then try out the “Mission Mode” and train yourself from there.

*Scene cuts to a Terminal with a DGC Sturm standing in front of it.*

Officer-East: Go and head towards the battle entry from that terminal. For a more detailed description, it is a good idea to talk to the DGC Sturm standing next to it.

*Scene goes back to Officer-East.*

Officer-East: Hail P.S.!!
- Translation Source


YouTube Video



YouTube Video



YouTube Video



The folder also contains cutscenes from the online mode but with a different player character from what we've had saved before. We also get confirmed here that the player character Argento is talking to, in this familiar scene, is Mana3.


Would write more but I gotta go. Just had to share this before I leave for work.
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Old 05/27/2018   #899
Shademp
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An apparent solution to the "corrupt save data" problem that I'm now posting here as a reminder for whenever I replay Dirge.
xXGottiXx
That glitch in the Extra Missions that I posted a few months ago, well I fixed it. I just replayed EXtreme mode and the error messages that told me my files were corrupted dissappeared. My awsome weapons also returned to the Extra Missions inventory such as the Ultima Weapon and such. Now I plan on finishing these extra levels to unlock what is almost impossible almost.... Wish me luck.

Horat-Zero
So replaying Extreme Mode is the key? hmmmm imma try that, thanks anyway.
Yes, I am currently browsing ALL the threads on the DoC GameFAQs board.
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Old 06/01/2018   #900
Tenshin26100
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Those new discoveries about the online mode are impressive. And yeah, old articles in other languages can have their own little exclusive contents too ^^
For example, for Zelda OOT 64, some exclusive beta screenshots were only available in a french magazine. You are doing well to expend your researches like that


As for the video footages, nevermind, I messaged you before thinking checking this thread ... my mistake lol
Thanks to the person who recorded these, maybe one day, you'll find a way to play those missions yourself, who knows. I'm not loosing hopes on you
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