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Bionicle the Game research and discoveries

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#1 Offline Hexadecimal Mantis

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Posted Apr 17 2017 - 01:09 PM

Greetings Bionicle fans, I was always interested in Bionicle The Game because so much content was cut due to time constraints. So I decided to begin exploring the ps2 port and I found some interesting stuff.
 
 
To start, some very talented people over at biomediaproject.com and rockraidersunited.com figured out the file formats used in the game, making my research a lot easier.
 
I began my research by making the iso boot straight to the Hidden Level Select. This can be done by replacing this hex string 0080000000801028 with this hex string 008000000068722B. Multiple unused levels are present in the Level Select, including the cut Lewa Mata level. However, most of the levels do not work. I will explain more about that later.
 
I decided to figure out what was inside some of the unused archives. Using a python script created by JrMasterModelBuilder and edited maver1kxvii I was able to decompress the archives. I'm sure most people wouldn't find plaintext in a hex editor very interesting, so here is some content found with maver1kxvii's noesis script.
 
The following content is from the cut Lewa Mata level:
 
 
 
http://i.imgur.com/J3oHMCw.png
 
This image looks like an unused Matoran collection icon.
 
 
 
http://i.imgur.com/kmtfSCX.png
 
This image looks like the Lewa Mata avatar seen in the tech demo trailers.
 
 
Strangely enough, there appears to be Gali Mata and Ta Matoran textures in the archive as well.
 
 
There is a way to get some of the unused levels to work. This can be done changing the wad version of the archives. This can be done by changing the eighth byte in header of the archive to 74 which is 114 in hex. This makes a some of the unused levels work, some better than others. Sadly the cut Lewa Mata level still does not work. 
 
 
Here is some documentation on what the character archives load:
 
10-00.pss loads Tahu Mata
15-00.pss loads Tahu Nuva
20-00.pss loads Lewa Nuva (can fly)
21-00.pss loads Lewa Nuva (can't fly)
30-00.pss loads Gali Nuva
40-00.pss loads Onua Nuva
50-00.pss loads Pohatu Nuva
60-00.pss loads Kopaka Mata
61-00.pss (missing file) presumably loads an older version of Kopaka Mata
66-00.pss (missing file) presumably loads an older version of Onua Nuva
78-00.pss loads Takanuva
88-00.pss loads an older version of Onua Nuva
91-00.pss (nonfunctional file) presumably loads an older version of Tahu Mata
92-00.pss (nonfunctional file) presumably loads Lewa Mata
95-00.pss loads an older version of Onua Nuva
97-00.pss loads an older version of Lewa Nuva (can fly)
 
 
In conclusion, there is still so much to discover inside this mysterious game.
 
My album of unused levels can be found here: http://imgur.com/a/QffeN
 
My upcoming YouTube series of unused music tracks can be found on my channel: https://www.youtube....JcekYskqVc-NPwQ
 
EDIT: If you want to look through an unused archive, here is 92-00.pss. The zip includes the compressed archive, decompressed archive, and the extracted images. Tell me if you find anything interesting!
 
https://drive.google...NXh5QVpQTlMyLTA

Edited by Black Six, May 09 2017 - 09:20 PM.

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#2 Offline Pohaturon

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Posted Apr 17 2017 - 09:04 PM

Digging through files to find things like this has always fascinated me, but I lack the technical expertise to do it myself. In any case, it's interesting to get a glimpse of what might have been. Massive props for taking the time to do all this mate!

 

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#3 Offline Pereki

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Posted Apr 17 2017 - 09:21 PM

Nice! Super cool to see this, looking forward to anything else you dig up.  :D


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#4 Offline TheSkeletonMan939

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Posted Apr 17 2017 - 09:40 PM

Woah! Unused music?  :o I wonder if it's from some stock music library or if it's actually an early track for the game.


Edited by TheSkeletonMan939, Apr 17 2017 - 09:40 PM.

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#5 Offline Hexadecimal Mantis

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Posted Apr 18 2017 - 11:01 AM

Most of the unused music is very similar to the music used in the final version. However, An unused Ga Wahi track is very interesting.


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#6 Offline Illuminatus

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Posted Apr 18 2017 - 02:59 PM

This is brilliant! Great work.

 

I've personally managed to get Kopaka Mata to walk his way to a hidden part of the level, not by hacking or reverse engineering or anything of the sort. There is just a glitch in the level that let's you walk instead of glide if you press "/" before Kopaka lands on his shield. The particular instance of the village is accessible by walking away from the boulder before it blocks the entire way and then waiting it out. You can go ahead and try it on PS2.


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#7 Offline Hexadecimal Mantis

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Posted Apr 18 2017 - 07:34 PM

I got Kopaka Mata and Tahu Nuva on foot before by changing what character the game loads. I actually tried the method you stated above on ps2 a while ago. Its a bit harder to time because the ps2 port is slightly more polished than the other ports of the game, but it's still possible to do.


Edited by Hexadecimal Mantis, Apr 18 2017 - 07:34 PM.

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#8 Offline Sir Kohran

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Posted Apr 20 2017 - 06:45 PM

I've personally managed to get Kopaka Mata to walk his way to a hidden part of the level, not by hacking or reverse engineering or anything of the sort. There is just a glitch in the level that let's you walk instead of glide if you press "/" before Kopaka lands on his shield. The particular instance of the village is accessible by walking away from the boulder before it blocks the entire way and then waiting it out. You can go ahead and try it on PS2.

 

Is there much to see in there?


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#9 Offline Kopekemaster

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Posted Apr 21 2017 - 06:39 PM

B:TG has always been my favorite Bionicle game, so this is pretty awesome to see. I didn't know they cut stuff out, but it makes a lot of sense, given that not all Toa (both Mata and Nuva versions) are represented

 

Oh man, this is really making me want to replay the game. It's been such a long time...


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#10 Offline masterchirox580

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Posted Apr 22 2017 - 10:14 AM

Really appreciate this. I remember seeing trailers for the Lewa mata stage on an old minidisc back in 2003 and wondering where I could play it (it looked like such an awesome game in the trailers). This game had such potential but it got ruined by time constraints. I find this to be the case with all bionicle games. They all had such potential beyond the world of adobe flash but developers never took advantage. Such a shame.


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#11 Offline evil_jaga_genius

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Posted Apr 22 2017 - 11:56 AM

I recall a guy going by fattermadigan on the BioMedia Project forums posting up 3D models of all the Toa - all six, Mata and Nuva, not just the ones that had levels in the game.  I'm curious, are there models for all the Toa Mata and Toa Nuva in the game, or did he recreate them from scratch?

 

Here's the link to the forum post:  http://biomediaproje...ic.php?f=4&t=88


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#12 Offline Hexadecimal Mantis

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Posted Apr 22 2017 - 12:45 PM

All of the Toa Mata models are present in the game's files. But not all of the Toa Nuva models. Kopaka Nuva is missing.


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#13 Offline Illuminatus

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Posted Apr 22 2017 - 05:07 PM

I've personally managed to get Kopaka Mata to walk his way to a hidden part of the level, not by hacking or reverse engineering or anything of the sort. There is just a glitch in the level that let's you walk instead of glide if you press "/" before Kopaka lands on his shield. The particular instance of the village is accessible by walking away from the boulder before it blocks the entire way and then waiting it out. You can go ahead and try it on PS2.


Is there much to see in there?


Quite a lot.

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#14 Offline Hexadecimal Mantis

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Posted Apr 22 2017 - 06:17 PM

I have been working with the Kopaka Mata level lately. I was able to access the Kini area by performing the shield glitch and killing the timer! http://i.imgur.com/kXedgN2.png


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#15 Offline Illuminatus

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Posted Apr 23 2017 - 06:05 AM

That is awesome! I've always wondered how I could kill the timer. Any idea if that can happen on PC?


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#16 Offline Hexadecimal Mantis

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Posted Apr 23 2017 - 10:27 AM

I did it by jumping off the shield at the beginning of the level and walking backwards until the timer disappeared. I haven't tried it on pc though.

 

EDIT: I have YouTube video of the Kini now 


Edited by Hexadecimal Mantis, Apr 23 2017 - 06:17 PM.

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#17 Offline Toa Imrukii

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Posted Apr 23 2017 - 08:06 PM

That is awesome! I've always wondered how I could kill the timer. Any idea if that can happen on PC?

I did it by jumping off the shield at the beginning of the level and walking backwards until the timer disappeared. I haven't tried it on pc though.
 
EDIT: I have YouTube video of the Kini now https://www.youtube....h?v=KsG-sJ4O95o



Yeah, I did that once myself I think on either the PC version or the Console Version, but I had no idea what was going on, so I just restarted.

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#18 Offline Illuminatus

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Posted Apr 25 2017 - 05:40 AM

I did it by jumping off the shield at the beginning of the level and walking backwards until the timer disappeared. I haven't tried it on pc though.

 
I've tried that on PC and the timer never disappeared, I think. I'll need to give it another shot.

Great video.

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#19 Offline Tuuli

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Posted May 09 2017 - 11:07 PM

I have no love for this game. None at all. Give us that original 2001 pc game!
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#20 Offline AceGreenLegend

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Posted May 10 2017 - 05:54 AM

Hi. I've collected every version of this game, so there's some details people often miss that may as well be brought up here.

You can access the unused Mata, Turaga, and Matoran models without glitching. They're viewable in the Extras menu with their respective character bios. All of the Toa have idle animations there, so development on them was likely longer than the Turaga - a good chunk of which are stuck in their T-poses. The Matoran all have basic idle animations. This in particular is strange, as proper Ta-Matoran are in the game's files (and, if I recall, Tahu Nuva's bad ending video), yet Le-Matoran are in the first level. Still, it's cool to see the otherwise missing Onu-Matoran and basic Po-Matoran models.

This mode also reveals unused models for Madu-Volo and item descriptions pertaining to their use against Muaka, as well as canisters that release "beguiled" Rahi.

Can anyone check if there are unused textures for the three absent Rahkshi? That seems the most unaccounted for.

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#21 Offline Toa of Gallifrey

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Posted May 10 2017 - 10:19 AM

Interesting to see that the village portion of Ko-Wahi has collision data. I imagine there was some non-timed segment of Kopaka's level where you could walk around that was cut. Very interested in hearing the cut music! I absolutely adore the OST for this game and getting more would be a huge treat.


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#22 Offline Hexadecimal Mantis

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Posted May 11 2017 - 03:37 PM

Most of the cut music is found in the unused levels and they sound similar to the release tracks. However, a track used in the final version of Ga Wahi is not entirely cut from the game, but cut short for some reason. The complete track can be heard in one of the Gali test maps created close in time to the game's final release.


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#23 Offline CHTrilogy

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Posted May 11 2017 - 04:37 PM

Interesting! Will you be posting your finds on The Cutting Room Floor?


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#24 Offline Hexadecimal Mantis

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Posted May 11 2017 - 04:58 PM

Interesting! Will you be posting your finds on The Cutting Room Floor?

 

I was actually thinking about that. I'll probably do it in the foreseeable future.


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#25 Offline AceGreenLegend

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Posted May 11 2017 - 09:49 PM

So I've decided to do some digging into the PC version. I'm by no means an expert in this - Heroes was significantly easier to toy with, so I messed around using the tools I have.

 

I discovered something interesting:

 

:9:0:6:0:0:0 // Start
5:8:0:6:0:0:0 // Select
6:0:0:6:0:0:0 // DUp
6:0:0:6:0:0:0 // DDown
6:0:0:6:0:0:0 // DLeft
6:0:0:6:0:0:0 // DRight
5:0:0:6:0:0:0 // Cross
5:1:0:6:0:0:0 // Circle
5:4:0:6:0:0:0 // Triangle
5:3:0:6:0:0:0 // Square
1:3:0:5:7:0:1 // LX
1:4:0:5:7:0:1 // LY
1:3:0:5:7:0:0 // RX
1:4:0:5:7:0:0 // RY
6:0:0:6:0:0:0 // L1
5:6:0:6:0:0:0 // L2
6:0:0:6:0:0:0 // L3
6:0:0:6:0:0:0 // R1
6:0:0:6:0:0:0 // R2
6:0:0:6:0:0:0 // R3
 
DualShock 2 button mappings. This leads me to believe that the PS2 version was the base edition in development. It's not entirely surprising, as it's the best console version. 
 
But perhaps more useful here:
 
0-11 normal Ta-Suva Sat Jun 07 10:11:07
10-12 normal Lock-In Sat Jun 07 10:11:53
10-13 normal Ta-Koro Sat Jun 07 10:13:05
10-15 normal Flow Platforms Sat Jun 07 10:14:28
10-16 normal Kofo Jaga Sat Jun 07 10:15:31
10-61 normal Battlefield Sat Jun 07 10:17:42
15-00 normal Ta Adrenaline Sat Jun 07 10:18:48
15-41 normal Ta Adrenaline Sat Jun 07 10:19:53
15-42 normal Ta Adrenaline Sat Jun 07 10:20:50
15-43 normal Ta Adrenaline Sat Jun 07 10:21:46
15-44 normal Ta Adrenaline Sat Jun 07 10:22:43
20-00 normal Toa Only Sat Jun 07 10:23:41
20-22 normal Link Sat Jun 07 10:24:44
20-26 normal between2021and2061 Sat Jun 07 10:26:06
20-31 normal Le Windmill (Centre) Sat Jun 07 10:27:00
20-61 normal le koro Sat Jun 07 10:27:59
20-62 normal Le MiniMap #3 Sat Jun 07 10:28:52
21-00 normal Branches Sat Jun 07 10:29:42
21-41 normal Branches Sat Jun 07 10:31:48
21-42 normal Branches Sat Jun 07 10:32:18
21-43 normal Branches Sat Jun 07 10:32:47
22-00 normal Level Complete Loader Sat Jun 07 10:33:01
30-00 normal <Gali Teleport Level> Sat Jun 07 10:33:44
30-11 normal Ga-Suva 3011 Sat Jun 07 10:36:41
30-13 normal 3015 Mini Map 01 Sat Jun 07 10:37:32
30-21 normal Ga-Kini Sat Jun 07 10:41:00
30-61 normal 3061 - Rahkshi Battle Sat Jun 07 10:42:09
40-00 normal <unnamed level> Sat Jun 07 10:42:50
40-11 normal Onu Suva Sat Jun 07 10:44:15
40-22 normal tween Sat Jun 07 10:45:08
40-43 normal Onu Tunnels Sat Jun 07 10:46:20
40-77 normal Take it to the bridge Sat Jun 07 11:30:16
50-00 normal Po Common Sat Jun 07 11:31:02
50-31 normal Po Start Section Sat Jun 07 11:32:34
50-32 normal Tween Room Sat Jun 07 11:33:28
52-31 normal Po Track Section 1 Sat Jun 07 11:34:46
52-32 normal Po Loop 1 Section 2 Sat Jun 07 11:35:43
52-33 normal Po Loop 1 Section 3 Sat Jun 07 11:36:46
52-34 normal Po Loop 1 Section 4 Sat Jun 07 11:38:13
52-37 normal Po Wahi Loop 1 Sect 7 Sat Jun 07 11:38:58
52-38 normal Po Wahi Loop 1 Sect 8 Sat Jun 07 11:39:54
52-39 normal Po Wahi Loop 1 Section 9 Sat Jun 07 11:40:59
53-31 normal Po Wahi Loop 1 Sect 10 Sat Jun 07 11:42:12
53-32 normal Po Wahi Loop 1 Section 11 Sat Jun 07 11:43:18
53-39 normal Po Mine Cart Common Sat Jun 07 11:43:40
60-00 normal Ko Common Strats Sat Jun 07 11:45:20
60-10 normal Ko Suva Sat Jun 07 11:46:53
60-11 normal Ko timed section 1 Sat Jun 07 11:47:49
60-12 normal Ko timed section 2 Sat Jun 07 11:48:52
60-13 normal Ko timed section 3 Sat Jun 07 11:49:34
60-14 normal Ko timed section 4 Sat Jun 07 11:50:47
60-15 normal Ko timed section 5 - Kini Sat Jun 07 11:52:09
60-16 normal Ko Ice cave (vision mode) Sat Jun 07 11:52:40
60-17 normal Ko bohrok scout chase section 1 Sat Jun 07 11:54:19
60-18 normal Ko bohrok scout chase section 2 Sat Jun 07 11:55:15
60-19 normal Ko bohrok scout chase section 3 Sat Jun 07 11:56:00
60-20 normal Ko boulder run section 1 Sat Jun 07 11:56:48
60-21 normal Ko boulder run section 1 Sat Jun 07 11:57:45
60-22 normal Ko bohrok leader chase section 1 Sat Jun 07 11:59:27
60-23 normal Ko bohrok leader chase section 2 Sat Jun 07 12:00:49
60-24 normal Ko bohrok leader chase section 3 Sat Jun 07 12:02:50
60-25 normal Ko plateau level end Sat Jun 07 12:03:27
80-10 normal Ko plateau level end Sat Jun 07 12:03:27
 
Granted, I assume Mantis already found this tidbit in his digging, but it looks useful for the analysis.
 
I'll be digging into the GameCube and Xbox ports soon.

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#26 Offline Hexadecimal Mantis

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Posted May 12 2017 - 06:16 AM

Wow nice work! Is that list of level archives from levels.txt? levels.txt controls the level select. I'm trying to figure out a way to get the level select working on PC, but the vol archives are getting in the way.


Edited by Hexadecimal Mantis, May 12 2017 - 06:22 AM.

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#27 Offline AceGreenLegend

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Posted May 12 2017 - 04:04 PM

Wow nice work! Is that list of level archives from levels.txt? levels.txt controls the level select. I'm trying to figure out a way to get the level select working on PC, but the vol archives are getting in the way.

 

I found all of that by opening up general.vol in a barebones text editor. Of course, since it's not a proper format, most of the data was illegible. However, that part of the file (seeing how the data is structured) is probably levels.txt. 

 

Also, the other things legible:

 

(Presumably level_effects.txt)

 

LeBranches
{
LensFlare
{
{
type "core"
red 1.0
green 1.0
blue 1.0
scale 0.5
}
{
type "bloom"
 
red 0.8
green 0.6
blue 0.4
scale 2.0
}
{
type "star"
 
red 0.8
green 0.6
blue 0.4
scale 5.0
}
{
type "streaks"
 
red 0.8
green 0.6
blue 0.4
scale 3.0
}
}
}
 
PoWahi
{
LensFlare
{
{
type "core"
red 1.0
green 1.0
blue 1.0
scale 0.5
}
{
type "bloom"
 
red 0.8
green 0.6
blue 0.4
scale 2.0
}
{
type "star"
 
red 0.8
green 0.6
blue 0.4
scale 5.0
}
{
type "streaks"
 
red 0.8
green 0.6
blue 0.4
scale 3.0
}
}
}

 

(Memory addresses? It's written in hex.)

 

0007045E-0000-0000-00-00-50-49-44-56-49-44
ps2.cfm
06676666-0000-0000-00-00-50-49-44-56-49-44
sidewinder_precision_2.cfm
0038045E-0000-0000-00-00-50-49-44-56-49-44
saitek_p880.cfm
010906A3-0000-0000-00-00-50-49-44-56-49-44
sidewinder_pnp_gamepad.cfm
0027045E-0000-0000-00-00-50-49-44-56-49-44
sidewinder_joystick.cfm
003C045E-0000-0000-00-00-50-49-44-56-49-44
logitech_wingman_cordless_gamepad_usb.cfm
C211046D-0000-0000-00-00-50-49-44-56-49-44
sidewinder_precision_pro.cfm
0017045E-0000-0000-00-00-50-49-44-56-49-44
 
(Game.txt? This is an NTSC copy, so it's interesting to see a PAL switch still on the disk.)
 
NAME                    BIONICLE          // Name of game
WAD                     9-98              // First WAD to read
LANGUAGE                ENGLISH           // Territory or language
PAL                     ON                // PAL or NTSC
DEBUG_CHEATS            ON                // Are debug cheats on/off
DEBUG_TEXT              OFF               // Display debug text/gfx
DEBUG_FLY               ON                // Fly-through mode on/off
LEVEL_SELECT            ON                // Level select on/off
DEMO_LEVEL_SELECT       OFF               // Only show * levels in level select
SOUND                   ON                // Sound on/off
 
(Same, but with PAL set to OFF. I wonder if this or the above file is actually read into booleans - it could be useful in accessing debug features.)
 
WAD                     9-98              // First WAD to read
LANGUAGE                ENGLISH           // Territory or language
PAL                     OFF               // PAL or NTSC
DEBUG_CHEATS            OFF                // Are debug cheats on/off
DEBUG_TEXT              OFF                // Display debug text/gfx
DEBUG_FLY               ON                // Fly-through mode on/off
LEVEL_SELECT            ON                // Level select on/off
DEMO_LEVEL_SELECT       OFF               // Only show * levels in level select
SOUND                   OFF               // Sound on/off
 
(presumably environment_maps.txt)
 
TaWahiEnvironment
{
string textures < ta_outside.dds , ta_cave.dds , ta_hotcave.dds , ta_tunnel.dds >
}
 
LeWahiEnvironment
{
string textures < LeBranches_abovecanopy.dds , Le_argonaut.dds , LeBranches_undercanopy.dds >
}
 
GaWahiEnvironment
{
string textures < ga_outside.dds , ga_inside.dds , ga_underwater.dds >
}
 
OnuWahiEnvironment
{
string textures < onu_cave.dds >
}
 
PoWahiEnvironment
{
string textures <  po_inside.dds , po_outside.dds ,  po_tunnel.dds >
}
 
KoWahiEnvironment
{
string textures < ko_outsideBright.dds , ko_outsideStormy.dds , ko_outsideSunset.dds , ko_tunnel.dds >
}
 
KiniEnvironment
{
string textures < frontend.dds >
}
 
MakutaEnvironment
{
string textures < makuta_cave.dds , makuta_fallshaft.dds >
 
 

 

I excluded those from the original post because it didn't seem relevant.

 

Could you give me direct links to your sources for extracting the databases? Four eyes are better than two, and I'd like to be more useful.


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#28 Offline electrodude

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Posted May 21 2017 - 06:20 AM

This is so interesting, is there any more info on the Lewa Mata level? I remember seeing in promotional art but it wasn't in the final version of the game. 


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#29 Offline Hexadecimal Mantis

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Posted May 21 2017 - 05:58 PM

Unfortunately no. The archives don't work, and my attempts of hacking up parts of the files into others files with a hex editor have been inconsistent at best. However there are some tech demo trailers showing the level scattered around the internet.


Edited by Hexadecimal Mantis, May 21 2017 - 06:02 PM.

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