Breaking Eggs And Making Omelettes

Topics On Multimedia Technology and Reverse Engineering


Pushing Projects to Github

February 16th, 2012 by Multimedia Mike

I finally got around to importing some old projects into my Github account. I guess it’s good to have a backup out there in the cloud.

I describe this as a true offline RSS reader. Technically, it’s arguably not a true offline RSS reader. Rather, it does what most people actually want an offline RSS reader to do.

I wrote this about 2 years ago when I had a long daily train ride with a disconnected netbook. I quickly learned that I couldn’t count on offline RSS readers simply because most RSS feeds to not contain much meat. Thus, I created a program that follows URLs in RSS feeds, downloads web pages and supporting images and CSS files, and caches them in an offline database which can be read via a local web browser.

I wrote more information about this little project 2 years ago (here is part 1 and here is part 2). I fixed a few bugs in preparation for posting it but I probably won’t work on this anymore since I don’t have any use for it (the commute is long gone, but I didn’t even use it when I was commuting because I decided I just didn’t care enough to read the feeds on the train).

This is a FUSE module for mounting Xbox/360 optical disc filesystems. Here is when I first discussed it. The tool has had its own little homepage for a long time. This tool has seen some development, as I learned from Googling for “xbfuse”. Regrettably, no one who has modified the tool has ever contacted me about it (at least, not that I can recall). This is unfortunate because the patches I have seen floating around which fix my xbfuse for various installations usually boil down replacing many occurrences of an include path in the autotool-generated build system. There is probably a simpler, cleaner fix.

Written prior to xbfuse, this is a FUSE module for mounting GameCube optical disc filesystems. I first discussed this here and here. This tool has not seen too much direct development although someone eventually used it as the basis for WiiFuse which, as you can predict, mounts optical disc filesystems from Nintendo Wii games.

Posted in Game Hacking, Python | Comments Off on Pushing Projects to Github

Origin Crusader Media

February 13th, 2012 by Multimedia Mike

A gleaming copy of the old Origin game Crusader: No Remorse showed up today:

Immediately, I delved in expecting to find Xan-encoded AVI files that would play perfectly using FFmpeg/Libav. Instead, I found a directory labeled flics/ that indeed has a lot of AVI files, but not in Xan. The programs attempt to interpret them as raw RGB. The strangest thing is the first frame often looks correct, if upside down:

The first file I peered inside had the video FourCC ‘RRV1’. Searching for this led me to this discussion forum where people have already been hacking on this very format (Origin games invariably get a heap of lasting love). The forum participants have observed that 3 codecs are in play in this flics/ directory, including ‘RRV1’, ‘RRV2’, and ‘JYV1’, which apparently correspond to the initials of certain developers. The reason that the programs identify the files as raw RGB is because the FourCCs don’t appear everywhere that they’re supposed to. Additionally, there are several trailers for other Origin/EA games stored in Cinepak format elsewhere on the disc.

It seems that I’m the person who added this title to the Xan wiki page, obviously with no first-hand evidence to back it up. Meanwhile, the forum participants speculate that the files are descended from the old Autodesk FLIC format (which would explain why they live in a directory called flics/). Corroborating strings extracted from the CRUSADER.EXE file include “FlicWait”, “FlicPlayer”, “Flic %s not found.”, “flicpath”, and “FLICPLAY.C”.

The disc also features a sound/ directory which contains AMF files. Suxen Drol already documented these on the wiki as Asylum Media Format files. The disc contains an ASYLUM.DLL file as well as a utility called MOD2AMF.EXE. The latter works beautifully on a random MOD file I had laying around. The AMF file is a bit larger.

Samples for all 3 FourCCs can be found here, while the AMF files and associated utilities are here.

Posted in Game Hacking | 4 Comments »