Breaking Eggs And Making Omelettes

Topics On Multimedia Technology and Reverse Engineering


Game Formats Division

January 3rd, 2006 by Multimedia Mike

Recently, I have been getting reports left and right from people who have successfully reverse engineered old game-oriented multimedia formats. Sometimes the reports overlap, i.e., 2 people have independently RE’d the same format. I thought I would update my list of upcoming game-related formats (here’s the last entry I wrote on the matter):

  • TGV, used in various Origin games, most notably in Privateer 2: The Darkening. I have 2 contacts who have independently RE’d this format.
  • Further, it is worth investigating how this format relates to the TGQ format found on Warcraft II: The Dark Saga for the Sega Saturn.

  • EA WVE/UV2 files, which are principly Motion JPEG files
  • Multimedia from American Laser Games titles, notably Mad Dog McCree. Again, I have 2 contacts who have independently RE’d this format. This might be the IBM PhotoMotion video codec as the manual for Mad Dog McCree credits that format.
  • BRP, used in a few Argonaut games such as Alien Odyssey. After VAG figured out Argonaut’s AVS format it was postulated that their later BRP format is also a vector quantizer. It certainly looks that way based on cursory investigations.

Posted in Multimedia Goals And TODO | 6 Comments »

6 Responses

  1. john_doe Says:

    Just a little addition to the BRP format.
    It supports different coding algorithms based on the fourcc of the data chunk. One type is the mentioned vector quantizer, the other mode is a simple RLE scheme and the third one a mixture of RLE and motion vectors. All three have two modes each, one for inter- and one for intraframes.

  2. Multimedia Mike Says:

    I look forward to viewing and documenting the full details when you have completed the RE process.

  3. Chris Says:

    Hi, I’m curious about those TGV files since they’re used also by Space Hulk 2. I’m
    desperately looking for a player for those old babies.

  4. Jim Leonard Says:

    Hey, cough up the IBM PhotoMotion codec!! I’ve been wondering about this one since 1992!

  5. Multimedia Mike Says:

    Chris: If I could supply a write-up, do you have the skill to create the open source implementations? I’ve been doing much more documentation than coding recently.

  6. Chris Says:

    Sorry, no such skills here.