VMU archiving project

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OatBob
lithium
Posts: 45

Re: VMU archiving project

Post#41 » Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:27 pm

OK, I think I have a firm answer on being able to "reset" a Mothra save. The bad news is that the Hall of Fame data is permanent and auto-saves. I think someone is going to have to crack open a new Mothra Dream Battle VMU if we want a "fresh" save for the archive project.
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streeker
minority
Posts: 66

Re: VMU archiving project

Post#42 » Sat Sep 05, 2015 3:06 am

OatBob wrote:OK, I think I have a firm answer on being able to "reset" a Mothra save. The bad news is that the Hall of Fame data is permanent and auto-saves. I think someone is going to have to crack open a new Mothra Dream Battle VMU if we want a "fresh" save for the archive project.

Well, that's too bad. But I'm still crossing my fingers for someone to help out with a virgin Mothra VMU. If anyone needs help to dump this minigame, let me know!

Blai wrote:Also, I have another request. Could you explain a little bit what every minigame or application is about?
In the cases you know.

Also, you could explain how to get each minigame (beating the main game, in the options menu of the game, etc.) in the cases you know.

That would be good to know, for historical purposes.

I'm sorry. For now, I guess I should rather put the little spare time that I have into compiling the release of this collection. BTW, does anyone here happen to know a way to get in touch with Speud/Blue Swirl (the developer of Dream Explorer/VMU Tool)? Last time I checked, the mail address on his website was not active anymore. The thing is, the application still has some bugs, I'd like to get rid of for the upcoming release.

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OatBob
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Posts: 45

Re: VMU archiving project

Post#43 » Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:44 pm

My game disc arrived today. The documentation indicates that the minigame was a download from a website called "EVE Online" (definitely not the SF MMORPG).

The webpage was hosted on dricas.ne.jp which is now defunct, but...

The wayback machine has the web page.
https://web.archive.org/web/20070331081742/http://eve-zero.dricas.ne.jp/

The game is called BEAM FORCE.




EDIT: This game has been sooo up and down for me. First I was disappointed that it was an online download, then I found that site backup... now I see it cannot be downloaded from a PC browser. I'm not giving up yet.
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streeker
minority
Posts: 66

Re: VMU archiving project

Post#44 » Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:34 pm

Hmmmmm, interesting.
I followed the waybackmachine link, and at least the VMI file is still downloadable.
I don't have access to the internet via my DC. But could anybody, who is able to connect via DC, check the link/button at the bottom of the second page (= click the left orange button, then scroll down to click the green button). Maybe the VMS (=minigame) is still there, too...

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OatBob
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Posts: 45

Re: VMU archiving project

Post#45 » Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:28 pm

Here's more info from the manual and the web page. The VMI file is not the file we are after. The page says that it is impossible to download the minigame through a PC browser alone. Anyways, I've uploaded the VMI file to another site for easy access. Link here:
bf.VMI

Here are some info bits I read on the page. The page gives instructions on how to download the minigame. You have to click on that download link through a dreamcast browser (either on the game disc or any browser disc). Then you will click on a character's picture to download the minigame. I'm guessing there are at least two character versions (like some of the watch programs). I'm guessing it's two because you play detective as the two main characters in this text adventure (kinda like how there are two sides to Alone in the Dark 2) BEAM FORCE requires 24 blocks of visual memory space.

Earning a high score in the VMU minigame will unlock pictures in the main game's EXTRA gallery. To me this archive project is super important, because without this file, it will forever be impossible to 100% the game.

So far, I have three saves from the normal game. There's a system file (text speed, purupuru pack, etc), a data file, and two progress files... one per save per character). This game can have lots of progress saves... 10 per character which is 20 total.
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OatBob
lithium
Posts: 45

Re: VMU archiving project

Post#46 » Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:38 pm

UPDATE:

I keep posting frequently without progress, but it's my way of "thinking out loud".

1) I misread the instructions. The final step was just "click on the download button". There are no multiple characters.

2) VMI files are kinda like a link or shortcut with extra file info just for DC browsers. The wayback machine has a backup of the VMI file, but not the actual download file.




I hooked up my BBA again. Here's our archive.org backup of the game's download page.
Image

Clicking on the VMI file yields this prompt. It also has some details about the file to be downloaded.
Image

YES!
Image
NO!




I peeked inside the VMI file with a hex editor, and saw that it points toward a download file called EVE0_BF_._VM

Since this file is purely DLC we may have to ask around some of the dreamcast DLC collectors on the net to find it. There is a download on the bswirl web page (but not the VMU tool CD). I'm trying it, but I haven't had any luck so far. I believe I need to clear the game to unlock the EXTRA mode. I think it may be like Power Stone where the Extra Mode may be the key to unlocking the minigame... and the minigame would unlock some gallery pis or something in return.
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Blai
photon blast
Posts: 100

Re: VMU archiving project

Post#47 » Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:39 am

You're the man OatBob, thanks for all your efforts

streeker
minority
Posts: 66

Re: VMU archiving project

Post#48 » Fri Sep 11, 2015 1:00 pm

While googleling for "Beam Force", I came across this site:
http://seregemania.ojaru.jp/page1_11.html

OatBob, do you see anything new on that list, that isn't already in the archive i.e. first post of this thread?

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OatBob
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Posts: 45

Re: VMU archiving project

Post#49 » Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:02 pm

F355 Challenge - Driving Data
Spawn - some type of download (arcade game or maybe head-to-head?)
Project Justice (Moero! Justice Gakuen) - same as spawn... some sort of download, maybe?
Die Hard Arcade 2 (AKA Dynamite Deka 2 / Dynamite Cop) - criminal moto 2 - (This game had DLC, I wonder if this is it.)

I saw a few more like Ever7 which had icon downloads from the homepage, but that's a bit beyond the scope of this project. It's hard to say if these are actual minigames or just DLC.
That page is great though. The top part lists all the games that have extra data that you can see in a PC. I've discovered a bunch of this type of thing on my own, but this list is quite extensive.

Another note, this lists all the Japanese games, it's missing the few western games that I pointed out previously (Namco Museum, Evil Twin, etc.)

EVE ZERO is still on our hit list. I haven't given up yet. I'm looking for a guide or something to help out. I have no patience for VNs, but if someone has a good scenario guide, I think it could be cranked out in a couple hours.
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OatBob
lithium
Posts: 45

Re: VMU archiving project

Post#50 » Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:30 pm

I think I get it. Spawn and Project Justice (Moero! Justice Gakuen / Rival Schools 2) were Capcom games, which frequently had a data transfer feature if you played on an arcade cab. Dynamite Cop had a DLC pack which included extra weapons and characters, so I think that's what's there.

I'm doubling down on EVE ZERO by buying the strategy guide. I probably won't have any good info for a couple weeks.
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