Need help creating PSOv2 CDI from scratch (no piracy)!

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Need help creating PSOv2 CDI from scratch (no piracy)!

Post#1 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:50 pm

I want to make my own legit backups for preservation purposes and I am against piracy so I don't want to use a pre-hacked 1ST_READ.BIN.

Is there documentation of the various copy protections that Aleron Ives cracked in his PSO-DC release?

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Posts: 975

Re: Need help creating PSOv2 CDI from scratch (no piracy)!

Post#2 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:41 pm

rip pso dc to an sd card (use pal pso v2 since no hl check?):

binhack all relative .bins to 45000 lba , there are a few.

downsize opening .sfd files to fit cd-r

make sure to use a proper sort.txt

if you want to modify dns to autoconnect to private servers allegedly the .sea file is the key ??

big endian to little endian for other edits? idk?

aleron, familyguy, mag94, or some1 else chime in for more info?

here is a post on assembler aleron made about the dc pso v2 protection:

Aleron Ives said:

It's actually not related to the sort order at all. It's a passive-aggressive copy protection method that Sega added for Ver.2.

By the time PSOv2 came out, Sega knew all about The Scene's methods for sqeezing GD-ROM games onto the limited capacity of a CD, so they added a special check to Ver.2 that makes sure all the movies and music files have the correct file sizes from the GD-ROM release. You have to remove or reduce the quality of something to make PSO fit on a CD, so your disc is always going to fail that check. Instead of just running the check at boot time and sending you back to the BIOS if your disc fails (which is what the other copy protections do), Sega made this check a lot more mean. It lets you run the game, but it apparently sets a flag somewhere that says, "This copy isn't legit, but don't do anything about it now. Let's wait a while, then crash the game later." That's why you FSOD when loading player data outside of Pioneer 2: your disc failed the check.

Echelon and other Scene members were only interested in cracking and releasing games, so as soon as they got to the title screen, they assumed the game was fully cracked and released it without noticing that there was still another protection that needed bypassing. I suppose a real DC hacker would be able to find out where the check is called and turn it off, but I don't know how to do that, so instead I just modified it so that my disc passes the check. Now I can play every offline quest, Challenge mode, and let people join my team when I'm not on Pioneer 2. Crafty Sega is crafty. You know you've made a pretty solid copy protection scheme when it takes people 15 years to get around it. I bet it's similar to the protection in Sonic Adventure 2 where you fall through the floor of the last level and die on a CD-R (thus making it impossible to beat the game), since Sonic Team designed both games at around the same time. They decided to add some unorthodox copy protections to their final Dreamcast releases.

The terrible performance with the GD-ROM sort order is caused by the GD-ROM drive having pretty much no drive cache. When you load character data, the game needs to play the BGM and load character models and textures simultaneously, but the drive doesn't have enough buffering capacity to do that. As a result, it has to seek between the current BGM file and the player data over and over in order to do two things at once. Sega put all the player data on the very outside of the disc and most of the BGM on the very inside of the disc on the GD-ROM, so the laser assembly has to seek from the very outside to the very inside of the disc over and over to load character data. Fast loading simply puts both the player data and the BGM on the outside of the disc so that the drive only has to seek a tiny bit to buffer between the two of them.

The funny thing is that the Ver.1 sort order is much more sane than the Ver.2 sort order, so there's a conspiracy theory that Sega nerfed Ver.2 on purpose so as to make it destroy your Dreamcast and force you to buy another one, thus boosting console sales near the end of the Dreamcast's life.

The bug where you can walk into the pillar in the Hunter's Guild is caused by booting the game with a Utopia boot disc, which doesn't boot games cleanly. Not only does the pillar stop being solid, but Rafoie won't be able to get a target lock, so you can't cast it on anything, and you can't heal or support your teammates, either. Your game randomly crashes, too. Don't use Utopia with PSO.

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Re: Need help creating PSOv2 CDI from scratch (no piracy)!

Post#3 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 7:59 pm

i get these 2 mixed up as far as the pso pc version vs. dc pso v2 version.
one is big endian and one is little endian.
the idea would be that after the dc version is decrypted (.sea?) then convert to big/little endian?
next transfer every damn april 5th pso.exe hex edit that exists over to dc v2 pso 1st_read.

the game then could easily be modded to be offline only with omg pso haxx lol.
this way the mods don't cross over to the private servers.
you could also alter the player data so that if a player managed to get the "omg haxx" version of dc v2 pso onto a private server...the data shows up either corrupted or with an obvious red flag lol
Last edited by SMiTH on Sat Sep 07, 2019 8:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Need help creating PSOv2 CDI from scratch (no piracy)!

Post#4 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 8:02 pm

the window for piracy on this stuff closed long long ago

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Aleron Ives
Posts: 1097

Re: Need help creating PSOv2 CDI from scratch (no piracy)!

Post#5 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 8:44 pm

Making your own CDI without piracy is impossible, since you need MAG94's iwashi.sea crack. Get a GDEMU and play your own GD-ROM backups in GDI format from an SD card.
"Fear the HUnewearl."

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Posts: 975

Re: Need help creating PSOv2 CDI from scratch (no piracy)!

Post#6 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:11 pm

Aleron Ives wrote:Making your own CDI without piracy is impossible, since you need MAG94's iwashi.sea crack. Get a GDEMU and play your own GD-ROM backups in GDI format from an SD card.

i agree with this.
there really is no need to make selfboot .cdi's anymore.
the only thing i could see them being used for nowadays is to make game mods.
but then again you could make a patcher, or mod the .gdi.
pso sucks anyhow lol :twisted:

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