Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good Bye, 2008!

Well, here we are. December 31, 2008. Well, some of those who will read this are already in the new year. Yes, I haven't updated in over two months. No, I haven't done much in those two months. :P

Mohawk Stuff:
- More in-depth QuickTime support
- Raw Sound is supported
- Cinepak almost works :P
- Some fixes to screen updating in Riven

Yup, that's it! :P

Other Stuff:
- Got The Manhole 5.25"
- I programmed the reader for its resources, but I can't get scripts to work

Yeah, that's it there too. I've not had time for much lately. :\

Now, for the future!

2009 Goals: (In order of probable completion)
- Fix Cinepak decoder!
- Fix QuickTime IMA ADPCM!
- Get background videos working!
- Figure out image format for other Mohawk games (Current hunch: LZSS similar to Myst format)!
- Finish Riven support (aka all the hardcoded puzzles :P)!

That last one is quite lofty. I'm not sure how close to that goal we'll come, but it's worth a shot!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Eleven Years Strong

Happy Birthday Riven! Eleven years ago to-date you were released! It's a good thing LordHoto volunteered to bring the cake and DrMcCoy sent out all the invitations to the party! Only kidding... :P

OK, now for what I've been (or not been) working on:

- Fix a long standing bug in the ADPCM decoder
- Fix a bug with images that could crash the game

New Features:
- Support for ambient sounds in the background
- Missing Features: Fading and Track Volume
- Set variables so more of jungle island is explorable
- Improvements to the script dumper

New Features:
- Added some more opcode shells
- Still not much going on here... Riven's still the main focus. I'm going to look into some of the opcodes soon, though.

Let's hope I can get finished by Riven's 25th anniversary :P

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Wii May Have Been Saved!

After years of neglecting their old games, we have a chance to replay some. No, sadly not the SCUMM games, but some of their better Star Wars games. The current rumor (here and here) is that LucasArts is putting Rogue Squadron (N64), Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader (GCN) and Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike (GCN) on a compilation disc for the Wii. This may be the greatest thing since... I don't know. There hasn't been many good LucasArts things in a while. I don't remember their last good thing. :P

That second site had some other nice things, including one article on ScummVM for the Wii and with an awesome link to Goldeneye 007 on the Wii. Yays! :P

This is a good follow-up to my article exactly three months ago. What a coincidence. :P

Friday, September 19, 2008

September Update

Hello everyone! Still here (mostly)!

First, here's some screenshots:

(That would be our friend Cho, the lever to open the temple door, and the RAWA easter egg in order.)

So, here's what's been happening:

New Features:
- Saving games! Yay! (Note: Not yet tested with the original game, but it should work)
- Basic work towards zip mode, still not working 100%.

Fixes Made:
- Fixed some nasty script bugs. We forgot to reset the script to the beginning after using. Whoops! ;)
- Improved cursor handling. We mixed up some script types.
- Improved support for loading games, specifically between versions.
- Fixed most cards, they now all show!
- Fixed some other minor bugs.
- A whole lot more that I'm forgetting. :P

What's Not Working:
- Palette issues. Most of these are worked around, but it is very evident in some cases.
- Some bug in the image decoder doesn't handle some image correctly causing them to appear messed up or crash the game.

Missing Features:
- Video (still working on it!)
- Water Effects
- Transitions
- Most Puzzles; they're hardcoded
- Most ambient sounds do not work yet. This should be a relatively easy fix, I'm just too lazy to fix it. :P
- Inventory

Updates Made:
- Correct loading in of hotspots
- Script parser
- Uhhhh.... that's really about it. Most of the work has been concentrated on Riven.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mohawk Galore!

Yesterday, I discovered some interesting things. Games besides Myst and Riven use the Mohawk engine! Amazing (as LordHoto would say)!

Some of the games include:
- Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?
- Logical Journey of the Zoombinis
- Where in America is Carmen Sandiego? (The Great Amtrak Train Adventure)
- The Treehouse
- Maggie's Barnyard Adventure
- James Discovers Math
- James Explores Math

However, there are differences. First off, they use a different graphics format. While they have the same resource tag as Riven's images, it's clearly different. I've been mapping out some resources, but there are still some I don't understand.

Also, the QuickTime movies have a weird codec. Its FourCC is 'Brod' and described as "CDToons". Anyone know anything about this codec?

On a brighter note, they all use the same sound format! :D

Well, after I have Riven completed, I might look a bit more into these. :)

Speaking of Riven, I've fixed some more bugs! There are still some major showstopper bugs (which I think are script related), however. I'll be focusing all my attention to stomping out those bugs now.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

August Update

Hello everyone!

Despite the lack of blog posts, I'm still here! (Maybe :P)

I've mostly been concentrating on Myst and Riven. Small fixes here and there, support for Myst ME sound, better support of Riven CD's sound, some work on Riven's transitions, and some hotspot work for Myst.

However, I really cannot figure out anything else out about Myst hotspot's without RE. I've only been making guesses at how it works (which conforms to most of the cases I've looked at) but I have been able to identify where the rects are (and they match where they should be on screen). So, I'm probably going to begin RE. But, as usual, I have a problem. I have not been able to open the Win3.1 version of Myst (the one I have) in IDA Freeware. However, Myst ME's executable is for Win95, so I could start with that. I don't have the original Win95 version (published by Red Orb, identical to Win3.1 version) so I cannot test that out.

I also looked a tiny bit at Myst/Riven PSX. The Myst videos end in .str, which should mean PlayStation Streams, but they don't match the format. Instead they begin with 0x60 0x01 0x01 0x80. So do the Riven videos with the .pac extension. Riven PSX seems to be almost entirely hardcoded, likely because of the slowness of Myst PSX.

And, on a sadder note, my laptop has some major errors in it and crashes randomly with random color/stripes all over the screen. I'm pretty sure it's a logic board problem.

Also, the HE SCUMM Wii games come out in 6 days! :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hiding in the Myst

Sorry for the lack of posts, I've been busier than earlier in the summer. But, on the bright side, I still post more often than LordHoto. :P

So, my first Myst/Riven post. A while ago (on the forums) it sneaked out that an engine called "Mohawk" was in the works. Well, here it is.

One day, you'll see it in all it's glory, but it's still unstable. Riven is playable right now, though many puzzles aren't completable (due to their hardcoded nature), sound doesn't work right in the CD version (though I worked out something tonight that makes it sound better), and there isn't any video support yet. Here's a screenshot in the meantime:

Well, here's the staircase leading up from the magcar on Jungle Island (and, I mislabeled the image tspit instead of jspit), but no matter. (Note the lack of any inventory too). I'll try to upload more screenshots in the upcoming week.

The good news is, is that we can load games from the original version of Riven. Saving games isn't working yet.

OK, that's it. Just wanted to give you guys a look at what md5, sev, and myself have cooked up so far. Just enough to wet your tongues.

Oh, and here's a screenshot from Myst too (progress only began on Myst a few weeks ago, so it's far behind Riven):

There is really minimal support for Myst. Sound/graphics work, but its scripting (if you would call it scripting) is only capable of showing a few screens currently.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Wii(k) Virtual Console

So, I've been playing on the Wii. A lot. Mostly Brawl, but Wii Sports as well. So, I took a look at the Wii Store. I bought two things (mostly because they made me buy a minimum of 1000 points). The first: The Internet Channel! Which is awesome (no, I'm not posting from it)! It's great for just checking e-mail and such, but using YouTube on it is even better. The other 500 points went towards a Virtual Console game -- The Legend of Zelda. Sure, it's a good game, but it's not exactly what I was looking for. "These are not the games you're looking for." I expected to get a great selection, especially for the N64, but mostly it was older Nintendo developed products. Where are all the LucasArts games for the Nintendo console: Maniac Mansion NES, Loom TurboGrafx16 (which is emulated on the Wii), the Star Wars NES/SNES games, Shadows of the Empire N64, Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine N64? Come on, LucasArts! Even if you don't market your games you can put them there!

Not to mention one other game that should most definitely be on the list: GOLDENEYE 007!!! There are talks about it, but I doubt it's going to happen. The whole Rare/Microsoft situation and that only Activision has the current Bond license... But, hey, it could happen.

On the bright side, I'll be able to finally get Rogue Squadron 2 (not 3).

In other news, I have programmed again. My life has not been completely absorbed by the Wii. Yet.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Summer In Full Force

Well, here we are. July 2 (for those under UTC-2). Summer (for those in the northern hemisphere). The second half of the year. Man, where did that first half go? Well, I've returned from Atlanta (actually, I came back ~1:30 AM on Sunday).

So, what have I been up to? Well, sadly, not much. It took two days for me to unwind and then I did nothing. Except get a Wii. Well, it's in transit, anyway. Supposedly, it's supposed to be delivered tomorrow (along with Brawl). And, then I can get Sam and Max on the Wii! And in August (specifically, August 19), I can get Pajama Sam, Freddi Fish, and Spy Fox on the Wii (and they look very SCUMM-y from the screenshots)! Not to mention putting ScummVM on the Wii! Why am I using all these exclamation points!?!

But, on a more serious note, I shall be returning to getting back to programming this week. No, really. I'm not kidding...

EDIT (7/3/08): The Wii is here!!!!!!!!!!111one

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Eye of the Tiger

So, today, I chose to continue upgrading my laptop all the way to 10.4.11 (as a birthday gift to myself). Mostly for Firefox 3. Only kidding. And, surprisingly, it still runs just as fast (perhaps even faster) than it did with 10.2.8. Now time to download and compile all the stuff again.... 900+ MB for XCode 2.5.... Maybe now I can play Psychonauts or finish off S&M Season 2....

EDIT (6/23/08): Instead of just starting a new post, I'll just continue adding to this shorter one. Hey, it makes more sense to have one longer post than two short ones! :P I finished S&M Season 2. But, I'll be leaving home, heading out on the road for Atlanta later today. I'll see you all in a week. And, when I get back, I might even have a Wii! (Obviously for the new HE games to be released on the Wii, S&M, and ScummVM on the Wii!)

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Last night, my friends, a journey that began almost two years ago came to an end. My laptop is running 10.3.9. On October 31, 2006, my laptop crashed while updating from 10.3.2 to 10.3.9 and I was never able to get it to run 10.3 again. So, I was stuck with 10.2.8 for a long time. My HD broke last month and that ended the reign of 10.2.8 and I was forced to buy a new HD (120GB -- a big upgrade over 15GB). Last night, the new HD came, I installed it, and installed 10.3.2 (along with 9.2.1 for classic) and then finally upgraded to 10.3.9. So, my laptop was unofficially dead from October 31, 2006 to June 13, 2008 (Friday the 13th even, which is quite ironic if you think about it).

So, what this means is I'll be able to run a lot more than I could and now I can stop pestering people when ScummVM no longer works on 10.2.8. ;) And, I'm downloading XCode 1.5 which contains gcc3.3, so I'll be able to compile better than I was with gcc3.1.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Update on All Things

The past few days I turned to something I hadn't touched in a while. About 7 months, if memory serves correctly. PreAGI. Specifically, The Gelfling Adventure. TrollVM originally had some basic code for Gelfling. It could really only load the texts and show the intro. Since then, I've made it compile under ScummVM and I've begun to add the game logic coding. Unfortunately, it's just as hardcoded as Mickey's Space Adventure. And that means it's going to be a while before anything's really playable. But at least you can navigate the first few scenes now.

I've also bought a new 120GB HD for my laptop, so maybe I'll be able to get that to work again. :)

OK, so not so much of a big update, but it's something!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Back on the Shelves

No, sorry, it's not LucasArts adventure games. Nor does the recent interview really help in that direction.

Three Humongous Entertainment games are currently being sold in Target (at least in the United States): Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo, Freddi Fish 1, and SPY Fox 1. On a recent forum post, it appears that they might have some differences. Hopefully, it's not that encryption used by the downloadables (that you still have to pay for) off of Atari's website (ActiveMark's TryMedia, I believe).

On a sadder note, my laptop has officially died. It crashed (for the third day in a row), and on reboot, nothing works. It didn't actually finish starting 10.2.8, and all the graphics were messed up. I have a feeling the hard drive has conked out. Ironically, I was talking to Kostas on Sunday (before the first crash) about broken hard drives....

Go watch this in the meantime... (Yes, it's ScummVM related)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I'm Selling These Fine Leather Jackets

Indy4! No, not Fate of Atlantis, but the new one! It was very good. If you're reading this and haven't seen the movie for some childish reasons or something (coughDrMcCoycough), you don't have to worry as there won't be any spoilers. I'll say two things: The movie was great, but the ending was a bit too sci-fi. And, it was better than Temple of Doom.

In other news, I fixed some RTZ Sega Saturn things and I got it to start loading the script, but before crashing due to an array out of bounds assertion. I'll look into it in the upcoming days.

I also played the "real" Indy4 and Indy5 getting ready for the movie. Too bad Indy5 barely works in WinXP, but it's always nice seeing Guybrush using a machine gun to massacre some commies.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Best Video Games

I've been playing video games for years, starting with the earliest (Concentration, Family Feud, Jeopardy!) and working my way to today. My opinion on games hasn't changed much. If I have fun playing it, it's a good game. It seems like a simple formula, but it has always worked for me. For instance, I could not get myself to play most Game Boy games (except PokeMon, which was quite addictive). Well, here are my favorite games, in category order.

  • Racing:
    • Gran Turismo
      • I really don't play racing games.This is one of the only exceptions. Episode I Racer, maybe too. But, it was really good. I remember playing with my Uncle for hours at a time.
  • FPS's:
    This is tough. I was never really an FPS player. But, I have two favorites:
    • Dark Forces
      • Star Wars + FPS = Nice. Sure, I enjoyed the others, but I had the most fun in this game.
    • Goldeneye 007
      • That's right! The best multiplayer FPS I've ever played. Better than that Halo thing so many talk about. I still play with my friends who have an N64.
  • Strategy:
    • Theme Park
      • Besides "The Sims", it's the only strategy game I have. (The Star Wars ones will not be mentioned). I could play for hours, just building and managing.
  • RPG:
    Blegh. RPG. I have no favorite. PokeMon would probably be the closest, but KoToR and KH also are up there.
  • Action/Adventure:
    Ah, platforming. That's better. This is probably more of my adventure game heritage showing, though.
    • Crash Bandicoot 3:
      • Warped Yeah, that's right. Make fun all you want, but this game was really fun.
    • Jak and Daxter/Ratchet and Clank
      • Runners up. Both in their own way.
  • Flight Simulation:
    • TIE-Fighter
      • Star Wars bottled up into awesomeness. I haven't found a better flight sim game out there. Though, Rogue Squadron II was pretty good too. Rebel Assault also has a soft spot on me.
  • Adventure:
    Ah, the pinnacle of gaming. The creme de la creme. Adventure games. I have no favorite. I know, that's horrible. But, I've played so many good ones! So, I'll list them here:
    • Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge
    • Riven: The Sequel to Myst
    • The Journeyman Project 2: Buried in Time
    • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Disagree? Post comments!

Disclaimer: This is only the opinion of the author, clone2727.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More RTZ Sega Saturn Work

Benjamin and I looked into the files a bit more. There are some different files, and some that are similar. The files are basically mapped out now.

rtz.dat: The same format as the PC version, but in BE order.

rtz.prj: Similar to the PC version, in BE order, but smaller. Many images are separate or in videos.

*.16b: Raw 16bit images in BE order.

*.ton: Raw, uncompressed 16bit audio data in BE order.

*.cpk: Sega FILM videos with the Cinepak for Sega codec.

A few others (,, sddrvs.tsk) still aren't known. My guess is that they are just drivers to play the audio. Just a hunch.

Another, rtz.ref, is the game state, but it is unknown how it is used...

While we have not disassembled the binary yet (a.bin), we have noticed large tables of filenames for the videos and images. The script functions are also listed in the executable. Hopefully in their correct order :P.


Monday, May 19, 2008


Two days ago I guess, I ran RTZ Sega Saturn through Yabause. It worked surprisingly well! It showed the videos pretty well (only some minor stuttering, probably from running off the CD -- a Windows problem...) and was playable from what I could tell. Due to my lack of Japanese language knowledge, I had to rely on my limited knowledge of the DOS version. In that case, it's very limited. I, truthfully, never played the game until it was added to ScummVM. It had been down in my basement for years collecting dust with other non-played games.

I also ran The Manhole PCE through Hu-Go! It showed the intro, but I couldn't get far. I couldn't control the game after the beanstalk rose from the manhole. Oh well.

In other news, I've been working on an engine for a game I had to design (for something). Not for ScummVM, and not really for adventure games either. Just something that I threw together for a simple first person maze game. Perhaps I should extend it to allow for more functionality...

Friday, May 16, 2008


It's been eleven days since the last post. Perhaps it's time to update. For that one person out there reading this, this is for you.

I got the Manhole PCE extracted using TurboRip. That's all so far. It appears very different from RTZ/Manhole New & Enhanced after a brief glance. I'll probably have to compare it to an original Manhole PC version. When I get it....

Return to Zork Sega Saturn came the other day. To my surprise, it actually had rtz.dat/prj. Amazing! Most console ports (that at least I have dealt with, especially from a certain company that shall remain nameless) have used a custom form of the engine. There are still many differences. The rtz.dat/prj seem to be similar to the PC versions, except in BE order. The videos are Sega FILM (with Cinepak for Sega codec), and the graphics are 16bpp. Sound/sprite formats seem to be different, and possibly external functions as well. I uploaded a patch for detection and endianness correction, as well as a rough video parser. Well, Benjamin and I'll be working on it... and knowing myself, I'll slow the process down.

On a lighter note, Putt-Putt Joins the Parade 3DO Japanese came as well. After quickly extracting the data and adding detection, it worked fine. That was simple enough!

Tune in next time. Same clone channel. Same clone time. Well, maybe a slightly different time.

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Past Few Days....

Well, this weekend a few things happened. The Manhole PCE came. But, no luck extracting it (That's a long/ongoing story, that makes it seem like I have no luck whatsoever, but anywho...). I also bought Return to Zork Sega Saturn (Japanese). Still en route.

Coding wise, just a simple patch. It corrects the saved game names for save files from the MADE engine. But, I did do other coding. What it is, you may ask? Well, you may ask. It's that something else from my wiki page. Yup, I'm still working on it. Well, one of two somethin' elses.

Well, enough of this stupid enigmatic-code-talk. I'm working on

Friday, May 02, 2008

More Manhole Mayhem

The Manhole PC-Engine came today. Funny how it takes only a day longer to come from Japan than Utah.... Anyway, no luck trying to extract the files yet. "dumpcd" isn't able to dump the pseudo-audio track to an iso. Perhaps another program will help.... In the end, I'll have to write an extraction program for the data like with extract_tg16_loom.

Better news is that The Manhole New and Enhanced is now working in ScummVM! Yays! (Though, my only contribution was the minor detection changes, and had almost nothing to do with it actually working... :P). Well, it works as far as I can tell anyway (it starts and shows the first few screens :P).

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A Day MADE Great...

Well, today "The Manhole: New and Enhanced" came. So, I wrote a patch that adds detection. Sure, it detects, but then crashes immediately. :P Oh well.....

In other news, I did get "Return to Zork" up and running..... :)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Welcome to my new blog. Well, not really new at all. It's been here for years, but under some archaic account name. So, I reclaimed it today in hopes of rebuilding it. The few posts I made some 4 years ago are gone. I'll be posting new stuff as it comes to me. Mostly ScummVM-related posts, but some others tossed in.