To give some context:
I recently picked up the old platformer "Pitfall: The Lost Expedition" again. Got it around launch (2004), but haven't had the chance (or bothered) to poke around with the game files until recently, with my discovery of the Dolphin GameCube emulator, and a successfull softmod of my XBOX.
So, the game got my attention again, but this time from a different perspective than back at launch.
With some newfound curiosity regarding the inner workings of the game, I decided to try my way to open up the core visual components: sounds, textures, level maps and models.
To narrow my search down, I decided to focus on the XBOX files, as I'd rather avoid big endian data formats.
I managed to unpack the files from both the XBOX and GC disk image. It appears as if the assets are packaged up in a container format, identified by the '.arc' file extension. So I've spent some time trying to make sense of the data within.
The game engine is developed in house, by the studio 'Edge of Reality' (in other words: proprietary). Looking into their portfolio, most notably the sims content (as it has a somewhat bigger fan-base), I found quickBMS and aluigi's arc bms script. Using that, I managed to extract a list of the files within the arc containers. Trying out a few similar scripts, 360 Hulk and 'Over the Hedge', and a couple of tweaked sims arc bms scripts, I managed to get some data out of it as well.
This is where my momentum ended. Raw binary pattern analyzation and file format knowledge is something I don't have experience of yet, and given that I only got binary data out of the game disk, I'm pretty much stuck. I have tried a couple of the game rippers recommended here, but neither have been able to identify any textures, or sounds for that matter. Scalpel and Foremost only gave false positives throughout the whole disk image, leading me to assume some form of non-standard compression, or maybe even encryption?
My next plan was to step through the game's launch sequence with Dolphin's built-in debugger/disassembler, to see how it handles the files, but I'm concerned that it is going to take a lot of time to do so, as it probably has to load and execute routines of the game engine to establish the framework in which the game itself runs, and I've yet to see a "light" game engine.
Plus my poor knowledge of assembly.
Maybe someone can shed some light on my niche hobby?
If I find something, I'll update this post.
I'll attach some light files below, if anyone wants to have a look.
File comment: light xbox files
samples.zip [2.62 MiB]
Downloaded 12 times