[Weapons] Help - attempting to rip ZAR

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[Weapons] Help - attempting to rip ZAR

Postby wildweasel » Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:46 pm

There's a Russian-made FPS game from 1996 called Z.A.R., which received a very limited release in the States. My interest in it is, obviously, the resources - graphics and sounds alike. There are a couple demos available from this butt-end-of-the-net gaming page (I make no guarantees as to the security of this website; I advise you to use Adblock and/or NoScript).

I have no idea how this game stores sounds and graphics (which are the parts I'm mainly interested in, especially the weapons and enemies). I do know, however, that the game seems to pick different palettes per level, which also plays into the weapons as the colors used in terrain are also used for parts of the weapons, creating a neat camouflage effect.

What I ask is assistance. I have no experience in reverse-engineering file formats, and would much like to figure out if it's possible to get the weapons out of it. They would certainly come in handy for Doom-related stuff, considering they're all centered.
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Re: Help - attempting to rip ZAR

Postby Snarboo » Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:53 pm

You should find the files that you believe are being used to store the game data first. Some games store them in files like a wad, while others simply have the data scattered around a number of folders.

The next few steps involve using a hex editor to ferret out information about how the data is being stored. There are a few sites on the web dedicated to reverse engineering game data files that might help.
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Re: Help - attempting to rip ZAR

Postby Remmirath » Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:23 pm

If you manage to rip it, i'll give you a whole cookie box, WW! :D

I've always loved that FPS. :)
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Re: Help - attempting to rip ZAR

Postby Xaser » Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:21 pm

I keep reading the thread title as "attempting to zip RAR"... You're doing it wrong!
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Re: Help - attempting to rip ZAR

Postby oODemonologistOo » Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:02 pm

Xaser wrote:I keep reading the thread title as "attempting to zip RAR"... You're doing it wrong!


Oh wow, I just did the same before clicking this thread. Good to know it wasn't only me :o
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Re: Help - attempting to rip ZAR

Postby Remmirath » Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:21 am

Okay, files seem to be stored in .sfs files. Check them. They contain the main data.
I have no idea how to open them, though. :|
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Re: Help - attempting to rip ZAR

Postby Remmirath » Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:06 pm

Double post, i know, but i wanted to show what i've been able to do with screens and cleaning:

Image Image

So far this is the Sparker, slot 3.
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Re: Help - attempting to rip ZAR

Postby Snarboo » Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:57 pm

I might be able to help you rip the hud graphics. First I need to know where to find ZAR and then what resolution you're ripping the graphics at. You might have to PM me if ZAR requires "special sources" to get. ;) Hopefully there is a demo version, though.

Edit:
I downloaded a demo from Weasel's link, and I'm seeing a few problems with ripping the weapons, namely the hud obscures part of the weapon. It's not impossible however. Unfortunately, the demo doesn't include all of the weapons, nor does it include multiplayer maps that might make ripping the weapons easier.
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Re: Help - attempting to rip ZAR

Postby wildweasel » Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:42 pm

Snarboo, as soon as I get home, I'll assist you in locating the full version of this game. I understand it's ridiculously hard to find (I've got my sources but will not post them here).
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Re: Help - attempting to rip ZAR

Postby Snarboo » Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:46 pm

Alright, thanks man. :) The impression I got from the brief demo is that it plays very well, so I wouldn't mind having the full version.
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Re: Help - attempting to rip ZAR

Postby Snarboo » Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:22 am

I've done a preliminary run through of the game. So far, so good. It's running and I know how to start a multiplayer game.

That said, there are a few things that will make ripping the hud graphics difficult. The hud itself is the biggest issue as it obscures part of the weapon. Shrinking the screen size removes this problem, but creates another: the hud sprites become compressed. Not all of the weapons appear on every map, which will mean some of the weapons will have a different palette than others.

However, I am still willing to rip the graphics and remove as much of the hud as possible. I have also found two or three multiplayer maps that feature enough of the weapons and have large contrasting surfaces that ripping them should be relatively painless.
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Re: Help - attempting to rip ZAR

Postby wildweasel » Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:09 am

One thing I think might come in handy: try running the game at 800x600 (larger resolution than the weapons were designed for) and then reduce the screen size to whatever makes the weapon look natural, if at all. Maybe experimenting with different screen resolutions and screen sizes would help - but through DOSBox, this obviously runs the performance down to awful levels.
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Re: Help - attempting to rip ZAR

Postby Snarboo » Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:15 am

Wouldn't you know it, but that worked perfectly! Thanks man. :)

Setting the screen size about 3 notches down put the game into a perfect 640x480 window, which seems to be the resolution used to render the weapons. I've been able to rip 3 of the weapons so far using my usual methods. I probably missed a few frames of the weapons I was able to rip and I still need to rip the other weapons, but I'm uploading a preliminary version of the pack. Consider it a preview.

Please tell me what you think of the weapons:
[url=http://files.drdteam.org/index.php/files/get/PxnsDy1Us4/zar-gfx.zipZAR - Weapon Resource[/url]
Last edited by Snarboo on Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Help - attempting to rip ZAR

Postby Remmirath » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:25 am

Nice and clean rips. Good work. :)

However, the files that you called rkt_0x; that's not a rocket launcher; it's the Cannon. ;)

BTW, i'll see if i can finish the sparker rip.

The only problem that comes so far is the sound ripping. :|
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Re: Help - attempting to rip ZAR

Postby Snarboo » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:29 pm

Here's a more recent version of the weapon pack:
ZAR - Weapon Resource

This version has every weapon in it. Three of the weapons have a different palette because I had to go to a different stage to rip them as not every stage has every weapon. Some of the weapons are missing a few frames such as the tornado cannon, the grenade launcher and the mega-flamethrower. Keep in mind I am still working on the rest of the frames.
Last edited by Snarboo on Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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