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Birthright - Is it rippable?

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 1:40 pm
by Enjay
Most people probably won't even have heard of this game but there is another game that uses WAD files and Doom format levels. It's called "Birthright: The Gorgon's Alliance". However, it only uses WAD files for the level architecture. Almost everything else seems to be in its own res files. The maps can be opened in a Doom editor and in ZDoom but I can't find any info about the format of the res files (SLADE doesn't open them, nor does 7Zip). So, anyone got any ideas? There might be some interesting stuff in there.

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Re: Birthright - Is it rippable?

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 6:21 am
by ReX
I checked the games supported by XWE, and unfortunately Birthright/.res files do not seem to be supported. However, there's no harm in giving it a shot, as .res files may be similar to other formats that are recognized.

Re: Birthright - Is it rippable?

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 10:51 am
by Enjay
I don't know why I didn't think of trying XWE but...

"Unknown signature, header or file format".

Oh well. It could have worked I guess.

I'm going to guess that the file format isn't a desperately complicated one because when I view it with a hex editor I can see the "lump" names all listed but there is nothing in the file that I recognise that would allow me to identify it as a particular type.

Re: Birthright - Is it rippable?

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 9:44 pm
by ReX
Enjay wrote:I'm going to guess that the file format isn't a desperately complicated one because when I view it with a hex editor I can see the "lump" names all listed but there is nothing in the file that I recognise that would allow me to identify it as a particular type.

XWE allows you to change the file type. You can try changing some file types at random to recognizable file types and see if they will be displayed. For example, Type 33 is a patch in DooM GFX format, but Type 35 is a graphic in png format, and Type 32 is a FLAT.

I realize this is a tedious and inefficient way of testing it out, but you may be able to salvage some of the resources without tearing your beard off.

Re: Birthright - Is it rippable?

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 9:47 pm
by TheDarkArchon
Except that the problem is that XWE isn't reading the archive in the first place since it doesn't recognise it, not that it's reading the archive but isn't recognising the files within.

Re: Birthright - Is it rippable?

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 1:48 am
by Enjay
Correct, it's not the lumps within the archive that XWE doesn't know how to read. It doesn't recognise the archive format so it doesn't know how to open the archive and so cannot show me what's in it regardless of whether it knowns the lump formats or not.

My hex editor tells me that some of the entries in some of the res files are FLC files (autodesk animator pro files). I think that there may also be PCX files in there too. Of course, without finding a program that can read and extract from the archive, that information is only of passing interest.

Re: Birthright - Is it rippable?

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 2:21 am
by RV-007
Looks like there are plenty of sprites and images to rip. Guess I wait for any rips that could be of interest.

Re: Birthright - Is it rippable?

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 11:52 am
by Zero X. Diamond
If I can afford to grab hold of a copy right now (damned satellite internet and its stranglingly low bandwidth limits) I will take a look.

Re: Birthright - Is it rippable?

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 12:01 pm
by Enjay
Cool. I look forward to finding out if you get any results.

The res files on the CD come to quite a size otherwise I'd upload them somewhere for people to try with. I could upload one of the smaller ones but, who knows, they may all have a .res extension but it isn't unusual for a game manufacturer to give different file types the same extension.

Re: Birthright - Is it rippable?

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 12:15 pm
by Enjay
It seems as if most, if not all, the game sounds are just on the CD as WAV files. I was just clicking on a few at random and, amusingly, one of them just happened to be this one which bears more than a passing resemblance to the sound made by the Spiderdemon when it spots a player. It's just a bit less mechanical and more pig-like.

Re: Birthright - Is it rippable?

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 9:33 pm
by Zero X. Diamond
Okay, well, I finally got my hands on Birthright... and unfortunately, I can't tell you much. The .RES files definitely contain the graphics, but unfortunately they appear to be compressed. The good news is that it's not a very heavy form of compression since I can kind of make out distorted images in the data, but nothing will resolve itself into proper images. The palette data is stored as .COL files under /GRAPHICS/ on the CD in 3 bytes per pixel format. I do find it INCREDIBLY interesting that the map format is exactly the Doom .WAD format, right down to the maps even using standard Doom names when opened in Doom Builder 2. Is this a licensed use of the Doom engine (or at least its underlying technologies) that we've never heard of, or did somebody at Sierra do a little bit of reverse engineering?

If anybody with a little more skill in this sort of thing wants to check it out, I'll upload one of the smaller .RES files. Hopefully somebody will be able to crack the compression algorithm used on them; like I said, it can't be too complex since I can definitely see where some of the graphics should be showing up.

EDIT: TEXTURES.RES for anyone who's interested. I've checked a number of files in hex editors to see if I could find any sort of clue as to what kind of compression it is, but with my limited knowledge I came up with nothing. Surely somebody else can do a better job than I.

Re: Birthright - Is it rippable?

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 11:45 am
by Gez
Zero X. Diamond wrote:I do find it INCREDIBLY interesting that the map format is exactly the Doom .WAD format, right down to the maps even using standard Doom names when opened in Doom Builder 2. Is this a licensed use of the Doom engine (or at least its underlying technologies) that we've never heard of, or did somebody at Sierra do a little bit of reverse engineering?

Mostly, it's so that they could use DEU/WADED/whatever to create maps for their game. The format is pretty simple and was figured out quickly. They did not use code from the Doom engine.

Re: Birthright - Is it rippable?

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 8:33 pm
by Zero X. Diamond
Interesting. Are there any other known cases like this?

Re: Birthright - Is it rippable?

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 10:47 pm
by wildweasel
Zero X. Diamond wrote:Interesting. Are there any other known cases like this?

Amulets & Armor, though this is up for debate - the map format is at least partially based on Doom's (just with twice the number of possible thing types), and I'm reasonably sure that the engine borrows bits of Doom code (the engine exhibits a lot of the same glitches that Doom does, from items disappearing when crushed to the badly aligned textures, textures being unpegged in doorways, and the weird friction that Doom has) but I have no idea how true that might end up being.