Last year I began work on a cheat device GUI for ps2rd (an excellent remote debugger for the PlayStation 2). The goal of the project is to create a menu-driven cheat device similar to CodeBreaker or Action Replay using ps2rd’s ASM cheat engine. I wanted this to be just a cheat device, so I removed most of the debugging functionality from ps2rd for my project.
I had some freetime over the past few days and made some updates to it. It’s now more stable than previous releases and has had more unneeded parts of ps2rd removed (such as videomod). BOOT2 selecting now works as it should, so you can boot to a ELF instead of directly to disk. I’ve also added preliminary support for compressed code lists using miniz. Basically, you use the included “compress-decompress.exe” program to compress/decompress your cheat files using zlib compression. When using a compressed cheat list, it must have a file extension of “.bin” or else it will try to load it as text. Update ps2rd.conf to reflect whichever cheat list you’re using. This should help cut down on loading times.
If you find any bugs, please let me know!
- Fix delete option (currently does nothing)
- Implement less-awkard cheat list compression (maybe use zip/7z files instead)
- More code cleanup
- PS2-side codelist manipulation (add/modify/delete/etc.)
Updated source code will be available soon. Source on GitHub is not the latest version.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve taken a look at the way text is stored in the game Kingdom Hearts. Like other games made by Square, Kingdom Hearts uses a special character map for strings throughout the game. The US and PAL versions of the game use a character map consisting of Latin characters and common symbols. The Japanese releases use a different table containing Japanese characters as well as uppercase Latin letters (there are a few lower case ones though, but not a full alphabet). Most text is compressed using a LZSS-like algorithm, but I was able to poke around at some of the non-compressed areas. For example, the menu items on the pause screen are not compressed and can be modified if you know the correct characters to enter. So far I am able to change these items as long as my modification’s don’t overlap any neighboring strings.
I started with the original Japanese release of Kingdom Hearts and was able to do this by modifying the game’s ISO:
Translated menu items in Kingdom Hearts NTSC-J
I created a tool that can convert plaintext to the character set used in the game. If you’re interested you can download it here. It requires .NET Framework 4.0 SP1 and currently cannot convert Japanese characters. A table created by Falo can be used to manually convert them by hand. I’ve tested it on these versions of the game:
- Kingdom Hearts (SLUS-20370) USA
- Kingdom Hearts (SLPM-66122) Japanese (Uses Shift-JIS encoding)
- Kingdom Hearts Final Mix (SLPM-66123) Japanese (Uses Shift-JIS encoding)
I’m hoping someone will see this post and be motivated to continue work on a full translation patch some day for Final Mix. I don’t have the time to do it myself and it might be pointless to pursue it once Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 is released in the US, since that contains the additions that were present in Final Mix. KH-Vids.net user Hidden Smithery has already offered help and was able to translate the following for the Japanese versions of the game:
Item: エーテル ETHER
Code: E3 55 F2 19 08 32 41 35 32 3F
Item:メガエーテル MEGA-ETHER (name is too long)
19 01 19 0E E3 55 F2 19 08 3A 32 34 2E 2C 32 41 35 32 3F
Code:19 27 55 EB 19 2F 19 0D 3D 3C 41 36 3C 3B 01 01
Code:19 01 19 0E 19 27 55 EB 19 2F 19 0D 3A 32 34 2E 2C 3D 3C 41 36 3C 3B 01
EC 19 0A 19 30 F3 40 39 3C 41 01 01
ソラ SORA (too long)
EE 19 06 40 3C 3F 2E
たたかう ATK (the word "ATTACK" is too long)
9F 9F 95 92 2E 41 38 01
まほう MGC (the word "MAGIC" is too long)
AE AD 92 3A 34 30
Last year, I created a WaybackMachine-style backup of CodeTwink and posted it here. For those who don’t know, CodeTwink is the semi-official site for the CodeBreaker line of video game cheat devices (similar to Action Replay and GameShark). Anywho, here’s my copy: link.
At the time I was wondering if the site was going to stay around for much longer (it hasn’t been receiving any updates for quite a while now).