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Sonic Unleashed files Unpackable nao

#1 User is offline   Link

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 07:35 AM

Many (including me) wondered about the ar files which are shipping in the Xbox 360 Sonic Unleashed version. And well.. additionally: why the heck is it impossible to open any DDS file of the game.. the only files which can be directly opened are:

-the XEX
-CSB/CBK files (Audio crap)
-SFD files (well, they kinda play like all HD SFDs)

The ARL, AR.00 files and such.. noone really knew how they worked... reality is: they are piss easy to use if you have the required tools.. in other words: you basically need the X360 SDK or (thanks to some enthusiasts) QuickBMS nowadays is sufficient. Basically 99% of all files on the Unleashed disc are compressed using xbcompress.exe of the X360 SDK (and well: xbdecompress.exe also happily extracts the files again) - this includes all DDS files which are floating around the disc.. in case you have a jtagged XBox 360: you're lucky then! Because you can basically decompress all files in the main folder and simply do not care about recompressing.. the game happily accepts them uncompressed! If you just want the files for reasearch.. I guess that works too!

The underlying AR files (or ar.00 / ar.01 files) have a quite simple structure! They are basically some generic wrappers (like TAR archives) around multiple files with a custom structure - which was easy enough to crack. I admit some parts of the format remain unknown to me but well.. they can be unpacked.. and that's the important thing. Files inside archives are not scrambled or anything they can be directly used - the format does not seem to support subfolders so it's basically just a collection of files! The ARL files - I do not really know what they do, they contain a list of file names which can be found in the AR files - but well, the AR files contain the filenames again so I really do not get it (other than the AR format is being messy - the files have no header it's just a conjunction of one file after another - each files comes with its own header).

For people interested in modifying: in the package (see below) there is an application to also pack ar.00 files - I know I mentioned some parts of the AR format remain unknown to me but well.. I cheated: the unpacker extracts an AR files into its own directory - and it creates a file called !archive-info.xml (human readable) which contains all relevant information the creator needs to reconstruct the unknown parts of a file: using files larger than the original files is no issue, the game happily accepts bigger files (another proof that the created AR structure is intact).

http://l0nk.org/unleashed-tools/
Contains my packer/unpacker alongside important information on how to decompress the files using the Xbox SDK stuff or QuickBMS (while I can link to QuickBMS for logical reasons I can't provide the Xbox SDK tools!)

For the contents of the files: nothing too particularly interesting I found so far.. the most interesting aspect: Unleashed handles LITERALLY EVERYTHING using XML files.. the whole placement of rings, springs and enemies and such inside stages is handled in XML files.. so yes: modifications there should be pretty straight forward!


Edit: yes, I know I could have posted that into that other topic.. however, I do not reply to stupid request topics.. especially as I barely plan on hacking much into the game.. it would be cool if someone who is a little bit more advanced than I am would take a peak at the 3d model format.. but yeah, most likely won't happen :( it might be interesting for research purposes though!

#2 User is offline   Zeck

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 11:28 AM

Don't worry link, your the ONLY exception here. your work is awesome no matter if its sonic related or not and it always goes far for research.

#3 User is offline   Link

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 12:16 PM

Well.. after some stupid errors on my side.. I FINALLY found out how to properly edit these files..

The issue: in case you have the DLC - deactivate it (rename the 00000002) folder.. the DLC overwrites much of the game data in real time so your edits on the harddisk are worth nothing.. if you're totally patient you can manually merge the DLC though.

Aaanyway.. what happenes if you edit Spagonia Night (TownEuropeanCity) and tell it in stage.xml <IsEvil>false</IsEvil> and additionally set a start position for <Sonic> (basically a copy past of <EvilSonic>).


You got it:

Posted Image

It's a wonder kinda how many hackers on the Wii (including me) tried that via memory edits and whatever.. and on the xbox.. two XML files control it. It is quite crashy but it's at least a proof of concept!

#4 User is offline   Overlord

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 02:01 PM

"IsEvil"? Well, we all know the Werehog was an extremely annoying addition, seems someone on the internal coding felt the same ;P

#5 User is offline   Aquaslash

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 02:47 AM

Lol at the Werehog code names.

Also this is very intriguing. Too badd the night stages are night impossible with regular Sonic.

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