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Tech Demo
Tuesday, 8 February 2022
Earth Defense Forces 2 Portable on PPSSPP

Darth Fandom left a comment on the blog a day or so ago, asking about running the EDF 2 USA mod and codes on the PPSSPP emulator. This is an excellent question and one that I hadn’t tested out yet. So I had a quick look yesterday, but had no luck.

However, with a bit more testing, I found that the English missions do load. You need to have the extracted archive folders as follows:

memstick->EDF2 PORTABLE->GameSequence and Mission

In the Mission folder are a bunch of different level folders:

Missions 1-71 - EDF 2 (Global Defense Force)

Missions 101-125 - EDF 1 (Monster Attack)

Missions 126-156 - Assorted missions of unknown origin

Mission 999 - Multiplayer mission

The first group is the PS2 version of EDF 2, with English mission briefings. The second group is the PS2 version of the first game, Monster Attack, but with no mission briefings.

To access the English briefings, use the EDF EXTRA MISSIONS and ENGLISH MISSION TEXT CODE cheats from the EDF 2 webpage on the main site. Activate these at the main menu of the game, otherwise the game gets stuck in a loop on the game save screen. Load a level, then exit and go back to the Mission Select screen. The briefings should be in English now.

I’m having problems with the Level Select code at the moment, which is needed to access the Monster Attack missions. I’ll post an update once I get this sorted.

Update

Okay, using different codes, the EDF EXTRA MISSIONS and the CUSTOM MISSIONS CODE (see below), the additional missions can now be selected from the main Level Select menu. A few values may not load, but the main group should be there.

The additional code is as follows:

_C0 CUSTOM MISSIONS CODE

_L 0x200D30EC 0x24B00064

_L 0x200D3144 0x24B00064

_L 0x200D319C 0x24B00064

_L 0x200EF1E4 0x26260064

_L 0x100EFD50 0x00000065

_L 0x100EFE18 0x00000065

_L 0x201B3AC8 0x316E6F69

_L 0x201B3ACC 0x64323025

_L 0x201B3AD0 0x7469545C

_L 0x201B3AD4 0x742E656C

_L 0x201B3AD8 0x00007478

This is not my code, but one from a Japanese forum thread that I linked to on the main EDF 2 page. For some reason, my Level Select cheat doesn’t work on the emulator, but the above cheats enable access to the remaining missions.

 


Posted by zenade at 12:05 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 8 February 2022 3:37 PM EST
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Gotham City Mysteries: Building On Fire

This game continues to surprise. On Day 3, the entire city of Gotham gets frozen by one of the game's main villains. Yet, there are still thugs running around and enemy vehicle snapping at your heels. Finding and acting on clues can be far more difficult at this stage of the game.

Parked police cars and warning lights are one way to locate said clues. The barriers in front on the cafe in the picture above have flashing red lights attached to them, easily drawing your attention as you drive past. But the burning building is something else. For all the explosions, bombs and whatnot in the game, this seems to be a rare event. You can't get near to the fire itself, and even with the jet boots there's not much more to see.

It's a clever way of diverting your attention away from fighting the gangs and back to some detective work. Still, it's a shame you have to deal with that timer.

 


Posted by zenade at 5:51 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 16 June 2022 4:30 PM EDT
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Monday, 7 February 2022
Gotham City Mysteries: Mister Freeze's Armored Cars

You'll see these things racing around the city, either trying to ram you or fire ice beams at you. They also like to drive into the nearest building.

Like the dudes on motorcycles or snowmobiles, you rarely get a good look at them because they're faster than the Batmobile or other vehicles at your disposal.

So when I came across one that was stuck, I got some screenshots. You can see that the twin guns on the front are able to fire the ice beams in different directions, as often happens when they stop to block the road in front of you.

The thing that is not so obvious that they're so small. Batgirl is taller than one of these things. Nonetheless, their size doesn't diminish how much damage they can do.



Posted by zenade at 11:26 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 7 February 2022 1:37 PM EST
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Saturday, 5 February 2022
Gotham City Mysteries: Sewage Works

Another potential example of window dressing. The entrance to Gotham City Water is through the main door, but there’s a tunnel next to it.

Like the ramp opposite Glitterati, you can’t drive down here but you can get in on foot. And nothing seems to happen at the far end. Was there a bigger role for vehicles at some point in the game's development?

 


Posted by zenade at 8:00 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 5 February 2022 8:04 AM EST
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Friday, 4 February 2022
Gotham City Mysteries: Unreachable Room

This room is located in a building just inside one of the dodgier sectors of the city.

You can see through the window from the street, but the door to the dentist’s surgery below cannot be opened. You can use the jet boots to get up there and take a look inside. However, there’s no way to smash the window and get through.

There may be other random rooms like this elsewhere. In a previous post for this blog, I described an unreachable power-up located in the grounds of one of the Gotham City mansions, so this kind of thing is not unknown in the game.

 


Posted by zenade at 7:58 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 4 February 2022 8:08 AM EST
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Thursday, 3 February 2022
Gotham City Mysteries: Glitterati Area

Just opposite the Glitterati jewellery store is a curious area. It reminds me a bit of the stash of power-ups immediately outside the train station. There are a number of features that identify this place as somewhat unique. The first is a ramp down to an entrance. Your vehicle can’t get past the barrier, but you can get there on foot. Trying to operate the shutter doesn’t do anything.

Nearby is a panel for Bell’s Laser Alarms, which are used in the Glitterati store. Along the street a bit is a billboard, which shows an ad for city’s botanical gardens. This is one of Poison Ivy’s lairs.

Immediately next to the ramp is a door. You can get inside, and you’ll find a very rare area covering three floors. There’s a window at the end that you can break in order to get out on to a ledge to fetch a power-up.

Above this door are three emblems on the side of the building. Obviously a face of some kind, but it’s unclear as to whom it may be. Mister Freeze, perhaps? I don’t recall seeing these anywhere else in the city. Could this be the location of the Ritz mentioned in an earlier post?

Posted by zenade at 3:13 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 3 February 2022 3:22 PM EST
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Gotham City Mysteries: The Cinema

Unlike the Ritz, there are two specific locations identified on the Gotham City map. Both are identical, as are the other unmarked cinemas. Like Gotham City Square, the change in the camera angle suggests that you could get into one of these places, but good luck with that one.

A solitary clue points to one cinema, but not much else. There are no other indications as to what makes these two locations important. Another undeveloped idea?

Posted by zenade at 12:01 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 3 February 2022 12:42 PM EST
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Wednesday, 2 February 2022
Gotham City Mysteries: The Ritz

This location is mentioned in the game's files, but doesn't seem to be on the map. As noted on the main site, it's probably a reference to Batman Forever, where the Riddler had his hideout. There doesn't seem to be any further clues in the game's coding, so this one seems to be a complete unknown. One option is the so-called Developers Rooms, but this far from certain as that area looks more like an office than a hotel.

 


Posted by zenade at 2:29 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 3 February 2022 7:51 AM EST
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Tuesday, 1 February 2022
Gotham City Mysteries: Gotham City Square

 

As noted in AllStarGamer’s video in YouTube, this area in the PS1 Batman And Robin game remains a mystery. It’s on the game map as a distinct destination, but nothing seems to happen there.

There’s a statue of a woman pointing her sword at a building. Go up to said building and the camera angle changes, as if you can enter the place. But you can’t get in. Some clues point to a suspicious vehicle being parked here on the third day, which indicates that Mr Freeze may show up at some point. Another clue shows a newspaper headline, stating that a band parade is happening there.

The only other notable thing in the square is a billboard. You can take a photo of it, and it’ll provide a clue about a diamond at the city museum (which is a part of the first and third day missions).

Was this an abandoned or undeveloped idea? Or has it yet to be unlocked? Even after twenty years, the game has not given up all of its secrets yet.


Posted by zenade at 12:25 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 3 February 2022 7:50 AM EST
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Sunday, 30 January 2022
Macross VF-X Demos

There are two known demos for this game. One is a standalone disc that, as previously noted in a recent post, has most of the content from the main game. You are restricted to four missions, but you get a loading cutscene for each one where your ship launches from the carrier. 

The second demo is from Tech PlayStation 97-5, with far fewer files and a different structure. Once again, you're limited to four specific missions. However, there are no cutscenes at all. 

The mission and ship files in both demos match those of the final game, but one mission (where you fly through a cloudy sky in search of enemies) seems to lack a final boss to fight. There are other glitches, such as buildings that you can fly through with no issues. If you just want to play the missions, try the Tech PlayStation 97-5 demo. I'm sure that the other missions can be accessed in some way as well.


Posted by zenade at 6:06 AM EST
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Sunday, 16 January 2022
Spot Goes To LV-426

Some games seem to be little more than interactive ads, while others try to be a bit more subtle with product placement. However, you could say any movie adaptation is in this category. I’d argue against this latter point in many cases, but media tie-ins have not had a very good reputation over the years.
Spot Goes To Hollywood is one that I’d normally avoid. On top of the blatant product promotion, it does not have good reviews in many quarters. Nevertheless, there are some interesting aspects to this game, notably the Alien levels. While these are missing in the earlier SNES prototype, one does appear in the latter one. Furthermore, there’s also one in the unreleased Sega 32X prototype, albeit unfinished. One Alien level made it to the retail build of the Megadrive/Genesis game.


Let’s have a look at some of these different versions. The SNES prototype dated 5th August 1995 has a short level that has Alien drones and facehuggers. These are quite hard to kill, but they don’t pursue you beyond a certain distance. Resin lines some of the walls just like in the films. There are no eggs or chutes leading to other parts of this level. And the boss fight has not been implemented.

Over to the 32X build. This has a much more detailed level, with various shafts leading downwards like the Megadrive game. Collision detection is not so good here and getting into said shafts can be very difficult. But there are drones and facehuggers present, along with eggs. Said eggs spawn facehuggers when disturbed. These spidery Aliens actually latch on to Spot’s face, and if they drain his health bar, the Game Over sequence initially looks like Spot’s having problems with a chestburster. The last shaft on the level does not lead anywhere and you can’t progress without ending the game.

The next level in the 32X build is interesting. It has facehuggers and stasis tubes, just like the final Megadrive build. But an interesting addition is the presence of Alien drones, and they’re more like the dog Alien from Alien 3. This is a little ironic considering the dogs that also populate this level.

The stasis tubes contain facehuggers but these don't seem to do anything, unlike the eggs.

The final game has a boss level, with something like an Alien queen spawning eggs and facehuggers as you take potshots at her. This mission appears to be missing from the three available prototypes and may have been a late addition to the game.

So some interesting things in the beta versions of this game. There are probably further changes on the other levels as well. 


Posted by zenade at 6:09 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 16 January 2022 10:37 AM EST
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Friday, 14 January 2022
Super Full Metal Planet Story

Just a quick update to the site. The backstory for this game is virtually unknown outside of an opening text crawl. But using official materials from the PC and board games, we've been able to construct a short summary of the events before the game's mission.

There is a short story floating about online, but this is in French and may not be official. More on this if it's relevant.


Posted by zenade at 5:34 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 14 January 2022 5:45 AM EST
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Tuesday, 11 January 2022
Super Full Metal Planet (SNES) Maps
First update: all twelve of the maps have been added to the site. These give you an idea of what to expect on each level.

Posted by zenade at 11:24 AM EST
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Monday, 10 January 2022
Super Full Metal Planet (SNES) Prototypes

Not just one, but four versions of this unreleased turn-based strategy game are now available. Three have been put out by Hidden palace, and one has been available over at the most excellent Snes Central.

There's a write-up on our website, with details of the various functions, vehicles and gameplay options. It's not normally my kind of game, but I've enjoyed playing this one for some reason. It's no Dune 2000, but give it a go if you get the chance. More will be added to the webpage soon.



Posted by zenade at 12:30 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 10 January 2022 12:37 PM EST
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Tuesday, 4 January 2022
Shadow Tower (PSX) Demo
Ploughing through the PrePre demo discs, I don't expect to find any King's Field demos. But there's one for this game's successor, Shadow Tower, on the Volume 13 disc. Haven't looked at it in detail yet, but while the basic level looks the same as the final, you start in a slightly different area. 

Posted by zenade at 11:16 AM EST
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Saturday, 1 January 2022
Horned Owl (PSX) Demo

Going through Japanese demo discs, I found this one on the first volume of the PrePre series. I haven’t got through the demo as yet, but looking at the game files, there seems to be all seven levels in there. This is not so unusual for some of the Japanese demos, as Macross VF-X also has all of the levels (albeit not all accessible). The game files are about two weeks earlier than retail, and there’s minimal differences in terms of size except for the executable. And there are no cutscenes either in the trial version. I did some file-swapping and other levels load, but I could see no differences in the demo to the final build.

One thing that also popped up as I was researching this game is that various websites claim it is based on Hideo Kojima’s Policenauts. As at least one source pointed out, this is probably rubbish. There’s a clue in the designer of the mechas in the game: Masamune Shirow.

He’s famous for series like Ghost In The Shell and Appleseed. Out of the two, I’d say Horned Owl is more like Appleseed in light of the mechas and the city landscape. Metro City could be a place in Poseidon.

Just to finish up, I’ve come across the first King’s Field demo, which is on PrePre Volume 3. This is the King’s Field III: Pilot Style version. I’ll add more info on further demos as I find them.


Posted by zenade at 3:14 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 4 January 2022 11:22 AM EST
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Saturday, 25 December 2021
Happy Holidays

Just to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!

 


Posted by zenade at 9:39 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 25 December 2021 9:40 AM EST
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Monday, 20 December 2021
Saucer Attack! (PSX)
A prototype of this unreleased PSX game has just shown up on Hidden Palace. It seems to feature a 1950s car that you can drive around an alien landscape. There are mission briefings, but these have nothing to do with the actual level. That may be because most of the files and briefings are from Uprising X, another game by 3DO. The briefings are the same, but the relevant level files don't load when transferred to Uprising X. But there's a debug menu in Saucer Attack! when you press Start.

Posted by zenade at 6:23 AM EST
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Saturday, 18 December 2021
Alien Resurrection E3 Demo (PSX) Sentry Gun

Further finds have been sent to us by N64assassin. Their ongoing research has found codes for the usual debug features found in the two latter TPS builds of the game. They’re also found those for items like detonators and explosives. These don’t seem to work at the moment, but may be specific to individual characters or levels.

One feature of particular interest is the sentry gun. You can see this in action in the very early pre-E3 builds. For those who have seen the special edition of Aliens, you’ll be familiar with this weapon. Set it up and it’ll fire at any enemies.


N64assassin says that the sentry gun is in the later TPS builds, but lack graphics. They only seem to work in the E3 demo. The code addresses seem to be level-specific. For Level 7 of the E3 build, the code is 301234C8 00000001. This item may freeze the game on the PSP, but it works well in ePSXe.

You move to the spot where you want to place the gun, and then select it from the items menu. There’re no graphics, but you can check it is there by walking across that spot. A circle icon will indicate that it’s all present and correct.

N64assassin says that the gun won’t fire on civilians such as the prisoners or the Betty crew, but will take out Alien drones, facehuggers, chestbursters and USM soldiers. The weapons may have limited ammo. You can try to pick the gun up again just like any other item, but it seems to explode when you do that. This item is very handy in areas where there are a lot of enemies.


Another interesting thing in the E3 demo is a Super Queen. N64assassin doesn’t think they have come across this creature yet, and it may lack graphics or other implementation.


Posted by zenade at 11:37 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 20 December 2021 6:28 AM EST
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Friday, 3 December 2021
Gunhed: Aratanaru Tatakai (NES) Translation

Some old news once more. Proveaux and the others over at Romhacking released an excellent translation patch for this Japanese NES game back in 2019.

If you're aware of the Gunhed film or comic, then you'll probably be interested in this. There's also a vertical shooter for the PC Engine called Gunhed, released in the West as Blazing Lasers.

More info on the Gunhed universe can be found in our own timeline.

 


Posted by zenade at 8:54 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 3 December 2021 9:16 AM EST
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