CPS3 suicides no more?

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CPS3 suicides no more?

Post by Svovl » September 22nd, 2012, 9:44 pm

It seems that some hackers are progressing on 'phoenixing' CPS3 games.
Razoola mentions it on his page: http://cps2shock.emu-france.info"

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Re: CPS3 suicides no more?

Post by CPS2 » September 22nd, 2012, 9:47 pm


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Re: CPS3 suicides no more?

Post by Svovl » September 22nd, 2012, 10:19 pm

Aha, thought as much as it probably had been discussed in here. It was hidden in a lot of cps2 related stuff though :-)

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Re: CPS3 suicides no more?

Post by IDCHAPPY » September 22nd, 2012, 10:28 pm


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Re: CPS3 suicides no more?

Post by Svovl » September 22nd, 2012, 10:35 pm

So now that I have made a fool out of my self for not reading the forum carefully enough perhaps I can use this thread to try to get my head around what the consequences of this work is.

Say I had a SF3 Third Strike that died on me. Could the work described in the thread referenced save the game? and how would you practically go about it doing it (from the perspective of the hypothetical unlucky owner of a dead game)?

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Re: CPS3 suicides no more?

Post by idc » September 22nd, 2012, 11:48 pm

Svovl wrote:So now that I have made a fool out of my self for not reading the forum carefully enough perhaps I can use this thread to try to get my head around what the consequences of this work is.

Say I had a SF3 Third Strike that died on me. Could the work described in the thread referenced save the game? and how would you practically go about it doing it (from the perspective of the hypothetical unlucky owner of a dead game)?
Just wait... We're still testing stuff. Leo and Artemio are still looking at the "magic" 256 byte area in the BIOS.

It could go several ways:

1. [This is where we are at present!] Carts have to be revived as 2I. If it's already a 2I cart, then it's simply a case of removing the battery. If it's any other cart, then the flash ROM will need to be de-soldered, reprogrammed and then re-soldered. You can run 2I, but to run any other game, you'd have to wait for an updated version of Darksoft's CD-ROM conversion tool which supports 2I. We have a guy who is working on a custom emulator for 2I which will help us to create a table in order to separate code from data in 2I. Since 2I is encrypted a little differently to the other five games, we will have to wait for that.

2. We figure out how to revive all carts, battery free. This would, however, likely mean de-soldering the flash ROM, reprogramming it and re-soldering it for all games except 2I, unless it's possible to reprogram it via some custom-made hardware that carts can just be plugged into.

3. We figure out how to rewrite the security keys, so the cart runs with a battery, just in the manner that Capcom would do it (or maybe slightly differently, but the end result would be the same). In this case, it may not be necessary to reprogram the flash ROM.
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Re: CPS3 suicides no more?

Post by Svovl » September 23rd, 2012, 6:53 am

idc wrote: Just wait... We're still testing stuff. Leo and Artemio are still looking at the "magic" 256 byte area in the BIOS.

It could go several ways:

1. [This is where we are at present!] Carts have to be revived as 2I. If it's already a 2I cart, then it's simply a case of removing the battery. If it's any other cart, then the flash ROM will need to be de-soldered, reprogrammed and then re-soldered. You can run 2I, but to run any other game, you'd have to wait for an updated version of Darksoft's CD-ROM conversion tool which supports 2I. We have a guy who is working on a custom emulator for 2I which will help us to create a table in order to separate code from data in 2I. Since 2I is encrypted a little differently to the other five games, we will have to wait for that.

2. We figure out how to revive all carts, battery free. This would, however, likely mean de-soldering the flash ROM, reprogramming it and re-soldering it for all games except 2I, unless it's possible to reprogram it via some custom-made hardware that carts can just be plugged into.

3. We figure out how to rewrite the security keys, so the cart runs with a battery, just in the manner that Capcom would do it (or maybe slightly differently, but the end result would be the same). In this case, it may not be necessary to reprogram the flash ROM.
Thank you for the explanation!

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Re: CPS3 suicides no more?

Post by Daffyjjh » September 24th, 2012, 5:29 pm

So does the battery removal work only for 2nd impact (Japanese cart) or will it work on a Double Impact (USA cart) as well. Is there a difference between the two?

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Re: CPS3 suicides no more?

Post by idc » September 24th, 2012, 5:34 pm

Daffyjjh wrote:So does the battery removal work only for 2nd impact (Japanese cart) or will it work on a Double Impact (USA cart) as well. Is there a difference between the two?
Should work on all 2nd Impact carts, regardless of region. The USA region is actually called "2nd Impact" too; "Double Impact" is the Dreamcast title.
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Re: CPS3 suicides no more?

Post by leonk » September 26th, 2012, 3:43 pm

AMAZING progress everyone.. Here's my understanding of CPS3 revival (where we stand):

- someone at Capcom goofed and left the decryption keys in 2nd Impact Flash ROM. To force the security cart to use that suicide-free key, one needs to remove the battery in the security cart. In addition, You can take any security cart, and convert it to a 2nd Impact by reflashing the flash ROM on it. The only issue is that this security cart will then only boot 2nd Impact.

- darksoft released a utility to force CPS3 games to used different security carts (except for 2nd Impact). It works by modifying the CD-ROM image (you'll need to burn to a CD-R a modified image and boot it)

- Ultimate solution (darksoft working on it.. hopefully will be done soon): Convert your dead security cart to 2nd Impact. Burn a CD-R of the game you want using the 2nd Impact security key.

I see a "problem" to this solution:

1) This should devalue all original CPS3 CD-ROM/Security carts (as one can now download for free any CPS3 game their want, rather than collect "originals") - I believe this is similar to what happened to Naomi with CF/Netbooting.
2) In the long run, original CPS3 CD-ROM games should all stop working (except for 2nd Impact) because they will no longer have original working security carts. Darksoft's fix doesn't address this; it provides us a way to play the games on original Motherboards (using modified CD-R discs and modified security carts).

Wouldn't the ultimate solution be a way to figure out how to still use original CD-ROM discs with modified security carts? (similar to how one can use original Naomi CD-ROM carts with burned PIC's if you lost your security key) ??

Never the less.. Darksoft is an encryption/assembly guru, and I tip my hat to him!

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Re: CPS3 suicides no more?

Post by idc » September 26th, 2012, 6:20 pm

leonk wrote:- someone at Capcom goofed and left the decryption keys in 2nd Impact Flash ROM. To force the security cart to use that suicide-free key, one needs to remove the battery in the security cart. In addition, You can take any security cart, and convert it to a 2nd Impact by reflashing the flash ROM on it. The only issue is that this security cart will then only boot 2nd Impact.
No. They didn't leave the key in as such, but their goof was to use a zero key. The vector on the flash points to an empty area of RAM. On CPS3 carts, the SH2 CPU reads 0x00 for empty RAM regions as opposed to the 'usual' 0xFF, so it thinks it sees a correct key, but it's really just empty RAM.
leonk wrote:- darksoft released a utility to force CPS3 games to used different security carts (except for 2nd Impact). It works by modifying the CD-ROM image (you'll need to burn to a CD-R a modified image and boot it)

- Ultimate solution (darksoft working on it.. hopefully will be done soon): Convert your dead security cart to 2nd Impact. Burn a CD-R of the game you want using the 2nd Impact security key.

I see a "problem" to this solution:

1) This should devalue all original CPS3 CD-ROM/Security carts (as one can now download for free any CPS3 game their want, rather than collect "originals") - I believe this is similar to what happened to Naomi with CF/Netbooting.
To be honest, collectors will always want originals, with intact battery, so in that sense it might not affect price of working carts that much. CPS3 has a very niche market anyway. What it will likely do, however, is increase the value of dead carts. Without any form of cart revival, eventually all carts would become completely worthless, so which is better? Would you prefer to own a more valuable cart that will immediately worth nothing when it eventually dies, or one that's been slightly devalued, but can at least be resurrected from the grave when it has died and will therefore still have some value?
leonk wrote:2) In the long run, original CPS3 CD-ROM games should all stop working (except for 2nd Impact) because they will no longer have original working security carts. Darksoft's fix doesn't address this; it provides us a way to play the games on original Motherboards (using modified CD-R discs and modified security carts).

Wouldn't the ultimate solution be a way to figure out how to still use original CD-ROM discs with modified security carts? (similar to how one can use original Naomi CD-ROM carts with burned PIC's if you lost your security key) ??
You think that this is not something we're aiming to do? :P

This is what we would like to do, in order of priority/likelihood:

1. Get Darksoft's tool to work with 2I carts, so all games can be run with a 2I zombie cart.
2. Revive carts for all six games to run as battery free zombie carts.
3. Revive carts for all six games by rewriting the security data, still requiring a battery.
leonk wrote:Never the less.. Darksoft is an encryption/assembly guru, and I tip my hat to him!
:awe:
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Re: CPS3 suicides no more?

Post by Tyranix95 » September 26th, 2012, 8:55 pm

idc wrote:...

This is what we would like to do, in order of priority/likelihood:

1. Get Darksoft's tool to work with 2I carts, so all games can be run with a 2I zombie cart.
2. Revive carts for all six games to run as battery free zombie carts.
3. Revive carts for all six games by rewriting the security data, still requiring a battery.

...
<nod>

Hack > Legit.

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Re: CPS3 suicides no more?

Post by leonk » September 27th, 2012, 2:33 am

Awesome...

Can I make 1 suggestion .. consider moving to an SRAM based memory IC that is not volatile! (Yes, they do exist!) This way, you flash them once, but they won't lose data if power is lost.

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Re: CPS3 suicides no more?

Post by Tyranix95 » September 28th, 2012, 12:43 am

leonk wrote:Awesome...

Can I make 1 suggestion .. consider moving to an SRAM based memory IC that is not volatile! (Yes, they do exist!) This way, you flash them once, but they won't lose data if power is lost.
Yeah, that would be so very cool if someone could figure out a way to stop the start-up keys from disappearing from the CPS B and C boards. :awe:

That would be right-up there with putting the start-up keys back on dead CPS boards. :awe: :awe:

Now that would just make my day.

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Re: CPS3 suicides no more?

Post by Devil Soundwave » September 28th, 2012, 11:56 am


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Re: CPS3 suicides no more?

Post by darksoft » October 16th, 2012, 9:06 pm

leonk wrote:Awesome...

Can I make 1 suggestion .. consider moving to an SRAM based memory IC that is not volatile! (Yes, they do exist!) This way, you flash them once, but they won't lose data if power is lost.

Yes that's an option, but I'm going to concentrate rather on the new version of the tool.

Check my blog for updates :))
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Re: CPS3 suicides no more?

Post by Rossyra » October 16th, 2012, 9:08 pm

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Re: CPS3 suicides no more?

Post by dlfrsilver » November 16th, 2012, 1:08 am

A guy owning a SF3.2 has reported that once he had removed the battery, he was unable to rewrite the game on a board where SF3.3 was installed..... is it normal ?

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Re: CPS3 suicides no more?

Post by darksoft » December 3rd, 2012, 8:13 pm

Hi there,

for those who's like to see the new version of the tool coming soon and would like to help with it, please read here: http://64darksoft.blogspot.com/2012/12/ ... ublic.html"

All I'm asking you, is just to play :)
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Re: CPS3 suicides no more?

Post by Spectre » December 4th, 2012, 12:31 pm

Well do my best to find some time to contribute 8-)

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