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Headhunter - 2 Discs Release - DCRES.nfo 8.1KB

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  19. ===================================================================================================
  20. Dreamcast Resurrection - 2010 (since 2008)
  21. ===================================================================================================
  22. Check for more releases at these forums (search for user "TuxTheWise"):
  23. snesorama.us (all releases, see my signature)
  24. segahub.org (recent releases)
  25. dreamcast-talk.com (recent releases)
  26. ===================================================================================================
  27. NOTE: I've seen some people uploading my releases in other servers. I recommend you always getting
  28. my releases of my uploads in the forums above, because sometimes I release fixes or re-launch some
  29. games that have problems. If you get my uploads you'll be sure of having the latest releases.
  30. Additionally, you'll get the original package, not images made from discs, so you'll be sure that
  31. nothing is corrupted.
  32. ===================================================================================================
  33. ----------------------------------
  34. Headhunter (PAL) *2 Discs Release*
  35. ----------------------------------
  36. Ripped: Nothing.
  37. Downsampled: Most audio 44khz stereo -> 32khz stereo; videos.
  38. Source: GD dump and PS2 version of the game.
  39. === ATTENTION: ===
  40. You need to execute the "unpack.bat" before burning, it will unpack the .ecm file and create your
  41. .cdi images.
  42. If you need to apply any patch, do it in the unpacked .cdi file, not in the .ecm file.
  43. ==================
  44. After some months of inactivity, here I am again bringing a very requested release: Headhunter in
  45. 2 discs. In case you missed, the previous release was a split version (4 discs) without anything
  46. downsampled. This one of course needed media downsampling.
  47. First thing you need to know is that it has stereo sound. Soundtrack of this game is awesome, so
  48. you'll probably enjoy that. Note that the 44khz -> 32khz difference can't be noticed by most
  49. people (at least on most sound systems).
  50. Also notice that the video was encoded using the PS2 videos as source (MPEG-2 in high bitrate) to
  51. achieve the best quality possible. Resizing was made using a high quality filter and in every
  52. manipulation of the video lossless formats has been used.
  53. Downsampling all the audio wasn't easy. There are a bunch of .ADP files on this game. About half
  54. of them are common ADX files, easy to work with. The other half is a "not standard" ADPCM format.
  55. I had to figure out how to decode them and write my own tools to manage the data. It took a lot of
  56. work, I'm glad it worked. The result is that all ADP files could be downsampled.
  57. There are some AHF package files on the game. These files contains the data actually loaded in the
  58. memory. Some sounds (gun shots and steps) were inside of them. After some reverse engineering I
  59. was able to figure out this format and write my own tools to unpack and pack it back. With that I
  60. could downsample the audio inside the AHF files. A problem appeared though, the modified audio
  61. wasn't playing during the game. I could hack the game to make it play right, and I really got
  62. happy, at least for some time. After getting the motorcycle, the motor sound got really messy. I
  63. figured out later that the motor sound is made playing more than a sound at the same time, and
  64. probably their sync is made based on the samples of the audio. If you change the frequency like I
  65. did, sync gets messy and you get the bad result I did. The result: I couldn't downsample the sound
  66. inside the AHF. With that I lost about 8mb per disc, which isn't a big deal. This whole process
  67. took me some days and ended being a total waste of time. Well, shit happens.
  68. At this time I really thought the worst has passed, but then I started working with the videos.
  69. This game uses 4XM video, a format that sucks a lot, at least for encoding. The encoder is
  70. extremelly slow (2~5fps per core on a Core 2 Duo). It means that I take about 6x~15x the play time
  71. of a video to encode it. Well, fortunately it uses constant bitrate and the final size can be
  72. easily predicted, so I didn't have to do the whole process too many times. I wonder how much time
  73. they took to encode the videos at the age with P2/P3.
  74. The 4XM encoder compresses the audio in a ADPCM format that sucks. It distorces the audio too
  75. much. Additionally, the player adds some "ticks" when playing a sound with a too wide spectrum. To
  76. correct this, I had to inject uncompressed PCM audio in the videos where this effect appeared. The
  77. ADPCM sounds are in 32khz stereo and mono, and the uncompressed PCM audio in 22khz mono. Even with
  78. these problems, the videos have a very good and uniform quality. It's probably the not-splitted
  79. release with the best videos of the scene.
  80. I need to admit I'm not 100% happy with the results. I'm pretty sure I made my best for this game,
  81. but I wanted to make it better, probably because I like it a lot. Well, but you can't have
  82. everything, can you?
  83. Performance is improved over the split release because I didn't have to worry if videos were in a
  84. position where they could be streamed fast enough.
  85. If you use subtitles on the videos, note that some of them don't have a very good sync. It's not
  86. my fault, it also happens with the original videos. When I decided using the PS2 videos, one of
  87. the first things I did was checking if they were 100% syncronized with original Dreamcast videos.
  88. These problems probably appeared because the developers had to rush near the launch date and
  89. couldn't fix it.
  90. Starting with this game, I'll release the tools I used for this game in case you're interested.
  91. Check my blog at snesorama in a few days, they should be there.
  92. Headhunter is an amazing game, I hope you like this 2 discs release, it should be by a great
  93. margin the best not-splitted release around. However, if you are a huge fan like I am, you should
  94. take a look at my previous split release.
  95. Features of my release:
  96. - Only 2 discs.
  97. - Stereo sound.
  98. - Videos with good quality (taken from PS2 version).
  99. - Not corrupted files at all, it was made with GD dump files.
  100. - Used custom DCRES optimization techniques. It means faster loadings and less Dreamcast reader
  101. noise.
  102. - Selfboot.
  103. About the game:
  104. - It has VGA Box support.
  105. Other comments:
  106. - "Extras" folder in the pack contains some useless stuff.
  107. - Release comes with manual and covers.