Saint Seiya: Soldiers' Soul

Saint Seiya: Soldiers' Soul

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Tutorial: changing the music of the game
THIS TUTORIAL IS OUTDATED.
Use the tutorial here instead, much easier and with less tools needed: http://animegamemods.freeforums.net/thread/669/changing-music-game-v2

The old tutorial will remain below for historical purposes (whatever that means).




Guide for swapping music in Saint Seiya: Soldiers' Soul

This guide is mainly intended for Soldiers' Soul PC version. However, this guide, unmodified, with only a single extra step at the end, is confirmed to work in the PS3 version of the game (providing you know how to create and modify a copy of your game there, that won't be discussed here).
It is very likely that most parts of this guide (except file name specifics, etc) can work on games that use similar formats, like Dragon Ball Xenoverse. However, that is not confirmed at the moment of writing this guide.

Tools you will need

External tools (made by people other than me)


Tools made by me

The tools above are the ones that are absolutely needed, but you will probably want to use the following external programs for some steps too:
  • hca_decoder 1.12 (by unknown author)
    Download link: https://mega.nz/#!7gMVkY4Y!Nuo8vOS0roEsXVZL8g2MW0-CudgSlCww5mGfu_8yoyQ
    This program will optionally needed if you want to listen to the original songs, as to know what you are replacing.
    Anyway, I will provide a pastebin with the known usage of the different music tracks in the game, so this is totally optional.

  • Audacity (by Audacity Team)
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/audacity/
    The songs in the file BGM.awb are each divided into 4 tracks, with each stereo channel split to two mono files, and then two low-volume versions of those (this will be discused later)
    Audacity can be used to split stereo files into mono tracks, and to create the low-volume versions. There are more programs that can be used for the same things, but this is the one I use.

---

Step 1: extracting the file localize.cpk

The file localize.cpk can be located at "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\SSSS" in a default installation.
Copy localize.cpk to the CriPakTools directory, where CripakTools.exe and EXTRACT_ALL.bat are.
Also, always keep a backup of the original version of this file, just in case something goes wrong (although Steam verify cache should work too in those case, anyway)

Drag and drop the file localize.cpk to EXTRACT_ALL.bat

This process may take a bit. You will notice it created a folder called resource, all localize.cpk contents was extracted there.
Now, create a new folder somewhere you like, and call it "[localize.cpk]" (with the brackets but without the quotes; you can actually name it whatever you want, but I will use this name too in other steps of the guide)
Cut and paste resource folder (the folder itself!), into "[localize.cpk]".
NEVER modify the top part of this folder, always make sure that it only contains the "resource" folder.

Step 1 completed. You won the "CPK newbie" title.

Step 2: extracting the sound files (awb/acb) files

Firstly, an overview of the music files used in Saint Seiya Soldiers' Soul:
  • [localize.cpk]/resource/sound/BGM.awb: this file contains the music used in battles and menus, as well as credits and misc. music.
  • [localize.cpk]/resource/sound/EVENT_BGM/GALA5_BGM_EVE0.awb: this file contains the music used in Sanctuary and Hades arc events. In the case of Hades arc, only the Sanctuary and Elysion part use this.
  • [localize.cpk]/resource/sound/EVENT_BGM/GALA5_BGM_EVE1.awb: this file contains the music used in Asgard arc events.
  • [localize.cpk]/resource/sound/EVENT_BGM/GALA5_BGM_EVE2.awb: this file contains the music used in Poseidon arc events.
  • [localize.cpk]/resource/sound/EVENT_BGM/GALA5_BGM_EVE3.awb: this file contains music used in Hades arc events, mainly in Meikai part, but some of it is used in Elysion too.
  • [localize.cpk]/resource/sound/EVENT_BGM/GALA5_BGM_EVE4.awb: this file contains music used in the Gold mode events.

Of course, there are a lot more sound files, for voice act and sound effects. This guide is for music, but you could probably use it to replace those too, but you're on your own discovering that (voice act files have a "VC" suffix, and sound effects have a "SE" suffix)

Copy the .awb file you want to extract to the folder where afs2tool and hca_ciph_change are.
Also, copy the .acb file that has same name (BGM.acb, GALA5_BGM_EVE0.acb, etc).
Acb files are not used for extraction, but they will be used later when awb files are re-created, so just copy them NOW.

Drag and drop the .awb file to afs2tools. It will extract all sound of files of it to a folder that has same base name as the .awb file, but with a "_extracted" suffix.
E.g., BMG.awb -> BGM_extracted

The files inside will be called like this, "0001.hca", "0002.hca", etc. It always begin with 0001, it uses decimal numbers, and it is always padded to 4 digits.

Step 2 completed. You won the "I'm A WeeBo" title.

Step 3: (Optional) Decoding original .hca files for listening

This step is totally optional. Its purpose is knowing which song is which. I am providing a pastebin at the end with all the info I found about music usages in this game.
But if you still want to listen to the original files or if you are using this guide for a different game, you probably want to do this step.

Go to the directory where you extracted hca_decoder.
Copy the .hca file you want to hear there. Drag and drop the .hca file to hca.exe
It will create a .wav file with same name. You can now listen to it.

Step 3 completed. You won the "C6H8O8" title.

Step 4: preparing your source material before encoding

This step guides you to preparing your source material (the music you want in the game) before you can proceed to encoding them.

If you are modifying tracks in BGM.awb, follow Step 4.A ONLY and then move to Step 5.
If you are modifying tracks in one of the GALA5_BGM_EVE... files, follow Step 4.B ONLY and then move to Step 5.
If you are modifying other files (voice/sound) or if you are using this guide for another game, follow Step 4.C.

Step 4.A

You are here because you want to modify an audio track that was in BGM.awb or because you were redirected by Step 4.C

The 128 files of this file are divided into groups of 4 mono .hca files, one for left channel, another for right channel, and two low-volume versions of the prior ones. That makes a total of 32 tracks. (128/4 = 32)
I don't know exactly what those low-volume versions there do, if maybe they are used for pause menu, or if the contain more channel data, haven't checked. If someone has more info about this, provide it and I will update this.

So hca files in BGM are like this:
0001.hca -> track 1 left channel
0002.hca -> track 1 left channel low-volume
0003.hca -> track 1 right channel
0004.hca -> track 1 right channel low-volume
0005.hca -> track 2 left channel
0006.hca -> track 2 left channel low-volume
0007.hca -> track 2 right channel
0008.hca -> track 2 right channel low-volume
... etc, the pattern repeats like that, with the last group of 4 being 0125-0128

Although you can do simple maths to know each group, I recommend you to use the view->details in the file explorer: every group of 4 files has identical file size, so by looking at the file size column, you can easily tell every group of 4.
Optionally, you can check my pastebin at the end instead.

For the rest of this step, I'll assume that you want to modify the music in the main menu, which is the group 0097-0100.
(The process is identical for the other music, just changing the numbers, it is just easier for the guide to use a specific example.)

So, we are now going to split you source material (the music you want in the game), which I assume it is a stereo track, into two mono-tracks.
And after that, we'll create the two low-volume versions of those.
Audacity will be used for this step, although there are other programs that could be used instead.

Open your desired music file with Audacity. (If your file is a .wav, Audacity may ask you about how to open the file, if by copying it or directly. If this happens, choose the "Copy" option, which is the default, we don't want to mess with your original file)

Now click in the inverted triangle next to the track name, to open a menu, and choose "Split Stereo to Mono".
Like in this image: http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn33/endlessless/ss%20music%20audacity/image1_zpsprskea9d.png

Now use the little "x" that is next to the track name, in the channel that is at the bottom. This will delete it and leave us with only the left channel.
Like in this image: http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn33/endlessless/ss%20music%20audacity/image2_zps3ugetwct.png

Now, in the main menu, choose File->Export Audio. Make sure the type selected is "WAV (Microsoft) signed 16 bit PCM", and choose as filename "0097.wav".
Now click, Edit->Undo so that you have again both channels. This time delete the one at the top, so that you get only the right channel. Use File->Export Audio again, and choose filename "0099.wav"

Close Audacity. DO NOT SAVE (you have already exported the files, you don't want to save and modify your precious source material)

We have done the track splitting, we will now proceed to create the low-volume versions of them, by using the "Amplify" function of Audacity with negative numbers.

Open Audacity again. Open the file 0097.wav that you created before. Choose Effect->Amplify, and input "-11" or "-12" at the Amplification (dB) box.
Like in this image: http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn33/endlessless/ss%20music%20audacity/image3_zpsu0inaaw8.png
(the other number is automatically updated and it varies between different files).
Use File->Export Audio, and choose 0098.wav as file name. Close Audacity WITHOUT saving.

Open Audacity again and repeat this last step, by opening 0099.wav this time instead. After you do the negative amplification thing, export it as 0100.wav and close without saving.

Step 4.A completed. You won the "Audacitizen" title.
Now skip 4.B and 4.C, and move to Step 5.

Step 4.B

You are here because you are modifyng one of the tracks of GALA5_BGM_EVE... files or because you were redirected by Step 4.C
The tracks in these files are individual stereo tracks, so you really don't have to do almost anything here.

I recommend to convert your desired music tracks to .wav, prior to the next step. Because even if Pes Media Converter read other file formats, I wouldn't trust it.
So, convert your desired music to .wav using one of the multiple converters out there.
Then, rename your .wav file with the same BASE name as the .hca file you will replace. E.g. 0001.wav, 0002.wav, etc
And... that's it.

Step 4.B completed. You won the "I really did nothing" title.
Now skip 4.C and move to Step 5.

Step 4.C

You are here because you want to modify a file not covered in the other sections or because you are applying this guide to another game.
Well, you will have to figure out things on your own. Use Step 3 to convert all your .hca files to wav, and then figure out if:

  • They are individual stereo tracks, unrelated between each other -> follow step 4.B.
  • The file 0001 sounds almost like 0003, and file 0002 and 0004 also sound identical to 0001 and 0003 but with lower volume -> follow step 4.A
  • Otherwise, you will have to apply your logic to find a method suitable for your files.

(continues in next post)
Last edited by universal_eternity; Oct 29, 2016 @ 7:11am
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Showing 1-15 of 102 comments
Step 5: encoding and fixing HCA files

First of all, remember the "XXX_extracted" folder that was created in Step 2? E.g, BGM_extracted, GALA5_BGM_EVE0_extracted, etc.
Well, do a duplicate of this folder, and rename like XXX_work (e.g: BGM_work, GALA5_BGM_EVE0_work, etc)
This naming is NOT optional, since Step 6 will actually need the folder to be named with that convention

Now, open this buggy program called "PES Media Converter"
Select the tab "HCA convert". Change the default sample from 48000 to 44100. This game uses 44100 music and your source files are likely to be 44100, so there are no reasons to use the default 48000.
Leave the default bitrate of 128k or increase it if you want, probably not a good idea to make it smaller than 128.
Now use the File->Add files to add your wav files (which should be named properly like 0001.wav, 0002.wav, etc if you followed prior step properly)
Now let me tell you one thing: this program works like crap. Although you could add multiple files there and then click "Start convert" to convert all of them at once, the program has some kind of bug (like some syncronization problem between gui and the underlying encoding?), and sometimes, it will skip encoding some files.
So, as annoying as it is, I recommend you to add a file and click Start Convert, then add another file and click again start convert, etc.

The program outputs the HCA files in C:\Converted by default. Verify that your files are indeed there. This program is so BUGGY, that sometimes, even if you followed my advice of doing a one per one encoding, the program may skip some file too!
Like I said, this seems to be a problem in the gui rather than in the underlying encoding process. If some of your files are not there, just try again with those files, until it works (if after too many retries, it still doesn't work, close and open the program again, and try once again)

Now, move the files from C:\converted to your XXX_work folder, replacing the files. (Don't worry if your .hca files are bigger than the ones the game uses. With the method of this guide, there are no file size restrictions, your music can be bigger than the one in the game)

Your HCA files are not yet ready though. As they are now, the ones that you generated with PES Media Converter would play as garbage in the game. This is because PES Media Converter applies an encryption to files that Soldiers' Soul and other games apparently can't understand.
Don't worry, the tool hca_ciph_change comes to rescue.

The program will scan the input directory in search of .hca files that were generated by PES Media Converter, and it will decrypt them to make them work with Soldiers' Soul (and other games)
Also, it will modify them so that they "loop" (this is so that a song goes back to the beginning once it finishes playing, which you probably want in most cases)
if for whatever reason, you don't want this loop thing, use hca_ciph_change_NO_LOOP.bat instead of hca_ciph_change.exe (Note: in some cases, even if NO_LOOP is used some files may still loop if the game feels like that, this depends of where the track is used)

Note: this program doesn't touch .hca files that were not generated by PES Media Converter (such as the original game files) since it is not needed (if a directory contains a mix of original files and files generated by PES Media Converter, the program will only apply the fix to the ones generated by PES Media Converter, the program knows the difference)

So, umm, just drag and drop your XXX_work folder into either hca_ciph_change.exe or hca_ciph_change_NO_LOOP.bat, and you're done.

Step 5 completed. You won the "I used PES Media Converter and I survived" title.

Step 6: Creating the new AWB file and replacing original files

Now, we will use afs2tool again, but this time to convert the XXX_work folder to a .awb file (and to correct the .acb file)
Remember that in Step 2 you were told to copy the .acb file too. This file is needed because afs2tool will modify it (it only modifies a small section of it that has a copy of the .awb header)
You probably also have the original .awb there too if you followed the guide, although it doesn't matter at all if it is there or not, because afs2tool creates a .awb file from scratch without relying on the original.

So, just drag and drop the folder XXX_work into afs2tool.exe. It will generate a XXX.awb (or if it exists, it will replace it), and it will update the XXX.acb file. (where XXX = BGM, GALA5_BGM_EVE0, etc)

Now copy your pair of .awb/.acb files to the place they were in the [localization.cpk] folder, replacing the original files.

Step 6 completed. You won the "Almost there" title.

Step 7: Creating the new localize.cpk

We will use Repacker CPK here. It is the CPKTools.exe file, not the other .exe there.
So run it, and the very first thing you should do is uncheck that evil checkbox called "ForceCompress", which is checked by default.
I will repeat it several times more so that it is clear.
Uncheck ForceCompress.
Uncheck ForceCompress.
Uncheck ForceCompress.
Uncheck ForceCompress.
Uncheck ForceCompress.
Uncheck ForceCompress.
Uncheck ForceCompress.
Uncheck ForceCompress.

It is not optional. If you leave it checked, your localize.cpk will be corrupted, and the game will crash at some point.
Where it says "Data Path", click Browse and select the "[localize.cpk]" folder (not the resource folder inside!)
In Save path, click browse, and name the file localize.cpk, and save it somewhere.
Click the button "Build", and it will begin building the .cpk (it may take some time).

Step 7 completed. You won the "CPK master" title.

Step 8: the final step
  • For PC users: As you have probably figured out, you just have to copy the new localize.cpk back at its game location, and run the game.
  • For PS3 users: copy the file localize.cpk in the copy of your game. Uninstall the game installed data in the XMB before running the game for first time after the file change (this is needed or game will complain about corruption)

Step 8 and guide completed. You won the "Seiji Yokoyama" title.

Extra considerations
The music in this game seems to be recorded at much higher volume than SS OST. This is specially true for battle music, for the other the difference is a bit less.
You may need to bump the volume of your source files in step 4 to bring it to similar levels, but increasing volume without destroying sound quality by clipping is a topic that is beyond this guide.

Pastebin with usage of all music in the game: http://pastebin.com/VVJjcTfF
Last edited by universal_eternity; Nov 25, 2015 @ 4:22pm
I have already premade .awb/.acb files but those can't be posted here. I will publish shortly a youtube video, which will be just an excuse to post the link in them. I won't post the link to the video here but I will provide tips about how to find it, just give me some minutes!
And it is done. In Youtube, search for "soldiers' soul music mod" or something alike, you will find a video with a length of 1:40 (or 1:39). The link to my music mod is there.

(The instructions to apply it are more simplified than the above, as you only need a few steps)
Last edited by universal_eternity; Nov 25, 2015 @ 4:45pm
Deanff3 Nov 25, 2015 @ 4:45pm 
Nice
[ARG] Red Nov 25, 2015 @ 5:41pm 
Thanks for the anime music mod! I'm downloading it right now. Will give it a try in a month or so after I'm done with most of the single player content and may want to spice things up a bit.
Last edited by [ARG] Red; Nov 25, 2015 @ 5:41pm
Cyrus Nov 25, 2015 @ 6:27pm 
I'll download it and try it right now. This game's original music is awful.
Last edited by Cyrus; Nov 25, 2015 @ 6:27pm
Cyrus Nov 25, 2015 @ 6:55pm 
Alright, done and working. Excellent guide and very clear instructions. Thanks a lot!!!
Prego Nov 25, 2015 @ 9:43pm 
muchas gracias!
Luis Nov 25, 2015 @ 10:26pm 
Best mod ever. Hits the nostalgia perfectly. Goddamn.
Skiheid Nov 26, 2015 @ 7:29am 
Man this is perfect. Good sound quality, and perfectly combined with the game situations.

Saint Seiya had a great OST, better than most of the modern animes.
mistergamer99 Nov 26, 2015 @ 1:24pm 
Can I change the voices?
Originally posted by mistergamer99:
Can I change the voices?
It should work with voices too, at least for those where there are a pair of .awb/.acb files.
Dark.Shingo Nov 26, 2015 @ 3:04pm 
Casi estoy tentado a cambiar el Lushan Dragon Ascendente por Dragon Naciente.
Skiheid Nov 26, 2015 @ 5:04pm 
It would be nice to change the effects for the ones from the show.
I want to hear metal X metal when I strike a punch, not the generic street fighter sfx that comes with the game.

I am looking for sounds from the show right now.
Deanff3 Nov 26, 2015 @ 5:08pm 
I just did here was very good! :Hyoga:
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