FINAL FANTASY XII THE ZODIAC AGE

FINAL FANTASY XII THE ZODIAC AGE

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Vaan Feb 2 @ 10:41am
[MODDING DISCUSSION]
https://discord.gg/kHkEgZE Discord for discussion

Nexus https://www.nexusmods.com/finalfantasy12

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VBF Browser:
https://www.nexusmods.com/finalfantasy12/mods/3
With this you can browse the VBF and inject/extract single files/folders.

Here is an easy to use tool to FULLY unpack/repack the game file: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/252064925193601024/410483949794754581/VBFUnpackGUI.zip
Mostly only for people who want to mess around with the files.

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The license board files correspond as follow:

  • board_1.bin White Mage
  • board_2.bin Uhlan
  • board_3.bin Machinist
  • board_4.bin Red Battlemage
  • board_5.bin Knight
  • board_6.bin Monk
  • board_7.bin Time Battlemage
  • board_8.bin Foebreaker
  • board_8.bin Archer
  • board_10.bin Black Mage
  • board_11.bin Bushi
  • board_12.bin Shikari

ejh1990 License Board Pack

http://steamcommunity.com/app/595520/discussions/0/1700541698690214622/?ctp=12#c1700541698705821949
Last edited by Vaan; Apr 3 @ 1:20pm
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Showing 316-330 of 595 comments
Originally posted by Wraith:
Originally posted by Rhyagelle:

Well that's definitely a good CPU, so that can't be it. Where did you place the tool? It could be worth placing it in the Documents folder under its own folder or Desktop, and then right clicking and running as admin. Also, where have you installed your FF12? You might not have full access to it or something.

I have tried running as admin, for organizational reasons, it's in an extra folder under the FFXII folder created by Steam. As for installation location, I give steam its own hard drive to itself, avoiding the permissions ridiculousness Microsoft started doing with Program Files folders, and I have admin access to it all anyway.

I've kept the command prompt window up on my second monitor as I try various things and adding/subtracting other active tasks/programs has no noticable effect on speed of repacking. Task manager shows it as not having any measurable draw on my CPU, less than dozen MB of RAM being used, and disk usage far below what the drives are capable of when I did some large file movements to stress test, so it seems to me like the program is not taking advantage of the resources available to it. My computer is on the older end, but should still be performing far better than this.

Worst case scenario, I just let it run and I can play sometime in the next few days, but I was hoping there was something obvious I was missing that was a quick fix.

Hhmm, this is really strange. You are already avoiding Window's strange permission punishments, so that doesn't seem to be it.

And you said command prompt? You are using the old command method? Have you tried the GUI tool instead?
Wraith Feb 10 @ 7:14pm 
Originally posted by Rhyagelle:
Originally posted by Wraith:

I have tried running as admin, for organizational reasons, it's in an extra folder under the FFXII folder created by Steam. As for installation location, I give steam its own hard drive to itself, avoiding the permissions ridiculousness Microsoft started doing with Program Files folders, and I have admin access to it all anyway.

I've kept the command prompt window up on my second monitor as I try various things and adding/subtracting other active tasks/programs has no noticable effect on speed of repacking. Task manager shows it as not having any measurable draw on my CPU, less than dozen MB of RAM being used, and disk usage far below what the drives are capable of when I did some large file movements to stress test, so it seems to me like the program is not taking advantage of the resources available to it. My computer is on the older end, but should still be performing far better than this.

Worst case scenario, I just let it run and I can play sometime in the next few days, but I was hoping there was something obvious I was missing that was a quick fix.

Hhmm, this is really strange. You are already avoiding Window's strange permission punishments, so that doesn't seem to be it.

And you said command prompt? You are using the old command method? Have you tried the GUI tool instead?

I am using the GUI tool, but all that does is supply the arguments for the command tool, it still runs in a command window.
Originally posted by Wraith:
Originally posted by Rhyagelle:

Hhmm, this is really strange. You are already avoiding Window's strange permission punishments, so that doesn't seem to be it.

And you said command prompt? You are using the old command method? Have you tried the GUI tool instead?

I am using the GUI tool, but all that does is supply the arguments for the command tool, it still runs in a command window.

I was thinking perhaps the tool would be updated somehow or if your PC is acting funny towards the CMD the gui tool could somehow "trick" it, but I see that you are using it. I honestly have no idea why your PC is acting so strangely, as if it is considerably old. The other thing I can think of is that the HDD/SDD is failing. With a CPU like that, it still shouldn't have a problem unpacking the vbf in under an hour.
ffgriever has released his new FF12 vbf tool! A work in progress, but appreciated! Come on guys, you have to let him know you need it! :)

http://forum.xentax.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=17648
FuzedBox Feb 11 @ 8:12pm 
Originally posted by Rhyagelle:
ffgriever has released his new FF12 vbf tool! A work in progress, but appreciated! Come on guys, you have to let him know you need it! :)

http://forum.xentax.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=17648

I just used it, and it works flawlessly. This makes it a much quicker, less tedious process; major props to ffgriever for this!

Simply use the parameter -r, followed by the directory you want to replace in the vbf in quotations, followed by the vbf filename and it'll do its magic; in my case I added the LBMods directories to the program directory and used

ff12-vbf.exe -r "classic" FFXII_TZA.vbf

@ejh1990

Hey, I'm still playing both games. The one with the job system and the one off your original hacked save. Something interesting to note is that while my license boards in the job system change when I overwrite their .bins, the board does not change on the game that came from your save. I'd prefer to only replace license_board.bin and leave the job boards alone, but it appears your hacked save is unaffected by changes to that particular bin, even though it should be.

Well, you wanted updates about any strange occurences, and there it is. Lol. Any idea how I can have concurrent saves for both updated classic board and original job systems without exiting the game and tweaking the VBF every time I switch save, or how to update the board on the hacked one? [ have the funny feeling that the classic board your hacked save links to is stored somewhere else in the vbf. <- UPDATE: That bin is in fact found in other subdirectories, but even after replacing those, the board on that save won't update. It must be something entirely different; I'd like your thoughts on this.
Last edited by FuzedBox; Feb 11 @ 9:18pm
ejh1990 Feb 12 @ 12:23am 
So happy to have woken up to lots of good news relating to modding! :)

Originally posted by FuzedBox:
Hey, I'm still playing both games. The one with the job system and the one off your original hacked save. Something interesting to note is that while my license boards in the job system change when I overwrite their .bins, the board does not change on the game that came from your save. I'd prefer to only replace license_board.bin and leave the job boards alone, but it appears your hacked save is unaffected by changes to that particular bin, even though it should be.

Well, you wanted updates about any strange occurences, and there it is. Lol. Any idea how I can have concurrent saves for both updated classic board and original job systems without exiting the game and tweaking the VBF every time I switch save, or how to update the board on the hacked one? I have the funny feeling that the classic board your hacked save links to is stored somewhere else in the vbf. <- UPDATE: That bin is in fact found in other subdirectories, but even after replacing those, the board on that save won't update. It must be something entirely different; I'd like your thoughts on this.

Oh wow! That is weird. But it has also given me a clue as to why something that I was working on previously (not just custom Licence Boards, but custom licences!) isn't working even though it *should*.

re: other directories, those seem to be for localisation. At least, originally they were. But the fact that you have said it has no affect now makes me suspect they've mostly fallen into disuse (interesting information in itself).

I'll have a hunt for a known byte string from the original license_board.bin and hope this yields something. Thanks for the info and update! :)

edit: Boom! Think I found it (though I need to repack to confirm). I think the hacked save uses yet another board that is found within battle_pack.bin (it's right at the end, just before the four 00 bytes and starts at (and including) the following byte sequence 6c 69 63 64 18 00 18 00.
Last edited by ejh1990; Feb 12 @ 12:41am
tommalmm Feb 12 @ 1:14am 
Originally posted by Rhyagelle:
Hey ejh1990, do you happen to know if it is possible to alter the spell names or item names? Or at least, which file might hold them so that I might try? I just can't stand Princess Kiss, Aqua etc xD
It's all in battle_pack.bin in ps2data/image/ff12/test_battle/us/binaryfile/

The file has 72 sections. You need to look at section 61 (0 being the first). It contains 15 sections. Each holds text regarding magic, gambits, technicks, etc. The very first section contains magic names.

There is also an exact copy of that 61 section in word.bin. AFAIR, one was for menu the other was for in battle/overland, but it's been a while.

https://pastebin.com/BxTjGt8Y
Last edited by tommalmm; Feb 12 @ 2:46am
FuzedBox Feb 12 @ 1:21am 
Originally posted by ejh1990:
Boom! Think I found it (though I need to repack to confirm). I think the hacked save uses yet another board that is found within battle_pack.bin (it's right at the end, just before the four 00 bytes and starts at (and including) the following byte sequence 6c 69 63 64 18 00 18 00.

That is definitely it; amazing! I'm just going to touch that up in Hex Workshop and it should do the trick. Hold tight.

Edit: Interesting. Replaced the board inside battle_pack.bin and it's still not updating. Where else can this be pointing to?
Last edited by FuzedBox; Feb 12 @ 1:30am
Originally posted by FuzedBox:
Originally posted by ejh1990:
Boom! Think I found it (though I need to repack to confirm). I think the hacked save uses yet another board that is found within battle_pack.bin (it's right at the end, just before the four 00 bytes and starts at (and including) the following byte sequence 6c 69 63 64 18 00 18 00.

That is definitely it; amazing! I'm just going to touch that up in Hex Workshop and it should do the trick. Hold tight.

Edit: Interesting. Replaced the board inside battle_pack.bin and it's still not updating. Where else can this be pointing to?
You know how to Hex edit very Good?
FuzedBox Feb 12 @ 1:36am 
Originally posted by Tohru Adachi:
Originally posted by FuzedBox:

That is definitely it; amazing! I'm just going to touch that up in Hex Workshop and it should do the trick. Hold tight.

Edit: Interesting. Replaced the board inside battle_pack.bin and it's still not updating. Where else can this be pointing to?
You know how to Hex edit very Good?

Not particularly, no. Basically just cut/paste jobs when someone knowlegable points out where to look.
ejh1990 Feb 12 @ 1:38am 
Originally posted by FuzedBox:
Originally posted by ejh1990:
Boom! Think I found it (though I need to repack to confirm). I think the hacked save uses yet another board that is found within battle_pack.bin (it's right at the end, just before the four 00 bytes and starts at (and including) the following byte sequence 6c 69 63 64 18 00 18 00.

That is definitely it; amazing! I'm just going to touch that up in Hex Workshop and it should do the trick. Hold tight.

Edit: Interesting. Replaced the board inside battle_pack.bin and it's still not updating. Where else can this be pointing to?

Yeah, tried it and it didn't work for me either.

Perhaps this is one of the occassions where the localised versions of the bin files DO come into play? After all:

Originally posted by tommalmm:
Originally posted by Rhyagelle:
Hey ejh1990, do you happen to know if it is possible to alter the spell names or item names? Or at least, which file might hold them so that I might try? I just can't stand Princess Kiss, Aqua etc xD
It's all in battle_pack.bin in ps2data/image/ff12/test_battle/us/binaryfile/

The file has 72 sections. You need to look at section 61 (0 being the first). Out contains 15 sections. Each holds text regarding magic, gambits, technicks, etc. The very first section contains magic names.

And there are localised versions of battle_pack.bin.

(By the way, as I have said: if we can crack this mystery we have probably cracked custom licence nodes)
FuzedBox Feb 12 @ 1:58am 
Confirmed. Localizations are taken into account. I replaced them all. It worked, but now the board is picasso of languages.
ejh1990 Feb 12 @ 2:06am 
Originally posted by FuzedBox:
Confirmed. Localizations are taken into account. I replaced them all. It worked, but now the board is picasso of languages.

I'm wondering if the localisation isn't just a simple case of strings, but rather a custom letter "grid lookup" sort of system (it would explain why grep didn't return any results for spell/item names, and there is an A-Z and a-z pattern further in the file).

Now that localised files are confirmed to be important for battle_pack.bin (but not for the board_{x}.bin files), what happens if you replace just the relevant bytes in your localised language directory?
Last edited by ejh1990; Feb 12 @ 2:07am
FuzedBox Feb 12 @ 2:07am 
About to find out; trashing that vbf and starting with a fresh copy.

Well, the localized version of battle_pack.bin has more lines than what I assume is the "international" file. Replaced the bytes and packed it by itself; no change. Maybe the /in/ version needs to have the same bytes modified in conjunction?
Last edited by FuzedBox; Feb 12 @ 2:20am
ejh1990 Feb 12 @ 2:39am 
Originally posted by FuzedBox:
About to find out; trashing that vbf and starting with a fresh copy.

Well, the localized version of battle_pack.bin has more lines than what I assume is the "international" file. Replaced the bytes and packed it by itself; no change. Maybe the /in/ version needs to have the same bytes modified in conjunction?

Perhaps.

In which case the next puzzle is "How is priority handled?". Clearly there is some handling of that as not all localisation directories have every file. My guess is each section has its own header of sorts, and the priority handling is dependent on each "section" -- some prioritise /in/ over localised, others localised over /in/. A cookie to anyone who can solve this.

By the way... If you're playing around with this sort of thing and fancy picking up from where I left off with licence definitions, here is the link to the spreadsheet again for analysing licence data:

https://pastebin.com/Ym2DBSpE

Not sure I posted that version earlier -- I know I did in the Discord chat, but not sure if I did here -- but the version I have just linked is the most recent one fixing an earlier derp I made.

edit: another theory I have is that there is some parity check done; if it fails, it falls back to license_board.bin. Similarly, for licence definitions, it falls back to license_data.bin. Though the fallback only occurs if there is a mismatch between /in/ and localised files in the relevant sections (or the section is missing), otherwise it utilises what is inside battle_pack.bin, license_data.bin, etc.
Last edited by ejh1990; Feb 12 @ 2:50am
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