A game I play stores its data in one giant archive. The archive is clearly readable by the game; the game somehow decrypts the archive to load the character models and items and every other aspect of the game.

The game is two files and one folder with the game's music. The files are game.dat (700MB) and info.dat (150KB). With a hex editor, I found that info.dat's header is "*ARK_CRV001_DATA". The first few lines of Game.dat are (numbers added by me):

  1. RF2MD2
  2. album.vdl
  3. album00.tdl
  4. album.mol

Not too helpful on that front. 7-zip, FreeARC, and WinRAR can't extract it. With a hex editor, I find references within game.dat to, for example, "life/swim/d004.mdl". Am I wrong in assuming this game.dat is an archive with all of the character models, items, in-game script, and so on still intact? I've actually found where all of the text is stored - it's in plain text within game.dat.

The game is for Wii, I doubt the file is encrypted in any way. If the game was for PC, what would you do? Perhaps it could help me anyway.

  • 1
    Wrong forum for this type of question - see FAQ. – hotei Sep 26 '10 at 3:16
  • I figured StackOverflow would be a better spot, but the -1 points and 0 comments / answers led me to believe otherwise. Where should I have posted this? – Andy Sep 26 '10 at 3:40

The file likely has a custom format created by the game developers. Since you can read text from the file, it doesn't appear to be encrypted. It may be in text format, or part of it may be text and part in binary (graphics, character models, who knows what).

You can, in principle, reverse engineer the file. A general method would be to save a copy of the file, make a change within the game, and save a new copy. Compare the two and see what changed in the file. Repeat until you have identified all the content.

However, since the file is 700 MB it could take you from now until the end of the universe to completely reverse engineer it.

  • Wii discs are read-only. Progress is saved to a seperate file in internal Wii memory. Thank you for your answer, it's more helpful than I was hoping. I went into this assuming I couldn't extract the file, any information and help is good. The "not encrypted" hypothesis especially helps. Thank you. – Andy Sep 26 '10 at 3:35

First thought would be why ?

Second - it probably uses a proprietary way of archiving - perhaps a compression plus encryption - it's almost impossible to extract without some reverse engineering - which is likely to be against EULA.

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