[Project] Scroll Texts

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MagikGimp
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[Project] Scroll Texts

Postby MagikGimp » Wed May 29, 2019 9:46 pm

:megaphone: Announcing my (very long overdue) new endeavour to dump the text of as many scrollers as I can stand to!

ImageTheShadowsNose's brand new video series of going through all Automation's menus has inspired me to finally get around to doing this. Thankfully it's not been as hard as I imagined it might be; it's just going to take a while. I mean they only did ooh 520 odd menus, plus doubles. And a few triples... I've done up to #100 so far which you can find here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1m-KUyt1YLF5rxbImDPm1TBjO0fSKYKZ0W_SY5GFXwlI

...with more to come when I feel up to it again. Please give me any feedback on what you feel I need to address or if you want any of the menus in their decompacted forms.
There's also a folder of associated files from the disks here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1lCgK6N3HG4hN-zSUX-defrFjAtDeUTZN

I've encountered a few problems while doing all this so if anyone can help I'd be mucho appreciated:
  1. Some menus can't be decompacted and I can't figure out why this is. #76 was the first of these. There's plain-text in the (compacted) file and it uses an older version of the packer but I've deduced that neither of these things is the problem. Anyone any idea why they're not recognised as even packed at all by all unpackers?
  2. #94 is another one of these disks but I can't even get it to run on any emulator because it has a "NO TOP AND BOTTOM BORDER INTRO". Both STEEm SSE and Hatari soft crash when loading these types of menus; the first one being #89. This style goes on for while and has a resurgence some time later which is frustrating but I can't understand why they don't work after how many years of emulation now? Unless I'm doing something wrong, which is highly likely, of course. Oh and I should mention that when you explore disk #94, all the file names are garbage. This is on every one of the three alternates I've tried. Are there more dumps out there?
Many thanks for any help.

My future plans for this laborious but rewarding (for me anyway!) project are possibly a website that uses Canvas(?) to recreate the scrollers although I realise this is an even greater task what with ripping fonts etc. I of course would like to eventually move onto other groups' disks and even demos, perhaps. The history of computing is a hobby of mine and I find the little things and the ins and out of the lives of those involved fascinating. I think I can say I prefer CD menus over the games on them and the scroller is an integral part of them. Yes, there's repetition but every few menus you get a new surprise so, when I can, I'll extract a few more and carry on for who knows how long. Well at least I'm way ahead of Nose! ;D Cheers guys.
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Re: [Project] Scroll Texts

Postby thomas3 » Wed May 29, 2019 10:35 pm

I <3 scrolltexts.

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Re: [Project] Scroll Texts

Postby MagikGimp » Wed May 29, 2019 11:05 pm

thomas3 wrote:I <3 scrolltexts.
That makes 2 of us at least. ;)

Automation were mainly based in Leeds I understand.
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Re: [Project] Scroll Texts

Postby MagikGimp » Wed May 29, 2019 11:15 pm

Well crap. Now I find out that this has already been done. More than 10 years ago even. http://d-bug.mooo.com/dbugforums/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1229809442 Well that's a blow. Bit disheartening :/ . I guess I had some fun doing it? And I can do other menus instead, perhaps? We'll see but I guess I'll check more thoroughly if it's already been done next time! Oh well...
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Re: [Project] Scroll Texts

Postby thomas3 » Thu May 30, 2019 6:29 am

Plenty more fish in the sea though...

Pompey Pirates menus? ;)

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Re: [Project] Scroll Texts

Postby spiny » Thu May 30, 2019 7:49 am

MagikGimp wrote:Well crap. Now I find out that this has already been done. More than 10 years ago even. http://d-bug.mooo.com/dbugforums/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1229809442 Well that's a blow. Bit disheartening :/ . I guess I had some fun doing it? And I can do other menus instead, perhaps? We'll see but I guess I'll check more thoroughly if it's already been done next time! Oh well...


-loads- of other menus to do if you still feel like continuing the project: http://stonish.net

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Re: [Project] Scroll Texts

Postby lotek_style » Fri May 31, 2019 10:40 am

This is nice :) You should join us on demozoo.org and add these over there :)
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Re: [Project] Scroll Texts

Postby mouse_master » Fri May 31, 2019 2:23 pm

I've been going thru similar, pulling out scroll texts from menus, and popping the recordings of the scrollers on youtube (~80% of the time off a real ST), and the scroll text over on a companion blog. Been hitting CD groups from STonish, and a mix of cracktros and demos and a couple mega demos.

Basically, I give an "item" a few quick tries to yank the text, and if I don't get it, save potentially for later. Scroller Rip -> Vid Cap -> Vid Process -> Youtube -> Blog is my work flow, with some efficiencies added at the last steps but posting in groups.

Been entangled in "Real Life" again, so work has slowed, I think I have 2 weeks of Youtube/Blog posts queued, and I can't touch anything for another week, and 1 week of free time, and then another 2 weeks of being on travel.

I did look at adding scrollers at Demozoo, but from what I recall (because it has been a few months), I did not see which field they were being added to and I really did not want to mess up someone's existing posting.

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Re: [Project] Scroll Texts

Postby MagikGimp » Fri May 31, 2019 10:25 pm

Wait, you don't mean you transcribe the text off the screen do you? If so... wow, now that's gotta hurt! ;D I can describe what I do if that helps. It should be a lot easier, if less musical!

Ah, so that's your site? I found it the other day; nice work! I'll have to search it before I start on anything new but I'm getting the impression that a lot has been done at this point already both there and on D-Bug where they've done a fair few of their own disks as well as all the Automation ones.

Did anyone have any answers to the questions in my first post BTW? Should I start a new thread for each of these problems? I was really surprised that I couldn't emulate those menus because how were all the screenshots made?

Lastly, Nose has another version of disk #6 which is very odd in his latest video which he found on a TOSEC collection. I'm trying to track this one (and any more?) from torrents but TOSEC is a nightmare what with all the different releases and the sheer size of them. Might just have to ask him directly if he doesn't mind uploading the files somewhere.
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Re: [Project] Scroll Texts

Postby dhedberg » Fri May 31, 2019 10:37 pm

Great work! I love scroll texts! :-D
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Re: [Project] Scroll Texts

Postby mouse_master » Fri May 31, 2019 10:52 pm

I have transcribed maybe 3 to 4 items total, and these were things that were short, not too long.

Otherwise, Adrenalin Ripper 1.09, with a side of either MegaDP or NaughtyBytes depacker when the Ripper can handle it. Some times I need to resort to the Ultimate Ripper, but my success rate is extremely low with that. I have used specific depackers, but that is really on a case by case basis.

And what is different with the other disk #6? Here is the one I used -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmPpjXEIwSc and his menu matched from the quick check I did.

Also, try the SAINT emulator, it seems to handle some disks which STeem chokes on. http://leonard.oxg.free.fr/SainT/saint.html

When I have problems with things on real hardware, I go with SAINT. I think one time I could not get SAINT to run something and captured from STeem, but that was an odd case.

Have you been sourcing disks directly from that Automation/DBug site? I know the Automation side is only up to the 170s or so, but that's the purest disk most likely.

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Re: [Project] Scroll Texts

Postby MagikGimp » Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:09 am

I use MSA Converter to get at each disk's contents which I can "Read" which saves each file to a temporary directory which I can access with STEEm SSE. I've then often got to decompact the menu PRG and I've found most success with Synergy Giga 2.1 although I've tried a few including Mega and Naughty. Once that's done I read the uncompressed PRG with a HEX editor, find the scroll-text and then it's a simple copy, paste. Sometimes menus aren't compacted and MSA Converter lets you open the menu file to get at the text straight away, easy peasy.

Watch to the end of Nose's vid for the other version. I haven't checked my torrent yet. Last time I had like 4 gigs to go... Silly I know but all the files are compressed into archives.

You know, I'd completely forgotten about SainT. Oxy hasn't updated it for a few years now but you know what- it handles those top and bottom scroller menus just fine. I just don't get it. I have to be doing something wrong with the other two emus if it can handle them.

I'd heard in another thread that D-Bug were "improving" the Automation menus (D-Bug is basically Automation resurrected, yes?) but I can't see much evidence of that to be honest. I've tried theirs, the old LGD modified ones and exxos's so far but the odd one Nose shows at the end must be either some ancient LSD disk or a fake by another group. It seems broken but want to know more about it!

By the way, all the D-Bug re-releases can be accessed by using this link- http://d-bug.mooo.com/automenus.php?s=0&e=512

That's a very useful idea you gave about accessing disk image contents with ST software. I'll have to try that with Automation #94 when I'm in the mood. Not that I particularly need to now but thanks all the same!
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Re: [Project] Scroll Texts

Postby lotek_style » Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:32 am

Mouse Master: We suggest the option "Add nfo file" for this atm.
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