Breaking UNIEL: Part 2: Archives and Art

So, today I finished work on http://finalclause.dantarion.com/hitboxes

It is a site that allows you to view hitboxes, hurtboxes, and sprites for UNIEL. However, it took a lot of work to get from nothing to this, so I wanted to document this. So lets start with the files on the disc!

Getting to the files

Once I had the disc extracted onto my computer, I looked around and located what looked like the character files.

I assemed that .pac was a container, and that they were gzipped. I used WinRAR to extract these and I took a look inside using Hex Workshop. Examining the file quickly showed me a simple structure with a list of file offsets, sizes, and pointers to filenames. Writing an extractor took about 15 minutes.

Now, it was onto the next step. Getting the ART.

Getting the Art

I referenced muave’s Melty Blood viewer for information on the .HA6 file, which contains all of the art. Its just another container file, containing uncompressed DDS textures. I was able to write an extractor easily, which left me a folder of DDS textures. After realizing that the DDS formats for all of them was the same, i modified my script to output PNG instead of DDS.

So, now we have the sprites? 

Merkavas Standing Sprite, Tiled

No, not exactly. You see, video card hardware works best with textures that are multiples of a power of 2, like 128, 256, 512, etc.  It seems like French Bread used some kind of tool that split up their sprites into 32×32 squares onto a texture that is 512 pixels tall. In addition to that, the textures aren’t stored colored. Since the game lets you select a color scheme for each character, the textures are stored with an indexed, palette. This means they are all 1byte greyscale, where color 0, black, references palette_color[0] and color 255, white, references palette_color[255].

For the next step, I needed to apply the palette as well as take the 32×32 tiles and rearrange them into sprites.

The “cg” file contains the information about the texture chunks and how to arrange them into sprites. Luckily, it also contains the default palette for each character. After a lot of trial and error, the above picture ended up as…..

Reconstructed, Colored Merkava Sprite

Some of you may look at this and say….Why is his hair cut off? 

The hair is actually stored in a separate sprite for this particular frame. The file that holds the character script dictates which images are drawn where, along with the hitboxes, hurtboxes, character state, etc. But that ill have to talk about next post.

6 thoughts on “Breaking UNIEL: Part 2: Archives and Art”

  1. Really cool. Why don’t you upload sprites in archives also? I tried downloading some sprites – too bad they are not in indexed palette anymore. MBAA sprites from framedisplay was in indexed colors, so it was really easy to use them as they are. Also, UNiB use a bit complex coloring shemes, so there are parts with same colors, but with different indexes.

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