Stealth Unlocker ~ Plug n Play MOD

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Stealth Unlocker ~ Plug n Play MOD

Post by MottZilla » July 22nd, 2022, 9:32 am

This is a project I've been working on for a little while and finally is ready for release. Stealth Unlocker is a ROM to put on a Cheat Cartridge like the GameShark which turns it into something like a Stealthy Plug and Play modchip as it will allow you to boot Import and Unlicensed discs without installing a modchip and without changing the way your system looks when you turn it on. There are many methods to play these discs but this one is very light weight and stealthy. And the same ROM supports nearly all console regions and versions. And the support for Asian consoles is excellent.

Features:

+ American, European, and Net Yaroze Consoles
* CD-ROM drive is unlocked and will boot Unlicensed and Import discs.
* Anti-Mod patch to play protected games.

+ Japanese and Asian non-Japanese (SCPH-XXX3)
* License Data Region lockout on Japanese consoles is removed and will boot PAL & NTSC/U discs.
* CD Player swap trick is restored to enable booting Unlicensed and Import discs.
See text file for swap trick details.
* Swap Trick performance improvements including correct CD audio track playback and laser calibration.
* Note: These consoles don't have the secret unlock in their CD-ROM controller.

More information is included in the ZIP.
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Last edited by MottZilla on September 22nd, 2022, 10:31 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by masterg0r0 » July 24th, 2022, 6:20 pm

That's really cool, you must've put alot of time and effort into this. I haven't got a cheat cartridge on hand, but if I have the time I'll get one to test this out. Overall, well done!

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Post by MottZilla » July 25th, 2022, 6:27 am

Thanks. Let me know when you get to try it. A lot of the time spent on the project was because I didn't have access to real hardware for testing so Alex-Free was handling all of the testing on real hardware.

There may be some improvements made later on for the very early Japanese consoles related to CDDA track playback. But other than that I just hope to get feedback from people using it to see if any problems arise.

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Post by wes44 » July 31st, 2022, 7:23 am

Hi there,

Just to confirm I have tested this today on a SCPH-1000, SCPH-3000 (PU7-13 PU7-15 mainboards) and an SCPH-5500, not sure of the mainboard in that without taking it apart.

They are all Japanese consoles and I used a Power Replay cart (clear purple plastic)..

Two issues to get it working were the cart has a 128K chip on it, rebuilt NXflash with a trimmed down patch and then it kept giving me timeout errors when trying to flash (turns out the chip is a OTP flashrom!).. removed that from the board and fitted a standard DIP32 and it programmed fine.

The consoles all worked with the swap trick previously but now they will boot US and EU region games too where they wouldn't previously unless a Japanese loader was used.

Seems to work fine anyhow.

Maybe compile the bootable CD image with both sized roms on it? NXFlash supports having multiple roms on the same disk!

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Post by MottZilla » July 31st, 2022, 8:45 am

Thanks for the feedback!

I'm glad it's working on all your consoles. The SCPH-5500 had the cd player swap trick still working? I would have guessed it was removed by that model. I think that is a good idea to add a 128KB version just incase. I went with 256KB because I believe most GameShark cartridges are that size EEPROM.

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Post by Squaresoft74 » July 31st, 2022, 3:05 pm

MottZilla wrote: July 31st, 2022, 8:45 am I went with 256KB because I believe most GameShark cartridges are that size EEPROM.
V2 AR/GS cartridges are 256k, V1 AR/GS and most clone cartridges are 128k so you may just stick with a 128k rom that would fit on basically anything you'd flash it on. :)
Nice project, i'll give it a try later this week. 8-)

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Post by wes44 » July 31st, 2022, 10:58 pm

MottZilla wrote: July 31st, 2022, 8:45 am Thanks for the feedback!

I'm glad it's working on all your consoles. The SCPH-5500 had the cd player swap trick still working? I would have guessed it was removed by that model. I think that is a good idea to add a 128KB version just incase. I went with 256KB because I believe most GameShark cartridges are that size EEPROM.
Sorry I was getting confused! I just re-tested the 5500, if you swap the audio cd and exit the menu with no modifications it just comes up "this is not a playstation disc".

Unless of course you have your modified flashcart image connected :)

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Post by MottZilla » August 1st, 2022, 7:31 am

I think I may just replace it with a 128KB image as from what I've heard there is no downside to flashing a smaller ROM image onto a larger EEPROM with NXFlash. And I look forward to hearing your results. Please include whatever model numbers you try it on.

wes44, thank you for checking! I was rather shocked when you thought the 5500 had the cd player swap trick. From information I've gathered the 3000 should have the cd player swap trick but the 3500 and above may not. I assumed that the 3500 was likely the cut off point. For non-Japanese systems it's rather annoying as they kept the SCPH-1001 and SCPH-1002 model numbers for awhile. So some of those units have it and others don't.

Also on your SCPH-5500, did you notice if you swap trick to boot a game with CDDA audio it should actually have proper audio playback in game now? Unlike the original swap trick you shouldn't have those issues. The older consoles you have unfortunately probably have an older cdrom controller where the fix requires something more elaborate and takes more time.

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Post by wes44 » August 3rd, 2022, 4:01 am

MottZilla wrote: August 1st, 2022, 7:31 am I think I may just replace it with a 128KB image as from what I've heard there is no downside to flashing a smaller ROM image onto a larger EEPROM with NXFlash. And I look forward to hearing your results. Please include whatever model numbers you try it on.

wes44, thank you for checking! I was rather shocked when you thought the 5500 had the cd player swap trick. From information I've gathered the 3000 should have the cd player swap trick but the 3500 and above may not. I assumed that the 3500 was likely the cut off point. For non-Japanese systems it's rather annoying as they kept the SCPH-1001 and SCPH-1002 model numbers for awhile. So some of those units have it and others don't.

Also on your SCPH-5500, did you notice if you swap trick to boot a game with CDDA audio it should actually have proper audio playback in game now? Unlike the original swap trick you shouldn't have those issues. The older consoles you have unfortunately probably have an older cdrom controller where the fix requires something more elaborate and takes more time.
I haven't tested and games with CDDA.. is there any specific game title you would like me to test works correctly ?

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Post by MottZilla » August 3rd, 2022, 3:42 pm

Nothing specific. If you system has a cd-rom firmware of version C1 (b) or newer you'll get correct audio playback despite using the swap trick which normally is not what happens. If you have version C1 (a) or C0 (a or b) you'll probably have the usual audio playback problems that occur with swap tricks.

Depending on what games you play you may not have played many or any that use CDDA tracks for audio in the game. Off the top of my head Dead or Alive and Ridge Racer are two games that do use CDDA tracks.

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Post by Squaresoft74 » August 4th, 2022, 3:17 pm

MottZilla wrote: August 1st, 2022, 7:31 am And I look forward to hearing your results. Please include whatever model numbers you try it on.
Successfully working with my PAL consoles:
1002 (v2.2e), custom 1002 (v4.1e bios swap), 7002 (v4.1e), 7502 (v4.1e).

On the other hand those (original discs) still trigger the antimodchip protection but i guess that's expected:
Biohazard 3 - Last Escape (Japan) [Internal Serial: SLPS-02300]
Dino Crisis (Japan) [Internal Serial: SLPS-02180]
Seiken Densetsu - Legend of Mana (Japan, Asia) [Internal Serial: SLPS-02170]

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Post by alexfree » August 5th, 2022, 7:27 am

Squaresoft74 wrote: August 4th, 2022, 3:17 pm
MottZilla wrote: August 1st, 2022, 7:31 am And I look forward to hearing your results. Please include whatever model numbers you try it on.
Successfully working with my PAL consoles:
1002 (v2.2e), custom 1002 (v4.1e bios swap), 7002 (v4.1e), 7502 (v4.1e).

On the other hand those (original discs) still trigger the antimodchip protection but i guess that's expected:
Biohazard 3 - Last Escape (Japan) [Internal Serial: SLPS-02300]
Dino Crisis (Japan) [Internal Serial: SLPS-02180]
Seiken Densetsu - Legend of Mana (Japan, Asia) [Internal Serial: SLPS-02170]
Nice so now we have this tested on:
SCPH-1000 (CDDA not yet available)
SCPH-3000 (CDDA not yet available)
SCPH-3500
SCPH-5500
SCPH-7500

SCPH-1002
SCPH-7002
SCPH-7502

SCPH-1001

Seems to me like it works on any PS1 with a parallel IO port for connecting the cheat cart!

Also of note is that since the SCPH-1000 has broken region lock anyways, and CDDA does not yet work on it with the cheat cart, it's kind of pointless to use the ROM until CDDA works.

MottZilla has told me that the anti mod protection stuff most likely can be fixed in a future version, I know he is looking into it :)

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Post by MottZilla » August 5th, 2022, 7:17 pm

Squaresoft74 wrote: August 4th, 2022, 3:17 pm
MottZilla wrote: August 1st, 2022, 7:31 am And I look forward to hearing your results. Please include whatever model numbers you try it on.
Successfully working with my PAL consoles:
1002 (v2.2e), custom 1002 (v4.1e bios swap), 7002 (v4.1e), 7502 (v4.1e).

On the other hand those (original discs) still trigger the antimodchip protection but i guess that's expected:
Biohazard 3 - Last Escape (Japan) [Internal Serial: SLPS-02300]
Dino Crisis (Japan) [Internal Serial: SLPS-02180]
Seiken Densetsu - Legend of Mana (Japan, Asia) [Internal Serial: SLPS-02170]
Thanks for the detailed results! And yes there is no anti-mod patching yet, but I intend to include it in a future version as I believe it should be possible. The anti-mod code will easily see that the disc is reported by GetID as Unlicensed and trip the protection. But on my list of things I'd like to add are the anti-mod patching as well as support for the CDDA audio fix on the older consoles like SCPH-1000, SCPH-3000, and possibly SCPH-3500.

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Post by wes44 » August 7th, 2022, 1:29 am

will check the cdda this weekend on the scph-1000 and 3000 with the games you suggested.

i dont recall ever having errors with my original carts firmware with cdda.. maybe i didnt notice it or it was already patched by them?

I have a dump of the rom but dont know if its of any use to you?

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Post by MottZilla » August 7th, 2022, 12:37 pm

So what happens when you do a swap trick is the table of contents from the original authentic disc is stored in the memory of the cdrom controller and remains there even after you change the disc. So pretty much all swap tricks from the 90s and 00s would have audio playback problems on games that used CDDA in the game. But many games don't use CDDA at all.

Some games generate the audio using the CPU and SPU in real time such as many RPGs like Final Fantasy 7. One of the reasons this is done is because if you are playing audio streaming off the disc you would have to stop the music to load anything from the disc and there is not enough memory for a buffer to hold enough audio samples to bridge the gap.

Other games stream audio off the disc but it's not CDDA but XA audio which I believe is compressed and is part of the Mode 2 data track. Because of this it is not a problem for the swap trick. Only games that use audio that you could play in any CD Player will have problems with the swap trick.

Some newer software facilitating swap tricks now can read the ToC from the swapped disc to correct this problem and Stealth Unlocker is one of them. SCPH-1000, 3000, 3500 may use older CDROM firmware versions that need more effort to fix the issue however myself and AlexFree believe we now have a working solution for those units that will be released in the near future.

If you are certain the old cart firmware didn't have any problems I would be curious to see the dump.

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Post by MottZilla » August 8th, 2022, 6:50 pm

The next release will have the CDDA audio fix for the SCPH-1000, SCPH-3000, SCPH-3500, and any other consoles with CDROM controllers vC1 (a) [16 May 1995] or older. This means all supported consoles will have correct CDDA playback now.

The next release will also have the anti-modchip patch included. Not sure exactly when it'll be done but I'm hoping relatively soon.

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Post by masterg0r0 » August 10th, 2022, 6:58 am

That's good that everything works out as expected. I have recently bought off eBay an Xplorer cart for around 15 pounds, I'll be sure to get around to testing out your project when it arrives or whenever I have time on my hands.

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Post by MottZilla » August 10th, 2022, 5:49 pm

The next release is in testing now. The CDDA audio fix for older Japanese consoles is added, and so is the anti-modchip patch which I tested on Dino Crisis (J) and Spyro YotD (Usa) and it seems to be working. The anti mod patch is taken from TonyHax. Once it's tested on real hardware without issues the update will be released.

Update: There were some minor issues in testing but the next release should still be relatively soon.

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Post by MottZilla » August 15th, 2022, 7:05 pm

The new version is available from the first post. The Japanese SCPH-1000, SCPH-3000, SCPH-3500 consoles which may have older CD-ROM controllers now also get the CDDA audio fix.

The Anti-Mod patch allows playing protected games but there are a few notes. First this doesn't address LibCrypt protection which is only used in PAL games. American and PAL consoles will be able to play protected games. But only very old Japanese consoles will be able to play protected games, not newer ones. I don't have exact model numbers but I do have the exact CD-ROM controllers. If your Japanese console has a vC0 controller you will be able to play the protected games with the anti-mod patch. vC1 and newer controllers unfortunately cannot play the protected games. You will not see the Software Terminated screen but the game will stop working at the point that the screen would have appeared. This might be addressed in a future update if it is possible. But for the time being if you are using a Japanese console to play a protected game you will have to use a cheat code or patch to remove the protection.

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Post by Squaresoft74 » August 16th, 2022, 1:08 pm

Thanks for the update.
Works just fine with my PAL consoles and the games previously mentionned ! :clap
Would you be ok with your rom being added to Unirom's disc ?

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