Reviving the DC game websites

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brourke228
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Posts: 703

Reviving the DC game websites

Post#1 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:56 pm

Hey guys. As you know, most if not all of the Dreamcast game websites that were intended to be accessible from in-game are no longer functional. These were the websites which you could go to from the game's title menu by selecting "website". They contained game info, hints, rankings/leaderboards, vmu saves, and other extras. If you try going to it now it most-likely will not load because it is a broken link for a website that no longer exists. However a lot of the sites were archived by webcrawlers and you can still view them if you go to internet archives like the Sonic Adventure 2 website here for example: http://web.archive.org/web/200803160243 ... cas.ne.jp/

We are thinking of restoring these sites from web archives and re-hosting them ourselves. The end-result is you would be able to view them again in-game. It's unlikely that we will be able to fully-restore some of them because not every site is archived 100%. There are sometimes images missing and broken links. We should be able to replicate what is shown in web archives though. What this involves is: first gathering the websites from archives or wherever else they are backed up, determining what the url of the original site was (which is usually shown in the archive url, or could probably be found with the game web browser), downloading the entire website, re-hosting it here probably under subdomains like sa2.dreamcast-talk.com for example, and then getting the game to direct to the new url which can be done in the same way you get directed to our game servers (DNS server, hex edits, or patcher disc).

This would probably be an on-going process for awhile as we will have to go through and restore each site individually. For downloading the websites I've been using wget recursively to save time. If anyone knows of a better way to do that let me know.

We would appreciate if you could help in finding archived websites for the various games and posting them here. If you know of anything that doesn't work properly on the archived site it will be good to mention that as well. Below is the list of what we've gathered thus far. The first few below were posted by rjay63 in another thread. Confidential Mission is the first one we've got backed up on dctalk. I just need to add a zone file for it on our DNS server.

What do you guys think? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, etc. feel free to post them here.

When everything is setup these websites will be accessible on Dreamcast from our web portal page which can be viewed here: http://dctalk.no-ip.info
or here: http://dc.dreamcast-talk.com

-For games in Red we have their websites backed up.
-Games with Asterisk (***) are setup to redirect to the web portal from in-game menu using our DNS server.

DC Game websites

    Confidential Mission***

Archive URL: http://web.archive.org/web/200302021320 ... /home.html
DC-Talk URL: http://cmf.dreamcast-talk.com

Only the coin-op version had a ranking and that's gone for good anyway


    Metropolis Street Racer*** (remains only)
Archive URL: http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://met ... .com/usa/*

Rankings not archived as you had to login to Dreamarena itself to view.

    Planetweb website/PW3.0***
Archive URL: http://web.archive.org/web/200201241808 ... etweb.com/


    Dreamkey 1.0 & Dreamkey 1.5
URL: portal.dream-key.com
Site wasn't archived.


    UEFA Dream Soccer
URL: dreamsoccer.dream-key.com
Site wasn't archived.



    Power Smash (Virtua Tennis JPN)
Archive URL: http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://pow ... as.ne.jp/*
Broken homepage but rankings available



    Virtua On Oratorio Tangram
Archive URL: http://web.archive.org/web/200704020312 ... jp/oratan/
Rankings available but no VMS files archived so downloads gone


    Jet Set Radio*** (Japanese)
Archive URL: http://web.archive.org/web/200208051332 ... p/top.html

Ranking are available although in broken form.

Official graffiti downloads were Sega graphics from other games like 18 Wheeler, Shenmue and Sega Rally. VMU files have gone but you can view thumbnails at http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://jet ... /spe_gra/* (ignore anything dated 2011 - nothing there)

US jetgrindradio.web.dreamcast.com and UK jetsetradio.dream-key.com were not archived.

    Ferrari F355 Challenge***

Archive URL (EU): http://web.archive.org/web/200503130207 ... index.html
Archive URL (US): http://web.archive.org/web/200401152056 ... index.html
DC-Talk URL (EU): http://f355eu.dreamcast-talk.com
DC-Talk URL (US): http://f355us.dreamcast-talk.com

Rankings archived but fastest times VMU files are not. Seems archive.org does not the "VMS" portion of VMU files or they were protected.

You could view a F355 movie if you visited the link below with your Dreamcast and a copy of the game. However the movie is on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YT1b4Sg_quI) and can be found in the PS2 version http://web.archive.org/web/200503290440 ... error.html

    Crazy Taxi 2*** (DC part is not available but more or less the same content)
Archive URL: http://web.archive.org/web/200312112001 ... frame.html
DC-Talk URL: http://ct2.dreamcast-talk.com


    Unreal Tournament

DC-Talk URL: http://ut.dreamcast-talk.com


    Sonic Adventure 2***

Archive URL: http://web.archive.org/web/200502071929 ... cas.ne.jp/
DC-Talk URL: http://sa2.dreamcast-talk.com

    POD Speedzone
Website for this game was not archived. (http://www.podgod.com/dreamcast)

    San Francisco Rush 2049***
US Region website was not archived. (rush2049.web.dreamcast.com)

    Sega Tetris
Archive URL (JP): http://web.archive.org/web/200104051648 ... cas.ne.jp/

    Xtreme Sports
Archive URL: http://web.archive.org/web/200012041519 ... erloop.no/

Site is broken. The product page for this game was just their company website.

    Star Wars Episode I: Racer***
Archive URL (US): http://web.archive.org/web/200009290926 ... mcast.com/

US Region site is broken.

    Virtua Athlete 2k
Archive URL: http://web.archive.org/web/200607211632 ... cas.ne.jp/


    Sonic Adventure

Archive URL (JP): http://web.archive.org/web/200302050341 ... cas.ne.jp/
US: See here... http://www.goodcowfilms.com/farm/games/ ... /index.htm
DC-Talk URL(US): http://sa1.dreamcast-talk.com

Archive URL (US): http://web.archive.org/web/200104181809 ... mcast.com/

Aside from the "Access Denied" page the US site wasn't archived. I'm guessing the site detected which browser you were using and that's why it wasn't web crawled by internet archives.



    Seaman
Archive URL (JP): http://web.archive.org/web/200104130752 ... et/seaman/


    Skies of Arcadia
Archive URL (US): http://web.archive.org/web/200201161801 ... ex-dc.html
This site is broken.

EU Region was not archived. (http://www.arcadia.dream-key.com)


    Hundred Swords
Archive URL (JP): http://web.archive.org/web/200104050945 ... i/top.html

    Phantasy Star Online***
Archive URL: http://web.archive.org/web/200107131432 ... cas.ne.jp/
Archive URL (EN Translation): http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... ricas.html

The PSO english Sega of America site doesn't work properly but the Japanese site does. I think we maybe we could use google translate on the Japanese site and use that for the English one.

    Daytona USA 2001***

Japanese: http://web.archive.org/web/200108171239 ... index.html
USA: http://web.archive.org/web/200206052058 ... index.html
EU/UK: http://web.archive.org/web/200107150000 ... index.html
DC-Talk URL (US): http://d2001us.dreamcast-talk.com
DC-Talk URL (JP): http://d2001jp.dreamcast-talk.com

Ghosts and replay VMU files not archived (plenty of good runs on Youtube including some replays from a top ranked player). Rankings archived on Japanese and US microsites but not on EU/UK side. US Rank full of Action Replay cheaters >_<

    Sega GT***

Japanese: http://web.archive.org/web/200110272145 ... /menu.html
DC-Talk URL (JP): http://sgt.dreamcast-talk.com

No ghosts, replay or DC rankings archived so very sparse. Only PC version rankings are available.

US Region wasn't archived. (segagt.web.dreamcast.com)

    Street Fighter Zero 3***
http://web.archive.org/web/200108040854 ... index.html

Some old rankings available. Master character VMU downloads can be found at http://www.psilocybindreams.com/vmu/00000048.HTML. I guess they're US but they work on my PAL copy.
EU region site wasn't archived for this game. (zero3-eu.dricas.ne.jp)

    Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
Archive URL (JP): http://web.archive.org/web/200203141811 ... index.html



    Samba De Amigo***

US: See here.. http://www.goodcowfilms.com/farm/games/ ... /index.htm
DC-Talk URL(US): http://samba.dreamcast-talk.com

    Chu Chu Rocket***

Archive URL (JP): http://web.archive.org/web/200112022036 ... cas.ne.jp/
US: See here... http://www.goodcowfilms.com/farm/games/ ... /index.htm
DC-Talk URL(US): http://chuchu.dreamcast-talk.com

JP site is very well preserved.
Archive URL (US): http://web.archive.org/web/200203291333 ... mcast.com/

Very well preserved but nothing in English sadly (although I didn't look in-depth). US region site was not archived.


    Vanishing Point*** (US/EU)
http://web.archive.org/web/200212151441 ... index.html

Microsite hosted by Acclaim themselves. There was downloadable content but instead of a VMU file, code was sent directly to the Dreamcast's RAM ( I think) from Acclaim's server. This was done for the various internet challenges they hosted. Once you switched your DC off the downloaded code was wiped. Acclaim used something called "Netspine" for this.
See this post for more info: http://dreamcast.onlineconsoles.com/php ... d7d460731e

    Shenmue

Archive URL (US): http://web.archive.org/web/200104051535 ... enmue.com/
DC-Talk URL(US): http://shmup.dreamcast-talk.com

Shenmue.com
http://web.archive.org/web/200507190113 ... enmue.com/

Promo Page
http://web.archive.org/web/200110061330 ... index.html
DC-Talk URL: http://shmuepr.dreamcast-talk.com

Alright so the URL isn't programmed into Shenmue Passport but I think it was designed to be viewed on Dreamcast although I haven't tried myself. From Sega of America.

    Sega Rally 2
http://web.archive.org/web/200211250500 ... rally.com/
**(Don't go any later on archive.org or you'll get the GBA and PS2 Sega Rally games)**

Items of note are a player's guide and the rankings on the Japanese language side.

    Toy Racer
http://toyracer.dream-key.com Not archived as site banned crawlers.

    Animastar
https://web.archive.org/web/20041022100 ... /menu.html

    Buggy Heat
https://web.archive.org/web/20060225153 ... /top2.html

    Culdscept II
https://web.archive.org/web/20060311091 ... /home.html

    Espion Agents
https://web.archive.org/web/20070715162 ... .jp/espio/

    Cool Cool Toon
https://web.archive.org/web/20070821065 ... cas.ne.jp/

    Rayman 2
https://web.archive.org/web/20010713022 ... index.html

    Ecco The Dolphin
https://web.archive.org/web/20001110142 ... .com/ecco/

VMU files for bonus levels missing (only VMI markers archived) but these are quite easy to find elsewhere. Lots of missing pictures though.
Attachments
archivedsitedownloader.zip
(720 Bytes) Downloaded 38 times
Last edited by brourke228 on Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:10 pm, edited 54 times in total.
Regards,
Green Man

My Justin.tv My Youtube

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pcwzrd13
Seen Any Sailors?
Posts: 4958
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Re: Reviving the DC game websites

Post#2 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:54 pm

I like this idea! Very cool stuff! :D It's always awesome to see more online games and features come back after all these years!

Slightly off topic: You mentioned a while back that you could host 4x4 Evo tracks on the site and have them downloadable in the game. Are you still planning on doing that? I would love to be able to play some new tracks!
PSO Characters:
Teal'c - lvl 119 HUcast - GC# 11666
Alto - lvl 39 FOnewm - GC# 12964

YouTube Channel : Dreamcast Live

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brourke228
Game Server Admin
Posts: 703

Re: Reviving the DC game websites

Post#3 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:50 pm

pcwzrd13 wrote:I like this idea! Very cool stuff! :D It's always awesome to see more online games and features come back after all these years!

Slightly off topic: You mentioned a while back that you could host 4x4 Evo tracks on the site and have them downloadable in the game. Are you still planning on doing that? I would love to be able to play some new tracks!


Well hosting the tracks is no problem. We need a working cgi script for the trackurl in 4x4evo in order for the tracks to be searchable in-game. The closest I've found is this: http://www.4x4evo.net/lite.cgi. That script isn't formatted correctly to display the tracks on Dreamcast though. It's just for viewing in a web browser. Maybe someone can determine how to rebuild the script by tracing packets using Wireshark? I don't think it is a terribly complex script. But as of right now that is the only thing preventing us from making the tracks downloadable in-game.

Supposedly REALfreaky was able to rewrite the trackquery script: http://dreamcast.onlineconsoles.com/php ... c&start=15 Seems plausible because I remember being able to view the tracks list on a private server I was playing on a couple years ago.
Regards,
Green Man

My Justin.tv My Youtube

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rjay63
Prince of Persia
Posts: 342

Re: Reviving the DC game websites

Post#4 » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:27 pm

Daytona USA 2001

Japanese: http://web.archive.org/web/200108171239 ... index.html
USA: http://web.archive.org/web/200206052058 ... index.html
EU/UK: http://web.archive.org/web/200107150000 ... index.html

Ghosts and replay VMU files not archived (plenty of good runs on Youtube including some replays from a top ranked player). Rankings archived on Japanese and US microsites but not on EU/UK side. US Rank full of Action Replay cheaters >_<

Sega GT

Japanese: http://web.archive.org/web/200110272145 ... /menu.html

No ghosts, replay or DC rankings archived so very sparse. Only PC version rankings are available.
My Metropolis Street Racer Blog: http://www.msrdreamcast.blogspot.co.uk
MSR ghosts/time trials and official DLC: http://www.dreamcastlive.net/metropolis ... r-dlc.html

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brourke228
Game Server Admin
Posts: 703

Re: Reviving the DC game websites

Post#5 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:10 am

Thanks. I will add those two games to the list for us to backup.

Currently we have Confidential Mission and Sonic Adventure 2 backed up. In addition, we have set up a web portal to access these websites on DC. Having a single site which links to all the rest makes it easier for redirecting the games. Because after they are redirected via DNS they will be trying to access the server by ip address and if there are multiple websites with same file name for the html file at the top of the website's structure they will be accessing the same file. Like sonic adventure and confidential mission could both have an index.html at the top of their website and this would cause problems when hosting them both on a single server.

Anyway having a web portal to direct to the other game websites gives us the opportunity to do some other things. If you'd like to view what we have so far you can see it here: http://dctalk.no-ip.info. There are still a few pages which are incomplete. We've been designing this website around the planetweb browser. If you'd like to see how it looks on Dreamcast just load up the site on your DC browser. The chat button the left frame will open up planetweb's irc client to our irc channel. We plan to put a database of vmu files in the download section so people can easily acquire vmu games, game saves, etc as well.

The plan is to direct all the games' website buttons to that web portal where you can then click the game sites button to select which site you'd like to view. It's a couple extra links to go through but this makes it easier for us.
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Green Man

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WildCard
Beats of Rage
Posts: 426

Re: Reviving the DC game websites

Post#6 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:21 pm

This is project is, to put it simply, freaking awesome.

rjay63
Prince of Persia
Posts: 342

Re: Reviving the DC game websites

Post#7 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:13 pm

Street Fighter Zero 3 (Japanese)
http://web.archive.org/web/200108040854 ... index.html

Some old rankings available. Master character VMU downloads can be found at http://www.psilocybindreams.com/vmu/00000048.HTML. I guess they're US but they work on my PAL copy.

Chu Chu Rocket (Japanese)
http://web.archive.org/web/200112022036 ... cas.ne.jp/

Very well preserved but nothing in English sadly (although I didn't look in-depth).

Vanishing Point (US/EU)
http://web.archive.org/web/200212151441 ... index.html

Microsite hosted by Acclaim themselves. There was downloadable content but instead of a VMU file, code was sent directly to the Dreamcast's RAM ( I think) from Acclaim's server. This was done for the various internet challenges they hosted. Once you switched your DC off the downloaded code was wiped. Acclaim used something called "Netspine" for this.
See this post for more info: http://dreamcast.onlineconsoles.com/php ... d7d460731e


Bonus: Shenmue Promo page
http://web.archive.org/web/200110061330 ... index.html

Alright so the URL isn't programmed into Shenmue Passport but I think it was designed to be viewed on Dreamcast although I haven't tried myself. From Sega of America.
My Metropolis Street Racer Blog: http://www.msrdreamcast.blogspot.co.uk
MSR ghosts/time trials and official DLC: http://www.dreamcastlive.net/metropolis ... r-dlc.html

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brourke228
Game Server Admin
Posts: 703

Re: Reviving the DC game websites

Post#8 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:43 pm

rjay63 wrote:Bonus: Shenmue Promo page
http://web.archive.org/web/200110061330 ... index.html

Alright so the URL isn't programmed into Shenmue Passport but I think it was designed to be viewed on Dreamcast although I haven't tried myself. From Sega of America.

Interesting. I've never seen this site before, nice find. I don't think this one will load on DC though because it looks like the site is using flash. I'll add it to the list anyway though.



I attached a script to the original post which I wrote in Bash to download these websites off web.archive.org in case anyone is interested. It downloads the whole site recursively using wget then it goes through and deletes the wayback machine html code from every file. Usage is:

Code: Select all

./archivedsitedownloader.sh [url of site to backup] [output dir]


You can also set how many levels of links you want wget to go through by changing the "Levels" variable in the script. This process can take a long time depending on the website and how many levels you are backing up. Default is 5 levels. You can set this to "inf" but you may inadvertantly download the whole internet if you do that.

Once it's all done the root directory of your backed up site is the directory of the url you entered.
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Green Man

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brourke228
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Re: Reviving the DC game websites

Post#9 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:59 pm

Yeah I just tested out the Shenmue promo page on planetweb 2.6 and planetweb 3.0 and it doesn't load correctly. I didn't realize DC the browser had flash at all. It seems it is able to load some older versions of flash. The Shenmue promo page caused PW3 to freeze though and PW2.6 surprisingly could load the page but everything was moving at like 1 FPS and there was no music, basically the site is unusable. The page is backed up at http://shmuepr.dreamcast-talk.com btw.
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Green Man

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pcwzrd13
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Re: Reviving the DC game websites

Post#10 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:37 pm

Just tested out the F355 Challenge website with my Japanese copy of the game. It redirects me to the directory page where I select "US" or "EU" but if I click on either one it sends me to the DC-Talk Web Portal. I can go to the website manually from there though. I assume it's supposed to take me directly to the F355 site when I click on a country, correct?
PSO Characters:
Teal'c - lvl 119 HUcast - GC# 11666
Alto - lvl 39 FOnewm - GC# 12964

YouTube Channel : Dreamcast Live

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