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The Cutting Room Floor:Common Things

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Sometimes, you can find a random piece of unused content or two in one game. And sometimes, that little piece can be found in many, many other games. This page aims to list all the egregiously common things in games, mainly to reduce the redundancy on every single page. If something is listed here, it's not worth the effort to make a full page just for these.

General

  • Pressing the tilde key or a similar key above the Tab key (The grave key) during gameplay brings up a console in a large number of Windows, Linux, and Mac games.
  • Similarly, many games do create logs during gameplay. Unless the functionality of these is disabled by default or the game happens to include one of these hidden in its directory, these are usually not worth covering, especially with computer games.
  • Dialogue and graphics relating to control methods (i.e. keyboards, dedicated controllers) can change depending on which plaftorm the game is being played on.
  • Games will be translated between regions. Unused/unreleased translations are noteworthy.
  • Many modern Japanese games will have a warning screen noting that piracy over the Internet, including distributing the game without the owners' permissions, is illegal. An example of such a screen can be seen below.

CESA Disclaimer.png

  • Game made with commercially available engines such as Game Maker, Multimedia Fusion, RPGMaker, Unreal Engine, and Unity will have default assets within the game's folders and/or files.

Nintendo

Game Boy Color

  • By mandate, all games exclusively for the Game Boy Color must display an error message any time a game is inserted into a Game Boy, Super Game Boy, or a similar non-GBC compatible device. These are only noteworthy if they go completely unused or there are notable regional differences (besides translation).

SNK

Neo Geo Pocket Color

  • Similar to the Game Boy Color, there's an error message any time a game is inserted into a plain NGP when a game is meant solely for the NGPC. These are only noteworthy if they go completely unused or there are notable regional differences (besides translation).

Unused Content

General

  • Games released on multiple platforms will sometimes share the same files across all ports, including things like graphics and text referring to the hardware it was released on. As a result, you can sometimes find things like Xbox and PlayStation 2 button prompts in a GameCube port of a game.

SDK Content

Nintendo

  • Various portions of the GC and Wii SDKs can be found in random games.
    • rebirth.thp, portions of the U.S. Constitution, etc.
  • Super Game Boy dummy headers are featured in most Game Boy games from 1994 onward.

Unity

Various graphics from the Unity SDK tend to be common leftovers. These include Unity logos, various types of "beta" or "development" watermarks, a yellow warning sign, a "personal edition" or "free edition" splash image, and many smaller Unity-specific UI elements.

Text Strings

General

  • Many games will contain a string indicating which compiler was used for that game. Examples include (but aren't limited to) Microsoft's C Runtime Library, Borland, CodeWarrior and Watcom.
    • These strings were often used in decompilers, since it was easy to determine how a compiler worked (especially when the executable has function and variable names left in).
  • Lorem ipsum text is often used as a placeholder.
  • PADDING repeated over and over is frequently seen inside Windows executables.
  • Executable/cartridge headers can be found in most games. These often contain the game's title in plain text.
  • Disc-based games often have text files named ABS.TXT, CPY.TXT, and/or BIB.TXT (or similar). These should not be documented unless their contents are particularly notable (e.g. developer notes, the game's story, etc.).
    • One common example in games sold in Japan is "このCD-ROMに収録されているデータは著作権法によって保護されており、無断で転載・複製することはできません。" (The data contained in this CD-ROM is protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without permission.)
  • Long lists of profanities and vulgarities, sometimes in multiple languages. These are used as word filters, usually to keep profanities from appearing in a game's dialogue or high-score screen. These have also been used to prevent certain words or ban users on game servers. Unless the list is unused by the game itself, contains something very unusual, or causes a notable effect in-game, it isn't worth documenting.
  • Games that use the Bink video codec will contain the following error strings:
Error opening file.
Not a Bink file.
The file doesn't contain any compressed frames yet.
The file has a corrupt header.
Out of memory.
Error reading Bink header.
This file has bad frame size data.

Atari

7800

  • All games contain
    ACTUAL CART DATA STARTS HERE
    after the header.

Microsoft

Windows

  • "This program cannot be run in DOS mode." or something similar appears in many Windows games.

Funtech

Super A'can

  • All games contain the following strings in order near the beginning of the ROM:
(reverse engineer)
Trademark by United Microelectronics Corp. and Funtech Entertainment Corp. All rights reserved. License is permitted.

Nintendo

  • In virtually any Game Boy Color or Game Boy Advance game using the GHX or GAX Engine, it is guaranteed that you will find at least one copyright string for the GAX Engine in every game.
    • The same also goes for the driver error strings.

Game Boy Advance

  • Games that use the GBA link cable or the GBA to GC cable will contain the strings:
    MultiSio4Sio32Load010528 Sio32MultiLoad010214
    .
  • Games that have a save function will contain a string to indicate the save type:
    SRAM
    ,
    FLASH
    or
    EEPROM
    .

Nintendo DS(i)

  • Various SDK compiler strings can be found at the beginning of the ARM9 binary. Below is an example of the ones from Mario Kart DS.
[SDK+NINTENDO:BACKUP]
[SDK+NINTENDO:DWC20051007-1634_DWC20051007_NOTOUCH]
[SDK+NINTENDO:WiFi1.0.10200.0510061936]
[SDK+UBIQUITOUS:SSL]
[SDK+UBIQUITOUS:CPS]
  • Games that have Nintendo Wifi support will sometimes contain company certificates somewhere in the ROM. Below is an example of the ones from Diddy Kong Racing DS.
BE, GlobalSign nv-sa, Root CA, GlobalSign Root CA
IE, Baltimore, CyberTrust, Baltimore CyberTrust Root
US, GTE Corporation, GTE CyberTrust Solutions, Inc., GTE CyberTrust Global Root
US, GTE Corporation, GTE CyberTrust Root
US, Washington, Nintendo of America Inc, NOA, Nintendo CA, ca@noa.nintendo.com
ZA, Western Cape, Cape Town, Thawte Consulting cc, Certification Services Division, Thawte Premium Server
CA, premium-server@thawte.com
ZA, Western Cape, Cape Town, Thawte Consulting cc, Certification Services Division, Thawte Server
CA, server-certs@thawte.com
US, VeriSign, Inc., Class 3 Public Primary Certification Authority - G2, (c) 1998 VeriSign, Inc. - For authorized use only, VeriSign Trust Network
US, VeriSign, Inc., VeriSign Trust Network, (c) 1999 VeriSign, Inc. - For authorized use only, VeriSign Class 3 Public Primary Certification Authority - G3
US, VeriSign, Inc., Class 3 Public Primary Certification Authority
US, RSA Data Security, Inc., Secure Server Certification Authority

SNES

  • In many games using Nintendo's sound driver, there's a string with
    *Ver S1.20*
    in it.
  • Many games made using Nintendo's development tools also contain the string
    NAK1989 S-CG-CADVer1.02 910320
    or similar (the date and version number may be different).
  • Any game that uses or detects the mouse has the following strings. The version number may differ, but the strings otherwise remain the same:
START OF MOUSE BIOS
NINTENDO SHVC MOUSE BIOS Ver1.10
END OF MOUSE BIOS
  • Any game that uses or detects the Multi-Tap peripheral has the following strings or something similar:
START OF MULTI5 CONNECT CHECK
NINTENDO SHVC MULTI5 CONNECT CHECK Ver1.00
END OF MULTI5 CONNECT CHECK
START OF MULTI5 BIOS
NINTENDO SHVC MULTI5 BIOS Ver2.00
END OF MULTI5 BIOS
  • Likewise for the Super Scope:
START OF SCOPE BIOS
NINTENDO SHVC SCOPE BIOS Ver1.00
END OF SCOPE BIOS

Nintendo 64

  • All Nintendo 64 games have some string to indicate the microcode version used. Below is an example of the microcode credits from Mario Kart 64.
RSP Gfx ucode F3DEX         0.95 Yoshitaka Yasumoto Nintendo
RSP Gfx ucode F3DLX         0.95 Yoshitaka Yasumoto Nintendo
  • Some games will contain these filenames:
reverb.c
save.c
sprawdma.c
sirawread.c
sirawwrite.c
sirawdma.c
pirawread.c
epirawread.c
  • A couple of common audio related strings:
N64 PtrTablesV2
N64 WaveTables 

GameCube

  • All GameCube games will contain these strings within the executables:
    • Apploader strings, which are very common in most games
    • These will often be printed to console, if one is connected (e.g. via the Dolphin Emulator).
    • A list of controllers, including Nintendo 64 controllers + peripherals and unreleased controllers like the Steering Wheel
    • A warning about using the PAL debug setting:
 ! ! ! C A U T I O N ! ! !
 This TV format "DEBUG_PAL" is only for
 temporary solution until PAL DAC board
 is available. Please do NOT use this
 mode in real games!!! 
 
  • Games that use the Game Boy Advance to GameCube link cable will contain a copy of the Game Boy Advance BIOS in the executable which contains the hidden credit
    // Coded by Kawasedo
    .

Wii

  • All Wii games will contain these strings within the executable, in addition to those seen in GameCube games:
    • A list of development units
    • IOS strings, including error strings
    • These will often be printed to console, if one is connected (e.g. via the Dolphin Emulator).

Wii U

  • Multiple Wii games released on the eShop have empty folders removed from the filesystem and a few bytes in the dol changed.

Sony

PlayStation

  • Virtually every PlayStation game has a list of functions from the standard library.

Regional Differences

General

  • Publisher information can change between games.
  • The European versions of some games will contain a language option not found in the other versions of the game. This is more common on consoles that lack a built in language setting like the Nintendo 64 or Game Boy Advance.
    • The European versions can also have more languages or a different set of languages compared to other versions of games.
  • Japanese games may include an option to show or hide furigana above kanji. An option like this will no doubt be absent from any other version.
  • PAL versions of games will sometimes have an option to choose between 50Hz or 60Hz. This is most commonly seen in Dreamcast and GameCube games.

Arcade

  • It's common for games made for the US market to have a "Winners Don't Do Drugs" screen, due to a deal between FBI Director William S. Sessions and the American Amusement Machine Association. This is also true for "Recycle It, Don't Trash It!", although this is less commonly seen. Only noteworthy if it goes unused.
  • Japanese games will have a screen warning against exporting it outside of Japan. Screens like these can sometimes be removed, but are often changed to the appropriate region that game was distributed in.

Nintendo

  • The Nintendo logo can be blue or silver in Japanese (and sometimes Korean, Asian or Chinese) versions of games, but is usually red outside of Japan.

Sony

  • In the Japanese versions of many games, you press to confirm and to cancel. For the international versions, it's vice versa (in most PS1 and PS2 games, however, you may press instead to cancel)

Anti-Piracy

General

  • A common method of anti-piracy is still to have the game lock up on a black screen if the copy protection checks fail.

Microsoft

Xbox

  • Every game has a 14 MB sector readable by any regular DVD drive and that is the only one that can be read by most. This sector contains a single movie with an Xbox animation and a disclaimer screen.

Xbox 360

  • Similar to the above, but ~60 MB this time.

Sony

PlayStation

  • Some games will display a "Software Terminated" error message if a modchip is detected.