PS1/2 [TUT] Cheating yourself to 16:9 glory

notimp

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Quick tutorial on cheating and on the fly 16:9 patching on a softmodded PS2.

Long story short - out of what feels like a dozen or so solutions, the one to actually use is CheatDevice ( https://github.com/root670/CheatDevicePS2 ), as it offers support for decrypted cheatcodes, which are the most common ones to be shared by community users, because hey, they are open (RAW format). Generally you can find them on sites like

https://gamehacking.org/game/103151

(Already linked to a game)

by clicking on the dropdown and selecting ps2rd, and then view - from there you can copy/paste.

gamehacking.org also has a code converter ( https://gamehacking.org/system/ps2 ) but the issue here is, that it converts most codes correctly except master codes, but more on that a bit later.

So once you have the codes in clipboard (by visiting gamehacking.org or any other website, some of which are listed here: https://www.ps2-home.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=100+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk ), a good tool to manage them in is OPL Manager (on PC), where basically you can create a cheats .txt file associated with every game.

CheatDevice itself is compatible with most cheat formating you'd find using the ps2rd format, so in general you dont have to rewrite formating, but you can also check the wiki for details on formating if you have to ( https://github.com/root670/CheatDevicePS2/wiki/Cheats )).

OPL also has a built in cheat function (which is why OPL Manager has a cheat feature ;) ), but its actually pretty unusable, as it doesnt allow you to selectively enable or disable cheats on console - which is kind of necessary. CheatDevice can handle that, and then launch you into OPL afterwards, with cheats active in memory.

For that it also sports an .ini in which you can set up your OPL path manually, or simply leave it at default which should launch you into uLaunchELF (when selecting BOOT.ELF), from where you then could launch the OPL elf. (Editing the .ini is recommended, as it is faster to launch into OPL directly.).

CheatDevice's cheat database format is just a txt file with all the ps2rd format decrypted cheats in them, thats zipped. So you can basically copy and paste cheats you manage in OPL Manager over - and it will work. You also can literally merge all the cheat files that OPL Manager creates into one textfile, zip that, and use that as your database, and it will work. CheatDevice will autosort them, so everything should just work as you'd expect. The cheat database file then lies in the same folder as the CheatDevice elf, on your USB stick.
--

Lets get to 16:9 patching on the fly.

You can get widescreen game patches from here: https://forums.pcsx2.net/Thread-PCSX2-Widescreen-Game-Patches (click the link under Patch Archive)
They are in pnatch format, which is the patch format for pcsx2. Most of them are compatible with original hardware also. To "convert" them to decrypted code format, you run them through a tool called PNATCH Converter ( https://www.ps2-home.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=94+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk ). On the right side select RAW as output. This will give you the "cheat codes" needed to 16:9 patch your games using CheatDevice - except that it lacks the Mastercode.

The Mastercode is a code most PS2 games need active, to allow you to use other codes, while the game is active, otherwise it will crash.

You get the mastercode either by searching for other cheatcodes for your game (in decrypted format) on the internet, or by using a tool like Mastercodefinder ( https://www.ps2-home.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=92+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk ) together with elf extractor (linked to in the thread of Mastercodefinder I just linked) on your games .iso.

To have something to compare to, at the bottom of this posting you'll find some cheatcodes for PAL games, with 16:9 patches that actually are tested and working (pastebin link).

--

16:9 patching and game borders.

Because depending on your scaler or line doubler, or your game, 16:9 patching might give you the correct aspect ratio in game, but still leave you with borders, a TV that can stretch the image in all four directions (independently) in a zoom video mode might still be needed. Here is how you do that on any LG Oled / any recent LG TV:


That menu only pops up, if you select it from settings, not from quicksettings, btw.


That should be it. Remember that the Mastercode has to be enabled for 16:9 and FOV patches to work on console. Have fun. :)

edit: Oh yeah, I forgot, here are two threads that already have many cheats for PAL games, including their Mastercode in them to get you started as a PALi (Pal cheats, and especially Mastercodes (sometimes called (M) codes (with a (has to be active for other codes to work) description next to it) are a little harder to come by on the net.):

https://www.metagames-eu.com/forums...mats-raw-armax-actionreplay-etc-4-131552.html
https://www.metagames-eu.com/forums/playstation-2/cheats-avec-opl-0-9-3-a-2-135587.html

__

Tested (mostly PAL) widescreen cheatcodes:

Current list of games:

"Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (PAL) /ID SLES_506.72"
"Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II (PAL) /ID SLES_521.88"
"Broken Sword - The Sleeping Dragon (PAL) /ID SLES_515.57"
"Canis Canem Edit (PAL) /ID SLES_535.61"
"Dead or Alive 2 - Hardcore (NTSC-U) /ID SLUS_200.71"
"Death by Degrees (PAL) /ID SCES_525.86"
"Fahrenheit (PAL) /ID SLES_535.39"
"Final Fantasy X (PAL) /ID /ID SCES_504.92"
"Final Fantasy X-2 (PAL) /ID SLES_518.17"
"ICO (PAL) /ID SCES_507.60"
"Shadow of Memories (PAL) /ID SLES_501.12"
"The Bards Tale (PAL) /ID SLES_531.54"
"The Operative: NOLF (PAL) /ID SLES_505.92"
"XIII (PAL) /ID SLES_512.94"

https://pastebin.com/JpcCvraS
(Thats the content of the CheatDatabase.txt, btw. so you can paste that into yours and it will work.)
 
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ClancyDaEnlightened

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Also there is GSM, which allows you to force display modes, 1080i with component seems to work best for my tv

Use it in conjunction with the widescreen patch

I recommend opl 1.0.0 as 1080 was removed in later versions due instability between consoles, or use the standalone gsm app

Supports ntsc/pal, component interlaced/progressive, and VGA video modes (if you can find a VGA cord and a sync on green compatible display)
 
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notimp

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Also there is GSM, which allows you to force display modes, 1080i with component seems to work best for my tv

Use it in conjunction with the widescreen patch

I recommend opl 1.0.0 as 1080 was removed in later versions due instability between consoles, or use the standalone gsm app

Supports ntsc/pal, component interlaced/progressive, and VGA video modes (if you can find a VGA cord and a sync on green compatible display)
The top and bottom black bars arent optimal in your example. So have some additional information. :)

The widescreen setting on PS2 (in settings) actually is only used (polled, so 'checked') by some games, most of them ignore it, and the majority that dont actually stretch the game, usually to about 3:2 or something similar. So outside of very few cases, usually even when using 16:9 cheats, they would expect you to have the aspect ratio set to 4:3 in the PS2 menu and start from there.

GSM and 1080i is an option that usually works on most games (see compatibility lists), but for some games (usually not when set to 1080i), when a (usually different) resolution mode (in GSM (or older OPL versions with that feature) is selected games might stop playing cutscenes, or crash altogether.

Also I wonder if this is actually responsible for the top and bottom black bars. (Might not be, but changing around resolutions might or might not be a way to get rid of them)

Also GSM actually just scales up the image in the framebuffer, so it still gets rendered at its native resolution, and then scaled up to meet the output resolution. Depending on your TV, your TVs internal scaler might (or might not) do a better job of that already (usually depends on what postprocessing features are enabled, but also on the TVs internal scaler).

So dont feel you need to enable 1080i, just because its there.

If the black bars at the top and bottom still remain, you'd need an adjustment option (like on LG TVs) to stretch them away - but usually, in 4:3 mode, with all games I tested, and the latest OPL, not forcing 1080i they are gone.

So most of the adjustments I need to do is to get the image horizonally stretched correctly (because LGs "16:9" mode, usually stretches to about 3:2, when 4:3 material is fed, to deal with users that might have that feature enabled all the time, and give them what they'd actually want, which is not quite 16:9, but an image that fills the screen a bit more.. ;) ). I usually dont have to deal with bars on top and bottom.

edit: This thread also seems to indicate, that this might be a sideeffect of using GSM to force 1080i:
https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:WyMCFww08QUJ:https://www.ps2-home.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5905+&cd=1&hl=en
 
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notimp

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Update:

!important: Despite what it said in the first posting it is not optional to run the pnatch files through pnatch converter to get the RAW code files.

I just came across a code where pnatch converter actually changed adresses (and the codes now work). So always use pnatch converter, and dont just pull the codes out of the pnatch file using a text editor.

Corrected that part in the first posting.

- fixed all entries in the pastebin file (contains cheats for some PAL games I played) to reflect that finding.

- added cheats for ICO (PAL) and Broken Sword 3 The Sleeping Dragon (PAL) to the pastebin file.
__

edit:

Fixed the Broken Sword 3 Widescreen Patch in the pastebin file.

And found another great new source for mastercodes and widescreen patches (only downside is that you need to know the SLUS or SLES numbers of your game, oooor use the github search function. :) ):
https://github.com/madmodder123/OpenPS2Loader_Widescreen_Cheats

Highly recommended.

edit2: Added codes for FFX (PAL German) and FFX-2 (PAL German), as well as Shadow of Memories (PAL) and The Operative - No One Lives Forever (PAL) to the pastebin file.
 
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Added a few more games to the CheatDatabase list of (mostly PAL) games with 16:9 cheats.

I also edited the first posting so it now contains the list of games, that are in the pastebin file, that I've tested, and that are working. I will update this list periodically, when I've played and tested codes for new games.

(In case there are several PAL versions of a game available, the cheatcodes were tested in the version that also contains a german language option, or outright is german.
 
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i use the widescreen fix with opl, 1080p is funky, opl will display the menu fine in 1080p, but games only correctly display with 1080i or lower
Compatibility chart for "funky" can be found here: :)
https://shmups.system11.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=62014

Basically, the "generic" PS2 scaled output modes 480p to 1080p (using the PS2 as a scaler) break functionality in several games (prevent them from starting, prevent FMVs from playing), with 1080i being the most 'compatible' setting.

This ("generic" scaled output modes (GSM or (older) OPL)) isnt the case for games that can output a progressive image by default of course.

1080i isnt necessarily better than the default 480i, depending on what your TV does to scale up the image. On my LG Oled using super resolution: low, with all other image enhancers disabled, 480i looks better than 1080i (scaled by the PS2).

Insert: When it comes to PS2 games, because they generally dont use a smothing filter or antialiasing, scanline emulation does wonders (set scanlines to be very light OSSC 12% or 18%) for them, it basically can 'remove' jaggies and smooth out the overall look of the image at the cost of some image detail, but not so much that its a downside.

So in short PS2 480i images benefit from having scanlines added, by something like an OSSC (80USD shipped from aliexpress), I usually set it to 2x line doubling, with horizontal scanlines at 12%, and then use the LG Oleds scaler (with super resolution low, and all other enhancment options disabled) to upscale it to TV resolution. This grants better image quality, than messing with the PS2s internal scaling (1080i...).

Next: Setting the PS2s internal scaler to a non default resolution (using GSM or older versions of OPL), might produce a 'strange resolution' image, that your TV might (or might not) stretch horizontally by default. (because its unsure how to handle it, and "1080i must be a widescreen format surely"... and then it stretches it). This is also not what we are after. Because it doesnt produce an aspect ratio correct widescreen image. The games basically could get stretched horizontally that way but so will faces, and so on.

To get aspect ratio correct 16:9 you need to apply 16:9 (/widescreen) cheat codes, they will modify gamecode in memory to tell the game to squeeze more horizontal resolution into a 4:3 output, and then you stretch it to 16:9 using your TVs picture modes. That way you'll get aspect ratio correct (so no stretched faces or anything) 16:9 full screen (no bars) out of a PS2 (or a PS2 emulator (cheatcodes were mostly aggregated for use with PCSX2, but they also work on original hardware.).

There is still a downside to this. And this is, that it will loose you image detail, because a 16:9 area of game is squeezed into a 4:3 image and then stretched by your TV. This is why this is more optimally used with emulators, which can also up the rendering resolution. But honestly I like playing most games in 16:9 and happily take that as a tradeoff. (Not all of them, but most.)

Last point. :)

Now, when it comes to cheatcodes for games you could use OPLs native cheat system - but that has no option to enable/disable cheats for games, on the console, on the fly. Cheat Device (homebrew app) does. Which is why I'm using Cheat Device in this tutorial.
-

Short summery: ANY Generic widescreen option (1080i or not) in OPL will not produce the desired results, you need game specific cheats to produce an aspect ratio correct 16:9 image. And this is what this thread is about. :)

edit: Here are a few image examples:

(On the photos, where the autofocus worked, you can even see the faint scanlines the OSSC introduces (you can also disable them in the OSSC settings), that help to smooth jaggies.)

nmm5vSD.jpg

SdZexTr.jpg

VjY5g2e.jpg


Games with borders that are integral to the gameplay (== still aspect ratio correct)
h8FVkms.jpg

GopVA9i.jpg

eieS33H.jpg

oLCf5wL.jpg

nLIaSNR.jpg


All those images were taken with "Zoom in all directions" custom aspect ratio on the LG Oled set to respect a 16:9 aspect ratio as closely as possible. In some games the "math" of the widescreen cheat might not output a 16:9 output ratio exactly. In some of those games, in practice you might use "Zoom in all directions" custom aspect ratio on the LG Oled and "widen" the image by one or two ticks (easily done btw) to get circles in game represent exact circles on screen. (You have to find a circle shape in game, and then match it.) I'm just mentioning this, because Fahrenheit f.e. looks like it could use a little more image width. Could be wrong though (the image asset (eye you see in the black bar in the photo) seems aspect ratio correct).

Also usually only gameplay gets adjusted by those cheats, static assets do not (in Baldurs Gate - Dark Alliance II you see, that the x button icon still has an oval shape).

edit2: Some of those games might also need render fixes applied (to render stuff thats outside the 4:3 frame), those are also already provided in the cheatcodes list above, if available. You basically enable Mastercode and every cheat that has 16:9 widescreen, FOV (field of view) and or render fix in the title.. :) In the CheatDatabase list above I've usually placed them right below the Mastercode for convenience.
 
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i use the widescreen fix with opl, 1080p is funky, opl will display the menu fine in 1080p, but games only correctly display with 1080i or lower
Thank you for insisting for me to check out 1080i mode. :) I poured some more time into it and it actually adds to the overall experience. :)

I havent done this earlier, because Cheat Device actually conflicts with the standalone GSM, and the console hard crashes if you use both of them, in any order.

So I set up some cheats in OPL format - and did a few test runs.

1080i output indeed is far crisper than my previous preferred signal chain (described above), making the jaggies far more noticeable, but then the entire image is crisper. So - its a tradeoff. (OSSC scanlines at that resolution arent individually visible anymore, (thereby do nothing to smooth jaggies), but help to darken the image a little if you prefer to.)

Testing two games with OPLs internal cheat engine on 1080i, one failed to apply the render fix correctly, with the game actually not loading in floor textures (unlimited health and aspect ratio widescreen cheats worked). The other game failed to apply the aspect ratio cheat altogether.

Now the good news, if you still use Cheat Device, and then use OPL to force 1080i output, both games actually load (no crash), and both games finally applied the widescreen cheat.

So to have the best of both worlds, use Cheat Device to manage and activate cheats, and OPLs game option GSM setting to force 1080i output. That way you seem to have maximum compatibility, and can enable/disable every setting individually, per game on console.

Whether you use 1080i or 480i scaled (OSSC) depends on preference and if the game performs as expected in 1080i.
 
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