Yesterday, Dink, a user on the Hidden Palace Discord, posted a link to a build of Black9 which had seemingly been uploaded to archive.org anonymously just some days prior. If you didn’t know already, I’d written a short piece about Black9 back in 2018 (yikes, time flies), so it was really exciting to finally have an opportunity to see what the game actually looked and played like.
But nothing is ever quite that simple, is it?
After excitedly extracting everything from the ISO and examining it, it turned out that the ISO that was uploaded appeared to be corrupted in some way, resulting in some files to overlay others upon extracting. This is obviously a big issue as it would stop the build from running correctly on hardware and obviously puts a dent in efforts at examining the content.
Upon investigation, both myself and Daniel soon realised that, fortunately, it just seemed to be a matter of the offsets in the ISO being shifted back by 2048 bytes in certain (and most) cases. After some fiddling, we believe we’ve resolved this and you can find the data extracted correctly here (you can find the original ISO here).
As of yesterday, despite doing this, we still didn’t have any actual luck getting it running on physical hardware (even our “dev kit” with additional memory), so there’s evidently still something not quite right. That said, this has allowed us to view what’s here!
Many of the assets should happily open under any version of Unreal Engine 2, equal or greater than version 2226, if you want to check them out yourself, though this is barring the UKX meshes/animations as it seems they might have made modifications to the animation format. Viewing those in UE Viewer will require you to disable the animation option.
Happy spelunking! If you have any luck getting it running or want to collaborate a bit, feel free to join our Discord.