Alex Grigoriou

TAMATOWN IS BACK! (parsed swf files)

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1 hour ago, tamatornn said:

i have no words. you. are. an angel.

More like a Tamagotchi Angel! :D

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One thing which I don't think has been discussed too much in the process of archiving and preserving is that Tamatown actually had quite a number of updates - many different versions of each Tamatown were released across multiple different languages. I think, if any of us do manage to recover any of the files, we shouldn't ignore the files which have already been recovered - they might be different versions of the same file!

In the distant future, if our efforts to recover any other files end up successful, I could see there being a version of Tamatown with a launcher allowing you to access any version and any language - whether that's a reality we'll ever reach is another question, but regardless I think even unfinished Tamatown versions are an important part of history that needs to be preserved.

I don't have much else to add or any new information to provide - I just thought it would be good to remind people to be thorough and to preserve all versions of Tamatown that they come across. There have been times in the past where unfinished versions of games were tossed aside and forgotten about until much later - just recently a Sonic 2 prototype was recovered after being missing for over 26 years because back in 1992 people were far more interested in the final game than an unfinished prototype. We've already lost Tamatown once, so let's not lose any more of it again!

I'll update soon on whether I can get my old laptop working. I hope you also have an update for us soon on whether any information was recovered from your PC too, Alex!

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17 hours ago, hwd45 said:

One thing which I don't think has been discussed too much in the process of archiving and preserving is that Tamatown actually had quite a number of updates - many different versions of each Tamatown were released across multiple different languages. I think, if any of us do manage to recover any of the files, we shouldn't ignore the files which have already been recovered - they might be different versions of the same file!

In the distant future, if our efforts to recover any other files end up successful, I could see there being a version of Tamatown with a launcher allowing you to access any version and any language - whether that's a reality we'll ever reach is another question, but regardless I think even unfinished Tamatown versions are an important part of history that needs to be preserved.

I don't have much else to add or any new information to provide - I just thought it would be good to remind people to be thorough and to preserve all versions of Tamatown that they come across. There have been times in the past where unfinished versions of games were tossed aside and forgotten about until much later - just recently a Sonic 2 prototype was recovered after being missing for over 26 years because back in 1992 people were far more interested in the final game than an unfinished prototype. We've already lost Tamatown once, so let's not lose any more of it again!

I'll update soon on whether I can get my old laptop working. I hope you also have an update for us soon on whether any information was recovered from your PC too, Alex!

I have good news. I was playing around with archive.org yesterday and i found something. I found multiple cities from the tamatown station (in Japanese) and the tamatown station itself (also in Japanese). However, there is a little problem. It requires a login password (from a Japanese Tamagotchi). I have already converted the .swf file to a .fla file and i think i will find a workaround in removing the password system. Last but not least, i will connect the other towns from the TamaTown Gotchi Station with the station itself and we will all be happy!^_^

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53 minutes ago, Alex Grigoriou said:

I have good news. I was playing around with archive.org yesterday and i found something. I found multiple cities from the tamatown station (in Japanese) and the tamatown station itself (also in Japanese). However, there is a little problem. It requires a login password (from a Japanese Tamagotchi). I have already converted the .swf file to a .fla file and i think i will find a workaround in removing the password system. Last but not least, i will connect the other towns from the TamaTown Gotchi Station with the station itself and we will all be happy!^_^

Ah, on e-Tamago I presume? If the password system is bypassed the e-Tamago swfs could potentially provide really useful resources as the e-Tamago Tamatown was really similar to international versions of Tamatown.

en4.jpg

I find it kinda weird to look at - so much is the same as Tamatown, but there's also a few random differences here and there.

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I will try my best to bypass the security. Welp, see ya on the next one. 

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Pretty disappointed - I did a pretty thorough search of my old laptop which I used back in the mid-2000s and found nothing - the temporary internet files were full to the brim with cookies, but no Tamatown files.

This doesn't make me very hopeful for the future of Tamatown :( I hope my situation is an unusual one and that normally these files remain cached, because for whatever reason there was only a very limited amount of data cached on my system. I used this system until 2010 so it wouldn't surprise me if I found out that cached files were more regularly removed later on in WinXP's lifespan. Or perhaps it was to do with the fact that I used Chrome later on. No idea.

I just hope others employing the same method obtain more promising results than I have.

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19 minutes ago, hwd45 said:

Pretty disappointed - I did a pretty thorough search of my old laptop which I used back in the mid-2000s and found nothing - the temporary internet files were full to the brim with cookies, but no Tamatown files.

This doesn't make me very hopeful for the future of Tamatown :( I hope my situation is an unusual one and that normally these files remain cached, because for whatever reason there was only a very limited amount of data cached on my system. I used this system until 2010 so it wouldn't surprise me if I found out that cached files were more regularly removed later on in WinXP's lifespan. Or perhaps it was to do with the fact that I used Chrome later on. No idea.

I just hope others employing the same method obtain more promising results than I have.

Don't lose hope. You can use some recovery software. Try Recuva for example. If the files once were in the drive, Recuva will find them. BUT, if you find anything, DON'T TRY TO RECOVER ANYTHING FROM THE SAME PARTITION OF THE DRIVE. Just let Recuva scan for the files and then you can scroll through the list to find any swf files associated with TamaTown. I insist. Don't recover ANYTHING. It may cause permanent damage or deletion of the files. Please write back if you find anything. Good luck. 

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14 minutes ago, Alex Grigoriou said:

Don't lose hope. You can use some recovery software. Try Recuva for example. If the files once were in the drive, Recuva will find them. BUT, if you find anything, DON'T TRY TO RECOVER ANYTHING FROM THE SAME PARTITION OF THE DRIVE. Just let Recuva scan for the files and then you can scroll through the list to find any swf files associated with TamaTown. I insist. Don't recover ANYTHING. It may cause permanent damage or deletion of the files. Please write back if you find anything. Good luck. 

Wait, so I'd be finding the files but not recovering them? How does that work?

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31 minutes ago, hwd45 said:

Wait, so I'd be finding the files but not recovering them? How does that work?

It's a bit complicated. The following instructions are for the case of you finding some files. So, if you find any files and you are positive that they are associated with TamaTown you will have to take your old computer's hard drive out of the system. Then you will need an adapter to connect your old hard drive to your new computer. Then install Recuva in your new computer and recover, save the files in your new pc. And you are pretty much done. The reason for all of this is that if you attempt a recovery on the disk itself, the files will be damaged or deleted permanently. 

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56 minutes ago, Alex Grigoriou said:

It's a bit complicated. The following instructions are for the case of you finding some files. So, if you find any files and you are positive that they are associated with TamaTown you will have to take your old computer's hard drive out of the system. Then you will need an adapter to connect your old hard drive to your new computer. Then install Recuva in your new computer and recover, save the files in your new pc. And you are pretty much done. The reason for all of this is that if you attempt a recovery on the disk itself, the files will be damaged or deleted permanently. 

Okay. That's something I'll consider trying. I hope your attempts at file recovery are successful, too.

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9 minutes ago, hwd45 said:

Okay. That's something I'll consider trying. I hope your attempts at file recovery are successful, too.

Thank you! Good luck too! :D

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I have a question- how do I link my V3 to the site? I'd love to unlock everything and experience it, by the way when I went on your website I was smiling so much- your making so many peoples dreams come true! Don't give up- I believe in you and keep up the amazing work! :D 

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3 hours ago, KidRetro64 said:

I have a question- how do I link my V3 to the site? I'd love to unlock everything and experience it, by the way when I went on your website I was smiling so much- your making so many peoples dreams come true! Don't give up- I believe in you and keep up the amazing work! :D 

Unfortunately, due to the nature of the revival there's no way to link the website with your device.

Originally, the V3 version of Tamatown would give you a password for each item or souvenir you encounter. However, the passwords were generated using a common gateway interface file - in essence, this means it requested information from the Tamatown servers in order to generate the password. Since the servers were shut down and the password generation algorithm is not known, there is not yet any way for the V3 to interact with any revival project of Tamatown.

Should the password generation algorithm be determined in the future this could potentially be a feature added to Tamatown revival projects, but the password system is immensely complicated and so it is highly unlikely to be cracked any time soon - especially as cracking it would first require being able to generate passwords using the site to begin with, which is obviously not feasible.

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4 hours ago, hwd45 said:

Unfortunately, due to the nature of the revival there's no way to link the website with your device.

Originally, the V3 version of Tamatown would give you a password for each item or souvenir you encounter. However, the passwords were generated using a common gateway interface file - in essence, this means it requested information from the Tamatown servers in order to generate the password. Since the servers were shut down and the password generation algorithm is not known, there is not yet any way for the V3 to interact with any revival project of Tamatown.

Should the password generation algorithm be determined in the future this could potentially be a feature added to Tamatown revival projects, but the password system is immensely complicated and so it is highly unlikely to be cracked any time soon - especially as cracking it would first require being able to generate passwords using the site to begin with, which is obviously not feasible.

Yes. There is no way someone can connect their Tama to my site. Sorry for being absent from the conversation. The only cracked TamaTown password generator yet is Entama (E-Tamago) and that is achieved by a retired user and former TamaTalk Guide named binary. However, there is one small detail. Binary managed to figure out the algorithm and create valid passwords for the Entama when the site was still up. Unfortunately, the CGI (Common Gatewey Interface) file was never archived. And I do not think that CGI files are the kind of files that are saved upon visit to a website (not even as cache). I may be wrong but I don't think so for one and only reason. Bandai wouldn't easily let the hands of people on raw CGI files on their server and they probably put some kind of sequence on their sites for the generation files not to be saved as temporary internet files. So I am not very hopeful for this one. Well, I am starting to get a little bit more worried by believing in this theory. Anyway, we will see what future holds for us. In a few days I will be contacted by the recovery service and be informed of the state and the chances of successful recoverability of any of the files. I hope that @hwd45 is lucky enough to find any files. Sorry, this was a long one. Well, see y'all on the next one! 

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4 hours ago, Alex Grigoriou said:

In a few days I will be contacted by the recovery service and be informed of the state and the chances of successful recoverability of any of the files. I hope that @hwd45 is lucky enough to find any files. Sorry, this was a long one. Well, see y'all on the next one! 

Looking forward to it!

And yeah, cgi files wouldn't have been cached - any attempts to cache or archive the files just results in receiving a text file containing the output of the function. Not very helpful.

Interestingly patent documents confirm that the method to generate passwords that Binary discovered is indeed he method that was intended - the problem is that due to the existence of the username variable, passwords have an additional layer of encryption on the V3 and V4, and so figuring out any generation algorithm for them is significantly more difficult.

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57 minutes ago, hwd45 said:

Looking forward to it!

And yeah, cgi files wouldn't have been cached - any attempts to cache or archive the files just results in receiving a text file containing the output of the function. Not very helpful.

Interestingly patent documents confirm that the method to generate passwords that Binary discovered is indeed he method that was intended - the problem is that due to the existence of the username variable, passwords have an additional layer of encryption on the V3 and V4, and so figuring out any generation algorithm for them is significantly more difficult.

Oh yes. I forgot about the names. This would be twice as difficult. 

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