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How to fix the 1999 version of Pajama Sam 1

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How to fix the 1999 version of Pajama Sam 1 Empty How to fix the 1999 version of Pajama Sam 1

Post by SomeRandomHEFan Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:50 am

Pajama Sam 1 has seen quite a few releases over the years. But with the possible exception of the very obscure 2007 version (which I don't have), every one of them has its own list of bugs, most of them unique to only one version. As such, it arguably doesn't have a definitive version. Instead, you always had to pick your poison when it came to choosing which version to play. Emphasis on "had." Because I may have just found a solution to this dilemma.

The 1999 version is usually not considered one of the better choices. Because while it is only known to have one issue, said issue is probably the worst of them all: The last of the wishing well's lines were accidentally left in Dutch.
But I thought that from a technical perspective, this sounded like a less complicated issue than everything that's wrong with the other versions. So I looked into ways to fix it. Keep in mind that I am by no means an expert on this matter, so I could be wrong about some of this. This is just my interpretation based on what does and doesn't break the game.

From what I can gather, the scripts in HE games seem to call their voice clips in a very low-level way. Instead of using file names or even IDs, they presumably point the engine directly to their offset in the HE2 file. This makes replacing individual clips a lot harder. It's not too hard to locate a clip in one HE2 file and overwrite it with one from another file. But if the size of that new clip is different, then the offsets for all subsequent clips in the file will change. The game it was meant for will then crash whenever it tries to load one of those, seeing how it now points to offsets that no longer correspond to a clip's header.

So if we want to replace a clip, we must do it in a way that doesn't change any of the offsets. This could get really nasty if the clip we're trying to insert is larger than the original, but thankfully, all of the well's Dutch clips that slipped into the 1999 version are larger than their English counterparts. This means we can overwrite the Dutch clips with the English ones. We just have to pad out the part after each clip with enough null bytes to ensure that the next clip remains at its old offset. The presence of such null bytes doesn't seem to confuse SPUTM or ScummVM at all (though it will break HEERip).

After figuring all this out, I was able to insert the well's missing English clips into the 1999 version's HE2 file. The game plays them just fine. Here's an xdelta patch that will recreate these modifications. Remember to remove the Adfly part at the start of the URL.

You will need a copy of the game's 1999 version to use this patch. It sadly isn't available on Steam. Its cover looks a lot like the original 1996 cover, but one key difference is the text "Look inside for important instructions..." in the bottom-right corner.

Keep in mind that I haven't tested this mod very extensively, so I can't guarantee that everything will work. I've never actually played the 1999 version before, so I also can't personally attest that it's free of other version-specific bugs, though I have confirmed that it lacks the 1996 version's sock bug as well as all of the bugs added in the 2002 and Wii versions (with the possible exception of the 2002 version's grandfather clock crash, which I was never able to reproduce). I plan on replaying this game with the modified HE2 file soon, so feel free to wait until then.

SomeRandomHEFan
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How to fix the 1999 version of Pajama Sam 1 Empty Re: How to fix the 1999 version of Pajama Sam 1

Post by SomeRandomHEFan Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:20 pm

Took a bit longer than I expected back when I made this topic, but I finally did a full run of all of the game's paths. My patch seems to work flawlessly.

I did however discover one minor issue exclusive to the 1999 version. Namely that a joke from the credits was half-removed, causing its remaining half to make no sense. Why this was done is beyond me. No other version of the game lacks this joke. I'll go into more detail about it later in this post.

I also found a copy of the 2007 version on eBay. It has the dubious honor of being the worst version of a game that has a long history of incompetent re-releases. The developers simply took the 2002 version, replaced the logos with the bland Humongous, Inc. logo and (sloppily) updated the credits. They fixed almost none of the 2002 version's issues. Apparently, those fixes were all done by Mistic Software for the 2008 Wii version. So little work went into this version that they apparently didn't even test all of the paths. Had they done so, they would've noticed that one of them is outright broken due to an unavoidable crash.

So here's a list of all the version-specific issues I'm aware of. Unless otherwise specified, I believe all of the issues are exclusive to only one version.

1996:
-In the "Fpath" room, there's a chance an invisible sock will spawn on the location reserved for the green sock. If you pick it up, one of two things will happen. Either you'll be placing a still invisible sock in the basket, leading to a crash, or you'll be placing a white sock in the basket that has no match. The latter makes the sock-collecting minigame unwinnable and will eventually cause a softlock if you keep picking up socks until you run out of free spots in the basket.
-If you click on the gold vein again after receiving the nugget, one possible dialogue has a line by King that's skipped due to a scripting error ("Hey. Who wouldn't?"). This issue has been fixed by ScummVM, so it only occurs with the original SPUTM interpreter.
-The voice clips for the two lines spoken by Sam when he picks up the oil can have faulty headers that the game renders as sound. As a result, both of these clips have a loud click at the beginning.

1999:
-The last four lines spoken by the well during the normal conversation chain use Dutch voice clips. (You'll only hear three of them because one of them is skipped in all versions of the game, presumably due to a scripting error.)
-At the end of the credits, the line "No animals were harmed and no cheese was eaten in the making of this game." was shortened to "No animals were harmed in the making of this game." This causes its followup "Mmm, cheese..." to make no sense.

2002:
-Andy Hieke's newly added credit has too much text in one line. Its left end tears off parts of the comic book pages, while its right end is off-screen. (Note that the 2007 version only fixes this by removing the 2002 team from the credits. Only the Wii version reformats it properly.)
-The copyright year is falsely updated to 2022.
The following issues are also present in the 2007 version, but not in the Wii version:
-In the living room, the clickpoint with the picture of the dogs playing poker has a faulty animation that causes it to partially cover the couch.
-If there's a blue sock in the mines' entrance room, its bottom part will be invisible at first.
The following issues are retained by both the 2007 and Wii version.
-The arrows on the room warp screen have been removed. Their spots can still be clicked, but this make the screen more confusing to navigate.
-Parts of certain letters don't disappear when they reach the top of the credits screen.

2007:
-A newly added part of the credits is poorly formatted. It says:
Humongous
, Inc.
-The game immediately crashes when you initiate the first conversation with the grandfather clock. He only exists on the "Flashlight in mines" path, but this make said path impossible to complete.

Wii:
(Note that I'm only listing issues that occur even with legitimate releases of ScummVM. The plagiarized build by Mistic Software that the game is meant to be used with is hot garbage and has numerous additional bugs.)
-Many socks change their color when you pick them up.
-The same set of socks spawn on each playthrough. There is no longer any randomization.

Overall, I'd say the 1999 version is the least flawed best version so long as you use my patch to fix the well's voice clips. It would be nice if something could be done about the removed joke in the credits, but it's probably beyond my ability to fix. Chances are, it'd require increasing a script's size, which would probably be insanely difficult to do without proper modding tools.

The 1996 version is also okay. You just have to make sure not to trigger the sock bug.


Last edited by SomeRandomHEFan on Sat May 15, 2021 5:24 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by SomeRandomHEFan Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:20 am

I just looked into this a bit further. Surprisingly enough, it seems the credits gag was actually added for the 2002 version. The 1996 version doesn't have it either.

Modding it into the 1999 version is definitely beyond my ability however. I located the credits script, but as I feared, adding more text to it would require increasing its size. And doing so breaks the game. You'd probably have to locate and edit tons of pointers for this to be possible.

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