Today I sat down with a friend of mine, paulguy, who is also responsible for programming the first iteration of TPLCodec, the allmighty graphics decoder of Utawarerumono portable, and with him we took another look at this obscure piece of graphics that Itsuwari no Kamen likes to use. Out of every graphics file in the game (there are thousands and thousands of them) only 4 images use this method of encoding. It’s quite mindboggling really, first question coming to my mind was more or less like…. why? Well, god knows.
We spent a good deal of time discussing different methods of encoding graphics and examining patterns and possibilities and at the end of the day, was born png_deswiz.exe, the last piece of decoders needed for total graphics access on the game. Behind this more-than-a-little obscure swizzle algorithm lies the title screen, main menu, and more or less the entire battle interface of the game, along with the VN mode’s text bubbles and various other more or less visible graphics.
The algorithm behind these graphics was not an easy one by a longshot, and while I like to keep the exact algorithm undisclosed for now, i can say, that it was a serious pain in the ass to figure out what it was, before attempting to figure out how exactly to decode it. Huge thanks for Paulguy as usual for being the hands that code for me once again..