Keiyuu

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How many beta versions are there?

Post by Keiyuu on Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:56 am

I'm currently collecting images of all available Silent Hill versions including betas and stumbled across this thread with a pirated Russian version that seems to be a beta. I decided to compare this one to the other known beta versions:

Silent Hill [Prototype][SLUS-00707]
Silent Hill [USA][v1.0][BETA][SLUS-00707]

In another thread PaulSilentin mentioned differences in the HILL file between both betas mentioned above.
PaulSilentin wrote:
PaulSilentin wrote:Interesting thing is - we can make mods for the SH Beta (which is almost full game) and share this modded iso file.

That was a bad idea. Because according to the assemblergames project "protopia" there was two "betas" floating around, that named as:
  • [22.01.99] Silent Hill [Prototype][SLUS-00707]
  • [22.01.99] Silent Hill [USA][v1.0][BETA][SLUS-00707]
They have the same exe date and the same size: 616 518 000 bytes. But they have unknown different bytes inside of the "HILL" file. Here is the list of the differences between both "HILL" files, made with HexCmp (files extracted with CDmage tool): http://pastebin.com/AjEUh94u

It's maybe some difference in the video and audio, but the only thing i'm sure - they are not the same, as i thought. However the files listed down here are 100% identical to each other:
Code: Select all
SILENT
SLUS_007.07
SYSTEM.CNF


What I found out is that the HILL file in the Russian beta doesn't match to any of the others.
Here are the differences, analyzed with HexCmp:

Silent Hill (Russian Version Prototype) vs Silent Hill [Prototype]
http://pastebin.com/GckMXH7g

Silent Hill (Russian Version Prototype) vs Silent Hill (USA) (v1.0) [BETA]
http://pastebin.com/i9Jewby5

The other files (SILENT, SLUS_007.07, SYSTEM.CNF) are identical on all versions.

Now, to add to the confusion, I found another beta version on PSX Planet simply called "Silent Hill beta".
I compared the files again... and we have another HILL file that is different from all other ones.
What's interesting about this, when comparing with HexCmp, the HILL file in this beta seems to be missing some stuff, because compared to the other ones it's filled with a lot of 0's while the other files have some values there. Could this indicate that this is an earlier build?
https://www.mediafire.com/?jboxcfwhw5xj3l0 (I uploaded the comparison files to mediafire because the size exceeded what's allowed on pastebin)

Do we really have 4(!) different beta versions of Silent Hill? I'm pretty confused here...
Maybe if there would be a way of extracting the HILL file, we may be able to analyze the files further and see what the differences actually are? I know there's a tool for the SILENT file but I couldn't find anything for HILL. According to jPSXdec there are audio (.xa) and video files stored in HILL but maybe there's more we can't access without extracting it?

Edit:
Forgot to mention something I found a while ago.
There's a let's play video of someone playing a version that has this text in the beginning:
You will encounter a wall of darkness, and the wrath of the underworld. These will help you.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-l-aY4Eets

As far as I know, this was used on very early versions like trailers from 1998 and I think it's also on the first demo (OPM 16). But this person plays a FULL version of the game.. How is that possible? Another beta...?
 
 
 
 
 
 

Hell Descended

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How many beta versions are there?

Post by Hell Descended on Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:51 pm

You're talking things about the game's innards that would fly over most people's heads. I will say that I won't put it in doubt that there's 4 or more beta versions; games go through a lot of ideas and scrap papers before they end up as the final product.
 
 
 
 
 
 

krigo

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How many beta versions are there?

Post by krigo on Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:13 am

I have a Russian bootleg of Silent Hill that may be different from the previous Russian beta. Considering the circumstances, I imagine that it's most likely identical.

I apologize if I'm derailing the thread.

Image
Image
Image
Image

Like the other version, Child's Room is still called Child's:
Image

bin/cue file:
https://mega.nz/#!4IQSVZiA!MBVkyuSs4rTZ ... Skw7UA20uQ
 
 
 
 
 
 

Otherworld

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How many beta versions are there?

Post by Otherworld on Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:56 am

Wow, that cover art is pretty crazy....
Image
 
 
 
 
 

Tabris

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How many beta versions are there?

Post by Tabris on Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:34 am

That cover art is hilariously awesome.
 
 
 
 
 
 

HeatherMasonSH3

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How many beta versions are there?

Post by HeatherMasonSH3 on Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:21 pm

krigo wrote:I have a Russian bootleg of Silent Hill that may be different from the previous Russian beta. Considering the circumstances, I imagine that it's most likely identical.


The cover art is hilarious it's like someone took five separate sources and stuck them together.
 
 
 
 
 

krigo

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How many beta versions are there?

Post by krigo on Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:30 pm

The hilarious cover art is hands down the only reason why I even decided to check it out. My step dad lived in Russia for a few months back in 1999 and picked it up then.

He told me that a legitimate Russian gaming market didn't exist back then due to how expensive it would have been.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Kurosawa

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How many beta versions are there?

Post by Kurosawa on Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:12 am

That is a very typical (Russian) pirated disc cover. You couldn't always even be sure what you bought, even if the label said it is a certain game it could be a whole different game. Even today people in Eastern Europe are too poor to afford video games so you have to be creative. F2P games are often filled with Russian players since it is free. Some years ago when I went to Russia I saw that they still sell pirated games even in stores alongside with official copies. In Estonia the market of pirated products isn't as common as it used to be before. I have heard that eventually the data in discs corrupts over time but surprisingly many of these pirated discs still work today.
 
 
 
 
 
 

PaulSilentin

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How many beta versions are there?

Post by PaulSilentin on Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:47 am

I'll write a list of publicly available SH1 demos here later, but i can't create full list, because most of the collectors doesn't share their private versions that still not publicly available and has no proper documentation from the owner.
 
 
 
 
 

Keiyuu

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How many beta versions are there?

Post by Keiyuu on Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:06 am

Thanks krigo for posting this! I'm always interested in finding out about different variations of the game.

I just compared it with the other Russian prototype - they are identical. (no differences in the files at all)
They probably had one beta version in Russia which was used by all the "pirate companies".

PaulSilentin wrote:I'll write a list of publicly available SH1 demos here later, but i can't create full list, because most of the collectors doesn't share their private versions that still not publicly available and has no proper documentation from the owner.

Very curious about that! :D
Maybe that way we can solve some mysteries about different betas or at least gather a more complete list of all different versions we know about.

Here is what I could find so far, including the retail releases. The dates are from the files on the disc itself:

1998.10.19 - OPM Demo Disc 16 [NTSC-U] [SCUS-94278]

1998.11.06 - SILENT HILL (Trial Version) [NTSC-J] [SLPM-80363]

1998.12.16 - SILENT HILL (Playable Demo) [PAL] [SLED-01735]

1999.01.06 - SILENT HILL (Trade Demo) (CD-R)
I couldn't find any details, except for a short mention here

1999.01.16 - SILENT HILL (Demo CD) [NTSC-U] [SLUS-90050]

1999.01.17 - SILENT HILL (Trade Demo) [NTSC-U] [SLUS-80707]

1999.01.22 - SILENT HILL (Beta) [NTSC-U] [SLUS-00707]
- Silent Hill (USA) (v1.0) [BETA]
- Silent Hill [Prototype]
- Silent Hill beta
- Silent Hill (Russian Version Prototype)
I don't know the specific differences, they seem to be the same but still have slightly different HILL files (maybe that's just the result of corrupt images/bad ripping or other modifications?)

1999.01.26 - SILENT HILL [NTSC-J] [SLPM-86192]

1999.02.10 - SILENT HILL [NTSC-U] [SLUS-00707]

1999.06.07 - SILENT HILL [PAL] [SLES-01514]

1999.06.16 - SILENT HILL (Demo CD) [PAL] [SLED-02186]

1999.06.16 - SILENT HILL [NTSC-J] [SLPM-86498] [SLPM-87029]
This is the Japanese v1.1 released as two different budget versions (KONAMI The BEST, PSone Books). The internal serial number on disc is still SLPM-86192

All of them are available publicly except for the 1999.01.06 one. At least I couldn't find it anywhere.

Well, and then we have that version with the early intro text from the video in my first post, which got me very intrigued... but I have no idea where the person got it from. Unfortunately her channel isn't active anymore, so I guess there's no way to ask now. There were people asking about it in the comments but she doesn't seem to have a clue as her answers were:
"I have no idea, actually, all I know is that it's included in the intro vid when you start the game. Maybe there are other versions of the game out there that doesn't include that quote?"
"Dang, I can't really remember what version this was... I used an emulator.. XD"

Which to me sounds more or less like "I have no idea about all this and just downloaded the game somewhere to make this playthrough" and I think I remember her saying during the video that this is her first time playing this game.
How can one stumble across such a rare early Silent Hill version by accident? :?
If she was some collector, she would surely know more about it.

I thoroughly checked all of these version that are available and the only one with the early intro message is the OPM Demo which is obviously not a full version.
Maybe anyone has more insight on this?
 
 
 
 


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