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Need Help Privateer's Bounty: Age of Sail II's .pak files

Discussion in 'Other & Older' started by Fernando, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. Fernando

    Fernando Landlubber

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    Hello, captains!

    I'm Fernando, from Spain, and I have a simple question that you can realize by reading the title of this thread:

    Is there any possibility to extract/uncompress the .pak files of Privateer's Bounty: Age of Sail II?

    I do little modifications by modifying the configuration archives with notepad, but I want to make a bit more and I can't do nothing due to I find no way to extract those .pak files.

    Those .pak files (images.pak with 42.9MB, models.pak with 15.1MB and textures.pak with 162.5MB) are located in the resource folder, in the main directory of the game:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    When I was looking for some solution, I realized that, as you can see in the last image I've put, there is a folder called UpdatePak. Within that folder, we can see these files:

    [​IMG]

    A pak.exe, pakman.exe, a readme.txt that says:

    [​IMG]

    , a suspicious unpak.exe (I suspect that it can help me to "unpack" the .pak files because of every time I execute it by putting over that .exe a .pak file, a cmd windows launches and I can see unlegible text running by that cmd windows in a kind of unpacking operation until the same windows closes automatically. I think too this unpak.exe unpacks that files due to when I try to execute it with a different and bigger .pak file (e.g. textures.pak) this operation takes a longer time than the other and smaller .pak files. Later an update_new_pak.bat, update_new_pak.exe, update_pak.bat and .scc file called vssver.scc whose function I don't know what is.

    In the end, I was trying with different unpackers or unzippers wich support .pak files, but all of them give me different errors wich say something like "unsupported/unknown .pak format".

    I'm running over a Windows 7 x64 system.


    Please, help.


    Thank you very much for reading my message.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  2. Thagarr

    Thagarr Pining for the Fjords! Staff Member Administrator Creative Support Storm Modder News Gatherer Hearts of Oak Donator

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    Ahoy Fernando, welcome aboard mate! :dance

    I think you found your problem exactly, those .pak files probably contain most of the textures, ship models and skins, and a lot of other elements. You are absolutely correct, unpak.exe is probably what is used to unpack those files so they can be used by the game engine. It is a proprietary compression scheme developed to prevent exactly what you are trying to do. It has to run the compression algorithms during gameplay, which has the unfortunate side effect of slowing everything down to a crawl. Which, if I recall correctly, was one of the main problems with this game, especially during fleet actions.

    POTC used a similar function for some things, but I don't think our tools would be of much help here, though I could be wrong, they were developed by the same company after all. I doubt it would do much good to try and contact Akella either, the development team for this game is probably long gone. We were lucky to build a relationship over the years with a couple of members of the POTC team and that helped us with our modding efforts immensely early on!

    I would bet money that there are some hidden command line arguments in those files that will compress and uncompress files, the trick is finding out what they are. I think your best bet is to try and track down the command line arguments for both pak and unpak.exe, although the latter updates you mention may make it a bit more tricky. You will probably have to use a tool such as PE Explorer, to look inside the .exe files. Though there are many other tools and techniques out there that are just as effective.
     
  3. Fernando

    Fernando Landlubber

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    Roger that! Thank you for your answer. I will try to make a bit more with those .exe files when I have more time.



    Thank you again!
     

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