Retail Serial Console Output Using Dolphin

As a follow-up to my previous post, I’ve now figured out how to view serial console/debug output using Dolphin (fan emulator).

This can be enabled by toggling the View -> Log and View -> Log Configuration options. Then, enabling OSReport in the Log Configuration.

Console output will appear in the Log tab.

I tried running some of the problematic gcm images I created from Previewer + GPL models from AWL (version-modified), and got the following output:

(wildplant.gpl) doesn’t match standard 8.3 format.

The error above is likely due to a long filename (wildplant). Early computing systems used a standard known as 8.3, restricting filenames to 8 characters or less, followed by the file extension. Since this file is used in the game, I presume that the notification was fulfilled and the restriction was removed in a later iteration of the Dolphin Character Pipeline.

I tried a few different files with shorter file names. However, they all also gave errors.

Unknown state setting for Display Object

It’s difficult to know what is causing the above error, but my best guess is that, since AWL was presumably built using an updated version of the Character Pipeline, it uses certain settings for gpl models that were only supported by the updated version.

If these findings are correct, then the models from the game could only be viewed using an updated build of Previewer from a newer version of the Character Pipeline. I’ll do some digging to see if I can find anything.


On a related note, now that I know about the Dolphin log feature, I’m going to try playing through some of AWL and AnWL to see if the games happen to have any serial console output as part of their code.

Huge thanks to Video James (sonic15783)#6150 on the Discord! This wouldn’t be possible without him!

Getting Closer to 3D Model Previews

Namely, there was a “previewer” program compiled for old macs (old macs used a PowerPC architecture, similar to the Gamecube and Wii)

I’ve been fiddling around with some of the files from the Dolphin SDK.

I had tried running this before, but got stuck on the program looking for a “prevload.txt” file in a specific directory.

After some digging around in various documentation and script files, I finally figured out what I needed to do.

The program looks for an inserted disc with the volume label “cp”. It then looks for the folder “cp:/cpdata/preview/”. This folder must contain the file to be previewed (in this case, Zebra.gpl) as well as a text file called “prevload.txt” (which just contains the name of the file to be previewed).

With all of these conditions met, the program should display the requested file.

Unfortunately my virtual machine setup seems to freeze (or in some cases crash) at this point. This seems to be an issue with SheepShaver not supporting 3D hardware rendering.

Ultimately, the next (and only) step to get this software running would be to try it out on a real old-school mac. And even if that works, I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to navigate the program (since it seems to use some sort of game controller).

As always, I’ll keep you all updated.