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Game Music Extraction Guide

By: Koroush Ghazi | Guides | Posted: Jan 2, 2003 5:00 am

Mafia: City of Lost Heaven



This is one of my all-time favorite games, and part of my love for it is the music. The whole game is cinematic in scope, and the music is a vital part of the experience. I was initially disappointed to see that Mafia doesn't have any obvious sound files to work with. Almost all the program's resources are packed into the 12 .dta files found typically in the C:\Program Files\Mafia directory.


I tried using Extractor 2.34 to search for various audio formats in the .dta files, but without any luck. Then I lucked onto a foolproof method for extracting the music from Mafia. It involves a small custom-made utility called MafiaXTractor (see Tools section for download information). Here's how you use it:


1. Run the MafiaDataXTractor.exe file and as the warning screen will tell you, it first backs up your rw_data.dll file in the base Mafia directory to rw_data.bak and replaces it with a modified rw_data.dll which forces the game to use the extracted files as its reference.



2. Select the items you want to extract from the Mafia .dta files. The second last item is the obvious choice - Music. Highlight this item and click Extract. A new directory called \Sounds\Music will be created under the Mafia directory, and will now have 37 music files in OGG format. The files have varying quality, but all are well above CD quality - some as high as 220kbps or more.


3. Follow the instructions under the Hitman 2 section above for converting OGG files to other formats such as MP3.


4. To undo the changes to Mafia which MafiaXTractor makes, go to your Mafia base directory and delete the existing rw_data.dll file, then rename rw_data.bak to rw_data.dll. You can now safely delete the Sounds\Music folder and its contents. Note however that if you don't revert back to the original rw_data.dll you will need to keep the new folder(s) and the contents or Mafia won't start. Also remember that at no point should you delete any of the .dta files, even if you extract all of Mafia's contents. See the MafiaXTractor readme.txt file for more information on what the utility does.


There you have it - 36 cinematic and 1930's style mafia tracks to enjoy, and one modern track called "Lake of Fire" lamenting the gangster's plight. Surely one of the best soundtracks for any game anywhere.


James Bond 007: Nightfire



I'm a big Bond fan, so I was hoping to see Nightfire would live up to the standards which the hit Nintendo 64 game Goldeneye set years ago. I have to say it isn't as good as I expected in the gameplay department, but the music is pure Bond, and the intro song in particular is much better than the Madonna song used for Die Another Day in my opinion.


I found that the audio and music files for Nightfire are not encrypted or embedded, and can be found quite easily in several directories under the C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\Nightfire\bond\sound\music\mission\ directory.


In particular the title song, a track called "Nearly Civilized" by a young lady named Esthero, is under the \gui directory. There are two versions of it: frontend_ectest.ogg is the short version which is played during the game's intro sequence. It's a high quality (426kbps) audio file, but is only 1 minute long. The longer, full version of the song is the frontend_full.ogg file in the same directory, however it is a lower quality mono (100kbps) file.


Other than the intro song, I found in particular that the "drama" themes in each of the mission folders are great spins on the Bond theme, but in general almost all the mission music is worth having as one long Bond soundtrack and all of it is in sufficiently high enough format.


Note that all the music files are in OGG format, so you can simply use Winamp 3 to listen to them. If you want to convert them to another format such as WAV you can use Audio Conversion Wizard as detailed in the Hitman 2 section above, or you can try the Super Audio Converter method below:



1. Start Super Audio Converter, and click on the Option button first. Under the Generic options you can leave the temp directory to its default, but set the result directory to where you want the converted file(s) to end up. You can also choose the version of ID3 tag information used. Under the Encoder options you can either use the source file settings, or manually set the Sample Rate, Bit Rate, Channels (and if using MP3, the version of MP3 encoding). I recommend 128kbps, Stereo, 44100Khz at the very least. Click the Close button when done.


2. Click the "From" button which corresponds to the file format you're trying to convert. In this case, select "From OGG". A drop box will appear below the button, allowing you to choose the format you want to convert the file to. As with the Audio Conversion Wizard, the various file formats will increase/decrease the output file's size, and the resulting quality will be based on the Sample Rate, Bit Rate and Channels you chose in the Options screen.



3. When you've selected the output format a browser box appears allowing you to select the file you want to convert. Select the appropriate file and click OK. The name of the selected file and its path should appear in the main dialog box.


4. If you highlight the selected file, you can use the player controls at the bottom to play the track should you so wish, or just go straight to conversion by pressing the Start Convert button. The file will be converted and the output file should appear in the output directory you chose in the Options screen.


I'm not sure if it's just me, but every time I use Super Audio Converter I get a program crash straight after the conversion and it closes itself. The output file comes out perfectly fine, but ends up in the same directory as the source file. So it works but it's annoying...maybe it's just my hardware/software combination. I've included this program for people who can't or won't use the Audio Conversion Wizard, or want to use this program to convert OGG to WAV which is something that seems to be flawed in Audio Conversion Wizard.


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