New to the PSX-Scene, so forgive me for the post if I am breaking any rules. I'm not sure if I am the first to discover this method but I thought I would share it with this community...
I have only tested this method on Star Ocean 4 and Demons Souls, and it worked great both times (only locked game saves for games that I own ). So ANY might be wrong if we find this doesn't work for some games....
So after banging my head against the wall for the last couple of days the solution was remarkably easy. We will use SO4's file structure since its simple, but the same process applied to Demons Souls.
SO4 Save Directory looks like this
ICON0.PNG <---picture you see when highlighting the game in XMB
PARAM.PFD <---stores the signature encryption for the game's data file
PARAM.SFO <---stores data about the save like time/basic info/account ID
PIC1.PNG <---extra picture for SO4 and some other games, provides a background picture.
USR-DATA <---The meat of the save file, some games have multiple, some have only one .dat file.
Now that we have the basic structure and functions of files within a save directory, (there are a few other files I have seen in save dirs but I believe they are situational based on the game and are not relevant to the actual data of the save, prove me otherwise though!), we can move on to how to actually perform this little trick.
Load up the game in question, in my case SO4 and start a new game. Get to the first save point and save. Now go back to the PS3 FTP program and browse your newly created save. In this case, for SO4 we would see the files I have listed above appear. Now go to where you have your saved backup of your old save or one you've gotten off the internet. And copy:
to the directory on the PS3 overwriting the newly created game(S04)'s PARAM.PFD and USER-DATA (or other .dat files depending on the situation). Go back to your PS3, and load up your game and VIOLA! I went from a 4 minute playtime S04 save to the grand 204 hour save I have been working on since it came out.
Only drawback is trophies don't come with this trick. If someone else can figure out how to copy those over that would be grand. Not that they matter really when we are talking about losing precious saves. I hope this helps the community! Please reply with any questions or modifications to this tutorial, criticism/feedback is welcome!
One FINAL note:
If someone else has discovered this method please tell me as I don't want to take credit for someone else's discovery!
I have just confirmed this method also works with the SYSTEM data for Star Ocean 4. Also, looking over the Trophy folders on the PS3 hard drive while FTP'd they seem to have the same basic structure. I would like to try out this method on them as well. So if anyone has a backup of their trophies they could try copying over the new data folder created automatically by the game with their old PARAM.PFD and their .DAT files. I will test this once I rack up a trophy on one of my games though!
While you can get system data to load into your save (I could get my system data in SO4 to show my collection data, ect) when you save it locks up at 100% forever forcing you to quit game and corrupting the system data in the process. As of now, this method only allows you to see your system data of old but not to update is Anyone with any ideas is welcome to comment. I am giving up on system data for now and moving on to trophies. If anyone has trophy data for demons souls or star ocean that they can upload for me to test with it would be appreciated as I do not have any trophies in either since my new HDD was installed.
Ok, this should be my last update. I have confirmed at least with one game Katamari Forever that the same method but applied to trophies does not work. It seems that in contrast to save files which individually maintain themselves there seems to be 2 .dat files in the upper /trophy/ directory that probably overlord over the rest of the trophies for all your games probably provided a list to the console of games with trophies, ect. Obviously you dont want to modify that by copying over it just for one game's trophies so I cannot seem to make this happen in the same way as with locked saves. Any ideas are welcome and or questions about my tutorial. Keep the homebrew coming!