Petscop-Forensics

Miscellany

Notices

Aliens.

"Aliens."

This page may contain speculation and unconfirmed claims.
Please watch the series before reading on!

Table of Contents

Intro

These are random tests and quirky things I did over the months, kind of disjointedly written. Feel free to use these however you like.

Keep in mind, I wrote some of the first ones many months ago, they may not be accurate or contain odd refrences to files on my computer - ignore these entries if I didn't take them out.

Quirk: Total duration of completely black screens across all videos

This is the oldest quirky test I've done with Petscop, and it took the longest to produce. At the time, Petscop 12 was the latest video.

1/18/2018

Today, I decided to comb through all the Petscop videos… again, frame-by-frame, in order to calculate how much of the series is completely black - nothing on the screen at all. No, I don't know why either.

I had already downloaded all the Petscop video from their native YouTube source, unaltered.

I was able to do this with VirtualDubMod's 6-axis-color correction filter. I set all the luma/color sliders to the maximum possible values so I could see if a frame was completely black or not. Frames which have a single non-black pixel are not counted.

Yes, I went through ALL frames of ALL the videos up to part 12. All the videos run at 30 frames per second, so the sum of all frames in one video is divided by 30 to yield how many seconds of black-ness there are.

The average in-game load time seems to be 0.833 seconds (25 frames, a standard framerate)… Petscop is likely a real game being played on a real console on a CRT television set, being viewed via Composite/S-Video capture card.

Whoever made this series is either fluent with PSXDEV or the Net Yaroze development kit, or is a master at video game-esque special effects. Either way, I find this series VERY impressive, and the dude who made it absolutely NAILED the Playstation aesthetic, right down to the sound design.

Whoever you are, dude, YOU ARE THE MAN and I'd buy you a couple thousand beers if we ever met.

Begin hair-pulling mathematics

  1. 560 frames (18.667 seconds)
  2. 394 frames (13.133 seconds)
  3. 396 frames (13.200 seconds)
  4. 40 frames (1.333 seconds)
  5. 21 frames (0.700 second)
  6. 366 frames (12.200 seconds)
  7. 144 frames (4.800 seconds)
  8. 32 frames (1.066 seconds)
  9. 1219 frames (40.634 seconds)
  10. 9.898 seconds (don't remember how many frames - stupid me forgot to write it down)
  11. 1024 frames (34.133 seconds)
  12. 5 frames (0.166 seconds)

Grand total duration: 149.93 seconds = 4498 frames = 02:29.28f of the Petscop series (1 - 12 so far) is entirely black screen OUT OF 02:06:46.10f of the ENTIRE Petscop series (1 - 12) (228190 frames back-to-back)

For comparison, the average length of a Petscop video (based on individual video durations) is: 19016 frames = 10:33.26f

No, I don't have a life. Thanks for reminding me.

Quirk: Time spent looking at the Windmill

Yes, I went through every frame using VirtualDubMod.

Total time spent looking at the windmill (Petscop 2, 6):

(IN-GAME) 4669 frames, or 155.633 seconds (02:35.633) duration

4:03:00.000 (Realtime, not counting in-game duration) (approx. 4 hours, 3 minutes)

4:05:35.633 (counting in-game duration) (4 hours, 5 minutes, 35 seconds and 633 milliseconds)

NOTE: The "Lens of Truth" I'm referring to is an internal thing I made in GIMP, so that I can use filtering modes on individual frames from the Petscop videos.

Lens of Truth… Really

Pointless, I know…

Explanation: P-5 Solution

The numbers on Pen's treadmill range from -1 to 16 (18 possible values)

Upon first entering Pen's room, the counter is at 5; There are 16 pedals on the flower in the Shack above Care NLM's platform;

The sound that plays when the flower's petals are picked are the same as the treadmill being used - furthermore, a symbol (P-5 in my files) appears in the background of Pen's room, and the same symbol appears on a block after Care NLM is caught, indicating a connection.

Paul picks off 13 pedals before going down the stairs the first time. The red tint in the background likely indicates "loves me not", a cliche thing that has to do with picking petals off a flower (s/he loves me, s/he loves me not).

In Petscop 9, the "DEMO" player sets Pen's treadmill to 3, pauses for 29.033 seconds (871 frames), then sets it to 0 - re-enacting Paul's prior actions. The game seems to crash after this.

This "DEMO player also stops for a bit @ 15 and 9 (1.967 seconds, 59 frames and 1.867 seconds, 56 frames, respectively).

Later in the same episode, the counter reads 0 and the background is red, it corresponds with the petals on the flower - Care NLM appears glitched and "beat-up".

Paul changes the treadmill to 16, red (loves me not) - possibly bringing the flower back, but re-trapping Care NLM.

Paul then changes the treadmill to -1, pink (loves me) - this probably restores Care NLM to a 'capturable' state while simultaneuously keeping the flower from re-appearing and re-trapping her.

Paul walks to the left, but the game freezes, likely because the -1 value is an unintended solution, messing up the game's in-memory state. Using the uniform patterns on the floor and walls as a guide, Paul was able to walk 6 spaces starting from the door before the freeze occurs.

In the "overworld", the value on the sign above Pen's treadmill can be added and subtracted, whereas the flower can only subtract. The mechanisms in the two places influence the same value in-game.

Damn, dude. Deep stuff.

Quirk: Trying to figure out how much text was lost off-screen in Toneth's description

29 Characters per line, 5 lines per box, or ~145 characters per box

Comma/Fullstop delay: 14 frames / 0.467 seconds (30fps)

Time it takes for a single character to appear on screen: 3 frames/ 0.100 second (30fps)

Time it takes for a single line to appear on the screen, 1 comma: 50 frames/1.667 seconds

Approximate time for single line, no commas: 36 frames/1.200 seconds

Average sentence length using the 'dog' tangent in Toneth's description as refrence: 60 characters

40 frames/1.333 seconds = one sentence without breaks.

3 frames * 60 characters = 180 frames = 6 seconds on the dot for (approx.) a single sentence to appear, no commas.

Roughly every other line has a comma'd sentence on average…

One sentence from drawn first letter to drawn last letter, excluding fullstop and commas: 1.333 seconds Sentence, no commas except fullstop: 54 frames/1.800 seconds Sentence, one comma including fullstop: 68 frames/2.267 seconds

s + c + s + c + s + c

That scene in Petscop 6 where Toneth's description is being read - The text goes off the screen and at some point becomes unreadable, let's see, approximately, how long the message was between the last complete sentence appearing and the "arrow" indicating the player to advance the text!

280 frames (9.333 seconds) between last complete sentence and arrow, Toneth's 'dog' tangent

2.267 + 1.800 + 2.267 + 1.800 + 1.800 68 + 54 + 68 + 54 + 54 = 298 frames, give or take the above 9.333 seconds + ~600ms.

Total: ~5 sentences consisting of ~145 characters (minus "A dog is an innocent") are clipped off during the Toneth 'dog' tangent. Probably 149, as shown below.

Approximation of lost data content:

A dog is an innocent XXXXXXX.
XXXXXX XXXXXX XX XXXX, XXXXX.
XXXXXX XXXX XXX XXXX XXXXXXX.
XXXXXXXX, XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX.
XXXX XXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXX XX.

(Word length and spaces are arbitrary - I couldn't possibly know what was written offscreen.)

Quirk: Beeping noise frequencies

I recreated the beeping noise from Petscop 2 at the very beginning of the video.

All tones are Sine waves, I recorded the sounds @ 48000 Hz, 24-bit, Audacity

17350 samples silence from beginning 1: 1200 Hz 7984 samples 7382 samples silence 2: 1175 Hz 8720 samples (-25 Hz) 6644 samples silence 3: 1150 Hz 24281 samples (-25 Hz) 6453 samples silence 4: 1615 Hz 8193 samples (+465 Hz) 14819 samples silence 5: 1415 Hz 16512 samples (-200 Hz) 6553 samples silence 6: 2050 Hz 4000 samples (+635 Hz) 14239 samples silence to end

D6-D6-D6-G6-F6-C7 in (my dumb version of) musical notation.

Q Q W Q H E (W = Whole note, H = Half note, Q = Quarter note, E = Eighth note)

Probably a pointless excersise. Meh.

BONUS: The barely-audible tones in Petscop 6 after Toneth is caught:

620-1045-830-930-830 Hz

Might not be accurate as Paul was talking over the tones.

Oddly enough, the frequencies all correspond to 12-hour clock values. Hmmmm… "Care left the room."

Explanation: Calendars

On the "Green" calendar in Petscop 11, the days are marked in this way:

Whatever happened on 2 Mon, 4 Wed or 5 Wed appears to have some significance.

All 'Green' days from Thu 5 Jun to Mon 10 Nov:

26 + 31 + 31 + 30 + 31 + 10 = 159 successive 'Green' days

Care (A?) went missing (was kidnapped?) on Jun 5 1997 - was found on 10 Nov 1997…

That is a duration of 5.1 months.

Brainstorm: Morse Code?

At about 6:09 in Petscop 13, a few knocking sounds can be heard. Comments say that this is Paul attempting to communicate in Morse Code.

As far as I know, this is NOT an SOS - that prosign has a distinct sound (...---... / dit-dit-dit-DAH-DAH-DAH-dit-dit-dit).

The sounds are made at an irregular rhythm, so it's pretty difficult to tell what is being communicated, if anything at all.

My result (Morse Code, International)

.- -- - - . --. (after some noise) - -

AMTTEGTT

Here is the same pattern using different variants of Morse Code:

Morse Code, American: AMTTEGTT

Morse Code, Wabun: i yo mu mu he ri mu mu (イヨムムヘリムム) (???)

Morse Code, Cyrillic: АМТТЕГТТ (Same as in English)

Makes no sense to me.

Explanation: Gamepad "Language"

(5/26/18)

I have re-confirmed that the Playstation gamepad "language" uses a phonetic transcription.

The following diagram shows button combinations that produce certain sounds in English. To understand what the symbols between /slashes/ mean, look here.

*Only appears in word "Tripped"

I don't really understand the point of using this system when a full keyboard is already in the game (e.g. talking to Tool). Apparently, that's not the point and this system has a more meaningful function.

Another strange thing I noticed is that Player 1 uses Player 2's controller input to "speak" - and this implies that Marvin is playing the game from another console, rather than the same one Paul uses in Petscop 10 - unless we're talking Multitap.

Even more strange is that Marvin is able to move his character and use the controller language simultaneously. Marvin is either really talented or there's something else going on… Paul is unable to do this, and is clearly less fluent in the language, looking at the speed and simplicity of his inputs.

Transcript of Petscop 10's chat demo in proper IPA: For the sake of convenience, this guide implies American English dialects, like Paul speaks.

Marvin: /hɛloʊ/ /pɔːl/
Paul: /hɛl/ /hɛloʊ/
Marvin: /fʌniː/ /hɑː/ /hɑː/

Marvin: /pleɪ/ /miːuːsɪk/** /fɔːr/ /beɪ:biː/ /ʃiː/ /wɪl/ /biːkəm/ /mɛlədiː/
Paul: /θænks/
Marvin: /ləv'liː/ … /ləv'liː/
Marvin: /ʃiː/ /tjrɪpt/ /eɪnd/*** /fɛl/ /eɪnd/** /ɪs/ /lɔːst/
Marvin: /stɑːp/
Paul: /sɑːriː/
Marvin: /tiːɑːrə/ /pleɪs/ /bæd/ /miːuːsɪk/** /tuː/
Marvin: /duː/ /ɪt/ /raɪt/ /nɛkst/**** /taɪm/
Paul: /sæd/
Marvin: /oʊkeɪ/*****

* Displayed as "Pall" because phonetic system doesn't account for proper names that happen to be homophones with other words
** Is actually /ˈmjuzɪk/, but whatever
*** Is actually /ænd/
**** IPA has no distinct "ecks" sound - the '/x/' glyph is used for "ch" as in "loch-ness monster"
***** Is displayed as "OK" instead of "Okay" for some reason

In other less surprising news, I have also re-confirmed that I have no life.

Brainstorm: Multiplayer and Demo Recordings

This section is not for any specific portion of Petscop.

It appears that multiplayer is possible in the game, two players being able to influence the game world, and talking through the aforementioned controller language. The Sony Playstation is more suited for local (Link Cable or Player 2/Multitap) multiplayer rather than dial-up/internet connectivity - a modem was actually designed for the original PS (SharkWire Online), but only a Nintendo 64 model was released. If Petscop is a local multiplayer game, what would be the point of using the controller input language to speak to the other player in the same room? Is Paul's console hooked up using an extra-long link cable?

Paul's original one-shot Reddit post says that there is "something hiding" in the game. Perhaps the supernatural is valid in this series? I wonder if a massive network of linked Playstations come into play here? Wouldn't that be cool if there actually was such a thing? The PS1-Net! On the topic of the Demo sequences, it's been demonstrated that the game records player movement, and apparently controller input to influence these demos. The demos seem to work kind of like in The Talos Principle, in that the player is able to play the game while a recording of a past player is active.

An ominous dialog box in Petscop 13 says that the controller inputs are 'useful', and it mentions 'feedback'. An interview? Biofeedback? I'm thinking Frankenstien's Monster, only hooked up to a Playstation and being controlled by Petscop recordings. Yeah, right.

Demo recordings have an ability to "raise the dead" in some way, according to the early 2019 YouTube channel description.

Brainstorm: Bugs

I've noticed a few things about Petscop that don't line up. No, I'm not referring to the 5-D Chess-like plot and ARG, I'm talking about game mechanics, both on the hardware and software side. Warning: Technobabble and shop-talk down the road. Be sure to screw your head on extra tight if you're reading this..! Please note that these 'cracks in the facade' assume that Petscop - as a real Playstation game - is entirely genuine and not a forgery. The real reason could be a simple oversight by whoever is producing the Petscop videos, not accounting for every little quirk of the host console or it's games in general. First off, most Playstation titles have a copyright screen with the developer and distributor's names, and "all rights reserved", yadda-yadda.

Petscop only has the identifier for Garalina, and the 1997 copyright is shown on the title screen. At least it boots faster than Spyro 3. When Paul presses start, the game says that it's 'reading memory card' - 'card' is singular. The Sony Playstation generally has two memory card slots, and PS1 games typically query the player for which memory card to use, even if there isn't a second one. Petscop assumes only one is inserted and tries to find savegame data on it. The reason may be that the game is a homebrew made on the Net Yaroze, or otherwise a PS1 development system, and the developer(s) didn't implement a search routine for a second memory card. Still on the subject of memory cards, savegame corruption happens at some point in the Petscop series, and there is an indicator on the save/load dialog which says 'POSSIBLE CORRUPTION'.

I've personally never played a Playstation game that is able to pre-emptively detect savegame corruption before a read attempt is made. If save game data is corrupted or malformed, the game will alert the player after they try to load it. Perhaps Petscop uses a more rigorous method of validating savegame data, possibly due to only having one memory card slot to query? Also, how in the heck can a regular Playstation game hold graphical data for 288,000 unique variants of the "Child Library" rooms? If it actually can, the game's assembly must be highly optimized for space, or re-using many graphical effects.

Capturing Roneth involves pushing the bucket from Randice and Wavey's room into Roneth's room, and the bucket disappears after he is caught. How is one supposed to catch Wavey and Randice without another bucket? The same problem occurs the other way around, leaving Roneth un-capturable, as in Paul's first playthrough. This may be intentional/symbolic, but we'll see…

(I did more thinking, the bucket has to have respawned, but I'm keeping this here for future reference.)

Explanation: Approximate date & time of Care's kidnapping

Based on all the (known) values in Petscop 11, Care was kidnapped on Thursday, 5 June 1997 @ 18:15:31

Quirk: Child Library Occupancy and theoretical viewing of all rooms

There are apparently 288,000 different combinations of faces one can paint in the Child Library. Paul says that each room takes about 10 minutes to arrive after a valid face has been painted. 288,000 rooms * 10 minutes = 2,880,000 minutes it would take to see ALL available rooms in the Child Library. That's about 5.4 years, or 2,000 days of nonstop room-viewing. Also, assuming that each room is home to a unique kid, that's a lot of kids they have in this place.

Update 08/30/2018: I found out how to do the combinatorics for the Child Library rooms and verified it myself:

4 eyes * 4 eyes * 5 eyebrows * 5 eyebrows * 5 noses * 2 eye heights * 2 eye heights * 3 horizontal eye spacings * 2 vertical eye spacings * 2 vertical eye spacings * 3 nose spacings = exactly 288,000.

Update 2 09/08/2018: Not sure if this means anything, but 288,000 is cleanly divisible by 48 (amount of Pets intended to be caught in Petscop), 9 (all available Pets) and 6 (all non-human Pets).

God, I hate math.

Quirk: Digital Immortality

An observant Google Docs editor for the comprehensive progress document noticed that red and blue cars in U-5 "Road" travel down the road, and if one were to assign a binary value to red and to blue, you would get:

0010110, or
1101001 (inverted)

If the first number is put through Google, a scientific document on "digital immortality" can be read or bought - I didn't see anything special for the inverted one.

The digital immortality thing is interesting considering the nature of the in-game characters, but it seems to be serendipity to me.

Update 02/24/2019: Given the new channel description's mentioning how demo recordings 'raise the dead', this idea may not as farfetched as I thought before. In any case, we still can't say for sure.

Because I'm a bit of an encoding geek, I went a bit further in converting these numbers:

0010110
HEX: 16
DEC: 22
OCT: 26
ASCII: [SYN]

and

1101001
HEX: 69
DEC: 105
OCT: 151
ASCII: i

Explanation: Combination Lock in Petscop 11, 23

Update for Petscop 23:

The actual combination is: 9 2 19, the day Petscop 22, 23 and 24 were uploaded

Before Green Tool was activated: 39 12 23 33 29 7 2 38

After Green Tool was activated: 18 8 14 8 13 7 12 8 13 8 12 2

Every number that was stopped at: 0 39 9 12 0 23 3 15 33 29 2 7 2 38 2 10 18 8 14 8 13 7 12 8 13 8 12 2

Difference (starting at 0, 39 wraps back to 0 as above): -1 +10 +3 -12 -17 +20 +12 +19 -4 +13 +5 -5 -4 +4

Explanation: IceMaster's Face System Code

Eyes: o 0 O W

Eyebrows: X | ( || ((

Noses: ` , > ? 7

EyeHeights: 0 1

EyeSpacing: 0 1 2

EyebrowSpacing: 0 1

NoseSpacing: 0 1 2

The scheme is:
Eyes1 Eyes2 Eyebrows1 Eyebrows2 Nose [EyeheightL EyeHeightR] EyeSpacing [EyebrowSpacingL EyebrowSpacingR] NoseSpacing

For example, the first face Paul input was: OO||((?[10]2[01]2
Paul's Second: OO( ( > [00]0[00]0
Mike: WW| | >[01]1[00]1
Care: 00XX,[00]2[00]2

Explanation: Questions that the Red Tool responds to

Petscop 5's description

In addition to the questions Paul wrote above, the Tool also responds to these questions:

Q: Where is my house?
A: You'll never go home

Q: Where is the school?
A: You can't go back in time

Q: What month is it?
A: (shows red calendar)

Q: What year is it?
A: (shows red calendar)

Q: Where was the windmill?
A: (censored)

Explanation: Recording Storage Code

In Petscop 17, a direct way to access demo recordings is revealed through the Sound Test under the Options menu. Sound 84 (Care Says "Uh-oh") and Sound 85 (Care Says "Bye-bye") are used to invoke this hidden menu.

Using '0' for Sound 84 and '1' for Sound 85, the code is: 10 110 1110 1(x360)0.

Mystery: The Family

Everything we wish to say is below:

The purpose of this YouTube channel is to preserve and display the recordings within the video game "Petscop" while keeping some of their content private.

They were first given to us as a Christmas gift, many years ago. The game had an interesting journey, before and after that day.

Paul created some additional recordings in 2017 as a way to show Petscop gameplay to his friend. He created this account in order to upload those additional recordings in video format. He later passed ownership of the channel to us, but continued to record himself at our strong suggestion. Though he had issues with the arrangement, these have finally been settled.

Please enjoy the recordings in Petscop! We do. :)

The Petscop YouTube channel's description was written on behalf of a family to whom Paul passed ownership of the channel to.

Explanation: Clocks

Explanation: Voices