This is a centralized place for the documentation and other discoveries about the internal working of Kingdom Hearts games.

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Kingdom Hearts II - BAR (Binary ARchives)

Most of the game’s information is stored within these files in order to keep everything organized and easily accessable by the game. These files are kind of like ZIP files, with certain limitations.

Those limitations include the file’s limitations, like the 4 character file names, file types having to be declared within the header, not all file types being declareable, but it also includes PS2’s limitations, like the offsets of the files within having to be divisible by 16, even though the size of the previous file is not, file names being unable to contain some characters, etc.

BAR Structure

BARs can come in all shapes and sizes and forms. Some have the “.bin” extension, meaning it is a system file. Some have the “.mset” extension, meaning it is a moveset file. Some have the “.mdlx” extension, meaning it is a model file. However, no matter the type, it still follows the basic file structure of the BAR.

In this structure, the names do not matter. They can be whatever as long as the PS2 is OK with it. They are just there in order to identify what file it is. This may or may not be the case in 03system, however.

The game seeks the files by their index numbers. For example: An MDLX-BAR seeks index 0 for the VIF information, index 1 for IMGD information, index 2 for the AI and index 3 for the collision in case the MDLX-BAR has 4 files within.

All the values are Little Endian in the PS2/PS4 Versions, while they are Big Endian in the PS3 Version. The “always” values given are in Little Endian.

BAR Header

Offset Variable Type Description
0 char[4] The identifier of the file (Should be always 0x01524142)
4 uint32_t The sub-file count of the BAR File.
8 uint32_t Always zero. Padding for a lookup address at runtime.
12 int32_t MSET type. Can be 0, 1 or 2.

BAR Entry

Offset Variable Type Description
0 uint16_t The sub-file’s type (List given below)
2 uint16_t Duplicate flag (if the entry is already included in the BAR)
4 char[4] The name of the sub-file. Empty characters are registered as 0x00.
8 uint32_t Sub-file’s offset/location. Must be divisible by 0x10. Can be padded.
12 uint32_t Sub-file’s size. Everything that comes after [ offset + size ] will be ignored for that specific sub-file.

BAR Remains

Offset Variable Type Description
BAREntry[index]->fileOffset byte[BAREntry[index]->fileSize The sub-file itself in RAW Data (Uncompressed).

Kaitai file structure

  id: kh2_bar
  endian: le
  - id: magic
    contents: [0x42, 0x41, 0x52, 0x01]
  - id: num_files
    type: s4
  - id: padding
    size: 8
  - id: files
    type: file_entry
    repeat: expr
    repeat-expr: num_files
      - id: type
        type: u2
      - id: duplicate
        type: u2
      - id: name
        type: str
        size: 4
        encoding: UTF-8
      - id: offset
        type: s4
      - id: size
        type: s4
        io: _root._io
        pos: offset
        size: size

BAR File Types

Keep in mind that this list is still incomplete and will be changed over the course of this project:

Value Description General Location/File Type
0 Temporary File (Should not be used) gummiblock/
1 Binary Archive Varies.
2 Independent Format (ItemList, TreasureList, StringList, etc.) 03system.bin (Varies) - msg/jp/ (Always StringList)
3 BDX scripting MDLX, ARD, MAG
4 3D Model data (Encapsulated VIF packets containing Vertices, Skinning, Bones for MDLX, etc.) MDLX - MAP
5 OCD Mesh Occlusion for Culling MAP
6 OCC Collision Data MAP
7 RAW Texture MDLX - MAP
8 DPX effect container PAX
9 Motion Data Animation
10 TM2 texture MAP - minigame/
11 OCH Camera Collision MAP
12 Spawn Point Data MAP
13 Spawn Point Script ARD
14 FOG for Diffuse object coloring MAP
15 OCL light collision MAP
16 Animation triggers ANB
17 Animation Binary Archive (ANB) obj/*.mset, anm/*
18 PAX Effect A.FM - MAG - MDLX
19 OWA Map Collision Data MAP
20 Motionset MSET - limit/*
21 BOP Background Object Placement MAP
22 Animation Loader ARD - A.FM - limit/*
23 Model Collision MDLX
24 IMD image Varies
25 Sequence animation (SQD) 2DD, MAP, A.FM,
26 Unknown Unknown
27 Unknown Unknown
28 Layout animation (LAD) menu/*, gumi/sprite/*
29 IMZ multi-image archive Varies.
30 Binary Archive MAP
31 Sound Effect Block (SEB) MDLX - A.FM
32 BGM Instrument Data (WD) BGM - MDLX - A.FM
33 Unknown Unknown
34 IopVoice Sound (VSB) Varies.
35 SPRD (This is also a bit unknown) mg_heft.2ld
36 rgb raw bitmap
37 PS2 Memory Card Icon menu/save.2ld
38 Wrapped Collision Data (Whatever that is) Unknown
39 Unknown Unknown
40 Unknown Unknown
41 Unknown Unknown
42 Moogle and Minigame Independent Files minigame/* - 03system.bin/shop.bin
43 Jimminy Journal Stuff menu/*
44 Unknown 00progress.bin
45 Synthesis Data menu/
46 Binary Archive Unknown
47 Vibration Data
48 Sony Audio Format (VAG) Varies.