History of Tethealla

Mad

Member
From viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3 I take it that the Tethealla project was revived in 2014-11.

What happened before?

What are Tethealla’s roots, when, why and by whom was it started, how was the PSO(BB) server landscape like back then, was it initially based on code from some other server, etc. -- I would love to learn something about its history.
 

Sodaboy

Administrator
Staff member
The Tethealla project was started by me back in early 2008 as a way to keep my mind focused on something shortly after my dad was murdered. (No need to say "Sorry for your loss" or anything like that, I've already come to terms with everything that happened, so don't worry.)

I had always had a love for PSO and wanted to take it a step further from my proxy I developed and go full out Phantasy Star Online server.

I think PSO was very exciting then, not sure if it was AS exciting as back in the first starts of GameCube or Dreamcast, but it was still good for me.

Rapid progress was made on the server over some months. Tethealla was actually built from the ground up, which is why it had a lot of flaws. Luckily, some of the well known people in PSO like Kohle, Lee, Crono and even Schthack answered some of my questions about some things... but at some point, I put the project away. I kind of lost interest at a point due to some personal reasons and never really got back to it.

One of the other well-known PSO servers, Eden, had a couple of developers. Tofuman and Doberman, who were able to patch a lot of the problems Tethealla had as well as even get Challenge mode working. Tofuman had sent me a couple of messages on their forum and contacted me on Skype about some fixes he did that he wanted to include in the Tethealla project.

I thought it was cool that he fixed some stuff and was going to update the project, but again I got sidetracked, and I think a couple of years went by after his initial contact of me.

I don't remember why or how exactly but we got in contact again and started working together then the Tethealla project came back to life.

A huge amount of progress wasn't made, though, until this month when I had to get a medical surgery and was stuck at home for 2 and a half weeks with nothing to do. (Inguinal hernia surgery repair, in case you were wondering, so I couldn't move around much for a bit.)

Thus, here we are...!

I hope that was a good enough story for you.
 

Aleron Ives

Member
It's also worth noting that Sylverant started as a port of Tethealla from Windows to *nix, and although it no longer has any of Sodaboy's code in it, it's now the most fully featured server for Ver.1/2/3, so in a way Tethealla is the progenitor of all "modern" PSO server alternatives to Schthack's software that are still developed and supported. SCHTServ may be dead, but the future of PSO isn't looking too shabby at all. :)
 

CeNedra

Woomy~
I still remember using Sodaboys proxy on Scht to connect with and using it to restore corrupted memories cards by hacking items and levels back for people. I also tried the EP3 proxy but I never got it working, plus EP3 was kinda wonky on scht. A shame because I really love that game and still play card battles every now and then offline.

So what happend exactly to scht? I heard something about HDD wipe?
 

SpicySausage

Alcoholic/Power
CeNedra said:
So what happend exactly to scht? I heard something about HDD wipe?
Pretty much, yeah.
The hard drive with the server and everyone's player accounts failed and had all its data lost.
Add that with the already existing controversy surrounding Scht's management and donations and things didn't go smoothly when the data loss was announced.
That's what I gathered from Schtserv's forums anyway.
 

CeNedra

Woomy~
Sucks for those who still played actively. I for one though was never fan of how scht handled BB and although It didnt affect me directly since I only played GC really, it still sucks for those who spend thousands of hours on there.
 

Mad

Member
Sodaboy said:
I hope that was a good enough story for you.

Yes, thank you :)

Aleron Ives said:
[...] so in a way Tethealla is the progenitor of all "modern" PSO server alternatives to Schthack's software that are still developed and supported.


Ah, interesting.

Do you, or someone else, happen to know if "khyller" and "Aeon/newserv" are also based on Tethealla, or were they older / also built from scratch?
 

Mylandra

Member
khyller server is very old, it was first made to support the older versions of PSO, mainly GC, and in the end started adding Blue Burst support. The Blue Burst part started as an alternative when SEGA/Schthack were the only servers available so that people could host a server locally and play with friends. The whole project was written from scratch mostly because there was no source or anything else available to base the server on at that point. Sadly, the guy who programmed it didn't have enough time to run the project so it eventually died. He put alot of work before giving up on it to rework the code as Aeon and release the source to everyone. It is pretty obvious the Blue Burst part is incomplete if anyone takes a look at it because that was one of the last things kohle was working on before he left the pso scene entirely. I also think the older khyller server might have less bugs than Aeon as well because I don't think there wasn't any beta testing done on the later releases. I believe Tethealla started around the time this server died since there was still no alternatives to play PSOBB elsewhere after all lol
 

Xenon

Member
Was Aeon released before you started working on Tethealla? I've noticed enough commonalities between the two from my own notes to wonder about whether it was around to influence any of your design decisions. There are some pretty big gaps in the PSOBB support though so I'm guessing Tethealla evolved mostly on its own.

Also, did you do your own packet cracking/analysis to figure out the structure of the game commands while you were building it? I think Fuzziqer did a lot of reverse engineering work for that but his public notes are pretty sparse and most of the packet definitions in Aeon are for older PSO versions. Just curious, picking apart the packet formats and uses has been the biggest speedbump for my own work and I'm not even doing most of the heavy lifting there

Edit: Just read the end of Mylandra's post so I guess that answers my question about the release timing
 

Sodaboy

Administrator
Staff member
Xenon said:
I've noticed enough commonalities between the two from my own notes to wonder about whether it was around to influence any of your design decisions. There are some pretty big gaps in the PSOBB support though so I'm guessing Tethealla evolved mostly on its own.

Also, did you do your own packet cracking/analysis to figure out the structure of the game commands while you were building it?
Kohle was working on a BB server at the same time as me, I believe, back in May 2008. But his server was not functional at all.

I got mine very functional within 3 or 4 months, I believe.

I did do a lot of the reverse engineering by connecting my proxy to JP PSOBB and Schthack's server to see how responses were sent and received (as well as dump quests).
 

Sodaboy

Administrator
Staff member
Mylandra said:
I believe Tethealla started around the time this server died since there was still no alternatives to play PSOBB elsewhere after all lol
It looks like Kohle kept developing Aeon all the way until August 2009, looking at his source files and dates on them now that Xenon said there was similarity to mine in places. It looks like he borrowed some of my procedures like loading map data and stuff too. Right down to the comments with the monster names.

I had all that stuff in place a year earlier.

Not a big deal as I did gank his PRS and Blue Burst encryption code (with his permission), plus the Tethealla code is open source.
 

Mylandra

Member
Well the Aeon source was a complete remake of the original khyller source which halted near the end of 2007/early 2008. It was originally only meant to make the code cleaner before posting it on the net as Kohle didn't have the time to update it anymore. The only reason I know all about this is because I was part of the beta tester team. I'm not sure if the code changed so much with the Aeon remake as I was already gone by then and never really bothered running that server again since Tethealla is much better for PSOBB suppport at this point.

Basically, all I can say is that these servers were created in this order based on pso history (I may have missed some, but those seems like the bigger ones):
Sega(SonicTeam) -> Madeline(Barubary) -> Schtserv(Schthack) -> Khyller(Kohle) -> Tethealla(Sodaboy) -> Sylverant(Bluecrab)
 

conenubi701

קרטל אל
Damn. I haven't talked to kohle in a minute.


Also, woowwww Baru. Now there's a name i havent seen in a long time.
 
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