Ripping the CDs
1. General Information on the Cross ~CDs
Chrono Cross was originally distributed in the form of two PSX ~CDs, and the information in this wiki was created by reverse-engineering this CD version. We don't know how much of it, if any, may apply to the PSN or other versions.
Each of the ~CDs contains around 5600 files. We know what most of them do, although we're not always sure how. 28 files (~0.14% of the total) remain unidentified at this time, and information on some of the others is little more than guesswork.
The files are not held in the standard CD data structure, but in a Virtual File System (see boot.dat for details)—when browsing either CD in the normal way, all that will show up is a gigantic blob-file. Instead, file locations are recorded in terms of CD Sectors in a custom table at the front of the CD (Squeenix did this in other games of the PSX period as well). Special Tools have been developed to extract them.
2. Differences Between ~CDs
The two ~CDs in a Chrono Cross set have nearly identical structure, and most of the game files are present on both discs. CD 2 contains fewer videos than CD 1, and has an additional run of 40-odd empty junk files following immediately after the room data which need to be taken into consideration when working with it.
As far as we have been able to tell, the Japanese and North American versions are very similar, but again not quite identical in structure. Japanese CD 1 lacks the font metrics file and a peculiar (likely junk) file present in the North American version; Japanese CD 2 has not been investigated.
3. Recognizing a Valid Cross CD Image
Images of NA CD 1 should have one of the following sizes:
641437696 bytes for a 2048-byte-per-sector ISO file
Around 736650000 bytes for a 2352-byte-per-sector BIN file—known valid exact sizes for BIN images include 736651104, 736648752, and 736649216 bytes.
737003904 bytes for a ~CloneCD .img file (this format is basically BIN + trailing junk data).
CD 1 has exactly 313 202 sectors.
4. Ripping a Valid CD Image
Under Windows, the most favoured program for doing this seems to be IsoBuster (the free version should be sufficient), but any program capable of producing a CD image should work. Some of these programs may call the BIN format "Raw" or similar—just adjust the settings and compare byte counts until you get something that looks right.
Under Linux, I would recommend using a GUI program (~K3B, ~GnomeBaker, whatever), as using dd from the command line gave me bizarre results. This will produce an ISO file. (There doesn't seem to be any good way of getting a BIN—I had to resort to the combination of ~VMWare, Win '98, and an old version of ~IsoBuster.)