I have been digitizing the audio tracks from various old CDs lately, because I have become a lossless audio snob who no longer is able to tolerate MP3s but need FLACs of everything. Many of these are not music albums but rather CD-ROM-era video games, mostly for consoles.
Many CD-based games regardless of platform seem to have a "data track" first, containing all of the game's code and assets, and then have the rest of the disc filled with actual audio CD tracks, which can be extracted or listened to on any CD player. The game presumably executes some code such as "please play track #3 now".
It strikes me that this might not be desirable in all cases. It's basically like having all your adventure game items as separate PNG images for the player to snoop at freely, rather than baking them all into a cryptic (but not necessarily "secure") file called
game.dat or something. Basically, discouraging cheating/spoiling of the experience.
For example, I used to be puzzled when I listened to my copy of DOOM for Sega Saturn with a normal CD player, and heard that "Club Doom" rave song which is supposed to be a secret that you can find in the game (it's a special level). But now I heard it just from "digging around" on the disc, so I destroyed the surprise.
Is there anything that technically or practically prevented them from "hiding" all the CD-quality soundtrack in one or more "data tracks"? Did the CD format dictate that you MUST make standard CD audio tracks for any song to be played from your game? Maybe it was related to performance/limitations?