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FCEUX 2.2.2 released!

25 September 2013 4:42PM EST - Update by AnS

Utilities News - RHDN Project Page

The recent release of the most powerful NES emulator has brought some new features useful for romhacking.

First, the built-in Hex Editor got a new feature called “Highlight Activity”, which helps monitoring memory changes (e.g. when you’re comparing two savestates, searching for a certain discrepancy).

Also, remember that annoying quirk of all known NES Debuggers, where you couldn’t scroll the disassembly up by whole instruction? That’s because 6502 instructions have variable len… ok, forget it.

More importantly, Symbolic Debugging finally works like it should have been working all these years since FCEUXDSP. Basically, you right-click any address and label it with a name. From this point FCEUX will substitute the address with the name everywhere: in disassembly listings, in trace logs, in Hex Editor window caption. This immensely helps reverse-engineering games.

Usually, when beginning a new hacking project, you stumble upon walls of incomprehensible assembly, and you start searching for certain memory addresses which could lead you to the necessary part of the code. Sometimes it’s enough to set a breakpoint onto a visual variable (like sprite coordinates/tiles map/etc), but more often you have to dig through the game, documenting data structures (in a text file) and figuring out the code control flow. Well, now you can forget Notepad and use Symbolic Debugging. Even when you barely understand why e.g. this certain code branches over there, right-click the address and call it something semi-definite, like “GotoHereIfVerticalCoord=1F“, then keep reading and doing the same to the following lines - soon you’ll notice you understand the situation better and better. Because you’re actually restoring a part of the source code of the game, without diving deeper than necessary, only looking at things relevant to your current needs.

For more info, see updated docs on FCEUX Debugger here.

Other debugging tools (Trace Logger, PPU Viewer, Code/Data Logger) were also improved in this new version. Read the whole changelog here.

FCEUX 2.2.0 released!

29 November 2012 7:39PM EST - Update by AnS

Utilities News - RHDN Project Page

Full-sized picture here

FCEUX is a NES/FC/FDS emulator providing the most powerful toolset for TASing, debugging, romhacking, Lua scripting and more. The new release fixes a lot of bugs, adds support for new mappers and brings many new features.

Full changelog here

Debugger improvements:

  • Numerous usability enhancements
  • “CPU cycles” and “Instructions” counters, and respective breakpoints
  • Fixed and improved Symbolic debug (Names and Comments display)
  • Allow Frame Advancing when Debugger is in breakpoint state
  • Double-click on any address prompts “Add Breakpoint”
  • “ROM offsets” option
  • Bookmarks naming and quick adding with a single-click on any address

Trace Logger improvements:

  • “Symbolic trace” option
  • “RTS” instructions now output the subroutine address/name
  • “Use Stack Pointer for code tabbing (nesting visualization)” option
  • Additional logging options
  • Tracer now auto-updates its window when the user pauses the game

Code/Data Logger improvements:

  • Now can log data access from RAM code
  • “Save Unused Data” button
  • Now can also log graphics access

In addition, this version introduces the new tool called TAS Editor, which allows you to create deterministic scenarios of playing and thus test the game behavior.

Also, the debugging documentation was updated, describing all the new features as well as some old tricks, for example, how to create custom breakpoints and write automatic handlers for them using Lua scripting.

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