About this Site
ROMhacking.net is home to classic video game modifications, fan translations, console homebrew, utilities, and learning resources.
Welcome to ROMhacking.net. If you're here reading this, it's because you're interested in knowing a little bit about the site, its staff, and its history (or at least I hope so!). I am Nightcrawler, the founder of this site, and I will be your guide to unlocking the mysteries behind just what is ROMhacking.net! Some of you may know me from Nightcrawler's Translation Corporation, others of you may not. But do know that I've been involved in ROMhacking (mainly translations) for around 20 years. I've virtually seen it all from the beginning, and was amongst the first to be involved in console video game translations. But that's not what you're here for, so let's get right down to it!
Overview - The short version
The Story - The long version
- The Beginning
- The First Idea
- The Technical Challenges
- The Merging of The Whirlpool
- Work Continues and a Staff was Born
- Present Time and Thank You
The Legacy - Those replaced whom came before us
ROMhacking.net is the innovative new community site that aggressively aims to bring several different areas of the community together. First, it serves as a successor to, and merges content from, ROMhacking.com and The Whirlpool. Besides being a simple archive site, ROMhacking.net's purpose is to bring the ROMhacking Community to the next level. We want to put the word 'community' back into the ROMhacking community.
The ROMhacking community in recent years has been scattered and stagnant. It is our goal and hope to bring people back together and breathe some new life into the community. We want to encourage new people to join the hobby and make it easier than ever for them to do so.
It is also our goal to fill the roll of a one stop news source for the community. We strive to overcome the problems and succeed where other similar sites have failed. One unique way we hope to do that is through putting the power in your hands.
We hope to allow the community members to submit their own work, maintain the database, and make the news updates themselves. Our long term goal is to have a community run site that does not rely on the bottleneck of staff to do everything, which can often lead to a stale and inactive site. The full system for this transition will take time, but it has already begun. This is a site built for the community and it will endure ongoing changes based on your feedback to provide the services you need.
ROMhacking.net Site Goals and Features
- Provide a central hub to encourage a new, refreshed, ROMhacking community.
- Eliminate problems other sites have had that cause stagnation or site 'death'.
- Provide a comprehensive document, utility, and translation archive.
- Expand that archive to include whatever the community necessitates.
- Put the power into the community member's hands for site operation and maintenance.
- Provide an active, central, one stop news source for the community.
- Provide a community database to tell you who is out there, who is active, and what they're doing!
These are just some of the goals and features that you will find here on this site.
Every story has a beginning and thus so does the story of ROMhacking.net. This story starts as a simple act of desperation that turns into a passion to excel and go beyond all that has come before it.
Ever since ROMhacking.com had gone down late last year (2004), the ROMhacking community was spiraling down a dark path. The loss of ROMhacking.com, which was a cornerstone of the community at the time, was a major loss to us all. We no longer had an archive of hundreds of great utilities, documents, and tutorials. Much ROMhacking history of this nature seemed lost. More importantly, we had nowhere to send potential newcomers to the hobby to get started. Along with the virtual 'death' of another large popular site, Zophar's Domain, there was no longer any good source to help new people get into the trade. Meanwhile, the community was becoming more and more scattered and independent. The Whirlpool, a cornerstone site for the translation side of ROMhacking, was also waning. You could say it seemed like the whole community was dying.
I let many months go on like this hoping somebody would do something, or at least restore the content of ROMhacking.com. It seemed nobody gave a care in the world to what was going on. Finally, I couldn't stand it anymore. I wasn't going to let a community, for a hobby that I had been in for nearly 10 years, die. Somebody had to take action. I knew the community and people were still out there. They just needed to be brought back together. There were a few people who had plenty of good ideas on paper, but nobody actually took any action. Now was the time. Now was the time to build a new site. It couldn't be just another copy of the previous ROMhacking.com. It had to be bigger. It had to be better. It had to fix some of the problems and flaws that led to ROMhacking.com's demise. This lead to 'the first idea'.
The First Idea
It was around August of this year (2005) that I started official work on the site. The original goal was to only replace ROMhacking.com. I paraded a few of my ideas around to a few close associates, and attempted to see if somebody could locate an archive of the content that used to be on ROMhacking.com. Nobody could help. It seemed the data was inaccessible and the one person who could access it (Inverse) had disappeared and would not be returning any time soon for personal reasons. Thankfully, some of the kind people out there, such Neil_, offered me the best they could. This help came in the form of a Romhacking.org (the predecessor to ROMhacking.com) archive from circa 2000. This was better than nothing, and good enough for me to get started.
During this same time period, I also attempted to see if there was somebody out there who would host a site of this magnitude. Many people reminded me of the bandwidth consumption such a site requires. Fortunes smiled again, and a nice guy going by the name SonofMog offered to help. He seemed passionate about wanting to help bring this site into reality, and that was exactly the kind of person I wanted to be involved with. With that, he set me up with some web space and all the tools I would need to make a successful site. He did his part. Now, it was time to do mine. So, I set out and started work on the site.
The Technical Challenges
Work was going well, but slow. To do this site right, I had to start at the beginning. We needed something we could tailor specifically to the community's needs. To really shine, the site needed to be completely dynamic and database driven. It needed a backend with specific features exclusively for ROMhacking. That meant no PHPNuke or other cookie cutter content management system. I had a vision and to bring that vision to life, it needed a custom backend. It was an easy decision in my mind to know that PHP/MySQL would be the best choice for job. The only problem was, I was pretty green and inexperienced with both. Up until now I had only had experience with a much smaller site, my own home on the web, Nightcrawler's Translation Corporation. How was I to handle coding such a large dynamic website? With a whole heck of a lot of reading of course! That's what the Internet is here for! Information! I spent hours scouring the net to learn every aspect of PHP and MySQL that I would need to do the job and the rest I would learn as I went. Thankfully, I come from a strong, mostly self-taught programming background, so self learning new things is my sweet spot. Things started picking up and going well now, but it wasn't long before things took an unexpected twist.
The Merging of The Whirlpool
I was fairly tight lipped about this project for the most part. Only a small circle of people knew, but I was slowly starting become more vocal. It was in the beginning of October that my vocal mouth stirred up some trouble. The Whirlpool was the most popular translation patch related archive and news site on the net for video game fan translations. The staff personel there were some good guys and had done a lot of great work for the community over the years. However, in recent times they had lost a lot of motivation to continue with the site. News updates were getting few and far between. I occasionally would pop by their message board to make a quick comment about the lack of news in hopes to stir some motivation up. Unfortunately, one day my comments were taken the wrong way (Don't you just love communication on the Internet?) and several staff members got upset. I had been discussing on their message board some ideas I had for a news system for ROMhacking.net. This system would not rely on staff members, and therefore would be quicker than a system that relied on staff members, such as The Whirlpool's. It seemed my choice of words for conveying this idea were not the best choice. The site owner was fed up with things and felt like Whirlpool was a second job, so he briefly closed The Whirlpool down.
It was at this time that I officially announced plans for ROMhacking.net (announced originally as ROMhacking.com) to the public on the Transcorp board. I'm not sure how it happened exactly, but somehow ROMhacking.net was now going to replace The Whirlpool as well. I think it was sort of a misunderstanding by some people of my intent on only replacing ROMhacking.com. In any event, the deal was sealed. I reconciled with The Whirlpool's staff, received a copy of their database as well as their blessings, and now it was put up or shut up time. I had been talking for months about my ideas for doing things better and now it was time to merge the content of Romacking.com with The Whirlpool into a newer, larger, one stop ROMhacking website.
Work Continues and a Staff was Born
Now that all the drama was over, work could continue. I prided myself on providing open development discussions for anyone interested in discussing the development of the site on the Transcorp board. I took careful time to read and consider feedback and feature suggestions from every person that provided them positive or negative. Such features such as a themed site, news filtering, many features of the open news system, integrated message board, help wanted ads and more may have never come to be had I not taken the time to listen to what the community wanted and try and make something for everybody. I may not be able to make everybody happy, but I truly believe there is at least something on the site for everyone to like and that's a success in itself.
A few individuals stood out during course of the development of the site with outstanding feedback and contribution and because of this, were invited to join the team as part of the staff going into launch. These individuals are KaioShin, RedComet, and Neil_. They showed genuine interest in seeing this site succeed and helped make what you see today possible. Those are the types of people I would like to have on my staff to work with. We shall move forward honoring this tradition by only taking on staff members with a genuine interest in helping the site and taking pride in what they do.
Present Time and a Thank You
So, here we are.. many months later. After countless discussions and countless hours of coding, I present to you the current version of ROMhacking.net. I say current version because this is just the beginning. Many feature improvements are planned. Ongoing feedback from you, the community members, will allow us to make this site better and continue to be more and more useful to you. I expect the site to continue to evolve and improve. I've always viewed this site as a tool for you. This is my gift to the community that I have become so fond of over the past 10 years. It's up to you to use it and help it succeed by contributing files and other material, or simply posting a comment over on the message board. This site was built off community feedback for the community, and I leave the power in your hands to determine the fate of this site. I would like to formally thank the ROMhacking.net staff members, The Whirlpool staff, SonofMog, Koitsu, and all the community members who have shown support for, and contributed to, this project. This site was only possible due to all of our efforts and thus, so is the success of this site. So, please, let's move forward, together, and take the community to the next level.
Internet Archive site: ROMhacking.com
NOTE: This is an edited, paraphrased version of the 'About' page from the last known version of ROMhacking.com!
The Repository was founded under the name ROM Hacking dot Com (and the corresponding domain name) around August of 2000. It was based on the news archive at The Workshop. The original purpose of the site was two-fold, to provide the most comprehensive single source for ROM hacking documents and utilities, and to provide a hosting alternative to Emulation World. It was successful for approximately 6 months when the site went down due to the host (who was providing hosting for free) shutting down his servers.
Shortly after this, the ROMhacking.com domain name expired and was quickly snatched up by the people who controlled romhack.net. After failing to negotiate the release of the domain, Neil took it upon himself to register ROMhacking.org and move the site (sans former hosted sites) to Parodius. This took place about July of 2001 being that's when the domain was registered. The main site remained predominately the same as before with the exception of a color change due to Neil's inexplicable aversion to the color purple.
The site shut down once again around September or October of 2002 due to the exorbitant bandwidth costs and Neil's general lack of motivation. Almost immediately, steps were taken to move the site to Emulation World due to a falling out with Koitsu of Parodius.
So, somewhere around Christmas Eve of 2002, the site returned. It returned to it's original domain name. A new name for the site was given(The Repository), and a new layout was created. For the first time, The Repository was generated on the fly and actually capable of being updated via a content management script. This showed promise for more frequent updates and activity, but this ultimately did not prove to be true.
The Repository died in late 2004 when Inverse left for uncontrollable personal reasons.
Site Link: The Whirlpool
NOTE: This is an edited, abbreviated version of The Whirlpool's 'about' page!
The Whirlpool site idea was founded on April 26, 1999 by Spinner 8. He announced to #dragonquest on EFNet that he would make his own translation news site, in effort to surpass all similar attempts by others. After almost a year of scouring the net for translation patches, writing up reviews for every individual translation effort, making reviews and screenshots for all complete translations, and bugging romhackers and translators for reflections on their project experiences, The Whirlpool opened on March 31, 2000. Little did anyone know that this little site would go on to become the largest and most popular translation archive and news site for several years to come.
(wraith) became co-owner of The Whirlpool sometime later and took over as the driving force of the site after Spinner 8 lost motivation. Motivation slowly died off again and the efforts of staff members Gideon Zhi and Kitsune Sniper helped keep the site alive quite awhile longer until the time period where the story of ROMhacking.net starts. The details of this time period are really unknown, and until a Whirlpool staff member wants to step forward to provide additional information, this is all I can tell you.
I am Nightcrawler, the founder of this site. That makes me the administrator and the guy ultimately in charge of things around here! I'm an old timer as far as the Romhacking community goes. Some of you may know me from Nightcrawler's Translation Corporation, others of you may not. I've been involved in ROM hacking (mainly translations) for about 10 years. I've virtually been here from the beginning, and will probably be here until the end. ;) I'm a 'lifer' as some would call it!
When I'm not spending too much time on the computer with ROM hacking related tasks, I enjoy playing the piano/keyboard(I've even composed a melody or two), weight lifting, hiking, game programming, watching movies, and occasionally actually PLAYING video games! It's hard to find the time to play when I spend so much time hacking games. I also do the usual hang out with friends and spend time with the girlfriend (of 5+ years now). Balancing time amongst everything is always a challenge, but you can have a life, and be a ROM hacker too!
For some bassackwards reason I got pulled into this. And you better like it.
I am KaioShin, the only non-ROMhacker on the team right now :D I've been following the development of the scene since I first got Internet-Access back in 1999. In 2003, I had problems with my Internet-provider so I was offline for about one and a half years. When I came back, I saw that all the websites I used to check daily were now gone or outdated. Right when I was going to give the scene up, I read one of Nightcrawler's posts in the Dejap Forum about his plans to reanimate the scene. Now, I am here trying to contribute. ^^
I live in Germany where I spend most of my freetime playing console and computer games, usually RPGs and RTSs. ^^ When I am not playing games, I listen to Heavy Metal music of any sort, or try and program stuff so I can one day follow the path so many ROMhackers walked before me. ;)
I am RedComet, a ROMhacker. I started hacking roms back in early 2002, I guess. It really seems like a long time even though it's only been 3 (almost 4) years. I can't even imagine how you old farts feel? :P Anyway, I remember coming in at what looked like the tail end of the last boom. So, I've never really known what the old days were like, but I'm hoping to help revive them!
I'm from the bastard child state of America (Kentucky), so I try to avoid mingling with the locals as much as possible. As such, I can usually be found indoors playing video games, listening to a variety of styles of music (mostly heavy metal \m/), or reading. In recent days, my interest in art has been reinvigorated, so I'm trying to capitalize on that by brushing up on my drawing (I'm hoping to eventually branch out into painting). Try as I might, I'm addicted to romhacking, so you can expect to see me around in years to come!
I am Dragonsbrethren; I got into emulation sometime in late 2000, I wanted to play the real Final Fantasy IV "Hard Type" and outside of buying a Super Famicart emulation was the only option. That was my first experience with fan translations and ROM hacks, it was a dream come true for me, like many people I had always wanted to make my own games and ROM hacking was an easy way to do that. I've been in a few ROM hacking groups over the years, even was the administrator of one for a while, other than that I'm just another guy that hangs out at ROM hacking forums. Oh, and I'm too lazy for my own good.
I'm Suzaku, the lone translator in this ragtag band of cyber adventurers. Really all that means is that I can ramble on about stuff nobody cares about in a manner nobody understands anyway. :P
I got into emulation back in college when I found out I could play all those Genesis games I always wanted to try out on my computer. As I played more games, I got interested in the differences between the Japanese and English versions of some games, as well as all the games the English-speaking world never even saw. I eventually decided I wanted to be able to play all the squiggle games, and didn't want to wait for someone else to make it possible for me. One thing led to another, and here we are.