Hey there -- This looks VERY interesting...
I was thinking of lending a hand. I have been taking apart FF7 for the last 10 years. I'm a mod over at another FF7 hacking website
. I can give you the entire ins and out of the whole FF7 system. I'm also quite fluent in 6502, so if you need code, I can do that too. I want to get started as fast as possable...
1) I'm not familiar with mapper 163. I have the code for it, but I need to know what the initial bank configuration is and the address and sizes of the bank switches. (for example 4K or 8K). I can figure this out on my own if need be.
2) I'm assuming that the game uses 1M PRG and 1M CHR (wow!) We'll need to separate the banks and get rid of the iNES header to get a clean dump and start picking though the data proper.
3) I need addresses of where everything found is. I can then put it in my wiki
and start digging
4) Any FF7 PC/PSX resource you need I have available. In the PSX version, the battle formations an in a file called "scene.bin" that I can decrypt and give you the complete battle formation/enemy loadout for the game.
5) There is no 5
6) Initial game stats and experience growth curves are a file called "Kernel.bin" that I can also decrypt for you as well.
7) I have reversed large chunks of FF1 myself, and have access to another complete source code rewrite. There is a large likelihood that FF7nes is it's own code, but i can guess that similar code and design philosophies is used in this game too. If I can unlock it, I can get you a better menu and hopefully a better battle module. (Multiple materia would be rad!)
Post here ASAP. My tools are at your disposal.
After picking at the ROM, The bank configuration is 2 PRG banks of 16K at a time, top being at $8000-$BFFF and the bottom being at $C000-$FFFF. Each individually bankable. The reset vector points to $FFC0 which has a stub to reset/launch the game. On the bottom banks I've seen, they all have this stub, so it's easy to pick which ones bank high and low. I'm Assuming the CHR banks are banked directly into the PPU. I'll research more. I'll probably write a script tonight to split the banks so I can see what is what and label them directly.
HOLY CATS! This system does not use any CHR rom at all and has 128 banks of 16K PRG rom. This means that code and graphics can intermix, which makes mapping it a little tougher. Just an update...
Ok, I split the original Chinese rom. I have found some interesting things. First, this a very poorly optimized program. There are hundreds of kilobytes that are sitting unused. If I didn't know any better, I would say this was probably compiled with a C compiler. Secondly, It appears that rom banks might be used as stand alone 16k files. It appears that each map is stand-alone after bank $20 or so. I see map tiles and mapmen repeat over and over again at bank boundaries. This means that it will be pretty easy to make a map editor that can edit one map as a whole. It also means that the text and event data might also be self-contained. Maybe. I need more information on where things are located.
Also there is 64k (4 banks) of chinese character graphics that can be deleted and re-purposed for something else.