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Messages - Psyklax

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1
Gaming Discussion / Re: Nintendo FDS Question
« on: August 06, 2018, 06:19:56 pm »
I read somewhere that the FDS is a NIGHTMARE to hack and translate games for.

Not at all, it's just like the NES. Only difference is the storage medium, which can actually be better than ROM if you know what you're doing. You can usually add extra data to a file on an FDS disk, whereas in a ROM you're stuck with whatever empty space you can find in there. You may have noticed that I translated a few of the easier ones. :)

I guess there just aren't enough interesting games to catch people's attention. If I had more time on my hands, I'd certainly have another go.

2
Gaming Discussion / Re: Psyklaxia: my new YouTube channel!
« on: August 05, 2018, 10:48:45 am »
For the few of you who are interested, here's an update on my channel:
https://youtu.be/gi8ge9IY7JY

3
My idea: Mortal Kombat Trilogy for SNES, with Khameleon, Chameleon, Cyber Smoke, Human Smoke, MK1/2/3 ninja costumes as options depending on the button you press when selecting the character.  Includes Ermac, Rain, Noob Saibot, Jade, Tanya, Tremor, Skarlet, Frost, Triborg, and Ruby, along with the regular characters.  Costumes are selectable via the button you press on the character.

I'd stick with Ultimate Mortal Kombat Trilogy. Sure, it's not the SNES, but it's hard to beat. Here's my review:
https://youtu.be/DfoH9AJ0oLI

4
ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Sega Game Gear ROM Hack
« on: August 03, 2018, 09:01:44 am »
Okay, let's take this idea seriously for a minute.

First off, if you want to play TMNT on Game Boy, play it on Game Boy. Nobody but you would really care if it's on Game Gear at this point. So if you really want to devote yourself to this project, be my guest. :)

Now, assuming you DO want to do it. Let's compare the two systems.

The Game Gear is almost identical to the Master System, aside from a lower resolution and substantially more colours. It uses a Z80 CPU and has 8KB RAM. The Game Boy has a custom CPU that is very similar to the Z80, and also has 8KB RAM.

Therefore, a lot of the main code can be ported over directly without much change, since the languages the CPUs use are almost the same. There will be no problem with RAM usage, and both systems have an identical resolution of 160x144, so the graphics will port over perfectly. Of course the sound hardware is rather different, but you could adapt the tunes somehow (it's the least of your worries).

So, is it impossible? Not at all: in fact, it's remarkable how similar the two systems actually are. But it would still take a lot of work - the underlying code may be copied over, but the code regarding graphics and sound would need extensive rewriting. For someone with experience in Z80 assembly, this would be a fun challenge, but if you're more interested in the result than the process, you'd be better off not bothering. In fact, that sentence could apply to all ROM hacking. :)

Now, the second idea.

they would have to be completely redrawn and colored in.

Coloured in, yes, redrawn, no. As I said, the resolution on both systems is the same, so unless the sprites are the wrong size, you won't need to redraw them. But yeah, importing the graphics would be orders of magnitude easier than porting the game.

5
Help Wanted Ads / Re: Need a mapper hack
« on: August 02, 2018, 02:12:24 pm »
There's over 10,000 differences between the Japanese ROM and that mapper hack.

Not true. The differences are:

- a different header to reflect the new mapper
- a $200 byte section that goes into PRG-RAM which provides the back switching routines for the new mapper
- every instruction which switches the bank is replaced by a JSR to the aforementioned PRG-RAM bank switching routines

That's it. The reason you saw 10,000 changes in a simple file compare is likely because of the inserted PRG-RAM section at the beginning which offset the rest of it, but as far as the NES is concerned, it doesn't care.

So, actually, using the mapper hack would be trivial, and would definitely work on the Everdrive. Only problem is how to arrange the script to benefit from the bank switching.

6
Help Wanted Ads / Re: Need a mapper hack
« on: August 02, 2018, 05:55:34 am »
Your use of passive voice suggests it wasn't you that messed this up. :D

Here's the specs for the VRC1 used in this game:
https://wiki.nesdev.com/w/index.php/INES_Mapper_075
and the much more common MMC1 used in the prototype:
https://wiki.nesdev.com/w/index.php/INES_Mapper_001

One thing to notice is that the VRC1 has a maximum PRG size of 128KB, so maybe that's what went wrong. The MMC1 can go up to half a meg. The CHR works the same in both. A key difference is the granularity of the banks: although VRC1 can only do 128KB in total, the banks are 8KB rather than 16KB, so the game may use them differently than an MMC1 game. Then again, as you said the prototype used MMC1, perhaps it didn't take advantage of the granularity and therefore a switch would be easy.

The big problem is how the two mappers switch banks. The VRC1 works like most other mappers: just write the number of the bank you want to the address you want to put it, and bam, done. The MMC1 works quite differently, as the NESdev page shows. However, having that prototype will be very useful, as someone can compare the original with the prototype and see how the internal processes differ. I could have a look to see how it works, but I can't promise anything. :)

Anyone else with experience of the MMC1 might want to chime in here. On second thoughts, using the UNROM mapper instead might be a better choice, since it seems to work quite similarly to the VRC1, but has double the PRG capacity:
https://wiki.nesdev.com/w/index.php/INES_Mapper_002
If the bank switching works the same, it could be a very simple swap. But the problem in any mapper hack is how to tell the game to switch banks: like, how does the game know that THIS bit of dialogue is in a particular bank? That can be a challenge.

EDIT: the GoodNES set includes a mapper hack: Jajamaru Ninpou Chou (J) [hM04].nes. It changes the mapper to MMC3. Perhaps adapting the translation to that would be easiest?

EDIT2: Crikey, Taro's Quest is remarkably different to the original. Maybe it won't be so helpful to compare...

7
Wild Guns (SNES):

- Change cursor color for player 2 since both, player 1 and 2, have the same blue color.

At first I thought "wow, at last, a simple and easy-to-do change that might improve the game". Then I checked a video and, er...

https://youtu.be/VH2I_QQa2Po

Am I wrong, or are the two players using pink and blue reticles, as well as having the 1UP and 2UP icons in different positions? :huh:

8
Personal Projects / Re: Super Mario Land 2 DX [Updated to v1.8.1]
« on: July 29, 2018, 06:37:47 am »
Shameless plug time: I reviewed SML2DX on my YouTube channel.
https://youtu.be/RYzAJ4gHQHo

It was recorded with an older version (info in the description). Good job! :)

9
Gaming Discussion / Re: Psyklaxia: my new YouTube channel!
« on: July 29, 2018, 06:23:49 am »
Castlevania II English Re-translation review is up:
https://youtu.be/hgQhugtjWbc

Just a note to everyone that I've run out of videos, so there'll be a little break. With only 30 subs, it's not going to be a big deal, but in case anyone is interested, now you know.

I'm busy writing the second tutorial, and I have a couple of reviews that just need the voiceover. I don't have a good microphone, so that's why I have to use someone else's - and one reason why I haven't got anything left to upload. The main reason is real life: I just don't have time for anything. :-\

Rest assured, I will continue. Next Sunday I'll do a little video explaining everything that's going on with the channel (without a good microphone). Then hopefully I'll find some time to get some videos in the bag. :)

10
if someone wants to share about specifics I can't say I would protest about that either

I hope I didn't come off sounding rude, I don't mind people talking about the subject and discussing it. I just wanted to make the point that this has been going on forever and I can't see much about this particular instance being notable.

I also don't agree with the idea that Nintendo are arseholes for asking websites to take down ROMs of their games when they currently make money off them through the Virtual Console or whatever, and still own the copyright. They're perfectly within their rights to do so, and in fact they HAVE to, otherwise they'll be giving people carte blanche to do what they like with their properties.

Having said that, as I said, if you want to download ROMs, you've had two decades to do it, and you'll still be able to in the future - but yeah, let's not name specific sites, guys. Not smart.

11
If the game uses different fonts for example, I can see why they might do that. One could be only uppercase, one could be both. They could be in different parts of the memory space. There's a bunch of reasons, really. It's fiddly for a hacker but I imagine it makes little difference to the programmers.

12
Some "important sites", you say... can't say I've heard of either of them.

I mean really, why is this news? This back-and-forth with ROM sites has been happening for over 20 years. If you're really keen on having a copy of every 8- and 16-bit game ever made on your hard disk, you've had 20 years to get them. Who cares if some asshole who profits off this gets closed down?

You'd have to be born yesterday to think this is the "end of the world". There's been software piracy since before the internet, both hackers and producers have been playing this cat and mouse game forever, and so shall it continue henceforth unto eternity.

Apropos of this, I highly recommend this episode of the Computer Chronicles from JANUARY NINETEEN EIGHTY-FIVE which discusses the issue of software piracy, and you'll find that nothing has really changed.
https://archive.org/details/Software1985

13
It'd be nice to add a feature to the original Dragon Warrior that awards you some percentage (say 50%) of the Gold and EXP you would get from a monster when it runs away.

But when you get to the point that an enemy runs away from you, the EXP and Gold they would give you is barely worth anything to you. If anything, a better hack would be to stop the fight from occurring in the first place, to save you time. :)

14
Newcomer's Board / Re: Where does one even begin?
« on: July 25, 2018, 03:12:13 am »
Welcome to the forum! :)

I would suggest, however, that your vague "oh woe is me" thread title will put other users off helping you... but I'll try. :)

Firstly, there's a recommended starter pack for newbies which has been mentioned countless times on the forum. If you search for "newbie starter pack" I'm sure you'll find it.

Second, I've started a YouTube series on hacking, but it starts from the very basics. I'll have the second tutorial up soon but here's the first one for now:
https://youtu.be/vuL0CZrxSYo

Finally, the best advice I can give you is that you should know where you want to go before you turn on the car's engine. That is, what do you want to achieve? You said you want to "practice" with SMRPG, but don't suggest how. Text? Graphics? Gameplay? What do you want to do?

Other than that, just use your initiative and you may be okay. ;)

EDIT: well, I couldn't find the starter pack for some reason, so here's the site's starter section:
http://www.romhacking.net/start/

15
Is it possible to restore the color palettes of the Game Boy Color port of Donkey Kong Country, just like the way people here had restores color palettes in GBA games?

:huh:

I presume you mean patches like this:
https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4051/

The SNES and GBA have similar colour capabilities - in fact the GBA can use even more colours - but the GBC, despite having the same amount of colours to choose from, can't display enough colours to make it look like the SNES. Also, the GBA "restorations" are modifying existing GBA games, whereas the first two DKL games were not GBC. Of course people have made DX versions of GB games, so it's certainly possible to do it with DKL.

So, in summary, it wouldn't be easy, but it would be possible.

16
Gaming Discussion / Re: Psyklaxia: my new YouTube channel!
« on: July 17, 2018, 10:01:59 am »
Yeah, in truth I forgot to upload... :D But actually I do need a short break anyway because, in fact, I don't have a good microphone so I recorded all the videos with someone else's, but I have no access to that at the moment. Now I'm running out of content, so I figured I could leave it for one Sunday to give me some buffer space.

Don't worry, there'll be a new video this Sunday, and I'm working on new ones all the time. Biggest problem is my second tutorial, which I really want to do, but I'm just having a bit of trouble with the scope. I need to make sure one sub-ten-minute video doesn't try to cover too much ground. I thought I got it right with the first video, but that was the basics. Now I have to go in-depth and I need to be careful not to go too far on a tangent.

Also, thanks for the comment, nesrocks! Glad you liked the video. If any of you know of a hack you really like, maybe you could mention it and I'll give it a try. :)

17
Newcomer's Board / Re: SMB Title Screen fix - Help!
« on: July 12, 2018, 11:58:05 am »
I know rom size has their own standards, but since I will not use it on the real hardware, I could disrespect rom size rules! Also I know not all Nes roms are not 40.976 bytes long. Some are larger than that. So I thought you could increase it with no problems.

Nope, that's not how it goes. :) You must respect the rules, young man! :D

It's true that not all ROMs are 40KB, but that's because they use bank switching. The NES has 32KB of address space dedicated to ROM access, so if you add ten bytes after that 32KB, how is the NES going to see it? It can't.

Games get around this by using hardware in cartridges to change which bits of the ROM are accessible to the CPU, but it has to do it in banks of 4KB, 8KB, 16KB - hence the term "bank switching". They can't load a few bytes after that bank, it just doesn't work. Hardware or not, an emulator won't work that way either.

And as for "increasing with no problem"... well, first you need a game with a mapper that allows for bank switching - so not SMB. Then you need to know how the game switches banks, and change the code to switch banks when you want it to. Trust me - that is not easy. :D

The 25th patch just replaces some bytes, but I don't know the details because it took me literally five minutes to do.

18
Personal Projects / Re: Translations of early Famicom games
« on: July 12, 2018, 10:22:36 am »
Any updates on Zoids or Seal of the Dark Lord?

Sorry, I got distracted by football - I mean, soccer. ;) I'll get back to it eventually...

19
Newcomer's Board / Re: SMB Title Screen fix - Help!
« on: July 10, 2018, 04:23:29 pm »
GoodNES V3.23b has this file:

Super Mario Bros. - 25th Anniversary (J-VC) [a1].nes

which has the "-2010" bit, and the 25 blocks. So what you're trying to do has already been done. :)

Of course it's not in PAL, but it would be pretty trivial to change the PAL SMB to match.

Sigh, I'm going to have to do this, aren't I...  ::)

EDIT: and, in less than ten minutes, it is done. :D
http://s346165667.websitehome.co.uk/psyktrans/smb25-pal.ips
Just compared the 25th version with the World version, then copied over those bytes to the PAL version. Use the following ROM.
GoodNES: Super Mario Bros. (E) (REVA) [!].nes
Sorry if I took away your first hacking opportunity. :)

20
Star Fox SNES
- Make an emulator that runs the game at 60 fps.
- In HD.
- Hack the game so that it doesn't break when run like that.

You know, after Outrun Cannonball, I was thinking the same thing, and Star Fox was the first game that sprang to mind, though of course there are plenty of others that would really benefit from a 60fps HD upgrade.

For reference:
https://github.com/djyt/cannonball/wiki

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