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Topics - M-Tee

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ROM Hacking Discussion / Help getting an old SMB1 hack to work
« on: November 13, 2020, 03:55:08 am »
Am trying to get this hack to run:

When I patch it, the game freezes after pressing start. IIRC, the original rom it was made from was a version of smb1 that had no title at the topic. But I might be mistaken.

Anyone had better luck with it?

ROM Hacking Discussion / Specific Type of Title Screen Request
« on: August 27, 2016, 05:37:01 am »
Kind of a strange request, but I'll make it anyway:

Does anyone know of an NES game that loads nearly a whole nametable and attribute table, completely uncompressed, as its title screen?

I'm looking to test some NES screens, and I'd like to have a ROM that I can quickly paste a name table and attribute table into and change the palette easily for testing.

Gaming Discussion / Overhead Adventure Games
« on: March 25, 2016, 10:09:24 am »
Looking for overhead adventure games with very minimal-to-no-combat for my significant other.

GBC preferred. Anything NES-GBA okay. Can't do PSP or DS, sadly.

Both Survival Kids have been hits, but Zelda had "too much combat." Also finds JRPG-style menu-based combat unappealing (as Earthbound was amiss as well)

Please suggest away.

I'm working on a project and I'm needing to alter my nametables to use a different portion of my pattern tables. So, for each name table that I generate, I need to increase each hex value of the table by a specific amount. What is the best way to automate this? Is there an editor that supports this feature?

Also, I want to toggle palette emphasis real-time in FCEUX to preview each emphasis

I found this on the NESdev wiki.

Mask ($2001) > write
Common name: PPUMASK
Description: PPU mask register
Access: write
This register controls the rendering of sprites and backgrounds, as well as colour effects.
7  bit  0
---- ----
|||| ||||
|||| |||+- Grayscale (0: normal color, 1: produce a greyscale display)
|||| ||+-- 1: Show background in leftmost 8 pixels of screen, 0: Hide
|||| |+--- 1: Show sprites in leftmost 8 pixels of screen, 0: Hide
|||| +---- 1: Show background
|||+------ 1: Show sprites
||+------- Emphasize red*
|+-------- Emphasize green*
+--------- Emphasize blue*
* NTSC colors. PAL swaps green and red[1].

So, I tried altering address 2001 in the PPU, but it was at 00 to begin with, so I'm pretty sure I'm doing it wrong.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Definitive Version Hacks & (re) Translations
« on: July 06, 2014, 06:57:59 am »
I'm looking for ROM hacks or translations that folks feel are the "definitive version" of a game.  Meaning:

If you could only play one version of this game, this is the one you'd choose.

In terms of this, I'm not looking for things that are completely different games like Mario Adventure, etc. Just improvements to the already existing games.

Snarfblam's Automap Plus for Legend of Zelda
Video Smash Excellent's translation of Magical Doropie instead of Krion Conquest
Stardust Crusaders' Contra translation

I'm interested in NES mainly because I'm finally giving in and ordering a flashcart, and am making a ROM list for it.

But for sake of discussion, feel free to make suggestions for any system.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Hex Editor Question
« on: May 20, 2014, 10:28:33 pm »
Is there a hex editor that can display more than one character per address in terms of a table?

For example, say I have an il tile. It would display il in the text side of the viewer.

Programming / Adding CHR-bank Swaps to a ROM
« on: May 03, 2014, 07:08:41 am »
So, I'm working on the Shogi hack, and so far have a version with Kanji and a version with English training pieces. The only difference between the two are the CHR banks. The ROM is Naitou 9 Dan Shougi Hiden (J).nes.

So what I want to do is have the player be able to toggle between the CHR banks while playing. The original game is Mapper 0.

So my attempts so far have been to:

Check out the docs NES Rom Expansion 101 and 102 by TFG, along with King Mike's also.

Afterward, using nflate, I've expanded the ROM's CHR bank, changed the mapper to CNROM, and placed the correct graphics into the freely available space.

Then, from the Nerdy Nights tutorials, there is an example in the tutorial that uses Start and Select to swap CHR banks back and forth.

I figured this control scheme would work well because the Shogi game uses neither start nor select during gameplay, and if the CHR bank were to also be swapped during the title screen, the only time start or select are used, it wouldn't make a difference.

So, like a monkey with a screwdriver, I crudely try to identify the relevant code, remove the segments between asterisks below...

Code: [Select]
  LDA #$01
  STA $4016
  LDA #$00
  STA $4016       ; tell both the controllers to latch buttons

  LDA $4016       ; player 1 - A
  AND #%00000001  ; only look at bit 0
****BEQ ReadADone   ; branch to ReadADone if button is NOT pressed (0)
                  ; add instructions here to do something when button IS pressed (1)
  LDA $0203       ; load sprite X position
  CLC             ; make sure the carry flag is clear
  ADC #$01        ; A = A + 1
  STA $0203       ; save sprite X position****
ReadADone:        ; handling this button is done

  LDA $4016       ; player 1 - B
  AND #%00000001  ; only look at bit 0
***BEQ ReadBDone   ; branch to ReadBDone if button is NOT pressed (0)
                  ; add instructions here to do something when button IS pressed (1)
  LDA $0203       ; load sprite X position
  SEC             ; make sure carry flag is set
  SBC #$01        ; A = A - 1
  STA $0203       ; save sprite X position[/s]****
ReadBDone:        ; handling this button is done

  LDA $4016       ; player 1 - select
  AND #%00000001  ; only look at bit 0
  BEQ ReadSelectDone   ; branch to ReadSelectDone if button is NOT pressed (0)
                  ; add instructions here to do something when button IS pressed (1)

  LDA #$00
  JSR Bankswitch  ; change to graphics bank 0

ReadSelectDone:   ; handling this button is done

  LDA $4016       ; player 1 - start
  AND #%00000001  ; only look at bit 0
  BEQ ReadStartDone   ; branch to ReadStartDone if button is NOT pressed (0)
                  ; add instructions here to do something when button IS pressed (1)

  LDA #$01
  JSR Bankswitch  ; change to graphics bank 1

ReadStartDone:   ; handling this button is done

  RTI             ; return from interrupt
  TAX                    ;;copy A into X
  STA Bankvalues, X      ;;new bank to use

  .db $00, $01, $02, $03 ;;bank numbers

And after assembly, copy and paste it into what I am guessing is free space in the PRG-ROM, (A long consecutive string of $AAs near the end) and as expected, no results.

This is my first time attempting something like this, so I'm pretty sure I'm going about it wrong.

Any advice?

Programming / Best GUI-based programming utility for...
« on: February 05, 2014, 08:52:32 pm »
My programming experience is limited to say the least, a semester of Javascript and two of Visual Basic, both more than a decade ago.

However, I find myself in the need to create a small utility capable of
  • creating entries within a database, using a series of dropdowns, radioboxes, textboxes, etc.
  • searching and producing lists from those entries
  • exporting formatted word processor files from those entries

I'm very much a visual person, so I'm wanting to make this through something GUI-based, similar to the experience I recall with visual basic. And I'm wanting to be able to distribute it in a fashion that does not require the downloading of anything additional for users.

Although not romhacking related, due to the members' experience making editors, etc. I thought it'd be wise to inquire here.

Newcomer's Board / M-Tee's NES Graphics Workshop
« on: January 04, 2014, 02:04:43 pm »
         This post begins a low-learning curve workshop in which I will walk through the steps of creating fairly extensive graphical modifications of an NES game, from setting up a workspace through publishing your completed work through RHDN. Aside from beginners, this should reveal some tips & tricks for more experienced folk, as well as provide a solid foundation for those interested in producing NES-era graphics for other purposes such as indie game design or animation.
   This workshop will reflect my process, which has modified over time through trial and error. It is not how everyone works; therefore, I fully encourage feedback on the effectiveness of my process and explanations.
     Also, keep this thread in mind anytime someone comes around asking those ├╝ber-newb questions or obviously trying to bite off more than they can chew for their first project. (I certainly would have benefited from the same advice when I first came around.)

Table of Contents
(will be updated with each new addition)
Getting Started
Setting Up Your Software
Customizing Your Photoshop Workspace

Getting Started
     To begin with, you will need to acquire the programs and files with which we will work. Download and install the following files, and organize them into an easily accessible directory. (Unfortunately, most of the tools of the trade are Windows-only, so we will be working in a Windows environment. For others, I apologize. )
  • FCEUX - The emulator of choice for  ROM hacking due to its list of features.
  • yy-chr - A graphics viewer and editor. It is not the most recent version. However, the manner in which this version handles pasting from outside programs makes it better suited for our purposes.
  • Lunar IPS - Although the legality of ROM hacking is in question, the distribution of ROMs which contain copyrighted data is not. Therefore, to distribute your work without distributing ROMS, you will need to produce patches, files which contain only the original data created by yourself and the instructions on how to apply these changes to the original ROM file. This program is one of many that can create and apply these patch files. You will not only need it to distribute your work, but also to play any work distributed by others.
  • HashTab - File identification software. Used to ensure use of correct rom versions. More info here.
     Next, if you don't have access to web hosting, I suggest signing up for an account through TinyPic to be able to upload and post your screenshots of work-in-progress.

Selecting a Game
     The purpose of this workshop is to modify a game. Therefore, you need to select one and come up with an idea for your hack. I'm sure you've already got some totally awesome hack in mind. Now is not the time for it. Now is the time to choose a simple game so that we may produce a thorough and complete hack in a reasonable amount of time. The confidence and experience you will gain by doing so will enable you to handle larger projects better.

Therefore, browse this list of mapperless NES titles (they are the smallest and best-suited for instruction). Youtube the titles to watch gameplay and brainstorm some ideas for hacks. Keep in mind the scope of the changes you will be making will be complete graphics and text. (This workshop will not cover music and programming behaviors, primarily because they are skills not in my repertoire.)  Once selected, use your own ingenuity and the worldwide web to acquire the rom.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Work flow
« on: December 28, 2013, 09:39:48 pm »
So I've mulled around the idea of putting together some beginner's-oriented tutorials covering graphics, text, palette, etc. that are focused on workflow. This would be a slow-building back-burner project, and in the meantime, I would like people's input as to how other people work.

So I guess this would be a pretty open-ended,"how do you do what you do efficiently?" thread.

Script Help and Language Discussion / Shogi, Warpman, etc.
« on: April 10, 2013, 12:52:57 pm »
I'm currently working on a romhack of a Shogi title. There's very little in terms of text in this game, and context makes most of them clear, but some leave me stumped and the others, I'd like to get some clarification if possible.

This word balloon pops up if you press the B button repeatedly. If you make it come up a half dozen times or so, the opponent will retract one move.

I suspect that these are Easy/Hard levels for the A.I, as you cycle through the two prior to selecting a match.  They are shown before the selection for the CPU to go first or second. If I'm wrong, please correct. If right, I don't know which is which.

Personal Projects / M-Tee's NES Graphics Projects
« on: March 23, 2013, 12:14:43 pm »
Reckon I should start a thread for what I've been working on.

In terms of romhacking, I'm primarily interested in it from an art-and-design aspect. As I begin each hack, I set a work brief as if I were a period-era employee of the game's publisher. My primary goal is always to produce entirely or near-entirely new graphics from scratch while maintaining a cohesive aesthetic and hopefully achieving commercial-level results.

The brief for my most recently completed project, Box-Art Bomberman, was as follows: I'd been given a copy of the NES Bomberman prior to its US release and a copy of the American box art and have been told to produce new graphics, manual, and storyline for the game to match the feel given by the box art.

The result:

...and a spread from the manual:

My next project is of the Japanese-only game, Ikki. It uses a lot of simple x-flipping animations, and like Bomberman, has very little in terms of graphics. 

The pitch is to produce a complete Western-themed localization of the game, and should eventually include manual, cart, and box-art. I'm calling it "Ruckus" as the original title apparently translates into something like "riot" or "revolt." In it, (as best I can tell from the google translate of the official manual) you play as a farmer throwing sickles as you revolt against an oppressive magistrate and his waves of ninjas.

In my version, you'll be playing as a ranch-hand  throwing horseshoes and resisting waves of bandits.

So far, I've made the following Western-themed font for it:

...the logo for the title screen (My earlier attempts were in the same style as the font shown above, but I finally decided on the following inspired by the text on Sergio Leone movie posters):

...and some sprites (P2 palette up top, P1 pal on the bottom, a bandit, and a mayor):

I'm currently not quite satisfied with the mayor sprite. As always, feedback welcome on all.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Questions Thread
« on: February 14, 2013, 05:22:30 am »
I hate to start new threads for a single question.

Now, for the first question:

I've been working on a couple of 8x8 fonts lately with an attempt to bulk up some of the RHDN resources. I'd like to know what characters aside from the 26 capital and lowercase letters, 10 numerical digits, and basic punctuation (, ' open and closed quotations ? / - ! &) do you find most helpful in a font? I was thinking some double letter tiles for narrow lowercase letters such as ll, il, and li, maybe...

What else?

Newcomer's Board / M_Tee's NES Thread
« on: November 20, 2012, 10:09:36 pm »
EDIT: I hate starting new threads anytime I have unrelated questions, so gave this one a generic title.

Previously solved issue:
Working on an NES hack, and I'm sure this won't be the first time I'll need help. So, I'll keep this thread going for my questions. Correct me if I'm posting in the wrong place.

So this is the screen I want to change. I've imported a HEX table graphic I made so I can see the order of the tiles and what palettes are used for each 4-tile group. (micro?)

And I'm having a difficult time finding the data I need to change. The background tile layout for this screen is stored in the format as follows:


I've found this data, and the center rectangle (00-09 x 00-74 ), I can change with no problem.

The problem is that if a micro is used more than once such as:
The data is only defined once, but is then repeated in multiple locations.

How do I find the data that determines the placement of these micros?

If it helps any, I'm using FCEUX and occasionally a separate Hex editor.

Newcomer's Board / Best NES Graphics Hacks
« on: November 13, 2012, 09:54:05 pm »
So I've been roughly 10 years out of the romhacking community. My interest has been peaked lately, and I'm looking to see the best of what I missed.

In particular, I'm interested in NES graphics hacks. Other things such as level editing and what-not don't interest me, but if a game includes some solid new sprites and backgrounds, I'd like to know.

So, what are the best-looking NES hacks around?

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