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Messages - Gil Galad

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ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Cartographer
« on: January 06, 2009, 02:22:03 am »
I talked to RedComet earlier today about Cartographer. So I have an example to show you guys based on the game Cadillac, which is a playing card puzzle type game. I am also calling the project.

The main point of this post is to address some documentation and explain some things in order to dump text a bit easier.


I tried a pointer table dump without success and then discovered that in order to dump the text of this game I needed to subtract instead of add in the #BASE POINTER command. The reason why you need to subtract is if the ROM address location of the text is less than the pointer address.

Cadillac is a mapper 3 Famicom game. For those that don't know, Mapper 3 is a 1 - 32KB PRG (Program ROM) bank game. The range of the data would be 10h - 800Fh.

The range of the text data is at 186Fh - 1F39h. So you would add $8000 to get the real address location of the data. So if you start at 186Fh, add 8000 to that and then -10, the result is $985F.  So, $985F is the address and the pointer if you flip the bytes around, 5F98. You would add $8000 because that's the address that the bank starts at and adds up right if you use the SetOff pointer calculation.

Next is the pointer table location. I will show you the commands in the file.


The first two bytes of the pointer table are 5F98. Those two bytes are the correct pointer for the first line of text in this block.

Based on the way that I have my command files set up, here is how Cartographer normally works. In # BASE POINTER, you take the modifier address and either add or subtract from the pointer to find the ROM address. In the readme file, it only says that you can add, but you can also subtract.

You know that 8000 is the SetOff calculation, so based on the way that Cartographer works, if you add $8000 to the pointer, the program is going to crash or not function as intended. $8000 + $985F = 1185F, that's way out of bounds of the PRG bank and the NES address range.

Here is the way around it. Instead, subtract $8000 from $985F and that equals 185Fh, near the intended location. Now, here is where it gets a bit weird. You also have to subtract the header size, in this case you would subtract the header from the BASE POINTER modifier, that would be $7FF0. So, your new BASE POINTER modifier would be -$7FF0.   So, $985F - $7FF0 equals 186Fh, that is the correct ROM offset.

Table Files

Here are a couple tips for table files. Make sure that you remove all bookmarks from the table files as well as anything that is not supported by Cartographer.

Make sure the line and end break codes are at the bottom of the file. There are two types that I have used, one is for raw and the other for relative pointers.  You can check out the differences in the material that I am going to provide.

The end line codes in your table file should be something like this.


You can use the /r and /n as you wish.

Now, for the RELATIVE POINTER table



For the dumps that are RAW, I suggest that you have your table files correct or the dumps will not occur or be messed up. I also removed the #END BLOCK command in the raw dump file so that I could dump the text.

In closing, some of these things were already documented. However, these things I talked about are based on my experience and how I solved some of the crashing issues. And the lower ROM address compared to the pointer also needed to be discussed, I believe.

Here are the files for you guys to look at. Some of these files are unedited and directly from Cartographer.


News Submissions / Re: Translations: Pennywise Brings Gifts
« on: December 27, 2008, 10:38:34 am »
Hey, I didn't know you are Stardust Crusader.

I just started browsing your website for your projects, it appears that the Mirai Shinwa Jarvas page only has two images that load, the rest are dead.

The Youkai Club page is not there at all.

I am planning on checking out your patch releases soon.

News Submissions / Re: Site: RHDN 3rd Anniversary Reflection
« on: December 24, 2008, 02:50:53 am »
Hmmm, rather a difficult subject to address.

Personally, I think the site is going in the right direction. For the following reasons.

1.)Even though some wanted features haven't been used much, they should remain there as an option for a site visitor.

2.)I believe the community is stronger and larger than what some realize. Along with the posting on this message board, there are many people that visit's official IRC channel for real time discussion.

3.)So in combination, the file archive, site features, and community is what makes ROM as great as it is.

4.)There still are a core of founding members here, and those that are loyal to the community.

Some things do not need to improve more than they already have.

Nightcrawler: If you want to know anything negative, as in constructive criticism, then privately would do.

News Submissions / Re: Utilities: Aridia 1.3
« on: July 19, 2008, 04:57:02 pm »
Awesome, another update. If I didn't have so many projects I would have started using this editor right away and in fact I did feel like using it at the first public release here.

It's great to have an editor for Phantasy Star III, and to say one of the few Sci-Fi RPGs back in the day. I may yet use the editor if I can narrow my project list down a bit.

Newcomer's Board / Re: Introduction Topic
« on: December 08, 2007, 02:08:58 am »
Hey, bro. Indeed it's been along time since I've seen ya. I can remember when you finished your first Dragon Ball Z project. Good job on those. Perhaps I'll be seeing ya around more often.

Newcomer's Board / Re: Introduction Topic
« on: December 07, 2007, 09:34:47 am »
Yo, bros.

I finally decided to register here, after getting out of my lazy mode. I think a few days ago and now getting around to editing my profile and now this post that I am writing.

I've been around since 1996, mostly I played around and tinkered with emulators and romhacking tools of the time. I can remember messing with ZSNES .400 and other versions that were not so user friendly as they are today. As I said, I mostly tinkered around with things, slowly developing some skill to where I am today, that's not to say that I am a real good romhacker, but I am still trying to learn new things.

I had several hacks that I had done back in the day but was too nervous to release anything back then, until I had lost many of them in hard drive crashes. Not to mention my lack of knowledge to repair a computer back then.

I think it was in 1998 - 2000 period where I decided to work at Zophar's Domain. I worked at Zophar's Domain for probably about a year and then moved on, tired of the things going on over there and the never ending virus attacks.

All through this time I hung out on IRC and chatted with many people and have been part of many channels as well as an OP of #romhacking on Dalnet, before the DDOS attacks. I was part of a translation group called Unknown Translations that was on the J2e domain back in the day when it was up and running. I went on my own after that.

I continued to translation hack and other miscellaneous hacks that I never released to the public. Then in 2003 I started NSF ripping and hacking. I've been ripping NSF's for the past 4 years with over 210 rips, I do believe. In 2003 is when I received hosting from Sliver-X and became part of the panicus network with other romhackers. Most of us continue to hang out on the same channels and discuss many hacking projects and other things.

Recently I came back from a leave of absence from the scene. Here I am again and doing some of the same things that I was doing before. I also have a couple projects that I am working on and they are slowly nearing completion. I've also updated my site with a new look on the old design, etc.

A little bit about myself.

I am from northwest Ohio, near Lake Erie on the border of Michigan. I listen to 80's to newer style heavy metal music. I also like game music obviously after ripping many NSF's files.

I used to read all of the time, many of favorite books include the following. J.R.R. Tolkien, Dragon Lance Series, Conan novel series, many more, etc.

My first game system was an Atari 2600. Ever since that day on Christmas Eve as a kid, I've loved video games and never stopped playing them. Also, I've played Dungeon & Dragons in it's various revisions through the decades until I stopped playing it just before the latest edition was released.

I used to play guitar quite often and had a decent collection at one time. I had a Kramer Vanguard V, Ibanez Les Paul  copy, Fender Stratocaster, Charvette (cheaper version of a Charvel/Jackson made by the same company), Peavey Mantis LTD. And my best amp at the time was a Crate G-60 practice amp. I borrowed a stack a couple times or two from some friends of mine and jammed out, that was a blast of a time back in the day.

Well folks, that is about all that I can think of at this time.

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