News: 11 March 2016 - Forum Rules
Current Moderators - DarkSol, KingMike, MathOnNapkins, Azkadellia, Danke

Author Topic: 20 year SNES mystery? Can hacking solve?  (Read 4744 times)

thebigger

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
20 year SNES mystery? Can hacking solve?
« on: September 23, 2012, 11:25:42 am »
Ooook,

So listen. Game is Shadowrun for the SNES. I used to play it as a kid, have beaten it a myriad of different ways... even now going on the 20th year since it was released I still get the game out and play through it from time to time when a new method for beating it comes to mind. I've even played the Japanese version through.

Why do I keep playing it? Well...

In the game manual there is a screen shot of the character's spell list and on that list is the spell CHAOS. (http://preview.tinyurl.com/9w6u8uz)

Now, CHAOS does not appear on page 24 of the manual where all of the spells are listed... just in the screen shot. (http://preview.tinyurl.com/8lam84s)

Full manual is here, sorry for how low quality it is: http://preview.tinyurl.com/8t5vokg


Anyway, I'm at the point where I'm ready to write this off as not existing in the game. The screenshot was from a beta version, or it was concept art and not in-game, whatever. I've tried emailing the original developers, scoured the Internet... never found so much as a clue.

You may be wondering why all the trouble? Well, in the game whenever you get a spell the guy who gives them to you gives you a hint as to what you'll need to get the next spell from him. And after you get all the spells (listed on page 24) he says something cryptic. Doesn't quite say "I'm all out of spells" but doesn't quite say "I have another one for you" - Just cryptic. I'm sorry but I can't remember the precise language, I'm going to start playing the game through to get a screen cap of it but it takes a fairly long amount of time to get there so for now you'll just have to take my word for it.

One other reason I suspect it may exist? In the manual there is an entry for a ZIP GUN... but it's not really "available" - In order to get it, you must get to the 2nd stage without picking up a gun, which is really kind of a pain in the ass. Anyway, what I'm saying is that this was an "easter egg" we first discovered after playing the game for about 5 years, and we eventually found it in the game. So, continuing to look for CHAOS kind of came naturally.

Any help that this community could provide to helping me with the mystery would be greatly appreciated.

bp

Gideon Zhi

  • IRC Staff
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3505
    • View Profile
    • Aeon Genesis
Re: 20 year SNES mystery? Can hacking solve?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2012, 11:53:39 am »
One other reason I suspect it may exist? In the manual there is an entry for a ZIP GUN... but it's not really "available" - In order to get it, you must get to the 2nd stage without picking up a gun, which is really kind of a pain in the ass. Anyway, what I'm saying is that this was an "easter egg" we first discovered after playing the game for about 5 years, and we eventually found it in the game. So, continuing to look for CHAOS kind of came naturally.

Huh, neat. I never knew about that. Is it worth doing? I mean, I can't imagine getting to the car yards without being able to defend myself.

As far as Chaos goes, the first thing you'd want to do is figure out if it's even in the game or not. You can probably do this by hacking a savestate and playing with your character's abilities, but I can't really help you with any of that, at least not for Shadowrun.

You can use this to rip the script out of the game. I took a look, and "Chaos" doesn't show up anywhere in the text. (Zip, however, does.) My guess is that it's not there, but you're free to use the utility to peruse the text as you will. You probably know the game way better than I do.

thebigger

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: 20 year SNES mystery? Can hacking solve?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2012, 12:44:08 pm »
Quote
Huh, neat. I never knew about that. Is it worth doing? I mean, I can't imagine getting to the car yards without being able to defend myself.


When you go left of the starting screen and start getting shot at the guy runs down into the alley? Then you follow him down and he gets killed by the other dude? Just run down, grab the vest and leave his gun. Then basically get to the carry yards by running away from any combat. it isn't that hard... when you get there a kid will come up to you and give you the zip gun (since you can't compete in the arena without a gun and would be trapped there otherwise) - it's worth it, kind of? It's a better gun than the Beretta but still sucks.

Neil

  • Submission Reviewer
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 743
  • Circuit Rider
    • View Profile
Re: 20 year SNES mystery? Can hacking solve?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2012, 02:22:58 pm »
Needs more than savestate hacking. You'll need to do some code tracing. Spell levels are 0x7E3C07 through 0x7E3C0C in the savestate, valid values of 0x00-0x06 (setting spell level higher than 06 results in a lovely text overflow in the magic menu). It does not look like the designers intended any more than 6 spells based on the save state space allocated for storing their details and the size of the menu box in game. I looked at a Shadowrun beta rom that's floating around and the spell names are the same there. If you have any hope at all it would be looking at the routines around spell casting to see if you can find remains of a "chaos" spell dummied out.

Shadowrun came out first in the US, right? If it came out in Japan first or was developed by a Japanese team or something, maybe it's a really oddball mistranslation done by someone who guessed at what the spell was.

thebigger

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: 20 year SNES mystery? Can hacking solve?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2012, 03:06:53 pm »
Yeah I haven't worked with code/etc since college, lol, so most of what you said was over my head but I understand the basic jist.

It's been a really long time and info on the web is kind of sketchy because of how old it is. There was a Japanese version (I think), want to say we bought it off ebay at one point and bought a special SNES that would play it. We played it for a few weeks and then sold both off for a profit. Didn't notice any difference.

The mistranslation is an interesting route. I had hoped by emailing people attached to the project to learn some kind of "tidbit" about the games development but it never went anywhere.

Like, I said, the really weird thing is how the Dog Spirit says something cryptic whenever you return to him after he gives you the final spell (freeze, i think?) - It's kind of like... suggestive that there is something else, but that it doesn't come from him? The game is weird, the possible item/dialogue combinations change based on how you play the game early on... so there are all sorts of ways to "sneak" into new parts of the game, PLUS, the game doesn't exactly end, you just keep walking around doing your thing.

Anyway, appreciate the information so far. Just one more chapter in the odyssey.

Jorpho

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4146
  • The cat screams with the voice of a man.
    • View Profile
Re: 20 year SNES mystery? Can hacking solve?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2012, 04:38:19 pm »
TCRF notes that there are two dummied-out items, including something called the "Dog Food".  I'd expect if there was a missing spell, someone would also have noted that down there, but then TCRF isn't necessarily exhaustive.  (Still nothing for the Contra Hard Corps debug level.  I ought to fix that someday.)
http://tcrf.net/Shadowrun
This signature is an illusion and is a trap devised by Satan. Go ahead dauntlessly! Make rapid progres!

thebigger

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: 20 year SNES mystery? Can hacking solve?
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2012, 04:59:18 pm »
Wow! That's totally it!

When you first meet Dog he tells you to go get 2 items, kind of like gives you a riddle? Upon acquiring them he gives you a spell, then gives you another cryptic riddle.

After he gives you the 6th spell he says something cryptic but not doesn't really tell you to bring him anything.

This says "dog food" was supposed to be brought to him, but for what is unknown because it was deleted.... had to be a spell.

Now whether it was "CHAOS" or whether "CHAOS" was a mistranslation of "FREEZE" (seems equally plausible) is probably an answer I'll never have, but knowing it isn't in the dialogue and/or that there are only 6 slots for spells puts the myth to bed as far as I'm concerned. I think I'm going to play the game through again and then put the myth down as BUSTED.

Thanks guys!

Validus

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 743
    • View Profile
Re: 20 year SNES mystery? Can hacking solve?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 08:51:06 am »
This game was made by an Australian team, not the Japanese.

Johnvooker

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Re: 20 year SNES mystery? Can hacking solve?
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2012, 04:34:35 am »
well after 20 years,i must say a lot of the locked doors still puzzle me. but if i can recall  somebody did have a list of unused rooms!witch means the game was going to be a lot longer.