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Author Topic: Zelda III hacking *sigh*  (Read 4304 times)

SunGodPortal

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Zelda III hacking *sigh*
« on: February 16, 2015, 11:05:56 pm »
So I've been working on a Zelda III hack for the past month or so. *maniacal laughter* At this point I feel it's time to post about it, not seeking answers to technical questions but as some form of therapy. Anyone who has attempted a complete hack of this game should no doubt understand where I'm coming from here. Maybe there isn't much of a point to this but...

Is it just me, or does it seem like it would be easier to learn to write a program capable of editing the game without constantly destroying it, than it would be to make a complete hack of the game with the existing tools and come out the other side with a functional ROM and your sanity intact? :banghead:

Don't get me wrong though. I'll never give up (because I was crazy to begin with) but using Hyrule Magic sure can take a tole one's sense of well being.
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Dogeritos

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Re: Zelda III hacking *sigh*
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2015, 11:16:05 pm »
So I've been working on a Zelda III hack for the past month or so. *maniacal laughter* At this point I feel it's time to post about it, not seeking answers to technical questions but as some form of therapy. Anyone who has attempted a complete hack of this game should no doubt understand where I'm coming from here. Maybe there isn't much of a point to this but...

Is it just me, or does it seem like it would be easier to learn to write a program capable of editing the game without constantly destroying it, than it would be to make a complete hack of the game with the existing tools and come out the other side with a functional ROM and your sanity intact? :banghead:

Don't get me wrong though. I'll never give up (because I was crazy to begin with) but using Hyrule Magic sure can take a tole one's sense of well being.

I totally get where you're coming from... I've had a BUNCH of failed Zelda 3 hacks before I really got serious with my new one. HMagic was the main cause of it, because sometimes, it'll have its little glitch-fits and mess up your hack completely. :( However, it'll be worth all the pain and ache once you've completed the hack, and to hear all the people saying that they enjoyed it! :D
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SunGodPortal

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Re: Zelda III hacking *sigh*
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2015, 12:15:53 am »
Yeah. It just seems insane though, that the only editor available is completely broken yet we're all still "negotiating" with it anyway. To call it "usable" would be an outright lie. One wrong click will permanently destroy your ROM. And you can't just learn how to use Hyrule Magic, you also have to learn to fix all of the things that it breaks inadvertently. Which basicially means you have to learn EVERYTHING about the game, how it's data is structured and how it's data is used.

With all of the data that has been mined for this game it seems like it would be easy (relatively speaking, of course) to program an editor for it that actually works. Too bad there isn't anyone with the appropriate skills that's interested in doing this. Therefore, the only people willing to hack this game have to be some sort of masochists (or insane like me). Makes me wonder how many hacks of this game have been started but never finished.
War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.

puzzledude

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Re: Zelda III hacking *sigh*
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2015, 08:11:20 am »
Yeah. It just seems insane though, that the only editor available is completely broken yet we're all still "negotiating" with it anyway. To call it "usable" would be an outright lie. One wrong click will permanently destroy your ROM. And you can't just learn how to use Hyrule Magic, you also have to learn to fix all of the things that it breaks inadvertently. Which basicially means you have to learn EVERYTHING about the game, how it's data is structured and how it's data is used.

With all of the data that has been mined for this game it seems like it would be easy (relatively speaking, of course) to program an editor for it that actually works. Too bad there isn't anyone with the appropriate skills that's interested in doing this. Therefore, the only people willing to hack this game have to be some sort of masochists (or insane like me). Makes me wonder how many hacks of this game have been started but never finished.
Welcome to the club. It is a fact that 80 percent of all people, who have attempted on an Alttp hack, have quit, due to their file getting severely bugged, while 10 percent have produced a final product, which is also quite bugged (similar to what you see in Bruce Campbel, where practically all pits lead to the "bug world/dimension").

You can clearly see, how difficult the process is, since some Master hacks of this game have practically nothing changed, but have quite some bugs (again).

The main problem is not just Hyrule Magic, but also Alttp as such. This game is like a closet, which has shelves, and on it books, but placed in such a way, that there is no emtpy space or very little of it.

So when you try to edit it (meaning changing and adding some books) you will eventually drop a book or have to force something to be falsly "stuffed in".

If you try to start from scratch and empty all of it, the shelf would drop out of frame, when you would remove the books from it.

That's basically what Hyrule Magic is doing (failing) when you use it on the entire filled up Alttp rom.

Luckily Math On Napkins decided to write a new editor for this game a while back, called Black Magic. If this is ever to be finished, it would radically improve the process and bring in lots and lots of new complete hacks of this game.

Unfortunately it is difficult to expect for one person to code all that, since the standard set for this editor was incredibly high (almost to much). And the author of Hyrule Magic asked MoN to not release the source code for HM, or the edited version of it (hyper irony, since the author produced a bugged program and "doesn't want" it to be fixed).

We now have enough knowledge to come up with the perfect non-bugged indoor (dungeon) editor, since I decoded every possible indoor info in hex and know how the game writes/stores the data for it (including pointers and all). It would look similar as the HM dungeon editor and would do similar tasks, but would never bug out, since it would have fixed pointers to precalculated addresses, with so much ofsets between room-codes to always have enogh space (so called maximum space possible would be reserved for the desired code). And the game would still not come pass 2MB.

But we would certainly need a help of someone, who is capable of writing a program, since this really is "the next level" of coding. We can do gfx, ASM etc etc, but currently I know no person to be able to write such an editor and we really can not ask MoN to be involved with 2 editors or to change his style/work, set for Black Magic.

SunGodPortal

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Re: Zelda III hacking *sigh*
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2015, 07:31:20 pm »
I wouldn't put too much thought into this. My intention was to come here and whine for a second while I was taking a break and make no secret about it. It served it's purpose. :D
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Jorpho

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Re: Zelda III hacking *sigh*
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2015, 12:11:38 am »
Is it just me, or does it seem like it would be easier to learn to write a program capable of editing the game without constantly destroying it, than it would be to make a complete hack of the game with the existing tools and come out the other side with a functional ROM and your sanity intact? :banghead:
Coding a bug-free, user-friendly program is actually an excruciating exercise in tedium.  That's why you find so few of them that aren't commercial products.  ;)
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SunGodPortal

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Re: Zelda III hacking *sigh*
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2015, 12:40:09 am »
I could imagine. Too bad the author didn't just focus on the most important parts (the overworld and dungeon editors) and leave out all the other stuff. Then maybe it would have turned out better and been a little more manageable. I'm glad that it even exists, but since the author seems to have no interest in fixing it or making it possible for others to fix it I have little sympathy and will do little to defend the program.
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MaxMouse

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Re: Zelda III hacking *sigh*
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2015, 12:43:01 pm »
I could imagine. Too bad the author didn't just focus on the most important parts (the overworld and dungeon editors) and leave out all the other stuff. Then maybe it would have turned out better and been a little more manageable. I'm glad that it even exists, but since the author seems to have no interest in fixing it or making it possible for others to fix it I have little sympathy and will do little to defend the program.

Well, apart from being a tedious and monetarily unpaid task, investing your time in this kind of project is also free of any guaranties that someone will actually use it to do something big. I mean, yes, there have been a lot of surprisingly good stuff done with these tools but think of the many games that have been utterly documented and received a bunch of user level tools, yet we've never got any impressive hacks from it. Just by typing that, Super Mario RPG comes to my mind. The amount of work put into Lazy Shell Editor is insane and its capabilities exceed those of the majority of other editors I've ever seen. Still, nothing really impacting ever came out of it.

I'm not saying Zelda alttp is the same case though. We have a couple of great works done with the game, but there's still no guarantee that more will ever come out of it even if it receives more tool support.
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SunGodPortal

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Re: Zelda III hacking *sigh*
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2015, 03:23:57 pm »
As for Super Mario RPG, I personally was never impressed with it. A lot of people like that game (because it's an RPG with the Mario brand name stamped on it, a highly marketable gimmick) but that doesn't make it worth hacking. Yes, I realize this is just a matter of opinion by some stupid asshole who just woke up (me). Sure, there's a nice skeleton there that can be put to good use but think of all of the graphic work that would have to be done just to remove that corporate Mario theme. It might as well be "Coca-Cola RPG" or a "Garfield RPG". That's probably just me being a dick though. I wouldn't hack it just because I, for the time being have become allergic to games with turn-based battles. Especially ones with shitty stories.

Let's face it though. The only REAL reason there aren't a bunch of awesome ALttP hacks is because the only available editor causes a ton of game-breaking bugs and will occasionally flip out unexpectedly and completely destroy your ROM. Cause: It is poorly designed and unfinished. I can't tell you how many people I've heard say that they wanted to hack ALttP but wouldn't even attempt to due to all of the horror stories they had heard about Hyrule Magic. With good reason. The casual modder will be chilled-to-the-bone upon foolishly attempting a hack of this game. You can't just have ideas and patience, you have to become some sort of technician.

http://www.zeldix.net/f28-abandoned-hacks

This page has a bunch of these hacks that have been abandoned. Most of them look like they were started by some pretty talented people with some pretty cool ideas. Why didn't these hacks get finished? It could be anything. Earthquakes, Zombie Apocalypse, but most likely the culprit was Hyrule Magic.

But that fine though. Once I finish my hack I can get a big head and feel like I'm a part of some elite club, because I know that you have to be some kind of ROM-Hacking Hero to finish a hack of A Link to the Past. In that case, may the way of the hero lead to the triforce...
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MaxMouse

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Re: Zelda III hacking *sigh*
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2015, 09:09:58 pm »
As you said yourself, that's a highly subjective matter. Most people I know like SMRPG because of its spectacular artistic work (sound and graphics) and, going totally against your opinion, its funny and unique narrative. I personally don't usually enjoy turn based games either, this game being an exception. As for the story, that's even more subjective: I don't know what makes you think it's shitty (as your comment implies), but someone else could come here and say Zelda III or Tales of Phantasia has shitty stories and it would still be an opinion as valid as yours. Not that I'm defending it though, it's very simplistic, but that's because it relies on the way the story is told not by how it is in a big picture. And well, I actually agree that it's a tough one to hack because of how huge and complex it is.

As much as the tools available to the user matter, I still hold that having better available tools won't necessarily get more hacks done. It relies way too much on the user part. Going back to the SMRPG example, many people were excited for the release of Lazy Shell and, after it was finally released, not much was ever done with it. Working on a big hack of such games requires determination and usually more than one person. These pretty talented people with some pretty cool ideas could have just lost interest and wielded to laziness. That wouldn't be the first time it happened and won't be the last.
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Grimoire LD

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Re: Zelda III hacking *sigh*
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2015, 11:54:54 pm »
Super Mario RPG is not a "corporate sell out", it is one of the finest RPG's for the SNES, showcasing Square's ingenuity with Nintendo's whimsical and playful nature. It's only issue is that it is a little on the simple side (still more difficult than FFII SNES though) but the wide expansive world, the unique art style (the Actually first 3D RPG) the quirky humor, the many, many, many hidden treasure chests and some secrets where you will have to wonder how people found those sorts of things without guides! I think it's just not hacked more because of how daunting it is. Super Mario RPG is a masterpiece (could be a little more difficult though) but outside the battle system it is already near perfect. It has more exploration and innovation than any RPG has had up to that point.

Judging by your comments, I almost assume that you have never actually played the game for any extended period of time.

SunGodPortal

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Re: Zelda III hacking *sigh*
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2015, 12:11:32 am »
I owned it once. It was a good enough. Kinda off the subject I suppose.
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tc

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Re: Zelda III hacking *sigh*
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2015, 01:17:47 am »
I owned it once. It was a good enough. Kinda off the subject I suppose.

Intentional or not, it's a parody. Reveals just how short Japanese RPGs are once you remove the grinding, maze dungeons, chatterbox NPCs, sidequests...

MaxMouse

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Re: Zelda III hacking *sigh*
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2015, 09:41:29 am »
Super Mario RPG is not a "corporate sell out", it is one of the finest RPG's for the SNES, showcasing Square's ingenuity with Nintendo's whimsical and playful nature. It's only issue is that it is a little on the simple side (still more difficult than FFII SNES though) but the wide expansive world, the unique art style (the Actually first 3D RPG) the quirky humor, the many, many, many hidden treasure chests and some secrets where you will have to wonder how people found those sorts of things without guides! I think it's just not hacked more because of how daunting it is. Super Mario RPG is a masterpiece (could be a little more difficult though) but outside the battle system it is already near perfect. It has more exploration and innovation than any RPG has had up to that point.

Judging by your comments, I almost assume that you have never actually played the game for any extended period of time.

Exactly. It's how it is played that shows how great of a classic it is. If you just look at the big picture you'll end up with senseless thoughts about it, "Oh it's just an RPG featuring Mario, such a corporate sell out"
I like the way it develops the story more than other games of the genre because it doesn't rely on endless blocks of text that just give a false sense that the game is longer than it actually is. In the latter case, I would rather just pick a book and read it, which is what I do often. Not that I think a weighty narrative is bad for a game, but I usually prefer my games being more like... you know... a game.
One simply cannot defy that which was concealed by silence. - Mm~

SunGodPortal

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Re: Zelda III hacking *sigh*
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2015, 02:23:24 pm »
The more I think back on it, it wasn't such a bad game. I think it's a little overrated but like most everything else I've said that's just an opinion. Some of the music was cool, though I prefer Yoko's work on Front Mission...

I wouldn't get too wrapped up in this conversation because this was just a thread I made to come here and bitch for a second. Perhaps people got the wrong idea somewhere along the may. It wasn't meant to get serious or even anything approaching it. If anything I was hoping people would use this as an oppurtunity to swap horror stories about Hyrule Magic. Guess it didn't turn out that way though. When you're not talking to someone face to face it seems you have to be more obvious.

EDIT: Oh yeah. I should probably point out that the whole bit about "Coca-Cola RPG" and whatnot was not really me implying that Super Mario RPG was a sell-out. I can def see how someone would read it that way though because of all the BS in the same paragraph. My point was from the perspective of "do I personally want to hack this?". The answer is "no" because Mario is too recognizable and for me to want to work on it, that identity who need to be stripped. When I look back on the comments I made I'm not really sure why I added all of that inflamatory stuff around the point I was actually trying to make (that the game's identity fealt less "malleable" to me). It just got the conversation side-tracked by having that other stuff in there. Fealt right at the time though. It's pretty much just like I said in the very same post:

Quote
Yes, I realize this is just a matter of opinion by some stupid asshole who just woke up (me).

LOL Pretty much says it all.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2015, 03:19:46 pm by SunGodPortal »
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Dr. Floppy

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Re: Zelda III hacking *sigh*
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2015, 10:08:35 pm »
Quote
My point was from the perspective of "do I personally want to hack this?". The answer is "no" because Mario is too recognizable and for me to want to work on it, that identity who need to be stripped.
That's the beauty of a character like Mario- much like Mickey Mouse, he's anything his handlers need him to be. I'm not the first to rattle off his numerous professions throughout the years: construction worker, plumber, doctor, boxing referee, painter, go-kart driver, athlete in just about every sport imaginable (and at every skill-level from amateur to Olympian), a best-left-alone stint as a hotel manager and perhaps most recent incarnation as a tournament fighter. His identity comes from his surroundings, which in an odd way makes him the most contextually-replaceable character possible.

Not sure if that'll affect your opinion, but it's worth considering.

SunGodPortal

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Re: Zelda III hacking *sigh*
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2015, 10:23:34 pm »
Quote
Not sure if that'll affect your opinion, but it's worth considering.

I guess the Mario character has a certain ambiguity that could also make him versatile.
War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.