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Author Topic: Editing Mutant League Football player attributes?  (Read 2113 times)

dar7

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Editing Mutant League Football player attributes?
« on: January 21, 2018, 02:43:44 pm »
I downloaded the .bin file for the rom and am using Hex Workshop but I cannot locate the player attributes anywhere. I see the player names, team names, etc (basically any string) but no attributes.

Have tried searching for many hex combinations of known player data (ex. Bones Jackson has 15 spd, 15 hnd, 13 tb, 13 ene so I searched for FFDD for him).

I keep coming up empty. Any hints anyone could give would be appreciated.

Psyklax

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Re: Editing Mutant League Football player attributes?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2018, 04:16:47 pm »
Well, searching "FFDD" is obviously not going to find it. Each number will be one byte, so if anything it'll be "0F 0F 0D 0D". Of course, I just searched for that and came up empty. Next alternative is that because the Genesis's 68000 CPU has a 16-bit bus, the numbers might be two bytes, thus "000F" and "000D" but no luck with that.

Naturally, the best way to find anything is to learn a bit of assembly and how to use debuggers in emulators, which isn't as hard as everyone seems to think. Thing is, I've never played the game before, and I can't find anywhere in the game where these stats are located. I see a FAQ which lists these stats, but not in the game. If you can tell me where to find the stats in the game, I can help.

If they're shown on-screen, that really helps: you can find the part of the screen where the numbers are loaded and, using the debugger, find out where the numbers came from. But if they're never actually shown, that makes it somewhat more difficult. They MUST be listed somewhere for this FAQ I'm reading to have got them...?

EDIT: Okay, I see they're listed in the manual. Still no idea where they could be in the game, or how to find them.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2018, 04:44:19 pm by Psyklax »

dar7

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Re: Editing Mutant League Football player attributes?
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2018, 04:42:20 pm »
Hmmm, that's weird because Madden '93 lists their player attributes as FFDD (1 slot per attribute) and not 0F 0F 0D 0D for example. I can locate where they are. I only bring this up because apparently Mutant League uses the same engine as Madden '93. I will keep that in mind though.

There is no way to view the attributes in game unfortunately. The attributes come straight from the manual and that's where that FAQ got them from.

So if I learn to use the debugger on my Gens emulator, I might be able to see the attributes when the player's are loaded into the game on a particular play?


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Re: Editing Mutant League Football player attributes?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2018, 11:55:02 pm »
Well once you start hacking, I'll tell you right away that EA seems to have used checksum protection on all their games, so once you do hack something you'll probably get a non-working game unless you fix that. (look for a Game Genie "Master Code" to see if someone has already broken it for the game)
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Psyklax

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Re: Editing Mutant League Football player attributes?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2018, 04:56:50 am »
Madden '93 lists their player attributes as FFDD (1 slot per attribute) and not 0F 0F 0D 0D for example.

If that's the case, it means the game is storing player attributes in 4-bit values rather than 8-bit ones - or bytes. Not impossible, but seems like an unnecessary space-saving measure on a Genesis game (an extra step would be needed to parse the four necessary bits, and given the amount of ROM and RAM space it seems unnecessary to me). Nevertheless, it's something to consider.

I'll have a look at the RAM while the game is playing, to see if the stats are kept there during the game. Of course, if you can't see the numbers during the game, I imagine it'll be hard to see the difference when changing them, unless changing speed to 1 makes the guy run super slowly or something. :)

EA seems to have used checksum protection

In addition to the Genesis's native checksum protection? Well that'd be a bit of a pain, though thankfully gamehacking.org seems to have it sorted:
https://gamehacking.org/game/15527

Sadly all of the codes pertain to time and score, rather than player ratings.

EDIT: well, there's a bunch of stuff going on around the $E400 mark in RAM, but other than that I can't figure anything out. With no visual indicators to go on, I'm a bit stuck at this point. Out of curiosity, where did you find the stats in Madden '93? And are you certain that they're the actual stats? Also, I'm a bit surprised to hear Madden '93 has the same engine because it looks rather different at first glance.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 05:00:05 pm by Psyklax »

dar7

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Re: Editing Mutant League Football player attributes?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2018, 03:26:34 pm »
Thank you!

Looking at those codes makes me wonder.... I see that to make a TD worth 3 points, you enter:

5671 at address 0D1618.

Wouldn't it be 0003? 5671 makes no sense to me.

I see some other codes that make sense like changing the home score to 99 is simply putting a 0063 (99) at the right address.

Makes me wonder if the player attributes are stored in some weird format like the TD values and that's why I can't find them?

EDIT: Okay I see that "5671" is an add opcode to add 3. So 5571 would be subtract 3. Still makes me wonder though.

Just seeing your edits now Psyklax. I found the Madden 93 attributes here:
https://segaretro.org/index.php?title=File:John_Madden_Football_93_MD_US_Manual.pdf&page=22

I am sure they are the real attributes because I downloaded the rom and looked. It's very easy to find them. Just search for "Buffalo" for example and the player data is right after the team name. Note that you need the .bin of the rom not .smd or whatever.

From the wikipedia page:
"Mutant League Football is a video game that was released in 1993 for the Sega Genesis. The game was designed using the Madden '93 engine [...]"

I think it mentions it in the instruction manual too (which I have).
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 11:24:05 am by dar7 »

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Re: Editing Mutant League Football player attributes?
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2018, 08:51:56 pm »
Do you know Motorola 68000 ASM? (the language of the Genesis CPU)
It has instructions specifically to (I believe) move/add/subtract and probably others, very small amounts (1-8)
As I recall, opcodes are always two bytes, which extra bytes (always an even amount?) following.
I'm sure there's a certain pattern to how its opcodes relate to the instructions.
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weissvulf

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Re: Editing Mutant League Football player attributes?
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2018, 10:50:44 pm »
For data like players in a roster, I've often found that all data pertaining to a single entry will be stored together in a structure. If you can locate other data unique to a player like a pointer to their name's text, their stats may be nearby.

Another possibility is that they follow two different scales. The booklet numbers may follow a 1 to 100 range which is represented in the data by 0-255 etc. Which brings to mind, did you try searching for a 'zero based' version? ie 0hex=1booklet, 1=2 etc

There is also the chance that the company just made up stats to look purdy in the booklet and that they don't all exist in the actual game :P

dar7

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Re: Editing Mutant League Football player attributes?
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2018, 12:34:11 am »
Found it!!!

The player data is located above the player names.

For example, the Sixty Whiners player data begins on this line:

0000CAE0 72 94 04 F7 01 77 77 74 04 FF 01 56 64 56 05 07

Each player is divided into 6 bytes. The 1st player on the Whiners is No Lips. His data is:

F7 01 77 77 74 04

F7 = ??
01 = Skeleton
77 = 7 Energy, 7 Accuracy
77 = 7 Range, ??
74 = 7 Speed, ??
04 = ??

Followed by Hickey:
FF 01 56 64 56 05

FF = ??
01 = Skeleton
56 = 5 Energy, 6 Accuracy
64 = 6 Range, ??
56 = 5 Speed, ??
05 = ??

There's some data in there that I can't identify at the moment but the player data and races are there. I'm guessing something in there is a pointer to their names. If anyone finds out anything more, let us know!

Thanks to everyone who helped!

If anyone cares, I found it by saving the rom to a text file and then creating a program to search through it section by section (about 10 lines at a time) seeing if I could find ~100% of the Whiners player data in any order. I assumed if ALL the data was found within a span of ~10 lines, it would be what I was looking for and I was right.

January 23, 2018, 07:53:04 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Okay yeah looks like you can't edit EA Sports games... that sucks.  :banghead:

-Tried downloading multiple checksum fixing programs. None worked.
-Tried using the built in fix checksum that comes with Gens. Nope.
-Tried using the game genie codes. Nothing. Couldn't even get them to work with a regular copy of Mutant League.

How the heck do you guys actually hack a game and get past the checksum???
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 07:53:04 pm by dar7 »

Tony H

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Re: Editing Mutant League Football player attributes?
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2018, 10:10:14 am »
I just tried hacking some random values into the ROM and was able to get the game to run by using the master code.  Since you're going to be doing a lot of hacking on that ROM, you might as well hack the master code into the ROM so you don't have to enable the Game Genie code every time.  Very easy to do.  Go to the page with the codes and click on the down arrow for the master code: https://gamehacking.org/game/15527

It will show you the ROM address for the master code: 0FFF20:4E75

Go to ROM address 0FFF20 and change the 223C to 4E75.  Save the change and you're good to go.

Also, on that same page, you had mentioned a code that changed the home score to 99.  That code (as well as a few others) are "fake" Game Genie codes.  They are actually just a RAM code that someone converted into a Game Genie code.  The code might work on some emulators, but it won't on a real Genesis.  Game Genie codes can only modify ROM addresses, not RAM addresses.  I went ahead and added some notes on that page saying that those are fake Game Genie codes.

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dar7

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Re: Editing Mutant League Football player attributes?
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2018, 12:08:58 pm »
Thanks! I wasn't sure how to read those Game Genie codes and wasn't entering them right.

Now that I can edit the attributes freely, I'm curious about finding out what those extra 2 attributes do that aren't listed in the manual.

Is there a way to setup a breakpoint or alert or something for when the rom looks at a certain address?

Specifically, I highlighted a single player's 6 attributes in parenthesis. Can I find out when any of those values in parenthesis below are used/read by the rom?

0000CE40 D4 4F 04 01 00 00 50 63 07 C5 01(A7 4A B7)07 CE

KingMike

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Re: Editing Mutant League Football player attributes?
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2018, 12:18:43 pm »
If your emulator has a debugger, then yes, you should be able to set a breakpoint in it.
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Psyklax

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Re: Editing Mutant League Football player attributes?
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2018, 01:58:33 pm »
If you're certain that you've located the attributes then I tip my hat to you. :)

I don't know which emulator you're using but I'd use Mednafen. You open the debugger with Ctrl-D (I think), press Shift-R to set a read breakpoint and write the address. For Genesis you'll need FF at the start for RAM but I don't think you need anything for ROM, but you should find the precise address on the bus by pressing Alt-3 and looking there. I'll have a go myself later.

dar7

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Re: Editing Mutant League Football player attributes?
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2018, 05:11:33 pm »
Yes, I am 100% certain. The team data starts at 0000C560. The first 18 bytes are team specific data (team name, coach name, coach type, etc). The next 156 bytes are the players (26 players at 6 bytes each).

I've played around with it a bit including changing player races to confirm visually that I'm changing the right thing and it's all gone as expected so far :)

If you take a look, the attributes I cannot identify are the 4th and 6th attributes (being pointed at with <-). The other 4 are known.

0000CE40 D4 4F 04 01 00 00 50 63 07 C5 01(A7 4A B7)07 CE

A7 4A<- B7<-


EDIT: I got that Mednafen emulator working. Nice find man! I was able to set a break point and everything. Only problem I am having is I only want the right part of the byte (The 'A' in '4A' or the '7' in 'B7') but I had to set an address to the whole byte and not just the left or right digit. Any idea how to isolate the bits of a byte in Mednafen?
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 09:47:43 pm by dar7 »

Psyklax

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Re: Editing Mutant League Football player attributes?
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2018, 05:43:50 pm »
I only want the right part of the byte (The 'A' in '4A' or the '7' in 'B7') but I had to set an address to the whole byte and not just the left or right digit. Any idea how to isolate the bits of a byte in Mednafen?

I believe they're called nibbles. :) The problem is that the vast majority of CPUs use a minimum of 8 bits in their bus, so a byte is 8 bits, with two hexadecimal digits. I've never known any debuggers - or even hex editors - that can search in nibbles. I just checked with HxD, my hex editor of choice. A search for 2 will only match 20, not 21, and not 12.

The truth is that doing something like this game does, in my experience, is highly unusual. Sure, it'd take twice as much space to give each attribute a full byte instead of a nibble, but on a Genesis, the (relatively) vast amount of space to play with means it seems unnecessary. For the CPU to look at, say, "4A" and see it as only 4 or A, it needs to do a bitwise operation: one where it ignores the first four bits, another to ignore the last four, depending on which attribute it wants. If the whole byte is used, the CPU has to do nothing, just load the value. So you can understand why I was sceptical about the game putting two attributes in a byte. :)

But anyway, you can't search for half a byte. You'll just have to search for 16 different possibilities. :D

weissvulf

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Re: Editing Mutant League Football player attributes?
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2018, 07:04:14 pm »
Quote
The truth is that doing something like this game does, in my experience, is highly unusual.
I too have wondered why games do this. The graphic HERE was stored in the same way- left nibble belonged to one texture, right nibble the other. It doesn't save space and just seems to require extra CPU cycles to separate.

Anyways, like Psylax says, both halves of the byte are likely loaded together and then the left or right side is extracted by the CPU as needed. So you'll have to set a break point on the whole byte, then 'step' further to see how the CPU splits it into nibbles.

Have you tried editing the mystery stats to their minimum and then playing a little to see what changes? Usually, there will be a noticeable gameplay difference somewhere.

dar7

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Re: Editing Mutant League Football player attributes?
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2018, 09:05:35 pm »
Thanks Psyklax! I appreciate the detailed explanation. I'm trying to learn some of the basic instructions of 68000 ASM so I can follow what the CPU is doing. It's not easy.

Have you tried editing the mystery stats to their minimum and then playing a little to see what changes? Usually, there will be a noticeable gameplay difference somewhere.

I have yes. I made 2 teams with all F in known stats. Then made 1 team have F in the unknown and the other 1 in the unknown. I'm pretty sure one of the unknown stats for the defense is pass defense as there was a notable difference in interception/knock down rate for the team with F in that attribute.

The other variable feels like pursuit or something to do with pass rushing. I need to test more though. And still no idea what these unknowns do on offense. It's obvious they were added with a purpose as the better players in the game have higher ratings in these unknowns and the starters typically have higher ratings than the bench players. Also, certain positions have higher ratings than others as a group so there are many noticeable patterns here.

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Re: Editing Mutant League Football player attributes?
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2018, 10:29:11 pm »
Here's a tiny bit of the programming for NoHope (the kicker from the Sixty Whinners).  I picked him because that's the default team you play against, and he's the one that kicks the ball at the very beginning of the game.

If you use both default teams (player one has Galaxy Aces, and CPU has Sixty Whinners), NoHope will always kick the ball 55 yards, and the other guy will always return the ball 16 yards.  This is with no input from you at all, so it's easy to see any changes in stats.

I verified that NoHope's stats are at ROM address 00CB74, and the values are 0132A261.  By changing this to 01111111, he only kicks the ball 21 yards (instead of the normal 55 yards), so I know it's the correct stats.

Here is some of the programming that deals with NoHope.  The first instruction moves the value from ROM address 00CB74 (NoHope's stats) to register D0.  You can see the value in register D0 exactly matches NoHope's stats in the ROM.  After many changes to register D0, the final value is moved to RAM address FFEC0F.  There is another routine that is exactly the same as this one (at 0B:198C), except it moves the final value from D0 to RAM address FFEBFB.  If you change both of those RAM addresses to different values, NoHope will kick the ball farther (64 yards instead of the normal 55 yards).  It's going to require too much work to figure everything out, but thought I'd post what I found.

0B:19B4  20 2A  MOVE.l  $0002(A2),D0             A0=FFFFEBEA A1=FFFFEBF6 A2=0000CB72 A3=FFFFEC0E A4=0000CAD0 A5=0000C560 A6=00FF14AC A7=00FF1360 D0=00000030 D1=00000000 D2=00000002 D3=00000000 D4=00000005 D5=00000001 D6=00000000 D7=0000000F xnZvc

0B:19B8  42 40  CLR.W   D0                       A0=FFFFEBEA A1=FFFFEBF6 A2=0000CB72 A3=FFFFEC0E A4=0000CAD0 A5=0000C560 A6=00FF14AC A7=00FF1360 D0=0132A261 D1=00000000 D2=00000002 D3=00000000 D4=00000005 D5=00000001 D6=00000000 D7=0000000F xnzvc

0B:19BA  48 40  SWAP.w  D0                       A0=FFFFEBEA A1=FFFFEBF6 A2=0000CB72 A3=FFFFEC0E A4=0000CAD0 A5=0000C560 A6=00FF14AC A7=00FF1360 D0=01320000 D1=00000000 D2=00000002 D3=00000000 D4=00000005 D5=00000001 D6=00000000 D7=0000000F xnZvc

0B:19BC  E8 88  LSR.L   #4,D0                    A0=FFFFEBEA A1=FFFFEBF6 A2=0000CB72 A3=FFFFEC0E A4=0000CAD0 A5=0000C560 A6=00FF14AC A7=00FF1360 D0=00000132 D1=00000000 D2=00000002 D3=00000000 D4=00000005 D5=00000001 D6=00000000 D7=0000000F xnzvc

0B:19BE  02 00  ANDI.B  #$0F,D0                  A0=FFFFEBEA A1=FFFFEBF6 A2=0000CB72 A3=FFFFEC0E A4=0000CAD0 A5=0000C560 A6=00FF14AC A7=00FF1360 D0=00000013 D1=00000000 D2=00000002 D3=00000000 D4=00000005 D5=00000001 D6=00000000 D7=0000000F xnzvc

0B:19C2  E9 48  LSL.W   #4,D0                    A0=FFFFEBEA A1=FFFFEBF6 A2=0000CB72 A3=FFFFEC0E A4=0000CAD0 A5=0000C560 A6=00FF14AC A7=00FF1360 D0=00000003 D1=00000000 D2=00000002 D3=00000000 D4=00000005 D5=00000001 D6=00000000 D7=0000000F xnzvc

0B:19C4  17 40  MOVE.b  D0,$0001(A3)             A0=FFFFEBEA A1=FFFFEBF6 A2=0000CB72 A3=FFFFEC0E A4=0000CAD0 A5=0000C560 A6=00FF14AC A7=00FF1360 D0=00000030 D1=00000000 D2=00000002 D3=00000000 D4=00000005 D5=00000001 D6=00000000 D7=0000000F xnzvc

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dar7

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Re: Editing Mutant League Football player attributes?
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2018, 08:14:48 pm »
Thank you! I really appreciate the explanation of all of this. That helps A LOT.


3 questions for ya.

What emulator are you using?

Did you change NoHope's attributes in the register/RAM mid game? If yes, how?

When specifically did you look at the code? Did you set a breakpoint? Or just break right before kickoff? or..?

I want to try to recreate what you did here and then also try it with other players in other situations (attempting a pass, etc.)


EDIT: Okay, I figured all of that ^ out using Mednafen.

Only question I have is: when it says
A0: 000B96C2

What does that mean exactly? Is that a RAM address? Physical? I've tried going to the addresses listed after each A and am not seeing anything that resembles NoHope's attributes. I'm wondering how you were able to edit them while playing the game?
« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 11:06:17 pm by dar7 »

Tony H

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Re: Editing Mutant League Football player attributes?
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2018, 10:57:25 pm »
"What emulator are you using?"

I use Gens Tracer.
Here's a link to a guide: http://codehut.gshi.org/GensTracerGuide.txt
Here's a link to a download: https://gamehacking.org/downloads/Gens2.12aR2Tracer.zip

Gens Tracer may not be the most modern Genesis debugger, but I find it very useful.  A quick guide: Press "/" to start and stop the assembly trace log (it sends it to a text file called Trace.log).  Keep in mind that by default, it only records each instruction once.  So if you have a routine that is run several times, the trace log will only show you the first time it was run.  You'll find instructions on how to trace everything in the hook_log.txt file under Tips.  If you log everything, be prepared for a HUGH file.  You'll find that logging instructions only once works out just fine most of the time.

Press "," to start and stop the memory logger (it sends it to a text file called Hook.txt).  Instructions for setting up the memory logger are in the guide.  The memory logger is basically how you do breakpoints.

=============

"Did you change NoHope's attributes in the register/RAM mid game? If yes, how?"

I changed his stats using Game Genie codes (set all of them to 1) to verify I had the right stats. 

You can change part of his stats (probably mid game) by using these 2 RAM codes: FFEBFB:FF and FFEC0F:FF.  Interestingly, I used several different values with those 2 RAM codes and they all had the same effect (NoHope kicked farther (64 yards)).  I used these RAM codes with Gens Tracer and they worked fine, but they probably won't work with Kega Fusion emulator (the codes for Fusion would be slightly different).

There are a few things I didn't dig far enough to figure out.  Why are there 2 RAM addresses that come from 2 separate but identical routines and both have the same value?  Why are both RAM addresses needed to make any changes to NoHopes performance? (using either code by itself doesn't seem to make any difference).  And, why can I use seemingly any value in those RAM codes but still get the same result (he kicks 64 yards).  The answers are there, but too much time involved to figure it out.

============

"When specifically did you look at the code? Did you set a breakpoint? Or just break right before kickoff? or..?"

I made the assembly trace log by turning on the asm logger at the screen where you choose your teams (aka the screen where you set the Game Mode, Qtr Length, etc).  Any player stats would be loaded after that screen.  For the initial log, I didn't set any breakpoints.  I found that routine by searching for the ROM address of NoHope's stats.  I open the asm log with WordPad and just use the "Find" feature.

EDIT: wrote and posted this before I saw your edit. ugh. lol.

EDIT2:

Only question I have is: when it says
A0: 000B96C2

What does that mean exactly? Is that a RAM address? Physical? I've tried going to the addresses listed after each A and am not seeing anything that resembles NoHope's attributes.

Answer:

A0:000B96C2 is a ROM address, and it looks like it's a pointer.  The pointer address is 000B95E4.

EDIT3: You'll find some interesting values at that address (000B95E4).  I'm just looking at them with a hex editor, so I have no idea what they're for, but you may want to investigate.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 11:13:15 pm by Tony H »
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