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GBA and DS rom hacking documentation

Started by FAST6191, July 09, 2012, 02:43:43 PM

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As I made fairly extensive use of RHDN's database of utilities, documents and more to make it/linked in it common courtesy says I should probably link it up here.

Background- I largely rewrote a few earlier documents I made on GBA and DS ROM hacking and just made a preview release of it (it is still far from finished but it hopefully has enough for people to be getting along with in the meantime).

You can grab it from with this page and being the main places I note any updates to it.

An HTML version (I had to play to the static nature of PDF and put images where I would usually put videos which is not ideal for some things) and my source document should be along before too long.


Just use the submit document form dude. It's what I did.


It is still very much a work in progress so I avoided submitting it. I have no objection to it being submitted but I doubt it says that much more than what is already there/well known/available at this point.

However contents list (file formats mostly not there and part III is still somewhat unfinished)
Sorry but you are not allowed to view spoiler contents.


Pretty impressive what you've gathered/written so far.  I skimmed through and the biggest thing that jumped out is that your margins are too large for my preference, especially the horizontal.


Yeah I just left it with the LyX defaults as far as margins, fonts and most of everything else in the layout department went as it usually works for me. I did fire off a version with larger margins and although I will probably have to redo most of the image sizes as they were relative to text width (by the way others reading many are shrunk to try to maintain some readability but they should still be full res so you can zoom in without having to stare at pixels) and some of my page breaks it did look a lot better.

Typos and clarifications aside most of part II is frozen and the rest will hopefully not take that long so I should have something resembling a proper layout for the next version.


An interesting read, but about section 2.3.6. (Windowing), you should discuss the fact that it's legal to change the window settings mid frame. Best example of this IMNHO is all the spotlight scenes from Ghost Trick. But I suppose the keyhole animation from Super Mario World works too.


Thanks henke37 I added it to the second preview release I just made, other than the windowing stuff there is nothing much new but it did see me play editor for several hours which should have got most of the typos and suspect grammar/disjointed phrasing and fix a few ordering issues.

The original link should work but has it if not.


I think you might have misunderstood me a bit. When I said mid frame I didn't mean it is a good idea to change things while rendering a scanline. I meant that it is possible to do a sort of realtime shape drawing by changing the size of the window each scanline during HBlank. Affine transformations can also be changed for each scaneline during HBlank. That's what the classical "mode 7" does.

This image shows the spotlight effect that Ghost Trick likes to use. The game widens the window each scanline and as such gets this trapezoid shape.


Yeah I really should not just edit things on the fly and I feel most of the more advanced graphics section probably would be better read as go to and at this point.

More editing ensues.


Possibly pushing the "must keep threads updated" requirement but hey.

New version out, mainly to fix the links now no$gba/GBAtek changed domain but I have also played editor a bit over the last couple of years, anything not finished last time has probably not been updated. Likewise several tools have been updated (vgmtrans is now being supported by loveemu and has a couple of versions out, desmume has had some great updates and no$gba also had some updates, though I have changed parts to reflect the debugging version now being freeware) so that is going to be a bit behind the times. The move from Windows to Linux brought with a bit bunch of headaches when it came to getting it so Lyx could export it (not quite as bad as some Microsoft office horror stories we probably all have but similar social circles), I am also expecting a bit of fallout from that.

The filetrip link in the first post should get to it but also has it. I did not change the margins in the end, despite having to fiddle with several of the images.

The link to the other domain will probably want to be updated at some point.

If filetrip does not work for you then try to be kind on my bandwidth please (download it rather than read it online every time) and you can get it
I am planning to get back into writing this over the coming months so I am not planning to spread this version far, though I am certainly not treating it as some kind of closed preview or something.

Changes are mainly google code links changed to github where applicable ( ), some other broken links fixed and some general tweaks and modernising things. Not a lot has been changed or added but I do tweak things from time to time on it and I would like to believe it is better.

Oh and I asked the author of monkey moore (the very nice relative search tool, ) whether there was a new site for it (it was on google code) and he said was the new one. A basic search did not bring that up so I will link it there to help with the spreading of it. If someone wants to update that rhdn link with the new site that would be nice as well.


Thank you.  I am grateful to you.
I don`t have understood ROM hacking, But I was helped you.

Thank you very much!