A game that involves 3 roms or 1 rom, which is better?

Started by Erockbrox, February 16, 2016, 02:04:08 AM

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I am involved in a rom hacking project and there is an idea to split the adventure of the course of 3 separate roms. A part 1,2 and 3 so to speak. My question to you guys is; which would you rather play, a game which needs 3 different roms to tell the story that you have to swap from one to anther while you are progressing or would you rather have just 1 rom with the story in it even if you had to cut some things out of the game  to make everything fit?

Let me know, thanks.


Expand the 1 ROM to make everything fit! :D  If its possible


Answer A: Cram only the best stuff into one ROM. Things like this always make me think of Robocop 2. It will never be as great as the first, but had about 15 mins of fat been trimmed from the movie it would have been elevated from "decent" to "good". Because of that, there is only one good Robocop movie instead of two. To clarify, I am referring to the overall amount of content (which was too much), not the drop in quality of the sequel.

Answer B: Multiple ROMs, because that will make life more painful for repro makers and the wallets of those who support them.
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I have any number of adages from various types of editing, mastering and story related stuff. Most of them boil down to "cut everything you possibly can, and then cut some more".

Anyway I imagine this will be either some kind of password transfer or shared save. If it means you make something that will work on hardware then go multiple ROMs, if a single ROM will still work just fine on hardware then make the effort an go single ROM, unless the effort for that is really a lot where splitting is less.


This heavily depends.

Take a look at the Movie Alexander the Great. While the movie is decent and quality, it just kills the idea, because everything is "cut away" - its more like "highlights" of his life. It definitely would need 3 movies here, instead of one, where everithing is cur away.

But sometimes they expand too much like the Hobbit - forcely expanded to 3 movies, where there could be 2 and it would be much better.

Maybe putting it into 2 roms would be the best idea, it depends how much content you have.


First question: which system?

If you are doing something entirely new, why not just use some modern gaming system and not worry at all about this stuff!? :D


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I never would do something "new" for SNES, but if I did, probably I would stick to some Ex-HiRom or even MSU-1, since it is already supported by popular products, to clamp any space constraints. 1 ROM to rule them all! :)


I'd just like to know how you planned to keep the player's data consistent across multiple roms, unless you want them to rename their save file or rom each time to make sure the emulator popped in with the right one? I think it's an accepted impossibility with an actual system...


Just some more info.

This is for Seph's Zelda 3 hack, Conkers High Rule Tail. he wants to split the adventure into 3 separate roms. Beginning story, main story and ending story. I suggested for him to just put everything into 1 rom and that's it, but he doesn't want to. I suggested that it might not be the best idea since people may get confused on which one to play and which order to play them in.

Anyway, I made this thread to see what others think and to see if other people think its a good idea or not.


People get confused applying an IPS patch.

Anyway if you have the skills to make this hack work then you should be able to code in a "you are not done with ROM ? so finish that first" screen/message.



I've got it. One giant corrupted zip file with an sfc extension that only works on specific builds of certain emulators. ;D
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Go with three, I think I see what he's aiming for and it would probably be a lot less of a hassle than coding one massive rom,
Maybe make one Base rom with all the improvements etc that are going to carry throughout all three installments, and then make 3 copies and work from there.
Also you could try naming them
Conkers High Rule Tail: Part# Insert_Subtitle_here
Should clear up any confusion about the order they need to be played in.


I'd say three ROMs would be fine, if that's what you need to include everything you want.  Would it have been feasible in the SNES era?  Maybe not, but that's more of a money/production issue than a technical one, and ROM hackers don't need to care about the business aspect of classic game development.

Heck, it's what I'm doing for Mario's Nightmare Quest, and I haven't heard any complaints about that coming in three parts.
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Has some people already mentioned, it depends.

If you can fit everything in one ROM without doubling the time to complete the project, I'd say go with this option. It would be more a technical prowess than fitting everything in 3 ROM in a more "lazy way" (no pejorative meaning here).

If you need to cut too much content or don't care about the technical aspect of fitting the maximum stuff in one ROM, why not use three ROMs?

It also depends of the game. There are games that are enough documented that you can expand a lot of different data without too much trouble but others that doing the same thing would require more disassembling and research, thus more time.


QuoteIt also depends of the game. There are games that are enough documented that you can expand a lot of different data without too much trouble but others that doing the same thing would require more disassembling and research, thus more time.

I'm pretty sure that in this case the main ROM is absolutely filled to the brim. (Seph's A Link to the Past/Conker hack)

EDIT: As-in what the engine and most emulators could handle. I'm sure it is already pushing the ALttP engine to it's absolute limit. This hack is insane. LOL
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If you've got some way to link the three ROMs together like how multi-disc games are linked, whether through save-state shenanigans or some amazing ASM trick, then I'd say there's no reason why that shouldn't work just fine.


I don't know if there would actually be stuff carrying over from one ROM to the next. My impression is that they stand on their own. From my understanding the first ROM is a prelude smaller than the main adventure, the second ROM is the main story and the third is an epilogue that is maybe equal to the size of the first. If Seph has enough content for this, I'm not sure a single ROM would be possible without dropping the content from ROMs 1 and 3 altogether. There may not even be the option of a single ROM due to the amount of content in the main ROM which I'm sure is already pushing the limits.
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You could fit all 3 games in so called exlorom format, which can handle 8MB of data (I'm sure no matter how much you "push" the limit, this is enough, since the original is 1MB). And if the first and last have less data, like 2MB each and the main can have 4MB.

But of course this is not recomended, since you would then need some impossible ASM or a custom emulator to able to run this from one file. So 3 ROMs are essential if you want to preserve compatibility, having them in a "normal" format.