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Romhacking => ROM Hacking Discussion => Topic started by: RetroProf on February 05, 2013, 03:34:11 am

Title: ROM archives of the world are being DESTROYED! (see page 2)
Post by: RetroProf on February 05, 2013, 03:34:11 am
This annoys me tremendously. And it confuses me. So what better place to ask than the internet's leading ROM hacking forum?

I'm sure we all know Planetemu. The French site with minimal adverts and a large ROM collection. For years I used them, since they carried clean, good dumps of pretty much everything.

If you wanted to apply a translation patch or a hack, their ROMs were the best to use.

A while ago though I noticed they replaced everything, their entire collection, ALL of their ROMs, with headerless / unheaded versions.

FOR EXAMPLE: Instead of U in brackets in the file name, the games have (USA) in the filename, and in some cases the files inside are bin instead of their accepted console specific file extension. Their entire Mega Drive set is now wrong. All of their Famicom Disk System games have the headers removed. Their NES games, likewise, are without headers.

Why would anyone do this? ROMs without headers are useless. Utterly useless. I thought the gaming community had long ago agreed that ROMs need to be single files rather than broken up, that we'd all agreed on a specific naming convention, and that headers were to be left alone as standard?

Without headers:

* You can't translate patch them.

* You can't apply hacks to them.

* Worst of all - the FDS games will NOT WORK in the PowerPak cartridge, because they absolutely MUST be disk images with their original headers. I had to download the entire GOODNES set to get them working, which I only discovered after wasting my time with Planetemus broken collection of non-functioning disk images.



Isn't that what the GOODSETS are all about? Standardised, clean dumps of perfectly functioning ROMs with headers? The fact Planetemu has abandoned GOODSETS, doesn't that mean it's now propagating bad dumps of ROMs?

Did someone in the romhacking community piss them off and this is now their revenge? Did they lose their minds? Did everyone suddenly agree that headerless ROMs were the way forward?

Because the patches on RHDN quite clearly state: apply to a standard ROM that has a normal header.

I'm utterly baffled why what used to be the best ROM site on the internet has done what it's done. I'm now visiting Emuparadise, and even donated to them, so it's not such a big deal. But it's still kinda sad to see. Planetemu is now dead to me. My primary reason for emulating is so I can apply the patches that you guys, on this website, create.

Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: LostTemplar on February 05, 2013, 05:28:28 am
I'm sure we all know Planetemu.

Never heard of it.

Quote
ROMs without headers are useless. Utterly useless.

Depends on the system. SNES headers, for instance, are themselves utterly useless and nothing else than unnecessary baggage. Pretty sure the same holds for the Genesis/MegaDrive, GBA, GameBoy (Color), and a lot of other system. As far as I know, the NES/Famicom is one of the few systems where most emulators require a header to be present.

Quote
* You can't translate patch them.
* You can't apply hacks to them.

Solely depends on the patch.

Quote
Standardised, clean dumps of perfectly functioning ROMs with headers?

Clean dumps with headers is kind of contradictory.

Quote
The fact Planetemu has abandoned GOODSETS, doesn't that mean it's now propagating bad dumps of ROMs?

"Not having headers" and "bad dumps" are not the same. What does it even have to do with dumping whether there's some array of bytes slapped on that wasn't in the original ROM (and that's what most headers are). Also, I think no-intro is more popular nowadays.

Quote
Did everyone suddenly agree that headerless ROMs were the way forward?

There at least seem to be a lot of people that think so.

Quote
Because the patches on RHDN quite clearly state: apply to a standard ROM that has a normal header.

You generalize too much; this can't even be true for all patches - for one of the systems with arguably the most patches, the SNES, it's one of the most encountered fallacies to patch a headered version with a patch that was made against the unheadered one, and vice versa.
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: Hiei- on February 05, 2013, 06:32:24 am
They switched to the "no-intro set" but that don't change a lot of things, as the last version of most roms in the goodsnes (at least, the one I have) are already without headers.

And it's not a big deal, if the patch you want to use require an header, just add one to the rom, there are a lot of tools which handle that.

But I think most new patchs are now often produced from roms without header (the header is a thing that come from the old copiers and are pretty useless except if you have a copier).
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: Gideon Zhi on February 05, 2013, 08:41:59 am
Personally? Every patch I've created for the last several years requires a rom without a header. The only reason I'd required roms *with* headers in the past was in cases where they seemed easier to come by. Headers are vestigial, make the hacking process needlessly more complicated, and really ought to be removed.
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: henke37 on February 05, 2013, 08:56:17 am
Headers that contain real valuable information are critical. "Headers" that are just a fixed length of random crap that everyone ignores are junk.

If headers can be magically re-added, without even looking at the contents of the file, then they where clearly junk.
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: KingMike on February 05, 2013, 10:20:51 am
FDS headers are also useless.
If you really need one, just use a hex editor to add 16 bytes to the beginning of the file.
All it is:
-The string "FDS"
-the hex value 0x1A
-1 bytes containing the number of disk sides (which you can tell easily from the file size). FDS images are 65,500 bytes per side. (so, a .fds file about 64K is 1 side, ~128K = 2 sides, ~256K = 4 sides (techincally 2 2-sided disks. Even more techinically, I've heard the few games that use that are text adventures that were sold in 2 parts, but merged into a single file)
And the rest is all zeroes.

Technically, all FDS dumps are inaccurate anyways as they don't contain the checksum data present on real disks. One person sent me a redump of one FDS game. I assumed the different data (2 extra bytes per file/block) was checksum data, but it doesn't seem to match after looking up the only doc on FDS checksums. (Brad Taylor's FDS doc (http://www.romhacking.net/documents/576/))
If someone wants to solve it, here's an xdelta patch (http://www.mediafire.com/?wve8ba4z91mymvp) It's for New Cluclu Land (no header).
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: ChronoMoogle on February 05, 2013, 10:25:22 am
About exceptions of games which NEED their headers: Satellaview games require them, otherwise the data is even unusable on real hardware.
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: Zoinkity on February 05, 2013, 10:38:20 am
NES ROM headers define what mapping they use, for instance.  Even Nintendo uses the iNes header, which should give you an idea of how important it is to emulation.  Most consoles have useless ones though, and some scenes have made a point of obliterating them outright.
SNES header issues are so common that there are ips patchers specificly designed so you can set it to ignore or simulate the header size.  They're pointless too, yet responsible for the largest number of patching issues, and for that reason some people are all for abolishing them outright.  To take it out on everything else, well, that wasn't a great idea ;*)

There are a few reasons the no-intro naming convention is prefered, especially since it uses a more consistant naming system cross-platform.  They tried to make the names slightly more obvious so you don't need to reference a key.  It's a take-it-or-leave-it kind of thing though, and pretty sure goodtools can/will autorename them anyway.
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: RetroProf on February 05, 2013, 04:27:20 pm
I see I'm in the minority. Ah well.

My severe annoyance at this came about as a result of spending several hours downloading ROMs and IPS patches, patching them each individually (30+ patches), and only afterwards finding that none of them worked. This was... mainly NES and PCE games. I had to go through my entire list again, dling from different ROM sites, re-applying the patches, and then replacing all the bad ROMs on my original Xbox's HDD. Absolutely maddening.


As for the statement that the headers are junk... Perhaps for some systems, but I'm unconvinced when it comes to the FDS. If they were really junk, why is it that FDS images without a header won't work on actual hardware? By actual hardware I mean the NES PowerPak. Is it the way the FDS mappers for the PowerPak are designed?
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: Pennywise on February 05, 2013, 04:55:55 pm
I'd like to point out that the NES is not an FDS and I believe the Powerpak is just emulating the FDS and it's not perfect.

Anyhow, I think we're in a bit of a transition period with headers and eventually we wont need them at all. Updating all the patches that use them though might take a while though, but that's a different matter. They can always be deleted/added in a hex editor.
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: Bregalad on February 05, 2013, 05:14:01 pm
I can't belive people can fight along lines with "headered roms RULES" and "headers are BULLSHIT" without even knowing about which system they're talking about.

GBA, NDS, etc... : I don't think headered ROMs even exists, because that is not necessary. Neccesary "header" info is within the ROM itself.

SNES : It's a bit more complicated. Technically, all the necessarly info is within the ROM itself. However the "internal" header can be at a different addresses, and sometimes is not accurate. Also the header that copiers used to add have no purpose, contrary to...

iNES : The header is an absolute nessesity and the emulation can't even happen without knowing which mapper to emulate. Some ROMs effectively have an internal header at the end like the SNES game does but only about a third of games have it, and it is in all cases incomplete and inaccurate. In no cases this can be used for emualation.

FDS : Technically the user is only useful to know how many disk sides there is. Not really useful but emulators tend to require the header to be here anyway.
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: Zoinkity on February 05, 2013, 06:31:04 pm
NES should have headers.  FDS probably should for emulation.  The case is two-fold:

The original hardware for an FDS is not a cartridge.  It's a giant floppy, read by the disk system, where pertinent information is sent through a cartridge adapter.  Like any disk system they can't boot themselves and require an IPL.  Basically, a small ROM waits for the drive to be full, you press start, and it loads the contents of the disk.
So, FDS images don't need them and carts are not their 'original hardware'.  FDS images are dual-booted.

Case 1:
However, since the iNES header is required for NES emulation.  The 16 bytes must be expected, and naturally anything else that the emulator would expect should have them present.   An iNES header would need to be present for compatability, otherwise an FDS image could be 'read' as a header and (in the fringe case) mistakenly be loaded as a NES game with weird settings.  Conversely, presuming non-iNES provided data is an FDS disk rules out that the user may provide bad data, and without some means of verification you'd boot an unknown file of unknown format as a disk, possibly locking the program yada yada yada.

Case 2:
Unless you had a completely seperate boot mechanism (ie. multiboot IPL and required disk(s)) there must be a way to identify FDS images from NES roms.  In this case, the header would identify the different format and vastly simplify the boot method.  For something like the powerpak that is essential.

So...
They were wrong to remove them from any NES ROM.  Even if one were to make the case that it was required only for emulation, it actually is required in some form for preservation.  The original hardware arrangement is required to know how to run the program or what to load it on.  If the header was stripped they should have provided some external information (ie. XML document or .nfo), preferably for each ROM but more likely a rom database file.


To do that across the board for everything, including NES ROMs, must mean they're catering specificly for a certain scene.  Are the MAME/MESS people at work here?  Whatever it is it's relying on a massive compatability table, and definately breaks on any unregistered ROMs (such as homebrew).


About SNES:
"Internal headers" would be a valid part of ROM.  What's at question are external ones: tacked-on information that isn't a part of the ROM image extracted from carts/individual chips.  When this provides no information whatsoever it isn't necessary.  SNES headers, added by the dumpers, fall into this case.  Removing them has no impact.  The only case when they are needed is whan a patch was made expecting them, but this can be simulated via patching software.  Really, they should be removed to eliminate confusion.  Most hackers need to remove them anyway to properly calculate addresses, yada yada.
Not to say SNES wouldn't have benefitted from a header (or footer) specifying hardware configurations.  That's a different discussion though.
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: KingMike on February 05, 2013, 08:53:13 pm
I know FCEU doesn't need headers for FDS games.
It should be detectable by the .fds filesize, as disk sides are consistent. Also, each side of an FDS disk does begin with an internal header, starting with 0x01 (to indicate block type), followed by the string "*NINTENDO-HVC*". Pretty unlike a cart game is going to start with that exact sequence.
While all licensed games have a "license" file at the start (which contains an exact duplicate of the "licensed" message that appears after a game loads, must match the text stored in the BIOS.)
I'm not sure if unlicensed games still have that text file (as it seems they were able to avoid making that screen appear after booting).
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: Tony H on February 05, 2013, 10:38:00 pm
I also noticed that Planetemu had recently replaced all their ROM sets.  I mainly use Genesis ROMs, and their old sets were all in bin format.  Perfect.  Now, they're still in bin format, but the file extensions are all "md".  Gens doesn't recognize md as a Genesis ROM, so I have to rename all my ROMs from there.  No big deal, but gets to be annoying after awhile. 
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: MathUser2929 on February 06, 2013, 08:22:41 am
Some other places rename them as .gen.
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: Nightcrawler on February 06, 2013, 08:46:59 am
This is what happens when responsible parties don't work together and instead start pushing their own individual agendas. An incompatible mess where everybody loses. :(
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: Zoinkity on February 06, 2013, 10:12:22 am
Cool about FDS.  Yeah, totally agree that with a standard like that a header really wouldn't be required.

Guess megadrive (.md) vs. genesis (.gen) just matters what side of the pond you're on.
Extensions are the bane of every emulated platform.  It seems there's an extension for every copier, every localized name for a platform, then generic ones like .bin and .rom, occationally the ones used by the devs, others that seemed like a good idea at the time, and heaven forbid some emulator decides to ascociate them all.
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: Lilinda on February 06, 2013, 02:10:02 pm
I also noticed that Planetemu had recently replaced all their ROM sets.  I mainly use Genesis ROMs, and their old sets were all in bin format.  Perfect.  Now, they're still in bin format, but the file extensions are all "md".  Gens doesn't recognize md as a Genesis ROM, so I have to rename all my ROMs from there.  No big deal, but gets to be annoying after awhile.

I'd switch to Regen or Kega Fusion, you'll get better emulation(more accurate sound effects, less emulation glitches, etc).
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: Nosuch on February 06, 2013, 05:36:41 pm
Kega Fusion doesn't recognize .md either (in my experience at least, but I think I'm using a fairly old version) so you'll still have to rename them.

I am in concurrence about its emulation quality, though. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: RetroProf on February 07, 2013, 03:41:46 am
This is what happens when responsible parties don't work together and instead start pushing their own individual agendas. An incompatible mess where everybody loses. :(

Ultimately this is my complaint.

I'm not a programmer, or a ROM hacker, I'm just an end user. So my gripe stems solely from the fact the we have different entities (ROM providers, patchers, hackers, flash-cart producers, mapper makers, etc), and each is producing something which should be 100% compatible with another, but is not for whatever reason. Or it was compatible, but then one group decided they wanted to use another system, and suddenly everything is out of sync.

Planetemu was a great source for clean ROMs, what they provided worked. It worked with what RHDN provided. But now they've changed it. This means RHDN either needs to change all its patches, or I need to find another ROM supplier (I chose the latter). Even if RHDN did update all its patches, what about those acquiring headered ROMs elsewhere? Why must there be so much confusion? The emulators I have will boot headered and unheadered ROMs in exactly the same way, so what is the logical reason for changing a system which we've become ingrained with.

I mean, to put it another way: a metric time system (100 < 100 < 10 + 10) makes more sense than two lots of 12 hours, but we're never going to adopt metric time because we're ingrained with what we have. This change to unheadered ROMs, even if headers are junk, seems to be creating more confusion and chaos than actual benefit. Actually, I can't see that there is any benefit to it at all. At worst headers are superfluous and vestigial/uneeded. You don't notice. But remove headers, and at best no one notices. At worst, the ROMs refuse to work, patches won't work, nothing works!

I managed to get around this ROM problem, but I had to work at it - reading through README files, patching and then checking and then redownloading and then patching again.

Why couldn't the PCE games I patched just work, off the bat? That Bubblegum adventure game at least had the decency to provide two patches in the ZIP file, one for a headered ROM, and one for an unheadered version (well done to the team behind that - I noticed and appreciated the effort you made). Most of the other games didn't even acknowledge that there were two different kinds of ROM. A few just said "get a clean ROM". Which is what I assumed Planetemu carried! At least, they once did....

Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: henke37 on February 07, 2013, 06:41:21 am
Except that "clean rom" doesn't say anything about headers. It means an unaltered rom, no previous patching and no random corruption.
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: FAST6191 on February 07, 2013, 09:06:03 am
we have different entities (ROM providers, patchers, hackers, flash-cart producers, mapper makers, etc), and each is producing something which should be 100% compatible with another

As it see it SNES emulation is moving to bigger and better things with the likes of bsnes/higan and the header stuff was largely a leftover from the bad old/bodge it and scarper days of the SNES "scene"- from the GBA upwards there were proper standards of a sort and people did follow them but the SNES was nuts/a proverbial wild west which has seen a hangover last to this day. Such transitions are often painful but I would argue quite necessary. At least here nothing will be lost that can not be recovered with minimal effort so that is not such a problem (depending upon how you view a handful of tools).

Also "I assumed".... historically not a great start to an endeavour.

Re extensions. Something starts trying to associate all the system type ".bin" files and I say things.
Also because "ren *.bin *.md" is hard? There are a few other workarounds as well (*.* in the name section and many exe files as far as changing supported extensions are not hard to edit either).

Anyway the worst I usually have to deal with is an intro on a GBA game (there were technically a few with dodgy headers but if you can find one of those now you are doing well or you were there at the time- certainly they did not make it into the "clean" sets) or a header added to a save file (save file containers were not a thing on the GBA and DS and so they get added for good reason by several emulators, launching programs and commercial dumping tools).
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: KingMike on February 07, 2013, 09:20:46 am
For SNES patches, if a patch requires a header, there are tools to add/remove a header from the ROM. So you can add a header, apply the patch (and then it is suggested to remove the header afterwards).
Since PCE headers (seemingly rarely present) are the same size as SNES, you could use the same tools to add them (but remove them after patching, as the data is almost certainly not the same format, if emulators even use them).
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: Zoinkity on February 07, 2013, 08:03:25 pm
From the perspective of patch creators there's another really important point in removing headers during their work: pointers to data based on physical file position.  If you didn't remove the header you have to subtract the difference from every pointer you're working with, which is an added layer of needless work.

So, unless they use an editor or something high-level to completely avoid working on the hex itself, you're looking at them having to add a header back on before generating a patch.  Plus, even from the beginning not every ROM had a header, so making a patch for a headerless version still happened.

The one problem--the pivotal problem--is that many patch creators never tell you the expected format.  :banghead:  If they use a tool they may have never known what it was!

It's always been a mess.  I can understand forcing standardization for systems with pointless headers, at least in the long run.  What's irksome is they obviously didn't bother to find out which systems those are and removed them for everything.
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: ChronoMoogle on February 07, 2013, 08:36:08 pm
I know there is quite a rejection of the existence of snes headers, but please keep in mind that satellaview headers are often mistook to be snes headers (and I didn't even see one mention of them here after my post) but they are very much needed to let the roms be functional. Just wanted to point that out again. Kiddo wanted to create a isolated satellaview set, so I guess this is very needed if you see the general opinion about SNES roms. Esspeacialy if you keep in mind that most of those games havent been hacked or emulated so far. (some emulators and the sd2snes may be an exception) The newer no-intro sets scrapped most of the satellaview headers which made the roms non-functional.
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: RetroProf on February 08, 2013, 04:24:44 am
I've.... never even tried to use a Satellaview game/ROM before. But I will remember what you've said about them absolutely requiring headers for future conversations.

So basically, in the blind pursuit of removing useless headers, they also removed essential headers, thereby destroying certain ROMs?

Incredible. And also a little sad. :(

Didn't anybody knowledgeable in the scene try to point this out before it started happening? Or did it just happen and those who knew the Satellaview only found out afterwards? I mean, did you just log on one day and find: oh crap, they've broken the Satellaview ROMs!

I find this all very fascinating.
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: Zoinkity on February 08, 2013, 11:13:43 am
I was originally going to write that this sounds like private initiative by someone who was grossly underinformed.  That said, I got a PM yesterday through emutalk asking if they need to delete the 0x1000(ish) bootstrap from N64 games too.  Apparently there's a misconception that the internal N64 headers which are a physical part of ROM and used by the bootstrap to set up PI access and timing are superfluous and have already started deleting them.  Obviously they never tried to boot a cart where everything is 64 bytes off...

So, WTF is going on?  Is this some initiative through No-Intro?
No-intro uses .md instead of .gen for generated filenames, so that would explain that bit.  They're also only throwing valid against headerless SNES roms now.  Plus, none of my selfdumped titles show valid anymore.  Great.


Poor Satellaview.  With all the difficulty involved in preserving the thing properly the last thing it needs is another kick in the pants.
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: KingMike on February 08, 2013, 01:58:48 pm
I was originally going to write that this sounds like private initiative by someone who was grossly underinformed.  That said, I got a PM yesterday through emutalk asking if they need to delete the 0x1000(ish) bootstrap from N64 games too.  Apparently there's a misconception that the internal N64 headers which are a physical part of ROM and used by the bootstrap to set up PI access and timing are superfluous and have already started deleting them.

Wouldn't they notice when the ROM is an unusual size?
(I know it was common to use multiple ROMs on NES and SNES. I'm guessing N64 games tended to use only one or two ROMs (as 12 MB seems to be the only common non-power-of-two size, though I believe there were a couple 40 MB as well).
But I don't know as I haven't myself opened any N64 carts, with the (seeming useless) metal plates inside the carts. Did those have a purpose besides making the carts unnecessarily heavy (and probably more expensive)? :P
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: henke37 on February 08, 2013, 08:06:28 pm
Shielding? People always like to throw metal shields on electronics.
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: Zoinkity on February 08, 2013, 09:09:46 pm
The metal plate is a floating ground.

The PCBs are surprisingly standardized and boring, and for larger games they simply replaced smaller chips with larger ones.  Never saw one with more than 2 ROM chips that wasn't a dev tool or an early HK knockoff, and the devtools almost all use 8 8MB eeproms.  About the only game-to-game variation you'd see would be between FLASHROM save types. 

Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: Revenant on February 08, 2013, 10:28:42 pm
I know there is quite a rejection of the existence of snes headers, but please keep in mind that satellaview headers are often mistook to be snes headers (and I didn't even see one mention of them here after my post) but they are very much needed to let the roms be functional. Just wanted to point that out again. Kiddo wanted to create a isolated satellaview set, so I guess this is very needed if you see the general opinion about SNES roms. Esspeacialy if you keep in mind that most of those games havent been hacked or emulated so far. (some emulators and the sd2snes may be an exception) The newer no-intro sets scrapped most of the satellaview headers which made the roms non-functional.
I've.... never even tried to use a Satellaview game/ROM before. But I will remember what you've said about them absolutely requiring headers for future conversations.

So basically, in the blind pursuit of removing useless headers, they also removed essential headers, thereby destroying certain ROMs?

Incredible. And also a little sad. :(

Didn't anybody knowledgeable in the scene try to point this out before it started happening? Or did it just happen and those who knew the Satellaview only found out afterwards? I mean, did you just log on one day and find: oh crap, they've broken the Satellaview ROMs!

I find this all very fascinating.

The only sort of "Satellaview header" that exists is just an alternate form of the internal SNES ROM header, not anything similar to the (now-useless) copier headers and such being discussed in this thread.

From what I understand, the issue surrounding No-Intro's Satellaview ROMs involves copies of games in which certain information in the internal header (time-sensitive info, namely the games' download dates), for whatever reason, is missing, whether removed by hand or otherwise. No-Intro seems to incidentally have a high concentration of Satellaview dumps with this information missing, while GoodSNES is almost the opposite.

It's certainly an issue for Satellaview preservationists, but it's not at all related to the push for headerless SNES ROMs in the sense that you're thinking of.

Edit: I asked Kiddo about it on IRC, since I remembered him talking about this issue a bit in #tcrf, and he clarified the circumstances a bit:
Quote
(10:42:33 PM) Kiddo: All I know is that I tried tracing some ROMs to the earliest source possible
(10:42:41 PM) Kiddo: found ORIGINAL SCENE RELEASES of some BS marvelous ROMs
(10:42:46 PM) Kiddo: and the dates were STILL missing from the headers.
(10:42:58 PM) Kiddo: It baffled me.
(10:43:47 PM) Kiddo: For some reason GoodSNES kept dates in as many ROMs as it could while in the no-intro ROMs they seemed to mostly be gone besides what was dumped when I started Satellablog
(10:44:07 PM) Kiddo: I tried working to correct that but it appears there's some ROMs where we simply can't find ones with dates in.
(10:44:20 PM) Kiddo: The BS Marvelous example there being notable because I basicaly traced it as early as possible.
(10:44:32 PM) Kiddo: it was released that way.
(10:44:40 PM) Kiddo: And that's the only release we can work with.
(10:44:43 PM) Kiddo: :<
(10:45:04 PM) Kiddo: I don't exactly know why or when this started happening, though.
Title: Re: Why would Planetemu replace all their ROM sets with headerless versions?!
Post by: RetroProf on February 09, 2013, 05:56:35 am
I was originally going to write that this sounds like private initiative by someone who was grossly underinformed.  That said, I got a PM yesterday through emutalk asking if they need to delete the 0x1000(ish) bootstrap from N64 games too.  Apparently there's a misconception that the internal N64 headers which are a physical part of ROM and used by the bootstrap to set up PI access and timing are superfluous and have already started deleting them. 

What the bloody hell?!

It sounds to me like some uninformed idiot is riding roughshod over the work of others, screwing stuff up willy-nilly.

What the hell is going on in the ROM preservation community?

Surely those with more knowledge/sense should be putting a stop to this? Isn't there, you know, some kind of gate keeper or authority committee which oversees this and prevents incompetence like that taking place?

Does this mean entire archives of N64 ROMs are going to be useless?

To what end are they removing those N64 headers, which based on your description are integral to the data?

What you've described is so abhorrent, frankly I'm having trouble comprehending it. Are any gaming news websites covering this? I feel like I've stumbled into some kind of nefarious conspiracy!

Am I over-reacting? Shouldn't whoever is behind this destruction of data e stopped, and those going along with it be educated on the matter? It feels like something needs to be done about this, right now. Should we do something? Are we doing something? Are people who know about this doing what needs to be done? I'm just a writer, but am a keen emulation user for article writing. I want the entire sphere of emulation to be protected, preserved and made to be the best and most accessible that it can be.
Title: Re: ROM archives of the world are being DESTROYED! (see page 2)
Post by: FallenAngel2387 on February 09, 2013, 09:09:31 am
You just asked if there was some kind of authority on something that could be considered illegal.

Anyway, if we all know gamers, there will be plenty of bitching when they realize the game don't work, and this will be corrected before long. Unless they just decide to get roms from somewhere else.
Title: Re: ROM archives of the world are being DESTROYED! (see page 2)
Post by: RetroProf on February 09, 2013, 10:01:51 am
Drugs are illegal, but that doesn't stop the mafia and cartels from controlling production and distribution.

Anyway, I hope some kind of logical consensus is reached.
Title: Re: ROM archives of the world are being DESTROYED! (see page 2)
Post by: Zoinkity on February 09, 2013, 10:50:07 am
Technically speaking this place's archive was altered because ROM verification tools (which in some cases automatically rename and/or patch) are being updated to unintentionally damage ROMs.

Presuming you're someplace where it's legal to make a backup copy of a ROM, that means these tools can damage an otherwise good dump.
It also means that anyone who makes a patch (which depending where you're at is also mostly legal) has to take into account damaged ROMs when dealing with the bug reports.
So, it isn't just throwing a dead kitten in the rum to kill the pirates. 
Title: Re: ROM archives of the world are being DESTROYED! (see page 2)
Post by: RetroProf on February 10, 2013, 09:38:39 am
Bloody hell, had a look on Emu paradise, and they TOO are running .md Mega Drive romsN.

Someone might suggest using tools to fix this problem, but that defeats the whole purpose of everything. There shouldn't be a need to work harder. >_<
Title: Re: ROM archives of the world are being DESTROYED! (see page 2)
Post by: FallenAngel2387 on February 10, 2013, 02:42:42 pm
Yeah, but they carry GoodRom complete sets, which counters the issue with the individual roms.
Title: Re: ROM archives of the world are being DESTROYED! (see page 2)
Post by: Myria on February 14, 2013, 02:17:55 am
I'm going to make my Breath of Fire 1 patch tell you what you did wrong if you try to apply the patch to a ROM with an SMC header.  Similarly for if you patch the wrong version.
Title: Re: ROM archives of the world are being DESTROYED! (see page 2)
Post by: RadioTails on February 14, 2013, 08:11:03 am
Why would anyone do this? ROMs without headers are useless. Utterly useless. I thought the gaming community had long ago agreed that ROMs need to be single files rather than broken up, that we'd all agreed on a specific naming convention, and that headers were to be left alone as standard?

Without headers:

* You can't translate patch them.

* You can't apply hacks to them.

* Worst of all - the FDS games will NOT WORK in the PowerPak cartridge, because they absolutely MUST be disk images with their original headers. I had to download the entire GOODNES set to get them working, which I only discovered after wasting my time with Planetemus broken collection of non-functioning disk images.

You do realise that Nintendo themselves use unheaded roms in the SNES Virtual Console games? Should we go and complain at them? :P
Title: Re: ROM archives of the world are being DESTROYED! (see page 2)
Post by: RetroProf on February 14, 2013, 09:03:20 am
As I've come to realise, different ROMs for different system emulators, require different standards.

For some headers are useless, for others they are essential.

As we've ascertained, the problem here appears to be the arbitrary removal of headers for games which require them, by imbeciles who have zero idea of what they are doing.

Full disclosure:
I haven't patched a SNES ROM in a few years. All of my complaints in this thread are NES, FDS, PCE and Mega Drive related.

And SNES Satellaview, based on statements from others.