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Topics - puzzledude

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ROM Hacking Discussion / Puzzledude's seminar on romhacking
« on: July 25, 2015, 03:07:50 pm »
Are you one of those retro fans who are actually capable of hacking and modifying games for old consoles, or do you want to become one? Why bother at all!

First of all, no matter how good your game is, someone will most certainly not like it.

If you make the game too difficult, someone will most certainly not like, but! if you make the game too easy or normally difficult someone will most certainly again not like it, claiming it is too easy.

You will even come across such paradoxes, that a fairly easy game will be regarded as too difficult by some and yet too easy by others. So to conclude: no matter the actual difficulty, you'll always get the difficulty of your game wrong.

If your designed levels are based on exploration, someone will certainly call your game boring due to so called Backtracking. If you then decide to change that onto the better, don't bother, your edited levels, which will remove the backtracking, will certainly be called too Linear, which is apparently again no good. So to conclude: no matter the actual exploration factor, you'll always get the level design wrong.

If you decide to change the gfx, someone will certainly not like it, since they will claim the old gfx was better and the new one is too radical, custom made and thus no good. If you however decide to keep the original gfx, your game will be called "vanilla". So to conclude: no matter what you do with the gfx, you'll always get it wrong.

If you decide to implement special new music engine called MSU-1, don't bother, someone will definitely like SPC better. If you however keep the SPC, they will certainly tell you, that you are out of date, not switching to MSU.

If you mannaged to actually finish the project, you will come across painful testing. You will test and test and test, but why do you bother, you will certainly miss a bug or two, and when a player will come across such a minor problem, he will call your game (which you painfully tested for bugs) bugged. So why bother: no matter how much debugging you'll make, someone will still call your game bugged.

No matter how much you will check the grammar of the texts in the game, you'll surely miss out something. So why bother: no matter how much you will try to find spelling mistakes, someone will most surely find some and call your game a spelling horror and then add: this is common in those "custom made fake games".

If you designed your game to be used with save states, someone will call this a poor design, if you designed your game to be used without save states, they will use them anyway, making your game too easy - again. So why do you bother?

No matter how much TXT info files you will write, someone will surely patch your game to the false original rom, claiming you did a poor job with your game, since it doesn't load.

No matter how much TXT info files you will write, someone will surely patch your game to the false original rom, claiming you did a poor job with your game, since the game crashes in the middle of the playing. If you tell them to obviously check the CRC before playing they will tell you, that they've never heard of such a thing. So why do you bother?

If you tell them, to patch to a non headered rom, someone will definitely patch to a headered rom and claim your game to be bugged or not working, not knowing what went wrong.

If someone by somesort of a miracle likes your game, they will surely abuse it, by putting it onto the cart and sell it for money, making you look like the bad guy, who promotes piracy, since you are making "hacked" games. Your txt warning of "fair use" and "personal use" and "no rom or cart distribution" would be like an ant yelling at the supernova.

No matter how "just" your intentions are, in the eyes of the authors who made the original game, you are a thief, who just abused their intellectual property. In their eyes you are a pest, who is responsible for illegal cart distribution, since you made it happen. You can also be regarded as the person, who gave their game a bad name, since your game can never match the original one. In their eyes you are thus producing illegal derivated work of a poor/false quality and trying to benefit of it. So why do you bother?

That's what you get because you have programing/level designing talent/non talent and simply like an old game. Maybe being smart is not a good thing at all.

Make your life complete and quit romhacking to save your self a lot of trouble. Don't bother.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Zelda3 Parallel Worlds and Remodel v1-2
« on: July 14, 2015, 01:53:41 pm »
The unofficial versions of the 2 most known A link to the past hacks have been done.

Download IPS PW v1-2

Download IPS PR v1-2

Original file to patch to
Alttp US, No header, with the CRC32= 777AAC2F

When you patch it with the IPS, the hacked rom must have the CRC32
= 2271E4F5 for PW
= 5C4914FD for PR

1.) title screen fix (also tested) (ASM written by Icari)
2.) shovel in menu closes the annoing empty gap (ASM written by Conn)
3.) inserted the chest with Shovel via hex into Zelda's cell (ideal, since you get the shovel early but after at least one item), 2+3 also basic test done, also tested to allow ocarina+shovel in menu
4.) digging treasures hack insterted (ASM written by Conn), but further adopt of treasure: default was 20 rupees, 5 rupees, 1 rupee, magic (magic was obsolete, because of the green magic autofill, 20 rupees was too much - could get rich too early; changed treasures to: 1 heart, 5 rupees, 1 bomb, 5 arrows) basic test of digging done.
5.) flute fix (ASM written by Conn) - implemented, but in practice no need, since area 2A, which has the flute dig, gets absorbed by big area 21 (so no area 2A), flute can not be in the ground.

All features have a basic test done. The entire games were not yet tested. If however they are tested someday, this should be released as an addendum to still keep the "old/official" versions intact.

Recently hyper negative criticism has been made on one of the You tube chanels regarding the hack Zelda3 Parallel Remodel.

So I as the author request for it to be removed from the Romhacking database (already flagged it as non compliant).

I'm willing to bet that your overall opinion on this remake is going to be crap piled on crap, sprinkled with crap, lit with crap 0/10 why does this piece of crap exist? What I have witnessed in your l.p. thus far is a complete and utter DEATH of what the original was, and I really don't know what else to say.

I can only assume that Parallel Remodel was made just to mock people who complained of the originals difficulty, I find it very hard to believe he was serious with this.

Whoever made this quest should be kicked in the face multiple times and never be allowed to make a quest ever again.

Ayuh...this remake should not exist indeed. The one or two good levels just could not salvage this mess...methinks the author was not trying very hard when he created's obvious now he was stuck on a linear path lined with Beamos, leading to bright rooms of failure?

You actually found a bug. You were supposed to be able to get the L4 sword as soon as you enter the winter world! Seriously, fuck this remake.

It would seem that the author really loves linear paths, and vapid game play.

So after what I said about assuming this was just made as a joke to mock people and sadly from what I can tell it appears this was quite serious.

The Parallel Tower of the Parallel Remodel is a sad reimagining of what was an incredible climb. This is the moment the entire game builds up to? The Maiden's secrets in this version are worthless. The entire 7F was Empty Rooms, not even enemies. At least make some clear all enemies or Something. The sad part, the abysmally sad part is that Ganon's Tower is A Lot more difficult than this. This is a veritable joke!

ROM Hacking Discussion / Zelda3 Goddess of Wisdom review discussion
« on: September 03, 2013, 07:59:06 am »

Since this is one of the most professional reviews I've ever seen, I've decided to open this as a topic, to be able to answer/discuss it. (I hope this does not conflict with the rules).

First of all I want to thank eskimo44 for the detailed review, which is always welcome. Ironically I agree with every part.

If I would be designing the same hack (that I worked on back then) today, I would definitely change things. The main issue we need to take into consideration is the fact, that Z3 has poor editing programs, and that this hack was very bugged in beta stage. It was thus impossible to insert a title screen or expand the dark world etc.

Since Z3 dungeons are very difficult to design; maps, compasses or floor counters are really a side thing, usually bugged or impossible to do/change (don't be surprised if future hacks have those things removed completely). So when I've first seen those dungeons made by Dudeman and Omega (no puzzles were in yet!), I decided to bring them from beta state, since I knew, we are looking at the best custom/fanmade Z3 dungeons (IMO) at the time (considering the bug nature of editors, the lack of Z3 hacks, and the fact, that the creators are not a company and have limited testing abilities= beta testing is a pain, and are few in numbers). But they are still not a match for Alttp dungeons.

Regarding the bosses. Not really much you can do with the programing. Brand new bosses are a far dream in Z3 and would require "impossible" asm, so Z3 has always looked into gfx changes of bosses. The new upcoming Parallel Universes hack by SePH is really doing an awesome job on this.

Regarding the overworld. Altogether unfinished in my opinion. I did add a lot of new areas, but essentially decided not to use the entire capabilities of the overworld. Partially due to bugs, partially due to a poor editor capabilities of 64x64 map drawing system. The game also had a strange crash bug when jumping diagonally-down from all cliffs (the result are some unaesthetic fences).

Sidequests and story were a side thing. I didn't spend much time with that, since I thought players like to play (not read) the game. I don't like reading when playing and a lot of players don't understand a word in English. But it seems many players actually favour the reading part (something to look into in the future). The same with sidequests/ sidegames.

Regarding the gfx. I was a gfx rookie back then. Considering what I can do now, the gfx part has minor changes in the hack.

Regarding the difficulty. I would make it easier today, or at least also make an easier version, since a lot of players find it to difficult. Since armor2,3 and shield3, sword4 were considered to powerfull, they were removed. Today I would insert them back (at least armor2).

Regarding the standout criticism. That Master-sword-pit-room would go out today, but back then I thought of it as a challenge. The same with statue puzzles and "super" ice-thing-throwing puzzles. From experience I've learned to either remove statue puzzles or make them a lot smaller (quarter room only). The same with special puzzles and challenge rooms.

Of course the current Goddess of Wisdom will not change (new painfull beta testing would be needed; unstable, bugged if edited and generally "unclean" current rom; multiple versions already to this date, which confuse players; working on other projects etc). But we will look into all what has been said with our future projects.

ROM Hacking Discussion / ROM, ISO information (hashes)
« on: August 15, 2013, 11:34:10 am »
While this is a very usefull idea to be implemented, it doesn't solve the patching problems entirely, specially for rookies.

The first thing is that the SHA-256 hash is really not necessary (the code is too long to be checked and there's already MD5 and SHA-1... and CRC32).

The second thing is the existing paradoxes. The example is the Super Metroid hack, Stardust. The hashes suggest it is the standard JU rom with no header, since that's the CRC32 D63ED5F8. But the patching info on the left is: header (SNES).

Ironically the game starts if you patch it to the headered or unheadered original, while the hex examination show, that the patched files are not identical (for obvious reasons).

There are two solutions for this. First: include CRC32 and MD5 only but for original rom, and a correctly patched rom (that's the vital hash actually). Second solution: accept only UPS files (since the UPS patch would disallow the false patching - in the upper case it would patch only one file, headered or unheadered, but not both like now).

One other thing is that rookies just want to play the game, and have no clue (god's honest truth) what a hex editor or a hash is. They don't know how to calculate a hash (certainly not something like SHA-256). And they do Not read any txt files or your very detailed info on how the hash is calculated (specially the ones who's native language is not English - we are dealing with young people). 80 percent of young players, who's language is not English are having severe problems with this language and its (no so friendly) spelling.

Despite the fact that this looks very professional, half of it is not usefull in practice (we know which file it is just from CRC32 and MD5):
Super Metroid (JU) [!].smc - GOODSNES 2.04
CRC32: D63ED5F8
MD5: 21F3E98DF4780EE1C667B84E57D88675
SHA-1: DA957F0D63D14CB441D215462904C4FA8519C613
SHA-256: 12B77C4BC9C1832CEE8881244659065EE1D84C70C3D29E6EAF92E6798CC2CA72

Having the game filesize is a much better choice (no programs needed). For instance non-headered Super Metroid is 3.072 KB, headered one is 3.073 KB.

For instance:
Super Metroid (JU) [!]
3.072 KB
no header
CRC32 original: D63ED5F8
MD5 original: 21F3E98DF4780EE1C667B84E57D88675
CRC32 hacked: 20D56B9
MD5 hacked: 57F3E32BF4580EE1C558B84E99C77352

is a much better and efficient solution. This is very practical since the 3.072 means no header automatically. The 3.073 means with header.

But this:
CRC32: D63ED5F8
Patching info: Header (SNES)

for Stardust Super Metroid is certainly a wrong info. This paradox would be clear, if the info also had a
CRC32 hacked: 20D56B9
MD5 hacked: 57F3E32BF4580EE1C558B84E99C77352
like above.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Brutal video game abuse
« on: January 04, 2013, 05:17:03 pm »
A brutal videogame abuse...

It really is a shame how some have no dignity. The word honour is foreign to them. The phrases like making money with someone else's work, abusing video games and boundless benefit to fill their bottomless pockets are however on their daily vocabulary.

And who do I mean by "some" - sites like Timewalk games, who in their nasty business dare to be that sarcastic, to put their name on a spot, where it usually reads Nintendo, and on top of everything thank?? the authors of the game (who's work they've just abused).

And who do I mean by "some" - users like Undead Space Monkey, who are dumb enough to support this brutal abuse with buying such abused cartridges (some cost 137$ WTF) and even show off on the You tube with their abused unboxing.

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