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ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Patching Shantae to force GBA or GBC modes.
« on: February 08, 2017, 10:39:55 am »
GBC does it with quite a few games (I used to have all the palettes at the PocketHaven forums, but they might be lost now?)

Fortunately, these at least are documented on TCRF's GBC bootROM article.

EDIT: Incidentally, I just managed to nop over the branch past the Game Boy Player palette switch in Super Mario Advance 4, so I've submitted a patch to RHDN for it. Fingers crossed. Obviously, the difference is minor, but I figure the palette is there, we might as well take advantage of it. EDIT2: Approved, link to patch.

EDIT3: I finally got around to doing the same for Mario & Luigi. There's a cmp against 0x0F0 at 0x0801A4FA, followed by a bne at 0x0801A4FC. nop the branch to have the game run in GBP mode.

Lay users: with a hex editor, go to 0x0001A4FC in the (USA) Mario & Luigi ROM, where you'll find 0x18D1. Replace these two bytes with 0xC046. Should be easy enough to do for other regions, too, if it's not at the same address just search for a few nearby bytes.

I'm not going to bother submitting this one to RHDN because it's not a true palette that this enables; rather, the GBA version has the "true" palette and GBP-mode just dims it across the board—that is, anything that was white is now gray, etc. Any decent emulator can probably do a better job improving the picture than this lazy "fix".

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Patching Shantae to force GBA or GBC modes.
« on: February 06, 2017, 11:55:41 am »
Huh, interesting question. I'm not aware of any that do that, or even whether that's something the Game Boy Player is capable of. With the handful of Game Boy Player-enhanced games I mentioned above, the "enhancements" are really coming from the game itself, not the GBP. It's more akin to the way Game Boy Color games can be "enhanced" on GBA (like Shantae, Wendy: Every Witch Way or the Zelda: Oracle games). The game checks whether it's running on the Game Boy Player, and branches to a few different behaviors if it is.

The only thing the Game Boy Player is doing differently is that it checks for the GBP logo to be displayed, and if it sees it, it triggers all four d-pad directions at once. The game checks the input values, and if it detects all four d-pad directions are pressed during the GBP logo, a value is set somewhere in memory that the game can check from there on before deciding which palettes to use, etc.

That's why what I wanted to do was to hack Mario Advance and Mario & Luigi to "run in Game Boy Player mode" at all times, so that I could play them on, e.g. a Nintendo DS with the Game Boy Player palette. But I'm terrible at this, so it didn't work out. ;)

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Patching Shantae to force GBA or GBC modes.
« on: February 05, 2017, 03:02:55 am »
Yeah, Mario Advance 4 isn't too bad, those late-period games mostly look pretty reasonable. I hope you do get a chance to get back to Mario Advance 1, that game was really hit hard.

Anyway, since discovering the GBP palette for Mario 3, I figured I'd try the other Game Boy Player logo games and see if there's anything else there.

First up, I tried Mother 3, since I've never understood why it has the Game Boy Player logo at all. But apparently it's not for palettes, because they're not changed. *shrug*

Next up, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga:

Success! I must say, the GBP palette for this game looks really nice.

EDIT: Testing out a few more games. Neither Drill Dozer nor Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire have a GBP palette.

Shikakui Atama o Maruku Suru. Advance - Kanji, Keisan does have a GBP palette, and there's also a Kokugo, Sansuu, Shakai, Rika version, which probably teaches something else. I think these are just educational games of some kind, not terribly exciting.

EDIT2: Summon Night: Swordcraft Story 2 was already mentioned earlier in this thread, but I thought I'd check it anyway. It does display the Game Boy Player logo on startup, but the GBP palette is not set automatically. It has to be set in the in-game Options menu. The same thing is true for Summon Night: Craft Sword Monogatari: Hajimari no Ishi, the third entry in the series, released only in Japan. The logo appears on startup, but palette is just a menu setting under Options. These two might just be using it for rumble, like Pokémon Pinball and Drill Dozer.

Is anybody aware of any more Game Boy Advance titles which display the Game Boy Player logo on startup (besides the GBA Videos, I mean). I'd be interested to check if any more games have this feature.

To summarize, the games currently known to adjust the palette automatically:
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
  • Shikakui Atama o Maruku Suru. Advance: Kanji, Keisan
  • Shikakui Atama o Maruku Suru. Advance: Kokugo, Sansuu, Shakai, Rika
  • Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3
Games that are Game Boy Player-enhanced, but do not adjust the palette automatically:
  • Drill Dozer (supports GameCube pad rumble)
  • Mother 3 (does nothing?)
  • Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire (supports GameCube pad rumble)
  • Summon Night: Swordcraft Story 2 (supports GameCube pad rumble?)*
  • Summon Night: Craft Sword Monogatari: Hajimari no Ishi (supports GameCube pad rumble)*
* Has palette settings under Options, Color: GBA, GBA SP [frontlit], TV [Game Boy Player, other backlit screens]

Games that are not Game Boy Player-enhanced, but have in-game palette settings:
  • Doom (Brightness: 1-6)
  • Doom II (Gamma: 1-6)
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (Color Mode: LCD A [unlit GBA], LCD B [frontlit GBA SP], TV [Game Boy Player, other backlit screens]
  • The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning (Display: GBA, GBA SP, Game Boy Player)
  • The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night (Gamma Level: Normal, Enhanced, Bright)
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past & Four Swords (Adjust Brightness: Dark [SNES], Normal, Bright)
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (Adjust Brightness: Dark, Normal, Bright)
  • Sonic Advance 3 (press R at title screen: GBA Color Setting, GBA SP Color Setting, Game Boy Player Color Setting)

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Patching Shantae to force GBA or GBC modes.
« on: February 04, 2017, 12:54:55 pm »
Does it do the GBP automatically? I have had a few games where you could change in options somewhere (they make a nice example for dynamic palette hacking, summon night 2 if others want an example) and though you can not detect an SP as far as I know you can do the GBplayer (it is how the GB videos are locked out*). That would however be the first example I have seen of it being used for an actual/"positive" reason.

With apologies for the three-odd-year bump, I was just informed today that Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 does in fact adjust the palette without user intervention when it runs on the Game Boy Player. I went and confirmed it in mGBA, which supports running in a "Game Boy Player" mode:

I did try to go in and hack this to always run with the Game Boy Player palette, but as I established three years ago, I'm really bad at this. ;)

Regardless, this makes me wonder which/if any other Game Boy Player-"enhanced" games perform the same function. I was never able to tell what change the Game Boy Player was doing to Mother 3, since it didn't seem to do rumble, so perhaps it's another palette correction case?

P.S. I should also add that your hack there was fantastic, Drenn, I never run Shantae without it. Great work.

I think it'd be cool to see (and reasonably easy for someone with talent to implement) a "blood fix" for Metal Slug: 2nd Mission on Neo Geo Pocket Color. Like the rest of the Metal Slug series, blood was replaced with some heretofore unknown white substance in order to tone down the violence for the international market.

The game is significantly less bloody than its home/arcade counterparts, so only powerful weapons like the shotgun actually result in blood; this makes the edits less noticeable, but it still looks weird when you do encounter it.

Now, both versions are included in the game; it's a World release, with the blood tied to the language setting on the NGPC itself. I tried to look into this myself but couldn't get the NeoPocott debugger working, so I'm posting it here instead.

The language byte is at 6F87, 00 for Japanese (blood) and 01 for English (white stuff). You'd probably want to set a read breakpoint on this address, and hopefully get a hit somewhere like on stage load or even at the point of impact for a weapon like the shotgun. You could hopefully then just nop out whatever instruction comes next. This is all best case scenario stuff though; it may be that the language byte is just read constantly and you'd have to follow (and understand) more of the code to get to the point where the blood palette is selected.

News Submissions / Re: Utilities: GBAMusRiper released
« on: February 15, 2014, 08:34:51 am »
I was using version 2.1 when I encountered the issue, not the old Java version, but thanks for the rapid and helpful response.

News Submissions / Re: Utilities: GBAMusRiper released
« on: February 15, 2014, 06:55:02 am »
Does anyone have any ideas for ripping the Disney Sports games (particularly Soccer US/Football EU)? Here's me trying to use GBAMusRiper on Disney Sports: Football (Europe):

Code: [Select]
Sappy sound engine detector (c) 2013 by Bregalad
Searching.....Sound engine detected : Mono version
# of song levels : 0
Engine parameters :
Main Volume : 15 Polyphony : 8 channels, Dac : 8 bits, Sampling rate : 13379 Hz
Song table located at : 0x12ad6c
Parsing song table...Collecting sound bank list... DEBUG 12ad78Song 0
GBA ROM sequence ripper (c) 2012 Bregalad
14 tracks.

It never gets any further than this and RAM usage blows out insanely; I think if I'd left it running its footprint would have just kept growing, so I had to kill it (Ctrl+C).

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Pokemon Yellow NES Translation Project
« on: December 17, 2013, 10:11:27 pm »

I don't know if you're copying these descriptions directly from the Game Boy game/s and don't want to alter them, but if you're not averse to making fixes, the correct usage there would be "its" rather than "it's". Possessive "its" has no apostrophe, perhaps by relation to "his" and "hers"; I guess the rule is "possessive pronouns don't take apostrophes"?

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Patching Shantae to force GBA or GBC modes.
« on: August 07, 2013, 06:22:36 am »
Does it do the GBP automatically? [...] That would however be the first example I have seen of it being used for an actual/"positive" reason.

Has anyone ever assembled an exhaustive list of games that show the GBP logo on startup? I know Super Mario Advance 4, Mario & Luigi, Pokemon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire and Drill Dozer all do and use it for rumble; do they actually bother to detect the Player, or is the rumble code actually active on all platforms, but without any outlet? There's also Mother 3, which shows the GBP logo, but I never noticed any rumble feature at all; perhaps it'd be worth checking if it actually does anything different on the Player.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Patching Shantae to force GBA or GBC modes.
« on: August 06, 2013, 12:04:30 am »
You're welcome to your preference, but I don't think that's the way the game was meant to look. The brighter palette in some GBC and GBA games was specifically implemented to counteract the dim screen on the original, unlit GBA. When being played in an emulator or any other platform with a front/backlit screen like a GBA SP (or even on TV via the Game Boy Player), the brighter palette is no longer working to solve any limitation of the screen.

In fact, IIRC, some GBA games switch to a darker palette when running on the Game Boy Player, again because the brighter palette isn't a stylistic choice but a necessity of catering to the original model's screen. Games like Link to the Past (or was it Minish Cap?) even put the palette selection in the hands of the player. Ultimately, that's probably for the best: if you prefer the "GBA-corrected" colors to the intended ones, you can use them; same goes for Shantae.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Patching Shantae to force GBA or GBC modes.
« on: August 05, 2013, 04:00:57 am »
Modern emulators tend to run games in GBC mode by default, with a toggle somewhere to use GBA mode instead. If you're using one of those, there's basically no need for these patches; the emulator options do exactly the same thing without any need for modifying the ROM. As you suspected, the use cases are a) emulators without a GBA mode option and b) real hardware.

If you're playing Shantae from a flash cart on a GBC, you can't access the bonus transformation which players on GBA have--sure, you could find a GBA, or play it on an emulator then switch back to hardware, but that's kind of a hassle and presumably goes against your desire to play on a GBC. This way, you can just play the normal ROM until you reach the place where the bonus is obtained, switch over to the GBA-mode ROM, then switch back to the standard ROM once you've saved.

If you're running the game from a flash cart on GBA, you'll get the bonus transformation, but the palette is quite washed out if you're playing on the GBA SP. To avoid that, you can run the patched GBC-mode ROM to get the richer color the game was designed with, then switch to the standard ROM to get the bonus. After that, you can switch back to the GBC-mode ROM.

Between the two ROMs, you can basically have "the full experience" on any platform. In general, nobody should need both patched versions, just the clean version and one patched for the opposite platform to the one they're playing on. The ideal solution would probably be a hack which enables the bonus GBA content without triggering the brightened GBA palette, but that's outside my skillset, so switching ROMs is the best solution I can manage.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Patching Shantae to force GBA or GBC modes.
« on: August 02, 2013, 03:59:33 pm »
Shantae is one of those GBC games that detects if it's running on a GBA, brightens the palette some and gives the player a small bonus, similar to the Oracle games. That earlier thread mentions patches to force those two into GBA mode, but a quick search didn't find similar for Shantae, so I quickly worked one up.

My solution may be a little inelegant, but my hacking ability could charitably be described as amateurish, so be happy it works at all. Since the GBA sets register B to 01, I just stepped through code in BGB until it got its first mention:

Code: [Select]
ROM0:397B CB 20        sla b
On the GBC, this does nothing (B is 00, 2*B is also 00), but on the GBA, register B is now set to 02. Let's make these more uniform:

Code: [Select]
ROM0:397B 06 02        ld b,02
Now, that line just stores 02 to register B, so from there on in, you're in GBA mode, regardless of what hardware you're running.

But maybe you want the alternative: the richer, darker GBC mode on your fancy GBA. Keeping in mind that this will make the bonus impossible to obtain, it's just as simple:

Code: [Select]
ROM0:397B 06 00        ld b,00
For comparison, here's GBA mode "on a GBC" (left) and GBC mode "on a GBA" (right).

If none of this means anything to you, all you need to do is go to 397B in your Shantae ROM with a hex editor and replace "CB 20" with either "06 02" (force GBA mode) or "06 00" (force GBC mode).

Hopefully, this is of use to someone.

This looks fantastic, good luck with it. Cool Cool Jam is something I've wanted to play since trying the demo for the unreleased English version. Out of interest, was the sample ROM any use to you for comparison, or have you been working from scratch?

I did originally start out by looking for the overlays as an external file, but none of the other files seemed like they'd be big enough to hold the new graphics. Wherever they are, I'm reasonably sure they're somewhere in, which is the whole emulator/ROM core to the package--the rest is extraneous details like the manual, home menu, strap warnings, etc. Within, we have the following:

Code: [Select]
  LogoVCA_backA8.tpl  //  The little "ARCADE GAME" graphic that fills in the 16:9 area (original game is 4:3)
  VCA_Pic_tpl_LZ.bin  //  The instructional graphic seen on startup ("explanation"?)
  MES_COM_JP_DAT_LZ.bin  //  Popup notices like "Are you sure you want to quit?"
  Title00_bin_LZ.bin  // The Cyber Sled ROMset with a save state appended to the end (and maybe more?)
SaveData // The graphics used on the Wii save management screen
  dialog // This sounded promising, but the files in here just handle the display for popup windows
  keyconfig // Key config screen
  pausemenu // Pause menu
  screenpos // Screen position/display settings
  startmenu // The main menu
Sound // The two files in here have "se" in their names, probably just the little cursor sliding sounds and such in the menu
  Title00_JP_VACM_LZ.bin // The only other major strings file along with MES, above--menu text and such
  Title00_VABS_LZ.bin // No idea, but it's 68 bytes uncompressed
  Title00_VADF_LZ.bin // No idea, 404 bytes uncompressed
  Title00_VADS_LZ.bin // No idea, 124 bytes uncompressed
  Title00_VAKY_LZ.bin // Seems to be where Wii controls are mapped to arcade, has strings like BTN1-3, COIN, START
  Title00_VAPM_LZ.bin // No idea, 476 bytes uncompressed
  Title00_VASM_LZ.bin // Looks similar to the above, also 476 bytes

This leaves me feeling that the modified graphics must either be appended to the ROM like the save state, or otherwise that they've legitimately been patched into the game and replaced the English text entirely. For reference, I did look at all those mystery files to see if I could find any SHIFT-JIS text or similar, but none of them look like text at all.

EDIT: OK, I've been trying to catalogue the format of the ROM included in the VC package. There's a decent chunk I have been able to identify against MAME's database:

Code: [Select]
0x200000: cy1-snd0.8j // Different to MAME's by a few bytes. Different revision? Bad dump?

0x420000: null bytes
0x520000: cy1-voi0.12b
0x5A0000: cy1-voi1.12c
0x620000: cy1-voi2.12d
0x6A0000: cy1-voi3.12e
0x720000: cy1-obj0.5s
0x7A0000: cy1-obj1.5x
0x820000: cy1-obj2.3s
0x8A0000: cy1-obj3.3x
0x920000: cy1-obj4.4s
0x9A0000: cy1-obj5.4x
0xA20000: cy1-obj6.2s
0xAA0000: cy1-obj7.2x

That's 7MB identified, from a little over 16MB. Not counting the full meg of nothing and snd0, these are byte-for-byte the same as MAME's ROMs. I'm not sure how much of the file is the save state, and so far the rest of the file hasn't looked much like the MAME ROMs at all. I'm not sure why that is, again it might be that one or the other (Wii or MAME) decrypts some content at run-time. Anyway, I'll keep working at the ROM, hopefully I can find something that's different from the original.

EDIT2: I have no understanding of what this means, but looking at the namco21 source, all the files I've been able to find are read in though ROM_LOAD(), while the rest are read in via ROM_LOAD16_BYTE() and ROM_LOAD32_BYTE(). Again, no idea what any of that means, it just seems relevant that the files I've found are read differently to those I haven't.

Newcomer's Board / Finding and disabling overlays on Virtual Console.
« on: June 29, 2013, 07:00:22 am »
After translating the menu for the Virtual Console release of Starblade, I was interested to see what other System 22 titles were available on Wii. This led me to Cyber Sled, a dual-stick, arena-based combat sim. Translating the menu was about as simple as it was for Starblade:

I then came upon a problem, however, in that Cyber Sled includes a large amount of Japanese text in-game. I thought I'd investigate the original arcade ROM and compare the differences between the Japanese and World releases, but then discovered that the Japanese game was in English all along:

As such, I have to assume the Wii version in fact added the Japanese. Next step, compare the differences between the original arcade versions and the ROM bundled on Wii ... except that they seem to have very little in common. Perhaps one, the other or both are encrypted? I don't know.

What I do know is that the ROM provided on Wii is (slightly less than) 3MB larger than the original arcade version. At least part of this is a save state: the Wii version launches right into the title screen, skipping the self-tests and such. However, I also began to suspect that some of this extra data might be overlays that drop Japanese text over the actual in-game English. Here's why:

This is roughly the same shot as the above, but this time on the Wii. Note the pathetically half-hearted black backgrounds on the Japanese text, which I've come to assume is there because Namco are literally "covering up" the English text with these Japanese overlays.

Purely as an experiment, I tried lopping off a large chunk from the end of the ROM, which I thought looked like graphics. I did manage to get the save state loading to fail, so the game launched into its usual arcade self-tests, which was kind of cool. It didn't really get me any closer to playing in English, though.

As you may be able to guess from my methods, my hacking ability could be described as amateurish at best. I have no real, practical ideas about how to progress from here. I don't even really have a good reason to believe the overlays I'm looking for are bundled into the ROM; there just doesn't really seem to be anything else big enough to contain them.

I understand this is a pretty niche area, so I'm not expecting any hands-on help, but if anyone has any ideas on how I might find what I'm looking for (or even if my guesswork sounds plausible), they'd be greatly appreciated.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: NES PAL to NTSC hacks
« on: June 14, 2013, 07:40:36 am »
There's really nothing to translate in the Japanese version of Gimmick beyond the title screen, but if that bothers you enough, there's also a North American proto.

Ufouria has a patch to fix the music speed, but the pitch is still off, apparently. A better option is probably to use BMF and RahanAkero's translation of the original Hebereke.

Other than that, I'm not sure there's much in the way of exciting PAL exclusives. Probotector (robot Contra) is entirely unoptimised for PAL (slow music and all), so it works just fine running on NTSC.

EDIT: According to this list, there were 33 PAL exclusives. In terms of the potentially interesting titles, there's Devil World, Mario Bros. (Classic Series), Over Horizon, Parasol Stars (different game to the American release), Parodius, Road Fighter, Rodland and Super Turrican.

On the maybe pile, there's Banana Prince (German-only, probably no better than Japanese for most), Noah's Ark (I can't stand it, maybe people want to play it though) and Rackets & Rivals (just a tennis game, but has four-player support). As an extra, there's also that Donkey Kong complete edition from anniversary Wiis.

I have no idea how many of these need or already have fixes, are already "English enough" in their Famicom releases or have translations, etc. Sorry if I ignored any games people care about.

Personal Projects / Re: Peach's Castle as GoldenEye multi map [N64]
« on: June 13, 2013, 02:37:32 am »
Any broader hacking of the GoldenEye engine really has nothing to do with what (greatness) this hack sets out to achieve; besides which, GoldenEye already has about 40 control schemes, including that crazy dual pad setup, which solves the two sticks problem. I'm sure there's something you'd find appealing.

ROM Hacking Discussion / North American SNES button color hacks?
« on: June 11, 2013, 09:21:40 am »
I'm Australian-born and most accustomed to the Japanese/European SNES coloring (blue, green, red, yellow) rather than the North American (lavender, purple). Nowadays I usually play US-NTSC games because nobody wants to play games in slow-mo, but then I'm disappointed any time that region's drab, uniform buttons appear. I mean no offense to people who like them, but I'd prefer not to encounter them.

Because of this, I occasionally wonder if anyone's ever gone to the fairly pointless effort of replacing them with their more colorful counterparts. I did find the Super Mario RPG: PAL Version hack which seems to do this, but it also makes a number of other changes that went beyond what I was looking for, so I decided to see if I could replicate those minor changes myself, as the game's battle menus are a great candidate for de-borifying.  Fortunately, the palettes remained static in location between the Japanese and North American ROMs, so I was able to replace them reasonably easily by working from giangurgolo's doc_palettes.txt.

If anyone wants to make the same changes:

Menu Button Palette (255256-25526F)
Code: [Select]
FF 7F 0C 00 36 16 3A 27 48 26 E3 11 07 49 63 44 00 20 3F 29 DB 1C A6 04 C1 08
Bowyer Fight Button Palette (255C6A-255C83)
Code: [Select]
FF 7F 0C 00 52 4A 29 25 48 26 E3 11 07 49 63 44 00 20 3F 29 DB 1C D1 00 C1 08

(Technically this is a shot from the Japanese game, but I promise it works. I just didn't feel like getting to the Bowyer fight for a screen cap.)

I haven't bothered uploading the patch to the database because it's such a small and derivative change, not to mention one that was already achieved elsewhere. I can put it up if anyone really wants it in patch form, otherwise it's easy enough to do manually.

Anyway, I'm curious if anyone has done this with any other games. Off the top of my head, there's the instructional screens in Super Mario All-Stars (+ World), the key config screens in Pocky & Rocky 1 and 2 and the tutorial in the latter, and the controller settings icon in Yoshi's Island (but not the actual controller settings screen, so ... what?). I don't exactly have an exhaustive list, though, so I'm sure that there are plenty more. From a quick search, it looks like another title with an in-game SNES controller is Battle Clash, the Super Scope game.

Just to clarify, I'm fully aware that this is a trivial concern. Obviously the controllers aren't seen often even in games where they do appear and it's clearly not a dealbreaker. I just think it's nice to see the Super Famicom/PAL SNES design restored where possible.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: The Difficulty Settings Project
« on: October 19, 2012, 11:13:23 pm »
This is a fantastic idea, so many old games seem like they're being frustrating on purpose, or else intended to play like an arcade game and take in another quarter every time you die. I grew up playing games like this, but if I don't have the benefit of nostalgia for a particular title, the difficulty is the thing to turn me off so many of them, even games which are otherwise excellent. I know I'm essentially restating the entire purpose of this project, I just agree strongly. So thanks for these efforts, I hope for more games to become playable; e.g. Popful Mail for Sega CD is a game defined by its horrible rebalancing for the American market, it's just horribly un-fun. They scaled up enemy damage by almost ten times and stripped back the period of invincibility after the player takes damage. It powerfully demonstrates how a couple of minor changes make the difference between a great game and a waste of time and effort.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Open Source ROM Hacking Projects
« on: March 03, 2012, 11:16:22 am »
You don't see one wiki citing another.

Not strictly true, and generally not legal either, but obviously it does happen. It's not my analogy though, anyway, and either way it's pretty far off-topic at this point.

I agree that hackers have the right not to publish their methods, tools or source, but I also feel like the exclusive ownership some hackers claim on their work is a little hypocritical. At its core, hacking is reappropriating someone else's work, whether by translating it or altering its graphics, gameplay, etc. There doesn't seem to be much objection to modifying other people's work in that sense, and there's never been a guarantee that all hacks will result in something of equal or greater quality than the original: witness all the crude NES hacks that add genitalia to characters. I imagine there are plenty of original authors who'd object to having their works interfered with, but we do it anyway, while continuing to feel entitled to a higher standard of treatment from others.

I don't believe either this thread or I am advocating that there's no place for closed source hacks--that would be silly--but I certainly admire anyone who chooses to share their knowledge with the community, whether through open-sourcing or otherwise.

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