11 March 2016 - Forum Rules

Main Menu

Most difficult 2D zelda to hack

Started by ChaosPrime8, January 12, 2018, 11:54:01 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


Which of the 2d sprite based zelda games is the most difficult to hack because of its programming?


It will probably depend what you want to do and how good your skills are. Also depends what is out there for them -- Zelda games are fairly popular for hacking and so a lot of documentation has been done for the bigger ones (thinking ), however something like GBA four swords is relatively unknown.

If you read something like Final Fantasy 3 (Japanese numbering) is not hacked very much because it takes up the whole cartridge and does not have space for extras and want something for Zelda then you might get something. However while lacking space for extras will make it hard to make the next it does not stop you from altering drops, damage, tweaking the locations of a few existing things and otherwise profoundly altering the game.

None of the NES, SNES, GB/GBC or GBA efforts have any weird and wonderful programming styles that change how the game works between levels (like some other games do from time to time). While most probably would not pour heaps of praise on Nintendo's coding skills the Zelda games from what I have seen are mostly "build an engine, run with it" than chains of effectively minigames.

None have any particularly notable compression, encryption, protection... that you will be constantly fighting with if you are playing hacker.

If you are looking for a challenge then you can do that for any of them -- always more documentation of how the games work welcome.


Zelda 1 I have noticed is the easiest to hack when it comes to rearranging properties such as level design, item placement, and damage formulae.  OoX is easier to edit in terms of its tile set when comparing it to a title such as Link's Awakening, which relies on overlays and collision detection for tiles. I suspect the reason the former is easier to edit in terms of tile sets might be the format of the cartridge.  LADX is on a black GBC cartridge while OoX is the transparent GBC exclusive type. 

ALttP is more complicated to edit than the games mentioned because it uses a 3 layered tile set.  Ironically, tile editing is much easier for Zelda3 than it is for Final Fantasy VI.  On the other hand, the FF6 hacking community is much larger than Zelda 3's, but part of that reason might be due to the likelihood that Hyrule Magic has detracted many hackers from using it.