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Author Topic: Hacking and documenting Final Fantasy IX  (Read 7003 times)

lowena

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Hacking and documenting Final Fantasy IX
« on: January 13, 2013, 08:30:00 pm »
I wanted to make a thread and see if anyone is interested in hacking and subsequently documenting Final Fantasy IX. It seems Brazilian and Russian groups have already done so, but they are long dead and made no tools to work with the game. The program Noesis allows one to view models and texture files, but I am more interested in text, specifically translating the game.

I am only a novice in ROM hacking, but am working hard to get good so I can get started on FF9. Currently I am learning SNES assembly so I can learn how assembly works, which will then help me learn the PSX assembly (which has less documantation), which should then help me with finding the font file(s) and text pointers.

So that's my plan for now. :)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 03:04:11 am by lowena »

Pikachumanson

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Re: Hacking and documenting Final Fantasy IX
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2013, 09:38:07 pm »
If I were you,I'd send messages to people that have done ps1 hacks and see how they can help you. Sadly you are right. There are way too few ps1 docs out there.

lowena

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Re: Hacking and documenting Final Fantasy IX
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2013, 03:05:01 am »
I'm not sure if I could do that, I'd hate to bother them, and they'd probably just call me a noob...

Pikachumanson

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Re: Hacking and documenting Final Fantasy IX
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2013, 04:08:59 am »
Don't know til you try. Newbs are the future of romhacking.

lowena

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Re: Hacking and documenting Final Fantasy IX
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2013, 04:13:30 am »
Yeah, I guess so. I'll ask the creators of the FF9 save editor and Noesis if they can give me any pointers. :)

January 14, 2013, 05:49:42 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
OK, I'm finally getting somewhere! I found a pretty good text table for the FF9 database text files obtained from Noesis.

I'm getting sentences, but still working on punctuation. If anybody wants me to share the table, let me know. :)

And if anyone knows how to or is working on putting files back into an IMG, let me know!

As for how I did it, it was simple: I used a chart of the most common letters in the English language, loaded the dialog file into Hex Workshop, used Character Distribution under Tools, and after maybe 30 minutes of trial and error I found the right sequence. :)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 06:04:42 am by lowena »

Bregalad

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Re: Hacking and documenting Final Fantasy IX
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2013, 05:59:54 am »
If I were you,I'd send messages to people that have done ps1 hacks and see how they can help you. Sadly you are right. There are way too few ps1 docs out there.
What an understatement. As far I know, there is only 2 of them, one being for video coding, and the other describing the entire system, but it's not enough to get starting on a hack !

lowena

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Re: Hacking and documenting Final Fantasy IX
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2013, 06:08:02 am »
What an understatement. As far I know, there is only 2 of them, one being for video coding, and the other describing the entire system, but it's not enough to get starting on a hack !
Yeah, I'm gonna have a tough time trying to decompress the FF9 IMG and putting files back onto it. The creator of Noesis (which can decompress the IMG of FF9) is anonymous, so I can't contact him. :(

EDIT: I might not have to decompress the IMG after all. The table works with it. :)

UPDATE: I successfully edited the BIN and got a word translated in-game! Now I can get started on making a program to translate the game with.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 07:14:26 am by lowena »

Pikachumanson

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Re: Hacking and documenting Final Fantasy IX
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2013, 08:36:55 am »
You oughtta make a doc when you are done! You'll be the man (or woman)!

syntax error

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Re: Hacking and documenting Final Fantasy IX
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2013, 12:11:12 pm »
FFIX engine is much different from FFVII and VIII.Its easier to import Twilight Princess data into Majoras Mask than get FFIX areas in FF7.

Myria

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Re: Hacking and documenting Final Fantasy IX
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2013, 01:17:57 am »
The PSX's processor actually has more documentation out there than the SNES's processor.  The PSX CPU is MIPS, which at the time was a widespread architecture.  The N64, PS2 and PSP also used MIPS, among game systems.

In fact, when I took the mandatory assembly language class in college, the architecture they taught was MIPS, because it was probably the easiest assembly language to learn.  (If you ignored the delay slots, anyway.)

Naturally, I aced that class, because I'd been making cheat codes for PSX games for a few years by then.  I ran my assignments on actual PSX rather than the MIPS emulator the class provided.  =^_^=

I made the "save anywhere" cheat code for FF9.  It was a monster.

lowena

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Re: Hacking and documenting Final Fantasy IX
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2013, 01:42:02 am »
That's awesome!  :)

Yeah, I've noticed that a bit, that MIPS is better documented. Thanks for the advice.

Would you happen to be able to give me any information about how text is loaded from RAM for FF9? That's where I'm currently stuck. I found the first line of text ("Sure is dark." or something like that), but I dumped some assembler and couldn't find the address anywhere...

Myria

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Re: Hacking and documenting Final Fantasy IX
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2013, 01:52:52 am »
Would you happen to be able to give me any information about how text is loaded from RAM for FF9?

No, sorry.  I never reverse engineered that part of the game, and I wouldn't really remember, anyway.  I remember very little about the "save anywhere" cheat I made.

Don't know til you try. Newbs are the future of romhacking.

So true.  As a related aside, I've never understood the elitist attitude in many of the hacking communities.  When I was learning these things, there were elitist jerks that were mean to me that liked to mess with me or refuse to tell me things.  I'm now an expert in various fields, and I don't do the same to the next generation.  (Though I did FF5's hack-translation work, I don't consider myself an expert ROM hacker - I'm only hack-translating my second game now.)

Edea

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Re: Hacking and documenting Final Fantasy IX
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2013, 02:35:40 pm »
I've been using CDmage to extract and import data from disc images for this game.  If you go to download it, make sure the version's up to date (1.02.1).

This guy's found a fair amount of mechanical data, and I found some additional info (but I don't have it organized yet).

I asked about something similar myself on here not too long ago, but didn't get any responses (ended up finding the data on my own, so there was no need to bump it).  Unfortunately I don't know how text pointers work in 9, and I'm not even interested in graphics hacking (that's going to be an interesting experience).

lowena

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Re: Hacking and documenting Final Fantasy IX
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2013, 03:49:41 pm »
Thank you very much, but sadly I have abandoned this project. First off, I don't know nearly enough about programming to do it. Second, since the whole point of it was to translate it to Basque, and a native told me my translations were full of mistakes, I thought it would be best not to do it.