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Author Topic: How to know when a hack requires a headered ROM  (Read 2528 times)

Reggie10

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How to know when a hack requires a headered ROM
« on: December 03, 2019, 12:14:11 am »
Hey everyone.  Recently discovered this site and I feel like a kid in a candy store. I've been splurging on improvement patches and translations on SNES roms, and wanted to make sure I know what I'm doing before I start applying patches.

As far as I know, my SNES rom collection is all unheadered (they're all .sfc files).  A few of the patches I'm downloading explicitly state whether they should be applied to headered or unheadered roms; most, however, do not.  I have noticed the little info box on the left side of each patch's page that has a line labeled "patching information;" usually, this will be labeled as either "headered" or "no-header." 

My question is, does this line describe which version of a rom needs to be used for the patch, or does it describe the patch itself (as I know patches themselves can be either headered or unheadered)? Further, if it refers to the patch itself, can I assume I should use an unheadered rom if no specific type of rom is indicated?

Thanks for your help!

Mauron

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Re: How to know when a hack requires a headered ROM
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2019, 03:15:07 am »
For SNES, the patching information specifies if the ROM requires a header. If your ROM doesn't have a header, you can use a utility like TUSH to add one. All SNES patches should have patching information specified in that section.. Other systems will have different specifications, or "no special requirements."
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Psyklax

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Re: How to know when a hack requires a headered ROM
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2019, 04:36:25 am »
The header situation is not normally an issue, when you know what's going on inside.

SNES headers are totally pointless, modern emulators ignore them, but the problem is that if you use an unheadered patch on a headered ROM, every byte change will be $200 bytes out of place. Simply put, just make a copy of your ROM and patch it. If the game crashes or otherwise looks wrong as soon as you start it, you have a header problem (assuming you picked the correct ROM revision in the first place). Mauron mentioned a tool in the site database that adds and removes SNES headers, but you can just open the ROM in a hex editor and insert $200 bytes at the beginning, patch it, then delete those $200 bytes, and everything will be fine. You can make two copies, with and without, and patch both. One must work, surely.

I should point out that I'm talking about SMC headers, which were added by ROM dumpers, and not the actual SNES header, which every game has, and is semi=important.

mziab

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Re: How to know when a hack requires a headered ROM
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2019, 11:33:34 am »
Headered SNES roms used to be the norm in the late 90's, since back then ROM copiers actually used them for something (storing ROM type, mapping etc.). So the rule of thumb is that if a patch is very old and there are no specific instructions, there's a good change it needs a headered ROM. This also applies to the early 00's.

Incidentally, I remember a tool which allowed you to tweak patches themselves to work with headerless ROMs, but can't find it at the moment.

Red Soul

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Re: How to know when a hack requires a headered ROM
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2019, 03:15:55 pm »
Headered SNES roms used to be the norm in the late 90's, since back then ROM copiers actually used them for something (storing ROM type, mapping etc.). So the rule of thumb is that if a patch is very old and there are no specific instructions, there's a good change it needs a headered ROM. This also applies to the early 00's.

Incidentally, I remember a tool which allowed you to tweak patches themselves to work with headerless ROMs, but can't find it at the moment.

Maybe this is the one? it worked for me in cases the patch asked for a headered rom, but I wanted to apply other patches that didn't and it became a real mess, so removing the header from the patches themselves was the only way to solve it.

http://www.romhacking.net/utilities/1455/

Ballz

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Re: How to know when a hack requires a headered ROM
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2019, 03:54:02 pm »
You might just have to rely on trial and error.  Try it one way and if the game doesn't work or is super glitchy, add/remove the header and try it the other way.

TUSH is a simple little program that painlessly adds and removes headers from SNES roms.
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