Happy New Year!
Due to doublepost restrictions I've had to wait until the New Year to post an update in this thread, so here goes!
First off is some good news! While you (and I) were enjoying the festive season, I've been preparing several more games for you to enjoy! http://s346165667.websitehome.co.uk/psyktrans/2xp-newyear.zip
Final Fantasy 6 (4 in the US) is DONE, completing the 8/16-bit saga (well, except for number 2, I still can't decide what to do with that). I haven't done much testing because the game actually runs rather slowly on SNES9x on my Android tablet, which is my preferred playtesting method (bsnes-plus on the PC is where I do the actual hacking, but I don't have time to sit and play at the PC these days). And there are patches for both US and Japanese versions because they're quite different on the inside (I had to do an extra long jump on the Japanese version to put my routine).
Phantasy Star 2 is DONE, although I know the database already has one that gives you four times the XP/Gold. I just really wanted to do it myself, and now I have. That marks the first Genesis/Mega Drive game I've hacked (not counting helping someone out with Revenge of Shinobi). And yes, it DOES work with the retranslation available in the database, but make sure you use FixCheckSum to, er, fix the checksum, or it probably won't play.
Also, Phantasy Star Gaiden on Game Gear is DONE, marking my first Game Gear game, too! Admittedly, after doing Phantasy Star on Master System, the two systems are almost identical except for having a Start button and fantastic colour. But still, I wanted to tick a box and now I have.
But seriously, if I knew how to reduce the encounter rate in this game then I would, it's ridiculous! You can barely walk three steps! :O
Finally, I've updated my DQ1&2 patch and included it here. I'm currently playing through Dragon Warrior/Quest 2 on NES, Game Boy AND SNES simultaneously. The latter two are definitely easier than the original, but they've also fixed some bugs (like being able to win multiple Staffs of Thunder and sell them, and being able to make two Water Flying Cloths). The SNES is the best version for me, although the translation patch does have a few little errors here and there.
I also decided that, since I've now hacked what I call the Classic Seven consoles (NES, SNES, GB, MS, Genesis, GG, PCE/TG16 - not in this project), I should try the next logical step: Final Fantasy I & II - Dawn of Souls on the Game Boy Advance. However, I've hit a snag. At first glance, although I've not really looked at the 32-bit instruction set, what I've seen of the 16-bit THUMB set is reminiscent of the 68K, so not so hard to grasp. What surprises me is how jumps/calls/branches work. Even though I need just two bytes to add a register to itself, the ROM seems absolutely full for the most part, with only the end being free. Problem is, as far as I can work out, THUMB branches are relative and 22-bit, which isn't enough for the jump that I need. I've read that you can put the PC into the LR and then put your address into the PC manually, but that requires having a 32-bit address to hand, and as I said, I don't have 4 bytes lying around that I can write my address into. It's much simpler on everything else I've worked with, but then nothing I've worked with has required a 32-bit address. Any GBA hackers who can help me with this? I'm pretty sure I know the instruction I need to follow with my routine, but have no way of doing it until I figure out this jump.
Anyway, in other news I've decided to work on a translation!
This project is certainly fun because the hacking I do is so minimal and I end up with a game I'm more inclined to play, but my first love was translating and so when I was looking at the PC Engine, knowing it was one of the systems needing a bit more love, I remembered a game called Appare Gateball. I remembered it because years ago I bought a PC Engine Duo and a bunch of games, and one of the few that I could play without needing to read too much was that. Given that it's essentially a sports game (for a game nobody's heard of) it doesn't have an overwhelming amount of text, but it DOES include a section explaining the rules (clearly it's not so popular in Japan either). So that's what I'm having a go at now, but I'll make another thread to talk about that one.
So, what's next? Unless I can figure out what to do with the GBA, it'll be some more SNES JRPGs: Secret of Mana/Evermore, Chrono Trigger, Super Mario RPG maybe... I'm sure there's plenty, more so than the NES. If there's any more you guys can think of, let me know! I enjoy it, and it's good experience.
And for anyone in the thread who doesn't know how to do this themselves, remember: just 9 months ago, I knew absolutely nothing about assembly, and now I've hacked and written routines for four different CPUs (waiting for the GBA to make it five). You can do it too!