How do I edit the sprites of an NES game (like Zelda 1) with hex editor???

Started by The3Dude, January 18, 2018, 02:03:09 PM

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I've been so stuck on this for SOO long! Can anyone PLZ provide detailed info on this? Oh and the reason I want to use a hex editor is because I don't have a Windows computer... I have a chromebook.... :laugh: :-[


Refurb laptops of the core2 era with a few of gigs of RAM are going for next to nothing these days. Other than some of the high end emulation functions ROM hacking does not require anything even close to that.

Still has a bunch of stuff pertaining to location of the graphics. has a bunch on how the sprite formats work.

Regardless of that it is still going to be very tricky to edit anything of note as far as graphics themselves (palettes maybe) in a hex editor.


Yeah, I know how to edit the palettes with a hex editor, I just can't figure out how to change the actual graphics!
I mean I've edited the number 8 in hex code accidentally,but I didn't even understand how I edited it, I just
kept editing random code and the bottom pixel of 8 was gone...  :huh:


You would have to manually convert every tile to its hex representation and search for that.
I'm sure there's documents here explaining how graphics are stored in hex, but it would be quite cumbersome to convert every single graphic to hex, make changes in hex, and then write the hex back to the ROM.
I don't think you'd make it very far before finding it incredibly frustrating.

Are there emulators you can use with built-in hex editors to see the data?
"My watch says 30 chickens" Google, 2018


Quote from: KingMike on January 19, 2018, 11:09:35 AM
I don't think you'd make it very far before finding it incredibly frustrating.
Indeed! Working in hex is probably the worst way to do things, especially complicated things like sprites.

I will suggest to try this:
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 :'(Darn.. I can't use that crossover program because I have an ARM processor chromebook... I usually edit graphics
with this website called cameyo, but you have a 25 minute timer to use Windows, and it's very hard editing when I have a time limit..


I'm really not sure about hacking with one of those things... depending on where you live, can't you just buy a second-hand desktop or laptop for next to nothing? If you're hacking the NES as you said, you can use something over 10-15 years old and FCEUX will still run perfectly fine, then you can use all the programs you need. I'm sure Chromebooks have their uses, but I can't see hacking being one of them.

Regarding how graphics look in a hex editor, sure, you could do it, if you read documentation in how graphics are stored. But seriously, your time is worth more than hacking graphics that way.


Ok! I've found some info a couple days ago from, now I got this down!!! I spent hours trying to figure out which hex address made up each combo string in the hex editor and went through all the addresses and made this! (The white parts=transparent and the red parts=the actual color) ( and now I understand! Thanks for your help guys, oh and edited this sprite
for the number zero with a hex editor(!!!


Just run a simulated Windows from a program like Wine, then download a sprite editor for Zelda NES.

Better yet, try a program like Zelda Quest that has all the sprites, palettes, level objects loaded. No need to re-invent the wheel.
"Programming in itself is beauty,
whether or not the operating system actually functions." - Linus Torvalds


I was going to suggest using Tile Molester, but apparently not even Java will run on a Chromebook.

Seems there are ways to get a Linux distro running, though.

I agree with the repeated suggestions that you should not be doing sprite editing with a hex editor.
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I know guys :D Thankyou for the suggestions, It's kinda fun editing the sprites the programmy way though, I understand it a lot more, but I guess I'll stick to editing sprites with, because... beleive me it's a WHOLE LOT FASTER than doing it in hex!