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Author Topic: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.  (Read 2600150 times)

Magister

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #5120 on: September 05, 2018, 07:11:42 pm »
I wish I knew how to hack roms.  Something I probably will never be able to do.  But I wish I did just so I could modify one game.  And that game is Quiz & Dragons.  I bought this board years ago.  I love the concept of the game.  I just hate the trivia questions that they choose to use.  I was hoping they were going to be 2nd Edition D&D questions since that's the Edition that was out at the time the game was made.  To my disappointment, the questions were typical trivia questions.  I have to wonder if it is possible to hack the roms and change the questions in the game.  Has this been tried by anyone?

NES Boy

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #5121 on: September 06, 2018, 03:49:50 am »
I'm familiar with Quiz & Dragons thanks to this hilarious writeup by SydLexia.com. However, I have no experience with Arcade game hacking, so I can't help you there. The article I linked to is still fun to read, however.

Quote from: Sydlexia.com
Apparently in Capconia, a bloodthirsty dragon isn't all that scary. But if you take that same dragon and teach it who the original lead singer of Van Halen was, the townsfolk will flee in terror.

mz

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #5122 on: September 06, 2018, 03:59:12 am »
I have to wonder if it is possible to hack the roms and change the questions in the game.
Everything is possible (within the technical limits of the hardware); some things are easier to do than others.

Has this been tried by anyone?
Very unlikely, since the most popular arcade emulators don't allow you to run hacked ROMs (AFAIK), leading to not many people bothering with hacking these games.
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linkerang

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #5123 on: September 06, 2018, 05:36:35 am »
Anyone remembers that game for PS1, Guardian's Crusade (AKA Knight & Baby)? The one with the azure knight and the little pinky dragon? That game was amazing (at least at my eyes lol);well, at the North Temple you had to face a Blue Monster, while 2 other characters named Darkbeat & Ibkee (some sort of Yellow dinosaur-monster) faced his Red Monster twin off-screen. Anyone here thinks it could be possible to hack/mod the game to recreate (in an automatic fight fashion, so not controlled by the player? The game is full of those kind of fights) the Darkbeat & Ibkee VS Red Monster fight? Maybe recoloring the Blue Monster model?

Jazz

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #5124 on: September 06, 2018, 07:56:37 am »
With so much discussion, has any of these hack ideas come to life or are they lost in too many concepts put forward?
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FAST6191

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #5125 on: September 06, 2018, 08:45:53 am »
I wish I knew how to hack roms.  Something I probably will never be able to do.  But I wish I did just so I could modify one game.  And that game is Quiz & Dragons.  I bought this board years ago.  I love the concept of the game.  I just hate the trivia questions that they choose to use.  I was hoping they were going to be 2nd Edition D&D questions since that's the Edition that was out at the time the game was made.  To my disappointment, the questions were typical trivia questions.  I have to wonder if it is possible to hack the roms and change the questions in the game.  Has this been tried by anyone?

Two main approaches.

One. Classic text adventure/vtech toy style where you have to type the exact answer, or hope the spellong erreur handler of the time could manage things. If it is a simple matching algorithm then OK, if it is not then it starts going outside of beginner hacks.
Two. Multi guess test. If you are willing to have the same amount of questions and the same answer key (if this question is answer b then whatever the new one is will still be answer b sort of thing) then this could be as simple as basic text hacking.
Start wanting to add lots of questions or change answer keys and it gets far more tedious (though still usually within the realm of possibility as you are still doing exactly what the original game did).

Basic text hacking. http://www.romhacking.net/start/ is there for a reason. Still it mostly amounts to did you ever make a secret code as a kid like a=1 b=2 c=3... because computers do mostly the same thing except with hexadecimal (0-9 then A-F to cover the 16 states of 4 binary numbers, though they will use two hex digits to give 256 characters which is more than enough for English). Said encoding scheme varies from game to game where most normal computers will use http://www.asciitable.com/ (or unicode these days).
Computers also don't know how long text is most of the time as checking is tedious but having a number (think contents page of a book) not exactly how long it is saves effort for the program, even if it frustrates hackers (it is not like people change the game after it is shipped -- Read Only Memory and all that). The methods by which they note such things vary but still are basic enough. Alternatively for something like this you might even have fixed length sections, in which case don't go over the limit.
About the only other things to get in the way are compression, and graphics as text. Graphics as text is unlikely here (it tending to be reserved for small puzzle games or fancy graphics effects) and compression I have no idea about for arcade games of the time.

I have not played with arcade emulation in a while so no idea about them hashing ROMs first and only working with what they know (though from what I have seen from that world I can well believe it), however you can probably persuade a build somewhere to ignore that in some way or load it anyway.

I am mainly saying this because it sounds like one of those "teach a man to fish" moments. Where I might be tempted to just do something like a word replacement for someone (say to match the Japanese term, or a film it was based on or something) as it would be a one shot thing then here you would probably still get bored of the new ones after a while as you and your friends memorised the answer keys -- or at least that is what happened for every trivia game I have ever played.

PresidentLeever

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #5126 on: September 06, 2018, 11:40:10 am »
With so much discussion, has any of these hack ideas come to life or are they lost in too many concepts put forward?

I don't recall having seen any projects based on this thread so far and I've been here for years.
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mamertos

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #5127 on: September 06, 2018, 12:21:53 pm »
Zelda 2 (NES): enemies randomly drop heart pieces or whatever to fill your health a little, since in the game they only drop magic power.

darkmoon2321

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #5128 on: September 06, 2018, 04:53:10 pm »
With so much discussion, has any of these hack ideas come to life or are they lost in too many concepts put forward?

I got the idea to decensor/translate Wizardry V for the SNES from somebody's post on here. The project really only took me a few days and it was a game I already enjoyed. I only remember one other idea from this thread that got picked up since. But that's only like two ideas in over a year and a half. I thought about trying a couple more but haven't since I just don't have the time.

julayla

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #5129 on: September 06, 2018, 06:02:05 pm »
I think a couple of ideas got done, but not all of them. And unfortunately, I doubt all of them are gonna be move forward beyond the "idea" stage since there's so many taking over. I mean for example: I had ideas placed in earlier, though sadly, they keep getting overtaken by other ideas with the thread page going longer and longer.

FAST6191

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #5130 on: September 06, 2018, 07:14:59 pm »
I think a couple of ideas got done, but not all of them. And unfortunately, I doubt all of them are gonna be move forward beyond the "idea" stage since there's so many taking over. I mean for example: I had ideas placed in earlier, though sadly, they keep getting overtaken by other ideas with the thread page going longer and longer.

If it was a source of good ideas* there would be an effort to collate them, do a quick dive into the relevant games and otherwise start work on them.
In that case there would be no worries about things being drowned out.

It is more that ideas themselves are worthless. Indeed most seeing those that want to hide/guard their ideas know to wander off as there is nothing there.

*that might be harsh. There are plenty of ideas here, probably a very safe majority, that I would not have to question the efforts put in if they were done.

...

There is a line of thought amount police that do car/vehicle related stuff. Follow someone for about 20 minutes and you will have completely justifiable cause to pull them over. Something similar applies with ideas (anybody can play anything and think how to improve it), in the case of hackers it is probably even more pronounced -- you will likely know the maths which underpins games, most people doing hacking have been playing games for decades, in the case of this site have seen games evolve as well, have read a thousand reviews of games, have experienced any number of thought pieces on game design (in my case my shelves feature a number of books on the subject**, my bookmarks even more, https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iNSQIyNpVGHeak6isbP6AHdHD50gs8MNXF1GCf08efg/pub?embedded=true being a personal favourite) and having the attention to detail*** which makes them capable hackers means even more things will be spotted that others might overlook.

** https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/characteristics-games probably ranks among my favourite books in general actually.

*** it is said reviewers of things eventually have a hard time as they begin to notice patterns, flaws and more by default. Hence the common slide into the more and more esoteric stuff. I have seen it many times with those in technical/repair fields as well. While I can say I have noticed it for me I have been meaning to ask it to a wider audience of hackers, might even do that after this.

Magister

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #5131 on: September 06, 2018, 08:16:02 pm »
Two main approaches.

One. Classic text adventure/vtech toy style where you have to type the exact answer, or hope the spellong erreur handler of the time could manage things. If it is a simple matching algorithm then OK, if it is not then it starts going outside of beginner hacks.
Two. Multi guess test. If you are willing to have the same amount of questions and the same answer key (if this question is answer b then whatever the new one is will still be answer b sort of thing) then this could be as simple as basic text hacking.
Start wanting to add lots of questions or change answer keys and it gets far more tedious (though still usually within the realm of possibility as you are still doing exactly what the original game did).

Basic text hacking. http://www.romhacking.net/start/ is there for a reason. Still it mostly amounts to did you ever make a secret code as a kid like a=1 b=2 c=3... because computers do mostly the same thing except with hexadecimal (0-9 then A-F to cover the 16 states of 4 binary numbers, though they will use two hex digits to give 256 characters which is more than enough for English). Said encoding scheme varies from game to game where most normal computers will use http://www.asciitable.com/ (or unicode these days).
Computers also don't know how long text is most of the time as checking is tedious but having a number (think contents page of a book) not exactly how long it is saves effort for the program, even if it frustrates hackers (it is not like people change the game after it is shipped -- Read Only Memory and all that). The methods by which they note such things vary but still are basic enough. Alternatively for something like this you might even have fixed length sections, in which case don't go over the limit.
About the only other things to get in the way are compression, and graphics as text. Graphics as text is unlikely here (it tending to be reserved for small puzzle games or fancy graphics effects) and compression I have no idea about for arcade games of the time.

I have not played with arcade emulation in a while so no idea about them hashing ROMs first and only working with what they know (though from what I have seen from that world I can well believe it), however you can probably persuade a build somewhere to ignore that in some way or load it anyway.

I am mainly saying this because it sounds like one of those "teach a man to fish" moments. Where I might be tempted to just do something like a word replacement for someone (say to match the Japanese term, or a film it was based on or something) as it would be a one shot thing then here you would probably still get bored of the new ones after a while as you and your friends memorised the answer keys -- or at least that is what happened for every trivia game I have ever played.


I don't believe I would ever get bored of the game if it had D&D related questions.  I love the game itself, just not the questions.  There are just so many outdated or off the wall questions in the game that just make it frustrating to play.  Add to the fact there are many questions in the game that have the wrong answer as the correct one and it makes for just a headache. 

I would be happy just having the questions from the Capcom Classics Collection for the Xbox and PS1 ported to the game.  I'm told all the questions were changed to be Capcom related.  Just not sure how difficult that would be even if I knew how to transfer them from one game to the other.

KingMike

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #5132 on: September 06, 2018, 08:49:06 pm »
Were the questions wrong or just outdated? I only briefly played but I do remember the PS2 CCC manual even made a note for that game like "please remember this game was made in 1992 when answering the questions".
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RealGaea

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #5133 on: September 06, 2018, 09:11:26 pm »
I double your request with one asking to stop the goddamn stage looping of the Arcades before the MK3 ones start to appear.

I triple the bet going even further! Converting the Rev 1.3 TheDrewsus made into the PS2 port! They converted very well Juggernaut Hack, so it's possible to do the same with v1.3.

Magister

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #5134 on: September 06, 2018, 10:39:19 pm »
Were the questions wrong or just outdated? I only briefly played but I do remember the PS2 CCC manual even made a note for that game like "please remember this game was made in 1992 when answering the questions".

I can't say for the Xbox or PS2 versions since I've never played them.  I just read that the questions for those games were changed to be Capcom related questions.  Whereas the arcade game which I have has a wide variety of questions that you would see in a typical Trivia game.  I remember running across a bunch of questions where I knew the answer only to get it wrong because of a screw up on the programmers part.

Here are a few of those questions:
 
The question "Who is the lead singer for the band Devo?" does not include the correct answer (Mark Mothersbaugh), but his guitar and keyboard playing brother (Bob Mothersbaugh).

The question "What are Elroy Jetson's parents' names?" misnames Elroy's mother Jane as Judy. This is odd since another question specifically asks for his mother's name and Jane is the right answer.

The question "When did the original Star Trek series take place" is incorrectly the 34th century, instead of the 23rd.

ShadowOne333

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #5135 on: September 07, 2018, 12:25:20 pm »
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)

Quality of life hacks like:
  • Increment the speed in which the text is parsed/written. The text really tends to drag with scenes like the Deku Tree ones or very story heavy ones
  • Make the Iron boots and Hover boots an item you can un/equip with the press of a button (Maybe the DPad?)
  • Make the Bunny Hood have the same property as it has in Majora's Mask -- Make it so when you equip the Bunny Hood, Young Link runs at a much faster pace

PolishedTurd

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #5136 on: September 07, 2018, 07:29:16 pm »
I have successfully hacked an arcade ROM, a game from the early 80s. It takes a lot of trial and error (i.e., corrupting values based on educated guesses). I also had help. The game had a built-in checksum feature that had to be bypassed. It was found based on graphics shown on the screen when the check failed. It was also critical to use a certain version of the emulator and corresponding ROM, because the emulator has its own checksum validator and later versions would bomb irrecoverably.

You would probably be restricted to replacing the existing text with questions and answers that are no longer than the text they replace. Possible but ambiguously fun. By the time you had entered all the new questions and answers, the game would no longer be interesting because you would know all the answers.

All of which is to say, it can be done, but it's tedious and repetitive, with no promise of success, and a seemingly low payoff if you do succeed. It would be like spending $1000 to dig up $100 worth of gold.

I don't mean to rain on your parade. The above is a common experience for me, and the reason so many of my ideas die on the vine. But if you think it's worthwhile, I'm telling you it's possible.


I don't believe I would ever get bored of the game if it had D&D related questions.  I love the game itself, just not the questions.  There are just so many outdated or off the wall questions in the game that just make it frustrating to play.  Add to the fact there are many questions in the game that have the wrong answer as the correct one and it makes for just a headache. 

I would be happy just having the questions from the Capcom Classics Collection for the Xbox and PS1 ported to the game.  I'm told all the questions were changed to be Capcom related.  Just not sure how difficult that would be even if I knew how to transfer them from one game to the other.

Psyklax

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #5137 on: September 08, 2018, 04:50:13 am »
Okay, I'll throw my hat in.

MAME has a built in debugger, and a nice one at that, so hacking games is no big deal. Sure, there are CRC checks but they can be ignored.

If you know what you're doing, you could probably change the questions to whatever you want, rather than being no longer than the existing ones as mentioned.

The problem I see is that you're the one person who really wants to see this happen, but if you spend hours putting new questions into the game, you'll play it and... you'll know all the answers, because you put them there. That kind of ruins the fun.

So, could you change the questions? Sure, but you'll know all the answers, so it's not really worth it. :)

mz

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #5138 on: September 08, 2018, 06:03:33 am »
One could try finding another game with similarly formatted questions, rip them from it and then insert them into this game.

Or one could find another person to write the questions while one just takes care of the programming side of it.

Or just edit the questions for the sake of our friends and family fun.
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RomerPlayer

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #5139 on: September 08, 2018, 01:23:40 pm »
I have this Ideas:

NES and SNES Zeldas:

* Using the Knight Mobs sprites, replace the Lnik sprite into a Knight one, example: https://www.legendra.com/media/screenshots/snes/the_legend_of_zelda__a_link_to_the_past/the_legend_of_zelda__a_link_to_the_past_screen_11.jpg

* Use a hack wich mode the history and game and merge it.
Link must be a knight... not an elf dude with tights  ;D


***************************************************************************************
7 Saga part 2: https://www.retrogamingstores.com/image/cache/data/inventory/snes7thsaga-800x800.jpg

Replace the hero sprite and put this warrior / knight sprite from the 7th saga part one: http://www.chronicgames.net/images/games/snes/7th-saga-the-screenshot-002.png

The sword must be a Longsword, not scimitar. Now, if you want to make a deep hack like make another history, well it will be welcome  :thumbsup:

***************************************************************************************

Well, I hope this ideas like some one who can make it true. Cheers and regards!.  :thumbsup: