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Author Topic: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.  (Read 2040628 times)

SinWorld

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #6720 on: July 07, 2020, 05:33:21 pm »
What's the proper way to find a cheat-code for the PSP game 'worms battle island US-version'? I found the address for Infinite round-time and also for infinite turn-time, but it worked only for one round. I think the timers' address kept changing. Can any experts guide me on how to find the fixed address to freeze the timers? Thank you.

FAST6191

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #6721 on: July 07, 2020, 08:18:54 pm »
Sounds like a pointer code. I don't know what there is for pointer search on the PSP offhand.

Generally though you will get at least two (more or good though) runs at something and find the relevant addresses both times as well as get savestates/memory dumps.
The pointer search tool will take dumps and values and look to see what references those. Somewhere down the line it will be static and you then build a code back up ( https://datacrystal.romhacking.net/wiki/CwCheat#Pointer_Commands_.280x6.29 ) to interpret those pointers to the given current location.

You can get pointer to pointer (to pointer...), indeed such a thing is often a test in computer science exams to make sure the person taking truly gets pointers but that is a different topic.

Alternatively you can go straight for assembly and set a breakpoint on the current round's (or turn's) value and tell it to break on write to that. Follow the chain back up from there and it should have to generate the location or reference the pointer somewhere along the line.

There are two main reasons something might be a pointer code.
1) Dynamic memory. C family languages allow the compiler to handle memory allocation ( https://www.tutorialspoint.com/c_standard_library/c_function_malloc.htm ) and depending upon what is still in memory (different options picked, different thing loaded, memory leak...) something may end up in different location between runs.
2) Some kind of anti cheat/hack.

If you have to you can go manual rather than use a tool to scan for pointers but it is tedious. Figure out the format it will store the pointer as (probably a direct memory reference -- chapter 7 http://hitmen.c02.at/files/yapspd/psp_doc/frames.html ) and search for that run's cheat location as what you would expect a pointer to say. Repeat for other runs.
There is a further exception (we have had timers and such live in registers and the stack before) but let's not get silly right away and it sounds like it is not the case anyway. There can also be generated pointers (have a value but add say 20h to it to get to the real location, usually seen more in stats and games with many characters with data in a table) but again let's not get too silly right away with the quirks and exceptions.

Dracula X

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #6722 on: July 09, 2020, 07:52:52 pm »
I wish there was a level hack for Castlevania Harmony of Dissonance on GBA, maybe a different storyline and different music from other Castlevania games or others. I love this game and the two castles too. One is good and the other one is scarry.
I might go back to Thunder Force II hacking again.

FAST6191

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #6723 on: July 10, 2020, 04:32:03 pm »
Have you tried the stuff on http://www.romhacking.net/?page=hacks&genre=&platform=10&game=1106&category=&perpage=20&order=&dir=&title=&author=&hacksearch=Go ?
Major work, New game plus and a tweaked mode, and a whole bunch of improvement hacks and alterations. Music seems to be a bit lacking but hopefully it is a sappy game as you can probably do that yourself if it is (injection of other songs is not so hard with such a thing)

Perhaps not as exotic as some of the boss rush and fully rejigged efforts from the other GBA on up handheld efforts but something.

julayla

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #6724 on: July 11, 2020, 03:28:43 pm »
You know, looking back at the Sonic Game Gear games, specifically Sonic 1 & 2's game gear versions, I'm surprised that no one has done a Tails or Knuckles version of the game hack like the others did with the characters in Sonic 1 mods. Also, looking back at the Sailor Moon Gameboy games, I hope someday someone finishes the first Gameboy version.

Dracula X

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #6725 on: July 13, 2020, 01:18:01 pm »
Have you tried the stuff on http://www.romhacking.net/?page=hacks&genre=&platform=10&game=1106&category=&perpage=20&order=&dir=&title=&author=&hacksearch=Go ?
Major work, New game plus and a tweaked mode, and a whole bunch of improvement hacks and alterations. Music seems to be a bit lacking but hopefully it is a sappy game as you can probably do that yourself if it is (injection of other songs is not so hard with such a thing)

Perhaps not as exotic as some of the boss rush and fully rejigged efforts from the other GBA on up handheld efforts but something.
Tried it and it was cool! I haven't tried Castlevania - Harmony of Disonnance NGP yet but I will one day. Castlevania HOD: Revenge of the Findesiecle is one of my favorite hacks of them all. Sappy is not that hard at all.
I might go back to Thunder Force II hacking again.

MysteryMan3D

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #6726 on: July 13, 2020, 03:30:34 pm »
This one isn't of utmost importance, but if someone could teach me how to make the levels in "Batman: The Video Game" for SEGA Genesis longer and more random, it'd be greatly appreciated.

OR, if someone was willing to make a full-blown level editor for the game, like what was done for the NES version, that'd be terrific!

Butterhands

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #6727 on: July 13, 2020, 09:34:32 pm »
Please could you help for restore the censored gib in Cruis'n USA? Boring person found the unused collision routine that is the same from the original arcade version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MKOdGLtUXI

The code need of another prevent code freeze 'cause try to identify the stricken object, doesn't match with the deer or cow ID and then freeze. Instead with the prevent code doesn't freeze but doesn't load in VRAM the right 3D models and then there are someone else borrow from another VRAM location, otherwise the pieces would be invisible.

Then is necessary discovery the cow and deer's object ID and force the game to recognize that codes to maybe force it to load the right 3D models.

Currently the code have these 4 lines that prevent the freeze: (Cruis'n USA US V1.0)

81041A20 0000
81041A22 0000
81041A2C 0000
81041A2E 0000

Then this code:

801FA36B 00F0
81045418 8015
8104541A 8FC4
81045428 8015
8104542A 8D5C
81045438 8015
8104543A 8E58
81045448 8015
8104544A 8DCC
81041A20 0000
81041A22 0000
81041A2C 0000
81041A2E 0000

Trasnform the tollbooth first road sign in IOWA track in exploding GIB collision feature, but replace with borrow 3D models with the 8 code lines between the freeze-prevent and the first. Otherwise the pieces wpuld be invisible.

Instead this code (always for US 1.0 version:)
Force many collisions to be roadkill collision in tracks like S. Francisco.
81040D08 0000
81040D0A 0000
81041A20 0000
81041A22 0000
81041A2C 0000
81041A2E 0000

The last four are to prevent the freeze.
Instead of prevent the freeze could you please discovery a code to force the game to recognize the stricken object to something else and finally find the deer's and cow IDs? Should load in VRAM the right models theorically.

FAST6191

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #6728 on: July 13, 2020, 11:02:49 pm »
Haven't watched a video of the game (and don't want to guess which of the half dozen batman games on the megadrive that was) nor checked to see if someone has already looked at the game (would not be unheard of) at this point, probably should have but hey.

Simple way you can do in 5 minutes.
Get some cheats, figure out how they are encoded.
Get a savestate grabber and loader (this can be a simple auto button press script with anything that does that, autohotkey probably being the default choice, that fires off load and save every so often, or repeats a bit a few times, and has some cheats).

Now you can replay segments with various amounts of health, lives, ammo (if that is a thing in this) and whatever you like.

If you are playing this with friends then swap your own personal savestates too. Now you have a crude, but effective if the effort is put in, boss rush, challenge mode, random play mode and the like.

Going a bit more advanced then you could learn possibly to spawn enemies with cheats. Don't know what goes for this game though. Alternatively if they have health then you can possibly double it or fiddle with it to give them more or less. If you want and your emulator of choice has lua then you can go a bit further still and have it detect things in the game (though autohotkey might also have some abilities here) and fire savestates and cheats accordingly to make it even more seamless.


After this then yeah you get to play level editor which takes a little bit longer. How easy it will be to make levels longer I don't know (I would immediately worry about memory issues, though it could be one of those nice streaming games). Simple editing to change order and spawn locations is a different matter and is fairly basic ROM hacking, though not necessarily what people normally go in for first (they usually go for graphics and text) so you don't tend to see much of it.
Generally we find levels take one of the few approaches.
Layers. Here you will have the background/main level, the enemies and their locations and maybe a third for hazards, items or something similar. Two or three is most common but you can have many more.
Said layers will either be full bitmaps of the level (basically if every part is a tile then everything is accounted for) or some kind of coordinate system to say what it is and where in the level a given item appears. There are perks and downsides to both approaches so you never know until you look really, as a rough rule of thumb the simpler single screen or not much more stuff will be bitmap while long scrolling things will be coordinate but you never really know. I have seen mixed approaches as well (level layout is bitmap but pickups maybe not).
Figuring out what is what is always fun. Experiment on basic levels if you can rather than jumping in at the deep end. If there are differences between regions then that can help. Remember you can experiment (what does this value mean, what if I put three in a row...) rather than just analysing things.
You may also be able to find it in memory (it has to load it some time) so you can possibly use a cheat to edit things in real time and that makes thing a lot quicker to figure out. This also means be careful with savestates -- if the game has already loaded it into memory by the time you make the savestate then your carefully executed ROM edits might not show up. This usually just means take a save before you start the level/section you care about.

After figuring out what style of level the game uses I would usually make sure to figure out basic ledges, teleporters (game design term to mean things that, well, teleport you to the next room/stage or finish the stage, not necessarily an actual in game teleporter and might be a banal door or whatever as far as graphics are concerned) and then at least one example of enemies and pickups. You can fill in the rest from there.

How to find levels to begin with. I like elimination myself. Knock out whatever is graphics (look in a tile editor and press down a lot), whatever is text (relative search maybe) and whatever is music (harder but doable) and maybe what is binary (your emulator will tell you where it is running right now, though sometimes levels can be buried in it so it is not a sure fire thing) and you likely have very few things to poke with a stick (aka corrupt it or copy paste things around) to see what changes. Alternatively you can trace things back from the game itself.


Turning all this knowledge into a level editor someone can click on and see things (be it ASCII standins or full graphical editor) is a rather harder task but if you just want to tweak a few things for your personal use this is one of the occasions it actually makes sense to do real hacking work with a hex editor. If you know what a pickup looks like in the editor you can add more, remove it, put it to the end of the level, if you have enemy spawners then great you can put more in until you crash the game from having too many, you can possibly change it to be something else (not all enemies might be valid on all levels, but you can try and maybe have a few more mid bosses or something), if you know what the level layout looks like then you can mix up ledges a bit...
If you want to document what you have found, the basic format of things and locations in the game then do share with us -- reverse engineering level formats is not the hardest thing in the world but with so few basic approaches to it all someone might be able to twist an existing level editor for something else towards this and already having the groundwork done does change things.

niuus

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #6729 on: July 14, 2020, 01:47:50 am »
I hope someone fixes the one great flaw for the Genesis version of Xeno Crisis: you can't roll while shooting, which takes away from the dynamics of shooting and quickly avoiding danger. Ironically, you can comfortably do this without any problem on the Dreamcast and PC versions.  :banghead:

sil3nt_j

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #6730 on: July 14, 2020, 10:54:18 am »
Hack idea: Insane Clown Posse game based off of "Ice Climber"

« Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 11:03:05 am by sil3nt_j »

confuzed

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #6731 on: July 14, 2020, 11:59:48 am »
I am not sure if this is the right topic to ask; but what about an english translation of Popful Mail for the sfc/snes? Here and there people said that this rom is unhackable, could someone explain this to someone who doesn't know anything about hacking?

FAST6191

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #6732 on: July 14, 2020, 02:51:24 pm »
Never heard of it before now but nothing is unhackable as long as we have a working copy of it. Some PC stuff might be if servers were necessary and we don't have the necessary data to replicate it or decrypt it, and for your basic SNES cartridge game that is not the case (Satellaview might be different if there is lost data out there).

Anyway when people say that they usually mean it will be one of those nightmare ROMs to hack.

Usual reasons are there is no spare space available on the ROM (or some crucial bank in it -- 8Mb LoROM is not a push it to the limit type of cartridge), the ROM does something strange (all text as graphics or something), the ROM makes things complicated (every screen is a new table perhaps), there is some kind of anti piracy or anti cheat pervading everything (rare on the SNES, was mainly the DS before we started seeing such things), maybe there is some custom compression you get to deal with.
Basically if the simplest ROM hacks are able to be handled with basic tools and possibly a lot of pressing down to find what you want then things that take you further and further from that, something that probably requires someone with serious knowledge of the hardware and coding involved (at least at first) to have a look at it and pick it all apart.

MysteryMan3D

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #6733 on: July 14, 2020, 04:24:46 pm »
@FAST6191:
I honestly didn't expect a response to this request, much less so quickly and so helpful, so Thank You very much!

Batman: The Video Game for SEGA Genesis (or Batman '89 for Genesis as I like to call it, as it's a 16-bit replica of the original Tim Burton movie) is a fun little side-scrolling platformer/beat-em-up/shooter, but can be considered very short by default, especially if you've made it your go-to Batman game as well as your Favorite Batman game ever (which I did :P ), so I'm gonna try your ideas when I feel I need to. There's also Batman Returns and Batman Forever for Genesis, but I most likely don't need to do this same thing for them because they're both longer and harder than Batman '89 by default.

MathUser2929

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #6734 on: July 14, 2020, 04:54:59 pm »
I don't suppose someone could make a level skip hack for double dragon advance to skip non arcade levels so it feels more like the arcade game.

Necronos

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #6735 on: July 14, 2020, 05:34:01 pm »
Minor idea (and I bet it could be done with AR codes but I lack the skills atm) but I'd love a hack/patch/code that prevented EXP gain in the GBAvanias (Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance and Aria of Sorrow).

In Aria of Sorrow, I managed to find (and edit) the memory bit related to the level, thus taking it to 255 and making a "level 1/no exp" run possible (and it's as fun as it's frustrating lol). I'd love to the same with said other games so if anyone can help I'd be grateful. :)
« Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 05:58:58 pm by Necronos »

bukopandan

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #6736 on: July 14, 2020, 11:49:46 pm »
Wish someone could make a D Pad Hack for the 2 Dementium Games on the DS and more other games that uses touch controls like Nameless Game, Mario 3 on 3 Hoops, and Soul Eater, first person action games sucks when using touch controls most of the time and it leaves a lot of scratches at the bottom screen of the DS/3DS not to mention pointless control gimmicks.
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pocket

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #6737 on: July 15, 2020, 12:26:10 am »
kinda wish there was a patch for all the Sonic games where it was applicable so that you cannot collect the rings you drop when you are hit, just like in the Master System games.  Always felt like just being able to pick your rings back up removes any need to be cautious once you get at least one and makes the games to easy.  That being said I still want a visual of the rings being knocked out of you, as it really helps as a visual indicator that you've taken damage.
Somebody alert me when a user friendly BS Zelda hacking tool is made. I will give my soul to work on a faithful SNES remake of Zelda 1.

confuzed

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #6738 on: July 15, 2020, 05:12:29 am »
@FAST6191
 :thumbsup: Thanks alot for all these infos, i think i got it now

FAST6191

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Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« Reply #6739 on: July 15, 2020, 01:22:04 pm »
kinda wish there was a patch for all the Sonic games where it was applicable so that you cannot collect the rings you drop when you are hit, just like in the Master System games.  Always felt like just being able to pick your rings back up removes any need to be cautious once you get at least one and makes the games to easy.  That being said I still want a visual of the rings being knocked out of you, as it really helps as a visual indicator that you've taken damage.

That could be something you could make as a cheat.

The rings vanish fairly shortly after being hit so there is presumably a small timer in there somewhere. Find this timer and force it to be 0 or whatever gives you a fractional amount of time.

Finding timers is one of the less fun things in cheat making but should be possible to give yourself infinite rings and back yourself into a corner to continually be hit by a throwing enemy or something -- you might even want to bust out a level editor to make such a setup. At that point you have a reasonably steady thing to look at that controls for other variables. You could also try with a savestate made just as you get hit and then restored (presumably restoring the number). If the enemy thing is not going to work for you go somewhere quiet in a level and jump on some spikes.
Do note some timers count upwards so don't always use the "has decreased" option in your searches, or at leas if you are going to try that one at first if it is not coming up with good results then shift to has changed type searches.

If there is some kind of hard mode/easy mode in one of the games that speeds this up then so much the better.

If you are doing it the big boy hacker way then the thing will be on screen for a while. Find what is controlling it in the graphics department (should just be a matter of watching the sprite location memory) and trace it back up from there. Anything causing it to flash as they start to vanish will also be interacting with the timer at some level.

Minor idea (and I bet it could be done with AR codes but I lack the skills atm) but I'd love a hack/patch/code that prevented EXP gain in the GBAvanias (Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance and Aria of Sorrow).

In Aria of Sorrow, I managed to find (and edit) the memory bit related to the level, thus taking it to 255 and making a "level 1/no exp" run possible (and it's as fun as it's frustrating lol). I'd love to the same with said other games so if anyone can help I'd be grateful. :)
That should be fairly basic cheat searching effort. Find something that gives you experience (maybe just the one so some really basic enemy, are there any infinite zombies locations in these games?) and do a cheat finding session looking for changes. Give yourself infinite health and a shiny sword if you really want/need it.
https://web.archive.org/web/20080309104350/http://etk.scener.org/?op=tutorial

That said there are already codes made for things
https://www.almarsguides.com/retro/walkthroughs/GBA/games/CastlevaniaCircleofTheMoon/ActionReplay/
Might need a copy of arcrypt, cbacrypt or whatever to allow you to edit the cheats but should be easy to force low what they force high.
Could also force your stats down to level 1 stats rather than max which would achieve much the same effect.
https://megalixir.cc/gba/castlevania-harmony-of-dissonance/
https://megalixir.cc/gba/castlevania-aria-of-sorrow/

http://bsfree.org/hack/hacking_gba.html for how the unencrypted codes work (and the tools page should have the downloads if they are not otherwise available). The GBA does have some nice options here as far as less than, equal to and the like codes.

If you want to hardpatch them into a game to play on a flash cart or emulator with iffy cheat support (or simply don't want the hassle) have a look for GBAATM. There is a modern port/remake as well https://gbatemp.net/threads/gbaatm-rebirth-gba-auto-trainer-maker-a-new-hope.564321/