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NINJA 2.0 Beta Test

28 June 2006 5:47PM EST - Update by D

Utilities News

For those who have been following on the forums, you may know I’ve been actively developing the NINJA 2.0 format for the last month. There have been several beta tests on the forums, and I think it’s finally ready for a front-page notice.

Patch Creator Image - Too large to run on the main page.

This will be the last major beta round for NINJA. I am looking for people to report bugs in both creation and application. This is directed only to Win32 users–people planning to use it on the command line with have a different release with the script only (a much smaller download at 30KB). To run NINJA you will need the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0.

NINJA 2.0 is a new patching format that is designed as a replacement to IPS and several other formats. Because it uses a prefix byte to tell the length of all offsets, it creates filesizes a little larger than IPS, but the patch format is ever expandable. The greatest address NINJA can support is 2048-bit addressing (a 32,317,006*10^600 byte file). Patches created with NINJA can be created and applied between single files or directories of files. Its patches store the MD5 sums of both source and modified file versions, and a NINJA patch can be used to hard patch and unpatch target files and folders. This means if a new translation for a PC game comes out, you can re-apply the last patch to “unpatch” to the source files, then apply an updated patch with no need to reinstall.

NINJA patches store 2048 bytes of internal information including Author name, patch language, genre, game or software title, release date, website, and a brief description of the patch (1074 characters). Information can be stored in UTF-8 or in the system’s default ANSI codepage. Any fields left blank will be ignored during patch time, so you only need to include what is actually used.

There is also support for special handling of ROMs. If you create a single file patch for a ROM and select its system from the drop-down menu, the resulting NINJA patch can be used on any version of the ROM. This means one NINJA patch could work on Famtasia, interNES and UNIF format ROMs, SNES ROMs that are headered and interleaved, interleaved N64 ROMs, interleaved Megadrive ROMs, and many other variations.

The NINJA Patcher program accepts files off the command line and can be associated with many patch types. As of this release, it can apply NINJA 2.0 patches, IPS patches, PPF 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 patches, FireFlower patches, Generic Diff patches, and it can use the output of a Microsoft File Comparison (fc.com) saved to a text file to patch and unpatch files. For more details on this, please read the README file. The program includes an association management menu and patch file icons to match Microsoft Luna, Microsoft Vista, or Everaldo’s Crystal style icons.

The patching interface (not the creator) supports localization files. The current beta includes interface localizations in English, German, Spanish, Italian, Portugese (Brazil), Russian, Chinese Simplified and Chinese Traditional. If you can contribute a localization in your language, please reply to the NINJA in your language thread on the forums.

Please leave your comments about this beta test in this thread. Suggestions on how to improve the format are not welcome as NINJA 2.0’s file specifications are finalized. Any suggestions will be considered for NINJA 3.0–whenever the need for that format arises. I am looking primarily for bug reports and interface improvement suggestions.

Guidelines for writing your own NINJA patcher are in format.html. This file will be improved for clarity in the final release.

Thank you!

Djinn Tile Mapper translates from Russian

27 June 2006 8:34AM EST - Update by DaMarsMan

Utilities News

This is a nice gem of a program I came across while viewing Djinn’s website. I politely asked him if he could do the English community a favor and translate it and the next day he sent it to me. It allows you to view the fixed width tiles in their natural tiles. So basically you can do everything you can do in a normal hex editor except you can change graphics of tiles and view scripts with those graphics. You can find it here.

Aeon Genesis Presents: Guardian of Paradise

26 June 2006 10:06PM EST - Update by Gideon Zhi

Translations News

Guardian of Paradise is a cute little Legend of Zelda lookalike by Japanese indie developer Buster whom you may know as the creator of Akuji the Demon. This translation is complete, and there are no known issues at this time. It’s a great little game - be sure to give it a shot!

Staff note - You can get it here as well.

Translation Complete for the First Adventure Game Relased on the Famicom!

19 June 2006 10:48PM EST - Update by DvD

Translations News

After years of work it’s finally done! Now all of the Enix NES games can be played in English.

FYI: This is the first adventure game released on the Famicom. Yuji Horii ported this, his successful NEC PC-8801 game, to the Famicom to determine whether the Famicom action game crowd would take to an adventure game. The game did quite well. Because of this, Horii was able to release the game he really wanted to make for the Famicom, the first Japanese console RPG: Dragon Quest.

Being the first, it’s not the best but it had a great impact on the Japanese video community. It even inspired Hideo Kojima to want to make video games.

Download the patch from DvD Translations or here.

I have also made a complete walkthrough for the game which I will be releasing after a few people actually try to pass the game without using the walkthrough!

Heracles beta coming soon!

12 June 2006 3:46PM EST - Update by DaMarsMan

Translations News

Still making progress with the game. Working out the nasty bugs. For the most part it’s starting to be playable. So I have decided an open beta patch will be coming soon! I also got around to coding an intro. A list of fixes in the past week include…

  • Pesky bug where s appeared before the first sentence after loading a save
  • Loads all non-town scripts directly from ROM and not into memory. (much cleaner code, no limit on space!)
  • New intros can now be added with the click of a button!
  • Intro now requires key press (this way it stays even with frameskip)

vSNES version 2.91 has been released

13 June 2006 3:16PM EST - Update by creaothceann

Utilities News

Changelog:

  • GUI: added controls for displaying CRC32 and Hi/LoROM checksums
  • GUI: moved the IPS checkboxes in the options to the cartridge page
  • GUI: fixed a small issue with the CHT Editor and changed its glyph
  • GUI: added Edit control to display SMV UIDs as Unix dates
  • SRC: fixed IPS patching again added more messages in case it fails
  • SRC: fixed the SMV code to use the new SyncOptions flag location
  • SRC: added more functionality for managing extended SPC ID666 tags
  • SRC: disabled ZMV loading button since the ZMV code is broken

Staff note: You can grab this utility here on our site as well as at the authors site linked to below.

widthtabler 1.0

11 June 2006 11:39AM EST - Update by evo

Utilities News

So you’ve spent precious weeks working on perfecting that Variable Width Font in your hack. You’ve even got the perfect font chosen. Do you really want to spend another 10 to 15 minutes putzing around counting pixels by hand (or worse, coding a utility specificly to) generate a width table for that font? Putz no more! With this tool you’ll have a widthtable without the fuss or muss!

It currently works with 1 and 2 bpp (gb and snes mode) fonts.

You can get it here.

Genesis: A New Beginning

11 June 2006 7:27AM EST - Update by RedComet

Utilities News

For years now the NES and SNES have received the most attention from hackers and translators alike leaving untranslated Genesis classics like Surging Aura and Rent A Hero to grow cold and lonely in the annals of video game history. But with the latest release of g8z et al’s Gens Tracer, things are looking bright for the Genesis and the Sega CD!

If you tried out the initial release you know that, while a godsend for us hackers interested in the Genesis, it could use a little tweaking. And that’s just what happened. I happened to make a few suggestions to g8z’s and they ran with it. Now we’ve got a truly formitable tool for Genesis and Sega CD hacking.

Here’s a list of features and changes since the last build:

  • All hook files have now been integrated into one main file - hook_log.txt.
  • DMA and VRAM logging.
  • Memory dumping - VRAM, RAM, CRAM, SRAM, Nametables, Sprite Attribute Table, and CD Memory.
  • Layer toggling.
  • Sega CD tracing and logging.
  • Support for Sega CD save states has been added.
  • Support for logging EVERY instruction as it occurs.
  • Setting a “breakpoint” that, when executed, automatically enables tracing.

I can say from experience, this last feature is particularly useful in hunting down bugs when you’re adding new code to a game.

And if that wasn’t enough, g8z et al were kind enough to provide examples using two games. The first examples illustrates how to find the intro text for Golden Axe II using the tracer, while the second (and this is the really good part) illustrates the tracer’s Sega CD support.

And how does it do that you might ask? Well, I’ve got one word for you - Shadowrun. That’s right, these guys show you not only how to find the text, but they explain what’s going on. Hopefully this will be the motivation someone needs to tackle this cult classic.

There you have it, in my opinion, one of the greatest things (and I’m not just saying that because I helped!) to happen to Genesis and Sega CD hacking in a long time.

Grab it here.

Like weird SNES RPGs? It's your lucky day!

06 June 2006 11:14AM EST - Update by KingMike

Translations News

Today I present a finished translation patch. It’s for an SNES RPG called Magna Braban. It’s fun, it’s weird, it’s pretty easy to beat, but it’s unique. Give it a try.

(yeah, suppose I could’ve worked on a more “demonic” game to release on 6/6/06 (and uploaded at (I hope) 06:06 universal time), but we all know patches for old games are evil in themselves :D but it was close enough to finished, I said why not release something today?)

Grab it here on RHDN.

vSNES version 2.9 has been released!

02 June 2006 9:52AM EST - Update by creaothceann

Utilities News

v2.9

  • new tools: Movie Editor (SMV, ZMV), CHT Editor
  • new fields in the Cartridge window due to new SNES documentation at romhacking.net
  • GUI: added checkbox for keeping the MemViewer memory source after loading a cart
  • GUI: added Ctrl+? shortcuts for accessing the buttons
  • SRC: added code for rendering 256-color BGs in DirectColor mode
  • SRC: fixed sprite tile wrapping, incorporates DMV27’s sprite visibility info
  • SRC: fixed sprite rendering (ypos. was off by one pixel)
  • SRC: added better support for SNESGT savestates (still not perfect though)
  • SRC: using a new, stream-based library for handling compressed files
  • SRC: fixed screen rendering to output 5 bits per color channel, not 8
  • SRC: added padding bytes to records ($align seems to have no effect)
  • SRC: fixed some ListEditor issues
  • SRC: IPS patching (hopefully) fixed