All the "stupid" question asked in the different forums and my talk with some people, made me decide to post this old message from a guy named InVerse of some years ago. I think it should be stiky in every romhacking forum because it's really correct and I think the most new guys (or aspirant romhackers / rtanslators) miss the point of "the journey" (or discovery if you want) and I think that romhacking / translations are the same as translate a TXT file. A good example are all (or at least the most) people asking Pleonex to make this or that plugin for Tinke. They probably will get the job done thanks to Pleonex but will be stuck again if only 1 or 2 bytes will be different in the next file because they never discovered anything by themself. I hope this text will make some people reflect on what they are doing and maybe think 2 times some people before making some stupid questions / requests in the forum. Enjoy. ON THE ESSENCE OF ROM HACKING Often times, people ask for help on a messageboard and don’t understand why the answers they seek aren’t placed in their lap, wrapped up in a nice, neat package with a shiny silver bow. These people only see the end result of romhacking, they miss the underlying process that is the very essence of romhacking. What many people fail to realize is that hacking is all about the process, not the outcome. Hacking is a journey, not a destination. It’s about figuring out technology, not manipulating it. Downloading a level editor and using it to modify a game is not hacking, no matter how great the final result. Hacking is about taking a piece of technology, a game for instance, ripping it to shreds and figuring out how it works. The person who uncovers the data used to build a level editor is a hacker. The person who uses that editor is not. At best, they’re a low-grade designer, a tracer of someone else’s art. I’m not trying to rip on people who like to use level editors, do whatever it is you enjoy. I’m just trying to show you the viewpoint of the average romhacker and explain why they expect you to put some effort into finding the information you need to do whatever it is you hope to accomplish. No successful romhacker was taught how to romhack. They may have received personal lessons on a specific subject, but nobody babied them through the entire process with step-by-step instructions on what to do. Learning to hack requires, above all else, a desire to figure things out for yourself. This isn’t to say you’re on your own. On the contrary, learning to romhack is now easier than ever before, thanks to a wide variety of tools and tutorials. The first thing you should do is get a good tutorial and read all of it. Once you’ve done that, then feel free to ask questions about anything you don’t understand. If you haven’t read a tutorial and at least attempted to figure it out, however, any questions about what to do will invariably result in being told to read such-and-such tutorial. (Added by me) Try and try again even if you have to break 10 rom / iso images before you get it to work! It will probably be anyway faster than wait for an answer in a forum that maybe you will never get! Hacking requires a particular mindset. A hacker must be capable of figuring things out on their own and must have a burning desire to learn. Without these qualities, you’ll never make it far, either losing interest or just treading water in the shallow end with the most basic techniques. Not everyone is capable of being a romhacker, no matter how badly they might want to be. There’s an old joke that goes “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” “With lots and lots of practice.” Well, you learn to hack by hacking. You might wonder how you can do something if you haven’t learned how to do it yet, but that’s the very nature of the beast. When you were a baby, nobody taught you how to walk, you just kept trying until you figured it out. And just like you’ll occasionally trip and stumble as an adult, even the most accomplished romhacker will routinely screw something up or run into a problem when hacking a ROM. No matter how advanced your skills might become, when you stop learning new things, you stop being a hacker. So decide what it is you want to be. If it’s a hacker, then get out there and hack. If you just want to design games, then do so. But remember: You couldn’t do what you do without romhackers, but they hack to satisfy their own pursuits. So feel free to ask for a particular bit of information, but remember, no one is obligated to find it for you.