Gonna start work trying to delve into a ROM never hacked before, probably need a bit of help

Discussion in 'NDS - ROM Hacking and Translations' started by Reddeh, Nov 24, 2014.

?

Would you be interested in this?

  1. Yes

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. No

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. I'm too lazy to google, what's Henry Hatsworth?

    2 vote(s)
    66.7%
  1. Reddeh
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    Reddeh Newbie

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    I'm not sure if I should do this as my third (I believe) experience of NDS hacking, as my previous exploits are limited to Pokemon Pearl and Pokemon White, but I'm going to anyway. Tell me if this is bad.

    As an attempt to increase my ability to hack DS Roms, I'm going to try and hack what is - presumably - an untouched game, due to it's lack of popularity. Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure is it's name. Now, I'm not sure if this is even possible as it was made by EA and we know what they're like with piracy protection, but due to it's age and it being from the "Golden years" of EA, as well as it being handled by a sub-company of EA I'm going to try anyway.

    My first goal is to attempt to extract some music and / or sprites, which is from what I gather the simplest thing I can do, really. Once this is done, there should be an amount of understanding about the filesystem of the game, which could allow me / us to delve deeper into exploring the game. The ultimate end-goal I envision is to get this so far that I get a lawsuit from EA get it so we have working, if basic, tools to edit and extract sprites, perhaps edit text or even levels.

    Would be a fun little side-project for a group to take on, no?
     
  2. GHANMI

    GHANMI GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Editing the text should be easy enough, at least.
    SS_13_8091.png

    Did you give FAST's stickied guide (got updated this August) in this forum, and tried with Tinke/Crystaltile2?
    If you're into doing interesting stuff with games besides translating them, you could try restoring the scrapped puzzles in the Professor Layton games.
    It's still good if you want to give Henry Hansworth some exposure :P
    And you can rip the graphics directly from the emulator. (Editing them is another matter)
    But someone did just that already a while ago: http://www.spriters-resource.com/ds/henryhats/

    You should try doing undub patches, cheat codes and maybe find an unused thing or two in games just to see the potential with romhacking.

    A game that could benefit from a level edit hack (and a balance hack in general for stats like HP/XP/G) would be "Monster Tale". It's a decent game tarnished by such glaring issues making it tedious
     
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  3. Reddeh
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    Reddeh Newbie

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    Thanks for the advice! I'll start playing with the text immediately, and yeah I'm interested in doing more than translation with these things.
     
  4. Reddeh
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    Reddeh Newbie

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    Sorry for the double post, but here's an interesting problem with text editing.
    [​IMG]
    Because I'm mentally 9 years old I thought it'd be fun to replace "class" with "sexy" as can be seen here
    [​IMG]
    However as you just saw, it cuts out before it can read the word "sexy".
    I've replaced the file fine, as I do know how to use Nitro Explorer - I've had to use it for ages for pokeman hacking.

    On another note, any idea if it's possible to infinitely expand conversation? I have a nagging feeling all lines are pre-coded to end at a certain point in conversation, but this might prove otherwise. The only problem is for whatever reason, the devs decided that instead of using a global menu they store the "Continue" and "Exit" buttons in each level's text locale bit.
     
  5. Kyohack

    Kyohack Advanced Member

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    Look at the patterns in your hex values, not just the text itself. The characters are split with 00's which are null (but happen to be displayed as periods in the text viewer), but when you edited the text, you typed actual periods, which are a different value: 2E. Just make sure you use 00's next time instead of 2E's.

    Just because they look the same, doesn't mean they're both the same hex value. Always remember to compare the hex bytes.

    You'll probably run into some issues with line breaks if you try to mass edit a bunch of text. The next thing you'll want to look for is more patterns in the hex data to try to find the hex character used for line breaks.

    If you're starting out trying to learn DS rom hacking, I would recommend looking at Tinke, which is one of the best modern tools for graphics editing on the DS. It's much easier to use than older tools such as crystal tile.
    https://code.google.com/p/tinke/downloads/list
     
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  6. GHANMI

    GHANMI GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Pointers. That is, the info about where stuff begins and ends in a file. You'll have to check the non-text parts of the file (generally the beginning) and try noticing a pattern.
    Look it up on RHDN.

    Oh, and by the way, if you noticed the oddly placed apostrophes in my first screenshot, some symbols like (...) (') (&) use a single byte, as opposed to letters/spaces/periods using two bytes. I could have fixed it but I was too lazy to move all of those (00) bytes accordingly.
     
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  7. Reddeh
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    Reddeh Newbie

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    Thanks for the help so far!
    Text editing is going smooth so far. Here's my inspirational work in action.
    [​IMG]
    Anyway, there don't seem to be any noticable pointers at the start or the end. Unless I'm just a hex editing scrub in which case whoops I guess.

    Also, I've got the .SDAT files, but all the tools you use to extract files from it and all that jazz are uncollectable or whatever the term is due to the file download location things being ded.

    I've actually made a small breakthrough. I now have access to every single ingame sound effect. Looking into music and ambience but this is a great start.
    Thank god they use sound and music formats in the same way as everyone else unlike how they use the .bin formats differently amirite

    EDIT: We're having problems again. Look at me pro hacker 2014.
    Specifically, .SSAR files. I read that the .SSAR format is a bit like .SWAR but with .SSEQ files instead of .SWAV files. Unfortunately, there are no tools to extract them just yet. Once we figure out how I might try to dip my toes in the water and ATTEMPT to make a tool for it, but for now I guess we just need to actually figure out how.

    Ideas?
     
  8. GHANMI

    GHANMI GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    The sticky thread in this section about the introduction to romhacking (Aug 2014 edition) has tools that can read DS sequenced tracks out of sdat files.

    You seem to be doing a pretty good job so far as beginner practice, but ultimately, and to be blunt, this reminds me a lot of that hack of Castlevania AoS (not that much widespread either) where all of the text was rewritten as a vulgar plot and little else.
    Similar hacks are interesting if it's a translation, or a fix for a badly-translated/censored game, or new quests in games (but that requires changing other event data to go with the text).

    This is my opinion, but the text and cutscenes in this games are disposable. They're not actually needed or closely related to gameplay, so changing them doesn't affect the game by much. I really encourage you to either find other more interesting aspects in this game to modify (such as, the puzzle/level data, if possible) or make use of the skills you have already in other games (new challenges this way could be even an occasion for you to get more familiar with graphic edition)
     
  9. GHANMI

    GHANMI GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Personally, if I had a pet project like that, I'm actually interested in a patch for the first Layton trilogy to restore the puzzles omitted or censored by NoA over "cultural differences", or at least actually try translating those. (BTW: The game isn't actually using a fixed-width font, the values were just all set to 12)

    q_28_25708.png
     
  10. Reddeh
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    Reddeh Newbie

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    Yeah the text is really me being a 9 year old mentally when testing text editing and stuff.
    The plan isn't to release this, but to document how to edit each aspect of the game. Especially those bloody .bin files that don't like to conform to being any file format ever.