Tutorial  Updated

Nintendo Land - Mario Chase Modding

0. Preface
I made this tutorial because I love to play Nintendo Land’s Mario Chase attraction with my friends, however there are far too few stages and I couldn’t find any tutorials on the internet, on how to make new ones. Therefore I used this tutorial on how to make custom Mario Kart tracks and experimented in a trial-and-error-fashion from there.
Luckily, making a new stage for Mario Chase and importing it into your game is pretty easy, thanks to some awesome tools some great people in the Wii U modding community programmed. I have never modded any game in my life, so if you think you can’t do this, I tell you „You can!”
However, this tutorial is still a work in progress, because as of now there are serious texturizing problems.
The basics of this tutorial might be transferrable to other Nintendo Land attractions, however I haven’t tested this.
This tutorial is separated into different sections, according to what you want to mod. In the beginning of each section, I will tell you which programs you’ll need.

I also made a proof of concept video, which you can watch here.

-seem to contain copyrighted material, removed for safety-

Also: Please excuse the bad formatting here and there. Turns out you can't have numbered and bullet point lists, or I might just be too stupid to get it right.

Anyway, let’s dive right in.

1. Getting Started
a) What you will need
The following is a list of all the programs which you will need for all the separate things I’m going to cover in this tutorial. However, you won’t need all the programs at once, so I’m going to tell you which ones you will need in the respective section.

1. First, you need a dump of your game. So what you’ll need is:
  • A modded Wii U (obviously)
  • Use dimok789’s ddd to get a full game dump on your Computer. HBC-App, Computer-Client and Tutorial here.
2. In order to play your mod on your Wii U, install SDcafiine onto it. (The easiest way to to so, is via the HBC, a thorough tutorial can be found here.). What it basically does is replace files from games on the fly.

3. Wexos’ Toolbox by Wexos. This is a powerful program to look into and change the Wii U’s container files. It will be our main program to use.

4. Autodesk 3DS Max (if you are a student, you can get it free for three years).
(Probably other 3D-Tools like Blender work too, I guess, however I was not able to test this.) This is a 3D-modeling program. We will create our stage with it.

5. BFRES Script_R6.85.ms by Random Talking Bush. This is optional, it is a script for 3DS Max that lets you import the original 3D-models of a stage or character.

6. An image manipulation program which must be able to work with DDS-files (Direct Draw Surface = texture files for 3D-models).
I happen to have Adobe Photoshop. To be able to edit DDS-files with PS, you need to have these plugins:

7. Noesis by Rich Whitehouse. You can download the most recent version directly from his website. This is a 3D-model preview tool, for our purposes.

8. Every File Explorer by Gericom. This is a program which will make a KCL-file (collision file) from our OBJ-file (3D-model).

9. BFRES Tool by Abood. This is a program which can replace textures in BFRES-files.

10. BFLIM Tool by Abood. This is a program that can replace BFLIM-files (some sort of image files).

11. For both, the BFRES Tool and the BFLIM Tool, you need the latest release of Python 2.7 installed on your computer.

12. MSBT Editor Reloaded by IcySon55. This program is used to edit text files.

13. Optional, but helpful for testing your mod: The Wii U emulator CEMU.

b) Introduction to the files, we will work with
Now you should have a game dump of Nintendo Land inside a folder „vol”. The folder „vol” contains the folders „code”, „content”, „meta”, „save”.
We just need the contents of the folder „content” to mod Mario Chase and can ignore the other ones. In its subfolders are several container-files, which I want to explain in short with my own untechnical words:
  • PACK-files: a „meta-container”, which includes mostly SZS-files.
    • SZS-files: The „main” container file, it can contain pretty much every other files, mainly BFRES-files.
      • BFRES-files: A container file that includes the actual files with which we will work, like 3D-models, textures, etc.
      • BFTEX-files: Texture files (we don’t really need those, we mainly work with PNGs and DDSs as picture/texture files).
    • KCL-files: Collision file for your stage model.
    • ARC-files: Just another container file.
      • BFLIM-files: Some sort of image file.
    • SARC-files: Just another container file.
      • MSBT-file: A text file, simply put.
  • There are several other file formats, however, we don’t need those, or we can’t edit them anyway.
c) Short explanation of how to save stuff with Wexos’ Toolbox (Savingception)
Wexos’ Toolbox cannot save files (like BFRES or SZS) inside of other container-files (like SZS or PACK). E.g. if you have an SZS-file containing a BFRES-file, you can’t alter the BFRES-file and save it directly inside of the SZS-file. You need to save the BFRES-file first with the Save as-option on your computer, then replace the BFRES-file inside the SZS-file and only then you can save the SZS-file and the changes, you applied to the BFRES-file, are saved inside of the SZS-file.

This can happen in several instances, e.g.:

file.pack >>contains a>> file.szs >>contains a>> file.bfres

Normally all your model and texture changes are made in BFRES-files. You have to apply the changes, save the BFRES-file separately with the Safe-as-option. Then replace the original BFRES-file in the SZS-file, and save that separately with the Safe-as-option as well (make sure to compress every SZS-file with Yaz0, if prompted). And then you have to replace original SZS-file in the PACK-file and just save that normally. Now you have a PACK-file, which contains your SZS-file, which contains your BFRES-file, which in the end contains your actual changes.

Since we are all reminded of a popular movie by now, I’m just calling this **savingception** from now on.

Okay, now you should have your game dump an overview of what we’ll work with. So, let’s-a-go!

2. Replacing a stage with a custom 3D-model
a) Preface
Some introducing words.
We can only replace an existing stage with a custom 3D-model, we cannot add any new stages (like being able to choose a fourth stage on the stage selection screen and also still having all three original stages).

The stages are found in „vol\content\Common\Model”:
  • Chase Arena
    • Mro_Field02S.szs (small model, 2 to 3 players)
    • Mro_Field02.szs (big model, 4 to 5 players)
  • Mud River Run
    • Mro_Field03S.szs (small model, 2 to 3 players)
    • Mro_Field03.szs (big model, 4 to 5 players)
  • Slide Hill
    • Mro_Field04S.szs (small model, 2 to 3 players)
    • Mro_Field04.szs (big model, 4 to 5 players)
You don’t really need the original stages itself, but when you are finished, your SZS-file must have the same name, as the one you are replacing.

As of now, I don’t yet know if it is possible (and if, how) to use mud from the stage „Mud River Run” or the slides from the stage „Slide Hill”. I assume these need a special collision type assigned to, which we can’t edit (yet, I hope). So only „basic” stages are possible, meaning stages itself can be architectural complex, but can’t have mud or slides. But if someone finds out how that works, this would be the tits!

b) What you will need:
  • Wexos’ Toolbox
  • 3DS Max
  • Optional: BFRES Script_R6.85.ms*
  • Noesis
  • Every File Explorer

c) Creating your stage in 3DS Max and exporting it to DAE and OBJ
1. Open 3DS Max and create your 3D model of the stage (yeah, this is the actual work to do here, making a fun stage).
I’m not going into this here, because there are thousands of great tutorials on how to use 3DS Max and I only know the basics, too.
For a simple test, maybe create two boxes, one to stand on as a big platform and another one to be on the platform.
It definitely helps if you rename the separate 3D-models to what they are (e.g. „platform”, „tower”, „tunnel”, „slope”, …) because this will be the name of the respective „model” in Wexos’ Toolbox later.
For the KCL-file (collision file that we will make later, don’t worry, see section 2. h)) it also helps to add materials (this is kind of the term for textures in 3DS Max) to your 3D-models and name those accordingly, because then you will see their names in the Every File Explorer, instead of just a cryptic name.
Some words on the size and placement of your stage model:
  • The most basic stage is the first one („Chase Arena”, the respective SZS-files in „vol\content\Common\Model” are called „Mro_Field02S.szs” for the small version (2 or 3 players) and „Mro_Field02.szs” for the big version (4 or 5 players)). I will take this as a size reference: The small stage is a circle, in 3DS Max it’s diameter is ~790 units long.
  • The big stage is an octagon, measuring ~1445 units in diameter in 3DS Max.
  • You can make a stage (more or less) as big or small as you wish, the game will just be harder or easier for the Mario-player/the Toad-players, but these are the measurements which the designers at Nintendo chose for game balancing.
  • However, you decide the size of your stage, at least the spawn point of every stage has to be at around (0/0/-16), in order for the invincibility star to spawn correctly on the ground.
  • If you want to stick to the colour-coding of the original stages, your stage should be oriented as in this picture.
2. When you have your new and fun stage model, click on „File” in the 3DS Max menu bar, navigate to „Export”, click on „Export…” and export your model as DAE-file.
You can just leave all options of the DAE-export-window as they are.

3. In the same way, export your model also as OBJ-file.
However, in the OBJ-export-window, make sure to set the option „Faces:” to triangles. Also, sometimes the exported OBJ-file might have a strange orientation, most of the time it will have the desired orientation when you check the „Flip YZ-axis (Poser like)” option.

Optional: If you want to import and change the original stage-model or just import it to use as a size reference, you can import that into 3DS Max with the *BFRES Script_R6.85.ms*:
  1. In 3DS Max, click „Scripting” in the menu border.
  2. Click „Run Script…”, navigate to the place, where you saved the BFRES Script_R6.85.ms and chose it.
  3. A BFRES-importer will open. You can leave the options as they are, just click on „Load BFRES…”. Navigate to the folder where the BFRES-file you want to import is saved and choose it.
  4. Just choose „Mro_Field0[x]”, this is the main stage (the other things are just surroundings, but you can import them as well, if you want).
  5. Click on „Import BFMDL”. Now your stage will be imported, this may take a while.
  6. Close the importer after you imported everything you wanted.
  7. Apply the changes you want or just create your own stage, if you just wanted to import it as size reference (if so, just delete the imported model of the original stage after you are done).
  • Point of advice though: The imported model might have a strange orientation, so definitely check the orientation with noesis and maybe change it, if needed (see section 2. d)).
  • Also I had many problems with a changed original model, like black textures or game crashes, so I would recommend to just import an original BFRES-file as a size reference. But maybe I’m just stupid and can’t get it right, so, just test for yourself.

d) Checking the orientation of you DAE- and OBJ-files
Before we proceed, we should check that our exported DAE- and OBJ-files have a) the desired orientation and b) the same orientation.
  1. Open Noesis.
  2. In the left column, navigate to the folder where you saved your DAE- and OBJ-files. They should now appear in the middle column.
  3. Double-click on the DAE-File in the middle column, a preview of your 3D-model should appear in the right column. Make sure that you see it as in the picture, meaning, that the stage is oriented in a front view (not top or bottom view). If so, good. If not, go back to 3DS Max and rotate your whole model respectively and export it again.
  4. Double-click on the OBJ-File in the middle column, a preview of your 3D-model should appear in the right column. This model must have the exact same orientation as the DAE-file! If only the DAE-file but not the OBJ-file has the desired orientation, go back to 3DS Max and just export the model as OBJ-file again, and check (or uncheck) the option „Flip YZ-axis (Poser like)”.

e) Importing your model into a BFRES-file
For this step, there are several methods to do this, however the one which brought me the most consistent success is the following:
  1. Open Wexos’ Toolbox.
  2. Go on File >>> New From File >>> BFRES, then navigate to the folder where you exported your DAE-file to. If it is not listed, change to „Collada DAE (*.dae)”, next to the file name field at the bottom right. Click on „Open”.
  3. The BFRES DAE Importer will open, check the options like in this picture.
  4. If you have added materials (textures) in 3DS Max, the BFTEX Importer will open, where you can import these textures.
  5. For now, as I’ve not been able to resolve the texture issues anyway, just leave the options as they are and import your textures.
  6. A new BFRES-file will open, empty, except for the „normal” folder-structure of BFRES-files and our imported 3D-model (every single 3D-model, e.g. every box, wall, etc will be shown separately in the folder „Materials”) and textures.
  7. Our 3D model is in the folder „Models”. You can expand your model with a click on the little plus-sign, revealing another folder structure within your model. Really interesting is only the folder „Materials”, in it, the several 3D-models (Materials) of our 3D-model as a whole are saved. If you named the separate models in 3DS Max (as I told you, e.g. the names „platform”, „tower”, …), you will find the respective names here again.
  8. Our textures are in the folder „Textures”.
  9. Done for the first part, save the BFRES-file.

f) Texturizing your model (big issues here as of now, textures won’t show correctly in game!)
Now, as I already pointed out, there are big issues with the textures. Either they will show just black or just not correctly.
What we can do now at least, is having your model texturized mainly in uniform colours. Looks like shit, but better than nothing for now. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  1. Open the BFRES-file that contains your 3D-model, if not already the case.
  2. Right click on the folder „Textures” in your BFRES-file, then choose „Import”.
  3. Choose any texture you like, PNG-images should work. At this point it doesn’t really matter how they look. Maybe just create four or five simple textures (just red, blue, green, yellow, pink) or take my simple, ugly textures. The FTEX Importer will open. As of now, I think the settings in the FTEX importer don’t have any influence on the texture issues we still face, but feel free to experiment.
  4. Now, click on the Material (e.g. „platform”, „tower”, …), you want to assign a texture to, in the left column of the BFRES Editor in Wexos’ Toolbox. In the right column will appear this Material’s settings.
  5. In these settings, under „Textures”, click on „Selectors” and at the very right of this row a little button with three dots will appear, click on it and a window will open. Click on „Add” and fill in the name of the texture you want to assign in the „TextureName” text field which says „New”, by default. Click on „OK”.
  6. Now click on „Attribute Selectors” and a small button with three dots will appear just like before. Click on the button. Click „Add” in the window which popped up. Click „OK”.
  7. Now your material has a texture assigned to it. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for every material in the folder „Materials”. (There is a bit more to this, you can also add so called Normal Maps which add more detail to your texture, but since textures as a whole don’t work yet, I’m going to skip it here.) In the end, you can right click on your 3D-model and choose „Preview”, this will open a model previewer from within Wexos’ Toolbox. As you can see here, the textures are shown (more or less) how they are supposed to look in game (haven’t tried to orient them properly etc. here, so they still look shit), however, as of now, they won’t show like this in the actual game.
  8. Save your BFRES-file.

g) Checking for errors
Now, that you have a BFRES-file with your 3D-model and textures assigned to it, we should check it for errors.
  1. In Wexos’ Toolbox, click on „Edit” in the menu bar, then „Check”.
  2. If there are any errors in your BFRES-file, a window will pop up, telling you, what’s wrong (e.g. that a Material has no texture assigned to it).
  3. For other errors I want to refer to the Mario Kart 8 Custom Track Tutorial by KillzXGaming since he has a nice overview of some errors that might occur and how to fix them. You can find it in „Part 4 Exporting our track into Wexos Toolbox & Material Editing” under „Checking Errors!”.
  4. Fix these errors, if they occur.
  5. Check again for errors and if everything is fine, a prompt should appear, telling you so.
  6. Save your BFRES-file and close it.
  7. Yay! We’re done with the model itself!

h) Making a collision file (KCL-file)
So, now it’s not done with our BFRES-file alone. The game still needs to know how our 3D-model should behave collision-wise, or for dumb people like me: When you just made a platform with a box on it, we need to tell the game that you can stand on the platform and that the box is solid = behaves like a wall. For that we need to make a collision file, a KCL-file.
  1. Open Every File Explorer.
  2. Click on File >>> New from File >>> Mario Kart Plugin >>> Mario Kart 8 Collision (KCL). (Yeah, luckily this works for Nintendo Land, too!)
  3. Navigate to your OBJ-file, which we created earlier and open it.
  4. A window named „Collision Type Selector” will appear. If you assigned a material to every separate 3D-model in 3DS Max (as I told you), a table with the respective names of all your 3D-models will appear. Now just tick the box in the column „Collide” for every 3D-model that should be solid. If the Collide-box of a 3D-model is not ticked, it will show in game but you will be able to walk through it (making for some nice hiding spots for Mario maybe?).
  5. After everything that should be solid is ticked, just close that window. In the Every File Explorer another window with no content will be opened.
  6. Now just click on the floppy disk symbol to save your KCL-file.
  7. Done!

i) Importing your BFRES- and KCL-file into the stage you want to replace
Okay, now we have a BFRES-file which contains your own texturized 3D-model and a KCL-file for collision information.
  1. Make a copy of the stage you want to replace with your own stage (e.g. „Mro_Field02S.szs”) on your computer (I recommend not to save it in „vol\content\Common\Model” because you might mix up the original and the edited SZS-file).
  2. Open the copy in Wexos’ Toolbox.
  3. Expand the [STAGE NAME].szs with the little plus-sign.
  4. Right click on „gsys.bfres” and click on „Replace”; navigate and choose your BFRES-file that contains your own 3D-model.
  5. Right click on „[STAGE NAME].kcl” and click on „Replace”; navigate and choose your KCL-file that contains your own 3D-model.
  6. Save the SZS-file, you should be prompted if you want to compress the file using „Yaz0”. Click „Yes”. (If you are not prompted this, click on „Program” in the menu bar of Wexos’ Toolbox, then „Plugin Manager”. A window will pop up, where you can choose the compression for your SZS-file, choose „Yaz0” from the list.) Saving may take a while.
  7. Done! We now have an SZS-file containing our files.

3. Replacing the map
Because the map gives the Mario-player crucial information, it is mandatory to change the map, too.
So the maps are found in „vol\content\Common\Package\Mro_Cmn.pack” and inside of that package-file in „Common/Model/[STAGE NAME]_Map.szs”. Those are just SZS-files containing a BFRES-file containing just a 1920x1920 pixel texture.

Now, importing a map is straight forward.
  1. Just use the image editing program of your choice (GIMP, Paint.net, PS, Illustrator, …), create a 1920x1920 pixel canvas.
  2. Make a screenshot of the top-view of your map in 3DS Max. Protip: Press „G” to turn off the grid in the view.
  3. Import the screenshot into your image editing program.
  4. There, rescale it that it fits into the 1920x1920 canvas. (This might be a bit tricky to fit in the end, since you are able to use any shape of the map you like. I recommend you extract the original map image files as a size reference. To make it a bit easier, I made templates for the first stage, which you can find in my download in the beginning of the tut.)
  5. Now, use your screenshot as overlay and trace it to make a nice-looking map.
  6. Delete, or turn off your screenshot overlay, so that you only have your nicely traced map.
  7. Export your Map as a PNG-file, make sure that the background is transparent.
  8. Open Wexos’ Toolbox and create a new BFRES-file (File >>> New >>> BFRES).
  9. Import your map PNG-image into the “Textures” folder.
  10. Save the BFRES-file on your computer.
  11. Use your savingception-skills to save your BFRES-file into the respective „Common/Model/[STAGE NAME]_Map.szs” and that into Mro_Cmn.pack.

4. Reskinnig
a) What you will need
  • Wexos’ Toolbox
  • BFRES Tool

b) Reskinning Mario and the Yoshis
Reskinning the Mario and Yoshi models has given me some trouble, I don’t know why. Maybe because I’m a stupid moron and made many mistakes, or because Nintendo Land is a bit picky with the textures. Anyway, this is how you can do it (for Mario and Yoshi, haven’t tested Toad yet).

1. Go to vol\content\Common\Package.

2. Open Mro_Cmn.pack in Wexos’ Toolbox.

3. Export
  • For Yoshi:
  • For Mario:
    • Common/Model/Mro_Mario.szs
  • (Sidenote1: The model for the Toads is found in „Common/Model/Mro_Kinopio.szs”. There are four textures for the several colours of Toad, which can be edited, but I haven’t tested reskinning those.)
  • (Sidenote2: The models for after the character selection (when the Miis run up to the attraction and change their clothes to Mario/Toad are found in „vol\content\Common\Model\Cmn_Mii_Mro.szs”), if you want to change those too. I never bothered, since they are only on screen for about 5 seconds.)

4. Now that you exported your model you want to reskin, open that model (the respective SZS-file) in Wexos’ Toolbox.

5. Export that gsys.bfres (and maybe save it under a descriptive name like „Mario_reskinned.bfres“, so that you don’t mess up your several BFRES-files; I also strongly recommend putting every BFRES-file in an own folder).

6. Open the BFRES Tool by AboodXD. Go on „File” >>> „Open” and select your exported BFRES-file (like „Mario_reskinned.bfres“ or whatever name you gave it).
After a short load time, the BFRES-file will be opened in BFRES Tool. Also, the BFRES Tool will export all textures as DDS-files to the same folder, where the BFRES-file, which you just opened in the program, lies (that’s why I recommend putting every BFRES-file in an own folder, because it can get messy with all the exported textures).

7. Now you just take the texture you want to edit and open it in an image editor, which can read DDS-files. I happen to have Photoshop, so I open them there with the NVIDIA-Plugin. (I hadn’t had the time to test it in GIMP or PAINT.NET, maybe I will add this later.)
The main texture for Mario’s Cap is „Cap.1.dds”, for his body it’s „Lig_ LuigiBody.1.dds” (funny, right?).
The main texture for Yoshi’s body is „Mro_ Yoshi_ Alb.dds”, the one for Yoshi’s saddle is „Mro_ YoshiShell_ Alb.dds”.
I always load it with the options „Load Using Default Sizes” and „Load MIP Maps“. It seems to be crucial that the option „Load MIP Maps” is ticked, because if it isn’t, the NVIDIA-Plugin gives me an error saving it in the correct format and saving it in a different format gave me glitched textures, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

8. Anyway, just edit your texture to your liking, like changing the colour or adding an emblem, or whatever.

9. When you are ready, save your texture as DDS-file (in PS the NVIDIA-Plugin gives you that option). Make sure to save your edited texture in the same format as the original, you can see the format in the BFRES Tool under the name of the texture. For all „main textures” here, its „BC1 / DXT1”.
If you are using the NVIDIA-Plugin in Photoshop, it gives you two „DXT1”-options, make sure to pick the first one („DXT1 RGB 4 bpp | no alpha”), as the other option gave me glitched textures.

10. Now that you saved your edited texture, change to the BFRES Tool again and click on the respective button of the texture you want to replace. If everything goes well, a prompt showing „Done!” should appear. If it doesn’t, something went wrong, and the texture isn’t replaced.
The BFRES Tool saves the opened BFRES-file directly with the replacement of a texture, so after you are done, you can just close the BFRES Tool. (If you want to check if your texture saved, just open the BFRES-file in Wexos’ Toolbox and have a look.)

11. Now that you have a BFRES-file with your edited texture, open the respective SZS-file (e.g. „Mro_Mario.szs”) in Wexos’ Toolbox and replace the „gsys.bfres” with the BFRES-file containing your edited texture.

12. Then open the „Mro_Cmn.pack” from „vol\content\Common\Package” and replace the respective SZS-file (e.g. „Common/Model/Mro_Mario.szs”) with your SZS-file that contains your BFRES-file with the edited textures

13. Done!

c) Reskinning the default stages
With the same procedure you can reskin stuff from the default stages. However this might be very glitchy (e.g. all textures become black; only some textures are shown and you will be reminded of Windows 98; …). Also, I couldn’t find any consistency, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

5. Remodeling
I haven’t tried this yet but tried to import the Samus-model from the Metroid Blas attraction. The game crashed. I will look into this later, after the texture issues have been resolved. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

6. Custom Attraction Logo
Now let’s go over, how to change the icon for the attraction Mario Chase:

a) What you will need
  • Wexos’ Toolbox
  • BFLIM Tool

b) Two versions of the attraction logo and where to find them
The attraction icons for every Nintendo Land-game are found in „vol\content\Common\Package” in the package „Static2.pack”.

There are two versions of the attraction icons:
  • A low-res version (This small attraction icon is used, if you select the Attraction Tour Train and on the „stage overview screen”, when the respective attraction starts.) is found in „Common/Layout/AttractionLogo_00.szs” >>> „AttractionLogo_00.arc”.
    • There are „timg/Te_AttractionLogo_03^ l.bflim” (the actual Mario Chase logo, we need this one) and
    • „timg/Nt_AttractionLogoSh_03^ s.bflim” (some kind of background for the Mario Chase logo, we don’t really need this).
  • The hi-res version (This is the main attraction icon, when you select Mario Chase from the tower.) is found in „Common/Layout/AttractionLogo_01.szs” >>> „AttractionLogo_01.arc”. There are also
    • „timg/Te_AttractionLogo_03^ l.bflim” (the actual Mario Chase logo, we need this one) and
    • „timg/Nt_AttractionLogoSh_03^ s.bflim” (some kind of background for the Mario Chase logo, we don’t really need this).

c) How to replace the attraction logo
I’m going to explain how to replace the hi-res attraction icon, but it’s just the same, if you want to change the low-res icon too (or any other attraction icon, for that matter).

1. Open the „Static2.pack” found in „vol\content\Common\Package” in Wexos’ Toolbox.

2. Within that, open „Common/Layout/AttractionLogo_01.szs” and within that „AttractionLogo_01.arc”.

3. Right click on „timg/Te_AttractionLogo_03^l.bflim” and chose „Export” in order to save the BFLIM-file on your computer (you have to rename it because of the „/”, for the sake of this tutorial, let’s call it „hi_res_icon.bflim”).

4. Now open the BFLIM Tool, go to „File”, „Open File” and choose your exported „hi_res_icon.bflim”, this might take a few seconds. Just as the BFRES Tool, also the BFLIM Tool exports DDS-files in the same folder, where our „hi_res_icon.bflim” lies. When the BFLIM-file is loaded in the BFLIM Tool, it should look something like this.
a)Now, for some reason, sometimes the Photoshop NVIDIA-Plugin for DDS-files gives me errors when I want to edit the DDS-file, the BFLIM Tool exported, no idea why, so we have to do the following:
b) Open the DDS converter and convert the DDS-file to a PNG-image.
c) Edit the PNG-Image to your liking (you could even change the image altogether with another one).​

5. Save the image as DDS (in Photoshop the NVIDIA-Plugin for DDS-files gives you that option), make sure you choose the right DDS format again (the BFLIM Tool shows you the proper format under the icon’s name). For our icons its „BC3/DXT5”, so choose „DXT5 ARGB 8 bpp | interpolated alpha” in the NVIDIA-Plugin, if you’re using Photoshop (For the low-res-icon it is „ ARGB 32 bpp | unsigned”). Also check „Use existing MIP Maps”. (If you get the error, that the image height and width must be a multiple of four, just add the respective pixels to the image size.)

6. In the BFLIM-Tool again, click on the button „Replace „hi_res_icon””, choose your edited DDS-file and you should be prompted „Done!”, if everything goes well. If you are not prompted this, something went wrong, and your edited attraction icon won’t be replaced.
But if the BFLIM Tool shows you the Done!-prompt, your edited icon is saved in your BFLIM-file, you can check this, by opening it in Wexos’ Toolbox. (Sometimes after replacing the BFLIM-file, I get the error „Unable to recognize the input for [FILENAME].bfres” and the BFRES-file won’t open in Wexos’ Toolbox, however it should still show in the game.)

7. Now we have to reimport our edited BFLIM-file back into the „Static2.pack”. For this, use your savingception-skills. hi_res_icon.bflim >>> AttractionLogo_00.arc >>> Common/Layout/AttractionLogo_00.szs >>> Static2.pack.

8. Done!

7. Custom Texts
a) What you need
  • Wexos’ Toolbox by Wexos
  • MSBT Editor Reloaded

b) Where the respective text-files are located
Here you can find the (most important?) texts for Mario Chase. All text files are found in „*vol\content\[YOUR REGION NAME]\Message\*” in „*AllMessage.szs*”:

  • AllMessage.szs
    • CommonMessage.sarc
      • Stage/StageNameMro.msbt
        • Stage Names
      • GameModeName.msbt
        • The short message in the attraction-logo-banner = also the message you get, when you visit the attraction from the Plaza and read the entrance sign.
      • Body/Common-Menu-Ttl/TopMenu/00-Ttl/TopMenu/00.msbt
        • @GameExp_00_Mro
          • The short explanation of the game under the attraction logo
  • LayoutMessage.sarc
    • Parts/Common/AttractionLogo/AttractionLogo_01/AttractionLogo_01.msbt
      • @LogoRibbon_Mro
        • ???
    • Parts/Common/AttractionLogo/AttractionLogo_00/AttractionLogo_00.msbt
      • @LogoRibbon_Mro
        • ???
    • Body/Common/Menu/Ttl_TopMenu_00/Ttl_TopMenu_00.msbt
      • @GameExp_00_Mro
        • The short explanation of the attraction, from the attraction menu.
    • Body/Common/Mario/Mro_MainTv_00/Mro_MainTv_00.msbt
      • @balloon
        • The message that appears in the small speech bubble at the distance indicator, right before Mario sets off.
      • @Balloon_00
        • The message that appears in the small speech bubble at the distance indicator, after Mario set off.
  • SceneMessage.sarc
    • Mro/MroStartCall.msbt
      • @Msg_D000
        • The message that appears on a ribbon when the game starts (on the Gamepad).
      • @Msg_T000
        • The message that appears on a ribbon when the game starts (on the TV).
    • Ttl/TtlScrollWindow.msbt
      • Gate_Mro_000
        • Short explanation you get when you visit the attraction from the Plaza and read the entrance sign.

c) How to change text
You can change pretty much every text in Nintendo Land and it’s really straight forward. I will show you, how to change the stage name of the first stage in Mario Chase („Chase Arena”), but the procedure is the same for every other text that you want to change.
  1. Open the „AllMessages.szs” (lays in „vol\content\[YOUR REGION NAME]\Message\”) in Wexos’ Toolbox.
  2. Expand „AllMessages.szs” by clicking on the little plus-sign.
  3. Double-click on „CommonMessage.sarc”.
  4. Expand „CommonMessage.sarc” by clicking on the little plus-sign.
  5. Right click on „Stage/StageNameMro.msbt” and export it.
  6. Open MSBT Editor Reloaded and with it, open your MSBT-file.
  7. On the very left corner, click on „Course_00”.
  8. In the middle text field („Edit:”), write the name of your stage.
  9. Click on „File” in the menu bar and save the MSBT-file.
  10. Use your savingception-skills to save your edited MSBT-file. Stage/StageNameMro.msbt >>> CommonMessage.sarc >>> AllMessage.szs
  11. Done!

8. Playing your Mod on the Wii U / Releasing your mod for others to play
Now, let’s recap - if you followed everything in this tutorial, you should have about the following:
  • A “Mro_Field[NUMBER].szs”, which contains your custom stage.
  • A “Mro_Cmn.pack”, which contains
    • your custom map for the stage you want to replace, and
    • your reskinned model of Mario and/or Yoshi.
  • A “Static2.pack”, which contains your custom attraction logo.
  • A “AllMessage.szs”, which contains the text file with your custom stage name.
As mentioned in the beginning, we cannot add stages or other files to Nintendo Land in the sense of that you get another option on the stage selection screen, for example. The only thing we can do is to replace a default stage, with a custom stage, which will then load, when we choose one of the default stages (e.g. we make a custom stage and call it „Mro_Field02.szs” (which is the name for the default stage „Chase Arena”), then our custom stage will load, when we choose that default stage „Chase Arena”).The easiest way to load all of that into your Wii U game, is by using SDcafiine. This program basically replaces files of a game on the fly. But to do so, we have to tell it, which files should be replaced. Therefore, we have to „mirror” the folder structure of our game dump for SDcafiine on you Wii U’s SD card. We can create the folder structure normally on our PC and can just copy it to the respective location on you Wii U’s SD card later. We can do this like described here (every folder name has to be without quotation marks):

1. On your PC, create a folder named
  • „0005000010102100” if you have the European version of the game.
  • „0005000010102000” if you have the US-American version of the game.
  • „0005000010101F00” if you have the Japanese version of the game.

2. In the folder „00500001010[Your respective region code here]”, create a folder named „content”.

3. In the folder „content”, create a folder named „Common” AND a folder named after your region name (e.g. „EuGerman” if you play the European version in German, or „UsEnglish” if you play the US version in English. For other languages, check the folder names of the folders in „vol\content\” of your game dump.).

4. In the folder „Common” create a folder named „Model” and a folder named „Package”.

5. In the folder named after your region name (e.g. „EuGerman”), create a folder named „Message”.

6. Now, we have to copy our files to the respective folders:
  • Copy „Mro_Field[NUMBER].szs” into the folder „Model”.
  • Copy „Mro_Cmn.pack” into the folder „Package”.
  • Copy „Static2.pack” into the folder „Package”.
  • Copy „AllMessage.szs” into the folder „Message”.

7. Your folder structure with the files should look like this.

8. Now, take the SD card our of your Wii U and put it into your PC (or just use an FTP program).

9. On the root of your Wii U’s SD card, create a folder named „sdcafiine”.

10. Copy the folder „00500001010[Your respective region code here]” (and with it, its subfolders and files of course), into the folder „sdcafiine”.
You should now have a folder structure like this „[ROOT OF YOUR WII Us SD CARD]:/sdcafiine/00500001010[Your respective region code here]/…”.

11. Put your Wii U’s SD card back into your Wii U.

12. Done! Power up your Wii U, go to the HBC and start SDcafiine, it will take you back to the Wii U menu. Start Nintendo Land, choose Mario Chase and you’re good to go! Enjoy your custom stage + reskinned character models!

13. Optional: If you want to share your mod, just pack your folder „00500001010[Your respective region code here]” (and its contents of course) in a ZIP-folder and upload it to the file hoster of your choice. But beware! All the files we made according to this tutorial still contain files that are the intellectual property of Nintendo! Depending on where you live, you might commit a crime by uploading your mod. Therefore, do that only at your own risk!

9. Troubleshooting
  • If you face the issue that everything glitches „like the image has hiccups” and you can’t really move, chances are, that your collision file (the KCL-file) is turned in a weird way and does not correspond to your textured model in the BFRES-file. Use Noesis to check if your models (DAE and OBJ) have the same orientation. If they don’t, export the model from within 3DS Max to OBJ again, and check (or uncheck) the box „Flip YZ-axis (Poser like)”.

10. Miscellaneous
  • Now, here’s some stuff that I noticed while playing around with Mario Chase:
  • When a player falls down the stage, he/she will be set to the regular spawn point immediately. Maybe this can make for some sort of „teleportation” game mechanic, if holes or whatever are scattered around the arena.
  • If you build slopes, you can make them as steep as 45° and the character can still move on them without sliding down. At 50° (maybe already at 45,1°, I haven’t tested this thoroughly), you can still run up a slope, but you will slide it down slowly. At at least 60° a slope will be too steep to run up and you will slide down faster.
  • From what I understand, animations are in a separate file-/container-format which is pretty cryptic (at least to me), so we won’t get any stage animation (like moving platforms) anytime soon, I assume.
  • I’m not really sure where the specific file is, and if the format is editable anyway with current means, but I will look for a file where I can change the timer (e.g. make a chase 5 minutes long). This is not a promise that it will work anytime in the future, but I’m looking into it.
  • In „vol\content\Common\Package” in „Mro_Cmn.pack” are also the map icons for Mario, the Toads, the Yoshis and the star. I haven’t tested this, but I assume you could change the icon just like any other BFLIM-file (see section 6). There are also the speech bubbles („Color Balloons”) of the Yoshis (the ones, when a Yoshi sees Mario and a „speech bubble” containing the color and area icon of the respective part of the level appears on the main screen), if you want to change those.
  • When a player runs off an edge, Mario/Toad will make a little jump.

The problems with texturizing
(THIS NOT PART OF THE TUTORIAL, it’s for those of you, who know a little bit about Wii U modding, here is what I have tried with the respective results:

  • Mainly the way I described it in this tutorial: Made a 3D-model and imported it as described in a whole new BFRES-file right from Wexos’ Toolbox. Imported own or other textures as PNG-images with different settings which I pretty much chose randomly, since I don’t know what any of the options in the BFTEX Importer in Wexos’ Toolbox really do. I also exported the textures as BFTEX-files from the original BFRES-file. Then assigned the textures by hand, as described.
    • Result: uniform or cracked up textures ingame.
  • Made a 3D-model, opened the original BFRES-file. Imported my model and deleted the original models. Then assigned the textures by hand, as described.
    • Result: uniform or cracked up textures ingame.
  • Made a 3D-model, opened the original BFRES-file. Imported my model and deleted the original models. Exported the materials of the original from within Wexos’ Toolbox. Replaced the materials of my model with the exported materials of the original.
    • Result: My model showed, but everything is black.
  • Made a 3D-model, opened the original BFRES-file. Replaced the main model with my model and deleted the other original models. Exported the materials of the original from within Wexos’ Toolbox. Replaced the materials of my model with the exported materials of the original.
    • Result: My model showed, but everything is black.
  • Took the original BFRES-file, deleted all models except for the „main stage model”.
    • Result: The original „main stage model” showed, but everything is black.
  • With Wexos’ Toolbox, I exported the original gsys.bfres from the original Mro_Field02S.szs, then reimported it and saved it using Yaz0-compression
    • Result: The SZS-file got a bit bigger, but everything works fine.
  • With Wexos’ Toolbox, I exported the original gsys.bfres from the original Mro_Field02S.szs, before reimporting it, I saved it (even without doing anything to the file itself, just opened it, saved it right away and closed it) and then reimported it into the Mro_Field02S.szs.
    • Result: All models and their animations show there like normal, bur all textures are black. So I assume there is something in the saving process of the BFRES-file in Wexos’ Toolbox, that destroys whatever is making the textures appear?
By now, I have really no idea what else to try. I should also mention that I am a real noob and have no solid understanding of what materials of a BFRES-file are and how all of this works in the details. Especially I don’t know what all the settings under „Attribute Selectors” mean. Played around with those a bit but didn’t get any different results.

So if there is someone out there who knows some more about this and could guide me in the right direction I would be really thankful!)
Last edited by linuxares, , Reason: Removed Proof of concept link incase it contained copyrighted material. It seemed like it.


Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2017
United States
Update! Model Imports are now possible thanks to a new switch toolbox update for various file types! I'm creating a mod pack for the entire game too! It probably won't be out anytime soon but here is the link: https://gamebanana.com/wips/60304
This is great, do you plan to make new maps for the Luigi's Ghost Mansion game too? Between that and Mario Chase, they are my favorite experiences in Nintendoland, and the only thing that would make them better would just be new maps to play those games in.
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Well-Known Member
Dec 6, 2020
United States
This is great, do you plan to make new maps for the Luigi's Ghost Mansion game too? Between that and Mario Chase, they are my favorite experiences in Nintendoland, and the only thing that would make them better would just be new maps to play those games in.
I also enjoyed playing the luigi's ghost mansion mini game so I'll definitely try. Honestly this game can be modded easily with the tools we have today, it's just a matter of trial and error and work.:D
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Well-Known Member
Dec 6, 2020
United States
Hey everyone! If anyone cares, I've been trying to test new things out for Nintendo Land and making progress. I've created a modpack for this game! It will try to imagine the game in a whole new way with new stages, new costumes, and hopefully more! You can check it out here if you would like: https://gamebanana.com/wips/60304. Another thing I'd like to share is if anyone has discord, I've made a server you can join here to talk more about Nintendo land modding and stuff. You can join it here: https://discord.gg/2H9n8EqBee. Sorry for kinda self promoting but I hope this game can form a modding community soon!

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