Not sure how to do this...

Discussion in 'NDS - ROM Hacking and Translations' started by leetdood, Jul 16, 2006.

  1. leetdood

    leetdood GBAtemp Regular

    Jan 16, 2006
    How would I go around editing stuff in NDS roms? Let's say I wanted to hack 0493 - Project Hacker: Kakusei to english. How would I start doing this? I know there are a couple of topics about this and I HAVE tried to read them. It pretty much kinda goes over my head. x_x

    Thanks in advance for any help.
  2. Dirtie

    Dirtie :'D

    Former Staff
    Sep 9, 2003
    New Zealand
    Get a tile editor, identify the files you need to work with, work out the text/image formats, create a translation table, etc.
  3. leetdood

    leetdood GBAtemp Regular

    Jan 16, 2006
    What's a good tile editor for NDS? Or any that would support NDS for that matter. I've tried 2 and they don't show jack shit. :/

    Edit: Disassembled with NDSTOOL and looked at data/font/, seems the.. language tiles are stored in here? I'm not very good at this. :x How would I go around to replacing the.. script?
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    Unfortunately most tools are made for earlier consoles/devices and most ROM hackers seem inclined to stick with them rather than moving to the DS and such. To be fair though a fair few people are now doing playstation and n64 hacks.
    For instance this recently released complete redoing of Final Fantasy 1 for the nes:

    The fact you can use NDSTool generally makes things so much easier it is not funny (to be able to quickly find various sections of roms is something many rom hackers dream of), unfortunately not every rom uses the same setup and some roms have all their files bundled into one big one (Trauma center is a good example of this).

    As for a tile editor some DS roms use the GBA mode: I am currently working on the new bomberman and all the .dsir files use either 4bpp or 8bpp GBA mode.
    My tile editor of choice is TileEd2002:

    On the whole though DS hacking is not that easy as there is no emulator (the view tiles option of VBA is so nice for GBA it is not funny not to mention stuff has to be tested on real hardware for the DS), 3d is used extensively and as I mentioned tools are not around.

    However it is possible and do not let such things discourage you, read up on some of the documents over at:
    Despite being for older consoles they are still very relevant today (read the translations 101 type documents).

    Tools you will most certainly need:

    A hex editor, my prefered one is hex workshop (not freeware unfortunately):
    Zophar's has a bunch of freeware ones as well as ones you will want to be able to use as well.

    You already have the tile editor I use:
    You might want to check out some of the other ones at Zophar's (make sure they have GBA support).

    NDSTS: (it is better to replace the files than having to build a new filesystem)

    NDSTool: or in DevkitARM. I have an older version that works better with rom patchers on my site:

    Obviously you will need a method to create patches, IPS is useless so you will want to look into something like XDelta (currently my patcher of choice):
    NINJA 2.0 is beta right now as well:,1368.0.html

    If you are serious about this the it may also be time to learn to code in ARM 7 and ARM 9 ASM too.

    A for your choice of hack I had a look at the rom when it first came out and seem to recall a lot of it was not compressed (a big plus as compression normally means knowledge of ASM is needed, most compressed files use LZ somewhere in their name/extension or in the first few lines in a hex editor) and many files were named nicely.
    This being said a Japanese to English translation is one of the hardest rom hacks to do and the fact you want to do it for an RPG/text heavy game makes things even less fun.

    My advice is to start with a simpler rom and work up.
  5. leetdood

    leetdood GBAtemp Regular

    Jan 16, 2006
    Thank you for the help. ^__^