Hacking Ways to shrink games

iDi0t

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Curious if anyone has done this or similar. Looking at shrinking the size of games by removing additional languages, cut scenes, etc.

Any help or guidance would be great.
 

Dust2dust

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A 2TB hard disk (enough to store the whole Wii library) is cheap nowadays. If you only want the decent games, a 500 GB is enough, and much cheaper. Why would you want to go through the trouble of ripping contents to cut sizes? Just curious.
 

iDi0t

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A 2TB hard disk (enough to store the whole Wii library) is cheap nowadays. If you only want the decent games, a 500 GB is enough, and much cheaper. Why would you want to go through the trouble of ripping contents to cut sizes? Just curious.

Just curious if it would be possible and if so it it had been done before. It stems from a copy of Mario Kart I saw where PAL version was double NTSC version.
 

FAST6191

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As others said that was likely an error on the part of whomever made the upload -- while there were dual layer Wii games they were very few in number and Mario Kart is not one of them in any region or bugfix we know of.

Anyway game ripping as it is known (somewhat confusingly for some) has a long history starting way before the Wii and very much continued into it. As was mentioned the arrival of high density storage, ubiquitous fast connections of essentially unlimited bandwidth, and cheap writeable media meant fewer engaged in it than they had in years past but it was still a concept. Save for the few people still doing a bit of it for the PC then the PSP was probably the last place to make real use of it as a hacked system wide phenomenon but even that fell by the wayside as we got SD adapters and memory prices dropped. The DS had a bit at the start, indeed here is 2005 me with a thread on the matter https://web.archive.org/web/20080302190027/http://ezflash.sosuke.com/viewtopic.php?t=457 , but once we all got DS flash carts and SDHC memory then nobody did much more than trimming of ROMs, and even that was not mandatory for everybody. For the original xbox it was pretty much ubiquitous (so much so we saw most of the xbox library redumped afterwards to have it work on the 360).

The wii is very much of the filesystem persuasion so you have that working for you (trying to strip out unnecessary data to make it smaller for a basic file system for a GBA ROM that does not have a file system is something of a Herculean, or perhaps Sisyphean, feat most of the time so nobody really does that). You will also want to use a WBFS or equivalent format for them as the way Wii isos work means you will not get much from it (and probably any gains you make will be utterly eclipsed by scrubbing).

At the base level then yeah you go in and strip out, dummy up* or relink* files that you don't need for the game in general, or just what you want to play of it -- if you just want the one minigame then however much you need to get it to boot and get to that. In some instances people have split games in half as it were so they could play one half of the game, delete it and load the other half onto it when their flash carts were not big enough.
Get better at it and you can start to play ROM hacker here and edit the game to load it directly, or stop it from crashing before it gets there courtesy of some other mods you did. More advanced still and you can drop image/audio quality of such files -- if making decoders for custom video and audio is a pain then making an encoder where you can usefully make things smaller is... it has been done for the PC but I don't know if I have seen it for a console, however some Wii games did use known formats. Similarly you can introduce compression where there might not have been any before (or compression done not as well as it could have been), possibly at the cost of increased load times or slowdowns for some things.

*strip out means delete the file and rebuild, dummy up means make the absolute smallest file you can (whether you make it, find it within the game or find it within another game depends upon you) and overwrite the big file to gain space that way, relink sees you alter the file system/pointers so it reads another file in the game instead and allows you the free space as a result (don't know if any Wii tools to do this, indeed I don't even have any for the DS and do it manually if I need to, PSP's umdgen does have it).

As the wii was kind of a modern console the main users of space are usually music and video, but the old staples of languages, developer left in extras, minigames, other games from double/triple/whatever packs, levels you don't care about and more are still in play.

Unless you are stripping out a massive RPG to just play its minigame or something (don't know what I would suggest out of the Wii library for this treatment but it is far from an unknown occurrence) I would instead just say get a bigger hard drive.
 
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