What Programs Would You Suggest for Beginners to NDS ROM Hacking?

Discussion in 'NDS - ROM Hacking and Translations' started by Tomato Hentai, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. Tomato Hentai

    Tomato Hentai hot death grips singles in your area

    Oct 30, 2014
    I just recently got interested in NDS ROM hacking, and I need some ideas on which programs I should get.
    I already have these programs:
    Tile Layer Pro
    Nitro Explorer
    DS Text Editor (Which I just recently found out is used for Pokemon only.)
    DeSmuME (For testing and emulating ROMS, obviously.)
    I also would like to know if there are some ROMs that happen to be easier to hack than others, just so I can mess around with those to get used to doing all the crud I have to do to hack ROMs.
    I'm also looking for a Hex Editor.
    Thank you! :)
    Pablitox likes this.
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    I cover quite a few in the rom hacking docs at the top of the forum/in my signature. Those are some good ones.


    no$gba debugger is now free and has better debugging than desmume for a lot of things.

    http://code.google.com/p/tiledggd/ is a great graphics viewer.

    As well as crystaltile2 there is tinke
    It approaches things in a subtly different way but that might work for you.

    Hex editors I cover in the docs. If you want free than tiny hexer http://filetrip.net/pc-downloads/applications/download-tiny-hexer-1-8-1-6-f29009.html , http://hexplorer.sourceforge.net/ and XVI32 http://www.chmaas.handshake.de/delphi/freeware/xvi32/xvi32.htm
    As well as that you might want a rom hacking focused hex editor. Crystaltile2 has a good one, there are various others mentioned in the docs.

    Games easier to hack than others... there are some. What are interested in learning to hack first? Text, 2d graphics, 3d graphics, music, levels, general gameplay styles, cheats, save editing....? I have not got one game that is easiest for all of them, however I can probably drum up some good stuff for one or more of them. Do you care about having a finished result? Figuring out how something works is most of what I care about, others do actually want to change the games.
    Equally it is the little fiddly things that keep most ROM hackers coming back.

    Music wise for the DS the main sound format is called SDAT and it is used in most games (as in with region dupes you are probably going to struggle to hit 50 without it). In this case you can pretty much pick any game and it will be good for learning the main aspects of SDAT hacking.

    Text. I still reckon any game using BMG format (mainly Nintendo first party stuff, new super mario brothers being my main example).

    Graphics. I could point you at a basic NSCR, NCGR, NCLR game but we even have viewers for those that work with regular graphics editors. 3d editing on the DS is odd (even the 3ds is more than advanced) so I am not sure what I can point you at. The main format is NSBMD for 3d on the DS and a good chunk of games that use 3d then use this, however editing it is not the easiest and tends to have to be done manually, or you make a model and use the leaked SDK files to handle that.

    Levels, if you can follow along with http://treeki.rustedlogic.net/romhacking/docs.html you are doing OK. N+ might be easier for some parts of it but not for others.

    General gameplay. Normally I would suggest you learn cheats as far as giving people weapons, making moon jump, making walk on water.... sort of thing as it will probably also teach you what is happening in behind the scenes of a game. I can not bring to mind any games on the DS that you can edit ini files, python scripts and start fiddling with the game that way. Maybe some of pokemon kind of has this but if I count that then I have to count an awful lot of games.