Hacking Why hasn't anyone made a device like this yet?

dartdude6

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There are many games I want to patch with my DS (Jump Ultimate Stars - Translation, Final Fantasy IV - Translation, Pokemon Fire Red for GBA - Pokemon Shiny Gold Hack, etc), but I live in the US and I want to go by the law.I think it would be awesome if there was some kind of device for DS/GBA that has USB support (to get the patches on to the device) and then patch your game! I don't understand why companies like Datel haven't created something like this. Can someone explain to me why this hasn't been done?
 

FAST6191

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Some patches require tweaking of the file system (certainly a lot of the bigger ones). While I do not doubt this could be done dynamically in some ways (assuming strict adherence to nitroFS not something like Phoenix Wright 1/Tony Hawks first DS iteration) it would still be hard to pull off (see the problems with various cheats: hacks are normally 100 or more times the size and target the rom section rather than the ram).

As for the GBA, it is slightly easier (everything is mapped to the easily readable bus) but even for the smallest of hacks (basic stuff like font, trainers and simple sprite hacks) it would still take a good chunk of space.

I guess the main reason is that it would not sell: anyone who knows enough to want/follow this is likely to know about emulation and/or flash cards.

As for the law should you have the game it would likely be more effort than it is worth to drag it through court (especially if a pro-"pirate" ruling was the outcome). Not to mention it falls dangerously close to format shifting/fair use.
 

DanTheManMS

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I don't get what exactly you're trying to do. Apply patches to official cartridges? That wouldn't work since the flash chips can only be written to once; after that, they are read-only.
 

kiwibonga

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It hasn't been done because there isn't a market for it. Most people who use hacks and translations use emulators, and the people who make them have to at least dump the ROM onto a PC before they can create modifications. While the patches themselves are legal, only a fraction of users go by the law... It'd be naive to think otherwise.

What I recommend is that you go ahead and buy a piracy device... In the off chance that the FBI comes to your house and looks inside your DS and computer, they'll see that you own all the originals, and they'll be like "meh, let's go hunt some aliens" and leave you be.

Not to mention, unless I'm misinformed... Number of rom hacking related lawsuits so far: 0.
 

DanTheManMS

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I don't get what exactly you're trying to do. Apply patches to official cartridges? That wouldn't work since the flash chips can only be written to once; after that, they are read-only.
Yes, that's what I wanted to do.

P.S.: Does the same thing go for GBA games too?
Yes, DS and GBA games cannot be written to aside from the small bit of EEPROM, SRAM, or Flash used for saving. The game data itself is read-only.
 

FAST6191

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@DanTheManMS have a read up on game genie codes, the DS would be harder and we would probably revisit the passme as the cart is not mapped to memory unlike the GBA:
http://tuxnes.sourceforge.net/gamegenie.html

It would be pointless though trying to make it into a commercial app for anything large scale (gamegenie codes are incredibly tiny compared to patches)
 

DanTheManMS

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Well yeah, there's the Game Genie, Game Shark, Action Replay, etc. However, I think the dartdude was more referring to IPS patch files or something similar, where you patch the actual rom data for graphics hacks, translations, or other things that simply can't be done with cheat codes. This is the type of thing that cannot be done with official cartridges, as my point still remains in that the cartridges are read-only.
 

FAST6191

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Gamegenie devices "patch" the rom not unlike a rom hack patch essentially by intercepting reads to the disc/cart and replacing them with whatever.

Gameshark/AR type devices alter the ram (which is fairly easy to do) and leave the rom untouched.
 

camx

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read only memory. one write, then you'll have to go through massive efforts to alter anything there.

http://www.sunequipco.com/comp/UMP20048/UMP20048.HTM

I guess it would go along the lines of something like that; you'll need to remove the chips and plug em into something that can program them. you would be much better making the cartridges yourself. an example of very basic reprogramming would be here: http://www.sunequipco.com/comp/UMP20048/UMP20048.HTM

Also various people have created some very nifty reprogrammable NES cartridges though i am not sure how much time/effort/money would go into them but i assume it would be a lot of fun: http://www.raphnet.net/electronique/nes_cart/nes_cart_en.php

Simply put i find this sort of "scene" in hacking old games to be very intriguing but sadly i havent had the time to research it. Correct me if i'm wrong but i dont think it has really been implemented well at all. A while back i remember salivating over a guy who would take any ROM you wanted (supplied by you, of course) and make you your very own NES or SNES cartridge out of it, including the ones that required extra space. He would even make professional looking labels if you sent him one of your old Nintendo carts to put it in. Sadly the price was a little higher than i could afford at the time and googling right now i cant seem to find the site. i would LOVE to have a working copy of FFIVj.
 

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