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Main - ROM Hacking - SUPER MARIO ADVANCE 4 - Hacking & Editor Efforts New thread | New reply

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copyRIGHThunter
Posted on 07-23-09 08:52 AM (rev. 6 of 07-28-09 04:46 AM) Link | Quote | ID: 111013


Shyguy
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Hello everyone,

I hope that this is the proper place to post this, and I apologize in advance if it is not.

Anyways, a while ago, I decided to hack the 1st world of SMB3 after playing SchwaWarrior's SMB3 hack. I enjoyed it a lot, but it became more and more burdensome. I am not extremely talented when it comes to programming, though I have some basic exposure to it.

I really, really LOVE building levels for the SMB3 engine. I think I have excellent level design skills for this game! (not to be pretentious) I have hacked levels using SMB3 Workshop and the SMB3 Map Editor. The hack is called "JHP's SMB3" Below are two links to the levels I have created....



World 1-1: Tossing Troubles


World 1-4: Jet Pipe Jumps (the 44 coin White Mushroom House trick works still)



EVERY level is there and you can find them by navigating the links in the videos. Everything's hooked together with video responses.


Anyways, I stopped work on this because of the immense irritation that rises when working with the NES version of SMB3. I think it is terrible. There's nothing to easily expand the rom to add stuff. There's no ability to replay levels/worlds, etc. There are the limits to objects..... It makes it hard to build a good level. The graphics are crappy, though that doesn't kill a game. The pallets glitch when certain enemy classes are on the screen at the same time. The NES engine limits certain things that aren't limited in the GBA engine. Example- the green goomba boot can stomp and kill a thwomp in the GBA version, but it cannot it the NES version.

The worst part of all is working with the pointers to have multiple rooms in levels. I cannot work with them at all for SMB3. I've had to save about 103 separate versions of the rom because of frequent corruptions and crashes that render it unplayable and unrepairable.

Anyways, enough of that rant. I came here on the advice of a comment someone posted on my video of W1-4. I would much rather hack levels for the GBA version of SMB3, but I do not know of any hacking utility for it. There are an astounding level of additional features that exist in the SMA4 engine.

They can all be seen in this video I posted...





ALL Exclusive SMA4 Features!!!!!









I also know that it is possible to hack levels and maps for SMA4. Here's two videos from someone that hacked 2 levels in SMA4. (NOT MY VIDEOS IN THESE NEXT 2 LINKS)

14159's 1st SMA4 Level (Untitled)


and

14159's 2nd SMA4 Level (Big Cheep Lake)










I believe that there is IMMENSE untapped hacking potential for this installation of the
2D Mario Series. I dare say that this IS the best installation to date. All of the additional features that were shocased in these videos EXIST ON THE ROM ALREADY.
A PATCH WAS NOT REQUIRED TO USE THESE FEATURES. These features were used in "WORLD-e" which required the use of 2 GBAs and an e-Reader to get these. I was able to successfully emulate ALL of the 10 levels that were brand new to SMA4, as well as the promo card that you got if you bought the game from walmart.

In addition to that, I was able to successfully emulate the 20 additional card levels that were released only in Japan. Also, I was able to play through another "Japan-only" level that was a promotion with "Coro-Coro Comics." All of these levels are viewable from my channel and they are all linked with video responses.

Here's a couple of the more popular "Japan-Only" levels...




World e-15: Frog Suit n' Feather (unofficially titled "Tropical Splash")
This level has a couple of cape feathers in the SMB3 engine, the yellow [!] switch, pink ramps, and Rip-Van Fish.



World e-16 is also cool, just click on e-15's video response. It's a level where you get the goomba boot from a [?] block and rampage through a fortress.

and

World e-27: Castle Koopa Redux (unofficially titled Bowser's Castle)
This level lets you steal the Boomerang Bros' Boomerang and use it against other enemies. Also, Magikoopa/Kamek makes an appearance with a handful of SMW baddies.







There's a ton of stuff here, please check out all that I've got (and comment on it). Please navigate through my earlier videos to see all of the World-e levels.

There are also 2 other features that I haven't posted yet, but they also exist on the SMA4 rom....





A [?] block that contains a Cape Feather




and a [?] that contains a P-Wing









These items exist on the rom (they're not patched in), but they were not placed in any of the game's levels. Those 2 videos were by some kid in Germany who does not appear to understand English.

I don't know of any utility that can edit SMA4 yet. I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE to have a hacking tool for SMA4 that is as user friendly as LunarMagic or SMB3 Workshop. Those GUI's are great because I can see the level in real time. It's easy drag and drop. I would prefer not to have something like the NSMB Editor, as the GUI is more difficult to work with. I would be happy to rip and supply/create any graphics/sprites that would be needed for that. I would also be happy to help on this project in any way I can.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR READING. I appreciate any kind of input or feedback on this.

Oh, sorry, one final thing. All of the extra SMA4 stuff can be done on the North American reigon/version of the game, aka

2161 - Super Mario Advance 4 - Super Mario Bros. 3 (U) (v1.1)

You don't need to have the Japanese or European release..





Thanks again!!!!


____________________



felineki
Posted on 07-23-09 11:31 PM (rev. 2 of 07-23-09 11:32 PM) Link | Quote | ID: 111035


Micro-Goomba
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SMA4 does have a lot of interesting extra features that would be fun to use in hacks. Thanks for showing them all, there were a few I hadn't seen before. I just wish the GBA's sound quality was better.

Raccoon Sam
Posted on 07-24-09 07:39 PM Link | Quote | ID: 111102


Cobrat
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Yeah. The LZ77 files inside the ROM also contain a lot of interesting unused stuff, like some strange 'evil' fireballs that Yoshi spits in SMW, SMW dolphins, Porcu-puffers, Swoopers, Fishbones, those black fuzzy bastards and YI spin-balls, Wigglers and Boos.

____________________


copyRIGHThunter
Posted on 07-28-09 04:57 AM (rev. 4 of 07-28-09 07:10 AM) Link | Quote | ID: 111434


Shyguy
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I've edited my 1st post, as I've realized the videos weren't embedded before. Thanks for the replies thus far.


Is anyone interested in hacking SMA4?

I've found a spritesheet that was ripped that contains all of the e-World features, some of which were not used in any of the levels....


I found this here...

http://www.spriters-resource.com/community/showthread.php?tid=5659&page=1

____________________



NightKev
Posted on 07-28-09 05:41 AM Link | Quote | ID: 111441


Cape Luigi
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A spritesheet isn't necessary if the sprites are already in the game itself.

____________________

KP9000
Posted on 07-28-09 06:39 AM (rev. 2 of 07-28-09 06:40 AM) Link | Quote | ID: 111457


Boomboom

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Posted by NightKev
A spritesheet isn't necessary if the sprites are already in the game itself.
No, but it was necessary to the thread. He was showing off stuff that was in SMA4 that was never used that *could be* used. This supports his whole point of making this thread. He's also sparig us what nobody would do anyway, which is looking in the ROM for all this.

This makes me wonder why nobody's ever decided to check out the possibility of a full-fledged editor, aside from the fact that it's GBA and a little harder to hack than SMB3, SMAS, or SMW.

____________________

copyRIGHThunter
Posted on 07-29-09 11:13 PM Link | Quote | ID: 111631


Shyguy
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I think that few have considered hacking SMA4 is because they do not know about all of the additional gameplay elements that exist on the rom, and were merely not used.

I do not know if this is against the rules or not, but I would be happy to post a gamesave of SMA4 that has all of the levels loaded on it. That way, you guys can enjoy the magic for yourselves, and possibly generate interest in a hacking utility.

I noticed a moderator posted here already, so I'll ask, is it okay to post a gamesave?

____________________



KP9000
Posted on 07-30-09 08:33 AM Link | Quote | ID: 111644


Boomboom

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It's fine, we could use some stimulation into this area of ROM-Hacking. Go right ahead!

____________________

boingboingsplat
Posted on 07-30-09 03:04 PM Link | Quote | ID: 111647


Giant Koopa
[PREFSTRING:wonderful bounciness]
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I always wanted a SMA4 editor; I knew about the e-level features, (upside down wall-run triangles that let you run on the ceiling? Count me in!) and it was actually my first 2D Mario game.

____________________
 

copyRIGHThunter
Posted on 07-30-09 05:23 PM (rev. 2 of 07-30-09 10:19 PM) Link | Quote | ID: 111653


Shyguy
Level: 20

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Okay, I have posted my game save. It is a standard game save, not a save state, so you don't need to press F1 or F2 etc to load it. It just loads with the game.

The file should work with the following version of SMA4:



I renamed the .sav file to a jumble of capital letters and numbers. To use it, you need to place it in the same folder as your SMA4 rom, and make sure it has the EXACT same name of your SMA4 rom.

Here is the link:


------------------------------------------------------------------

EDIT:

I've removed my link to RapidShare. Below are the links posted by....

NightKev

http://fraxy.kafuka.org/~kiro/filebin/X1TY5Q9JTMJ346.sav



and




KP9000

http://acmlm.kafuka.org:81/uploader/get.php?id=1869



------------------------------------------------------------------

PLEASE GET THE WORD OUT THAT ALL OF THIS EXISTS IN SMA4!!!!!!! I want to get people interested in hacking the best 2D installment of Mario ever created!



Also, this sav does not showcase every single feature that exists on the rom, but it shows a lot of them. There's some stuff on the sprite sheet, and EVEN MORE stuff that exists on the rom, but was not placed in any levels.

The sav does not have the "Classic SMB1" levels, but you can watch them here...


SMB1 "Classic Levels" in World-e - NOT MY VIDEO - I DON'T HAVE THESE LEVELS






Additionally, someone has created level maps of all of the World-e levels on this webpage...

http://www.vgmaps.com/Atlas/GBA/#S


Finally, I have thought up some level ideas that exploit the SMA4 engine. I will post some ideas/images/concepts here fairly soon. If anyone develops a hacking utility, let it be known that I won't develop a crappy hack.


THANKS, ENJOY, and PLEASE LET PEOPLE WHO HACK ANY OF THE MARIO GAMES KNOW ABOUT THIS. Please help me get this info out there, steer people to all of the videos I've got, etc. Please help generate support for a SMA4 hacking utility. It could easily be better than even Lunar Magic because SMA4 is built off a better gameplay engine with more elements than ANY 2D mario game, and you don't need to deal with the horrible SMW graphics. They are terrible. Also, people do NOT know how to design levels with the cape feather in mind. It's ridiculously easy to cheat over a TON of levels if you get a cape feather. Either that of you can't get the cape at all... or they have that bastardized version of the Raccoon Tail that is just crap. jAnyways, I'm ranting.. (There's a LOT I hate about SMW's engine).

ENJOY!

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NightKev
Posted on 07-30-09 09:46 PM Link | Quote | ID: 111657


Cape Luigi
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Link to .sav file

Now we don't have to use "rapidshare". (blech).

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KP9000
Posted on 07-30-09 09:49 PM Link | Quote | ID: 111658


Boomboom

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haw, I just uploaded it to the uploader too.

GBA SRAM save file for SMA4

I took a look at it. Damn, these levels are pretty hard, but pretty ingenious too. Someone should take a look into this!

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Treeki
Posted on 08-03-09 02:02 AM Link | Quote | ID: 111836


Red Cheep-cheep
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Anyone got some info on this?

I've been taking a look at it, but it's hard to do much; I have no idea where to start to find data.

Raccoon Sam found this old thread about SMA4 hacking: http://acmlm.cjb.net:2/boardb/thread.php?id=31856 - it's interesting but not extremely helpful due to its total lack of any actual info.

I figured out how to edit the level in memory once it's been loaded, but that doesn't really help to figure out the level format. I've heard that it's apparently the same as SMB3-NES's - but where is the data?

DJBouche suggested looking through LZ77 decompression calls in one of the posts there. I did that and after about an hour, I ended up with quite a nice decompressor.

... which would be useful if I was, you know, looking for graphics - but I'm not. Almost all the files I decompressed (at least, the ones which are loaded when entering 1-1) contained graphics. The ones which didn't have nothing remotely resembling SMB3's levels.

I'll try out more in a debugger for now, but if anyone has some info on this, it would be really appreciated..

____________________
I'll put something here later.

copyRIGHThunter
Posted on 08-03-09 07:24 PM (rev. 2 of 08-03-09 07:24 PM) Link | Quote | ID: 111903


Shyguy
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Thank you for you efforts Treeki. I am very grateful that you're looking into this. I have a very limited understanding about programming in general, but I would like to help in some way. I've used GameMarker and Microsof Visual Basic, but I couldn't write anything too significant. I know nothing about HEX editing, but I think I know what's going on here.

Is what you're doing right now hunting through the HEX data and trying to find what parts of the code correspond to parts of the game? You just change some values in the HEX data, and see what it does to the game?

Then, when you know what is where, someone writes a program. That program is basically a GUI that knows what is where in the game, and changes blind editing into a user friendly drag and drop type experience?

I've already begun drawing up ideas/concepts for levels and drawing up what I think an awesome SMA4 editing interface would look like. I have also gathered a bunch of sprites for a GUI.


It would be really awesome if an expansion patch came with the editor - like something that adds even more enemies to the SMA4 engine before people edit it. It'd be awesome to add everyone for the ultimate mario engine. There'd be Rex, Tweeter, Albatoss, Mouser, Shy Guys, Ninji, Blurps, BooBlocks, Sluggy the Unshaven, Tap-Taps, Dino-Rhino, Sino Torch, etc. It'd even be cool to add the Super Carrot Power Up from SML2, and put it in addition to the cape and the super leaf. It'd be almost unreal to have a level where you get the Goomba Boot, stomp Chargin' Chuck with it, and fight Birdo!!! Imagine all of the possibilities. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.






If you need/want someone to play around w/ the HEX data and see what changes what, then I'd be happy to help. How would I do it if you want me to?














____________________



Kawa
Posted on 08-03-09 07:36 PM Link | Quote | ID: 111904


CHIKKN NI A BAAZZKIT!!!
80's Cheerilee is best pony
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Posted by copyRIGHThunter
It'd be almost unreal to have a level where you get the Goomba Boot, stomp Chargin' Chuck with it, and fight Birdo!!! Imagine all of the possibilities. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.
Understatement of the day, Copy.

____________________
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Kawa rocks — byuu

Treeki
Posted on 08-03-09 07:36 PM (rev. 2 of 08-03-09 07:37 PM) Link | Quote | ID: 111905


Red Cheep-cheep
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Nice ninja post edit there.

Don't get too ahead of yourself. While additions are definitely possible (just look at SMW) we should focus on editing what we have first.

As for editing data, the problem with doing it here is that if I change something, I have no idea what it's going to affect. I'm used to DS hacking where I can open a ROM and see all the files inside. In a GBA game, the ROM is just one huge glob of data where nothing is organised at all.

I'm totally unfamiliar with this type of hacking so I've been working through a debugger to try and find stuff. The problem here is that to find any useful data, I need to trace through a lot of the game's code to see where it comes from originally.

I'll try and work on it more; I'll post back if I have any more updates.

...
my own edit: The first line in this post was referring to copyRIGHThunter, not Kawa. Way to ninja my post as well.

[19:35:41] <&Kuro-chan> New reply by Kawa (ROM Hacking: Super Mario Advance 4: SMB3 Editor!? (Video Links Included) (5226) (+388)) - http://acmlm.kafuka.org:81/board?p=111904
[19:35:50] <&Kuro-chan> New reply by Treeki (ROM Hacking: Super Mario Advance 4: SMB3 Editor!? (Video Links Included) (5226) (+474)) - http://acmlm.kafuka.org:81/board?p=111905


____________________
I'll put something here later.

Kawa
Posted on 08-03-09 07:41 PM Link | Quote | ID: 111906


CHIKKN NI A BAAZZKIT!!!
80's Cheerilee is best pony
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Posted by Treeki
I'm used to DS hacking where I can open a ROM and see all the files inside. In a GBA game, the ROM is just one huge glob of data where nothing is organised at all.
You'd be surprised how well-organized things can be, Treeki. I've seen this often enough while working on Pokémon -- all the daycare functions are in one contiguous block, mon data management in another, and even the monster image data makes more sense than you'd expect.

There are files, you just don't get a FAT with it.

Ofcourse, this differs by game. Assuming SMA4 is well made, the above should hold.

____________________
Wife make lunch - Shampoo
Opera - give it a spin
Spare some of your free time?
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Kawa rocks — byuu

copyRIGHThunter
Posted on 08-04-09 12:52 AM Link | Quote | ID: 111948


Shyguy
Level: 20

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What program/debugger do you guys use to look at and modify the hex data? Is there a function inside of any GBA emulators?

____________________



Treeki
Posted on 08-04-09 12:54 AM Link | Quote | ID: 111949


Red Cheep-cheep
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Posted by copyRIGHThunter
What program/debugger do you guys use to look at and modify the hex data? Is there a function inside of any GBA emulators?

Use a hex editor. xvi32 is pretty nice.

____________________
I'll put something here later.

Raccoon Sam
Posted on 08-04-09 05:09 PM Link | Quote | ID: 111999


Cobrat
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Yeah, like Kawa said, GBA stuff can be nicely organized and hopefully SMA4 is no exception.
The other great thing about the ROM being a huge blot of data with no inner files is corruption made easy. I found most of the Sutte Hakkun and Umihara Kawase data by having a quick-launch icon for the ROM and a hex editor with the ROM open:
-Paste random hex data over a specific region I've confirmed not graphics or sound data
-Quick play the game in an emulator, keep turbo button held to pass the intro and other stuff
-Fool around and if no changes are seen in the first few areas, close the ROM
-Go back to Hex editor, undo last paste-job, and paste the junk again to where the last one ended

Repeat until stuff gets (un)conceivable. Unless I'm mistaken, this was Jigglysaint's method to find Metroid Fusion and Zero Mission data (which sparked Interdpth's effort to create the AMAZING editor)

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