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Main - ROM Hacking - Mega Man 4 Voyage - Updated July 2017 New thread | New reply

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DurfarC
Posted on 01-31-14 07:00 PM (rev. 6 of 07-07-17 03:11 AM) Link | Quote | ID: 155574


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Edit: Updated on 07-07-17, look at page 3!

Mega Man 4 Voyage is a hack of MM4 I started working on 1,5 years ago. This time, I decided to change more than just the stages and the music, and went for a major rework. Below are some screens and a video showing my newest progress.

I finally managed to get myself together and learn some basic 6502 ASM, so that I could create some new enemies, mostly from other MM games. I also made some changes to the existing ones. The programming bit is still quite hard for me though, so the enemies I recreated so far are not the most advanced types. As for the Quick Man lasers, Matrixz was kind enough to send me a disassembly of the lasers he made for MMForever, although I expanded it myself to include vertical lasers as well. A few other patches by other people were also used, such as Rock5easily's Effect Enemy EX patch.

The music in this hack is all composed by me. Apart from the castle stages, all the music for this hack is done. As for graphics, I must admit that I'm not very good at these - so I imported them from other NES and MM games. Some of them will still be worked on (and I just realized that I used way too much yellow in these stages, haha), although don't expect eye candy to the max.

I hope you'll enjoy what you see - suggestions and feedback, both good and bad, are very welcome!

Special thanks go to Matrixz, rock5easily, infidelity, Insectduel, Kuja Killer and PureSabe for various documentations, patches and ROM information.




EggplantPimp
Posted on 01-31-14 10:27 PM Link | Quote | ID: 155575


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Haaaa this is pretty sweet, I'm looking forward to playing the final product!

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infidelity
Posted on 01-31-14 10:39 PM Link | Quote | ID: 155576


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Verrrry excellent screenshots! Definitly like what I see! Great work! :-D

Trinitronity
Posted on 01-31-14 11:13 PM Link | Quote | ID: 155578


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Posted by DurfarC

[URL=http://s439.photobucket.com/user/DurfarC/media/MEGAMAN4-1.png.html]

Oh my god, did I just saw Suzy from MegaMan 1? Nice work so far, DurfarC.
By the way, what in your eyes is the most basic thing someone could do with 6502 ASM, with which that person could then learn 6502 ASM step by step? I'm considering learning 6502 ASM for hacking MM2, MM3, MM4 and MM5.

RetroRain
Posted on 02-01-14 12:03 AM Link | Quote | ID: 155579


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Looks interesting. Looking forward to seeing more!

Posted by Trinitronity
Oh my god, did I just saw Suzy from MegaMan 1? Nice work so far, DurfarC.
By the way, what in your eyes is the most basic thing someone could do with 6502 ASM, with which that person could then learn 6502 ASM step by step? I'm considering learning 6502 ASM for hacking MM2, MM3, MM4 and MM5.


There is lots of information out there. Where you start is completely up to you. You would benefit greatly by downloading a document called nestech.txt. You can get it from Zophar's Domain. You should also download the NES Mapper documents, and the document titled 6502.txt. There is a document that tells you how to make a small NES demo, which I believe, if I remember correctly, you can get from Zophar's Domain. By programming and setting up a small NES ROM, you can see how the NES works, and it will definitely help you when it comes to ASM hacking, because you will see how the NES works.

But if you never did an ASM hack before, I would start out small, and then work your way up. I made a thread back in July, which may help you also. Here's the link:

http://acmlm.kafuka.org/board/thread.php?id=7743

Good luck!

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NARFNra
Posted on 02-01-14 01:22 AM Link | Quote | ID: 155580


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Lookin' awesome! I already talked to you about this of course, haha, but it's still quite impressive. Good luck, man!

DurfarC
Posted on 02-03-14 06:41 PM Link | Quote | ID: 155596


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I thank you all for your nice comments.

Posted by Trinitronity
Oh my god, did I just saw Suzy from MegaMan 1?
Indeed, I love these things, there are so many opportunities to create cool pizzles with them. I did the Mega Man 10 type though, which is more predictable since it doesn't decide randomly when to move.

Posted by Trinitronity
By the way, what in your eyes is the most basic thing someone could do with 6502 ASM, with which that person could then learn 6502 ASM step by step? I'm considering learning 6502 ASM for hacking MM2, MM3, MM4 and MM5.
I must admit that I'm pretty much unable to do anything without heavy documentation on the game I'm working on. For Mega Man 4, there's Matrixz' really detailed document, and based on that, learning what most of the different commands do wasn't that hard. I wouldn't be able to program lots of new features and such though, at least not without spending way too much time on it. For the last week I have pretty much had absolutely no life already, so I guess I shouldn't try to learn more just yet.

Personally I just started out by disassembling some enemy AI, and learned from there, since then I could associate the code with what happens in the game. I guess it's not exactly how one should learn stuff, but it made me able to change most of what I wanted to change anyway. I also used this site to help me out on what the different codes mean:

www.6502.org/tutorials/6502opcodes.html

If you're going to hack MM2-5 (minus 4), there's not so much documentation out there for the ROMs, so you'll have to figure out much on your own. The links RetroRain mentioned should be of great help though.

RetroRain
Posted on 02-04-14 12:50 AM (rev. 2 of 02-04-14 12:53 AM) Link | Quote | ID: 155605


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DurfarC, how did you compose the music for your hack? Did you do it in Famitracker first, and then port it over? Or did you just do it right from the ROM?

I'm assuming that since you did the music by yourself, that you are a music pro?

It bothers me that I can do all of this ASM hacking, but I have no music skills what-so-ever. I can come up with an awesome song in my head, but I don't know how to actually compose it.

Do you have any advice on composing music, or can you recommend any good books that I can read?

I asked Matrixz about this one time. I don't remember exactly what he said (I have to re-read my PMs), but I think he mentioned something about playing a keyboard piano. I may have to buy one soon.

But I obviously need to know music lingo in order to compose something decent right? I can't even read sheet music. XD

Anyway, again, nice hack. It looks good, and you have helped inspire me. I may be getting back to my MM4 hack soon.

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DurfarC
Posted on 02-04-14 02:03 AM Link | Quote | ID: 155607


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When I make songs for the hack, I first compose a melody by simply thinking it out or playing randomly on my piano with audio recording turned on. Then I write down the melody in Cubase 6.5, the software I use when making music otherwise, and support it with some harmony (2nd channel) a bass and the drums (noise). Finally, when the musical contents of the song are done, I write the song into the ROM. I usually decide there what sounds and effects to use (square, saw etc.).

I could think out a song and write it directly into the ROM, but I think it's a good idea to write it in a proper way first (aka in music software), so that you quickly get an idea of how it will sound like and don't suddenly forget "how the melody was" because you used too long time on entering the hex data into the ROM.

Famitracker or any other music software or even a simple midi sequencer can do that job of course. I just don't like Famitracker, as the way you write songs there is based on steps instead of notes and lengths, which in my opinion makes writing music way more complicated than it really is. The only good specific reason to use Famitracker would be if you want to have the instruments, sound effects etc. decided from the beginning, instead of deciding them when you input music data into the ROM. However, what you make in Famitracker will never sound 100% similar in the ROM anyway.

I wouldn't call myself a pro, I suppose. I do have a few releases on very small labels in various EDM genres, but that's all. However, since 1995 I have played 3 different music instruments and made music on my computer frequently - and I also happen to be one of the 0,01% of the people in the world with absolute pitch, which helps a lot I suppose. The latter fact is pure luck of course, I'm really grateful for that. In short, I guess I have the musical skills kinda in place, although I lack patience, creativity, playing skills and technical skills (mastering, making my own sounds etc.) to make something really spectacular out of it. For NES music, these limitations aren't a problem, luckily.

Knowing music is indeed required to compose music I'm afraid, no matter if it's for a ROM hack or for a friday night jazz club in New York. As for composing music, the only advice I really have is learning the normal way - that is, learning notes, some basic chords and chord progressions and some basic musical terms and rules. Having a piano or a synth or just a simple USB keyboard (you can probably get one for just 50-100$ or so) will definitely help you out. And, as I already implied, don't let Famitracker be the first software you try to learn in. I don't know any particular readings, but thanks to the possibilities of the internet, I'm sure you can find something on Youtube or maybe even with a simple Google search. Reading sheet music is also recommended - if you use a sequencer like I do which has a piano roll based interface (which is common in professional audio software and midi sequencers), the concept is the same. Sheet music is also the explanation to why notes are called quarter notes, half notes etc., which is useful to know.

In the meantime, if you have a decent singing voice, you could always try to sing a melody you have in your head (maybe even the harmonies and such sung separately if you have these as well), record it and ask someone to put it down in notes for you. If you do that, I'd be glad to help you out and put the notes down for you in a midi file, so that it's ready to be remade into a ROM. Of course I'd be able to put it in a ROM too, but that would require knowing exactly what game you're going to hack and where in the game it will be stored, as well as having enough space for it in the ROM. Besides, transforming the music into hex data is ultra boring in my opinion. But yeah, if you have a song idea and can sing it, then let me know! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask as well.

Thanks for the nice comments otherwise, hopefully you will be able to continue on your own hack as well - there can never be too many ROM hacks of Mega Man games!

RetroRain
Posted on 02-04-14 02:44 AM (rev. 2 of 02-04-14 02:45 AM) Link | Quote | ID: 155608


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Thanks for the advice! It should come in handy!

I didn't know there was a phenomenom called Absolute Pitch. That's pretty cool that you have a rare gift there.

And having used FamiTracker before, or at least "tried" to use it, I have to agree that it can be a pain to use.

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amarcum81
Posted on 02-07-14 08:36 AM Link | Quote | ID: 155643


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I've liked all of your hacks DufarC and an my opinion, this is your best work yet! The music is amazing! Really looking forward to this one! Do you have any plans to revisit some of your older hacks down the road as far as tweaking them a bit with some of the new things you've learned?

DurfarC
Posted on 02-07-14 09:00 AM Link | Quote | ID: 155644


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Posted by amarcum81
I've liked all of your hacks DufarC and an my opinion, this is your best work yet! The music is amazing! Really looking forward to this one! Do you have any plans to revisit some of your older hacks down the road as far as tweaking them a bit with some of the new things you've learned?
Thank you very much for these nice words. Some dude just wrote in my video that my music sucks in Spanish (4 times, so I deleted it), so I'm glad to have it confirmed that he doesn't speak for everyone.

As for my old hacks, I won't touch the MM2 hack again, as it wasn't very good in terms of level design (I didn't know difficult mode was the actual, normal difficulty in the Japanese version of the game, and didn't even play through that mode in the original game or my own hack until way later). I could revise the MM3 hacks with a hard mode or so, but I think it's more likely that I'll start on something new after this one, like I usually do. Probably it'll be either MM5, or maybe even MM3 for the third time - although this time with some ASM changes put in. We'll see, I still have a lot of work to do with this one after all.

amarcum81
Posted on 02-08-14 08:02 AM Link | Quote | ID: 155650


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Posted by DurfarC
Posted by amarcum81
I've liked all of your hacks DufarC and an my opinion, this is your best work yet! The music is amazing! Really looking forward to this one! Do you have any plans to revisit some of your older hacks down the road as far as tweaking them a bit with some of the new things you've learned?
Thank you very much for these nice words. Some dude just wrote in my video that my music sucks in Spanish (4 times, so I deleted it), so I'm glad to have it confirmed that he doesn't speak for everyone.

As for my old hacks, I won't touch the MM2 hack again, as it wasn't very good in terms of level design (I didn't know difficult mode was the actual, normal difficulty in the Japanese version of the game, and didn't even play through that mode in the original game or my own hack until way later). I could revise the MM3 hacks with a hard mode or so, but I think it's more likely that I'll start on something new after this one, like I usually do. Probably it'll be either MM5, or maybe even MM3 for the third time - although this time with some ASM changes put in. We'll see, I still have a lot of work to do with this one after all.


Some people... make you wonder huh? Seriously, I liked all the music I heard in the video. It does fit the Mega Man theme quite nicely IMO. I'm a musician as well, and have been playing guitar for going on 20 years now. I do a lot of home recording using various programs such as Cubase, Guitar Tracks Pro, and others. I mostly use Cubase for drum tracks as most are midi samples running through a virtual drumkit such as Drumkit From Hell, etc. When I was hacking I never got around to doing custom music for anything but it's something I have given quite a bit of thought to over the years, but it's been almost impossible for me to find any real time to devote to rom hacking due to real life stuff. I'm sure many rom hackers go through that and have to step away for awhile. Again, looking forward to playing your next hack.

DurfarC
Posted on 02-17-14 07:33 AM Link | Quote | ID: 155700


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Small update: Programming new stuff seems to go pretty nicely, so I've made quite a few new enemies and stage gimmicks since last time. Here are some of them, first a video, then some screens:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkZz-LyHBA4



I'm also planning to make weapon switching possible with the select button, although since that involves graphics loading I'm not sure if I have enough skills to do that just yet.

Posted by amarcum81
Some people... make you wonder huh? Seriously, I liked all the music I heard in the video. It does fit the Mega Man theme quite nicely IMO. I'm a musician as well, and have been playing guitar for going on 20 years now. I do a lot of home recording using various programs such as Cubase, Guitar Tracks Pro, and others. I mostly use Cubase for drum tracks as most are midi samples running through a virtual drumkit such as Drumkit From Hell, etc. When I was hacking I never got around to doing custom music for anything but it's something I have given quite a bit of thought to over the years, but it's been almost impossible for me to find any real time to devote to rom hacking due to real life stuff. I'm sure many rom hackers go through that and have to step away for awhile. Again, looking forward to playing your next hack.
Good to hear, especially from a fellow musician. 20 years is a long time for sure, you must have quite some experience then. I'm also glad to see another Cubase user out there, most people I know use Fruity Loops, and 90% of them do that because it's easy to crack, lolz. I get what you mean with real life, we're all getting older, and the younger people aren't going to replace us since they grew up with more recent console generations. Except for now, I haven't done any ROM hacking at all ever since I released the last one, there just isn't enough time to keep it up like before and there are lots of other things we want to/have to do as we get older. But hey, glad to see that some of us still hang around and make/play hacks now and then.

I remember long ago, when you asked me to do a level for a hack you were making - I did actually start on it, but then I suddenly lost interest in Mega Man for a while, totally forgot about it and never got back to you. I guess that's how it goes when people have way too much other things to do. I did that to some others as well, I even forgot to reply to some PMs which had just some basic questions in them. Oh well, I'm a few years too late now.

Drakon
Posted on 02-17-14 02:40 PM (rev. 3 of 02-17-14 02:48 PM) Link | Quote | ID: 155705


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This is amazing, the music you wrote is fantastic. This is everything a hack should be. What did you use to compose and insert the music?

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DurfarC
Posted on 02-17-14 04:35 PM Link | Quote | ID: 155706


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Thanks, glad you like what you see/hear! I use a combination of my keyboard/synth and my brain when trying to come up with new melodies, then I write the melody down in Cubase (music software), supply it with harmony, bass and drums and then enter hex data into the ROM in a hex editor. The latter is kinda tedious, but it's the only way.

NARFNra
Posted on 02-17-14 08:43 PM Link | Quote | ID: 155711


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Posted by Drakon
This is amazing, the music you wrote is fantastic. This is everything a hack should be. What did you use to compose and insert the music?


I know DurfarC mentioned this, but you have to insert music by hand! The simplest way to learn how is to use the tutorial here; http://acmlm.kafuka.org/board/thread.php?id=7844

RetroRain
Posted on 02-17-14 11:41 PM Link | Quote | ID: 155716


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Posted by DurfarC
I'm also planning to make weapon switching possible with the select button, although since that involves graphics loading I'm not sure if I have enough skills to do that just yet.
Hard to believe that you can create all of these new enemies and very nice new features, and yet you wouldn't be able to do the graphics loading thing you mentioned.

Have faith in yourself. Trust me, if you can do those things in the video you just posted, you can do the weapon switching routine.

Nice video by the way.

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DurfarC
Posted on 02-21-14 07:30 AM Link | Quote | ID: 155745


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Posted by RetroRain
Posted by DurfarC
I'm also planning to make weapon switching possible with the select button, although since that involves graphics loading I'm not sure if I have enough skills to do that just yet.
Hard to believe that you can create all of these new enemies and very nice new features, and yet you wouldn't be able to do the graphics loading thing you mentioned.

Have faith in yourself. Trust me, if you can do those things in the video you just posted, you can do the weapon switching routine.

Nice video by the way.
Well, thanks for the heads up, I guess. I did actually manage to create it now, after some 20 hours of data logging, trial and error - and lots of frustration In the process I was also able to make Rush Marine not disappear if you pause your game and then unpause again with RM still being selected. Making the latter function was an easy task gameplay wise, but of course there had to be graphics loading involved here as well.

Drakon
Posted on 02-21-14 08:26 PM Link | Quote | ID: 155747


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Yikes the music is manually edited by hex?! I hope someday someone makes a program that inserts something like a midi into the rom for you.

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Main - ROM Hacking - Mega Man 4 Voyage - Updated July 2017 New thread | New reply

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