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Author Topic: Self introduction, new project in mind(Halp please)  (Read 2991 times)
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« on: April 03, 2017, 06:05:14 PM »

Disclaimer: I apologize in advance, my English is not A1.
Hello dudes and dudettes! first of all, I'm a random new guy in the site and just found out about the awesome program that the editor can be (Yes, I'm on that eager rookie point, Thanks a lot Atrius.).
As soon as I found out that many people were working on revamping projects of the game I got inspired to make my own. Needless to say, there are some things that I need help with, I have little to no experience with hex editing, and there are some things that the editor wont let me change, so I figure out I have to do the changes manually by editing some hex values(enemy power/resist for example).

Other than that, I have already started with many changes that the editor does let me do, I still have yet to finish all the tweaks in EVERY single aspect of the game(s) to make it more challenging and in depth.

 The goal of the project:
 -Expand the game's options by balancing every single aspect of the game to have it's pro and cons but to still feel viable and balanced.(Talking to you, summon rushes)
 -Make every single party member extremely unique.
 -Make the game more challenging overall by adding more diversity to the bosses and how they work, tweaking every single class and expanding the late game setups one    
  use to make the game more expanded options(this time, talking to you, Megiddo, Legend, Pure wish and Vengeance).
 -Make the experience of the game a lot more favorable towards Golden Sun veterans that want to replay the game and go deeper with the game's mechanics without
  feeling that they are playing a foreign game in order to keep the nostalgic feeling.

Since I am barely starting the project(I assure you I will be working on it quiet oftenly) I will need some guidance as stated above, But I will share with you some of the ideas that I have to make the game more fun towards player who want to go deeper into the game's mechanics.

Example:

The main goal I want to achieve is to make every party member in the game be unique, we all know every party member and know how they work, but we all remember who were the strongest(Talking to you again, Sol Blade wielder)

To address this problem, I have made a tier(Based on  NOTHING BUT MY OWN OPINION, feel free to enlighten me if you do not agree) list of the party members and some of the things I have in mind in order to make all of them feel quiet more distinguished for their unique mechanic.

The tier list:
---God tier(most useful adept(S) in the games(s).) I am definitely nerfing these.
 -Mia: The reason why she is gonna be lone in this tier, is because we all have to be a little honest here... her group healing is broken.You could literally heal a group of 4   members with 25% of their remaining health back to 100% with only one spell. On top of that, being able to use this in her mono-elemental tree: this made her mercury spells A1, and no matter where you put her of how you play her, let that be duo elemental or tri elemental, she always felt usefull due to mercury power increasing itemization and PP recovering itemization available in the game, this made her an unbeatable healer.

---Top tier: Venus adept with the Sol Blade
  Let that be one of these 2 dudes, they always outclassed every damage dealer in boss fights. Spam impact, unleash megiddo , ????, Profit. Free 1k damage every    turn because of the amount crit you can achieve with itemization.

---Mid tier: Preety much everyone else but one singular adept. Further explanation why:
 All these dudes plus the venus adept who was wearing either that excalibur or tisiphone's edge( preety limited choice of ultimate weaponry equipment....BOORING).
While these dudes work like a charm in most situations, they are either played as damage dealers at the end of the game with the ultimate weapons, or they are playing by being a wish psynergy user
Bottom line: You do what Mia does like a goddess and what Isaac or Felix does(Sol Blade wielder) like a god in a less consistent way. Here's why: Garet, Jenna: These are cool, they have a 170% attack multiplier choice to be one of the best attackers, but still outclassed by Venus adepts on the subject. Ivan and Sheba on the other hand, feel like the weakest pair of adepts in the series(I am cooking something really fun for these 2) Ivan being a possible damage dealer with his ability to wield the Tisi's edge but with a low 130% attack multiplier on his base class and not having a Jupiter aligned unleash, and sheba being VASTLY outclassed as a damage dealer due to her lack of heavy unleash weapon and psynergies being a base damage dealer only, you are forced to either play her a healer or play her a Necromage, which will result in having an adept being heavily shafted.

---And to finish the list: Piers...my man, I feel like you are the weakest party member in the series...
 Here's why: as a warrior, one would assume you can do heavy amounts of damage. And its true, he does with the Excalibur option...But hes by far the most outclassed damage dealer in the party, having a maximum attack multiplier of 140% and on most of his other stats. He's not bad, he just does what everyone else can do in a less consistent way.(Come on dude, even Ivan has a 150% attack multiplier on his PARTIAL tri elemental ninja class).
On the other hand, one can choose to play him as a healer, but he has little access to the wish psynergy while having a high mercury power due to lack of itemization and good-warrior friendly PP recovering items-(Talking to you, crown of glory). The lack of items that made a healing warrior favorable and his utterly average stat multipliers made him feel the most under performing party member in the game(I am also cooking fun stuff for him)


So, with this analysis on board(I repeat, feel free to share your thought on it) It's needless to say I am nerfing the multiplier weapons and nerfing the strongest spells in the game. Megiddo, Pure wish, Vengeance and Legend.
Nerfing some stats on the Venus adepts, adding new mechanics to the mid tier adepts to make them more unique and REMOVING ALL THE EQUIPMENT RESTRICTION FOR PIERS, So he does feel a unique party member. Other than that, add new stuff for Ivan and Sheba for them to be a lot stronger than they feel they are.
Finally, shafting some items to make iconic appearences stay longer in the game(Talking to you, Gaia Blade) and even make them feel like ultimate weapons for set members of the party.

This is only an example of what I have in my mind, I have a lot more ideas for classes, items and enemies in the game.
I will share with you more ideas as I progress with the editing, Have a nice day :) please let me know if you want to help me with the hex editing, I would really appreciate that.


« Last Edit: April 03, 2017, 06:07:12 PM by Manu » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2017, 06:31:37 PM »

So basically same approach as mine but with an extra twist on characters. I like that! It'll be and interesting discussion to follow.

Also, since the concept is the same you might want to read this thread for ideas.

That said, welcome and hope you'll enjoy your stay here. :D
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2017, 12:20:17 AM »

Apologizes for grammar better than native speakers?  Yup, must be from out of country - no English speaker would be nearly that legible! :D  Worry not, your post was a delight to read.

A few things stand out at once:

-Make every party member unique
You and I share a philosophy on this one - I dislike shared classes as well.  However, with the tools provided us, I don't know how viable this is.  The most you can hope for is the party separation patch - to my knowledge, the way things are set up will keep you from full character seapration.

-Make game more challenging
This is a trap, be careful about it.  Don't make something hard for hard's sake - all that does is lead to frustration.  It's better to treat enemies like you do the player characters, and give them their own roles and "classes", and to treat stronger monsters as being of a "higher class tier" to their lower counterparts (ex:  Mad Vermin is the Gallant to Vermin's Squire, for example).  Then pair them up in clever ways.  Also, believe it or not, a lot of the supposed ease of Golden Sun comes from the enemies being slow - if the whole party can fire off a volley of powerful attacks before the enemy gets a word in edgewise, of course they're gonna fall.  Give them a much wider variety of agility levels.  I mean, if the party can range from Garet at 70% AGL to Ivan at 140%, surely monsters can have crazy variety among them as well.  The key here is less just "being harder" and more having variety and tricky combinations.  The key here isn't to make everything a knock down slogfest.  Don't believe me?  Go play Xenosaga 2.  See how much fun it is.  It's not.  The trick is to make sure they're not trivial, but also that they rarely last more than 2-3 turns.  Don't Waste the Player's Time is a valuable mantra to follow.

-God Tier Mia
You are fundamentally misunderstanding what's going on here.  Mia's heals are literally the same as everyone else's heals, but as a Mercury adept she has higher innate elemental power in Mercury.  Don't believe me?  Play around with Piers.  He can do the same thing in the Wizard and Pure Mage classes.  What's really going on here is that Mercury power is also super easy to raise, and that healing as a whole is too cheap.  It's not Mia that's overpowered - not in the slightest.  In fact, because she lacks access to any of the "big three weapons", she can't do offense worth @#$%.  But if you make healing overall more expensive (by, perhaps, 30-50%), and nerfing PP Regen (in TLA, you can regen more in one turn than you can spend if you set it up right), you can get the nerfs you want without ever touching Mia.

Also, if anything is god tier, it's Unleashes.  When literally any level of high end play revolves around forsaking everything in the name of maxing out unleashes, you know you have a broken mechanic.  The rate is able to get too high, there are no drawbacks to unleash gear since it's also the best defensive gear around, and with no proper stat support for psynergy of course the whole thing's all borked to hell and back.

-Top Tier Venus with Sol Blade
Okay... again, fundamentally misunderstanding the problem.  Here, it's about proliferation of endgame multiplier unleashes, the absurd fact that you can give 6 party members a 99% unleash rate easy, and the lack of multiplier spells to give reliable damage to offset unleashes being free damage.

-removing all the equip restrictions from Piers
Again, you are fundamentally misunderstanding problems here.  The problems lie in the fact that he doesn't have good alt-classes - but if you use the class separation patch, you can straight up fix that so he's no longer a warrior with mage equips.  What you're wanting to do would arguably make the situation worse, striping identity from him.  It's bad enough Amiti exists to show the example of this and how it's a bad idea - but being able to edit the game allows you to fix his alt-classes to be what you think are best for him.  Surely that's better than just turning him into lesser mirror from dark dawn.



All and all, I think most of the things I notice here can be solved by doing a bit of design by analysis.  More important than "I know this is wrong, I need to fix this" is "why was this done in the first place, and what could I do to improve it that fits with the spirit of what they wanted to do?"  There's also a difference between "I need to fix this character" and "I need fix the thing that causes problems with this character".  Analyze things a bit more and try to look into the underlying problems behind the stuff you have issues with.  If you treat a surface problem when there's a deeper issue, it may only make things tougher for you in the long run.  It's like putting a bandage on a cut while ignoring the infection beneath it.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 12:24:12 AM by Rolina » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2017, 03:25:11 AM »

Hey :) Thank you both for replying!
I'm glad my English is legible.

Caledor: I'm sorry!!! I didn't see your project! now I totally feel like I am copying you! I did go through your post and see very nice stuff and my ideas had way too much resemblance to yours :( I feel a bit ashamed for this. But it's cool, this is gonna force me to focus more on how to make characters unique and not on the thousands of other resemblences my vision has with your project. Needless to say I will play your version and try to not go closer to it on mine.


Rolina: I am glad you posted such analysis. As for Piers, he will be a focus for later on because I am still mainly brainstorming on the first game. The item restriction bypass is merely an initial thought on how to make him more unique, thanks a lot for letting me have your point of view.
Following, I'm going to try to answer to every single of your points with my thoughts after reading your points of view.

I do agree with you completely that it gets kind of boring to have 2 Chaos Lords and 2 Pure mages on a party to have maximum efficiency.

While I feel like I do understand how the Wish(mainly) series work... the reason why I ranked Mia as my top useful player was because she has the access to the highest mercury power on her innate class. Piers can heal like a charm, indeed, but he is still outdone (slightly) by that possible 10-30% extra multiplier that mage-classes can get due to itemization(Not to mention the lack of PP recovery items warriors can have)...And that does not feel UNIQUE at all :( this is what I am brainstorming to fix. I am indeed making the wish series a bit more pricey in terms of PP and lowering the amount of PP some items can restore you. (Talking to you, psychic circlet!)
So with this being said, and with another of your points standing out here, I fully agree with you that Piers can heal just like anyone else...And also fully agree with you when you say that the problem is that he has no good alternate class...And that's exactly what I wanna fix! I want every player to have it's particular stand out over other adepts, not to feel like they are doing a mimic of slightly stronger versions.

As for the unleashes: Yes...they suck :( it breaks the game in my opinion along with the AOE heals. My initial idea on how to fix this is to heavily nerf multipliers and edit some of the weapons that are in the game to be viable options.
While I don't know your playstyle, I can ASSUME that you also dislike the ''1 Sol blade, 2 Tisi's edge and 3 Excaliburs'' Modus Operandi. This is also something I intend to change by editing some weapons as stated before to be ''ultimate weapons'' for each of the adepts.
Example? Nebula wand: unleash already recovers PP-is Mercury based-add in some Mercury Power(Not more than 20) and some PP recovery(Not more than 3PP per turn) and we have a perfect weapon for a healer. Then again, this is just a simple idea :)

And to finish the reply, I will have to go check out the patch you are talking about as I have no knowledge about it, and it could probably fix my biased point of view towards Piers.
Please let me know if you have any other point of view, as I will be posting on the project section or updating this thread soon :)




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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2017, 05:42:39 AM »

Hey there, welcome! Let us know if you need any help with things.


I like some of your ideas while others are not to my taste but could potentially work pretty well; I can give you my opinion if you'd like :p

Edit: Missed the "halp please" in the title, lol. What would you like help with?
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2017, 05:49:12 AM »

First of all, I have tried to contact Caledor and Squirtle through personal messages but the captcha seems to not be working( atleast for me, I dont want to spam the forums.)
I need help with lots of stuff to be honest.
Increasing power/resistance cap, creating new item icons and asome more stuff like that.
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2017, 06:51:02 AM »

Ah, okay. Which games, GS1, GS2, or both? I'm not sure about GS1 but in GS2 you can go to #080ADA86 (#000ADA86 in a hex editor) and change the elemental power/resistance cap there (the maximum you can have is 255 though).

I don't have a lot of experience with changing item icons but Fox/Teawater made a tool for that a while back and Caledor has done that a bit.

Also, how familiar are you with hex editing? It'll help give me an idea about how much detail I should give when saying stuff like the above comment about the cap.
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2017, 12:13:14 PM »

Caledor: I'm sorry!!! I didn't see your project! now I totally feel like I am copying you! I did go through your post and see very nice stuff and my ideas had way too much resemblance to yours :( I feel a bit ashamed for this. But it's cool, this is gonna force me to focus more on how to make characters unique and not on the thousands of other resemblences my vision has with your project. Needless to say I will play your version and try to not go closer to it on mine.

You really shouldn't. If we have the same goal, which is making golden sun less straightforward, it's only natural that we'd look at the same issues. So do what you want without worrying about anything. I really pointed you to my thread so that you might take all the inspiration you needed there ;)

After all, I even released some parts of my mod separately, so that people might use them in their own hack.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 12:36:07 PM by Caledor » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2017, 03:09:03 PM »

I am not very familiar with Hex editing, I know it's preety straight forward though, I just don't know how to find out the function they are doing. for example, I don't know how you found out that 080ADA86 is the power/resist cap. I need help findind these conclussions
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2017, 07:42:05 PM »

Oh yeah. Well, for the second game we have been working to document stuff for a while now, located here for reference. Anything that you can't find in there either hasn't been found yet or is described in different terms, so I would be mindful of that; we can help you find stuff as well, please never feel like you can't ask for help!

For the particular address I gave you, going there in a hex editor should show an "FA" value in byte format; you can only go to FF, which is also the hard limit set out in RAM.
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2017, 08:27:32 PM »

What I find important for people to know about hex editing:
GBA ROM files are little endian... which means anytime you are editing 16-bit or 32-bit numbers, you should reverse the 8-bit bytes. (e.g. 00 01 02 03 becomes 03020100)
That, and bytes are 8-bit because quite literally it is binary written in hex. The bits are at 1/2/4/8 on both sides of the byte. (e.g. bin:1111.0000 = hex:0xF0) < As you can see, bin has 8 numbers (0/1) for the 8 bits.... represented by the hex.

^^^ Main thing about general hex editing... since data can be represented by any number of bits... for flags/checkboxes and such.... But most of the time data may be in 8, 16, or 32 bit....

Oh, and there's also compression,... which is used to save space. (Makes it take an additional step for editing purposes.) Usually compression applies to image data... like the item icons/battle backgrounds/etc.... There are a couple images (not many) that are uncompressed in GS , though... Also, text data and all the map stuff (tilemap, map code, etc.) is compressed as well. Not sure if anything else)


----
My signature also has the docs, same stuff in this folder: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B-uU7QfJXcL9RTJYMFdVd3pjWTQ


--
As for how data can be found? Not too difficult depending on what you are looking for... Search for cheats/RAM Search can help find the ram data, and then use a breakpoint debugger on that to see what code reads/writes to that.... and that basically gives you quite much room for study. But I recommend actually practicing with hex editing before going into the lengths of search & find (But that's good too.)



« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 08:32:33 PM by Fox » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2017, 03:28:34 AM »

Caledor: I'm sorry!!! I didn't see your project! now I totally feel like I am copying you! I did go through your post and see very nice stuff and my ideas had way too much resemblance to yours :( I feel a bit ashamed for this. But it's cool, this is gonna force me to focus more on how to make characters unique and not on the thousands of other resemblences my vision has with your project. Needless to say I will play your version and try to not go closer to it on mine.

You really shouldn't. If we have the same goal, which is making golden sun less straightforward, it's only natural that we'd look at the same issues. So do what you want without worrying about anything. I really pointed you to my thread so that you might take all the inspiration you needed there ;)

After all, I even released some parts of my mod separately, so that people might use them in their own hack.

This.  So much this.  Even though Caledor and I have similar things we like to do, such as weapon variation, our approaches to editing golden sun are profoundly different. I believe in design by analysis and formulaic implementation, while Caledor tends to take the "do what feels right" approach.  It ends up with very different looking teams in the end.  Both are completely valid, but they're different approaches to the problems we see, and you wind up with different experiences as a result.

There's also the spell damage problem, where Caledor and I like using Max PP as a source to reflect elemental power, while Leaf and Squirtle came up with an Intelligence stat approach.  Both approaches are completely valid, but leads to very different feeling games and different possibilities - Caldor's patch makes high PP characters powerful spellcasters while leaving Luck intact, while Squirtle's approach opens up the option for high PP characters who aren't big spellcasters, though at the cost of luck (magic knights are a more viable possibility here).

The idea here is for you to look at the things you take issue with, look at how other people handled it, and then give your own spin on the issue.  Maybe your solution is something we'd never even considered.  Could lead to some interesting experiences. :3
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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2017, 04:56:28 AM »

Quote
The idea here is for you to look at the things you take issue with, look at how other people handled it, and then give your own spin on the issue.  Maybe your solution is something we'd never even considered.  Could lead to some interesting experiences. :3

Couldn't have put it better myself! There are many ideas that have been planned, and several that have actually been tested or implemented, but everyone is capable of coming up with unique ideas or alternative approaches to things that have not been tried. It's not exactly stealing, and even if it were then you would be stealing for a good cause!

While I'm thinking about it, how familiar are you with patching ROMs?
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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2017, 05:15:43 AM »

I just patched Caledor's version to check it out :) so I guess I know what you are talking about.
Curretly going through the docs you and Fox posted, trying to figure out how everything works...No luck yet though as I can't seem to understand how to edit at all.
I have been working on stuff I can control though, such as what I can already tweak with the editor itself. I am aware that the editor has a partial innate hex editor, but I don't know how to work with it.
Currently there are some things I am trying to find out:
What does the counterstrike rate do?
Which bits should I edit in 080ADA86 to change the actual cap?
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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2017, 06:01:46 AM »

Awesome.

Editing: You'll probably need a hex editor to do stuff outside of the game editor (the hex editor and assembly there is mostly used for room/script editing in the map editor section). I like Hex Editor Neo myself, it's really good.

Same goes for the 080ADA86 part, which you need to enter without the beginning "08" in an actual hex editor. You should see a byte that reads "C8" (rather than "FA"). I was pretty tired when I mentioned that before and forgot that I was reading it off of a patched ROM, so I may have given you the wrong value before; my apologies! Keep in mind that the absolute maximum you can have is 255, or FF in hex format (whereas C8 is 200), and that raising the cap even higher would require some pretty substantial reforms that have not actually been done yet.

Counterstrike rate: Nothing on its own, it's mostly dummied out to the point where you have to hack in the ability for the item menu to even read what it does. The Intellect stat patch does do this, but in that hack I also did stuff with that attribute that I left unfinished because I also included another attribute that is meant as a very basic replacement for luck. I have plans for it though!


For the game's innate hex editor, I have an unfinished scripting guide floating around somewhere if you'd like me to link it to you. It might help you make some sense of how it works.


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Cbox
January 17, 2018, 04:07:51 PM
KyleRunner: :D
January 16, 2018, 08:44:56 PM
Fox: I must say... life can be complicated..... when you have question(s) (via email) ... and it seems like they sort of get ignored. :D ; Fun, (And sometimes, a person may respond, and completely not answer the question.... so like... 3-person conversation.) Hahahaha!!
January 15, 2018, 07:26:16 PM
Fox: (path) 1 text=(address) char=(address) free=(address) ; << Well, closer to this... but yeah... even if I do choose to have defaults in the code, I could still use this method for overrides.
January 15, 2018, 07:24:28 PM
Fox: So like (path) 0 text=(address) char=(address) len=(number) ; (path) 1 free=(address) ; Or something. But that's just a quick example.
January 15, 2018, 06:59:14 PM
Fox: Hopefully. I was wanting to make it so you could put in the addresses/etc. as one of the arguments in the path. Hm?
January 15, 2018, 03:37:07 PM
KyleRunner: Nice! I hope you'll add compatibility with others games (GS1, Mario Golf and Tennis) soon.
January 14, 2018, 11:40:09 PM
Fox: Okay. Posted (in Downloads section) an initial cutdown version for now, for my text compressor. Basically to separate the code from my Editor for anyone who wants to mess with it. It only supports GS2, because I still didn't add the addresses/etc. for the other games.
January 14, 2018, 05:01:00 PM
Fox: Okay! Going to need to think how I want it to work. Initial thoughts is maybe have a number of arguments in the filepath thing. And have a number of shortcuts (files) to be used as examples. Assuming there are no problems.
January 14, 2018, 10:38:24 AM
KyleRunner: Well... I'm used to editing text ina a text editor, so... yes! Thanks in advance!
January 13, 2018, 11:38:43 PM
Fox: (Text editor = Text Document like notepad.)
January 13, 2018, 11:38:21 PM
Fox: Would you prefer during the text editing in a text editor? (Like what gstoolkit lets you do?) I could probably make a separate tool or something to compress it.
January 13, 2018, 10:10:02 PM
KyleRunner: Ok. Once I finish my Lost Age translation, I'll try a Mario Golf one. Thanks. (But I'll need help).
January 13, 2018, 10:03:17 PM
Fox: If you want to make it "permanent" (part of a hack), then you'd edit code in the ROM that writes to this location of the IDs you'd want to change. (You can find these locations by using a breakpoint debugger like SDL-H or no$gba.)
January 13, 2018, 10:00:11 PM
Fox: Reload/switch = Recommended to be done through Debug mode/warp menu, ofcourse... since doors seem to appear as if they were disabled? ; 03001238:01 and B+Start to get to warp menu.
January 13, 2018, 09:55:39 PM
Fox: @Kyle Runner = It might be, but you'd have to use the correct addresses for Mario Golf, rather than for GS2 as I have it right now. ; @raijinken = Yes. 02000454 = ID of leader. (Change this and reload/switch room you are in, enjoy.)
January 13, 2018, 02:23:29 PM
raijinken: Hey guys, is it possible to somehow change the lead character on the map? Was wondering. I remember there was a cheat to use Jenna, but what if I wanted Isaac, or Piers?
January 13, 2018, 02:10:03 PM
KyleRunner: Hey, Fox *
January 13, 2018, 02:09:37 PM
KyleRunner: Hey, is your text editor compatible with Mario Golf (GBA)?
January 11, 2018, 08:33:13 PM
Fox: But if it isn't an oversight, I still can't imagine it being that useful.
January 11, 2018, 08:28:24 PM
Fox: part, ofcourse.

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