For example, if a mapper allows 16 ROM banks and all of them are used, expanding the ROM further is impossible without somehow converting the game to another mapper, which could be easy or extremely difficult. On the other hand, expanding a SNES game is straightforward.
XeNTaX A community focusing on reverse engineering and file formats of many video games and consoles. Romhacking.net A major ROM hacking community site for a variety of consoles with sharing of hacks. A patch is also normally drastically smaller than the full ROM image (an NES ROM can run anywhere from 8 KB to 2 MB; a Super NES ROM can run from 256 kB to 6 MB).
Another type of ROM expansion that is fairly easy is Game Boy Advance ROMs. The ROMs themselves are generally small, but the memory space available sometimes exceeds it by multiples of up to 17.
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The hack has since been discontinued, but it still serves as a good example on what can be achieved with the tools available. Another basic hacking skill is graphics hacking, which is changing the appearance of the game’s environments, characters, fonts, or other such things. Editing these tiles is also possible with a hex editor, but is generally accomplished with a tile editor , which can display the ROM data in a graphical way, as well as finding and editing tiles. Some intrepid hackers also perform level editing with a hex editor, but this is extremely difficult .
This is accomplished through hex editing or a specialized tool . A good example of a graphics hack is the uncompleted Pokémon Torzach, a hack which attempted to add a whole new generation of Pokémon and tiles to the game.
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Again, it’s not especially inventive, but it feels authentic and official, which is something of a feat in and of itself. For all of that gloom , Snakewood actually has a fairly good sense of humor about the apocalypse, leading to one of the more surreal ROM hacks out there.
Most hacking groups offer web space for hosting hacks and screenshots (sometimes only hosting hacks by the group’s members, sometimes hosting almost any hack), a message board, and often have an IRC channel. Legal action has rarely been taken against such mods in the United States, with the exception of mods that have inserted other IP holders’ content into games without their consent. Perhaps the most famous mod of them all is Counter-Strike, a Half-Life mod that was so successful, its creators were hired by Half-Life’s creators in order to release the mod officially as a standalone game. It’s aPokémon Ruby pokemon emerald rom hack, but actually ends up being a larger endeavor than the game upon which it’s based. There are a total of 16 badges to collect, two Pokémon leagues to take down and a climactic World Championship waiting at the end of the game.
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Generally speaking, a ROM hacker cannot normally add content to a game, but merely change existing content. This limit can be overcome through ROM expansion, whereby the total size of the ROM image is increased, making room for more content and, in turn, a larger game. The difficulty in doing this varies depending on the system for which the game was made. For example, expanding an NES ROM may be difficult or even impossible due to the mapper used by the game.