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Author Topic: 3-digit hex values and the future of rom hacking 'n' sharkery
PikaCharma
I scanned my boobs and then said I was leaving and never coming back. OOPS!
Member # 2026

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posted 07-18-2002 02:42 AM      Profile for PikaCharma   Author's Homepage   Email PikaCharma   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Rumor has it that Pokemon Advance will contain 351 pokemon. Correct me if I'm mistaken in any of this, as my 1337 sk1LLz are rather limited, but so far, there have been only 251 legitimate pokemon, thus making it possible for each pokemon to have a corresponding two-digit hex code, as there are 256 possible values when numbering in hex from 00 to FF. Since the last set of pokeyman games left us with 251 pokeymans, there is only room enough left to allow for the creation of 4 or 5 new pokemon without having to either eliminate some of the old pokemon or begin using 3-digit hex codes as pokemon identifiers. ((And for that matter, move identifiers too, as there are currently 251, or FB, of those as well.)) Either way, this could get pretty damn confusing for sharkers and rom h4x0rs, since until now, all the manipulatable variables have had two-digit hex codes, and Sharks have been designed to accommodate that. I can't really think of any logical way the programmers could eliminate 100 already-existing pokemon from the game and re-assign their hex values to new pokemon unless they plan on designing Pokemon Advance to be completely incompatible with the Metallics and Chromatics. Same problem applies to reassigning the hex values for moves, assuming they plan to introduce more than four new ones.

So, what are you all's thoughts on this? Do you think some pokemon, possibly the un-evolved ones, will be eliminated from Pkmn Advance and their hex values will be re-assigned? This would make it damn near impossible to trade with R\B\Y or G\S\C, as there will more than likely be hex-code conflicts, but making the games incompatible with previous versions of Pokemon is a possibility. Or do you think the new games will assign 3-digit hex values to Pokemon and moves? If so, how will this affect the coding of the game, and by extension, Sharking and the creation of Gameshark codes? Gameshark Advance is in the works, if it isn't out already, so Sharking does have a future. But does it have one with Pokemon? Discuss.

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Pikacharma's Bottomless Pit -- Vote 4 Mike, see a dead Togepi, and take the Pokemon Purity test!

"There's no such thing as a soul. It's just something made up to scare us kids, like the boogieman or Michael Jackson." -- Bart Simpson

From: Never Land | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
jshadias
Farting Nudist
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posted 07-18-2002 07:35 AM      Profile for jshadias   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
They will use 4 digit identifiers for ease of use, most likely. GB Advance has enough space, again most likely.

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What Nintendo doesn't want you to know
Uiru: "Now that we're all used to the rules, clauses and by-laws... what would happen to the metagame if every one of them were whipped away?"
GP-Chan: "id probably quit every battle, and not just every other battle."
ThumbsOfSteel: "Why, because they broke the rules?"

Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
dr.steelix
Farting Nudist
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posted 07-18-2002 07:42 AM      Profile for dr.steelix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It will actually use 4-digit numbers and sharking will be as easy as it was, you will just have to use 2 codes to change a pokemon/move to pokemon/move, the index of both of which is different in both bytes; just like DV editing and stats editing, etc. is done.
There is no problem with transferring pokemon either; after initiating connection GBA #1 can wait for a special sequence from machine #2 to determine whether it is running pkmn adv. or not, if not than it can use the old protocol.

[ 07-25-2002, 03:53 AM: Message edited by: dr.steelix ]

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i am sorry

From: Israel | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
MK
is somewhat large.
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posted 07-24-2002 10:47 PM      Profile for MK     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As long as we can still cheat the metagame will be saved =)
Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged
Uiru
Sketch Molester
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posted 07-26-2002 02:55 PM      Profile for Uiru   Author's Homepage   Email Uiru   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
It will actually use 4-digit numbers and sharking will be as easy as it was
That's too bad. I wanted to hear horror stories of little children running around crying that they had to play the game right.

When are they going to install some anti-GameShark measures in their games, particularly ones used in competition situations (which is, um, Pokémon)?

...oh, crap, I wandered into the Tower again. *runs away*
~Uiru

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TIDUDSOFIEIHUGHEXXXC: "maybe he will let you touch his blow up do"

AFRO NOOOOOOO!!!

From: the floating castle of Newfoundland | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged
Manuel Calavera
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posted 08-19-2002 10:00 AM      Profile for Manuel Calavera     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Only problem is that since the GSA and CBA only use stored codes, it's going to take ages to sort things out. Previously easy tasks such as changing one item will take a while now.

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Gates is the Saddam Hussein of the consumer technology world. ~ Mr.K

From: Newcastle, Home of Geordies, Brown Ale and The Wildhearts | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged
jshadias
Farting Nudist
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posted 08-19-2002 02:21 PM      Profile for jshadias   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have an idea for shark detection... The GameShark would cause a very slight delay in response due to length, wouldn't it? Would it be feasible to check the response time and... wipe the save file? That would be so hilarious. And could they have it done on random memory locations at random times, making it virtually impossible to stop?

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What Nintendo doesn't want you to know
Uiru: "Now that we're all used to the rules, clauses and by-laws... what would happen to the metagame if every one of them were whipped away?"
GP-Chan: "id probably quit every battle, and not just every other battle."
ThumbsOfSteel: "Why, because they broke the rules?"

Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Uiru
Sketch Molester
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posted 08-21-2002 02:05 AM      Profile for Uiru   Author's Homepage   Email Uiru   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I would have a list of things I'd do to make a game unSharkable. Given that I have absolutely no experience in the field, everything here would be completely theoretical, but eh.

1. Block the cheating device's access. Instruct the game to ignore any signal coming from whatever port it is that the thing is connected to. If the system uses cartridges, it would be preferred to have the system designed with anti-cheating in mind, with some sort of chip that can sense what is plugged into it and act (or not act) accordingly. But since the GBA apparently does not have this technology, it would be up to the game to figure out what it is plugged into. The response time idea is certainly one that could be part of the process.

2. This, however, would more than likely easily be overcome, by means of boot discs or codes. I seem to recall NES games not working unless you pushed them down; the Game Genie was too large to allow this and it still let the game work. (And then it got stuck when the handle broke off and probably led to the machine's destruction- this sort of thing can be damaging to a young child. [Razz] ) So even that antique could fool, well, that antique. A disc-based game would need numerous checks to see if it was recieving signals from a foreign device and how to react once it discovers them; I have no idea what kind of impact (if any) this would have. [And in the case of the GameCube, custom optical discs would probably be more difficult to come by and create, and would also probably be more expensive, perhaps even prohibitively so.] But if a GBA game thinks it's plugged into the GBA while a device is hacking away at it, something more needs to be done.

3. Flags. Stadium games already do this in some respects; they know what moves are legal and what moves aren't and will color moves as pink if they're illegal. However, it does it TOO well- NYC Pokémon and GSC Tradeback Pokémon in Stadium 1 are marked as illegal when they clearly aren't. It also only designated illegal moves; it would not catch a Blissey with Heal Bell and Counter.

It's a start, and hopefully more robust methods will be implimented in future games. The attacks need two things; one, a flag of some sort designating a legal move that is contained within the Pokémon's 'personal data', or what gets transferred. A Singing Pichu would then be legal in Stadium 2, and if you evolved it and sent it back to Stadium 1 it would be legal there as well. (Ideally, of course; there's nothing that can be done about them now.) But it would work for that Pichu only; it would not make Stadium 2 think that Sing was a legal move on all Pichu.

Two, it would need highly complicated methods to ensure that the flags are not created illegally. Database checks, for a start. The attack would have to pass a screen or preferably a series of screens to ensure that the move requesting a flag was legally obtained. This would happen multiple times; when the attack is learned, during saves, and especially before battle and before trading. Then, unless you have the cheating device in use at the time, the game will catch the error and delete the attack (or your file, if I'm in charge) and your intended victim will know whether you cheat or not. How much impact THIS would have on a game would likely be considerable; disc-based games certainly have room to make the Pokémon jump through hoops but the cart-based games would need very particular protocols.

DVs would also be monitored. When a Pokémon is obtained, it would save its DVs to a seperate database, and would be checked with the attacks. If DVs are found to have been changed or tampered with, the Pokémon is marked as illegal for the world to see. The game would have to be able to know where the DVs were coming from originally; the random number generator would have to be complex enough to avoid allowing a foreign object to mimic it. Similar things would be done with other numbers; the game would know whether an attack was boosted by a PP Up or by a cheating machine.

4. Should the game ever go online, a whole new set of cheater traps becomes available. Unique items, for example, would have their ownership tracked. It would say "A has item 1 and traded it to B during this time", etc. However, if another of the item ever appears, whoever was responsible can quickly be isolated and shot, or blocked from access or whatever. Anyone found with an illegal moveset would be blocked from access immediately.

5. Tracking DVs would be slightly trickier. One method to be used could involve creating a database for each player and saving the DVs of the Pokémon used online when they log on. If the same Pokémon (marked with identification flags, of course) ever appears with different DVs, boom. Even without changing DVs; a Blastoise that suddenly appears with Mirror Coat one day would be caught. The two problems with this is that one, careful cheating can get around it like they do in tournaments today and two, it would likely cause a huge strain on the system; having to check DVs all the time. Plus, Pokémon that are completely illegal from RBY or GSC would not be detected at all, which is unfortunate. However, my personal ideas would encourage one to breed old Pokémon for stronger ones, or reduce its level for more training, which would have to be done in-game.

6. Most importantly, though, the game would have features designed to ease the soul-destroyingly long process of breeding and leveling up. Features that, once unlocked, could speed experience gain exponentially as well as stat experience. Plus, it would have a revamped breeding system that makes it easier to get the stats you want. (For example, if a baby's genes are always no more than +-2 from that of its designated parent, one six-way max Pokémon is guaranteed to produce offspring with a 1 in 81 chance of max; which beats the 1 in 512 chance into the ground. And would anyone complain about a run of 13s other than me? Another idea would be to ensure that the baby's stats are always higher than those of the parent's; eventually, the stats would max out.) These features would certainly make some people less likely to resort to cheating to get the results they want. And as for the others, well, they're going to have to dance first.

We are now roughly a hundred miles off topic, but who cares.
~Uiru

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TIDUDSOFIEIHUGHEXXXC: "maybe he will let you touch his blow up do"

AFRO NOOOOOOO!!!

From: the floating castle of Newfoundland | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged
cfalcon
OLDNBLD
Member # 19

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posted 08-26-2002 03:14 PM      Profile for cfalcon   Email cfalcon   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, there's no actual way of stopping sharking permanently. While it is possible in theory to either make the game not work when the device is attached or to simply write to RAM in a screwed up fashion (thus making it a big headache), both can be fixed via customized hardware. Since custom hardware was released for versions that the GS worked fine for, I'm going to vote that Nintendo knows it would be a buttload of crap for a delay in cheats of four months, max.

I mean, they were constantly invalidating the N64 shark, but Interact just kept changing the shark in response.

If they have more than 256 pokemon it will just require more than one 8 bit code (or one 16 bit code) to modify their values. I mean, there are a bunch of 16 and 24 bit values in use right now. We just enter multiple codes.

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Subject: Ninja and Opensource

From: 39°45' N, 104°52' W | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged


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