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VincentASM

FE9/10/11 Hacking Discussion

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Is there anyone out there who's interested in hacking FE9, FE10 or FE11? Mainly just for fun and probably nothing too complicated.

The next important thing, if the answer to the above is "yes" to FE9 or FE10: Do you have a powerful enough PC to actually run the games via emulation?

*Watches a series of tumbleweed roll*

In any case, I've been interested in hacking the FE9/10 models for a while - mainly just switching them around to check out unused models. Unfortunately it seems I can no longer hack the FE9 map models properly, for some reason, and my emulator of choice (GCube) doesn't work anymore. Hacking the FE10 models is also kind of beyond me since I can't run the Dolphin emulator on my current PC : /

Luckily, FE11 hacking is much more straightforward, mainly because DS emulators are actually fairly decent. I can't see anything interesting to hack there though ^^;;;

Just to show off a little, here's what I did with FE9 a long time ago:

fe9mapmodels.png

The models are Heron, Lion (Caineghis) and Beast Tribe (Caineghis). The latter two of which are unused. I quite like the last one - the textures on it are a bit nicer looking when they're not JPEG'd.

I also want to check out the female Bishop and generic Heron map models, but alas...

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I've got a dual 2.6GHz. My brother a 2.5GHz. I think that would be helpful ^^

If you can basically give all the stuff necessary I can do some of the looking, if my performance is any better.

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Sure, and also for anyone else that might be interested ^^

Besides the ISO (aka GCM) and GameCube emulator, you'll also want a nifty program called GCTool, which lets you access and extract the contents of GameCube ISOs.

The two most important files to extract are system.cmp and FE8Data.bin. The latter is actually a dummy file and doesn't do anything when modified, but it's useful for reference purposes (as you'll see later).

system.cmp is where most of the interesting data is stored. However it's compressed - to decompress it, you can use the NLZ77 compressor that Nintenlord made. system.cmp is actually comprised of a bunch of files, including the real FE8Data.bin.

If you open FE8Data.bin (the dummy one), you'll find the character data starting from the address 30, and class, item and skill data somewhere afterwards. Data in this file is fairly easy to read, if you have some experience with hacking any other FE. Stats and stuff are stored in a logical order and there's dozens of pointers that determine various things.

In this particular file (and possibly others), you can find where each pointers points to by coverting the pointer to an address and adding 20 in hex (in a hex editor, this equates to pressing down twice on your keyboard, assuming you have rows of 16 bytes). You don't need to reverse pointers like in the GBA games, but you do need to do it for FE11. Pointers are typically four bytes long and are usually easy to spot, eg. 00 01 5C 24 (which points to the address 15C44). They nearly always point to a text label, but on rare occasions they may point to another pointer...

The same principle naturally applies to the system.cmp file (after being decompressed), except the pointers work slightly differently since the file is displaced (you might have to page up or page down a few times). As you can see, it's probably much quicker to check stuff out in FE8Data.bin and then apply the knowledge to system.cmp.

After editing the decompressed system.cmp file, you'll need to recompress it and then reinsert it into the ISO using GCTool. Now, I'll admit, I've never done this step successfully and I don't know if it even works. It's easily done with FE11, but FE9 seems to be more finicky and often won't even load the title screen if the system.cmp is "badly" inserted.

A desperate method, which I did for the FE9 map model hacking, is to simply modify system.cmp while it's compressed. You can compare the uncompressed and compressed files and see if it's possible to salvage any meaning from the compressed file. However, be wary that this can get very messy and also it's a little unpredictable as to how the game will read your modified data.

TL;DR version

To edit Ike's map model, I believe you need to go to the address 1BC in system.cmp. There you should find two bytes 51 B1, which point to the Ranger map model.

First, try changing it to 51 BA. If done correctly, Ike's map model should change to Lord.

Next, you could try some of these values:

51 9C - Lion

4D 44 - Caineghis

4C A6 - Female Bishop?

I got the first two to work before, but not anymore. You'll probably want to start a new game to see the effects.

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Interesting VincentASM. Well my computer is in the repair shop so I guess when I get it back I could look into this myself.

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I've having some rendering issues with Dolphin, so as soon as I can hopefully get it resolved, I'll look into it this stuff.

Are you rearranging pointers? For most Nintendo games (not specifically), I've found that simply renaming the files "tricks" the game into loading models other than the intended one. I'm not sure if you had tried this or not :/

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I'm only modifying pointers at the moment, if that counts as renaming. I think simply renaming the text labels that they point to would work as well (if FE11 is anything to go by).

I was considering swapping the actual model files around or renaming them, as you suggest, but there's a bunch of files attached to models (so I can't really tell which ones I need) and I'm unsure if GCTool handles the files correctly (eg. what happens when the files are bigger or smaller).

In any case, I suppose I should try that soon, since I'm having no luck with swapping pointings (I wonder if it's just me, or my emulator? I'm using a really old version of Dolphin at the moment, as the newer ones don't work on lesser PCs).

The map models should be located in the ymu directory and the battle models in the zu directory, if anyone wants to mess around with them. I could upload some of the model textures if anyone's interested as well.

EDIT

Hmm, GCTool won't replace smaller files with bigger files. You also can't rename files to make them longer. So it looks like I won't be able to do much with file replacing.

Maybe some newer version has less restrictions? I'll have to look around.

If anyone wants to mess around without downloading the ISOs or ROM, you might want to look through these files:

FE9's database file (dummy)

FE10's database file (decompressed)

FE11's database file (might need decompressing, I just grabbed it quickly)

(All NA versions)

EDIT 2

I figured out why the map models weren't working. You need to make Ike unequip his weapon or failing that, set the Trainer to have a weapon rank over D (you can do this by going to 38D3 and replacing 51 B1 [rank E] with 49 7A [rank A] or something).

Now that I think about it, that's how I got the models to work last time, but I lost my documentation : /

Edited by VincentASM

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Yes generic hawks existin fe 9 remember the "ferol ones" and the chapter with tormod and marium

or do you mean like ulki and janaff

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Wouldn't it be easier with Nightmare?

I'm considering hacking my FE7 rom to make Nino a Myrmidon :o

Really, Nightmare would solve this. Provided there is a nightmare for these games.

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What would be easier with Nightmare?

There are Nightmare modules for FE11 and probably some for FE10, but you don't really need Nightmare to hack things. Nightmare is just a tool that speeds up hacking of known things. It won't solve things if you don't know about them in the first place.

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It might seem less convenient to some people, but sometimes it's much easier and faster using a plain old hex editor, believe it or not. So long as your hacking notes aren't a complete mess although mine are dangerously close to being so.

In any case, I think I'll move on from this topic for the time being. Although if anyone's still interested, I'd be more than happy to discuss, so long as I know about it ^^;;;

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seeing as i only today saw this post, has there been any new tools of Fire Emblem Path of Radinace such as Kirb's FE9Editor? otherwise i tried the method and though it succeeded in changing his model to Lord Ike, is there a different file or set of files i have edit to make Lord able to use axes? When Decompressed none of the files are labeled JID_LORD for example

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