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Moliblazer

Help with gamebreaking bug (the soft reset)

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Hey there, sorry for the long post.

So one year ago, I created my own Fire Emblem hack and posted it here. It was a fun experience, however it was pretty much ruined by a bug that everyone ran into that prevented pretty much everyone from progressing past the prologue. I was unable to fix it, so I lost all motivation to continue working on the project. Recently, however, I got the urge to work on it again and have completed enough content to release a new patch, however, try as I might, I can't fix that goddamn bug on the prologue, and I can''t release the patch with it still in.

The bug in question is a soft reset that happens in the middle of the enemy phase, when no event should be running. It usually happens around turn 37 or so, but I've seen it happen as early as turn 8... When the soft reset happens, trying to resume the chapter will just cause the enemy music to play endlessly as the enemies do nothing for all eternity, so it completely halts all progress.

It's important to note that the bug only happens in the prologue and it doesn't always happen. Whether or not it happens seems to have something to do with how many enemies there are on the map, as it seems to happen more often when you play defensive and avoid the enemies, instead of killing them. The map in question a very narrow defense map and has a LOT of enemies (like 50) at almost all times.

Another thing is that the soft reset used to happen much latter, at around turn 40, so to remedy it, I made the turn limit in the chapter, 30, and moved up the latter events, however, that caused the soft reset to happen earlier, so maybe it's tied to the events somehow? Though I've tried to remove them and it didn't seem to work.

I've already tried countless fixes and none of them worked, so if anyone had any idea what is causing the soft reset and how to fix it, I would be eternally grateful, and give that person a special place in the credits of the hack.

This original thread of the game where those bug reports are: https://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?/topic/60167-fire-emblem-spreading-flames/

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I will deeply appreciate any help, no matter how small.

 

Edited by AsukaDrag

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I'd have to see your events and stuff, but that just seems like a weird, unfortunate bug that (I hate to say it), might be unfixable--and this is completely based off of what I've read in the original posts and here. I mean, I don't know if adding the events anywhere else in the ROM would make a difference...probably the lamest advice I've ever given here. But hey, I'd try anything if my ROM was bugged.

I know this might not sound like something you might not wanna do, but maybe just change the prologue? New map, new events, but also preserving the story so that there aren't continuity errors in future chapters? Start fresh with that chapter and i'm sure it'll fix the issue, as much as you might not want to. 

I've had anomalous bugs before. Sometimes there might not be a very plain-sight explanation for what has gone wrong, so you just gotta take the bull by the horns and put the extra work in. 

Probably not the answer you're looking for, but it's an option. 99.99999% sure that'll fix your bug because you'll have a different setup...the only thing is that a new bug could appear, and that would be extremely unlucky, like, EXTREMELY unlucky. Just test the shit out of your ROM when you're hacking. Always make backups after you're done each chapter (for example: you would copy your ROM and have a ROM that would have a name like FEhack_Chapter1.gba, and continue keeping backups after each chapter you complete) And keep .sav files for every chapter too, that way if you wanna quickly go back to one of your chapters then you can just use that.

 

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2 hours ago, Avril Lavigne said:

I'd have to see your events and stuff, but that just seems like a weird, unfortunate bug that (I hate to say it), might be unfixable--and this is completely based off of what I've read in the original posts and here. I mean, I don't know if adding the events anywhere else in the ROM would make a difference...probably the lamest advice I've ever given here. But hey, I'd try anything if my ROM was bugged.

I know this might not sound like something you might not wanna do, but maybe just change the prologue? New map, new events, but also preserving the story so that there aren't continuity errors in future chapters? Start fresh with that chapter and i'm sure it'll fix the issue, as much as you might not want to. 

I've had anomalous bugs before. Sometimes there might not be a very plain-sight explanation for what has gone wrong, so you just gotta take the bull by the horns and put the extra work in. 

Probably not the answer you're looking for, but it's an option. 99.99999% sure that'll fix your bug because you'll have a different setup...the only thing is that a new bug could appear, and that would be extremely unlucky, like, EXTREMELY unlucky. Just test the shit out of your ROM when you're hacking. Always make backups after you're done each chapter (for example: you would copy your ROM and have a ROM that would have a name like FEhack_Chapter1.gba, and continue keeping backups after each chapter you complete) And keep .sav files for every chapter too, that way if you wanna quickly go back to one of your chapters then you can just use that.

 

First off, thanks for taking the time to try and help me with my problem, I really do appreciate it!

Now, as for the idea of changing the prologue, I probably want to try some other solutions before doing that, because this chapter in particular was the one that took me the most work to do, and was also the only one I got at sort of feedback on, which, aside from the bug reports, was mostly positive. Plus it's one of the ones I myself enjoy playing the most.

As for where the events are in the rom, it's the first chapter so they are on D80000, which is a common starting point for events.

As for the backups, I'm admittedly pretty bad at making and documenting them, however, one thing I can say about this bug is that over the couse of fixing a diferent bug, I had to start fresh from a new rom and reinsert all the things I had made for the hack, and the soft reset resurfaced as soon as I had inserted both the map and events of this chapter and almost nothing else. Because of this I've decided to attach the Events for the chapter in this post. Be forewarned, though, its a pretty long file. (It IS a 30 turn defense map with freakishly convoluted ending events)

The Battle of Zofia Pass v2.txt

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@AsukaDrag

I see. You have put lots of things into this chapter, it's just that I don't see any bug-worthy parts to it... well maybe not. One of the differences from the format of your events from mine is that you stated your map changes. Then you put some kind of SHORT 0xE28... I know I'm no EA master, but I don't really see the point of that? Usually you just make your tile changes in the actual file itself (I use Tiled), and then depending on what kind of tile change it is, you create certain events that correspond to the tile change (maybe that's what you're doing but I've never seen this before and I don't know what it means). This probably isn't really the solution, but I just thought I'd point it out because I have no idea what it means haha. 

Also, sometimes the difficult path is the only path, and maybe this chapter is just a lesson learned on documenting everything you do after testing. I really think you should reconsider and stop making the excuse that the chapter took you the most work. It sounds like you've tried a lot already and didn't get the result you wanted, so why not just start over? I've redone my hack 3 times: (1) I had 7 chapters on the very first patch which never got released, (2) then I started over and made 6 new chapters which got released (V1.0), then I had to get rid of those, (3) and the patch that is released now had 2 (V1.1), (4) and now I am restarting AGAIN because I've taken a new direction and have new chapters there as well and there are about 6 chapters planned and a few that are in early development. So we're looking at around 18 chapters here and only about 1/6 of them actually making the cut. Every hacker has had to make adjustments to their project, whether it be small or massive. It's just a thing you go through, nothing comes out perfectly on the first try, and this is one of those times for you. I know there's a technical issue here, but I can't seem to point out the bug just by looking at your file and this is my advice. Other people who want to swing by and help out will try, and I'm not saying they can't, because there are other people who are very resourceful on here. But I'm just saying I haven't seen other people reply, and everything in your events looks like they're properly formatted to me. 

I would love to be able to find this thing but I don't think I'll get to it. I hope you don't give up on hacking though! I know it's a time consuming, (sometimes) pain in the ass, but I find it pretty rewarding once it's all put together. Anywho, I should be studying and not be on serenes. 

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On 3/6/2017 at 5:43 PM, Avril Lavigne said:

@AsukaDrag

I see. You have put lots of things into this chapter, it's just that I don't see any bug-worthy parts to it... well maybe not. One of the differences from the format of your events from mine is that you stated your map changes. Then you put some kind of SHORT 0xE28... I know I'm no EA master, but I don't really see the point of that? Usually you just make your tile changes in the actual file itself (I use Tiled), and then depending on what kind of tile change it is, you create certain events that correspond to the tile change (maybe that's what you're doing but I've never seen this before and I don't know what it means). This probably isn't really the solution, but I just thought I'd point it out because I have no idea what it means haha. 

Also, sometimes the difficult path is the only path, and maybe this chapter is just a lesson learned on documenting everything you do after testing. I really think you should reconsider and stop making the excuse that the chapter took you the most work. It sounds like you've tried a lot already and didn't get the result you wanted, so why not just start over? I've redone my hack 3 times: (1) I had 7 chapters on the very first patch which never got released, (2) then I started over and made 6 new chapters which got released (V1.0), then I had to get rid of those, (3) and the patch that is released now had 2 (V1.1), (4) and now I am restarting AGAIN because I've taken a new direction and have new chapters there as well and there are about 6 chapters planned and a few that are in early development. So we're looking at around 18 chapters here and only about 1/6 of them actually making the cut. Every hacker has had to make adjustments to their project, whether it be small or massive. It's just a thing you go through, nothing comes out perfectly on the first try, and this is one of those times for you. I know there's a technical issue here, but I can't seem to point out the bug just by looking at your file and this is my advice. Other people who want to swing by and help out will try, and I'm not saying they can't, because there are other people who are very resourceful on here. But I'm just saying I haven't seen other people reply, and everything in your events looks like they're properly formatted to me. 

I would love to be able to find this thing but I don't think I'll get to it. I hope you don't give up on hacking though! I know it's a time consuming, (sometimes) pain in the ass, but I find it pretty rewarding once it's all put together. Anywho, I should be studying and not be on serenes. 

I understand where you're coming from, I greatly appreciate you trying to help, but I currently just really don't have the time to redo the entire chapter without any guarantee that it'll actually work. Right now, I have about 1/20th of the free time I had when I was working on this hack. To give you an idea, I used to be able to make an entire chapter in a few days, but now it took me an entire month to do 1/10th of a chapter.

 

That being said, I decided I'll move up the time limit of the chapter to 25 turns(without changing anything else), which greatly decreases the chances of the player encountering the soft reset (I played through the chapter 3 times while testing with 3 different strategies without encountering it) and I'll release the patch as it is. I'm sure SOMEONE will run into the bug and have their experience ruined, and that breaks my heart, but its not like I'd rather release the game now before I just give up on it, as its not like I'll be able to work on it for a while.

Now, that's a incomplete solution that kinda neuters the end of the chapter and doesn't always work, so I'm still looking for any better solutions, so if anyone has any idea about this issue, I welcome the help.

 

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@AsukaDrag

I'm glad you didn't think I was being a bitch when I said that. And about not being able to work on your hack very much now... yeah I'm kinda on the same boat. I have my chapter guides completed (the story is very much intact), but the actual development of the hack is at a solid standstill until about late April. Which sucks, but school is very important to me. And even though I'd love to completely go ham on hacking RIGHT NOW, I can't because I'll get very distracted from school. 

I am a full-time student with a part-time job, so I shouldn't even be on here helping you lol that's how little time I have to myself. I literally sleep, do homework/study, work, eat, sleep. That is my schedule on most days. But I need to breathe and going on here or just hanging out with my roommates for like an hour of the day helps me a lot because then I get very upset if I'm in my room all day studying and not being social. 

But enough about me...what I'm really saying is you should wait until you know you'll have more room to hack. I made the suggestion about redoing your chapter because of the bug, and you're saying you can't do it because you have the same amount of time to redo it. But you do have enough time to do literally anything to your hack. There is no deadline to finish your hack for anyone or for anything. I'm not saying no one cares about your hack, I'm just saying that this is your hobby and you can do whatever you want to it whenever you want. You have busy schedule? Then wait until you don't have a busy schedule, then you can put more focus into the hack. Again, I'm not saying you HAVE to redo the chapter, that's entirely up to you. But then you are saying that you are upset because you feel like you'll know that someone will run into the bug still, then WHY would you keep the same chapter if you're so upset about it!? The answer is in plain-sight, but the bug isn't. So I don't really get your reasoning with your decision when even you're not confident with the outcome. 

Let me also add this in the simplest fashion:

Scenario 1

  1. You decide not to redo chapter
  2. Bug might still exist
  3. You create MORE chapters to add to the existing chapters, taking up A LOT OF YOUR TIME
  4. Bug is STILL THERE
  5. Player tries playing the hack you put so much effort into
  6. Player runs into bug on first chapter
  7. Player cannot continue and play chapters you spent so much time on

In conclusion, your first chapter prevents the enjoyment of your later chapters.

 

Scenario 2

  1. You decide to redo chapter
  2. Bug is MOST LIKELY GONE
  3. You create more chapters that take up a lot of time and effort
  4. Bug is still MOST LIKELY GONE
  5. Player tries playing the hack you put so much effort into
  6. Player completes chapter one successfully
  7. Player completes hack
  8. Extra work pays off

In conclusion, your first chapter does not prevent the enjoyment of your later chapters.

Plus the fact that you added more chapters to it should really incentivize you to get rid of the bug. 

You see where I'm coming from? You ask for a solution to your problem, then I give you a solution, then make these excuses about time and hard work. Not trying to be a complete jackass but I probably am coming off as one. I'm just looking at the logical fix behind this problem. I hope things work out for you and best case scenario that you find the bug, but I hate to say that scenario doesn't seem likely. I really hope I helped though!

That or I hope that when you reduced the turns that the bug somehow got wiped. :)

Edited by Avril Lavigne

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