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Jimakoma

"Hacking" a .rom file, is it doable?

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I apologize for my naive question. I was hoping to get some information concerning that. Remember the NEO-GEO roms? Is there any possibility to "hack" and work with the code and mess with the graphics or the whole game rules? Thank you.     

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There's entire communities based around this subject. Although I'm not really sure on the legality of talking about something like that here.

 

I'm sure you've seen modded roms before yes? The super mario roms that are insanely hard come to mind, amongst many others. I would say a google search would probably help you out a lot on the subject.

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This is a tricky legal area. You may not be doing anything illegal if all you do is strictly hack the ROM to make it do what you want, but if you copy its contents (which, BTW, is required to hack the ROM), you're breaking the law.

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I will google it further more, thank you very much. I wanted to "modify" the rom in order to make some sort of expansion of an old SNK video game series called Samurai Showdown. I need to provide them with a demo and I'm trying to find a way to do it without starting from scratch.

 

What if I do it in order to just do a proposition to SNK of reviving the title? Not that they would reply to my call for contact but assuming I had a developer representative like John Cook from Bad management, who's willing to review my work and he approved it and decided to be my frond man. Is it still illegal?

 

Thank you for replying in such sort notice  

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This is a tricky legal area. You may not be doing anything illegal if all you do is strictly hack the ROM to make it do what you want, but if you copy its contents (which, BTW, is required to hack the ROM), you're breaking the law.


One could distribute a patch, containing no data from the original ROM and requiring it to build the hacked ROM.

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You could hack a rom in fact half the arcade games outhere are hacked bootlegs.  Why would you want to do this for a demo though.  Couldn't you just use muGen?

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In order to conclude my own topic so I leave it be somewhat useful to anyone who searches for .rom "hacking" or "modding" I include the links to the info I was able to gather in my google search. MUGEN is something I had totally forgot about. Years back when I was following their updates, I seem to lost track of their works, maybe because Elecbyte withdrew, I don't recall. So, MUGEN is absolutely a good choice for me, thank you. I still got some questions though concerning MUGEN, like if it could be possible to add ranking boards or point award systems. To anyone who can answer me this, it would be better to contact me through personal message as we're getting out of topic if we talk about it here. Thanks again for the support!

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ROM_hacking

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.U.G.E.N

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This is a tricky legal area. You may not be doing anything illegal if all you do is strictly hack the ROM to make it do what you want, but if you copy its contents (which, BTW, is required to hack the ROM), you're breaking the law.


One could distribute a patch, containing no data from the original ROM and requiring it to build the hacked ROM.

But to create a patch, you'll need the contents of the ROM, which gets into a tricky legal area.

Edited by MarkS

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To the best of my knowledge, in the US any reverse engineering without the consent of the owner is illegal, as are any tools that are specifically oriented toward such activities. These are civil matters, though, and I've never heard of a case where anything stronger than a C&D happened. It costs a lot of money to sue someone.

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The tools for doing it are not illegal (I made MHS (Memory Hacking Software) which is a popular tool for reverse-engineering things) just as emulators are not illegal but the ROM’s are.  Ultimately none of it matters unless a lawsuit goes your way, but I’ve never heard of such a thing ever actually happening.  Ever.

 

 

L. Spiro

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