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Tip Important Findings in the S.F 1 Editor! (FUNCTIONAL EXTENDED CHARACTERS & OTHERS)


Shining Buddy
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So lately, I've been messing around in the S.F 1 Editor before diving back into ROM hacking S.F 1, and I've made some discoveries and found numerous quirks within the editor itself.

Number 1; Extended Characters is mostly NOT broken.

Testing on a 4MB and 6MB ROM with each Extended Character named revealed that it alone is NOT the cause of the game's scripting breaking down. All NPC's had the right dialogue, events ran the right way, etc. **HOWEVER**, there might be a LIMIT to how many characters you can have as fully completed Force Members. I myself haven't tested this yet, but might in the near future.

There is still the drawback of the ending scene being broken, with your characters being placed out on the ocean as they watch The Castle of the Ancients sink into the murky depths.

Number 2; Expanded Graphics CAUSES ISSUES.

*As I stated above, a 4MBand 6MB ROM with Extended Characters on yada yada worked just fine. However, what doesn't work fine is Expanded Graphics. To some degree, they are broken and cause a few notorious things, such as Chapter 2's scripting to freak out (possibly other chapters as well), and the annoying broken Roof Tile Bug.

This was proven to me during my time testing the Shining Force Graphics Upgrade and the GFX Upgrade Randomizer. The only real break was Chapter 2's Sequence due to flags getting mixed up and/or not reset. Erikin84 has scripted a complete work-around to this issue, but it doesn't change the fact that Expanded Graphics is responsible, if not the catalyst for...

Number 3; It's one or the other.

*Given the current state of the editor, you can NOT have BOTH Expanded Graphics AND Extended Characters within the same ROM. It's one or the other given my current findings. After I go into Number 4, you *might* be able to do so on a 4 M.B ROM, but I haven't tested that yet.

Having both Expanded Characters and Expanded Graphics on in a 6 M.B ROM breaks the entire game, and leads to the many instances of Chapter 1's scripting loading in all other chapters and random locks when entering/exiting areas.

There is no way for us to fix this without either hacking the editor through the hex code itself, getting the source code from Rubix, or Rubix coming back to fix the editor. Option 1 would require dozens of hours of trial and error, and options 2 and 3 are very likely off the table. Rubix doesn't do ANYTHING S.F Related anymore as far as I'm aware, and if memory serves right, he's already said no to releasing the editor's code. The code is his and it's understandable that he wouldn't want to release it, and everyone moves on from projects at some point or another to newer ones.

Number 4; Expanding a ROM to 6 MB causes issues.

*This might confuse some people, but I will try to simplify it. Based on what I know, expanding to 6 M.B doesn't just add a bunch of space onto the ROM. It instead adds extra data to every section of the ROM, such as icons, graphics, etc.

6 M.B likely wasn't fully tested by Rubix. From my testing, a 4 MB ROM is your best option unless you absolutely NEED the expanded graphics space that comes from 6 MB.

Number 5; Other Oddities/Avoiding broken ROMs!

As everyone and their grandmother is aware at this point, the editor, simply put, is unfished, meaning that it's going to be buggy, no matter what rules you follow. You can cause the editor to overflow your ROM by just having too many unique animations, or by saving something the wrong way!

I can not stress this enough, always, ALWAYS make backups! Even if you use only a 4 MB ROM and avoid what I stated above, ALWAYS make a backup on ANY change. Rubix didn't program in any warning that you could cause an Overflow, and the editor will NOT make it clear if the change you made just ruined your ROM!

Closing Words

I'll continue to search for and find oddities in the editor so that, at some point, we'll know the optimal ROM set up for making hacks. It's been made clear that the editor we've got will never be updated again, so it's up to us to make things work.

Remember, avoid 6 MB if at all possible and do NOT use Extended GFX and Extended Characters at the same time. Keep that in mind and you should be okay.

(P.S/Edit; If it came off as such, I had no intention of ragging on Rubix/painting him as bad. Rubix has done the community a great favor by even making the editor at all, and EVERY ROM editor has its' quirks.)
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