I'm not responsible for possible data loss neither i'm responsible for how you will use what i post here.
Feel free to use it for your own pleasure, the hacks aren't meant to be unsporting - vice versa it is.
There is a good reason why i don't hack recent games they might be still further developed, thus you will find here only games from the era 1978 to 1990.
Sure the main reason is to add an extra life or two and some altering to the border color to mark the hacks as well adding of an extra title text string to differ the hacks already by their title screen.
If you are not interested in editing the config files then you can safely bypass this bla bla and scroll down to the first game "BUMP 'N' JUMP"
Before i post the hacks the things you will probably need and need to know to work with them.
Tools i use to edit text files and binaries:
and of course a calculator in programmer mode to work with the hexadecimal numbers (there is of course one in TinyHexer but it's not as comfortable to me, it overlays the editor window).
Notepad++ comes handy in all kind of situations apart from being a notepad (aha!) it is almost a developing environment, it understands quite a lot of scripting languages and can even help you to debug them.
Even if "unknown" like our .cfg files it is still fantastic for editing since you can mark, copy/cut, paste blocks of text (unrelated to line or column), simply press ALT to mark a free rectangular area (block) with the mouse in the text file. Using this it is a sneeze to i.e. copy a section out of a disassembled code, to copy snippets you probably put aside for a re-use - most what you need for a productive working.
Notepad++ doesn't forgets anything, you can have a power failure it will remember the last edit you made even without that you saved the work - isn't that cool?
One could teach notepad++ how to interpret the .cfg file and then even here comments and data, values, addresses could have different colors.
If there is interest i can see if i can make a template.
What you will often use is the dis1600.exe included in "SDK-1600" (or the complete jzIntv suite). I suggest to write a small batch like following on which you can simply drop the .bin to disassemble it (it must have the suffix .bin to be recognized).
dis1600 %1 %1.asm
The batch in this state will belong to "...\jzIntv\bin" and will output a file named as the input simply with .asm as suffix (after .bin, its a very simple batch but far enough for the purpose) but i assume it's the directory where you will edit your files (where else).
Notepad++ is familiar with the suffix .asm and will show the data in separate colors which makes reading it almost to a pleasure (what i haven't tried yet is to execute an .asm it should at least jump to the proper labels). Personally i keep the disassembled data and also all notes or code snippets in a special sub-directory to keep the dir "bin" neat. Finished projects i move completely out of sight to an archive where i keep all my inty games in separate zip files together with the additional material - whatever that might be from artwork to code.
The hex editor i use to search for values it is to me often more efficient to browse the .bin as to refer to the disassembled data, that is some i "smell" already only by looking at the code. Keep in mind that a decle equals to a 8bit word in length that means addresses in bytes shown in the editor must be divided by 2 to get the addresses in decles, i will refer here to decle if i write "word", i.e. "count 10 words back" means decles or words in length. Further i will mark decles with a $ sign and mark hex values with the usual 0x prefix. It becomes also handy if you like to extract a section of code i.e. the title code because you have to keep it for a new title or to extract a sfx or music data when you localized the address using the disassembled data.
Further it is a big help to write strings, just enter your text in the editor and receive the proper values they even can be copied to notepad++ (use the TinyHexer script "copy as formatted hex text" for this).
For a simple use of my already prepped .cfg files you won't need to know all this, it's just if you like to alter them. Unlike in my thread (gernot is a lame cheater) i will link here the complete stuff i have just all in zip files and not as code to be copied and pasted, means everyone should be able to use them together with the .bin and jzIntv (or bin2rom if you like to use them in a different emulator).
Posted .cfg files respectively "hacks" will usually come as four different files, one unaltered but with a probably altered title screen e.g. adding of a small sfx or tune, one which i label "advantage" this adds usually two lives to the usual amount as a little advantage and will have usually a blue text telling "advantage" and a blue border (if that was possible to hack), "lethal" tells what it is just a single life, personally i think this is the most interesting thing instead to hack countless lives just a single one, for certain games like "Astrosmash" or "Buzz Bombers" this makes no big difference since you get rewarded with countless lives in this games, "lethal" comes usually with red lettering and a crimson border and finally "trainer" for which i use the maximum amount of lives possible this isn't always 256, sometimes only 128, sometimes 99 in one case only 19 "Zaxxon", it depends on how much the game accepts, "Zaxxon" displays the ships and as soon as they overflow the screen it terminates since we have 20 characters for a line only 19 ships are possible here, "trainer" has usually a dark green text showing "trainer" and a dark green border, the colors might vary when it doesn't suits to the game but this is the rule i use. Sometimes i could not change the border color (yet) for all games i searched especially the "GAME OVER" string this will always receive a different color to mark a hacked game,but even this depends on if it was possible a few games are not to disassemble (i.e. Venture) it seems to be encrypted but at least i could a grip on the lives amount and the frickin' border color which has cost me some nerves.
Additional goodies to edit config files
First a quite handy text file where you can copy useful snippets from, i suggest to use it if you like to edit the linked config files and also to expand it by need.
I use it very often especially the section with the values from 00 to ff for addressing, the method is to copy a desired section out of it and paste it to your project after mark again a block in front of them and enter
the base address plus parse command to it e.g. "p 60" you will receive a row of addresses to parse in this example from $6000 to end of the selection, it makes life much easier. The same you can apply when you inserted new text string sections, lengthen them or shorten them, just block mark a section to change and paste the new row of values over it. Try it out it sounds far more complicated as it is.
Further i offer you some snippets of sfx and simple music i extracted from a handful of games.
Copy paste them in the same manner as the snippets above to a row of to parse data (i suggest to copy paste such first and then to add the parse command and the addresses in length of the to parse data).
Feel free to experiment with them, for sfx it won't matter much if it's sfx one or two (0x4, 0x118, 0x3bb or 0x4, 0x118, 0x3be for either "sfx1" or "sfx2") sfx must end with 0xcf, 0x2cf, 0x3cf, for the simple use in the title this makes neither any difference as i found out.
NOTE that the "0x#cf" will end the whole process likewise a 0x2b7 exits, thus always position sfx as very last data in the altered title code.
For music i use the simple note players "mus1" and "mus2" (0x4, 0x118, 0x327 or 0x4, 0x118. 0x35b) "mus1" sounds more clear "mus2" has a distorted sound, the difference is like it is used for "White Water" (mus1) or "Donkey Kong Jr." (mus2). The note player just plays the notes on a single channel and does not respect timbre and plays the notes in a fixed speed, simple but effective. Music you can play backwards sfx not! (or not as easy as try it out).
Assumed you like to loop a sfx (except this can loop for itself check "burgertime loop" it loops without any advice to loop, how that works i don't know yet) or a music you can use following simple advice:
0x220, 0x"number of to step back words", also simple and efficient. The count of words is inclusive the 0x220 command and must point exactly to the start of the sfx or music inclusive heading command.
Check as example the script(s) for "Bump 'n' Jump". If you like to add a short pause in a music (this method won't work for sfx) insert at desired position a value between 0x1 and 0xf to reach this.
To reverse a row of data (the section between start and end of the music without the leading command and ending) i can offer you following batch proggie (32bit DOS shell but probably also powershell):
I suggest to copy this to a file named "typeback.bat" and place it somewhere you can find it easy i.e.: C:\temp.
NOTE: The batch will write the data in reverse order to the same file!
One could replace the given 'set "file=tmp.txt" ' which expects that a file "tmp.txt" is present in the same directory as the batch with %1 to use the first variable after the call for the batch but this will make this simple batch unsafe and no matter what will be dropped on it or executed with it will be reversed or even worse.
Be careful this batch really doesn't checks anything executes with whatever is set as "file" and will corrupt binary files if applied to them.
I will see if i find a macro for notepad++ or if not to create one since notepad++ only offers to sort alphanumerical but we like to reverse the row and not sort it alphanumerical.
(There is a DOS command "SORT" but what do you expect for the option /R(EVERSE), reverse? no for sure not it sorts alphanumerical, heck and the option is /R(EVERSE) how stupid!
Next time you shift in the gear "R" expect that your car will - whatever but not drive back, maybe drive a zig-zag course sorted alphanumerical by street names, but for sure not reverse, lol)
BUMP 'N' JUMP
I already posted this i know but like i said here you will receive the finished .cfg files which you don't have to edit the zip will contain .cfg files for a "Bump 'n' Jump" with added title music (no gameplay relevant hacks), an "advantage" version which gives you 7 cars, a "lethal" variation with a single life and a "trainer" with 99 cars more this game doesn't accepts (even here the cars will be all displayed they overflow the screen several times before the program is dissatisfied).
The color code is as described, blue for "advantage", crimson/red for "lethal" and dark green for "trainer".
NOTE: the set color stack fg/bg (1) only allows uppercase letters for a string in the title screen.
Just that you get an idea a (very) short clip.
Rather a coincidence but a funny one, if you look at the data of "Brickout!" in a hex editor following jumps in your eye:
P n P IS P & P (50006E005000CC00530023005000260050) not exactly but it is very close and of course since 50 is interpreted as "P" it isn't uncommon for real, nonetheless i thought "hmmm... interesting, plug 'n play is plug & play" yes it is! And Brickout! is a game which i start to really like as simple as it is.
There wasn't much i could change for this game, the amount of balls which i reduced instead to increase 15 are fairly enough (instead of 20) also i changed the trigger values for the rating it is now:
< 250, "NO COMMENT"
< 500, "TRY CARDS"
< 750, "FAIR"
< 1000, "GOOD"
< 1250, "VERY GOOD" (prev. < 1125)
< 1500, "EXCELLENT" (prev. < 1175)
< 1750, "DANGEROUS" (prev. < 1195)
< 2000, "CLASSIFIED" (prev. < 1200)
>= 2000, "ACE" (prev >= 1200)
That means you have to play good in this a little random game in results (which makes it so addictive to me you never know how good you will play), 2000 points are to reach with 20 balls and it should be also to reach in a very good play with only 15 balls. With the old rating i always ended up as "ACE" which isn't challenging but 2000 points aren't easy to reach. Further "DANGEROUS" and "CLASSIFIED" are so close together that you will almost never end up as "CLASSIFIED" or "DANGEROUS" five points (resp. 20 points) difference is a nothing or in other terms three bricks which equals 6 points (or 10 bricks which is even a nothing).
Further i changed the title from "Brickout!" to "Breakout!" what it is, fixed the copyright for this game and it shows now an additional line "Copr @ 1976 ATARI", the '80s are fortunately a long time past.
Plus that it will greet you with the typical "Pong bleep" when you start the game (reset).
Yes indeed if you stay up to long (48h and more) you will start to hallucinate...
While i'm not sleepless as soon as i pull the blanket over my head i sleep, no matter when or under which conditions and sometimes i take a nap after three hours if i feel exhausted or can't find a proper solution for a problem, a nap can untie a knot in your mind. "It's all in your mind" it's a question of mind setting as i guess, if you guess to have problems to find sleep you will have for sure.
Additionally included in the zip will be the revealed "Time Baum Dept. presents" variation for this game for which i changed nothing else as the flag to show the hidden string.
Because it was little work i also made a useless German translation for the classifications, usually i don't play games in German.
NOTE: the memory mapping shortens the rom if converted with bin2rom to 4kB which won't matter, a) there is still a lot of NIL present and b) it' won't matter if it is not a physical ROM.
(Cook Race, Beef Drop, whatever)
BurgertTime! (and Bump 'n' Jump) wasn't easy to hack and to keep the title screen (especially Bump 'n' Jump), i had to copy the complete title code to make the infused string work and visible in the animated title of the game. BurgerTime! at least left me more options where to place the string while for "BnJ" i had only two options, the topmost line and one of the two last lines which contain the copyright notice any else disturbs the animation. The topmost is annoying because it strips the animation by this line if i could have used an inverted cyan (sky blue) i would have taken it but it didn't looks good with a blue bar and an alternative text on the very top that's why i decided to mover both copyright notes to the lowest line and to compress them in length by removing some blank spaces, it wasn't easy at all to find the graphics for
this graphical font but in the end it worked out well. BurgerTime! was less difficult and i made this hack previous to "BnJ", apart from copying the whole title code for it there is no special limitation where to position an additional line of text, in fact i opened two but finally used only one line. Sure again you can set the amount of Cooks for this game, the crux within is that you can only set spare lives and pepper together, means what you enter for reserve Peters will be the amount of Peppers you have - unfortunately because for the lethal mod i would have liked to keep the 4 Peppers and same for the advantage mod. But since i only give you two additional cooks for advantage this isn't a big problem, only the lethal hack which offers only a single life would have profit of a Pepper or two more. The maximum for Peter is 128 here else the game gets confused and you will always start as player two while a second player won't appear (respectively first) for a two player game, if you play only alone 256 would work but it breaks the game that's why i say 128 is the maximum.
Sure the special thing (apart from hacking the amount of Peters) is again that i used the intro jingle and in game music for the title, in unlike for "BnJ" this is a sfx and sounds due to this in the title exactly the same as in the game (for the BnJ music i used the simple note player and not the advanced stuff you find in the code thus it fluctuates in volume, expression and it is slightly faster). A must for lovers of the BurgerTime! smash hit just start the game and enjoy the ear piercing chip tune.
Further the hack comes quite handy to label possible hacks made with Arnauld Chevallier's level editor, in my own case i used blatantly the example levels made by David Harley (that's why i unfortunately assumed it is his editor). In my case i named David's new levels "Beef Drop", the code is apart for the infused new levels the same after a editing which means you can use exactly the same script to modify the title as for BurgerTime! Yes i do attempted once (in fact twice) to create new levels with it. Since there seems to be interest in this i will see what i can achieve in a real attempt, in my opinion the editor is pretty easy to understand and i even thought about additional levels but this is future music.
Alternative title for David Harley's levels (20210616)
I made some small changes to the scripts apart from changing the title to "Beef Drop" (instead of Peter's Nightmare), that is mainly that i stripped the second custom text line from both projects and that i added a comment "custom text" to those fields which i suggest are to edit (if at all) it should make more obvious which section of the script can be edited safely, space i left exactly as much that it won't interfere with the title graphics.
I'm aware it's no big deal, but if i made them a little harder like for "Brickout" it gives you the opportunity to fit the game to your skill, if you are really good set the limits higher if not set them lower.
It can increase fun especially for such a single player game, personally i would like to make a game like Astrosmash much harder, i played it far to often in my youth and it's almost like sleepwalking.
Seen from this ward i prefer to play "Space C*nt" because of the larger objects it's somewhat harder as Astrosmash. But still i find it lame that you receive for every thousand pts. a ship, i liked to alter this but haven't found the proper hook yet else i would have for sure presented it. "Buzz Bombers" is not as easy but even here you receive a lot of cans if you play good, it would even profit of a limitation or higher score to be rewarded with an extra spray can. Perhaps together with "Smash" i will see, recently i only have the obvious three to offer, Advantage which adds two cans, Lethal which starts with a single can and the "useless" (in my humble opinion useless) Trainer which gifts you in this case 256 Cans. It's really sad that you only have to finish a level and receive an extra can, it would be much more fun to start with a single one and get rewarded every 10'000 pts. It wasn't hard to alter the few colors and mostly it is again differed by the border color in the (for me) common scheme, blue, crimson, green. The border color was like for most Mattel games no problem only the text string in the animated title was a bit difficult to reach. Music we have already in "attract mode", to call it this, thus i don't had to add a single byte to the original. Yes i like the game, it's obviously an Astrosmash clone in some sort of manner, and yes it's not very nice to spray bees, but who cares it's a game and we neither battle with tanks in real life or do we? I never would burn the ass of my Scots piloting friend but would love it in a game and i know she as well as me. Unfortunately my budget is to low to buy me a machine good enough to play "Elite4". However "Buzz Bombers" is the topic, to compensate the violence against bees in this game i suggest to buy a "bee hotel" they are of importance for our wild bees their population is in danger. As i see right now not all are really useful for bees, i guess what has to be respected most is that the (mostly Bamboo) tubes must be closed on the back end and that it protects good against rain (while this might be even up to where you place them). Don't spend to much money for them most are made in the so called second market which means that the employees receive no salary and if then from society. Who cares for bees as long as some shareholders can brutally grin and get to the money in your wallet. That's the real problem in our world and cause for most bad things - beans and beans counters without a brain.
Let's stay with the idea of blasting innocent insects, arthropods and arachnae, "Starship Troopers"? No, but "Santapede"
The Atari weirdness is a bit a challenge to hack, however i reached here what is the goal, custom amount of lives and a different border color, one could even change the screen color to dark green or olive the sad thing is that even in single player mode the counter for player two is spared out and that looks shitty else a dark green Centipede would be an option (or a blue one and you have to guess the location of centipede).
Strange-wisely i never was good in this shooter it was to find on every corner in every bar or mall, if i'm right it was a trackball game it really suited to the giant trackball back then. This feel you won't get on any console except you would have a trackball, a large beefy one. I even reached to hack the inevitable "advantage", "lethal" and "trainer" in a more or less pleasing way in the title screen, this i fixed right today before i wrote it over the copyright on bottom, but i finally found a few unused decles in the title code where i could hack this in. Unfortunately i can't make here a sfx or a little jingle work in the title, it would be nice but that won't work, it will be interpreted as graphic since the title is a sort of bitmap graphic, sort of but however everything i type in here is interpreted as graphic (text is graphic to and an own character set, the Atari games don't use a single byte of the grom i assume, which somehow together with the fact that it contains a lot of useless junk apart from a large credits section explains why the graphics are so limited leave the over-dimensional title away and all the junk text and the game would be an 8k game).
It took me a while to understand how the lettering works but once you have nailed down one you will understand the rest.
Ha, i nearly forgot to attach the file, lol.
Just for completeness and out of respect and the fact that we players haven't seen all this for at least a decade or two i post here all the "junk text" in Centipede.
To start off you get kicked in the ass:
"Why are you diassembling this code? That isn't nice!" note that the wrong spelling is present as shown.
over the whole program follows a sort of joke:
"Joe: Knock knock!"
"Moe: who's there?"
"Moe: Santa who!"
"Joe: Santapede is comin' to town!!!"
"Programmed by Mark Kennedy Graphics by Eric Wels Sounds by Russel Haft. Greetings from ATARI!!!"
The title code is at least 1200k, make your own guess.
It would be possible to hide instructions in something that looks like text, guess of the spelling error because i think that was not unintentional, but of course such is very limited but would be possible.
If you wonder how i find values in something a disassembler only spits out a lot of junk or a blank file i do it exactly by such abnormalities, "that looks somehow suspicious" and to recognize a bitmap in a binary isn't so hard you can almost see the bitmap at least you see that it must be one. "Strange repetive use of same glyph - let's see - ahhh... text".
I guess the ideais obvious, as i posted for "Brickout!" sure it could be a bare coincidence since most in a common header points to an address in range 50## which results in a letter P viewed in the editor, but i stumbled over a second one almost as weird as the "P n P IS P & P" - "Tee n P P" it is with a very high chance a coincidence but on the other hand since this is the result of "pointer start of game" and "pointer date/title" it could be arranged quite easy intentional, in limited range but i guess you get the idea.
(I'm a problem child!)
This game gave me some headache, but at least could change the amount of ships and smart bombs and as a minimum the score is in different colors. It wasn't such a problem to alter the string in the title (to add one there is no space in this title but i couldn't find any way to change the border color for this game, the score is the only thing with which i can differ it from the original. I guess it's at least the third attempt i tried to like to change the frickin' border color. Not even the "GAME OVER" is written in the same manner as the copyright notice in the title, at least even this i liked to change in color but i can't find it.
Perhaps you can find it in this?
(happens when i double click on a bin since i use a bit a uncommon proggy to open by default a .bin, i use "Pablo Draw" to create ANSI art to make life easier i rename a proper sized .bmp to .bin and load it to "Pablo" it won't end up in a ready to use ANSI art but helps a lot, since i created quite many such oldtimers i made it default for .bin files)
("Little Ampton" from Commander Keen, it doesn't shows off exactly as i use it in DOSBox, there i can change the colors dynamically)
But i liked to link Defender and this "unkeen".
The colors in the title are limited to blue, yellow, red and yellow on red, that's all you can use here for the lettering.
Sure i could move the identifier "lethal" i.e. to the upper right, but the problem is that i haven't enough free space in the code for the additional text here, thus i had to ovrwrite either "atari" or "williams", i liked to stuff all in the lowest line it works if i write all in one line without spaces and strip the "19" (it would show 80/83WILLIAMSATARI) but that looks shit.