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 Yoshi's Island Hacking FAQ

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Jeorge535
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Title : I can't wait until we move away from this shitty forum.
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Join date : 2009-08-25
Age : 22
Location : The place where we all hate Touhou.

PostSubject: Yoshi's Island Hacking FAQ   Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:00 pm

To alleviate some of the hardships that come along with hacking Yoshi's Island, I've prepared this FAQ for aspiring Yoshi's Island hackers in need of some help. Please read this first before asking questions. If the answer is not posted here, feel free to post the question here. Smile


Getting Started

Q: How can I edit Yoshi’s Island?
A: The best way is to use the Yoshi’s Island editor, EggVine. It can be downloaded here:
http://www.zophar.net/utilities/sneslevel/eggvine.html
Also, the latest version of Eggvine, Eggvine v0.81, can be found here:
http://anu-snn.caffie.net/EV0.81.zip

Q: What exactly can I edit with EggVine?
A: EggVine allows you to make fully functional custom Yoshi’s Island levels. That means you are able to edit objects, sprites, screen exits, and header information for your levels.

Q: How can I edit graphics and text then?
A: Graphics and text can be edited, but cannot be done directly from EggVine. Other programs must be used to edit these features. See “Advanced” section for more information.

Q: What are the limitations of EggVine?
A: The biggest limitation you should know before you start using EggVine is that it does NOT display the actual graphics of the objects and sprites in the level. Instead, you will only see simple colored boxes which represent the objects and sprites. Also, there are byte limitations assigned to each level, meaning you can only have a set number of objects and sprites in each level index. Plus, there is no overworld support. You should consider these limitations before you start hacking Yoshi’s Island. If they seem too difficult to overcome, you may not want to hack the game after all. If they don’t, then the rest of this FAQ should prove useful.

Q: But isn’t there a better editor than EggVine?
A: Not yet, but maybe one day ...

Q: Is Squash Monster still updating the editor?
A: Unfortunately, no, he hasn’t touched it in years. So, EggVine is still the best YI hacking resource.

Q: What version of the Yoshi’s Island ROM do I need to download in order to edit it in EggVine?
A: The only version of the ROM that is compatible with EggVine is “Yoshi’s Island v1.0 (U).” Whenever you load a different version into EggVine, you will receive an error message. We cannot give you the ROM ourselves since it's illegal, so you'd best try using Google to find one.

Q: When I load EggVine, an error message comes up saying, “Component COMDLG32.OCX or one of its dependencies not correctly registered: a file is missing or invalid.” What does this mean?
A: If you receive this error message, you will need to download COMDLG32.OCX. That can be downloaded here: http://www.ascentive.com/support/new/images/lib/COMDLG32.OCX.
Once you download, place it in your System32 folder from your Windows folder. Once that file is in the System 32 folder, go to the Start menu and select run. Type "regsvr32 comdlg32.ocx" and this should make Eggvine work.

Important Note!
If you are using Windows Vista as your OP, you will need to right click Eggvine, then select "Run As Administrator" for it to work.

Q: When I load the ROM in EggVine, I get an error message reading “Abnormal bank.” What’s wrong?
A: You likely have the wrong version of the ROM, or a bad dump. Thus, try downloading it from another site.

2. Creating A Custom Level

Q: So how do I create levels in EggVine?
A: Cpubasic made a great tutorial a while back on how to edit levels. That can be downloaded here:
Clicky

Jeorge535 also created a basic tutorial that can be found here:
Clicky

That pretty much entirely covers how to make a custom level, but here are some more questions that may come up:

Q: There are so many objects and sprites in each level, it will take me forever to delete each one. How can I wipe out everything in the level at once?
A: Simply choose Level-->Clear-->Clear all objects and sprites.

Q: I can’t find the objects and sprites I’m looking for in that long list. How can I find what I need?
A: Use the filter above the object and sprite list to type in what you’re looking for. Say you’re looking for a vertical moving platform. You can type “Platform” to narrow down the field, or “Vertical”.

Editing Level Features
Q: How can I edit things in a level like background color or music?
A: Everything you need to edit the properties of the level are found in Level-->Edit Header. Here is an explanation of each setting:
Background Color: This is the color of the SOLID part of your BG, meaning behind all the background images. For example, if you had a mountain BG, this setting would not effect the colors of the mountain, but the color of the sky.
Tileset: This effects what layer 1 graphics you will be using. In other words, it determines what object graphics can be used in that level (e.g. grass, castle blocks, snow, cave ground, etc.)
Layer One Object Palette: This changes the color of your objects in the level, in other words, the FG.
Layer 2 Image: This setting changes the background displayed in your level (e.g. mountains, trees, cave, castle)
Layer 2 Object Palette: Like Layer 1 Object Palette, only this will alter the color of your BG image.
Layer Three Type: Layer 3 will add additional effects to your level (e.g. mist for caves, clouds in the sky, stars in the sky). This value determines what type of layer 3 effect will be present in your level.
Layer Three Object Palette: This will change the colors used in your layer 3 effects.
Sprite Set: This changes the graphics set of the sprites (enemies) used in level, allowing you to use a different set of sprites for that level.
Sprite Palette: Changes colors of your sprites
Layer/Ordering Property: This mainly controls how layer 3 effects will be ordered in relation to layers 1 and 2. Meaning, changing this may make your layer 3 effects go above or below the other layers. If you’re having trouble getting your layer 3 effects to appear properly, you should try changing this value. Also, if Yoshi disappears behind the BG while entering a pipe, you should try altering this value.
Unknown: As said, this value has an unknown purpose
Music: Changes the music selection for the level. Note, this value, for some reason, also controls how layer 3 appears in the level. Values 0-16 are all the music tracks available. Tracks 17-31 are the same, however, when set to these values instead, control how layer 3 is handled in the level.
Initial Layer 2 Position: Controls the relative positions between layer 1 and 2
Initial Layer 1 Position: Same as above
Unknown 2: Controls which set of midpoint entrance is used for that level. First midpoint should be set at 0, second at 32, third at 64, and a forth midpoint at 96. You can't have two midpoints in one area, so make sure to create them in seperate levels!

Q: When I insert objects and sprites into levels, they look glitched. Why does this happen?
A: The game can only load a certain amount of object or sprite graphics for one particular level, thus, certain objects and sprites are organized together in certain “tilesets”, which are sets of graphics. So, you can’t just mix a bunch of environments together, like grass and castle graphics, you have to use one at a time?

Q: How do I know which header settings to put if I want my level to look a certain way? Say I wanted a purple stone castle set, what values do I need to put in for that?
A: The best way to find out what values you need to put in your header is to look at other levels in the ROM in which you want the same properties for your level, and mix and match. Also, the Edit Header menu has a convenient “Import From Existing Level” feature at the bottom. This copies all the header properties from the specified level into yours, making for easier editing.

Q: What are all the objects I can use in a level?
A: Romi created a Object List- a short time ago, along with a continued version found here. For more information on how he set out the list, read this post.

Q: Is there a list of all Layer 2 and 3 images I can use?
A: Yes, Mattrizzle created a list of Layer 2 backgrounds, along with each palette they are all compatible with. You can find that list here. For layer 3 images, you can use this list which covers all the basic Layer 3 properties.

Q: Is there a list of Sprites as well? What about a list of Sprite Sets?
A: Unfortunetly, there isn't a list of sprites out there yet. Although, Blumiere made a list of each enemy and/or sprite that is compatible with all the Sprite Sets found from 0-127. You can find the list here. Also, if you find any mistakes in that list, please PM Blumiere about it and he'll fix it as soon as possible.

Q: How do I make cross sections? They're really confusing ...
A: Blumiere made a tutorial a while ago on cross sections which can be found here. If you have any further questions about making cross sections, PM Blumiere or another experienced YI hacker.

Common Problems and Oddities

Q: Sometimes when I increase the size of objects, they look completely wrong when I play it in my emulator. They look much bigger than how I actually sized them in EggVine. Why does this happen?
A: For most objects, you can just normally adjust the width of objects to make them appear the specified size in the game. However, for some objects, you must change the LENGTH (vertical) in order to increase the width of the object in the actual game. These are the objects that follow this rule:

Object 15: Cloud platform
Object 37: Red line bridge
Object 41: Horizontal castle platform
Object 53: Castle background platform
Object 57: Platform with cross-section background
Object DF: Puddles of lava in cave

So, let’s say you wanted to make a cloud that was 4 tiles wide. In EggVine, insert object 15. Instead of changing the width of the object to 4, change the LENGTH of the object (going downward) to 4. Then, when you play the level in the emulator the cloud will be 4 tiles WIDE.
These are pretty much the only objects that follow this odd rule. For most other objects, you can just normally increase the width in EggVine for it to appear properly.

Q: Okay, I followed the rule for the mentioned objects above, but I can’t extend the length past 16. How can I make it bigger?
A: For these objects, if you want to make the width bigger than 16, you must then increase the WIDTH in EggVine. Every time you increase the length of one of these objects in EggVine, the width of the actual object goes up by 16. So let’s say you have in EggVine, you insert a cloud that’s 1 tile in length and width. The cloud would just be one tile long in the actual game. So let’s say you wanted to make it 18 tiles long. Since the length cannot go past 16, increase the width of this object by 1 to make it 17 tiles long. Then, increase the length by 1 to make it 18 tiles.

Q: Which objects, if stretched 16 tiles wide, will look different?
A: Pipes, diagonal line guides, diagonal staircases and some coin objects can be stretched 16 tiles to change their direction. Once the object is stretched 16 tiles wide, its size can be decreased by stretching it downwards. The smaller its height is, the bigger the object is, and vise versa.

Q: Is there a maximum length or width I can size an object in Eggvine?
A: Yes, the maximum length or width you can give an object is 80. If you make an object any bigger than that, it will likely glitch up. To solve this, simply duplicate objects once you reach the 80 tile maximum.

Q: My Layer 3 seems to be scrolling weird, and changing Special Effects and Layer 3 values doesn't seem to work! How can i fix this?
A: Simply change the music. The music you use usually makes Layer 3 scroll weird, so changing the Music property to another value should fix it. There's usually a duplicate of the song you're using in the 31 different song options, so you should be alright.

Q: When I load my level, it freezes on the level name screen and doesn't continue onto viewing the level, what did I do wrong?
A: You've most likely sized an object wrong or accidently made a object extend outside Eggvine's boundries. Check if there's any objects outside Eggvine's perimeter by zooming out, and if not, make sure you didn't size objects like staircases or clouds incorrectly.

Advanced

I'm calling this section "Advanced" since it involves using tools outside of EggVine, such as graphics editors and hex editors. So, if you haven't ever used these, you may have a hard time editing these features.

Q: How can I edit the graphics in Yoshi's Island?
A; You can edit the graphics through a graphics editor, such as Tile Layer Pro or YY-CHR.

Those can be download here:
http://www.romhacking.net/utils/tlp11.zip
http://www.romhacking.net/utils/yy-chr_e.zip

You will also need a program called ycompress to extract and re-insert the graphics to the ROM. That can be downloaded here:
http://fusoya.eludevisibility.org/yoshi/download/ycompress.zip

Q: What do I do once I have these programs?
A: 1. First, place ycompress in the same folder as your YI ROM.
2. Next, go into your Windows System 32 folder. Copy the "command.com" program into your hack's folder.
3. Open the command.com prompt. To extract the graphics from the ROM, enter the following command:

ycompress 0 ROMName.smc GraphicsFileName.bin*

So, a good example would be:

ycompress 0 SMW2+2.smc AllGFX.bin

*Note, you may name the graphics file whatever you like.

4. You will now have a graphics .bin file in your hack folder. You may now open that in your graphics editor to edit the graphics. Make sure you set the graphics mode to SNES.
5. Once you are finished editing the graphics through the editor, it's time to re-insert them to the ROM. Open your command.com prompt again and type the following:

ycompress 1 120200 ROMName.smc GraphicsFileName.bin

Once this is done, your graphics are now in your hack! Smile

Q: Does Yoshi's Island support ExGraphics?
A: Unfortunately, no, you cannot insert ExGraphics (additional graphics). You can only modify the existing ones at this point.

Q: I don't see an option in EggVine to edit level entrances and midway points. How do I go about doing that?
A: You have two options. One, you can use Romi's entrance editors, or use Translhextion to edit them. Download Romi's programs here:

Entrance Editor
Midring Editor

And read some more information about them in this post.

Now, the second option. Since EggVine does not support editing of level entrances and midway points, you must use a hex editor to edit these values. I recommend Translhextion, which can be downloaded here:
http://www.romhacking.net/utils/Translhextion16c.zip
Once downloaded, load up your ROM in the hex editor. After that, choose Offset-->Jump To.

Enter xBF671 to jump to the level entrance data.
Enter xBF7DB to jump to midway point data.

You'll see a bunch of values.

Level Entrances
Level entrances contain 4 bytes of data. The first is the level number of the entrance. The second is the X coordinate of the entrance. The third is the Y coordinate of the level entrance. The fourth is the entrance type. This should be left at 0. These values go in order from levels 1-1 all the way to Extra 6.

Midway Entrances
These work the same as level entrances, but require a bit more work. These also go in order from 1-1 to Extra 6. There are four possible midway entrances you can have for one level. If you notice amongst the midway data, there are a bunch of values that are just "00 00 00 00". These are unused entrances, so you can use these to your liking when available.

Once you edit the midway point values to your liking, open up EggVine again. Now, go to the level number in which you are trying to insert a midway point. Insert the mid-ring (sprite 4F). Once that's done, you'll need to open the Edit Header menu. At the bottom, there is a value called "Unknown 2". This controls which midway point for that level is used in that area. Set this to 0 for the first midway point for that level, set it to 32 for the second, set it to 64 for the third, and set it to 96 for the fourth.

Distributing and Playing Hacks

Q: So once I am ready to release the hack, can I upload the ROM and post it here?
A: NO! ROM distribution is illegal, so you should NEVER post a ROM link here. Instead, you must make what is called an "IPS" patch.

Q: How do I make an .ips patch?
A: It's quite simple. First, download a ROM patching utility. I strongly recommend the easy-to-use LIPS, which can be downloaded here:

http://www.smwcentral.net/download.php?id=39&type=tools

Once that's done, load the program and choose "Create IPS Patch". It will prompt you for the modified ROM and Original Unmodified ROM. For the modified ROM, choose your hack. For the original ROM, choose the original, unedited Yoshi's Island ROM. Then, it will ask you to name your patch. Then, you're ready to go! You can upload your patch and post it here, but before you do, make sure it works by patching it to your own clean YI ROM!

Q: Can I upload my Yoshi's Island hack patch through SMWCentral?
A: No, you are only allowed to upload patches of Super Mario World hack onto the site. If you need to upload your Yoshi's Island hack, you will need to use another host.

Q: Can I post a thread here if I have a Yoshi's Island hack in progress?
A: Of course, but please provide a decent amount of information on the hack. Visuals are a MUST, meaning you must at least post some screenshots or videos, plus a good amount of details regarding the hack. DO NOT just post something like:

"I'm making a Yoshi's Island hack. The levels will be a lot harder. I'll release a demo in a few weeks."

Again, visuals help people judge whether or not they'd like to play your hack, and so they can give constructive criticism. Players can't just judge by a few lines of information.

Q: How do I play other people's hacks?
A: Also, you can use LIPS to do this. Download the .ips patch, and open up LIPS. Choose "Apply IPS Patch". Choose the hack patch, then choose a CLEAN, UNEDITED Yoshi's Island ROM. Make sure the ROM version is 1.0 (U), or else you will get errors!

Q: When I play someone else's hacks, it freezes when I get to the "Welcome To Yoshi's Island" screen. Why?
A: This is a result of patching the .ips to the wrong version of the ROM. Remember, you must download and patch to Yoshi's Island v1.0 (U).

Q: Can I ask where to download a ROM, or post a link to a ROM?
A: NO! As already mentioned, ROM distribution is illegal. The best way to find a Yoshi's Island ROM is through a Google search.

Other Tips

Take advantage of the collected Yoshi's Island data by making tweaks in your hex editor. Use the information gathered in the below thread:

http://www.smwcentral.net/?p=thread&id=343

Or just refer to S.N.N.'s Yoshi's Island ROM map to take advantage of easy-to-edit offsets:

http://www.freewebs.com/beaneaters/yoshisislandrommap.htm

Happy hacking!

Big thanks to Blumiere for giving me the FAQ, and big thanks to Golden Yoshi for writing it.

_________________
YI Hack

World 3

3-1: The Mighty Jungle
3-2: Monkey Shenanigans
3-3: The Secret Ruins
3-4: Prince Froggy's Fort
3-5: Spear Guys' Hideout
3-6: Watermelon Mania (WIP)
3-7: Piranha Sewer (WIP)
3-8:
3-E:

More is here!
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