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09-25-17 07:49:36 AM

Jul - Game Research/Hacking/Modding - F-Zero e+ New poll - New thread - New reply
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GuyPerfect
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Posted on 07-11-17 04:37:59 PM Link | Quote
Okay, this is going to be a bit of an encyclopedia article, so bear with me...

The Japanese version of F-Zero GP Legend was compatible with the e-Reader. Content that could be scanned in included machine unlocks, courses and staff ghosts. When the game was localized for international releases, the e-Reader functionality was removed. Certain e-Reader exclusive machine unlocks were converted to in-game unlocks instead, and staff ghost/e+ course features were dropped entirely.

Two series of e-Reader cards were produced for the game: Pillow Pack and Carddas Version (roughly; they are Japanese, after all). Pillow Pack cards were available at retail like most forms of e-Reader distribution, but the Carddas cards were exclusive to promotional vending kiosks. While most of the Carddas set is duplicated in the Pillow Pack set, a handful of cards in each category are not. These are among the rarest e-Reader cards, and are elusive enough that they haven't been dumped and archived by hackers on the internet yet.



So I guess "part 1" of this thread is, does anyone know anyone who can get photos/scans of the Carddas Version cards? I can get the data off of mere images of the cards, and the internet at large would be grateful. They just gotta be really high DPI because those dot codes are tiny.

Since I have little interest in staff ghosts, the main draw for me is those e-Reader exclusive courses. It's a little piece of F-Zero that I never knew existed until recently, and I have all the games including a 64DD and F-Zero X Expansion Kit (brag, brag). The thought of official courses that I'd never played was too much of a draw, so I did a big cannonball into the internet to see what I could dig up.

The full set of Pillow Pack card data has been dumped and is available online. I was able to use those dumps to produce save files containing the 16 e-Reader courses thereon. Carddas Version cards, as mentioned before, are unavailable, meaning 4 courses are in danger of being lost to the ages. Fortunately, I found someone who had one of them and he was able to get me his save data.



This makes "part 2" as follows: does anyone know where I might find some save files for the game that may contain the other 3 missing e-Reader courses? I figure there must be some repository on the Japanese 'net, but Google unfortunately thinks the English phrase "gba saves" means "Pokémon ROMs".

Again, the full set of Carddas Version cards would be preferred, but the bare minimum required to complete the set of courses is save data for the courses on the following cards:
  • 14-B002 Red Canyon 1 Dragon
  • 14-B003 Lightning 1 Light Bulb
  • 14-B004 Mist Flow 1 Flower 3
__________

So what am I going to do with these courses, keep them for myself? Of course not! I have two projects in mind...

Years and years ago, back before I released my F-Zero X level editor and before the actual F-Zero X Expansion Kit could be emulated (go to 64DD.org if this is news to you), I released a little program that could patch Expansion Kit courses into an F-Zero X ROM file. It's a trivial matter to make one of these to inject e-Reader courses into a GP Legend save file, but it just wouldn't be right without the full set of 20 courses. If there's enough demand for it in the short term, though, I'd be happy to put one together.

My main project, on the other hand, is a ROM hack that implements a new Card e+ Cup in the game. I'll have to reconstruct the course select menu in international versions since all of the e-Reader code is completely absent from the game program, but I can use the Japanese version's code as a reference. I envision another cup in the same vein as Platinum that contains more than 5 courses (in this case, all 20 e-Reader courses), and I would also like to set it up to be raced in Grand Prix mode.

So that's what I can bring to the party. With scans or photos of the cards, I can make sure the data gets archived. Either with that or save data of the scanned courses, I can produce this mouth-watering ROM hack. All I need is the data now, and I'm hoping you guys can help me get it rounded up.
Hiccup
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Posted on 07-12-17 06:02:08 PM Link | Quote
My suggestions:
* find people who may own e-cards/carts with the save data and try to buy the item/s off them or get them to photograph/scan (maybe people behind the sites in this http://www.google.co.uk/search?q="14-B002"+"f-zero" search result or people selling stuff on japanese auction sites?)
* find the japanese term/s for save data (and/or f-zero/carddas/e-reader) to try and find Japanese save data sharing sites

Sorry if I'm just pointing out the obvious.

P.S. I'm sure No-Intro users (and others) would appreciate it if the someone who had one of the Carddas cards posted to the No-Intro forum with the intention of preserving the card . There should be people there who would be willing to explain how.
GuyPerfect
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Posted on 07-13-17 12:49:19 PM Link | Quote
Thanks for your speedy response! Your suggestions are on point, and naturally they're among the several things I've considered for this project. I've got multiple e-mails out to people in Japan who should hopefully be able to help. I also had a Japanese-speaking associate do some web searching for various things on Japanese sites, but he didn't have much luck.

No-Intro is where I got the Pillow Pack card data, which is how I had 16 of those tracks to begin with. You bet your belt buckle that if I come into possession of the Carddas Version data, I'll be submitting it to No-Intro!
Hiccup
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Posted on 07-14-17 10:28:33 AM Link | Quote
Well, good luck and I'm glad you will be submitting them to No-Intro when/if you find them.

BTW, when you said this:
"Fortunately, I found someone who had one of them and he was able to get me his save data."
did you mean that someone had one of the cards, or just save data?
GuyPerfect
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Posted on 07-14-17 11:03:35 AM Link | Quote
He has the card squirreled away. He had the save data on-hand, so I was happy to use that.
Keitaro

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Posted on 09-06-17 06:36:17 AM Link | Quote
I'm not sure if these are the cards you need, but I found a lot on Yahoo Japan auctions that has at least a few (two?) F-Zero related e-cards. Here's the auction, hope this helps.
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Jul - Game Research/Hacking/Modding - F-Zero e+ New poll - New thread - New reply




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