Hex-editing: 216 officers is the maximum

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  3. Hex-editing: 216 officers is the maximum

User Info: ServantOfMagnus

ServantOfMagnus
4 years ago#1
As I have been finishing our first attempt at a full mod, I have discovered that the maximum number of officers that can be placed at the beginning of a scenario, either active or hidden (the first chain of each scenario in the registry), is exactly 216.

Now, to be precise, this applies to the SNES version of this game as played via an emulator. I am using snes9x version 1.5.2.0 , and UltraEdit to mod the game, saving my mod as an .smc file.

Can anyone confirm or refute that 216 is the maximum number of officers that can be in the game at any one time? I had thought it was supposed to be either 256 or 192...perhaps the 216 only applies to the registry that starts the game? Anyway, if you put in 217 or more at the start, you 'break' the game.

By the way, I have not (yet) attempted to find the battle maps in the code. It looks like each battle map has 156 tiles. So, if it works like the other parts of the game, which could be a big 'if', there should be a section of code with 6396 bytes, divided into 41 sections of 156 each. There are seven possible terrains, so there would only be 7 permissible values for those bytes. And one of the values should only appear once for each of the 41 maps (that being the castle, of course).

Of course, that's assuming that it's that simple. The code may not look that clean at first glance. But, scouring the code should / could turn up a 'suspicious' block of code that might be what we're looking for.

Modifying the battle maps would be a major undertaking, but it would be very, very cool. It should be possible, and theoretically not that difficult (just very time-consuming).

For right now, I am just using the maps the game comes with. : - /

User Info: DragonAtma

DragonAtma
4 years ago#2
Only 216 officers, not 256? How very.... Liu Shan-ish.
Officers starting in vanilla scenarios 1-6: 107, 139, 163, 173, 167, and 156.
Officers hidden in scenarios 1-6: 205, 169, 123, 84, 51, and 37.

Ironically, this may be why one of my (lesser mod)'s scenarios isn't working. In the first scenario, there are 223 hidden officers; the rest are all 216 or less. Time to check if changing that'll fix anything! (Fortunately, there are more than enough hidden officers on the short list for Aperture Science Emergency GLADoS-Based Status Reclassification.)

Anyway, two questions:
(1) If a scenario had 217+ officers active (or 217+ hidden), would that make only that scenario broken, or all of them?
(2) Does that 216 you mention include New Ruler and New Follower? If not, we'll have to limit numbers to 214, not 216.

...on a side note, if you want all 352 officers in play (pretend that a restraining order protects Sun Liang from Schrodinger), that means you'll have to have at least 136 active and 136 hidden.

-=-=-

Battle maps are indeed 156 tiles. The standard attempts to find them, however, have not worked -- so they may have some oddness to them. I don't know if it'll help you find them, but http://imageshack.us/a/img28/9691/rotk2megamap.png has all the maps arranged
, while http://imageshack.us/a/img59/576/rotk2battlemaps.png shows the individual battle maps in numerical order.
My NES, SNES, and GB all work just fine. Why should I downgrade to a Wii U, PS4, or XBone?

User Info: DragonAtma

DragonAtma
4 years ago#3
IT WORKS!!!

Because Magnus is awesome, my first custom scenario (The Failed Alliance) is playable!

And once the other five are done, I'll release the whole set here.
My NES, SNES, and GB all work just fine. Why should I downgrade to a Wii U, PS4, or XBone?

User Info: RimmerDallJr

RimmerDallJr
4 years ago#4
Nice going sir dragon atma. Hope your fine work gets its recognition then.
Confidence is light and charm at its best.

User Info: the_third_curry

the_third_curry
4 years ago#5
Wow, two major breakthroughs in one week. Excellent work ServantOfMagnus.

User Info: ServantOfMagnus

ServantOfMagnus
4 years ago#6
Hey Dragon,

Thanks for the kudos. I hadn't thought about whether there is a maximum for the future officer chain. One of my scenarios has 123 at the beginning, with 228 yet to come (not 229, because I don't know how to keep officer # 5F 01 away from Schrödinger....), so, if there's a max to that chain, there might be a problem. The scenario launches OK, though. What seems to happen if you go over 216 is that the first officer drops off to make room for the 217th, rather than just refusing to allow it. So if there's a problem it should occur with the first officer(s) in the chain.

However, with the future officers, only so many come into the game at once (unless you program 217 of them to be available in the same year!) And we know from years of playing this game that whether or not they come depends on how many you have in the game at the time; years ago when I was a merciful ruler, the officers who were supposed to show up in the first decade of the 200s wouldn't be available until the 220s because I almost never let anyone die an unnatural death : - )

So it seems that the absolute max might be what matters for future officers, not the total number who are in the future chain. But I just haven't actually checked what that number is. I know you can't have more than 216 at the start, but I don't know if you can ever have more than 216 at a later point in the game. I'll just have to play a game where I don't let anyone die, wait until future officers who are supposed to be available aren't showing up, and then count how many officers are in the game at that time.

My suspicion, though, is that it is 216. My experience with the game gives me the sense that 256 is too high, and it (obviously) can't be anything less than 216.

It is important to know, though, how many years into your scenarios officers will have to die to make room for new ones. Since the computer only kills rulers and officers with extremely low stats, if your human player has a very low kill rate, those future officers may not show up when you intend.

As for New Ruler, I don't know. To be honest, I find that option annoying and would eliminate it if I could : - ) Also, since I would use all of the unique portraits, if someone chose New Ruler they would have a clone of an in-game portrait, which could actually mess it up since portraits are used for autojoin codes, and, since the first 9 have special death dates, it's just possible that the game makes use of the portrait codes when it determines when other officers will die (even though the decision seems to be mostly age-based). My experience is that the game makes the decision whether an officer is going to die in the January of his last year alive, but you only know whether he has been chosen if he gets the evil omen. Which, as I understand it, only occurs for rulers and for officers who have at least one of their int-war-chm stats at 90 or above.

So, any mod I would do, I would advise players not to use the New Ruler function. Also, I use the New Ruler province color for some rulers, and I haven't yet found how to change the province color assigned to the New Ruler. That is, if you played as New Ruler you would have the same province color as another ruler.

But, if you make a good mod, no one will want or need to use New Ruler, right?

User Info: DragonAtma

DragonAtma
4 years ago#7
The thing is, when testing my scenario, by the time 251 rolled around there were only four provinces left. Now, it's true that some late-game officers were snipped (at least one because his father was dead at the starting year, and his birth year was after the scenario year), but certainly not enough to have only four officers left by 251 AD! So there may be a max for the number of (starting + appears later) officers.

...and I'm sure some people will ALWAYS want to try New Ruler.
My NES, SNES, and GB all work just fine. Why should I downgrade to a Wii U, PS4, or XBone?

User Info: ServantOfMagnus

ServantOfMagnus
4 years ago#8
I looked through the code for any clue to the battle maps.....nothing stands out. I suppose the computer may 'think' about this problem in a different way from how we do. It's going to take either serendipity or someone else's insight to figure it out. I recall there was a poster here who believed he had changed a battle map tile (or part of a battle map tile) when he was making 'random' edits to the code (definitely not my m.o., obviously : - ) But I think it was one of those 'I'm pretty sure once I did this but I don't remember how or exactly what happened' things.....not much to go on.

User Info: DragonAtma

DragonAtma
4 years ago#9
Well, I found the reason there were only four officers left by 251: I screwed up. >_<

The order for beginning the lists of starting and future officers is supposed to be:
1s 1h 2s 2h 3s 3h 4s 4h 5s 5h 6s 6h

But the order I had was:
1s 2s 3s 4s 5s 6s 1h 2h 3h 4h 5h 6h

So most if not all of the hidden officers were AWOL! Things were fixed, and now they show up. To make up for that, have a peek at Parallel Universes scenario 1, The Failed Alliance:

191 -- The Failed Alliance:
Thanks to the constant bickering between them, the coalition against Dong Zhuo has utterly collapsed. Yuan Shao, Cao Cao, and Sun Jian are all dead, and Yuan Shu was driven south. Afraid of Dong Zhuo's power, Han Fu and Kong Rong are contemplating a call for a second coalition.
http://www.mediafire.com/convkey/dc9c/2quknmmuv9iy73qag.jpg?size_id=3
My NES, SNES, and GB all work just fine. Why should I downgrade to a Wii U, PS4, or XBone?

User Info: RimmerDallJr

RimmerDallJr
4 years ago#10
Good going. I hope it works well.
Confidence is light and charm at its best.
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