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Right now I'm interested to hexedit RoTK2 taiki.dat in my PC mode.
Taiki.dat is a list and stats for future hidden generals in each scenario, who will appear after the next year each scenario.
In taiki.dat scenario 6; there are only 10 future-hidden-generals (Jiang Wei, Liu Chan, Sun Deng, Sima Shi, Sima Zhao, Cao Shuang, Zhong Hui, Sun He, Sun Liang), whom will appeared after year 221.
While taiki.dat can have 255 slots for future-hidden-generals each scenario, and that scenario 6 only have 10, so I assumed I will add about 245 more future-hidden-generals in scenario 6.
(This one will never happen in snes, unless you can 'enlarge' the gamedata).
Right now, I'm still collecting data, about officers/generals stats, mostly from RoTK XI.
From my plan, I will add so many people of Wei kingdom, Shu kingdom, Wu kingdom, Gongsun Yuan's Yan kingdom, and Nanman kingdom, and Jin Empire, and Han-Zhao Empire who overthrown Jin (because these kingdoms are legitimate after year 220), and that would be include:
Caos (Cao Fang, Cao Mao, Cao Huan, Cao Yu, etc),
Xiahous (Xiahou Xuan, etc),
Simas (Sima Wang, Sima Liang, Sima Zhou, Sima Lun, Sima Yan, Sima You, etc),
Zhuges (Zhuge Xu, etc),
Wens (Wen Yang you must see him in DW7, Wen Hu, etc),
Wangs (Wang Jun, Wang Hun, Wang Rong, etc),
Hus (Hu Zun, Hu Fen, Hu Lie, etc),
Du Yu, Yang Hu, etc,
And many more..
Lius (Liu Yang, Liu Li, Liu Chen, etc),
Zhuges (Zhuge Zhan, Zhuge Shang, etc),
Guans (Guan Yi, Guan Tong, etc),
And many more...
(Still cannot get information of Li Te's birthyear, the next emperor of ChengHan dynasty, the 'successor' of Shu kingdom).
Suns (Sun Xiu, Sun Hao, Sun Jun, Sun Chen, etc),
Quans (yeah, so many Quans there),
Yu Quan, Taishi Xiang, etc,
And many others..
Han-Zhao empire (the one who will terminate western Jin dynasty, the avengers for the three kingdoms!)
Liu Yuan (birth 251).
My only problem is: I can't put offficers/generals whose birth after year 255 (coz there is only one digit for birthyears)
Hopefully some snes programmers can find a way to extract/enlarge the snes gamefile.
For making matters worse: I plan to put Hua Rong's face on Wen Yang character.
So hopefully, not only enlarge the generals section area but also the portraits area and other areas.
It's not impossible for snes though; do you count there are 352 generals/officers in the game RoTK2, with about 220 unique portraits and the rest are generic portraits. That means those 352 slots can be expanded into 1000 (but unfortunately the game permit only 214 can appear at the same time, and must wait some death before the rest appears); and those 220 portraits slots also can be expanded into more than 1000 (I unified all koei 8bit/or 16bit portraits into one single file kaodata.dat).
Hope these informations inspires you all.
Mi Fang: "what the held are you talking about?"
Cao Bao: "what?? I don't know either."
Given how the game allocates two bytes to portraits (instead of one), theoretically it'd be possible to give everyone a unique portrait. It'd require someone who knows snes coding to do so, however.
Birthdates, however, only use one byte, so handling that would be more complex. After all, RoTK2 was designed for a period where people born in 256 AD show up so late that by the time they're 16 the period's nearly over.
My NES, SNES, and GB all work just fine. Why should I downgrade to a Wii U, PS4, or XBone?
The challenge when adding new officers and portraits in SNES is that the game expects everything to be in a specific location. While changing one officer into another works fine, trying to insert new officers in without deleting the old ones will shift all the following bytes. This will cause the game to try and pull data from the wrong spots, and will crash the game.
There is a way to do this properly, but I HIGHLY doubt I'm going to have time to do it. To do this properly, you would need to find every instance where the game references an address and change it to the new value. This would be impossibly time consuming if you were doing it manually, but you could attempt it by writing a decompiler for the game code, inserting the new data, and then recompiling it. If you could do this, you could theoretically alter ANY aspect of the game mechanics as well. You could basically create a whole new game. The actual engine of this game is not very large, so it is possible to go through it and duplicate it. With the way the scripting language works, the opcodes are all well defined and don't result in issues with changing the size of the registers using SEP and REP, so it shouldn't be as hard to decompile the scripts into a readable form. Determining which exact regions of the ROM are for data and which are opcodes could be a challenge (it would need to be automated somehow). Even with the advantages this game has, the process would probably take years though.
I'm not good at programming, so I don't know if this is feasible, but...
If you expand the size of the game, then you should be able to set faces to ALWAYS read it as a value from 0-65535 (instead of interpreting 256-65535 as generic faces). Then starting with face 460 or so, it'd be reading a spot that's in the expanded section.
My NES, SNES, and GB all work just fine. Why should I downgrade to a Wii U, PS4, or XBone?
While it's easier to make mods in snes, because their officers stats put on same/fix position; it's more difficult to mods in pc because the officers stats has different location between scenarios.
(Scenario.dat put governors/rulers on top list of the scenario queue, so each scenario has different position for each people; example in scenario 3, there are Yuan governors on the top list, and in scenario 5 there are Cao governors on the top list).
But pc has one big advantage over snes: the files of pc is separated into many individual files.
So I can expand each files without crashing the game.
Right now, I already have one single big file of portraits (the kaodata.dat); consist of RoTK2, NA2, BKoAC, L'E, LoD, Gemfire, GK1, UW1 all portraits.
I combined all of these portraits because they has the same sizes (about 960 bytes each photo), or same resolution.
While there is different resolution from portraits of RoTK3, UW2, etc which has 1920 bytes size.
Also I can expand taiki.dat into max.
It's boring for us to play scenario 6, because all famous generals already queue themselves into eternity.
After year 240; the generals dies dies and dies; empty provinces appeared everywhere. And in PC mode, when you goes exile, the Yellow Turbans suddenly reappeared, lol.
The most awful conclusion is:
Year 189 - 220 should be a pre-era before Three Kingdoms, while year 220 - 280 should be the True-era of the Three Kingdoms.
But this game focused on the pre-era and forget the true-era.
So I plan/plot to expand the scenario 6, by adding lots of known generals of Three Kingdoms era.
Many notable generals include the Simas, Yang Hu, Du Yu, Lu Kang, Wen Yang, etc.
When the scenario 6 expanded, you can delightfully played Jiang Wei versus Deng Ai and Zhong Hui. You can also play the stories of Sima.
People with yearbirth around 200 to 255 are so plenty.
Somehow it's include Liu Yuan (birth 251) who is the emperor of Han Zhao, who will overthrown the Jin dynasty. And I think it's also include Li Te who is the emperor of Cheng Han, which is successor of Shu Han dynasty (but I still cannot find his yearbirth). And maybe include Zhang Mao, who is the emperor of Liang dynasty, which is ruler of Ma Teng/Ma Chao area (but I still cannot find yearbirth either). And include some of 8 princes of Simas from 'the war of eight princes' in Jin dynasty (include Sima Liang, the third brother of Sima Shi, and Sima Lun, the ninth brother of Sima Shi).
This is a very ambitious simple project, but unfortunately I have to do it alone since there are no other pc modders.
Mi Fang: "You gonna put the descendants of famous generals too? Are you going to put mine too?"
Cao Bao: "Who? Mi? Yu? Yu and Mi?"
Detective Carter from Rush Hour series: "Not another Yu and Mi again please!" (watch episode: 'He is Mi, and I am Yu').
Ok, so maybe it is more feasible than I first thought. You can use Lunar Expand to boost the size of the ROM up to something like 2MB (doube its original size), and then change parts of the ROM to access data from this new location instead of the old ones. So you don't have to shift they bytes after all.
To do this with Portrait data, modify A737 in the sfc (A937 in the SMC). The default value of this byte is 12, which points to location x90200 in the smc. If you change it to x20, it will point to x100200 instead. Then just paste your new portraits here.
However, I'm having problems with portrait numbers greater than about 00F0. It seems like even if I put the portraits in the correct spot and the data gets transferred from this address, the graphics sort of glitch out and the portrait is unrecognizable. I'm not sure why yet.
I found Zhang Gui's yearbirth (it's 255), father of Zhang Mao.
I found Li Xiong's yearbirth (it's 274), he is third son of Li Te, so Li Te's yearbirth should be around 250s.
Looks like I cannot bring the sixteen kingdom era in here, lol.
Sixteen kingdom era is the period after the fall of western Jin dynasty.
The story is Sima Yan unifies China, it's the end of Three Kingdoms era; but later his empire weakened by the war of eight princes, and then ruined by the northern barbarian; later the empire divided into sixteen kingdoms, which include Eastern Jin, Liang, Cheng Han, Han Zhao, and many others.
But at least we can have the wars between Wei Wu Shu and Jin.
In the past; Sima Shi and Sima Zhao were only young governors in former RoTK2; also that Zhong Hui.
Sun Liang always become 'the last emperor'.
Year 240 to 320, always watching generals dies and empty provinces reappearing.
My plan/plot is: year 220 to 240s, the game would be overcrowded by people. Sima Shi and Sima Zhao could be powerful governors; Zhong Hui could be worthy advisor; Jiang Wei and Deng Ai could be powerful commanders; Sun Liang (Sun Quan's 7th son) can compete with his brother Sun Xiu (Sun Quan's 6th son); and then we can watching generals queue for death in about year 270s.
Darkmoon, hopefully you can succeed.
It's fun to expand/enlarge the scenarios.
Guan Yi and Guan Tong are awaiting orders to charge the Wei army.
To make matters worse; we can put Guan Sheng and Zhu Tong portraits from BKoAC for Guan Yi and Guan Tong.
How if that emperor Hui Zhong BKoaC portrait for Sima Yan? Hmm, I think his portrait lacks of power. I prefer GK1 emperor Zhang-zong portrait, his face is more powerful. Or I should use portrait of Chao Gai instead? Or maybe start to use Japanese NA2 portraits