Release: Star Ocean (Canoe Patch)

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Several months ago I set about creating a patch for Star Ocean to allow it to be played on canoe. In doing so I had to dust off my barely used ROM hacking skills, advance said skills, unlock the format of the data storage in the ROM, reverse engineer the SDA pointer format used by SFA2, and write code to dump and generate a patch in the same fashion.

I would have hoped the testing period would have been shorter, but I've decided that it's now time to release it to the public. I can't say that there won't be issues. Crashes, soft locks or bad tiles. I can only say that testing of the current patch shows no such issues. If you do find such an issue, please provide me with a description on how to reproduce, and most importantly save files!

That said, I'll try to keep this post short, and instead probably post details later of the journey (I took notes).

Enjoy! =)

P.S. #1: FYI, this is of course exclusively a SFROM Tool patch, and thus requires SFROM Tool.

P.S. #2: If you're interested in the story behind the development of this patch, you can find it here.

Usage Reminder:

Here's a friendly reminder for typical SFROM Tool usage and how to use this patch along with the English translation.

1. Place the "WUP-JUOJ.cnp" in SFROM Tools "/patches/" sub-folder.
2. Open SFROM Tool.
3. Select "Open ROM Ctrl+O"  in the menu and select the Unmodified Star Ocean ROM (.smc, .sfc).
4. Open the Advanced window (Shortcut F1).
5. Click the "..." button next to the "Add IPS" text.
6. Select the Dejap English IPS patch. (I think its called "soe.ips".)
7. You will see 3 items in the Patch Status list at this point. "SDA", "SlowROM Check Fix", and "IPS: soe". All marked with a check.
8. Click "Save" to close the Advanced window.
9. Select "Save SFROM Ctrl+S" in the menu.

For using this patch with the hakchi2 CE SFROM Tool intigration, just select the Star Ocean entry in hakchi2 CE after adding it with "Add more games", press Ctrl+Alt+E and follow steps 5-8 from above.


Star Ocean (canoe patch) v1.0 Download (Mirror)
(Please don't directly link to these files. Link to this post instead.)

Thanks to:

Robin64 - For beta testing the patch.
pcm720 - For both listening to my early ramblings, and discussing early attempts to get the game working with me.
[Name and "Thanks" Revoked - Reason: Conduct proving that he's undeserving of any form of promotion.]
Melthris - For recording the footage used for the Christmas announcement.
Dejap - For their old ZSNES graphics packs that I was able to use as learning material before doing everything properly and manually myself.
AstroBoyBlue - For teaching me the ROM hacking basics so many years ago.
SNES Classic Fans - For remaining patient! =)


MaccyTime said...

This is excellent, thank you for the huge amount of work this must have taken.

Shivas Thong said...

Now this is awesome!

NM NORML said...

The game boots but the graphics are all scrambled like static on an old TV, I've done everything exactly as listed twice and it happened both times.

DarkAkuma said...

That is odd. It should only boot but show bad graphics if the Preset ID is set, but the graphics patch is not installed. I specifically left the Preset ID for Star Ocean out of the default data base, just so such a issue wouldn't happen and cause confusion when debugging any issues. If the patch is not supplied, neither is the Preset ID, so the game should not boot at all.

I'm at a loss for as to why my tool might fail to install only the graphics data/patch. So my best guess is that after opening the .sfrom in hackhi2, you opened its own garbage Preset ID window and corrupted the .sfrom. hackhi2 was designed with a flawed understanding of the .sfrom format, and is limited in that it cant support real .sfroms. Specifically ones that contain graphics data like Star Ocean. When you use hakchi2s useless Preset ID window it re-compiles the .sfrom and deletes the graphics data.

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