Hello my friends, I'm Magnius and I'm going to teach you today how to insert ANY song you like, into the GBA Pokemon games. For this particular tutorial we will be using Pokemon Fire Red, but it can be done on almost any Pokemon GBA game. However, before we start you're going to need a few things...
- 2 Pokemon Fire Red Roms(Don't ask me where to get the roms).
- An emulator to play the rom on(I use VisualBoyAdvance myself).
- Sappy and mid2agb which you can both get here.
- A midi that you want to insert into the game.
- A backup of the Pokemon Fire Red rom incase anything goes wrong.
Got all that stuff downloaded? Good. Once everything is downloaded make sure to extract everything into the same folder, trust me, it'll make things much easier later on. Now let's move on to the tutorial.
Step 1 - Convert your midi to a ".s" file
In this first step we're going to use Mid2Agb to convert our midi file that we want to insert into the game, to an ".s" file. Before we move on, make sure your midi is in the same folder as Mid2Agb. Once you've made sure of that, open up the folder that Mid2Agb is in and click on your midi. After you've clicked on your midi drag it over to the Mid2Agb file and Mid2Agb will automatically convert the midi into a ".s" file. There is another way to convert the midi using the command prompt, but that just makes the whole process harder than it has to be.
Step 2 - Assemble the song using Sappy
Alright, now that you've got your ".s" file, we're going to put it to use in Sappy. So first, open up Sappy. After you've opened up Sappy, go to file and then click on "Open". Now find your first Pokemon Fire Red rom and open it. Now once you've opened your rom in Sappy you'll notice that in the upper left corner of the program a dropdown box will appear with a song name in it. Click that dropdown box and you'll see a list that you can scroll, of songs from the game. The song you click will be the song you'll be modifying in game. You can change any song, but for this tutorial find a song on the list called "Pokemon Theme", since it's one of the first songs you hear when you turn on the game. After you find that, click on "Assemble song" which is in the left part of the program. After that a box will pop up that says "Assemble .S file" at the top. Click the button next to the first box and then to open your ".S" file. The second box, is where you'll write your base offset, but don't worry about that too much now. For now just type the offset "0xEB0B20" in the base offset box. Third is the Voicegroup offset box which will already be filled in. Now click on "Assemble that ugly thing!" and wait for the program to finish assembling the song. Congrats, you've assembled the file. If the song plays already in the game by now, then congratulations, you're done, but if it doesn't, don't fret, move on to Step 3.
Step 3 - Getting the file to work in game
So now you've assembled the file and it plays in Sappy, but you see that it doesn't play in game. Well slow down there guy, there's still a ways to go before we can get the file playing in game. Now that you've assembled the file we're going to export the tracks. In order to do this, go to "Export Tracks". You'll then see a bunch of unchecked boxes which are basically the offsets of the tracks, check all of them. In the 2nd box, you can either put $T or $P, don't know worry too much about what they mean, for this tutorials sake just type in "$T". After that click on "Ok". The songs tracks will now be dumped to your folder and since you picked "$T" the tracks will be numbers like one tracks file name will be 0, the next tracks file name will 1, it's pretty simple. So after that close out Sappy and reopen it. Now that you've reopened Sappy, open the unmodified Pokemon Fire Red rom and find the song you modified in other rom, which should be "Pokemon Theme" in the case of this tutorial. Now go to "import tracks" and check all the "numbered" files, which are basically the tracks we dumped earlier. Next to the "First track" box basically type in an offset where there's a lot of free space, for the sake of this tutorial just put "0xEB0B20" there. Then press OK. Now open up your emulator, open up the rom you just modified and you'll see that the song works in game. Congratulations, you've done your first successful music hack.
And yep, that's how you insert music into the GBA Pokemon games. But I know some of you are asking, what if I want to import music from one Pokemon GBA game to another? Well, I'll explain that in this extra step.
Importing Music from one Pokemon GBA game to another
Importing music from one Pokemon GBA game to another is easy. First open the Pokemon GBA game you want music from like for instance, if I wanted to take music from Ruby and put it in Fire Red, I would open Ruby. Then I'd simply select the song I want to put into the other game and go to export tracks. Once you're in the export tracks window, check all the tracks, type "$T" in the second box and all your tracks will be exported to numbered files(1, 2, 3, 4, 5 you get the point). After that, open the game you want to insert the music into and find the track you want to replace. After that choose import tracks and import the numbered tracks you dumped and press okay. Congrats, you've successfully taken music from one GBA Pokemon and inserted it into another.
And that concludes this tutorial. Hope it helped you guys out.
If you think you've mastered this part of music hacking, these other documents will help improve your music hacking skills even more.
Magnius' Music Hacking Document Part 2
Part 2 of my music hacking document. This covers more advanced stuff.
A document on Fire Red voice groups and the instruments they play.
This document lists every voicegroup in Fire Red, as well as the instruments those voice groups can play.
A complete list of Fire Red's Music Values
This document is a complete list of Fire Red's music values. So say you wanted to change the music playing on a map, but you didn't know the hex value of the song you wanted to change it to, this is what this document will tell you.
GBA Music Looping
This is a document by Clonex25 that explains how to successfully loop a song once you've inserted it.
IF YOU ENCOUNTER THE VBAL ERROR OR HAVE PROBLEMS RUNNING SAPPY ON WINDOWS 7 DOWNLOAD THIS VERSION OF SAPPY.
I also mirrored that file here, in case the original link gets deleted.