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Old July 23rd, 2012, 11:15 PM
RichterSnipes's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: USA
Age: 21
Gender: Male
Nature: Modest
*This should go without saying, but older posts in this topic do not reflect the current state of this hack.*

Black backgrounds stink, don't they?

There are tons of hacks out there that completely change up the Pokémon experience to make something new. But what if you just wanted something that attempts to improve upon the great game that is already there? Pokémon Throwback is my attempt at doing just that. This hack incorporates new features and fixes into the 1st Gen remake to try and create the best, most faithful version of the original Kanto story available.

I plan to have full support for both FireRed and LeafGreen. It started as only a FireRed hack like so many other hacks here, but I feel that the latter game still needs some love. As time goes on, I hope to bring all patches over to LeafGreen so people who originally purchased that game can feel fully included, too! Look for the Venusaur icons to see what is currently working for LeafGreen.

...Oh, you wanted the game's story. You're a kid from Pallet Town who is sent off into the world of Pokémon to capture monsters for sport. And battling! Be the best by becoming champion and...catching 'em all? Insert motivational sentence here.

Throwback contains a variety of patches that you can use at your own leisure: pick one or some things, or put all of them into the game! Fully read through the Extras section for a boatload of (minor) changes!

GB Player

Home of the first full-featured set of 8-bit tunes for GBA Pokémon hacks. No relation to the GameCube accessory.

Offering both new and old versions of tracks for a game is never a bad thing, as both have their own charm. This patch introduces tunes that represent what Pokémon Red/Green/Blue/Yellow had to offer. They're based right off of the code from the original ROMs. Barring a few discrepancies, these tunes should be identical to their original iterations.

  • A completely separate sound bank with the recreated 8-bit soundtrack from Pokémon Red/Green/Blue/Yellow (and a little bit from Gold/Silver/Crystal). They play off of the GB Synth instruments of the Game Boy Advance instead of DirectSound (save for a few exceptions) to ensure minimal loss of sound quality. As they are based off of the original code, they are incredibly accurate recreations. These put the songs played using the GB Sounds item in HeartGold/SoulSilver to shame!
  • Stereo sound for all tracks. 1st-Gen tracks use similar panning to Yellow's "Earphone1" sound option, while 2nd-Gen tracks retain their original panning.
  • A new key item, the GB Player, in your house in Pallet Town. With it you can choose which music you want to listen to throughout the game. The game saves which bank is chosen, so saving with the 8-bit tracks on will allow you to keep them on when booting the game up.
Things to consider for minor sound differences:

  • Any quirk in an emulator's GB Synth implementation will cause some things to not sound quite right. gpSP, for instance, has faulty noise instrument sounds.
  • As far as I know, duty shifting can't be replicated in GB Synth. Songs using it have their sounds directly played back through DirectSound instead.
  • Note attacks/rises have been applied as best as possible. Some instances could not be implemented perfectly because of differences of handling note rises between the two hardware sets.
  • LFOs are implemented differently between actual GB hardware and GB Synth. LFO adjusts itself to changes in tempo in GB Synth, but not in standard GB hardware. This makes it impossible to properly for tracks with vastly alternating tempos (Silph Co., for instance).
  • The original Game Boy could play two noise samples at once, so long as one was a 256-sample noise and the other was a 32768-sample noise. I don't think it can be recreated in GB Synth, but then again I've made other false assumptions, so who knows? It's used in the Route 1 theme and Johto town music.
  • Note sweeping/bending for the evolution start jingle has been implemented through DirectSound.
  • GB Synth cannot hit the highest of high notes for triangle waves that standard GB hardware can. This is only noticeable with the infamous (hazardous?) Lavender Town triangle wave.
  • The Move Deleter track has not been altered for various reasons. If I can get pitch bending right, this may change, but the GBA track already sounds rather "beep-y and boop-y".

Catch 'em All
*Circa 2000.

tuffing 300+ Pokémon into a game the size of FR/LG can make things awfully crazy, and not necessarily in a good way. What I offer is an alternative that puts in all the Pokémon fitting for this game: the first two generations. They're all soundly located and dispersed throughout the game with no awkward confrontations in strange routes. I've added several new events for the one-off Pokémon such as starters and legendaries. Consult the included location/event guides for more information!

This means that there will be no Hoenn Pokémon in this hack. They really don't exist in the standard FR/LG game, and including them would make all areas too congested. If you want to play with Hoenn Pokémon, I suggest you play Pokémon Emerald
or hold out for Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire. The 3rd-Gen games are great, and Emerald has some great hacks available for it. The same goes for Sinnoh, Unova, and Kalos Pokémon, by the way: experience their original games. Trade-evolved Pokémon still evolve through trade to keep with series canon, but can also be caught on one specific map in the game.

If you wish to get Celebi, please read below in the "Other Patches" section.

Using this patch, or playing with the complete hack, will yield you the above, version-agnostic (even though it requires a specific ROM) title screen. "But Richter, why call it just 'Pokémon'?" you may ask. Well, if you think about it, the name makes sense. What's the name of the original Final Fantasy? Final Fantasy, of course. As a remake of the original experience that took the world by storm, it holds the name strongly.


Keepin' it old school with super-stylin' threads. Like this one!

One of the presentation changes of FireRed and LeafGreen was new clothing styles for the main characters (the player and the rival). With this hack, I try to replicate the looks of the characters' original looks to the greatest of my ability. All relevant sprites, including the overworld sprites, battle sprites, and opening and credits sprites, have been changed to resemble their classic, fly versions. Keep living in the old days to the max!


And yes, the female protagonist has a hat on. It's to keep with the tradition that all playable characters in the main Pokémon games have some sort of headwear on and totally not because I suck at drawing hair.

For the hack-playing connoisseurs.

Did you ever wish that Game Freak/Nintendo had made a few things more user-friendly or convenient for serious playing? Or do you just want to enjoy a few of the spoils brought about from later generations? This hack attempts to satisfy that craving of yours. With a varying array of fixes available, there's certainly something here to please you.

Portions of this patch description that are in red are only available for FireRed, not LeafGreen. This is likely due to discrepancies in the code between FireRed and LeafGreen that extend beyond shifted data.
  • Collecting items from the ground or from certain people now plays the proper fanfare instead of the Level Up tune.
  • Cut down a tree once and it will be gone for the rest of the game.
  • TMs remain after use if you watch the full TM teaching animation. This can be seen as a bug, a quirk, or a secret, depending on your perspctive.
  • All move tutors will teach your Pokémon their moves an unlimited number of times.
  • Wade off random battles more easily with Darthatron's BW2 Repel System.
  • The Scope Lens, BrightPowder, Mental Herb, and Light Ball items are now obtainable.
  • All missing flutes (sans the redundant Blue Flute) are now obtainable.
  • All sensible missing Poké Ball and Mail types are now obtainable.
  • The areas in Mt. Moon have been more properly filled out.
  • The Gamer trainer type has been reverted to Gambler, with all accompanying text changed as well.
  • Jambo51's Trainer Facing Fix has been implemented.
  • You can now run indoors, a convenience officially introduced in the 4th Gen games.
  • The Pokédex species glitch and roaming legendary IV glitch now have their fixes, as shown by HackMew.
  • You room no longer has a Help message, the little girl in Pallet Town no longer acts as a Start tutorial, and the old man in Viridian City no longer gives you the Teachy TV.
  • Giovanni's last Pokémon during the final Gym Leader Battle has been promoted back to a Rhydon.
  • The Elite Four and Pokémon Champion have had their 1st playthrough teams' levels increased by 2 to reflect their original Red/Green/Blue iterations.
  • The Pokémon League lobby music is now the Pokémon League theme.
  • Some transparency tile issues have been fixed.
  • Two charactes now hold their canonical U.S. names; Green and Charine are now Blue and Janine.
  • The Game Freak opening now displays the word "Presents" as it should, ported back to v1.0 by diegoisawesome.
For practicality's sake, these are all part of one patch for now.


Other Patches
Because goodness knows there's not enough patches in the download already!

Included in the download are a few other patches that can enhance your playing experience. These aren't part of Throwback itself and can be considered off-shoots. If time, reasoning, and demand prevail, I may also post these in the Resources section.
  • Celebi Giveaway: Outside of Japan, Celebi has never been obtainable in-game. You've always had to receive it through some real-world event, each of which would just give you the Pokémon rather than let you go through some now-accessible in-game event to get it. Noting this, along with the fact that Ilex Forest is not in FR/LG, I've decided to (currently) not have Celebi obtainable using the Catch 'em All patch. Instead, I've offered an alternative: a simulation of a real-world event that didn't happen but totally could have! Please read the included document pertaining to it before you use this patch.
  • Decapitalization: This patch does just what you'd expect: it decapitalizes all the text in the game to meet with official game standards. In other words, everything besides menu items and certain headers are no longer shouting at you! This patch used to be part of Throwback itself, but I decided that it had nothing to do with my hack strictly.
  • Higher Quality Cries: Have you ever felt that the quality of Pokémon cries in Generations 3-5 was lacking? Well, don't feel that way as much now! This patch will increase the clarity of the cries of all Kanto and Johto Pokémon over what was previously available. The cries were taken from clean recordings from a copy of Pokémon Crystal and downsampled to 16000Hz for insertion into the game. 16000Hz still isn't particularly great, so don't expect miracles with this patch, just minor changes. Since no higher-quality versions of Hoenn Pokémon cries are available to the public (to my knowledge, the DS and console games use the same audio files as the GBA games), their cries remain untouched. But that's kind of a good thing. This is a HUGE patch. Literally. The patch uses the entirety of the free space from 0xA00000 to 0xCFFFFF. I really had to do some massive sqeezing just to get them all to fit in that. Heck, astute listeners will note that the last part of Electabuzz's cry has been removed just for that reason! If Throwback didn't cause any conflicts with other hackers' patches you may be using in tandem with it, there's a good chance this will.
Known Bugs

GB Player
  • Upon beating the Pokémon Champion in the final battle, the victory theme will restart rather than continue playing past the battle screen.
Catch 'em All
  • The Real Time Clock hack behaves irregularly in VBALink. It is unknown if it is a problem with the RTC hack or VBALink. If you want to trade using the Catch 'em All or full Throwback patches, remove RTC using the DNS tool before doing so, then add it back in afterwards. Alternatively, save in a Pokémon Center, use the save file with a vanilla ROM for the trade(s), then switch back to Throwback afterwards.
Note that there is bound to be some tiny issue brought about by using some combination of patches. This is the unfortunate reality of combining patches for any game. The complete patch doesn't have any of those things, but will still have the specified bug(s) above.

Besides the above credits for their specific hacks, these are the more general thanks:
  • Jambo51: for all of the custom ASM code present. Seriously, thank you so much!
  • HackMew: for the basic THUMB ASM compiling tools (and again for your fixes above)
  • DavidJCobb and NarutoActor: for providing crucial offsets
  • Shiny Quagsire: for providing a convenient bookmarks file for APE
Here is the list of tools used:

Sappy mod 17.1
Adobe Photoshop

AdvanceMap 1.92


GBA Item Editor
Item Manager (to circumvent a bug from the previous editor)

NSE Classic
NSE 2.0

PGE's Pokémon Editor

unLZ hacked

And here's a banner if you want to support the hack!

Finally, select your download! The correct ROMs to patch to are BPRE and BPGE v1.0.

LeafGreen Download

The .zip file should contain the complete hack, folders with the separate patches and other patches (the LeafGreen version has no folders), and various documentation for the hack. The main patch includes all Throwback patches combined into one, along with full decapitalization of all text in the game - original or hack-added. If you want to patch things individually, then go ahead. You can apply as many of them as you want!

It should run fine on actual hardware. Trading aside (Catch 'em All patch, or any other patch ever made that uses the RTC from DNS), the only issue you might have is with obtaining Espeon and Umbreon. The GBA doesn't have an internal clock, so you won't be able to set the time yourself.

The Pokémon location guides are for the content from Catch 'em All. Refer to them if ever you have a question about where a Pokémon can be found in the wild or need help finishing the events. The documentation includes locations for most of the things inserted into the hack. Only look at it if you're curious or are wanting to add your own things to the hack!

If anyone has any suggestions to refine FireRed and LeafGreen by bringing back charm from the original games or implementing new/fixed things to the game, feel free to notify me. Also, anyone is free to use and modify these patches for their own projects so long as you give proper credit. I hope you all like my hack. Enjoy your time in Kanto!

Who says hacks have to radically changes things up from their base games?
Red doesn't necessarily think so. He's literally spinning in circles thinking of a "definitive" version of his adventure in Kanto!
Want to see what he has in mind? Click him for a throwback worth experiencing!

Last edited by RichterSnipes; August 16th, 2014 at 07:45 PM. Reason: New version