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Tutorial [Dissassembly] Setting up and using the Pokeruby/Pokeemerald dissassembly

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  #1    
Old September 3rd, 2017 (3:45 PM). Edited July 15th, 2018 by ProjectRevoTPP.
ProjectRevoTPP ProjectRevoTPP is offline
     
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    Setting up and using Pokeruby/Pokeemerald




    Part 0: An Introduction
    Spoiler:

    I'm sure you've all heard of the recent gen 3 disassemblies and want to use them. That's good: but I'm sure an equal portion of you are on Windows and don't know how to make salad from scratch. So, how do you use pokeruby to make changes to things such as the code itself and what advantages does it offer me over traditional binary hacking, I hear you ask?

    I'm glad you asked, but first we need to go over traditional methods of hacking gen 3.

    1. Pre-Existing Tools
    Currently, changing things in ROM requires just that: directly editing a ROM. The thing is though that pointers and data itself cant be moved without moving it to free space in the ROM, and whatever pointed there needs to be repointed by hand, manually, in order to avoid issues. This is particularly annoying if you're making a lot of changes.

    2. Compiled C Injection
    So what if you want to add new code? Well, you could write some C and compile it into ARM and thumb, and then manually change the pointers in your code to direct at the correct ROM data and redirect anything to use your new function. Still sounds very annoying? Well, lets talk about how this ROM was assembled in the first place.

    The Pokemon games, in Game Freak's original source, were written in a programming language called C - specifically C90, a version of C published in 1990. This means all the data and code that make up the ROM were written in separate human-readable C files. These files are then run through a compiler to generate machine code. This machine code output is all joined together using a tool called a linker, which figures out how to combine these fragments into the final output (the ROM). This linking process determines the final offsets and recalculates every pointer for all the data and code automatically, meaning you don't have to keep track of the locations of data, only the labels given to that data.

    By reversing this process, we can translate all the pointers and binary data (that you'd edit in a hex editor or another tool) back into human-readable C. This means that we can repeat the compiling and linking processes to get a modified ROM, but maintain the flexibility of being able to work with labeled data and code.

    What is compilation you ask?

    Compilation is the process that takes a higher level language and compiles it into assembly so the computer can understand and execute the instructions. This can be used for a number of reasons: but the main one here is that it makes a programmer's job easier when all they have to deal with is the higher level language and not things like register balancing and reallocation by hand.

    There are a number of compiler/developer environments, but the one we will be using for this tutorial is Cygwin and thus assumes you have Windows at the moment. (Sorry Linux and Mac)

    Part 1: Following pokeruby's INSTALL.md

    Linux

    Install devkitARM.

    Then run the following commands.

    Code:
    	export DEVKITPRO=/opt/devkitPro
    	echo "export DEVKITPRO=$DEVKITPRO" >> ~/.bashrc
    	export DEVKITARM=$DEVKITPRO/devkitARM
    	echo "export DEVKITARM=$DEVKITARM" >> ~/.bashrc
    
    	git clone https://github.com/pret/pokeruby
    	git clone https://github.com/pret/agbcc
    
    	cd agbcc
    	./build.sh
    	./install.sh ../pokeruby
    
    	cd ../pokeruby
    To build pokeruby.gba:

    Code:
    make -j4
    Mac

    Install devkitARM.

    Then in Terminal, run the following commands.

    Code:
    	xcode-select --install
    
    	export DEVKITPRO=${HOME}/devkitPro
    	echo "export DEVKITPRO=${DEVKITPRO}" >> ~/.bashrc
    	export DEVKITARM=${DEVKITPRO}/devkitARM
    	echo "export DEVKITARM=${DEVKITARM}" >> ~/.bashrc
    
    	git clone https://github.com/pret/pokeruby
    	git clone https://github.com/pret/agbcc
    
    	cd agbcc
    	./build.sh
    	./install.sh ../pokeruby
    
    	cd ../pokeruby
    To build pokeruby.gba:

    Code:
    	make -j4
    Windows

    Install devkitARM to the default directory (C:/devkitpro).

    Then download Cygwin setup-x86_64.exe for 64-bit Windows, setup-x86.exe for 32-bit.

    Run the Cygwin setup and leave the default settings. At "Select Packages", set the view to "Full" and choose to install the following:
    • make
    • git
    • gcc-core
    • gcc-g++
    • libpng-devel

    In the Cygwin terminal, enter these commands:

    Code:
    	export DEVKITPRO=/cygdrive/c/devkitpro
    	echo export DEVKITPRO=$DEVKITPRO >> ~/.bashrc
    	export DEVKITARM=$DEVKITPRO/devkitARM
    	echo export DEVKITARM=$DEVKITARM >> ~/.bashrc
    
    	git clone https://github.com/pret/pokeruby
    	git clone https://github.com/pret/agbcc
    
    	cd agbcc
    	./build.sh
    	./install.sh ../pokeruby
    
    	cd ../pokeruby
    To build pokeruby.gba:

    Code:
    	make -j4
    Compiling Sapphire and later revisions

    When you simply enter make and don't specify a target, then Pokémon Ruby 1.0 will be built. However, Sapphire can also be built, along with revisions 1 and 2 of both Ruby and Sapphire. Here is a listing of each ROM that can be made, along with the command to make the ROM.

    Code:
    Version      | Command
    -------------|---------------------
    Ruby 1.0     | make ruby
    Ruby 1.1     | make ruby_rev1
    Ruby 1.2     | make ruby_rev2
    Sapphire 1.0 | make sapphire
    Sapphire 1.1 | make sapphire_rev1
    Sapphire 1.2 | make sapphire_rev2
    Faster builds

    After the first build, subsequent builds are faster. You can further speed up the build:

    Parallel build

    This significantly speeds up the build on modern machines.

    By default make only runs a single thread. You can tell make to run on multiple threads with make -j. See the manfile for usage (man make).

    The optimal value for -j is the number of logical cores on your machine. You can run nproc to see the exact number.

    Code:
    	$ nproc
    	8
    If you have 8 cores, run:

    Code:
    	make -j8
    -j on its own will spawn a new thread for each job. A clean build will have thousands of jobs, which will be slower than not using -j at all.

    Disable the dependency scanning

    If you've only changed .c or .s files, you can turn off the dependency scanning temporarily. Changes to any other files will be ignored, and the build will either fail or not reflect those changes.

    Code:
    	make NODEP=1
    Part 2: Making changes and test them
    Spoiler:

    TODO: Make better guides

    Conclusion:

    You'll be able to make code changes with the disassembly similar to this fashion. To note: pokeemerald nor pokefirered is not ready for production yet, obviously, but this tutorial will teach you how to use it on a most basic level. Although this does and will open up gen 3 tremendously: there is much work to be done; we need to work more on pokefirered sometime down the line. Hopefully, now that you know how to setup the dissassemblies, you know how to make changes and eventually contribute to our cause. Thanks for reading.
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      #2    
    Old October 4th, 2017 (9:14 AM). Edited October 4th, 2017 by camthesaxman.
    camthesaxman camthesaxman is offline
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      I want to point out that installing Cygwin isn't necessary. It is simpler to follow the instructions in INSTALL.md and use MSYS, which comes bundled with devkitPro and doesn't require you to edit the .bashrc file.

      Git is also not required, unless you want to contribute to the project. You can simply navigate to https://github.com/pret/pokeruby, click the green "Clone or download" and click "Download ZIP". Extract this to C:\devkitPro\msys\home\<Username>. Download the tools from https://github.com/pret/pokeruby-tools and copy the tools folder over the tools folder in your pokeruby-master directory. After that, go into your start menu, and in the devkitPro folder, there should be a "MSys" shortcut (it has a blue M icon). Click that to open the MSYS environment (this works a bit like Cygwin, same commands and everything), and navigate to that pokeruby-master directory with the following command.
      Code:
      cd pokeruby-master
      Now, your tools should be set up, and you can build the ROM with the "make" command.
      Code:
      make
      It will take a few minutes to build, so be patient. After that, you can edit files and re-build the ROM with "make".


      If you want to contribute to pokeruby and need to use git, the official Git for Windows can be used with MSYS. You can find it here https://git-scm.com/download/win. During the installer, choose the option to run Git from the command prompt, but NOT the included Unix utilities.

      After that, git should be usable from anywhere, so run
      Code:
      git clone https://github.com/pret/pokeruby.git
      in MSYS to download the repository.
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        #3    
      Old October 10th, 2017 (4:26 AM). Edited October 10th, 2017 by NathanHaze.
      NathanHaze NathanHaze is offline
         
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        I get a message typing "git pull origin master": Unable to find remote helper for 'https'
        And @camthesaxman, "cd pokeruby-master" not works with me, I wrote "C:\devkitPro\msys\home\pokeruby-master" instead.
        But for now I try to make a hack with this.
        In any case thanks to both.
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          #4    
        Old October 11th, 2017 (4:33 PM). Edited October 11th, 2017 by Lunos.
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        Lunos Lunos is offline
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          Quote:
          Originally Posted by camthesaxman View Post
          I want to point out that installing Cygwin isn't necessary. It is simpler to follow the instructions in INSTALL.md and use MSYS, which comes bundled with devkitPro and doesn't require you to edit the .bashrc file.

          Git is also not required, unless you want to contribute to the project. You can simply navigate to https://github.com/pret/pokeruby, click the green "Clone or download" and click "Download ZIP". Extract this to C:\devkitPro\msys\home\<Username>. Download the tools from https://github.com/pret/pokeruby-tools and copy the tools folder over the tools folder in your pokeruby-master directory. After that, go into your start menu, and in the devkitPro folder, there should be a "MSys" shortcut (it has a blue M icon). Click that to open the MSYS environment (this works a bit like Cygwin, same commands and everything), and navigate to that pokeruby-master directory with the following command.
          Code:
          cd pokeruby-master
          Now, your tools should be set up, and you can build the ROM with the "make" command.
          Code:
          make
          It will take a few minutes to build, so be patient. After that, you can edit files and re-build the ROM with "make".
          This method seems to be working fine. During the process, scaninc.exe crashes but it apparently doesn't harm the building process itself.
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            #5    
          Old October 12th, 2017 (3:06 PM).
          Awec Awec is offline
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            I tried building it, and it made a rom successfully but the rom was unplayable.
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              #6    
            Old October 14th, 2017 (8:26 AM).
            ProjectRevoTPP ProjectRevoTPP is offline
               
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              Quote:
              Originally Posted by Awec View Post
              I tried building it, and it made a rom successfully but the rom was unplayable.
              You need to ensure you have devkit r46 or newer. Although r45 will build a ROM, it wont be a matching ROM and have corrupted audio and such.

              Please do
              Code:
              make compare
              instead of make so you can be sure your ROM matches.
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                #7    
              Old October 21st, 2017 (2:03 PM).
              Awec Awec is offline
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                I did make compare and it said the rom matched, but it wouldn't play on VBA for some reason. Worked fine when I tried Bizhawk though.
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                  #8    
                Old October 21st, 2017 (4:30 PM).
                ProjectRevoTPP ProjectRevoTPP is offline
                   
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                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by Awec View Post
                  I did make compare and it said the rom matched, but it wouldn't play on VBA for some reason. Worked fine when I tried Bizhawk though.
                  You need to set VBA's Save type to Flash 128K. Flash 128K is required to run gen 3 Pokemon games.
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                    #9    
                  Old October 23rd, 2017 (6:52 PM).
                  camthesaxman camthesaxman is offline
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                    I fixed the scaninc issue yesterday, so you shouldn't have any more problems with that if you re-download the tools.
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                      #10    
                    Old December 11th, 2017 (11:55 AM).
                    Lunos's Avatar
                    Lunos Lunos is offline
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                      The guys from the Pret Team helped me with a little problem that I had and I think that it is worth bringing up over here, just in case anyone decides to build Pokeemerald.

                      If anyone uses the standalone devkitARM like me, the entry to put in the ".bashrc" file is:
                      export DEVKITARM=/cygdrive/c/devkitARM/


                      And of course, the devkitARM folder must be in "C:", in this case.
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                        #11    
                      Old January 4th, 2018 (7:08 AM). Edited January 4th, 2018 by slawter666.
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                      slawter666 slawter666 is offline
                         
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                        I've recently endeavoured to learn C to make use of this project, specifically to insert a looping idle animation for the sprites rather than have a static image.

                        So before making edits to the ROM i wanted to try to get graphics loaded in a seperate .c file. I thought it would be as simple as choosing the location of the image and displaying it on screen (for a static image anyway) however that does not seem to be the case and searching on google has confused me further.

                        I only started learning C last night so I am very new to it, if someone could point me in the right direction so I know what I need to learn it would be most appreciated.
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                          #12    
                        Old February 3rd, 2018 (5:14 AM). Edited February 3rd, 2018 by Phenom2122.
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                        Phenom2122 Phenom2122 is offline
                           
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                          I just have to say that this is absolutely incredible and I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would see something like this. I just have a few questions.

                          - Where does it get it's source data from? I just ran Pokeemerald and it doesn't need a source ROM but still produces a bunch of source files and images. I feel kinda stupid asking this but does this mean that the game is shipped with Pokeemerald? I was under the impression that I would need to drop a ROM into the folder or something but clearly that's not the case.

                          - How exactly do I tell what has been decompiled and what hasn't? Is the stuff in the 'asm' folder still not done? This ties in with my first question. How is this tool able to produce an Emerald ROM while not needing a source ROM and while still being incomplete?

                          - What implications does this have for other games? Would the same principle behind decompiling Pokemon Emerald also apply to other GBA games like Golden Sun or Megaman Battle Network?
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                            #13    
                          Old February 3rd, 2018 (8:09 PM).
                          Diegoisawesome's Avatar
                          Diegoisawesome Diegoisawesome is offline
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                          Quote:
                          Originally Posted by Phenom2122 View Post
                          I just have to say that this is absolutely incredible and I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would see something like this. I just have a few questions.

                          - Where does it get it's source data from? I just ran Pokeemerald and it doesn't need a source ROM but still produces a bunch of source files and images. I feel kinda stupid asking this but does this mean that the game is shipped with Pokeemerald? I was under the impression that I would need to drop a ROM into the folder or something but clearly that's not the case.

                          - How exactly do I tell what has been decompiled and what hasn't? Is the stuff in the 'asm' folder still not done? This ties in with my first question. How is this tool able to produce an Emerald ROM while not needing a source ROM and while still being incomplete?

                          - What implications does this have for other games? Would the same principle behind decompiling Pokemon Emerald also apply to other GBA games like Golden Sun or Megaman Battle Network?
                          The source data is all included there in the repository. It used to require a ROM from which data would be extracted, but a few weeks ago we went on a crusade to extract all the unextracted data from the ROM so now it's no longer necessary.
                          Everything in the 'asm' directory is raw assembly that hasn't been decompiled into C yet. The extracted assembly code, when compiled, matches what was in the ROM already, it's just less useful in assembly form than in C form, which is why the project isn't yet complete.
                          Yes, the same principle could be applied to decompile other games, but the games would need to fit certain criteria in order for decompilation into C to be possible (such as level of optimization used when building).
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                            #14    
                          Old February 4th, 2018 (2:42 AM).
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                          Phenom2122 Phenom2122 is offline
                             
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                            Quote:
                            Originally Posted by Diegoisawesome View Post
                            The source data is all included there in the repository. It used to require a ROM from which data would be extracted, but a few weeks ago we went on a crusade to extract all the unextracted data from the ROM so now it's no longer necessary.
                            Everything in the 'asm' directory is raw assembly that hasn't been decompiled into C yet. The extracted assembly code, when compiled, matches what was in the ROM already, it's just less useful in assembly form than in C form, which is why the project isn't yet complete.
                            Yes, the same principle could be applied to decompile other games, but the games would need to fit certain criteria in order for decompilation into C to be possible (such as level of optimization used when building).
                            Thanks for the response. Before actually trying this out I was under the impression that there was still a long way to go but it sounds like for all intents and purposes, we can already modify every aspect of the game with what we've got so far. This is just incredible. The ROM modding scene has definitely come a long way since I started out hex editing Emerald on my phone years ago. And I feel almost like I'm getting left further and further behind in terms of knowledge every time I visit this community after a long absence. Here's to hoping that some great bug free modding tools arise from this. Very exciting. Thanks to you and everyone involved in this.
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                              #15    
                            Old February 4th, 2018 (12:30 PM). Edited February 4th, 2018 by BluRose.
                            BluRose BluRose is offline
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                              Quote:
                              Originally Posted by Phenom2122 View Post
                              Thanks for the response. Before actually trying this out I was under the impression that there was still a long way to go but it sounds like for all intents and purposes, we can already modify every aspect of the game with what we've got so far. This is just incredible. The ROM modding scene has definitely come a long way since I started out hex editing Emerald on my phone years ago. And I feel almost like I'm getting left further and further behind in terms of knowledge every time I visit this community after a long absence. Here's to hoping that some great bug free modding tools arise from this. Very exciting. Thanks to you and everyone involved in this.
                              but that's just the thing
                              there is absolutely nothing that will require a tool anymore after everything is decompiled
                              want to edit anything about pokémon?
                              src/data/pokemon/, sprites in data/graphics/pokemon/
                              want to add in lines of text for use in a scripted event? no more repointing! append it to a file in
                              data/text/maps/
                              want to script, but hate xse's at-times wrong labels?
                              data/scripts
                              want to make your party menu look entirely different?
                              change some constants in the arrays of
                              src/field/party_menu.c
                              soon, over will be the days of hacky methods of doing things in favor for nice projects like this one that's been in progress for two days
                              the one thing that, solely for organizational purposes, i'd still like to have, is a map tool. which padz and touched are both independently working on
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                                #16    
                              Old February 5th, 2018 (1:00 AM). Edited February 5th, 2018 by Phenom2122.
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                              Phenom2122 Phenom2122 is offline
                                 
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                                Quote:
                                Originally Posted by BluRose View Post
                                but that's just the thing
                                there is absolutely nothing that will require a tool anymore after everything is decompiled
                                want to edit anything about pokémon?
                                src/data/pokemon/, sprites in data/graphics/pokemon/
                                want to add in lines of text for use in a scripted event? no more repointing! append it to a file in
                                data/text/maps/
                                want to script, but hate xse's at-times wrong labels?
                                data/scripts
                                want to make your party menu look entirely different?
                                change some constants in the arrays of
                                src/field/party_menu.c
                                soon, over will be the days of hacky methods of doing things in favor for nice projects like this one that's been in progress for two days
                                the one thing that, solely for organizational purposes, i'd still like to have, is a map tool. which padz and touched are both independently working on
                                I know that you could just use Notepad++ and whatever your favourite image editing tools are to get the job done but without some tools to go along with this, I think that a lot of modders that are closer to the beginner level are just going to use the old tools anyway because they wont know what to do with any of this.

                                I mean, if you're going to be making a map editor, why stop there? Let it also be an image editor that automatically loads the correct palette, asign a text editor to it for easily hunting out that one script that you want to edit on a specific map. Throw in a pokemon editor so that while you're editing wild encounters for a certain map you can also tweak something about a pokemon that you've just thought of. Let it also act as a sort of 'mod manager', injecting or removing code from other sources such as Day and Night systems etc. You can't have a day and night system without a map editor that supports it. In order to change things you need to have an overview of everything or you're going to run into errors and forgetfulness, that's why this modding scene has been a bit of a mess for a while, you have to hunt through hundreds of obscure tools, many with the same features as each other, just to find that one feature that isn't in any of the rest. I mean for years the only choice of map editing has been to juggle between Advance Map 1.92 and 1.95. A map editor is the perfect basis for a Skyrim Creation Kit style editor and I for one would love to see a one stop shop tool that supports these disassembly projects.

                                Of course, it sounds like I'm just shouting commands about it, well that's not what I'm doing. I just hope at the least whatever tools come from this stay open source and that all the tool makers at least come to some sort of agreement so that we don't end up with situations like now where you have ten million different ini files to edit for ten million different tools while they all could just share the same ini and make everyone's life easier.

                                Edit: I hope that this map editor has a plugin system at the very least.
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                                  #17    
                                Old February 7th, 2018 (9:48 AM). Edited March 4th, 2018 by Deokishisu.
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                                Deokishisu Deokishisu is offline
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                                  Quote:
                                  Originally Posted by Phenom2122 View Post
                                  I know that you could just use Notepad++ and whatever your favourite image editing tools are to get the job done but without some tools to go along with this, I think that a lot of modders that are closer to the beginner level are just going to use the old tools anyway because they wont know what to do with any of this.

                                  I mean, if you're going to be making a map editor, why stop there? Let it also be an image editor that automatically loads the correct palette, asign a text editor to it for easily hunting out that one script that you want to edit on a specific map. Throw in a pokemon editor so that while you're editing wild encounters for a certain map you can also tweak something about a pokemon that you've just thought of. Let it also act as a sort of 'mod manager', injecting or removing code from other sources such as Day and Night systems etc. You can't have a day and night system without a map editor that supports it. In order to change things you need to have an overview of everything or you're going to run into errors and forgetfulness, that's why this modding scene has been a bit of a mess for a while, you have to hunt through hundreds of obscure tools, many with the same features as each other, just to find that one feature that isn't in any of the rest. I mean for years the only choice of map editing has been to juggle between Advance Map 1.92 and 1.95. A map editor is the perfect basis for a Skyrim Creation Kit style editor and I for one would love to see a one stop shop tool that supports these disassembly projects.

                                  Of course, it sounds like I'm just shouting commands about it, well that's not what I'm doing. I just hope at the least whatever tools come from this stay open source and that all the tool makers at least come to some sort of agreement so that we don't end up with situations like now where you have ten million different ini files to edit for ten million different tools while they all could just share the same ini and make everyone's life easier.

                                  Edit: I hope that this map editor has a plugin system at the very least.
                                  I think you may be misunderstanding the ease with which everything except probably mapping and sound design will be with the disassembly. If you wanted Day/Night Wild Pokemon, for example, you would just add a check for the time and load another wild encounter table (that you just appended to the end). For a lot of the features that a map editor would traditionally need to support, there's no need for that support in a hacking environment where we have a full disassembly. Creating tools to work with the disassembly for things that would just be text edits in the source is not only limiting but completely unnecessary. If someone wanted to change the base stats structure but have been relying on tools to edit the source, their tool for editing Pokemon would immediately break and they'd have no idea what to do.
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                                    #18    
                                  Old June 16th, 2018 (5:36 PM).
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                                  It's better to just point to INSTALL.md, with all the new updates.
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                                    #19    
                                  Old July 12th, 2018 (8:03 AM).
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                                  hjk321 hjk321 is offline
                                     
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                                    Quote:
                                    Originally Posted by ProjectRevoTPP View Post
                                    [(Sorry Linux and Mac)
                                    Well I mean it was already impossible to hack on those platforms anyways (unless you just wanna use a hex editor or something)
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                                      #20    
                                    Old July 13th, 2018 (5:49 AM).
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                                    Delta231 Delta231 is offline
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                                      Quote:
                                      Originally Posted by hjk321 View Post
                                      Well I mean it was already impossible to hack on those platforms anyways (unless you just wanna use a hex editor or something)
                                      This tutorial is pretty much outdated. I prefer you to read the Install.md from PokeRuby Repo.

                                      And you can compile it in any platform seriously and you don't need any hex editor.
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                                        #21    
                                      Old July 13th, 2018 (2:02 PM).
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                                      hjk321 hjk321 is offline
                                         
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                                        Quote:
                                        Originally Posted by Delta231 View Post
                                        This tutorial is pretty much outdated. I prefer you to read the Install.md from PokeRuby Repo.

                                        And you can compile it in any platform seriously and you don't need any hex editor.
                                        Thx bro
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                                          #22    
                                        Old July 15th, 2018 (1:18 PM).
                                        ProjectRevoTPP ProjectRevoTPP is offline
                                           
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                                          I've updated the guide.
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                                            #23    
                                          Old July 16th, 2018 (4:11 AM).
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                                          Lunos Lunos is offline
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                                            It might be a good idea to add whatever other commands are not mentioned in the main post, Revo.
                                            Like make clean or make clear, for example.
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