Ripping from hacks with altered graphics?

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mikaelmoizt
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Ripping from hacks with altered graphics?

Post by mikaelmoizt » Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:59 am

In the dawn of NES emulation for PC, there were a lot of graphical... "hacking" (maybe that is still a thing?), where basically everyone changed the graphics in popular games to more or less obscene things. Ranging from pop cultural references - Alice Cooper (SMB1 Hack) to down right nasty things like - Super KKK Bros (SMB1 Hack) with swastikas and all - or 8 bit pixel nudity or toilet humor. I used to have tons of these pointless files on my old 166mhz computer.

Some hacks, however, contains some really nice artwork (imo) and sometimes edited game play but for some reason or another - the game doesn't work propertly in emulators any longer.

Here is an example I found
luigixmas.png
Taken from Luigi and the Christmas Quest (SMB1 Hack) by Darknight13.

Often the details on whom ever created these "hacks" are lost into cyberspace (yeah, ninetees) with a few exceptions - as in an edited title screen presenting an alias, such as AWSOMEDUDE1999 or something like that.

Now, I see two problems with this - leading to a final thought.

1. The copyright owner, if there is such a thing here, is not easily found due to the 10-15 years past. In other words, how to ask for permission to use this partly or as a whole for some project?

2. Since the game is (without some effort) unplayable, it seems like such a waste for that amount of work

Final thought/question: Given all conditions make it really hard to track down the creator(* may not apply to Luigi game above) and the leagllity on this kinds of things in general, wouldn't these graphics make for good place holder graphics - even onto homebrew release?
I´ve got %01100011 problems but the BITs aint one.

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tokumaru
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Re: Ripping from hacks with altered graphics?

Post by tokumaru » Sun Jan 04, 2015 11:23 am

mikaelmoizt wrote:for some reason or another - the game doesn't work propertly in emulators any longer.
Emulators in the 90's were very inaccurate, and more forgiving of mistakes than real consoles. As emulation progressed and emulators got closer to the real thing, hacks and programs that relied on the relaxed restrictions naturally stopped working.
1. The copyright owner, if there is such a thing here
Nobody can possibly claim any rights over something they ilegally changed in copyrighted work.

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Bregalad
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Re: Ripping from hacks with altered graphics?

Post by Bregalad » Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:41 pm

Romhacking *is* perfectly legal, however, claiming any copyright on it is not.

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rainwarrior
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Re: Ripping from hacks with altered graphics?

Post by rainwarrior » Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:33 pm

tokumaru wrote:Nobody can possibly claim any rights over something they ilegally changed in copyrighted work.
That's not true. They can't claim rights to the source they have copied, but the changes they have made to it are still theirs.

If you were to make a popular hack of Super Mario Bros, Nintendo would not automatically gain the right to sell or distribute your hack. You still hold the rights to the changes you made. You don't have the right to sell or distribute your hack, of course, without obtaining the rights to the source material used as well, but it goes both ways. It's a work with two authors, both of whom need to give a license to have the work distributed.

Sik
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Re: Ripping from hacks with altered graphics?

Post by Sik » Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:40 pm

Bregalad wrote:Romhacking *is* perfectly legal, however, claiming any copyright on it is not.
Er no, it's not legal. It creates a derivative work, and unless you have been given permission, that's not legal (although ironically, as mentioned above, you get copyright over the modified parts, effectively giving two copyright owners to the hack). Mind you, the copy originally used for making the hack in itself was probably infringement in the first place =P

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Dwedit
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Re: Ripping from hacks with altered graphics?

Post by Dwedit » Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:10 am

Super Mario 1 hacks might alter the graphics for the status bar coin, then the sprite 0 hit doesn't work any more. Change the coin sprite (tile FF) back to the original, and the background tile 2E back to their original graphics, or do something else to make sure that those tiles collide.
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Sik
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Re: Ripping from hacks with altered graphics?

Post by Sik » Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:26 am

Wouldn't that break those hacks even in those old emulators? (since the sprite 0 test needs to be functional for SMB1 to even work at all)

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Dwedit
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Re: Ripping from hacks with altered graphics?

Post by Dwedit » Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:57 am

Nesticle didn't require it to hit the background tile, just that the pixel from the sprite was drawn.
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mikaelmoizt
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Re: Ripping from hacks with altered graphics?

Post by mikaelmoizt » Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:03 pm

Dwedit wrote:Super Mario 1 hacks might alter the graphics for the status bar coin, then the sprite 0 hit doesn't work any more. Change the coin sprite (tile FF) back to the original, and the background tile 2E back to their original graphics, or do something else to make sure that those tiles collide.
Some hacks works just like you mention, some of them (many) sends you to World 0-1
Super Peach (SMB1 Hack)-0.png
Super Peach (SMB1 Hack)-0.png (2.54 KiB) Viewed 5020 times
I didn't have the time nor patience to find exactly what causes this, but a big part of the problem lies here

Code: Select all

830e: sta $075f  where almost all hacks have #ff in acc here, the orignal smb seem to not even execute this in the beginning of the game..
EDIT: techncially it is world 255-1, but the display number is +1 so it says 0-1.

830e:2c (bit $075f instead) fixes that problem. Yaay. GG code GZAETU.
Anyway, back to topic :)

I made a compilation of fonts and other things I found in these hacks and put into a chr file. Do you want me to share it or should we consider this copyrighted material?
mychr.bmp
mychr.bmp (8.12 KiB) Viewed 5020 times
I´ve got %01100011 problems but the BITs aint one.

lidnariq
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Re: Ripping from hacks with altered graphics?

Post by lidnariq » Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:38 pm

mikaelmoizt wrote:Do you want me to share it or should we consider this copyrighted material?
In the US, bitmap fonts are deemed ineligible for copyright.

I'm not certain about the random other graphics and wingdings in your collection there.

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