Star Wars Rogue Squadron N64 error (HAX!)

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CZroe
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Joined: 13 Feb 2018 15:29

Star Wars Rogue Squadron N64 error (HAX!)

Post by CZroe » 13 Feb 2018 18:36

I was poking around the SmokeMonster ROM set when I noticed that Star Wars Rogue Squadron was listed as "Rev A." I immediately saw the difference: The Naboo Starfighter was unlocked. SmokeMonster bases his set on No-Intro releases.

Now, the Naboo Starfighter in Rogue Squadron was a big deal back in the day. It was noteworthy because Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace had not been released and details were still fiercely guarded, yet they had this ship with narrated details hiding in the game for several months. It was so well hidden that even hackers and most of the devs were unaware. It wasn't even unlocked the same way as other unlockable ships and it required two fake rejections with very cryptic inputs. They even scrambled the ROM in ways to make it difficult to find with a cheat device or ROM hacking. The public had no idea until the cheat was announced.

You can still find all kinds of articles about this. What I don't find is any discussion of a cart revision (only people discussing this ROM of unknown origin). Something this notable would have been discussed when the revision was first released, so there obviously wasn’t a revision. If they had any intention of revising it this way then it would have been done before the Player's Choice re-release (Aug 1999) since the cheat was released before that.

Some people possibly took the dev’s obfuscation as a challenge and attempted to hack the ROM. If it isn't a ROM hack then it could be from a later release in another NTSC region.

Despite having a few vestigial files from the N64 version, the PC version (Star Wars Rogue Squadron 3D) had the Naboo Starfighter assets completely stripped out of the game. They DEFINITELY didn't want anyone finding out about it there! It was later added back with a patch.

CZroe
Posts: 6
Joined: 13 Feb 2018 15:29

Re: Star Wars Rogue Squadron N64 error (HAX!)

Post by CZroe » 27 Feb 2018 01:46

Seriously, guys. This one shouldn’t be Rev A. It’s a hack.

relax
High Council
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Re: Star Wars Rogue Squadron N64 error (HAX!)

Post by relax » 27 Feb 2018 17:19

Rev A is dumped by a trusted member. You can even see pictues of the cart and the PCB that confirms that it's a new revision.

http://datomatic.no-intro.org/?page=sho ... =24&n=0903b

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BigFred
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Re: Star Wars Rogue Squadron N64 error (HAX!)

Post by BigFred » 27 Feb 2018 18:27

Afair I found that cart myself around the same time I discovered Resident Evil US v1.0. Believe me - there are a lot of pretty rare revisions around no one knows about. This is also part of the fun of this project.

hydr0x
Dumper
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Joined: 25 May 2008 15:31

Re: Star Wars Rogue Squadron N64 error (HAX!)

Post by hydr0x » 28 Feb 2018 07:25

CZroe wrote:If they had any intention of revising it this way then it would have been done before the Player's Choice re-release (Aug 1999) since the cheat was released before that.
Your logic is twisted and it's exactly the other way around. They released the cheat for the existing revision so people could finally use the Starfighter after the embargo was gone and obviously the next time they had a chance to actually release an updated cartridge revision without significant extra cost they did. This was the Player's Choice release, which needed a new "print" run anyways so updating the ROM was cheap.

Why wasn't this known/discussed? Probably because no one was paying attention anymore when the PC released and no hardcore SW fans would have waited for the PC version so never noticed.
Despite having a few vestigial files from the N64 version, the PC version (Star Wars Rogue Squadron 3D) had the Naboo Starfighter assets completely stripped out of the game. They DEFINITELY didn't want anyone finding out about it there! It was later added back with a patch.
Which proves the devs HAD an interest in releasing official revisions including the Starfighter. It's just that with a console, it's not as easy as distributing a patch file.

CZroe
Posts: 6
Joined: 13 Feb 2018 15:29

Re: Star Wars Rogue Squadron N64 error (HAX!)

Post by CZroe » 04 Mar 2018 19:05

relax wrote:Rev A is dumped by a trusted member. You can even see pictues of the cart and the PCB that confirms that it's a new revision.

http://datomatic.no-intro.org/?page=sho ... =24&n=0903b
That’s what I needed to know. Thanks! You may have noticed that I spoke in less sure terms before and only made the “it’s a hack” post since it didn’t seem to get noticed for two weeks. Looks like it worked. :) Thanks again!
hydr0x wrote:
CZroe wrote:If they had any intention of revising it this way then it would have been done before the Player's Choice re-release (Aug 1999) since the cheat was released before that.
Your logic is twisted and it's exactly the other way around. They released the cheat for the existing revision so people could finally use the Starfighter after the embargo was gone and obviously the next time they had a chance to actually release an updated cartridge revision without significant extra cost they did. This was the Player's Choice release, which needed a new "print" run anyways so updating the ROM was cheap.

Why wasn't this known/discussed? Probably because no one was paying attention anymore when the PC released and no hardcore SW fans would have waited for the PC version so never noticed.
Despite having a few vestigial files from the N64 version, the PC version (Star Wars Rogue Squadron 3D) had the Naboo Starfighter assets completely stripped out of the game. They DEFINITELY didn't want anyone finding out about it there! It was later added back with a patch.
Which proves the devs HAD an interest in releasing official revisions including the Starfighter. It's just that with a console, it's not as easy as distributing a patch file.
“Twisted?” ...but you literally just said the exact same thing! ;)

Just a misunderstanding. I was saying that there was no reason to hide it anymore by the time the Player’s Choice re-release happened so the change would likely have happened in preparation for that (or any) new production run... if they intended to change it at all.

Speaking of misunderstanding: The use of “PC” here can get kind of confusing since it can mean Personal Computer and Player’s Choice in the context of Star Wars Rogue Squadron / Rogue Squadron 3D. Pretty sure I got it all straight.

As for the Naboo Starfighter in the personal computer release: Patching it in probably had more to do with hiding the bonus content from early hackers than demonstrating intent to integrate. It is very possible that they updated the code base that both ports were based on and then subsequently updated both ports, so it may not have even been done to intentionally eliminate the cheat from the N64 version. It certainly could have been intentional, either way. :)

Come to think of it, I recall seeing stickers or something that said something like “Featuring Naboo Starfighter from Episode I!” Unless I am remembering the back of a Naboo Starfighter for N64, I even recall seeing it on the back of a Player’s Choice Rogue Squadron box. The cat was out of the bag so promoting the game with that would not have raised an eyebrow but perhaps that’s why they updated the game (don’t want an advertised bullet point to be locked away/inaccessible).

My shelf copy is the original release but I could’ve sworn I had a Player’s Choice copy in my dupe bins. Couldn’t find it so I came back for answers. Thanks!

FWIW, I actually tried to dump every North American N64 game myself back in the late ‘90s so I really respect what you guys were doing. My redump project was met with disdain from the people making releases back then because they felt they deserved credit for being “first” and didn’t want anyone stripping their name out. Titannik even injected a PC virus into his release of Turok 2 which would infect the PC of anyone using a particular utility to strip his intro from it! No Execute bit wasn’t a thing back then and the utility was written in a particularly exploitable way that wouldn’t work for new/unknown intros anyway.

Between my friend and I we owned every US release for the first two years but then we resorted to borrowing from the neighborhood kids and renting since we couldn’t afford it all (just teenagers cutting grass and stuff for money). We ended up dumping all that for personal use since few were interested in original no-intro ROMs before UltraHLE (and even a while after that). This was the only way I knew that the public dump of Star Fox 64 was hacked, since the NFO didn’t mention changing the CIC in the header (from 6101 to 6102). Starfox 64 had no further checks and there were no other 6101 boot cartridges for game copiers and backup units so it made sense to use that but I still wanted to have the original. It did cause some confusion when N64 emulation eventually landed since the databases classified it as a 6102 game.

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