- Sep 13, 2004
THE SMASH HACKING TIMELINEAn Incomplete Work in Progress.
Over the course of the last two years alone (2008-2010), Brawl hacking has come very far. The original method of altering codes with Ocarina had opened a huge ocean of possibility, and hackers, purists, fanboys, professional programmers, and the average person came together to create the Brawl we know now.
Having said that, I think that today's audience demands a lot from veteran hackers of Brawl. Didn't it used to be that we had to burn entire CDs in order to see an alternate texture? Didn't we used to have to buy Twillight Princess so that we could hack the Wii? An appreciation for the past is needed. The was a time when everyone collaborated as a single entity and broke through the limits of Super Smash Brothers Brawl together. We should not forget our founders, the hackers of old (admit it, two years and you feel old already. ), the men and women who captured our imagination and set the creative world on fire.
This is a timeline detailing the progress that the Smash hacking community has made over two years. It would be great if the entire community pitched in to add dates and events. This will be constantly updated with the community's help. Use this timeline to catch up with events you may have missed by being away!
23 - The ]Syntax Error[ group unveals its mega-texture project.
20 - ]Syntax Error['s website host decides to shut down their project to avoid legal complications. Rumours of a Nintendo lawsuit spread, but in reality, they were never threatened.
28 - Marc R. posts on elotrolado.net, revealing the Automatic Smash Hack, or ASH. ASH eliminates the need for hackers to repeatedly hex files to work in SSBB. Bet you remember how much work that was, eh?
13 - Phantom Wings releases the first File Replacement Code and the Dynamic SD Loader Code, capable of replacing basic textures through the SD card. DVD-Rs all over the world have been spared. In the same day, he releases version 1.1, supporting stage textures.
25 - Pharrox releases the SSBB model extractor AIS.
8 - Phantom Wings releases File Replacement Code 2.0, now capable of loading more than just textures. It no longer even needs the Dynamic SD Loader code. After one more +v0.1 update a day later, this code becomes the last stop for PAL hackers.
15 - brkirch takes over the Gecko OS project and releases version 1.8. Capable of accepting configuration files that change the settings, a new text file is made that boosts the code line limit to a stunning 8000 lines.
23 - ElRefugio releases STASH, a tool similiar to Marc's ASH tool, except that it edits stage textures instead of characters.
16 - Somewhere in Philadelphia, Brawl Plus is the main star of a tournament called Beyond the Limit. By this time, Brawl Plus has been updated up to v4.1. AndyG takes first place and wins $280.00, while GuruKid and Blackanese take the doubles for themselves and recieve $96.00.
24 - Kryal releases the Smashbox Data Viewer v0.50, allowing hackers to export and import a limited number of files.
8 - Phantom Wings releases File Patch Code 3.1. Aside from the name change, music is now supported in brstm format.
9 - Phantom Wings releases File Patch Code 3.2. On the same day, moderator Bionic Sonic releases his Brawl Custom Song Maker 0.1.
9 - KITTY CORP IS DOWNZ?!?!The leaders of Kitty Corp, Vyse and Picano, spend two days trying to figure out why the hell their website is crashing. It's because the bandwith is exceeded, AKA there are too many people. It happens again on the 12th, despite the backup Picano has at the ready. Wow.
A more detailed thread regarding Kitty Corp crashing can be found here.
17 - Phantom Wings releases File Patch Code 3.5.1, which includes an earlier hook that allows even more file compatibility. This is the last stable code that PW releases (phew!). On the same day, Dantarion releases the Brawl Custom Song Maker GUI in collaboration with Bionic Sonic, making the creation of custom songs user-friendly and efficient.
26 - Is it just me, or is Phantom Wings taking up too much timeline space? On this date, PW releases a teaser to what the mysterious "PLAN ZERO" is about. That teaser is Phoenix Mario, a moveset hack that's quite literally on fire.
3 - Phantom Wings releases the first version of Smash Attacks, an editor that can change character's attributes, hitboxes, and special moves. It was this editor PW used to create Phoenix Mario.
2 - Comex releases the "Smash Stack" exploit, which allows players to load homebrew through a flaw in the custom stages. Players can now utilize hacks without softmodding their Wii.
24 - The Balanced Brawl Standard Release, an SSBB modification that increases character viability without butchering the core physics, is released.
27 - Almas unleashes the Alternate File Loader, allowing more hacks to fit into SSBB.
13 - Dantarion takes Phantom Wing's PSA program, and fixes it so that King Dedede, and the three Pokemon can be edited. The Brawl Plus and Balanced Brawl codesets can finally continue their work.
26 - Up until November 1st, a number of advances are made rapidly. They include:
- MDL0 swapping wthin BrawlBox (Trading 3D models between different Wii games)
- Playable stages from the previously inaccesible 1P Mode
- Playable bosses by model swapping in-game, PSA, and BrawlBox magic.
- Polygon deleting (to remove model parts), allowing greater character customization.
- The File Patch Code 4.0 Beta, supporting sound.
11- Brawl Minus Beta 1.0, an SSBB modification that expands every character's potential for broken gameplay, is released.
24 - Kryal is on a roll! He releases Brawlbox v.0.60, featuring an animator editor to be used along with the model previewer. From hereon, the quality of Brawl machinima and movesets increase.
19 - In the Smash World Forums, Yeroc announces the names of the new members of the Workshop Backroom.
24 - The first video teaser of Project M, a re-creation and improvement of Melee gameplay in SSBB, is released.
In the first week, MDL0 swapping, which used to only work in BrawlBox, is fixed. Guest characters can enter the real Brawl, such as Naruto, Klonoa, various Pokemon, Son Goku, and even more.
6 - Das Donkey and Kitty Corp: Meow Mix release their collaborative model and texture hack: Cloud Strife over Ike.
10 - Das Donkey releases their secret weapon: the DasDonkey Vertex Box 1.0. It performs a similar function to ASH, automating a long and tedious hexing process, but for model vertices.
7 - ...:::Vile:::... releases his Sound Effects Guide, enlightening the community on how to replace individual sounds within SSBB.
24 - Picano and Jack H., leaders of the Kitty Corp: Meow Mix, open BrawlVault, the "largest brawl hacking repository on the net". Please do not try to click the picture.
17 - Balanced Brawl Version 2 is released. Amazing Ampharos states that "every character is viable at a competitive standard".
24 - Brawl Plus reaches version 7.0.3 and is deemed "Gold".
24 - On the Kitty Corp forums, mariokart64n practically renders the old method of vertex editing obsolete with a new method. People can actually see their edits now, instead of staring at a bunch of dots. View the tutorial by clicking here.
10 - Brawl Minus Official Beta 1.5 is released, featuring more outrageous yet balanced changes.
25 - Unstoppabrawl, a one-man project (GameTrekker) that redefines the gameplay of SSBB, is released.
17 - Phantom Wings leaves the Brawl hacking scene for good. Christ, he needs a permanent break from that clone engine.
10 - The Das Donkey team releases Vertex Box 2.0, which is capable of applying the tedious and easily done wrong patching process of 3D model editing. It's been automated.
17 - "Where PW started, I will finish." Dantarion releases a picture teaser for the programs OpenSA3, and Tabuu. Is it possible that hurtboxes, the physical part of characters that can be damaged, be edited?...Probably yes. And more?
21 - Dantarion edits his original topic and releases an alpha of Tabuu to the public for testing.
Nerd With An Afro
[collapse="Please do not look, work in progress"]As of 2010, almost every piece of information regarding the multiplayer mode of Super Smash Bros. Brawl has been documented and altered in some way. There are three main technical components of a game; mainly visual, gameplay, and sound. After two years of work, all three have been conquered and can now be edited at will, provided that the user has the right tools. This thread documents and analyzes the rise of Brawl hacking and the people who made it possible.
In general, there are three types of people that have been seen in the Brawl hacking scene. The first are the coders, people who are capable of deciphering and altering information. Most of the time, they release a rudimentary tool or guide on how to take advantage of their discoveries, though the process tends to be long and tedious. After the coders are the streamliners, who automate the hacking process of the coders and make it easily understandable and accesible to the public. Lastly, the artists come in and create new pieces of work, which include but are not limited to textures, music, menu layouts, and even gameplay style.
The first activity of hacking in Brawl probably occured as soon as it was released, mainly with the use of the Ocarina tool, now integrated into Gecko OS. By altering values in the RAM, certain features could be exploited. To use a very simple example, if there were a value in a RAM address that limits how high a character could jump, Ocarina could alter the value to a bigger number, thus increasing the jump height. Ocarina/Gecko OS had already been used on other Wii games before Brawl was released, so this activity was by no means unique. Despite this, Ocarina remains a crucial tool in today`s Brawl hacking.
The holy grail of Brawl hacking had to be found: a method of deciphering and replacing the files within the game itself. Technically, replacing was possible: a tool called WiiScrubber existed which was capable of replacing files in the game permanently. Sometime in 2008, the user Pharrox successfully exported a character texture, altered it with a graphic-editing program, and imported it back into Brawl. While this was celebratory news, the difficulty of performing such a replacement slowed down progreses for a while. This didn`t deter everyone: a community-run website called Smash Stack was created as an archive for texture hacks, and a team of artists called ]Syntax Error[ came together with the goal of replacing every single character texture in the game. Today, Smash Stack is still active and possibly one of the oldest sites dedicated to Brawl hacking, and the ]Syntax Error[ team nearly completed their project before their website host shut them down to avoid possible legal action by Nintendo, though their textures have been remade by dedicated fans.
In March 2009, the difficulty of replacement was removed by the hacker Phantom Wings. The hacker had noted sometime before that SSBB used the SD card in a unique way. In order to replay a fight, the Wii had to access the SD card and find the relevant files of a replay. Phantom Wings was able to reroute it with Gecko OS codes, so that it could find other files on the SD card, primarily textures. Being able to place hacks on the SD card and access them almost instantly meant that pure file replacement on the disc itself was no longer needed. The File Replacement Code v.1 gave SSBB a special place in the hacking community, because a person would no longer have to alter their game discs. It was cheaper to use, faster to do, and easy to understand, something most programmers strive for.