Timeline: The History of Brawl Hacking

DevilKiller

Smash Apprentice
Joined
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Messages
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#1
THE SMASH HACKING TIMELINE
An 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. :bee:), 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!


2008

July

23 - The ]Syntax Error[ group unveals its mega-texture project.

December

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?


2009

March

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.

April

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.

May

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.

June

24 - Kryal releases the Smashbox Data Viewer v0.50, allowing hackers to export and import a limited number of files.

July

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.

August

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.

September

27 - Almas unleashes the Alternate File Loader, allowing more hacks to fit into SSBB.

October

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.
This time is known as Epic Week, according to Nerd With An Afro. :psycho:

November

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.


2010

January

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.

February

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.

March

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.

April

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".

May

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.


June

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.

July

17 - Phantom Wings leaves the Brawl hacking scene for good. Christ, he needs a permanent break from that clone engine.

August

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.


CONTRIBUTORS

dirtboy345
Nerd With An Afro
ds22
TheSilenceOfNoOne
Shadic
Eternal Yoshi
Phantom Wings
Bionic Sonic
Segtendo

[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.
[/collapse]
 
Joined
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Messages
715
#2
a couple things need to be changed, they didn't really get threatened by nintendo it was just by their host, im pretty sure there was someone who did a texture hack before them, and no ash, stash, cupash or brawl box etc
 

DevilKiller

Smash Apprentice
Joined
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Messages
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#3
Dates of release would be great to have as well.

But man, there are a lot of ASH programs to cover. I better start lookin'.

Thanks for the ]SE[ correction. I should really put sources on this page too.
 

Nerd With An Afro

Smash Journeyman
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#4
You skipped over epic week? lol, didnt read it all. still needs help from community.

this was all in one week. 2009/10/26-2009/11/01
MDL0 Swapping
Playable SSE
Playable Bosses
Ability to remove model parts
FPC 4.0 beta
 

hotdogturtle

Smash Master
Joined
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Messages
3,500
#9
You should at least mention Stack Smash, for being the first major texture website to start after Syntax Error... (It's prominent because it showed that the texture hacking scene was able to expand, rather than being stuck in a single individual website)

And how about the FPC 1.0? We'd be nowhere without that, yet you only mention 3.5.1.

And "pBrawl" isn't significant enough to be on this list, unless you want to start adding tons of tiny notes every time sonething minor happened. Also, you're missing a bunch of other important things, like BrawlWall, Brawl+, and oh yeah, how about every code that existed before the FPC? People used to actually play without replacing files, you know.
 

DevilKiller

Smash Apprentice
Joined
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Messages
142
#11
To hotdogturtle and JOE+, you're right. I've been trying to find old release dates to these code sets without much success, so I'm just going to send a PM to the respective people.

Thanks for noting lost events so far.
 
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#12
Syntax Error shutting down due to Nintendo was a rumor. It's been confirmed that their host decided to shut them down because they were afraid of Nintendo; Nintendo took no action by themselves.
 

moomoomamoo

Smash Apprentice
Joined
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#14
Not really much help, but wouldn't it be nifty to add links to each part of the time line? Like either a link to the thread that involved the event, or a link to the site.
 

CT Chia

Formerly Chibo
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#17
You missed like the entire era of the start of Brawl+, where it was just a small group of codes that changed things like no tripping, universal gravity, hitstun, dash dancing, etc. It came after the unveiling of syntax error but before they stopped. It first started in early October and kicked off mainly with the introduction of the first Melee wavedash code by Phantom Wings popularized by videos such as the one I made and the formation of a standard Brawl+ codeset.
If you want more information on Brawl+ (and things related to me since I know em best :p) I hosted the very first Brawl+ side event on Halloween 2008 at a Melee tournament I held which at the time was just a collection of 6 or so codes. I then later went on to host the first Brawl+ main event, Beyond the Limit in Spring of 2009 using version 4.2 of Brawl+ I believe. It attracted over 40 entrants with multiple people attending from outside of my region to enter in the first tournament that was only for a hacked version of Brawl.
 

Nerd With An Afro

Smash Journeyman
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#18
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.
You missed like the entire era of the start of Brawl+, where it was just a small group of codes that changed things like no tripping, universal gravity, hitstun, dash dancing, etc. It came after the unveiling of syntax error but before they stopped. It first started in early October and kicked off mainly with the introduction of the first Melee wavedash code by Phantom Wings popularized by videos such as the one I made and the formation of a standard Brawl+ codeset.
If you want more information on Brawl+ (and things related to me since I know em best :p) I hosted the very first Brawl+ side event on Halloween 2008 at a Melee tournament I held which at the time was just a collection of 6 or so codes. I then later went on to host the first Brawl+ main event, Beyond the Limit in Spring of 2009 using version 4.2 of Brawl+ I believe. It attracted over 40 entrants with multiple people attending from outside of my region to enter in the first tournament that was only for a hacked version of Brawl.
@Devil Killer
I think you should add at the top of the list that it is currently incomplete. less people will think you forgot stuff :080:
 

Shadic

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#19
And the first attempt of a standardization of codes came from kupo15, I believe. MuBa had his own set as well. Then all the sudden, bam. There was a Workshop Backroom, and they were in control of the B+ game.

Oh, 255/6 line limit. I do not miss you. (Also, breaking this limit via snapshots/dual .gct/text file should be mentioned)
 

Eternal Yoshi

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#20
Don't forget the original FIle patch code, which allowed texture replacements and was released a few days before March 13.

Don't remember when, but it was definitely before March 13, 2009.

Edit: The first version was released in I think March 6 because I went to a tournament in March 7 that had the code being used. It was a Polybrawl.

August 13, 2008, No tripping code is released by Kirbyiscool.

March 22, 2009, Igglyboo updates his Game Camera Code, an essential tool for Machinimators.

Thank you Wiird Forums.
 

Dantarion

Smash Champion
Joined
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#21
pBrawl is significant, because they ended up figuring out how to replace models for a LOT of things no one knew how to touch.

I am completely absent from the list! XD most of my stuff is behind the scenes
 

Slashy

Smash Lord
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#25
Wait, Brawl- and Project: M are important enough to list, but Balanced Brawl isn't? WTH is this?
To be fair, has Balanced Brawl really pushed any new advancements for hacking capability?

Besides the ledge grab limit code, I haven't seen anything that wasn't used in other codesets.
 

Eternal Yoshi

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#26
Yes it was unecessary.
Dantarion made quite a few important contributions.

October 27, 2009
Dantarion releases a method to make SSE stages playable through porting the model, scene, texture, and collision data, opening the door for stage hacking.

November 3, 2009
Dantarion begins development of the Alternate Stage Loader code, allowing multiplle custom stages to be put over one stage.
 

DevilKiller

Smash Apprentice
Joined
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Messages
142
#27
Has anyone got any info on the very first texture hack? Somewhere in the back of my mind, there's a thought jiggling in it that says, "IT WAS PHARROX, YOU TURD." But I can't remember.

On another note, I went to Phantom Wings and asked him if he remembered all the dates he released his patching codes. He replied with a cool list. Turns out he's kept the dates in an archive. That is a sign of an organized hacker.

Code:
March 13 2009
File Replacement Code 1.0 and Dynamic SD Loader 1.0
-Allowed basic loading of character texture files.

March 13 2009
File Replacement Code 1.1
-Added support for stages

March 14 2009
File Replacement Code 1.2
-Fixed bug in 1.1

March 14 2009
File Replacement Code 1.3
-Fixed Stage Loading bug.

April 08 2009
File Replacement Code 2.0
-Usable without the Dynamic SD Loader code
-Removes extra load times incurred by the older codes.
-Only supports files in the root of the SD card instead of /pf

April 09 2009
File Replacement Code 2.1a/2.1b
-Support for either SD card root or /pf depending on preference.
-Bugfix

July 08 2009
File Patch Code 3.1
-Renamed to File Patch Code
-Supports music

July 09 2009
File Patch Code 3.2
-Fixed compatibility issues with Brawl+

July 14 2009
File Patch Code 3.4
-Fixed the last of the loading issues.

July 15 2009
File Patch Code 3.5
-Fixed one last freezing bug.

July 18 2009
File Patch Code 3.5.1 FINAL
-Added earlier hook for more file compatability.

November 01 2009
File Patch Code 4.0 INCOMPLETE
-Unfinished sound effect functionality.I'm pretty sure that's all of it. (3.0 and 3.3 never existed due to being too buggy for release.)
Updates have been made, though the timeline remains incomplete. The timeline is now Dantarion-friendly, a Brawl+ tourney has been mentioned, and various links have been added. Beware, some will lead to locked threads, usually if they are an old program/codeset. Download stuff from the most recent, people!

And by the way, does anyone remember the good old days with VILE? You know, the days where he incited riots by making a Cloud Strife model, and claiming knowledge to changing sound effects without telling how? Ah, those were the good old day...seems like a comic escapade now today. Heh heh. :p
 

NeonTogepi

Smash Journeyman
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#30
STASH and CUPASH (or whatever it was called) need adding. I remember when STASH came out, it was super useful. STASH came out between the File Replacement code and Summer 2009, because I remember that it came out after I started hacking, which was a little after the File Replacement Code came out.
 

Isatis

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#31
17 - Phantom Wings (again) 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. On the same day, Dantarion releases the Brawl Custom Song Maker GUI, making the creation of custom songs much easier than before.
Correction: On the same day File Patch 3.1 was released, I went ahead and released the black-and-white Brawl Custom Song Maker 0.1 back in July 9th (the same day) and started updating every night, right up until Dantarion PM'd me saying that he wanted to make a GUI, so I gave him the necessary instructions to do it. I put 1.0 of my program as the final one, and Dantarion released Brawl Custom Song Maker GUI 1.0 on the 17th.
 

DevilKiller

Smash Apprentice
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#32
Oof. Forgot that you made one first. I've been looking at the "date posted" for most of my dates. I should probably see if that post is edited first. Welcome to history, Bio. :)
 

Isatis

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#35
There was an earlier one Androu1 made that dates back earlier in the year... maybe March? The old site he had it on was gone, so I don't know when he first made it... but that's what I based mine off of
 

DevilKiller

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#36
SUCCESS!

More links, STASH, and crashing Kitty Corp have been added! Man, STASH was a pain in the arse to find.

Next up: Where in the world is Car - no, sorry, PZT? He was the leader of Smash Stash website, so I'm assuming he was around when it was made? I'd love to get an origin date for all of the major texture sites, but Smash Stack in particular.
 

poodoas

Smash Rookie
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#37
I remember when I used the ASH program the first time it deleted everything in my desktop because I used it wrong.
 

tnemrot

Smash Journeyman
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#39
There's a huge gap between ASH and the File Replacement Code, like the beginnings of Brawl+ and mechanic changing Ocarina codes.
 

DevilKiller

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Sep 13, 2004
Messages
142
#40
Updated with recent events, concerning Dantarion's epic work, and mariokartn's vertex guide. I had no idea how important mario's vertex guide was until I actually tried the darn thing.

But Dantarion's Tabuu? HELLZ YEAH.
 
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