Monday, December 19, 2016

Secret of Mana - Yearly Play-through Adventures

MSU-1 + Variable Width + Proper Case hacks

Every year I load up my trusty SNES copy of Secret of Mana for a full playthrough, usually around this time of year when I have time off for the holidays (lets face it, the holiday season is great for dipping into nostalgic gaming...).  Secret of Mana is my favourite SNES game out of the entire library, and this year's play-through is going through some update hacks for making SoM an even more enjoyable experience. Playing off my SD2SNES flashcart instead of my original cartridge, I wanted to enjoy 3 hacks that improve on this amazing title:
- MSU-1 hack, for adding CD quality music to the game
- Variable Width Font to make all the text more pleasant looking and not conforming to even "square" spaces
- Proper Case hacks, which removes the game's ALL CAPS words and gives them proper cases

Getting the MSU-1 hack to work with these other hacks wasn't straight forward as they were built by three different modders, but I was able to figure out the way to get this working.

1. First you need to get an SNES rom hacking tool, I used NSRT 3.4 for Windows
2. In NSRT, apply a header to a original NTSC rom (US version - CRC32: D0176B24)
2. Apply the Variable Width Font patch. This expands the rom to 3MB
3. Apply the Proper-caser patch
4. Back in NSRT, removed the header
5. Then apply the MSU1 patch

If done correctly you'll see the text greatly improved along with some epic music to go along with it!

Proper Cases - Before:

Proper Cases - After:

Variable Width - Before:
Variable Width - After:

ps. please don't ask me for roms or where to acquire these hacks. Use your google-fu.

Happy Gaming! ;)