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An abbreviation of Snes9x LordTech, a port of a SNES emulator.

Snes9x, (currently, in my opinion the second best SNES emulator - Zsnes just takes the cookie) is at the moment in a bit of a development hell. While www.snes9x.com is still up, and there is still a reasonably active forum, the main page and the developer's journal hasn't been updated since October, 2001.

However, when projects like this go dead, (or at least, enter suspended animation) it is not always the end. Because, like many of the best freeware software projects, Snes9x is open source. When a new version was released, a few days would pass before source code would be made available. And so, when the main coders of Snes9x faded away, other people took up the reins.

There are a few builds of Snes9x going round, but the two most commonly found ones are Snes9xmk (Matthew Kendora's build. He is a very talented coder, and as it stands his version of Snes9x is the only one capable of opening the graphics packs needed to run Momotarou Dentetsu Happy) and this, Snes9x LordTech. More commonly found on emulation sites as Snes9x LT.

LordTech is another big figure in the emulation business. He's the main guy at WakdHacks, (http://wakdhacks.lfx.org) and at the moment he's part way through translating the truly mammoth project of Tactics Ogre (dumping a script out of a PlayStation game and reinserting it into a SNES game cannot be easy at all). And like many of the truly good ROM hackers, he has coded a few utilities of his own to help him. And like all nice people, he's decided to let us all use them as well.

Essentially, Snes9x LT is a DOS build of Snes9x, but with added logging features. This means while playing a game, a simple press of Numlock will begin logging every single calculation that the emulator makes. This creates a <Gamename>.log file in the Snes9x directory, which can then be read, and used for debugging of games. Why is this useful? Well, if you know what you're doing, you can read a log file and spot thing slike:

  • A font being decompressed.
  • A bit of script being decompressed.
  • A bit of memory being changed.

And so if you know your way around the SNES, you then know where in the cartridge data the font or the dialogue is stored, even if the font or dialogue is compressed. And then you run your compressing program, and you can change the font, or the script, and then recompress it, and you've got a changed ROM.

LordTech also added a few other cool features, such as making the ` key speed up gameplay, a screenshot hotkey, a bug fix or two, and support for the Star Ocean graphics pack.

Of course, I am neither capable of interpreting the log files or decompressing data from a ROM, but this tool is in constant use by many seasoned ROM hackers around the world. Gideon Zhi of Aeon Genesis Translations swears by it!


Sources:

Gideon mentioned it on the Cherryroms forums (http://forums.cherryroms.com)
Downloaded it from http://wakdhacks.lfx.org

Cheers to will for a truly selfless act of correction.

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