arcade ROM hacking lesson 3: Finding Static Data and Modifing (pacman ghost name hack)
This is lesson 3 of a multi-part lesson teaching ANYONE that can use a computer the fundamental information needed to hack arcade ROMS. These lessons will teach one at a time the individual skills needed to hack arcade ROMS and ultimately bring all these steps together to do some hacks such as adding a free play option. While we focus on 1980s arcade games, these same concepts can be used for console based systems such as Nintendo etc.


Lesson 3 teaches you some essentials skills in a fun way. In this lesson we learn how to find important data in RAM using "find" and "wpset", then we use mame -listxml to determine the ROMS that we need to edit to change certain values, and how to use hex workshop to actually modify the values. Finally we learn how to track were data is written to in RAM and how to find and modify what you see on the screen. At the end of the lesson we have a complete hack that allows you to replace the name of the pac-man ghosts with your own names.