Say you’ve found a great homebrewn ROM hack for the Nintendo 64 but it comes in a format that you can’t play because it’s distributed as a patch. No fear! This simple guide will help you patch it up so that you can get your hack up and running in no time.
A patch is a file that contains the differences between a ROM hack and the original game ROM. It can be seen like this:
Original + Patch = Hack
How to Play a ROM HackDownload the IPS file of the hack you want to play, and unzip it.Download an IPS Patcher here. Download a CLEAN ROM. Download an emulator. Double click on Lunar IPS.exe, click “Apply Patch”.Select the IPS file that you downloaded.Afterwards, it will ask you to select a ROM. Find your emulator, and double click it.
Since game hacks contain large portions of the original game, you can’t really distribute them without breaking copyright. For instance, a hack of Mario 64 would borrow assets such as characters, stage or even the game engine itself. Since all of this belongs to the original owner, the homebrewer only provides the new code that they developed.
This is the most common type of patch used to distribute hacks online. It is very simple to use as well.
Download Delta Patcher from the official website or from a mirror on N64 Squid by using the password “deltapatchmirror”.
Note that this is a Windows 32-bit program. I’ve tested it on Windows 7 and 10, but I’m not sure how well it works on Mac or Linux.
If you’re curious about whether to use the lite or full version, it doesn’t really matter. The only difference DeltaPatcher.exe and DeltaPatcherLite.exe is that the lite version only allows you to apply patches, while the full version lets you create them as well as apply them.
Disclaimer: it is illegal in many places to download copies of games that you do not own. I will not be linking to any libraries/repositories for this reason. Make sure you source your ROMs ethically.
This is the hardest part in my opinion. Most homebrew developers publish their patches with the simple instruction of “Apply the patch to a [game] ROM”. However, there are many versions of that game floating around the internet: JP, USA, PAL, little/big endian versions…
Even if you create your own backup ROM, it likely won’t match. I usually mention which one to use in my posts, but it’s really a matter of trial and error.
The moment of truth. Open up the Delta Patcher executable and select your source ROM and your .xdelta patch file.
As a security measure, be sure to check the “Backup Original File” option under the settings menu icon. Rather then updating the source file, it will create a copy which will be useful in case you want to patch it again.
If everything goes correctly, you got your hacked ROM all set! If you created a backup, the new version will be called “[filename]PATCHED.ext”, otherwise it will have the same file name.
The BPS format is used by Kaze Emanuar to distribute his Super Mario 64 hacks, so you’re more likely to have to use this method for those kinds of games.
He explains how to run the patch quite well in this video:
The video is a bit low resolution, so I’ll walk you though it here as well.
First of all, you need to obtain the hack’s patch. You can obtain these from Kaze directly. The zip file should include a few files in it, but these are the ones you should be paying attention to:
Similar to xDelta patches, you need to find the source ROM separately. The one I use for Super Mario hacks made by Kaze is called Super Mario 64 (U) [!].z64.
Run flips.exe and click on the ‘Apply Patch’ button. It will prompt your windows explorer three times:
If you chose the correct source, you should have a successfully patched ROM. Enjoy!
This is a patching tool originally from 2001 that was primarily used for Playstation ISO patches, but some Nintendo 64 hacks use this as well.
First you need to download the PPF-O-Matic from either the Rom Hacking website or from the N64 Squid mirror using the password “PPFpatcher”. No need to install it, the executable works fine on its own.
It should open to something like this:
Just like the other two methods, get your ROM for the game. Make sure it’s the correct version, as every game has a few slightly different dumps floating around.
Also make sure you have your .ppf file ready and uncompressed in a convenient location.
Once that’s done, put your source ROM in the top input. I know it says ISO (a format used for CDs), but that’s just because this was a patcher intended for Playstation games.
The bottom one should have your .ppf file.
Caution! The PPF-O-Matic will NOT back up your original file! Be sure to keep a copy handy! It also won’t rename the file after patching so make sure you rename it after giving it a test.
If you get an error, it is probably because the wrong source file was used. I tend to write the exact file name of the ROM we’re patching to avoid confusion, but mistakes can still happen. Try getting it from another source.
Again, it’s important to remember that it’s illegal to have a ROM of a game you don’t own.
With most game hacks, be sure to set your emulator to 8MB mode for the correct compatibility.
The Pokémon games are always getting released, at least once per two years.
For any new system from Nintendo, there will be a new Pokémon game for it.
So, you can find plenty of Pokémon games right now if you just try to go back to the original Game Boy era. But there’s more.
The fans of this series are also actively creating their own Pokémon games.
Whether it’s in the form of ROM hacks or original game made with a specific engine, you can find plenty of “off the shelf” Pokémon games that you can play today.
You can play them on various devices, not limited to the Nintendo consoles.
Here are the top 20 Pokémon ROM hacks that you can play today:
Pokémon Eclipse RPG is an online RPG game you can play on your browser, which has Pokémon as its main theme.
The game is regularly updated, and currently it is in version 1.5. In this game, you can explore the new region called Apholite, while catching different Pokémon creatures along the way.
You can also find many powerful Pokémon here.
Pokémon Polished Crystal is the ROM hack that is made from the Crystal version, which was released for the GBA system in the year 2000.
In this hacked version, there are plenty of improvements that make the Crystal version more polished to play.
The improvements include Pokémon, moves, battle mechanics, Overworld mechanics, Nuzlocke mode, maps, events, and more.
Pokémon Mega Adventure is a custom Pokémon game that retains the regular storyline of all Pokémon games, which is the journey of the protagonist to become a Pokémon champion.
This game features a region called Akito, where you can roam and explore to catch hundreds of Pokémon creatures and battling them with others.
You have 3 starter Pokémon to choose: Squirtle, Charmander, and Bulbasaur.
Pokémon Ash Gray is the ROM hack of the FireRed version, which faithfully follows the season 1 anime series.
Thus, you can find plenty of Pokémon creatures that are featured in the anime version, and additionally, some newer monsters as well.
The graphics are still very much the same as the graphics of FireRed on GBA.
Pokémon Blazed Glazed is the ROM hack of the Emerald version, applying various improvements to make the Emerald version even better to play.
It is available for the Game Boy Advance system. In this game, you can expect to see new moves that are available from Generation IV to Generation VI, as well as new creatures, stats, and other changes.
Pokémon Dark Rising is the ROM hack of the FireRed version, which you can play on the GBA system.
In this game, you can find 386 of creatures that you can catch and battle with, and you can also explore the regions of Kanto, Johto, Unova, Sinnoh, and Hoenn.
This ROM hack was released alongside the Kaizo Version.
Pokémon Light Platinum is the GBA ROM hack that is made from the Ruby version, and it has been completed and fixed of bugs.
In other words, you can play this game without any problems and without worrying about bugs and glitches.
It can give you the complete experience that is better than the original Ruby version of the game.
There are plenty of improvements you can enjoy in this game.
Pokémon Adventure Red Chapter is the ROM hack of the FireRed version for the GBA system, which follows closely the Pokémon Adventure manga.
Aside from following the storyline of the Pokémon Adventure manga, it also has updated graphics, and it has some events changed to make them longer.
It incorporates the original Red, Blue, Yellow, and Green version.
Pokémon Sage is the fan-made game that is made from the RPG Maker XP engine, providing you the fan-made original gameplay involving Pokémon creatures.
This game can be played as a Windows game, and it gives you the original experience in the world of Pokémon.
You can play the demo from the official page.
Have you ever wondered how it will be to play as Team Rocket? In Pokémon FireRed: Rocket Edition, you can do it.
This ROM hack of FireRed gives you the opportunity to play as Team Rocket.
Yes, one of the villains in the Pokémon series.
Of course, as Team Rocket, you will be able to wreak havoc throughout the entire game and enjoy doing so.
Pokémon Uranium is a unique fan-made Pokémon game built with Pokémon Essentials on the RPG Maker XP engine.
So, this game can be played on your Windows PC by installing it just like any other games.
In this game, you can find 166 new Pokémon and 34 Pokémon creatures available in the main series.
New skills and move-sets are also introduced.
Pokémon Planet is the free-to-play MMORPG with the Pokémon theme, which you can play online on your browsers.
In this game, you will take on an adventure as a trainer that has the aspiration to become a Pokémon champion.
Of course, you will play alongside other online players, and you can also battle them online.
You don’t need to download any software to play this game.
Pokémon Phoenix Rising is the fan-made game that is made with the RPG Maker XP engine along with Pokémon Essentials, giving you the new experience of adventure in the world full of pocket monsters.
It features the storyline that can branch based on the choices that you make throughout the game.
Also, it still uses the traditional RPG style as common in the official releases.
Pokémon Showdown is the Pokémon-themed battle simulator game that you can play online.
You can play this game either via your browser, or you can install this game directly on your computer.
In this game, you can choose Pokémon characters and battle other characters with other online players.
Pokémon MMO 3D is a free MMO game that you can play on your computer, featuring 3D Pokémon, world, and character models.
In this game, you will meet with other trainers from all over the world to explore the new region.
You can catch plenty of pocket monsters in this game, as well as battle other trainers in real time.
Pokémon Revolution Online is the online Pokémon game that you can play on your devices, featuring 2D graphics.
The game is available for multiple platforms, including desktop (Mac, Windows, Linux) and mobile devices (Android).
It allows you to start the journey of becoming a Pokémon master with other online players from around the world.
Pokémon Mega Power is the GBA ROM hack of the Emerald version, featuring plenty of improvements from the original version.
In this game, you can explore some new regions, such as Ivara, Sevii Islands, and Lande, as well as meet with new characters.
It features pocket monsters from up to Generation VII. The graphics are still mostly the same as the original Emerald version.
Pokémon Emerald Kaizo is the ROM hack of the Emerald version specifically designed for those looking for more challenges.
This ROM hack offers you the highest difficulty level that will guarantee to give you more challenges in playing this game.
The sole purpose of the game is to make the Emerald version even more difficult to play.
Pokémon Flora Sky is a ROM hack of the Emerald version, which is 100% completed.
It means that you can play the game from start to finish without having to wait for any more updates.
The game uses the graphics and most aspects of the Emerald version, but with certain improvements in various aspects of the game, such as new Pokémon creatures that you can catch.
As the ROM hack of the FireRed version on the GBA system, Pokémon Gaia delivers various new improvements that you can enjoy when playing this game.
In this game, you will explore the region called Orbtrus, which is the region that has a rich history.
Your character will follow the storyline that will uncover the history behind this region along with your adventure.
These are the best Pokémon ROM hacks that you can play on various platforms.
Whether you want to play it on the Nintendo system, emulator, browser, computer, or mobile device, you can find the game that fits with your preferences.
These hacked Pokémon games will offer the adventure and gameplay style that you would never experience on the regular releases.
So, you should try these games. Find the one that you like and start playing. Happy gaming!