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Donkey Kong Country Returns Hacking

PostPosted: March 11th, 2015, 5:44 am
by Jesse
Hello people,

I am glad I found this board since people here might actually be more interested in hacking this game! so I'll get right into it.

Regarding the documentation of the files, I actually made my own documentations and put it somewhere online. But these are not this detailed and I only documented like the main File. so by google searching I came across a metroid forum. Metroid is made by retrostudios so it has the same file systems and such, thus this board had only one thread about hacking metroid prime. These guys also did some stuff regarding DKCR and documented alot actually, so I will just refering the documentation this wiki they created ... ry_Returns

Main stuff about the game
- The main archive file is .pak and everything for the level is inside the pak. There isn't like a folder with all objects or something like in mario galaxy, for every level there is a file within containing every data which is displayed in the level.
- The files inside the pak aren't named excluding a few files but its almost nothing so I don't read these names.

I actually started developing a Tool to edit PAK files, the guys on metroid hacking made a tool which can properly extract the files from a pak but it wasn't really centered around DKCR, plus I already had started the Tool a while before I found that board. However, they gave me information on files and how they work so I was able to include actual editors in my tool.

Here it is:

Plus the STRG editor for editing strings

Current features of the editor:
- Opening Pak files
- Editing STRG files
- Exporting files with or without decompression
- Import files with compression(or without if already is decompressed)
- Prealpha CMDL and TXTR converter (Very pre alpha, especially the CMDL converter. it converts most of the time wrong)
- It got a sort of database, its basically just naming the files from an outside source.

What I want to achieve for now:
- Proper CMDL and TXTR(to png) converter
- Proper TXTR editor

The edits actually work in dolphin, I haven't yet tested on my wii. The rest like editing the level itself (Which is the MREA file) is for me yet a bit too advanced. I have a download link laying around somewhere but I wanted to wait with posting it here when I got a stable release again.

The editor is written in c# by the way so I hope there are people here who are able to program the tool with me!

Re: Donkey Kong Country Returns Hacking

PostPosted: March 11th, 2015, 9:47 pm
by NES Boy
It would be awesome if someone ported the new features and levels from the 3DS version back to the Wii version.

Re: Donkey Kong Country Returns Hacking

PostPosted: April 25th, 2015, 9:14 pm
by Jesse

random model replacing doesn't hurt the game I noticed, however the collision doesn't change. I have no idea what the collision file could be, I thought I discovered every file...

Re: Donkey Kong Country Returns Hacking

PostPosted: June 6th, 2015, 5:04 am
by Jesse
The tool is now on github, so feel free if you like to take a look at it.

Re: Donkey Kong Country Returns Hacking

PostPosted: March 24th, 2016, 6:04 pm
by Parax
Hey! I'm the person who started the Metroid Prime hacking thread on metroid2002 that Jesse mentioned in his post. I've been working on an editor for almost a couple years called Prime World Editor that I finally released the other day! While it is more intended as a Metroid Prime editor (hence the name), it fully supports Donkey Kong Country Returns as well, and is able to load any map from the game, edit them, and resave them so you can play your edits ingame on Dolphin (or on a homebrewed Wii). Here's a picture of a DKCR level in the editor:


Right now it's limited to just editing script layouts in existing levels; you can spawn new objects, delete them, edit their properties, and script connections between them and other objects in the level. There's a lot more features planned for future releases, but that's what it can do so far! Going forward I plan to support features like importing custom geometry and creating completely custom assets like animations, strings, etc. so hopefully in the future it will be possible to create entire new levels from scratch. While I'm mostly focused on the Prime games I've also put a lot of attention to making sure DKCR is properly supported; in fact I've had to go pretty far out of my way overhauling some parts of the editor to account for differences between the Prime games and DKCR to ensure everything would work in every game, so don't go thinking DKCR support is just an afterthought :P I'm very very interested in seeing some cool stuff done with it!

If you're interested in the editor, you can get it here! I'll try to keep an eye on this thread for a bit in case anyone has any questions, but failing that there is a thread for the editor on metroid2002 where I'm more likely to see/respond to your post.

Re: Donkey Kong Country Returns Hacking

PostPosted: March 25th, 2016, 2:28 pm
by spaceman2028
That looks AWESOME. If only it supports Tropical Freeze as well...

Re: Donkey Kong Country Returns Hacking

PostPosted: March 25th, 2016, 3:47 pm
by Parax
Tropical Freeze support isn't going to happen, unfortunately; it's way too different due to the hardware jump from Wii to Wii U. Almost every format is practically unrecognizable compared to DKCR.

Re: Donkey Kong Country Returns Hacking

PostPosted: March 26th, 2016, 11:47 am
by Phyreburnz
Sorry if this is a dumb question, but with this editor, would it be possible to modify the controls to be able to play the game with a gamecube controller instead of the wii controllers? That's honestly the one thing that is really holding me back from even wanting to buy the game.

Re: Donkey Kong Country Returns Hacking

PostPosted: March 26th, 2016, 12:20 pm
by Parax
No. You could configure Dolphin to do that though.

Re: Donkey Kong Country Returns Hacking

PostPosted: March 29th, 2016, 9:04 pm
by Qyzbud
Wow, this looks like an amazing tool with a lot of potential; I can't wait to try it out, and to watch it develop! Unfortunately I might have to wait just a little while to try it out in earnest, as my PC's having some strange freezing issues (GPU-related, I suspect).

At any rate, welcome to DKC Atlas, Parax, and thanks for sharing this exciting project with us! :D

Re: Donkey Kong Country Returns Hacking

PostPosted: April 16th, 2016, 10:41 pm
by Jesse
This editor is so cool parax. I have been waiting so long for this

Re: Donkey Kong Country Returns Hacking

PostPosted: December 29th, 2016, 3:46 pm
by Parax
Hey so just in case anyone on here is interested in helping improve the editor's DKCR-editing capabilities, there is a TON of debug info in the 3DS version, including:

- filenames for every asset
- symbols for the executable (function names)
- tons of debug strings in the executable that got compiled out of the Wii version
- tons of script property names

I don't think any of these can be automatically mapped directly to the Wii version but they could definitely be ported by hand if nothing else. Not sure when I'd have time to go through and do it myself, but if anyone else wants to work on it I would be glad to help (especially for the property names since those should be fairly to transfer).