In the fall of 2009 I took some time off from programming and hence my blog as I was traveling heavily for work. When I got back I started to work on VisualbB again by adding some new music and sound editing. I wanted to post my Failsafe editor for some time, but had to wait until the Bob was done tweaking it as the editor would break when various changes were made. Now that Failsafe is available for purchase, I figured it was safe to publish the editor.
Since I created this primarily as a tool for Bob to quickly develop graphics and levels I never created anything specific to modifying the title screen as in my Pacman editor. It is still possible using the editor and a hex editor, such as Hackomatic 3, to create a somewhat custom title screen. I say somewhat because the changes that you can make are limited as you will see.
The first thing you should know is the title screen is a combination of text and playfield graphics. The second thing you'll need to know is how to calculate the hex codes for the playfield graphics that are used. For example, if you look at the rows of tree on the title screen it is using the sprite at Bank 0, Tile 71 (using the Graphic functionality in the failsafe editor. Tile 71 * 2 = 142 and 142 in hex is $8E.
Removing the Trees
So let's search for that row of trees. You can begin by launching HOM3 and searching for the following set of hex values which represents the 20 trees used in three different rows on the title screen. "8E,8E,8E,8E,8E,8E,8E,8E,8E,8E,8E,8E,8E,8E,8E,8E,8E,8E,8E,8E". You'll find several instances of it, but the title screen trees are stored between $9F64- $9F77
You can change it to something different, for example I'll just add in a few buildings to make it look like a city using "90,92,96,98,9A,98,96,94,92,90,92,94,96,98,9A". Keep in mind this is reused across 3 different rows so it will be repeated.
Changing the name in the title
Now what if you want to change the name, "FAILSALE"? There are two ways to do this. You could change graphics using the failsafe graphic editor by changing titles 1 through 10 in bank 0. The other way to do it is to change the sprites that are used on the screen. Since the first method is pretty easy I'll skip that and focus on the later. FAILSAFE is the combination of the following hex codes: "02,04,06,08,A0,0C,0E,10,12,14". If you search for "02,04,06,08,A0,0C,0E,10,12,14" you'll find a couple instances, but the title text is stored between locations $9Fb9 to $9FC2 but you can actually use the entire row from $9FB4 to $9FC7. For our purposes I'll put FAILSAFE II in the middle of the screen using, "02,04,06,08,A0,0C,0E,10,12,14,62,62" from $9FB7 to $9FC2.
Changing Novice, Intermediate, Advanced
Let's say you want to change NOVICE to something else like "DAMN EASY". First thing is to find where NOVICE is stored. Once again use HOM3 and search for the following hex codes "6C,6E,7C,62,1A,1E". It should take you to location $9F1B.
NOVICE is actually stored from $9F1B to $9F20, but you can modify from $9F18 to $9F23. To make the change I changed locations $9F19 to $9F22 as "1C,16,6A,6C,00,00,1E,16,76,64". Using the same method you can make similar changes to INTERMEDIATE and ADVANCED.
Changing the text across the bottom
Using the find functionality you can search for "FAIL". The second location you find be "FAILSAFE @2009 BOB DECRESCENZO" at $282D.
Using the text editor (View->Open Text Editor) you can replace the text with something else using capital letters. For example you can call it "FALSAFE 2". Out of respect to Bob, I recommend against changing the copyright notice.
And that's about it. There might be additional things you can change, but I'll let you play with it and figure out the rest yourself!
Once done this is what my final title screen looked like.