My apologies if people waiting to enthusiastically play games find my current ROM releasings boring. As I’ve said before, I’m throwing up the stranger oddities of the ROM Dumps first.

So, you’re probably gonna ask me what makes this one strange.

Basically, one day among a few other ROMs Callis wanted me to sort through, he found a bit of what looked like bootable data in one of them and showed this to me..

Onos, the text!

Obviously, you can't read this.

He asked me if the text data was corrupt, but having seen a few cases like this before, I proposed to him that for some reason the emulator he was using could not detect it as a BS-X BIOs compatible ROM, and therefore would not do a font call, which led to the corrupt fonts.

After obtaining the ROM myself, I tried popping it in every emulator I got only to get the same result.
Realizing that it might need it’s header hacked to boot up, I decided to pop it open in a Hex editor and-

This is seriously wrong.

For anyone wondering what I’m trying to point out, basically the header is somehow, well, messed up;
1) The byte for filesize is not one that’s functional with the BS-X (it’s 4mb according to ucon64 – an impossible filesize.)
2) There is NO checksum or inverse checksum
3) Not highlighted on here, but the “Maker” value is -blank-.

to summarize, if you’ve read this a long time ago, you’d kinda have an idea what’s wrong here.

After Callis assured me that was how the ROM was dumped, I went to making a header hack. The hack shall be included in with the ROM upload, as an IPS Patch. Then, after applying it, you should get -this-…


All better!

instead of corruptness over there. Indeed, my initial hunch was correct, although the circumstances a bit more bizarre than I expected.

Now, that may leave you wondering, is there anything important in this ROM?


Well… not really. Besides the state of the dump, the ROM’s a AK LIVE Magazine, made to promote the band and their music. Of course, this still makes one wonder how the ROM ended up the way it was – many “locked” ROMs simply have the “Number of tries” value set to the “lock”. Was it really necessary to remove the checksum…?

Click around here to download!
AK LIVE Hit Gang
AK LIVEヒットギャング


  1. anon said,

    December 30, 2009 at 6:56 am

    There are various ways a game could be “disabled”, in the sense of not showing up in the file selection menu of the BS-X host cartridge.
    Most (if not all) soundlink games were permanently disabled by not having all of the required data in the ROM header.

    A removed maker and checksum however is a strong indicator that the ROM in question once ran from said selection menu, but was deleted by the BS-X cart at some point.
    Reason for this usually being a corrupt ROM (checksum is verified before each start of the ROM, as we all know).

    If the ROM was only allowed to start a limited amount of times, it would instead have the lock bit of the counter byte set, as you mentioned.

    In conclusion, it is likely that this ROM was already bad when Matthew got it.

  2. Kiddo said,

    December 30, 2009 at 9:30 am

    It is possible that the data could be bad – however, besides the header, I do not notice any apparent sign of ROM corruption (i.e. bad graphics). Perhaps a hacker could identify such a spot?
    Also, the ROM was dumped from an 8M Pack which had another, fully working game on it, which makes the possibility of it being a bad dump seem stranger…

    My own guess would be that this deletion was an intentional attempt to manually delete the game (Using the “Delete” function in the BS-X Memory Pack menus). Maybe the guy was hoping to overwrite it with something else at some point…?

  3. New ROM Dump: Tamori no Picross 6/26 (By Ikari_01) | Satellablog said,

    June 14, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    […] Ah, one catch, though. It was one of -those- kind of ROM dumps again. […]

  4. New ROM: Machi, Machi Mag, I’ve gotta get, a Machi Mag… | Satellablog said,

    October 22, 2012 at 11:10 am

    […] seem to want to load in the BIOs. Turned out the ROM was a magazine with similar issues that the release of AK Live Hit Gang did. Speaking of that one, I should double-check it’s patch… ah, […]

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