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Sonic Heroes Modding: Getting Started

A Tutorial for Sonic Heroes

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Simple easy to use resource list/introduction to files involved in hacking Sonic Heroes.

1. Sonic Heroes Resource List

This is a simple, easy to use Resource List with short links and descriptions of all of the tools used to modify the game.

If you need help, the fastest way to get help is to ask in the Heroes Hacking Central (& Shadow) Discord Server.

2. Requirements

  • A copy of Sonic Heroes, with the .exe file from the no-cd crack by Reloaded. (MD5 Checksum: 23c3fb873c614e15dae1f362e7a15831)
    • You require this because SafeDisc, the DRM distributed with Sonic Heroes in most regions has been blacklisted by Microsoft, due to exposing security vulnerabilities.
    • Most mods modifying game code target this executable specifically, they will not work on others.
    • If you own the "Sonic PC Collection", you already have this executable. SEGA distributed a 3rd party crack in their own release.
  • Reloaded II
    • The current solution for loading Sonic Heroes mods.
    • Has mods available which bring Heroes up to standards of a modern game, from widescreen mods to XInput controller support.
    • If a mod on Sonic Heroes' GameBanana page doesn't have a Reloaded II download please check here: https://gamebanana.com/gamefiles/10624, all mods were ported to Reloaded II.
    • You'll probably use it sooner or later.

Most of the tools are available under one convenient download in the Sonic Heroes Starter Pack by Raphael Drew Boltman.

2.1. Archives

Many files in Sonic Heroes are packed behind various kinds of archives, here are the tools available to edit them:

  • ONE Archives
    • Files end with extension .one, contain compressed files.
    • Contain most game data, stage files, textures, player models, player animations.
    • Preferred tool to edit ONE archives is HeroesONE-Reloaded (Download).
    • The ONE Archive Redirector Mod allows you to replace, add or remove files in .ONE archives without you having to include the whole .ONE file in your mod.
  • AFS Archives
    • Files end with extension .afs. Large.
    • Contain ADX, AIX, AHX compressed audio. (Voice Clips)
    • Many tools to edit. Most commonly used is probably AFS Explorer
    • The AFS Archive Redirector Mod allows you to replace, add or remove files in .AFS archives without you having to include the whole file. AFS Files are large, please use this mod.
  • PAC Archives
    • Files end with extension .pac. Small.
    • Contains WAV audio, sometimes compressed.
    • Use PACTool to extract and repack archive contents.

2.2. Stages


  • Heroes Power Plant
    • Fully featured level editor for Sonic Heroes.
    • Edits Geometry, Visibility, Collision, Object Layouts, Cameras, Loops, Spawns, Particles, Texture Animations.
  • Some usage instructions available on Github.
  • Stage Injector (Mod)
    • Reloaded II mod that allows for modifying of hardcoded data (Spawn Positions, Loops) not available as external files.
    • Files read in by this mod are generated using Heroes Power Plant.
    • To make custom stages, please read the description of the mod.

Example Stage Mods:

2.2.1. Tutorials

Tutorial Series by Shadowth117 (incomplete): 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smQFMBxuEWQ 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylv_ALyT-8s

Note: Please ignore anything related to "Reloaded Generic Stage Injection Mod". Instead, follow instructions available in the new Stage Injector mod's readme. (see above)

2.3. Player, Object Models



Models come in a format known as RenderWare Clumps (.DFF). In Heroes, the stock RenderWare format is used with no custom extensions.

Unfortunately, the only tool that can import and export these models, with bones and skinning is a Plugin for 3DS Max, a piece of non-free, proprietary software.

If you're a student, you can however grab a free license for 3DS Max from the Autodesk website. It's pretty easy to do.

2.3.1. Exporting/Importing

Use the following 3DS Max plugin: https://gtaforums.com/topic/838479-dff-importer-and-exporter-for-3ds-max/

This is a generic RenderWare Clump importer, exporter and can be used for many RenderWare games, including Heroes.

2.3.2. Animations

Importing and exporting of animations requires 3DS Max in conjunction to the aforementioned model plugin.

Animations may be imported using the following Max script by Shadowth117.

2.3.3. Tutorials

Video tutorial series by Shadowth117.

(Please ignore old mod loader)

2.4. Editing Text



2.4.1. Hint Text

  • Heroes Hint Editor
    • Modifies hint text for help boxes and invisible talk triggers.
    • Supports English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
    • No support for Japanese and Korean. If you know either language, feel free to help.

2.4.2. Cutscene Text

This is rarely requested, outside of translation patches. Cutscene text editing is possible, however the text is hardcoded into the executable. As there has been no demand for editing cutscene text, no generic patcher exists as of yet.

If you are a programmer and want to edit cutscene text, please ask me (Sewer) in the Discord server. If you have no programming knowledge, but are working on a large scale project, ask anyway. A custom tailored solution/generic patcher might be created if there is demand.

2.5. Audio & Video


  • ADX Audio
    • Many tools to convert.
    • Would recommend radx and AtomENCD (Tutorial).
    • Audio files have issues if they are larger than the originals.
    • To fix this, use CRI Filesystem Hook Mod.
    • If you are releasing a Reloaded II mod with audio, please add that mod to your mod's dependencies.
  • SFD Video
    • SofDec Video Codec by CRI Middleware.
    • Combines MPEG1 video and ADX audio.
    • Can be converted using FFMPEG or viewed using video players utilizing FFMPEG (e.g. VLC, MPC-HC).
    • Not many tools to encode. Most popular one is probably PES Video Converter.
  • PAC Archives
    • Contain sound effects for the game.
    • Grouped by category, (bank0 = General, bank3 = Character Actions, bank5 = Stage Specific) etc.
    • See above for more info.

2.6. Additional Resources

- More Technical Documentation at SCHG: Sonic Heroes.
- Our dying community at Discord.

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Key Authors
Sewer56lol
Sewer56lol Joined 2y ago
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4,648 points Ranked 1484th
18 medals 1 legendary 2 rare
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Sewer56lol avatar
Sewer56lol Joined 2y ago
R-II Manager
Offline
4,648 points Ranked 1484th
18 medals 1 legendary 2 rare
  • Created a Mod Installer Medal icon
  • Achieved Game Manager clearance Medal icon
  • Became a Game Pioneer Medal icon
  • One month a member Medal icon
  • Submitted 1 Tool Medal icon
  • Returned 100 times Medal icon
Sewer56lol
Creator
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