BSFE, unused stuff, and you


#1

if i’m being honest, i’ve always found bsfe (and the satellaview in general) to be pretty damn fascinating. since obviously bsfe is just fe3 with a slightly different coat of paint, for a while i’ve been wondering just how much of fe3 actually survives in the game, but i’ve never seen anything resembling information on that at all anywhere. last night in a fit of boredom i decided it was time to try probing its guts to find out, but the problem is, a) to my knowledge bsfe’s innards are not documented at all, and b) i can’t hack or maths for shit. it took hours of constant stumbling and confused screeching to wrap my head around this, all leading to a frustratingly obvious conclusion…

…but once i realised i didn’t actually need to look too far at all from what fe3 does, tl;dr shit was Found

disclaimer: i’m 99% certain that, barring the actual content specific to each bsfe chapter, everything is the same in all of them. that said, the majority of my digging was done in part 4, although i’ve poked around in parts 1 and 3 enought to confirm that values are the same there

if you want to poke around with them yourself, pick bsnes-plus and use its memory editor to adjust values. you’ll also need the bs-x bios rom to play bsfe

anyway

items!

my first port of call was experimenting with items, because i figured that’d be an easy way in. if the structure’s anything like fe3 (and it is), unit inventories in memory are comprised of a string of 0x10 bytes - four for the weapon ids, four for the weapon durabilities, four for the item ids, four for the item durabilities; so plugging in, say, the first seven bytes denoting camus’s inventory (17 11 02 ff 11 14 14) gave me a relatively distinctive string to look for. tl;dr

every item from vanilla fe3 is here, and i do mean every item, including the stuff that was already unused in fe3. since bsfe introduces no new items, they didn’t even overwrite anything to make room. icons, stats and even effects are all intact with no problems: the darksphere still completely seals attacks, the starsphere and its fragments still boost growths, the geosphere, to my surprise, still does the quakey thing with no problems, etc etc. that said, bsfe’s lack of battle animations means that class change items just lock the game, as does any dragonstone used by anyone aside from the part 4 boss. other than that, everything works just as it does in fe3

for those playing along at home, the inventory of your first unit (ie nyna/hardin/rickard/nyna again) starts at 7F4C30 and the other playable characters occupy the subsequent lines

classes!

entries for all of fe3’s classes are still in bsfe, but unlike items, they’re much less complete. in each rom, the classes not used by that given rom are typically graphically incomplete: many of them only have their neutral pose (pictured left) and if they are moved, the game either plays the animations of some other used class or just sprays junk graphics everywhere and calls it an animation. a handful of classes, mostly ones later on down the game’s list (chiefly dragons and enemy-exclusive classes) don’t have any surviving graphics at all and are completely invisible on the map when not selected or moving; when moved they again spray junk graphics everywhere (pictured right)

additionally, having dancers and chameleons attempt to dance or imitate will just crash the game. i’m assuming this is a result of missing map animations for the former and the lack of battle animations for the latter

edit the byte at 7F4431 to change your lead character’s class; legitimate values run from 00 (lord) to 2C (mage dragon)

characters!

i’m in a bit of a hurry so tl;dr: all character name entries from fe3 still exist in bsfe. bsfe doesn’t replace any of them for its new characters, and just appends those onto the end. character locks appear to still exist. can’t speak for growths or base stats at all because i have no idea where to go for those. however, no character portraits from fe3 survive at all and you’ll just get garbage in their place. makes sense that they’d clear those out

for some reason, a unit’s character name and their portrait are denoted by separate bytes. edit 7F4445 to change the name, and 7F4446 to change the portrait

other stuff!

after i went through all of this darrman did some digging of his own, and…

he found a few of those little pictures accompanying opening narrations still surviving in the exact same place in all four bsfe roms. i’d best leave talkin about the details here to him, if he’s interested

in conclusion,


#2

goddamnit why am i never awake for things like these


#3

buff belf


#4

Doing God’s work Hol


#5

holy shit it’s an entire preparations menu

for those playing along at home, ordinary bsfe gameplay doesn’t use preparations menus and just plonks you and your units right into the action. makes sense, given that you’re only here for one chapter and all that. unsurprisingly there’s not really all that much to do on the screen: everything works, but the only unit listed is your first main character (nyna/hardin/rickard/nyna again), and the convoy is completely empty (not that i was expecting otherwise). i guess it’s kind of interesting that the maximum number of units allowed, as listed along the top, is consistent with the number of units you start with; the others just haven’t been added at this point in the eventing sequence or something

fun fact: unlike fe3, you can freely deselect and reselect the main character and even press start to begin the chapter without them, but this just makes the game hang at a black screen

i can’t speak for anything like unit starting coordinates, since i’m nowhere near smart enough to be able to extract or deduce that. presumably the starting coordinate for the lord is wherever they spawn, but the unit count indicates that there are spawn coordinates for every slot. do they match the coordinates they have when they are added to the map after this screen? who knows? hopefully someday someone will find out

oh, and the save function is still here, featuring a different borked non-anna “portrait” for every episode! surprisingly, the game doesn’t throw up errors or do anything weird if you hit yes on the save prompt, but the satellaview bios does not like it if you try to reset the game and enter the episode again

i actually found this completely by accident. i was messing around in the hope that i could force bsfe’s first episode to boot into leftover fe3 chapters or something, by editing the byte that vanilla fe3 uses to determine the current chapter (7E07DF) in the brief period between the bios loading the bsfe rom and said rom’s game beginning. that didn’t quite work, but by setting the byte to the id of any chapter in fe3 which uses the preparations menu, it does at least trick the game into loading the menu. the byte also happens to be what the game reads from when you load up the status screen, so…

it also tricks the game into loading up the names and objectives of chapters from fe3, even the debug one (00)! the only missing one is book 1 chapter 1, since every bsfe episode has its own map occupy its value (01) instead

quick acknowledgement to this site, since it’s what alerted me to the chapter-determining byte in fe3 itself (in the form of a gameshark code, sure, but still)


#6

new “discovery”: unused palla portrait in episode 2!

(don’t put any stock in the stats or inventory, this is just hardin with his portrait and name bytes set to display palla)

i can’t claim actual credit for discovering this at all. what happened is, we were discussing portrait decompression and that led bm to start talking about the work of the japanese “binary” hacking collective (of febinary fame). he started posting various portrait odds and ends he’d obtained from what we assume is their upload box, including a full set of bsfe portraits that happened to include this palla portrait. at first i just assumed the palla one was one of the binary people doing a solid job of emulating the bsfe portrait style, but since it was the only one of its theoretical replica kind, i started to wonder. i checked with the game and boom, there she was

as you probably know by now, palla isn’t playable in any bsfe episode but does figure pretty heavily in episode 2’s cutscenes. perhaps they planned to have her show up in the game itself at some point. i wonder if there’s any unique surviving stats to go with the portrait? i don’t have the knowledge to find out

change the byte at 7F4446 to 2F to have hardin display the portrait (or 7F4466 for minerva, 7F4486 for catria… you get the idea). it’s only in episode 2 because, like all other bsfe portraits, it was scrubbed out of the later episodes’ data

while i’m here, there’s one more unused portrait in episode 2:

i wasn’t sure about this one back when i was posting about the battle preparations menu, but it looks like this villager is definitely unused. conveniently, jugding by the binary resources, this screen displays her correct palette. considering how broken the other three episodes’ save prompt portraits are, it’s nice that this one worked out. i’m too stupid to figure out how to call this portrait in any context other than this screen, so i guess just trick episode 2 into booting into battle preparations if you want to see this one?

disregard all of that, i have made a stupid mistake, she actually is definitely used:

it just never occurred to me that maybe this episode has a seize point. sorry! ignore me, i’m super dumb

i don’t think there’s any other unused portraits in any episode, so there it is i guess


#7

Neat. Maybe if I go digging, I’ll find Tiki


#8

a few more quick discoveries i just made while waiting to be able to start fucking watching digimon adventure tri already

  1. we’ve got another secret hidden portrait: camus is lurking in the guts of episode 3, ahead of his debut in episode 4

since he’s already in part 3’s story, maybe they considered extending his role in the episode’s ending and having him show up in battle to scare the shit out of everyone? it wouldn’t surprise me if other episodes have other characters lurking like this, but i haven’t looked into it yet

no idea if he has proper character data/stats of his own programmed in yet; like with palla, i’m too dumb to do the thing. (ignore what he’s seen with here, i just slapped his name/portrait id on top of dice)

  1. a bit of dummy text!

if you insert members of fe3’s playable cast (including people who were playable in preceding bsfe chapters but not this one) into the game and the character gets killed, they all display this simple “it’s dummied!” message with the same portrait in each episode. i guess we now have a pretty good idea of what bsfe did to, at the very least, fe3’s death quote data. i have a feeling they did the same thing with all the rest of the story script stuff, but again, too dumb to confirm it


#9

oh look it’s Yet Another Quick Discovery

inspired by the discovery of those dummy strings, i thought i’d try experimenting with inserting fe3 bosses into the game as enemies. nothing happened for the most part, except if you put gazzak into part 3, instead of a boss quote he gives us…

…a very short and very lost recruitment conversation for malice! honestly i’m surprised this is here at all; i’d have figured that after doing frost’s appearance in episode 2 they’d have decided for certain that all the recruitment banter would be delivered as part of the soundlink radio (which, ultimately, it was for malice and dice). the conversation doesn’t actually do anything to recruit malice and dice, for what it’s worth, and they just remain enemies until the usual time-based recruitment event kicks in of its own accord later on

roughly translated that’s:

(リカード)
ねえ、おいらの味方になってよ
金はすきなだけやるからさぁ
(Rickard)
Hey, why don't you join us?
You can have as much gold as you want if you do.
(マリス)
なに、ほんとうか?
よし、ひきうけたぜ!!
(Malice)
What, are you serious?
Right, it's a deal!!

for what it’s worth, nothing interesting happened when i did this in the other parts; part 1 just gave the boss’s usual boss quote, and parts 2 and 4 just played some villager dialogue. no death quotes appeared in any of them either, much to my disappointment