Rom hacking: an ancient document on hacking and translating

Take care of a step, an example of bad translation, which sometimes happens in rom hacking too

Rom hacking?

Ians ago we did some rom hacking and translating in MHHG. We were so engrossed in the thing that for months we spent most of our waking hours thinking about which games to attempt next; how to redraw graphics and find character sets hidden in the assembled code, and so on. Many attempts were made and while many failed, some were successful. More info on the process and tools can be found here.


The actual hacking we did was in fact limited. It mostly consisted of redrawing compiled graphics and figuring out creative ways of moving text around. This was a challenge to do in compiled code with limited space available! But the brunt of our work was actually translating our favourite games from English to Swedish – not the most noble of efforts, I guess, seeing as most swedes are proficient in English anyway, and most native English speakers would not be very interested in playing Swedish versions of the games… But we did it, and we had a lot of fun along the way! Some of our translations are featured on

A document you say?

During this time we gathered some knowledge related to the tools and tricks we were using and exploring. In a rush of youthful and optimistic energy I actually made an attempt to compile some of that into a document. FAQs were the mode of the day. The rest of the internet was awash with blinking GIFs, message boards, chat apps and DOS downloads. And we were young.

I think I intended this (potentially at least) to help others, of course, but back then I’d say it was equal parts ego boost for me. Also, it may not be the best material available, but it is what it is and I leave it here unedited and unrefined for you to peruse. 17 years later.

    Metalhead Translation FAQ 0.8

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