Digimon Adventure (Game Boy Advance)
This game has a prototype article
The GBA Digimon Adventure is a port of the unlicensed SNES game of the same name, used as the basis for at least 13 other unlicensed games - which are mostly just graphics swaps of each other.
While this game was long thought to have been unreleased, in December 2019 an authentic cartridge was found by Twitter user yySintax.
The sound engine and music for this game was provided by fellow (and much more talented) unlicensed developer, Vast Fame. Unfortunately, Sintax clearly had no clue how to use it.
The title screen, continue/game over screens, level intro screens, and ending all play no music whatsoever, substituting either silence or a constant tone depending on what emulator it's being played on. Every level has the same music, but defeating certain enemies causes another track to start playing, while other enemies appearing on-screen can cause the music to stop completely.
Released variants fixed the title screen music, but initially retained the strange enemy-related behavior. Later games fixed that as well, but at the cost of literally the same music track playing throughout the entire game beyond the title screen.
What this whole mess means is that a maximum of three different music tracks may be heard throughout all known versions of this game:
- Digimon Adventure prototype: regular level music, defeated-random-enemy music
- Early released variants: title screen, regular level music, defeated-random-enemy music
- Later, "fixed" released variants: title screen, regular level music
However, the game actually contains 10 different songs, leaving seven unused. Some are versions of tracks from previous Vast Fame games, with added PCM percussion.
Level Music Modifier
ROM location 0x1BC contains the ID of the level music, set to 22 by default. By modifying this value to one of the following values, you can replace it with one of the unused tracks.
- 21 - Title screen music used in subsequent games
- 22 - Default level music
- 23 - Unused
- 24 - Unused
- 25 - Unused, battle music from Shi Kong Xing Shou
- 26 - Unused
- 27 - Unused
- 28 - "Defeated random enemy"
- 29 - Unused
- 2A - Unused
Note that the game seems to have some issues with music playback, noticeably affecting the regular level music (which plays normally in released versions). Therefore, the unused tracks may not sound exactly as intended when played in this manner.
Title Screen - "Happy Birthday"
Song ID 3F is a sampled instrumental edit of the song "Happy Birthday" by Kyoko, the ending theme of the first Detective Conan movie.
It's likely that this was supposed to be the title screen music: Vast Fame's own Digimon Ruby used a sped-up version of "Brave Heart" from the Digimon Adventure anime in the same way. "Happy Birthday" does bear some resemblance to Brave Heart, so it's possible it was being used as a placeholder until a recording of the latter song could be found.
Currently, the game attempts to play song 21 on the title screen (as heard in the released variants), but fails to do so; The code is seemingly still expecting a single sample at this point. Changing ROM location 0x128 from 21 to 3F in the unmodified ROM will restore "Happy Birthday".
Some of the game's sound effects are taken from Pokémon Gold and Silver, and IDs 41-FF will play various Pokémon sound effects and jingles, most of which are not used in this game.
It also makes use of an additional set of sound effects, which can seemingly only play during gameplay and when some sprite-related action has taken place, using IDs 101-116. The source of these additional sound effects is unknown, but it may be a Konami game, as 10C is the distinctive Konami pause sound.
Partial Restoration Patch
Make a version for the released variants.
|Download Digimon Adventure music patch
File: Digimon_Adventure_GBA_Music_Patch.zip (484 B) (info)
Current version: 1.3
- Restores Happy Birthday to the title screen.
- Makes the game load the level music ID from RAM location 0x03001000 instead of ROM, making it easier to modify on the fly using cheat codes. (For example, CodeBreaker code 33001000 00?? can be used with one of the above listed IDs replacing "??".)
- Plays different music in each level.
- Prevents enemies from replacing or stopping the music by forcing a valid sound effect to be played instead.
It is worth noting that it does not work properly on the variants that came after Digimon Adventure. A user named SuperOnion64 tested it, and it doesn't work properly, aside from the music.
In the SNES version, Agumon will digivolve into Greymon if its lifebar is filled more than halfway. In the GBA version, the player starts as Agumon with more than half health already. Although health pickups are functional, the evolution is never triggered. However, Greymon's sprites and those for the evolution animation are still present in the ROM.
Oddly, these animations are also present in all of the variants, hinting that there's no way to trigger the evolution.
The game was hacked and re-released countless times, changing the graphics to be based on other franchises. Most if not all of them use the same level layouts, though sometimes the level order is moved around. They suffer from many glitches, particularly with trying to jump on the clouds.
The known revisions are:
- Aladdin 2
- Crash Advance IV
- Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
- Digimon - ruby and sapphire
- Donkey Kong II
- Harry Potter IV
- Lion King 2
- Lord of the Rings IV
- Mario DX (aka Super Mario DX)
- Rayman IV (aka Rayman - sunshine of trip)
- Shrek Prezessin
- Sonic 3 Fighter Sonic
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2
- Ultraman - Confrontation Between Justice And Evil
- X-Man - Armour of Might
All of Sintax's GBA bootlegs are encrypted with a tool called "YJencryption", which made them extremely hard to dump and emulate, since it was apparently very important to ensure their terrible, identical knock-off platformers weren't used by other manufacturers (which is quite ironic, since they're all ripped off of the SNES Digimon Adventure anyway). It took until August 2020 for YJencryption to be cracked for all of their GBA titles.