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Quasar

Online Doom 64 Password Generator

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Fixed a few glitches: NaN values don't fall through form validation any more, and backpack and max ammo amounts will be properly reset if the previous password entered gave it, but a new one being decoded doesn't.

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Dragonsbrethren said:

To generate passwords, duh.

A more precise answer would be to both generate new and decode existing passwords. Unlike some NES and SNES games where passwords were straight forward and could sometimes have a single letter or more changed to make a difference (ie. setting your lives to max in IronSword: Wizards and Warriors II), the Doom 64 passwords are both scrambled and hashed.

Even a single bit change tends to change 3 letters in the password, so, the chance of generating one at random is vanishingly small, and it's pretty much impossible to something simple like give yourself more ammo or take away a single weapon.

It's a lot more compact than having somebody list out starting condition passwords for every single level on every single skill; let alone ones in addition that let you go in with "natural progression" equipment, or full bore with everything.

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Nice! Will you make a PS1 Doom/Final Doom password generator in the future?

And if it counts, make a N64 Quake 1 & 2 password generator also?

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DustFalcon85 said:

Nice! Will you make a PS1 Doom/Final Doom password generator in the future?

And if it counts, make a N64 Quake 1 & 2 password generator also?

If somebody reverse engineers those password systems, maybe. This one is a port of the Kex Engine (Doom 64 EX) code from C to JavaScript. I didn't figure out any of the core logic myself.

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Wow, maybe I can actually FINISH playing the damn hard copy. I was always so bad about losing passwords..

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Nice, password systems that "contained" actual game info always fascinated me.

It's like having a savegame in text format.

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Undocumented feature: It also works for Final Doom. :D

EDIT: I tried to enter a password for a level beyond 30 in Final Doom in hopes it would make the game crash. Sadly, it just gives INVALID PASSWORD. :P

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footman said:

Undocumented feature: It also works for Final Doom. :D

EDIT: I tried to enter a password for a level beyond 30 in Final Doom in hopes it would make the game crash. Sadly, it just gives INVALID PASSWORD. :P

Yeah. You can actually encode any number up to 63 given the number of bits used for the level number, but even the original game will range check it into the 1 <-> 59 range, so, I don't allow generating such passwords and decoding them if hand-constructed gives an invalid password message, as the game itself would do.

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Technician said:

What's the point?


It actually makes me wonder if password systems are very space conserving. I've played games even on Game Boy Color that could remember progress after turning the system off any number of times. At the very least it could remember the line of text representing the name you gave your profile or your character. How much space does it take to have an algorithmic sequence of characters to represent every possible circumstance of the players inventory? Does the cartridge not have a fraction of space left afterwards to simply copy that line of text you earned by beating the level as memory data and paste it with the game next time its run, by simply hitting a "continue" button on the UI? Why burden the player to feverishly scribble those letters and numbers on an old napkin and pray you don't lose it?

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I believe not featuring real saving saves up on the cartridge's cost/longevity because it avoids having to include writeable memory and a battery.

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VGA said:

I believe not featuring real saving saves up on the cartridge's cost/longevity because it avoids having to include writeable memory and a battery.

Except Doom 64 can save up to 16 of your passwords on the N64 memory card.

PSX is the game that can't save anything at all. And in fact, Kaiser tells me that the game corrupts PSX memory cards because apparently they left some unfinished saving code in there that trashes the file system... so I'd recommend removing your PSX memory cards before you play that game >_>

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VGA said:

I believe not featuring real saving saves up on the cartridge's cost/longevity because it avoids having to include writeable memory and a battery.


What I'm saying is that space on the cartridge is already used with this algorithm for starting a game on a certain map with a certain inventory. If you open up Notepad and write a single sentence in a text file and save it, the file barely exceeds a single kilobyte. There has to be at least a little bit of free space on the cartridge to save that data on it somewhere. Games like Pokemon Red and Blue for Game Boy Color could remember the names you gave your pokemon without a memory card or anything. Why can't the Doom64 cartidge hold your passwords?

Was it done intentionally to sell the external memory cards?

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40oz said:

Was it done intentionally to sell the external memory cards?

Simple economics. Nintendo charged 3rd party devs a lot more for carts w/battery backup memory, so instead they opted to use the memory card feature.

Note virtually all first party games use battery backup or in-cart flash.

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40oz said:

Was it done intentionally to sell the external memory cards?


No conspiracy needed. Have you ever heard of a rom? That's what the game itself is on a cartridge. Rom literally stands for Read Only Memory. It can't be written to no matter how small. Even a single byte. So saving of any kind would require having separate writable memory included in the cartridge, plus (at that point in time) a battery to keep the save from being lost every time the power was shut off.

GBA games used flash memory instead I believe, so they could hold saves for up to ten years from the last time they were turned on without needing a battery (that's just how flash memory works). N64 and older systems didn't have that option though.

tl:dr; Cartridges aren't like hard drives, which is probably how you were thinking of them. Thus passwords/memcard saves were cheaper for game makers than having on-cartridge saves. It can also save on longevity, like VGA said, because for some systems replacing a dead battery in a cartridge actually means having to solder the new battery in place. Back then when they were designing cartridges no one really thought about the eventuality of having to replace a battery every 10-20 years.

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sector666 said:

...so they could hold saves for up to ten years from the last time they were turned on without needing a battery (that's just how flash memory works)...

AFAIK, flash is effectively non-degrading so long as the physical medium is sufficiently protected from damage. It only degrades with each burn cycle. The "ten year" window, if such a thing exists, would be the amount of time in which you might expect to hit the burn cycle limit and no longer be able to write to the card (or possibly read from it). But, given non-use, the information should be very stable.

Also, PSX, N64, and GameCube memory cards are all flash-based media. It was not unique to GBA, nor was GBA even nearly first at using it. I've been told some N64 carts have internal flash rather than batteries, but I have no proof of it.

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N64 memcards flash based? I thought flash based memory didn't need a battery. I lost all my N64 memcard saves a couple of years ago because the memcard battery died, so I thought those weren't flash.

Maybe I'm getting confused because of what I heard about GBA carts being flash based and not needing a battery because of that.

Quasar said:

AFAIK, flash is effectively non-degrading so long as the physical medium is sufficiently protected from damage...

I was referring to what I've heard about the "charge" being held for around ten years from the last time power went through a GBA cartridge. Just plugging it in and turning the power on every ten years or so would keep the save on the cart indefinitely, because it would renew the charge to the flash memory. I've never checked to see if that's true though so it could've just been a myth.

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