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davidjoshualightman

Little League Baseball for NES

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I've always been amazed by the Tecmo fan community and after many years of enjoying the fruits of your labor, I've been inspired to try hacking a game which I've loved since childhood - Little League Baseball for NES.

 

I first started hacking this ROM in 2007 but gave up after realizing that the data wasn't as easy to manipulate as I'd first thought.  Basically, I was thrown off by a row of FF's in the ROM which seemed to present the team data in a nice little table, but I was a few rows offset from truly grasping how it was laid out.  I'm back now and have made some great strides, but still need a bit more to make the game as custom as I'd like.  To me, this was always the baseball game I compared to Tecmo Super Bowl.  I realize its similar in style and gameplay to some other more popular NES games such as the Baseball Stars series, but it resonated with me much more for some reason.  The game play is easy to learn but difficult to master, and thanks to the disparity in team abilities and the ruthless nature of the CPU, you can continue to challenge yourself for many games.  It's also super fun as a multiplayer game.

 

I have posted on the romhacking subreddit already on Reddit, but I am posting here as well, to try and give back to the community and to also see if anyone is interested in collaborating on making this game as customizable as possible.  I've done as much as I can with my limited knowledge of hex editing and by using the FCEUX tools as best as I can, and my progress is starting to stall.

 

Without further ado, here is all the documentation I've come up with so far on editing the ROM.  I've included some RAM values as well, as I've been trying to use them as a jumping off point for possibly pinpointing some of the data from the ROM that I'm missing.

 

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Little League Baseball: Championship Series
 
RAM Addresses:
0x0004F9 - Away Team Pitcher’s Value 4 (see ROM info)
0x0004FA - Home Team Pitcher’s Value 4 (see ROM info)
0x0004FB - Away Team Pitcher’s Stamina Remaining (value 2)
0x0004FC - Home Team Pitcher’s Stamina Remaining (value 2)
0x0004FD - Away Team Pitcher’s position in the lineup (00 thru 08)
0x0004FE - Home Team Pitcher’s position in the lineup (00 thru 08)
 
ROM Addresses:
0x010430 to 0x01054F - Japan’s team player information
0x010550 to 0x01066F - Arizona’s team player info

etc.
 
You can follow this pattern to get all the team’s player information.  As far as I can tell so far, the teams are always listed in the same order in the ROM.
 
Team order in the ROM:
JAPAN, ARIZONA, PENNSYLVANIA, CHINESE TAIPEI, KOREA, NEW YORK, CALIFORNIA, TEXAS, HAWAII, SPAIN, PUERTO RICO, MEXICO, CANADA, ITALY, ILLINOIS, FLORIDA
 
Player information guide - 
Each player’s information is on a single line of 16 hex characters as follows
1 thru 6 - Player’s name
7 - Player type (batting handedness and size) This is always 00, 01, 02, 80, 81, 82.  First digit of 0 is Right handed, first digit of 8 is left handed.  Second digit of 0 is tall, 1 is fat, 2 is short.
8 - always FF
9 - Unknown to me at this time, possible has to do with helping the CPU choose subs
10 - Hitting power (00 is low and DF is highest in the game, but I assume that it goes up to FF in theory)
11 - Some sort of player speed.  This goes from 00 low to FF high.  It DEFINITELY corresponds to baserunning speed and it has some sort of relationship with the player’s defensive skills but I’m not sure to what extent.
12 - the player’s printed Skill ability when they’re up to bat.  00 to 04 being Skill 1 thru Skill 5.  Strangely, PARK on team KOREA is a 07, but I have no idea if this actually affects hitting ability.
13 - This designates the team’s pitchers.  Each team has 3 pitcher types per team, but you can assign as many pitchers per team as you want.  The values are always 08, 10, 18, or 00 (not a pitcher).  This corresponds to values I will go over later on, it does not have any known effect on the pitcher’s ability or style.
14 - Always 00
15 - Always 00, 02, 03, 04.  I don’t have data to back this up, but I believe it is some sort of batting ability / power multiplier because it typically is given to players in the “meat” of the lineup.
16 - always 00


Pitcher information - each team’s pitcher information is found in the two rows of 16 values found AFTER the row of FF’s that follow each team.  Each pitcher appears to have 8 values attached to them, with the first starting at the 9th value on the 1st line, the second at the 1st value on the 2nd line, etc.  So, any pitcher marked on your lineup (above) as 08 on your roster will have the same attributes as the first, any pitcher marked as 10 will have the same attributes as the 2nd, and 18 would be your final pitcher definition.
 
The eight values for pitchers are as follows:
1 - This is always either 00, 01, 02, 80, 81, or 82.  Just as your batters, the first digit is right or left handed, and the second digit is normal throw, hard throw, or side arm delivery.
2 - This value is tied to stamina, but there is some sort of calculation happening in the background.  You’ll notice that a value of FF for instance does not equal FF in the stamina RAM addresses I provided above.  FF appears to be the highest you can set, but you can manually change the RAM to allow for a greater stamina than the game allows.  Stamina in this game is very interesting because it appears to be based mostly on the length of time you attempt to control a pitch, with a longer press taking away more stamina until your pitcher has 0 remaining… at which point I assume your pitcher’s overall ability to throw is based on their other stats… which brings us to… their other stats.
3 - This value is unknown to me.  It must be a good thing for a pitcher to have a higher rating, as Italy has the lowest values, but I’m not skilled enough at ROM hacking to figure it out.  
4 - Again, this is unknown to me.  The values only range from 02 to 0F.  Still need to figure this one out.
5 - always 00
6 - always 00
7 - this is the pitcher’s printed Skill Level when they’re on the mound.  I do not know what (if any) correlation it has to their stats.
8 - Always 00 or 02.  On assumption only, I’m guessing this MIGHT be some sort of multiplier in the same way that value 15 appears to be in the above player data.
 
Other data:
Lines 0x01FAD0 and 0x01FAE0 - these are the colors each team wears both on the field and in the bat throwing cut scene.  There are two colors for each team and they follow the team order as shown above.
 
Starting at address 0x0116DA and continuing until 0x011769 are the starting positions for each player in your lineup, following the team order mentioned above.  So, for instance, Japan is 08 16 29 31 42 57 65 73 84.  The first digit is the order in the line up (0 thru 8 aka 1 thru 9) and the second digit is their position on the field.  The position numbers follow normal baseball scoring numbering… so 1 is pitcher, 2 is catcher, 3 is first base, etc.
 
Starting at address 0x01176a is the FLAG data for each team, for the flag that appears on the team select screen, in the team order we’ve come to know and love.  48 is USA, the others you can figure out by just writing them out.
 
Team names and abbreviations are fairly easy to find.  I haven’t mapped out specifically which correlates with each screen yet, as that will be the easy part once this is all done.  Also, I am pretty sure that the sliding bars on the POWER ANALYSIS screen are controlled by the values starting at 0x00F234, in team order.
 
What I feel is missing to make a truly custom version of this game:
If you grew up loving this game like I did, you probably know the in’s and out’s of a lot of the teams, even without having the ROM available to look at the player stats… BUT I feel that I cannot truly customize this game without knowing the following - and I’m listing them in their order of importance.


1 Defensive abilities - is throwing speed variable or team/player dependent?  Is the baserunning attribute the only thing that controls speed in the field?
2 The unknown pitching stats need to be concretely defined although it IS amazing to be able to make a whole team of sidearm pitchers finally!
3 Changing team locations on the map - somewhat of a dream at this point, but probably not out of the question.
4 Other color and text changes - maybe changes to certain screens text, player hair color is clearly tied to each team in some way, etc.
 

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