Monday, January 25, 2016

Just For Fun: The Rockbreaker Code

This password works with the original
cartridge and the Virtual Console re-release.
Hello, everyone!  It's been pretty busy at my day job for the past little while, so I figured I'd take a breather today and properly recharge my batteries before I plunge back into my RKS workload tomorrow morning (remember, my weekends are Monday and Tuesday, not the standard Saturday and Sunday).  Since nothing prepares me for working on RKS better than Megaman, I figured I'd dust off my old console and give the black sheep of the original series a go after I-don't-know-how-many years.

Following last week's discussion on password cracking, I noticed that nobody has ever fully deciphered the password scheme for Megaman 7.  Not one to let an interesting challenge slip by, I decided to take a crack at it and see if there was a reason behind the lack of details.  Skip ahead a few hours, and I can confidently say that I've found my answers.  I have to admit, the guys working for Capcom in the mid-90's were brilliant programmers; how the game validates each password would definitely frighten wannabe crackers away.

Mad Grinder, meet the Hyper Rocket Buster.
Of course, it goes without saying that I've completely cracked the code.  After isolating what each individual value does, I've generated some very interesting passwords that significantly change how the game can be played.  I'll be publishing my findings after I've had the chance to properly organize the data, but that won't be for a little while since RKS naturally takes priority.

Still, I've decided to release a single custom password that will allow you to have fun with the game in a way you might not have expected.  I'm tempted to post a bunch of screenshots elaborating on what I mean, but I think it'd be a better idea to preserve the surprise and let you discover the intricacies for yourself.

The above password will start you at the very beginning of the game.  The moment you pause your game, you'll notice that something is a bit different (...well, a lot different, especially on the second page of the Status Subcreen).  Once you finish the first battle with Bass, the game opens up completely.  For better or worse, this password only works with authentic versions of the game (the original cartridge, the Virtual Console re-release, or up-to-speed Super Nintendo emulators); the code will not work on the incomplete port of the game found in the Megaman Anniversary Collection.  Given some of the cuts that were made to that version of the game, it's not really a big loss.

That said, enjoy!


  1. I still need to acquire an authentic copy of 7 sometime down the line.

  2. I'm really steamed that I no longer have my authentic copy of the game. Then again, that's what emulators are for. I always love when people can find working "invalid" passwords for games, such as the original Metroid.

  3. I hear ya. A "friend" of mine stole a copy of Super Mario RPG that my brother had borrowed from one of his friends back in the late 90's. Many years later, said "friend" offered to sell the game back to me. Suffice to say, I was offended -- and haven't spoken to him ever since.

    Back on topic: I wouldn't use the word "invalid" to describe this kind of password. After all, if you edit the appropriate memory values, the game will give you this password should you kill yourself off during the opening stage (that's actually how I took the cursor-free screenshot). I'd save the term "invalid" for codes that the game gives you, but that don't actually work. For example, enter the above code, then defeat any of the second batch of bosses (Slash Man, Spring Man, Shade Man, or Turbo Man). The password you receive after that is invalid; try as you might, Reggae will mock that your password isn't legitimate even though the game itself gave it to you. The passwords will only become valid again after you've defeated all four of the initial batch of bosses (Burst Man, Cloud Man, Junk Man, and Freeze Man).

    ...As an aside, I do not recognize the term "Robot Masters" as canon or even official. None of the Japanese materials have ever referred to the bosses in this way, nor is this term ever used in-game. It's even less valid that X being called "Mega Man" in Megaman X2 and X3 (which led to an entire generation of slack-jawed junksluts who didn't know that Megaman and X were two entirely different characters).

    "Cracked" would be a more accurate descriptor for this kind of password. I mean, I literally had to crack the code in order isolate the necessary variables, which I used to write my own password generator in Excel. I've verified it against every single one of the passwords I recorded during my playthough (all 112 of them), so I know the generator is accurate.

    Oh, since I'm on the subject of assholes and cracked codes, here's a password you can give to someone to subtly screw over their game:


    This password is technically 100% complete -- it starts you at Dr. Wily's fortress with every weapon and collectible possible, Beat rescued, full tanks and whistles, Auto's Hyperbolt found and delivered, and every progress flag set. However, even though you have all 4 RUSH Plates, you don't and will never be able to obtain the Super Adaptor. In other words, the player will have to go through Wily's fortress the hard way (or ragequit somewhere along the way).