Thursday, February 18, 2016

Help Wanted: The Hyper Dragon Chip Challenge

Megaman 7 - Versus Mode
Hold L & R and press Start
Hello, everyone.  Sorry to keep you waiting!

There are still a few things on the ol' To-Do List that need taking care of before I can roll out the next RKS Developer Diary.  Assuming everything goes according to plan in the next few days, the next entry should be ready sometime this weekend.  As I've hinted to before, we'll be taking a closer look at one of the new features that we had to code from scratch, as well as a handful of related homages that no one had the means to appreciate in our original fan translation.  You'll understand what I mean by that once the next post is ready.

In the meantime, I'd like to ask a few of you to lend me a hand with something I've been tinkering with on the side:

As I mentioned in my last post, I enjoy cracking the password schemes of my favorite games both as a mental exercise and as a way of figuring out the intricacies of how the games work.  Sundays at my day job have been rather slow as of late, so I've often found myself whipping out my notes and trying to figure out exactly how the password schemes for all four Megaman titles on the Super Nintendo function -- with fascinating results.  Well, after a few weeks of waiting around for customers to serve, I'm proud to say that I've completely cracked the code schemes for all four games.  I've also written password generators for all four games in Microsoft Excel, so I'm now able to generate passwords for any scenario I could possibly want (provided the relevant variables I want to manipulate are actually stored in the password).

Megaman X - Hadouken
Hold L, R, X & Down and press Start
Interestingly enough, I'm pleased to report that the long-held belief that the "100% completion" bonuses of Megaman X through X3 (the Hadouken, the Shoryuken, and the Hyper Chip - a.k.a the Gold Armor) weren't being saved in your passwords is decidely not true.  Don't believe me?  Boot up Megaman X, enter the password 3673-2177-2487, hold the L, R, X and Down buttons, then press Start to confirm the code.  Enter any stage, then immediately press Down, Down-Forward, Forward, Y to fire a Hadouken without needing to return to the cliff in Armored Armadillo's Stage.  Ah, the convenience!

Suffice to say, I've isolated the exact variables that determine whether or not you resume your game with the completion bonus equipped.  I've also determined that these variables are automatically reset if a specific combination of buttons is not held down when the Start button is pressed to confirm the password entry.  Megaman 7 confirms this theory since its completion bonus, Versus Mode, is unlocked in the exact same manner -- holding down the L and R buttons before confirming the password entry with Start.

Megaman X2 - Shoryuken
Starts at X-Hunter Stage 2
Hold Down, Left, R & B and press Y
As tempting as would be to spend my free time uncovering some brand-new secrets in two of my favorite games, I have more important matters to attend to at the moment that must take priority (namely, finishing the remaining work on RKS).  So, while I'm busy working on RKS, I'd like to release a pair of passwords and ask the RKS community to help figure out the secret in my stead.

For the emulation enthusiasts among you, what I'm asking should be relatively simple (if time-consuming).  Launch your favorite Super Nintendo emulator (preferably SNES9x, Higan, RetroArch, or ZSNES), boot up either Megaman X2 or X3, and enter the corresponding password pictured in this post.  Before pressing Start to confirm the password and start your game, record a save-state.  Then, hold down a button or two (or three, or four... could be as many as six buttons - I don't know...) and press Start.  The X2 password will start you at Serges' Stage  (X-Hunter Stage 2),  while the X3 code will start you at Doppler Town Stage 1 with Bit, Byte, and Vile alive and Zero's Z-Saber equipped (remember: to get the Z-Saber, you need fight Mosquitus as Zero, which is impossible to do when while Vile is still alive ^_^).  In either case, check to see if the completion bonus is equipped (in X2's case, press Forward, Down, Down-Forward, Y or Back, Down, Forward, Y to execute a Shoryuken; in X3's, whether X's armor is gold instead of blue should be obvious).  If it didn't work, reload your save-state and try again with a different button combination, recording which ones worked and which ones didn't.

Megaman X3 - Hyper Chip
Vile rematch with the Z-Saber
No code available...
I have no way of knowing how little or how much time the process of pinpointing the secret button combination might take since I have no idea how complex the combinations might be.  However, we can safely exclude the B and Y buttons from among the possibilities since they have other functions on the password scheme (Y increases any given digit's value in both games, and B decreases the digit's value in X2 and returns to the Title Screen in X3).  So, that leaves any combination among the four directional buttons (Up, Down, Left, and Right), L, R, X, A, and Select.  If you don't have a gamepad, check if your emulator allows you to map custom commands to a single button (I know for sure that ZSNES supports this feature; I used to map the Hadouken / Shoryuken to my Dual Shock 2's R2 button when playing X / X2).

By my calculations, the odds of any particular button combination being the correct one is 255 to one, so only take part in this task if you have plenty of free time to kill.  That said, thank you to everyone who is interested in helping out.  Here's hoping we're able to find the final piece in this pair of 20+ year old mysteries.

That said, I wish you luck!  See you later!

Update: Justin3009 from has figured out the codes!  Good work, Justin!


  1. Does the MMX password work if you're holding more than Down/L/R/X? Like, is Left/Down/L/R/X/A viable?

    The most efficient way to find the combination seems like it would be to hold _every_ button, then remove them one at a time until it stops working. Don't really have the time to test that now, though, maybe late tonight.

    Still, neat. I remember seeing something known about a Hado password, but it seemed kinda unreliable. It was amazing how long people had no idea how to trigger the capsule spawn at all, really.

    1. Okay, did some brief testing, and holding literally every button does work in X1 and 7 (well, in 7 you can't touch A or X). It does _not_ in X2 or X3, which either means there isn't a button combination, or that they totally retooled how it would recognize it.

      Lending credence to the second theory is that in X2 and X3, pressing all four directions on the same frame doesn't move the cursor, but in X and 7 it goes up-left or up, respectively.

      Lending credence to the former is that _no one has ever found a way to do this_.

  2. I remember holding Down, L, R, X, A, and Select to get the Hadouken code to work on at least one occasion, so I think it's safe to assume that having more than the required number of buttons held would work. For some strange reason, SNES9x keeps auto-remapping my controls, preventing me from doing the job myself (either than, or my Dual Shock 2 may be beginning to die... I have Save State and Load State set to R2 and L2 while I'm debugging, but it keeps remapping them to Square and Triangle).

    There's also the possibility that it could be a short code (like the ones in RKS) instead of a simple button combination, exponentially increasing the complexity and decreasing the odds of finding it by brute force and pure luck...

    As for Light's capsule, I've confirmed that there's a specific variable that keeps track of how many times you ascend the cliff at the end of Armored Armadillo's stage (not how many times you collect the Life Energy capsule on it). When the counter reaches 4, the Dr. Light capsule spawns as you're launched into the air by the final mine cart ramp (and the counter caps at 5 the last time you climb the cliff). I remember reading about it in an issue of Nintendo Power at around the same time that a friend in my karate class confirmed that the trick worked (how appropriate: learning about a guy in a gi from a guy in a gi...).

  3. This is gonna be a dumb question, but am I supposed to still be able to find Dr. Light's Shoryuken capsule with the Shoryuken password? So far I've tried a few button combinations on RetroArch's SNES9x and not getting any results, and then I went to see if Dr. Light's capsule is still in the usual area and I was able to find in there.

  4. Success! I asked a fellow hacker at to dive into the games' assembly code, and he succeeded in isolating the button combination for the Shoryuken! I have to admit, I never would have guessed this one:

    Enter the password above, move your cursor to the last row, then press (and hold!) Down and Left so that your cursor is now on the "Start" option. Hold B and R while continuing to hold Down and Left, then press Y to confirm the code. Shoryuken!

    Honestly, I had no idea that the Y button doubled as a code confirmation button when Start was highlighted since I always used the Start button myself, so my apologies for eliminating the correct answer from among the possibilities. I should note that holding Down, Left, B, Y, R, and Start does not work; exactly five buttons must be held down, not six, for the code to take effect. Another thing that distinguishes X2 from the original X...

    By the way: the credit goes to Justin3009 for solving this 22-year-old mystery.

    Viper: at least you knew ahead of time that it was a dumb question; if the code took and you had the Shoryuken already, you naturally wouldn't be able to find the Shoryuken capsule again.

    Before anyone wracks their brains over the Hyper Chip part of the "Hyper Dragon Chip Challenge", I have some unfortunate news. Because of how the game is coded, Megaman X3 automatically resets all four chip values to zero if all four are enabled in the password; there is no code to load the Hyper Chip from a password (only the code to save it to one...). Oh, well...

    The Hyper Chip capsule is enroute to the boss of Doppler Stage 1, and you can load up to three enhancement chips from a password anyway. Personally, I've always liked using the Energy, Arm, and Leg Chip combination since the red forcefield generated by the Body Chip clashes with the Max Armor's blue look. Oh, and yes: the official name of X3's armor is the Max Armor. The X and X2 armors do not have official names; the "Light" and "Giga" names were made up by the same crew who arbitrarily decided that Dr. Thomas Light's middle name was "Xavier". Wily's middle initial is "W" according to Megaman & Bass, but no official materials have ever stated that "X" was Light's middle initial (or that Sagesse was actually Wily, or that Isaac was actually Wily, or that Zero was actually Protoman... you get the idea).

    ...Alright, I'm rambling. I'll shut up and get some sleep. Busy day of programming tomorrow!

  5. Just an off topic, general RKS question, but...
    Twice now I've had it happen where I pick up a large weapon energy pellet while it was flashing (disappearing) and that caused the game to freeze.
    Is that a known bug?
    Was it a bug fix in a version later than 1.05c (what I have)?
    And so you know I have modded some of the game's graphics but I don't *think* that should be related to the problem.

    1. That's news to me. I'll pass the word along when we're focused on testing. Once any localization bugs are dealt with, I'd like to try and add a few fixes and tweaks to the game before release. I didn't realize until recently that Tia didn't have an Energy Balancer...

      On another note, I see someone added the codes I posted to TV Tropes. Viper, would I be correct in assuming that was your handiwork?