Pre-Patched ROMs

By • February 29, 2012

It was recently brought to my attention that a pre-patched ROM of Tales of Innocence was uploaded to Blackcats. I was asked what I thought of this, so I will share said thoughts.

First and foremost, let me state that I was not born yesterday. I realize that just because we ask people not to do something doesn’t mean that they won’t do it. It’s against my policy to try and fight the internet. It’s really not a very good use of my time or anyone else’s. That being said, I greatly appreciate those who honor our wishes and those who ask others to honor them on our behalf. I have no strong feelings one way or the other for the rest of you.

It was suggested that we only ask people not to upload the patched rom to keep ourselves out of trouble. While not entirely false, it misses the mark a bit. It’s true that we don’t want to be involved in distributing copies of the game. We always have and always will try to make it as easy as possible for people to use our patches in a way that supports the developers. We hope that everyone who plays our Tales of Innocence patch has purchased a copy of the game, made their own backup, and applied the patch to it. Do I believe that’s true? No. I’m a realist, not an idiot. Regardless, I think the benefits to a fan translation outweigh any costs. Those who did as we suggested and bought the game increased Namdai’s profits. At the same time, a download of the game doesn’t represent a lost sale. Namdai wasn’t counting on any sales outside of Japan or they would have localized the game. You can’t lose sales from an audience that can’t even read the text in your game. We want more Tales games, so we try to support the developers. Speaking of which… Everyone needs to go preorder Tales of Graces f if they haven’t already! And buy Tales of the Abyss 3DS too! I don’t care if you don’t have a 3DS and already own Tales of the Abyss on the PS2. Support the localization of the Tales series!

Back on the matter of pre-patched roms, the main reason we ask people not to distribute them is because it makes it harder for us to troubleshoot the patch. There are a lot of bad roms floating around out there and for whatever reason, people always seem to upload pre-patched roms using a corrupt base rom. We want to make sure people are able to play our patch, but it can be a challenge to determine if problems are caused by our patch or something on the user side. If our patch is the primary means of distribution, we can just troubleshoot individual problems (which often just requires a good copy of the game). If there’s a problem with the patch itself, we can fix it and release a new version. On the other hand, if most people are using a pre-patched rom, we end up with a lot of people reporting the same issues due to corruption, but it’s hard to correct the problem when we can’t get the bad copy out of circulation. Additionally, if we ever get around to releasing updated patches (which we still discuss regularly), it’s a lot easier if people already have a good copy of the unpatched rom. I admit that these are minor issues for the most part, but it gets to be tiresome trying to solve problems that we didn’t cause.

I’m not going to try and take the moral high ground here because I don’t believe there is one. We can’t control how people use our patch and we don’t intend to. That being said, however, if you’re going to host our patch or anything derived from it, we would really appreciate it if you would at least include the original readme.

About the Author

I'm the translator for Absolute Zero. I also take care of the project updates.

7 Responses to “Pre-Patched ROMs”

  1. Yea you would be an idiot to believe the internet would not do something because you asked nicely. 😀 I <3 you guys for this reason, the internet needs more sane people like you running things, and less people acting like five year olds. Alo good point on the fact they didn't really lose any sales because you translated the game (which is freaking awesome, btw good job! 😀 I really enjoyed playing it).

  2. Also have to consider there are people out there that no matter how simple you make a process like ripping a ROM, they’ll still view it as impossible for them. These people exist in our society and they are utterly hopeless beyond download + install or download + run scenarios, not because they can’t understand it, but because they refuse to even try.

    At least with copies of a ripped ROM of the game floating around it allows your patch to reach a wider audience.

    There are also those like myself whom are so tired about being burned hard on import fees that we like to try the game before bothering with an import. On a console that does’t have a concept of demo, ROMs that appear online are a blessing to this end. Have had enough problems with bad rips that if it’s a game I find I like, I’ll import, rip, and patch it even if the ROM displayed no problems during my trial run.

  3. I was the one who actually uploaded the torrent… At first it blew up into a big deal in the comments section that I had gone against what is asked by AZ but since it IS a game torrent site… I didn’t really see why it was a dilemma… My goal was to simply encourage people to play tales games in order to increase tales profits(I was only considering USA profits, not people importing the game and ripping it- I mean its blackcats games… people arent doing that on there XD). I made mention that the point of this torrent was to get people excited for the localization of ToGf, which I have personally pre-ordered and encouraged others to.

    I apologize for any disrespect that may come across by my actions of going against AZ’s wishes. I have nothing but love and respect for anyone willing to put this much time into something for others.

    I will be including the readme in the technical description of the torrent as requested.

  4. I think you should include this:
    http://www.ehow.com/how_7354414_rip-nds-cartridges.html

    Since I believe most people don’t even know how to do it in the first place…
    But yeah I totally agree on the pre-patched rom, it’s still not a good thing but you can’t fight internet as you said.

  5. I think the pre-patched roms aren’t that big a deal. As a Mac user, it was nearly impossible for me to patch the rom myself. Downloading a pre-patched one is just a lot easier in the long run for those without PCs.

  6. Why was it impossible? The Tales of Innocence patch was released as an xdelta file. That’s a very standard format and I know there are functional xdelta patching utilities for Mac. If there was some kind of problem with the patch on Mac, I’d certainly be interested to know what it was.

  7. In case anyone is interested the torrent that brought this up has been deleted by me. An unpatched version has been reuploaded to the site by another user. I again apologize for any disrespt.

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