[SOLVED!] Games that say hacked (No, they are not illegal hacks, they are games users hacked to make different)

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[SOLVED!] Games that say hacked (No, they are not illegal hacks, they are games users hacked to make different)

Post by Jackst333 on Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:34 am

One question there is a folder of hacked games. Are the legal to use. I just want to make sure that we all do not get into trouble with this.  Example D:\Arcade\System roms\Hacked Games\Roms\Nintendo Gameboy Advance


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Re: [SOLVED!] Games that say hacked (No, they are not illegal hacks, they are games users hacked to make different)

Post by James M on Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:50 pm

Regarding first question, are they 'illegal hacks' -- no. "Hacks" means they are user hacked roms that are changed by users to add or change the game in unpredictable ways. There's a whole "RomHacker" scene where the best hacks go...

Examples of hacks are speeding up donkey kong or pac man, other ones include taking all the game assets and making a whole new game (like some of the Castlevania hacks)... it uses all the characters, sprites, music etc but makes new maps and changes things around-- an unofficial sequel.

Others do things that make the game harder or more interesting like some of the Street Fighter 2 hacks where you can do moves in the air like Fireballs, or change moves that required holding a charge for 2 seconds like Guile's blade throw--hacks mean you can just hit back-forward and punch instead of hold back 2 seconds and then forward and punch.

Regarding the 2nd question, the legality. That's a grey area. Technically the rights are *possibly* still owned on some or all of the games... but, most of the companies (except Nintendo, Sony, and Atari) are no longer in business and can't enforce the rights. You're supposed to buy license for games etc. but then you see the big companies selling NES Classic, the Atari throwbacks, etc...

Also, some people reference the Berne Act, it's how movie bootlegger and traders traded in the nineties and early aughts... basically saying if you can't buy an item anymore, it's not illegal to trade/sell as long as it's not for a profit. Most of us are trading games and paying for the drive plus the setup... the roms are a legal grey area.

I push hard to NOT include new stuff like Xbox360, PS3, and computer games that are still on the market. Those still being sold are possibly able to sue and could shut down the whole group/forum. Do NOT resell, and don't brag about the drive on the Internet/facebook, and you're fine.


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James M
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