HOW TO: Find a Palette Using GENS Shell Mod VDP RAM


kingraph
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I found this method to be pretty useful when trying to find the palette for an image in Genesis.  This will use a combination of the GENS Emulator Shell Mod and a Hex Editor program (I use HxD).

Let's say you are looking through Tile Molester and you find the "Hot" Image in the Ron Barr screen.  It will look like this:

hot_01_VDP_RAM_04.png

 

This just happens to be 6x2 without any shared tiles, so pretty easy to find when you get to location F5B00.  The harder part is locating the palette this image is using. 

If you open up the ROM using the GENS Emulator, there is a tool called VDP RAM.  Open that tool when you are at the screen where the image is displayed.  

 

VDP_RAM_01.png

 

The tool will show you the current palette the game is using (it's always 4 palettes, 16 colors each).  You can click each palette and figure out if your image is using 1 or multiple.  In this case, it was clear that the "Hot" image was using the 4th palette.

VDP_RAM_02.png

You can "dump palette" and it will save a .bin file of the palette that you can open up in Hex.  In my case, I knew that I wanted the information on the 4th palette (each 2 bytes is one color -- there are 64 there, I am highlighting the last 16, or the 4th palette)

VDP_RAM_03.png

Copy that information and then search for those exact hex values in your ROM (paste into search bar):

VDP_RAM_04.png

You should get a result and that is the palette colors that match the one you found.  In my instance, this was the only match, so pretty sure this was the palette (Hex B3DC0, which is 736704 in Decimal).

hot_02_VDP_RAM_04.png

 

I don't know if that will work for every palette, but this was definitely quicker for me than sifting through HivePal or looking through code.  Happy hacking!

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