Pokémon: Project Neo is a revitalization of a, by internet standards, very very very old project. It is a ROM hack, or game mod, of the original Pokémon Red and Blue games.
The project began in 2000 on the forums of PR Translations, Phillip Reuban, a young man translating the Japanese Gold game ahead of the US release. The goal of the project was to accomplish things that had not been done up to that point: add new Pokémon to the game. Over time, a story mod was drafted to introduce the new monsters and characters concieved and the goals expanded to add and alter even more of the game.
With a lot of help, Project Neo was able to crack and identify a lot of the basic data and information regarding how Pokémon were designed and laid out in the engine and came so very close to properly adding new monsters to the game. After a series of stumbling blocks and social matters, the Project Neo team left the project behind, operating on series of new original projects.
My name is Nate, also known as daMoose52 back in those days. About a year and a half ago, an article on Kotaku surfaced discussing MISSINGNO. in the original Pokémon games. I read it, as I absentmindedly do instead of working, and got a good chuckle out of it. A lot had been reduced to simple ideas for the article and it worked, but there were a lot of holes made with the simplification as well. But, the article did link off to another, technical, article discussing the phenomenon, which following the rabbit hole I read as well. This one was on the money, and had a lot of otherwise good details. And then it showed off something new for me: it pinpointed one of the last issues we had adding new monsters to the game, the location of a pointer value that would allow us to switch the storage banks for the monster data and add new data without overwriting existing data.
I actually got a little giddy; I spent many a summer day mining the original games' hex code, sorting out how all of this worked, and to this day I credit that work with my love of coding and much of my personal skill base. So, I went digging once more, this time into personal archives and computer backups from the last fifteen years. And, lo and behold, I found an archive disc with a host of my old ROM hacking materials. I booted up a few old tools, relocated the data for the monster stats, and adjusted the value...and it all worked! I was estatic, it was fun to do it once again, and I was ready to pack it in...except the site linked off again, this time to a disassembly project, where dogged coders had rendered the original game down to assembly source code, something all of us back in the day had longed to see happen. Wide-eyed once again, I started rummaging through the links, exploring the new code, and getting giddy all over again.
So it is now, with the disassembled code in hand, I have taken up tinkering with a classic once again. Its been many years, the game is much larger than we ever thought it would be as kids spelunking in hexidecimal editors, but its still wonderful and exciting. I hope to do our original project team justice and complete the envisioned game, with some new twists and additions. With the code at hand, I was able to recreate much of our original work within weeks, things that took us years to learn how to do. Its exciting; I look forward to seeing where else we can take this!~daMoose52