2.4. Ripping graphics

Many games store their graphics as raw blocks of data. Desktop Hacker allows you to find these blocks, and convert them into sprites, which you can look at and edit using Paint. Choose the 'Graphics...' item from the main menu. A window will appear showing the keys to use.

There is an option to the palette with the sprite as on the screenshot save box. As with screenshot-saving, this should normally be on, except for old games which program the video system themselves. Click on 'View' to start graphics ripping.

Desktop Hacker takes over the whole screen and shows you the contents of the game's memory as graphics. It is up to you to find where the real graphics are stored; it is often easy to spot graphics data, as blocks of similar colours will stand out, and some sort of pattern is often visible, as shown below.

(Illustration) (Illustration)
Some graphics data with the wrong width The same data with the width set correctly

To move around the game's memory, use the arrow keys. Once you have found the start of some graphics data, hold down Shift and use the arrow keys to change the size of the graphics. Use Shift-Left first until the lines of graphics line up, showing a graphic from the game, then use Shift-Up to get its vertical height.

You can speed up the process of changing the size or moving around by holding down Ctrl at the same time as the other keys. Once you are happy with the graphic on-screen, press Return, and drag the icon to save as normal. If there are more sprites after the first, all the same size, you can save them all in the same sprite file, by adjusting the 'Sprites' field. This is useful for saving things like tiles of graphics and font designs.

Remember, the save box will appear as soon as you leave the graphics ripper, so have a directory viewer ready to save the sprite file into before you click on 'View'.

--) /!\ Ripping music
(-- Saving screenshots
/\ Using the in-game features

23rd April 1998