3.2. Narrowing a search

Having a list of a dozen possible addresses that could be the lives counter is not terribly useful: the list needs to be narrowed down to one or two addresses. This is done by going back to the game, changing the quantity you're searching for (for example by losing a life) and then interrupting to check which of the addresses that contained the old number of lives have changed to hold the new number of lives.

Desktop Hacker can do this automatically from the Search window. Open it and select the 'Only addresses in' option, then choose the list you sent the old results to in the field to the right. Fill in the new details you wish to search for at the top (for example, a word value of '2' if you had three lives last time and have since lost one).

You can send the new list of adresses that were in the old list and satisfy the new search conditions to a new list, or to the same list, in which case the old contents of the list are overwritten. And you can keep doing searches to narrow down the list as many times as you like. When you get stuck with one or two addresses, you can try changing their contents to see if you've got it right (see altering words).

If you end up with an empty list, then either you've made a mistake somewhere, or there is no single word that is used to hold the variable you're looking for. If the quantity is not shown as a number on-screen - for example if 'three lives' is displayed as three icons in the corner of the screen - you could try searching for a number which is one less or one more than the actual number you are looking for. If this doesn't work either you will have to resort to using the memory compare feature, or look for some other cheat.

Unlike when doing an original search, searching for values like zero is sensible when doing a narrowing search, because a larger list than the original cannot be generated.

It is possible to narrow a search by which addresses do not contain a certain value, as well as by those that do. So after a search for '3' you could narrow by looking for addresses that have changed and no longer hold that value. Select the 'Invert' option to search for values that do not match the given value. Selecting 'Invert' for original rather than narrowing searches is not sensible as the resulting list would be huge.

--) Searching for text
(-- Searching for values
/\ Finding cheats

23rd April 1998