I came back from hiking on Memorial Day weekend to a handful of days‐old IRC
queries saying the SpaceWorld demo had leaked.
One of the queries was from Sanqui.
Apparently someone anonymous had posted in the pret discord a link to the ROMs
that was limited to 20 downloads.
Sanqui downloaded it,
realized what it was and started preparing for a TCRF release.
Why not release it right away?
- The news would make a bigger splash if the scope of the new content were known from the start.
- Gaming news sites and YouTubers are parasites.
TCRF actually reverse engineers games and does original research.
And yes, they
They deserve to break the story once in a while.
- It would be cool for English speakers playing through the demo
(such as it is)
at the same time as everyone else to understand what’s going on.
Sanqui sent me an invite to a new private discord.
The plan was to simultaneously
① datamine the ROMs and write a TCRF page
② disassemble enough of the ROM to support a translation patch
③ translate the text.
Hard deadline was one month—Sanqui and I emphasized this repeatedly.
We knew from the start it would probably get leaked before that.
At least a dozen people might have downloaded from the link.
There were lots of people in the pret discord who saw the resulting discussion
even if they didn’t download it.
One guy who had the ROM posted screenshots in other channels,
spreading the story even more.
This led to
the first 4chan thread.
Next thread someone from the private discord posted a couple of things including Pichu,
but apparently stopped there.
Later someone else who had the Gold ROM, probably one of the original 20 downloaders,
leaked it to 4chan.
After that we posted the half‐finished docs and wiki page publicly.
Where did the guy who leaked them to Sanqui get them?
Not a clue.
Was there an old collector in Japan whose collection spread after he died?
Don’t know for sure.
I doubt it.
Only ever heard that story on 4chan, never privately.
Are they real?
- I started the first Pokémon disassembly in 2010;
the project has grown into fully reverse engineered source code of Red, Blue, Yellow, Crystal, Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Pinball, and TCG,
and in‐progress disassemblies of many more.
The SpaceWorld ROMs share a significant amount of code with the Japanese versions,
which have never been disassembled.
They’re too similar to Pokémon code to be homebrew games.
But they’re different enough from any released version to
have been impractical to fake.
And they don’t bear any of the distinguishing characteristics of hand‐modified ROMs.
- The details of the demo match.
The Pikachu minigame, Pokémon graphics,
and gameplay descriptions fit all the accounts I’ve read
(and have heard about for years).
The Super Game Boy borders, title screen,
and overworld and battle graphics match known screenshots and video clips.
- Studying the ROMs brought to light unnoticed content in the final GSC release.
Somebody noticed that Sunflora and Pikachu play the shiny animation.
I checked the code
and saw that there are two special animations when sending out Pokémon,
a fade‐in used by Hoothoot and a wave effect that is totally unused.
I checked GSC’s code to see if the animations still exist,
and they do.
Nobody has ever noticed this before.
That’s not fakeable.
Leaked prototypes happen.
It’s not surprising to see them every now and then,
especially for a high‐profile game.
Convincingly faked ROMs don’t happen.
Is there a Green beta?
You’re attention whores!
The translation would have taken longer than a month, and then they’d never have been released!
If it had taken longer than a month I would have leaked them myself.