|What They Are|
When a ROM hacker makes an IPS patch, they use a program to compare two slightly different files (usually an original game ROM and their own hacked ROM), and save a record of all the differences between them to a third file (called a patch file). They then distribute the patch file to others who have the original ROM. When the recipients use a patch program to apply the patch to their original ROM, the program uses the original ROM and the record of all the changes stored in the patch file to build an exact copy of the hacked ROM.
The patch file is usually much smaller than the hacked ROM, and so takes less time to download. But more importantly, the patch file contains only the ROM hacker's work, and so does not infringe on the original game maker's copyright. (Yup, no matter how many changes you make to a ROM, it's illegal to distribute the full ROM because portions of the copyrighted work (graphics, game program, etc.) are still there.) The IPS patch format has become popular out of necessity as much as convenience.
|Using SNESTool to Apply Patches|
|If you're new to PCs and/or emulators, SNESTool is definitely the utility to use since it's menu-based and there are fewer mistakes you can make.||
|Using UCON to Apply Patches|
|UCON's command-line interface makes it a speedy alternative for experienced users. I can't recommend it unless you have some experience with Windows and/or DOS, though.||
|Copyright © 1997-1999 Jay McGavren. All Rights Reserved.|