King of Fighters '94: Team Edit Edition

KOF94TE is a ROM hack for the Neo Geo game King of Fighters '94

All King of Fighters games allow you to pick a custom team of three characters ... except King of Fighters '94. This hack adds in the team edit feature. Finally Choi, Mai and Heidern can fight together!

Character select screen

A full on character select screen modeled after KOF95, and with two types of random select.

CPU using custom teams

The CPU can choose custom teams too.

Optional KOF94 style avatars.

Optional KOF94 style avatars.

Member order select screen

Order select screen same as before

Game play

Custom teams in gameplay

Cutscene

Custom teams in cutscenes

Fight against Rugal

Custom teams fighting Rugal

Win screen

Win screens show the custom team that won

Continue screen

Continue screens show the custom team that lost

Game over screen

Custom team on the game over screen

Ending

Surprising new endings

Release Notes

Version 1.4.2

Fixes a character colors bug when losing to Rugal.

Changes

  • Bug fix: If you lost to Rugal in the boss fight, and you chose alternate colors for your character who lost, they would be shown in the falling sequence and on the continue screen with their main colors. This is now fixed. Thanks to Leonard and Goenitz for finding this.

Known Issues

Graphical glitches can occur when playing on real hardware with a NeoSD or the Darksoft multi. This is due to limitations in these carts. The original KOF94 game played on these carts has the same graphical glitches.

This can now be fixed with this patch. Thanks to paulb-nl for the fix.

Version 1.4.1

Fixes a Rugal debug dip bug.

Changes

  • Bug fix: When choosing Rugal as your team via the debug dip, all sound from then on would stop working. That is now fixed.

Known Issues

Graphical glitches can occur when playing on real hardware with a NeoSD or the Darksoft multi. This is due to limitations in these carts. The original KOF94 game played on these carts has the same graphical glitches.

This can now be fixed with this patch. Thanks to paulb-nl for the fix.

Version 1.4.0

The original purpose of this release was to address the lagginess on the MiSTer. It also got a lot of bug fixes and a lot of polish. Even if you don't play on a MiSTer, this version is highly recommended.

This is the final planned release. There will be no more features added to the hack. The only way there will be more releases beyond this one is if a bug is found. Even then, a judgment call will be made on how bad the bug is.

Changes

  • All laginess and graphical glitches on the MiSTer are resolved. It plays on the MiSTer beautifully now.
  • A new scaling and sliding transition when going from character select to order select. Similar to KOF95's (but not exactly the same).
  • Player and CPU cursor tweaks and polish.
  • When the CPU is using non-custom teams, the way it selects its team is now similar to how KOF95 does it.
  • Bug fix: when using KOF95/98 avatars on the character select screen, team USA had the wrong colors. They are now correct.
  • Bug fix: when choosing team random select, the "choice" sound effect would not play. It now does.
  • Bug fix: when playing on player one side, against the cpu, using cpu custom teams, and then continuing, the cpu characters would be flipped. That is now fixed.
  • Bug fix: when winning the game on the player 2 side, the wrong team member would speak during certain cutscenes. That is now fixed.

Known Issues

Graphical glitches can occur when playing on real hardware with a NeoSD or the Darksoft multi. This is due to limitations in these carts. The original KOF94 game played on these carts has the same graphical glitches. There is no way to fix this.

Version 1.3.0

This version brings in KOF94 style avatars, made by Bunny-Head. To get them, choose them in the optional add-ons section when building the ROM. Thanks to Bunny-Head for the great work!

Changes

  • KOF94 style avatars add-on.
  • The hack's version is now on the title screen.
  • Bug fix: When choosing a character, the choice confirmation sound effect would not play. That is now fixed.
  • Bug fix: Fixed some graphical issues in Raine and Kawaks. Thanks to zelurker for the fix.
  • Bug fix: Character select screen was so laggy on MiSTer as to be unplayable. That is now fixed. But also see known issues just below.

Known Issues

Minor graphical glitching can happen on real hardware and the MiSTer. This has always been true since day one of the hack. More info at GitHub.

Version 1.2.4

Fixes an obscure but pretty annoying bug.

Changes

  • Bug fix: If the player chose character random select with all three characters random, and the CPU was using custom teams, sometimes during a play through the player would end up fighting the same team twice.

Known Issues

No known issues.

Version 1.2.2

One minor bug slipped through :(

Changes

  • Bug fix: a CPU character's colors could be wrong sometimes in the chosen avatar section (down at the bottom of the character select screen). This is a very minor bug, the colors are correct during game play.

Known Issues

No known issues.

Version 1.2.1

A big release with lots of changes. Thanks to all who helped test this.

CPU custom teams really freshen up the single player experience!

Changes

  • CPU custom teams, more info here.
  • The new endings have been translated into Japanese. The hack now fully works in all supported languages.
  • The CPU cursors are now using the same colors as KOF95. They were close before, but slightly off.
  • Rugal is no longer shown on the character select screen before you fight him. This is to match what KOF95 does.
  • When continuing, the CPU cursor now matches what KOF95 does.
  • To see the version string, you now need to hold P1 start and P2 start together.
  • Win quotes have been redone. They used to be mostly correct, now they are always correct.
  • Bug fix: Cross continuing now works. This actually never worked from day one and was a really bad bug! Cross continuing is when player one loses, then player two continues (or vice versa).
  • Bug fix: Rugal's avatar no longer shows up at incorrect times.
  • Bug fix: Ryo's last name was misspelled. That is now fixed.
  • Bug fix: The "HERE COMES CHALLENGER" graphic no longer causes names to get cut off in a strange way.
  • Bug fix: "HERE COMES CHALLENGER" no longer has missing tiles in AES mode.
  • Bug fix: A tiny fix in Team Japan's ending when Spanish is set as the language.

Known Issues

No known issues.

Version 1.1.9

Lots of bug fixes. I moved out of beta too quickly, sorry about that. But everything is looking much better.

Changes

  • Bug fix: Random select would stop working after the second fight in single player mode.
  • Bug fix: The CPU cursor sound effect went away.
  • Bug fix: demo mode had numerous issues, all are fixed.

Known Issues

  • The new endings are in English when playing with language set to Japanese. Also any of these endings that have a period in them, the period shows up with an orange background. That is because the period is actually Chin's wine bottle :) Since periods are not used in Japanese, the game does not load the palette that is needed. I could fix this, but since the endings need to be translated anyway, I'm not going to bother.
    UPDATE: Japanese translations are now under way!

Version 1.1.8

Three very minor bugs fixed.

Changes

  • Bug fix: Character select screen: Takuma could get his alternate colors unexpectedly in certain situations in versus mode.
  • Bug fix: Player cursors start in wrong spot and very quickly jump
  • Bug fix: dont allow players to do anything in character select while HERE COMES CHALLENGER is on the screen.

Known Issues

  • The new endings are in English when playing with language set to Japanese. Also any of these endings that have a period in them, the period shows up with an orange background. That is because the period is actually Chin's wine bottle :) Since periods are not used in Japanese, the game does not load the palette that is needed. I could fix this, but since the endings need to be translated anyway, I'm not going to bother.

Version 1.1.5

A minor versus mode bug was fixed. Thanks to Psycho RFG for finding it.

Changes

  • In versus mode, if one player chooses their whole team, they could still cause cursor movement sound effects to happen. That is now fixed.

Known Issues

  • The new endings are in English when playing with language set to Japanese. Also any of these endings that have a period in them, the period shows up with an orange background. That is because the period is actually Chin's wine bottle :) Since periods are not used in Japanese, the game does not load the palette that is needed. I could fix this, but since the endings need to be translated anyway, I'm not going to bother.

Version 1.1.4

A cleaner and better looking character select screen. The globe and logo were removed, it now looks more like KOF95.

The old character select screenThe new character select screen

Changes

  • Cleaner character select screen.
  • Bug fix: when continuing, show who the cpu team is in the character select screen.

Known Issues

  • The new endings are in English when playing with language set to Japanese. Also any of these endings that have a period in them, the period shows up with an orange background. That is because the period is actually Chin's wine bottle :) Since periods are not used in Japanese, the game does not load the palette that is needed. I could fix this, but since the endings need to be translated anyway, I'm not going to bother.

Version 1.0.0

The hack is complete. The only exception is the new endings play in English when the game is set to Japanese. If anyone can help translate them, please let me know.

Changes

  • Fix issue where Kawaks would have sprite corruption.
  • Added a missing period to the USA ending.

Known Issues

  • The new endings are in English when playing with language set to Japanese. Also any of these endings that have a period in them, the period shows up with an orange background. That is because the period is actually Chin's wine bottle :) Since periods are not used in Japanese, the game does not load the palette that is needed. I could fix this, but since the endings need to be translated anyway, I'm not going to bother.

Build the ROM

The ROM can be built at the Neo Rom Hack website.

Tips

  • The version of the hack is on the title screen. Please include it when reporting a bug. Bugs can be reported at Github.Version when hoding start
  • The character select screen has no time limit. The order select screen has the same time limit as the original game.
  • In versus mode the stage you fight on is always randomly selected. This is also true when the CPU uses custom teams.
  • In versus mode both players can choose a new team on the next match.
  • Random team select will wipe out any previous characters you have chosen.
  • In single player mode, if you choose one of the original 8 teams, you will get that team's cutscenes and ending. This will also cause the CPU to stick with original 8 teams too unless you override that.
  • When choosing an original team (ie, the teams from the original game), it does not matter what order you select. So Terry/Andy/Joe is Team Italy, and so is Andy/Joe/Terry, for example.

Using Rugal

Rugal is accessible via debug dip 1-4. This is almost identical to how the original game works.

Turning on debug dip 1-4

First, turn on debug dip 1-4.

Rugal focused in the character select screen

Then choose him as your character. You can get his alternate palette by choosing him with C or D.

Picking full form Rugal in the order select screen

To get regular Rugal, choose him with A in the order select screen. To get second form Rugal, push right or left until Rugal stops moving.

Once he is chosen, turn off debug dip 1-4, otherwise both characters will be invincible in the fight.

In a single player game, using Rugal will crash the game if you make it to the Rugal fight. This is true in the original game too.

Why isn't Rugal a normal character?

In the original game, Rugal is only accessible via the same debug dip. I decided to take that route with the hack as well. It boils down to he's just the boss and missing things needed to be a full fledged character:

  • His normal form has no specials, DMs, or even a throw.
  • He has no charging animation in his normal form. Pressing ABC just makes him disappear.
  • He can't be setup on the continue screen.
  • He corrupts palettes in his full form.
  • His transformation cutscene runs after defeating his first form.
  • He does a ton of damage and takes little damage. Using him in versus mode matches is pretty lame.

CPU Custom Teams

Like most KOF games, the CPU can now choose a custom team with this hack. That means the CPU's team can be formed out of any of the 24 characters, just like a player's team.

CPU using custom teams

Here are the guidelines

  • If you choose an original 8 team (the teams in the original game), then the CPU will also stick to original teams. You will also get the original team's cutscenes and ending. So when you choose an original team, the hack reverts entirely back to vanilla KOF94.
  • If you choose a custom team, there is roughly a 62% chance the CPU will stick with original teams.
  • When starting a new game, you can hold C while pressing start to force the CPU to use custom teams. If you do it correctly, you will hear "go red!". This means the CPU will always use custom teams, even if you choose an original 8 team.
  • When starting a new game, you can hold D while pressing start to force the CPU to use original 8 teams.

Putting KOF94TE onto a real cartridge

I have put the hack onto a real cartridge. Here are tips if you want to do this too.

Disclaimer: I'm not very experienced with this. The info here was taken from this thread on the Neo Geo forum. Thanks to the forum members who helped with this.

KOF94TE on a real Neo Geo cartridge

Use a real KOF94 cart as the basis

It is easiest to alter a real KOF94 cart. That way only some of the chips need to be changed. You can alter an AES or MVS cart, that doesn't matter. These tips are assuming you are using a real KOF94 cart.

Programming the ROM files

Build the ROM as normal at neorh. Choose the patches you want, and then download the MAME version of the ROM. Once downloaded, unzip the zip file and inside are the ROM files, ready to be programmed onto chips.

The ROM files are already byte swapped. So they can just be programmed straight, as-is. Not all ROM files need to be programmed, see the table below.

I don't know anything about EPROM programmers. I had buyicnow program my chips for me.

The slowdown fix patch

The slowdown fix patch is a bit tricky with real carts. Adding it won't cause any harm, but it likely won't have any benefit either.

KOF94 uses something called wait cycles. Wait cycles are a way to tell the Neo Geo's main CPU to slow down a little bit. This is needed to avoid graphical glitching in the game. The downside is this also causes some slowdown in the gameplay. When SNK ported KOF94 to the CD system, they fixed the game and removed the need for wait cycles. The slowdown fix patch is basically that fix, so the cart version no longer needs wait cycles either.

This is really beneficial on the MiSTer where wait cycles are easily turned off, or on the NeoSD or Darksoft Multi which never turn on wait cycles.

But wait cycles are turned on by a real cartridge by sending 5 volts to a few pins on the cartridge port. So even with this patch applied, a real KOF94 cart will still have wait cycles turned on and thus still be slow. To take advantage of this patch, you either need to hack the cart to turn off the 5 volts on those pins, something I don't believe anyone has ever tried. Or use an entirely different game as the donor cart and program all of the chips. Something I've not done nor know anything about.

Slowdown on real carts warning

The hack runs great on a real cart, except one very minor thing does have slowdown and sometimes, minor graphical issues.

When on the character select screen, if the other player joins in and "HERE COMES CHALLENGER" is shown, there is slowdown and that graphic is on the screen a bit longer than on vanilla KOF94. Sometimes you can see some very minor graphical garbage at the top of the screen during this too. This only happens if the other player joins while on the character select screen. Joining at any other time works just fine.

The slowdown goes away once "HERE COMES CHALLENGER" goes away. This slowdown is so minor you might not even notice it.

HERE COMES CHALLENGER on the character select screen

Other than that, the hack fully works on real carts. Everything runs at full speed and as expected.

Changed ROMs and needed EPROMs

These are the ROMs that need to be programmed. For Team Edit it does not matter if you choose the KOF95 or KOF94 portrait version, both are the same here.

ROM(E)EPROM modelNeeded by
055-c1.c129f1615Team Edit and clean font
055-c2.c229f1615Team Edit
055-c7.c729f1615Team Edit
055-c8.c829f1615Team Edit
055-p1.p129f1615All except clean font
055-s1.s127c1000Team Edit

In other words: If you are programming Team Edit onto a cart, then the C1,C2,C7,C8,P1 and S1 ROM chips all need to be changed. If you choose other add-ons like cheat sheet, they will all come along for the ride too.

Changing P1 first

When soldering in the new ROM chips, you can first only change the P1 chip as an initial test if you want.

If you do this and run the game, the character select screen will look like this:

KOF94TE on a real Neo Geo cartridge, with only the P1 chip changed

That is fine. That is just because the added graphics in the C ROM chips are not present. The hack will still fully work. You should be able to choose a team and play the game. If so, great news, your P1 chip was programmed and installed correctly.

If you don't see this, or playing the game doesn't work, then something is wrong. Soldering in the other chips won't help.

A warning about bugs

Many people have been playing the hack now for many hours. At this point it is well tested and stable, suitable to be put onto a real cart like this.

But it is always possible a bug is found after you have made your cart. If so, the only way to get the bug fix is to redo the P1 chip again in your cart. So there is a small risk in making these carts.

Check for bugs before you start

Before you make a cart, check the issues on GitHub. If it says "There aren't any open issues", that means no bugs have been found that haven't been fixed yet. You should be good to go.

If there is a bug listed there, that means a bug has been found but it has not been fixed yet. In that case, email me. I can probably fix the bug and then you won't have it permanently on your cart.

Thanks

These people helped make the hack possible: SieKensou, PsychoRFG, Ge Os, Jay Bee, leonardofmatheus, Alice愛麗絲, Bunny-Head

Hack created by Matt Greer
Original game by SNK
GitHub repo