If today the Altus development studio is known by everyone, it was different at the beginning of the century. Let's go back in time to November 25, 1999, day of release of Maken X on Dreamcast, a unique game created by the fathers of the Megami Tensei series of role playing games.
The story takes place on Earth in the near future at a time when the world is descending into chaos due to natural disasters and rising political tensions between China and the United States. When the facility where the Maken was developed is attacked, the sword bonds with the main heroine Kay Sagami and is sent on a mission against the group responsible for the attack. Depending on the dialogue choices and the characters hacked, seven possible endings can be reached.
This sword has the ability to take possession of human life forms. This is where the player comes in, taking control of characters possessed by the Maken through twenty different levels of first-person hack-and-slash action. As you progress through the levels, the game will offer the opportunity to hijack the brain of a character, a boss, an enemy encountered in one of the levels or one of Kay's friends. By taking possession of a new individual, the old body is abandoned to the detriment of the new one endowed with different abilities.
Maken X went unnoticed when it was released in Europe, it's time to pay homage to it and explore its contents thanks to the Debug Menu Hack.
The trick to open the Debug Menu of Maken X has been found by . He undertakes research on the Nindows system, a Debug Menu delivered with the Ninja development library.
Open the 2 different Debug Menu :
The level selection menu : When starting a game, when system information (memory address debug) appears in the upper left corner, you should press the keys A+B+X+Y+START. This button combo will open a menu where you can select the desired level.
Once the level is chosen, among 36 stages, it is necessary to press START to be teleported there. This menu also allows you to access other parts of the game such as the title menu, the auto-demos (and even play them!), the world map, the credits etc..
Debug Menu Nindows : When you enter the pause menu, a cursor appears on the screen. With the joystick, you can move it. You can access the Windows Debug Menu by pressing "B". The D-Pad or the Analog Stick allow to navigate in the submenus (different sensitivity).
Some interesting options in the Nindows Debug Menu :
The menu is divided into 3 categories : "Debug", "User" and "Font". The first one will display several system information (Textures Viewer, Peripheral Info etc.), the second one allows to configure and modify game elements and the third one allows to shape the menu appearance.
The sub-options of the "User" category are the most interesting ones, as they allow you to alter the way the game works. Here are some attractive features :
Enemy Tweak : Change the attributes of the enemies (only works if there are enemies).
Character Tweak : Modify character attributes (movement speed, jump sensitivity etc.).
ENNEMY MOVE : Freeze enemies in place or let them move.
GOD MODE : Invincibility.
Key Config : Set up the buttons on the controller.
Select Body : Embody the character you want to own (20 bodies to choose from).
The buttons to use are explained in each submenu. It's usually "X" to cancel and return to the main category or "Y" to activate the option. The "A" button, in other situations, may validate a function.
Download link of the original prototype :
Download link of the prototype modified by VincentNL (read the README file for the instructions) :
It is possible to modify the game with the "Cheat Engine" program. To do this, open the application and manually enter the address "2C10B638". Then choose 1 as the value, the system information will appear on the upper right corner.
VincentNL's technique allows to open the Nindows Debug Menu at any time and not only at the PAUSE menu as with "Cheat Engine".
The DeMul emulator should be preferred, Flycast prevents manipulation to obtain the level selection menu.
Thanks to :
VincentNL : for making the hack available