3DS progress, pokéhacking, and life

Unfortunately, I have not had any time to work on 3DS stuff in the past couple weeks. That’s ok though, as I did get a lot done before starting my hiatus (and I started writing an article about my 3DS work). Mostly, I was able to get NAND redirection working on my 3DS. Getting that done was not actually that hard a task. Really, what it took to get it running was a bunch of code analysis and reverse engineering. Not necessarily an easy thing to do, but since we did already have some information on how NAND and SD are accessed thanks to the (light) documentation present on 3Dbrew and the fact that it works in ways very similar to how it did on the DSi, it was really little more than a matter of time until we got it working.


NAND redirection in action. I’m calling it redNAND because I like silly names, but you don’t have to.

If you follow me on twitter, maybe you know that I bricked a 3DS while working on this. As far as I can tell, what happened is that while I’d gotten my NAND redirection code working for reading (as the 3DS did boot by loading all its data from my SD), I had not actually located and hooked the NAND writing code properly. Because of that, I guess the 3DS overwrote something it shouldn’t have on NAND, and somehow that broke everything. I don’t know for sure exactly what happened as I haven’t repaired that 3DS yet (simply reflashing an old dump to NAND *should* be enough to get it going again), but I think it has to do with game notes. My theory goes that because I had never gone into game notes before dumping my NAND (I’d just done a system reset to undo the potential side effects of a previous bad NAND write), the files which were supposed to contain its data had not been created. Because of that, going into game notes would create those files, which would normally be fine, but because it would be using the FAT table from my NAND dump while writing to my actual NAND, obviously things would go wrong and it would and up messing stuff up. Not 100% sure about this as there are some discrepancies in my theory (iirc the console crashed before it got to the point where it would show the game notes initialization message), but so far that’s the best explanation I’ve got for what happened. Either way, redNAND seems to be running very well at the moment; obviously we’d need more than just the few of us who have it running atm to test it before an actual release, but I’ve used it on my 3DS for a number of hours while playing pokemon and so far no problem.

One of the less alarming side effects of messing with the 3DS’s NAND like a reckless idiot.

Which brings me to pokémon, and pokéhacking (yes, that’s a word now). I’d like to start by saying that I’m not in any way a “pokéhacker”; I did what I did for fun and because people were curious, and I was all too glad to be able to help out in finding out some secrets. Overall I’d say it was a positive experience. I wasn’t expecting for something so simple to make such a big impact, and frankly it’s a little frustrating that now a large chunk of the messages I get are from people who want to buy hacked pokémon from me. I was also disappointed in the reaction of some “hardcore pokéhackers” (because apparently, I was expected to share the game’s full decrypted code… which obviously wasn’t going to happen). But what can you do, live and learn I suppose.

For the unitiated : shortly after I got redNAND up and running on my 3DS, I got ahold of a copy of pokemon Y. As I was now able to run it on my console while running my own unsigned code in the background, which meant I could not only take in game screenshots, but also make full ram dumps. Being able to dump RAM in game meant being able to see the game’s code, some of its ressources, but also of course it meant being able to analyze it to create cheats. Now, I *really* wanted to capture a mew for no appropriate reason so I decided to make a cheat that would allow me to do so. That wasn’t actually very hard. It stood to reason that the possibly encounterable pokémon in a given area would have to be stored somewhere in memory. With that in mind, I started asking around to see if anyone knew of such structures in previous games. That’s how I ran across Kaphotics, who confirmed my intuition by graciously providing encounter tables from previous pokémon games. From there, I listed the pokemon I’d encountered in my area, wrote a python script to search through my ram dump to find an adequate-looking structure, and that’s how I found the encounter tables. Nothing too exciting in and of itself, but it allowed me to spawn unobtainable pokémon, and the rest is history.

Now, here’s to hoping I’ll have time to further my 3DS plans soon !

49 comments
  1. DrXY said:

    Awesome job! *Waiting for Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza and other legends of Hoenn in-game*

    • Harimaron said:

      I really want that him do this, I can’t wait until late December to see Jirachi or Kyogre x33

  2. notkaphotics said:

    the name is Kaphotics. I’m not him btw.

  3. smea said:

    @notkaphotics : thanks, fixed !

    • Raichu8575 said:

      Is there mega drudiggon and galvantula?

  4. A said:

    I understand you want to be fair, but I Would like to ask you to think a lot about the meaning of what you have done. You are living proof that 3DS and the new pokémon games can be hacked. The problem is, we can’t celebrate your talent because you only show screenshots, we can’t experience your work. If you share the real thing, Nintendo will be hurt and maybe competitive pokémon battles too because of unwise people who want to win at any costs, but even knives are used for evil. I would like to talk to you about all this, shall we, please? I’m a person who listens someone’s arguments.

  5. Oh yeah, hacking 3ds, and by Smea’…
    Very cool, the website changes.

    • smea said:

      merci :)

  6. bobob said:

    dont release it you dont need that crap in your life lol,and if you does get release you get pokenerds hunting you down cause their pokemon got beat regardless of whether the other person used any mods it will all be your fault…..they will find you even if it means stalking pictures for exif data lol

    • bohhh said:

      not really. people can easily make 5-perfect IV pokemon in the new games. only not hacked pokemon can enter the tournaments. do you really think anyone will complain about some people having flawless pokemon instead of 5-p IV ones like most of them?
      at most, they might complain about flawless AND shiny ones, but the color makes no difference in battles, so…

  7. bobob said:

    also does the notes still crash if you remove the SD card, if so does that mean the nand isnt as protected/redirected as good as it should/could be

  8. Joshua said:

    What is Latios/Latias mega stone? Is it soul dew?

    • Michael said:

      No, the Soul Dew multiples the special stats of Latios and Latias by 1.5.

  9. Joshua said:

    What is Latios/Latias mega stone? Is it soul dew? :)

  10. Z said:

    Salut!
    En passant par ton hack, tu penses qu’il y a moyen de voir les maps cachées du jeu? Ce permettrait par exemple de savoir si les autres parties de la Centrale sont supposées être visitables.
    En tout cas, bien joué pour le reste!

  11. L said:

    I was disapointed when I saw someone spoiled the 3 new Pokémons but I’m glad to read that you’re not willing to share this, it would ruin the “trade economy” and make the online less enjoyable.

  12. ruben moreno @reshiramyruben said:

    @smealum please accept my requests when you can the pictures or images of reshiram pokemon and if they have reshiram pokemon mega evolution also like to look at him and also arceus pokemon mega evolution and suicune pokemon finally if you have and if you can a Kyurem pokemon fused with reshiram pokemon with mega evolution if you find it and forgive if I ask many @smealum hope you can help me thank you @ smealum beforehand again a greeting I hope your answer

  13. Garasu said:

    Super exploit sur ce hack de 3ds, comme quoi avec du travail et des connaissances rien n est impossible. Le choix de ne pas diffuser les decouvertes techniques sur pokemon est tout bonnement respectable et intelligent compte tenu de sa sortie assez recente.

    Felicitations Smea

  14. N said:

    You should reveal once and for all models of all legendary that hasn’t yet revealed. It’s stupid parties to disclose them, because after all everyone can see them in December and will no longer be attributed to you. If you really want to help fans of Pokémon, filter them and finish the spoiler once with what you are asking hundreds of people since it started. Note that of your 4,600 followers, 4000 are Pokéfans, and if you don’t give them what they want as a source for them than you are, then what will happen?

    They have followed you on twitter for something they haven’t had, you need to respond, say once and for all data and statistics of Diancie, Volcanion, Hoopa, Mega Mega Latios and Latias (are the major questions).

    If I say this is because I have been one of the same hackers who revealed the legendary of the fifth generation and overwhelmed me as to you. My advice is this: give them what they want and get on with your project. I wish you much luck Smea!

    • smea said:

      if people don’t want to “follow” me, then they shouldn’t, it’s as simple as that. I’ve been very open about the fact that I really don’t care that much about pokemon.

      • N said:

        But you’ve given them a bit of their “drug” and now you can’t remove them. I’m not against you, I’m with you, but know this situation.

      • N said:

        Moreover, they follow you because they still have hope that you teach what they wear asking a while. @Hirobyte, another user, revealed in “exclusive” the Fairy type, which was barely 400 followers and then came to 6,000. Why? Because people had hoped to show him ALL you wanted to know.

      • N said:

        I would discuss this with you. I’ve sent you an email.

  15. A said:

    Now i see the problem…smea is a top class portable device hacker, but not fond of being famous because of Pokémon, so we are doomed to wait until Xmas.

  16. dammy said:

    ca me fait bien rire les demandes pour pokemon, !!!

    En tout cas beau boulot, et continu ton travail sur cette 3DS.
    J’attend des nouvelles très bientot !!

  17. Alex SH said:

    Not harrasing or anything… Congrats on successfuly hacking X & . I just wanted to know if you could check the RAM dump to see if the Legendaries had shiny checks on them.It would be great since I am a shiny hunter and I would hate to waste my time on a shiny checked pokemon.This could really help the shiny hunters for sure. Thank you in advance for your time on reading this. :D

  18. Walter Swan said:

    I just wanted to say that I think it’s awesome you found all the legendaries and I’m okay if you have us all wait til xmas. However, you are making some people angry and all this harassment will only be worse until you reveal it… I won’t say anymore

  19. Lucas Glasseur said:

    What? Why would people be angry if he decides not to release anymore information regarding Pokémon X and Y?

    It’s his choice if he wants to reveal anything or not. And the harassment part, it sounds like a threat to get Smealum to say anything further, which he is not obligated to do, by the way.

    Nonetheless, I do wonder when the legeandries (if true) will be released in the future. I’m looking forward to Hoopa, since it’ll be Ghost/Psychic typing. A nice edition.

  20. Lucas Glasseur said:

    And oh my gosh Smealum, I just read your info, you’re 21?! I am nineteen myself, but even I don’t have the intelligence to figure out how to crack a simple game, much less hack into a postulated un-hacked system, at the time of this writing.

    Well, anyways, congrats on hacking the 3DS (partially, or whatever). I don’t know what that entails in terms of significance, but congratulations nonetheless.

  21. Wolfy said:

    However, since you catch the legendary Pokémon in-game, do they have the Anti-Piracy polygon mark in their summary or not ? Furthermore, Pokémon Bank and Poké Transfer will be released in 3 weeks now, by then will you allow us to have more images from Pokémon such as Shiny Mega Mewtwo, Ho-Oh or even Mega Lati@s ? I am willing to trade with you for a Latiosite/Latiasite/whatever you call it…

  22. Jeremy said:

    I wonder if Diancie is capable of breeding with a Ditto? Smealum, would you mind checking this for us?

    Diancie is getting a lot of comparisons to Carbink due to a similar appearance and typing. The relationship between Carbink and Diancie may be similar to Phione and Manaphy. Manaphy is one of few legendaries that can breed, but the result is always a Phione which can never evolve to Manaphy. We already know that Carbink can’t evolve, so it’s a matter of learning whether breeding Diancie with Ditto results in a Carbink.

    As for Hoopa and Volcanion, it’s almost a safe bet to assume neither of them can breed.

  23. XYReporter said:

    Hi! Any news about the 3 legendary abilities?

  24. Johnny2071 said:

    Is there a placeholder Pokemon like Missingno. or ??????????

  25. pegan90 said:

    whats it take to just get u to send me a lvl 5 mew clean T-T

  26. Wolfy said:

    Could you post a gameplay video of Diancie, Hoopa, Volcanion and Mega Lati@s please ?

    • Johnny2071 said:

      And get Nintendo’d?

  27. yo smeal, work on dscraft, I am going to make another blog aout it nd stuff, so plz keep on updating! BTW: The bottom screen is very buggy, like when I am returning ot the main menu, it gets all coloured and fizzed up.

  28. Derek said:

    Hey there Smea, I have been following you and some other hackers for sometime and i was curious how you begin getting into reverse engineering. I would like to begin but im not sure where. thanks

  29. Youkai said:

    I’m glad you’re not releasing the codes.

    But I would like to know Diancie, Volcanion, and Hoopa’s abilities, please.

    • Johnny2071 said:

      I too am curious about their abilities.

  30. fredo_rascail said:

    salut smealum en fait je sais pas si té francais ou pas mais je crois. j’adore tous tes jeux et surtout minecraft sur ds, meme si portal ca a l’air tros bien je ce pas si on peut essayer. j’ai parle a tou le monde dans mon college de ton minecraft on t’adore tros. es ce que tu va mettre des fonctionnalites en plus bientos? en tou cas tu fais du super bon bonlot pour un jeune

  31. Spenser said:

    I understand this might sound like a stupid request, but if you’re near westchester county at all, could you use your hacking ability to complete my Pokedex? It shouldnt take too long and I dont need anything else…

  32. AcneGuy said:

    How do I install DS Craft? I really don’t no how to hack stuff other than my Wii.

  33. ruben moreno said:

    hello smealum one doubt someday tell how to create cheats or cheats in games nintendo 3ds? I hope you can help thank you again l hope you answer greetings

  34. Alex said:

    Hi Smealum. I have one question for you. Is it possible to hack 3DS Eshop to add funds like 10 000 USA money or Swedish etc..
    I mean, If someone could create like a device for 3DS and hacks for downloaded apps. If we then could create a code to 3DS Eshop, we could make our account to have like I said 10 000 dollars etc..
    I hope that my question will be replied.

  35. Tyler Blount said:

    Hiya Smealum like I’m trying to bring Diancie, Latiosite, Volcanion, Hoopa, and AZ’s Floette into my X & Y game I have a physical copy of the game card. Will you teach me some tricks on how to bring them into my game?

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