Banjo's Backpack [Beginners Guide].

By Lameshark | Romhack | 28 Apr 2023

Banjo's Backpack [Beginners Guide].


Ever wanted to learn to 3D Romhack? 

You played Super Mario 64 as a kid ... the rascal kid down the street SWORE you could unlock Luigi by backwards long jumping for 30 minutes straight. 87a22c772c91ac40c16b11b312cc565e181899bf59fbd912f7c597754c719daf.png

Now you want to add Luigi into the game as an unlockable. You heard about this thing called Romhacking, but you need to be a genius coder for that stuff, right? If you go down the rabbit hole deep enough, you will discover there are certain tools where you don't even need to learn coding to hack a certain N64 game. There are games like SM64, Ocarina of Time, Mario Kart etc. that already have developed tools that make romhacking a walk in the park! However, you do need to learn other tools for 3D modeling such as Blender, Unity etc. And it can still be a bit complex.

One 3D romhacking tool that is easy, but powerful is Banjo's Backpack. It's one of the best/most automated 3D rom hacking tools. Great place to start, even if you want to hack a different game like SM64 [which you can also do easily from Blender, but with plugins].  This will be a fairly basic guide and will not cover everything. It will, however, walk you through creating a basic demo level! Never romhacked before? Grab a basic guide for Blender and a bag of popcorn! You don't need a fancy gaming computer either, N64 games run fairly easily.


[I will not be supplying links, but I heard a rumor is on the wayback machine and there are two different versions there. Also heard another rumor about having one of the versions]. Side note, try to find a legal version of the Banjo Kazooie ROM. Also, learn what type of file the ROM should be [to avoid being hacked]. Use Project64 or another OPEN SOURCE aka safe N64 emulator to test your finished product. Do NOT use this, or any other romhacking guide to monetize trademarked property. Be smart, safe and legal!

Once you open Banjo's Backpack, it will bring you through a simple process of importing Banjo Kazooie creating a clean ROM. Click yes to this process [pop-up]. A "clean rom" is just simply a backup copy. Trust me though, you want this! And if you screw up, you can just keep making backups and they will rename differently automatically CLEAN [1] ... CLEAN [2] etc. These Clean copies are essential so click YES every time you make a new test level!


A great starting point is clicking the model viewer and then export [every model] to Geobj. This gives you three types of files. Obj, Mtl and Img. If you want to keep things simple, you can just use the image files. Make sure to save everything into one file [or two files ... one for the characters and one for all the levels]. The Obj file is basically for if you want to use an object from the game in YOUR new level [like Mombo's Hut etc.]. The Mtl file is a bit more confusing and complex, but it basically stores information on textures. Don't worry about it for now, but look up "mtl viewer" if you want to learn more information. It's easier to understand it if you look at it visually.


Blender version 2.74 is being shown for this guide. However, you can use any version.4ed8ddd28156cd4e97e1c9b2e3b47b080f4242606fe1473611435eadc39cbe33.png

Use the default box to begin creating platforms. You can "summon" a box at any time by pressing SHIFT + A.

Remember these shortcuts:
G = Grab
S = Size
R = Rotate

Also remember you can hold X, Y or Z to move a face of a box [in edit mode] along a certain axis!


Patching the platforms is easy. You do need to understand the basics of Blender, however. Duplicate the screen vertically and click on the UV editor. Then, click "open" [right, bottom of screen] and select one of the image files you saved earlier! [In edit mode with the faces selector highlighted and the chosen face right clicked on and selected]. Make sure to use Banjo Kazooie patches only, or something similar like another N64 game. Otherwise it might not work! Remember, we are running this on an N64 emulator. There are limitations. One of them is textural.
Once you are done patching, you must select every face [edit mode] and then click "triangulate faces". I'm not going to deep dive into why you need to do this, but just keep in mind things will run better because of the way Banjo Kazooie is coded. Remember, we are not re-coding the game! We are working within the framework of the actual Banjo Kazooie game. Make sure to triangulate every single face for your custom level! Seriously folks, don't skip this step. Read the previous boldened statement again.

Now, simply open Banjo's Back and Import OBJ. You will see your custom level in the program! Now you can scale your level [to the size of Banjo]. Make sure to scale the level correctly so it's playable and looks realistic! This is a great time to double check if the scaling of your level is correct. Are all the gaps reasonable to jump across etc. Banjo is finally there to help you along ... Use him! This takes the guess work out of the scaling.

If you "save as level model" you can now save your level as a Z64 file and play it on Project64! Any off brand game controller with a USB plugin should work automatically. If not, it's easy to configure. IMPORTANT NOTE: Replace your custom level with any level in the game EXCEPT the first level, or you will need to take additional steps. Also, keep in mind the earlier your level is, the less special moves you will have. This can easily be circumvented by using gameshark codes, which can be easily inputted into Project64. When you start the game out it will be normal: Don't panic. Play the game from the beginning, and when you enter whatever level you replace [I replaced Treasure Trove Cove], you will enter your custom level!

If you don't enter your level, take a very deep breath. Import a new ROM [the CLEAN one you created earlier]. Then, repeat the [import level] process. 


You win! [End of guide].

 I made a test level a month ago that you can view HERE - - >


How do you rate this article?



Hello World.


To the subject of "Romhacking" aka taking apart a videogame and creating your own "hacks": This could be a simple graphics improvement or a completely new version of the game. Romhacking can also uncover "secrets" about a game which is called "breaking the game". Romhacking is deeply tied to the emulation of consoles and console games. There is no legal precedent against romhacking, unless it is used for commercial purposes. The following blogs are for educational purposes and are under fair use.

Send a $0.01 microtip in crypto to the author, and earn yourself as you read!

20% to author / 80% to me.
We pay the tips from our rewards pool.