Creative Gamer

Gaming as a creative source.



Scarlet Stranger: a hacker’s goldmine

By SiamJai

scarlet stranger intro pictureHave you ever played games that look and feel great at first glance, but after five minutes or so you’ll come across glaring design mistakes and game-breaking technical bugs? These unpolished gems are a goldmine of secrets for the cheat-conscious gamer; a few simple hacks often reveal unused goodies the hasty developer carelessly left in the game.

Enter Scarlet Stranger, a Zelda-esque action RPG with charming graphics and all the shortcomings mentioned above. The folks at Jayisgames did a great job reviewing the game already, so I’ll only mention stuff relevant to this post.

1. Get secret items via inventory hack.
There are about half a dozen items that didn’t make it to the final game, but are still there, hidden. These include quest items such as a map and compass, along with interesting upgrades like the pouch that upgrades your carrying capacity.

To hack this, hook Cheat Engine (CE) to the Flash player, start a Flash*8 search and follow the steps below:
scarlet stranger intro picture

  1. Visit the shop with some item in your inventory (a piece of rock or wood will do).
  2. Drag that item into the first crafting slot.
  3. In CE, search for the itemID (for values, refer to the table at the end of this post).
  4. Remove the item from the crafting slot.
  5. In CE, search for 0.
  6. Add another or the same item back to that same crafting slot and do a search for its itemID.
  7. Soon you’ll get only one address. Put something into the crafting slot again, change its ID to one of the rare item IDs, say, 9.
  8. Remove the item from the crafting slot, and voila: in the inventory, the item morphs into your desired item!
  9. Repeat for other items and values as desired.

Besides unearthing secret items, you can also use this trick to make gameplay easier: turn a piece of leather into a valuable gold bar or even into the cursed ring right away!

2. Freeze time
The timer leads to one of those annoying bugs in the game: once it runs out, the map will become useless, because both the old and the new layout will show up on it. To prevent this, and give us a little peace of mind, we’ll freeze the timer with CE:

  1. In the game, pause the timer (P or M keys). Take note of the minutes and seconds left – we’ll have to convert them to milliseconds and divide that by half. Use this formula:
    [(minutes x 60 + seconds) x 60]/2
  2. This gives an approximate value to look for. Start a 4byte search in CE, with a ‘value between’ option, and plug in numbers near the millisecond value the formula gave us.
  3. Unpause the game, let a few seconds go by.
  4. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with the new value.
  5. By now the address list should be narrowed down to only a few values. See which one freezes the timer. When you found it, keep it frozen and you can forget about it for the rest of the game! :-)

The overall timer and the boss timer are stored in different addresses so you’ll have to do it again for that one.

3. Infinite HP and money
Walking around with a shield up is slow and the button placement is awkward. How about not getting fingercramps and letting your brain and the machine do the work for you? ;-)

  1. To hack HP, it’s best to start when your health is full. Count the number of hearts you have (4 is default but you can acquire more with different weapons equipped).
  2. Multiply the number of full hearts by 10 and do a 4byte search on that in CE.
  3. Lose some health and do a Decreaded Value search.
  4. Gain some health and do an Increased Value search.
  5. Keep repeating until you get one or two values. Freeze them when you’re maxed out.
  6. If you got no value left at the end, the first value was incorrect (eg. not full HP as it seemed like). Start over but this time do a Value between… search first, and specify values near the target value.

Hacking money is perhaps the easiest of all:

  1. Go to the shop and start a Flash*8 search using the value of your current money (sell something temporarily if you are broke).
  2. Buy and sell to change this value, then plug the changed value into CE straight away. Gives you the money address after a few changes.

Money limit is set at 999 and the shop won’t let you buy anything priced higher than that. So don’t plan on buying a cursed ring (9999) back this way!

4. Supplement
The table of items below shows you the itemID (first column) that you’ll need for the ‘secret items’ cheat, and each item’s description, more complete than what you’ll find in the game.

Items and codes in Scarlet Stranger
Item ID Item Name Description
1 bronze key This will open Bronze Doors!
2 silver key This will open Silver Doors!
3 gold key This will open Gold Doors!
4 boss key This will open Boss Doors!
5 small gem value:10
6 medium gem value: 20
7 large gem value: 50
8 compass Marks chests on the map!
9 map Reveals the map!
10 item pouch More space for items!
11 trusted blade attack +1
12 blunt mace attack +5
13 hand axe attack +15
14 simple staff attack +1
15 dark edge attack +5
16 flanged mace attack +15
17 halberd attack +1
18 magic wood attack +5
19 final blade attack +15
20 spike strike attack +1
21 doomgrip attack +5
22 mage master attack +15
23 woodblock A basic, weak shield.
24 strong shield Adds 1 Extra heart!
25 force shield Adds 2 Extra hearts!
26 defender Adds 3 Extra hearts!
27 spike shield Adds 4 Extra hearts!
28 gold ring A pretty, but not magical ring.
29 heart ring More chance of finding health.
30 magic ring Helps find more craft material!
31 ancient ring Increases your weapon damage.
32 cursed ring cheat death
33 leather Leather for crafting.
34 iron Iron for crafting.
35 stone Stone for crafting.
36 gold Gold for crafting.
37 silver Silver for crafting.
38 wood Wood for crafting.
39 wood (nopic) -
40 wood (nopic) -

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