User:Espyo/Pikmin 2 hacking

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Hello, and welcome to my simple Pikmin 2 hacking guide. This guide applies mainly to Windows, and only for the GameCube version of the game.

NOTE: You will not be able to port save files with this method. Either restart your game from scratch or find an alternate way.

What you'll need

  • Dolphin
    • Preferably the most recent version available.
    • Basic knowledge on how emulators work.
    • A machine good enough to run Dolphin comfortably.
  • A Pikmin 2 ISO.
  • Wiimms SZS Toolset
  • BMDView2 (if you want to view 3D models)
  • A basic understanding of how Windows works. You might need to enable "Hide extensions for known file types" in order to always see the extensions (extensions are the ".rarc", ".szs", etc. parts of the file name). Google around how to do it.

Setting up

  1. Begin by setting up Dolphin to your liking such that you can run Pikmin 2 comfortably.
  2. On the game list in Dolphin, right-click Pikmin 2, click "Properties".
  3. Go on the "Filesystem" tab (you may need to click the scroll arrows to see that tab) right click on the disc (top of the list), "Extract All Files...", and choose a folder. This will dump everything Pikmin 2 is made of into a folder. Wait until it's done (should take a while).
  4. Go on "Options", "Configure...", "Paths" tab, and on the DVD Root field, choose the path to the folder the Pikmin 2 files got dumped, and on the Apploader field, choose the file "apploader.img" on the same folder.
  5. Go on "File", "Open...", go to the folder, and choose "boot.dol". The game should start. This menu option is how you'll run your hacked Pikmin 2.
  6. Install Wiimms SZS Toolset. If you didn't already, run the "windows-install.exe" program that comes with it, after you installed. You may need to reboot, first. More detailed instructions are likely provided on the website.
  7. Open up Notepad or any other simple text editor, and type the following:
    wszs extract %1
  8. Go on "File", "Save as...", choose a place for this script where you'll remember, on the "Save with the type" field, choose "All types", and save the file with the name "SZS Extract.bat" or something else, as long as it ends with ".bat". This script will extract the content inside of a .szs file.
  9. Close Notepad and open it up again, and this time, type the following:
    wszs update %1
  10. Again, save the file as "SZS Update.bat" or something else ending in .bat. This script will save the changes made to a .szs file.

Reading files

Just go to the folder where Pikmin 2's files are and check them out! Some files are in a simple text or image format, and can be opened with any traditional program that can handle them, but most are in a format that normal programs cannot read. That's why you'll need the programs I listed above.

.szs files

These are like zip files, in that they contain more data inside. Grab the .szs file and release it on top of the extraction script (the .bat file) you made above. This will dump everything the file contains into a folder whose name ends with ".d". Then, just continue examining the files like normal.

.bmd files

These files contain 3D animations. Just open them with BMDView2.

.bmg files

These files are a bit hard to understand completely, but if you open them with the likes of Notepad and scroll down, you'll eventually find the game's text.

Editing files

You just edit the files you want to edit and it should work. For the case of content that is inside .szs files, the game expects it to still be inside those files, so you must re-add your changes into the .szs file. After you make your changes in the ".d" folder, just drag the icon for the .szs file into the script that updates .szs files (the .bat file you made before).


  • When editing the .bmg files with the game's text, do not increase or decrease the size of the original string. e.g. You can't replace "Floor" with "Sublevel" nor "Step", but "Level" is fine, because it's the same size. (You can also add spaces for padding, though).