Action Replay is the brand name of a series of devices created by Datel, primarily used for changing the behavior of video games. A brand is a collection of Images and ideas representing an economic producer more specifically it refers to the descriptive verbal attributes and concrete symbols such as a Datel (previously Datel Electronics) is a UK -based electronics and game console peripherals manufacturer A video game is a Game that involves interaction with a User interface to generate visual feedback on a video device. Currently, Action Replay is available for the Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo 64, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo DS, Wii and PlayStation Portable. The, often abbreviated as GCN, is Nintendo 's fourth home Video game console and is part of the sixth generation console era. The Game Boy Advance (often shortened to GBA) is a 32-bit handheld video game console developed manufactured and marketed by Nintendo. The, often abbreviated as N64, is Nintendo 's third home Video game console for the international market The Xbox is a sixth-generation Video game console produced by Microsoft Corporation. The is a dual-screen Handheld game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. The PlayStation Portable (officially abbreviated PSP) is a Handheld game console manufactured and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment.
Action Replays that were capable of saving the system's state to tape or disk all operated in broadly the same way. By attaching to the computer's memory bus (via the Zorro expansion slot on the Amiga).  all memory access by the processor could be monitored. By keeping track of all writes to hardware registers (for example, to the video or sound hardware) the Action Replay could keep a complete copy of the state of all those registers in its own internal memory.  This state could then be saved, along with the contents of the computer's RAM for later re-loading. By pressing a button on the Action Replay, an interrupt loaded a special monitor program from the Action Replay's ROM which could then be used to load, save and modify the computer's memory. In Computing, an interrupt is an asynchronous signal from hardware indicating the need for attention or a synchronous event in software indicating the need for a change A machine code monitor (aka Machine language monitor is software built into or separately available for various computers allowing the user to enter commands to view It was even possible to alter CPU registers of the paused code, and later revisions included a complete disassembler. A disassembler is a Computer program that translates Machine language into Assembly language —the inverse operation to that of an assembler. Some developers used this feature when writing their own games. Cheating was possible by altering values stored in RAM.
A knob on the Amiga version of the Action Replay MKIII allowed games to be slowed down, to make them easier. This worked by intercepting vertical blank interrupts and running a wait loop until at least the next vertical blank. The vertical blanking interval (VBI also known as the vertical interval or VBLANK, is the time difference between the last line of one frame or field of a Raster This did, however, have the limitation of only being able to reduce game speed by 50% or more.
The Action Replay was a formidable opponent for anyone trying to prevent their game code or graphics being ripped, or their game saved for later re-loading. A few weakness were discovered in the Amiga version. It was possible to detect when the interrupt (hardware level 7, unmaskable) which the Action Replay used had been triggered, but only after the Action Replay monitor program had exited. At best the programmer could then choose to crash his program deliberately, making saved copies crash as well. However, it was possible to patch code which did this using the monitor program, so even that was not a total defence. Another technique involves using the CIA time-of-day clock alarm to detect when more than a certain amount of time has passed without it triggering an interrupt, implying that the Action Replay monitor program was running. Later revisions of the Action Replay defended against this by resetting the CIA time-of-day clock. Perhaps the only undefeatable method of foiling the AR is to use a one-time co-processor program to alter hardware registers. The AR is unable to monitor writes by the co-processor, but it can read the co-processor program to determine what writes it makes. By using a one-time program to set up hardware registers, then changing the program to one that ignores them it becomes impossible for the AR to know the true state of those registers (which are write only). Using this technique the programmer could blank or corrupt the screen on leaving the AR monitor.
Later Action Replays which only supported cheat codes and had no monitor program, worked by monitoring memory access for certain triggers or by overwriting certain memory addresses at particular times (such as once per frame, or on a timer). On systems such as the Dreamcast, this could even be done entirely in software.
Some console systems require all bootable media to contain cryptographically signed code, or require specially manufactured discs as a form of copy protection. As Action Replay systems are rarely granted an official licence, Datel has to find ways around these issues. Sometimes the presence of special hardware is enough, but on systems that use software only Action Replays it appears that Datel found other ways of making it's code work. The PANTS version of the Action Replay used specially manufactured discs, with the centre part of the disc containing the copy protection information cut from officially licensed games (presumably bought in bulk somehow, perhaps bankrupt stock) and glued to the middle of the Action Replay disc.
Datel, the maker of Action Replay, has received several criticisms from the gaming world over its products. One of the most popular complaints is the so-called "planned obsolescence" where codes for a just-released game require the most recent version of the cheat software. Planned obsolescence (also built-in obsolescence The purpose of planned obsolescence is to hide the real cost per use from the consumer and charge a higher price than they would
Datel as of now has encrypted the codes on the Action Replay for PS2, GC and GBA; this was meant to stop hackers from translating its codes for use in other cheating devices, but it prevents users from making their own codes for their games. It also prevents the creation of codes using a template There is, however, a programme created by a famous code hacking site called 'GCNCrypt' that decrypts and encrypts Action Replay codes for the Nintendo Gamecube, making editing and hacking of codes possible. Cheat codes normally involve a memory address, a value, and sometimes a trigger that says when the code is activated (always on, on at the start, on after a certain button press); because of this, for some games it is possible to create a code template, and derive hundreds of codes by modifying the values. For example, in a role-playing game, one can use a code template and a table of values to create a code that will give any character, any piece of equipment in the game. By encrypting the codes, it is not possible to use such a template, and any code must be created and distributed by Datel; because of the sheer number of codes that can be created in this fashion, it is not plausible for Datel to release a list of codes with this versatility. A new Action Replay for the DS, which allows cheat codes (the previous Action Replay only managed game saves), uses unencrypted codes, and has a trainer toolkit available that allows users to create their own codes.
Sometimes, the codes for certain first-party games on the GameCube make it impossible to go further into the game with cheats activated (e. In the Video game industry, a first-party developer is a developer who is part of a company that actually manufactures a Video game console. g. Pikmin and Star Fox Adventures). For the game series see Pikmin (series. is a Real-time strategy Video game developed and published by Star Fox Adventures is an Action-adventure game developed by Rare and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube and part of Other times, cheats freeze the game in the first stage (e. g. if cheats are activated at the beginning of Super Mario Sunshine and Metroid Prime, the game will freeze, and the system will have to be switched off). is a Platform game developed by Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube. Metroid Prime is a Video game developed by Retro Studios and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube, released in North America Also, in Pokémon games, advanced-generation ones especially, using the "Instant Win" code causes the glitch character "??????" to appear, usually resulting in a corrupted game. Nintendo does not license the Action Replays for its versions. Datel's website often indicates when a code should not be used.
The PS2 Action Replay version occasionally corrupts the memory cards, leaving corrupt files on the card that cannot be deleted by the PS2. A memory card or flash memory card is a solid-state electronic Flash memory Data storage device used with Digital The Action Replay can, however, fix the memory card by formatting it, but the corrupted data cannot be restored.
Action Replay codes allow access to game features not normally available to players. One notorious example is the "Hot Coffee" mod for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas which allowed users to access an adult sex simulation that was removed from the game before release, but for which code remained in the game. Grand Theft Auto San Andreas is a sandbox-style action-adventure computer and Video game developed by Rockstar North Rockstar, the creators of the game, came under heavy criticism for releasing the game with the code in it, despite it not normally being accessible.
Cheating in online games is also usually frowned upon, with game companies making efforts to prevent and detect it. However, with an Action Replay it is possible to cheat without being detected, or in a game for which there is normally no way to cheat. Examples include Phantasy Star for the Dreamcast, in which it was possible to manufacture items using an Action Replay in the offline mode, and then carry them over to the online mode undetectably. There was no way to determine if the item had been manufactured or legitimately won. Of course, it is also possible for the Action Replay to disable anti-cheating code or otherwise prevent detection, however since modern versions only allow codes to be created by Datel and they have so far not taken this route, there are no such hacks for current generation systems.