LiquidManZero

April 20th, 2009
Ace:
As a long time administrator of GSHI, why are you wearing no pants? Err, what did you find unique about GSHI when you joined?

LiquidManZero:
Who said anything about no pants? I'm wearing some right now.

As I recall I turned up a month or two after Lazy and RPGod had started everything up from the remains of Gamer's Revolt (I think that's the name). At the time I'd been bumming around the GameShark School of Hacking as well as GSCCC for awhile. Lazy was also around both places so I'm not sure which one I heard about GSHI through first. GSHI was interesting because I knew of most of the people involved. After some time I ended up as a moderator on the ezboard. What likely resulted in my ending up as "the guy who does things" was my submitting premade pages of my codes to Lazy for the purposes of greatly speeding up them being added to the site.


Ace:
As the lead developer of GSHI, what has motivated you to keep the machine that is GSHI running all of these years?

LiquidManZero:
GSHI is a cool place and I had some neat ideas for what to do with it. Part of it ended up being that hardly anybody else was working on the site. Another part was that things happened very slowly. I wanted to make it possible for things to be done faster and easier as well as by any of the staff who felt like bothering.


Ace:
What is the toughest administrative decision you've had to make while at GSHI?

LiquidManZero:
To not kidnap the president with ninjas. Nothing real really comes to mind.


Ace:
What do you think the most annoying thing about the hacking scene is?

LiquidManZero:
The people in the scene who try to push everything down a path toward destruction, for whatever selfish or greedy reasons they have.


Ace:
What is your favorite code/hack that you hacked?

LiquidManZero:
I'd say... The "Barrier Unprotect" code for Metal Gear Solid. Mostly due to the background story of how it happened.

There was a mention of the idea in the original copy of the GS Fairytale... Which had originally been an email conversation between Ace and Lazy. During November 2005 I realized I had an idea of how to hack the code when randomly reading the story. I turned out to be correct on that and finished the code a couple hours later.


Ace:
What is your favorite code/hack of all time?

LiquidManZero:
I think Zombie343's Sephiroth code. Really cool idea. Amazing it works... and I believe it was managed entirely without assembly hacking.

Unfortunately at some point I think I upset Zombie343 a bit by explaining to somebody on GSCCC how to alter the code to work with other character slots. I don't think he remembers that.


Ace:
Who would you say influenced you the most in the video game hacking scene? Who did you 'look up to' when you first entered the scene? (doesn't have to be the same person for both)

LiquidManZero:
It wasn't really any specific person as a major influence. Mostly it was GSSoH as a whole. As far as who I pretty much looked up to early on, it was King Edgar 0. Rumor has it that is related to my rather awful name.


Ace:
What was your first code/hack?

LiquidManZero:
The first codes I made were "Have All Items" and "Have All Materia" for Final Fantasy VII. Both I did using just a Gameshark v2.3 and poking around for such a code on another game. Comparing some other ones I figured out how the serial repeater worked. Early hacking wise I believe was something boring like infinite health for Brave Fencer Musashi.


Ace:
What do you think is the most difficult type of code/hack to hack, and why?

LiquidManZero:
Some kind of dynamic memory allocation canceller. DMA is an absurdly obnoxious problem with hacking to start with. The problem with making such a code is rarely are any games using the technique set up in such a way things can be nailed down. If it IS possible there's a good chance the developers were batshit crazy, like with Star Ocean 2. I think people still get headaches remembering that whole mess even after CMX made the stabilizer code.


Ace:
What is your favorite type of code/hack?

LiquidManZero:
Ones that allow access to debugging features in the game. Some of them are quite boring but others are really neat. The coolest looking one I know of is the debug menu in Maken X (Dreamcast). Allows a very huge amount of screwing with the game using the windowed controls. They can all be dragged around with the virtual mouse cursor.


Ace:
What is your least favorite aspect of hacking?

LiquidManZero:
The lack of sufficient means to hack everything. Both as far as the major lack of ways to deal with a lot of systems in a practical manner and the wimpy tools that exist in general.


Ace:
Which game did you find the most fun to hack, and why?

LiquidManZero:
Final Fantasy VII. Lots of little things that could be done, and still plenty more stuff that hasn't been hacked yet even now over a decade after the release of the game.


Ace:
Did you ever hack an awesome code, or find an address in memory that would've yielded an awesome code, but then lost it somehow?

LiquidManZero:
More times than I can count.


Ace:
What was the most difficult, 'hair-pulling' hack you've ever accomplished?

LiquidManZero:
Not sure. I do know the most ridiculous thing I ever did hacking wise, though. Wrote down about 4KB of data on paper to the final boss in Front Mission 3, and then overwrote one of the player characters with that data in the battle. The result was an exact duplicate of the boss, playable in the battle. 


Ace:
Was there ever a code you just couldn't get to work quite correctly (something you hacked/attempted to hack)?

LiquidManZero:
Not remotely uncommon, mostly thanks to trying to do PS2 hacking. Even when the means of hacking and game are behaving it gets rather tricky. Most of the things I've tried to hack for a recent system either failed entirely or only partially worked at best.


Ace:
Aside from hacking and gaming, how do you like to spend your time?

LiquidManZero:
Screwing around randomly, listening to music, some programming stuff. A lot of the random screwing around involves watching TV shows/movies/anime and farting around with various artistic-like stuff. Can't say I really get much done, heh.


Ace:
What do you think must happen for the video game hacking scene to continue to thrive?

LiquidManZero:
Means of hacking, specifically current systems, very much need to be created and existing ones expanded. New people coming into the scene is another important point. Perhaps someone managing an impressive revolutionary sort of thing would be useful... Even though I don't think it's absolutely required. 

Another possibility is the scene really should stop relying so greatly upon dodgy consumer retail cheat devices and things that aren't quite "hacking tools". The way companies making cheat devices have behaved somewhat gives the impression they'd like to rid the world of freelance hackers. If they don't, the console manufacturers certainly do... That's mostly unrelated though.


Ace:
One last question: if you had one thing to say to current, aspiring, and future hackers, what would it be?

LiquidManZero:
Try hacking anything cool sounding that comes to mind. If you can't do it, try again later after you've learned more. Learning PowerPC and ARM assembly would also be quite useful these days. Perhaps more importantly... It's worth doing hacks you find interesting even if you have no reason to believe anybody else will care about the results.