Vanilla Hacks

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An example of a vanilla level. Uses custom palettes, but nothing more.
Vanilla Hacks or Vanilla are a specific hack type that do not use ExGFX, Custom Music, HDMA, Custom Blocks, et cetera. In extreme cases some vanilla hacks restrict the use of MAP 16, by doing this the hack can be transported to Super Mario Advance 2. There are many vanilla hacks, Kaizo is a great example of this. Another example of vanilla is the hack Super Mario World: Return to Dinosaur Land by RAGB. Vanilla hacks are the polar opposite of Chocolate Hacks.
An example of strict vanilla. No Map16 or custom palettes involved.

What Makes a Vanilla Hack

True vanilla hack qualities are arguable, and the exact meaning of vanilla differs from person to person. Some think you can use ExGFX if you use the original graphics, while some think even custom palettes make a hack not vanilla. Others say a mixture of chocolate and vanilla hacks are swirl or strawberry. Here is a general list of the qualities that most people see as vanilla:

  • No ExGraphics (Can be used, but usually only with existing graphics; strict)
  • No Custom Music
  • No Custom Sprites
  • No Custom Blocks
  • No custom ASM or other code such as HDMA gradients (An exception to this is Lunar Magic's ASM hacks, which you can't avoid adding.)
  • No hex editing or ROM map usage (An exception to this is fixing something already present; strict)
  • No ExAnimation
  • No usage of other 3rd party programs to modify any of the above (Strict)
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