Monday Tip-Off: Tracking Down Old Patches

Andrew's 1997/1998 Roster Mod for NBA Live 96

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games.

You may not have noticed it, seeing as how we’re talking about content that appears at bottom of our Forum and Downloads section, but I recently tracked down my old pack of roster patches for NBA Live 96, which contains some of the earliest work that I released. It took a bit of detective work, including hitting up archive.org to find out the filename, and then finally locating it in my backups. While I have unfortunately lost some of my early work forever – or so it would seem, anyway – I was quite happy to discover that I still had those particular releases.

Originally, I was just trying to track down my 1997/1998 roster patch for NBA Live 96, to grab a screenshot for my Friday Five article on lost NBA Live saves. That’s when I discovered I couldn’t find any of my old roster patches. Originally, I used another screenshot in its place, published the article, and then spent the rest of the evening trying to find those old rosters. I was reluctant to accept that they were gone forever, and as it happens, my persistence paid off. As I said, I found an old link that revealed the filename, and from there, a search of my backups yielded the file.

Needless to say, while I was in that folder, I continued to have a look around…

I have to admit, I was kind of excited to find some other long-lost patches that I’ll be adding to the Downloads section as soon as I can set aside some time to do so. Sure, we may be talking about games that were released a long time ago, and patches that are no longer in high demand, but I think it’s important to get them in there. As I’ve said several times in the past, we’ve lost too many great releases over the years. A lot of files were either uploaded to free hosts that deleted files after a period of inactivity – or in some cases, have now been shut down – or to community websites that no longer exist.

Michael Jordan in one of Andrew's roster patches for NBA Live 99

As such, it’s a great feeling when old files resurface and we can expand our archives, preserving old patches. In recent years, I’ve been able to use archive.org to get a few files here and there, and upload a few compilations to the Downloads section. HAWK23, who you may know as the driving force behind the Ultimate Base Roster for NBA 2K12 and NBA 2K14, was also able to do the same thing with some long-lost patches for NBA Live 99. On some rare occasions, old sites have still been online with patches readily available, in which case I’ve made sure to immediately download them for safekeeping, and then later upload them.

Unfortunately, the well is kind of running dry with archive.org. Apart from the patches that we’ve already recovered, about all we can find in its Wayback Machine these days are broken links to files that unfortunately weren’t archived, which is certainly a tease. That was the case with my NBA Live 96 roster patches, though fortunately it was enough to point me in the right direction as far as my own backups were concerned. However, having uncovered a few other lost treasures at the same time, it’ll be great to be able to share a few more old releases for a handful of games.

Like I said, I’ll be uploading those patches as soon as I can. I haven’t decided whether I’ll post a big file additions bulletin, or break them up into separate posts for each game, but in any event, be on the lookout for them soon. I’ve found a couple of old roster patches for NBA Live 99, including one that I made circa 2002. There are some face patches for NBA Live 98, an assortment of player and team patches for NBA Live 2004, and quite a few other releases that were somehow overlooked when we relaunched our Downloads section back in 2011.

I’ll also have another trawl through my backups and archives, just in case there are some other old patches that can be unearthed. In the meantime, if you happen to find any old patches yourself – for NBA Live or NBA 2K – please feel free to make use of our upload facilities! You never know when you or someone else in the community might feel like indulging in a little retro basketball gaming; on those occasions, those patches are going to make the experience even more enjoyably nostalgic.

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