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Messages - Esco

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Really? In this whole place, no one knows how to help with the things I asked about above.... with all the talented geniuses we have in here?

Come on peoples.... step up.  8) Let's make this happen together.

Welp, for the longest time we salt and sanctuary fans have all been complaining about how unbalanced the weapons are. Along with how FUCKING overpowered the witch is (getting one shotted over and over is just not fun). And since the creators of this game have made it clear how little interest they have in fixing obvious issues (as can be seen by this twitter post. Seriously what a crock: I decided to do it my self! :)

At the bottom you will find a link to a zip file with several files in it. All for modding the S&S game. I took the time to gather these all up and put them in one place for everyone's ease of use. I have done my best to note what each file/folder does in detail below:

Monsters.zox: has tweaks to monsters to make them harder. This was done originally by Acolyterush. I just updated it to work on Just copy this file into the salt and sanctuary/monsters/data folder and replace the one there. A link to his vid about it can be found here:

The only changes I made to his version were ones inspired by PaxEmpyrean on reddit who made another weapon balance mod (though his made the game too easy for me). And are as follows:
  • Bound Arrox: have more HP and poise. Now also drop twisted hearts and the drop rates on enduring skulls have been increased. They are much harder to kill now and thus also give a lot more salt (2000).
  • Armor Guardian: can now drop gray pearls
  • Saltfin: can now drop drowned tomes and gray pearls. They also give 1000 salt now instead of 500.
  • Crypt keeper: can now drop gray pearls too.
  • The unskinned: his slash defense was lowered to 0. For some reason Acolyterush made this 500 which may have been a mistake.
  • Thing of Arms: increased his poise a bit.

Loot.zox: has all the weapon balances and tweaks. Some spells and armors were tweaked too. Also done originally by Acolyterush. I just updated this file to work on Just copy this file into the salt and sanctuary/monsters/data folder and replace the one there.

Lakewitch.zsx: done by me. Tweaks the witches arcane barrage to have a slightly longer charge up time. No other moves were changed. I eventually intend to make more tweaks to her so that 4 out of 5 of her attacks don't one shot you instantly. But for now, this helps at least a little. Copy this to the salt and sanctuary/character/data file. I used a hex editor and just looked for the animation names to do this, followed by editing the animation timings.

DNSPY folder: you can use this to edit the S&S exe file. Just copy the folder and then run the dnspy.exe file and use it to open salt.exe. You can click on the individual c scripts, then right clock on the code and go to edit method. Make your changes, hit compile, and then go to file/save module to write the new EXE. This lets you change literally almost anything in the game's code. Note: I did not make this app.

S&S Code folder: the actual code for the Exe decompiled. At the moment I do NOT know how to recompile it in visual studio as it gives over 300 errors. Which is why I use Dnspy above. But I'm sure there is a simple way to do it that I am missing. IF ANYONE HAS INFO ON HOW TO DO THIS, FEEL FREE TO REPLY WITH IT IN DETAIL. lets you edit save files (found under your salt and sanctuary/savedata folder).  Excellent tool to use to test changes in game when modding since you can go to ANY sanctuary with it to test bosses/enemies. This app was made by inner_fears on reddit.

Salt and Sanctuary Editor.Zip: this will unpack the files for monsters, loot, dialog, strings and the skilltree. Along with textures. With this you can edit enemy stats, equipment/consumable/weapon stats and even dialogue and the items for sale in shops. Along with replacing textures. This was made by Nyahahaha/Yasuo on reddit


If this file was decompiled, adding new weapons with all new textures would be a simple feat.

I believe that covers everything in the zip. Please note that in case this post gets deleted from one location or another and in the hopes of creating more of a mod community for this amazing game, this post is being put up in 4 places:
The steam forums for Salt and Sanctuary

Link to the file:

Also, please note that while I am very, VERY displeased with the lack of updates/tweaks to this game by the creators, that doesn't change the fact that I still think they have made an amazing game here. :) They clearly put a lot of love into this thing and do deserve credit for their hard work.

To that end, I hope that the community being able to mod it will not only extend the game's life. But also encourage others out there to go purchase it on steam. So that hopefully one day we will see a sequel!

February 13, 2018, 11:10:50 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Future plans:

*Making unique classes: the current ones are basically just a few pieces of equipment and that's it. Within 2-4 hours of starting the game your starting class just doesn't matter. I have already found multiple ways to make the classes a lot more unique including via limiting weapon sets, armor, etc. A lot of this has to do with the skill tree and making it more like one from a game like FFX.

*Adding more new stuff to new game pluses: yup. At the moment there is just nothing new in the new game plus modes. That sucks.

*Tweaking enemies: no one likes getting one shot by enemies. Nor is it fun to have to keep healing so much constantly. It just makes the game way easier. There needs to be a balance here.

*More equipment tweaks: heavy armor currently sucks. And shields are too overpowered. Other stuff like some spells just feel underwhelming. While stuff like the blood flasks from the betrayer creed are way overpowered.

*Changes to the weapon upgrades & transmuting process: goes with the whole "having more new stuff to see in new game+" issue.

*Changes to creed leveling up

*Setting gold loss max possible at death to 10K

*Reducing the effectiveness of healing items: so you can't just tank thru the game taking hits non stop. It really is absurd how many full healing potions you can carry at once (well over 10). That's not even counting the 99 red vials you can easily get.

*Making gold more useful vs it just being something you save for no reason.

*Many more small tweaks.

Things needed to make the game more moddable:
  • Someone who can decompile the master.zcm file under the texturesheet/data folder: if this was done, we could add all new skins for new equipment easily. The format seems pretty basic. Someone with knowledge on this subject could probably easily do it.
  • Decompiling fortress.zax: found under the map/data folder. If this was done, we could then go in and edit stuff about the map. Will probably need an editor of some kind for it. Far beyond my ability to make sadly.
  • Decompiling enemy files: these seem to have animation data. Including one for the player. Again, they seem very basic. Anyone with decompiling experience could probably easily make a tool. But I'm just not good enough to do this. These may also have damage multipliers for some things. I'm not 100% sure yet if they are all in the exe.


Other than that, there shouldn't be anything else major needed to make this game all but 100% moddable. We can already edit sounds easily. Current ones for the game can be loaded via audacity using import raw. And wav files can be converted via a tool to xnb format. So unless someone wants to just add more sounds to the game (which would probably require yet another file being decompiled: sfx.zxp).

Music files can be listed to via windows media player.

Personal Projects / Re: DSVania Editor (v1.4)
« on: April 21, 2017, 09:08:28 pm »
Yes, I did miss that.
Things are good. Still digging your work on SotN.
Working on a little Sudoku game for PC myself.
And a few things I'm helping other people with.

Glad to hear it and thanks. :) I'm actually working on finishing Alucard's grab then pushing/pulling of objects (similar to MOF) as we speak. I want to finish doing some more stuff for him in the next month or two and then release another demo vid on my blog.

Personal Projects / Re: DSVania Editor (v1.4)
« on: April 19, 2017, 02:48:48 pm »
Geez. The gang's all hear. :P
This is Inccubus, BTW.

You must have missed this comment:  8)

Yes, I see you up there as well INCUBUS (Vanya). It's been a bit. How have you been?

Personal Projects / Re: DSVania Editor (v1.4)
« on: April 15, 2017, 08:06:19 pm »
From the Dungeon, dude  ;)

Also, thank you (and Lago) for explaining what sprites are supported. I was kinda lost there trying to figure it out.

Oh yeah.... you are that Scumbag Mario Santos. Thanks for the reminder.  :o

..... lol. Just kidding about that scumbag bit man.  8) How have you been?

Personal Projects / Re: DSVania Editor (v1.4)
« on: April 12, 2017, 08:30:39 pm »
It's weird seeing Esco. Haven't seen that name in like 12 years.

Sorry but I don't know who you are.

I'm not here much. I used to post about a hack for Castlevania SOTN. But for the last few years I've actually been programming it from scratch (first in gamemaker, then I moved over to Unity which is still in development and very active).

I'm not big on forums in general. Too outdated for me vs alternative modes of communication.

Personal Projects / Re: DSVania Editor (v1.4)
« on: April 12, 2017, 04:11:29 am »
Hello LagoLunatic!

I saw on your new update that there is a sprite skeleton viewer. I also read here by Esco that it's possible to see the animation and save the frames.

Thing is: I can't locate the function at all. Every sprite I know uses puppet/skeleton animation has the button "view skeleton" grayed out. What gives? Here is an example:

What am I missing?

It only works for OOE.

BTW where do I know your screen name from? I'm sure I know you.

I see Abster is here too, of course.

Yes, I see you up there as well INCUBUS (Vanya). It's been a bit. How have you been?

Personal Projects / Re: DSVania Editor (v1.4)
« on: March 31, 2017, 11:18:30 pm »
Hi again, LagoLunatic. Do you have any plans to include a feature that will export the individual assembled frames of an enemy and/or the keyframes of the enemies that use puppet animations to a sheet?Versus just being able to view them? Right now I have to go thru each one, one at a time taking screenshots of each frame and then pasting and editing the images in paintshop pro to get the assembled frames and it is a very slow process.

EDIT: Nevermind! It looks like you already added this feature! Very well done!

Personal Projects / Re: DSVania Editor
« on: March 05, 2017, 10:58:46 pm »
Thanks! Yeah, it was hard figuring out the skeleton format, the code is so complicated I just opted to change things at random and see what it affected in game, only reading the code for certain things. If you're curious about it here are my notes on the skeleton format:

For DoS and PoR the skeletons were compiled differently I think, so rather than them having their own files they're all hardcoded into overlay files for each enemy. It might just be impossible to parse these depending on how hardcoded it is. But it's too soon to say for sure, some of the sprite files are hardcoded and I found a way to display those.

Good god, looking at that file just gave me flashbacks! I swear I think I have some SERIOUS PTSD going from my time hacking Symphony of the Night for the PSX! Lol.

That's pretty much how I learned about SOTN: a lot of data corrupting, changing values for pointers in RAM, and a lot of liquor and praying.  :banghead:

Personal Projects / Re: DSVania Editor
« on: March 01, 2017, 11:19:43 pm »
Oops. The sprite viewer worked fine in PoR, but I made a small tweak to object names in the sprite viewer and forgot to test it with PoR. Here's a patch:

Thanks it works fine now. Are you planning on eventually enabling skeletons in POR & DOS like you did in OOE? I have to say that I'm AMAZED you were actually able to get the keyframes to show up along with the actual bones for even one of the games. The code for it gets pretty damn messy in SOTN, so I can only imagine what the code is like in these games. That's seriously impressive.

Personal Projects / Re: DSVania Editor
« on: March 01, 2017, 02:42:33 am »
Well, it's not often that I say this but: I'm impressed. VERY impressed. This is an amazing piece of work.  :thumbsup: You have perfect timing with it too: I am about to start setting up the animations/hitboxes for a LOT of the enemies in my Castlevania: SOTN engine. This will actually make it a lot faster to do for the SOTN enemies that appear in any of the 3 DS-vanias.

I do have one question, though: when I try to use the sprite editor for Portrait of ruin the app freezes and in the dos box for the exe I see this:
Error: NoMethodError: undefined method 'lines' for nil:NilClass

This is followed by a bunch more lines after (I have included a screenshot with this post). The app itself is frozen but if I hit enter in the dos box it closes them both. However, the sprite editors works fine for both OOE or DOS. Is this still WIP and currently broken with POR or is there currently a fix for it? I am using windows 7 64 bit edition


Personal Projects / Re: Gauntlet: Dark legacy HACKED (PS2 VERSION)
« on: November 11, 2016, 02:17:28 am »
Just raising a flag in support here, really looking forward to this. I actually ground every character out, through every realm, on this game on ps2. God I wish it could have more challenge in places. Really REALLY looking forward to this, dark legacy was probably one of my favorite ps2 games, and now I have even more reason to replay it all again. You sir, are a god.

Well, thank you for the support. But I assure you that I am no god.  :thumbsup: I'm just a person like you, who got SICK of how deplorably easy the home versions of this game were, while disgusted by how unbalanced the arcade ones in contrast were (in the hopes of eating up people's money).

I have a LOT of interest in this thing. But my time is limited. I really would like to balance everyone out and then playthru the game with each of them.

Personal Projects / Re: Gauntlet: Dark legacy HACKED (PS2 VERSION)
« on: October 28, 2016, 05:35:58 pm »
If you have all 2915 files than you just need to hex edit them where the data you want to change is. I recommend using 010 editor for hex and downloading memhack (MHS on the site) to find the values you need in ram (

When I am done hacking it, I will release a version for modders with lots of my notes in it. But I don't plan on writing any tutorials for this and never promised any such thing. There just isn't enough interest.

Personal Projects / Re: Gauntlet: Dark legacy HACKED (PS2 VERSION)
« on: October 25, 2016, 10:01:12 pm »
i register here cuz i find you are do what i want and figured how, can you pls writ more about how to mod this old but great game?
i try unapck wad.bin and i found script for quickbms too but as you say, the files is compresed, damn, i stop at that point, how i do all this ugly compresion and uncompresion or other way to easy start with it, you say you can directly change something like txt, can you explain more the whole way to do all of this, also they are bug with do some progress with character and then switch to new one the old character lose all bonus atributes, its reset to default, is fixed in your version yet?

I'm sorry but I really don't understand what you are asking or where you are stuck at or I'd try and help.  :'( Your post has some serious grammatical issues and is unclear.

I haven't been working on this hack as much as 2 weeks ago, though. Mostly because it doesn't seem like anyone is really interested besides me and one or two others. Which is fine, as I was initially going to keep it to myself. But it also means I don't have to rush as much since I don't have a MOB of people waiting on it.  :laugh: It is amazing how many changes I've managed to make though. But trust me when I say testing an 8 hour long game like this takes a WHILE too.

Personal Projects / Re: Gauntlet: Dark legacy HACKED (PS2 VERSION)
« on: September 30, 2016, 07:56:09 am »
Sorry for the lack of updates. I've been too busy making a HUGE number of changes. And you know how it is: you think "I'll just change one more thing and then I'll update."

...... and the next thing you know that one thing turns into twenty.  :o

*Changed the armor calculation: it is now percentage based instead of a flat value. Meaning it will reduce damage by say 10%/20% etc instead of a flat 5/10 etc points per hit. This makes armor much more useful now. I've also changed the calculations for the other stats as well, but they aren't as important and about the same. The boost for each stat increase also decreases the higher up each stat gets (not counting the starting amount).
*Increased dmg on breath power ups; super shots tweaked to fit new damage calculations. Phoenix is a bit stronger because of the changes too. Other power ups are the same.
*Turbo gauge coloration has been changed based on the needs of each class.
*Healing from using potions when you get past level 75 has been removed. It will probably be used only for 1 specific class later.
*Everyone no longer has a familiar that shows up past a certain level (see below for Archer's details on hers).
*HUD now shows how many lives you have left instead of using the 1's digit of gold. After beating a boss if you have less than 1 life left, you are refreshed back to having one extra one too. I am also working on implementing a way to gain extra lives via scoring.
*Treasure rooms now only give gold, and bonus gold for getting all coins. I removed my original idea of getting all gold giving an extra life.
*Continues are now limited in a different way; they no longer cost gold. You get one after the dragon and one after the spider queen about now. They let you continue on the spot from when you died. Once they are gone though, they are gone foreever.
*Auto aim can now be shut off/on by hitting R3. Very helpful for ranged characters.
*Unlike the Arcade versions, there was a bug that made you invincible while using super shots, thunder hammer and breath attacks. I have fixed this and removed it. NOTE: Turbo attacks still make you invulnerable.

*increased her firing rate yet again; it also increases as she gains levels even more along with her turbo gain.
*decreased dmg on the arrows produced by double bow and bfg; the initial damage aura when you pull them out is also extremely low now.
*BFG costs 2 potions to use and has cooldown. It no longer costs turbo. The BFG shot itself received a big damage boost and is now based on your base proj dmg instead of being a flat value. It is now done by holding L2 and hitting magic.
*double bow takes 50 turbo instead of 40; but with BFG no longer taking turbo you can actually do 2 of these in a row now. This is IMMENSELY helpful when overwhelmed by grunts.
*A familiar can be summoned for 1 potion; it lasts about 30 seconds. The familiar shot does much more damage now and at level 40 it levels up doing even more (unlike the original PS2 version where it was just a cosmetic change). With her firing rate, this is great for crowd control or to do extra damage with bosses with sniper shot (since the familiar's damage scales with it when used too)
*Archer no longer has auto close range physical attacks: this makes her MAJORLY more useful. I can't tell you how many times I would be strafing with my bow, have an enemy get close range, and watch as (due to Midway's shite programming) she would start throwing punches and allow other enemies to close the gap and attack too. This has now been fixed. Which brings us too:
*She can now do her acid kick by hitting L2 and strong shot. This move has also been sped up. This quick kick is fairly week, but knocks down enemies and solves a MAJOR weakness just about everyone had in game: when cornered by golems/generals/gargoyles it will either make them go into block or hit and push them back. Allowing you to easily escape now. It costs 10 turbo.
*Once she reaches level 10, She can now do her venom bow for 75 turbo by pressing L2 and turbo. This does a LOT of damage now, and also gives you an acid amulet for 20 seconds after. Making it useful against generators, golems, bosses etc.
*Increased damage on sniper shot against large targets.
*She now has a roll instead of a dash.It costs 0 turbo, has no cooldown and is invulnerable at the start (not to traps though like spikes, flame geysers etc.). This is an excellent escape tool similar to the elf's roll in Gauntlet slayer edition. It knocks enemies down too that it hits but only does 1 point of damage, making it useless for killing.
*Her strafe has majorly been improved. With robotron controls (her default one now) she can fire in ANY direction while moving. Also, unlike the original that couldn't be cancelled by anything but a potion or turbo, she can cancel this one with a sniper shot, acid kick, venom bow, or a roll. In addition to the potion, BFG and double bow. With these changes, you will probably never want to use auto aim now, as it is MUCH easier to get perfectly aimed shots in on enemies than it once was.
*Potion has received a damage boost and range decrease. She can only use the magic blast version now (that means no shield or throwing them; this will be used by other classes).
*AT level 60 she earns a new move that I call Dryad's Vengeance. By using 100 turbo and 2 potions she temporarily gains 3 way shot and UNLIMITED super shots for 20 seconds (7 in boss stages). The super shots do less damage than normal ones, but this move is EXCELLENT for clearing out huge rooms full of grunts and generators that felt IMPOSSIBLE originally (like the desecrated temple or underworld have, for example).

SYNOPSIS: the basic idea was to make her game less oriented on just waiting for turbo to charge up. The archer now has tools to deal with ANY scenario. Her potions are also now no longer useless against bosses or big enemies like in the original game. She is a very run and gun oriented character, designed for keep away while lambasting enemies with a storm of arrows. Her roll is insanely useful at escaping mobs. If she uses a potion to summon a familiar, she can easily cut thru any big groups of enemies mobbing her early on. Late game, when things get nuts, she has Dryad's vengeance. BFG is much more useful against bosses, and she won't have to rely on it so much anymore for mobs with her tweaks and ability to roll in, double bow and roll away. Acid kick is great when cornered, and venom bow is great against bosses/gargoyles because of the damage and acid power up. Sniper shot is also much better against these enemies than regular arrows. While it's firing rate is too slow against mobs, the DPS against single targets is much better than running around and firing arrows all day. Basically, against large targets, you'll want to use sniper shots, then strafe around firing arrows while dodging their attacks until you can go back to sniper shots. Call in a familiar to do more damage, or get close and use venom bow for even more. A BFG here or there definitely helps too.

All in all, with the game being much harder now, she feels much better equipped to handle anything, without feeling like she has to wait around for her turbo gauge to fill or being overpowered. With her decreased health and defense, you will need to player he like an Archer. If you try to wade in like a Warrior or a Valkyrie, you WILL be dead fast.

Speaking of which, the Warrior will probably be next. Once I make some more tweaks to the bosses/stages.

Stay tuned for a video in the next few days.  :thumbsup:

Personal Projects / Re: Gauntlet: Dark legacy HACKED (PS2 VERSION)
« on: September 11, 2016, 02:23:39 pm »
Why would you want to downgrade a game and remove new levels, characters and bosses? That's like having an athletic, well-dressed woman with naturals C's, and asking her to get a boob reduction, gain 20 lbs of flab and stop dressing up for you.  :banghead:  :laugh:

Personal Projects / Re: Gauntlet: Dark legacy HACKED (PS2 VERSION)
« on: September 09, 2016, 09:24:52 pm »
The video is up. It showcases a # of things:

*The ticking timer: just like the original game and the arcade version. Your health ticks down slowly every 1-2 seconds. This really increases the pace of the game.

*The lives system: you start with 3. Getting all the coins in a treasure room gives another one, but you have ONE chance per treasure room per game to do this. These have also been made WAY harder with 100 coins each in them. Getting enough exp periodically grants another too. BTW , quitting in the middle of a stage will NOT replenish any lost lives/health.

*The continue system: continuing is expensive and gets more so as you continue more/get further. A change has also been made that limits how often you can save. So basically: do you want to give up a chunk of gold to continue, or give up a lot of time and effort to go back, load a save and try again? You will have to balance between the two and get good to beat the game now. BTW, you can get a game over in stages now that means too.

*Tweaked enemies, attacks, generators etc. Basically, everything has more health, hits harder and moves/spawns faster. Enemies mob you in greater numbers, come at you quicker, and you will need to strategize to survive instead of just charging thru. Generals are fast, hard hitting fiends. Golems are slow damages sponges that hit like a TON of bricks. Gargoyles are vicious cannons, and with the range on their breath attack fixed, much more likely to hurt you now. Get cornered, and it will incinerate you fast.

*The tweaked Archer: she is now much more of a run and gun character and a bit of a glass cannon. But with that being said, she feels really powerful while not being overpowered. She has increased firing rate and movement speed. Her strafe now moves as fast as a normal walk and while strafing she fires at normal pace. She has fast up close fighting, but it is a little weaker than her normal shots. Her slow attack is sniper shot: a very fast, long range arrow that hits way harder than normal ones. Excellent against large enemies and generators, but too slow a firing rate to be very effective against mobs of grunts. Turbo gain is slower for her: it takes 30 seconds instead of 20 to get a level 2. It also takes 110 seconds instead of 50 to get a level 3 turbo (which has also had its damage tweaked). Her defense and health has been dropped too. Also, although unshown, blocking is now instantaneous, but has a much smaller window of reduced damage. For her, because of low defense, it's not something you want to use. Magic wise, she also can only use magic blast. She no longer has potion throw or magic shield. Those will be given to other classes instead. In exchange, her magic range has been increased substantially and it executes MUCH faster now.

Many other changes have also been made to the game, but I won't bore you guys with all the little details.

Next up, I need to continue thru and balance the rest of the game for her (which should only take 2-3 days). I will then be moving onto the Jester next when she is done.


Like the title says. With some help, I figured out a way to extract the files from the compressed WAD.bin in Gauntlet dark legacy using quickBMS. So I am planning on making as many of the changes for the hack I am doing for the game in the files themselves (text, asm, etc). Recombining the files together into the WAD.bin again via QuickBMS once I am done works perfect but the problem is no matter what application I try, I can't seem to recombine the WAD.bin with all the files from the Gauntlet Dark Legacy bin back into a full Gauntlet Dark Legacy bin file in a way that it will boot up in PCSX2.

Using Imageburn, the file is smaller by about 300k (using iso, standard text and mode2 settings) and I have no idea why. I also tried just replacing the WAD.bin in the iso directly with Apache, but that doesn't work either. I also did what I call a "control copy." Meaning I extracted the wad.bin, then without modifying it tried to reimport it/recombine the files into the original Gauntlet DL BIN. It still didn't work.

Can someone please advise me on the correct way to recombine all the files of a PS2 game into a PS2 bin/iso? I'm sure I am missing some very small step and it is driving me nuts.  :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

September 01, 2016, 09:09:55 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
LOL after spending HOURS scouring the net BEFORE putting this post up, right after I make it, THIS solved my problem:

Damn I feel dumb right now.  :-X

P.S. I also found cdGenPS2 after I wrote that last message. Which works even better since I just drag and drop the files and it directly adds them and burns them back to being a bin. Much faster than the previous steps I found.

Personal Projects / Gauntlet: Dark legacy HACKED (PS2 VERSION)
« on: September 01, 2016, 12:19:30 am »
Hey, everyone. Long time no see, speak, etc. For those who don't know I've been busy remaking Castlevania: SOTN in unity for some time now. It went from being a dirty hack in a psx cheat code app, to a memhack hack, to being remade in game maker, then got switched over to unity3d 2 years ago. Since the switch to Unity progress has been smooth and amazing and I can finally seen an eventual end to it. A blog can be found here with all progress:

Now onto the point of this thread: Gauntlet Dark Legacy!

Gauntlet Dark Legacy is one of my all time favorite games. I would spend hours in the arcades playing it and actually beat the entire arcade version 6 times. Spending probably about $50 each time beating it. The problem is, as much as I liked the difficulty, it was too unbalanced. The game was designed to be a quarter eater: making the owners cash. And that was it. It was unfairly balanced. Then came the home versions. In particular, the PS2 version was like the PREMIUM version of the game. And with Emulators nowadays, playing it on PCSX2 makes it look HD. Crisp, gorgeous graphics everywhere!

Sadly, the home versions of the game are just too damn easy. Even on the hardest setting, the only challenges were the underworld, the 2nd Skorne fight and maybe Garm. Heck, I even went so far as to load up 4 characters for each stage, kill off 3, and then keep going thru each stage without picking the quit game option for the other characters (meaning the difficulty still acts like 4 people are playing it and ramps it up a LOT). Still too damn easy. For the longest, I hoped that someone would pick up this game and just do some kind of remake or hack for it. Anything to give me a fun challenge with it. But no one has dared try.

.............until NOW!

Memhack, PCsx2 and an Iso/Bin of gauntlet dark legacy. This is also all you will need to play the hack. Memhack is a totally free program that can be found on for those who don't know, and is an EXTREMELY powerful app that will let your run c++ style codes attached to the game. Sadly it was abandoned years ago.

  • To make the single player game more difficult and make it feel more like it's arcade counterpart (in truth, after I'm done someone else could VERY EASILY take my results and use them to do the same for 2-4 player games too; but seeing as this game is almost 20 years old, and not very popular, that is not part of my goal)
  • To make the players each feel much more unique (INCLUDING THE HIDDEN ONES), balance them much better and make using each a much more enjoyable experience. Warriors should feel safe wading into enemies and up to even bosses and using melee attacks, instead of their weaker ranged attacks, while archers should be able to run around pelting enemies with arrows and not want to get in close to use melee. Gauntlet: slayer edition was an influence here too, as I feel that is the FIRST Gauntlet game to get balancing the classes all out pretty close to perfect. Which brings us to:
  • Improving on the more useless game mechanics: I'm talking about things like strong projectiles, melee combos and the block button (which BTW has to be THE MOST useless thing I've ever seen). The same goes for some of the more useless turbo attacks
NOTE: this is designed to be a very short term project (with the exception of balancing each character). It is intended to take 1-2 months at most.

*Added in a "ticking timer:" health decreases now a little each second based on your max hp (it WAS a flat value of 1 hp per 2 seconds for a few days, but once your max hp went up it became too insignificant like that). Basically, you lose 1/1000th of your max health a second. This, however, canNOT kill you, but will instead bring you down to 1 HP.

*Altered walking speeds: EVERYONE now walks at the same speed. I really don't know what in the hell the programmer's were thinking putting in such a huge different in movement originally. The fast moving characters just had WAY to much of an edge over the slower ones for a plethora of reasons. All characters now walk even faster than a starting elf did originally. Which means the battles can now be much faster paced and involve more dodging and finesse, and much less slooooooooooooow plodding back and forth like before.

*Speed stat now instead effects projectile range/speed: yup! Since walking speed is now a flat value, it is used for this instead. Characters like archers will have much better range on them than say a melee character like a warrior

*Changes to leveling up: you now only get +2 per stat and +25 max hp. You also do NOT recover health when leveling up (why they put that in at all originally is beyond me).

*Health is restored some after each stage: yup. This is to offset the huge increase in difficulty. At the moment the formula I put in is initialHp + (level - 1)* 10; but this is subject to change as I balance things more.

*Turbo gain will now vary per character. I may even set it so some gain more from attacking enemies: I actually NOPPED out the original code that writes it. I now control it via my script.

*Discovered the structure for stages/enemy stats: there is one main one for EACH stage in each realm that controls things like spawn speed, max spawn amounts, generator hp, enemy dmg/armor/hp, proj speed, etc. It gives me a LOT of control over a LOT of things in the game

*Bosses can no longer be abused for farming huge amounts of gold: yup. Once a boss is killed you only get 1500 gold per kill after. I may even go further to alter this.

*Each legendary weapon for each boss is found in their own realm: I have NO IDEA why this was changed from the arcade version (except for dream land). It just doesn't make sense. I altered it though now. At the moment the model used is still the original one in each realm where a legendary weapon is. I am working on seeing if I can change it graphically too.

*Using a legendary weapon only awards 2/3 of the gold you would get without it: yup. So the tradeoff is an easier boss fight with less payoff, or a harder one with more payoff. More risk = more reward.

*Boss dmg/health scale after a certain level is reached by the player: the cutoff right now is level 20 for the dragon and lich. After that, they start getting stronger hp & dmg wise the more levels you gain. So grinding levels won't help you nearly as much.

*You can't go into the next realm until you kill the boss from the previous realm: again, NO IDEA why this wasn't set like this. The exception is the mountain kingdom and forsaken province. I left it so you CAN still reach the mountain while in the province. But until both of these stages and their bosses are cleared you can't move onto the castle realm. And likewise, you can't go to the sky realm until the castle is beaten, forest until sky is done, etc. You still need to get enough crystals too, but I keep you locked out if you have enough until this is done.

*Altered some stats for the lich and dragon: lich now has 3000 HP base instead of 4500. This is because he must be faced much earlier now and would otherwise be too unbalanced. The dragon now has 3000 hp instead of 2000 so he is no longer a total push over. Damage amounts were altered too of course.

*Tweaked the Archer a LOT: her dmg per projectile was bought down, her range on projectiles was bought up. Her physical attacks are also now weaker than projectiles and her magic was bought up more to match the arcade version's range a little more (it was decreased on the ps2 version overall by Midway). Her turbo attack was also altered in a way that it will no longer one shot bosses if she has a weapon power up, a 3 way and a supershot. It does far less damage now because of the tweaks to her, but is still very strong and useful. It now also takes her 30 seconds instead of 20 to reach a level 2 turbo. To reach a level 3 now takes about 110 seconds instead of 50 seconds as well. She is designed to be a fast and long range gunning character with her turbos being her big guns to use against gargoyles, generals and golems. With the changes to her, you will really have to put her L3 turbo to good use. Her L2 will also be used much more now in crunch situations and is still very useful against bosses too. Her defense was also majorly dropped and she only starts with 300 HP. Overall, she feels a LOT more like her Arcade counterpart now but without her speed being crippled like in it. She is excellent at dodging attacks and playing keep away like a sniper/gunner character should be.

*Familiar damage has been altered: the original calculation was [(level - 25) * 0.1] + 2.5. In the ps2 version, reaching level 80 just gave your familiar a cosmetic change, not a dmg boost (surprisingly). I changed the damage calculation to now be 0.5 * proj dmg of your character. Meaning unlike before, its damage is now directly based around yours instead of just your level.


*Stat calculation changes (WIP): I already talked about speed above for everyone and what it does now. Armor needs to be tweaked to be more effective too. Overall now though an archer with maxed stats will still do less dmg per hit with her projectiles, than a warrior with maxed stats. Just like an archer would have better magic and a warrior would have worse. A lot more thought has gone into it than I am putting her though. Far too much to type so everyone will just have to wait and see the results. And although the Archer has been tweaked a lot, I haven't touched ANY of the other characters yet. SO I have a long way to go here.

*Figured out how to tweak the speed/timing of the plauyr's animations: a huge find as this determines how quickly they attack, shoot, do magic, etc. I just discovered these today and have to map/research them quite a bit more in the next few days.

*Shop items: I want to decrease the cost for the gas mask, x ray glasses and even slightly tweak invisiblity's cost. Right now stat ups cost 1000 gold and give 6 instead of 10 too. I want to also tweak how long the lightning/fire shield last and their cost along with the text corrections for the stat ups. I found the text and data for this, but oddly enough it seems to always be in the same place UNLESS the emulator is rebooted. More experimentation is needed to confirm this. Shouldn't take long to do.

*Stage tweaks: just starting on these. It's basically a lot of replaying the stages with different characters. Easy but time consuming. Long story short: expect the battlefields of garm to now make the underworld look like a picnic in candyland vs being the easy romp they were before. Also expect the underworld to be tweaked to be less of a skorne item/thunder hammer/magic spamming area and to be more fair. Basic idea though is to make the stages much harder.

*Initiate some kind of lives system: the indicator for these will use the ones digit of gold which is currently unused. I already figured out how to make you go to the gameover screen in a stage (which was NOT present originally in the PS2 version). Much more research needed on my part to balance this but it's not a big task honestly. Just time consuming and repetitive.  :banghead:

*Change the model loaded for the legendary weapons in a stage: "see progress thus far" above for why. I'm going to TRY and see if this can be done. But no promises. Luckily this is a VERY minor thing.

*Change coin rooms to give money and to unlock hidden characters by beating the game with their normal counterpart instead: self-explanatory. If I can get a good lives system working, I'll probably make it so you have to beat the game without dying/continuing/???? to get Sumner (since he will be the strongest character and probably the only overpowered one).

*WISH ITEM: I would like to set it up so that each character can use 2-3 potions to do some kind of power up. Maybe give the archer the ability to fire faster similar to rapid fire by sacrificing these potions, or maybe give the valkyrie a dash that negates damage for a short time, or give the warrior growth and a dmg boost, etc. This would be the LAST thing I would do and is not guaranteed to get done. Much experimentation needed on my part, though this seems very physically doable. I could simply map it to use l3/r3 or even by holding block down long enough.

Also FYI: all code will NOT be encrypted and when I'm done I'll be releasing my notes. So if anyone wants to customize it after I'm done and make their own version, whatever. I'm fine with that and actually will encourage it.

Anyway, check this thread again for updates.

September 01, 2016, 12:53:41 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
BTW a video will be up in the next day or two with proof of my progress. As I know that, as they say: seeing is believing.  :thumbsup:

Also sorry for the double post.

September 01, 2016, 09:14:58 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
A pic of some MAJOR progress:

For those who don't understand the significance of this very minor appearing text edit: the files in this game are compressed. Which means I had to not only extract the wad.bin but find a way to decompress it (it apparently uses zlib) and remove all the files to edit it. This is usually very hard/impossible to do.

...... luckily thanks to 3dformat on wikispace helping me out and quickBMS I figured out a way to do it. Which means I can make most of the edits directly to the game files now and make an IPS patch to distribute.

This has been a good day.

September 06, 2016, 11:32:29 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Sorry for the delay, but the video hasn't been done because I wanted to make a bunch more tweaks to the game and have more to show. And I have gotten a lot more done including implementing a continue/lives system. An update with more details will probably go up on Thursday.  :thumbsup:

UPDATES: 6/28/13: a HUGE blog has just been put up that should answer just about any questions ANYONE has about my goals with the engine!  :laugh:

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