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1
##### Personal Projects / Re: Zelda II Redux
« on: January 14, 2019, 11:42:01 am »
@ShadowOne - Each magic container is a total of 16 points for an overall total of 128 with all 8 containers. To take the magic use see balanced, you should use multiples of 4, 8, and 16 for your spell usage and not 0 or 5 unless the zero falls into one of the multiples like 20, 40, or 80. If 1 magic container is 16, then 2 is 32, 3 is 48, 4 is 64, 5 is 80, 6 is 96, 7 is 112, and all 8 is 128. Now, if you find a way to increase the max number, I'm all ears! LOL!

Also, you still need to fix the HUD display as well. I know that's at the top of you list.

As a suggestion you or Trax can try is to implement a map of the overworld you are in when you pause the game on the overworld. That would be great.

Well I already have the magic consumption that way, in multipliers of 4.
Every magic has some number which is a direct multiply of 4, so that's how it already is.

What Trax meant is using odd numbers to see the difference on-screen
Odd numbers are basically those that don't end with a reminder of 0 when divided by two.
In other words, any number which ends in a 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9.

I already fixed the wrong tile in the JUMP spell tiles, next up should be the Bot which apparently gives a whole heart of damage in the First palace.
Anyone knows which Bot this is specifically? I still haven't found that enemy yet.

Awesome hack, ShadowOne333. Eager to play this when it's finished.

Thanks, dude!
I'm in the finishing touches of the hack, hopefully I can get this done before March haha

2
##### ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« on: January 10, 2019, 01:29:29 pm »
It has been my dream for many years to do a hack of Super Mario Bros. 2 as The Beatles. Complete with Beatles tunes and yellow submarines and whatnot. I just don't have the time or skill.

That sounds like a pretty neat project.
However, those Beatle sprites would have to be limited to only 3 colours each (4th is transparency), since the NES can't handle more than 3 colours per tile.
Take Mario as example, he only has beige, red and blue. Luigi, Toad and Peach follow the same pattern.

3
##### Personal Projects / Re: Zelda II Redux
« on: January 08, 2019, 03:51:01 pm »
Guess who's back?
Back again.
Tell a friend.

Time to continue development on Zelda II Redux, let's hope the last points can be cleared out before Q1 2019 ends

Here are my observations so far:

- The JUMP spell in the Pause pane has a bad tile mapping.
- I think spells should never have odd numbers for magic consumption. Ex.: LIFE spell at 25 magic cost. My rationale is, we should be able to tell the difference on screen.
- A Bot in the first palace deals a whole heart of damage at Life level 2. Is that intentional? I think it's excessive.
- Bubbles (flashing skull heads in palaces) should definitely be worth less than 50 points, especially when they can be killed with very few hits. I suggest 20. Maybe a bit more for Fast Bubbles?

- Correct the White Magic Square in the HUD, but that's already acknowledged by ShadowOne.

Other than that, it's very good. The Intro story makes sense, the dialogs are WAY better. The Overworld animations are a nice touch. I don't really like the longer sword, not because I think the sword shouldn't be lengthened, but because the hitboxes are the same (as far as I know), so it's basically a visual illusion.
Thanks for those points, Trax!

• Indeed, the JUMP text had a changed tile there, it was a leftover from when I was trying to mimic Shadow of Night's altered Pause pane. Forgot to change than one back
I might drop the extra dots between the names of the spells and the actual numbers, just to make the Pause pane look cleaner.
• Sounds logic. I will check the spell consumption rates and make them either end with 0 or 5 instead of odd numbers.
• Huh I'm not sure which bot that is. Do you have a pic of the bot in particular and/or what room it is located exactly to debug it properly?
• Mmm yeah seeing as it is pretty early in the game, maybe an Exp reduction wouldn't do any harm and balance things better.
• Yep, that's the only change remaining to properly make the new HUD a thing already. Just the white magic square.

As for sword, the only thing I did was rework Link's sprite so that his arms don't take as much tile-space as they used to before, and the sword is simply narrower to make it look like a proper sword instead of making it look like Link is holding a chicken drumstick

I will try to address those issues this week, might have a new beta ready by Friday hopefully.

4
##### ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Hack ideas: for those without the skill but with all the ideas.
« on: January 07, 2019, 11:12:18 am »
A Quality of Life Hack for Super Mario 64 on the N64.
The camera system is pretty outdated.

A camera system which is similar to super mario sunshine would be great.
Using the c buttons to continually rotate the camera (not fixed camera positions) and a button (most likely R) to move the camera behind mario (like in the the DS remake).
It would be hard to implement a camera like Sunshine since the N64 doesn't have a right analog stick.
My suggestion for a quality of life hack for Super Mario 64 would be:
• Try to implement a camera system similar to that of the Banjo games. I feel like those control the best out of the entire platformers from the N64 era, and are the closest to the newest scheme of camera control.
• Implement Luigi as a playable character with his own custom abilities (from SM64DS maybe) and sound clips. Toggle between Mario or Luigi in the Select Game menu with a button input or something.
• Add the bonus stars/maps from Super Mario 64 DS (without the stupid mini games of course, just the other new 30 starts)

5
##### Personal Projects / Re: Zelda II Redux
« on: December 20, 2018, 06:49:02 pm »
Thanks for that!

Though correct me if I'm wrong, but I think all of the Redux betas should already include the "Restart from palace at Game over", don't they?

That was one of the features right from the start, can anyone please check if both the normal beta in OP and the newest Beta 2 in page 17 have said feature, please?

6
##### Personal Projects / Re: Zelda II Redux
« on: December 14, 2018, 01:50:34 pm »
Well guys!
It's December 14th, and today we wrap up the poll voting for the "Spell" spell's name!
And the winner is...

Enigma spell!

Thank you for all of those that voted and gave their ideas for the name.
Enigma will be the final name used for the spell in Redux

But fear not!
I will not leave those that want a different name in the dark!
If you want to change the name to something else, here's how to do it:
• Open a clean (or the Redux beta) Zelda 2 ROM in any hex editor (I recommend HxD)
• Go directly to address/offset 0x1C8E. In HxD, you can do so by doing the key shortcut "Ctrl+G", and then type "1c8e" in the text box.
• Once you are in the correct address, you should see the following bytes: EC E9 DE E5 E5 CF. This corresponds to the hex values for the letters S P E L L (CF is a dot). In the case of Redux, this should be DE E7 E2 E0 E6 DA (E N I G M A)
• Now depending on what name you want, you have to replace those bytes for one of the following:
• Reveal: EB DE EF DE DA E5
• Unveil: EE E7 EF DE E2 E5
• Expose: DE F1 E9 E8 EC DE

And that's it!
That's all you have to do to rename Spell to whatever name you want.
Just take into consideration that you should only replace 6 bytes, no more!
You can have a bit more letters for the spell name, but if you are not really adept in hacking, I recommend you not to add more than 6 letters, 7 tops.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So with this, I believe this will be my last update for 2018.
I will go on vacations this Monday, so I won't be able to work on Redux until January 2019.

Here's the latest beta of Zelda 2 Redux!
https://www.dropbox.com/s/uvdifz01ub13ywz/Zelda2ReduxBeta2.ips?dl=0

You can see the new Link sprites I made in action, as well as the new HUD, new title screen sword!
Only thing is that I still haven't figured out how to move the white square which moves when you consume magic to the above row where the Magic meter is located, but out of that everything else should be working

If anyone does manage to find a fix to move the white square to the top, please let me know!

ENJOY!

7
##### Personal Projects / Re: Zelda II Redux
« on: December 10, 2018, 10:49:25 am »
Thanks to all the people that have been voting so far!
I plan on closing the poll by Friday (my b-day ) to settle on a name.

Still though, I want to give people the option to rename the spell if they do want it to be something else.
I don't know if you guys noticed, but ALL of the names in the poll have exactly 6 letters each.
This will help a lot if any of you want to rename the spell.

I will explain how to do the edit in a hex editor. Should be as simple as going to the correct offset, and copy-pasting some bytes I will write.
But more details on that later this week.

In the meanwhile, I am still trying to switch the Magic tile which handles the magic meter.
Haven't been able to do much progress on that forefront yet, but I hope I can get it to work soon enough.

8
##### Personal Projects / Re: Castlevania II - COA (Linear Reboot) & Castlevania II - SQ (Linear Reboot)
« on: December 06, 2018, 10:14:41 am »
Cadence of Agony is a Linear version of what Optomon and Dr. Mario ended back in 2010.
SQ is a linear version to what Sephirous wants to make based on The Holy Relics hack done by Optomon in 2017.

Sephirous combined both project subjects into one thread so that way he didn't have double posts going on by abiding by the forum rules :
Ah nice!
Thanks for explaning.

And also, that video looks neat

9
##### Personal Projects / Re: Castlevania II - COA (Linear Reboot) & Castlevania II - SQ (Linear Reboot)
« on: December 06, 2018, 12:11:27 am »
Sephirous started another Castlevania project and placed it within this one to not clutter up the thread project section
Mind explaining what each project does, please?
I kinda lost track of the project for a bit and now I don't know where it stands xD

10
##### Personal Projects / Re: Zelda II Redux
« on: December 05, 2018, 12:06:07 pm »
Current proposals for "Spell" spell's new name:
• Reveal
• Unveil
• Enigma
• Expose

For the name, we should take into consideration the official instruction manual description for the "Spell" spell:
"Magic to cast eerie spells.  Its effect is still not fully known.  It is also said that it'll make the enemy tremble in fear."

11
##### Personal Projects / Re: Zelda II Redux
« on: December 04, 2018, 06:17:31 pm »
Reveal?
Can't be Reveal, because it also has a secondary effect, in which it changes enemies to other types of enemies when in battle.

The options I have right now are Enigma, Expose, Emerge, Rise and Sight.
Reveal and Unveil could work, but it's that secondary effect which somewhat kills those, unless you count Reveal/Unveil as "Revealing the true nature of the enemy" or some shit like that xD

12
##### Personal Projects / Re: Zelda II Redux
« on: December 03, 2018, 06:03:52 pm »
Seems like Shield #1 wins then
That's the one I implemented as default too

Well, with that, I think only thing remaining before the next beta is to flip the Magic white bar (the one that keeps track of how much Magic has been used) to one row up, and keep the Life bar (red rectangle keeping track of life) to its current row, which is what Trax's info was for.
I am still looking around the game's code to see how to flip it, and also trying to RE Shadow of Night to see how that one did it.

Once that is done, only two things shall remain:
• Add PAUSE message on Overworld
• Change name of "Spell" spell... Maybe? I'm thinking of something like Enigma or something like that.

13
##### Personal Projects / Re: Castlevania II - COA (Linear Reboot) & Castlevania II - SQ (Linear Reboot)
« on: December 03, 2018, 10:09:03 am »
Is it just me or does the title for the thread read Castlevania II Linear Reboot twice?

14
##### Personal Projects / Re: Zelda II Redux
« on: November 30, 2018, 12:08:09 pm »
Don't touch the L tile in the HUD.

This tile, as innocent as it may seem, is used to synchronize Sprite Zero, which is crucial for the timing of the HUD vs. the rest of the viewport, especially when it comes to scrolling. In the screenshot above, the L tile has been moved 2 tiles to the left. If you play the entire game and are absolutely certain that noting weird happens with vertical alignment of sprites or background tiles and scrolling, then you get a pass, but it's at your own risk.
I believe Shadow of Night also moves the L to the left a bit, but from what I've tested I haven't seen any particular issues so far related to sprites or backgrounds and scrolling.
Is there any particular thing I should look out for?
Like some sort of behaviour if the issue does pop up?

As for the white Magic square, it's actually a sprite that is drawn in the background (there's a sprite attribute for that), and serves as the last container that is not full or empty. Full and empty containers are drawn as background tiles. Same for the Life square. These sprites move leftward as you take damage or consume magic, and rightward as you gain them.

I checked the code starting from the offset you gave me, and the code that sets the two sprites is a little further, starting at \$17BB. There are 4 values written in sequence starting from \$02F8 (this address is in a 2-byte table just before this routine, at \$17B9), using the command STA (\$00),Y. First value is 0F, which is the Y position of the sprites. This is your problem. The original game uses the same Y position for both. Your setup doesn't.

Second value is the tile code, taken from \$1689 (70) or \$168A (6E), depending of whether you're drawing Life or Magic. Third value is 0x21, which is the sprite attributes, and it sets the palette to 01 and activates the flag to draw the sprite in the background. Fourth value is the X position, taken from \$168B or \$168C, plus the value of the last unit of the meter.

Ideally, you'd have to rewrite the routine in a way that swaps the operations for X and Y positions. Your case has X position the same for both, so it would be hard-coded, and Y position different for each meter, so it would be taken from the table.

Tried looking at the code.
I haven't come up with anything yet for it, I am trying to wrap my head around it first and see what I can do about it.
In the meanwhile, I tried looking at the same portion of code from Shadow of Night, to give me an idea on how that hack does it, but I couldn't find any difference in that particular part of the code, it seems the same as in vanilla Zelda II, so perhaps SoA does it in a different way.
I will try to continue studying the code and also try to find how SoA does it, whichever of the two ways manages to work or comes first

As for a little side-track, I tried to jump the gun and attempted to completely redraw the HUB yet again to something much more nice to the eye (and more close to the rest of the series).

This is a quick comparison of what I could do in-game compared to what my mockup was:

In-game                             /                         Mockup

Now there are some particular problems in this:
• The same issue with one of the meter bars moving only in an X position
• The PPU tilemap for the life meter is tied with the Exp zeroes. This is why they always tend to show up right next to each other.
• The PPU tilemap for the magic meter is tied with the number for the Life level, hence why the magic bar begins at the very edge of the screen in my test.
• Given the previous issue with the Magic meter, the "M" might disappear due to overscan and on CRT monitors.

I tried to locate the part of the code where it loads the tables for the tile mappings, and found it at \$16BD and \$172E.
So, went ahead and reimplemented the tilemaps for those two in free-space, and tried separating them into proper tile maps in the AA BB XX format for each section, but i think this goes way beyond that, since the code I believe expects them to be right next to each other and with a set number of bytes, otherwise they won't be separated from each other.

Now, I will not continue with this attempt for a HUB redraw, I will only continue trying to move the magic square that keeps track of the magic number for the current HUB I showed a couple of post back.
No biggie here, I am not attempting this after this test since it is SO much work assembly-side, it's not even worth it, I just wanted to do it for fun and see how far I could go.

I am happy with just implementing the one I showed previously haha.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now with that said, guys, I decided to finally jump into the sprite editing stuff and redo some graphics for the game while still retaining their original look.
For example, I tried to be faithful to Link's original design, but retouch it in a way that makes it look much better than in vanilla Zelda II. He now has his yellow-ish stripe on his hat, his clothes closely resemble his original artwork and his sword no longer looks like a chicken drumstick.

For starters, I redid the title screen sword:

I took inspiration from the one in the "New Link Sprite" hack, but I redid it in a way that is much more close to the original artwork (original had 4 red gems in the hilt, with a big one on top).
Now there is one more think I am thinking about doing to the title screen, and that is perhaps changing the grey hue of the stones to something like Rev Edition, with a more deep brown, I feel like that colour scheme is better to the eyes than the dull grey the game uses by default. This would also make the sword stand out and pop out a lot more.
What do you guys think?

For Link, I already retouched his whole sprite sheet, all I need now is to define a shield design for Link.
I tried to go for the original Link's artwork shield design, but it looks odd when implemented into the game (image #2).
All in all, I did 3 different designs for the shield:

I would like to know which shield you guys like the most.
I'm leaning towards the first one (brown shield with beige cross), the second one is the closest I could get to the original artwork (but doesn't look as good to me), and the third one who the fuck knows, I just did it for giggles.

So please, let me know what do you guys think about the possible changes to the title screen palette and to Link's shield.

15
##### Personal Projects / Re: Zelda II Redux
« on: November 27, 2018, 10:24:35 am »
Oh yeah it's in 162E
Sorry got confused for a bit haha.

That explanation you gave was really awesome, Trax, thanks for that.
It really helped to understand how things are written and parsed into the screen, and it helped a lot to reallocate and rework the HUD with almost no issues:

That's what I have right now
I'm missing the diagonal slash that separates the earned experience from the next level experience, but that was just an oversight on my part I bet.
EDIT: Indeed, oversight on my part. Already fixed it, the diagonal dash is already there.

The only problem I have right now, is that white square you see next to "-LEVEL-" is not in the position I want it to.
That's the Magic tile which lowers when magic is used.
I just need to find a way to move that very tile to the correct position on top of the life meter.

Do you have any clues as to how I would go about moving that one to the correct position?

The horizontal position for those two is located at \$168B and \$168C.
\$168B handles the Magic white bar, while \$168C handles the Life red bar.
Right now I have the value at \$168C set to [58], and the Life meter works properly now.
I just need to find a way to move the Magic meter bar to the above row, and that should be it.

16
##### Personal Projects / Re: Zelda II Redux
« on: November 23, 2018, 06:39:19 pm »
Well guys, I wanted to make a little challenge and attempt to do the tunic stuff today.
This is how it turned up:

Just be careful...

So in short words, if Link's life level is between 1 and 4, the Shield spell will turn Link's tunic to blue.
If it's 5 and above, the Shield spell will instead turn Link's tunic to red.

Let me know what you guys think
(Don't pay attention to any delays in the flashing or any slowdowns, the game works fine, it's just my Linux computer being absolute shit handling multiple Wine instances at once).

ShadowOne, keep in mind I'm not positive on the Ending Scene thing. Maybe there's a specific block of data in Bank 5. As for Shield, yes, it's the basic logic, so it's not complicated. And for the Pause thing, I don't really have time to check it out, mostly because I'm struggling with my own Overworld things, for my hack. I do know that RAM \$79 and \$7A are supposed to be the offset in the Name Table(s) for Overworld redrawing.
I'm a bit confused, I didn't mention anything about changing the Ending scene (that I recall ).
Out of that, I will see if I can come up with something for the PAUSE message on pause in the overworld.

One more thing, Trax, do you happen to know how I would go about changing the "MAGIC", "LEVEL" and the Sword icon in the HUD/HUB?
I think the tile mapping at \$962E only modifies the bars themselves and the numbers which change each level, but not those words nor the sword icon.

17
##### Personal Projects / Re: Zelda II Redux
« on: November 21, 2018, 09:52:23 pm »
I think the final scene with Link, Zelda and the Triforce uses the same data as North Castle. If it's the case, then changing palettes could be tricky.

As for the tunic's color, the Shield spell puts the value #\$16 in RAM \$69DE (used for when Link flashes) and \$070F (used for Link's color per se). RAM \$070F is also used as the condition for Shield spell's effect, which is to half the damage received from enemies. If this variable is anything other than 0, then Shield is in effect. So, changing that color is a breeze, but having two types of tunics would require a bit of ASM.
Yep, that's what I suspected.
I was thinking of something like:

Code: [Select]
`Shield routine:    Jump on colour original opcode -> Is life level <5? -> Branch to blue color -> Else go to original code`Should be fairly easy to do, it's just that work and New MaternalBound have been taking all of my time recently to try it out soon enough.

Btw Trax, have you tried to do something like parsing text on the overworld pause screen by any chance?

I'm a fan of the first option.

Also, I feel like the Fire spell should really be buffed in some way. Travel faster, do more damage (if feasible?), and definitely hurt all enemies.

Is the Fire spell really that weak?
I have never used it in any playthrough to be honest (like 50+% of almost all spells lol)

18
##### Personal Projects / Re: Zelda II Redux
« on: November 21, 2018, 11:24:52 am »
How do you edit the text without using an separate text editor?

How do you edit the palettes for the final room after you beat Dark Link and wake up princess Zelda without an editor?
Hex editing?

That's how I did the entire repointing and re-translation of the script.
Same for palette changes and such.
Editors are just the easy way of handling stuff, with them you most likely won't ever have to touch ROM addresses at all.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Out of that, I've been thinking about something quite neat, but I'm not sure if it would be well received.

What do you guys think about implementing a Blue tunic into the game?
Take the Shield spell as an example, once you use it, Link's tunic changes to Red.
I want to do something similar but for a Blue tunic.

I'm thinking one of two things.
• Change Shield's color tunic to Blue, and give the Red color to another spell (maybe Fire or another one, not sure). Kind of a callback to Link's Awakening DX, where the Blue tunic gives you defense, and Red tunic gives you offense.
• Make the Shield spell turn Link's tunic blue when used when he has a Life/Defense level from 1-4, once he gets to 5 and up to 8, his tunic will be Red. This will be kind of like a callback to Zelda I and ALttP, where you get the blue tunic first before the Red.

19
##### Personal Projects / Re: Zelda II Redux
« on: November 12, 2018, 03:27:07 pm »
I haven't received any bug/glitch feedback from the newest beta, so I will assume it is going smooth for now.
So with that, animations on the overworld should be working, and crossed off the list thanks to Trax and the info he provided!

Now, there are still a couple more things I want to attempt to do, but in the meanwhile please be sure to try the latest beta I uploaded and give it a rough test, beginning to end, to ensure it is working properly.

Last things I want to do (beside the Pause message on the overworld) are nothing more but fancy things that I do hope I can implement, still I want to see if I can achieve them before even saying what they are, so enjoy the beta meanwhile

20
##### Personal Projects / Re: Castlevania 3 - Linear Version
« on: November 09, 2018, 01:02:55 pm »