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Topics - pinkpuff

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Personal Projects / FF4 Roguelikeifyer
« on: November 19, 2016, 07:15:16 am »
I had originally started a thread about this on the Slick Productions forum, but that site seems to be having issues for the past little while so I thought I'd cross post something about it over here.

The Goal
Basically, the idea is to make a "randomizer" of sorts for FF4, except instead of the type of randomizer you usually see that randomizes the treasures and character abilities/appearances and maybe some things about the monsters while leaving the plot and dungeon layouts the same, rather, it would leave the characters and equipment alone for the most part and completely scrap all the plot and original dungeons in favor of a giant dungeon-delve with randomly generated floor layouts, much in the style of roguelike games such as Crawl or Nethack.

Content Patches
At the beginning of the game, you construct a team consisting of up to five of any of the characters in the game (except FuSoYa, for a variety of reasons). Once you commit to your choice of team, there's no going back; that's your team for the game, short of resetting and starting a new game. In the finished version, there will be several options to choose from in terms of how you prefer the setup of the characters, spells, equipment, monsters, and other game content:
  • Pure Vanilla: The characters' abilities and progressions, all the equipment, spells, monsters, item prices, all that will be left more or less exactly as it is in vanilla FF4, with the exception that "dummied" items and abilities will be resotred, the characters' starting equipment might be changed, and probably Yang will be given some late-game HP gains. This means the characters will probably be unbalanced, so you can take Edge for an easy time especially through the earlier floors of the dungeon, or dark knight for more of a challenge, especially in the mid to late floors.

  • Vanilla-Inspired: (Default) The characters will stay more or less true to their original strategies and setups; the only changes made to them and to the equipment will be for the sake of balancing them out so that they will all be somewhat viable from beginning to end, and to help balance them with each other. For example, Salve will be able to use any item for its full effect (or most of it anyway) on the entire party, not just the first potion. Likewise, there will be equipment options for characters like the bard and dark knight to help them throughout the later parts of the game, and the ninja and chief will be brought back down a few levels to start them on par with the rest of the cast.

  • Unprecedented Crisis: The characters and equipment (and probably the monsters) will be more or less lifted wholesale from Unprecedented Crisis. This means a more radical departure from the original, and some changes that were motivated purely by my own whims rather than necessity, but if you prefer this character setup, the option will be there.

  • Randomized: This option will let the randomizer shuffle up character abilities and equip skills and deal them out to the characters. You might end up with a Rydia that has Dark Wave, Salve, and Gird. You might have a Paladin that has Cry and Black magic and equips harps, katanas, and spears. The possibilities are endless. Safeguards will be put in place so that if a character is dealt an ability requiring a certain equipment type, it will be guaranteed to have the corresponding equip skill. Otherwise, the sky's the limit.

Current Progress
There is a somewhat playable demo available, but it is still very raw, as I have really only just begun this project. Currently, the only content option is "Pure Vanilla", as I want to get the basic mechanics of the randomizer working 100% or close to it before I start branching the rom off into other versions to create the patches required for the other content options, because if I need to make any changes to the rom for the sake of the randomizer after I've made those branches, said changes will have to be applied to each rom.

In its current state, the roguelikeifyer will allow you to set up a team at the beginning. The descriptions it gives of the characters are for the "Vanilla-Inspired" content, but that hasn't been implemented yet, so you can ignore those descriptions for now.

It will create 11 "segments" of 20 floors each. Each floor in the segment is randomly constructed and randomly littered with treasures and the odd NPC. Each floor has an "exit" door and a "warp" door, except the first floor of each segment which has a save point instead of a warp back. Each segment ends with a boss fight. The random encounters gradually increase in difficulty as you progress from one floor to the next.

Currently, the dungeons are a little sparse and all have the same tileset, so it's a little dull in that respect right now, but remember it's still in the sort of proof-of-concept stage; I plan to add more content and tilesets after I get the underlying mechanics all working correctly and debugged.

Anyway, here it is for what it's worth:

Apply the patch "FF4RL Base" to a FF2US v1.1 UN-headered rom. Then, rename the resulting rom file "test.smc" (I'm a very lazy puff). Finally, run the executable "FF4Roguelikeifyer". A black screen may flash up briefly; ignore it. The resulting test.smc rom should then be randomized and ready to play around with.

Any feedback and/or ideas or input are appreciated. Thanks!

The character selection screen.

A randomly genereated dungeon.

Personal Projects / FF4kster
« on: October 20, 2016, 05:41:50 pm »
It seems as though a combination of work, other commitments, and other projects have taken over my ability and drive to work on FF4kster. However, I would feel bad if I were to abandon it completely; thus, I leave it in the capable hands of the community. I have uploaded the entire source code to Github for people to edit, add, subtract, remake, take over completely, do whatever they see fit with it.

The code is written in FreeBASIC, and not very well commented.

That said, I will still be actively responding to messages, so I'm happy to provide whatever pointers or other insight I can.

ROM Hacking Discussion / How to extract sound effects? (Esp. TMNT1)
« on: December 15, 2015, 06:22:47 am »
I'm trying to acquire the sound effects from the first TMNT game for NES (the Ultra one).

I was unable to find any existing sound files that anyone else had already ripped so I tried my best to accomplish this on my own. I discovered that if you pause immediately after beating a "mini-boss" just as the victory music starts to play and let the music finish in the pause screen, when you unpause, it will still wait to start the regular stage music back up, during which time you can record the sound effects "manually" without the music playing in the background.

Unfortunately, this method can only go so far. There are some things it is difficult or may even be impossible to record in such a situation. For example, as the game does not allow the screen to scroll during this time, and it will not play the victory theme until all enemies on screen have been defeated, I don't think it's possible to record the "enemy damage" or "enemy destroyed" sounds this way. "Get item" would likely be extremely challenging as well. Not to mention any sound effects that are exclusive to the intro, cuscenes, and/or the overworld.

Is there any known method for extracting sound effects from an NES file in general, or any ideas for how to accomplish a similar result for this game in particular?

- PP

ROM Hacking Discussion / Jeopardy text encoding?
« on: October 17, 2013, 04:55:22 pm »
I thought it would be interesting to make a hack of Jeopardy with new clues and categories and such. However when I tried to find the existing ones in the ROM, the usual techniques (relative search, etc) didn't seem to work. I think the text might be compressed somehow.

I know at least one Jeopardy hack exists which has text changes, the "Battletoads Edition", so I know this information is able to be tracked down somehow, but I lack experience in this aspect of hacking.

Any help of any kind would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

My hack of FF1, Final Fantasy Negative One, is something I'm mostly satisfied with on a gameplay level but it is in need of a little polish.

Of particular concern is the character selection / party creation screen. FF -1 allows selection of 12 base jobs but no job change. When creating your party, the first six jobs appear normally, however the other six, while their job names appear correctly, their sprites appear either as a glitched up mess, or a messed up palette swap of a different job.

Normally I wouldn't be so concerned about it except that this is basically the first thing the player is exposed to, and if they haven't read any documentation, the messed up glitchy graphics they are presented with right off the bat is not a very good first impression. Even if they're fine throughout the rest of the game, I'm sure there are or will be people who will just simply be put off right away without giving it a chance, and I can't really blame them. If I stumbled across a hack somewhere and it looked like that first going off, I'd probably be quick to move along to something else myself.

I have no idea how to fix this or even go about looking for how to fix it and was hoping to be able to draw on some of the expertise that exists in this community. If having the graphics display correctly is not possible or not reasonable, then having no graphics at all (simply having it list the job names) would also be acceptable.



I've been following the directions in FF.txt in this archive that describe what to change to enable characters to have 5-letter names. Everything works fine except that when you use a tent, potion, cure spell, or other such action that brings up the horizontally oriented menu allowing you to select a party member, their names each have an extra space, causing the text to overflow onto the next line.

Here is a screenshot to illustrate:

Does anyone know what I have to do to remedy this situation? Thanks.

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