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Personal Projects / Re: Shadowgate Classic [NES]
« on: March 12, 2015, 07:32:35 pm »
Hey, since you're poking around in the graphics, have you seen any potential remnants of the goblin mess hall? I figure it was cut from the NES version because there's absolutely nothing to do in there except die, but the music that was going to play in the room is at least still present in the game. I'd be interested to know if there are any other artifacts remaining, and if so, how feasible it would be to add the room back.

The thought of putting the goblin room back in was definetley on my mind when I started this, but unfortunetly no there doesent seem to be any traces of the room left in the game beside the music. There's no graphic left for it atleast and I havent found any room data or anything like that for it either. The hacking involved in coding this room from scratch is way beyond my skill level.
I might put the music to use in a different room though but I'm not sure. The track is kindof short, repeative and not that great tbh.

@dACE @Jonesy47
Thanks for the support! :)

Personal Projects / Re: Shadowgate Classic [NES]
« on: March 12, 2015, 07:14:48 pm »
Regarding the font, there actually might be room to squeeze in lowercases in the tilebank (uncommonly there's plenty of unused tiles there for once) but the problem would be changing the script to use it as the game uses compression for the script. There's alot of text in this game so that's a big undertaking I'm not willing to do since the project is pretty big as is and I must say that personally I dont think it's worth doing because all-caps never bothered me in NES-era games. As M-Tee says it's standard and I actually kinda like it. In the low-resolution enviroment I think it looks pretty good and fitting. The default font is pretty bad though.

It's funny cause I looked at that font hack and my first choice for font was the one used in Gargoyles Quest 2 which also seems to be what he based his hack on. Anyway I'm using this for now (GQ2 font) but it might change later.

The UI looks abit cramped but moving the lines 1 pixel helps. I changed "card" into "page" first but ultimately decided to just erase it. The arrows are selfexplanitory enough and I think it looks better with no text there. All in all the new UI still isn't exactly pretty but an improvement in any case.
One thing I'd really like to change is the frame around the rooms but I'm not sure how to go about it. This is all WIP and I'll be tinkering more with this.

Personal Projects / Shadowgate Classic [NES]
« on: March 12, 2015, 02:06:42 am »
I figured I'd document my latest hack project here to help with motivation, vent some frustration and maybe get some input. This might get ranty but for tl;dr there's pictures!

So after being really disappointed with the Shadowgate PC remake I'd really wanted to go back the original (the NES port of the original to be exact).
Shadowgate has always had a special place in my heart thanks to it's great atmosphere. To be honest most of the games puzzles are fairly illogical trial and error runs and it has little to no replay value once you've solved it's riddles. But it has some of the best NES music ever and the sense of exploration is great since the graphics are so varied as each room has been given a unique design.

The graphics in the NES port suffers from inconsistent quality and some poor palette choices that begs to be improved upon.
Actually Kemco did this themselves when they re-released Shadowgate Classic for Gameboy Colour and I've based my hack on this version of the game.

So, the idea is to beautify the games graphics (no gameplay alterations are planned at this point). I'm doing this by:

- Using GBC port graphics where possible/suitable
- Enhance and/or make new custom graphic where it's not
- Increasing contrast and colourcount where possible
- Changing palettes to be more cohesive and not so...weird (eg: less pink)
- Cleaner font and other minor UI improvements

The GBC version stores it's graphic in pretty much the same way so it would be easy enough to just do a cut and paste job, change the colour attributes and palettes BUT unfortunately the NES handles colours in a different way so many GBC designs just doesent work. That combined with the fact that the game uses sprites sparingly and that some room designs are better suited for the NES grapichc abilities then others makes the need for a lot of custom work.

The game has 44 rooms, each unique and with it's own palettes. In addition to this each room is stored multiple times for each change/interaction you've made.

For example, the room with 3 doors seen below, as far as the game is concerned that room is actually 9 rooms. One for each combination of open doors. A more elegant solution (from my hacking perspective) would have been to use sprites for the doors which also would have added the benefit of an extra palette to work with along with no need to respect pattern/attribute colour tables. But since hacking in more sprites is not an option I have to work with what it is.

So all in all, theres well over a hundred rooms to hexedit and thousands of tiles to edit, pretty much every single tile in the game will be edited. It's a pretty big project.  The good news is that I've done most of it already, 35 of the 44 rooms are complete and imho I think it was worth the effort Examples below.

Original on the left. Click for 2x size.

As mentioned before some rooms are just better looking then others by design alone so some rooms will have more changes then others and theres only so much I can do with the restrictions given. But even a simple thing as increasing contrast (see room2 above) does wonders imo. Another challenge is to make the game look coherent. I will be going over them again once I've completed all of the rooms to ensure a coherent look and feel so palettes etc might change. I'll post some more pics of the new UI and font once thats done.

Edit: Hack is done! Get it here:

I agree with all your points. Most of the awkward choices of words comes mainly from space shortage but all opinions on words and phrasings are welcome.

"Set" is meant to be short for setting, but yes it should say speed but I need to do some major rearranging (which tbh is giving me more problems than anticipated) to get it to fit. I picked "Dim" because (beside being a nice short word) is a common setting on tvs, cell/smartphones these days most people would be familiar with whereas filter is more ambigous.

Ideally I'd want "win goal" to say "points to win" but even with rearanging it would be hard to make it look good without a total redesign of the screen wich seems abit excessive. Idk "goal" is short and sweet but maybe "limit" or even just "points" would be better?

"Push start to go" is definetly a non-keeper, ideally I'd want it to be "push start to begin" but maybe just "push start" would do.

Rampart is an old arcade classic made by Atari and ported to most systems at the time. Puzzle and Strategy is exactly what it is! :) It's like a mix of Tetris and Missile command. The japaneese NES version was made by Konami in ยด91 and (unlike the EU/US version) not just a straight arcade port but has all sorts of added cool stuff like campaigns with different themes and as always with Konami, sound and graphics are great.

Here's what I have so far. It should be fairly accurate, atleast according to game function if not by word.

I'm aware that stuff like "build" should probably be "repair" and "round" be "battle" but I'm pressed for space and I havent done much in terms of aestetics at this point so most of the hacked text is just crammed into place for now. There's a couple of controlcodes and such I need to figure out before dealing with it properly.

Ah that makes sense. Thank you!


It's for the 2 player mode setup screen in Rampart (J) on the NES. Before anyone get too excited I'm not doing a full translation, I've just translated the options screens. I havent been able to figure out what these last 3 settings do by playtesting so any help would be appreciated.

How about just Florida then, instead of Orlando? Would that be more recognizable?

I'd say yes.
In general I believe that american city names are more wellknown (not just the names but location, landmarks, etc) to non-americans then state names.

I still doubt if majority of the people who will play this game will be Americans, so I'm trying to make things easy to understand in general.

As a non-american I'm not sure I would get the "mouse from Orlando" reference even though I'm quite familiar with the location of the theme park.
Depending on the script maybe something like Walt Disney's mouse would work. But if it's just a matter of legal concerns then you should'nt worry about it and just use Mickey Mouse.

News Submissions / Re: ROM Hacks: Mother 25th Anniversary Hack RELEASED!!!
« on: November 06, 2014, 11:40:48 pm »
Damn, this is some high quality work!
Despite enjoying the sequels I never bothered with the NES original. Now I will.

Thats so great! As a huge PS fan this is like the holy grail of translations to me.
Even though I dont speak french this is great news. Hats off to everyone involved! merci!  :)

Here's an idea - remove the "DX" from the titlescreen of Link's Awakening DX.
I've looked and looked at the ROM in YY-CHR, but I haven't been able to find the DX graphic, even though the rest of the title screen graphics are in there. Maybe somebody else on here will have more luck!

The "DX" is at 0E1800. Near the end. Above the "The devolopment team would like to thank you for playing" text.

Great! Thank you.

November 01, 2014, 10:42:11 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Final version is up.

Personal Projects / [Utility] Nes Palette Table Calculator (DONE!)
« on: October 25, 2014, 06:18:00 pm »
Nes Palette Table Calculator is a small simple tool for assisting in finding hex numbers for the NES PPU attribute tables (that determines what palette background graphics will use).
It was made for my own personal use but hopefully others will find it useful as well.

While the tool is pretty complete as is (I wont be adding any additional features) I would like some feedback on:
  • Has this already been done? As I said I made this for personal use, just because I couldn't find anything like it and I was tired of calculating and converting binaries. I found a useful image chart by forum member Proveaux (Thanks btw!) but no utility that I know of does this.
  • Does it work correctly? Bugs? It should be stable and require a minimum resources to run. I'm especially interested in win8 (or 10) users, since I've only been able to test it on win7 myself.
  • Factual and grammar misstakes. I'm not even sure about the name. I'm far from an expert on the NES PPU. My source of information on this has primarily been the nesdev wiki.
  • Design Honestly I don't really care since it's such a small utility and it doesent need to be pretty as long as it works. However if someone has an awesome (and simple to implement) design idea then by all means let me hear it. Oh and on the subject I should note that the Mario sprite will most likely be gone in the final version. It was just something I did as a break from code   ;)

Since it's a WIP I'd appreciate if you didn't upload or submit this version anywhere.
If no big problems arise I'll submit the final version to this site the coming week  :)

Since no errors have been reported I've submitted the final version.
No functional change since 0.9 just some cosmetic touch ups.

Script Help and Language Discussion / Re: Picross 2 translation help
« on: October 14, 2014, 04:48:05 am »
Yeah as a fan of the game and someone who'll definitely play this hack when it's done I'd say, don't redesign puzzles just for the sake of localization.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Castlevania Harmony of Dissonance Maxim
« on: October 08, 2014, 11:48:41 pm »
No file, sorry. But as I said it's easy enough to do yourself even if you are new to romhacking.
Use the palette editor or if you want to learn and get into romhacking abit more, use a hexeditor. Theres documents on this site explaining how to do it.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Castlevania Harmony of Dissonance Maxim
« on: October 08, 2014, 12:29:19 pm »
Oh right, now I see.

Sorry then I dont know, but changing the trailfx to grayshades (+ no outlines) makes both characters look so much better imo.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Castlevania Harmony of Dissonance Maxim
« on: October 07, 2014, 08:53:40 pm »
Yeah I changed the traileffect to gray/black for my personal use not that long ago. It's a fairly simple palette change hack.

You can use for fast and easy palette hacking on gba roms.
The offset for the trail palette is 001241EA (for the USA rom) and/or search for it by checking VBA's excellent debugging tools (it's the fifth row sprite palette you're after).

It's pretty simple and satisfying doing it yourself. Good luck!  :thumbsup:

News Submissions / Re: ROM Hacks: Batman - Shadows of Night Released!!!
« on: September 30, 2014, 09:39:41 am »
I posted the news of this hack because I played through and beat it, and I must say that it was a great hack. I hope to see many more great games from you!

Thanks! I'm glad you liked it!  There's an error in the news post though if you are willing/able to change it, the hack is called Shadows of Gotham not Night  :happy:

This is a bit off-topic, but... you know what game could be turned into an awesome superhero-themed game? Shatterhand! I think it could even fit Batman too... well, maybe, if the stages had darker palettes or something...

Hah that's actually true. I might consider doing a "sequel" in the future.

News Submissions / Re: ROM Hacks: Batman - Shadows of Night Released!!!
« on: September 29, 2014, 09:09:20 am »
I've updated the patch.
However, grammatical mistakes really kill a lot of hacks for me, and when there are mistakes in the preview screenshots, such as the lack of list comma(s) in the first screenshot on its entry page, then there are probably more within.

I dont know if that's a fair assumption and in any case it's a NES action platformer with like 5 lines of text so there's not even that much room to make mistakes  :P
I could understand the critique more if the hack was text oriented such as a translation or if the game was an rpg with important text.
I can't really blame it on the fact that I'm not a native English speaker, it's more that I simply don't care about grammar that much.

However, you could argue that with so little text, the more reason to get it right and that would be absolutely correct!
I've updated the patch to include a comma and I thank you for your comments.
This hack is done and I hope you enjoy it.

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