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Messages - Nightcrawler

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Gaming Discussion / Re: Farewell tri-Ace =(
« on: Today at 06:06:45 pm »
The first thing it does well, right out of the gate, is present a unique, beautiful setting that's exceptionally nice to look at and listen to. Then you're hit with the voice acting, and it really helps sell the fact that this game was unlike anything else that was released at the time. The sprites are absolutely gorgous, and unlike most games in the genre, at least around that time period, your protagonist was a female, who begins to question her role, and not a typical JRPG hero.

The second thing it did right was present some of the most absolute heartbreaking moments in gaming. Some characters you catch glimpses of before you recruit them, some are brave, some are scared, some heroes, other villains, but they're all gonna end up the same way if they're joining you. Seeing the pieces fit is where most of the story is.
Also agreed, except that's all you get with any character. They are nearly all throw away immediately after you acquire them. In fact, the very nature of the game is to train them and throw them away. Aside from Lucian and Valkyrie, none of the other playable characters get any development. That was a huge letdown for me. Most chapters had very little actual game story either (it was all packed into the end). So, with no story and few characters that meant anything, it made for a pretty boring game after a fantastic intro. It didn't really deliver what it set up.

The game's primary flaw was the way the difficulty presented. Easy is harder than Normal and Hard due to the lack of time to train, and making the endgame bosses almost impossible to beat, Hard was better for min-maxing. Also, the endings were too frustrating to ever get without a guide, but those are relatively minor complaints about an otherwise astounding game.
The whole game needs a guide really. You're basically required to get certain items and skills to have a chance in the game. And you have no idea where they may be. You just have to waste your periods since you are penalized to enter and exit a dungeon, or visit a town. It really kills exploration when you are always penalized for everything you do. You can't afford to exit, heal, and re-enter to look for missed things without potentially sacrificing the ability to enter unexplored dungeons or towns. The Cave of Oblivion was random and could contain nothing and be a complete waste of time. While the idea of limited time was fine in concept, I thought it was poorly executed in the game with not enough periods to play successfully and be fun. (I played on normal.)

It's a game that you generally have to use tactics for. Lezard's Tower is easily one of the game's hardest dungeons, due to its size, and puzzles, as well as difficult battles. Getting the right party out, using magic correctly, and making good use of item creation solves many of those issues those. Save Scumming is also useful in deciding which areas to tackle when, but most everything is beatable, even if a perfect run is nigh impossible. The random element may have hurt you, due to some areas opening up earlier or later, meaning you were less prepared, but everything's beatable for the most part.
The moment you leave the tower and do ANYTHING else (like train, enter a town, etc.), when you re-enter it's impossible to get the good ending. I played to the best of my ability up to that tower and enemies easily killed me. If you leave and train, you get the bad ending. There seemed to be many poor game design choices like this. It seemed to half-baked, and the difficulty ramp looked more like a third order polynominal rather than a ramp!

Personal Projects / Re: Fischmare - General Purpose Rom Editor
« on: March 31, 2015, 08:52:52 pm »
This sounds like an interesting project. I love the idea of turning it into a more generic tool. This is the direction utilities need to go in to really evolve to the next level. This of course involves being able to input game structure into the utility. You just have to watch out for the scope. The more generic it becomes, the more abstract high level concepts you need to add, and it can grow in scope very quickly after you examine several games in detail. It's a good thing you're starting with one.

I probably should have thought more about using scripts to do the structure and data translation parts as you have here, rather than attempt to make a nice GUI interface for it all (much more work) in my utility. That's one of the reasons I have not yet finished a releasable version of TextAngel. I look forward to seeing how this will develop. Try to stay out of the holes I have fallen into with scope creep getting out of hand. Either that, or be able to throw more free time at it! :laugh:

Gaming Discussion / Re: Farewell tri-Ace =(
« on: March 31, 2015, 07:48:10 pm »
What is it that everybody likes about Valkyrie Profile? I found that game to be pretty terrible. It might be the worst tri-Ace game that I've played. It did have beautiful graphics and sound, but that's about it. The maze-like flat dungeon layouts were maddening. I found the jump mechanics terrible, especially when you had to launch yourself off crystals to reach places. The battle system, while unique and complex, falls on top of itself. The game provides you with very little help or information (it at least tries in the beginning with Freya, but it made little sense in text form like that). It takes so long to really learn it, that by the time you do, you've frustratingly faltered through much of the game already, you can't win. It's impossible to get all the your periods back (needed for treasures and characters). Without the right treasures and setup, you don't stand a chance against later enemies in the game.

I got to the Tower of Lezard and quit. It's rare that I quit games like that.

The game selecting is easy. RAM values are retained through resets on the SNES. You'd only need a few lines of startup code. You need to initialize your chosen RAM location, handle incrementing it if already initialized, and jump to the starting execution location of the corresponding game.

Now comes the potentially very hard part. You can't just combine your ROM hacks together and call it a day. Many data and code locations, corresponding pointers, and instructions will need to be updated to reflect the new locations they are in the new combined ROM. This can be completely unfeasible depending on how the original game is laid out and coded. Lastly, it's probably near impossible to fit three larger existing SNES games on one ROM without imaginary mapper hardware and thus another plethora of code changes throughout.

In all likelihood, it will be such a large amount of work, it wouldn't be your time. That's why nobody does it.

Programming / Re: Super Mario RPG: Really.. odd issue.
« on: March 31, 2015, 07:03:44 pm »
I'd guess the save block object contains position coordinates in RAM that are being wrongly manipulated or overwritten by something you did. The only way sprites can move on screen is by updating the OAM attribute table, so you can always figure it out by seeing what updates those values and working backwards. ;)

You could also more crudely undo your modifications piece by piece until it works properly again and you find the offending code.

I have a few suggestions...

1. Why not forget dropbox, mega.co.nz, or any other third-party hassle, and simply use The Scratchpad right here on RHDN?

2. Why not contact mziab from mteam and see about combining patches into one release? He is active on this forum.

3. How about including more than one patch? If it isn't convenient to patch over the original base patch (as is the case here), you could include a second more convenient patch in addition to it. No rules say you can't include more than one patch, and that would surely satisfy even the most critical of reviewers.

Site Talk / Re: Can't get into the Scratchpad?
« on: March 20, 2015, 07:31:50 pm »
People have been successfully using the scratchpad every day. The problem seems to be limited to just you.

Can you access this page?

I'd guess some sort of cookie or session issue. Do you run any browser add-ons that make your browsing 'anonymous' or more 'secure'?

Programming / Re: SA-1 Chip Bank Swapping?
« on: February 27, 2015, 05:56:13 pm »
See if my explanation here helps on understanding the mapping and bankswapping for you.

Site Talk / Re: Error during submission
« on: January 21, 2015, 06:26:11 pm »
Don't even bother jumping through hoops with Dropbox. Just use The Scratchpad.

Newcomer's Board / Re: If a hack / translation does not get accepted
« on: January 19, 2015, 06:36:23 pm »
Silly question, but why aren't they sent using the PM system instead?  Wouldn't that eliminate the possibility of a problem entirely?

I think tying the submission system to the forum is way more problematic.

1. A large quantity of submitters whom have accounts for site submissions and maintenance don't check the forum and would never get said PM. The only way around that is e-mail notification of the PM and then you're back to e-mail anyway. ;)

2. Tying the submission system to the forum's PM system is much more complicated code wise than tying to e-mail. It also then becomes non-portable and saddles us to an ailing SMF.

3. Full PM boxes causes a number of special cases and provisioning to be needed if tied to the submission system. E-mail queuing and handling comes for free.

Newcomer's Board / Re: If a hack / translation does not get accepted
« on: January 18, 2015, 05:55:34 pm »
I'd suggest contacting hotmail to find out what they are doing with your e-mail if you truly didn't get it. They accepted the e-mail from our mail server...

Jan 16 04:58:07 server postfix/smtp[18820]: 31C2D1ADEFB: to=<commandershadow@hotmail.co.uk>, relay=mx3.hotmail.com[]:25, delay=1.8, delays=0.01/0/0.58/1.2, dsn=2.0.0, status=sent (250  <20150116095806.31C2D1ADEFB@server.romhacking.net> Queued mail for delivery)
Jan 16 04:58:07 server postfix/qmgr[1452]: 31C2D1ADEFB: removed

Site Talk / Re: What can be uploaded to the "PC Hacks" section??
« on: January 12, 2015, 06:19:19 pm »
The 'PC' platform here exists primarily for fan translations of obscure PC games that our community works on, of which there was no other home on the net for (the origins of which date back to the Whirlpool).

DOOM mods and Jazz-jackrabbit levels have entire sites and communities dedicated to them and would be quite out of scope here.

Site Talk / Re: Shareware Policy?
« on: December 29, 2014, 09:29:43 am »
Only if the license would allow you or RHDN to distribute a modified version like that. Otherwise, it would need to be a patch. A patch is probably preferred regardless as there's no need for RHDN to distribute the full software, is there?

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: ROM Hacking Tools - Room for Improvement?
« on: December 29, 2014, 09:19:16 am »
Toggle to Record Mode: Jump on Yoshi.
Toggle to Trim Mode: Idle, run around, jump, do a bunch of common stuff but don't mount Yoshi.

You can already do this with tracing in Geiger's SNES9x debugger, except the opposite of what you said. You'd start tracing and let it run while you do everything BUT jump on Yoshi. Then hit a button to trace again, and this time you will only get newly executed code ideally related only to jumping on Yoshi. I would imagine NES debuggers can also do this, but I haven't done NES hacking in a long time to say which.

I think things are a bit farther along than you think they are.

Programming / Re: Find-Replace Patcher
« on: December 15, 2014, 07:30:23 pm »
Does anyone know of a patcher that would pass this simple test?

Yes, NINJA does.

In a typical (?) patching process, offsets are used to identify the location of bytes that will be changed/removed/inserted. An another way to identify the location would be searching for a unique byte sequence that resides in/near it, and then perform the necessary operation.

You could, but that methodology is subject to false positives, and bloated sizes as you need a long identifying byte string to be more reliable. I think most people are more interested in reliable patching.

I think a better approach is a patching format (such as NINJA) that strips away superfluous information such as the header, and reliably applies changes using offsets and operations relative to the common useful area of interest (that results after stripping). This pretty much takes care of all practical cases where you can reliable apply the same patch to different source files. You could make an argument for cases where the bytes are shifted. However data shifting is usually accompanied by an altered loading code to go with the new location. This would render most patches of this nature incompatible unless it were very simple and changed data only. That's probably going to be the minority of cases.

Site Talk / Re: RHDN kind of crazy
« on: December 06, 2014, 07:05:05 pm »
Windows 7 and Firefox and I have seen no such thing in recent memory here. That looks like some sort of incomplete page or CSS load. Have you had a slow or crappy connection to RHDN?

Site Talk / Re: Obsolete hack reviews
« on: November 28, 2014, 12:42:24 pm »
I added the version to the user review table, and in front of the recommendation in the expanded review. This way it's in bold, and the recommendation is more clearly associated as being applied to the version reviewed.

Gaming Discussion / Re: Grandia: What did you like so much about it?
« on: November 24, 2014, 07:25:39 pm »
I love Grandia. It's one of my favorites. Grandia's biggest strength to me was its adventuring atmosphere. I also thought the story naturally progressed to some more emotionally heavy and mature moments with some of the character interactions. The character progression happened without stealing the focus from the adventure or being obviously established right from the start. I enjoyed the battle system. It was quick and effective, and it had enough variation to be fun. I thought it was head and shoulders above most JRPGs.

It's not for everybody though. Some people hated the great wall part for instance, but what is more adventurous than going to the ends of the world, scaling a super gigantic wall, and having no idea what awaits on the other side? I would love to go on such an adventure. :P

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