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Messages - KingMike

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Okay, I found the palette select data, but I can’t get my head around the last bit.

Let’s use this one as an example (makes most of the “2” in the title use an alternative palette).

23 E3 02 88 22

23E2 = PPU Offset to store the values

02 = Number of bytes to copy

8822 = Palette select for the tiles.

From what I understand (I could be wrong), each 2 bits covers a certain area (either 16 x 16 pixels or 32 x 32 pixels, depending on the game).  So converting 8822 into binary gets this:

10 00 10 00 00 10 00 10

From memory, the key would be:
00 = Palette 1
01 = Palette 2
10 = Palette 3
11 = Palette 4

So I can see the game is told to use “Palette 2”, but I don’t get how those bits tell the PPU which tiles to select.

Hopefully someone can explain it. :)
2 bits always control a 16x16 area (1 BYTE controls a 32x32 area), that's how the PPU works.

PPU $2000-23BF is the tilemap for the upper-left screen in VRAM (which is typically used for single-screen images like title screens). That is the area to change if you want a different tile on the screen. (each of the 4 potential screens are $400 bytes. Note that most games only support 2 screens, using either the top half or the left half, called mirroring. 4 screens requires extra PPU RAM in the cart, and I've heard prohibits the use of on-cart CPU RAM.)

To change which palette is assigned to each 16x16 pixel region, you change the attribute table. That is 23C0-23FF.
Each byte controls 4 of the 16x16 regions (2 16x16 blocks wide by 2 16x16 blocks tall). Bits 0 and 1 (the last 2-bit pair) control the upper left region, bits 2 and 3 control the upper right, bits 4 and 5 control the lower-left region, and bits 6 and 7 (the first 2-bit pair you listed) would control the lower-right.

Newcomer's Board / Re: What happens if you don't recompress data?
« on: February 14, 2013, 01:52:59 am »
NES has only 2KB internal RAM and most mappers only support up to 8KB of on-cart RAM. While you could probably use LZSS, it would eat up a lot of that space.

No, I don't think dictionary is easier to write a compressor for. I think I wrote one (and then might have just, like my LZ compressor, reused as much code as possible for other projects).
But of those I used it for, many of the scripts tended to be small enough that I could bother manually inserting the text in a hex editor (Hexposure, particularly. Was a pretty decent DOS hex editor. Just too bad it won't work natively on XP.)

Gaming Discussion / Re: MDef bug in FFVII
« on: February 14, 2013, 01:43:23 am »
Honestly, if they lost the source code of their most successful and best selling game ever, then they're a bunch of idiots incompetents.

Now being able to re-compile them today with tools that were made for Windows95 or 16-bit DOS is another story.

It's pretty common for developers to not save old source code.

Capcom claimed they lost the source code for the Game Boy Mega Man games. They said it was the reason the GBA version of Mega Man Anniversary (which was going to contain the five GB games updated to color, unlike the console versions) was delayed several times until it was eventually canceled.

Personal Projects / Re: KingMike's Translation projects.
« on: February 13, 2013, 03:41:11 pm »
Does the compressed data still work?
I'd say as long as it works and is less than the size of the original Japanese data, it should be fine even if the data is a little different.

Now, I'm working on Deep Dungeon 3 player names. I think I might have asked long ago, but I'm not certain.

I think about heavily localizing these names. Though it's not terribly important, there's just predefined PCs you find in the dungeons and can hire onto your team if you didn't create a full party of player characters at the start of the game.
Keeping consistency with the manual illustrations, I'd consider priests a "male" class and the others female. (also, 5 letter max)

ホセ アレフ ランゼル クージュ ビルマン
Jose, Alex, Ronzel (probably Ron or Randy?), Kuju, Bill

ハレス ティアラ
Haley (I suspect the text was actually Haleth), Tiara

クリス スホーン シン
Kris (only one illustrated in the manual, female, so I'd guess choose the more-common-for-female spelling), I'm thinking maybe Steph or Shaun/Shana for the second, Shin (Jean?)

Site Talk / Re: Publisher Policy Help
« on: February 13, 2013, 03:15:50 pm »
I'd say whatever your rule is on the "official" title, make it the publisher of that version.
And I'd say the publisher name of the original release for simplicity. While Square-Enix is easy to understand, you want to try to keep track of who owns which Data East IPs? That's a job for the lawyer-mans. :)

However, as you mention Atlus... I recall that on Puzzle Boys for PCE (one game I did a patch for), they did misspell their name as "Atlas" on the original title screen. Pretty sure the database shouldn't preserve typos like that?

Site Talk / Re: The Great Genre Debate
« on: February 13, 2013, 03:04:55 pm »
I guess I'd call Zombie Hunter an action-RPG. I guess it's technically a platformer, but the only real penalty for missing a jump is that you get dumped into a pit with shadow monsters (only identified if you have a candle in your inventory. If they are identified, I think they will also be weaker than the "shadow" forms.). You can only advance to the right if all enemies on screen are defeated or run away, but you can move back left as much as you want. The goal is to get a key as a random drop from enemies to open the door at the right end of the level.
(this is the frustrating part of the game, as that drop is entirely random, so you may have to pace the entire level multiple times. And then maybe when you get one, it will give you a superfluous second key just to troll you. :D )
The RPG elements are strictly that you can level-up and there are shops to buy items. No real in-game plot and it is a linear game (though you get a choice of two routes to play for most levels in the game).
I guess I'll let you pick a genre from that description.

From what I've seen, I guess I'd call Dark Lord an action-RPG. The town sequences are entirely menu-based, but it seems to be action once you enter a dungeon.

Site Talk / Re: SD Splatterhouse?
« on: February 13, 2013, 02:50:26 pm »
Well, the translation does say "Super Deformed" in the subtitled in barely-legible text. :P

My guess is that someone just came up with that name back in the day before knowing the proper title.
I think the translation was mostly a one-day effort (aside from the title logo, which sounds like it was relatively difficult to re-insert, at least for where ROM hacking ability was in the day).

Newcomer's Board / Re: What happens if you don't recompress data?
« on: February 13, 2013, 09:09:20 am »
If you know how to program your own utility, RLE is probably one of the simpler methods to program a recompressor for.
LZ is kind of a pain to write a recompressor for. Fortunately, I've for the most part been able to just reuse one I've written and modify the source a bit as needed for each game.
For text on the NES, dictionary or DTE are probably most common. Before writing a custom tool, I used Hexposure (inside DOSBox) to insert DTE text (WindHex supports DTE entry, but I recall it being pretty buggy last I used it), and manually enter dictionary entries by having the table file and entering the hex codes.

I'm not sure of the format of the code (especially the ? mark), but if that involves changing address $00A1 to 1, then you can't make a Game Genie code.
$00A1 is a RAM address, Game Genie only works on ROM (address range $8000 to $FFFF)

You would need to trace the ASM code to the point where $00A1 is set to 0 (I'm guessing), and change that instruction to 1.
Start with using a debugger and set a Breakpoint for Writes to CPU address $00A1.

Sounds like it's the "attribute table" data your after.
In the NES PPU RAM, the last 64 bytes of each tilemap controls the palettes (23C0-23FF/27C0-27FF/2BC0-2BFF/2FC0-2FFF). Every 2 bits selects the palette (0-3) of a 16x16 pixel (2 tile x 2 tile) region of the screen. So yes, that means every 2 tile x 2 tile square must use the same palette. So 8 bytes will represen a complete 4-tile tall strip of the screen.
Usually the data is uncompressed, so you could try looking at the attribute data in VRAM in the hex editor in FCEUX (for a title screen, it is likely 23C0-23FF) and look for a match in ROM.

This is one of the few (only?) multi-UMD disc release PSP games I know of.
I suppose that is excluding dual-pack releases like Megaman Powered-Up + Maverick Hunter X?

Gaming Discussion / Re: The Phantasy Star 2 "easy" patch
« on: February 11, 2013, 02:09:30 pm »
- Talking to some NPCs initiates unbeatable battles without any warning, at least during the first half of the game. Palamecian soldiers are stationed in a few areas, and they're out for blood. You can defeat them, but only through several hours of grinding.
I only remember that happening at Finn at the beginning of the game. And you should've known that they were bad by the prologue (it is the town the four heroes escaped from after it was taken over by the bad guys).
I don't think you were MEANT to beat those soldiers until later in the game, either.

Personal Projects / Re: Super Mario World (NES) gfx hack
« on: February 10, 2013, 11:52:42 pm »
Unsure about PAL, but on NTSC at least colors on the NES can noticeably vary between TVs.

No mention of what happens if the game you want to play goes out of print. In theory, you're shit of luck being able to play that game, unless you want to pay an ebay/amazon price-gouger for an overpriced sealed copy.
In practice, that's legitimizing piracy (unless the publishers and/or console makers already think used=piracy).

And another thing... will the activation code be printed on paper or on the disc? If the former, GameStop's "opened new" policy could come back to bite them. That's why if a game includes DLC codes for new games I want (like a free bonus game), GameStop will lose a sale from me for that game.

Personal Projects / Re: Outlanders NES translation
« on: February 08, 2013, 02:03:19 pm »
I also thought it looked strange that only the last line was single-spaced, and I would also suggest single-spaced lines with double-spacing between paragraphs if you can do that.

I was originally going to write that this sounds like private initiative by someone who was grossly underinformed.  That said, I got a PM yesterday through emutalk asking if they need to delete the 0x1000(ish) bootstrap from N64 games too.  Apparently there's a misconception that the internal N64 headers which are a physical part of ROM and used by the bootstrap to set up PI access and timing are superfluous and have already started deleting them.

Wouldn't they notice when the ROM is an unusual size?
(I know it was common to use multiple ROMs on NES and SNES. I'm guessing N64 games tended to use only one or two ROMs (as 12 MB seems to be the only common non-power-of-two size, though I believe there were a couple 40 MB as well).
But I don't know as I haven't myself opened any N64 carts, with the (seeming useless) metal plates inside the carts. Did those have a purpose besides making the carts unnecessarily heavy (and probably more expensive)? :P

@Paul Jensen: Remember. That wasn't a "translation". The intro portion was already in English. And some of it doesn't even sound like proper English to me.

Excalibur, Kusanagi, and all the other swords talked in myth, legend, and saga...
They probably put Excalibur in the stone to make it shut up. :D

Gaming Discussion / Class of Heroes II still coming to PSN.
« on: February 07, 2013, 10:54:50 am »
You still interested in PSP RPGs?
GaijinWorks has announced the price of this PSP RPG is going to be $25 on PSN.
And they're still entertaining the idea of a physical release, for $35 (including a digitial copy). But as the PSP is pretty much a dead console, Gaijinworks is going to need at least 2,500 preorders in the next few days to make a UMD version happen.

For SNES patches, if a patch requires a header, there are tools to add/remove a header from the ROM. So you can add a header, apply the patch (and then it is suggested to remove the header afterwards).
Since PCE headers (seemingly rarely present) are the same size as SNES, you could use the same tools to add them (but remove them after patching, as the data is almost certainly not the same format, if emulators even use them).

Gaming Discussion / Re: Final Fantasy classics are 50% off on PS Network
« on: February 06, 2013, 02:42:19 pm »
As I recall, one of the longest loading times in CT happened every time you opened the menu.
That's about the worst place to have loading time! >:(

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