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Author Topic: [FINISHED] Castlevania 3 (Jap Rom) Title Screen WIP - HELP WANTED!  (Read 10997 times)

ShadowOne333

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Good day, community!

Some time ago I got in contact with a person that was working on the title screen for the translation project of Vice Translations for the Japanese game of Akumajou Densetsu (commonly known in the USA as Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse).

Since the translation made by Vice had the Title Screen of the japanese game in it and also translated some in-game text to match the Japanese counterpart, I took it into my hands to make a proper Title Screen out of the tiles that a user named Vanya had and also translated those little japanese names into a worthy legendary Belmont and not "Belmondo"

Now, the only thing I feel that is still missing from the Hack is the Title Screen colorization.
Check the title screen in the next link:
http://www.romhacking.net/reviews/1485/

As you can see, the subtitle "Dracula's Curse" is in plain white text, and it is a shame since I don't have any current knowledge as to how to work with tile palettes specifically and switch the plain white text to something a little more in-tone to the main Title Screen, I was planning to make the letters a blood-ish red (a darker red to that seen in the blood stain below the letter 'V', but not that dark, only to differentiate it from the normal Red of the V), but could not accomplish it. :(


So now I am asking if someone can help with this task where I left it, since I am quite busy with work and can barely find the time to continue my work on this.
The hack is complete, but I would like to improve it by adding that bloody red to the subtitle to make it the ultimate Castlevania hack (to my eyes of course)

Thanks in advance to anyone that is willing to help or give advice to finalize this project!
« Last Edit: July 18, 2014, 12:39:06 am by ShadowOne333 »

Vanya

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Re: Castlevania 3 (Jap Rom) Title Screen WIP - HELP WANTED!
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2014, 09:46:26 pm »
Well, hell, I can help. :P

Let me find my notes as I did locate the tile map data which includes the palette values within it.

If you recall my goal was to make this:


My idea was to rewrite the tile map so that the sub-title is lower so that I can avoid placing the graphics in a color block with a different palette.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2014, 09:53:44 pm by Vanya »

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Re: Castlevania 3 (Jap Rom) Title Screen WIP - HELP WANTED!
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2014, 02:34:33 am »
BG graphics in the NES' PPU treats the tile and palette data separately (The Name and Attribute Tables respectively). Think of the graphics being monochrome with a colored overlay on top of them.

Here is a quick image I knocked together to visualize how this is laid out:



Each 32x32 block of blues represents the 16x16 subsections that can have one of the four current BG palettes assigned to them. Each 32x32 block is defined in a single byte, so two bits control the palette assignment of each, in the order of lightest blue to darkest.

You'll notice this gives you 64 bytes total, though the last 8 aren't actually visible due to the Name Table being smaller than the NES' full resolution.

If you find this data, you can change what section of screen uses what palette, though you can't get more fine-grained than 16x16 sections.


Vanya

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Re: Castlevania 3 (Jap Rom) Title Screen WIP - HELP WANTED!
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2014, 06:42:02 am »
Yeap. That's what I meant, the attribute table. I know where it is.

EDIT: I think the best thing to do will be to relocate the title screen's attribute table to another location with more space as there are only 25 bytes available total for this table and the the last 2 have to be the terminating command so you only have 23 to actually use.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2014, 09:30:00 am by Vanya »

ShadowOne333

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Re: Castlevania 3 (Jap Rom) Title Screen WIP - HELP WANTED!
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2014, 06:54:32 pm »
Well, hell, I can help. :P

Let me find my notes as I did locate the tile map data which includes the palette values within it.

If you recall my goal was to make this:


My idea was to rewrite the tile map so that the sub-title is lower so that I can avoid placing the graphics in a color block with a different palette.

Yep actually that was your original title screen that I requested to you some time ago :)
Glad to see you back here.

I tried several things but when I stumbled upon some hexadecimal hacks to change the tiles default color scheme, that's were I hit the wall.
Your title screen is awesome, and I would love the finishing product to be as close as it could be to that one, but only keeping the "Dracula's Castle" sub-title :P
(Yeah I am picky...)

Vanya

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Re: Castlevania 3 (Jap Rom) Title Screen WIP - HELP WANTED!
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2014, 04:34:34 pm »
All dreams can come true! ;P

ShadowOne333

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Re: Castlevania 3 (Jap Rom) Title Screen WIP - HELP WANTED!
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2014, 11:31:22 pm »
All dreams can come true! ;P

Could you help me to know where the attribute data for the subtitle is in the ROMs hex data?
I already managed to swap palettes but I cannot find the exact location of the sprites in the ROM hex.

Vanya

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Re: Castlevania 3 (Jap Rom) Title Screen WIP - HELP WANTED!
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2014, 03:03:28 am »
ROM address xB550 IIRC.
I don't remember how many bytes it is. The format is similar to the palette attributes.
I remember there is a value that defines a single tile to draw, one that defines a series of tiles to draw, and one that defines specific arrangement of tiles. You'll have to do a little trial and error to figure it. I apparently forgot to write that info down.

ShadowOne333

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Re: Castlevania 3 (Jap Rom) Title Screen WIP - HELP WANTED!
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2014, 08:38:59 pm »
ROM address xB550 IIRC.
I don't remember how many bytes it is. The format is similar to the palette attributes.
I remember there is a value that defines a single tile to draw, one that defines a series of tiles to draw, and one that defines specific arrangement of tiles. You'll have to do a little trial and error to figure it. I apparently forgot to write that info down.
HECK YES!

I just found the exact part of the ROM data that controls the tiles in the Title Screen.
I will try to replicate your image the most I can, I will post an update in a couple of days. :)

PS: Also, I was referring to the attribute data of the sprites, which means I wanted to hack the palettes per tiles without them sharing the colors with other tiles on the screen.
I think it is called OAM Format.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 08:46:57 pm by ShadowOne333 »

Vanya

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Re: Castlevania 3 (Jap Rom) Title Screen WIP - HELP WANTED!
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2014, 01:56:27 am »
I never found the sprite data. The game uses this annoying sprite cycling routine that constantly shifts all the sprite data to the next OAM slot. That makes it a pain in the ass to pin down the code that writes the sprite data and I never got passed that.

ShadowOne333

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Re: Castlevania 3 (Jap Rom) Title Screen WIP - HELP WANTED!
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2014, 12:53:28 am »
I never found the sprite data. The game uses this annoying sprite cycling routine that constantly shifts all the sprite data to the next OAM slot. That makes it a pain in the ass to pin down the code that writes the sprite data and I never got passed that.

Damn I didn't think it would be such a pain in the arse. :/

Anyway, here is a little update about the Title Screen:


So I managed to change the palette of the subtitle (most of it) but that changes the KONAMI logo as well.
I also moved part of the text where the KONAMI trademark was located.

The portion moved into the KONAMI trademark retains the original color of the text, so if I were to change that palette it would mess up the whole text on screen for OPENING and PASSWORD.

So my option right now is this:

Move the KONAMI trademark all the way to the top where the KONAMI logo is located.
Part of the KONAMI logo will be relocated to the parts of the letters D and E still left to be coloured, hoping that this way I can change the complete palette of the subtitle.

Although, that would leave a black portion between the subtitle and the OPENING text.

What do you think?

Vanya

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Re: Castlevania 3 (Jap Rom) Title Screen WIP - HELP WANTED!
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2014, 11:02:06 am »
My plan for the Konami logo was to move it up to the top and use a smaller set of graphics that only take up one line to save on space as well as get it out of the way of the logo.
Also, it'll probably be more efficient to move all the graphics around first and then deal with palette attributes later.

ShadowOne333

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Re: Castlevania 3 (Jap Rom) Title Screen WIP - HELP WANTED!
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2014, 02:46:52 pm »
My plan for the Konami logo was to move it up to the top and use a smaller set of graphics that only take up one line to save on space as well as get it out of the way of the logo.
Also, it'll probably be more efficient to move all the graphics around first and then deal with palette attributes later.
I stumbled upon another problem.
I tried switching part of the KONAMI logo (upper one) to the letter D of the subtitle, and the color palette is still the same. I still get the blue-ish color of the letter and I can't change it :/
I will have try out different arrangements to see if I can come up with some way to fix it.

Also, I updated the hack patch to version v1.2:
http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/1983/

As the changelog states, I standarized the color palette so the different colors of the letters D and E are not noticeable, this way all the subtitle is constant in it's color.
I also lowered the subtitle a little bit to make it look a little bit more free and not so tight in the spot.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2014, 04:19:32 pm by ShadowOne333 »

Vanya

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Re: Castlevania 3 (Jap Rom) Title Screen WIP - HELP WANTED!
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2014, 10:51:36 am »
I stumbled upon another problem.
I tried switching part of the KONAMI logo (upper one) to the letter D of the subtitle, and the color palette is still the same. I still get the blue-ish color of the letter and I can't change it :/
I will have try out different arrangements to see if I can come up with some way to fix it.

Elaborate on this a little more, please.

ShadowOne333

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Re: Castlevania 3 (Jap Rom) Title Screen WIP - HELP WANTED!
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2014, 08:50:43 pm »
Elaborate on this a little more, please.
This is what I tried to do...

Let's say I grabbed part of the letter "K" from the KONAMI logo at the top and tried to insert it where the letter "D" (the one with the blue-ish color) is located by editing the ROM hexadecimal data.

The result was the letter K being recoloured to blue instead of retaining it's normal Grey color from the top.
This means that he palette is working on a vertical pattern with the tiles above it.

When I changed the rest of the subtitle to blood-red, you can see the Konami logo changes as well. Right where the very logo is located, we still have one set of vertical tiles next to it in which the color palette of the logo does not apply. That column of tiles are the ones that change the color of the letters "D" and "E" to blue.

Hope you understood my weird thinking XD

Vanya

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Re: Castlevania 3 (Jap Rom) Title Screen WIP - HELP WANTED!
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2014, 05:05:25 pm »
Ah. I see. The reason for that is that the tile attribute data and the palette attribute data are separate like Silver X mentioned before.

xB6E2 is the palette data.
-I have figured out what several values do already
-- 81 to FF: defines a number of proceeding entries with different values.
---  EX: 81 CC = set 1 entry to CC; 84 55 99 AA 0A = set the following four entries to these values.
-- 41 to 80: defines a number of repeated entries.
---  EX: 41 CC = set 1 entry to CC; 44 AA = set the next 4 entries to AA.
-- 21: this one seems to fill the remaining entries with a single value.
---  EX: 21 00 = fill all remaining entries with 00.

xB550 is the tile data.
-I don't remember these too well, but it's fairly easy to decipher by futzing around with the values in FCE's hex editor.

ShadowOne333

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Re: Castlevania 3 (Jap Rom) Title Screen WIP - HELP WANTED!
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2014, 01:16:37 pm »
Ah. I see. The reason for that is that the tile attribute data and the palette attribute data are separate like Silver X mentioned before.

xB6E2 is the palette data.
-I have figured out what several values do already
-- 81 to FF: defines a number of proceeding entries with different values.
---  EX: 81 CC = set 1 entry to CC; 84 55 99 AA 0A = set the following four entries to these values.
-- 41 to 80: defines a number of repeated entries.
---  EX: 41 CC = set 1 entry to CC; 44 AA = set the next 4 entries to AA.
-- 21: this one seems to fill the remaining entries with a single value.
---  EX: 21 00 = fill all remaining entries with 00.

xB550 is the tile data.
-I don't remember these too well, but it's fairly easy to decipher by futzing around with the values in FCE's hex editor.

Almost there, dude...
Almost there.



Thanks for the hint.
I managed to change the palette of some tiles.
The tiles are 16x16 pixels boxes, and the palettes affect 16x16 pixels.
I wanted to see if I could somehow manage to make the attributes to only affect 8x8 pixels, but I haven't got any luck.

Anyway, I am quite happy with the progress made so far.
The attribute data for the tile of letter "D" is xB6F4 and the one for "E" is xB6F7. :)

Thanks for the constant help and hints!

July 15, 2014, 02:53:12 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
GOT IT!



I simply replaced the above HUGE letters with the little ones, I haven't screwed with the palette data for that part yet, will try to do so.

I still have that pending and I have to think what to do with the little konami letters in white.
Any ideas of further improvement?

EDIT:

This is as close as I could get to your design...


I think that is it.
I managed to change the upper section to a somewhat close palette to the original, but not the exact one.
It does the job anyway.

I couldn't think of anything to add in the middle section, so I left that in blank.

Any suggestions, I'm open to ideas :)
« Last Edit: July 15, 2014, 05:59:57 pm by ShadowOne333 »

Vanya

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Re: Castlevania 3 (Jap Rom) Title Screen WIP - HELP WANTED!
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2014, 12:36:08 am »
Nice job, dude! And you're very welcome.
Off the top of my head, I've got nothin'.
I fear any further progress would require relocating the tile attribute table to somewhere with more space.

I should note that making the palette attributes work on an 8x8 basis would require a full rewrite of the code, so it'd probably be best to leave that for when you become a 133t @$/\/\ haXXor. ;P

I just spent a couple of hours looking into remodeling the party menu and battle menus of Grond's FF1. So if I'm still feeling it I might spend some time working on my original title screen for AjDen, too.

ShadowOne333

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Re: Castlevania 3 (Jap Rom) Title Screen WIP - HELP WANTED!
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2014, 01:20:20 am »
Nice job, dude! And you're very welcome.
Off the top of my head, I've got nothin'.
I fear any further progress would require relocating the tile attribute table to somewhere with more space.

I should note that making the palette attributes work on an 8x8 basis would require a full rewrite of the code, so it'd probably be best to leave that for when you become a 133t @$/\/\ haXXor. ;P

I just spent a couple of hours looking into remodeling the party menu and battle menus of Grond's FF1. So if I'm still feeling it I might spend some time working on my original title screen for AjDen, too.

Yeah I've got nothing too :/
I was thinking on something like adding at the top the "Legend of the Demon Castle" where the KONAMI logo was, and in the middle section leave the KONAMY copyrighted text.

Although, I don't really know.
I will release the patch as an update by tomorrow and then I'll see what else I can add.

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Re: Castlevania 3 (Jap Rom) Title Screen WIP - HELP WANTED!
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2014, 06:31:48 pm »
It seems you are struggling with bitfields, because the data tables seem to have some sort of simple compression algorithm. The best way to get fixed on the data format is to place a breakpoint where this data is read, and understand the code, but I'm aware that not everyone can do that...

To better visualize how palettes are attributed, you should add a 32x32 grid to your screen, like this: