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Author Topic: Mega Man X5 Improvement Project [PSX]  (Read 22121 times)

DarkSamus993

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Mega Man X5 Improvement Project [PSX]
« on: October 04, 2016, 12:34:01 pm »
Mega Man X5 is the game you want to love, but can't because of some glaring flaws (the biggest being Alia stopping you every five seconds to tell you something). I had actually started this project quite a while ago, but dropped it due to my inexperience at the time. Now that I know so much more (and needed a secondary project to work on anyway since I'm getting somewhat burnt out studying SC4's inner workings), I figured it was time for a revisit.

The goal of this project is fix the flaws and add some polish where needed.

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Speaking of adding some polish, they really screwed up the 'injured' graphics for both X and Zero in the intro stage.

-->
Zero was an easy fix, the graphics were simply stored incorrectly and I guess the programmer/artist didn't care. I rearranged the tiles so the animation will play correctly and added Zero's gem flashing for good measure.

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X on the other hand, required a lot more work. For whatever reason they decided to make X and his armor use a single palette, instead of the usual 2 separate palettes. This meant fixing his graphics, palettes, and sprite assembly data.

Here are the old and updated graphics:
Spoiler:

There are some other graphical/palette issues that I hope to fix (the X vs. Zero boss fights both have problems for one).

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Someone mentioned allowing both character bonuses to be kept. I figured out how to do this (it was a simple matter of having the branch instructions always default to a single option). So X will always have the Force Armor and Zero will always have the Z-Buster. This does break the story somewhat in the intro stage as X's Force Armor is destroyed if you choose Zero, and Zero's Z-Buster is damaged if you pick X (so either just assume the damage was fixable or alter the text and graphics).

The cheat codes for Ultimate Armor/Black Zero allow the Force Armor to always be kept, but you still can only use one code or the other (it is possible however to allow the player to receive both upgrades, but it might be best to make the player choose; I haven't fully decided yet).

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Alia's dialogue as stated before is the biggest flaw of the game. I haven't found a way to disable it yet (that doesn't break the game that is). I'm getting very close though, it's just going to require more debugging and studying how the game functions.

Here's the main things I got so far:
- The game has an active camera/dialogue/enemy table (each entry is $08 bytes) it updates in WRAM. For dialogue it has 3 flags ($00 = not seen; $01 = loaded; $81 = seen).
- The game saves this flag data (gets marked on the memory card) as it never shows the dialogue again.

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And now for the wishlist of sorts. I have no idea if I'll be able to implement these things, but I want to at least look into them:
- Press START to skip cutscenes. There is just so much text in this game, having the option to skip it instead of having to mash through it would be nice.
- Implement X6's way of handling Alia's messages; have a icon and sound play to alert the player, but the dialogue will only play out if SELECT is pushed.

========================================

EDIT: First public demo is available for download!
[DOWNLOAD] (Please see the readme for patching information & changelog).
« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 08:26:35 pm by DarkSamus993 »

Magma Dragoon

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Re: Mega Man X5 Improvement Project
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2016, 01:56:48 pm »
Some suggestions:

* Make it possible to obtain all equippable items;
* Balance out the bosses. Most of the eight mavericks are total pushovers, so make them more aggressive.
* Change the bosses names to the original translated ones over the Guns 'n Roses references (Crescent Grizzly, Tidal Whale, Volt Kraken, Shining Firefly, Dark Necrobat, Spiral Pegasus, Burn Dinorex and Spike Rosered).

SCD

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Re: Mega Man X5 Improvement Project
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2016, 02:21:06 pm »
It's great to see someone fixing up this game because it has a lot of issues that need to be fix up.

Another idea that you should do to your project is restore the two unused music tracks for the Dr. Light Capsule and the stage of Tidal Whale (Duff McWhalen) and you should also try and restore the Japanese intro song as well.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2016, 11:10:34 am by SCD »

acediez

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Re: Mega Man X5 Improvement Project
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2016, 02:24:42 pm »
THANK YOU

T H A N K Y O U

I'm so glad you exist. First your X4 studies, now this... :P

In case it is of any help for testing, here are some memory card files I made when I tried to tackle the in-stage dialogues problem with hacked memory cards (which didn't work at all, couldn't figure out how to validate modified memcard files)

http://www.mediafire.com/file/23w90cfo2l17kw2/mmx5_test.zip
http://www.mediafire.com/file/4tncpf5vcvjcejz/mmx5_test2.7z

And here's my resulting workaround...

http://www.mediafire.com/file/dmmqbc5sa9lhtn3/Mega_Man_X5_%28USA%29.mcr

It's a save file with all main 8 staged visited by both characters, all dialogues marked as seen, and both character bonuses taken. I made it by playing normally but using gamesharks to freeze the "16 hours" timer and getting the Fourth Armor while starting as Zero.

I wish you the best of luck with this project!

October 04, 2016, 02:27:52 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
restore the Japanese intro song as well.

Just so you know, I did that as a separate patch. I actually replaced the whole intro SRT video.
http://www.mediafire.com/file/v0szb6u43qeqm96/Mega_Man_8%2C_X4%2C_X5_-_Japanese_Intro_Patches.zip

I might be a good idea to keep this as a separate, optional patch since some people may prefer the american instrumental intro (it's pretty good too in my opinion).

(If the above patch is of any use to this project, please feel free to use it. Although it's pretty basic stuff...)

ThegreatBen

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Re: Mega Man X5 Improvement Project
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2016, 08:52:31 pm »
Very interested in this, but Alia being so annoying and always having to chose which character to give bonuses to really killed this game.

DarkSamus993

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Re: Mega Man X5 Improvement Project
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2016, 05:30:09 pm »
Still trying to figure out how to disabling Alia, but in the meantime I fixed some other things. Here's the current list of changes that have been made:

[INTRO STAGE]
• fixed Zero's 'injured' sprite alignment
• fixed X's 'injured' sprite palettes
[CHARACTER SELECT]
• re-coded it to keep both character bonuses
• re-coded it to keep the Force armor when using cheat codes (choose one)
[ALL STAGES]
• re-coded Heart tanks to affect both characters
• re-coded Life-Up parts to affect both characters
• re-coded Energy-Up parts to affect both characters

So yeah, no more having to pick which upgrade to give to each character; whatever you pick, both characters will receive it.

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Some good suggestions for improvements have been made, so here's what I'm currently planning:
• make it possible to obtain all equippable items/parts
• change the bosses names to the original translated ones
• balance out the bosses
• balance out the ranking system

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The 'Mission Report' and 'Save Screen' are going to need a lot of work done to them. If I can make it possible to obtain all equippable items/parts, they'll need to be represented on the save screen. Here's a quick mock-up I did:

The part's palettes will be altered to be more like in X6: purple = virus; blue = X; red = Zero; green = normal.

Thirteen 1355

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Re: Mega Man X5 Improvement Project
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2016, 05:31:57 pm »
Couldn't you better go fix X6? 8)

X5 was the best X game for me, not much to fix about it. Though your fixes certainly help making the game even better.

But the game that really NEEDS fixes is X6.

DarkSamus993

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Re: Mega Man X5 Improvement Project
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2016, 05:42:02 pm »
Couldn't you better go fix X6? 8)
X5 was the best X game for me, not much to fix about it. Though your fixes certainly help making the game even better.
But the game that really NEEDS fixes is X6.
I'd say X5 has more technical problems, while X6's faults mostly lie with stage design. A lot of the problems in X5 were corrected in X6. Either way though, both games need some help. I'm not making any promises, but I will say that X6 is one of the games I'd like to work on in the future.

Thirteen 1355

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Re: Mega Man X5 Improvement Project
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2016, 05:45:16 pm »
That would be really cool!

Then I can finally re-add X6 to my Mega Man rom list ::)

acediez

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Re: Mega Man X5 Improvement Project
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2016, 10:25:00 pm »
Great to see progress already! I'm very excited to see this done!
I wish you the best of luck, I really hope all of your ideas can be implemented eventually :)

Another tiiiiiiny suggestion...
For consistancy's sake, maybe you could edit the dialogue with Bolt Kraken/Squid Adler where he mentions Launch Octopus but calls him "Octopardo" (directly from the japanese name, "Ranchā Okutoparudo", instead of keeping consistency with the localized name)

Also, I'd like to insist on the idea of a set of small, optional de-localization patches (since some people may prefer the american counterparts). For example:
- One that restores the japanese intro song (like the one I posted above, although it's possible to reencode the american video with the japanese audio to keep the "Mega Man" name)
- One that restores the japanese ending song (I don't know how easy or difficult this might be, since the file is a lot bigger and I'm not sure the CD image can be so easily expanded... I couldn't do it without breaking the game when I tried.)
- One that restores the japanese title screen (again: can be edited to keep the american "Mega Man" title for consistency)
- And if something like this were to be made, maybe the restoration of the eight Maverick's original names would better belong here, as an optional patch? (I'm not talking for me, I would LOVE to have the original names back in any case, but some may want to have the gameplay fixes while keeping the names intact? I don't know, nostalgia)

DarkSamus993

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Re: Mega Man X5 Improvement Project
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2016, 10:45:13 pm »
For consistancy's sake, maybe you could edit the dialogue with Bolt Kraken/Squid Adler where he mentions Launch Octopus but calls him "Octopardo" (directly from the japanese name, "Ranchā Okutoparudo", instead of keeping consistency with the localized name)
Oh, I almost forgot about that one. Yes, that'll  be something that gets changed.

Also, I'd like to insist on the idea of a set of small, optional de-localization patches (since some people may prefer the american counterparts).
That's basically what I'm thinking. The priority is to fix the core game mechanics and then I can deal with all the different patch subsets.

Heaven Piercing Man

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Re: Mega Man X5 Improvement Project
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2016, 01:50:06 am »
A partially delocalized X5 would be a dream come true.

Thirteen 1355

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Re: Mega Man X5 Improvement Project
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2016, 06:55:48 am »
Yeah, Octopardo should be changed to Launch Octopus. Also, the Guns and Roses names should be replaced with new translations (mostly based on the original Japanese names).

ThegreatBen

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Re: Mega Man X5 Improvement Project
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2016, 08:04:03 am »
Though I personally prefer the GnR names, I'm still going to play this, all the other changes are really good ideas.

Magma Dragoon

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Re: Mega Man X5 Improvement Project
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2016, 03:08:28 pm »
Another idea that you should do to your project is restore the two unused music tracks for the Dr. Light Capsule and the stage of Tidal Whale (Duff McWhalen)

I don't see much of a reason for this, since the unused tracks are quite lacklustre compared to the ones used in the game.

- One that restores the japanese title screen (again: can be edited to keep the american "Mega Man" title for consistency)

AFAIK, the game's logo is a separate graphic from the background.

Thirteen 1355

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Re: Mega Man X5 Improvement Project
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2016, 03:15:44 pm »
I like the beta Whale music much better than the dumb rehash of Bubble Crab.

justin3009

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Re: Mega Man X5 Improvement Project
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2016, 03:27:34 pm »
I have to agree.  The rehash using Bubble Crab's stage was pretty terrible.  The original one isn't perfect, most of the music in this game isn't, but just rehashing was very lazy.
'We have to find some way to incorporate the general civilians in the plot.'

'We'll kill off children in the Juuban district with an infection where they cough up blood and are found hanging themselves from cherry blossom trees.'

Thirteen 1355

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Re: Mega Man X5 Improvement Project
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2016, 03:30:50 pm »
Every Mega Man game has completely unique stage music, making it all feel like one huge game (I always play all games one after another).
And suddenly, Bubble Crab is being rehashed.

DarkSamus993

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Re: Mega Man X5 Improvement Project
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2016, 03:35:52 pm »
AFAIK, the game's logo is a separate graphic from the background.
The logo and background are a single graphic actually.

AxlRocks

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Re: Mega Man X5 Improvement Project
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2016, 03:43:56 pm »
+1 vote for an optional patch for the unused Dr. Light and Duff McWhalen music, if possible. I like that idea a lot.


I think de-localization patches would be neat, but I'd also prefer they're optional too. Other than fixing "The Octopardo Inconsistency." (Which sounds like a great album name or something.)


As far as the ranking system goes, honestly, I've thought it was terrible since it was introduced. Just my two cents, but if it were up to me I'd NOP it out of existence; not even display it anywhere. Did you beat the level and boss? Then you won, here is your stuff. :thumbsup: That's it, plain and simple. Like the good old days of Megaman games.

Related, I would completely tie Boss Levels to difficulty instead, removing the player rank, hours left, and Mavericks defeated from the equation entirely.

I also really support the idea of being able to acquire all parts somehow. I think that fits well with the above. It sounds a fair bit more like pre-X5 games to me.

PS, good work so far too!




At least this game doesn't have stupid missable/death-able Reploid rescues to fix too...