News: 11 March 2016 - Forum Rules
Current Moderators - DarkSol, KingMike, MathOnNapkins, Azkadellia, Danke

Author Topic: Mega Man 1 (NES) - 30th Anniversary 16-bit Graphic Pack for Mesen  (Read 10018 times)

AxlRocks

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
(Hope this is alright to post in Personal Projects. Since there was a news article earlier this year about the same kind of thing for Castlevania http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=24125.0, I assume this would be welcome as well. Currently there's not really a place on the web to discuss 2D graphic replacement either.)





Version 1.2 released, which fixes the ending cutscene layering issues regardless of which palette the player is using.

Mesen has also updated to 0.9.4, and major kudos to Sour, who has made crazy improvements to the performance of HD Packs. It's roughly double the speed! If you were experiencing audio crackling before, it's quite likely you will not now, even at default audio latency settings. As well, Mesen now has a Libretro core which also supports HDPacks! See here for more info on that: https://www.reddit.com/r/emulation/comments/7obyvh/mesen_libretro_available/ds9voie/

DOWNLOAD MIRROR 1: Release 1.2 - MEGA
DOWNLOAD MIRROR 2: Release 1.2 - Dropbox

This is a project which I started about 6 months ago. It's inspired by and takes a few graphics from Wily Wars, but with altered color palettes and most graphics are adaptations of the NES originals. Wily Wars is still fun for what it is and worth playing, but the inconsistencies in gameplay are a bit frustrating in my opinion. I much prefer the tighter gameplay of the NES versions, even though Megaman 1 has some small differences from the more solidified mechanics and feel of 2/3 onwards. So I thought it'd be interesting to update the NES games to a similar level. Despite some of the limitations, like solid-color-skies, I'm happy with the results.

This project works for all 3 regions, and includes both Rockman and Megaman graphics for the Japanese title screen. There's also a very minor IPS/BPS patch included to change Rockman to Megaman in the text of the ending, if you'd like.

You'll need the latest version of Mesen from here https://www.mesen.ca/ or the Libretro core as mentioned above. There are instructions in this pack's readme for how to install HDPacks (it's super easy) as well as enable overclocking, which I highly recommend. All six Megaman games work perfectly while overclocked. Mesen can also autoload patches, if you're wanting to use the patch mentioned above.

Anyway, I hope someone gets enjoyment out of this. If you have questions, criticism, feedback, anything, let me know.

Many thanks to mkwong98 for the initial HDNES emulator and pack format, Sour for Mesen and supporting the HDNES pack format as well as building upon it, and also Sprites Inc, whose sheets are invaluable for prototyping sprite work before splitting it up for HDNES graphic sheets. VGMaps user Revned whose maps were also invaluable in the prototyping process.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 07:25:15 pm by AxlRocks »

Zynk

  • Submission Reviewer
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 873
  • WIP Roll-chan: The Wily Wars
    • View Profile
Re: Mega Man 1 (NES) - 30th Anniversary 16-bit Graphic Pack for Mesen
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2017, 12:20:53 am »
Thanks for releasing this  :)

Any recommended audio settings? I'm experiencing static sounds out of Mesen.

AxlRocks

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
Re: Mega Man 1 (NES) - 30th Anniversary 16-bit Graphic Pack for Mesen
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2017, 01:17:10 am »
That's related to performance it seems. I've gotten it during development too, while having a lot of applications open or swapping a lot between save states to test stuff. bogaabogaa also mentioned a way more extreme case here, while testing 10x scale graphics: http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=24125.msg345402#msg345402

The other night when I finished the Japanese title screen, I did a full playthrough to make sure all the graphics loaded properly and had no static. (I built this pack for the US version first, then adapted it to JP.) But I was only running Mesen. HDPacks seem to put a fair bit more strain on things, since I don't get such issues with normal emulation.

Anyway, the best way I've found to fix it is increasing the audio latency value in Mesen's audio settings. For me, just a small increase is enough for audio to keep up and not crackle. The other solution, oddly enough, is just quickly tapping whatever you've assigned "Fast Forward" to whenever audio begins crackling, which I think defaults to the Tab key. Otherwise, you may try also disabling overclocking if it is enabled.

Edit: And you're welcome! :) I just hope that fixes the static issue for you!

Zynk

  • Submission Reviewer
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 873
  • WIP Roll-chan: The Wily Wars
    • View Profile
Re: Mega Man 1 (NES) - 30th Anniversary 16-bit Graphic Pack for Mesen
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2017, 01:33:42 am »
I'm playing the US version. Seems the Tab or any key assigned to Fast Forward does not work on Mesen.

The fix I found so far is lowering the Speed to 50%. No crackling sound, but the game's so slow.  :(

An issue for Mesen, assigning Input keys have binding issues. I can't reassign or disable those binded keys.

SCD

  • RHDN Patreon Supporter!
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 552
  • SPOOOOON!
    • View Profile
Re: Mega Man 1 (NES) - 30th Anniversary 16-bit Graphic Pack for Mesen
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2017, 03:51:59 am »
This looks awesome, you did a great on it.

I really wish Wily Wars look like this.

Midna

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 688
  • Resident Panel de Pon Nut
    • View Profile
Re: Mega Man 1 (NES) - 30th Anniversary 16-bit Graphic Pack for Mesen
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2017, 09:36:18 am »
Giving the classic 8-bit graphics a Wily Wars-style makeover (except better, it the case of the sprite artwork) is a neat idea, and this looks super charming! I might give this a whirl.

SourMesen

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 22
    • View Profile
Re: Mega Man 1 (NES) - 30th Anniversary 16-bit Graphic Pack for Mesen
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2017, 11:02:09 am »
I said this to you a few months ago already, but this looks amazing, in my opinion!

About the sound crackling or performance issues, this is likely an indicator of performance issues. HDPacks do require quite a bit more performance than normal emulation. The pack runs at around 160fps on my desktop, but barely gets 63-65fps and some static on my (much slower) laptop. Adding some overclocking drops it to ~58fps, which makes the sound distort constantly.

To see if it's a performance issue on your end, show the FPS counter (F10 by default) and speed up the emulation to the maximum speed (F9) - if you don't get 60fps, or barely above 60fps, that explains the sound issues.  If you get just a bit above 60fps, increasing the audio latency setting may help fix the sound issues.

I'll try to profile the HDpack code using this pack to see if there are any obvious performance bottlenecks that I can fix, but I've already spent a decent amount of time optimizing hdpacks in the past, so I can't promise anything.

For key bindings, you can remove by clicking to bind a key and then clicking "X" on the popup window to close it.

AxlRocks

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
Re: Mega Man 1 (NES) - 30th Anniversary 16-bit Graphic Pack for Mesen
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2018, 03:16:08 pm »
Thanks for the feedback everyone! I hate to bump my own thread, but I wanted to mention that Sour deserves massive kudos: Mesen has updated to 0.9.4 and it has really great improvements to HDPack performance. The performance is basically double that of 0.9.3, so if you were experiencing audio crackling/static, it's very likely you won't with 0.9.4, even at default audio latency.

I have also updated the pack to 1.1, which isn't a huge update, but I've moved to one pack that supports all 3 versions of the game (just rename the folder to whatever ROM you're using) and updated the Game Over screen. I have some possible future plans for this, but for a while this will be the last update unless there are bugs.

Zynk

  • Submission Reviewer
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 873
  • WIP Roll-chan: The Wily Wars
    • View Profile
Re: Mega Man 1 (NES) - 30th Anniversary 16-bit Graphic Pack for Mesen
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2018, 10:18:37 pm »
Confirmed to be working fine. A very few cracking sounds can be heard but not distracting and the game runs smoothly with the Mesen update.

A small nitpick. At the end of the game, the sky transition has the mountains with the edgy tiles appear.

NiO

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 74
  • Let's bring order to chaos
    • View Profile
    • https://www.facebook.com/groups/retrogamersmx/
Re: Mega Man 1 (NES) - 30th Anniversary 16-bit Graphic Pack for Mesen
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2018, 01:59:50 pm »
Thanks for sharing this :)

PresidentLeever

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 571
    • View Profile
    • Mini-Revver
Re: Mega Man 1 (NES) - 30th Anniversary 16-bit Graphic Pack for Mesen
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2018, 05:51:25 pm »
Looks pretty good. :)

WIly Wars has some improvements over the NES version though and you can fix some issues with codes from gamehacking.org (shot speed, movement delay) as well as remove all slowdown by overclocking in Regen.

Edit: Is there a general tutorial on how to do this? I might try it for some other game.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 05:59:27 pm by PresidentLeever »
Mini-reviews, retro sound chip tribute, romhacks and general listage at my site: Mini-Revver.

SourMesen

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 22
    • View Profile
Re: Mega Man 1 (NES) - 30th Anniversary 16-bit Graphic Pack for Mesen
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2018, 06:22:39 pm »
There is no tutorial as of yet - the process is essentially playing through the game while recording the tiles, and then editing the PNG files to draw "HD" tiles on top of them instead. (Docs: https://www.mesen.ca/docs/hdpacks/).

Also, AxlRocks briefly mentions it in his opening post, but you can also overclock MM1 in Mesen to remove all the game's slowdowns.

PresidentLeever

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 571
    • View Profile
    • Mini-Revver
Re: Mega Man 1 (NES) - 30th Anniversary 16-bit Graphic Pack for Mesen
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2018, 07:47:26 pm »
Interesting, thanks.

Yes I saw.
Mini-reviews, retro sound chip tribute, romhacks and general listage at my site: Mini-Revver.

AxlRocks

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
Re: Mega Man 1 (NES) - 30th Anniversary 16-bit Graphic Pack for Mesen
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2018, 09:44:16 pm »
Confirmed to be working fine. A very few cracking sounds can be heard but not distracting and the game runs smoothly with the Mesen update.

A small nitpick. At the end of the game, the sky transition has the mountains with the edgy tiles appear.

Thanks for letting me know! Can you grab a screenshot of it for me? Here's a savestate right at the ending: http://www.mediafire.com/file/89mtf8ewik4i4e4/Mega+Man+1+%28USA%29_7.mst

Looks pretty good. :)

WIly Wars has some improvements over the NES version though and you can fix some issues with codes from gamehacking.org (shot speed, movement delay) as well as remove all slowdown by overclocking in Regen.

Edit: Is there a general tutorial on how to do this? I might try it for some other game.

I wasn't aware of those codes, sounds like they'd help tighten up the gameplay to be closer to NES. I'll have to check those out next time I play WW!

Yeah, as Sour said, no tutorials yet. On one hand, it's simple to do the actual graphic replacement, but on the other, actually working with the 8x8 tiles which may not be lined up in any order and how some graphics will be split across different sheets is what takes a lot of time. And palette swaps, one of the best "shortcuts" for 2D graphics, can be anything but a shortcut because of how they'll dump on different sheets.

I find it easiest to draw over sprite sheets and screenshots and then transfer that to the HDPack. I also recommend dumping each level, editing all the background tiles and sprites for it, then continuing with the next level. Same thing for menus.

mkwong98

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Re: Mega Man 1 (NES) - 30th Anniversary 16-bit Graphic Pack for Mesen
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2018, 04:56:56 am »
Excellent work! How about posting a video of this on Youtube?
Also will you consider posting on the News Submissions?
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 06:10:06 am by mkwong98 »

Zynk

  • Submission Reviewer
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 873
  • WIP Roll-chan: The Wily Wars
    • View Profile
Re: Mega Man 1 (NES) - 30th Anniversary 16-bit Graphic Pack for Mesen
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2018, 06:13:13 am »
Thanks for letting me know! Can you grab a screenshot of it for me? Here's a savestate right at the ending: http://www.mediafire.com/file/89mtf8ewik4i4e4/Mega+Man+1+%28USA%29_7.mst



Gonna play again as Rock  :)

AxlRocks

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
Re: Mega Man 1 (NES) - 30th Anniversary 16-bit Graphic Pack for Mesen
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2018, 08:14:57 pm »


Gonna play again as Rock  :)

Oops! Thanks for that! I figured out the issue. During development I must've set the sky color manually to test something or whatever and forgot to properly set all relevant graphics back to transparent. I had been using the FCEUX palette, which meant the colors matched and the issue was invisible to me.


I'll upload the fix in a bit! 1.2 is uploaded with this fix in place! Also hope you enjoy playing as Rock! I always wanted to play with that skin since you often see helmetless Megaman in hacks and stuff, but never Rock. (I think, I've never seen one.)

Excellent work! How about posting a video of this on Youtube?
Also will you consider posting on the News Submissions?

Thanks! I'd love to do a Youtube video for it, I just need to get some simple editing software and hope my PC doesn't give me problems. I might do a news submission for it, I didn't even know you could do that actually :D
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 12:13:05 am by AxlRocks »

mkwong98

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 29
    • View Profile
Re: Mega Man 1 (NES) - 30th Anniversary 16-bit Graphic Pack for Mesen
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2018, 08:33:47 am »

RichterSnipes

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 24
    • View Profile
Re: Mega Man 1 (NES) - 30th Anniversary 16-bit Graphic Pack for Mesen
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2018, 09:17:48 pm »
This is an awesome graphics pack! You've done some really impressive work with the graphics. More colorful and detailed, yet still faithful to the original sprites and tiles. More aesthetically consistent than The Wily Wars, too. It feels like what you'd get if you ported Mega Man to the PC Engine.

This should be the ideal model for other HDNES/Mesen graphics packs to follow. There's only so many NES games where you can port graphics from other versions of them, and trying to make pseudo-realistic HD packs with the limited detail that NES games provide can backfire heavily.

AxlRocks

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
Re: Mega Man 1 (NES) - 30th Anniversary 16-bit Graphic Pack for Mesen
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2018, 07:47:03 pm »
Many thanks for your kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed it! In some ways, it was necessary since WW had larger tilesets and changed sprite sizes, but I wanted to use the original NES graphics overwhelmingly because I think both the sprites and tilesets are more iconic and charming in their designs, and I also wanted a much brighter, more saturated look than WW, so anything I did port over almost always ended up with a new palette. I hoped it would still feel like Megaman 1 rather than an actual remake, if that makes sense, or like you said a Megaman 1 port to PC Engine or another console, but more than anything I hoped that the charm would still be there despite the graphical boost.