Even though you put in a whole new title screen, 6 new ending images, pizza icon, Bebop and Rocksteady, the Shredder, new sounds... you don't have foot soldiers, and you refuse to do it... so no, I don't recommend your game. It’s just a beta, nothing interesting...
OK, so that quote's a bit of an exaggeration for fun on my part, but c'mon... foot soldiers? That makes or breaks the immersive feel of a game???
When reading reviews, always consider what you know about your reviewers based on their profiles. Check your reviewers' contributions. If they haven't evidenced they've done a reasonable amount of romhacking, and they're giving you negative reviews, assume they may not understand the level of effort necessary to turn a game into your vision and go back to enjoying making your visions come true... with thicker skin...
Putting that and the spam bots / fake accounts aside, I have seen the question about feasibility of foot soldiers come up every now and then, so let's dig into what it takes to change out enemies in Streets of Rage 2
Why do romhackers tend not to do it? My personal opinion? Because it's a lot of work and not a lot of payoff. You see, Pancake 2 generously allows modders to take the original rom and edit the four protagonists plus a handful of the bosses. But… all other enemies are compressed within the rom, and Pancake 2 does not provide for the decompression, alteration, re-compression, and insertion of new enemy sprites. It allows you to work with uncompressed sprites. And that’s a lot to be permitted to do!
Meanwhile, your basic enemies (Galsia/Donovan, the Signals, etc.) are compressed. You could get your hands on that awesome Syndicate Wars
hack and use it with Pancake 2 to modify those enemies, but what if your vision isn't to have all
enemies be playable, or you don't want to introduce some of the softlocking bugs that modified rom has?
That brings us back to the original rom and Pancake 2. You could get your hands on the compression and decompression routines by debugging the game (one such sequence is at $30C0), but 1) that's a lot of work to put into generating a new basic enemy, and 2) not everyone knows how to read and reverse compression routines (nor might they be motivated to do so just for a foot solider). I myself fall into the category of not having a clue.
This next part is all theory, so feel free to try it, add theory to this blog, show your progress, share your newfound knowledge, etc., but here's one process by which you can probably get foot soldiers or some other enemy type in the rom.
1) Obtain and decrypt the enemy sprite tiles. If you know the location of those sprites, you can use Pancake 2 and decompress and output the sprite tiles to a .bin file. You can very likely find the location of the enemy you want using that archived SOR Online site
2) With Galsia, if you open the .bin Pancake 2 gave you in Tile Layer Pro, and if you use the typical player palette, you'll get something like this.
This is where I throw my hands up and say "pass". No can do, buckaroo! If you're a good pixel artist and good with puzzles or the tile arranger in Tile Layer Pro, your next step is to
3) Find or make some good foot soldier sprites that use similar positions and animations as Galsia, and paste 8x8 tiles of them in the proper spots over the Galsia tiles above.
Here's a possible setback... Galsia and Donovan share the same bottom halves of their bodies. The minute you change one, you're changing both. Maybe you go with Y. Signal instead? Up to you, but Galsia requires the least amount of edits, as he has the least amount of sprites.
One more challenge. What will you do about palettes? They follow the same ones as your protagonists, so you may not be guaranteeing yourself a purple foot soldier. You'll need to dig out the palettes and perhaps how the code switches them and determine what can be done there.
4) Let's say you now have your .bin with all foot solider tiles. Kudos to you! Let's get it into the game!
Recall that Pancake 2 does not allow you to re-insert this tile set. You need another way.
Enter Sharpnull's compressor.
Always re-read blogs and forum posts that you find interesting. You'll find some stuff in there, even if you're not working on that specific project... yet.
Remember in my previous posts that I needed a way to get my ending sequence images into TMNT Remix
and TMNT Final
? I used that compressor, but for a different purpose than it was originally designed for, knowing that the compression routine for enemies, title screen, and ending images are the same. That compressor's original purpose was to compress and re-insert enemies. So go do that!
Quick caveat: Months ago, as a test, I took that Decompressed Galsia.bin above, and - as a proof in concept - used the compressor to insert those tiles back into the game. The idea was to see that all the pixels landed in the same place, such that the compressor works. And indeed... it does work. (To prove it actually inserted the images, I put beards on all the Galsia faces to verify the file insertion.) But... on at least one animation, part of Galsia's head (I think mostly the hair, maybe 3-4 vertically aligned pixels) end up 3-4 pixels to the left or right of where they're supposed to be.
What does this mean? It means you'll be able to fit Galsia (or your foot soldier) back into the game, but you're going to need to edit at least one tile such that you only use transparent colors on part of the head, just so the pixels can't be seen as out of place. You may have a lopsided lookin’ footsolider if you don’t then correct his head!
After all that… I think you’re done. You now have a foot soldier in your game.
So… after reading all of the above, don't you want to go out there and make some new minions for your Streets of Rage 2
[INSERT CRICKET SOUNDS]