So, I had an idea… lol! I wonder how many posts on here start like that. Anyways, I’m currently working on a hack of Zelda 2 for the 35th anniversary of Zelda in November. You can check it out in personal projects or you can click this link and check out the blog. https://zeldaiitheadventureoflink35thanniversaryedition.wordpress.com/
After watching gameplay of rom hacks for Zelda 2 I noticed in one of them. I think it was winter solstice or journey of a day. They made it so when link enters certain areas he isn’t wearing a hood anymore and you can see his hair. I eventually was able to piece together that it was because of the multiple banks. (I know duh 🙄) but it inspired my idea. What I’d like to try to do revolves around the use of the candle and/or the fire spell. First thing is I would combine the two. When you get the candle it has the fire spell as it’s ability, a la the original Zelda game. Now, the banks with the caverns I would make it so links sprite is actually holding the candle in his hand (if he’s gotten the candle of course). This makes it so he can’t hold his shield, henceforth he cannot block. Somewhere in each cavern is hidden an unlit torch. Hit it with a fireball and the cavern lights up allowing link to see AND now carry his shield through the cavern.
My question is this, lighting has been handled many ways in games over the years, ideally the coolest way it could be executed would be like it was handled in ray man where you could only see a small radius around your character, however, I don’t think that would be possible and I’m sure it’d be hard to do if it even was. Zelda 2 already has a lighting mechanic built in. So… I assume that’s a switch, right? One that can be turned on and off? So, I have one of two options. Ideally I’d like the candle and shield to be equipable. Shield equipped cave lights off and blocking on, candle equipped cave lights on and blocking off (I assumed that being able to turn blocking on/off would be possible if not fairly simple as it already exists in game as a mechanic). There would be a few hurdles to get over though that make me question the feasibility of this. First, the current in-game mechanic is just a palette swap. Hence it wouldn’t change the graphic of his sprite which really would only use links front upper sprite on a couple of his key poses. I’ve heard that’s easier to do with sprites that are already assigned to the object. I have a few left over from after I reworked them if that will even help. Another way I thought to do this was to expand the memory and have 2 separate identical cave banks one with his shield and one with his candle and just switch to the appropriate bank when you equip or unequip the candle. Not sure if I’m making sense as I’m still reading through the required source materials. The other hurdle is, how do I make these “items” equipable? In some cases I want multiple things to be assigned to an item, like the candle for instance. So, I’m thinking just rearrange the spell menu so it’s sectioned out to where things you can take on/off are in one area of the menu with spells in its own and passive/quest items in their own. You would equip items by going to the spell menu and choosing the equipment (which is just a modified spell that has had its name changed). It would also be nice to arrange that menu in a way where the “equipable” items graphics are instead lined up vertically along the left edge next to its name/spell it is meant to represent. If you go into the spell menu and equip an item it’s essentially just activating a spell and keeping it active until another is activated instead. In the case of the candle it replaces the shield sprite (if possible) turns on the cavern light switch turns off the ability to block and activates your fire spell indefinitely until shield or a different item is activated. I would then need to make something similar to the palace jewels mechanic where in a torch can be “activated” which would override the palette change portion of this process for all the caverns connected to the one with the (now) lit torch.
* side note about the fire spell. I’d like to make it so it functions like the fire that the orange Moa’s throw down so it stays on the ground and remains a hazard for enemies until it burns out. In addition it’d be nice if I could make it lob like the maces. (Though, this isn’t really relevant to the whole “lightning” thing)
That is the more involved preferred way I’d like it to be, but alternatively I would just make it a choice, shield or candle. This is NOT preferred as it robs the mechanic of some of it’s fun/usefulness and turns it into a visual gag that makes going through caves a pain in the ass!
The last idea I had regarding lighting and the candle is to make the palace the candle is housed in pitch black like in shadow of night but have the palette change gradually becoming more “lit” the closer you get to the room the candle is in. That way it helps the player locate which direction they should go to find the candle.
So, what do you guys think?
Is it doable?
If so, what part is the most difficult?
If not what things could be done instead or are there things I could drop in order to make something similar work.
Can you think of other lighting used in games similar to this, and how was it used?
For that matter, really, what IS possible?
Are they infinite assuming I have enough space in memory to do it?
I feel like if it were infinite that, building a whole new mechanic like the halo of light mechanic from rayman would take a hell of a lot more work than using the existing game mechanics.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I appreciate the help