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https://imgur.com/a/FHaifXxI'm pretty sure the menu hack you're using doesn't work on real hardware, as a warning.
Screenshots from my upcoming ROM hack of Pokémon FireRed. =)
Here's some of the things that will (almost certainly) be part of the hack:This is definitely a good idea, although obviously with greater design considerations to consider as well. A larger world becomes much more difficult for the player to keep track of, especially in older games that often lack recognizable setpieces. The (later mentioned) map would certainly help in this regard, but additional world map tiles may help with this as well, even if they function identically to grass/desert/graveyard. This would also mean another tileset for random encounters, which is more effort, but would also help the world feel less repetitive.
- Expanded world, obviously. The Overworld will be more than twice the size of the original, with more diverse terrain, at least one new functional tile (Ice Tile), Overworld may change over time and random battles will be more diverse. More palaces and/or larger ones.
- Only one saving slot. Since most people will play on emulator, I think it's a small sacrifice. The main reasons are to simplify the saved game interface and free up space needed for expansion. The original game has considerable free space in Cartridge RAM, but it can't be expanded.I don't see any issues with this, honestly. Two may be preferable and has history in the series already (Majora's Mask), but this is indeed a world of emulation. One is fine.
- New graphics, for all sections of the game. Intro, saved game info, Overworld, Towns, Palaces, Ending.Definitely agree with this. While I'm a fan of the current graphics, they can definitely be improved. It will also help your project have more of its own identity. This very well may not be your area of expertise, but what about music? If people were interested in assisting, this would be a cool way to further feel different, though I'm not sure how easily expandable Z2 is in terms of music, both overall length and amount tracks. (I may just be a huge fan of how cool this "demix" sounds.)
- New enemies, and enemy behavior. Most original enemies will remain, but they will change behavior, either permanently or become stronger later in the game. Same goes for bosses, either change their current behavior and/or create new ones.Also a great idea. Taking other enemies from the series may help this feel more like a "proper" Zelda game, which was a common complaint of the original.
Here's some things that may be part of the hack, all depending if I have enough time and if I can actually code them reliably:As mentioned prior, this would be great if possible. Especially with the larger map.
- Map system. Press Select on the Overworld to display a map of the current region. Map pieces will have to be found. With the expanded Overworld, this could become more than a mere caprice.
- More spells. From 8 to 12 spells, most likely. If there's a real need for more than 8, there could be a way to have more, but it involves new coding. The original game has a few spells with questionable usefulness.I'm mostly curious as to what spell ideas that you have. The original game does indeed have spells of questionable usefulness (Fire, Reflect, Spell, and Thunder). Buffing Fire and Reflect should be easy enough to improve, since they don't really apply to most enemies in the game. Having Fire actually damage everything (and do more damage), while having Reflex allow Link to block effects that he couldn't before would do wonders already.
- Upgradable spells. For example, Shield protects more, Life heals more, Fairy becomes revertible, etc.A fun idea for sure, but I'm not sure how to make these improvements feel impactful without making the original item/spell not seem weak. This may require some brainstorming. As for special moves, I'm curious what other functionality you could give Link, the combat as-is feels simple, but is somewhat graceful.
- Upgradable items. For example, Candle reveals more, Glove breaks more blocks, Raft lets you reach other places, etc.
- New special moves, other than Downstab and Upstab.
- Extended dialogs from friendly NPCs. Have more meaningful and longer dialogs that reveal the story in more details.A great idea. With a text-speed increase, of course.
Now, with the things that I still have to decide on, and that will certainly change the core gameplay even further. I like the idea of making a hack considerably different from the original game, but I also think the essence of what makes Zelda II unique and fun must remain. It breaks down to these things:
- Lives and health system
- Experience and stats system (Attack, Magic, Life)
- Difficulty levels
- Save system