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1
Personal Projects / Re: Blaster Master (NES) Randomizer
« on: April 13, 2019, 09:35:40 pm »
Beta 3: https://drive.google.com/open?id=13qQUVXQ6Me6a2vxZ6_m0qahgf-KJW5lO

Changes:
  • Add some prerequisites to certain levels to increase the average number of tunnels that can have a boss
  • Make upgrade graphics correctly reflect their items
  • Randomize boss music with other music
  • Support using wall 1+2 to pass through level 5 in the randomization logic
  • Prevent using crusher to bypass hyper gate keeper
  • Add Randomize Powerup Quantities option
  • Add Wall 2 Last option to make most seeds 100% (at least barring use of exploits).
  • Add Fix Exploits option that fixes the level 5 boss room exploit (more to come)
  • Add Safe Mode option to hopefully prevent softlock scenarios when using Infinite Lives. However, this significantly reduces randomization, so it is recommended that it only be used with Infinite Lives, and only if you are not experienced enough to know not to go places you don't have the upgrades to get out of unless you have checked every other tunnel, as the randomizer will not put bosses there unless they give the needed upgrade.
Some major features currently being worked on:
  • Randomize boss stats and add progression system that makes later bosses harder than earlier bosses
  • Randomized dungeon layout
  • All Bosses mode where all bosses must be killed to finish the game and upgrades are not given by bosses but found elsewhere in the level
  • Fixes to additional bugs (harmful glitches) and exploits
  • Investigating ways to reduce lag in the original game

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Personal Projects / Re: Metroid II EJRTQ Colorization
« on: April 12, 2019, 09:44:33 pm »
Hello, I would like to know, is it confirmed that this hack works on real hardware? I'm tempted to cart-mod it for my collection, it is so well executed!
I know people have found it works on several real hardware. I'm not certain whether it's been tried on an actual GBC.

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Personal Projects / Re: Blaster Master (NES) Randomizer
« on: April 06, 2019, 07:56:58 pm »
New version for this week: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-NZttZ-k6K3DR2OuYZUZbrIuTxJ3d0j7

Not a large amount of changes, as most work was spent reverse-engineering (including for future stuff), rather than implementing:
- Enemy (but not yet boss) stats randomized
- Added options for random music, random lives, infinite lives, and infinite continues
- Fixed issues that created uncompletable level 7s
- Boss 8-1 can now appear in other levels

NOTE: While it should never generate an uncompletable seed (that'd be a bug), there are places where careless exploration can get you into places you can't get out with your current items (e.g. below the crusher blocks in level 5 without dive). Bosses should never be located in such places unless the boss provides the item to get out, so it's advisable to only explore such locations when all other options have already been exhausted, to avoid having to intentionally die or game over to get out. This is ESPECIALLY important when using infinite lives, as the inability to game over can cause soft locks if you go somewhere you shouldn't.

There's still a ton of stuff on the todo list (more than is already implemented). Much more to come.

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Personal Projects / Re: Metroid II EJRTQ Colorization
« on: April 02, 2019, 06:56:53 pm »
Decided to mirror it on Ze Bucket.

http://www.bwass.org/bucket/metroid_ii_-_color_ejrtq_v1-3_-_addendum.ips

I think the only other major thing that needs to be done is some of the greens need to be lightened. I don't think they'd even be visible on a real GBC. I opened the ROM up in BGB and it's just plain too dark.




It seems like this mod was made with a GBA in mind...
I don't know what EJRT did his work on, but I developed the code on BGB. I did notice that BGB is vastly brighter by default than other emulators. In fact I turned the brightness down some in mine, but it's still much brighter than any other emulator I've tried. I can only assume you've manually turned the brightness way down (or are using an older version with much darker defaults).

Default settings in BGB latest version:

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Personal Projects / Blaster Master (NES) Randomizer
« on: March 29, 2019, 10:01:03 pm »
Hi, all. My new project is at the point of showing off: a Blaster Master randomizer. While I could give a list of what is randomized (in fact I had done just that before deleting it and writing this sentence), I think it would be more fun to try it and discover for yourselves.

BMRandomizer v1.0 Beta 1
It requires the Blaster Master (U).nes ROM, with CRC32 52bcf64a.

There’s a lot more I’ve had planned from the beginning, but ran out of time to implement stuff before this weekend. There’s a bunch more I intend to randomize. I’d also like to fix some bugs and exploits in the original game. The title screen also needs to give the seed number and options, for use in competitions. And finally, the entire GUI was made in a few hours prior to release, and could use some more polish.

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Personal Projects / Re: Metroid II EJRTQ Colorization
« on: March 29, 2019, 09:54:32 pm »
I'd be lying if I said I didn't want Samus to be colored according to be canon, but one of the main principles of EJRTQ was that EJRT was the art, I was the hacking/programming. So I'm not planning to change it unless he changes his mind. That said, an optional patch is a good idea; I might do that.

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Personal Projects / Re: Metroid II EJRTQ Colorization
« on: March 27, 2019, 09:35:54 pm »
So I FINALLY got an answer: black Samus was inspired by the large mount of black Samus fan art EJRT saw, and he thought it would be a great way to recapture the surprise when Nintendo first revealed Samus was female. And also a little bit political, as he's the sort that values representation in media.

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ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Blaster Master (NES) Randomizer?
« on: March 13, 2019, 06:45:25 pm »
Could be fun, but I feel like it'd be difficult to make it work properly given how strongly tied together the stage gating and powerups are.
That's why it would require altering the stages based on the randomization to allow the zones to be reached in different ways.

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ROM Hacking Discussion / Blaster Master (NES) Randomizer?
« on: March 13, 2019, 02:56:05 am »
I'm trying to decide what I should work on next (now that Metroid II EJRTQ is released). Would you be interested in a randomizer for Blaster Master NES that randomizes level order, bosses and locations, and powerups?

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Personal Projects / Re: Metroid II EJRTQ Colorization
« on: March 06, 2019, 02:11:46 am »
Guys, please don't talk about other games in this thread.

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Personal Projects / Re: Metroid II EJRTQ Colorization
« on: March 02, 2019, 02:35:25 am »
Compare the pixels of Samus's arm cannon to the way it looks in the original game. It should have vertical lines instead of horizontal lines that I see. The graphics get muddled as soon as you activate missiles the first time.

I'm using the BGB emulator. If you really don't have the issue let me know what emulator you are using.

PS: If you look at the first pic that ShadowOne333 posted--the one with the frog enemy, you will see the muddled arm canon graphics I'm talking about. Compare to the way it should look in the pictures at the top of the thread.
It's more or less showing the left-facing version of the cannon even when facing right.

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Personal Projects / Re: Metroid II EJRTQ Colorization
« on: February 23, 2019, 04:52:03 am »
https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/528035919874359305/548803494933430282/metroid_ii_-_color_ejrtq_v1.3_rc.zip

This is the 1.3 release candidate. Unless something major is found in the next few days, this will be the final version (at which time it will be posted on the main site).

This version re-hides all hidden passages and fixes a few miscolored tiles. As I've been finding it increasingly difficult to find time to work on this and I just spent several weeks making tools for e.g. map image creation, I've decided to hold off on some things until after 1.3. Namely, the major modding-related changes, given how big the list is, and several relatively minor miscolored pixels that require restructuring the tiles (e.g. Samus' visor).

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Personal Projects / Re: Metroid II EJRTQ Colorization
« on: January 24, 2019, 09:21:27 pm »
This looks like great work. Maybe I'll finally finish this game once your hack is done. One question: Are you only doing a GBC color hack, or do you intend to add color support for Super Game Boy too? SGB is my preferred way to play early Game Boy games—but I get that most people aren't playing these hacks on real hardware and the SGB's ability to do color is much more limited, so there isn't going to be as much interest. Maybe I'll take the game on a trip at some point and play it in full color on my GBA SP.

Yeah, I'm not planning on doing it for SGB for exactly those reasons. CGB is simply a more advanced system capable of producing much better colorizations.

January 24, 2019, 09:27:12 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Forgive my boldness and intrusiveness, but I was wondering if you are perhaps aiming towards releasing this hack as an entry in here?
And if you are, what goals or things do you want to include before doing so?
Yes, I will be releasing it proprly on RH.net when it's done. Before then I need to fix the unhidden tiles, and maybe a few tweaks to things like the visor (we'll see). I'm also debating some large under the hood changes that are unnecessary for EJRTQ but will allow other people to make much more complex color M2 mods by adding support to the game code for larger maps, more graphics tiles, and more complex tilesets and sprites.

But before that I'm working on a map image generator to help me exhaustively look for miscolored tiles. But between not having that much time to work on it and the fact that I'm making a virtual machine that's able to traverse the map like in game and detect reachable rooms, metarooms, and tilesets (rather than entering them manually for each room), it's taking some time.

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ROM Hacking Discussion / Metroid II: Modding Interest?
« on: January 22, 2019, 01:47:14 am »
Hi, all. I'm trying to get an idea how large the current and potential Metroid II modding scene actually is. As far as I can tell there are very few serious M2 mods currently, but also very few tools. As such the intent of this poll is to see how many people would actually make mods for M2 if the tools were available, to gauge what amount of effort could be justified in making those tools.

To clarify the terms in the question, I'm asking about people who:
1. Have an idea for a mod (no need to specify) and want to make it
2. Have the skills in art, level design, and/or programming to actually make it
3. Have the perseverance to stick with it until it's finished

16
Personal Projects / Re: Metroid II EJRTQ Colorization
« on: January 21, 2019, 10:23:01 pm »
I was wondering, could this coloring edit be applied to the Justin Bailey hack of this game too?
It could, though it's not quite that simple. The key limitation is the palettes. With GBC you get 8 sprite palettes of 3 colors each, and each 8x8 tile uses one of them. So you'd have to set up palettes for the new coloring and possibly change the colors of other enemies if there aren't suitable palettes for a suitless Samus.

That said, I'm not sure why you'd want to. I just looked it up and Justin Bailey's Samus sprite is downright scary looking.

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Personal Projects / Re: Metroid II EJRTQ Colorization
« on: January 21, 2019, 07:51:27 pm »
I just swapped it to another palette and cleaned up the gfx (stray pixels that looks out-of-place when colorized).

By the way - exactly HOW did you ’fix’ the short-comings of the original hack?

How I did it is explained in this thread:
http://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=15989.msg358910#msg358910

/dACE
Both the graphics corruption and crashes came down to how he was doing the colorization. He was coloring the entire screen every frame in the interrupt handler, taking up to 10k cycles (if the screen was scrolling at the time). The time window for the interrupt is only 2k cycles, and after that VRAM becomes off limits and access will cause data loss or memory corruption. I moved the colorization code out of the interrupt handler and colored blocks in the update list (and in the interrupt handler made updates load color data as well), not the entire screen (reducing the work per frame from 1024 background tiles to 64). For convenience sprites are colored every frame, but that was moved outside the interrupt handler as there's a sprite memory buffer anyway and there are only 40 of them. Various additional things were done to implement fading, freezing, etc.

EDIT: After chatting with toruzz, it appears he had implemented the superior method I was planning to implement in the future. The above, where I color the tiles separately from loading the tile numbers from ROM, is one of several things I took an "if it ain't broke don't fix it" approach to, leaving data and algorithms from EJRT in place unless they needed to be changed to work properly (though all but a single EJRT function has been replaced with new code in EJRTQ). The superior method is to add color information to the metatile and metasprite tables themselves, rather than adding the coloring in a separate step later. This is the proper method and how Nintendo would have implemented it themselves if they'd actually produced a full color version; it will also allow modders to do more complex things in mods based on EJRTQ, which is the reason I'm going to implement this in the future.

January 21, 2019, 10:00:11 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
1st, the arm cannon has received a thorough redesign from the original game and IMO it looks off. Something about the coloration and that horizontal line down the middle doesn't work for me. I went back to the native graphics and saw that they are totally different for the cannon. I like the original better.

Also, the flying enemy--I think it's called a Yumbo. His entire body is blinking for some reason. The other enemies don't have that effect and he didn't blink in the original game.

Huuh. I never noticed the arm cannon thing, nor that, while testing it, I also noticed that the cannon looks different before you first switch to missiles and all other times during the game. It appears the horizontal line thing is due to the differing ways the GB and GBC prioritize overlapping sprites. There is actually no difference whatsoever in the sprites between the two (as can be seen when facing to the left), but in GBC the cannon is drawn on top of the tile to its lower left when facing to the right, resulting in a few more pixels of the cannon being visible than in the GB (in GB the cannon is behind the lower left tile). I'll add it to the list and see if I can fix it by reordering the sprites.

As for the Yumbo, my assumption is that that was intended by EJRT, so I have not changed it. In general I don't modify things that seem like graphic design decisions.

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Personal Projects / Re: Metroid II EJRTQ Colorization
« on: January 21, 2019, 03:53:38 am »
Have the palette for Samus, during the best ending (no suit), been updated?

/dACE

With one exception I've left the art decisions entirely unchanged, as my intent was to fix EJRT not make a derivative work. Though I have been wondering for a while whether that decision was a prank, a political statement, or merely that there wasn't a good palette to use (as EJRT uses a single set of palettes for the entire game). It's something I could fix now that there's a mechanism for screen-specific palettes, but at this time I'm not planning on changing it.

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Personal Projects / Re: Metroid II EJRTQ Colorization
« on: January 20, 2019, 11:20:42 pm »
Wait, what? I'm quite surprised at this to say the least and for several reasons :o

I am ridiculously happy this exists, but I would have very much appreciated EJRT telling me about this project. Let me tell you that I was working on the very same thing with him until he lost motivation and I put the project on hold. Some of you already knew because I mentioned it during a livestream.

Also I won't be mad or anything, but is this based on my code? The similarities in some respects are more than striking. Anyways, it's no use to me anymore, so if you're curious this is what I had (ROM CRC32: DEE05370): https://www.mediafire.com/file/9ci05d9cdd5ghq4/M2DX.ips/file

I made repeated attempts to get in touch with EJRT on both Twitter and Linked In, and never received any reply. In fact when I started this I intended it to be EJRT 1.3, but with no response from him I released it as a separate entity. I still want to get in touch with him as, as I said on Twitter in most of my tweets at him, I really want to get him to take advantage of scripted palette changes (currently used only to fix the wall color in the queen room) to significantly increase the number of available colors. There's also better than 50% chance I will implement GBC double-VRAM mode allowing for double the number of tiles, and change the metatile system to support double the metatiles, which he could use to break up the monotony of certain areas like ruins.

While I knew of the existence of M2DX, I never played or looked at it at all. All of the code is original, as is like 90% of the reverse-engineering (I didn't discover MetConst until after EJRTQ 1.2 beta was released (see readme), if memory serves).

EDIT: Hey, if you want to chat I see you were at one time on gbdev Discord. I'm in the gbdev and MetConst Discords, though you may need to @ or PM me as I'm not currently actively following their channels.

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Personal Projects / Re: Metroid II EJRTQ Colorization
« on: January 20, 2019, 11:11:33 pm »
Nice! I was hoping for an update to this amazing colorization. :)
Do you happen to have a list of the bugfixes done?

I know the Metroid Queen fight used to flicker a lot, and the enemies didn't change colors when hit by the Ice beam. Have those been addressed?
I also remember that Samus' visor was not coloured green when you aim up or down with the arm cannon, it changed to the orange colour of the suit instead

There is now no known graphical corruption, flicker during gameplay, or crashes. Other details can be found in the readme. The only remaining graphical things are the hidden blocks not being hidden (to be fixed) and when entering the queen room the screen flashes white for a couple frames (this is actually present in the original game but only occurs with GBC hardware, and I'm not planning to try to fix it).

EDIT: I actually never noticed the visor thing before, so I haven't fixed it.

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