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Author Topic: Thief and the Cobbler/Super Mario Bros 2.  (Read 8628 times)

tygerbug

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Thief and the Cobbler/Super Mario Bros 2.
« on: April 17, 2013, 01:30:57 pm »







Hi, my name is Garrett Gilchrist. I'm an artist, writer and filmmaker. In 2006 I began a project to restore, reedit, archive, collect and share the work of legendary, three-time Academy Award-winning animator Richard Williams (Who Framed Roger Rabbit).

Most notably I edited together The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut, a restoration of Richard's unfinished animated masterpiece, a feature film on which he spent over 23 years. Major production finally got underway in 1989 but was shut down in 1991, and the film was never completed as intended. It was handed to a director who "finished" it as quickly and cheaply as possible, ruining it entirely.

Currently I am working on a new restoration, the Recobbled Cut Mark 4, which has taken well over a year of work now. I Livestream my painstaking, frame-by-frame restoration work on fridays, and you can see a rough cut of the Mark 4 Recobbled Cut at the Youtube channel:

http://youtube.com/thethiefarchive

My own artwork can be seen here:
http://tygerbug.deviantart.com/gallery
http://orangecow.org

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to hack Super Mario Bros. 2 for the NES so that it features The Thief and the Cobbler characters.

I have never done a ROM hack before, but did a little work last night designing the characters and putting one frame of them into the game. I haven't fixed the palettes yet, so the screenshots above are slightly Photoshopped.

I don't have a ton of free time and I was wondering if any more experienced ROM hackers would like to help out here? Particularly if you're a fan of The Thief and the Cobbler. I could certainly use help changing the palettes and text and graphics, of course. There's a lot here that could be changed. Even the levels could be redesigned using the Super Mario Bros 2 Level Editor available here [which doesn't seem to run on my Mac system sadly]. I'll happily draw the sprites of course.

I believe I've designed some of my characters here with one too many colors. In the actual game, the player characters have white eyes [sclera], but in Tile Layer Pro this area is see-through, leaving me with one less color than I'd expected. I wonder how this is accomplished on the NES architecture, and if that functionality can be used to get one more color on the characters?

locolol

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Re: Thief and the Cobbler/Super Mario Bros 2.
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2013, 03:57:59 pm »
Heyyy welcome to RHDN,Garrett! Pretty interesting hack :) I'm sure there might be someone with the knowledge that would like to help. ^_^

Pikachumanson

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Re: Thief and the Cobbler/Super Mario Bros 2.
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2013, 04:07:19 pm »
I like your sprite work, especially the evil magician guy.

tygerbug

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Re: Thief and the Cobbler/Super Mario Bros 2.
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2013, 04:33:01 pm »
Thanks! I'd considered saving Zigzag [the magician] for Wart or another boss so that I could do a huge sprite for him, but really, since he's one of the main characters, he ought to be Birdo, who you fight throughout. Final boss should be Mighty One-Eye. Goblet, Tickle and the Witch will probably be bosses also [or maybe a generic One Eye] ...

I'm not quite happy with the Princess' sprite yet, gonna make her a bit more petite.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 04:41:12 pm by tygerbug »

johnny

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Re: Thief and the Cobbler/Super Mario Bros 2.
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2013, 05:08:21 pm »
Great idea and all and sounds promising. I'd say if you want to get started, and need to do it yourself here is how I would get started:

1.) Get a copy of Tile Molester and start editing the sprites, backgrounds and other graphics from SMB2 so they can show up in game (unless you've done graphical edits already).

2.) You'll need a copy of the Super Mario Bros 2 Discombobulator so that you can change around the level layouts.

3.) Get yourself a copy of Famitracker, learn it, compose some melodies and then convert them to NSF.

4.) Use One of these tools to insert the NSF into the ROM somehow and figure out a way to point stages and game events to each NSF. Or you could always find someone to do it for you perhaps once you have the main portions of everything all done.

Hope this can help you.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 06:58:39 pm by johnny »

tygerbug

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Re: Thief and the Cobbler/Super Mario Bros 2.
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2013, 06:38:35 pm »
Cheers. I already inserted some graphics into the game as you can see above. A lot of the utilities here will not run on my Mac for some reason, but Tile Layer Pro does. The SMB2 Discombobulator does not.

johnny

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Re: Thief and the Cobbler/Super Mario Bros 2.
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2013, 06:57:18 pm »
Cheers. I already inserted some graphics into the game as you can see above. A lot of the utilities here will not run on my Mac for some reason, but Tile Layer Pro does. The SMB2 Discombobulator does not.

You could try using Wine. I have Linux and sometimes it works for Windows programs but other times its hit or miss. Give it a shot this is the Mac version :). If that fails I'm sure there's some old Dos utilities around which will run in Dosbox. I know there were a couple for some of the Megaman games.

tygerbug

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Re: Thief and the Cobbler/Super Mario Bros 2.
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2013, 07:13:49 pm »
Yes, I'm using Wine. It's very hit or miss which programs actually load.

Zynk

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Re: Thief and the Cobbler/Super Mario Bros 2.
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2013, 10:05:34 pm »
Quote
I believe I've designed some of my characters here with one too many colors. In the actual game, the player characters have white eyes [sclera], but in Tile Layer Pro this area is see-through, leaving me with one less color than I'd expected. I wonder how this is accomplished on the NES architecture, and if that functionality can be used to get one more color on the characters?

In the NES you can only have 3 colors in a tile, 4 if count the transparent color.

The best example for sprites having more colors is Megaman. Megaman has separate sprites for his face and body, its like two sprites moving in unison & overlapping each other. His face has white, flesh(light yellow?) and black; his body has dark blue, light blue and black; so Megaman has 5 colors (white, flesh, black, dark blue & light blue).

Another example is Final Fantasy VII NES. The player sprites have 4 tiles, the upperbody & the lowerbody have separate colors.

Jorpho

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Re: Thief and the Cobbler/Super Mario Bros 2.
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2013, 10:07:55 pm »
Indeed, the player characters in the game are actually two overlapping sprites, if I'm not mistaken: the eyes, and the rest of the characters.  You can probably see this if you start disabling sprite layers one way or another.

Keep in mind the NES hardware is limited to eight sprites per scanline; any more than that and you start to get the notorious flickering, so trying to pack too many sprites in at once would be problematic.

I am gleefully anticipating Recobbled Cut Mark IV, and wish that I had something to contribute. The last act of the film could make such an awesome game – but oy, I don't think I would want to be the one to design it!  Those are some darn nice sprites, anyway.  Are you familiar with some of the other SMB2 hacks out there?  Legend of the Blob Bros was pretty cool.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 10:20:02 pm by Jorpho »
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M-Tee

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Re: Thief and the Cobbler/Super Mario Bros 2.
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2013, 11:10:35 pm »
All you need to do is find the sprite tile for the eyes. Make it solid white, then load the rom and you can see the area in which the eye sprite exists and know the restrictions as to where you can incorporate the secondary colors. More than likely the relative position will change between frames.

Your sprites look good. Watch your proportions. Some of your characters' arms would extend past their knees at their current length. Also, be wary of letting the edge of your tile show with solid, straight lines, such as the top of the girl's hat. Finally, the positioning of the grey character's arm is initially unclear, but could be clarified in animation.

The faces are really expressive though with the characters well represented. Glad to see more aesthetics-oriented members on the board and look forward to your progress.

Pikachumanson

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Re: Thief and the Cobbler/Super Mario Bros 2.
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2013, 12:38:13 am »
I like that old school cartoon look.