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Author Topic: Dragon Warrior III (GBC) "Dark Mode" (On undefinite hold. See OP)  (Read 2052 times)

Tsukiyomaru0

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For almost a week now, after seeing a streamer's effort in making the game more eye-friendly with backlit screens, consolizer and emulators, I too decided to make an effort in giving a shot at making a romhack, specifically for Dragon Warrior III. This video showcases most of the progress, however I do have a few hurdles and not am ashamed to ask for assistance in this project, and whoever choose to aid should feel free to take the credit for concluding it.

Said hurdles are:

Enix logo. This is a major hurdle due to Run-Length Encoding that is employed, most of which I have dealt with somehow, but then we have this tiny spot here:

Now, how do we get rid of these black spots (in bits, they would be 10, I need them to be 01 instead)? Managed to find where this RLE starts by tinkering with bits after locating its byte in the ROM, the address is 0FFC0D, contains the byte 03 followed by 05. Now, onto next.


The outside of certain buildings is, due to palette switching, white. Normally this one would be black, even bit-wise (11)! However this one seems also to be a run-length encoding that gives each row of pixels in a tile 01 and then adds up 10. This is the next thing I intend(ed) to tackle after the Enix logo.


After tackling the above, this one should be a no-brainer. Should be literally the same thing, so it would just need the same procedure.


Once all others are done, this should be the final hurdle, but possibly a major one. My plan is to either make the background white (while keeping text boxes' areas in dark mode) or make the top 2/3rd of the screen white background except where a text box is. Half managed to do the second part, but the problem was evident because the monsters then had the black stripe behind them.

So, if anyone is willing to cooperate or take the torch from me, please give me contact, it will be greatly appreciated. This post will be updated when and if I make some progress.

Discoveries:
0FFC0D → Contains the RLE for the part of the logo that is giving me trouble.
28C005 → Contains the RLE for one of the outside "blank" tiles that is used outside the church and guild, but ineffective inside the well and seems to glitch the tiles every else a little when said tile is used.
004CD0 → Somewhere a RLE hides, and that is handy for plan B... Now to learn its location and squash it.
004AE2 → Potentially another RLE related to plan B?

Plan B:
Recoloring tiles related to the text boxes. This also involves RLE Hell, unfortunately, as the top, bottom, dividing line in the name entry, and a upwards arrow ALL uses RLE. Pros of Plan B: less time wasted trying to change the palette everywhere and dealing with some pesky "blank" tiles that insists to appear in the code and are also made by RLE, "quick and clean" job. Cons of Plan B: Involves a LOT of digging for the RLE Hell. SUPER pro of Plan B: It's almost a "one solution fits all scenes", it would still need adjustments in battles.

The Plan B should be an all-encompassing solution, possibly simpler too...


However it needs to be finely tuned. And I mean REALLY finely.


On note: bit-shifting is not fun.

A slightly different take on Plan B got me this:

Which is real close...


Closer, closer, yet closer.

I'm just tinkering with guesses and somehow making it happen.... Kinda scary.


Currently on indefinite hold. I can't sort out the compressed data that prints out some symbols or completes them, or draws the blank tile in VRAM0:8800, and without that being resolved it is impossible to progress in any direction.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2021, 03:15:10 pm by Tsukiyomaru0 »

Lusofonia

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Re: Dragon Warrior III (GBC) \"Dark Mode\"
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2021, 03:04:51 pm »
Can't you simply redraw the enemies so that they make use of the new palette?
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Tsukiyomaru0

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Re: Dragon Warrior III (GBC) \"Dark Mode\"
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2021, 03:42:14 pm »
Can't you simply redraw the enemies so that they make use of the new palette?
Thought about that, but they would not stand out well and it would still mean having to crawl through each animation frame to compensate of the lack of white background (which, in some monsters, makes them look like nightmare fuel.

Lusofonia

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Re: Dragon Warrior III (GBC) "Dark Mode"
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2021, 05:50:16 pm »
Wouldn't stand out? No worries. Just add a white outline around the monster. Then again I've never hacked this game before, so that may be not doable.
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Asaki

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Re: Dragon Warrior III (GBC) "Dark Mode"
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2021, 10:04:15 pm »
So I take it you're making menus and other screens have black backgrounds, like the NES originals?

I had the same idea, but hadn't gotten around to trying it out on any games.
Seems weird that a GBC exclusive like DW3 didn't have the black backgrounds to begin with.

Tsukiyomaru0

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Re: Dragon Warrior III (GBC) "Dark Mode"
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2021, 10:54:01 pm »
Mainly menus and text boxes. Most of it is done via a simple palette swap others are hard coded and required me to find what called the function for each color.

It's not all that weird, the GBC wasn't backlit, so white text on black background stands out better under poor light.

In addition to that, ran DQ Monster via RetroArch on my phone and, due to auto-brightness, the screen became darker and the text would have been impossible to read if it were white on black.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2021, 08:07:31 pm by Tsukiyomaru0 »

Satoshi_Matrix

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Re: Dragon Warrior III (GBC) "Dark Mode"
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2021, 09:54:35 pm »
As someone who has a GBC that's been backlit modded I am loving this concept.

Tsukiyomaru0

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Re: Dragon Warrior III (GBC) "Dark Mode"
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2021, 11:14:31 pm »
I decided to start Plan B, which should be an all-encompassing solution, possibly simpler too...


However I was met with...

e.

Seems I need to do a lot of tinkering with bit-shifting until I get it right... The good thing is: if I get this one sorted out, white boxes in text boxes will be the only issue left.

For the record, tried both YY-CHR and Tile Molester, none can simplify the bit-shifting I need to do...

Asaki

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Re: Dragon Warrior III (GBC) "Dark Mode"
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2021, 05:29:13 am »
Hmm...yeah, I think just doing the text boxes, and leaving the battle backgrounds alone might be your best bet.

What type of RLE are they using, BTW?
I took a peek at DW1&2 last night...most of the characters are right there, but it looks like some of them, and the border, are all compressed.

Tsukiyomaru0

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Re: Dragon Warrior III (GBC) "Dark Mode"
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2021, 09:19:28 am »
Hmm...yeah, I think just doing the text boxes, and leaving the battle backgrounds alone might be your best bet.

What type of RLE are they using, BTW?
I took a peek at DW1&2 last night...most of the characters are right there, but it looks like some of them, and the border, are all compressed.
The RLE is used to generate the sides borders, the dividing line in Enter Your Name, the white tiles. and half of the tiles that compromises the arrows that appears at the edge of borders to indicate there's more. The "how it works" is what is baffling me.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2021, 09:42:24 am by Tsukiyomaru0 »

Asaki

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Re: Dragon Warrior III (GBC) "Dark Mode"
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2021, 04:28:09 am »
Oh, I see. I thought you figured out the RLE already.
I tried a few different attempts, but none of them worked. My brain's not at 100% lately, so I found something simpler to do instead :)

Tsukiyomaru0

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Re: Dragon Warrior III (GBC) "Dark Mode"
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2021, 06:45:57 am »
One thing is that for the left side border it takes the last row of pixels from the corner and multiplies it, to both fill the corner and make a whole tile for the left side, then it somehow bases that to make the top as well.


It is getting real close, I can almost smell it.

Ladies and gentlemen... I think we gottem.


Current struggle:
the H, M and P there. They are also compressed in a weird way. M and P are easy to figure out, the main problem is H. For this one, I have three options that will also affect M and P:
1: leave a notch in the H, which would not break P nor M, but would leave the H looking like:
Code: [Select]
|     |
|     |
|     |
------
|     |
|     |
|     |

2: Shift H, P and M to the right a little. This is a simpler solution. (still leaves me with a line under them)
3: Don't bother touching them. Need to find a way to replace them instead.
In case 1 and 2, there's also another problem: The line is very persistent

Nothing works, can't just shift bits around else the game hangs.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2021, 04:24:22 pm by Tsukiyomaru0 »