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Author Topic: For the Frog the Bell Tolls DX (WIP)  (Read 71686 times)

toruzz

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For the Frog the Bell Tolls DX (WIP)
« on: April 07, 2016, 12:09:00 am »

For the Frog the Bell Tolls DX is a color hack of the amazing Nintendo title Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru. It's completely done in ASM and takes advantage of the GBC unique features, which results in an almost GBC-level game.

I'm trying to be as true as possible to the original game, editing graphics only when it is strictly needed and adding tiles only when it makes sense. I'm also trying to be faithful to the elements that the developers intended to emphasize and the places that the developers wanted to differentiate.

Of couse all this is highly subjective and I know that I can't make everybody happy, but I'll try at least to be consistent. This is something that I'll try to fine-tune as much as possible when the betatesting stage comes.

Screenshots:
Spoiler:












You can also watch it in movement in this video (it's a bit buggy though): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ppwp5kne99k

FAQ:

When will it be released?
I don't know. I've been working on this for half a year now, but unfortunately I think I'll need at least another year.

Which colors are you using and why?
My color choices are highly inspired by the GBC Zelda games and the original artwork. I'm taking into account that saturated colors are needed because the GBC screen wash the colors out, but I'm also aware that most people are going to play with an emulator, so I'm actually testing the hack in both real hardware and emulators.
Spoiler:

VGA colors vs emulated colors. The right image shows a pretty accurate depiction on how it actually looks on the GBC screen

Is this hack compatible with the English translation patch?
It seems to work just fine (except for the intro screen graphics), but I'm not completely sure. I want to make a VWF hack, so I'll adapt the English script if the original translator grant me permission to do so.

How can I help you?
I'm not quite happy with my current splash screen, so I'd love if an artist came up with a good illustration for it. For reference, I liked a lot the one I had based on this amazing artwork, but unfortunately the author didn't grant me permission to use it.

Original post:
Spoiler:
Hello everyone!




Many of you may know that back in the GBC era Nintendo announced a "DX" version of Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru (For the Frog the Bell Tolls or, as the other thread says, The Frog for Whom the Bell Tolls). I really enjoyed the game and I couldn't help but think that it would have been amazing in color.

Recently I became familiar with GB/C ASM and managed to make a VWF hack for Link's Awakening, and now that I'm confident enough to work on a bigger project I think is time to make this hack.

The project is in a really early stage, but in the Screenshots thread it became obvious to me that I could use some feedback :)
I'm also tweaking little things here and there, most notably Sablé's sprite. Also, choosing the correct colors is hard, so I'd appreciate any comments on those matters.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JouJV2MZRA

Spoiler:
BTW, sorry for my bad English
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 06:29:52 am by toruzz »

Midna

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Re: Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru Color Hack
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2016, 12:33:23 am »
Don't worry, your English isn't bad at all!

The screenshots look really good. Maybe not saturated enough (compare with Link's Awakening DX and/or the Oracles games), but what you have here looks absolutely fine and you don't need to change a thing.

Remember that Link's Awakening DX took advantage of the transition to a color device to improve the graphics some (trees, grass, the Angler Fish boss, etc.). You could try changing, for example, the 2D-looking trees in the third to be more three-dimensional.

Gideon Zhi

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Re: Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru Color Hack
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2016, 03:01:04 am »
Will this be compatible with the translation patch?

MathUser2929

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Re: Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru Color Hack
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2016, 12:35:38 pm »
It looks great. I hope this gets finished.

BadChad

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Re: Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru Color Hack
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2016, 01:17:24 pm »
This project has got me super excited! I'm a huge fan of this game. There seems to be a lot of attention towards this game right now with the translation being re-worked and improved. And now it getting the "DX" treatment with this color hack. I'm all for it!

Hope it'll be compatible with the translation to combine for the ultimate experience!

Anyway, everything looks great so far and good luck with the rest of the project. Looking forward to seeing more progress!

acediez

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Re: Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru Color Hack
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2016, 04:05:49 pm »
Don't worry, your English isn't bad at all!

The screenshots look really good. Maybe not saturated enough (compare with Link's Awakening DX and/or the Oracles games), but what you have here looks absolutely fine and you don't need to change a thing.

Remember that Link's Awakening DX took advantage of the transition to a color device to improve the graphics some (trees, grass, the Angler Fish boss, etc.). You could try changing, for example, the 2D-looking trees in the third to be more three-dimensional.
No need to be saturated to look good. I actually like this pastel-like soft tones more than the saturated Zelda games.

toruzz

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Re: Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru Color Hack
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2016, 05:24:24 pm »
Don't worry, your English isn't bad at all!

The screenshots look really good. Maybe not saturated enough (compare with Link's Awakening DX and/or the Oracles games), but what you have here looks absolutely fine and you don't need to change a thing.

Remember that Link's Awakening DX took advantage of the transition to a color device to improve the graphics some (trees, grass, the Angler Fish boss, etc.). You could try changing, for example, the 2D-looking trees in the third to be more three-dimensional.
Thank you! I tried that at first, but I like it more with softer colors. Also, I'm always checking if there is enough contrast on BGB's washed out colors and it doesn't look bad at it is now.

I'm actually trying to make the kind of improvements you suggest (and I know the trees don't look that good because of palette's limitations). I'll keep trying to make those look better.

Will this be compatible with the translation patch?
No, as I want to insert a VWF hack. Hopefully the translator will grant me permission to use his script.

It looks great. I hope this gets finished.
If it doesn't I'll release what I have so anyone else can finish it  :)

This project has got me super excited! I'm a huge fan of this game. There seems to be a lot of attention towards this game right now with the translation being re-worked and improved. And now it getting the "DX" treatment with this color hack. I'm all for it!

Hope it'll be compatible with the translation to combine for the ultimate experience!

Anyway, everything looks great so far and good luck with the rest of the project. Looking forward to seeing more progress!
Thank you!

No need to be saturated to look good. I actually like this pastel-like soft tones more than the saturated Zelda games.
Yep, I agree.

Scapetti

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Re: Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru Color Hack
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2016, 07:47:15 am »
No, as I want to insert a VWF hack. Hopefully the translator will grant me permission to use his script.

I hope so too! And a VWF hack would be great to fix that Sablé problem. I would suggest keeping the borders of the sprites black to be more in line with Link's Awakening DX. It made Link look like he had black hair and it will make the Prince look like he has black hair probably, as well as Richard (he had black hair in Link's Awakening DX). But that's how they've done it in Link's Awakening DX. You should take the same skin tone from Link's Awakening DX I think and have Richard look paler than our main character :) Very awesome!

toruzz

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Re: Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru Color Hack
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2016, 12:33:58 am »
I'm trying to keep the map editing at the minimum, but sometimes there is no other way. In this case I had to remove the tree as it was taking two BG palettes :/



I hope so too! And a VWF hack would be great to fix that Sablé problem. I would suggest keeping the borders of the sprites black to be more in line with Link's Awakening DX. It made Link look like he had black hair and it will make the Prince look like he has black hair probably, as well as Richard (he had black hair in Link's Awakening DX). But that's how they've done it in Link's Awakening DX. You should take the same skin tone from Link's Awakening DX I think and have Richard look paler than our main character :) Very awesome!
Thank you! Link's Awakening DX took a very different approach because the developers had more limitations (they wanted it to be compatible with GB and didn't have as much ROM as I do), so as long as it looks good, I think it's better to use more colors.

And you're right, I have to make Richard look a bit paler  :P

Scapetti

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Re: Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru Color Hack
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2016, 10:03:13 pm »
Thank you! Link's Awakening DX took a very different approach because the developers had more limitations (they wanted it to be compatible with GB and didn't have as much ROM as I do), so as long as it looks good, I think it's better to use more colors.

And you're right, I have to make Richard look a bit paler  :P

Oh that may be so but I still think a black outline highlights the characters better, they blend into the background a little too much for my liking currently. Better to have them stand out :) I mean think of games like Earthbound and A Link to the Past, even without colour limitation on the Super Nintendo they still had black outlines. I just think it will look nicer, personally. Generally I think if the colour was black in the black and white version you should keep it black. Even for backgrounds. It'll just give everything a bit more contrast and will look nicer overall

toruzz

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Re: Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru Color Hack
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2016, 11:24:29 pm »
Oh that may be so but I still think a black outline highlights the characters better, they blend into the background a little too much for my liking currently. Better to have them stand out :) I mean think of games like Earthbound and A Link to the Past, even without colour limitation on the Super Nintendo they still had black outlines. I just think it will look nicer, personally. Generally I think if the colour was black in the black and white version you should keep it black. Even for backgrounds. It'll just give everything a bit more contrast and will look nicer overall
Hmm... I understand where you're coming from, but I tried it and it just doesn't feel right to me. Look at this screenshots:




Maybe I should use darker color for the outlines to improve the contrast, but using black as in LA doesn't look good to me. I don't know, if you guys disagree maybe I'll make a poll.

PS.- BTW, I improved the trees and inserted the routine to switch the palette of the coin/heart :D

EDIT: I made a mockup and it definitely looks better with darker outlines. I'll change it.

LargoLaGrande

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Re: Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru Color Hack
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2016, 11:34:00 am »
Never knew about this game. So I defintely check it out.

It looks really great in color! Good job! Thanks. Looks very promising

Scapetti

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Re: Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru Color Hack
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2016, 12:17:01 pm »
EDIT: I made a mockup and it definitely looks better with darker outlines. I'll change it.


Fantastic! They look MUCH better. A good compromise I think :)

toruzz

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Re: Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru Color Hack
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2016, 10:08:23 pm »
Do you guys think I should change the map a bit like Link's Awakening DX did? I'm finding it difficult to make it look as good as I'd like without adding some changes, and color adds a dimension that I think should be explored. I'm thinking about something like this:



I would really appreciate your feedback on this one.

Fantastic! They look MUCH better. A good compromise I think :)
Thanks!

Midna

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Re: Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru Color Hack
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2016, 10:10:52 pm »
I was going to suggest extending the wall. It looks better and makes more sense than replacing the tree with flowers.

Edit: Wow, I didn't even notice the Link's Awakening-type dirt patches. I guess that says something about how good they look!
« Last Edit: April 17, 2016, 12:09:11 am by Midna »

MathUser2929

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Re: Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru Color Hack
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2016, 12:25:01 am »
I'd rather see colorized gameboy graphics than gbc style graphical replacements. I vote against it.

SunGodPortal

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Re: Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru Color Hack
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2016, 12:35:05 am »
I think everything looks awesome so far. :thumbsup:
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BadChad

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Re: Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru Color Hack
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2016, 01:33:08 am »
I'm all for the changes as long as things don't go too overboard. So far everything looks really good and also seems to stay in line with the type of changes Nintendo made when making the "DX" version of Link's Awakening. So I feel like they would have made similar changes for a "DX" release of this game!  :thumbsup:

GHANMI

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Re: Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru Color Hack
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2016, 02:51:42 am »
I'm trying to keep the map editing at the minimum, but sometimes there is no other way. In this case I had to remove the tree as it was taking two BG palettes :/



Any way to keep that tree, even with a yellow + light green + dark green palette?

Scapetti

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Re: Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru Color Hack
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2016, 07:40:15 pm »
Do you guys think I should change the map a bit like Link's Awakening DX did? I'm finding it difficult to make it look as good as I'd like without adding some changes, and color adds a dimension that I think should be explored. I'm thinking about something like this:



I would really appreciate your feedback on this one.
Thanks!

If you think changes are necessary and it is in keeping with what Nintendo might do then I am all for it :) looks good!