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Author Topic: Hack or Homebrew?? Another Legend of Zelda Tribute...  (Read 1982 times)


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Hack or Homebrew?? Another Legend of Zelda Tribute...
« on: May 06, 2017, 12:12:25 am »
Here's the situation - I'm an absolute newcomer to hacking with a mid-life crisis, and I have forces at work in my brain telling me to Hack the Legend of Zelda for the NES.  The result is a 30-page creative barf of ideas that's been keeping me up at night, but I'm not sure which route is the most feasible to take...  I know that a quality hack takes a whole lot of time and effort, often with community help, but I acknowledge this will my my opus magnus if I can complete it (perhaps just in time for my social security to kick in for retirement).

When I see other examples of Zelda hacks, they're all quite impressive to be sure, but I feel as though they're mainly cosmetic: switching out tiles, and rearranging map layouts.  The kinds of features I thinking of are more oriented to gameplay fundamentals: i.e. walking diagonally, a friendlier means of displaying dialogue, and setting up quest-driven events & cut-scenes...  In my head, it's a "what if" scenario, where the Legend of Zelda went through the same evolution that Super Mario Bros. and Castlevania did: Part 1 is a huge success, Part 2 is a weird experimental variation to keep the franchise from getting stale, and Part 3 is a glorious return to the original, where everything that was successful is celebrated and expanded upon (yes, I know Mario Bros. 2 wasn't really the direct sequel...).  Sure, they did this with Link to the Past on the SNES, but I want to take my own crack at it.

I ask the experienced community which is the best route to take?  If I put in enough effort and tweak enough lines of code, can I achieve what I'm after via hacking an NES rom?  Or does it make sense to try to build something from scratch in a homebrew, possible even with a different platform altogether (i.e. a modern game maker with C#)?  Or maybe try hacking a rom of Oracle of Seasons for the Game Boy Color as an option?

Regardless, I'll be starting from nothing: I only know some basic Ruby script and VB, so I would have to educate myself in programming no matter which route I take...

Any ideas?  My sanity depends on it...  Thanks!



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Re: Hack or Homebrew?? Another Legend of Zelda Tribute...
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2017, 11:15:00 pm »
I've been there myself, not with the programing part but with the whole wanting to redo Zelda 1. I actually want to hack Final Fantasy 1 but every time I start any such thing I realize early on that it's a lot more work then I want to do.

The Legend Of Zelda is no short game either, but with the tools available the whole game can be reworked, Which I tried that long ago when Zelda Tech was first released and made a hack but it turned out as a miserable daunting failure, it just wasn't up to the Snuff of Zelda Challenge Out Lands, BS Zelda, Etc.. And I knew nothing about Text Editing at the time which for Zelda1 was not fun or easy, but now there are tools for it. Currently I'm working on a Hack or two of Zelda myself from scratch unrelated to any previous hack I've made except I'm using The Legend of Zelda Optimum Patch.

I recommend using it as a Basis The Legend of Zelda Optimum

It enables you to edit all the Sprites of the game in a much easier fashion for the normal game most are compressed, it is what I'm using.
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Dr. Floppy

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Re: Hack or Homebrew?? Another Legend of Zelda Tribute...
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2017, 09:48:21 pm »
If I put in enough effort and tweak enough lines of code, can I achieve what I'm after via hacking an NES rom?


Zelda 1 is a particularly good game for beginners, as you can familiarize yourself with every type of hacking (sprites, palettes, backgrounds, level layouts, text, music, ASM) at your own pace.

Tell us more about this "creative barf"!


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Re: Hack or Homebrew?? Another Legend of Zelda Tribute...
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2017, 10:28:34 pm »
Excellent - thanks for the good feedback!  I'll have to look into those utilities to see what's possible.

Regarding said creative barf , I started with the notion that 10-20 years after the events in the first Zelda, there are forces at work that cause the powers of magic in the land of Hyrule to diminish, thus rendering a majority of Link's legendary items useless.  Once again, Link is tasked with discovering the cause of the missing magic and saving the land from total damnation, etc.  This equates to new items with new functionality, old items with new functionality, perhaps some of the gameplay elements introduced in Link to the Past on the SNES, ideally without completely butchering the soul of the original...

One example is looking at the Candle items differently- with magic gone, an alternative item is a lantern that link uses to catch firefly creatures, hidden throughout the quest.  Rather than a single flame, the firefly would burn an arc, and dimly circle around Link thereafter, lighting up a dark room.  The effect could be repeated after a set amount of time, and the more fireflies, the more Link can torch.  Complex, no?  Impossible on a hack?  Hopefully not...

Do you think I need to become versed in Assembly Language, or do the utilities out there work around that?  I hear that Assembly is as unpalatable as programming gets...

May 12, 2017, 08:38:26 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)

Never has one word held so much promise...  Anyway, I'll do my homework, put my nose to the grindstone, and try not to ask dumb questions.  Hopefully I'll have something worth showcasing in a few years. :P

Happy hacking, y'all.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2017, 08:38:26 pm by Arizkuren84 »