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Author Topic: NES Metroid HD Pack  (Read 113230 times)

kya

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Re: NES Metroid HD Pack
« Reply #120 on: December 27, 2019, 12:58:35 am »
Great work! I'm glad you finally eradicated the sings of that ugly 1.5x upscaling. Have you done it manually?

Aclectico

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Re: NES Metroid HD Pack
« Reply #121 on: December 27, 2019, 11:46:04 am »
Thanks - Yep, tried my best to clean up some of the worst offending elements pixel by pixel manually. It's funny though, the most time consuming part wasn't redrawing the tiles and sprites. The most tedious portion was actually replicating the results for every relevant ".png" file in the pack. When I first started, if I knew everything I know now, I would have done things a little differently. But, because of the way it's created, I usually have a dilemma when altering something - Do I create custom code in the "hires.txt" file to make changes easier? Or, do I simply replace all of the duplicated ".png" elements? In this case, I only created custom code for Metroids, Rippers, and the Map. Since I keep telling myself that I should be done so I can spend more time with family, I don't currently have plans to add custom code for other elements.

Then again, since I seem to keep coming back to this, I suppose you never know... Going through long periods of time without pack building seems to cause mild symptoms of withdrawal.

A scene at home has been known to play out like this:

     -[voice in the background]: Are you working on that weird "HD Pack" thingy again??

     -[flustered me]: ...no....
          *Hits alt+tab to discretely switch from Photoshop to Netflix

Ray572

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Re: NES Metroid HD Pack
« Reply #122 on: December 27, 2019, 08:19:16 pm »
How great is all this, great work, good updated details. Thank you.  :thumbsup::beer:

eskimo44

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Re: NES Metroid HD Pack
« Reply #123 on: April 08, 2020, 09:02:18 pm »
@Aclectico

Dude you rock, and so do the other people who've helped you out. I just played through the hack and can say i honestly had a blast. I left reviews on the base hack pages of mOTHER+99 and mOTHER as i think it's an essential add on to the great work done by those folks. https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/3640/

I had no major issues to report but i will say Ridley's flickering was the most notable issue, but i suppose that's just the reality of the NES. Hopefully this gets more recognition going forward as i feel it really deserves it but more than anything i just wanted to say thanks, it's very kind and awesome of you to do this work and put it out there so people like me can enjoy it.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2020, 10:09:08 pm by eskimo44 »

StarWyvwern

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Re: NES Metroid HD Pack
« Reply #124 on: April 09, 2020, 03:26:56 pm »
 WTF!!! Man, if you guys are gonna keep making such awesome hacks for MESEN, they are gonna have to make MESEN compatible with PSP...  ;D
Insert "Witty Text" here.

KickMeElmo

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Re: NES Metroid HD Pack
« Reply #125 on: July 15, 2020, 06:24:28 pm »
Currently the pack only supports exactly one hash without manual modification, that of the US version with an iNES header. I'd like to request you expand that as follows:

<patch>mmm.ips,ecf39ec5a33e6a6f832f03e8ffc61c5d53f4f90b
<patch>mmm.ips,2080059bea4563ffff7535e6c0a0f3bc2f34b194
<patch>mmm.ips,605945dd8746248901ab599272a68cfb6aa1b015
<patch>mmm.ips,cbf1d538621c8db63adfdcf6e4dde54e24dff4e0

In order, that's:
US Metroid, iNES header
US Metroid, NES 2.0 header
US Metroid Virtual Console version, iNES header
US Metroid Virtual Console version, NES 2.0 header

I verified, your patch doesn't touch the minimal regions the VC version changes. This change would support people who keep updated headers as well as those whose only legal recourse was to dump their VC version.

Aclectico

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Re: NES Metroid HD Pack
« Reply #126 on: July 17, 2020, 08:22:40 am »
Interesting - I haven't worked with those variants. When you mentioned your verification efforts, are you saying you played all of those versions to see if they work with that additional information in the hires.txt file? If so, I'd be happy to merge with the master. Below is a new version test with the added information. If you (or anyone else), are able to verify it plays nice with the additional three variants, I can include in the master download link at the start of the thread.

Expanded Compatibility Test: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rhr8rT_XU80vsp84Y45p4L9rewoWx5IK/view?usp=sharing

Thanks for mentioning it!

KickMeElmo

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Re: NES Metroid HD Pack
« Reply #127 on: July 17, 2020, 06:17:51 pm »
When you mentioned your verification efforts, are you saying you played all of those versions to see if they work with that additional information in the hires.txt file?

Well, first things first, on review I did make one mistake. I'll get to that in a moment. That said, I did playtest them, and all of them work fine other than saving (the mistake, but that can be fixed easily). I also did a byte by byte comparison of difference between the pre- and post-patched versions for the normal and VC versions, which verified no modified code changes between them.

Now, on to the headers. That's where the saving issue comes in to play. NES 2.0 is essentially an expanded header with some extra information included. That can be submapper information for some games, which (potentially special) controllers should be emulated by default, and things like the amount of Save RAM the game has. It's pretty uncommon for hacks to add saving, so I spaced that one before. That said, it can easily be fixed by adding the corrected NES 2.0 header to the patch itself. This is the same header Mesen applies in memory to unheadered versions to allow them to play, except it has the Save RAM value increased from 0KiB to 8KiB (the amount required by the patch). I've generated and linked the modified patch myself, though you can verify and regenerate it on your own if you'd prefer. It's just a drop-in replacement and wouldn't functionally affect anything other than fixing saving for the NES 2.0 header base.

Additional information on NES 2.0: https://wiki.nesdev.com/w/index.php/NES_2.0
Patch with NES 2.0 header included: https://kickmeelmo.keybase.pub/ROM%20patches/Other/mmm.ips

Aclectico

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Re: NES Metroid HD Pack
« Reply #128 on: July 18, 2020, 07:57:17 am »
I made an attempt to merge the "mmm.ips" file with the test pack linked in my previous post. Everything seemed to be working fine until I reached the Kraid area (screenshot below). Unfortunately, it appears there is some other compatibility issue with the changes. I'm not sure what the cause may be.

KickMeElmo

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Re: NES Metroid HD Pack
« Reply #129 on: July 18, 2020, 02:17:48 pm »
Strange. I'll look into it, see what I can see. Most likely I failed to account for increased CHRRAM in this hack or something of that sort. For now, it occurs to me that the NES 2.0 header really doesn't serve a purpose for -this- game, so the easiest solution may just be wrapping the iNES header in instead of the NES 2.0 header. Attached a version that does so.

https://kickmeelmo.keybase.pub/ROM%20patches/Other/mmm1.ips
« Last Edit: July 18, 2020, 03:27:46 pm by KickMeElmo »

Aclectico

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Re: NES Metroid HD Pack
« Reply #130 on: July 20, 2020, 08:12:58 am »
Looks like this one doesn't have the Kraid issue that the first try had. It'll need bug testing for the other variants. For now, a test version is below:

Metroid:HD Expanded Compatibility Test 7-20-2020: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UP3sIO8HAOMk1gxT2lHLkyOuelrWm5sa/view?usp=sharing

Spooniest

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Re: NES Metroid HD Pack
« Reply #131 on: February 11, 2021, 07:26:52 pm »
Hey, I saw a video of someone doing a play-through of this on Youtube.

... Are you still around, or still working on it?

In my opinion it seems about 95% done, but I feel like:

- The volume levels of the music need adjusting; they don't match.
. - In particular, the Item Get Jingle needs to be pitch shifted up a bit to the "Middle C" defined by the background music.
- Samus' run cycle needs some work. It looks a little stiff.

Other than that, this is just phenomenal. With a couple more tweaks I feel like it could be spot-on.

Sorry for the 7 month old necropost.
Yamero~~!

lexluthermiester

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Re: NES Metroid HD Pack
« Reply #132 on: February 12, 2021, 12:22:54 am »
Hey, I saw a video of someone doing a play-through of this on Youtube.

... Are you still around, or still working on it?

In my opinion it seems about 95% done, but I feel like:

- The volume levels of the music need adjusting; they don't match.
. - In particular, the Item Get Jingle needs to be pitch shifted up a bit to the "Middle C" defined by the background music.
- Samus' run cycle needs some work. It looks a little stiff.

Other than that, this is just phenomenal. With a couple more tweaks I feel like it could be spot-on.
I'm going to echo the sentiments expressed by Spooniest and add that the volume levels of all the game music could do with a slight adjustment to raise them just one notch.

Sorry for the 7 month old necropost.
No worries!

Spooniest

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Re: NES Metroid HD Pack
« Reply #133 on: February 12, 2021, 01:20:57 pm »
RE: The Run Cycle

Her foot is never extended outward. That frame needs to be in there, is all.
Yamero~~!

Aclectico

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Re: NES Metroid HD Pack
« Reply #134 on: February 13, 2021, 12:01:57 am »
Hello - I am still working on the project off and on. However, progress has slowed quite a bit. I don't have as much free time as I used to have and the Zelda pack diverted my attention for a while.

With that said, I do have a new version of the pack that contains a few updated features. It should be ready for posting soon.

A video detailing some of the new features is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vo5e4nF1zBs

With regard to comments on the Sound - I gather there are two issues:

1. The pitch of the item jingle
2. The level of sound overall

For the pitch, I actually increased the speed of the item jingle in Audacity and tried my best to compensate by adjusting the pitch back to normal (but, maybe I didn't do a great job here). If someone that is more well-versed in sound and music is able to generate a better sounding jingle - I would be happy to consider it for merging with the master pack.

When it comes to the level of the sound - It's something that has bothered me with all Mesen packs. In short, whenever custom sound and music is inserted via a Mesen HD pack, the sound is always really soft. I can compensate a bit by increasing the loudness of the .ogg files. However, I can only go so far as I sometimes run into clipping issues. If there is a particular sound or music file that users feel strongly needs to be adjusted, I would be happy to consider it.

With regard to the run - below is the most recent version:



I agree that the legs should ideally extend outward a little more. Perhaps this would make it feel less stiff. However, I'm hoping the picture above helps illustrate some of the constraints. Basically, the running animation needs to stay within the boundaries of the pink boxes. In addition, the running frames also need to stitch together with all of the various poses (shooting, aiming up, etc.) I did have a discussion with Sour some time ago about extending artwork beyond replacement boxes to allow for maximum creative freedom. However, when I last checked, Sour halted all future development on Mesen. As a result, the current animation represents my best efforts given the constraints in place.

I don't really have plans to take on adjustments to running at this point as any changes would probably result in a hefty amount of work (there are quite a few files that would need to be changed). I learned a lot after this pack and the Zelda pack were completed. As a result, if I had to do it all over, I would do things very differently to make future changes and maintenance easier. With that said, I would probably be willing to take on some smaller changes at this point if they improve the user experience (like sound modification :)).
« Last Edit: February 13, 2021, 10:34:33 am by Aclectico »

Spooniest

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Re: NES Metroid HD Pack
« Reply #135 on: February 13, 2021, 10:45:45 pm »
If someone that is more well-versed in sound and music is able to generate a better sounding jingle

 ::) So what you're saying is that I just volunteered eh

... Lemme open my DAW ... sigh

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ry20k0ofwer5cdx/GotAnItemALTSPOONIEST.ogg?dl=0

Please let me know if this is in any way unsuitable.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2021, 11:20:52 pm by Spooniest »
Yamero~~!

Aclectico

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Re: NES Metroid HD Pack
« Reply #136 on: February 14, 2021, 08:34:25 am »
::) So what you're saying is that I just volunteered eh

... Lemme open my DAW ... sigh

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ry20k0ofwer5cdx/GotAnItemALTSPOONIEST.ogg?dl=0

Please let me know if this is in any way unsuitable.

Thanks. I have some of the files below for comparison.

Unaltered Super Metroid Item Jingle (this can't be used because it runs for too long - but it should be helpful as a reference point):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1t4Teh-keprI1ErN5AS0XON8UL8MIOIs9/view?usp=sharing

Current Item Jingle Used for Metroid: HD:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pr2J6VyT1UzuoKGC9a4xWn2vBtxyD88X/view?usp=sharing

Altered Pitch Version - Spooniest:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/19_X8AMq8TeXJ00qLd09PPgUYwMZttT_p/view?usp=sharing

With regard to pitch - It's hard to tell because the last two need to be sped up to fit the length of time that an Item Jingle plays for the Original Metroid. With that said, I kind of think the current file used in Metroid: HD is a closer match to Super Metroid (assuming Super Metroid is the target that should be mimicked). With that said, I'm curious to know if anyone else has strong feelings on it. Unfortunately, the files are operating in a constrained slot to fit in the Item Jingle timeframe allowed for the original Metroid. So, by definition, it's never going to match perfectly. Maybe that's okay???

When it comes to the volume - Adjusting the volume to more closely match the Spooniest version may be okay. But, I'll need to inject it in the actual pack and play for a bit to see what I think. More to come there...

« Last Edit: February 14, 2021, 08:45:03 am by Aclectico »

Spooniest

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Re: NES Metroid HD Pack
« Reply #137 on: February 14, 2021, 12:03:07 pm »
It isn't that I was concerned about it matching the pitch of the audio in Super Metroid and I did understand that it was shortened to fit inside the frame window the NES plays the jingle in.

What bothered me is that it doesn't match the pitch of "Brinstar.ogg," which if I'm not mistaken is taken from Metroid Zero Mission.

Here, I'll demonstrate.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qj6os6fi1tu5897/GotAnItem-BrinstarOFFPITCH.mp3?dl=0

 ^ This is the GotItem Jingle (converted to mp3) as it appears in the current version (1.4). Its pitch doesn't match "Brinstar," which I've keyed a short sample of to play afterwards.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8vd6dptj98zfy2w/GotAnItem%2BBrinstarOnPitch.mp3?dl=0

 ^ And here is the adjusted GotAnItem.ogg (converted to mp3), along with the same Brinstar Sample.

See, in the NES game, these two pieces of music use the same set of pitches... to have one now be about 72 decimal points flat from the other just bugged me...



...So I raised it up.

I found no other problems with the audio, other than that it was generally too quiet compared to the SFX, with the exception of the GotItemJingle, which, like the SFX, (mostly) is taken from Super Metroid.

I did also reduce the volume of the GetItem Jingle, in my .ogg file I posted. Here is what they look like next to each other in my DAW:



I didn't alter the timing of it; just the pitch and the volume...I also did adjust the equalization of it, to make it a bit less bassy, with some more high-midrange, to match the GBA audio better.


Like this.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2021, 12:25:30 pm by Spooniest »
Yamero~~!

Aclectico

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Re: NES Metroid HD Pack
« Reply #138 on: February 14, 2021, 12:30:06 pm »
Ah - I think I see now. I didn't really look at it from that perspective and that's not something I would ever give much thought to without outside input. It's funny how different people pick up on different things.

I suppose that's the problem of mixing and matching music from all kinds of different sources. But, since I'm not a music composer, I don't have the skillset to make a soundtrack and sound effects from scratch. Most of my experience is in the Graphic Design area. All I know with my limited knowledge is that I really like the music in Super Metroid (as most users of the pack can probably tell) :)

This may be a silly question, but what do you think about the fact that music from other sources may then conflict with the adjusted Item Jingle? For example, the Kraid layer music?? Maybe it's less of an issue for the other locations...

Spooniest

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Re: NES Metroid HD Pack
« Reply #139 on: February 14, 2021, 12:32:38 pm »
Good question, and I have the answer

Got Item is not in the same key as those pieces of music, but it is in a (relative) key to Brinstar. So I don't think the difference in pitch would be as jarring, interrupting those other pieces of music, since they are not in the same key as Brinstar's Theme.

Got Item plays fast and loose with its key signature a bit. It ends by modulating to D Major, which is the "Five" Chord of G. Brinstar is in G. So it's like Got Item is "dropping" you back into the Brinstar theme.

Edit: I will demonstrate on my guitar, which, while in horrible condition and totally off pitch, will I hope make the point clear:

https://youtu.be/8pkiFTsub2g

D...(rest)... G.

Edit II: This is kind of wild speculation, but if I were to take a guess, "Brinstar" is the 1st level theme you hear when you start a new game of Metroid. It is meant to feel like 'home' to Samus (or the Player). And Item Get, when you hear it again in a 'strange' location, hearkens back to the Brinstar Theme, to give you a little rush of endorphin, like "Ah, home again" for just a second.

Like I said, wild speculation, and it could be that these two pieces of music and the "Beam Down" theme were simply done before the other areas were even in the game. We'll probably never know, cuz, well, RIP Gumpei Yokoi, and all that...
« Last Edit: February 14, 2021, 12:58:09 pm by Spooniest »
Yamero~~!