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Author Topic: Castlevania recolored, Castlevania reskinned  (Read 1805 times)

kya

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Castlevania recolored, Castlevania reskinned
« on: June 26, 2019, 04:02:10 am »
TLDR: some comparison videos:

Castlevania HD vs Castlevania SD:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FpPOVJpC-s
Castlevania SD vs Castlevania 30th anniversary:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plRie4VpRyc
Castlevania VK vs original Castlevania:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCgq5aRYCzo

It is common that a successfull game gets ported for a multitude of platforms. In such a case people sometimes start dreaming of an ultimate port, combining the best aspects of various releases of the game.

This is exactly my case with Castlevania. My acquaintance with the series began at our school's computer classrom when I was in a second grade of primary school. Alas, I don't remember the exact date. I can only say it was snowing outside, but this could've been anywhere from October 1987 to April 1988.

Well, memories aside, the point is that the game I saw was not Castlevania. It was Vampire Killer for the MSX computer. Ever since I saw the NES Castlevania later, I considered it graphically inferior to Vampire Killer, and dreamed of a port merging Vampire Killer graphics with Castlevania gameplay and smooth scrolling.

In 2004 I've grabbed the demo of Castlevania for mobile phones from Konami website, and saw my favorite game redone with even better graphics. Some years later I've learned that there were 3 generations of mobile Castlevania. Generation I had NES graphics, while generation II and III contained mostly original imagery never used in any other Castlevania game. This made me alter my initial plan, and brought to life a host of various "skins" for Castlevania, presented below.

In order to use these skins you have to

1. Download the latest Mesen emulator (0.9.6 and up) from

http://www.mesen.ca

2. Load your Castlevania NES ROM into it.

3. Install this HD Pack using Mesen's Utilities->Install HD Pack menu option.

Both PRG0 and PRG1 versions of a US Castlevania ROM are supported, along with a ROM version of Akumajou Dracula, released for a Famicom (Japanese NES) in 1993. That specific version of Castlevania is notable for its "Easy" mode. To activate it press SELECT, then START while in title screen. I heavily recommend using this mode, if you are not a Castlevania professional.


Now, choose your Simon...


1. Castlevania SD


https://yadi.sk/d/Zxo8mN03XrZPiQ

This is an update for a "Castlevania 30th anniversary" emulator mod released 2 years ago.
https://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=24125.0
Now in a form of an "SD" pack for Mesen. No more custom hacked Nestopia. No more downsized or recolored tiles. Almost every image is taken from the generation II mobile Castlevania. The only exceptions are:
- Opening and ending sequence and the map were never made for gen.2, as far as I know. Thus, they are taken from the mobile phone Castlevania generation III.
- Clock tower background is from my "Castlevania 30th anniversary" mod, as it was also omitted from mobile port.
- The gallery in stage 15 contains pictures, not just empty frames (That's my issue, being used to Vampire Killer, I was quite disappointed to see empty frames, when I first reached stage 15 in Castlevania).

The music is replaced as well. Ogg track sources are indicated in their respective tags. Mostly they are fan remixes:
- Stage 1-17 themes are by Jorge Fuentes
- Stage 18, boss fight, stage clear, and final themes are by Skeletroy
- Intro theme is by themusicprophet003
- Game over and player miss themes are by KONAMI


2. Castlevania HD


https://yadi.sk/d/FBCM-qr2PPzLzw

This is a minor update for a "Castlevania HD pack" released last year.
https://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=26114
In this pack most of the images are taken from the generation III mobile Castlevania.
Here's what's new in this update:
- Support for a music replacement in both revisions of the US Castlevania and in a japanese Akumajou Dracula Famicom ROM.
- New intro (if Akumajou Dracula Famicom ROM is loaded) and title screen by Aclectico. Less "true-to-the-original" mobile release, but much more impressive.
- New clock tower scene background in stage 18.
- Updated Bat sprite for stage 16. Now uses a "symmetric" sprite from an earlier generation III release of Castlevania mobile. The bats no longer attack Simon with their backs.
- Updated Game Over screen (taken from the earlier generation III release as well).
- New (but barely visible) background for stages 1 and 3.
- And some minor changes to the music tracks


3. Castlevania VK


https://yadi.sk/d/uqyv-B0N-_ty0A

This is a Castlevania MSX nostalgia edition :)
My childhood dream mocked up.

The graphics are from Vampire Killer by KONAMI, released for the MSX2 computer in 1986. Technically it's 16 colors out of 512 (MegaDrive/TG16 palette) on screen at once. Extra graphics are taken from a Vampire Killer to Castlevania IPS patch by IMANOK and M.PAZOS. Unlike this pitiful effort their work can be enjoyed on the real hardware. Check it out at:
https://vk2cv.msxcartridgeshop.com/

The soundtrack is arranged for SCC (Konami sound custom chip for the MSX, similar to their VRC6 for the Famicom) by Jan Van Valburg. Unlike this measly mockup you can play Vampire Killer with his music on the original MSX2. Be sure to grab his patch at:
https://bitbucket.org/jan11011977/vkiller_scc/src/default/

« Last Edit: July 09, 2019, 04:16:52 am by kya »

Aclectico

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Re: Castlevania recolored, Castlevania reskinned
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2019, 06:08:58 am »
Great to see this pack has even more improvements and enhancements now. I also love the options - there really should be something for everyone. Great work  :thumbsup:

Vanya

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Re: Castlevania recolored, Castlevania reskinned
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2019, 03:07:12 pm »
Righteous!
Nice to see this project get even grander.

darthvaderx

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Re: Castlevania recolored, Castlevania reskinned
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2019, 06:11:47 pm »
Wonderful, great work!!!

But for Castlevania SD, it could also provide the old title screen as an option as they did in HD?



Thanks.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2019, 06:20:36 pm by darthvaderx »

kya

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Re: Castlevania recolored, Castlevania reskinned
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2019, 04:46:21 am »
Unbelievable!
Someone wants my ugly recolored tiles back... :)
Okay, I have copied the HD behavior: US Castlevania shows the old title screen, Akumajou Dracula shows the new true-to-mobile one.

The updated pack is here:
https://yadi.sk/d/Zxo8mN03XrZPiQ

darthvaderx

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Re: Castlevania recolored, Castlevania reskinned
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2019, 08:16:26 am »
Thanks again.  :thumbsup:

Badseed

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Re: Castlevania recolored, Castlevania reskinned
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2019, 09:14:18 am »
Good stuff!!
"Now is the happening of Plan B!! Time for max-strength spray! Your brains will be washed with 99.9% effectiveness!"

4ph

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Re: Castlevania recolored, Castlevania reskinned
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2019, 06:49:31 am »
Unbelievable!
Someone wants my ugly recolored tiles back... :)
Okay, I have copied the HD behavior: US Castlevania shows the old title screen, Akumajou Dracula shows the new true-to-mobile one.

The updated pack is here:
https://yadi.sk/d/Zxo8mN03XrZPiQ

Beautiful work!  :thumbsup:
I can imagine for a moment how "Zelda II" could look with your work. ::)

kya

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Re: Castlevania recolored, Castlevania reskinned
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2019, 02:22:28 am »
Quote
Beautiful work!

Glad you like it.

Quote
I can imagine for a moment how "Zelda II" could look with your work.

I can fuel your imagination :)

Zelda II reskin project was started by some other person a few years ago, but not finished, unfortunately. Here's a video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DknjUcQ7jaw

4ph

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Re: Castlevania recolored, Castlevania reskinned
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2019, 06:49:01 am »
Thank you for the link.
I know it's a huge job, do you have the idea to work on "Zelda II" after Castlevania?

kya

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Re: Castlevania recolored, Castlevania reskinned
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2019, 01:39:53 am »
Quote
I know it's a huge job, do you have the idea to work on "Zelda II" after Castlevania?

Alas, I can not do that, because I can not draw.
Here KONAMI did all the drawing job, that is why I was able to produce these Castlevania skins.

Aceearly1993

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Re: Castlevania recolored, Castlevania reskinned
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2019, 02:20:43 am »
The graphic tiles from 3rd Symbian S60 mobile version are Really cool. Will definitely give other versions a try.
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"Did you know when one's most desperation time is? It's when he was beaten up by someone critically...
And he can't find who caused this."

Aceearly1993

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Re: Castlevania recolored, Castlevania reskinned
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2019, 01:12:50 am »
Hi I recorded video about this 2019 update of graphic enhance mod: https://youtu.be/zBQ4gsF1sWs and want to share some known minor issues within the HD pack.



- If you lose all lives at the very first zombie hall in stage 1-1 the supposed graphic layer with Dracula will not be visible (overlapped by an additional pure black layer).

- If you stay at the title screen and let the automatic demonstration plays, the player miss music will sometimes incorrectly loop after the demonstration ends.
Quote
"Did you know when one's most desperation time is? It's when he was beaten up by someone critically...
And he can't find who caused this."

Arty

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Re: Castlevania recolored, Castlevania reskinned
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2019, 02:41:37 am »
Alas, I can not do that, because I can not draw.
Here KONAMI did all the drawing job, that is why I was able to produce these Castlevania skins.

There are custom 16bit Zelda II sprites, though I'm not sure who made them or how easy it would be to use them.

They were made for a completely seperate engine known as Super Mario Bros. X and are available for use, rather directly provided by the engine (link, torches, a single enemy), or through the Community GFX pack (most other gfx that I can think of off the top of my head).

If you want me to, I can organize them into one small collection and send them to you.

They were provided for use by anyone, so I don't think whoever made them would mind.