(NES) Total Conversion Hack Castlevania 3: Aperture of Corruption

Started by Toffi, December 08, 2020, 11:20:05 PM

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Welcome back to another round of AoC's monthly updates:
Happy 2022 guys! Let's cover all of the advancements made over December.
Quncy's time to shine folks, he's one of the last test build characters to get their form and has had some of the largest changes of any character on our current roster. So lets take a trip down development lane and see the AoC dev pipeline from art to sprite.

Back when we were connecting lore pieces together, the 4th character slot was given to a original charter named Ezekiel. That way we could have 2 recurring hero's in the forms of Sonia and Germain and 2 new ones with Claudia and Ezekiel. The idea to use Quincy Morris really fell into place with the concept of using a spear as the weapon of choice. Later that idea was refined into using the Alucard Spear and John Morris' father Quincy.

After the main idea was outlined a concept sprite was pulled together, we started gathering up features of the Bloodlines sprites like the short 'brown' hair and facial structure to establish a familial bond between those slick sprites Genesis, and older NES ones.

However we ran into a big problem, Grant's bank wasn't designed for a clunky spear and the CHR bank just couldn't pull off climbing and the spear wielding at once, we would need massive ASM mods to pull something off with the space CV3 gave us. Ultimately it was decided that we had to scrap either the spear, or the hacked character. In short the weapon had to go. This December, our wonderful sprite artist Ontar helped outfit a new design that uses a much smaller iron claw inspired by the Bagh Nakhya (tiger paw) which existed since the 1200's.

With this in mind, AoC team is diligently working on more frames to help get this last character onto the roster.
To finish off here's a few alternant designs that eventually evolved into Quincy's current design.

Thanks for joining in for another round of updates, with the advent of a new year come a ton of new opportunities and goals, I want to thank each and every one of you for an awesome 2021. Here's to another year of progress!


Just my two cents, but I would have gone with a bowie knife for Quincy.
And a rifle for a sub-weapon if possible.

I just always think of the movie version of him when he comes up.


Insert "Witty Text" here.

Ok Impala!

Quote from: Toffi on December 30, 2021, 04:21:45 PM
Hello nek10,
From a professional standpoint, the turn around time from project creation to completion can be as little as a year. In todays day and age, many people expect to see games come out as soon as they are announced; which is why most professional studios keep their projects well hidden until late in development.
As an independent dev team, things work a little bit differently.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when estimating the time of AoC's completion:

1. The original Castlevania 3 took 3 years to complete with a masterful team, full pay, and the proper equipment.

2. Many tools the original team had (like the games MMC5 music implementer) have been lost to time. Our little team of Forgemaster's has to rebuild all of those tools from scratch. Many of us are not as experienced with the hardware as the original team was, so our work takes much more time.

3. Despite the fact we have fully mapped the games ROM and RAM addresses; every mod we produce has the capability of crashing the game entirely. Introducing new features also means combating new bugs, which takes time without a ton of extra ASM help.

4. None of us are paid for our work on this project, we rely on our volunteer work to help make AoC a reality. The CV3 team used almost every day of those 3 years to build up what many consider to be one of the best games on the system. AoC team only has vacation days, weekends, and any other free time we can spare. This is why were constantly looking for new Forgemaster's, every day counts.

Even 4 years of dedicated work can be considered optimistic by some. The teams come quite a ways since the games consumption a year ago. In that time we've done a whole lot, and I hope we can do a whole lot more in the years to come. With projects like this, endurance is key.

Keeping the spirit of AoC alive for 4 or more years is no easy feat, which is why its wonderful to see the support here on RHDN.
Thank you all for giving us the strength to keep moving forward!
Have a Happy New Year guys! :thumbsup:

I can relate to that. The most important thing is to keep having fun making your dream game. And take all the time you need to make it just like you dreamed of. For Epic Racers that turned out to be 17 years, but I am improving. Zelda II - Amida's Curse "only" took 18 months.  ;)

Looking great Toffi, I'll keep an eye on this project! Step by step, and one day we'll all enjoy the fruits of that labor!  :)


this game is turning out to be amazing, congratulations to the team :thumbsup:


This is looking really cool, can't wait to see more progress. :D


Can't wait to fight new bosses and levels with this new story please keep up the good work  :beer:


Here's to another round of AoC monthly updates!
February's finally here folks! Time for a little progress report.
Let's take a peak behind the curtain to see how things are going.

We finally have some clock tower progress to show. This forgotten Transylvanian clock tower has been overtaken by vines and forgotten to time. Well mostly, after almost 400 years of dormancy the army's of the night have arisen again and have since claimed the tower as their own. Under the influence of Dracula's Curse, the team's scientist Claudia has taken residence in the tower. Using it as a lab and partially docking bay for Dracula's airship armada.

Say hello to AoC's brand new, sweet looking HUD. Thanks goes out to Trax for their dedication and preservice over months of ASM editing. Suffice to say the effort absolutely shows here.

Lastly, we finally cracked CV3's text code! It's been a year, but we finally have the ASM in place to give us the freedom to start experimenting with the intro, credits sequence, and character cutscenes.
So expect to here more from us soon.

Thanks again for supporting the project here on RHDN!




I'm watching this thread for a good while and decided to stop by to say you're doing an amazing work. You are a really talented person and know how 8-bit graphics work. You take advantage of the color palet in a clever way it makes the visuals a marvel to look at, congrats.



Who's ready for another round of AoC's monthly update post?
I know I am!

March has arrived and spring is on its way. We've made some major breakthroughs using the recent .tbl rip, and are starting to make some text related changes to the original CV3 ROM. Here's what we have so far:

First up we have the title screen, which has been slowly becoming better and better as the project continues. Recently the team has added extra altered text where the begin and password buttons used to be.

Next we have the completely remodeled password screen, which has been drastically changed as well. One major design challenge the team faced here was that were stuck with the current name table. So without ASM modifications all CHR modifications are stuck in place. So instead of hassling over making a new screen while fitting their older placements, we decided to upgrade the graphics within the confines of their setting and theme. (an overgrown wall) and added in some new pallets for some extra spice.

Also, the intro crawl has finally gotten its time to shine. While the graphics for the intro have yet to be completed, the text has been updated to match the new story. Again, since name tables for everything outside of levels is completely locked without ASM were mostly sticking to upgrading and modifying original.

Finally to end this round of updates, we have a few experimental tiles. The team is getting ready to convert its next level: 'Mad Forest' so stay tuned for future updates.

Reply section:

Hi Ardiloso. Thanks for your complements on AoC! The ForgeMaster development team has done a massive amount of work when it comes to sprites, backgrounds, music, programming and much more. It means a lot to see people really enjoying this project.

Don't worry about anyone abandoning AoC drax01. Progress has been flowing steadily and new content is trickling in almost every month. Everything's been set up so that we can continue to post progress on AoC in both hot periods (where forgemasters have free time to volunteer) and cold periods (times which a team member is busy with real life work).


Dude it keeps looking better and better every time i check up on this game keep it up can't wait to play the full game  :beer:


It's a great job, I've been following this blog like when you watch a TV series waiting for the next chapter and it never ends. Congratulations. Excuse the English, it is not my language and I am using a translator.


what is the percentage of completion of the game so far? Will it be released this year? :laugh:


Spring is here! The birds are singing, flower's are blooming, and plants are growing. With Easter just around the corner, lets hop into AoC's month development blog.

For starters we entering the end game for our first ASM modded boss, The Crimson Fool. This devilish clown appears in the carnival stage in his own private dressing room.

=An early excerpt from the games manual=
The mysterious magician Saint Germain is the headmaster for a traveling circus. On its way through Transylvania, forces of the night capture the circus members caravan and bring them to CastleVania. Upon arrival; Dracula orders to see the party's leader. Once locating Germain he gives a simple, yet horrifying ultimatum. Join forces, or perish. So with no other options Germain chooses to join forces with Dracula, shaking the demon lord's hand in defeat. To which Dracula recoils in laughter, subsequently Dracula's Curse takes hold and all in agreement transform into mindless monsters. Those unwilling souls remaining are consumed by their family and friends. Now under Dracula's control, this haunted circus sets up shop in Transylvania, preparing for an everlasting show.

The main inspiration for Germain's curse form, comes from machiavellian attire of Edgar Allen Poes "The Masque of the Red Death".

Over time this concept evolved into the Fool's Tarrot card. It fit the character's personality (spontaneous and fluid) and their situation as the inverse is a person who has fallen into a state of poverty and deprivation. It also fit's what Dracula sees Germain as, a personal entertainer who was foolish enough to take his offer of eternal torment over a quick and panful death.

Alrighty, enough lore talk, onto the sprites!

Cv3 actually gave us the opportunity to sprite overlay for this boss, which really helped sell the evil jester look. For those unfamiliar, on rare occasions NES devs a special technique that helped them expand the NES's active color range from 3 colors per sprite to 6. This was accomplished by using sprite overlay's, where one sprite is layered on top of another. In order to use all six colors holes are inserted into the overlay to show the colors of the sprite beneath it. In combination these two sprites can make a 6 colored image (in this case were limited to 5, as CV3's 2 master color sets are in effect.)

Next up on our list is the 2nd stage in our game the Wallachian Necropolis, based off of the irl Necropolis rail line that took the dead on an underground train ride which connected the dense city to massive external grave-yards. Here's some of our current test versions of the stage, in which we explore the underground rail line (extended from the previous stage), the massive grave yard where the mad forest once resided, and a memorial chapel(soon to come)

Reply section:
Thanks for the kind word's Arcade-Elite :D we cant wait to get this ready for playable testing.

I read you loud and clear Drax01! Hopefully thing continue to get better and better as we gain a greater mastery over the engine.

Hi Flavio, AoC's been in the works for about a year now. As for percentage of completion I would say were roughly at the 25% completion mark, however adding in new features and stages may increase the time it takes for things to be complete. I would check out Reply #178 of this thread for more details on the proposed timeframe.

Currently our biggest roadblock to a public WIP release is music and sfx, while the sound engine is primed and ready it STILL needs time to develop the games soundtrack and jump CV3's unique hurdles. At the moment certain effects get still corrupted, including DCPM, so to give you guys the best the ForgeMaster's can offer were holding off until we can get music implemented.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

Ok Impala!


The recent screens look badass, I  really dig 'em.

This is gonna be so cool to play through when it's done.  :beer: :thumbsup:


this game will be the best castlevania 8 bit without a doubt, it's getting very beautiful :laugh: