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Author Topic: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & 3 hacking. Now with TMNT4!  (Read 7473 times)

Ness

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & 3 hacking. Now with TMNT4!
« on: February 09, 2021, 06:28:44 am »
I just released a "Bugfix & Polish" hack of TMNT2 for NES, as well as hacks that lets the player switch the turtle they're playing by pressing Select for both TMNT2 and 3.

The TMNT2 bugfix hack already has 100 downloads in less than a day, so if the download counters are reliable (bots?), I thought some people might be interested in further details.

Links for reference:

TMNT2 Bugfix & Polish: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/5722/
TMNT2 Turtle Swap: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/5723/
TMNT3 Turle Swap: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/5725/
TMNT4 run with L/R: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/5812/
TMNT4 Balance Tweaks: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/5820/

I know that TMNT3 already had two hacks that let players switch turtles, and credits go to them for doing it first, but they didn't change the palette nor the face/name on the hud, and considering that each turtle has different attributes (attack range, attack speed, etc) I thought it would be important to make a full character swap. My version also lets both players pick the same turtle if they want to.

___________
As a side note, I also added some unused graphics on TMNT2's TCRF page and made these:
TMNT2 (uncomplete) RAM map:
http://www.romhacking.net/documents/834/

TMNT3 character FAQ:
https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/nes/563469-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-iii-the-manhattan-project/faqs/79064

TMNT4 Character FAQ:
https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/snes/588779-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-iv-turtles-in-time/faqs/79134

TMNT THH Character FAQ:
https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/genesis/563348-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-the-hyperstone-heist/faqs/79141
___________

Anyway - the meat of this is the bugfix hack for TMNT2.
I played this game a lot and I always felt that something was "off" about it but I could never put my finger on what it was, until I actually took the time to look at the game in details... turns out that a LOT of small things were off, mostly graphical issues with sprites: wrong tiles being used, tiles being misplaced, missing tiles, etc
My gut feeling tells me that development of the game ended before they had time to finish their bugfix & polish pass, the two mains clues to support this theory are the Footsoldiers, and the palette flickering for enemies. It's also worth noting that a tiny bit more polish was done in the Jap version, but even then not a lot and there were even mistakes in what was "polished" in that version.

Footsoldiers:
Here is how it works: each different type of Footsoldier uses two sprite banks: one of those sprite banks (# 29, which goes from 04A410 to 04A800 if you want to look in YYCHR, you need to use FC/NES x16 pattern) is shared between all Footsoldiers and contains tiles which they all have in common: dmg'd frame, defeated frame, explosion, but also feet. Then, each Footsoldier variant also uses its own specific sprite bank on top of that. For instance, the "basic" purple Footsoldier, first one you encounter in the game uses bank #28 (04A010 to 04A400).

A polish pass on those footsoldiers was started by the devs of the game, but never finished, so some Footsoldiers used "final" tiles, but others used "beta" tiles. Most of the enemies in the first stage had that polish pass (basic purple Foot, knife throwing Foot, star throwing Foot), and most of the others didn't.
Now, the sprite bank that is shared between all Footsoldiers did get the polish pass, which is where the most obvious looking issues came from: indeed that bank has the feet for everyone, so in other words, most Footsoldiers used polished feet in combination with beta tiles for the rest of their bodies. This resulted in obvious discrepencies in the leg/knees areas. Here is an example, the gif compares the original game with the polish that I did:



In this case, the polish consisted in taking the polished tiles from the polished Foots and simplying copy-pasting onto the non-polished ones, because in a lot of cases there are a lot of tiles that are identical even in the non shared banks, indeed this Foot behaves mostly like the regular one, just with one less move, and the only reason it uses another bank is because they need the space to put the objects the player can interact with (the parking meter in this case).
However, in a lot of cases (gun Foot, spear Foot, hammer Foot, etc) some extra work was needed even after replacing the beta tiles.

As a side-note, here is an interesting case with the Katana Foot, check the section about him on TCRF:
https://tcrf.net/Teenage_Mutant_Ninja_Turtles_II:_The_Arcade_Game#Katana_Foot_Soldier

The NTSC-U version uses polished tiles, but has the missing sword bit.
The Japanese version is not missing the sword bit, but uses beta tiles.

The interesting thing is that the Japanese version came out later. What I think happened: for the NTSC-U version, someone updated the Kanata's tiles to the polished version by copy-pasting the polished tiles in his bank, which erased the sword bit (indeed, the two sprites are identical except for that sword bit which is easy to miss). Then, the person who did the extra polish for the Japanese version wanted to fix that missing sword bit, so he reverted to the previous tiles, and thus gave him back his beta tiles in the process... of course it's also possible that the devs had two builds even before the NTSC-U release, and that the Kanata Foot was updated in the NTSC-U version and not in the Jap one, but considering the Jap version has some other extra fixes and features, I think my theory holds.
Now, the best part in all that, is that either version isn't completely proper. On TCRF, in the first frame notice the empty space above the backleg but also the wrong knee and shadow on that same leg in the second frame. That was an error with the sprite definition, some sprites of the upper body were offset 1 pixel too much to the left. This is actually the case for a couple of other Foot variants, so my theory is those definitions were fine for the complete beta Foot (which we don't know what they look like since we don't have the beta feet), and weren't updated even in the cases were the sprites were.
Anyway, I made a version of the Kanata guy that uses the polished tiles for everything, has the sword bit, but also fixes those offset sprites. I also did a small pixel fix on the shape of the kanata near the handle on one of the frames.

As I said, the second thing that tells me the game started having a polish pass which was never completed, is the palette flickering for bosses (and some enemies) when they get hit and are low on HP.
For about half of those bosses, the palette flickering behaves like this: PAL 3 -> PAL 2 -> PAL 3 -> PAL 2
But for the other halfs and all the enemies that have the flickering: PAL 3 -> PAL 2 -> PAL 3 -> PAL 1
Pal 3 is the enemies original palette, pal 2 is the red/orange palette, and pal 1 is the 2nd player's palette, which is where things look wrong. Indeed that palette not only looks terrible on enemies, but the colours also differs depending on which turtle the 2nd player has selected.
Here is a comparison, PAL1 on the left (notice that it matches Donatello), PAL2 on the right:



The point is, the fact that some bosses had the fixed pal cycle and some didn't, is the clue that the polish pass wasn't finished. It's also worth noting that not all enemies use the same code for this, some simply AND or EOR the value, some load the pal slot number from a small bank (which isn't always the same bank for all enemies due to different PRG banks, even though they could have fit those 4 bytes in the main PRG bank that is active at all time but let's not nitpick too much).

I'll spare you a copy-pasting of the long list of fixes and polish I did, you can find it in the readme. I also included a bunch of screenshots and gifs, here is one of the first and most obvious I did (top= original, bottom = fixed):



Last thing I'd like to share is that there is a bit of un-used content in the rom that afaik wasn't known about (it's not on TCRF at least), one I found completely by accident: I was working on the continue screen in order to add the missing sound (the title screen has a second when you go from one option to the other, but the continue screen didn't). I wanted to verify that the turtle face used as a cursor was indeed a sprite, I saw the number 74 in the RAM addresses for frame numbers, replaced that by 75 just to see if it would do something to the face... and suddenly the face was grinning at me. Obviously this is meant to happen when you press A/Start to select something so I added it in:



I found at least one other piece of un-used content that I'd like to share, but I need to present it properly and also check if there is more un-used stuff in there.

Thanks to SCD and rainponcho for their "Revamped" hack of TMNT2. I didn't use anything from their hack (everything we have in common but both took from the Jap version), but I did look at how they handled the Bebop defeated frame which in a way helped me a bit (even though I went for a completely different solution). My bugfix&polish hack is also compatible with Revamped, so if you want the extras from Revamped and these fixes, you can apply bugfix&polish onto Revamped.
Thanks to to Anonymous (?) and Ilya Indigo for their "weapons select" hacks for TMNT3. Again I didn't use anything from them but they deserve the credit for doing it first.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2021, 03:05:41 pm by Ness »

ExL

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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & 3 hacking
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2021, 09:58:41 am »
You've done a lot of work :thumbsup: Only thing I can think of what could be done more is changing foot ninja palettes to match arcade and make Stockman's mousers red instead of blue. Ninjas in arcade was: regular, spear, helicopter, car, bike, misc. throwing stuff - purple; katana, knife throwing - white; boomerang - yellow; shuriken, gun, fan - orange; hammer - pink. Well, where it's possible, regular ones and shuriken throwing are merged in NES version...
Heli like this would be great:

Ness

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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & 3 hacking
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2021, 11:22:59 am »
Hey, thanks!

Quote
misc. throwing stuff - purple

I had a look at some of those. Some alt-pal Foots really have no reason to be alt-pal, except that the reason is the objects which are around: either what they're throwing, or objects which the player can interact with (the street cones in the parking stage, or the rockets in the sewers). The issue is, if you change the palette, it changes both the Foot and those objects, and purple would not look good for street cones (although it may work for the rockets perhaps?).

I thought there might be solution: instead of having the objects use the same PAL slot as the enemies, have them use pal slot 2, the red/orange PAL used for weapons/explosions etc, then you could change the enemy's PAL without affecting the objects. However, the colours in pal slot 2 can't be changed either. I did some tests and while some objects like the street cones were passable (at best) with it, others looked awful; and I thought it was a case where I should either change it all or do nothing.

Quote
regular ones and shuriken throwing are merged in NES version...

I haven't looked at the code that swaps pal values, so maybe that's what you mean; but otherwise the Shuriken throwing Foot use a different sprite bank than the regular Foot; either way I think it should be possible to change their PAL values.

As for the rest, I personally don't mind that some things differ from the arcade version. For one thing, I'm not a fan of the arcade version, but more importantly than my opinion, I know that some players really don't like arbritary pal changes in romhacks. Colour preferences can vary a lot from one person to another. So if I were to do it, it would be an optional side patch.

I'm not completely against the idea though, that Helicopter you mentionned does look terrible in the original game for instance. I did check if I could make the Foot a different PAL than the Heli, in theory you could give pal 2 (red/orange) either to the Heli or the Foot, but you'd have to seperate the Foot into different sprites, thus the whole thing would cost 6 or 7 more 8*16 sprites. The sprite flicker would probably be insane. However, if I move Krang's cutscene sprite and his speech bubble to another bank (they're in the same bank as the Heli), there should be enough space for those new sprites; and I think Krang's cutscene sprites could easily be moved; so maybe it's worth a try.

ifightdragons

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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & 3 hacking
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2021, 11:26:44 am »
Tried it out, great work!

G30FF

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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & 3 hacking
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2021, 12:15:10 pm »
So far so good! I plan to put these through their paces soon. I like that the Turtle Swap hacks feel almost seamless in how easily they integrate into the game.

One issue I wanted to raise, regarding the Turtle Swap patch for TMNT III. I am using this patch: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/3468/ It changes a few palettes, and restores Continues to the options menu. If I install Turtle Swap first and then install Minor Fixes, the game crashes on startup. If I install Minor Fixes and then Turtle Swap, the game seems to work, but accessing the Options menu crashes the game. I'm not sure why that would be the case, but I just wanted to mention it.

Ness

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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & 3 hacking
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2021, 01:28:49 pm »
So far so good! I plan to put these through their paces soon. I like that the Turtle Swap hacks feel almost seamless in how easily they integrate into the game.

One issue I wanted to raise, regarding the Turtle Swap patch for TMNT III. I am using this patch: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/3468/ It changes a few palettes, and restores Continues to the options menu. If I install Turtle Swap first and then install Minor Fixes, the game crashes on startup. If I install Minor Fixes and then Turtle Swap, the game seems to work, but accessing the Options menu crashes the game. I'm not sure why that would be the case, but I just wanted to mention it.

Hey thanks for the feedback.
I hadn't thought of checking compatibility with "Minor Fixes". This reports sounds like we both use the same free space for extra code we added, and checking a patchlog confirmed this. I should be able to move code around and make an update to remedy this, but it might become an issue in the future if I add more fixes myself since after my code there is only about 100 free bytes left in the main PRG bank (since the game doesn't update pal values unless new enemy types appear, I opted to write my own routine that updates PAL values to the PPU so it's a bit long).

sics

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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & 3 hacking
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2021, 04:22:24 pm »
I like both hacks a lot, especially the first one, but I'm sorry to have to put aside other available improvements to enjoy your TMNT3.

So if you plan to add new features in the future, it would be great if you consider restoring the Japanese version's options menu and improving it to incorporate the best features.



I know you mentioned that the available space you have to work with is limited, but I'm wondering if you can't reuse the data intended for the Japanese version to work.

Quote
Region Switch
There is a game region switch in both versions of the game. If $FFEF is 00, then the region and language is US/English, and if it is 01, then the region and language is JP/Japanese.

To enable the English mode in the Famicom version, use the Game Genie code AEVNNYPA; to enable the Japanese mode in the NES version, use the code PEVNNYAA.

There are some glitches in each mode. The Japanese mode of the NES version doesn't have Japanese fonts, so all the messages become gibberish instead. The title screen remains the same as the US one, but a number "2" appears on the center of the screen, and the palette changes to the one used in the Famicom version. On the other hand, the English mode of the Famicom version doesn't have the number "2" on the logo, but has a very glitched palette on the Japanese logo. However, all English messages and cutscenes are readable and seem to be the same as in the released NES version.
Source: tcrf.net

Obviously, I understand that my suggestions are too complicated to carry out, but anyway it serves as an excuse to congratulate you on your work, I hope to hear more from you, congratulations! :thumbsup:

PS: It would be great if you restored the Konami logo on the TMNT2 (U)
« Last Edit: February 09, 2021, 04:46:19 pm by sics »
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Ness

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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & 3 hacking
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2021, 09:36:57 am »
One issue I wanted to raise, regarding the Turtle Swap patch for TMNT III. I am using this patch: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/3468/ It changes a few palettes, and restores Continues to the options menu. If I install Turtle Swap first and then install Minor Fixes, the game crashes on startup. If I install Minor Fixes and then Turtle Swap, the game seems to work, but accessing the Options menu crashes the game. I'm not sure why that would be the case, but I just wanted to mention it.

I'm sorry to have to put aside other available improvements to enjoy your TMNT3.

Here is an updated version of the TMNT3 Turtle Swap hack that moves code around so nothing should overlap with the Minor Fixes hack. Would either of you be willing to test the game with both hacks applied to see if it works, before I update the download on this site? Order of patching should not matter I think.

https://www64.zippyshare.com/v/mHWHwfov/file.html

sics

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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & 3 hacking
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2021, 11:54:50 am »
Sorry, I don't know how to say it, but I didn't use that patch, as I prefer "TMNT3 - difficulty levels select" and "TMNT3 Arena".

I would like to emphasize that this is not an excuse, since I plan to create new Spanish translations, based mainly on his work, so I will also spend a lot playing both games, but I have never liked the patch you mention, sorry... :-[
Linktree  | Better a small finished project than a thousand giant ideas stuck in your system.

G30FF

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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & 3 hacking
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2021, 12:38:40 pm »
Here is an updated version of the TMNT3 Turtle Swap hack that moves code around so nothing should overlap with the Minor Fixes hack. Would either of you be willing to test the game with both hacks applied to see if it works, before I update the download on this site? Order of patching should not matter I think.

https://www64.zippyshare.com/v/mHWHwfov/file.html

After a quick test, I can say that after going through the first stage, it seems to work just fine. The changes from Minor Fixes work just fine, and so does the swapping. Thank you for doing this! You've made some excellent patches here!

Ness

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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & 3 hacking
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2021, 03:41:31 am »
TMNT2 - Bugfix & Polish updated to v1.1

The main new additions are:
- some work on the intro cutscene :



I had neglected the intro but turns out it had quite a few issues. For instance Donatello was missing a hand because his sprite bank is full. I drew the hand and exploited the fact that, with the 8*16 sprite system, you can tell sprite frames to fetch tiles from the background bank. The bg bank for the intro had quite a few empty tiles.


- some work on the Foot that kicks door in the first stage. I made the leg and hand area look a bit better during the kicking frame.
I also fixed the garbled sprite that would appear for a split second after the kicking frame:



This one is another interesting glitch. This garbled frame is frame 0E, but frame 0E doesn't exist (anymore?) and the pointer for the definition leads right in the middle of another frame definition, they got (un)lucky there because leading right in the middle of another def could have made things look WAY worse.
I have a theory about what happened here: every Footsoldier frame is designed to look towards the left (and then mirrored for when needed for the other direction). However, the door kicking frame was designed to look towards the right direction to begin with. So, if you add one of the existing walking frames after it, and also because the Foot is coded to walk to the right after the kick, the Footsoldier will look like he's changing direction twice in a split second, and manually telling the game to mirror that frame doesn't work, at least not with a simple code change.
This is why I think frame 0E was actually just one of the walking frames, probably frame 06 or 07, but mirrored. When you have a game that tries so hard to optimize everything, having two definitions for the same frame but mirrored would probably seem dumb to someone so I think that's why it got deleted; and then the job of changing the code so it would use a mirrored frame (which like I said needs more than a few seconds fix) wasn't done.
Of course I could be wrong and it's possible that this was a unique frame that got erased by mistake, but considering for how little time the frame lasts I doubt it.

- added a missing foot on one of the frames used by all Footsoldiers:


 
This frame had bothered me for a while and it finally hit me what was wrong with it. If you look at the shadow, as well as the few pixels of outline that stick out next to the leg, and if you also compare to similar frames for both the Foot and turtles in TMNT3: it becomes pretty obvious that the Foot is missing a foot (ha!). I drew one in and I think it works pretty well, I think having another foot there also makes due to the position of the foot that was already visible.
This feet sprite is used for the walking animation of every Footsoldier, as well as for the punching animation of all Footsoldiers who can punch.

After a quick test, I can say that after going through the first stage, it seems to work just fine. The changes from Minor Fixes work just fine, and so does the swapping. Thank you for doing this! You've made some excellent patches here!

Thanks! I updated TMNT3 - Turtle Swap to v1.1 then so now it should be fully compatible with "Minor Fixes".

Sorry, I don't know how to say it, but I didn't use that patch, as I prefer "TMNT3 - difficulty levels select" and "TMNT3 Arena".

I would like to emphasize that this is not an excuse, since I plan to create new Spanish translations, based mainly on his work, so I will also spend a lot playing both games, but I have never liked the patch you mention, sorry... :-[

My bad, I thought you were talking of the same hack. I can't however make Turtle Swap compatible with every single hack at the same time, the issue being that free space is limited and that every hack uses the same free space to add additional code. Maybe in the future I could make my code smaller (there is a way...) which could make compatibility easier, but even than compatibility may be tough.


As a bonus here is a small FAQ I wrote about TMNT3 which details the different stats of each Turtles as well as some info about bosses:

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/nes/563469-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-iii-the-manhattan-project/faqs/79064

ExL

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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & 3 hacking
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2021, 04:55:09 am »
Looks like you brought that intro cutscene to justice :thumbsup: I got so used to it that couldn't notice it was wrong all the time, but when compared it's obvious.
It's interesting how foot ninja's wrong pose on the second gif could've been used to throw dynamite when coming from around a corner(well, it's garbled, but looking at it brought me to that thought somehow). There was such enemies in arcade right from stage 2. I wonder why they decided to not put those in game?

Ness

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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & 3 hacking
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2021, 05:37:03 am »
Looks like you brought that intro cutscene to justice :thumbsup: I got so used to it that couldn't notice it was wrong all the time, but when compared it's obvious.

The 2nd speech bubble is quite funny. It is made of background tiles, so it replaces whatever background there was, and I suspect that's the only reason why the left bubble is so misplaced. The arrow of the bubble is the same for the two bubbles, and the parts around it are black, meaning the background around the arrow will turn to black as well. I think that's why they placed it near Donatello, so that it's less obvious that building tiles disappear.

The thing is as I said there are quite a few empty tiles left in that bg bank so they could have easily made a copy of the arrow with the building windows as part of the tile, and use that for the left speech bubble, which is exactly what I did.

Splinter is also part of the background and I have no explanation why his left whisker had only a single pixel other than trying to save one tile. Thankfully the tile where I drew the missing whisker was set to the same palette as the rest of Splinter and needed its own definition (sometimes they define several tiles in a row, when the same tile is repeated) so I was able to simply modify it without having to move the entire background definition and rewrite some of it (which is what I had to do for the title screen and ending).

As for the intro, in the next scene I really wish I could fix the palettes of the weapons being wrong, but considering all 4 sprite palette slots are taken I don't think I can do anything about that.

sics

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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & 3 hacking
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2021, 12:49:51 pm »
Quote
My bad, I thought you were talking of the same hack. I can't however make Turtle Swap compatible with every single hack at the same time, the issue being that free space is limited and that every hack uses the same free space to add additional code. Maybe in the future I could make my code smaller (there is a way...) which could make compatibility easier, but even than compatibility may be tough.

Don't worry, I've never requested anything like this, my suggestion about trying to make your own version of the options menu for the TMNT3 was because I think the decisions that the developers of this game made regarding said menu are absurd.

On the other hand, although there are attempts to solve this problem, these patches never feel complete or end up being integrated into the game properly as in the Japanese version.

Being his work with TMNT2 almost like the definitive edition of said game, it did not seem unreasonable to think that he might be interested in doing the same with this sequel :thumbsup:

Regarding the change in the initial kinematics, I think that although this edition is welcome, by moving the dialogue balloon away from Donatello, it causes its outline to be camouflaged in the dark causing it to lose definition, on the other hand, in its edition the visual information important is very compressed in one sector, you should look for alternative ways to correct the "FIRE" dialog.


Note: I have some problems writing in English, so I am not sure if I have expressed myself correctly, sorry if something sounds wrong...
« Last Edit: February 11, 2021, 01:02:34 pm by sics »
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Ness

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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & 3 hacking
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2021, 03:21:17 am »
I have uploaded a (non complete) RAM map of TMNT2 as a txt doc on this site:
http://www.romhacking.net/documents/834/

If someone could copy-paste that on Datacrystal that would be great. I can't seem to log-in myself.

I have also updated the TCRF page of TMNT2 and added 3 unused graphics:
https://tcrf.net/Teenage_Mutant_Ninja_Turtles_II:_The_Arcade_Game#Unused_Graphics

- The grinning Turtle face that I've already mentionned here
- Some mountains graphics, which were probably planned to be in the Technodrome cutscene:



- Some spikey roadblocks which once appeared as part of the roadblock at the end of Scene 4:



This roadblock can be seen in a screenshot in the game's manual. If someone who has the manual could make a higher res scan than the one available at archive.org that'd be great. There may be a couple of other beta material to be seen there, for instance the screenshot of the Technodrome stage shows some detailing on the floor which in the final version only appears on the slanted elevator.
I'd also love to know if the Jap and PAL manuals are any different.

There may be at least be one other tile which is unused but I'm not 100% sure that it is and it's so minor it may not be worth mentionning on TCRF:



The lone "W" there, which looks different than the fonts used in the game (see above). That and the placement of the "?" next to it may be a clue that there used to be a beta font there that looked a bit different.


Don't worry, I've never requested anything like this, my suggestion about trying to make your own version of the options menu for the TMNT3 was because I think the decisions that the developers of this game made regarding said menu are absurd.

On the other hand, although there are attempts to solve this problem, these patches never feel complete or end up being integrated into the game properly as in the Japanese version.

Being his work with TMNT2 almost like the definitive edition of said game, it did not seem unreasonable to think that he might be interested in doing the same with this sequel :thumbsup:

Regarding the change in the initial kinematics, I think that although this edition is welcome, by moving the dialogue balloon away from Donatello, it causes its outline to be camouflaged in the dark causing it to lose definition, on the other hand, in its edition the visual information important is very compressed in one sector, you should look for alternative ways to correct the "FIRE" dialog.

I see what you mean with the outline of the speech bubble, however I don't think I should do anything about it: the speech bubbles do have their own one pixel outline. That part of the outline near the bottom of the bubble just happens to be located next to another row of black pixels which are part of the buildings window graphics, which gives the feeling that the outline is bigger. If you look at the upper part of the speech bubble you'll notice the outline is only 1 pixel there.
As for the the "Fire!" dialog, there may not be much I can about its placement, because that one pretty much has to be located "inside" black background.

As for TMNT3, yes I may be interested in doing more on that game in the future.

sics

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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & 3 hacking
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2021, 09:44:47 am »
Sorry I confused the name, I did not mean the outline of the dialogue, but the outline of Raphael's face (The turtle with the red mask), if you look at the black lines define the curvature of his face, a detail that is lost when merging with the black landscape...

On the other hand, every illustration distributes its elements in such a way that the viewer can unconsciously go through each of its components or at least the most important ones.

That is why when I mentioned the Dialogue "FIRE!", I meant that by changing its location it no longer fulfills its objective of intermediating between the turtles and the fire, directing the viewer's attention back to the turtles, therefore, as you can see in the mockup, proposed simply changing the location of its delta to target the speaker.

Spoiler:

Linktree  | Better a small finished project than a thousand giant ideas stuck in your system.

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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & 3 hacking
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2021, 11:13:52 am »
Okay I see what you mean now. You have a point about the tail of the "Fire!" speech bubble and how it no longer points at Leonardo's head, I'll fix that in an update. I remember trying to change the position of the tail of the left speech bubble but I wasn't satisfied with how it looked so I left those tails be.

But I can try to check the tail of the left speech bubble again as well, although I'm confused about this one because I can't say if it's supposed to be Donatello or Splinter speaking. The fact that the speech bubble appears the moment Splinter raises his hand, and the fact that this particular speech bubble doesn't disappear when the turtles jump away seem to indicate that it's Splinter speaking, which is also why I left the tail that way (pointing at Splinter more than it points at Donatello).
But, the reason why that bubble doesn't disappear could simply be because it wasn't done. Although Splinter's hand raising the moment the bubble appears is a good clue, since the same thing happens to Leonardo when he speaks; but it's hard to be certain.

As for Raphael, it's true that his outline is less visible now, but I don't see what I can do about it. For one thing it's the same with the other turtles, and also having characters overlap with speech bubbles never looks good and it's something comic books try to avoid (at least comic books that follow proper lettering guidelines, US comic books have letterers and are usually as flawless as can be, but letterer isn't a job in Europe so European graphic novels often have terrible lettering and speech bubbles because they're done by the artist and not by someone for whom it is his entire job).

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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & 3 hacking
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2021, 12:01:58 pm »
Actually the balloon distant from Donatello it's the "right" choice because that balloon its intended for Master Splinter. You can see it in the arcade version of the game:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4HlKJRFdU4
But of course I see your point. Maybe Ness can outline the turtles with brown or darker green...

By the way, good work Ness!! Your efforts to correct all those bugs is priceless! :thumbsup:

Don't worry, I've never requested anything like this, my suggestion about trying to make your own version of the options menu for the TMNT3 was because I think the decisions that the developers of this game made regarding said menu are absurd.

On the other hand, although there are attempts to solve this problem, these patches never feel complete or end up being integrated into the game properly as in the Japanese version.

Being his work with TMNT2 almost like the definitive edition of said game, it did not seem unreasonable to think that he might be interested in doing the same with this sequel :thumbsup:

Regarding the change in the initial kinematics, I think that although this edition is welcome, by moving the dialogue balloon away from Donatello, it causes its outline to be camouflaged in the dark causing it to lose definition, on the other hand, in its edition the visual information important is very compressed in one sector, you should look for alternative ways to correct the "FIRE" dialog.


Note: I have some problems writing in English, so I am not sure if I have expressed myself correctly, sorry if something sounds wrong...
« Last Edit: February 12, 2021, 02:56:45 pm by Fray »

sics

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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & 3 hacking
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2021, 03:32:15 pm »
Great I love when things are analyzed so well, very good observations :thumbsup:

Another possible solution would be to move Raphael one pixel, so that he stops touching the edge of the speech bubble, in this way the windows of the buildings would help to distinguish his figure more clearly.

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Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 & 3 hacking
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2021, 04:00:59 pm »
Actually the balloon distant from Donatello it's the "right" choice because that balloon its intended for Master Splinter. You can see it in the arcade version of the game:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4HlKJRFdU4

Good point; so I had to check other things in the arcade version...

The un-used mountains graphics I found for the Technodrome scene, they are in the arcade version:
https://www.mobygames.com/game/arcade/teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles__/screenshots/gameShotId,658928/

So are the roadblock:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jLO1upcd8w&t=22m51s

Btw - that manual screenshot with beta content made me want to dig if I could find more similar things, and I did:

The back of the box shows a beta Rocksteady. It seems that he has the same feet as the Stone Warriors:

https://i.imgur.com/NLG3FJ6.png

Honestly at first I thought it wasn't even Rocksteady but that beta version is in a magazine and they do call him Rocksteady:

https://i.imgur.com/GfWhzAO.jpg

This particular magazine page has other noteworthy things:
- the pizza used to be whole rather than just a slice
- there is a turtle face near a window. Probably a 1up?
- the roadblock at the end of the stage has cement, not present in the final version

Some of the turtles used to be blue (you can see another frame of beta Rocksteady on the first one):
https://i.imgur.com/8fkkDfp.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/4Dj0Tmp.jpg

I really wish we could have our hands on that reviewers beta copy.