The following hack idea and project that you are about to see has been a dream of mind for many years. The images you see here actually date back to 2009 yet I kept everything secret since I was just wanting to keep it to myself. Now I am finally releasing it because I have not worked on it at all lately.
The main goal of this hack is a simple one and I'm sure many other people have though about doing something like this before, but I guarantee that they probably didn't have the exact vision that I have in mind. So here it goes... the goal is to simply make Donkey Kong a playable character in DKC2 and try and recreate him with all this original abilities to the fullest extent.
I grew up on this game in the 90's in fact I remember getting it on Christmas one year and boy it was an awesome game. DKC2 to me is just one of those special games that was absolutely essential to own if you had a SNES.
The graphics were some of the best computer graphics that I had ever seen since I didn't own a personal computer.
When I beat DKC2 I always wanted there to be some type of special bonus like Donkey Kong as a playable character, but to my disappointment that was never a feature in the original game.
Now, like 20 years later I'm trying to recreate that dream of mine to have DK as a real playable character by the use of rom hacking!
To be honest here, I really don't know much about ASM hacking which is a shame, however just because a person doesn't know a certain programming language doesn't mean that they can't design a great game.
I've taken some programming courses and know logic and math pretty well, but one thing that I shine at in video game designing.
As we all know, video gaming isn't all about just one certain skill. There are artists, story writers, level and character designers, programmers, music composers, marketers and much more.
So I present my idea for what it is... an idea and to better express my idea I created some screenshots, that were actually made in photoshop, but they exist to show how to overcome some key problems with trying to recreate the original DK in DKC2.
Here is a basic title screen. I wrote out the letters out with the original letters from DKC1. The letters probably need to be moves just slightly upwards a little so that they don't get cutoff from the bottom of the screen.
Here is one of the menu select screens. Originally I wanted to have it such that you could select any combination of Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong, but I'm sure someone out there will tell me that this would be extremely hard to do and that it would be much easier to just overwrite one character over the other and not have 3 possible characters to choose from. Nonetheless to make DK exist in the menu select just copy his image from the menu from DKC1's select screen.
Menu images from DKC1 could be easily put into a menu in DKC1.
Since DKC1 and DKC2 are very similar this is what led me to the possibility that this goal could actually be achievable. On the over-world instead of having Dixie Kong's head present after beating a level its now DK's head and instead of having Dixie walking on the over-world its again DK. The animations for Donkey Kong where taken directly from DKC1.
Here is a problem that was resolved by using some clever manipulation from certain animations from DKC1. In DKC2 Diddy and Dixie have to cling to the walls draped in honey. This never happens in DKC1, but here I took a frame from DKC1 where DK crawls on the ground (crawling is not present in DKC2) and turned it 90 degrees and now it looks as if he is sticking on the honey wall. Tricks and techniques by carefully choosing appropriate frames of animation of Donkey Kong from the trilogy can be used to overcome obstacles such as this one.
The problem presented here lies in the fact that there where no levels in DKC1 that had wind blowing upwards causing the characters to display a free falling type of animation. The frame you see DK in this screen shot comes from his animation where he starting "dancing" when he gets too close to the edge of a cliff. The original animation is turned 90 degrees to make him appear as if he is free falling.
Here is a big problem. In DKC1 none of the ropes were climbable that were in the horizontal direction, but its actually a pretty easy fix. Just take DK's original animation and once again turn it 90 degrees and just like magic he is compatible with these new types of ropes.
Here is yet another huge obstacle that was overcome by using DK's animation from DKC1. In DKC2 there are hooks which the characters can swing on, but the swinging motion is not side to side, but instead forwards and backwards. Luckily Donkey Kong does this exact animation in the intro screen in DKC1!!! Even though DK never uses this animation in-game, that's not to say that it can't be used in game in a hack! What a PERFECT match!
Originally I was hoping to make DK compatible with Dixie and Diddy, but it might just have to be Dixie or Diddy.
Here is a screenshot that I'm actually very proud of. The Donkey and Diddy image here actually come from the 2-player competitive mode in DKC1. The idea is that they are not facing each other and are competing against each other, but here I put them on top of an image of K.K. Rool giving the impression that Donkey and Diddy had actually worked together to defeat their opponent and that they are proud or are boasting about their job well done. There is a lot of creativity that goes into hacking!
These images where actually taken from the GBA version of DKC1, but as long as it works it works.
So there is some of the concepts at least in a visual form. There are many other obstacles to overcome that are not mentioned like the piggy back ability that is present in DKC2. What frames of animation would you use for that? Well this is where you looks at all three games in the series: DKC1, DKC2 and DKC3 and you just look for fitting animations out of all of the animations that Donkey Kong has available. Like maybe the animal friend riding animation could be used to make DK "ride" Diddy.
The main point here was to show at least in concept that many challenges can actually be achieved by simple recycling of animation that already exist in the other games and that it could actually be doable since both games are so similar.
Another concept image that I need to create here is the victory dance that happens when the player beats a level. There is no such dance when beating a level in DCK1, so does there exist such a victory dance animation from DCK1 that can be used in DCK2? Yes there is! Remember the dance that DK does in the intro in DKC1 with the boom box? That's the animation that will be used!
Here is the dancing animation from DKC1 on the left and hopefully anyone could see that this would be a perfect match for the end of level dancing animation. I doubt the boom box could be imported too, but if it could that would be very awesome.
And yet another concept image that I need to create is the intro you see when you first meet a boss. The animation that shows in DCK2 is an eye popping animation where their eyes literally pop out of their heads in shock of the sight of the boss. Does this animation exist somewhere in DCK1 so it can be adapted in DKC2? Actually yes it does! It exists when in the into cut scene in DCK1 when Cranky throws a TNT barrel at DK for dancing to his boom box!
Here on the left you can see DK with his eyes bulging out. This animation would be used as the into to the boss fighters where the characters eyes also bulge out!
Here is a character that can't be beaten with a regular hit from Diddy or Dixie, but remember in DCK1 how DK could always take out those big tougher enemies? You know what that means... DK would be able to take this guy out with a single blow whereas Diddy would still only aggravate him.
Most of all of the key animations already exist thus making the implementation of DK in DKC2 fairly doable. Since the games are so similar its almost as if its a perfect match or at least its as perfect as it gets in terms of rom hacking.
So why am i making this post again? I'm making this post because this is a dream that I would one day love to see it come true. I always wished it as a kid and now though the power of rom hacking this dream can actually come true.
Even though I don't really know any ASM coding that's not going to stop me here. There are plenty of talented individuals who work on projects all the time here and I guess what I'm asking is that hopefully someone would want to help work on this project.
I just feel as if the this game idea of mind seriously just needs to be made. Why not make it? Almost anyone who played any of the original games would most likely appreciative a throwback to an old classic such as DCK2. And its only just a character hack keeping all of the original levels unchanged.
But a main point here that I'd like to make is that if this hack does get worked on and quality has to be acceptable meaning that the final results can't be all glitched and unattractive.
DK should also be a little sluggish just like is in DKC1. DK should act as closely if not exact as he doesn't in the original DCK1 game. That's the only way to truly capture the character here. This also means porting over his sounds too!
So I will end this post with an old document that I wrote about certain ideas and information regarding the project and I'll post it below and if you can offer advice or help out and think that this is worth while project feel free to let me know. Thanks for reading and I hope this inspires somebody!