Your ambition is admirable, but to be honest, if you have an iron clad condition for release date, which is one month from now, you have nowhere near the amount of time required for all of this. Not even reasonably close. On the other hand, I don't want you to be discouraged by that, it's my opinion based on my experience and what I know about the game.
lol. when I first read this I was like, "OMG! did I forget to mention that the November 12th hack is graphics ONLY! I hope everybody doesn't think they're getting all this stuff in November. I had to read back through what I wrote. I did mention it a few times though, Thank god! lol"
This is an example of the type of thing I hope to implement in another hack as it is far to technical to tackle in such a short amount of time.
Like I said, for now I will ONLY be doing things I can handle graphically for this hack but hopefully I will be able to make most of these ideas a reality in the next one.
Now before I comment on your response, let me say, thank you so much for taking the time to help me Trax. I really appreciate it.
1) White eyes. May seem simple, but it has a few implications. Having an element on Link with a different palette implies, at least, one more sprite to display for every single animation frames where it's needed. You have to make sure this sprite has a different attribute, to match the palette you need. You have to make sure the new graphics (2 new tiles) are present in ALL banks that would display it, which is, at least 10 (decimal) of them: West Hyrule, East Hyrule, Towns and the 7 palaces. It also increases the chance of seeing sprites flicker on screen, because the NES can only display 8 sprites per scanline.
If it were simple everybody would have done it. lol Which is why it's a wish list Item. It doesn't really make a huge difference. It just looks really cool.
Though it may not really be feasible I'd still like to discuss it so I can increase my understanding of how this stuff works. I'm linking a youtube vid but I'm pretty sure I already did once so you may have seen it.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opoQdHqGEHg
In the video he explains the basic concept of how it works. From what I understand the whites of the eyes are a sprite that is layered BEHIND the character sprite and the character sprite just has a pixel that's transparent allowing the White portion to show through. If that IS the case, could the sprite that sits behind the character sprite (The white one) have a tile that has 4x4 or 6x6 of its pixels be white so that when his head moves you dont need a new tile to fill in the white of his eyes you can just reuse the same tile. Also, I had an 8x16 sprite (the upper right one) of his duck slash animation that is not being used for anything. It already appears in all of the banks AND is already assigned to link. Does this help the situation any? Or are there other things I'm not taking into consideration? I hope I explained this well, I can provide a diagram of what I mean if not.
2) Animation fluidity means new graphics, and if it's universal, like Link's animation cycle, it must be added in ALL banks, at the same offset. Also, having Link follow with Down stab after a jumping slash is, in my opinion, illogical. The game engine uses the animation frame code (RAM $80) to compute collision detection and sword collision detection.
That is not necessarily true. Many sprites in old games are just copied and pasted. (Either to save on time or so it reads better) So, a smart animator should be able to squeeze more out of the animations, new tiles or not, just by drawing some frames differently to give it more movement. With that being said, I would always like to find an alternative to making new tiles or anything that would make it harder to do this. I don't want to waste space and/or make more work for crap that is aesthetic and unnecessary. Your probably right about the down stab thing and it was an afterthought that was meant to add follow-through to the animation. If using that keyframe would make it so the frame actually hit for damage, then I wouldn't want that anyhow, so we can scrap that idea. I was curious though about how hit detection worked with this. When I was building the sprites I made sure that the sword/shield lined up with the original so there weren't any problems with blocking or striking. I wonder how much wiggle room is there with that though? Does it use stuff like "hit boxes" in street fighter, or is it calculated by the exact Pixels?
3) I think not having access to ducking slash is quite limiting, and would make some fights impossible, especially with Stalfos or Ironknuckles. We'd have to try it and test the game to see how it feels, but I'm almost sure it would make the game very awkward.
YES. It is extremely limiting. I would want the duck slash to be the very first sword technique that link learns. The idea behind this concept is to give players a little bit of time without that move so they need to depend on dodging attacks/ground enemies. I would make sure NOT to include some of the later enemies that would require the duck slash. Just to be clear I mean the duck slash not the duck altogether.
4) I don't know what you mean by "door in dungeons" and "ceiling walk". The Dash spell has been done a few times and is easy to implement. Most things from the Redux hack can be individually implemented relatively easily.
I have studied all the other hacks done for this game extensively in order to figure out what was possible/already done. The "Doors in Dungeons/Temples/Palaces whatever you wanna call them was a thing implemented in another hack. I'm looking through them now and trying to find which one did that, but it's just the same as doors in towns. press up in front of a door... BAM! new room. The ceiling walk was implemented in a hack called 'the harrowing escape of link' and was done at a hack jam recently. It functions the same as the one from "Battle of Olympus". When link reaches the apex of his jump gravity is reversed for links sprite and he turns upside down and sticks to the ceiling. Same happens when he is on the ceiling, but he goes back to the ground instead. Thought it would be a cool upgrade for the boots. Along with the dash.
5) I talked about the shield/candle idea in another thread. I like the concept, but it requires a few things to work together. Probably 2 new sprites for the No Shield appearance (for all animation frames), a new enemy for the torch, collision detection between torch and flame, conditional palette changes, etc.
I had thought of a work around for this. Maybe you can tell me if this will work. I was thinking of making one of the banks an exact copy of the 'caverns' with the sprite having link holding the candle instead of the shield so I don't have to make space for extra sprites. The bank would be exactly the same size and number of tiles as his other banks with his entire Sprite (in that bank) changed to reflect the fact he's holding the candle. Here is a quick mock up of the graphic I'd like. The candle/shield wouldn't be an extra sprite that sticks out in front of link or anything this way.
In this image I didn't change his colors (it's just a mock up) but I would have it so it looks like the front of his body is lit as though it were being lit by the candle.
My question here is, what implications does this have. If I have it so you light a torch, how, at that point, would the graphics switching to the other (lit up cavern) bank work? Is this the thing that breaks this idea?
6) Having choppable grass on the Overworld could be relatively easy, since it's similar to breaing a boulder and chopping trees. Having breakable pots or boxes could be a recycle of the breakable blocks, with different graphics. Getting items from them would be more complex.
I actually meant in the side scrolling segments, not the overworld. Just the segments that are on the road that don't spawn enemies. My idea here was to sacrifice an enemy sprite for this. one that has 2 frames would be cool so you could use the extra frame to animate the grass swaying. Anyways, then, I thought you could just make the grass/enemy in a fixed location. using an enemy for the grass would make it drop items anyway cause its just an enemy with a grass graphic. Same with pots.
7) Interesting mechanics, but it's also completely new code to create. Hiding behind a part of the decor already happens in Swamp, so something similar could be used for hiding behind grass. Having enemies behave differently would be completely new code.
This isn't super important to me. Just spit ballin'
8 ) The change between experience points and money is, at first glance, not much more than semantic. In the original game, you basically use experience points as a "currency" to buy power levels (attack/magic/life). The difference with other Zelda games is, rupees are random item drops, while experience is guaranteed for each enemy. If you want to have items buyable, then you need to think about how they are bought. Talking to a NPC to display the level up pane is the simplest thing I can come up with, in terms of coding difficulty.
Talking to an NPC to open the level up pane is exactly what I want. It's not important to me that you have a Physical item that you pick up for it like a rupee. However, Can't I just use the 'P' bag for the rupee and just set all enemy exp. that is given to 0 so you only get exp. from 'P' bags? Also, in some instances I may want links lvl to jump a lvl or two (ie, from lvl 1-3 or from 1-4) because i would want it to happen when you upgrade one of the items and some of the items may only have 2 or 4 upgrades. If it has two for something like maybe his sword. I would need his attack lvl to jump from 1-4 with the first sword upgrade then from 4-8 with his final one. Is this super difficult? what does this require?
9) There is a system of conditional dialogue lines for Towns people in the game. Most of the changes are checked arbitrarily in code. Like Error saying a different line whether you talked to the guy in Mido or not.
I'd like to learn more about how the dialog exchanges work so I can speak more intelligently about this. Could you point me in the direction of any available resource materials on this topic?
10) If you want things to be like other games, then play or hack the other games.
Is that easier to do? Is it easier to put side scrolling temples/palaces with adventure of link combat in the other games? Or is it easier to use some of the overworld portions to make it a little bit more like the other Zelda games. I feel dumb asking this because I feel like the answer is an obvious NO. But this IS my first hack and you have been at this longer than I have so perhaps there is another Zelda with elements similar to Zelda 2 that may be a better fit for what I'm proposing
After seeing your demo, it seems you are more specialized in graphics and storyline
...and you would be correct in that assessment. My job used to be animation for games in particular and specifically to talk to the coders about how to make things work in game. Pretty much the same thing you and I just did. lol
I really appreciate all your help Trax. Thanks a lot!