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Poll

What character NOT present in the original version of Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link would you like to see put in the 35th Anniversary Edition

Tingle
15 (41.7%)
King Darmani III
6 (16.7%)
The mask salesman
6 (16.7%)
One of the champions
2 (5.6%)
Tetra
5 (13.9%)
Other (please post suggestion)
2 (5.6%)

Total Members Voted: 36

Author Topic: Zelda 2 Adventure of Link 35th Anniversary Edition (NES ROM hack)  (Read 4177 times)

Jean-Claude Van Damme

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Zelda 2 Adventure of Link 35th Anniversary Edition (NES ROM hack)
« on: September 27, 2021, 06:23:58 pm »
Hi, I'm new and this is my first ROM hack. I've been working on it for maybe a year or so now. I don't know much at all about the coding portion of stuff. All I really know how to do currently is change my color palettes. I'd like to learn as much as possible and with the Anniversary of Zelda coming in November, I figured I should start posting a few things and get a little feedback from the community to hopefully speed up the process. For now my plans are just for a basic graphics hack. updating all the sprites and animations. My hopes, however, are to find people that might want to help with an even better version for the Anniversary of the actual game next year.

I suppose when I said "Basic Graphics Hack" it was a bit misleading. I'm a professional animator (not just a guy who says he is  :laugh:) The reason I chose this game specifically to hack is because I knew what was wrong with it, AND, I knew how to fix it. Just took me about 3 months of pushing little squares around to come up with a sprite of link I was happy with before I was able to start the animations. My Goals (for Link) were:

1. Fix Link's walk cycle... (but, what's wrong with the way link walks???  :huh:) I just can't look at his walk and NOT think to myself, "It looks like he's stepping over dog turds"! Well, I've fixed that. No more river dancing for link.

2. It was important for me to "Clearly" represent the following things in links sprite
     - Links Hat
     - His Pointy Ears
     - Link's Sword & Shield
     - Perhaps the most important, Link's hair (Had to be blonde)

3. Actual Animations! Not just, "Let's go ahead and take this little sword bit thingy here and tack it on to the duck and viola!!! we have a slash! No sir! He has a real slash now! Oh!!! And about the sword...

4. Make the sword look awesome!

5. And this is by far my absolute favorite addition, Hands down... Facial expressions! I got Link doing a different expression for every attack he has. Gone are the days of his stoic gaze! He's got a grimace for every occasion!


In addition to changing link I've changed a few other things as well. Updated the townsfolk and turned the deelers into skulltula and other fun stuff. Like I said, I dont know much about coding but I know a ton about animation. So I'm using certain animation tricks to make stuff work. I cant move tiles or reassign anything so I've doing everything within the constraints of the program as it is currently, exploiting any opportunity the original dev team missed to squeeze a little more out of the character designs and animations.

One thing I'd love to have someone help me with, is the white eyes trick. I'd LOVE to make that happen! I've saved a blank link sprite to do it with just got NO clue how and this is the only thing I was able to find on it at all.

youtube.com/watch?v=opoQdHqGEHg


Anyways... That's enough talking. Here's a couple Screens for now. Sometime tomorrow or Wednesday, I'm gonna some gameplay for you guys to take a look at. Thanks for your help and I appreciate any feedback.


https://zeldaiitheadventureoflink35thanniversaryedition.wordpress.com/

nanashi89

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Re: Zelda 2 Adventure of Link 35th Anniversary Edition (NES ROM hack)
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2021, 07:58:07 pm »
Any chance you could implement QOL hacks from Zelda 2 Redux? Like retain experience points? Or staying on the same screen you were on prior to getting a Game Over?

Jean-Claude Van Damme

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Re: Zelda 2 Adventure of Link 35th Anniversary Edition (NES ROM hack)
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2021, 10:40:56 am »
I actually planned to release 2 versions one called the blue & red version and another called, the green & gold. Red & Blue (so called because of the original color palette being used on the logo), would be the vanilla game reskinned. The Green & Gold is the Redux Version reskinned.

September 28, 2021, 02:40:42 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
https://zeldaiitheadventureoflink35thanniversaryedition.wordpress.com/2021/09/28/zeldas-sprite/

Got Zelda’s Sprite done last night. Feedback appreciated. Thanks
« Last Edit: September 28, 2021, 02:40:42 pm by Jean-Claude Van Damme »

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Re: Zelda 2 Adventure of Link 35th Anniversary Edition (NES ROM hack)
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2021, 03:34:39 pm »
That's an interesting twist about how graphics are treated in the game. If you want to have more varied graphics associated to Link's movements and face expressions, you will have to either sacrifice other tiles, or implement a mapper that lets you swap CHR banks with more precision, like the MMC3 or MMC5.

Flaviogames

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Re: Zelda 2 Adventure of Link 35th Anniversary Edition (NES ROM hack)
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2021, 04:11:41 pm »
incredible work, impressive if it was possible to add combo when using the sword, movement variation when taking stays would be something out of this world in Nes

Jean-Claude Van Damme

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Re: Zelda 2 Adventure of Link 35th Anniversary Edition (NES ROM hack)
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2021, 05:03:29 pm »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHl54CCRCoE

https://youtu.be/REYTiiv96BE

Okay guys... Here it finally is. Some Gameplay footage! Feedback Appreciated, as always.

September 28, 2021, 05:26:06 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
I am very interested in how I could increase any aspect of the game whether it be animations tiles, etc. The only real requirement I have is that when all is said and done it would be able to be dumped on a cart and played in a normal system. I noticed there is already an MMC5 patch for it and was interested to know what benefits that gave me. More banks? More Tiles per Bank? Both? Sacrificing tiles for anything at all aint no thing for me. the way these sprites are built, they are far more compact so I'm ending up with extra unused tiles all over the place. I don't think they are usable though unless its a whole 8x16 sprite and not an 8x8 tile. Still, I've freed up a few of the 8x16 sprites if it even helps me at all.

I've been a firm believer for a while, that all the complaints that people make about this game and it "not being enough like the other games in the series", are kinda silly. Because, all the elements are there just in the wrong order or not utilized properly. I believe something could be done to this game similar to what was done with simon's quest redacted, to kinda bring it home to the series. Eventually after this version is done. I wanted to make one that was not a recreation but a whole new game with new mechanics and a whole new story. This "Re-Master" is just my guinea pig for the big dog.

Not sure if it would be possible to implement, but i thought it would be awesome to make a special attack that is equivalent to his spin attack in later titles. where when you hold and charge the attack button and let go he does his crouch slash 4 times in succession back and forth front to back. makes it look like he's spinning. lol

Anyways thanks for all the input guys.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2021, 05:26:06 pm by Jean-Claude Van Damme »

nanashi89

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Re: Zelda 2 Adventure of Link 35th Anniversary Edition (NES ROM hack)
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2021, 09:28:02 pm »
Looks great! Is there an estimate on when the hack will be released?

Jean-Claude Van Damme

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Re: Zelda 2 Adventure of Link 35th Anniversary Edition (NES ROM hack)
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2021, 11:43:21 pm »
Looks great! Is there an estimate on when the hack will be released?
Yes! I plan on releasing it November 12th for the 35th Anniversary of Zelda. I don't mind giving people access to an ips early though. so I can get feedback and help smoothing out bugs.

September 29, 2021, 12:25:05 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
There was something I was hoping I could implement that maybe some of you could help me with. I saw somewhere else on this forum, some guy talking about jacking with swapping color palettes in final fantasy for like when a character gets turned to stone. He goes grey… well, when I was working on the fairy I have her looking back over her shoulder which made her look like she was looking at the little link figure. Well, I noticed it was just big enough I could fit his face in there. Even got his sword and shield! lol. Anyways, right now I got it normal colors, but, I thought it would be awesome to have the link faces lit like they were in the dark and then whatever save file the fairy is in front of the palette would change so it looks like his face is lit up. Thoughts?

September 29, 2021, 06:15:20 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Here is today’s update. A good chunk of gameplay footage for you guys. Enjoy! I also included a shot of the player select screen so you could see an example of what I was talking about with the link faces and the fairy.

https://zeldaiitheadventureoflink35thanniversaryedition.wordpress.com/2021/09/29/zelda-2-rom-hack-update/
« Last Edit: September 29, 2021, 06:15:20 pm by Jean-Claude Van Damme »

nek10

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Re: Zelda 2 Adventure of Link 35th Anniversary Edition (NES ROM hack)
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2021, 05:01:49 am »
perfect game!!!!

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Re: Zelda 2 Adventure of Link 35th Anniversary Edition (NES ROM hack)
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2021, 09:02:21 pm »
I'm looking forward to the final product, please keep it up. :thumbsup:

Jean-Claude Van Damme

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Re: Zelda 2 Adventure of Link 35th Anniversary Edition (NES ROM hack)
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2021, 01:19:03 am »
I'm looking forward to the final product, please keep it up. :thumbsup:

I’m not slowing down at all. I work 3rd shift at a hotel right now and every night I work on this, all night long. I still have a ways to go but I used to be a lead animator years ago so I’m accustomed to deadlines. It’s looking good so far and I’m confident that it’ll complete by November. It WILL be released, regardless of whether it is 100% complete or not! I’m just one dude not a triple A company or anything so there will be no pushing back the release date. I’m glad you’re excited for it, and if you, or anyone else on here is willing to test an early release version to help work out bugs and make tweaks or what not, I’ll keep you in mind and pm you when I’ve got something. For those that wish to test it. I’ve decided to make it so the version I hand out for testing is “incomplete” so as to still leave a few surprises for you upon release day. 😉

October 07, 2021, 01:15:27 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
https://zeldaiitheadventureoflink35thanniversaryedition.wordpress.com/2021/10/06/refining-the-sprites/

Here’s an update… kinda. I try to post some stuff every other day or so to the blog, then when I get a chance I link it here, so if you’re wondering what’s up and want the scoop before they get it here, you can keep checking the blog. When the big news hits though. It will always be here @romhacking.net

I try to be sparring with the amount I show so that people get a chance to experience most of the game for the first time without having everything spoiled already. With that being said, if you wanna get pumped for the release, I’ll be posting a gameplay trailer this weekend. So, stay tuned!
« Last Edit: October 07, 2021, 01:15:27 am by Jean-Claude Van Damme »

Jean-Claude Van Damme

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Re: Zelda 2 Adventure of Link 35th Anniversary Edition (NES ROM hack)
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2021, 07:35:54 am »
I posted this on the blog as well, but I’m posting it here too. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Adventure of link blog post

I wanted to write something up to let everyone know what to expect out of this hack. I figured it will help to clear up a few questions some of you might have as well as make a general check list of things I will attempt to accomplish.

First of all, who is this hack intended for?

Well… Zelda fans of course, as well as adventure of Link fans and all the Nintendo fans out there. Those, are the obvious ones. It’s also meant for those who may had dismissed this game in the past. Maybe because they watched an episode of AVGN and thought it was funny to dog it. Or because they thought it had crappy graphics or was to hard. This hack has been designed in a way that lets everyone, new fans and old, have a fresh look at the game. I have redesigned every sprite. Some characters have been swapped out for other characters from the series. (Both for connecting the games more and to be sure that everyone gets a surprise 😉) Other Characters will be receiving a graphic overhaul either to make them match the new style of the game or to try and make them represent the original intended design of the character.

Lastly, this hack (hopefully) will just be a template for another hack somewhere down the line.  I mentioned in another post that I feel that this game could be more like the others in the series simply by “rearranging” or representing things differently. With this hack I’m just modifying the sprites for the most part, but, with the next hack I hope to take those changes even further. I’m going to present an example of what I mean.

The 2 biggest things mentioned about this game that removes it from the other games in the series are… sideview combat /exploration AND experience points.

First of all the combat in Zelda 2 is more varied and robust than the combat in Zelda 1. The exploration, however, is severely lacking in this game and all that needs to be done to improve it is to simply take queues from other titles in the franchise. Now, obviously, I’m not proposing that we remove the sideview or remove any of the overworld stuff. It would then cease to be the adventure of link. However, the adventure of link has a VERY unique advantage over some other games. One that was once thought by Nintendo to be a very annoying disadvantage… and that, my friends, is the fact that it has BOTH the overhead AND the sideview. If anything they didn’t include enough overhead exploration. An idea I have that would illustrate good execution of this concept is to make a puzzle out of the death mountain stuff that mimics the one in a link to the past for the snes. There are actually a few like this that span across the series. I feel like I remember them having it in links awakening as well. There are a bunch of caverns and cliff edges. You have to explore the caverns to find exits to new cliff edges that you have to fall off of on to other ledges. The player is often fed clues of where to go next by items that can be seen chilling on cliff edges just out of the players reach. This may had not been feasible back in the day because it was originally created for the famicom disk system and load times would had destroyed the fun in a puzzle like this. But, thankfully, that is no longer an issue! 😁

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.

The other thing that I mentioned is the leveling and experience points system. This is where I feel that the gripes about this game are the silliest. Over the years people have explored a ton of different ways to “represent” progress. Isn’t that weird I said represent? It is because nobody thinks about it like that.  All progress is the same it’s advancing forward toward the end. When the computer “sees” us advance in the game it sees a numeric value but we see some sweet ass new armor or a flashy new attack.

What I have done already is remove the sprites for the experience points and replaced them with sprites that are poofs of smoke instead. ( I noticed that, when experience points disappear they float up the screen a few pixels before they do. I made the explosion animation have similar smoke so now when an enemy dies they look like it does in the other games where they go up in smoke!

So then, what to do about experience points. Well, progression in other Zelda games is handled in the “sweet new armor/ flashy new attack” sort of way often acquired by achieving a goal or accomplishing a task (ie, fetch quests or defeating a certain enemy. In other Zelda games you could purchase certain items from vendors that could upgrade your equipment and rupees were the experience points used to acquire them. I propose to change the xp over to rupees and make it so the upgrades don’t just interrupt combat and make you choose a stat. Instead you would go to a vendor or open a menu that appears to look like a store for you to purchase a new tunic for link or make it so if you trade x amount of rupees/ xp to an npc they give you an item that increases your attack or defense.

With that said another thing not present in this game is equipable items. For that I would like to have that handled by hacking a couple of the spells to NOT switch off when you change rooms. Like, the shield spell. Ideally it would be nice to have it so when you open the pause menu you can choose between spells and items. If you use an item it’s permanent until you use another. Spells are equipped to the select button and are used like normal. Whether or not an item uses magic points or not is determined by whether or not it can perform a special action outside of just increasing links stats.

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.


1. I’ve changed the graphics for the items link picks up, so things make more sense… for example the “hammer” has been changed to a battle axe that has an axe on one side and a hammer on the other… because, who cuts down trees with a hammer! 🤨
2. Changed “link doll” sprite to a sprite of a fairy in a bottle. Because isn’t that what usually gives you an extra life? Find one in the open world and they’ll agree to replenish your life in exchange for being set free.
3. Changed “magic jar” sprite to a sprite of a captured great fairy. Find her and set her free and she will grant link an extra magic slot!
4. Changed the “bottle” icon for the hud to an icon of a fairy. Unfortunately, due to fairies magical abilities, it has become common place for people to capture fairies and sell them, as they fetch a high price. Purchase these captured fairies and set them free and they will lend their power to aid link and increase the strength of his magic!
5. Changed ALL hud icons. Sword now matches the one he carries. In other Zelda titles he would have to unlock a forge or find some metal or item to increase the strength of his sword. In this game sword upgrades are purchased with rupees/xp.
6. Likewise, the shield is now a tunic in the hud. You purchase those same as you do sword upgrades. (An alternative to the “shop” idea that may be easier to execute. Would be to just make a location, Like the witches hut or fairy fountains in other Zelda games, where these upgrades can be obtained and just change links levels and stuff after a certain condition has been met. Such as completing a quest or spending rupees/xp.) any of the more technical stuff like this would be in another hack. However, the visual components will be present in this iteration
7. Changed townsfolk and made them racially diverse. And also put igo in there… if possible, this area in particular is where I would like to expand the game the most. I was exploring using an mmc5 chip for this very reason. If I had more banks or more tiles I could use, I’d use a bunch of them on townsfolk and their dialogue. Hands down!
8. I’ll be swapping out all the enemies and end bosses for either other enemies or redesigned ones
9. Redesigned the title screen for the 35th Anniversary.
10. All dungeons reflect a theme. Desert, swamp, etc.
11. Elevators and bridges baby!!! Up the wazoo! For some reason they were sooo fun to make! 😂
12. Not quite sure what I wanna do with the overworld. I’m experimenting with a few things currently but, in the end it’s the one thing I won’t mind falling to the wayside. Should things get hairy towards launch day.

Now, I’d like to discuss my bucket list of hopes and dreams for the hack I’d REALLY like to make happen.

1. The white eye trick. ( I want link and Zelda to have whites to their eyes… just looks so damn good!)
2. Increase animation fluidity with additional frames and/or tiles. Some of the keys I built are crunched into such a small space even having 8 more pixels to work with would make all the difference. ie, links upwards attack. I also want it so when link does a jump attack, like when attacking the iron knuckles, he has one last frame in the animation that is the frame from the downwards thrust, then it goes right back to the frame of him descending from his jump.
3. I want to make it so you don’t have the duck slash right away. You have to learn it from a trainer. It adds an interesting dynamic to some of the earlier combat to NOT be able to strike low and have to depend on jumping over stuff.
4. I want to try to include and implement as much of the current hacker progress that has currently been made as possible. Like, doors in dungeons and the ceiling walk, dash, things like that.
5. I have an idea for a gimmick for the game that revolves around the use of the candle and/or the fire spell. First thing is I would combine the two. When you get the candle it has the fire spell as it’s ability, a la the original Zelda game. Now, the banks with the caverns I would make it so links sprite is actually holding the candle in his hand (if he’s gotten the candle of course). This makes it so he can’t hold his shield, henceforth he cannot block. Somewhere in each cavern is hidden an unlit torch. Hit it with a fireball and the cavern lights up allowing link to see AND now carry his shield through the cavern.
6. I wanna make it so you can chop grass and break pots. When you’re on the road and run into enemies, I want to make it so you can hack at the grass and get items and stuff. Pots for towns and dungeons as well.
7. Had an idea for a mechanic like in, well… pretty much most of the Zelda games. At least the ones after OoT. Where you can “sneak”. Got the idea while working on the background tiles. Thought to myself, “Hey, when he ducks in the tall grass his head sticks up just enough it looks like he’s hiding in the grass.” So, I figured it’d be cool if I made a mechanic where in tall grass areas when link ducks the bottom half of his sprite for ducking are the grass tiles in that bank instead of his normal ducking sprite so it looks like he’s in the grass. Either that or just make them blank in case I want to do the same effect in a different environment. But then, programmatically make it so the enemies switch directions and walk away from link.
8. The experience points thing is getting the boot all together. It’ll be replaced by something more in line with the rest of the series as I have previously discussed.
9. I want to have a series of funny little interactions with side characters because they always have that in Zelda games. Here is an example of one I hope to implement. In one of the towns there is a masked wrestler named el gorone! El gorone is a champion of the people and fights against the Tyranny the evil mayor who seeks to outlaw all wrestling because he believes it is a waste of time! In an ironic twist of events, as fate would have it, El gorone has found himself enchanted by the Beauty of the mayor’s daughter and intends to make her his bride. But first he must present her with a gift. For the most beautiful woman… the most beautiful flower. It lies high upon the top of death mountain. If you give the flower to his beloved and tell her he sends his love, el gorone will teach you the Goron guillotine! Which essentially is just the down thrust. 😂
10. Lastly everything will be structured more like the other games where there is a more even distribution of puzzles and combat.


I’m not sure how much if any of this is possible. My journey into rom hacking has just begun, these are just ideas I wanted to share with the community so I could get some feedback and hopefully start to implement some of these things. Thanks everyone for reading and taking time to look at my stuff. I really appreciate it.

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Re: Zelda 2 Adventure of Link 35th Anniversary Edition (NES ROM hack)
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2021, 04:12:36 pm »
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.

You got interesting ideas, but some of them require a very sharp understanding of the code of the game. Some of your ideas have already been done and are relatively easy to insert in the game. Some others imply completely new mechanics in the engine and new code from scratch. Here are two links that may interest you, if you haven't already read them. I think these threads may help you understand and acquire insight on all the ramifications and difficulties of inserting new things in Zelda II.

Zelda II Redux - A hack about adding many little extras to the game, QoL stuff, correct bugs, balance stats, visual enhancements, etc.
Dark Fortress - My WIP Zelda II hack project, with discussions about the consequences of adding new mechanics to the game, technical challenges, etc.

After seeing your demo, it seems you are more specialized in graphics and storyline, so I think you should concentrate on these, and have something complete for the release. On the other hand, if you had more time, it would be more reasonable to try to insert completely new elements to the game play. When I have time, I will provide a more detailed assessment of your ideas later, so that you can think about it and prioritize.

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Re: Zelda 2 Adventure of Link 35th Anniversary Edition (NES ROM hack)
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2021, 05:45:10 am »
My vote is for Beedle.

Always Beedle!

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Re: Zelda 2 Adventure of Link 35th Anniversary Edition (NES ROM hack)
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2021, 05:29:06 pm »
Here are my comments about the points suggested earlier.

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.

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 Downstab 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

10) If you want things to be like other games, then play or hack the other games.

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Re: Zelda 2 Adventure of Link 35th Anniversary Edition (NES ROM hack)
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2021, 05:05:00 am »
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"

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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.

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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.

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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.  ;D 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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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'

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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?

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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?

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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

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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!

ifightdragons

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Re: Zelda 2 Adventure of Link 35th Anniversary Edition (NES ROM hack)
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2021, 08:40:44 am »
The problem with Zelda II is that the overworld engine/mechanics isn't fun. It's nothing more than a glorified, rudimentary grid system designed for getting from point A to point B. It's even more rudimentary than the first Dragon Warrior games.

Trying to shoehorn "fun" elements like exploring, puzzles and combat into that part of the game is almost a stillborn idea. Even the animations are almost non-existent. The Death Mountain cave maze section is not a part most people actually enjoy. What people really like about Zelda II is the side-scrolling and Link's moveset/combat mechanics.

Just my two humble cents.

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Re: Zelda 2 Adventure of Link 35th Anniversary Edition (NES ROM hack)
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2021, 12:27:33 am »
The problem with Zelda II is that the overworld engine/mechanics isn't fun. It's nothing more than a glorified, rudimentary grid system designed for getting from point A to point B. It's even more rudimentary than the first Dragon Warrior games.

Trying to shoehorn "fun" elements like exploring, puzzles and combat into that part of the game is almost a stillborn idea. Even the animations are almost non-existent. The Death Mountain cave maze section is not a part most people actually enjoy. What people really like about Zelda II is the side-scrolling and Link's moveset/combat mechanics.

Just my two humble cents.

This is a VERY good point. One that I agree with whole heartedly. Which is why I'm opposed to the opinion some have that the map should be bigger. I think it's size is fine. If anything I think it should be a little smaller. It should be more dense with the side scrolling elements that "pop up" like the bridge and forest/swamp segments. I'd like overworld items/equipment to play dual roles in both the side scrolling segments AND the overworld ones. (ie, merging the handy glove and hammer together, so pretty much you ONLY get one or the other and it lets you break blocks in the overworld AND in the side scrolling segments) They probably tried to minimize how often you transitioned between side scrolling and overworld back in the day cause of the whole loading screen thing. Which is not a problem for us nowadays. I'm not really trying to make the over world super fun per say. Just to have it make more sense that it's even there in the first place. I value the feedback and this was a really good one. Thanks iFightdragons!  :thumbsup:

Trax

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Re: Zelda 2 Adventure of Link 35th Anniversary Edition (NES ROM hack)
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2021, 09:36:46 pm »
I suggest that you make a serious list of the things you really want, and sort them by priority. After that, it will be an exercise of balancing the work/reward relation for the various ideas. For example, the extra color in sprites (white eyes) is an example of high work/low reward, in my opinion.  About the release date thing, it seems I really didn't pay attention, and you did say that it was for the graphics only, but I read too fast. Here's some other comments:

About doors in dungeons, Town-style, I too have seen that in a Hackjam, and it worked just fine. It's not hard to code.

About the candle idea. Graphics banks for West and East Hyrule do have unused tiles that could be assigned to whatever you need:



You need to have the tiles available in all the banks that correspond to the worlds in which you want the mechanism to take place. If it's only limited to Overworld areas, then you have the unused space to play with. The hard part is to modify the routine that sets the sprites for Link's display, for each animation frame. You need to introduce a condition in the code so that the candle is displayed, and change the sprite with the shield. If you want different graphics for Link whether he is lit by the candle or not, then it has to be coded. A palette change could work as well, and could be potentially simpler.

Choppable grass. The best option is to modify the graphics for the Breakable Block. Incidentally, it's not used in the Overworld, only in Palaces. The graphics are not assigned, but the mechanism works fine. So you get 3 animation frames for free. The modification would be to insert code that makes rupees, aka Exp. Bag, appear at a random rate.

Removing the Experience Points for all enemies is easy. It's in one of the attribute tables for enemies, and setting the specific bits to zero effectively remove score. And it comes with the bonus of having all the 16 score tiles now free to use in any way you want. You may want to adjust the random distribution of P-Bags vs. Magic Jars. You can also change the values of P-Bags. There are 2 types (weak/strong enemy) for each Overworld (West and East Hyrule). I guess you could have more types, but I'm not sure how much work it would entail.

As for the NPC and levels, the Old Man is what comes to mind. He already has a similar mechanics. Talk to him, learn a spell, Pause Pane appears. The trick would be to have the Level Up panel appear instead. Experience/Rupees would be treated the same, you need specific amounts of rupees to "buy" power levels. And for the sword power thing, it would be easier to just have fewer sword levels. Just increment by one like vanilla, but cap it at 4 or 5.

About the dialogues in Towns, Njosro made a document on that subject: http://www.romhacking.net/documents/756/

It seems to me that the developers wanted to have something more complex for dialogs, but didn't use much of its potential. With code, it's possible to set any condition to have NPCs have different lines of dialogue.

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Re: Zelda 2 Adventure of Link 35th Anniversary Edition (NES ROM hack)
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2021, 06:44:36 pm »
It's now November 25th... 13 days after the release date... you ok? Did you run into any problems?