Can I get help? I'm trying to turn Little Mac into Raticate

Started by Baalf, May 10, 2022, 12:44:26 PM

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I've seen people try and cross-over Punch-Out and Pokemon in fanfiction and fangames before, but not an hack of the NES game, and I can sort of understand why: there's quite a bit of constraints to the sprites. Let me explain a few things as I talk about my first forray into trying to figure out sprite editing.

Of course, before you can begin to edit sprites, you will need a tile-editor. While you may not always know where the sprites are, a quick skim on certain games can tell you where to find the sprite tile data for certain characters. They can also tell you what tiles you have to work with and what you need to do in order to get the character you want into the game.

For example: if I WERE to turn everyone into Pokemon, who should be Little Mac? In my experience, everyone I've seen do crossovers of Pokemon turned Little Mac into...

Hitmonchan. ...But I have three problems with this.

A: Hitmonchan is one of my least favorite Gen 1 Pokemon becuse he's debatably the most human looking Pokemon in the franchise.

B: That's what other people are doing, and I don't want to copy.

C, and most importantly: Punch-Out is an underdog story. What Pokemon would make a good underdog for a boxing story? Pretty much any Pokemon except for theone KNOWN for boxing. Hitmonchan, IMO, would more likely be the Mike Tyson/Mr. Dream of the game, NOT Little Mac. ...At least IMO.

So... maybe Pikachu? ...Nah, too easy. Instead, maybe something a little outside the box. What about...

This cute little bugger. THIS is what I think of when I think of an underdog Pokemon. Just... look at those tiny little hands! How can he box with those? Plus, I adore how big and menacing it tries to look while struggling with not only handicapped anatomy, but stats to match. Yeah. I know he's not many people's favorite, but I just have a soft spot for him.

Alright, so we got our champion. NOW, here's what I learned so far. Every bit of the object is separated into 8X8 grids. Don't immediately assume that the whole portrait image with Little Mac, the Ring AND Doc Louis are one big sprite. No. Little Mac and Doc Louis are two seperate sprites. In addition, the eyes and mouth of Little Mac have seperate 16X8 tile-sets for when Little Mac, or in this case Raticate, is hurt. For the overall character, Little Mac's head gives you 28 pixels of width. Liberties would have to be made, but in the end, I feel like I came up with something I liked by using a quick doodle as a reference.

There is one tricky bit, however: Little Mac's hair. The tiles of the sides of his hair, as well as the last few pixels on the top, are all together. HOWEVER, there is one pitch-black tile that is missing, and my guess is that it's the same tile found in Mac's shirt, which means if I were to edit the tile in his hair, I'd be editing the shirt as well. One idea I have for getting around this is to have that black pixel be blank and have Raticate sit on a stool, with the black box in both the hair and the shirt being represented as a gap between the ears and the stool's legs.

One more thing: Little Mac does not make use of the full NES pallet limit. You can have four colors in a sprite. Typically they are Black, White and two others. However, Little Mac only uses one other color besides black and white, meaning there's a secret fourth color I have to work with, but I haven't gotten to hex-editing yet, which I will likely need to learn once I try to edit pallets.

As for Doc Lois? I can imagine him as Yellow from the Manga. It'd probably make the most sense for Raticate's trainer.

May 11, 2022, 08:19:11 PM - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)

Part 2:

Hey, remember when I said the solid part in Little Mac's hair would be down by his shirt? I was wroooooong!

... because that tile, which is duplicated twice for Little Mac's portrait has a border below. In addition, there is a solid pink square near Mac's shoulder. Where are those tiles? Well... I don't know. I was hoping to ask for help from someone with experience in hacking the sprites for Mike Tyson's Punch-Out (for some reason, if I edit graphics in regular Punch-Out, I get garble that doesn't happen if I edit the Mike Tyson version).

And I feel like Little Mac's portrait is going to be level 1 for me. Doc Louis is a mess. His portrait tiles are scrambled, and I'm not even sure where a lot of them are. I found one mouth tile, but I'm not sure where the other is, nor can I find his hand tiles.


   Generally, any 8x8 tiles that are just a solid color will just be that solid color, reused to save space. (Punch-Out! uses 8x16 mode in a lot of places, though.)

   What you can do is draw the graphics that you need, at the right size with the amount of tiles available, and then rewrite the code in the ROM somewhat, so that - for example - a solid color tile that you don't want to be a solid color tile can be the tile you need it to be. You can look at the Nametables in your emulator to find how it's laid out in the code if it's background tiles, or Mesen's Sprite viewer for sprites. FCEUX's code/data logger can find the relevant code, or you can search for part of the nametable.

   At any rate, the first step is using a sprite sheet, like from Spriters Resource, and drawing your new artwork over it (Photoshop etc). You can then copy/paste that into the right places to fit in the ROM's CHR banks. It is like putting together a puzzle and finding the right pieces. (YY-CHR, and Shiru's NES Screen Tool.)