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Dragon Warrior II/III/IV (NES) Map Building Visualizer

Game Specific


The NES games Dragon Warrior II, Dragon Warrior III, and Dragon Warrior IV have an interesting way of storing their non-overworld maps on cartridge ROM. While the original Dragon Warrior stores the final layout of its maps using a simple compression algorithm, the map data for the later NES games is stored as a list of instructions for building the final map based on a small set of supported operations.

These operations have been re-implemented in JavaScript and paired with an (offline) HTML5/CSS3 page for visualizing their effects with appropriate tilesets from the games partly as an aid to understanding how the binary map data produces the final map layout and partly because there’s an odd sort of beauty in watching the maps being incrementally constructed from scratch one piece at a time.

In addition to coming preloaded with all of the non-overworld maps from each of these games and displaying various potentially interesting statistics about them, arbitrary new map data can be entered and the corresponding map built following the same process as the games’ actual maps, so although this is not really a map editor, it can be used as a quick way to validate map data that has been created elsewhere.


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