Starting a research project

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Starting a research project

Post by jmanshaman on Mon 5 Dec 2016 - 16:40

Hey guys, so I'm wanting to start a research project and need some feedback and maybe some help in the modding. First off, I'm wanting to create some mods to the game to test the effects gender roles have on players. So I'm working on some sprite swapping (which is mostly easy), but also wanted to ask a couple other questions. I have a little bit of experience with graphic design and have been playing around in Hyrule Magic for a while (I'm still trying to get through the comprehensive guide). I have very little experience, but I know what I want to do so I'm trying to solve those questions instead of learn how to mod an entire game.

First, is it possible to change where the game starts? I've played a couple other Zelda 3 hacks, and they all still open in a hut. I'd like to have it open with the player locked in the dungeon. I'm just curious if this is impossible to change in Hyrule Magic. If not, that's fine, I'll probably just look into building what I want in Solarus or something similar.

Second, is it possible to change the end of the game? I'm wondering if I could move it up to right after the player saves Zelda and brings her to the sanctuary. Like I mentioned above, this is for a research project and I don't really need my participants playing through the entire game, just the beginning portion.

And lastly, how do you edit Zelda's sprite? I want to change who the player saves (it could be a puppy, but at least a different version of Link). I've played the Zelda saves Zelda 2 patch and know its possible, but I can't find guidance on how to do it.

And I'm struggling to get Z-compress to work on my laptop. Whenever I use the CMD prompt to extract the images to a .bin file, it states "'zcompress' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file."

Thanks!

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Re: Starting a research project

Post by Puzzledude on Mon 5 Dec 2016 - 19:42

First, is it possible to change where the game starts? I've played a couple other Zelda 3 hacks, and they all still open in a hut. I'd like to have it open with the player locked in the dungeon. I'm just curious if this is impossible to change in Hyrule Magic. If not, that's fine, I'll probably just look into building what I want in Solarus or something similar.
Yes. However not with Hyrule Magic, which thus makes it a little more advanced to edit.
The problem are parameters. Do you want to wake from bed or not. If yes, then srm0 is the same as srm3, which then makes it slightly orthodox for the game to start in dungeon.

Best bet to start in a dungeon is to hack the srm completely and actually skip the "bed waking sequence" to already start with gear, particularly sword-1 and shield-1, thus also skipping uncle all together and maybe even change the event to collecting pendants phase.

Once this ASM is inserted, you use HM and change the starting room (ie srm0) to a dungeon room of your choice, fixing which music should play, which dungeon should it be, wall blockset to load, scrolls of Link repositioned, scroll of camera repositioned, ladder level, etc etc.
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Second, is it possible to change the end of the game? I'm wondering if I could move it up to right after the player saves Zelda and brings her to the sanctuary. Like I mentioned above, this is for a research project and I don't really need my participants playing through the entire game, just the beginning portion.
The only method for doing this without ASM is: close down church exit. Instead insert a hole/pit, redefine pit to drop to room 0, remove Ganon. Thus fall to room 0 after church and since no Ganon, the door to triforce shrine will open automatically. It is then that you can enter into the ending sequence normally.

And lastly, how do you edit Zelda's sprite? I want to change who the player saves (it could be a puppy, but at least a different version of Link). I've played the Zelda saves Zelda 2 patch and know its possible, but I can't find guidance on how to do it.
This is an gfx edit. It is edited like any other gfx. Requires decompression with zcompress into the bin file. Loading the bin in the YY chr GFX editor. Then recompress the gfx back, and also change the pals with HM of the new sprite.

And I'm struggling to get Z-compress to work on my laptop. Whenever I use the CMD prompt to extract the images to a .bin file, it states "'zcompress' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file."
Yes, obviously the "zcompress" is a false command.

The commands are listed with the zcompress itself:
Code:
For decompression, the command line options are:
    zcompress 0 ROMFileName [FileToSaveAs]

 For recompression, the command line options are:
    zcompress 1 PCHexAddressToInsert ROMFileName [FileToInsert]

 To expand the ROM to 2 megs, use:
    zcompress 2 ROMFileName

 To expand the ROM to 3 megs, use:
    zcompress 3 ROMFileName

 Examples of valid command line arguments:
    zcompress 0 zelda.smc AllGFX.bin
    zcompress 0 zelda.smc
    zcompress 1 87200 zelda.smc AllGFX.bin
    zcompress 1 87200 zelda.smc
    zcompress 2 zelda.smc
    zcompress 3 zelda.smc


This is considered slightly advanced as well.

Parameters for zcompress to work are:
1.) expand rom to atleast 2MB or more (ie 3MB or 4MB) usually with the hex editor.

2.) add 200 byte (in hex) header to the beginning. Rom is thus 200200 in hex.

3.) Internal header name of the rom must be: THE LEGEND OF ZELDA (is default)

4.) rom must be SMC not SFC.

5.) rom must be US version (Japan or EU will not work)

Put everything into one folder: Rom (correctly adopted) and the zcompress files.

Run CMD from Windows folder or with the "run" command.
Type in the path of the folder (for instance)
base line is (this is for reference):
C:\user\folder\zcompress>

command for uncompression is
zcompress 0 zelda.smc AllGFX.bin

thus
C:\user\folder\zcompress>zcompress 0 zelda.smc AllGFX.bin

To auto form base line:
copy paste the CMD.exe as one file from the system32 folder into the zcompress folder.
Then double click cmd.exe. Since it is in the same folder as zcompress, the base line will form on its own, leaving for you to type the main command only.

Now you gained the bin file.
Open it with YY chr and scroll down to Zelda's sprite.
Repixel it to your new sprite.

Load zst save state from ZSNES emulator (save state) to correctly load palettes in YY chr.

Recompression:
run CMD again
this time the command is:

base line
C:\user\folder\zcompress>

main command
zcompress 1 87200 zelda.smc AllGFX.bin

which means recompress allgfx.bin file into the zelda.smc rom on hex address 87200, which is the gfx code start in hex.


Adopt the pals of the new sprite in HM under palettes. Can be difficult to find, unless it is documented for the Zelda's sprite. Or edit the pals in YY directly. Global pal is set in hex with that Conn's method.
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Re: Starting a research project

Post by SunGodPortal on Tue 6 Dec 2016 - 18:13

There's also the patches that replace Link with the boy and girl from the BS games. That would still leave the text.

Also, if I recall correctly, didn't someone do a "gender neutral" for ALttP a few months ago? Seems like I remember one being uploaded to RHDN. Not sure if it's still there though.
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Re: Starting a research project

Post by qwertymodo on Tue 6 Dec 2016 - 18:16

There are the Zelda/Link swap patches for 1 & 3 as well.
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Re: Starting a research project

Post by SunGodPortal on Wed 7 Dec 2016 - 3:19

^

I accomplished this by opening the ROM up in Hyrule Magic and changing the room numbers for certain entries in the "Starting Locations" (via the Dungeons menu) from Link's house to somewhere in the 0-255 block.

THEN, I had to make the game start in the pendant phase instead of the beginning. Had I not done this, the game would try to start as normal but Link would never wake up.

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The version in the video gave the player the option to start at the sanctuary or Link's house, but those options can easily be removed by editing the corresponding monologue entry. In a later version I got rid of the border and changed the text to simply read "And so it begins...", waiting for the player to press A before starting.

I meant to explain this earlier, but couldn't remember all of the details at the time. You can basically have the game start just about anywhere indoors as long as you aren't too attached to certain inflexible aspects in the beginning scenario.

EDIT: BTW, you should have thrown the bombs through the bars instead of fighting that guy head-on. Much easier.
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Re: Starting a research project

Post by jmanshaman on Wed 5 Apr 2017 - 0:02

Puzzledude wrote:
This is an gfx edit. It is edited like any other gfx. Requires decompression with zcompress into the bin file. Loading the bin in the YY chr GFX editor. Then recompress the gfx back, and also change the pals with HM of the new sprite.

First off, thank you so much for your help! However, I must admit I am not really a computer programmer so a lot of this is going over my head. Thanks for being patient with me.

I've been sort of successful decompressing my ROM. However, when I open the GFX in YY Chr it looks like this:

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I enter the following code with CMD:
Code:

    zcompress 0 zelda.smc AllGFX.bin

And that works. I've finally found an SMC rom that z-compress likes (took me a while). I've also attempted an SFC rom and z-compress actually decompressed it fine, but when I opened it up I got the same gibberish as above. I'm using the C# version of YY Chr, but switching to the C++ version and using the same AllGFX file yields similar results.

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Re: Starting a research project

Post by SunGodPortal on Wed 5 Apr 2017 - 0:13

Where it says format you have it set to the wrong mode. Depending on which graphics you want to look at you'll need it to be in either 2BPP GB mode (mainly menu related stuff) or 4BPP SNES mode (most everything else).
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Re: Starting a research project

Post by Puzzledude on Wed 5 Apr 2017 - 7:19

I've finally found an SMC rom that z-compress likes (took me a while). I've also attempted an SFC rom and z-compress actually decompressed it fine, but when I opened it up I got the same gibberish as above.
That's because your choosen format is 2BPP MSX. But you need the SNES encoding and in 16bit, which is 4BPP. Some rare gfx in the game are also 8bit, in which case you need the GB (gameboy) encoding and thus 8bit which is 2BPP.

With YYchr you can edit gfx of various consoles and program doesn't know you are editing SNES.
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