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Author Topic: Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS)  (Read 24589 times)
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TerraEsperZ
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« on: November 09, 2010, 09:29:43 PM »

So yeah, I'm tackling this game; seemed fair to map the sequel of the game that lead to my best work so far.

Don't expect this to be finished anytime soon, since the mapping process is very slow and tedious on account of No$gba not being helpful in saving tilesets and VRAM contents and the game itself mostly not using the DS layers, relying instead on simply displaying tiles as needed (kinda like with Symphony Of The Night).

But I'm enjoying the challenge, and doubly so since I haven't played the game before. And to make sure I don't burn myself along the way, I'll take small pauses along the way to finish those maps that are close to completion that I've been neglecting lately (Bucky O'Hare and Solstice mainly).

Hopefully this will tide you in the mean time Smiley

The Lost Village:


* Added 29/12/10 *
Wizardry Lab:


* Added 14/07/12 *
Demon Guest House:


* Added 14/07/12 *
Garden of Madness:


* Added 22/07/12 *
The Dark Chapel:


* Added 27/07/12 *
Condemned Tower:


* Added 10/08/12 *
Cursed Clock Tower:


Total Progression for Castle:
« Last Edit: February 05, 2017, 09:39:54 PM by TerraEsperZ » Logged

Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
Revned
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2010, 05:42:10 PM »

Looks great so far. I have always wanted to give this or the other DS games a shot, but the 3D backgrounds in some of the first rooms were always too intimidating.

Have you considered shelling out the money for the developer version of No$GBA? If I were to map one of these games I think I would probably do that...
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TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2010, 06:36:21 PM »

I actually emailed the author, Martin Korth, a year ago to do just that, but never got a reply. I then searched for the closest thing to an official no$gba forum, which is the no$gba discussion forum at NGEMU and apparently he pretty much disappeared from the Internet a few years back and nobody has heard from him since. I was actually really ashamed of pirating the latest debug version (which took some work to find) since in recent years, I've done a lot of effort to buy the music and programs I use and enjoy and if he ever came back, I'd want to be legit and would pay him. But for the moment, that's not even possible Sad

As for the debug features, the no$gba site is right in saying that it's mostly/only useful for developers and not gamers. Savestates don't work with DS emulation for one, and although you can access a lot of things about the game being emulated, you can't save any of the graphic stuff. Like Visualboy Advance, there's a Tile, OAM and a Palette Viewer as well as the ability to view the content of the BG0, 1, 2 and 3 Map layers; however, I practically can't use any of it since Dawn Of Sorrow almost exclusively uses 3D Rendering to display everything.

The 3D Rendering Viewer gives you a very long list of all the tiles visible on screen along with a whole bunch of incomprehensible information. For each tile, it shows you where it is on screen and a small window shows you the 128x128 pixels tileset being used for that tile. Only, that tileset is displayed much smaller than 128 x128 pixels and there's no save button. It also doesn't show you which part of the tileset is displayed on screen (which makes it difficult if it's a tile of a background layer that's not visible) and depending on the tile used, the palette of the tileset will change several time.

It's kinda hard to explain, but I've had to assemble/correct/complete almost every room using individual tiles which required me to save the various tilesets and simply getting the proper palette for all the individual tiles of a single one could take me a long time (especially if part of it hasn't been used in a room I've visited yet). Heck, just *saving* a tileset requires me to resize the VRAM window every time I start the emulator to a size reference image I've saved that ends up with the tilesets being displayed at its correct size, taking a screenshot of that and then only saving that portion in a separate file. I average a few hours per room so far Tongue.

As for the 3D background, I've managed to find a few tools (Tahaxan, Nsbmd and HijackGL) to extract, view and then capture the 3D models and the textures but I still have to combine the two. Peardian has been trying to guide me through Cinema 4D to do just that but I'm having a real hard time understanding anything about it (handling the 3D program that is, not the theory behind 3D models and UV Mapping). Like I said, there are a lot of challenge ahead but nothing I feel I can't overcome given time.

And seriously, if you or anyone else knows of a legitimate way to contact Martin Korth, don't hesitate to tell me. I feel really cheap stealing his program but there's no other choice right now.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2010, 11:03:03 PM by TerraEsperZ » Logged

Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
Peardian
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« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2010, 10:42:49 PM »

Paying for an emulator called "no$gba"? That doesn't sound right. Tongue


If you're still having trouble with using C4D, you can find lots of tutorials on how to use it. Or, if you prefer, I can answer any questions you have and guide you through using the interface. If you have MSN, we could talk that way to speed things up.
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TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2010, 11:19:39 PM »

Well, as far as no$gba is concerned, the standard version is free but the debug one is not as it incorporates a great deal many more features that are really intended for developers. As for C4D, I'm putting that aside for the moment. There's still quite a bit of The Lost Village to capture, at least enough to last me over a week, so it can wait until I really have the time to sink my teeth into a tutorial. I've got one that's sitting on my desktop, just waiting for me to really take my time and get acquainted with the interface and the basics of 3D modelling. Hopefully I'll be free to peruse it this weekend.

I don't use MSN but even if I did, I'd probably be way too slow for you. And anyway, I'm *way* too visual a person to understand written instructions quickly. But thanks for offering Smiley
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Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
alucard
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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2010, 02:13:32 PM »

I was wondering if the DS Castlevania games were ever going to be mapped. I look forward to seeing Dawn of Sorrow.  Will you be making one huge map, or have them all in separate castle sections? Or both?
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TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2010, 02:29:49 PM »

Since I know there's a demand for both, then both Grin.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2010, 02:29:59 PM by TerraEsperZ » Logged

Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
alucard
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2010, 02:17:17 AM »

yeah I liked how they did it both ways for SOTN with the huge map and individual areas. I wish they did it that way on Circle of the Moon, is that Sprays guy who made the COTM maps on this forum?
« Last Edit: November 14, 2010, 02:17:44 AM by alucard » Logged
TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2010, 08:53:20 PM »

The Lost Village map is essentially finished, apart again from the 3D buildings in two rooms, so I updated the first post with it. Haven't made much progress on that front, but I haven't really worked on that yet.
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Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
alucard
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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2010, 10:42:29 PM »

Looks good, I also like how you added the name for all the items, weapons, etc with the font directly from the game.
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TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2010, 11:09:30 PM »

Since I'm about a week away from completing the next area, allow me to state that The Wizardry Lab is one of the most *boring* area in a Castlevania game I've ever seen. It's so generic and dull and empty of anything interesting that I can't wait to be finished with it so I can move on to something not simply more interesting, but simply interesting period.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 11:18:49 PM by TerraEsperZ » Logged

Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
ReyVGM
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« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2010, 11:02:05 PM »

Why don't you just use DeSmuME?

It's free, it has save states, cheats, movie recording, all the other features no$gba has and tons more.

It's ridiculous to pay for an emulator, specially one where the author is so reluctant to listen to fan requests.
If you're going to charge people for your work, you might as well listen to your fans. But not Martin.
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TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2010, 06:06:12 AM »

DeSmuME has two rather big problems at the moment:

1) No 3D viewer (at least, not yet)

Like I said earlier, the DS Castlevania games use a 3D engine instead of the DS built-in layers which means that if I want to separate the sprites and various graphical layers, I can't do it easily simply by turning them off individually (unlike in, say, VisualBoyAdvance). I need to reconstruct everything by hand and to do that, I need to be able to see and save the textures/tilesets used by the game and only no$gba Debug version allows me to do that (albeit with difficulty I'll admit).

2) Imperfect 3D rendering

DeSmuME has relatively good 3D rendering, but it's not accurate enough to render the graphics perfectly and that's rather important when your game appears to be 2D and sometimes part of the screen will be off by one pixel vertically. For a game that looks as good as Dawn of Sorrow, that's simply unacceptable.

I realize that my way is currently slow and complicated, but it still yields the best result at the present so I'm sticking to it until DeSmuME improves in those two critical areas.

On a side note, I've just finished the main part of the Wizardry Lab and let me tell you, capturing that Balore pixel-perfect was a bitch, but it was worth it! There's still another section left to do but it's not directly connected to this one, so it might take a few more days to do.
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Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2010, 11:35:15 PM »

Whew, the Wizardry Lab map is finally finished. You have no idea how much trouble those three flooded rooms at the bottom gave me; I must have spent over 10 hours on them alone. Time to switch to a more interesting area at last!
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Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2012, 06:54:19 PM »

Updated first post with Demon Guest House and Garden of Madness.

I started feeling nostalgic for the "Metroidvania" games a few weeks back so I decided to try and advance this old project some more. The result after three weeks of work is two more castle areas that are practically complete (the Garden of Madness is only missing the final room where Celia kills a fake Mina to turn you to evil since I haven't reached that part yet).

Having to rebuild large portions of the rooms with parallax scrolling from the tilesets is, as always, slowing everything down but there's no way to avoid this aside from coding a level editor (everything displayed except for the HUD and item/soul labels are 3d textures displayed 'flat'). I've gotten better at it though which is why I've progressed faster that before. I also finally found a program (VicMan's Photo Editor) to help me with making sprite rotations that *don't* use color interpolation to try and imitate as best as I can some parts of the bosses I can't quite capture perfectly. I found a lot of code segments on the web to do just that but no one seems to have thought that ordinary folk might have needed a compiled version.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to/dreading the game's final boss, the huge Menace who's made entirely of enlarged/rotated sprites...
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Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
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