VGMaps
July 31, 2014, 12:22:06 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Sword of Mana (GBA)  (Read 10567 times)
0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.
Troy Lundin
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 145


« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2011, 12:54:02 PM »

I found out something very interesting about area placement. Most scenes that I have captured have been offset by 8 pixels. This means the screen location at the very least is (8, 8). Some scenes have different locations. Topple, for example, sits at (8, 40). This tells me this is the buffer between the scene and the surrounding scenes. I assume each scene has a simple 8 pixel buffer on it's right and bottom sides. This gives me exact locations to place the scenes together to create a completely accurate whole picture.

I have attached two images as examples. The first is of Topple, where you can see it huge 40 pixel offset. The second is a complete map of the Topple area up to Batmo Cave. I took into account the offsets when placing the scenes. Double-checking pixels confirms this is the way the scenes are made. Btw, both images are taken in the morning.

As a side-note, some scenes don't have a Morning version. It just comes up as a black screen. This happens in Granz Castle, for example.
Logged

TerraEsperZ
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2079



« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2011, 02:03:29 PM »

At least now it looks like the various sections do connect well with their neighbours, it's just that there's always a small section missing. The existing maps on the net made it seem as it everything *might* connect well but didn't when actually joining screenshots. Hopefully there's actual map data for the missing parts that you can somehow capture (using Visualboy Advance's Map Browser perhaps?). If the whole game ended up having a huge overworld map that connects almost perfectly everywhere like in the original game, it would be awesome!

I'm also surprised that the various times of day are actually separate maps in memory and not a simple palette swap.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 05:12:19 PM by TerraEsperZ » Logged

Current project:
-Too many to count aimed at a partial release

Pending project:
-Makai Toushi SaGa (WS) - Progress: ~50%
-Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow (DS) - Progress: ~65%
-Sonic the Hedgehog (GEN) - Progress: ~25%
Troy Lundin
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 145


« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2011, 04:25:42 PM »

At least now it looks like the various sections do connect well with their neighbours, it's just that there's always a small section missing. The existing maps on the net made it seem as it everything *might* connect well but didn't when actually joining screenshots. Hopefully there's actual map data for the missing parts that you can somehow capture (using Visualboy Advance's Map Browser perhaps?). If the whole game ended up having a huge overworld map that connects almost perfectly everywhere like the original game's would be awesome!

I'm also surprised that the various times of day are actually separate maps in memory and not a simple palette swap.

I am sure that separating the times of day into individual maps was necessary since they are different NPCs and such on the map depending on the time of day. Let's be glad each day of the week doesn't have separate maps. Cheesy

I checked out the Map Viewer theory you had. Turns out it shows an extra 8 pixels on each side. So, that's where the default 8 pixel buffer is at. That would still leave gaps for scenes like Topple. It would still have a 32 pixel gap on the north side. Imo, the 8 pixels isn't going to bother me much. Plus, the space shows where one scene ends and another begins.

What I am saying is those 8 pixels are ones that will never be seen in game even with a Freemove code. I will continue to capture the scenes like I have been. When I give them to you, you can add those pixels if you wish.

Btw, where are the existing maps on net you speak of? I found some here: http://www.fantasyanime.com/mana/swordofmana_maps.htm. They were nice but consistency was missing. Time of day was different on certain maps while others had missing corners. Certainly done using the old-fashioned SS method.

All in all, I just want to finish the scenes. There seems to be a ton of scenes (highest ID so far is 06DF (1695), which is Batmo Cave 4 - Night) so it may take awhile. For the moment, I am working on Morning time maps. I will complete the others after.

As a side note, I created another program that will facilitate the piecing together of scenes. I may just hand you areas like the one I attached in the previous post. Don't use that one, though. It has a mistake.

This turned out to be a bigger job than I expected. But, the way the maps fit together makes up for it. Cheesy
Logged

Trop
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 711


« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2011, 07:02:31 PM »

I can see how the designers must have created whole areas at once then sliced them up.  And you're right about there being a ton of scenes this game is not small.
Logged
Troy Lundin
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 145


« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2011, 12:39:32 AM »

Oh man, the inefficiencies of this game are astounding.

Take Batmo Cave for example. Different scene ID for each time of day. I capture each scene and notice they look similar. I run them through my image comparison program (compares each pixel) and what do you know? They are exactly the same.

Anyway, I made some changes to my mapping program. I was chugging through scenes at 15 seconds each. I am just changing the scene ID now instead of walking around. This ensures I get every single one.
I am up to 245 captured scenes.

Time for bed. Cheesy
Logged

Maxim
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 950



« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2011, 02:24:03 AM »

Many games impose these sorts of restrictions on the scrolling area to be smaller than the underlying data, because it might be troublesome to have the rendering code run into the edges of the valid data. If the game is built upon sufficiently large meta-tiles, you can infer the missing parts by finding the matching complete meta-tiles for the missing parts; I have a program somewhere that does it automatically.

Once you have a "free movement" hack there is often a second stage where you try to remove these restrictions to be able to see the "full data".

As for the game's inefficiencies - there could simply be another level of indirection, so scene 1 has tiles 1 and palette 1, scene 2 has tiles 1 and palette 2, etc.
Logged
Troy Lundin
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 145


« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2011, 09:43:07 AM »

The Freemove code I use just move my character's position. The game will force it's screen to try and center itself on my character. I have tried manually moving the screen over 8 pixels. Moving it's location from 0008h to 0000h. It just grabs 8 pixels off the right side of the screen and slaps em on the left.  When I enter a menu it resets to 0008h.

i am sure you could fill in some of the gaps with probable matches, but guessing was never my cup of tea. I am perfectly content mapping as much of the game as it allows in-game. Of course, one could always just rip the maps directly from the rom if they wanted the map in it's entirety. If I could do that, by golly, I would. But, I can't, so, this is the next best thing. Cheesy

Another thing, the gaps show where each scene separates from the other, since they are separate (loading is needed) in the game.
Logged

Troy Lundin
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 145


« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2011, 12:43:58 AM »

Up to 425 scenes. Would have had more but I spent all day watching Blizzcon. More tomorrow!

Update (10/22): Like yesterday, most of today was wasted. I am up to 587 scenes captured. I just completed the Airship and have started Miasma Glen.
Another update. 652 scenes captured. Finished Cascade Cave(?), I think. Some of the areas scenes are not in order.

I feel kind of dirty mapping a game I have never played before. Even after I finish mapping, I will still have not played the game. Sad
« Last Edit: October 22, 2011, 11:43:47 PM by Troy Lundin » Logged

Troy Lundin
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 145


« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2011, 04:58:15 PM »

I got bored so I tried to find the real scene ID. Seems the last one is 088B, which is the subsea volcano. No idea if that is the last area in the game, but it gives me a good idea of how many scenes I have left. I am at 847 of a possible 2187!

Why must this game eat at my soul? /sigh

Anyway, I found a couple of images after 088B that aren't scenes. Maybe someone can tell me what they say.
Logged

Trop
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 711


« Reply #24 on: October 23, 2011, 06:58:26 PM »

The subsea volcano is near the end but the mana sanctuary is the final dungeon.
Yeah this game seems small but like I said, it's not.
Those are the kinds of screens that little cactus gives you when you complete a quest but I don't know what they say.
Me and Paco have started running through the game collecting data so be sure to tell us if you want something specific.
Logged
Troy Lundin
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 145


« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2011, 08:12:18 PM »

Ok, I didn't realize you started already. There isn't anything specific I want. You will have to add the chests and angel statues. Basically, anything that is on the sprite layer.

Only thing I can think of is major story NPCs, such as NPCs you talk to that would start a boss battle or something. This is your part of the mapping. Be creative.
Also, I hope you are very familiar with the game. The scenes I capture aren't named after the area they are in, they are named by the ID. You can see this in the attachments I post.

They are named as such because of the autosave and autoload feature of my capture program. Anywho, I can upload a few scenes so you can get started. Maybe make a sample for me to look over?
Logged

FlyingArmor
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 104



« Reply #26 on: October 23, 2011, 08:21:35 PM »

To translate those screen shots...

The first says:

Sword of Mana
On sale August 29th!
Let's meet in the Gameboy Advance!

And the second:

Sword of Mana
Now officially on sale~
Square Enix

A little strange having advertising for the game you're already playing, don't you think?
Logged

Peardian
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 601


Busy busy


« Reply #27 on: October 23, 2011, 08:46:18 PM »

It's most likely those messages were intended for demo versions of the game. Very nice find! This is exactly the kind of content I help gather for the Cutting Room Floor wiki.

Also, nice job with the maps. It's amazing how fast you can get stuff done when you have exactly the right tools!
Logged

Troy Lundin
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 145


« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2011, 08:56:15 PM »

@FlyingArmor: Thanks for the translation. Btw, they look like two different languages. Are they?
@Peardian: Thanks. Also, it has gotten so mindlessly repetitive that I can do it without even paying attention now. Do that with your screenshots! Cheesy

Ok, attaching a zip with Batmo Cave inside. There is a mockup I did of the Morning scenes.

The only thing I will be anal about is scene positioning.
Each scene has (at least) an 8 pixel, magenta border on the top and left sides. An 8 pixel border on the bottom and right sides is assumed. Some images have a greater border of the top or left sides. These borders indicate how far apart each scene should sit from each other. If you look at the mockup, you can tell how I positioned them. This is the correct way they should be positioned for accuracy.

Anything on the sprite layers needs to be added (chests, angel statues?). NPCs can be labeled in the blank areas beside the scenes. Maybe put an image of the NPC with some basic stats if it's able to be killed (health, resistances?) or other information you see fit. Chests can probably be labeled on the scenes themselves unless you feel it won't flow well.

Other than that, just give me the credit, "Captured by Troy Lundin" as well as putting your own credits.

Here is a tip to organizing the scenes.
Any scene whose filename ends with 0, 4, 8 or C is a Morning scene with the next being Noon, then Evening, then Night.

Example:
001C is Morning.
001D is Noon.
001E is Evening.
001F is Night.

Or, you could use times such as 0600, 1200, 1800, 2400. Or whatever. Just make sure you put the right time of day scenes together.

http://www.4shared.com/file/wrC2gOZ0/Sword_of_Mana.html
Logged

FlyingArmor
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 104



« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2011, 09:40:12 PM »

No, it's all Japanese. Since Japanese writing mainly uses three different scripts (kanji, hiragana, katakana), there is a lot of freedom in how one can write words and phrases.

The first screen shot happened to use kanji and hiragana while the second used solely hiragana instead. The last line of the second shot where it says "Square Enix" had be baffled for a little bit, since that would normally be written as スクウェア・エニックス using katakana.

Japanese writing can be a little crazy at times, but once you get a handle on it, it can be lots of fun. Cheesy
Logged

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!