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Author Topic: 2016/07: New Ghostbusters II (E) (NES) - TerraEsperZ  (Read 1416 times)
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JonLeung
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« on: June 30, 2016, 05:09:52 PM »


For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to TerraEsperZ's New Ghostbusters II (E) (NES) maps.

This isn't the Ghostbusters sequel you were expecting.  No, really.  If you are a North American gamer, you may remember Activision's Ghostbusters II game on the NES.  This, however, is "New Ghostbusters II", a different NES/Famicom game developed by HAL for Europe and Japan, though both games are based on the same 1989 film.

The spirit of the evil Vigo the Carpathian resides within a painting of his likeness, and seeks Dana Barrett's baby as a host to return to life on New Year's Eve.  Meanwhile, the Ghostbusters investigate the emotionally-charged slime beneath the city, and discover that it flows directly under the museum which houses Vigo's portrait.

In this overhead-view game, you control a Ghostbuster and use a Proton Pack to wrangle some spectres, while a second Ghostbuster follows along and uses a ghost trap.  You make your way through environments from the film, including the courthouse and the river of slime in the sewers.  There is also a very lengthy stage in an apartment building, so you can thank multi-honoured VGMaps regular mapper TerraEsperZ for bustin' out these floor plans.

So to recognize the effort put into mapping a good Ghostbusters sequel, TerraEsperZ's New Ghostbusters II (E) (NES) maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for July 2016.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 07:31:11 AM by JonLeung » Logged
TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2016, 06:57:02 PM »

Sorry for taking so long to reply. It is summer after all, and unfortunately that means less time for gaming in general!

I'll be honest, I don't even remember how I heard about this game but it was probably from reading one of those "forgotten NES gems" web page while the movie was playing on TV in my area. I knew both official NES Ghostbusters games were horrible, so I was really happy to learn a good adaptation of the franchise had been made considering I was a fan of the franchise, having grown up watching The Real Ghostbusters cartoon.

As for this game, it's neither very long nor very difficult, and it only took me a few hours to play all the way through and capture everything. However, assembling all the rooms together the way I wanted to made me uncomfortable because it would have required editing the captured screens a little. At the time, I was really struggling with whether I felt okay with editing a game's maps for presentation purposes (2009) so I put this project aside and only came back to it in 2013 when I felt better about the whole "editing" thing.

Why assembling the room was hard for me is simple: the stages are all divided in small maps that seem like they'd fit together perfectly (you can often see glimpses of neighboring rooms right outside the walls of the room you're currently in) but when you try, walls and doors stop aligning pretty quickly, messing up what at first seemed really easy and neat. At the time, my solution was to keep the playable areas of each room intact but edit their "outside" whenever necessary to assemble all the rooms together. This gives the impression that each stage is one big interconnected map and some stages *do* look like that while playing (stages 1, 3 & 5) but others don't because they don't show anything outside your immediate room (stages 2 & 4). So I guess my maps for this game are a bit of a lie and in retrospect, I probably would have done things differently today.

Thanks again for this honor!
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-Drill Dozer (GBA)
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-Naya's Quest (PC)
-Lilly Looking Through (PC)

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JonLeung
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2016, 08:52:46 PM »

I actually like the approach you used, where you connected the rooms together, and disavowed anything you saw out of the current room if when you actually got there it was different.  I actually remember you mentioning that earlier, and was certainly one point towards me picking this game for the Maps Of The Month.  Honestly!  Yes, it ties into a particular cinematic event this month, but since TerraEsperZ submits a lot of good stuff that it seems like I have to recognize Terra almost once yearly, but with so much to choose from, I figured I might as well pick something a bit more interesting.  This being obscure (at least to North Americans) and with an interesting mapping method (which I apparently recalled correctly) it seemed like it was a good time to do it.

I would be interested to hear what you would do differently.  A full map but having bits of outside rooms might be confusing, wouldn't it?

I think what you did was fine, and is not really a "lie" because all one cares about is the playable area.  It might be nice to embellish "outside" areas as a way to make a map your own.  For instance, I was always thinking of trying something like taking one of the NES Mega Man maps (hi, Revned!), since they tend to be jagged lines going right and down, and filling in the empty space.  Using tiles from the same map, I would complete partial structures and landscapes, until there's no empty space.  For purists that just want to know what the actual map is, I would put a border around the original map, to separate it from the creative background.  I think it could look really cool, while preserving the integrity of the game space.  While not exactly the same as it sounds like you were doing - perhaps even the opposite (I was describing something additive, yours was probably more subtractive) - it still is an interesting question, of how to handle things out of reach to the player.  There have certainly been creative things done to the map of The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past, notably changing the sky/earth separation in Death Mountain, or completing the top of Hyrule Castle or the area around the pyramid.
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