General Boards => Maps In Progress => Topic started by: TerraEsperZ on December 04, 2014, 09:29:30 pm

Title: Shantae: Risky's Revenge (PC) - A partial attempt
Post by: TerraEsperZ on December 04, 2014, 09:29:30 pm
This will no doubt seem like cruel teasing on my part, especially given the slim chance of ever completing the whole thing, but I've decided to share a few maps I've managed to assemble of this great game. Given how little free time I have nowadays, I can barely work on mapping at all so I tend to not stick to anything even more than before. In any case, these aren't official submissions at the moment, more like works in progress, though I might eventually submit them if I ever get the time to polish and finish them.

Scuttle Town:
*EDIT 2017-02-05* See this later post ( for updated version

Tangle Forest (main area):
*EDIT 2017-02-05* See this later post ( for updated version

These two areas have always fascinated me because of the way you can switch layers in certain spots and you literally jump either into the background or out into the foreground. When on the foremost layer, you can still see monsters and NPCs move around in the other background layers and it makes these places feel much bigger than they really are.

Mapping this game (using the Steam version since apparently no ROM dump of the DSiware version exists) was quite a pain:

1) First I had to take a lot of screenshots, and then process them for use. There's no way to configure the game to run using its original resolution (256 x 192) but running it in full screen on my end (1680 x 1050), cropping the exact gameplay window and then resizing it without resampling results in an almost pixel perfect image (256 x 191, only the uppermost line needing to be resized separately and added back). This preserves the graphics of the game perfectly.

2) I then remove the backgrounds using a colour replacer tool (thankfully, there is almost never a colour shared across multiple layers which makes this easy) and use multiple images to remove sprites and the player's status icons (they disappear during conversations with NPCs, but this doesn't happen in every area unfortunately).

3) For the backgrounds (especially the one from Tangle Forest), they couldn't be ripped in their entirety just by playing since there's always a portion that's not visible. I then used a rather unorthodox method to obtain it: doing a memory dump of the game's process using the Windows Task Manager, and then combing through the resulting massive file using the TextureFinder v2.0 utility. This is basically searching through the game's memory at the time of the dump and trying to find the graphic I'm looking for using the various graphic formats it can recognize until I can make out something that looks like the game's background and then keep adjusting the program's settings like offset, horizontal resolution and skew until I get the tiles for the texture. It took almost an hour to find what I was looking for.

4) Once the individual layers have been assembled, there's still the matter of assembling them in the same way the game does for those multi-layers areas. I quickly calculated that any playable layer, when seen in the background, is scaled at 90% of the size of the one in front of it, meaning that if I'm standing on the first layer (out of three), the second will be resized to 90% of its original size, and the third will be 90% of 90%, so 81%. A hypothetical fourth would be 90% of 81%, so 73% of its original size. Since the layers, when resized, are no longer as large or tall as they used to be, I then had to extend them in every direction to account for the empty space. It's all a bit hard to explain and I'll see if I can attach a sample of the back-most layer for the forest.

5) Finally, when standing on anything but the rear-most layer, all the background layers become lighter in colours. Using some pixel colour values and doing some quick calculations, I managed to obtain with 98% accuracy the required amount of brightness to apply to them. For Scuttle town, it's a 59 out of 255 increase (using Irfanview's measurements) and for Tangle Forest, it's 132 out of 255.
Title: Re: Shantae: Risky's Revenge (PC)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on December 04, 2014, 10:05:49 pm
You can see below an example of the work I had to do, in this case for Tangle Forest's fourth and rear-most playable layer. On top is the layer as you see it while standing in it; that's the real size.

After that, you can see on the right how that layer appears while you're standing in the third, second and finally the first and front-most layer. Things get smaller the farther the layer is, and on the left you can see how I had to extend them equally in every directions before shrinking them.
Title: Re: Shantae: Risky's Revenge (PC) - A partial attempt
Post by: vorpal86 on December 07, 2014, 05:05:12 pm
Didn't this game release on the GBC a while back? It looks very nice on the GBC for a GBC game.

Number 1 (Can not configure the PC game for it's original intended resolution!) A mappers nightmare.. and also a gamers nightmare if you fancy the perfect playback experience as close to it's intended style of play.

I really hate it when the game (mostly pc games, console games are very easy to configure for original display size using emulators) looks like the artist did awesome job on the graphics just to let the player see what he spent a lot of time on being stretched out of proportion and blurred out!

But anyway nice start on these maps. Henk Neighborg drew the GFX pixel art for this game. Him and I actually chatted up a little bit several years back to give me some pixel pointers for my own art. I love his style! It got kind of a dark design to his stuff but it's very nice. He also drew the pixels for Lionheart for amiga back in 1993. Yes that long ago he was talented. Lost contact with him as he has lots of various jobs to do for DS games like Contra 4 from a while back.

At any rate.. I may play this game sometime on the BGC.
Title: Re: Shantae: Risky's Revenge (PC) - A partial attempt
Post by: Peardian on December 07, 2014, 07:06:54 pm
Very cool! With all of the layering effects and without emulator tools, I imagine that must be really difficult to do.

@vorpal86: You might be thinking of the original Shantae. Risky's Revenge was a DSiware game.
Title: Re: Shantae: Risky's Revenge (PC) - A partial attempt
Post by: TerraEsperZ on December 07, 2014, 07:12:37 pm
The Game Boy Color game is actually the first game in the series, while this one, originally for the Nintendo DS, is the second. Mind you, the GBC one is actually a very good game with great graphics and music considering the system, it's just quite a bit more difficult than the sequels.

I actually found out Henk Nieborg while desperately looking for a way to complete the Tangle Forest background and somehow, I found his online portfolio. It's nice to see that the majority of it made it either in this game or in the 3DS sequel.
Title: Re: Shantae: Risky's Revenge (PC)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on September 16, 2015, 10:24:19 pm
Just a heads up to mention that this project has *not* been abandoned or forgotten. After several months of my PC being very uncooperative (I'm building its replacement at this very moment) and me not having much time or energy to map anything seriously, I've really been "in the (mapping) zone" over the last few days. Enough so that I've left my partially built PC alone since Sunday in order to do some more Shantae: Risky's Revenge mapping.

I'm pretty much done with Scuttle Town and Lilac Fields and Tangle Forest is only missing a few underground areas to be complete. Oh, and I need to play the whole game from the start in order to add in the items contained in chests since I've been mapping everything using a save that's near the end of the game. Mapping a Metroidvania is a *lot* more annoying when you can't use/abuse savestates...

Anyway, I'll try and remember to post what I've done before the end of the week.
Title: Re: Shantae: Risky's Revenge (PC) - A partial attempt
Post by: TerraEsperZ on October 07, 2015, 08:56:42 pm
So yeah, two weeks later, I have the following to share:

Scuttle Town:
( (

Lilac Fields:
( (

Tangle Forest:
( (

Although nothing is final yet, it's getting close to it for those areas at least. Given how long it takes to process the screenshots, remove the backgrounds and complete missing graphics with the tiles captured from memory, I don't have much more to show. The underwater area will be a real pain to do since the graphics are continuously being stretched in every direction and will thus need to be fully redone by hand one tile at a time. I must be a masochist or something...

At any rate, I'm happy with the style of borders and arrows I came up with since I couldn't use those from the game, what with them being in highres. I think the font I'm using looks really good after fiddling with it somewhat. You see, I somehow managed to capture its graphics from memory (with TextureFinder v20) although I don't remember how I did it, seeing as it doesn't seem to be used anywhere in the game. And what I got didn't include the vertical offsets for all the characters, so I essentially watched the end game credit sequence (which does use the font) in a Let's Play of the DS version, then adjusted my font so that the vertical offsets matched as best as I could. I also added a black contour to the font to mimic how the game handles the area names.

Anyway, it's late and I'm starting to babble so I think I'm going to go to bed now.
Title: Re: Shantae: Risky's Revenge (PC) - A partial attempt
Post by: JonLeung on October 09, 2015, 03:24:39 pm
I was confused for a second, but I think I was getting "Risky's Revenge" and "And The Pirate's Curse" mixed up...
Title: Re: Shantae: Risky's Revenge (PC) - A partial attempt
Post by: vorpal86 on December 15, 2015, 06:16:05 pm
Good to see some progress here! I'm just droppin in. Looking around.
Title: Re: Shantae: Risky's Revenge (PC) - A partial attempt
Post by: TerraEsperZ on December 15, 2015, 08:53:47 pm
Actually, a dozen more rooms have been more or less mapped since, but for the last few months I've barely mapped anything. Seasonal depression probably, and the lack of sunlight isn't helped by the fact that my apartment is located mostly in the basement, which means even less light all around. Just getting up for work has been much harder these last few weeks and try as I might, I haven't been able to motivate myself to do much at all lately. Nothing to be concerned about, I'm functional and everything. It's just I have a general lack of motivation for my hobbies right now, which sucks. I'll probably get back to this sometimes in spring if the yearly pattern holds.
Title: Re: Shantae: Risky's Revenge (PC) - A partial attempt
Post by: vorpal86 on December 17, 2015, 04:02:07 pm
I know how the procrastination and motivational incentives frall us short of progress! Been on that road for a while. Hopefully we'll get to the fork in the road.. : )