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Messages - Lüt

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Maps Of The Month / Re: 2021/08: Lunar: Eternal Blue (Sega CD) - Lüt
« on: August 31, 2021, 08:35:31 pm »
Oh wow, this was a nice surprise. I thought Maps of the Month were typically for maps submitted within the latest month, so I honestly wasn't expecting this.

The write-up was really nice, and you picked probably the best image for the thumbnail. Also, I learned that we had a blue moon this month :o

Anyway, thanks for the feature, much appreciated!

EDIT: JonLeung here.  Just had to fix Lüt's name.  I guess the new forums didn't like the "ü".  Lüt, you might get an email asking you to reset your password, which happened when I fixed your username.

Map Requests / Re: World Map request for Lunar 2 Eternal Blue (Sega CD)
« on: November 01, 2020, 09:46:34 pm »
You're all quite welcome.

It was a fun journey... but I'm glad it's over!

Now, for the original request: the compiled overworld map has, of course, thrown more wrenches at me than I originally imagined it would. While the key transition points between the overworld segments lined up well enough, it turns out there were some rather jarring transitions (or lack thereof) at the further reaches of the playable areas. Possibly the most surprising (and irritating) one was that the bottom-right side of the Minea Sea, which was supposed to overlap with the left side of Salyan Desert, had somehow had the entire area shifted upward by one tile. Seriously... why?! One does not simply add or remove a horizontal row of tiles from a map this size. Also, below Azado and to the right, a lot of the varying cliff heights of Madoria Plains just kind of... disappear... when they get to the Minea Sea segment. I mean, it's certainly not the disaster that the LttP mountains are, but it's definitely a close second!

Anyway, I plowed through the connectivity issues, and here we are:

Current compiled map PNG image - (2.36 MB)
Current compiled map PSD ZIP - (15.0 MB)

Because of the sizes, I've directly linked them as files rather than embedded them as images. (Use download arrow at upper right; online preview looks screwy in places.)

For the most part, I was able to find transition points that only needed a little trimming, but you'll see a few where some more constructive methods were required, and perhaps the most obvious, the cross-fading of the icy water with the summer water. The mountain height cutoffs southeast of Azado are weird if you're following elevation levels, but at least the graphics aren't choppy. The river between the Minea Sea and Salyan Desert, starting near Dalton, had its height slightly modified due to the 1-tile-shift, and the waterfall at the bottom of the river has been extended downward by 1 tile to compensate. Other water was easy enough to extend.

Finally, you'll notice 2 incomplete areas where the game didn't have map data. It's beyond my capacity to fill these in, so this is as far as I take it. I've provided the PSD in a ZIP if anybody with Photoshop wants to continue working on it using my source. It's probably not the most accessible setup, and I could have made it more user-friendly by using layer masks to remove overlapping areas rather than deleting the source material directly (though I finally did that with the southeast segment of Minea Sea), but it should be functional enough. It's also a CS4 document, so it should open in any version of PS within the last 10 years without trouble.

Also, interesting about the further compression. I couldn't get any better with a 3rd or 4th pass than a 2nd, but some of these are more than a few kb smaller, and I don't see any unexpected changes to color value or index that would indicate essential corners were cut. Will search this program further, I suppose. Checked all new links and everything's good. Thanks again for hosting all these!

Map Requests / Re: World Map request for Lunar 2 Eternal Blue (Sega CD)
« on: October 26, 2020, 04:26:31 pm »
Well, seems I forgot to account for the possibility of my old boss showing up homeless, out of money, and with a broken vehicle.

Regardless, now that the situation is somewhat stable, I'm happy to finally announce:


Just sent it an hour ago. I'd imagine it's one of the larger submissions that's been made, but fortunately the game is very well optimized visually, so the overall filesizes shouldn't be too huge (at least, relative to the amount of content). I also tried to help out with an organized index and cleaned-up files, so hopefully they were good enough to make things go smoother and not require further maintenance.

Back to the original topic of this thread, I'll eventually dabble with an overall overworld assembly, but I'll likely only drop it as a reply here in 2 phases: raw compile and partial assemble. As previously noted, some areas will have awkward hacky transitions, and some areas will have big missing chunks that I won't fill in. But I'll at least provide the WIP files in case anybody's really that dedicated.

Also, can't forget: obligatory thanks to Camel Pimp for the LP and the GameFAQs authors for the guides. Without those, I would have made a few embarrassing oversights.

Anyway, that wraps a project that started in January 2018. Hopefully I didn't botch the submission, and you all get to see it soon :)

Gaming / Re: I give up, what game is the background from?
« on: September 28, 2020, 01:50:23 pm »
Looks like Robotrek's Rococo Town:

Admittedly, I thought it was from a Pokemon game at first. It's a somewhat similar style to a thing I've had saved for a while now called Costa City.

Map Requests / Re: World Map request for Lunar 2 Eternal Blue (Sega CD)
« on: August 29, 2020, 11:44:36 pm »
6 months this time, but good news in 2 parts.

First part - all level maps are done. That means the intro sequence is complete, the main maps have all been sorted to share the same animation frame, the remaining animation synchronization problems have been solved, and the marked indexes have been fully completed. The animation issues ended up being significantly less trouble than I expected, and simply by way of working with the final rounded-decimal frame rates rather than the fractional in-game frame rates, the synchronization issues essentially resolved themselves. The title headers explaining the markings for the marked indexes have been finalized, as have the last of the indexes themselves.

Second part - all marked indexes for towns are done. And this is the part I wasn't expecting to post. What I was originally going to post, about a week ago, was that everything in the above paragraph was done, and that the towns would be gradually getting sorted over the next few months, with such a slow rate due to the odd and inconsistent interior spaces requiring a new arrangement method for almost every town, yet that I'd also be relatively upset if I wasn't done by the end of the year. Well, I decided to finalize 4 of the easiest towns before making the post, and over the following 5 days, everything suddenly fell into place. It took between 2 to 5 different arrangements for each town to come up with a result that's as consistent as such varied material allows, but I think I've come up with the best possible options for the marking format I'm using.

In other words - the project is basically done.

All I have left to do is double-check everything by replaying the game from scratch. Granted, I did double-check things as I was assembling them, so perhaps "triple-check" is the best way to put it. But as I did the marked indexes and animations, I noticed the occasional oddity or inconsistency in the presentation. I understand my reasoning at the time, but most of the inconsistencies came down to working on things in such a segmented manner, so I need to go through everything one last time in chronological order to be sure that things are presented as they first appear in game and that my guides are accurate and consistent. I'll be using a GameFAQs guide as a companion as well. So, sorry for the last bit of delay, but I just think it would be bad to have errors on a project that's gone on for about 2½ years simply because I rushed the last few weeks. Expect final submission sometime later September.

Map Requests / Re: World Map request for Lunar 2 Eternal Blue (Sega CD)
« on: February 18, 2020, 06:28:31 am »
Well, it's been 5 months. So, time for an update.

The project lingered in limbo for about 2 months after my original post, but has since picked up speed in recent months.

I hammered through some of the most annoying areas when I was feeling up to the tedium, and once that was done, things got rolling again.

Here's where everything stands:

Main Maps

All playable areas have been fully mapped to still images. Variations related to gameplay progression have also been made (i.e. secret passages open, obstacles removed, paths built, etc.) I even did building interiors. Only 3 maps from an unplayable intro sequence remain.

For Rey, here's a preview of the 1st of 6 overworld segments, the Salyan Desert:

(I'll be url-linking full images in this post due to size. If they appear in a web page instead of as an individual file, just right-click and re-open in a new tab. You may also have to click a shrunken image to make it full-size. (The site went to garbage well after I'd established my account.))


I've done GIF animations for most areas with some amount of noteworthy animation. I started with key areas that had large amounts of animation, but got carried away and did a number of smaller things as well.

However, I stopped short of animating every torch or light source in the game :P

See, I'm real picky about having my still maps all be on the same frame of animation. It's a little bothersome when maps are assembled from different frames at different positions (though, as a gameplay guide, I'm still glad people put them together). As a result, I had already captured all the frames of animation in order to assemble whichever one worked best, so since I had everything in sequence anyway, it actually didn't take too long to compile the animated sequences. Only a few maps had a lot of things animating at different speeds, but a few little framechart spreadsheets in Excel got that sorted fairly easily.

All animations I planned to do are done, except one. I've got a really annoying situation where two separate animations from different areas are combined in a third area. One's a light flicker in a transmission room, and the other's a floating planet model at the top of a spire. Each one has an accurate speed in their own map, but when they're both combined in the third area, the difference in framerate will both create an absurd amount of frames and an inaccurate animation speed for at least one of the sequences. Because animation speed is done in decimal rather than fraction, accounting for certain 1FPS frames in the sequence is basically impossible due to rounding, so they'll lose synchronization as well. And I'm like, do I have the same animation be inconsistent across different maps, or do I make the other individual maps use inaccurate animation speeds so that all the maps match? It's a really obnoxious thing to happen on the very last map, that I'll probably deal with absolutely last.

So that's where animation's hanging.

For now, here's a preview of an animated town, Meribia:

Marked Indexes

Lunar 2 can be extremely large and very complex at times. The designers were certainly intent on out-doing Lunar 1 in every way, and some areas just go on and on and on.

As such, I found it necessary to do area-based compilation images with marked entrances/exits, treasures, warps, and other significant developments fully noted.

(In fact, the origin of this project is me trying to find my way through some of the game's more convoluted areas.)

Currently, all "levels" and towns have been fully assembled and marked. However, while the levels were generally easy to organize (most fit into a neat vertical stack), the towns are proving a pain to come up with any clear and consistent manner of organized layout due to the often odd variety of interior spaces, and so this is the area where I'm most behind.

I also need to come up with a title header for the images that explains the markings.

For a title-less preview, here's the marked index for Mystic Ruins:

It's not the most exciting level in the game, but its variety of features and functionalities shows off the marking process fairly well.

At the bottom of the image, you'll notice I've added a thing called "The Direct Route" - this lists the shortest path through a level while accomplishing all necessary goals. Thanks to rooms like the 3F mirror maze, even looking at a marked guide can be confusing without being told which markings to follow. These are done for about half the levels.

Battle Backgrounds

The game launches into side-view mode for enemy encounters.

These scenes are somewhat like the backgrounds to other 1-on-1 fighting games I've seen mapped here, so I've included these as well.

All are complete.

Submission Organization

The naming of some areas is very counter-intuitive.

Looking at the file names, would you ever guess that the order to progress through the Larpa Secret Passage is part 1, part 4, part 2, and part 3? That the Illusion Woods zigzags through 1F, B1, 2F, B2, 3F, etc. rather than going in a continuous ascent? Or that the Clearing goes between 6F and B6? Perhaps you wouldn't guess that Taben's Peak Top was just past the half-way point of Taben's Peak? Maybe you'd think it was my own spelling mistake that Blue Labyrinth is spelled "Labyrinth" in B3, but "Labrynth" in B2 and B1? Maybe you'd think Ghost Manor had any sensible name organization at all!

There was no way I could dump an image collection into site submissions and hope they'd end up in the correct order on the site, so I opened the vgmaps index html source and filled out a table with the maps as they generally progress in-game. Then once I started that, I figured I might as well also fill out the resolution/size/type/contact info boxes. Since it's done with the site's existing code, hopefully all the host will have to do is paste it into the appropriate page and it'll be ready to go.

Overworld Megamap

I messed around a little more with assembling all 6 overworld segments into a full map.

Annoyingly, while I originally said that you should be able to fill the uneven edges with water since the world was essentially a giant island, it turns out some land masses are cut off between segments, meaning that would require manually building a significant amount of mountains and cliffs from existing map structures rather than simply filling void spaces with water tiles. That's beyond the amount of time and effort I can spend on a thing like this.

Regarding the color differences in the water, this overlapping area in the two sides of the Katarina Zone should illustrate the point:

In fact, there's a bit of land difference as well. But this is the most extreme example, the water turning from summer fresh to icy cold. And of course there's a waterfall connecting the upper land of KZ east to the lower ocean of KZ west, so I couldn't separate them by height. A gradient fade could be a thing, but it would undermine that 16-bit color efficiency and boost what's probably under 100 colors total into tens of thousands of colors.

Yeah, what I figure I'll do is post a raw assembly, then a partial tweak, as an addendum in the forum thread, and people can take it from there if they want. But it'll probably remain a curiosity with no way to get it to submission-level quality.

So anyway, that's the progress report. Would be great to be done by spring, but we'll see. For now, just know that it's still being worked on, and completion is in sight.

Map Requests / Re: No Shadowgate?
« on: February 18, 2020, 06:03:50 am »
Wait, there's really no Shadowgate map?

I've had a linked-screenshot diagram, like the Deja Vu one featured in the magazine, sitting around for years. I was using it to outline a Heretic adaptation. I could have sworn I got it from here, but now that I look at the NES index, I don't see it after all.

Anyway, this is it:

(Open in new tab for full-size.)

No credits on it though.

There's also the Spriter's Resource Shadowgate page, which has the individual screens assembled somewhat cohesively across 2 maps, plus additional graphical and animated variations on a 3rd map:

Those ones are credited to "SmithyGCN."

I'm not sure if any of these are publishable to VGMaps, but if they're just for your personal collection, then there you go.

Map Requests / Re: World Map request for Lunar 2 Eternal Blue (Sega CD)
« on: September 16, 2019, 04:40:39 am »
Now's probably a good time to mention that I've had a Lunar 2 map/guide project going on for about a year and a half.

Unfortunately, as life typically goes, it's fallen into a slump at the last 5%, with no immediate end in sight. Deaths in the family, cross-state moves, new careers - all the stuff that typically comes up when you only need a few weeks uninterrupted to finish.

What I can say, though, is that the Lunar 2 world map is actually 6 different maps stitched together to flow relatively seamlessly (7 if you want to include the revised segment of 3 used for Zophar's Domain).

Even if you stack them into a single image, their dimensions won't form a perfect square. Of course, since it would ultimately assimilate into one big island, you could fill the empty spaces with water.

The problem however, is that the water palette changes significantly in segments 4 and 5 (the iceberg and Neo-Vane segments), so there would be blatant stitch lines wherever you decide to average their overlap, or there would be an awkward mismatch between ocean and ponds in segment 3 if you decide to use segment 4's full body of water (and that's only the primary playable area).

There's also a lot of alternate palette options at other key points where the world maps overlap, such as the Illusion Woods, and other locational or specialized graphics getting glitchy in different ways at places where the designers obviously didn't expect players to be clipping through to, due to the way they tried to fake having more colors in a map than the system actually supported.

All that to say, I don't think I'll be submitting a single Lunar 2 full-world map along with the main 6 when I finally finish, but you could certainly pile them together for yourself and decide how you prefer to do your own stitching and filler.

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