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Map Gab / Re: Secret maps
« Last post by VGCartography on May 12, 2022, 08:31:05 am »
This isn't quite the same, but the original Demon's Souls on PS3 is known for having a substantial area (would've been the 6th major area after the included 5) that has been datamined, with partial collision and some incomplete enemy models/animations resulting in a partially completed resurrection of it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjkdKKgmofA
(there are of course multiple YTers who have made their careers based on Souls cut content)

There was a partially finished dungeon called Singing Mountain on Chrono Trigger that Square confirmed was cut from prehistoric age, but the music for it and some layouts/graphics can be found in the ROM.

Tomba's Village of Civilization is just one piece of a large amount of unused Tomba stuff that is actively being researched:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nq5rTECKb_w  ;)

Sonic 2 also has a couple zones found on the ROM that weren't used iirc, not sure how far along. Those are a handful I can recall.
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Very cool idea. I've wanted a tool like this for some of my Civ empires in the past, like let me see a big poster. Makes me wonder what other games could have a pattern of generating a large map based on a save file. Animal Crossing comes to mind...
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Maps In Progress / Re: VGCartography - getting to work on PS1 maps!
« Last post by VGCartography on May 12, 2022, 08:21:36 am »
Just submitted a complete* set of maps for Spyro 1. Gonna do 2 and 3 eventually, but taking a little break from placing gems and chests for a bit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s07jI0FeQhU
Made another video, this one about Tomb Raider 2. The game was complex enough that I didn't make labeled maps, although never say never - they are layered and difficult to clearly unravel in 2D, but the video was my attempt at a "living" version. Started on TR3 as a follow up as well.

Other stuff floating around is continuing isometric maps of Vagrant Story, Xenogears, and finishing MGS2. Not sure after that... maybe a little break.

*High Caves is missing due to data error :(
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I got a copy of this one as well. It's a fun flip, the majority of the maps are "official" maps from manuals, old magazines or strategy guides, although there are a few fanmade maps for mostly prominent games (Zelda, Castlevania, etc) that are generally good. I've seen the Solstice one here actually. So it functions also as a kind of time capsule for an era where RPGs came with foldout maps and the like. Some of the artwork rendering older games in interesting ways for magazines is quite impressive. Only con is that I wish it was bigger - lots of detail is sacrificed as a tradeoff for a ton of content and a small form factor. Overall a solid book for sure, and a lot of fun obscure (i.e. Japanese-only title) maps to enjoy.

All that is to say, a screenshot map would not tread on this one too much because the only screenshot maps are in the form of scans of Nintendo Power Mario 3 and the like.
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Map Gab / Secret maps
« Last post by Raccoon Sam on May 07, 2022, 07:19:17 am »
Recently I programmed a level viewer for Pocky & Rocky (SNES) and was delighted to find that the final level, Stage 6: Battle With Black Mantle has an unused area not seen in this (presumably) screenshot-stitched map by MagnetiC.

this is my output:


the only rooms you can actually see in-game are these highlighted here:



So here's the unused corridor:


and its background:


and my best-guess estimates of the three middle rooms


Very interesting! There are unused enemy graphics in the bank assigned to that level, but we weren't able to spawn them anywhere sadly. I was doing analysis with Random Talking Bush and they found this interesting bit too:
Quote from: RandomTBush
There's traces of an unused stage in the first Pocky & Rocky as well by the looks of it.
Setting the selected byte to "6" on the level select and moving the selection up or down makes "Stage 7" appear.

Can't be selected regardless, and forcing the stage value to be anything higher makes it default to Stage 6.
...but if you change it during the map transition...

Which is definitely different than the actual Stage 6's.

Apparently the Black Mantle's Revenge is making the game crash. 😛
Haven't gotten to parsing the level data for either game so I don't know if any actual unused stages exist yet


This is all pioneer work, by the way, so you won't find this info on the Cutting Room Floor wiki  8)
Nonetheless, how do you feel about "secret maps" in general? Super Mario Bros. 3 might be the most known about, or at least I think a lot of people know about the unused levels in the game... Do you know of any cool unused maps? What's your favorite?
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Thank you so much, Jon! You're so generous and I'm really humbled by this whole experience. I am so happy to hear VGC & Raccoon Sam both received something too!!! I was really impressed (and inspired!) with their entries and it was awesome to see different approaches to celebrating the 20th anniversary.

Retro gaming in particular has become a life long passion for me and to share this hobby with so many nice people around the world has been such a blessing. The massive amount of content contributed by everyone over the last 20 years is so amazing and I really look forward to seeing how the Video Game Atlas evolves even further into the future!
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So, this "Promo Video Challenge" was indeed a challenge, not just for the participants, but for me to decide which one I liked best!  Here they are in the ORDER THAT THEY WERE RECEIVED:

VGCartography


VGCartography's video has a very direct approach.  This is VGMaps.com, we have maps.  That's what this video is, straight up.  There is a very nice number and variety of maps, and I like particular selections such as starting off with the Lost Woods from The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past (which is how the site started), and the various Chrono Trigger maps ("but medieval", "but dinosaurs", etc....).  It encourages others to submit maps of any kind, and mentions the forums.  Very nice, and composing a track using KORG Gadget, that's impressive.  Does that music track have a name?

Verneri Kontto / Raccoon Sam


Raccoon Sam/Veneri Kontto's video is a very flashy one.  I definitely exclaimed something when I first saw the animated logo and title.  The compass starting circular and turning ovalish, the way the text appears, and the spinning of the compass needle, wow!  The music it's all synched to, ZigZag by Asi C, is extremely catchy, and the overall presentation is incredibly slick and professional.  I love the Kirby's Dream Land 2 part where it is shown how screenshot maps are generally made!  Created in just one evening - that's insane!

Atlas Videos / NESAtlas - WINNER


Atlas Videos/NESAtlas's video spent more time on particular map sets, which were very well-chosen.  There's a portable game (Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow), a computer game (Ultima VII), a console game with pseudo-3D (Solstice), and another console game with actual 3D (Metal Gear Solid).  The logo is animated here, seemingly flying through a bunch of game titles and Maps Of The Month icons.  I can't imagine that the game titles would have been quick or easy to select and assemble.  It's on the longer side, but doesn't feel long.

Because they each have a few standout things, and I would have been happy if I only got one entry and it was any one of them, I made my final decision way later than I expected to.  If you had asked me until then which I liked the best, it could have been any one of them, as I was changing my mind constantly, between all three!  I was always adjusting the weights of what I liked.  After finally deciding, I showed these to my friends, and some of them liked each one, and came up with the same good points as I did, without me saying my opinion first.  So it's good to know I was noticing the same good things.

Ultimately, I went with Atlas Videos/NESAtlas's, because I felt it was the best mix of showcasing maps and celebrating the legacy, with nice production values.  Though they all showed maps, I liked the panning and zooming across these great choices.  Explaining that we have many platforms and many types of maps was good.  The titles going by, that part is simply lovely.

I still have use for the others, like Raccoon Sam/Veneri Kontto's is just BAM! Wow! In your face with the maps!  I could share that if I feel like someone needs to know as quickly as possible what we've got and how they're made.  VGCartography's shows the most maps, so it's a great scope and at a nice length so I could use that as well.

Knowing how making videos isn't so easy (as a YouTuber myself), I felt I had to give them all something for their effort.  It wouldn't be fair or proper to split the prize (I had to reread the rules to make sure, and it said only ONE person gets $2000 (US)) so I decided to give the others what they WOULD have gotten if I had split it three ways.  But $2000/3 is $666.67, and, not to dwell on the numbers, but just in case anyone has a problem with a number associated with evil, I rounded it up to $675 (US).  I had budgeted for the option of giving out more, and it alleviates my conscience that everyone gets something, especially knowing that the competition was as close as it was.

For the time being, I will be linking to the videos on your own channels, as you deserve the views and comments.  They are also on my "JonLeung1" YouTube channel as of today.  Can't believe it's been twenty years.  I legit don't know if/when/why I would stop doing VGMaps.com, so here's to twenty more years, and possibly more!  Thanks to everyone who's contributed any of the over 37,000+ maps, as well as to everyone who enjoys looking at and using them.  That's what the Internet should be, informative and beautiful content.  :)
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That's very generous, Jon! All the entries were really great, I watched them with a couple friends and we each liked a different one the best! I had already seen the excellent video from NESAtlas, but Sam your editing skills are crazy impressive too. Those Kirby transitions are super cool, would love to know a bit more about your process.

Here's to 20 more years!
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That was very kind of you! Woke up to a happy surprise indeed.
Excellent job everyone 🥳 here's to 20 more years of vgmaps!
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And now here we are.  20 years since this began...

Congratulations to NESAtlas / Atlas Videos for winning the VGMaps.com 20th Anniversary Promo Video Challenge!

I've updated the first post of this topic with links to all three entries.  I have to say, you made it very difficult to choose a winner, as there were a couple things I that I really, really liked about each one!

All of you, check your PayPal, I have forwarded the winnings to your accounts.  Yes, I decided to give ALL three participants some money, not just NESAtlas, because I appreciate the hard work you put into your videos.  As a YouTuber myself, I know how much effort is required in these things.

It's past midnight, so though I can probably say more, I do have to get to bed.  Maybe I'll say more "tomorrow", perhaps.
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