Author Topic: Sword of Mana (GBA)  (Read 69560 times)

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Offline Troy Lundin

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Sword of Mana (GBA)
« on: October 18, 2011, 10:28:52 pm »
I didn't see this game in the atlas yet. If it has already been done or reserved, let me know.

I have found the following offsets, which, in my opinion, are the only ones needed to make maps:

Character position
Screen position
Map ID
Animations

I have already done about 50 maps in the past hour or so. This game has a ton of maps.

The daytime feature isn't really a dynamic feature as you would think. Each map has a morning, afternoon, evening and night version.
This means there are four versions of each map. I'll give an example.

Map ID   Area
03D4     Topple Outskirts (Morning)
03D5     Topple Outskirts (Afternoon)
03D6     Topple Outskirts (Evening)
03D7     Topple Outskirts (Night)

Yes, you read that correctly. Topple Outskirts (Night) is map number 983.

The amount of maps isn't really an issue as it takes less than two minutes to complete a big map.
The above mentioned maps were completed in less than 30 seconds each.

Attached are the maps I mentioned above.

Offline Trop

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Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2011, 10:46:51 pm »
Ack!  People keep beating me to map the SD games.  What's next, Children of Mana, Heroes of Mana?  Oh well.

So you can just rip rooms right out of this game huh?  I would've done it the hard way with a walk through walls code and screen shots.  That's the reason I didn't say anything in your compile thread.  I've never made a map from parts alone, every time I try something like that I mess up horribly.  And that's the reason I've never gotten anywhere mapping Legend of Mana, I'd have to do it with parts.

If you're getting these maps so easily you'll probably have this game fully done in no time, can't wait to see it.

Offline Troy Lundin

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Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2011, 11:58:39 pm »
I'm not ripping the maps out of the game. It's done with screenshots.
I made a nifty program that makes this process so ridiculously easy that I chuckle a bit just thinking about it.

I used to piece together screenshots by hand, but being a self-taught programmer makes me want to go the extra mile.
Maybe I'll make a short video of how I do it if people are interested. And, yes, I am using a walk through walls code of sorts.

Also, if you are super knowledgeable about the game you should help me out. I know next to nothing about the storyline or anything about the game for that matter.
All I really know is that it was Final Fantasy Adventure for the GB, I think. When I make maps I just follow an online walkthrough and capture the maps as I go.

To give you an idea of how fast I can map with my program: I did all 389 maps from Dawn of Souls (FF2) in about two hours yesterday. Then I saw someone already did maps for the game. :(
I made sure to check first this time.

Offline Grizzly

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Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2011, 08:29:13 am »
Yes, I am definitely interested in how you do those maps and what the program does for you.

I also already tried creating a program like the Autostitcher but for slower paced screenshots (i.e. not each from each frame but when pressed a key manually) with visible sprites. The program had to find overlapping portions of each two screenshots and also recognize sprites. But I already had difficulties with finding overlapping portions when using it on Indiana Jones 4: The Action Game, as seen below - although most screenshots fit perfectly to form a map, some are misplaced and at the moment there's no possibility to interact with the map creation process of the program. So I never got around identifiying sprites. I plan to work on it again in the future, though - by first adding an assisted mode where the program tries a map layout automatically and the user chooses which screenshots have to be placed at a different position. But I didn't have time for it lately.

Offline Trop

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Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2011, 09:13:32 am »
I'm certainly knowledgeable about Sword of Mana.  Sword is a remake of FFA but they changed some things, in fact everything but the story line.  Do you need helping piecing everything together or something?

Offline Troy Lundin

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Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2011, 09:41:35 am »
@Trop: When I create the maps I turn off the sprite layer and any animations for consistency.
Just so happens the chests in Sword of Mana are part of the sprite layer. No idea if they are randomly placed or if they have static locations.

If you were to help me out, I could just give you the maps I create (sans the sprite layer) and you could add any pertinent sprites to them.

@Grizzly: I tried to add auto-stitching to my program but failed miserably. Honestly, I seemed awfully complicated from the examples I found online. And those examples were for photographs.
I'll put together a video some time today if I have time.

Offline Maxim

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Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2011, 10:05:36 am »
Photo stitching involves projecting images onto a sphere, finding points of interest and aligning them, then re-drawing back on a flat image. This is a very tricky process at the best of times.

Grizzly is referring to Screenshot Autostitcher which tries to find the best placement for consecutive screenshots by finding the point of overlap where they line up the most, which works best when there are lots of closely-aligned screenshots, or even a video of the game.

There's also Animation merger which is a bit more powerful (for mapping; it can certainly produce some awesome but questionably useful animated stuff too) but possibly less friendly.

Offline Paco

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Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2011, 10:23:12 am »
Also, if you are super knowledgeable about the game you should help me out. I know next to nothing about the storyline or anything about the game for that matter. All I really know is that it was Final Fantasy Adventure for the GB, I think.

or called Mystic Quest in Europa or Seiken Densetsu in Japan. ^^ played it to death when i was a Kid, so i think i should know alot about it, but Sword of Mana is different so i cant promise much.

When I make maps I just follow an online walkthrough and capture the maps as I go.

That is how i do it too. ^^
Legends never dies.

Offline Troy Lundin

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Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2011, 10:56:52 am »
Here is a video of my capturing a small map from Sword of Mana. http://www.4shared.com/file/cTBEAbik/Map_Creator_Show.html
The video is one minute in length and has a screen resolution of 1920x1080.

Let me explain what is going on.

I start by showing I am only using a walk through walls code (I call it Freemove). The last five codes freeze flower, grass and water animations. Sword of Mana has an independently moving screen. This means when the screen reaches the edge it stops even though your character can keep moving. This means I have to find the address for the screen coordinates as well as the address for the character coordinates.

I start out in the upper-left corner of the map, as this is where I was when I entered the map. In this game, like most, the co-ordinates loop around. This means if I move my character to the left of zero on the x axis, it loop around to 65,535. I then enter the map menu (any menu works) to refresh the position of the screen. Since I am at X co-ordinate 65,000+ the screen tries to follow but will only go as far as the game allows. This shows me the right edge of the map.

I do the same procedure for the Y-axis. This gives me the bottom-right corner of the map. I can now resize the canvas to the exact size of the map, making things a bit easier to see.

All that is left is to fill in the empty spots. As you can see, I take six screenshots total making the entire process take ~40 seconds.
It's slower than usual but I was trying not to hit the screen transition points.

In the program window, you can see in the output image (the map I am creating) a filled red square and an empty red rectangle.
These represent the character and screen positions, respectively. This makes it easy to see where everything is at and where the captured image will land.

There are other features, such as stepping that I can show as well. Stepping allowed me to make a map of the FFV Advance world map in under five minutes.
Please note that my program requires at least character co-ordinates to work properly. It uses these to track where you are on a global scale.

Offline Trop

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Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2011, 01:39:12 pm »
Sure I could put them together like that.  How much stuff do you want on them though?  Just chests?  Chests and NPCs?  Chests, NPCs, and Monsters?  Chests, NPC's, Monsters, Puzzle Solutions, Rare Items, etc, etc ,etc?

Offline Troy Lundin

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Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2011, 02:12:03 pm »
Positively chests, as long as they are static and not random placement. It confused me that they share the sprite layer.
I only like NPCs if they are important. Ones that wander around are pretty pointless. I guess NPCs that are required for story progression? It's still not that important.
Mobs can be placed off the maps themselves. Maybe in the empty spaces. Putting them on the map is pointless since they are random anyway.

I can do a sample to give you an idea. Give me time to get some areas completed first. This game is driving me bonkers with it's different maps based on time of day. If anyone knows a code to stop the time of day from changing, I would love to have it.


Edit: I attached a sample image of Batmo Cave. I made it simple. There is a 4 pixel space between images and the borders. You could put treasure information in the empty spaces. Along with mob data and images. Or any pertinent information for the map. Honestly, I just want to capture the maps. That's what I enjoy. I'll let someone who enjoys putting the pieces together do that.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2011, 08:38:33 pm by Troy Lundin »

Offline Trop

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Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2011, 10:46:53 pm »
In all SD games chests are sprites that disappear once opened.  I think It's a convenience so the designers didn't have to make a bunch of different item sprites.  Which is stupid since they then go and do it anyway in the inventory.
Sadly there a lot of important NPC's in this game since there a lot of side quests and things like that.  There are other important things too like rare monsters and items that only appear in certain areas under special conditions.

Hmm.  Hey Paco are you doing anything right now?  If we did another collab here this would go real fast.  I could mark some things and you could mark others.  What do you think?

Offline Paco

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Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2011, 05:28:16 am »
Positively chests, as long as they are static and not random placement. It confused me that they share the sprite layer. I only like NPCs if they are important. Ones that wander around are pretty pointless. I guess NPCs that are required for story progression? It's still not that important. Mobs can be placed off the maps themselves. Maybe in the empty spaces. Putting them on the map is pointless since they are random anyway.

Edit: I attached a sample image of Batmo Cave. I made it simple. There is a 4 pixel space between images and the borders. You could put treasure information in the empty spaces. Along with mob data and images. Or any pertinent information for the map. Honestly, I just want to capture the maps. That's what I enjoy. I'll let someone who enjoys putting the pieces together do that.

like this:

Golden Sun (on Maps)

or like this?:

- Dragon Quest 3 Remix (outside the maps)

You said you made 390 Maps for Final Fantasy - Dawn of Souls (FF2), but didnt submit them coz someone already did them? As far i can see the maps on Vgmaps arent complete (very many are still missing).

In all SD games chests are sprites that disappear once opened.  I think It's a convenience so the designers didn't have to make a bunch of different item sprites.  Which is stupid since they then go and do it anyway in the inventory.
Sadly there a lot of important NPC's in this game since there a lot of side quests and things like that.  There are other important things too like rare monsters and items that only appear in certain areas under special conditions.

Hmm.  Hey Paco are you doing anything right now?  If we did another collab here this would go real fast.  I could mark some things and you could mark others.  What do you think?

I was going to do Dragon Warrior 3 in November, but i dont mind doing it. I have to play a bit first and see what i can do and so.
Legends never dies.

Offline Troy Lundin

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Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2011, 09:53:35 am »
Honestly, I really like the way these were done: https://www.vgmaps.com/Atlas/SuperNES/FinalFantasyVI-WorldOfBalance-Narshe.png

Also, I can send you the FF2 maps if you want to mark them up. There are some that aren't used in the game. They contain a simple square room with a single tree in it.
Even if they don't get used it was still fun doing it. :D

A question about Sword of Mana: Do you think all the screens could be stuck together as one huge map? or would some of them overlap? From what I have seen so far, it almost seems like a Zelda type map. Multiple screens to make up a huge world.

I am up to 88h on maps. Got a little behind from a dentist appointment yesterday but should get pretty far today. I have decided to do every fourth map (morning) so I can piece together everything.
I understand what you are saying, Trop, about the chests being on the sprite layer now. I just didn't know if they were randomly located. I still haven't been adding them but I can if it would make it easier for you.
I won't add any npcs. I'll leave that to your discretion.

Offline Trop

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Re: Sword of Mana (GBA)
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2011, 10:58:53 am »
Yeah I think simple is the way to go.  I'm also working on other projects now and I don't think I could repeat what I did for Mystic Ark with my work load.

As for the world map issue in Sword, yes all the screens together make up one huge world map.  That's a throwback to the first Seiken Densetsu, but in this game they changed things so that it comes out bad looking if you try to join everything up.  It would be better to separate the over world into the sections you have to travel through between towns and dungeons.

So, Paco, what should we add?  Oh! and before I forget, the game is somewhat different depending on which character you play as.