Author Topic: World Map request for Lunar 2 Eternal Blue (Sega CD)  (Read 1540 times)

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Offline ReyVGM

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World Map request for Lunar 2 Eternal Blue (Sega CD)
« on: September 09, 2019, 03:33:17 PM »
I would love if someone could make the world map for the Sega CD version of Lunar 2 (the PS1 version has a different map).  Both bizhawk and Gens Re-Recording have the option to disable layers (Gens RR allows more disabling than bizawk) and here's a brm file with the whole map available to explore already (pick the Epilogue save).

https://www.sendspace.com/file/imqpe7

If you need to make cheats, then you'll have to use Bizhawk. Searching for Sega CD cheats can sometimes be complicated  because games can use both the Genesis ram or the Sega CD one. So, when searching for cheats, got the Settings -> Memory Domain and pick either 68K RAM (Genesis side) or CD PRG RAM (Sega CD side). Unfortunately the only way to tell which one the game uses is to try to search for a cheat, if you keep getting zero results for a simple cheat, then pick another memory domain. If neither of those domains provide anything, then try "CD Word RAM (2M)".

If someone does this, I think it will be the first Sega CD map on the site?

Offline Lüt

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Re: World Map request for Lunar 2 Eternal Blue (Sega CD)
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2019, 09:40:39 PM »
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.

Offline ReyVGM

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Re: World Map request for Lunar 2 Eternal Blue (Sega CD)
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2019, 06:49:01 AM »
Sad to hear about the family issues. As for the Lunar 2 map, either way is fine. One full map or segmented, as long as there is one. I don't really need it, but since the map is different from the PSX version, and there's already a PSX version online, I thought it would be nice to be able to see the SCD one too. Plus, it would be the first Sega CD map on the site.

Offline JonLeung

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Re: World Map request for Lunar 2 Eternal Blue (Sega CD)
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2019, 09:32:58 AM »
Segmented maps are fine, especially if they're segmented logically, such as how they appear in the game.

A full map would be neat.  In the cases where the water palettes are different, how would it look if you merged/mixed/averaged the colours?  You know, by transparencies or gradients?  While it wouldn't be 100% accurate pixel-wise, it might look really cool, and good enough (if not perhaps even better) for practical purposes.

Offline Lüt

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Re: World Map request for Lunar 2 Eternal Blue (Sega CD)
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2020, 11:28:31 PM »
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:

https://i.postimg.cc/BsN88qRb/Lunar2-Sega-CD-Salyan-Desert01-Overworld.png

(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.))

Animations

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:

https://i.postimg.cc/DFFT9Lj4/Lunar2-Sega-CD-Meribia01x-Meribia-Animated.gif

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:

https://i.postimg.cc/1PLjxQ5C/Lunar2-Sega-CD-Mystic-Ruins-M01-Mystic-Ruins-Marked-Preview.png

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:

https://i.postimg.cc/Rh0Yy9wr/Lunar2-Sega-CD-Katarina-Zone-Overlap01-East.png
https://i.postimg.cc/vTSKdjv4/Lunar2-Sega-CD-Katarina-Zone-Overlap02-West.png

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.

Offline ReyVGM

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Re: World Map request for Lunar 2 Eternal Blue (Sega CD)
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2020, 01:48:21 PM »
Hey Lüt, thanks for still working on it :)


Offline Lüt

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Re: World Map request for Lunar 2 Eternal Blue (Sega CD)
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2020, 04:44:36 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.

Offline Lüt

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Re: World Map request for Lunar 2 Eternal Blue (Sega CD)
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2020, 09:26:31 AM »
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:

SUBMISSION IS IN! ;D

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 :)

Offline JonLeung

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Re: World Map request for Lunar 2 Eternal Blue (Sega CD)
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2020, 08:14:55 PM »
The maps are now up!

That's 790 maps up in one evening...  That's got to be some kind of record...  Lüt was kind enough to premake the tables, but I still had to change a few filenames for consistency (hope that isn't a problem).  Let me know if there are any issues like broken links; I sort of rushed through it like a maniac and haven't had a chance to test them all...

Thanks again, Lüt, for these incredible maps and fulfilling ReyVGM's request!

Offline ReyVGM

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Re: World Map request for Lunar 2 Eternal Blue (Sega CD)
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2020, 09:01:15 PM »
Thanks a lot Lüt for this incredible work!!

Offline JonLeung

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Re: World Map request for Lunar 2 Eternal Blue (Sega CD)
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 06:54:51 AM »
The excessive "Unmarked" indicators will be removed tonight... that's my slip-up from abusing the Bulk Rename Utility...