Author Topic: 2020/12: Link: The Faces Of Evil (CD-i) - Jackster  (Read 1548 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline JonLeung

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3377
2020/12: Link: The Faces Of Evil (CD-i) - Jackster
« on: November 30, 2020, 09:18:06 PM »

For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Jackster's Link: The Faces Of Evil (CD-i) maps.

What better way to end the bizarre and challenging year of 2020 than with maps of a bizarre and challenging game, like Link: The Faces Of Evil?  Since the 100th Maps Of The Month honour (excluding the April Fools' jokes) went to The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time, the 200th Maps Of The Month honour (including the April Fools' jokes) might as well also be for a Zelda game - this one on the opposite end of the spectrums of popularity, sales, critical acclaim, and canonicity.

Thanks to advancements in technology, such as inexpensive CD-based media, the gaming scene was crowded with several console newcomers in the 1990s, including Philips with the CD-i.  Sure, the "CD-i" is technically an optical disc format, and there are many models of CD-i players, though the most well-known are the ones marketed by Philips.  The Philips CD-i might have been forgotten, if not for its shared origin as a CD-ROM add-on for the Super NES, much like the more successful Sony PlayStation, and the licensing deal with Nintendo, which led to a handful of CD-i games featuring Nintendo characters.  Thanks to Jackster, VGMaps.com now has maps of the three CD-i Zelda games, and the first of these submissions was Link: The Faces Of Evil.

Though two of the CD-i Zelda games, Link: The Faces Of Evil and Zelda: The Wand Of Gamelon, are panned for their awkward animation and gameplay, these maps help us focus on the one positive - these backgrounds are actually gorgeous.   Game worlds may have been constructed with tiles with limited palettes, but with less restrictions, thanks to the massive increase in storage, they can now be hand-drawn backgrounds.  Jackster played through these games entirely and mapped them, unmarked, so we can fully appreciate them without having to play the games - but also marked, so if we dare to play them, they can be of use to survive the hazards of Koridai and defeat Ganon.

So to recognize the effort of enduring the infamous CD-i Zelda games, Jackster's Link: The Faces Of Evil (CD-i) maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for December 2020.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 08:02:47 PM by JonLeung »

Offline Jackster

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: 2020/12: Link: The Faces Of Evil (CD-i) - Jackster
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2020, 11:59:22 PM »
Funny that this all started off as an idea I had at work, where I realized that CD-i games can run on MAME now and wondered if I could possibly make maps with this. After a day of fooling around with an older version of MAME (0.214) to get everything set for mapping (as well as discovering that MAME's CD-i driver has an option to enable/disable layers), I went and decided to map all 3 Zelda games. I was also glad JonLeung said something about how he was able to get Zelda's Adventure working on MAME but not the other 2 games, as that was proof that ZA was properly working in the latest versions of MAME now than it was in previous versions, which kept me from searching for other opportunities to get that game working (originally I was looking into getting a MAME build from 2009 called TinyCDI to run solely for this game). I was able to play through that game from start to finish with little to no problems.

There were also problems I ran into with MAME's snapshot feature for their CD-i driver, where the dimensions were incorrect and caused the screenshot to stretch, so for a while I couldn't use that feature or the video recording feature until I figured out the right dimensions for that. Therefore, Faces of Evil was ripped using SnagIt (all thanks to its Fixed Region option), and used the same method with Zelda's Adventure. After some brainstorming, I finally figured out the right dimensions for the snapshot thing, and used a combination of SnagIt and MAME's video recording (to run through Screenshot Autostitcher) for Wand of Gamelon.

For the two weeks making maps for these games, it was quite a trip. I never would have guessed that I would get Map of the Month almost instantly. And I had only been on this site since last month for the purpose of mapping Shining Wisdom (which I still need to finish as of this writing), which then evolved into something more. Thanks Jon!

I do plan on making more CD-i maps in the future. As I told Jon via email, I'm still thinking about Hotel Mario, but my interests is shifting towards other games that's not part of the Nintendo/Philips deal, to give them more recognition. Two such games that are on my list now are Mutant Rampage: Bodyslam (from the same studio that did Wand of Gamelon/Faces of Evil) but most importantly The Apprentice, from SPC Vision/The Vision Factory. The latter was made by people that originated from the Atari ST demo scene, and it clearly shows in this game and other games they made for this console. I went and ripped the first stage as a test, but this shows you just how gorgeous this game is. And this is on a system riddled with poor quality games and educational games. This will be my first game to work on out of the two.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 01:16:05 AM by Jackster »