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View topic - SMS Golden Axe Tyris Flare Edition ROM Hack

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  • Joined: 18 Jul 2020
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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2022 3:21 pm
NewHorizon wrote

Yeah, Golden Axe isn't known for speed. haha A shame though, an FM soundtrack would be awesome.


I've used an emulator called Dega. I discovered it just recently. It has an enhance PSG option. Probably the closest It'll get to FM. Sounds great for this game. I tried it with Street Fighter 2 as well, it didn't really help much though lol.
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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2022 3:31 pm
xfixium wrote
NewHorizon wrote

Yeah, Golden Axe isn't known for speed. haha A shame though, an FM soundtrack would be awesome.


I've used an emulator called Dega. I discovered it just recently. It has an enhance PSG option. Probably the closest It'll get to FM. Sounds great for this game. I tried it with Street Fighter 2 as well, it didn't really help much though lol.

Iirc the PSG emulation in Dega is wrong. More specifically the pitch of the noise channel isn't correct.
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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2022 5:09 pm
Calindro wrote

Iirc the PSG emulation in Dega is wrong. More specifically the pitch of the noise channel isn't correct.


Good to know. It seems to add something to the channels, which tbh sounds a bit more interesting than just the vanilla track. I've played this game wayyyyyy too many times.
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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2022 5:57 pm
xfixium wrote
What official artwork are you referring to, so I can look into it further? There have been many styles for the game, through its many iterations. I most likely won't shelve the work I have done thus far, but in future versions, I can offer a variant. Much like Slogra's alternate title screen palette.

I meant the one you posted for the game cover I posted it too,Tyris in that picture looks like a lot to the model I posted, that motivated me to introduce that model because of her looks including a front side photo. So, if you want her twitter I'd pm you.
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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2022 6:19 pm
The hack already finished?
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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2022 7:17 pm
segarule wrote
The hack already finished?


He asked me for the ROM, for some upcoming videos. I let him know that the end screens weren't done. He said that's fine, that he's bad at the game, and would never reach the ending. XD *shrugs*

Also he asked me to share his email. I believe for pre-order purposes. If anyone is interested in that:

[email protected]

My apologies if this breaks any sort of rule that I'm not aware of. Please delete freely if it does.
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Post Posted: Thu May 05, 2022 11:20 am
This looks awesome. Well done!!


segarule wrote
The hack already finished?
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Post Posted: Thu May 05, 2022 1:43 pm
If Revo and xfixium wants to use my cover can do it and I can do some changes if needed.

I am thinking about to buy it, I love this things but the money is limited and probably I will make it by my own, a friend of mine make the hardware. I hope you publish the final rom soon
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Post Posted: Sat May 07, 2022 6:11 am
I like the anime style of your ending, xfixium! It is like a homage to the PC-engine version. And the overview shot with Tyris looking back on the castle is a great idea. It is instantly recognizable, even in the limited space of the small frame. Nickpick: The sea between the Wilderness and the eagle port (where the turtle swims) should be visible, shouldn’t it? To me, it looks like the terrain is all plains and forest in your version?
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Post Posted: Mon May 09, 2022 5:30 pm
8BitBoy wrote
This looks awesome. Well done!!


Thank you!

law81 wrote
If Revo and xfixium wants to use my cover can do it and I can do some changes if needed.

I am thinking about to buy it, I love this things but the money is limited and probably I will make it by my own, a friend of mine make the hardware. I hope you publish the final rom soon


Thanks for the offer, however that's entirely up to Revo to decide. The rom will be done by the end of this week.

hang-on wrote
I like the anime style of your ending, xfixium! It is like a homage to the PC-engine version. And the overview shot with Tyris looking back on the castle is a great idea. It is instantly recognizable, even in the limited space of the small frame. Nickpick: The sea between the Wilderness and the eagle port (where the turtle swims) should be visible, shouldn’t it? To me, it looks like the terrain is all plains and forest in your version?


It is missing the sea, I debated bringing it in, but decided not to. For the life of me I can't remember the exact reason. I think I have more than enough tiles to do it, tbh. I'll give it a shot.
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 25, 2022 11:17 am
I was wondering how much work it would be to get Double Dragon working in your wonderful editor.
The games are similar in style and release date, and perhaps also in data structure, so i'm hoping it will be compatible with your editor.
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Post Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2022 12:20 am
slogra wrote
I was wondering how much work it would be to get Double Dragon working in your wonderful editor.
The games are similar in style and release date, and perhaps also in data structure, so i'm hoping it will be compatible with your editor.


If you're planning on hacking Double Dragon with your own assets, I believe it's possible for SMS Editor to do that. It seems most of the assets on DD are uncompressed. So following the tutorial on SMS Editor's github page should get you there. If you're planning on fitting DD graphics into Golden Axe, this again should be feasible. Just load the GA SMS Project file provided on the github releases page. The provided zip should have everything you need to jump in. Just note that SMS Editor is primarily a resource hacking tool, and doing any tweaks to code is outside the scope of the application.
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Post Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2022 5:02 am
Yeah, i am messing around with Double Dragon, to see what is possible. It is another game that can be improved a lot. I only just started and it's just for fun, so it is not a serious project yet.

I've followed your guide until the tilemap part. Double Dragon uses attributes, like hflip and vflip.
When "Tile attributes" is enabled in the SMS editor, nothing is displayed after clicking "Validate Map". I'm not sure why it does not work.

When "Tile attributes" is disabled, something is displayed, as in the screenshot.
Tile number 01 is the pavement. So the often used attribute 01 is translated to pavement.
Also it looks like the tilemap data of Double Dragon is stored "vertically", but is displayed "horizontally".
smseditor_tilemap.png (110.57 KB)
smseditor_tilemap.png
tilemap_emulicious.png (206.75 KB)
tilemap_emulicious.png

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Post Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2022 9:27 am
Quote
Yeah, i am messing around with Double Dragon, to see what is possible. It is another game that can be improved a lot. I only just started and it's just for fun, so it is not a serious project yet.

DD 2 would be welcome! I like the musics in Double Dragon 2. If it is your goal, please, continue!!
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Post Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2022 5:13 pm
slogra wrote
Yeah, i am messing around with Double Dragon, to see what is possible. It is another game that can be improved a lot. I only just started and it's just for fun, so it is not a serious project yet.

I've followed your guide until the tilemap part. Double Dragon uses attributes, like hflip and vflip.
When "Tile attributes" is enabled in the SMS editor, nothing is displayed after clicking "Validate Map". I'm not sure why it does not work.

When "Tile attributes" is disabled, something is displayed, as in the screenshot.
Tile number 01 is the pavement. So the often used attribute 01 is translated to pavement.
Also it looks like the tilemap data of Double Dragon is stored "vertically", but is displayed "horizontally".


The data is indeed stored vertically, and thus SMS Editor in it's current state can't help you. The reason nothing came back when you checked the "Use Tile Attributes" option, is because the offset wasn't set. SMS Editor will always assume the first index is zero, but in the game, the tileset starts at 256 in VRAM. So you just have to put 256 into the offset field to make up for this.
dd_0001.png (48.01 KB)
Looks like 5104 bytes is the total amount of data. The last section is repeated in the actual game
dd_0001.png

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Post Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2022 9:25 pm
Thanks for having a look anyway. I learned a bit more about tilemapping, so i can fix some problems with tile flipping manually now.
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Post Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2022 9:57 pm
slogra wrote
Thanks for having a look anyway. I learned a bit more about tilemapping, so i can fix some problems with tile flipping manually now.


Sorry the application couldn't be of help. Although I will update it for vertical orientation in the near future. I find it odd that I was just implementing vertical orientation in a tool I'm in process of making for my tmnt project. Then this comes up. I would love to see what you can do with DD.
sms_ts_0001.png (101.63 KB)
Project minded resource application
sms_ts_0001.png

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Post Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2022 9:10 am
What would the benefit of storing it vertically vs horizontally? Is the tilemapping data streamed while playing the game?
Why did Golden Axe not store it that way?

I have no real plans for DD, although it's clear that the game can be easily hacked. I don't want to spend too much time on it, so perhaps i'll do some quick fixes of the backgrounds only and palettes of sprites. But changing the pixels of all sprites would take to much time.

Your tool would help, but i don't want you to spend much time on this either :). I'd rather see your turtles game.
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2022 9:29 am
For a game that scrolls horizontally, it can make a lot of sense to store the data as columns so you have exactly the data you need together to draw the next column as it scrolls into view. However many games instead store the level via a layer of abstraction of meta-tiles (eg. 16x16 squares), and scroll in multiple directions, making it less useful to store this way and thus not worth the complication to convert the data that way.
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2022 1:19 pm
Maxim wrote
For a game that scrolls horizontally, it can make a lot of sense to store the data as columns so you have exactly the data you need together to draw the next column as it scrolls into view. However many games instead store the level via a layer of abstraction of meta-tiles (eg. 16x16 squares), and scroll in multiple directions, making it less useful to store this way and thus not worth the complication to convert the data that way.


Again, thank you for your knowledge. This is something I need to implement at some point and time. I understand the concept, but I'm more fuzzy on how the data is stored and read into the VDP.
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2022 4:16 pm
It’s likely entirely bespoke to every game.
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2022 10:02 pm
This hack is finally complete, the updated patches are provided on the first post of this thread. Note, I didn't change up any of the text at the end, it was getting a bit complicated with amount of characters I was limited to. Overall, it's close to what I wanted. One finally down.
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 07, 2022 1:28 am
The patch is returning a .smc file extension. Yes a sms rom that works, but the emulator dont see it.. I used the floating program.
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 07, 2022 2:24 am
segarule wrote
The patch is returning a .smc file extension. Yes a sms rom that works, but the emulator dont see it.. I used the floating program.


Not sure what the issue is. I retested against fresh copies, and it output an .sms file. Most likely all the file needs is the extension renamed.
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Post Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2022 11:33 am
I just completed the game. It looks really great, much better than the original. I think you had very little amount of colors for the sprites, but you used them well. I guess a lot were reserved for the hud and magic.

Congrats, and many thanks for making this hack!
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Post Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2022 12:06 pm
slogra wrote
I just completed the game. It looks really great, much better than the original. I think you had very little amount of colors for the sprites, but you used them well. I guess a lot were reserved for the hud and magic.

Congrats, and many thanks for making this hack!


Thanks Slogra. This is a unique game to be sure. No sprites, except for the HUD, restricted to the first 8 colors of the BG palette, made this challenging for character graphics. 2 more colors would have been amazing imo.

Edit: You know what, I forgot to mention this, but I did a comparison vid of your Sonic hack. It's not very long, and I suck at Sonic, but it showcases the graphical changes between the 2.:

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Post Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2022 12:59 am
I'm honored. I've watched quite a few of those comparison videos. They're always interesting. I made one myself back when my hack only consisted of the Sonic character change, and only the few seconds of the standard demo in the game.
I noticed you made a comparison video of Golden Axe too!

Btw what's up with that alt title palette that i made one day? Is that patch still up to date? Else i would say, just remove it.
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2022 1:15 am
slogra wrote
I'm honored. I've watched quite a few of those comparison videos. They're always interesting. I made one myself back when my hack only consisted of the Sonic character change, and only the few seconds of the standard demo in the game.
I noticed you made a comparison video of Golden Axe too!

Btw what's up with that alt title palette that i made one day? Is that patch still up to date? Else i would say, just remove it.


I didn't realize there were many videos, I pretty much suck at Sonic XD. And yes, the patch is up to date, on the first page, marked as golden_axe_tyris_dark.bps.
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2022 1:43 am
I meant the comparison videos in general of other games on the different systems.
Well, i got the hang of Sonic after testing many many times ;).

Ok, i didn't expect you to keep the menu palette in the final patch, but i'm honored again. I will get that version as well.
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2022 3:33 am
slogra wrote
Well, i got the hang of Sonic after testing many many times ;).


lol I know what you mean.

Just a heads up, I did an update to the patch files, fixed a couple issues.

Also, Revo notified me of the availability of a hard copy of this hack, if that sort of thing interests you. You can purchase a copy through: [email protected]

Thanks again for the comments, and help from everyone in the community. Hopefully I won't have to update this game for another year or so XD
golden18.jpg (331.34 KB)
Sample of hard copy
golden18.jpg

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Post Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:48 am
Hi xfixium, and congratulations for your great work on this hack!

Recieved my physical copy of it, which allowed me to (re)finish it lots more times (the original was a game of my childhood) and I would have some questions for the developement :

- You removed the title screen music (original to this SMS version) why? Was it to gain space or just to fit the arcade a bit more?
(I think that would have let the possibility to add the death adder music and so to fit more closer to the arcade by replacing all the musics in order, I mean the fifth level music played during boss battles and death adder music at the final boss)

- Wasn't it possible to do a color swap for the barbarians of level 4 to make appear them in grey like in the arcade? (same for the dragon of level 3 which appeared in red to look different to the blue ones)

- The dragons and chicken legs look a lot nicer, but didn't you think about redrawing them in 3/4 like in arcade instead of profile like the original sms version?

- previously on this topic, you wrote :
Quote
xfixium wrote
Which brings up something interesting. Golden Axe uses bg tiles when rendering sprites, but they don't take advantage of tile flipping any of it. Instead they chose to have left and right facing graphics in the rom. I would think having the extra byte for flipping data would be less space in the rom than have both left and right graphics for every character. Might be that flipping has an overhead, and was detrimental to the performance? Since it uses a masking approach combining bg tiles together.


So why haven't you drawn the sprite differently if it's facing left or right? (keeping its sword always in the same hand)

- would have it been possible to add those features to make it closer to the arcade?
* at the night camp, if you finish level with a dragon, make him appear sleeping and being freed by the dwarves (even the megadrive version forgot this!)
* at the night camp, making appear the magic pots you didn't use and seeing dwarves take it.
* letting killed enemies corpses left (in grey) on the ground. ((considering nearly everything on screen including enemies is background, no sprite limitations on this version, so I wonder why it wasn't made like in the arcade... except if it was for censorship!)

I know, that's a lot of questions!
Also thanks for your hacking tool and its tutorial, I'm sure we will see lots of hacks of master system games in the future.
Can't wait for your TMHT2 version also!
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Post Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 2:38 pm
Ax battler wrote
Hi xfixium, and congratulations for your great work on this hack!

Recieved my physical copy of it, which allowed me to (re)finish it lots more times (the original was a game of my childhood) and I would have some questions for the developement :


I'm glad you like it!

Ax battler wrote

- You removed the title screen music (original to this SMS version) why? Was it to gain space or just to fit the arcade a bit more?


It was to fit the arcade a bit more. As that music was one of the most iconic arcade intros for me growing up.

Ax battler wrote

(I think that would have let the possibility to add the death adder music and so to fit more closer to the arcade by replacing all the musics in order, I mean the fifth level music played during boss battles and death adder music at the final boss)


Yeah, that kind of annoys me as well, however this hack was only for graphics. While I think adding the music would be trivial (That is if it existed in a format SMS accepts), the code changes to trigger it would need to be in place as well. Which may or may not be hard to do.

Ax battler wrote

- Wasn't it possible to do a color swap for the barbarians of level 4 to make appear them in grey like in the arcade?


Due to the way the tile merging is done by the game engine, all objects share the same 7 colors (Technically 8, but it's a transparent color). Which limits variety quiet a bit. I had grand plans in the beginning when I planned out the palette, ohhhhh I was so naive back then lol

Ax battler wrote

(same for the dragon of level 3 which appeared in red to look different to the blue ones)


Again, something else that annoyed me. And again, this probably could be done. It would require duplicated graphics, but with pixels pointing to the existing red colors. The issue here is that it would take a coding change to point to the new graphics. Honestly, this could be decently easy to do (Don't quote me on that), but again, that's not what this hack set out to do.

Ax battler wrote

- The dragons and chicken legs look a lot nicer, but didn't you think about redrawing them in 3/4 like in arcade instead of profile like the original sms version?


I believe I tried doing this at first, but size limitations prevented me from going forward with it, and I was stuck revamping the SMS originals. Like for instance, the height of the original walking animations is pretty short, compared to a 3/4 perspective. I believe I tried messing with the dimensions, but it wasn't enough to create a good render. This goes for the dragon as well.

Ax battler wrote

So why haven't you drawn the sprite differently if it's facing left or right? (keeping its sword always in the same hand)


Did the original arcade do this? Never really noticed.

Ax battler wrote

- would have it been possible to add those features to make it closer to the arcade?
* at the night camp, if you finish level with a dragon, make him appear sleeping and being freed by the dwarves (even the megadrive version forgot this!)
* at the night camp, making appear the magic pots you didn't use and seeing dwarves take it.
* letting killed enemies corpses left (in grey) on the ground. ((considering nearly everything on screen including enemies is background, no sprite limitations on this version, so I wonder why it wasn't made like in the arcade... except if it was for censorship!)


Answer to all this: These are game engine changes through code. Which was not the goal of this project. This was my first SMS hack, and I set out to do what I felt I was capable of.

Ax battler wrote

I know, that's a lot of questions!
Also thanks for your hacking tool and its tutorial, I'm sure we will see lots of hacks of master system games in the future.
Can't wait for your TMHT2 version also!


Not a problem, thank you for your comments.
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Post Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:29 pm
xfixium wrote

Ax battler wrote

So why haven't you drawn the sprite differently if it's facing left or right? (keeping its sword always in the same hand)


Did the original arcade do this? Never really noticed.


No, the original arcade did not, but even if I honestly never checked that detail in games I figured it could have been a plus... But certainly wouldn't worth the effort to do.

Thanks a lot for the explanations!
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