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Question: Should I make an 8-bit gfx version of FF?  (Voting closed: March 22, 2004, 08:48:14 AM)
No, FF is fine as it is. - 0 (0%)
Sure, looks good. - 6 (100%)
Why bother?  It'll never get done. - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 6

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Author Topic: 4-bit vs 8-bit, Final Fantasy retouched.  (Read 9777 times)
1000101
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« on: March 22, 2004, 08:48:14 AM »

Ok, most people don't know this, but while the NES was an 8-bit machine, it was only 4-bit graphics, and it was a weird 4-bit graphics system.

Instead of having 16 colours, it had 8 colours and two tile maps.

Anyway, I was playing FF on me emulator and said, 'Hey, I wonder what FF would have looked like if they had used 8-bit gfx...'

Well, after a couple hours playing with different tile sets, this is what I came up with:

Original:


8-bitified:


Now the question is...after I've completed some of the things on the go, should I make a FF clone that is nothing but the original game that uses 8-bit graphics?
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adosorken
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2004, 10:09:58 AM »

I too had plans to recreate Final Fantasy with improved graphics but I abandoned the project a long time ago for some reason. I still have the prototype somewhere in my Terminated Projects folder. Basically, it was functionally identical but had vastly better graphics and music.

If you want any help on this, let me know...I still have all the soundtracks I was going to use and they are basically very enhanced versions of the original FF1 tracks in module format. I also have retracked versions that sound identical to the original FF1 tracks that could easily be re-sampled and enhanced.

Btw...how's FU coming along Smiley
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1000101
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2004, 11:44:50 AM »

That would be sweet.  Especially if I got the graphics you were going to use too (hell, the entire project would be nice ;P).

Anyway, the tileset I have looks nice, but I don't think it's complete enough to use for this, but I'd have to play FF further into it to check all the graphics (and extract maps) to be sure.

Well, It's sort of coming, heh.  I've been working on about three things at once so everything goes slow/fast depending on my mood and how much I work on it.
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adosorken
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2004, 12:07:15 PM »

I think your tileset looks a bit better than the one I was using. In any event, I was coding it in VB6 using the GDI so it was a tad slow. I didn't feel like rewriting it in DirectX, and I wasn't accomplished enough in Visual C++ at the time to write it "properly".

I think I have all the maps extracted from the original ROM somewhere. I took the maps from the Japanese version though, because the American version had some graphics censors which I totally disagree with. I am not sure whether or not the maps were changed or not, but the tilesets were slightly modified. In any event, I think it's totally cool to make minor adjustments to the maps as long as they retain the same "feel", know what I mean? Oh and of course...I know that I for one kept the same enemy party boundaries...which means that the good old penninsula trick worked as well as it did in the original. Cheesy
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1000101
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2004, 12:19:42 PM »

That would be so handy to get from you.  Also, knowledge on how you got the maps out of the ROMs would be nice too.

Now, if you'd just get on MSN ;P
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na_th_an
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2004, 03:03:30 PM »

This is a great idea. Another cool remake. Don't forget to send it to http://www.remakes.org when it is finished. They'll drool over it.

Btw, as far as I know, GFX in the NES are 2 bits. The screen itself can handle 32 colours at the same time, but every tile or sprite has only 4 colours, 3 for the sprites if we use a transparent colour.

Btw, the screenshot posted *is* amazing. Great pixels. It's a pitty that FF battles are SO BORING (well, at least for me, I have no patience), but anyhow it's a game that I've always liked.

Anyhow, if you're gonna enhace the GFX, I'd go to hi/true-colour. Blending, raster effects, they always look great on pixel art. Why stick to 256 when you can have thousands (I've always said: 16 bits is enough for pixel games)? If you're gonna use a "not QB" programming language it is not a big deal. Our game works in a 486 (DJGPP+Allegro version), so... No excuses here Wink
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1000101
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2004, 09:15:57 PM »

Well, I was figuring on doing two versions if I did.

a)  A VBDOS+UGL version 'for the Qmunity' and;
b) A VB6+DX8 version for 'the rest of the world'.

Since QB(VBDOS) and VB6 are the same basic language, port the code would be simple.  Especially since UGL uses an object based interface.  (Well, you don't use 'object.method args', but you do use 'method object, args'.  That's a QB requirement though.)

Anyway, I was planning 640x480 16-bpp as the target resolution for 'prettyness', also, UGL kicks ass at that res even on an old Pentium.

All I need is that stuff from Nek ;P
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« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2004, 06:07:30 AM »

I'm still looking for the old project files, heh. They got burned to CDROM some time ago and I have about a thousand CDROMs like this. In any event, I still have the Japanese ROM so I could always just re-rip the maps out of them, and I have the soundtracks all stored in my modules directory anyways. I'll try to get this stuff to you later on today. Smiley

As far as other stuff for the game goes...you name it and I can extract it...battle formations, accurate equipment and spells, string tables, etc. Smiley It would take some time but I can certainly do it.
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1000101
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« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2004, 07:16:11 AM »

heh, while that would be awesome to have all that ripped for me (and if you want to do it then be my guest ;P) I'd still like to know how.  There are a few ROMs which I would like to get stuff from.

Also, I found better trees to use then in the pic above.

Wanna see a lovely GIF transition from old gfx to new (it's big, 489K)?

http://uregina.ca/~cowles1e/images/FFWorld.gif
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KiZ
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« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2004, 07:18:05 AM »

Forbidden
Your client is not allowed to access the requested object.
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1000101
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« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2004, 07:22:25 AM »

I was uploading it when I posted that message, it's there now.
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« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2004, 11:40:08 AM »

Virtually every game used different storage/retrieval methods, there is no singular way to do it for all ROM images. For Final Fantasy, I have a specialized tool designed to do this kind of stuff. In the emulation scene, there are people who dedicate their entire "scene life" to reverse engineering old games and creating utilities to manipulate and modify them. You can try searching google for hacking specific games, or try an emulation central such as zophar.
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1000101
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« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2004, 01:15:16 PM »

Oh granted, granted.  But, I was hoping for generalized information on how information is typically stored in the ROMs.  I've done quite a bit of data/gfx/sound extraction over the years on the PC platform, but then, I'm familiar with PC architecture.
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Life is like a box of chocolates', hrm, WTF, no it isn't, more like, 'life is like a steaming pile of horse crap.'
adosorken
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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2004, 04:45:41 PM »

For older consoles such as the NES, since memory was so limited, data was often compressed using simple methods. FF from what I understand uses some form of RLE to store its maps. I understand a lot of old NES games use RLE to store certain types of data. Graphics are always a planar mess though. Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2004, 08:43:05 PM »

Sorry for the double post, but...! I FOUND IT! Smiley The original project files! Smiley Only had to go through about 80 discs... Wink It was on an active project CD... I forgot it was still an active project when I made the backup. D'oh! Cheesy

The good news: All the soundtracks I couldn't find in my hard drive's module collection were on the disc, including the elusive marsh cave remix. Also, the entire US version script and each map with blocked and unblocked tilesets are here, plus a little map viewer I had written to view them. I even have most of the monster sprites from the 'official' FF remake (missing a few but got the good ones like Kary and the wizard ogre).

The bad news: The disc has some damage on it, and the project was saved progressively. The later builds are not recoverable, and the only builds that are unscathed are rather primitive. It's not even enough to go on. Looks like several other projects which were abandoned will stay that way as well...

I'll get this stuff archived and put up on my server tomorrow. I hope all this helps. Cheesy

EDIT: I have half of the formations outlaid. I hadn't done this in the past so it's taking some time. As anyone who's messed with this game knows there's more to FF than meets the eye...it's a very technically sound game.
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