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Sonic Adventure 2 Hacking Now a general SA2 Hax thread

#976 User is offline MainMemory 

Posted 11 February 2018 - 03:20 PM

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Posted Image
In case you haven't heard, TheGag96 has fixed SA2's emerald radar with a new "All emeralds trackable in treasure hunt stages" code in the mod loader.

#977 User is offline Turbohog 

Posted 11 February 2018 - 05:16 PM

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Oh my Goooooood! Great to see someone do this. The levels are probably designed with only having one emerald trackable at a time in mind, but this will make some of the treasure hunting levels much more bearable.

Edit: Also I guess this breaks the hints, but they kind of sucked anyway.
This post has been edited by Turbohog: 11 February 2018 - 05:20 PM

#978 User is offline Dark Sonic 

Posted 12 February 2018 - 09:01 AM

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Doing god's work. Fantastic stuff, that just made levels like Mad Space 10x more bearable.

#979 User is offline TheInvisibleSun 

Posted 12 February 2018 - 09:39 AM

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View PostTurbohog, on 11 February 2018 - 05:16 PM, said:

Edit: Also I guess this breaks the hints, but they kind of sucked anyway.


Perhaps now all that's needed is a mod that makes Omochao act like the Tikal hints did in SA1 (or just straight up port Tikal over)? I have no idea how possible/impossible this is to do though.

#980 User is offline Turbohog 

Posted 13 February 2018 - 12:24 AM

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I think that would be a nice solution and I'd honestly prefer it over the monitor hints.In my opinion, the monitor hints break the flow of the game more than the Tikal hints.

An alternate solution would be making it clear which shard the hints are for I guess, but I'm not sure if that's even worth it.

#981 User is offline NeilZander 

Posted 25 February 2018 - 01:21 AM

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Hi everyone I'm really curious if this has been brought up or anything? Currently I've watched a comparison video of both Sonic Adventure 2 and Adventure 2 Battle and Adventure 2 Battle HD? I wanted to ask has anyone attempted to do what has been done with Sonic Adventure DX and bring back the really good lighting and shading effects? Reason I'm asking is I don't think I'm alone on this but it seems quite sad that SEGA did it yet again with these things and managed to make it look worse in some area's on a HD port no less. Too bright in certain spots. No shadow effect like in the jail cell when sonic is captured and so on?

So again I'm asking has anyone yet attempted to fix this like it was done with SADX and do a type of Lantern engine for it so we can get the quality it rightfully deserved? Is this at all Possible?
This post has been edited by NeilZander: 25 February 2018 - 01:22 AM

#982 User is offline MainMemory 

Posted 25 February 2018 - 09:24 AM

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Anything is possible. However, nobody has made an attempt to fix the lighting yet. I don't think SA2 uses any kind of palette effects for lighting, so it may be just as simple as tweaking the light values until everything looks the same.

#983 User is offline NeilZander 

Posted 25 February 2018 - 09:42 AM

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Oh that's awesome to hear. I was fearing the worse for awhile there since nothing had been brought up about it even it at least being a possibility. It's really great to hear that it's still possible and not like SEGA made that impossible to achieve. Hopefully someone will be able to try there hand at fixing the lighting and shading eventually then Sonic Adventure 2 Battle HD can be played the way it was meant to be and even surpass the Dreamcast original with it's proper quality.

#984 User is offline Caverns 4 

Posted 25 February 2018 - 02:50 PM

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Though SADX and SA2:B are pretty different games, now that we're talking about lighting, I think SA2:B DOES use palette based lighting sometimes, or at least some kind of weird weird technique that only applies it to certain layers or something.
Any time a character is on-screen at the same time at lighting/glowing effects, their upgrades aren't affected. Look at the Super Sonic transformation if you've never noticed, it's actually really ugly.

#985 User is offline Shaddy the guy 

Posted 25 February 2018 - 03:02 PM

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That happens with the crystal ring in SA1. The destroyed past cutscene is one of the most aggravating things I have to look at in the game because of it.

Though if SA2 does use a similar or the same pallette lighting system as SA1, modifying the pallettes to be more intense or colorful could actually make the game look closer to, or better than SA1. It'd be interesting to see for sure.

#986 User is offline MainMemory 

Posted 25 February 2018 - 03:19 PM

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You'd think if the game was using palette lighting, it would have palette files for each stage. I suppose they could embed the information into the code files, but why would they? Different models/objects using different lighting settings is by no means something that would require palette effects, it's just a matter of changing the lighting settings between rendering the different models. IIRC SA2 often renders the upgrade models completely separately from the main model, instead of swapping out parts of the main model as SA1 does.

#987 User is offline Morph 

Posted 25 February 2018 - 04:44 PM

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View PostCaverns 4, on 25 February 2018 - 02:50 PM, said:

Though SADX and SA2:B are pretty different games, now that we're talking about lighting, I think SA2:B DOES use palette based lighting sometimes, or at least some kind of weird weird technique that only applies it to certain layers or something.
Any time a character is on-screen at the same time at lighting/glowing effects, their upgrades aren't affected. Look at the Super Sonic transformation if you've never noticed, it's actually really ugly.


Alpha sorting. Hypothetically, palette lighting shouldn't have any effect on this.

#988 User is offline End User 

Posted 26 February 2018 - 01:16 AM

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The closest I've come to finding anything related to the lighting data of each stage comes from the STGXX_FOG and STGXX_LIGHT.BIN files (XX being the stage's ID). The former affects the stage's lighting and fog, while the latter affects the lighting of the objects and character models for that stage. The LIGHT.BIN files are the same between both versions, for the most part. The only differences are that they're byte-swapped and some stages have extra lighting data - found in stgXX_light_gc.bin - for the Battle version to override specific values (Pumpkin Hill does this to change the lighting of the player character and the ghosts, both of which can be reverted to the original values by removing stg05_light_gc.bin. The exceptions are the Big Foot and Hot Shot bosses (STG60 and STG61, respectively) and some of the multiplayer maps. Removing the _gc lighting data for Big Foot causes Sonic's model to appear completely black, while removing Hot Shot's version does the same for Shadow and the boss itself.)

The STGXX_FOG.BIN files are a bit more peculiar. In an attempt to replicate the bluish tint of the backdrop seen in Sonic vs. Shadow 1 that was removed in SA2B, I found that tweaking the first 16 bytes of stg19_fog.bin in SA2B gave me the results I needed. If you try to byte-swap the files from Sonic Adventure 2 DC and put them into SA2B, all you'll get is a solid blue screen upon entering the fight. As for the specifics of the files themselves, I'm not exactly knowledgeable on that front. All I do know is that editing them can have one of two effects upon the stage you want to modify. The first is that the entire screen becomes enveloped by the color you've chosen for the fog, while the second scenario only sees this change being applied to the stage itself.

Much like the LIGHT files, there were more FOG files that were added or significantly changed in SA2B, except the game can crash if the new files are removed. Not all stages have a LIGHT and FOG file associated with them specifically, and the PC version slightly complicates matters because of its... lacking implementation of Battle's changes. The biggest example I can think of is the neat headlight effect for Eggman in Iron Gate and Lost Colony, which was either cranked up to max brightness or not converted to work properly with Windows.

If the above information was already known and documented, my apologies for restating the obvious.

EDIT: Upon further testing, editing the FOG files causes the following to occur. Aquatic Mine will be used for reference and both screenshots were taken while Knuckles was underwater.

SA2B Default
Spoiler

Dreamcast Version (Converted to work with SA2B)
Spoiler


Adding to this, the Battle version of STG07_FOG.BIN only contains the first 16 bytes of data that were modified to give the underwater section a blue tint. The fog's color is determined by the second set of four bytes, in ARGB format for SA2B (FF 00 80 FF). The next set of four bytes affects the intensity of the fog by way of the difference between the two values (44 BB). If 44 is set to 00, the screen becomes completely blue upon diving underwater.

EDIT 2: After testing almost every stage with the modified FOG values from the Dreamcast version, I found that they all had a few things in common when placed into SA2B.

  • For stages where the Dreamcast's fog data didn't immediately bug out (Lost Colony), the effect was much more intense than normally seen in either version of the game. As an example, here's what STG22_FOG.BIN (Crazy Gadget, Dreamcast version) looks like in both versions. In most cases, SA2B adjusts the FOG parameters so the effects look closer to the Dreamcast version, so this is mainly an example of a potential issue that arose during the porting process that was addressed and fixed before release.

    Sonic Adventure 2
    Spoiler

    Converted to SA2B's format
    Spoiler

  • Certain stages have odd implementations of their respective FOG files. The porting team for SA2B most likely ran into this problem and decided to remove these files to prevent these issues from affecting the aesthetics in regular play. As an example, here's what I like to call "Accurate City Escape", which is what you get when you place STG13_FOG.BIN into SA2B. In the Dreamcast version, the backdrop isn't supposed to be affected by the FOG parameters, nor is the effect supposed to be this strong.
    Spoiler

  • Re-implementing certain FOG parameters into SA2B's stages seems to have no effect, though the only example I can immediately point to is Iron Gate. Considering the fact that SA2B tends to ignore some of its own FOG files entirely (Lost Colony, specifically the bluish tint the level geometry is supposed to have in the outdoor sections), I'll chalk it up as a bug, if not an intentional omission.


Another interesting thing to note is that, at least in terms of the enemies, Gold GUN Beetles are always set to ignore LIGHT files. After messing around with the data for a bit, the third set of bytes (which I presume controls the enemy lighting for the stage) had no effect upon the Gold Beetle, which was further reinforced by my attempt to edit the main lighting values themselves (the first chunk of data) also having no effect. In terms of structure, the FOG and LIGHT files are at least consistent in the Dreamcast version, so understanding the lighting information for one stage would naturally help with the lighting and fog for the rest of the game's levels.
This post has been edited by End User: 03 April 2018 - 01:28 AM

#989 User is offline Caverns 4 

Posted 01 March 2018 - 03:05 PM

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That would still mean that models from SA2 can't be displayed though, yes?
Considering how little is known about SA2's model format, is seems like it has virtually nothing in common in SA1.

#990 User is offline MainMemory 

Posted 01 March 2018 - 03:44 PM

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SA2B is definitely capable of displaying Ninja Chunk (SA2 format) models, all the characters use them, as well as the Basic Test level. As for how much we know about the format, it's entirely spelled out in the SDK along with the Ninja Basic format used by SA1, so theoretically we should know everything. However, understanding the format and being able to produce and modify models in that format are entirely different things.

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