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Hack Blaze The Cat in Sonic 1: Redux

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by TDRR, Apr 9, 2021.

  1. TDRR


    Blaze The Cat in Sonic the Hedgehog 1: Redux is a hack that puts Blaze the Cat in Sonic 1 (duh). This is a complete remake made from scratch, with much better sprites than before (made by the very talented Mania Madnez), different abilities and generally speaking, more polish.


    Blaze is able to use some abilities in mid-air, like so:
    A/B/C + Up: Axel Tornado - Similar to how it works in Sonic Rush Adventure, Blaze shoots upwards (retaining side velocity), damaging everything on the way up. Be careful, though, you become vulnerable on the way down!

    A/B/C + Left/Right: Air Dash - Your standard air dash, but you uncurl so be careful and avoid landing on enemies. It gets significantly faster with the speed shoes!

    A/B/C + No Direction/Down: Hover - Allows you to hover in mid air. You're vulnerable to attacks during this hover, but you'll return to your rolling state (and can reactivate this move or use either the axel tornado or air dash) if you release the button.
    If you hold down, even if you're pressing it diagonally to the left/right, you'll still activate the hover move. This is so you don't need to time releasing the d-pad to start the move.

    Additionally, if you're in mid-air and not curled into a ball (and haven't used up your air ability), you can perform the Air Roll just by pressing A/B/C, which will make Blaze curl into a ball and allow you to use any of your air abilities.


    Github Repository

    This time, I made sure to not miss any sprites! I also did something about the missing water palettes by using WaterFilter from S1Squared (which funnily enough still makes Blaze blue in LZ, but it is a correct result), corrected a handful more bugs, didn't remove the points object for the flame effect, didn't focus on adding gimmicky DAC sounds that frankly get grating and sounds scratchy, and so on. It's a much more polished hack.

    As an additional note, this is using an outdated spritesheet. Mania Madnez actually remade the whole thing closer to the S1 style (and uses modern proportions instead of the more classic Sonic ones seen here) and that can be found here, but I prefer this old version and as such do not plan on updating the hack to include said sprites. It is an open source hack so anyone who wants to is welcome to do so, though.

    Some credits go to:
    -Everyone involved in the Git disassembly
    -redhotsonic, Cinossu, FraGag, Tweaker, Puto, and Inferno Gear
    for the handy SCHG How-tos I used.
    -kirjavascript for the excellent Flex 2 MD graphics editor.
    -Mania Madnez for the excellent Blaze spritesheet.
    -E-122-Psi for providing the base art and complete object code for the title screen banner.
    -Hivebrain for the WaterFilter routine (from S1Squared) and help getting it working right with the fade in.
    -Clownacy for his KiS2 disassembly. I used some of the code for lowering the emblem here so it looks accurate to the original.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2024
  2. Rrose80149


    So cool, I think I'll give it a go after my sleep.
  3. SuperSnoopy


    I like Sonic Advance Member
    Lyon, France
    Slice of life visual novel, coming soon...?
    ...the title screen is part of Blaze's spritesheet tho right?
    The one that's credited to Cylent Nite and .Luke, I mean.
  4. Trance


    The annoying guy you've probably seen around. Member
    Quite frankly, very well made. Unfortunately, I've never played Rush, so thanks for the trivia on the Axel Tornado.
    Gameplay wise, good.
    Keep up the good work, and hope you fix those bugs~
  5. Spicy Bread SSR

    Spicy Bread SSR

    You can call me Mal if you like Member
    The hack is pretty good. The better mid-air control makes this stand out over other character hacks, and the fire particle effects are a nice touch. The only real issue I have is the voice sample, it gets repetitive after a while...
  6. TDRR


    Thanks for the feedback, guys!

    You're right, I should add a way to disable it. Let me see what can I do.
  7. DeltaW


    Originally a Wooloo Member
    Speaking of using PCM, I believe putting it over the zone's music makes it fuzzy to hear. Maybe add the PCM before the title cards fly in. I think other Mega Drive games have done that, IIRC. Also, I see that you're using MegaPCM. There is a tutorial to optimize playback. Have you tried that, yet? Try and see if you can sort it out by the next update. But so far, I'm seeing that this hack has a lot of potential!
  8. TDRR


    Heck, I even tried again twice yesterday, and same issue again. I really can't believe I'm dumb enough to make the same mistake every single time, I'm starting to think the guide may have a problem.

    Thanks for the feedback, though! I can't really hear much of a difference with or without other audio playing, it doesn't sound any worse to me, but it's something I wanna try after finally getting that guide to work.
  9. Inferno


    Sonic 1 Definitive
    Can confirm it does that for me too, even though I follow the guide exactly.
    The thing is, Step 4 works for me, Step 2 doesn't. No matter which disasm. It either breaks the DAC playback or ends in a black screen.

    UPDATE: FOUND THE ISSUE. YOU also have to remove the loop right after the first instruction in Step 2. That is all.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
  10. TDRR


    So as a sort of update on where this hack ended up. I actually did find the original spritesheet for all the Mobius Evolution Blaze sprites, including two sprites for the ending, posted on the original author's DeviantArt with permission for reuse of course. Planned on adding that, fixing the rest of the misalignments and then putting up a new final build with all the other requested changes.

    Sadly, I lost the source after a hard drive crash last year. None of the code in the hack was particularly difficult to do or anything, most of the tedious work was simply all the sprites that had to be put in. At some point later on I might redo the hack again and finally put up the final build here.

    Sorry for the silence! Would've made more sense to post this when that happened.
  11. TDRR


    Final update in! Not a huge update, but just some minor fixes and polish.
    I didn't recover the source, however I did find that I copied a ROM to my Xbox 360, containing most of the changes I made before the HDD crash.
    From what I can tell and remember, the changes are as follows:
    • Added "Blaze the Cat in" banner to the title screen. Thanks to @E-122-Psi for providing the full code and base art.
    • Added the ability to disable Blaze's starting voice line by starting a game holding C+Start.
    • Improved DAC sample playback quality (by a little bit).
    • Fixed some other bugs. Probably. I think. Not sure exactly how close to the last changes I did this is.
    And that's about it. This probably won't receive any updates anymore, short of redoing the entire hack, but I have other things I want to do and less free time now so that's unlikely.
    And yes, I recognize this honestly isn't a great hack. I could've handled the palette better than this, I could've not replaced the points object and instead did the flame particles as a new one, I could've added the rest of the sprites before posting... but it was my first hack and a worthwhile learning experience. I have a couple more hacks I want to do, particularly for Sonic 2, so this isn't the last either. I want that to be open source and up on my Github, so I don't lose all the progress yet again :p (and so other people can learn and maybe add features and such).
  12. TDRR


    Wow that sure aged poorly. :)
    I know what I said, and I was very sure I wouldn't remake the hack... but how can you say no to these excellent sprites?

    Now, the hack is open source and up on Github, and it is a drastic improvement over the honestly kinda clunky old version. Since it is a full blown remake from scratch, it'd be easier to list what stayed the same, excluding obviously the content from the base game.

    Here's a video (with honestly poor gameplay lol) showcasing GHZ as Blaze.

    Download in the first post!
  13. RetroKoH


    Project Sonic 8x16
    I was out of the loop for a bit when this first released. Looks cool, I'll give it a go
  14. Greenknight9000


    This is brilliant! I noticed a few bugs/oddities, however:
    Monitors flash the Extra Life Icon for one frame
    Blaze's third rolling frame is one pixel higher than it should be, as the shine moves up a pixel
    Blaze's fifth walking frame seems to be offset to the left by one pixel, I think? Something about it looks off.
    Since the first Chaos Emerald uses Blaze's palette, what could be done is replace the Chaos Emerald in Special Stage 1 with Chaos Emerald 3 (Pink) and recolour it to use the original Sonic-blue colour, and move Chaos Emerald 1 (Sonic Blue/Blaze Purple) to Special Stage 3, as it'd be purple and thus fit in still.
    Speaking of Chaos Emeralds, it'd make more sense for her to collect Sol Emeralds. I actually have Sonic 1-styled Sol Emeralds ready for use. I made two versions: One that's taller and one that's 16 pixels in height
  15. TDRR


    I'll give all these a proper look at some point. I didn't change the emerald colors for more or less the same reason I didn't fix the other palettes: I'm not very good at that. At least here it's less difficult so we'll see.
    And yeah you're not the only one to suggest other changes like having the Sol Emeralds. We'll see, but I largely just wanted this to be a character hack and nothing else, as would be common back in the day. Same reason I wouldn't add in Eggman Nega, for example.

    The other things I can more or less guarantee will be fixed so expect an update in the coming days.