Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Black Squirrel, Apr 10, 2018.
I wonder if anybody is able to rip the level maps from sonic crackers
Yes I am going to bump this again:
We're going to want to be comparing the newly unearthed Sonic 1 prototype with that of the final game. But some of our final maps are low resolution and don't have objects. That's not to knock Nineko's efforts 12 years ago, but, come on lads, Sonic Retro can't get full maps of Sonic 1?
I don't remember why I made them with that resolution, to be honest, it's weird, since I usually like to preserve things 1:1, probably someone told me to resize them? Or maybe the wiki didn't support bigger images yet? If I know myself, that's not something I would do willingly.
About the lack of objects, instead, that's easily explained, since I exported them with SonED.
Once upon a time the Sonic Retro wiki couldn't render thumbnails for big images, but I think that was resolved like... ten years ago or something. Maybe before I got this pink badge even. It's not an issue today though.
So I thought I'd rectify the issue with Sonic 1's maps myself and take a crack at using SonLVL to get the maps and object layouts to save on time. I have to do a bit of additional image editing however, because some object definitions and graphics still seem to be missing (trust me, I made sure to update SonLVL and the Sonic 1 disassembly to their latest versions from the Sonic Retro Github before starting), plus some things are rendered wrong or placed in positions that don't accurately reflect what is seen in-game (such as Batbrains being purple for whatever reason). Here's an example of what I've got so far, with Marble Zone Act 2:
Dunno about what to do with some objects hidden behind the foreground, such as monitors hidden in secret walls or trees - could make them semitransparent to show they're there or not show them at all.
I've been prioritising full maps but in the dream would be to have multiple versions:
- The full map
- Objects only
- Tiles only
- The background
(and a big image containing all the 256x256/128x128 level chunks as laid out in the ROM... and another for all the 16x16 tiles)
so all bases are covered, and we can do detailed comparisons between builds.
Halfway done with the lot, as the first three Zones have had new maps uploaded in full, layout only, objects only and backgrounds. As a trial, I've uploaded GHZ's 256x256 chunks, too:
Labyrinth Zone's going to be a doozy. For that (and SBZ3), I plan on following the example set by the Sonic 3 & Knuckles maps and have selective water levels throughout (and maybe alternate maps with no water), unless it's not acceptable. Then, there's LZ1's case of an extra ring in REV01, which I'll need to make seperate maps for.
Plus, there's doing chunks and blocks for each of Scrap Brain's Acts. Would it be necessary to do all three Acts individually? Acts 1 and 2 share the same blocks and chunks, just assigning different palettes per Act, while Act 3 is just a duplicate of Labyrinth with SBZ's palette.
For completion's sake, I probably would, even if it ends up being redundant. If nothing else, it's proof the chunks are the same.
All done: https://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_the_Hedgehog_(16-bit)/Maps
Is there anything I need to amend with any of these? Like, for example, all of the chunks and blocks were made transparent by SonLVL, so if I should make some or all of the chunks/blocks non-transparent, I can do that. Chances are I should probably make any chunks/blocks related to backgrounds non-transparent. Would the object-only maps need to be transparent, too?
The "Transparent background" checkbox should affect the chunks and blocks too.
One of the reasons why this matters - we can list all the unused level chunks without having to upload 34879523043209 images. Far less maintenance!
Alright, the next lot of chunks and blocks I can do would be those in Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles. While I know what to do for the former, the latter game dynamicallychanges its art between Acts and mid-level:
The most obvious is a Zone using different chunks/blocks for both of its Acts. Obviously I'll make them seperate.
Some Acts switch their art around whenever specific art is needed, such as for boss areas. Chunks reserved for certain parts of a level are either garbled (Angel Island) or filled with placeholders (the Death Egg-related chunks in LBZ2) until the art for them is needed, which in turn garbles chunks that are no longer needed. Examples include both Acts of Angel Island, and Launch Base Act 2. For those levels, should these dynamic chunk changes be kept seperate, or should I merge them together?
Mushroom Hill Act 2 is an interesting case in that certain chunks used for other parts of the Act are outright replaced. I think I'll need to give that one a seperate sheet.
Some Zones load all the same chunks across both of its Acts, but swap out the art accordingly by Act, these Zones including Sandopolis and Death Egg.
Finally, the same chunks and art are used across both Acts for some Zones, particularly Carnival Night, Mushroom Hill (Act 2 boss notwithstanding) and Flying Battery.
Also, as much as I would like to rip from them too, prototypes are currently out of my scope as I don't have everything I need (disassemblies, SonLVL INIs and the likes) to use those.
Sorry to point out something I can't help with, but I've checking maps recently and some of them are slightly cut instead of keeping the whole size of the map, so, if you divide by 128 their height or width, you get numbers like 14'5. This is specially noticeable in Sonic Mania maps when you compare their size between main game and encore mode versions.
Also, many Sonic 1 maps, while full, are at half resolution, literally giving the 256x256 chunks a res of 128x128.
Sorry to add work instead of fixing it myself, but it was better than not doing anything.
I can see where you're coming from with some of the maps, particularly the Mania Encore maps. Those were made by G.E.R., and while they've definitely put the passion and effort, their maps are a little bit on the unpolished side. I've even had to point out some of the mistakes they made with their Advance 2 and 3 map rips to them. Then again the Sonic Mania maps need to have its objects detailed better (i.e. all of them need to be on the maps using their actual sprites)
As for the Sonic 1 maps, the maps being half resolution should no longer be an issue, as I've just replaced all of those maps over the last couple of days.
So I checked them out just before the update, great timing.
EDIT: Nope, checked again and Nineko's half-res maps are still the only ones I see for Marble zone, for example.
Sounds like you may have to clear your cache, or at least wait a while until the changes have caught up.
Anyways, in the meantime I decided to use the Sonic Extractor 8-bit tool that I linked to about two years ago to get maps for the Game Gear version of Sonic 1, though the maps ripped using it don't quite match up with the actual palettes used in-game, so I'll have to do some palette adjustments. What bamboozles me is that unlike the Master System version, the Game Gear version has ALL of the Special Stages use the same map, and loads different object/starting positions for each one. Using emulators to see beyond the Game Gear's screen allows you to barely see the other rooms in a few places:
How will I handle these Special Stage maps for Retro? Will I have to have all the unused rooms included in every map, or crop them accordingly?
You could do both and have one be "in game" and one "full" I suppose.
Now that's an interesting trivia, I'll relay it to smspower.
Forgot to say a couple of things:
- Mania maps are from before Plus and the QoL patch; the changes are reflected on their encore counterparts, but, since object placing will still be different, each revision will need its own maps.
- Some maps have absolutely empty space on one side that can be cut and sometimes has been. I'm not sure if the best approach it's to cut that extra space since it's useless but, on the other hand, it's the size defined in the code.
- I'd note the height and width in blocks of the maps. For example, Marble Garden Act 1 has a height of 32 blocks and a width of 96 (that's a total area of 3072 blocks, if someone's interested). I'm the madman who has already being doing that in my own computer with some games to compare map sizes, so I can post what I have if you want, but I'd like all the most up-to-date maps to pass quality control before anything else since some sizes are tentative due to the issues I've been reporting.
For what it's worth, SonLVL also excludes blank space from exported map images. Otherwise all the S2 maps would be 16384x2048.
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