Sonic Legacy - New music, LCZ palette tweak, and beta build

Discussion in 'Showroom' started by Gamma V, Oct 14, 2016.

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  1. Gamma V

    Gamma V Well-Known Member Member

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    After messing up my Sonic 1 hack by accidentally jumbling up a few blocks, I decided to try Sonic 2, which is more versatile than its predecessor, with more levels, more manageable 128x128 chunks, and the Spindash already included.

    So far, I've finished up the first Act of Emerald Hill, which, if I learn how to edit the Zone Title Cards, will be renamed Jade Valley.

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    In addition to finishing the first act of EHZ, I've also created custom palettes for the next 5 Zones. Their layouts have yet to be edited, but I figured I might as well show off the palettes.

    CHEMICAL PLANT ZONE

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    I went for a night-time futuristic city highway look here. I also changed the background a bit by using some Death Egg BG chunks.

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    Underwater

    AQUATIC RUIN ZONE

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    Went for a swampy feel here. Yeah, I realize that the sky would look better being black, and I made that change after taking the screen.

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    Underwater

    CASINO NIGHT ZONE

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    Here, I went for a silver and purple scheme. I'm thinking of calling this either Silver Strip or Casino Royale.

    HILL TOP ZONE

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    I wanted to make this Zone look more volcano-like since it IS a volcano.

    MYSTIC CAVE ZONE
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    I decided to cool this place down a bit. It's more sapphire/crystal than ice though. I might call it Sapphire shaft or something.
     
  2. Blazer

    Blazer Lurker Member

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    Looks decent for a start. level layout looks alright, though if i had to say for the first level shown in the game play, I think you should spread those two check posts a little farther out from each other as they feel a bit close. other than that, curious to see more of this.
     
  3. mrcat-pixel

    mrcat-pixel The Holy Cat Jr. Member

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    Mate, I'd say that I love your palettes, usually all beginners go for acid-like color scheme, but that is really good.
     
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  4. Clownacy

    Clownacy Forever Grumpy Staff

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    That CPZ is very hard to look at. The background sticks out just as much as the foreground, if not more, and they blend in with each other.
     
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  5. SuperEgg

    SuperEgg I'm a guy that knows that you know that I know Member

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    Not gonna lie, I was expecting more vanilla. Clearly somebody still doesn't understand Ice cream flavors and colors =V
     
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  6. JoenickROS

    JoenickROS ROS is on hiatus. (...again) Member

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    Is it just me or do Sonic's sprites look more detailed, or maybe his palette is different? What ever the case I like how he looks. Also nice palettes for a beginner, but I'll have to agree with Clownacy on CPZ the fg and bg kind of clash.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
  7. ProjectFM

    ProjectFM Optimistic and self-dependent Member

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    I'm almost certain that it's just a palette swap with more contrasting colors.
     
  8. Gamma V

    Gamma V Well-Known Member Member

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    Yes, I did make some subtle changes to Sonic's palette, including increasing the contrast on the blues. While it's true that I'm new to making custom palettes in Sonic, I've been hacking Super Mario World and making custom palettes in that game for years. I really appreciate being able to do that just as easily in SonLVL. I could easily make some tweaks to the Chemical Plant palette, like possibly darkening the background a little.

    EDIT:
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    Darkened CPZ's background.

    Well, I've finally finished Act 1 of Chemical Plant Zone. I'll share the screens I've taken, but it's hard to get a static screenshot that does a level justice like a video.

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    Tails! He's got me! HELP!!

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    Loop-de-loop...Gotta go fast!

    I should probably make a video and post it, but not right now.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016
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  9. Misinko

    Misinko YOU FOOLS! YOU MESSED WITH THE NATURAL ORDER! Staff

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    Alright, time to weigh in on the hack. From what I've seen in the video, I like your level design philosophy, and I like the palette choices. However, one big thing stuck out to me, and that was the massive wall you put in that outright ended the speed section. One of the biggest factors in Sonic level design was the overall flow of the level. Players could seamlessly clear an act with minimal interruption in the overall pace of the level. You shouldn't force the player to stop dead after a speed section to introduce a platforming one. There needs to be a smooth transition where the player can slowly loose the momentum they've built up, and go through the platforming segment.

    Other than that, keep it up. I hope this project goes far.
     
  10. Gamma V

    Gamma V Well-Known Member Member

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    Are you talking about the wall in Emerald Hill Act 1? I could change that. I'm used to not having large areas of nothing due to having designed Mario levels for so many years. I guess I kinda forgot that, since Sonic levels move at a much faster pace, large sections with few enemies can go by much more quickly. Anyway, I finished up Chemical Plant Act 2.

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    Sonic's MoonRUNNING. It's not Moonwalking. We all know Sonic doesn't WALK.

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    Tunnels like this are scattered around the level in various places. I should probably place some Rings in here to make it less empty-looking.

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    Tube Worm Thing Tunnel. It's not a good idea to go fast here.

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    Now the streets of this futuristic city are flooded. That ceiling Spiny is the result of a bit of an experiment that seems to have worked pretty well. I guess ceiling cling behavior was programmed into the Spiny, but never used in the game.
     
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  11. TheBlurCafe

    TheBlurCafe Welcome to TheBlurCafe! Member

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    This is looking really neat.
    Do you plan on editing the tiles too?
     
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  12. Misinko

    Misinko YOU FOOLS! YOU MESSED WITH THE NATURAL ORDER! Staff

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    I'm talking about the piece at 0:14 in the video, yes. It breaks flow while playing the level, and I'd love to see it changed to where you can easily see it coming and jump over it.
     
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  13. Gamma V

    Gamma V Well-Known Member Member

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    Sorry for the late post. I had to wait until I was made a member to post here again. I've made a bit of progress since then.

    First of all, I finally got title card editing to work, so the Zones will have custom names.

    Emerald Hill = Verdant Coast
    Chemical Plant = Night Skyway
    Aquatic Ruin = Marsh Palace
    Casino Night = Spirit Casino
    Hill Top = Magma Bluff

    I have yet to rename the Zones from Mystic Cave onward, but I have some idea of what some of them will be named.

    MYSTIC CAVE = SAPPHIRE SHAFT
    METROPOLIS = CYBER CITY
    WING FORTRESS = EGG CARRIER
    DEATH EGG = NEO DEATH EGG

    I've also finished Marsh Palace Zone.

    ACT 1


    ACT 2


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    I've also started dabbling in custom art. Verdant Coast now has new trees and bushes.

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    This hack is now leaning more choconilla.

    With 3 Zones done, here's a demo.

    EDIT: I've done even more to the ROM.

    First and foremost, I installed Clownacy's Sonic 2 Clone Driver for greater flexibility in regards to music. It was not an easy process, but once I got it working, it was well worth it. There are now 3 custom songs in this hack. Here's a video showing off the custom song in Verdant Coast Zone.

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    The music is Jurassic Boy 2 World 1-1, ported by B.G.'s Video Channel. When one takes a look at the source game for this song, which is a bootleg Sonic clone for the NES, one sees a striking similarity between the first level's graphics and those of Emerald Hill Zone. Considering that, the song kinda fits the stage.

    Night Skyway and the Special Stages also have custom tracks taken from the SMPS competition. The former uses Crash's remix of Electric Egg Zone, while the latter uses his port of the Special Stage Bonus Challenge theme from Sonic Heroes.

    I've also made a simplistic background edit to VCZ, replacing the flowery field and hills with a sandy beach.

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    I've updated the demo to include these changes.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016
  14. Gamma V

    Gamma V Well-Known Member Member

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    UPDATE: A while back, I finished Act 1 of Spirit Casino Zone.

    Other than completing another level, I've also fixed the Sound Test so that the music can be accessed from it the way it initially was. This probably should've been done when I first installed the Sonic 2 Clone Driver V2 into the ROM, but I did kinda get tired of fooling around with the ASM after I finally got that working. It makes testing new music much easier. :p
    Speaking of new music, I've done SMPS ports for Magma Bluff (Hill Top), Sapphire Shaft (Mystic Cave) and Sky Chase.

    Magma Bluff Zone - Sonic Blast - Red Volcano Zone (16-bit)
    This one was the harder of the two. No midis existed for it on VGMusic.com or anywhere. To finally make it, I decided to use SMPS2MIDI, which supports several Game Gear/Master System games, including Sonic Blast. Initially, it bugged out when trying to generate a midi for the song until ValleyBell fixed it. I think it fits Magma Bluff pretty well.

    Sapphire Shaft Zone - Sonic 2 (GG/SMS) - Underground Zone (16-bit)

    Sky Chase Zone - Secret of Mana - Flight Into the Unknown

    Here's video of Spirit Casino Act 1. It's a little outdated as I have polished the level a bit since it was uploaded.
     

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  15. AbyssalLeopard

    AbyssalLeopard Well-Known Member Member

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    I like how this is going so far. Above all, the level art edits are stunning - those trees and plants do look unique and well drawn. The only negative thing about this is the loop abuse in the level layouts. You know, one or two in each level can be nice, or different kinds of loops, but the same sort of loop over and over again being repeated... I don't know, it makes the level feel slightly repetitive. The music conversions are also incredibly well done, keep up on that too!
     
  16. Gamma V

    Gamma V Well-Known Member Member

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    Thanks, Abyssal. Sorry I haven't updated this thread much. Some progress has been made, but not necessarily in new level layouts.
    First of all, I warmed up the greens in Marsh Palace Zone's palette. In other words, I made them lean more yellow than cyan. I also finally put a custom song in that level, which is Rusty Ruin Act 1 from the Genesis version of Sonic 3D Blast. Rather than trying to use the ripped SMPS from that game, though, I decided to port from a midi. The S3D SMPS was giving me build errors, which I did not want to deal with.

    I've also separated the artwork for Verdant Coast/Magma Bluff and Midnight Metro/Neo Death Egg. Eventually, I may put custom artwork in MMZ to make it look more like a futuristic city than a recolored Chemical Plant since I no longer have to worry about messing up Neo Death Egg's art. I'll also have more freedom to edit the chunks in all four of the affected Zones.

    IMO, the biggest thing I've done is fix the post-earthquake background glitch in Magma Bluff Zone. It turns out that it was caused by some bug in SonLVL messing up the background deformation data. *shrugs*
     

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  17. Clownacy

    Clownacy Forever Grumpy Staff

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    A bug in SonLVL? That's a bit of a big claim, considering SonLVL doesn't edit the deformation code.
     
  18. Gamma V

    Gamma V Well-Known Member Member

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    Whatever happened was fixed by restoring the original HTZ layouts from an unedited disassembly. Not sure what will happen when I actually get around to editing those layouts though.

    UPDATE: Since Midnight Metro (formerly Chemical Plant) and Neo Death Egg now load separate art, including blocks and chunks, I decided to do a few edits to make the former look more city-like.

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    Glowing arrows for a futuristic look

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    SSRG sign

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    These signs are animated since they use some of the cycling colors in CPZ/MMZ's palette.

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    Street Lights...Are they too tall? I originally had them only being 8 tiles high, but that looked too short in SonLVL.
     

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    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
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  19. Gamma V

    Gamma V Well-Known Member Member

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    I guess I should double-post due to how inactive this thread has been. I've made a lot of progress in the past couple days.

    First up is a new title screen.
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    It's a pretty simple deal, being largely inspired by Sonic Chaos' title screen. I may even do a 16-bit rendition of the music. We'll see. Either way, I was up until after 5AM yesterday morning working on it because PlaneED is kinda tedious to work with.

    Secondly, I've installed the hack that allows for per-Act music changes. I still haven't picked out/ported all the desired music yet, but the hardest part is already done.


    Here, you can see the new title screen and per-Act music loading in action. You'll also get to hear a couple more of my SMPSes.

    Earlier, I tested the build again to find out that 2-Player Verdant Coast/Emerald Hill was crashing the game. With a bit of help from the IRC, I was able to fix it while still allowing the per-Act music loading. The only drawback to the fix is that the VS mode Zones now share Act 1 music with their single player counterparts.

    Here's the latest build.
     

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    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
  20. Giovanni

    Giovanni sometimes comes out of his cave Member

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    Finished playing the hack.
    I love the new title screen, you've made a good job with it.
    I like the new zone names and the new layout, except for some oversights (like that spring placed on a bridge in VCZ 1). I like the new graphics as well.
    I really love the new music, but I would like you to notice that if you get an extra life in SCZ 2, drums will go off-sync with the rest of the music. (Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm just saying what happened to it).
    Really a shame, however, that you could not put new music in the 2P mode. I would have loved to listen to more music.

    This hack has a lot of potential. Looking forward to see it finished.
     
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