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 Post subject: CV2 hack graphics
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:16 pm 
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http://imgur.com/a/kUrra

These screens are from an unfinished Castlevania II romhack, with programming by optomon and art by Thaddeus from spectredev. I first learned about it from this thread: http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=6004 but the only details remaining there some vague praise, a few mockups and a broken youtube link. After a few days of ~internet sleuthing~ I learned about the hack, and found and contacted optomon, who emailed me these images. They are posted here with his permission. Thaddeus took down all his accounts and disappeared from the internet.

These images are inspirational for me. I love how silhouettes are used to suggest depth, how colors bring out details like the rust on the walkways in the clock tower, and the amount of detail packed into cleverly re-used tiles like in the machinery, arches, stonework and Victorian buildings. Hope you guys like it too. :)


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 Post subject: Re: CV2 hack graphics
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 5:19 pm 
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seven wrote:
http://imgur.com/a/kUrra

After a few days of ~internet sleuthing~ I learned about the hack, and found and contacted optomon, who emailed me these images. They are posted here with his permission.

So let me tell you about how I learned one of those dudes basically totally disappeared from the internet, and took all the videos and stuff with him. Then let me tell you about how I managed to find some videos posted by a guy making music for the hack that had badly upscaled screenshots as the background to his videos. And let me tell you about how I saved them anyway because they were that good. (PS, at least some of those videos are now also gone from the net.)
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Hope you guys like it too. :)

You're pretty much my hero. (Besides the dude who made them of course.) I've always wanted 1:1 pixel versions of the art from this hack, but I hate contacting people out of the blue. The fact that you did it and got results everyone's willing to share is awesome. Seriously, thanks so much!

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 Post subject: Re: CV2 hack graphics
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:10 pm 
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Kasumi wrote:
Seriously, thanks so much!



Kasumi wrote:
seven wrote:
badly upscaled screenshots as the background to his videos. And let me tell you about how I saved them anyway because they were that good.

Incidentally, have you had any success with undoing youtube's bicubic scaling? Right now I'm working to preserve another project where the only remaining images are in old youtube videos. Touching them up by hand in photoshop is time-consuming and not always successful.


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 Post subject: Re: CV2 hack graphics
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:07 pm 
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Unfortunately I cannot help there. I didn't edit the result at all, just printscreened to have SOMETHING.

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 Post subject: Re: CV2 hack graphics
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:29 pm 
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These are amazing... it's like some of the limitations imposed by the video hardware don't even exist!


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 Post subject: Re: CV2 hack graphics
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:35 pm 
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Wow, real cool.


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 Post subject: Re: CV2 hack graphics
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:00 am 
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tokumaru wrote:
These are amazing... it's like some of the limitations imposed by the video hardware don't even exist!


Those gears in the third picture make the NES' attribute layout limitation quite obvious. I never noticed it until someone mentioned it, but NES games seem to use a LOT of black, most likely to compensate for the 16*16 attribute limitation. These graphics make the limitations much more obvious, unfortunately.

I'm not knocking on anyone's talents, though, this looks really good. I like the use of colors, though some areas are overpowered by the black.


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 Post subject: Re: CV2 hack graphics
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:48 am 
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OneCrudeDude wrote:
These graphics make the limitations much more obvious, unfortunately.

Some transitions are a little abrupt, like the gears or the red leaves in some of the bushes, but I don't think they'll look to bad after going through the usual blurring of NTSC. Other parts, on the other hand, like the grass and the rocks, appear to have many more colors than the NES usually allows.

Yes, black was used extensively in these graphics to blend the different palettes together, but since Castlevania is a dark game the black fits in really well. The same technique couldn't be used as extensively in a happy cute bright colors platformer.


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 Post subject: Re: CV2 hack graphics
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:21 am 
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tokumaru wrote:
OneCrudeDude wrote:
These graphics make the limitations much more obvious, unfortunately.

Other parts, on the other hand, like the grass and the rocks, appear to have many more colors than the NES usually allows.


That's the magic of contrasting and bright colors. Neon green is a good color, as is white. Contrasting dark colors with brighter ones will trick the brain into thinking there's more color there. Sometimes, effective color use is more important than sheer color number; Kirby's Adventure, while colorful, can have pretty monochromatic colors at times, and it doesn't help that most palettes are simply variants of "darker color/color/brighter color". Some stages which are predominantly one palette such as http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/media/19281/1/1.jpg look quite... bad.


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 Post subject: Re: CV2 hack graphics
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:23 am 
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tokumaru wrote:
...a happy cute bright colors platformer
Yoshi's New Island! (3DS)

---
all of the graphics featuring the red clouded sky are amazing! :D


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 Post subject: Re: CV2 hack graphics
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:50 pm 
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I'd like to find this Thaddeus person and give him a (paid) job doing just graphics.

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 Post subject: Re: CV2 hack graphics
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:53 pm 
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These have to be the best background graphics I've ever seen for a NES game. Absolutely brilliant use of color theory, shape and lighting. It's like the NES equivalent of Secret of Mana 3 for the SNES. Where did Optomon find this guy?


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 Post subject: Re: CV2 hack graphics
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:53 pm 
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psc wrote:
Where did Optomon find this guy?

They are/were both romhackers. http://www.romhacking.net/community/241/

Jedi QuestMaster wrote:
I'd like to find this Thaddeus person and give him a (paid) job doing just graphics.

I don't think he wants to be found... This is what I was told when I emailed the "spectre dev" team which Thadd Masters was associated with:
Quote:
I haven't spoken to thadd for years and years. I would have no idea where he could find him. He is an elusive man, I think he might have dropped out of the scene. He never shared with us any of his personal details, he was very paranoid of that. Best of luck in finding him, you'll need it! Sorry I couldnt be more of a help :(

After that I stopped searching; I felt like I was justifying his paranoia. :p You now have all my leads if you still want to try yourself.


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 Post subject: Re: CV2 hack graphics
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:51 pm 
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http://www.romhacking.net/community/241/

Is there anywhere else to find his work other than the above link? Did he make mockups that anyone saved?


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 Post subject: Re: CV2 hack graphics
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:26 pm 
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psc wrote:
http://www.romhacking.net/community/241/

Is there anywhere else to find his work other than the above link? Did he make mockups that anyone saved?


IIRC he also contributed to Cadence of Agony, which was another Castlevania hack in an even less finished state. The IPS of that hack in its final state is available here: http://acmlm.kafuka.org/board/thread.php?id=5975

Other than that, not as far as I know. If you're interested in finding his other work, I'd start by contacting people who knew him: Sliver X (though he's no longer active, you can try to find contact info), spectre dev, this forum's very own Disch.

Disch wrote:
Thaddeus has amazing talent for sure (artist for that CV2 hack). I knew him on IRC way back when -- before we had a falling out due to personality conflicts.

The man is without a doubt the best pixel artist I've ever seen. He really should get into doing his work professionally.


etc. Just be courteous. :)


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