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Thread: Gabriel Pyron's Color Hacks!!! (Golden Axe, Street Fighter II, Final Fight CD, etc)

  1. #1
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    Default Gabriel Pyron's Color Hacks!!! (Golden Axe, Street Fighter II, Final Fight CD, etc)

    Intro

    Gabriel Pyron's work is focused on making the arcade/computer ports visually closer to their arcade/computer counterparts and also on improving the look of great exclusive games which are plagued by bad color choices.
    The instructions and links related to his color hacks are listed below.


    How To

    1- Download and install an IPS patcher like this (Lunar IPS also works): http://home.arcor.de/minako.aino/ipsXP/
    2- Download and extract the patch from one of the links in the Completed Hacks section below.
    3- Now just double-click on the IPS patch (hack), ips XP will start automatically and ask you to select the file (ROM) where you want to apply the patch.
    4- Use the ROM file with the exact same name found in the "ROM Info" section of the game hack's page of romhacking.net.
    5- If you want to avoid red screens (especially on real hardware) you must fix the checksum of the ROM after applying the patch.
    We recommend this easy-to-use utility: http://www.romhacking.net/utilities/342/



    Completed Hacks

    Castlevania Bloodlines
    Download: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2121/
    Comparison video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5IDYu3kueQ
    Comparative poster: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3869/...d5cd9b35_o.png

    Disney's The Lion King
    Download: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2177/
    Comparison video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5IDYu3kueQ

    Final Fight CD
    Download: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2087/
    Comparison video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hw4G_ofpEQc

    Golden Axe
    Download: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2082/
    Comparison video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOqkgRC2ZO4
    Comparative poster: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5561/...1639d22e_o.png

    Golden Axe II
    Download: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2104/
    Comparison video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5IDYu3kueQ

    Joe & Mac
    Download: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2276
    Comparative poster: http://i.imgur.com/FwsH9SU.png

    Midnight Resistance
    Download: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2081/
    Comparative poster: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5522/...28fa00f7_b.jpg

    OutRun
    Download: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2083/
    Comparison video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOqkgRC2ZO4
    Comparative poster: https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2909/1...76132ba8_b.jpg

    Shadow of the Beast
    Download: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2259/
    Comparative poster: http://i.imgur.com/hhof2mo.png
    Media coverage #1: http://www.retrocollect.com/News/rom...a-visuals.html
    Media coverage #2: http://retrogamingmagazine.com/2014/...amiga-version/

    Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition
    Download: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2090/
    Comparison video #1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOqkgRC2ZO4
    Comparison video #2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M68RcXjiFNI
    Real hardware demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZOrpJP7DUw
    Comparative poster: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3839/...5dbce9a9_o.png
    Media coverage: http://www.diadu.net/?p=190

    Streets of Rage 2
    Download: http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2084/
    Media coverage: http://www.retrocollect.com/News/str...ega-drive.html
    Last edited by Barone; 01-02-2015 at 01:54 PM.

  2. #2
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    Nice!
    WELCO
    METOT
    HENEX
    TLEVEL

  3. #3
    Bite my shiny, metal ***! Hero of Algol retrospiel's Avatar
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    Oh god yes!!!!
    The Mega Drive was far inferior to the NES in terms of diffusion rate and sales in the Japanese market, though there were ardent Sega users. But in the US and Europe, we knew Sega could challenge Nintendo. We aimed at dominating those markets, hiring experienced staff for our overseas department in Japan, and revitalising Sega of America and the ailing Virgin group in Europe.

    Then we set about developing killer games.

    - Hayao Nakayama, Mega Drive Collected Works (p. 17)

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    Shining Hero Joe Redifer's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that you have to patch the JP version of Final Fight or it will crash after the character select screen. I kinda think stage 1 in Final Fight CD looks worse. The barrels seem more dithered than I remember. So far I'm not really sold on this one. Look much better in the Youtube video than it does via RGB (how I play).

    I like the color corrections in Out Run. It was always way too dark for some reason.

    Didn't really notice much difference in Golden Axe. The eagle's eyeball is still brown (blue in the arcade).

    Midnight Resistance may now have colors more faithful to the arcade but in my opinion the original colors look much better.

    Streets of Rage 2 was kind of cool looking.

    Haven't tried Street Fighter 2 yet.

  5. #5
    Smith's Minister of War Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Redifer View Post
    Didn't really notice much difference in Golden Axe. The eagle's eyeball is still brown (blue in the arcade).
    Joe... are you drunk again? The entire game looks different with far more accurate arcade colours.

    SoR 2 and Midnight Resistance looks worse...

    No, looking closely it doesn't really look worse, it's just not a big improvement like the others. Still closer to the arcade so that's a "plus".
    This thread needs more... ENGINEERS

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    It's not possible to just give a new color to a specific parts which used to share the same color with another part. All one can do is to apply a different color in general. So you cannot make the eye blue if it shares the brown color tones with the eagle's body.
    And yeah, judging by the comparison screenshots this is MUCH closer to the arcade. Always wondered why the MD port looked so washed out, otherwise it was a phenomenal port.

    I am pretty blown away by the idea of a SF2CE color hack. I hated that game's colors even when it was released. SSF2 was such an improvement in that regard. Can't wait to try the hacked version.
    The Mega Drive was far inferior to the NES in terms of diffusion rate and sales in the Japanese market, though there were ardent Sega users. But in the US and Europe, we knew Sega could challenge Nintendo. We aimed at dominating those markets, hiring experienced staff for our overseas department in Japan, and revitalising Sega of America and the ailing Virgin group in Europe.

    Then we set about developing killer games.

    - Hayao Nakayama, Mega Drive Collected Works (p. 17)

  7. #7
    Master of Shinobi Gentlegamer's Avatar
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    This shows how it's not technical weakness that always makes a game look worse.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Redifer View Post
    I kinda think stage 1 in Final Fight CD looks worse. The barrels seem more dithered than I remember. So far I'm not really sold on this one. Look much better in the Youtube video than it does via RGB (how I play).
    The enhanced palette is darker, with higher contrast in several parts and that's probably why the dithering is even more apparent to you now.
    The color transitions are less smooth in several segments now and it also annoys me a bit but I think that's the price to pay. Overall, I think I prefer the new version for the non-anemic characters and everything looking less pale than with the old palette. But some parts do look worse now I think.


    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Redifer View Post
    I like the color corrections in Out Run. It was always way too dark for some reason.
    Yep, it was pretty annoying to me and now I think it's "smoother".


    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Redifer View Post
    Didn't really notice much difference in Golden Axe. The eagle's eyeball is still brown (blue in the arcade).
    Golden Axe is probably his best work IMO. Everything looks better, the dragons resemble the arcade colors now, the bosses no longer have that stupid green tone and everything is brighter.
    I'm one of the guys who never liked the way GA and GAII looked due to the dark-ish palette and now I find that GA looks really good.


    Quote Originally Posted by Christuserloeser View Post
    It's not possible to just give a new color to a specific parts which used to share the same color with another part. All one can do is to apply a different color in general. So you cannot make the eye blue if it shares the brown color tones with the eagle's body.
    And yeah, judging by the comparison screenshots this is MUCH closer to the arcade. Always wondered why the MD port looked so washed out, otherwise it was a phenomenal port.
    This.


    Quote Originally Posted by Christuserloeser View Post
    I am pretty blown away by the idea of a SF2CE color hack. I hated that game's colors even when it was released. SSF2 was such an improvement in that regard. Can't wait to try the hacked version.
    I hate SSF2 on the Genesis and on the SNES, so I can't say much about that.
    But he did a hell of job with the characters palettes IMO, Ken always looked wrong to me.
    My only complaint is about the green usage in the new Guile's stage. The superior part of the background looks worlds better than before but that green kinda ruined it to me, especially 'cause it's in the fighter shadows too.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gentlegamer View Post
    This shows how it's not technical weakness that always makes a game look worse.
    Yep.
    I hope that guy releases more patches... I'd love to see Fatal Fury 2 with proper colors instead of the shitty Takara color choices.

  9. #9
    Master of Shinobi Pyron's Avatar
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    Hello everyone, first I apologize for my poor english ....

    Still, I want to thank you for sharing this content Barone.
    And also thank the people who liked it (even those that do not). It's for people like you that I do these things, thank you!

  10. #10
    Shining Hero Joe Redifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamahl View Post
    Joe... are you drunk again? The entire game looks different with far more accurate arcade colours.
    I dunno about the entire game looking different. Maybe I don't play Golden Axe enough to notice. I noticed that the first stage was a touch brighter, stage 3 was now blue and the dragons you ride on no longer cause my eyeballs to bleed. That's all I noticed. A sprite could be added on top of the dragon eyeball that's blue. It's not like there's a lot going on in that area so I doubt it would cause problems.

    Midnight Resistance looks bad. It looks much worse and really shows off more of the Genesis' weaknesses. Closer to the arcade? I don't consider that a plus. Let's make the music all shitty so it's closer to the arcade as well! Surely you'd consider that a "plus". Are you drunk Kamal? Surely you are drunk and like to do drugs like meth. Damn drunks. Same goes with Final Fight CD. It may be more accurate but it really shows off the color limitations more than the original did. I'll have to play the original again. Small Youtube videos and web images can be deceptive.
    Last edited by Joe Redifer; 07-17-2014 at 04:03 PM.

  11. #11
    The Shadow knows Road Rasher Allard's Avatar
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    All of them but SOR2 and Midnight Resistance were good. SOR2 looks worse and Midnight Resistance... I dunno, I didn't play it enough, but I didn't notice any difference.

  12. #12
    Master of Shinobi Bottino's Avatar
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    I think that Golden Axe looks really good now, probably the best of the bunch. Street Fighter 2 overall looks a lot better IMO, except for Guile's stage; like Barone said, there's some weird green going on there.
    I thought that Outrun looked good as well, closer to the Arcade but i kinda like the visual of the " original " MD version.

    About Midnight Resistance...didn't like that one too much though; i'll have to play it some more.
    I can't test Final Fight, so no comments on that.

    Now,about SOR2; no one needs to put their hands on that game


    Quote Originally Posted by Pyron View Post
    Hello everyone, first I apologize for my poor english ....

    Still, I want to thank you for sharing this content Barone.
    And also thank the people who liked it (even those that do not). It's for people like you that I do these things, thank you!
    No need to apologize my friend and it's good to know that you're a member here.
    one can tell that you've putted a lot of effort and love into this, and i'm sure we all appreciate what you did, giving some more life to these great titles on our beloved MD/Genesis.

  13. #13
    Master of Shinobi Pyron's Avatar
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    thanks a lot!
    If all you want and if permitted, I could put some pictures with better resolution showing more details.

    but to explain myself..

    SOR2 = as I said in the description of the patch I do not think that needs improvement, but I had some things that bothered me and I wanted to change, so I shared the patch if someone shared the plumb feeling.

    Midnight Resistance = I really wanted to change that much more... however, unfortunately the game does not allow much modification, for the staff an idea, it uses a 16-color palette that is shared with most enemies, sprites and backgrounds of the first 3 stages. An example for you to have idea, it's the colors of asphalt and buildings of the first phase stage that shares the same colors of the grass / leaves and stem of the second stage.

    OutRun = I altered slightly I could ... there are so many stages and variations that have no way to go through them infinitely times to see how my changes were.

    FFCD = I finished the game about 90x to try to apply the changes, I was very pleased with the result. Of course everything is on base with my personal taste and arcade in mind that was striking to me in my childhood. The intention was not to look better but faithful to the original.

    SF2/GA = As in FFCD, I modified the game 100%, I did the best I could. Finding better or worse also depends on personal taste.

    What I recommend to everyone, is play the original again at least for a few stages before trying these hacks. This makes it easier to make a comparison, sometimes our memory can deceive us.

    Thanks again friends.

    *I fixed Guile Stage, will be avaliable soon.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pyron View Post
    Hello everyone, first I apologize for my poor english
    No need to apologize, keep partaking the discussions and you'll get more comfortable with your English... My first 100 posts were really hard but now it's much much easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyron View Post
    Still, I want to thank you for sharing this content Barone.
    And also thank the people who liked it (even those that do not). It's for people like you that I do these things, thank you!
    No need to thank me either, I just shared it 'cause it was a very good work and people have discussed here for years about hacking the Golden Axe's palette to make it brighter and closer to the arcade game (the same for SFII), so I thought it would be a good idea to make a thread for your hacks.
    And it's good for you to have some feedback I think.

    Thanks for the hacks, Golden Axe was always a let down with the original palette IMO; it really detracted something from the game. My friends will enjoy it quite a lot, I'm pretty sure.


    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Redifer View Post
    I dunno about the entire game looking different. Maybe I don't play Golden Axe enough to notice. I noticed that the first stage was a touch brighter, stage 3 was now blue and the dragons you ride on no longer cause my eyeballs to bleed. That's all I noticed. A sprite could be added on top of the dragon eyeball that's blue. It's not like there's a lot going on in that area so I doubt it would cause problems.
    A sprite could be a good idea but Pyron's hacks are only about changing palettes to look closer to the arcade, so probably someone else will have to build upon it in the future, IDK.


    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Redifer View Post
    Midnight Resistance looks bad. It looks much worse and really shows off more of the Genesis' weaknesses. Closer to the arcade? I don't consider that a plus. Let's make the music all shitty so it's closer to the arcade as well! Surely you'd consider that a "plus". Same goes with Final Fight CD.
    I think I understand your point, sometimes to be closer to the arcade version you'll have to use less diverse tones or darker ones which may result in a less colorful or less vivid visual sensation. And you may dislike the new color choices, but I'm pretty sure both games now are closer to the arcade color choices and there was always people complaining about its lack of faithfulness, so I think it's a plus in that way. Those hacks, as Pyron said to me, are focused on making the games look more like their arcade counterparts and not more colorful. Sometimes it will result in a better looking game, like SFII or Golden Axe, and sometimes people will probably prefer the old palette. I find it good to have an alternative though.


    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Redifer View Post
    It may be more accurate but it really shows off the color limitations more than the original did. I'll have to play the original again. Small Youtube videos and web images can be deceptive.
    Sorry, Joe, I shared what I had at the moment. If I had better quality images I'd have posted them. But, then again, everybody knows that FFCD in RGB is a no-go.

    Pyron sent me a link with some better examples IMO:







    Quote Originally Posted by Bottino View Post
    I think that Golden Axe looks really good now, probably the best of the bunch. Street Fighter 2 overall looks a lot better IMO, except for Guile's stage; like Barone said, there's some weird green going on there.
    I agree.
    I sent him a PM and he answered me with a new version of the SFII hack which replaces that green in Guile's stage and I think it looks much better now, but I'll wait for his permission or own release prior sharing it.
    I'm pretty sure that his GA and SFII hacks will be my default playing versions from now on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bottino View Post
    I thought that Outrun looked good as well, closer to the Arcade but i kinda like the visual of the " original " MD version.
    I've always liked the higher contrast Ferrari from the MD version, but the stages were annoying in some parts to me.
    I'll probably be playing the new version most of the time from now on but I'll keep the original just in case, hehe.

    EDIT: I was ninja'd by Pyron's last post.
    Last edited by Barone; 07-17-2014 at 08:06 PM.

  15. #15
    Master of Shinobi Pyron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barone View Post
    I agree.
    I sent him a PM and he answered me with a new version of the SFII hack which replaces that green in Guile's stage and I think it looks much better now, but I'll wait for his permission or own release prior sharing it.
    You didn't need my permission, i made it to that =D

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