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Thread: Removing black bars in Fatal Fury 2 (MD)

  1. #1
    For great justice! Road Rasher Tor Landeel's Avatar
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    Default Removing black bars in Fatal Fury 2 (MD)

    I've started researching on removing the black bars in FF2, inspired by Barone's hack in RoboCop Versus The Terminator.
    The black bars are actually hiding quite a lot of background graphics, so the next step is hacking the rom itself making the layer transparent.
    This is a mockup of the results I'm expecting after the hack:

    I'd like to do that myself, so I'm asking for a little help here..any advice?
    Last edited by Tor Landeel; 01-29-2018 at 12:50 PM.
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  2. #2
    For great justice! Road Rasher Tor Landeel's Avatar
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    I will probably start with this tutorial
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f0oiU9nUUw
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  3. #3
    For great justice! Road Rasher Tor Landeel's Avatar
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    Ok, I've found the palette entry I need to modify to make the black border transparent, but I'm having difficulties finding the hex code for transparent color..any hint?
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  4. #4
    For great justice! Road Rasher Tor Landeel's Avatar
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    Ok, please correct me if I'm wrong.

    I've found that the 0000 hex code is the transparent color, but for some reason it's displayed as black. I can change both the background color and the bars color (it will impact also other tiles), but in no way make them transparent.
    Ex:


    Can any expert on palette hacking give me a hand?
    Thanks!
    ***** トル・ランディール ******
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  5. #5
    Master of Shinobi Sik's Avatar
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    You're getting it wrong.

    Color 0 (the first color) of a palette is the transparent one, regardless of its value. Conversely, the rest are always opaque too. The only way to make the HUD transparent is by editing the graphics themselves altogether. If you're lucky they may be uncompressed, but I somehow doubt it, so on top of that not only you'll need to find the graphics but also figure out how to decompress them, and then how to compress those back*. And again: if you're lucky they may have used a known compression scheme, otherwise you'll be left having to figure out that part as well.

    At least all the above is doable with enough patience and expertise. But since it's opaque normally, it's possible they didn't care about plane A being clipped by window (since it'd have been covered even without that), so you better hope they didn't put graphics in plane A behind the HUD.


    *Well, you could rip the graphics in some other way (e.g. spritesheet or VRAM dump), and when you recompress them you can just append the compressed graphics at the end of the ROM and change the relevant address to point there. But you still need to know where the graphics are loaded and how to compress them. Or in an extreme case, write a routine that loads uncompressed graphics and inject a jump there somewhere in the code.

  6. #6
    For great justice! Road Rasher Tor Landeel's Avatar
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    Hi Sik, thanks for your answers.
    I kinda figured it out after reading the n-th source and explanation on the MD palette..but it was very nice of you to give such long explanation, really.
    I hope data will be uncompressed, in that case I can play with a sprite editor (even if it won't be easy to find the HUD elements, they're so small)...but a first look with YY-CHR did not give promising results ...
    ***** トル・ランディール ******
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    Out Run Arcade Colors hack:
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  7. #7
    The Cat in the Hat Hero of Algol NeoVamp's Avatar
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    Very interesting project, hope you succeed.

  8. #8
    For great justice! Road Rasher Tor Landeel's Avatar
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    I've been doing some experiments with the debug mode.. Sik, you were right about the rom, it's compressed: this will make it very difficult for me to edit the rom, but I will try anyway.
    After all, I've been making a lot of experience and advancements, starting with zero experience.
    Anyway, I've edited the VRAM memory making the bar all transparent and this is the result:

    It works well, it's obviously not perfect but still good enough.
    For example, when you jump the characters are cut on the interface:


    Will not give up!
    ***** トル・ランディール ******
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    Out Run Arcade Colors hack:
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    *****************************

  9. #9
    Outrunner cabear's Avatar
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    hey it's a start! great job Tor!

    i often wonder about those choices devs made when making a black border at the top, always make the game look chintzy IMHO. it had to be a performance or visual clipping issue or something.

  10. #10
    Master of Shinobi Pyron's Avatar
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    Keep going, will be very cool play this game with no black bars, tmnt its a good game to watch too if you can

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  11. #11
    Outrunner Wesker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pyron View Post
    Keep going, will be very cool play this game with no black bars, tmnt its a good game to watch too if you can
    I assume bgvanbur would be the ideal person in that case, given that he has been reverse engineering the game over the years.

    (aassuming you mean The Hyperstone Heist and not Tournament Fighters, of course)

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