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Old 11-04-2008, 01:04 AM   #1
Caesura
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Default Is there any easy way to find sprites in TLP?

I was looking through fire emblem: sealed sword with tile layer pro, and I know there are tons of sprites in there, but I don't know where. I've opened the game in Visual Boy and tried using the offsets, but I'm not sure how to use those... sooo, I guess my question is:
Is there an easy way to find sprites in Tile Layer Pro by using the Visual Boy tools?

and yeah, i know that piecing them together is a pain...
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Old 11-05-2008, 12:00 PM   #2
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In a word, no.

However, I would strongly encourage you to use Tile Molester instead of Tile Layer Pro. TM was the successor of TLP and is coded by the same individual. In TM, you can adjust the "block size" and see the sprites as they actually appear when playing the game, instead of as the jumbled mess you see in Tile Layer Pro. That still doesn't make it easier to find them, per se, as you still have to scroll around and locate the graphics, then experiment with the block size until you've found the correct one (as far as I can tell, there is no scientific way to determine it) but once you've done that and imported the palette, you'll have a much easier time dealing with the graphics.
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Old 11-06-2008, 04:02 AM   #3
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I was going to look into that, but haven't gotten around to it yet. But definitely worth it, huh? I'll be downloading that now. : )

And yeah, really my only problem finding them was because, like in fire emblem, there are so many different shadings and stuff in each block and the sprites are so split up I couldn't find anything resembling a person.

But thanks! I'll be looking into TM.
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Old 11-06-2008, 04:18 AM   #4
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There's also the possibility of the graphics being compressed. If that's the case, you won't find them. (Technically, if you have a really sharp eye, you might be able to see bits and pieces of the graphics, depending on how they were compressed, but that's not really going to help you very much).
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Old 11-06-2008, 03:06 PM   #5
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So, there's no way to use the offsets given by (for example) VBA to find specific tiles in TM or TLP though?

And in the case of compression, what do the graphics look like compressed, and is there a way to decompress them?
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Old 11-08-2008, 01:28 PM   #6
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Uhm Uncompressed graphics should look like this, of course this is Secret of Mana and viewing the area around Neko. If your looking at compressed it'll tend to look almost similar to the rest of the snow(data in the rom) that isn't sprite data.

(Damn it some one needs to fix attachments, you can't upload it as a 34kb clear gif all you get is a blurry 58kb jpg because of the stupid 19.5kb gif/png limits. Oh and yes SoM, CT, Lufia, FF5, ToP, & RS3 Screen caps exceed that among other things just so you know)
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Last edited by AkaneJones; 11-08-2008 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 11-08-2008, 04:12 PM   #7
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The attachment didn't look too bad, and I could probably piece the sprites together--though it'd take forever. I think it just comes down to knowing the game really well.
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Old 11-08-2008, 04:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caesura View Post
So, there's no way to use the offsets given by (for example) VBA to find specific tiles in TM or TLP though?
I have no experience with this, so I'm just theorizing based on documents I've read about other systems. I'm presuming that the offsets you're getting from VBA are where the graphics in question are loaded in RAM. If this is the case, you would have to convert it to a ROM address in order to locate the data in the ROM. I know I've seen a document about how to do this for NES but I can't seem to locate it at the moment. A quick Google shows several GameShark/Pro Action Replay documents that explain how to do it as well. I'm not sure if any of this will actually help in regards to GBA, but it's possible. (Converting the RAM address to a ROM address is a pretty simple process, you just need to know the specific #s involved for GBA.) Again, I have no experience with this and am simply hypothesizing, so I could be completely offbase.

Quote:
And in the case of compression, what do the graphics look like compressed, and is there a way to decompress them?
In most cases, you would have to figure out the compression scheme and write your own custom decompressor. I have heard that the GBA BIOS has certain built-in decompression routines, so many games use these standardized compression formats, but I don't know a whole lot about that, either.

Keep in mind that the 'GBA' format in Tile Layer Pro is simply the format in which GBA games most commonly store their graphics. (4BPP Linear, Reverse Order) There's absolutely no guarantee that any or all graphics will actually be stored in that format. It is extremely common for different systems to store their fonts in 1BPP mode, for instance. There's nothing that says a GBA game can't store it's graphics in 'SNES' (4BPP Planar, Composite) or 'Gameboy' (2BPP Planar) or even 'Genesis' (4BPP Linear) format. Just because you don't find the graphics in GBA format doesn't necessarily mean they are compressed, they could simply be stored in another format. Tile Molester has removed this confusion by removing the system names from the format. When you open a GBA game in TM, it will default to 4BPP Linear, Reverse Order but does not refer to that as GBA mode in the Codec list.

Also, if you haven't been there already, you might consider checking out RHDN as there is a lot more information over there and a much more active ROM hacking forum, meaning people who actually know what they're talking about instead of simply theorizing as I'm doing now. (Fair warning: It's not uncommon for simple questions such as this one to receive highly detailed technical explanations including assembly code, but that's better than flames, I suppose.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caesura View Post
The attachment didn't look too bad, and I could probably piece the sprites together--though it'd take forever. I think it just comes down to knowing the game really well.
Again, adjusting the block size in Tile Molester will often allow you to "descramble' those graphics and edit them as they appear in game, though you'll have to do some palette importing to see the colors correctly.
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Old 11-08-2008, 08:22 PM   #9
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Thank you very much! All of that is extremely helpful. And I'll definitely be looking more into RHdn. I've gotten a few level editors from there that I have yet to experiment. And I'll probably end up registering later. In any event, thanks again for all of the advice! Even if some of it is just theory, it sounds right.
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Old 11-14-2008, 05:53 PM   #10
Caesura
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So, I've looked and found several documents, discussions, etc on gameshark codes and such like that, but nothing on straightforward locating ROM offsets through RAM offsets. Much of them rely on using breakpoints to find events and such though (A shot clock, or number of lives, or effects of objects) but nothing refers to locating images or tiles. So I'm at a loss here.

I'll keep looking around and I'll post what I find if I find it useful, but as of now school is more important... work before play and all that.
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