Donkey Kong Country Advance Color/Sound restoration request

Discussion in 'GBA - Game Development, ROM Hacks and Translations' started by Delirious17, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. Delirious17

    Delirious17 GBAtemp Regular

    Jun 23, 2009
    United States
    How cool would it be to have the color/sound restored to the DKC:Advance games? If just one then the first because I think that's what most people have fond memories of [​IMG]

    I know it'd be a massive undertaking but I know a lot of people would love it! [​IMG]
  2. granville

    granville GBAtemp Goat

    Aug 24, 2007
    United States
    Orlando, Florida
    I don't think it's worth it for these. The thing about the color restoration hacks is that the GBA versions of FF6 and Mario World are ported in such a way that you basically just swap out palettes. Unfortunately, there's more wrong with the graphics in the DKC GBA games than just the palettes. They removed numerous special effects and butchered the graphics beyond restoration by actually resizing the tiles and sprites themselves. I didn't realize at first what the issue was with the games that made them look so much worse than other SNES-to-GBA ports (not counting the brightness). Then i took a closer look at the sprites and backgrounds, and did this little comparison-


    Yeah, basically Rareware decided to botch the graphics so much that they went so far as to scale down all the assets by 25%. So what you're seeing are graphics that are only 75% as large as the original sprites. It won't be so simple to just replace the palettes like other ports.

    In other downgrades, i've noticed these other issues-
    - the rainstorm in Ropey Rampage is now stuck in a perpetual daytime, as opposed to the original night. Lightning no longer flashes either
    - wavy effect removed from fog in the toxic lake and the Misty Mine
    - time of day day/night/sunset transitions removed from DKC1 (this happens in about 3 levels in the first game)
    - many sprite animation frames were removed entirely, rendering some sprite animations far more choppy
    - palettes aren't even consistent between sprites and backgrounds, they're all altered at different variations
    - some levels contain totally new and different color palettes than the originals (not just brightened, but different color schemes)

    That's just the tip of the iceberg. I could go on and on about more removals and downgrades, but i don't think it's necessary.

    The music is botched as well of course. I'm not sure if it can be restored in this case, but at least it seems more likely than the graphics (some tunes have been replaced though, the entire soundtrack of DKC3 has been redone). They also ruined the sound effects, which i'm pretty certain cannot be restored. In addition to all this, the gameplay physics were ruined as well. I just don't think it's worth it to try to fix these issues, they're bad ports overall. Nothing can fix the resized sprites either, and i doubt palette swapping would be very easy there. I doubt the DKC games on GBA are even technically ported, they feel like they're running on a completely new engine.

    There are better ports worth tampering with, or at least ones that i could reasonably see as fixable without too much of an issue. Yoshi's Island is a good candidate for a palette and music restoration. It's a pretty solid port underneath for the most part (especially considering it had to go without the SuperFX chip), just needs some tweaking to fix the brightness and music quality. Nothing about the gameplay was altered.
  3. WiiHackNewbie

    WiiHackNewbie Newbie

    Jun 10, 2011
    I think the guy who did the SMW color restoration had intentions of doing Yoshi's Island and DKC. It was mentioned in this thread:

    I once, long ago, saw some progress screenshots on DKC. If not by him, by someone else. It was just a palette swap though, so the sprites were still tiny.

    Was there a music restoration for SMW?
  4. granville

    granville GBAtemp Goat

    Aug 24, 2007
    United States
    Orlando, Florida
    Yeah, Asaki mentioned that he would take a look at DKC when he first started out with the hacks. I talked to him in his thread on romhacking. The thread is gone now thanks to a server crash, but before it died he had more to say about it. Basically, it was as i said- the DKC GBA games were more than just simple ports and cannot be so easily restored. The other SNES-to-GBA ports just required some basic palette editing. But as the sprites and tiles are all resized in DKC GBA, it makes it far more difficult to just swap out palettes like the other games. He just gave up on them. The graphics are ugly anyways, i hate that they resized all the assets. Had the game just been a strait port with overly-bright palettes, it would have been find. Unfortunately they aren't. I expected better from Rareware, but it would seem that it was an earlier sign of their fall in the industry. I actually got to a point where i preferred to play the original games on SnemulDS than the GBA ports (despite the glitches).

    I've never seen any DKC palette hack shots. He definitely never did it. If you find such a thing, i'd like to see what it looks like. Though here's a SNES-to-GBA comparison image so anyone here can better understand the sort of undertaking we'd be dealing with (as you can see, the palettes aren't anywhere close to the only thing wrong with the games)-

    Yoshi's Island would be nice too. Asaki mentioned also that it would be a bit more difficult to do. The palettes on the other games he did were apparently brightened at a standard fixed rate. Apparently for Yoshi's Island, this is not the case. Instead of just a standard overall brightening, different graphical assets were brightened at different rates. So it's more difficult since you have to manually go through all the pieces and do them one by one. I also haven't heard anything from Asaki since. He seems to have disappeared from the internet for several years now. He also did a palette restoration for Breath of Fire and Mario Bros 2 GBA. All the links for them seem dead (i did find Mario 2 restoration through the help of a youtube user though). So basically all i can find of his is the Mario World color hack, which is still on Romhacking and i uploaded it on filetrip as well.

    And no there was never a music restoration for Mario World Advance. I would imagine such a thing would be doable though if someone were willing (along with the other Mario Advance games). To my knowledge, FF5 and FF6 are the only GBA games to get music restorations. Pretty funny how hackers are somehow able to prove that the GBA was in fact capable of SNES-quality sound (outdoing the developers themselves). It's actually kind of sad and pathetic in a way. [​IMG]

    There's a rather extensive list of SNES-to-GBA ports that were pretty decent strait ports and could use a graphical/sound restoration. I'd like to see them made, but it's up to skilled hackers to try their hand at it if they want. Here's some that could use work (and are decent enough ports to warrant a try)-

    Warning: Spoilers inside!
  5. eadmaster

    eadmaster Advanced Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    For games that haven't a specific patch released yet, a generic video filter could be developed.
    For istance i've got good results with the MESS emulator by descreasing the screen gamma to 0.6.
    Any volunteer to write a VBA .rpi plugin for this purpose?
  6. LeonardoF.Matheu

    LeonardoF.Matheu GBAtemp Regular

    Jan 23, 2012
    Rio de Janeiro
    A filter for VBA still wouldnt help who wants to play it on the real GBA. "Real Colors" option in VBA-M is nice, but unrealistic, hides some colours etc
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