Washed out GBA games on DSlite

Discussion in 'Supercard' started by Hyoga, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Hyoga
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    Hyoga Newbie

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    Hey all,

    Just got a Supercard MiniSD for the slot-2, and I got it to work easily enough and everything is running smoothly, but the colors of the games are REALLY washed out. The colors lost all their vibrancy and the games are just depressing to look at. Is there any way to fix this? I used the rom converting software on the Supercard website (since apparently you need to convert ROMS to work on the slot-2 flashcart?) - could that be causing the problem? Is there an option to tick in the converting process to keep the vibrant color palette? Any help would be appreciated, cheers!
     
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    The games are washed out because they were built for or to work on the original GBA which was not backlit and had suffered for it (devs then upped the contrast at the cost of colour vibrancy). When they were run on the SP it was worse and by the time you got to the DS lite.... yeah.

    Some games will have the option to change colours (summon night swordcraft story, any many of those that were designed for the GB player) and a handful of games were hacked to change the colours a bit
    http://filetrip.net/gba-downloads/t...vi-gba-color-restoration-patch-10-f29990.html
    http://filetrip.net/gba-downloads/trainers-rom-hacks/other-rom-hacks/
    http://filetrip.net/gba-downloads/trainers-rom-hacks/content-map-level-edits/

    If they were a SNES game originally (save perhaps donkey kong which was ported... interestingly) you even have options to restore the original colours by hacking though that is what forms many of the patches I just linked.

    Generally though if there is no option, no existing hack and you are not prepared to hack it there is not a lot you can do if you are thinking of cheats or tools like GBAATM. Palette hacking is usually a fairly basic hack in graphics hacking though not one so many people do these days, we can point you in the right direction though (if you are partway familiar with hacking then dump from it an emulator and scan the ROM for the same data, tracing should not be much harder and though dynamic palettes, animation and compression exist to trouble things it is usually worth at least a run through the basic method).
     
  3. Hyoga
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    Hyoga Newbie

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  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    That graphics editor is little more than a nicely specialised tile editor, you can do the same in any of those tile editors* (save perhaps "compressed" palette support though that is easily worked around as well). If someone tells you where to point it at then yeah you can edit it easily enough but the trick is finding out where to point things at in the first place. By the way in case you are not familiar with console style graphics they are not usually bitmaps but palette using images (think paint by numbers) though if you have the palette's location in the ROM that matters little.
    That said basic methods for palette finding can take you a long way; dump it in VBA or something and search the ROM for it or better a good fragment of it for palettes are usually small enough to not bother with being compressed and animation/dynamic palettes were not so common).

    *tiled2002
    http://home.arcor.de/minako.aino/TilEd2002/
    Crystaltile2
    http://filetrip.net/nds-downloads/utilities/download-crystaltile2-20100906-f23649.html

    http://www.romhacking.net/utilities/529/ though I think that is what you just linked.

    http://www.romhacking.net/utilities/515/

    There are some others but they lack support for some of the GBA capabilities.
     
  5. Hyoga
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    Hyoga Newbie

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    Thanks for that. I'll see what I can do.

    Seems like the main issue is just overall poor contrast, which I hear was done to make games easier to see on ye olde non-backlit GBAs, and which now gets in the way. Is there anyway to just apply a blanket contrast change to a rom without needing to mess with the palettes?
     
  6. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    If this was DS code on the DS then maybe, for anything that actually runs GBA mode then I guess you could try something crazy to fiddle with the palettes across the board in memory* but that would a) be interesting at least to implement if not downright annoying and b) prone to not working well/needing fine tuning. At which point you would probably be better off and in for an easier time if you were to play graphics hacker instead.

    *GBA cheat engines were not as nice as some of their DS counterparts (indeed I am not sure they would reach this memory area) but you might try something with an code to add data (palette info is held in memory and the format is quite simple as far as colour systems go)
    http://nocash.emubase.de/gbatek.htm#lcdcolorpalettes
    http://doc.kodewerx.org/hacking_gba.html