Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another look at the scrapped 3D BN5DS

As you may know, the scrapped BN5DS which was supposed to be in 3D still intrigues me. I've found a nice tool called "Console Tool" which can open NSBMD files. Having the tool open the leftover models yielded different results. The character models don't look too different and I'm really more interested in the animations it may have. The maps looks different though. I've taken a screenshot of one of the maps that was rendered in 3D. It looks a lot like an ACDC area but it has different paths.
If the program could display the model correctly, I'm sure the whole map could be seen. This is always so fascinating!

Update: I contacted the author of the program and he was able to accurately display some of the models with a more recent version of his tool When it's publicly released, expect a video showing the models in their true form.
Here are some of the pictures he took.
Low Lines
Low Lines
Low Lines

Bass XX in BN5DS

I just finished getting all the icons and defeating Nebula Gray Omega in my Protoman file on the DS game.When I did this on my Colonel file, I unlocked Bass Cross so I can fight Bass XX. The problem this time is that I can't fight him in my Protoman file. The descriptions on GameFAQs are all wrong. Nobody has any idea what they're talking about with their confusing language and questionable methods.

If I recall correctly, to fight Bass XX in the GBA game, you had to equip the Bass Cross Megaman E-card and have enabled Bass Cross. After fighting Bass in the set encounters in Oran Area and Nebula Area, he should replace the random encounter of Bass Omega in Nebula 6.

However, according to the method on GameFAQs, to unlock Bass XX you have to defeat Nebula Gray Omega in one file to unlock him in the other file. I already fought Bass XX in Colonel before I even started my Protoman file. This tip must not be correct or I should have already unlocked him.

According to another submission, to fight Bass XX, you must have Bass Cross or Sol Cross enabled. Also, you can unlock him with any Battle Network game in the GBA slot. However, you only unlock Bass Cross with a BN5 game and Sol Cross cannot be unlocked with a BN game. So therefore, only BN5 should work, not the other 5 carts. So basically only a BN5 cart should work.

None of these methods have worked but from what I can piece together, there are 2 ways to unlock Bass XX:
- You have to have both BN5 game carts completed to unlock Bass XX in both files.
- You have to save after slotting in all the BN game carts in the GBA slot and use a cross.

I'm not quite sure but I should have unlocked Bass XX twice in my Colonel file. I had played with all the BN carts at least once and I used a completed BN5 Protoman cart. I don't have access to all the BN games anymore so I can't do method one and I don't have a Colonel cart so I can't do method 2. If this is true, I'd have to wait. I'm planning on releasing my game save to the public after this. It should have both files completed with no cheats and plenty of items!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

DS Download Station Vol.10 rips!

Megaman Star Force 2 Downloads

After months of searching, I finally found a rom dump of DS Download Station Vol.10. If you recall, back in November of 2008, Capcom allowed players to obtain extra content legitimately in Megaman Star Force 2. They were the special brotherbands and the cards. Now that I finally found one, I can rip stuff from it and take apart the files. It turns out that all 4 .nds files are nearly identical with the exception of one line of code, the name, and the icon palette. Also, just like I expected, the entire chip list and descriptions are there for no reason. There were no listed files and my LZ77 scanners didn't get everything so it made it difficult to find data. I was able to rip graphics, some of which are exclusive to the demo.

Sprite rips are posted on Sprites INC.

I would post a download link to the rom, but I wouldn't dare do that on my blog. I might upload it somewhere else and not post a link for no reason. But if you can find it, using the DS Demo Decompressor on the files inside the "stats" folder should give you a .nds file which can run on an emulator or flash cart. The MMSF2 downloads, called YRV#demo, won't work without the game being inserted which is impossible unless you actually received the file via Download Play. It was great finding it. Now I hope to find Volume 13 which at this point, looks like it might be impossible. Damn premium download sites!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Photoshop Tutorial: Create amazing portal effect

With the spare time I've had, I've been perfecting the technique of making an appealing portal in Photoshop. The technique borrows some aspects from other tutorials, but the end result is awesome. You can follow these steps to get a similar result.

In Photoshop, make a new document by going to File > New and set width and height at 1000px.

Select the Gradient Tool and make a linear white-to-black gradient. White should be near the top and black should be near the bottom. There should also be more black than white as seen in the screenshot.

Then, go to Filter > Distort > Wave. Make a square wave with 50 generators using the settings in the screenshot.

After that, go to Filter > Polar Coordinates. Use the Rectangular to Polar option and click OK.

The layer should now look like a starburst.

The distortion leaves the layer slightly pixelated. This can be removed by applying a light Radial Blur filter.
Go to Filter > Blur > Radial Blur, and use the following settings:

That finishes the first layer. Now make a new layer and use the gradient tool. This time add more black and less white.

Use the same filters as before. Distort with Wave first, then Polar Coordinates. The result will be a smaller burst with significant white streaks. Leave it as it is for now.

You may add more layers of different bursts but these should be enough. Make a new layer again and select the Brush Tool. Right-click on the canvas and change the settings. Use a circle brush with 300px diameter and 25% hardness. The color should be white. Click near the middle. Because it's unlikely that you'll hit the center, select all with Ctrl+A and select the move tool. Alignment options should appear in the tool options tab.

Select align vertical centers and horizontal centers. That should perfectly center the circle. Now duplicate the circle layer (Ctrl+J) and invert it (Ctrl+I), Now go to Distort > Wave and change the number of generators to 10. It should break apart the circle.

After that, go to Stylize > Find Edges. It should outline the distorted circle with black and make all black, white. Follow that up with another Polar Coordinates filter.

The result should now be a blocky shape below the center. Duplicate the layer and select all. With the duplicated layer selected, go to Transform > Flip Vertical. That will make both halves similar. Merge the two layers.

Now duplicate the two parts and rotate one. Just rotate it slightly so it is not horizontally symmetrical. Take the duplicated layer, make it larger, and rotate it differently. The result should look like the screenshot now:

Make another new layer and go to Filter > Render > Clouds. Adjust the black and white levels by opening the levels window (Ctrl+L). The goal is to create a high-contrast render with notable white and black spots. After that, go to Pixelate > Mosaic, and set the Cell Size to 32. The layer should now look like the screenshot:

Now go to Stylize > Find Edges. This outlines each square. Invert the image and apply another Polar Coordinates filter. There is still one more layer to add. Make a new layer and select the white-to-transparent gradient. Set the style to a reflected gradient and draw it in the center.

Apply Polar Coordinates again. Make another new layer and create another reflected gradient only this time larger than before. Apply Polar Coordinates and size up the layer. The ring should be visible in the 4 corners of the canvas. Finally, duplicate the first, smaller ring and shrink it so it is near the center. It should now look like the screenshot:

After that, the coloring comes in. Click on the topmost layer and go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map. In the gradient color editor, make the left color black or a dark color and the right color white. The color is up to you but I will use blue as an example.

This is how my gradient map looks like:

The gradient map can always be edited so click OK to apply the changes. Now the layers have to go through each other. Select the black layer with the squares and set the blending mode to Screen. Select the two rotated black square layers and set it to Screen. Finally, select the small burst from the second layer and set it to either Screen or Linear Dodge.

Duplicate the small burst layer and transform it. Enlarge it so it becomes more noticeable. Rotate it as well.
It should look like this now:

This leaves the layer blurry. Just like before, apply a Radial Blur filter to fix it.

The portal is now complete! You can always go back and edit layer or change the color via gradient map.
This is my final product.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

BN5 Chip Trader Contents

I wanted to know what chips the chip traders gave and so I turned to hacking the BN5 rom instead. I figured out that the Higsby's trader and the Oran trader are the best chip traders in the game. The Ship chip trader is the worst.
I made a video showing the contents since GM refused to make a text dump option.

This, of course, wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for Spikeman's chip trader notes and GM's programming ability. This information is good to know. Apparently AreaGrab and Blinder * are obtainable through legitimate means. But then there are some rarity variables affecting the outcome. I'm not too familiar with that.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

BN5 Navi Combo Attacks

I'm still making videos. One of my favorite aspects of the DS version of BN5 is the Party Battle System. It makes the game much more playable and enjoyable. And the strategies they open up are essential. I've found myself using Team Navis to execute combos that would otherwise be impossible.

Oh, and did I mention I hit 1000 bats twice? I might make a live video of that since the minigame is super easy.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

MMBN Operation Star Force Logo

By popular demand, I've completed a new version of the logo. This time, it reads "Megaman Battle Network Operation: Star Force"
I completely remade everything and I personally like this one more. I've figured out how useful the Gradient Overlay tool can be. There will be more graphic tutorials.
You can download this picture you see above in its original scale, the logo as a transparent PNG, and a GBA-sized GIF version in one ZIP.