Saturday, April 5, 2014

Zelda Starring Zelda 2: Download


UPDATE: I'm getting LOTS of reports of bugs and patching issues. There's for sure a "buffer overrun" error because of my dialogue changes. Oops. Please keep reporting your difficulties to me. I'll be doing the first update soon.

The moment you've all been waiting for.


Image of Zelda with the Master Sword by Eran Fowler. I really need to turn this into a proper promotional image. That pile of skulls is just the right amount of space for "SAVE HYRULE" in really gritty lettering.

Now, you probably all know the drill by now, but let me refresh you. I can't release the complete game for download. Why? Because we're in legal gray area. To stay on the safe side, I release a "patch", that you apply that "patch", to your own "Zelda - a Link to the Past" ROM.

You can patch your ROM with Lunar IPS in Windows. Some emulators will auto-patch your ROM for you, so check your emulator's read-me if you're not using Windows. 

Some tips: Make sure your "Zelda - a Link to the Past" ROM is for the SNES (not Game Boy Advance) and use one with a .smc file type.

If you're not satisfied with my version and you want to edit your own version of "Zelda - a Link to the Past", you should use the following software, because they are amazing. If there was such a thing as "industry standard" in Zelda ROM editing, it would be these pieces of software.

  • Z-Compress -- Zelda - a Link to the Past uses "compressed" graphics. You won't be able to edit the sprite tiles unless you decompress them, and you can't play-test the game without compressing the graphics again. Z Compress will do that, but it's a bit scary to use because it must be run through command prompt box, but don't worry, you won't screw anything up.
Fun Fact: Super Mario World also uses compressed graphics and you can use this same program to decompress them, though I have a feeling you might need to change the memory location number.

  • YY-CHR -- Incredibly powerful sprite editor. It can read and edit just about any ROM with pixel art. It can't edit the palettes but it can load the palettes from save-state files, so you know exactly which colors you're working with. You can also copy-paste tiles, even tiles from different YY-CHR windows. I know, right?

  • Hyrule Magic -- The description is "a Zelda 3 editor" but it should probably be called "the most comprehensive Zelda 3 editor ever built by humans". Seriously, you can do almost anything with this program. Its designed as a level editor, mostly to move around existing sprites, so I would still edit sprites in YY-CHR, but this is where I changed palettes and changed the script. Without using any code. Apparently, it can absolutely destroy your ROM though, so be careful and save often.

As part of my quest to locate Zelda's original sprite palette, I used Orochimaru's Perfect Guide to Hyrule Magic. It didn't quite have the information I needed, but I could see how it would be useful to someone who was a die-hard dungeon editor. Zelda's original palette, by the by, is the first 8 colors of World Colors 2, Pal 0 in HMagic. It's a "shared" palette, so be aware that you're also changing the colors for other sprites. Hat tip to arc-nova.org for that one.

And of course, no modding project is complete without at least one (or forty) trips to RomHacking.net. I go there all the time, but I still have no idea how to upload my files there. Their uploader doesn't like google drive. But they're always the best resource for rom editing projects. Even if you're not into editing, it's worth a trip over there to see what projects other people have done. People do the craziest stuff in their free time. ...Not me, of course. This is all perfectly normal.

Oh, and if you were wondering, I use the iBuffalo usb gamepad. Totally worth the money.

Big thank you to all of the people that created the resources above, and to all of the fans of the first project. I couldn't have edited all of those sprites without all of you.

If you spot any overlooked pronouns or mislaid sprites in Zelda Starring Zelda 2, leave me a comment. I expect I'll have to do an update here and there. Now, go storm the castle!

29 comments:

  1. Hiya! I was just wondering what emulator did you use to play the game because I used snes9x and Zsnes and the rom just messes up after it says "Nintendo" and then I see a bunch of garbled pixels. Unless I used the wrong kind of rom to patch the file to... I just got one off of emuparadise...

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    1. Probably the wrong ROM. Make sure the rom is .smc.

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    2. Ok I found the right ROM and everything is working now. Sorry I was using the wrong ROM and I got confused. Thank you and I'm so excited to play this! You have no idea how many times a day I kept checking your blog and hoping to see it released soon. I was about to burst until today!

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    3. I'm glad you got it to work for you. Copyright law makes everything so tricky and I really want everyone to enjoy this. I think the .sfc version of the ROM is more common, so I should probably put together a patch for the .sfc people as well. :)

      And I'm sorry I kept you waiting with the release!

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    4. I was having the same problem, except my ROM was a smc.

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  2. It works really well. Thank you so much! I use the Buffalo USB gamepad as well, which is the best SNES USB gamepad in my opinion. I got a question though. Why does the blue enemies like the blue guards and blue Stalfos turn light green? I'm playing on SNES9x by the way.

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    1. I was wondering who would spot that. lol Many "blue" enemies (and the morning star!) share Princess Zelda's original palette. I had to change those two blue and light purple colors to green and light green so Link could be in his trademark green tunic. Glad to hear it works!

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  3. I pinned you to BookNuts BookStore's Pinterest page....deal with it!

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  4. Hi, I'm super interested in this romhack, but every rom I patch, which are .smc, always results in a bad rom and breaks after the Nintendo logo. I've tried this in both ZSNES and snes9x, and I haven't the faintest idea what's wrong. If you've got any idea why this won't work, I would love to know! Thanks!

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    1. You're definitely not the first person with this particular error, so don't worry. Patching roms is tricky business and my patch is a little buggy. (In short, I accidentally overwrote some important code with my dialogue changes.) I'll be putting an update together soon. It'll probably be a .sfc build since that rom is more common.

      I'll comment here when I've got the update done so you won't miss it. :)

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  5. Hello again, Kenna! Since you're getting LOTS of reports of bugs and patching issues, I was wondering when are you going to release a new patch for Zelda Starring Zelda 2. I just finished LttP by playing as Princess Zelda, and I've seen bugs like text glitches after the phrase "seven wise men". I don't think the "blue" enemies turning "green" can be fixed though, because they share Princess Zelda's original palette.

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  6. hello I'm from Brazil and wanted to congratulate for this wonderful version of zelda, always wanted to play zelda or peach as the protagonist, I ended up finding this version by accident and I'm so happy so thank you <3

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  7. Was reminded of this project by a stray thought and came to check out your progress, and Lo! A completed patch! With an awesome cover image to boot! Downloaded and testing now. The green guards that are actually blue guards in disguise threw me for a second - I was wondering why Zelda couldn't dispatch a green guard in 2 hits the way her brother could before I figured it out.

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  8. I'm afraid it's broken. :(
    I've tried every rom I can get my hands on, both headered and unheadered, US and European. None of them will make it past the Nintendo logo.

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  10. Hi! i tried this out it's amazing i loved how you did the spites! :) and i got one question for you. when are you going to make zelda starring zelda 3?

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  11. Hi, sorry to bother you, but My copy won't play after it's been patched, it gets to the nintendo screen, then immediately starts playing dark and intense music, and the screen is black and I can't do anything.

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  12. Hello,

    I run a reproduction company, and am very interested in the patch. If you finish it, I would like to request permission to put it on real hardware, complete in it's own custom box. If you would be okay with this, I'd love to talk with you more.

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  13. Hi Kenna,
    I wanted to mention that the original Zelda Starring Zelda (and this one as well, currently playing it) has been an inspiration for a new tool I just released called JPS http://wanderingcoder.net/projects/JPS/ (Firefox, Chrome and Opera only). If you still get asked how to apply patches you might it find useful since it works on all platforms and is easier to install and use: rather than telling "Get X and use it that way, unless you use a Mac, in which case you have to get Y […]", just point to JPS and he should be good to go.

    (as I'm at it, for the commenters who have issues running Zelda Starring Zelda 2, the "Nintendo logo, then only black screen and odd sounds" issue is always related to the headered/unheadered ROM issue in my experience: change ROM, making sure you're using one of the other type, removing/adding the header if necessary. Sorry, this is the bane of SNES ROM patching and there is no easier solution).

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  14. Good, god. I'm been playing you're first Zelda mod with my daughter. I just read about some guy who made Link to the Past gender neutral. Then I see you've actually made Zelda the hero of this game too! Holy fucking shit are you amazing! Thank you so much!

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  15. Dunno why; I've tried three different emulators, and I can't get the patch to load. Just the Nintendo logo, funny sounds, and then it hangs. Is this an issue that's being worked on, or am I just kind of SOL on this one?

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    1. I've got the same issue, and I'm having trouble finding .smc as opposed to .sfc This comment thread is a little old by now, so I apologize if this is a common issue that has already been solved. I'm going to try updating my emulators. Looking forward to playing

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  18. I feel compelled to let the masses know that I might have figured out how to make this thing work!

    The secret is that you need a .SMC with a header. I'm not sure if I can say exactly how that's done without Nintendo coming down on me like a Megaton Hammer, but a bit of Googling will lead you to the answers you seek.

    Fight, Zelda! For everlasting peace!

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