[8-Bit] Overworld | The Legend of Zelda

⬇ Dᴏᴡɴʟᴏᴀᴅs
Song: http://phal.io/rezawrces/music
Game: http://phal.io/tlok (playable in web browsers or as download)

It all started a year ago in New Jersey, I mean in Ordon, when I wanted to make an 8-bit version of Ilia’s Theme to use in my outro and while I’m at it a high quality version of the Overworld Theme to use in my intro. I started by recreating the already 8-bit Overworld Theme to learn how to use FamiTracker and to learn about 8-bit music in general. After I made Ilia’s Theme as well, I realised I really enjoyed making 8-bit music and that I should start making 8-bit covers of songs I love. In fideo form there had to be some sort of visuals as well, so I came up with the idea of making short pixel animations fitting to the songs along with the pattern and oscilloscopes from FamiTracker for those interested. Originally I didn’t want to upload the Overworld Theme as it’s almost the same as the original, but I liked the idea of making an animation of Link-Riolu in a first-Zelda-style environment killing an enemy with a sword. Link-Riolu was supposed to kill an enemy, then move a room to the right where the animation would loop and the same room with the enemy would appear again. But then I thought, why not make a couple of different rooms? Or why not a whole area? Or why not a whole game with a big map, interesting characters and an interesting story?

So I started drawing terrain textures which I have never done before. The rock walls were especially difficult. I tried many different versions and colours but I just couldn’t get something that actually looks like a rock wall. The current version was the best but then the next big obstacle appeared: Making many versions of this texture for all possible angles that all perfectly fit together in any combination. This was very tiring to do and I was very glad when I was done. The water animations turned out surprisingly well I think, considering I’ve never drawn or animated water before. Then I drew the walking animation for Link-Riolu and it was again a new challenge to draw a character in very few pixels. I couldn’t get something even close to acceptable at first, so I took a look at older Pokémon sprites for reference and proceeded to make the body very wide with barely any legs. It was good enough for my first attempt, so next I spent a lot of time creating the map, outlining the story and thinking of interesting characters. I’ve always wanted to write stories and create characters and I enjoyed doing so a lot. This was also the birth of Zelda-Kirlia. Unfortunately, you won’t be seeing the story or characters yet as I will stop working on the game to make other things for now.

When it came to implementing the ideas into the game, I had to spend days to get the transition between maps right. In TLoZ, enemies are not visible during the transition, so I created the entire map in one game map and then created lots of screen sized maps that each have a part of the whole map in them. When transitioning, first the player would be teleported from the screen sized map they are currently on to the relative position on the big map, making all enemies disappear. Then the player would be moved by one tile to the next part of the map, triggering the Map Scroll script. After the camera is centered on the next part of the map, the player would be teleported to the relative position on the respective screen sized map, making the enemies of that map part appear and completing the transition. However, there were multiple problems.

Firstly, the Map Scroll script starts the camera transition when the bottom right of the player’s sprite leaves the screen. This results in an instant start of the camera movement on bottom and right transitions, but on very delayed movements on top and left transitions. So I came up with the solution of making the player invisible as soon as the top and left transitions start and moving them at maximum speed to the next tile, activating the camera movement as soon as possible. To create the illusion of the player moving regularly, a copy of Link-Riolu’s sprite appears and moves 1 tile up or left at regular speed.

Secondly, there are no native ways (at least to my knowledge) in RPG Maker MV of triggering player teleports upon attempting to leave the map at the edge of the screen. Usually, teleports are triggered upon touching the tile on the edge of the screen. However, I wanted the player to be able to stand on the tiles on the edge of the screen without triggering the transition, instead triggering it only when leaving that tile in the direction of the next map. So I tried many different things for days until I found a looping check for button inputs that starts when touching the tile on the edge of the screen, ending the input check when pressing the movement key that leads back and triggering the transition steps upon pressing the movement key that leads out of the current screen. This worked nearly perfectly, except that after being teleported to the next small map, the transition input checks for that specific edge tile wouldn’t start, as apparently being teleported on an event that is supposed to trigger on player touch does not trigger the event. So in order to enable the player to go back again after a transition without first making another step into the map and then walking back to trigger the input checks on player touch, I added a second input check loop that starts after the successful transition and transitions the player back again on the according directional button press. Now the transition was perfect, except for the fact that the player is caught in the input check loop on the edge tiles that doesn’t allow doing anything besides starting the transition or cancelling the input checks.

Another challenge was to get recordings of the gameplay and of FamiTracker losslessly and with nearest neighbour scaling. It took multiple days again to finally get this done by recording in OBS with very specific settings, upscaling it in OBS as it can upscale with nearest neighbour and I didn’t find any way to losslessly scale an existing video and then converting the video to DNxHR as DaVinci Resolve accepts barely any other codecs. I was about to give up multiple times but I just couldn’t accept even the slightest deviation in colour or pixels and it payed off. Also, RPG Maker games seem to have micro freezes on my PC which are visible in the video but I didn’t find a way to get rid of them.

Months had passed since I had drawn the textures, Link-Riolu, Emboar and Alakazam and I wanted to at least get Zelda-Kirlia into the game already and I still needed some kind of object to interact with in order to save the game, so I drew (Zelda-)Kirlia and Cresselia and after not drawing for a while, I took a different approach and made the proportions of the lower body more realistically, thinner and without the large gap between legs that small sprites seem to have most of the time and I was really surprised with how good I thought and still think the drawing looks. I’m not usually satisfied with myself but I really like that sprite. (Let’s see how long that will last) Of course, at that moment the Link-Riolu sprite I made months ago wasn’t good enough anymore and it also had a completely different style, so I redrew Link-Riolu and Alakazam. I’m not completely satisfied with Link-Riolu now, I think the upper body looks a bit weird and the legs look too long while walking but it was good enough for now. The many things I had to draw for this game/fideo taught me a lot about (pixel) art and I’m happy to see how much my skills have improved.

I don’t know why but for some reason the audio is a bit too early in the exported video.

I can’t believe that I actually finished this fideo, the new new intro and outro and at least usably the banner. It felt like this moment would never come but here it is. I also reworked the thumbnail design again, now the text has it’s own space and I made another font that is easier to read, looks better and is more unique. The song in this video might not be special but consider it a pilot for a new series which i really look forward to making and consider it finally the start of regular uploads. I will now proceed to add an intro sequence to the game to at least give a hint that there is an interesting story with interesting characters coming. Edit: Thanks for 1 like. I mean, I don’t have enough time and will do that later.

Lastly I would like to thank Amarizo for helping me with CSS and JS as don’t know anything about them (yet), my beloved brother, Jaspercito12, for motivating me to get everything done and who always believes in me and everyone for your patience.

👆 Lɪɴᴋs
Website: http://phal.io
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/linkriolu
Ko-fi: https://ko-fi.com/link_riolu
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LinkRiolu
Discord server: http://discord.phal.io
Secondary YouTube channel with random videos, work in progresses, behind the scenes etc.: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6OogQGNdNLLRix0TR0Ke_A
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-725569481
Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/link-riolu
Steemit: https://steemit.com/@link-ger
DeviantArt: https://www.deviantart.com/link-riolu
Twitch (German): https://www.twitch.tv/link_riolu
📋 Oᴛʜᴇʀ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ’s ᴄʀᴇᴀᴛɪᴏɴs ᴜsᴇᴅ:
Chrono Engine by Moghunter (used for an overworld battle system): https://atelierrgss.wordpress.com/rmv-chrono-engine/
MapScroll by Jeremy Cannady: https://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?threads/zelda-style-map-transitions.49264/

🕒 Exᴘᴇɴᴅɪᴛᴜʀᴇ ᴏꜰ ᴛɪᴍᴇ
600 hours

💾 Pʀᴏɢʀᴀᴍᴍᴇs ᴜsᴇᴅ
Video editing: DaVinvi Resolve https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve/
Pixel art + animations: Aseprite https://www.aseprite.org/
Drawing + animations: Clip Studio Paint Ex https://www.clipstudio.net/en/
Image editing: Affinity Photo https://affinity.serif.com/en-us/photo/
Image editing (and formerly pixel art): Paint.NET https://www.getpaint.net/
8-bit audio production: FamiTracker http://famitracker.com/
Audio production: FL Studio http://www.image-line.com/flstudio/
Audio editing: Audacity https://www.audacityteam.org/
3D animating: Source Filmmaker https://store.steampowered.com/app/1840/Source_Filmmaker/
3D modelling and animating: Blender https://www.blender.org/
Screen recording: Shadowplay https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/geforce-experience/shadowplay/
Console recording: RECentral https://www.avermedia.com/gaming/product/game_capture/recentral4
Streaming: OBS Studio https://obsproject.com/

🎵 Mᴜsɪᴄ ᴜsᴇᴅ
[8-Bit] The Legend of Zelda – Overworld Theme https://youtu.be/qc1RTNB6Rwc
[8-Bit] The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess – Ilia’s Theme