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Zeliard
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Category Sharp X1
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Zeliard
Zeliard
Enemies & Bosses
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Jul 5, 2021, 8:28 PM *
1. I cannot. I have no idea where to even look for it. They are found in the opening cutscene, towns and end scene. If you are looking for a capture, you'd have more luck playing the game with a recording device handy. None of those voice sounds play with any music.

2. It's... a bit complicated. The 8-color stuff was a case of editing colours on the fly so I could get transparencies on the town and NPC tiles. Those are as accurate as I can make them (which i believe are perfectly accurate for this version). The 4-color stuff, well... This required a lot of source reading, experimentation and a custom-built javascript page that let me convert extracted values into a canvas image that I could screen capture. It's not something I can necessarily (or easily) give away. Also, that project you linked is from 2015 or so, so I doubt it's being updated.

3. I have no idea how to view the original source code for the game.

4. All the sprites were in pieces, since space is always at a premium for a 1987 game. Curiously, they did not flip or mirror any tiles (at least that I could see), so they included the whole sets. There was very little in the way of duplicity for regular enemies. I could see lots of sprite piece duplication in the larger bosses, like Dragon or Alguien.

As for remaking a game, it helps to understand how it plays on the original hardware and why there were limitations. Sharp X1 (and incarnations) was not exactly the most powerful system at the time. They had to make a few small compromises to get this game to work on the X1 (Nothing major, mostly little effects here and there, though I found they changed a couple of in-game values, like Magic Stone does slightly less damage and the Absor Mantle costs half as many almas). Such things to help understand the game include:
- Limits on how much it can re-draw on the screen at once and not sacrificing frame rate. They stuck with x16 pixel movements (moving one full time at a time instead of a pixel) since it can greatly reduce how much background needs to be re-drawn everytime the player moves around. The FPS for Zeliard is (I believe) 15 under normal circumstances. I know speed can be played with a fair bit in the DOS version, but I am referring more to the X1 system. The DOS version would have been released 3 years later and can be played on far more powerful systems.
- Color. Zeliard is built on an 8-colour palette. The dungeon sprites use a 4-colour palette (which is why stuff like the Pirika Shoes do not have the same colour in the dungeon as they go in the inventory page). A few of the special effects, like sword swings, use a 2-colour palette. Every pixel on the screen can have a maximum colour value, which means they can project the full RGB value or they can limit which ones get used. This is useful for creating alternate palettes, changing the colour of fonts, creating a fade effect, etc.
- Resolution: Zeliard's native resolution is 640 x 200 (like many X1 games), stretched to fit the whole screen. On an RGB screen, the blur is only so slight that while you can see the sharpness of the higher resolution, you can also see a bit of a colour blur, enough to help make the game feel more colourful. Sierra realized it had to deal with a number of possible screen resolutions and color sets, so they came up with:
- EGA (8-color, using a default EGA palette, even though they COULD have changed it)
- MCGA (320 x 200, blending 2 pixels together to get a mixed colour. In theory this has a max. of 64 colours, but the duplicates actually results in 27)
- Tandy (16-color, likely using a similar method as MCGA, but the value is likely rounded to the nearest pixel colour value)
- CGA (4-color, likely a custom/modified tile and sprite set)
- Hercules (2-color, 640x200, likely a custom/modifed tile set)

With CGA and Hercules, they replace the colours above doors with letters.
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Jul 4, 2021, 7:15 AM
I would like to ask you a request and a question.

1. Can you extract the voice?
In pc88 version and sharp x1 version, there is voice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48DobP6W2x4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9NOxtbL3Ak


2. Can you share this extraction method or tool?

Because I found the following project a few years ago.
https://sourceforge.net/projects/pyzeliard/

I hope someone will do a remake.
I think it takes a lot of resources to do that.


3. Can you get the source through reverse engineering?


4. Were the sprite pieces in pieces from the beginning?
Or is it a completed sprite?
Did you remove the duplicates?
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May 4, 2021, 6:57 AM
Love the dedication to this game.
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Sep 26, 2020, 4:09 AM
As weird as this may sound, this is the best quality. The MCGA (DOS) version of the game may deal with a larger number of colours, but it combines pixels to create those colours, resulting in a lower resolution (640 x 200 -> 320 x 200). Also, because some 2-pixel combinations create duplicate colours, the 'actual' number of colours on the screen at any time is 27, not 64 as advertised.
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Aug 14, 2020, 10:45 AM
You are a great engineer.
By the way, can you extract sprites for VGA or the best quality?
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Jul 16, 2020, 3:52 PM *
Memory editing and a lot of it. This was no easy task.

The easy stuff was the stuff without layers, like the shops, town backgrounds, HUDs, etc. That's just a matter of going through and doing screencaps.

The 8-color stuff was a bit more complicated, but not the end of the world. I had managed to find where the tiles were kept in memory and even how to manipulate their colours, so I was to replace the backgrounds in towns with a solid colour and get the NPCs. I have the Duke 8-color sprites, but I have yet to clean up the the 4-color stuff, so they are not up, yet.

The 4-color stuff was far more complicated. I had to figure out 'how' they were presented on the screen, comb through the memory, export that data, build a javascript thingy so I could read the data onto a canvas sheet, account for the extra black pixels around the colored stuff and generate the 4-color images which I then assembled together into sprites.
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Jun 28, 2020, 2:40 PM
I wonder how you extracted the sprite of zeliard.
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Nov 3, 2019, 8:52 PM
Three versions of Zeliard were released on various platforms: PC-8801, Sharp X1 and DOS. Each have their differences, ESPECIALLY the DOS version which got a huge overhaul and reduced the difficulty of the game.

Sierra got their hands on this, along with Thexder, Silpheed, Falcom's Sorcerian and others as part of an exchange program. NEC's PC-9801 saw ports of a few of Sierra's games, including Police Quest 2, Quest for Glory, Space Quest IV and others.
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Nov 3, 2019, 11:56 AM
Yes, this game did make it to DOS, courtesy of Sierra
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