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HOW TO EDIT METROID ZERO MISSION

▼ GETTING READY TO ROM HACK

FIXME (INCOMPLETE)

This wiki has some limitations. Refresh the page if images stop loading.

Note: This guide was made in reference to MAGE 1.4.0 Documentation and is HEAVILY based on the Super Metroid Mod Manual (SMMM) by begrimed.

Quick Links: Metroid Zero Mission - Clipdata List





Guide Expectations

This guide expects the reader to be using Microsoft Windows operating system to hack. If you are using Mac or a Linux distro, congrats! It is doable now! Though you may need to perform some workarounds.

This guide is written for use with MAGE 1.4.0. At the time of writing MAGE only supports USA ROMs.



Create a ROM Hacking Folder

Create a rom hacking folder of some kind. The name and the way it gets organized doesn't matter much.

This ensures you do not misplace any important files, and they all stay in one place.



Obtain a USA Metroid Zero Mission ROM

You must either dump your ROM or search online. Check the first footnote to see how to dump your ROMs. 1)

Make sure you can see file extensions!
On Windows 10, launch File Explorer, click on the View tab, then tick ☑ File Name Extensions. On Windows 11, open File Explorer, and then click View > Show > File Name Extensions.

The ROM should be Metroid - Zero Mission (U) [!].gba. The (U) is short for USA, and [!] means verified good dump. .gba means it's a gameboy advance ROM.

The ROM's sha1 hash should be 5DE8536AFE1F0078EE6FE1089F890E8C7AA0A6E8. To verify your ROM, use Quickhash GUI. Go to the File tab. Drag-and-drop your ROM over the application. Copy the sha1 hash from this wiki page to your clipboard, and paste it into the text box below Expected Hash Value. A message will appear on the screen telling you if it matches. If it does NOT MATCH, you either need to dump the cart again, or you have the wrong ROM.

Once you have the correct ROM, you should put it someplace safe, and only edit copies of it. NEVER edit the original. If you follow this practice, you will not have to re-dump or re-download your ROM when you accidentally corrupt or otherwise destroy a copy of it. I personally stick it into a Vanilla ROMs folder, and NEVER open it with ANY editors. When I need a clean slate, I go into that folder, copy the rom, and then paste it into my romhacking folder.



Download a Game Boy Advance (GBA) emulator

Download mGBA. It loads fast, is cross-platform, and accurate enough. For the easiest experience, download and run the installer.

Once installed, set mGBA as the default program to open GBA files.

This can be done by right-clicking a GBA rom and selecting Open with…. If mGBA does not appear on the list, Scroll down and select More Apps ⬇. If mGBA is still not there, scroll down and select Look for another app on this PC.

If you used the 64-bit installer, Browse to C:\Program Files\mGBA and select mgba.exe.
If you used the 32-bit installer, Browse to C:\Program Files (x86)\mGBA and select mgba.exe.

If successful, the thumbnail of gba ROMs should now look like mGBA. mGBA should be able to open and play your ROM.



Download MAGE and make sure it works

MAGE can be downloaded here.

MAGE Requires .NET 3.0 to be able to function. If your system does not have it installed, Windows 10 will prompt you to install the .NET Framework 3.5 (Includes 2.0 and 3.0) feature. Once it is completed, the window will disappear, and you should be able to open MAGE.



MAGE's files

Name Description
mage.exe Metroid Advance Game Editor
doc.html MAGE Documentation
technical.html Technical Information about MAGE and the MAGs
*.proj files (created next to your ROM) MAGE Project files. Keeps track of content ADDED to your ROM (new rooms, new doors etc)
%temp%\test.gba ROM for test room based on currently opened ROM in mage. Regenerated every time you test room.
%localappdata%\mage\ Application settings folder
%localappdata%\mage\mage_1.4.0.exe[…]\1.4.0.0\user.config Contains paths to recent ROMs, path to emulator for testing rooms, UI settings




Set up MAGE for easy room testing

Use File → Open ROM… to find and select your Metroid Zero Mission ROM. Alternatively, drag and drop your ROM over MAGE once it is open.
If all is well, you should be loaded into the very first room in Brinstar.

Move your mouse pointer somewhere in the room and then press the T key. The very first time you do this, a message will appear:

------------------------------------------------------------------
GBA emulator path has not been set. Would you like to set it now?
------------------------------------------------------------------
            +=========+              +========+
            |   Yes   |              |   No   |   
            +=========+              +========+

Select Yes, then look for mGBA.

If you installed 64-bit mGBA, it will be located at C:\Program Files\mGBA\mGBA.exe.
If you installed 32-bit mGBA, it will be located at C:\Program Files (x86)\mGBA\mGBA.exe.

If successful, mGBA will launch your test ROM. You can close mGBA.



THE INSANELY ABSOLUTE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING REGULAR ROM BACK-UPS

All you have to do is click File → Create Backup. The filename of the backup is a timestamp, in the format YYYY-MM-DD_HH-MM-SS.gba
Alternatively, you can right-click your ROM and select 'copy'. After that, right-click a second time and select 'paste'. The filename of the backup is in the format filename (copy #).gba

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to create regular back-ups of the ROM that you're working on. Make regular and frequent ROM back-ups a habit. Back-ups are your friend, and they will spare you so much pain. There is no reason to not make back-ups.

In addition to on your computer, keep back-ups of your hack stored on USB thumb drives, extra hard drives, web servers, email them to yourself, burn them to CDs or DVDs if you need to. You do not want to lose a thousand collective hours of work on a hack because your computer broke and you didn't have a copy of your hacked ROM anywhere else except on your dead computer's hard drive.

IF YOU ARE EVER ABOUT TO APPLY A PATCH OR MAKE AN EDIT THAT YOU ARE EVEN SLIGHTLY UNSURE OF, CREATE A BACK-UP FIRST. Preventing catastrophe is just that easy. If hard drive space is an issue, you can create back-up IPS patches of your hack instead (see IPS patch creation).



Constant Experimentation, Trial and Error, Broken ROMs and Strange Crashes are Normal.

Stay calm and don't let it get you down! It is pretty much impossible to avoid experiencing all of these things and more as you journey through creating your own Metroid Zero Mission hack. Constant experimentation especially - you will need to test everything constantly as you're working on it, or you might waste huge amounts of time stepping backwards through your edits to figure out the problem. TEST EVERYTHING, ALWAYS.

Sometimes, you may make a mistake. That's OK, happens to the best of us! You can quickly reload your rom by selecting it in File → Recent Files



Are your big ideas actually possible?

Until you understand the limits of the game you're hacking, your ideas might seem impossible or at least very hard to code. Most people won't want to go through the trouble of coding it for you unless they believe your project has real potential. Learning these limits takes time, but if your ideas are simple or you're willing to use a simplified version of your original idea, it becomes much more feasible. It's helpful to initially assume your ideas might not be possible (while still checking with experienced hackers). As more of your ideas get refined or ruled out, you'll start to see what's realistically achievable. You should try using what's already in the game to do the thing you want. It may not be perfect, but will hopefully get the job done.


What kind of hack do you want to make? Will it be worth it? Who is your audience?

You should consider all of this now and spare yourself a LOT of possible wasted time later. Is this hobby really for you? Real talk: overwhelmingly, most of the people who try to hack Metroid have either given up, or they released something they didn't really want to release, and then they gave up. You are probably going to give up. Hacking Metroid is not extremely difficult, but it is also not something that you can do fast. You will probably be at this for years if your goal is to make something lastingly notable and polished. Be ready for the possibility of restarting projects repeatedly, being unable to solve problems for weeks or months until you've learned more, and giving up on dream ideas that are impossible to do.

Personal satisfaction is also probably the most important thing there is about this hobby. If you don't like Metroid enough to consider working on it as an unpaid, illegal side-career, then you will probably lose the motivation to keep working on your project after awhile. Knowing your audience is also a big deal, because it allows you to scale your expectations.

Do you want to make a hack that tons of people will play and enjoy for years? If so, MAKE YOUR HACK EASY, MAKE YOUR HACK PRETTY, MAKE YOUR HACK WELL. That's all there is to it. You are creating a game, not a hack. The difficulty is in the simplicity of actually sticking to those three simple rules above all else, and not becoming tempted by other ideas later that compromise your initial vision. If your hack is extremely easy for you to play through, then that means it should be about average difficulty for somebody who only played and enjoyed Metroid a long time ago, but recently discovered that ROM hacks of it exist.

Do you want to make a hack that challenges veteran Metroid players? If so, get rid of any expectations you have about how people will feel about your hack. Almost everyone will simply not like it because it's too difficult, and there is nothing you can do to make them enjoy it or appreciate the amount of time and work you put into it - at the end of the day, you still created something that they do not feel is worth taking their time to play through. This happens because proportionally rewarding the player for accomplishing difficult tasks becomes much harder to do unless you know assembly programming, which means that you just have to hope that the player's personal sense of achievement is enough to keep them interested in your hard game. Almost always, it will not be.

It will probably always be a bad decision to try making a fun hard hack as your first project. Hard hacks are only interesting to veteran players of the game, which is a very small number of people. If that is your intended audience, go for it, but don't expect your hard hack to gain much attention. Difficulty is more often just… difficult, and not that fun.


Please report any MAGE bugs that you discover!

If you discover a crash or some kind of bug with MAGE itself, click “Help → About Mage → https://forum.metroidconstruction.com/index.php/topic,3969.0.html” and write out a clear description of the error that you experienced. Can the bug be done consistently, or did it only happen once? Is it possible to take a screenshot of the error?




PART 1: MAGE'S EDITORS & OPTIONS

▲ Back to TOC | ▼ PART 2: CREATING A ROOM

REMINDER: This wiki has some limitations. Refresh the page if images stop loading.




Main Window







1. File Menu

Name Description
Open ROM… USA Zero Mission / USA Fusion ROMs Only (At the time of writing)
Save ROM Instantly saves changes made to ROM since it has been opened. This is the ONLY way to permanently save changes.
Save ROM as… Save ROM, but you specify what to name the ROM and where it is saved.
Create Backup Instantly backs up your rom, saved to the same folder. Filename format YYYY-MM-DD_HH-MM-SS.gba
Recent Files List of recently opened ROMs. Can be used to reload ROM if undesirable changes are made.

Note: Some editors will tell you Changes Saved. Don't panic! The ROM you are editing in MAGE is a temporary copy. MAGE will only save edits to your ROM if you explicitly tell it to.
If you broke your ROM, or made some undesirable change, you can reset the internal copy by reopening your ROM in MAGE.


2. Edit Menu

Name Description
BG Editing Mode Used to edit blocks on background layers and their collision properties (clipdata).
Object Editing Mode Used to edit objects like enemies, doors, and camera scrolls.
Use Selected Clipdata When selected, blocks placed (or pasted) will use the clipdata value from the drop-down list above the tileset.
Undo Steps back edits one at a time. MAGE can remember up to 100 edits.
Redo Steps forward edits one at a time. MAGE can remember up to 100 edits.
BG 0 Place blocks on Background layer 0. BG0 is a very special layer, but most of the time it's on top.
BG 1 Place blocks on Background layer 1. BG1 is where all the blocks samus and enemies collide with should be.
BG 2 Place blocks on Background layer 2. BG2 is for blocks behind samus and enemies, like plants or rocks for scenery.
Clip “Clip Data.” Set the type of block used at that X/Y position in the room. Clip can be edited with one layer simultaneously. (ex: Edit BG1 & Clip)

Note: You cannot use both BG editing mode and Object editing mode at the same time. You pick one or the other


3. View Menu

Name Description
BG 0 Toggle viewing Background layer 0. BG0 is a very special layer, but most of the time it's on top.
BG 1 Toggle viewing Background layer 1. BG1 is where all the blocks samus and enemies collide with should be.
BG 2 Toggle viewing Background layer 2. BG2 is for blocks behind samus and enemies, like plants or rocks for scenery.
BG 3 Toggle viewing Background layer 3. BG3 is the farthest back there is. It's usually an image.
Clipdata → Collision Toggle outlines around structures of blocks with solid collision. Usually red outlines, but Some blocks like door caps use a different color.
Clipdata → Breakable Toggle revealing breakable blocks. It's like using a Power Bomb.
Clipdata → Values Toggle view of clipdata ID numbers shown for every block in a room, like the Super Metroid Integrated Level Editor (SMILE).
Sprites Toggle viewing objects on screen such as enemies, chozo, save stations, major items.
Sprite Outlines Toggle solid green squares used to show the true position of objects in the room.
Doors Toggle solid blue outlines for doors in the room. Useful to move, edit, resize or delete them.
Scrolls Toggles viewing scrolls if there are any, used to keep the player camera within their bounds.
Screen Outlines Toggles a white outline of each screen in a room, plus change. Helps for aligning scrolls, doors, tiles, objects, you name it.
Animated Palette Toggles viewing animated palette, if there is one. You won't see the animation, just the first palette, but it'll show you that one exists.
Mother Ship Hatches Toggles replacing brown Zebes hatches with purple Mothership hatches.
Clipboard Opens a window that updates to show what you have copied to MAGE's clipboard.
Zoom Pick between 100%, 200%, 400% and 800% Zoom.

Notes: Only one of the special clipdata views can be used at a time.
Viewing Mothership hatches will not set the room to use them; it will just show them that way in the editor.



4. Editors Menu

Name Description
Header Editor Specify a room's tileset, music, location on the map, transparency, room effect, what spriteset(s) it will use, and so on.
Tileset Editor Pointers for graphics, tilemaps, palettes, animations etc.
Graphics Editor Used for viewing, exporting and importing graphics.
Palette Editor Used to edit, export, and import palettes, with shortcuts for known tileset and object palettes.
Tile Table Editor Used to edit the tile maps of tilesets, title screen, user interface, etc. Tilemaps say how to arrange the graphics and what palettes to use.
Animation Editor Adjust the properties of animated tiles and palettes, from assigned “animated tileset” to graphics, direction, speed, dimensions, etc.
Sprite Editor Use to tweak pointers, HP, damage, weaknesses, and drop probability of primary and secondary sprite objects.
Spriteset Editor Because of VRAM limitations, there are limits to variety of objects in a room. Spritesets are used to specify which objects and in what order.
Minimap Editor Edit the map of each area with options for secrets, heat rooms, what players will first see, and what they will reveal at a map station.
Connection Editor Used to link door objects together, use events to lock or connect to a secondary destination, even show location names as a text message.
Text Editor Edit most text in the game i.e. in game messages, descriptions, story, location names, and stuff on the file screen.
Demo Editor Edit the demos you see when you wait at the title screen long enough. Much easier with VBA-RR emulator and this lua script.
Physics Editor Use to tweak how Samus feels, from her speed to how high she jumps, how she accelerates, when speed booster kicks in etc.
Weapon Editor Change weapon stats like damage, firerate, timers for bombs, projectile velocity, limit how many shots can be on screen, etc.

Notes:


5. Tools Menu

Name Description
Room Options… Used to quickly erase BG 0, 1, 2, and Clipdata layers. Also lets you resize the current room.
Test Room… Launches a test copy of your ROM in an emulator at the specified X/Y coordinates, with a debug menu on or off.
Clipdata Shortcuts INCREDIBLY HANDY way to quickly select common clipdata types. Just click to set the clipdata you want to place.
Import → Tileset… Import a MAGE Tileset (.mgt) file. You get to choose what it replaces. If importing from metroid fusion, tick the box “Use current game's generic tiles”.
Import → RLE Background… Import RLE compressed background layer (BG 0, 1, 2, Clipdata) from .rlebg file. Can be used to duplicate a room for event shenanigans.
Import → LZ77 Background… Imports a BG 0 or BG 3 tilemap basically. The graphics don't change. Not recommended but you may have a happy accident if you're bored.
Import → Room… Import a MAGE Room (.mgr) file. You choose what to import and what room to replace. If importing from Metroid Fusion, Do NOT import sprites or doors!
Import → Tileset from image… Must be 32bpp with transparency, 256px width, height divisible by 16. Don't use too many palettes or unique 8×8 tiles, and 8×8 tiles must use less than 16 colors.
Import → LZ77 BG from image… Can be BG 0 or BG 3. Must be 256×256, 512×256, or 256×512. Otherwise it's got the same limitations as importing a tileset from image.
Import → Ending from image Image must be 240×416. MAGE will limit colors while preserving quality. This is slightly random so if you dislike what it churns out, try again until you like it.
Export → Tileset… Export a MAGE Tileset (.mgt) file. It can be the current room's tileset or another tileset based on ID.
Export → Background… Export an RLE compressed (.rlebg) or LZ77 compressed (.lzbg) background, to import in another room or ROM. Ideally with the same tileset.
Export → Room… Export a MAGE Room (.mgr) file.
Export → Tileset Image… Export the tileset from the current room as an image. (.png)
Export → BG0 Image… Export BG 0 from the current room as an image. (.png)
Export → BG3 Image… Export BG 3 from the current room as an image. (.png)
Export → Room Image… Export an image of the current room. (.png) Useful for Room of the Month (ROTM) submissions. Any view options enabled in MAGE will be visible.
Compression → LZ77 Compress File… Opens a File Explorer prompt. Any file you select will be LZ77 compressed.
Compression → LZ77 Decompress File… Opens a File Explorer prompt. Any file you select will be DEcompressed using LZ77 algorithm.
Minimap Tile Builder Tool to create more minimap tiles if the map tile you want to use doesn't exist. Uses an internal copy of vanilla map tiles.
Add → Background Add background layers to a room that is missing them. Most often used to add BG 0 to rooms that don't have it.
Add → Room Sprites Add alternate spritesets to a room that doesn't have them.
Add → Room Add extra rooms to the game. Either blank, or duplicate of an existing one.
Add → Tileset Add extra tilesets to the game. Either blank, or duplicate of an existing one.
Add → Spriteset Add extra spritesets to the game. Either blank, or duplicate of an existing one.
Add → Animation Add extra animations to the game. Either blank, or duplicate of an existing one.
Patches Apply some optional patches. None of them add data to the rom, they just modify existing code.

Notes: In the header editor, if the property (prop) value of a BG layer is 0x10, it is RLE compressed. If the value has 0x40, it is LZ77 compressed. BG 1 and 2 are always RLE, BG3 is always LZ77, and BG0 can be either.

For importing tilesets / backgrounds from images, you can game it to generate palettes that are just as uniform as those already in the game. Organize the tileset into sections based on what palette blocks use, and from there keep the top left of each section blank. For each section with a different palette, draw an 8×8 tile with the palette in the order you want it to generate, from left to right top to bottom. The top leftmost pixel should be left as the first color, which acts as blank/transparent.


6. Options Menu

Name Description
Default View Set default view settings for MAGE. Only refreshes when you reload a room.
Number Base Switch between using decimal (base 10) and hexadecimal (base 16) as the number base for MAGE. Decimal might cause problems so Hex is recommended most of the time.
Disable Tooltips Hides messages that appear under the mouse cursor when it idles over a point of interest. On Linux they remain as visual artifacts so disabling them is recommended.




7. Help Menu

Name Description
View Help Opens the MAGE help file. (doc.html) It's nice to have handy.
About MAGE Information about MAGE, like the version you are using, who made it, where you can report issues, and credit for assets used.




Tool Bar

Quick access to editors and frequently used actions with interactible icons.


8. Open / Save ROM




9. Undo / Redo

Note: Click the small arrow ▼ to undo/redo multiple steps at a time.


10. BG / Object Editing Mode

Switch between editing blocks (speedbooster) or objects (morphball). You will be using this a LOT.
When a sprite is added in object editor mode, you can quickly change it with [ or ]
On QWERTZ keyboard, the keys for this are “ß” and “´”
Door Exit Distances: 10- Right, no hatch 20- Right, hatch E0- Left, hatch F0- Left, no hatch


11. View Sprites / Outlines / Doors / Scrolls

Icon Description
Metroid Show/Hide Sprites (enemies and objects with AI, e.g. morph ball item)
Green Box Show/Hide Sprite Outlines (actual position of the objects/enemies)
Blue Box Show/Hide Doors (objects used to link rooms)
Yellow Box Show/Hide Scrolls (objects used to restrict the player camera)




12. Header Editor

13. Tileset Editor

14. Graphics Editor

15. Palette Editor

16. Tile Table Editor

17. Animation Editor

18. Sprite Editor

19. Spriteset Editor

20. Connection Editor

21. Minimap Editor

22. Text Editor

23. Demo Editor

24. Physics Editor

25. Weapon Editor

26. Room Options

Used to quickly erase BG 0, 1, 2, and Clipdata layers. Also lets you resize the current room.


27. Test Room

Launches a test copy of your ROM in an emulator at the specified X/Y coordinates, with a debug menu on or off.


28. Minimap Tile Builder

Tool to create more minimap tiles if the map tile you want to use doesn't exist. Uses an internal copy of vanilla map tiles.


29. Add

Catch-all menu for adding new data:
Background layers and alternate Room sprites (when those don't yet exist),
Rooms, Tilesets, Spritesets, and Animations. (Either blank or duplicates of existing ones)


30. Patches

Apply some optional patches. None of them add data to the rom, they just modify existing code.


Room Editor




1. Edit Layers

Name Description
BG 0 Place blocks on Background layer 0. BG0 is a very special layer, but most of the time it's on top.
BG 1 Place blocks on Background layer 1. BG1 is where all the blocks samus and enemies collide with should be.
BG 2 Place blocks on Background layer 2. BG2 is for blocks behind samus and enemies, like plants or rocks for scenery.
Clip “Clip Data.” Set the type of block used at that X/Y position in the room. Clip can be edited with one layer simultaneously. (ex: Edit BG1 & Clip)




2. View Layers

Name Description
BG 0 Toggle viewing Background layer 0. BG0 is a very special layer, but most of the time it's on top.
BG 1 Toggle viewing Background layer 1. BG1 is where all the blocks samus and enemies collide with should be.
BG 2 Toggle viewing Background layer 2. BG2 is for blocks behind samus and enemies, like plants or rocks for scenery.
BG 3 Toggle viewing Background layer 3. BG3 is the farthest back there is. It's usually an image.




3. Location

Name Description
Area Select an area ID in this dropdown menu to switch areas.
Room Select a room ID in this dropdown menu to switch rooms.




4. Spriteset

With Object editing mode, you can move and place objects like enemies and interactibles- MAGE calls them sprites.
The type of sprites used in a room are determined by spritesets, which are set in the header for the room.
If a room uses more than one, you use this drop-down menu to switch spritesets in the room editor.
This allows you to edit the layout of sprites for each spriteset.
Each spriteset has its own unique layout.




5. Clipdata

Clipdata is the physical properties of a block.
Use this dropdown to select the type of clipdata you want to place.
You must also pick a tile with Tile Select, and make sure that Edit → Clip is checked ☑ or else you won't be able to place your clipdata.



6. Tile Select

This displays the current tileset and is used to pick the block(s) you intend to place.
Click to select, Click+drag to select multiple blocks.
Make sure that you have edit checked ☑ for the layer you want to place blocks on, otherwise they either won't place or they will be on the wrong layer.



7. Current Tile Information

From left to right:
Coordinates (X / Y) of currently highlighted tile
Size (W x H) of current selection
Clipdata ID of currently highlighted tile



8. Cursor

Current position of your mouse pointer in the room.



9. Tooltip

Small box of text that appears if you idle your mouse pointer over a block.
BG0: Current tile placed on BG0 layer of this block
BG1: Current tile placed on BG1 layer of this block
BG2: Current tile placed on BG2 layer of this block
Clip: Current clipdata of this block

Hovering over the tileset in Tile Select will show a tooltip of the current block ID you're hovering over.



Header Editor

BACKGROUND DATA

Name Description
Tileset Show/Hide Sprites (enemies and objects with AI, e.g. morph ball item)
Transparency Show/Hide Sprite Outlines (actual position of the objects/enemies)
BG3 Scroll Show/Hide Doors (objects used to link rooms)
Effect Show/Hide Scrolls (objects used to restrict the player camera)
Effect Y Pos Show/Hide Sprites (enemies and objects with AI, e.g. morph ball item)

POINTER

BG0 Show/Hide Sprite Outlines (actual position of the objects/enemies)
BG1 Show/Hide Doors (objects used to link rooms)
BG2 Show/Hide Scrolls (objects used to restrict the player camera)
BG3 Show/Hide Sprites (enemies and objects with AI, e.g. morph ball item)
CLIP Show/Hide Sprite Outlines (actual position of the objects/enemies)

PROP (BG PROPERTY)

BG0 Show/Hide Doors (objects used to link rooms)
BG1 Show/Hide Scrolls (objects used to restrict the player camera)
BG2 Show/Hide Sprites (enemies and objects with AI, e.g. morph ball item)
BG3 Show/Hide Sprite Outlines (actual position of the objects/enemies)

SPRITESET DATA

POINTER

DEFAULT Show/Hide Doors (objects used to link rooms)
FIRST Show/Hide Scrolls (objects used to restrict the player camera)
SECOND Show/Hide Sprites (enemies and objects with AI, e.g. morph ball item)

SET

DEFAULT Show/Hide Sprite Outlines (actual position of the objects/enemies)
FIRST Show/Hide Doors (objects used to link rooms)
SECOND Show/Hide Scrolls (objects used to restrict the player camera)

EVENT

FIRST Show/Hide Sprites (enemies and objects with AI, e.g. morph ball item)
SECOND Show/Hide Sprite Outlines (actual position of the objects/enemies)

MISCELLANEOUS

MAP X Show/Hide Doors (objects used to link rooms)
MAP Y Show/Hide Scrolls (objects used to restrict the player camera)
MUSIC Show/Hide Sprites (enemies and objects with AI, e.g. morph ball item)
Name Description
AREA Show/Hide Sprite Outlines (actual position of the objects/enemies)
ROOM Show/Hide Doors (objects used to link rooms)
OFFSET Show/Hide Scrolls (objects used to restrict the player camera)
APPLY Show/Hide Doors (objects used to link rooms)
CLOSE Show/Hide Scrolls (objects used to restrict the player camera)




Tileset Editor




Graphics Editor




Palette Editor




Tile Table Editor




Animation Editor




Sprite Editor




Spriteset Editor




Connection Editor




Minimap Editor




Text Editor




Demo Editor




Physics Editor




Weapon Editor




PART 2: CREATING A ROOM

▲ Back to TOC | ▼ PART 3: OTHER STUFF

Basic level editing

Download a hex editor

Hex editor functions

Counting in hexadecimal

Copy/paste the room header

MAGE's room list

Room header format

Room pointers

Banks / ROM minimap

Level data

Background pointer

Room size / map position

Basic room structure

Doors pointer

Door data

Door BTS

Adding new doors

Room Scrolls pointer

Door ASM pointer

Debug your doors

PLM Set pointer

Scroll PLMs

H-Copy / V-Copy

MAGE's layers

Tile highlighting

Graphic Only / BTS Only

BTS (block types)

Basic room design

Slopes

Tiling errors

Up Scroll / Down Scroll

Camera snaps

Scroll snaps

Level design tips

LEVEL DESIGN MISTAKES TO AVOID

Finished room design

Enemy setup

Multi-piece enemies & possessors

Enemy headers

Enemy projectiles

Enemy Palette pointer

Enemy Weaknesses pointer

Enemy Drops pointer

Enemy GFX names

Enemy beta names

General enemy info / limitations

Enemy header copying

Layer 3 effects ("FX") / FX1

Door-specific FX

FX palette blends

Screen shakes

Bug fix: liquid graphics

Map editing

Bug fix: map saving/loading

Map icons

Room states / events

When to call a room finished?

PART 3: OTHER STUFF

▲ Back to TOC

Save stations

Elevators

Music selection

Song changes

Sound effects

Color palettes

Tile table editing

Repointing tilesets

Tile sheet (.GFX) editing

Tile rotation

Tileset mixing

Reassigning GFX colors

Graphic and palette locations

IPS/ASM patch usage and creation

Understanding basic ASM

Resources

FAQ

Glossary

Revision history

Special thanks / contact me

Main Window

The screen to the left of a visible room in MAGE will look like this.

  • Red- View selection (use to view certain layers)
  • Orange- Edit selection (use to select a layer to edit and whether or not to edit clipdata)
  • Yellow- Spriteset selection
  • Green- Clipdata selection (only active if clipdata edit is selected)
  • Blue- Tile selection; chosen from available tiles in tile set

File

FIXME

Backing up your ROM is as easy as clicking on Create Backup. The filename of the backup is a timestamp, in the format YYYY-MM-DD_HH-MM-SS.gba

Sometimes, you may make a mistake. That's OK, happens to the best of us! You can quickly reload your rom by selecting it in Recent Files


Edit

FIXME

When Use Selected Clipdata is activated, tiles placed will use the clipdata value from the drop-down list.


View

FIXME

Can be used to view clipdata in 3 different ways:

  • Collision (Outlines)

  • Breakable (Reveals hidden breakable blocks)

  • Values (Clipdata value and color)

You can also show or hide Sprites, Sprite Outlines, Doors and Scrolls.

To ensure that a room fits the screen, or to determine its shape in map tiles, you can turn on Screen Outlines.

If your room uses space pirate mothership hatches, you can select Mother Ship Hatches to swap to them.

You can also adjust Zoom level of the room to better see what you are doing.


Options

FIXME

You can Disable Tooltips if you find them annoying.

If you find that the default view of MAGE shows too much or not enough, you can adjust the Default View. This includes visible background layers, outlines, clipdata, objects, scrolls, screen outlines and doors.

You also have the option of changing the Number Base from hexadecimal to decimal.


</WRAP>

zero_mission/basic_guides/mage.txt · Last modified: 2024/07/01 17:04 by felixwright