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General question about Japanese Fonts

General question about Japanese Fonts
by on (#101467)
About japanese fonts for NES, first of all, i know most or all NES games only use just normal 8x8 tiles for fonts usually. While there might be a couple games that use 16x16. I don't know of any games off the top of my head that do but..

I was looking into SNES, and DS games, and I see that some fonts are actually only 12x12 pixels in size. Like this:

http://postimage.org/image/obtr4s58p/
And well, I just only wanted to mess around for fun, putting in a couple characters on the NES... copying from this DS game. Since I felt curious.

http://postimage.org/image/wlh5n3q1d/
The problem is, there'd end up being a giant 5 to 7 pixel gap between each character, when it was only just a 2 pixel gap every time originally.

Is it even possible for the NES to somehow shift the pixels left/right like that to not make such a large gap in 12x12 font sizes ??

Like with CHR-RAM probably ? Im guessing CHR-ROM is 100% impossible because the 0000-1FFF PPU cant even be modified whatsoever period.
Re: General question about Japanese Fonts
by on (#101468)
Faxanadu and Hitler no Fukkatsu (Bionic Commando) use 16x16 Japanese fonts.
Shifting pixels is really easy. It's just bit shifting. You might need to combine it with another tile, and that's just another bitwise operator away (OR, XOR, or possibly AND for an inverted font).
You just need to use CHR-RAM, not CHR-ROM, and you need enough space to store the whole text window at once. Which brings us back to Bionic Commando and Faxanadu again.

Some Chinese hacks of games use Mapper 74, which replaces one CHR-ROM page with CHR-RAM.
Re: General question about Japanese Fonts
by on (#101470)
Ah gosh, i see.
I figured it'd only be able to work with RAM.

And just to make sure, it's not possible to actually like.. switch between RAM and ROM in a game huh ?? With IRQ's.
Because it's only apart of the actual i-nes header ??

Image

Just testing that 12x12 font size, above
Specificicially.. MMC5 mapper.
Re: General question about Japanese Fonts
by on (#101471)
With MMC5, you could use 16x16 tiles freely, since you can pick from a much larger group of tiles with that mapper.
Or you could make up a new MMC5 variant where you make the most significant bit of CHR bankswitching pick a RAM chip instead (like TQROM for MMC3).
But the emulators won't know about that until it's programmed into them.

Your image isn't loading, so attach it here. Edit: now it is loading...
Re: General question about Japanese Fonts
by on (#101477)
Oversize TQROM is probably the most versatile MMC3 configuration: you get 64K of CHR ROM for fast character and background tile animations, and you get 512K for the program, maps, and the rest of the tiles to be copied into an 8K CHR RAM.

And yes, it's possible to shift glyphs by 1 to 7 pixels even on an NES cycle budget. I've done so in the menu for my Action 53 multicart, with a bit of optimization help from blargg.
Re: General question about Japanese Fonts
by on (#101483)
Hmm, i understand. But darn though, about only being able to with chr-ram.

The real reason why i brought it up to be honest was, well, for my megaman 3 rom hack "megaman odyssey" - I have both english and japanese support. All on just this ROM, you can switch between them via title screen. And well..

I kinda dont feel comfortable being limited to only hiragana and katakana only with only 8x8 tiles. Because there will be alot of text in this game. So i cant really have kanji for the japanese players.

My game uses the MMC5 mapper. I depend heavily on CHR-ROM only. And make extreme use of mmc5's EX attribute mode.

I dont like fonts that may be actual 16x16 size.
These 12x12 fonts i was seeing on DS games look more clear and clean-looking to use.

But ehhh, i understand only chr-ram can shift pixels. Soo... oh well.
Darn, thank you for answering. :)
Re: General question about Japanese Fonts
by on (#101484)
Make the rom a lot bigger and just put in lots of pictures of text? I see that done a lot in games, pictures of text instead of actual text.
Re: General question about Japanese Fonts
by on (#101486)
pictures ?? what in the world ??
I cant possibly do that. Text draws 1 letter/character a time. I would never have any intention to make it "instant"
Re: General question about Japanese Fonts
by on (#101487)
kuja killer wrote:
I never had any intention to make it "instant"

Something's gotta give... you have to decide what's more important.
Re: General question about Japanese Fonts
by on (#101488)
It's alright .. i got the information i need already now from ya guys.

only chr-ram is possible for such a thing. So that's all i needed to know. I'm not changing the mapper on my game since i already put 5 years of work into it.

So it's totally alright. i appreciate the info from the first couple replies.
Re: General question about Japanese Fonts
by on (#101509)
I think it's perfectly possible to use a VWF with CHR-ROM, but it's more tricky than with CHR-RAM. You'd just need to have a full 4k bank with 256 tiles that corresponds to all possibilities for 8 horizontally aligned pixels, and then change the scrolling each line to address the right tile for each line. You're limited to 30 pixels height this way though.