The 'Shroom:Issue 112/Palette Swap
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Greetings, all! Whether this is your first time reading, or you're an old fan of ours, welcome to this month's issue of Palette Swap!
I don't have much to say, really, except that I hope all of you that are experiencing summer right now are keeping cool! It's pretty hot in my neck of the woods right now, so keep hydrated and wear sunscreen!
We've got lots of great sections for you all this month, so please do read on and enjoy!
Section of the Month
Many thanks to all of you who voted! I love seeing great turnouts! Keep comin' back now, y'hear?
With the finale of Adventures of Little Mario, Walkazo cops another win. We'll all certainly miss her incredible art and amazing comics.
What's on the Box?
This box art is for an original game concept containing 10 remastered Mario classics, including Super Mario World, Super Mario Bros. 3 and more. Here's a quote from the box:
On the back, there is a statue of Mario and Luigi posing in a badass way, with shells and flowers to boot- literally, in the shell's case. There are also two screenshots of New Super Mario Bros. that presumably represent the "remastered" quality of the original retro series games. There's also a nice render of a golden Mario statue (I checked, and it was done by a different, unnamed artist) and some decorations consisting of typical game scenery. Combined with the generic legal stuff and a nicely done title, you've got an actually pretty decent box art! This could even serve as say, a 30th Mario anniversary game.
I'd buy it.
Everyone having a fun summer so far? I'm hoping that you all would. And what better to relax than read a section on the 'Shroom, under cool air conditioning sipping your favorite beverage? Anyway, for this month's section of Game Mods, I'm going to be revisiting my Baby Mario Bros. over Toads mod from New Super Mario Bros. Wii, which, if you recall, is my first written section for my 'Shroom section, which is the first time I'll be writing of an update for a mod here. The main reason is because of a fairly major update to the mod; often, when you create such things, you want to make it as perfect as you could. Unfortunately, you may not know everything on how to make it ideal, considering it might be your first character mod and you do not know the advanced techniques to make it happen, but you eventually learn new information and gain new experience, and therefore fix the flaws of the old mod. This is exactly what happened here. So, away we go again!
If you have a good eye, you'll immediately notice what has changed in this hack. Baby Mario now has a distinct head from Baby Luigi. As I said before, the two Toads share exactly one model, they share their two heads. So, how did I manage to make it appear as if they're two separate models. Simple: use transparencies to a clever extent!
This is what they actually look like in BrawlBox:
What you're looking at is Baby Luigi's head, mixed with Baby Mario's head. In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the head and body models are separate, and it does beat me to think why they're separate for all player models (Mario, Luigi, Yellow Toad, and Blue Toad). The gray blob is Baby Mario's head. In the first frame of this PAT animation (PAT animation simply deals with swapping textures, what they use to differentiate Yellow Toad, Blue Toad, and regular Toads; they also use it to make textured eyes blink), Baby Mario's head is on the alpha layer. The texture format for the heads appears like this:
You have to double the texture height for this trick to happen. The UVs for Baby Luigi's head are on the top, while Baby Mario's are on the bottom. This requires that you Unwrap the UVW maps in a 3D program, the one I used is 3DS Max for this occur. However, simply swapping the textures isn't enough to actually occur like this in game, or you'll get something like this:
To fix this pesky problem, you have to set your Brawl Box material and shader settings to match exactly as shown in my screenshots, which I'll provide here in gallery format.
Once this has been all done, your mod should look good. You do have to worry a bit about your poly size of your file though, and considering you're rendering two heads that the same time at all times, despite the other head being invisible, the game may experience slow-downs. During my playthroughs, I have yet to experience any slowdowns, but there is one important thing to note. If you're using the mod, Newer Super Mario Bros. Wii while using my latest version of the Baby Mario Bros. mod, accessing World 8 will crash your game. A developer of Newer Super Mario Bros. Wii has informed me that they can barely even fit World 8 into the game, so something that changes things, like this mod, will definitely cause a memory overload. Fortunately, using the earlier, texture swapped version of my mod is a fix for this, as a fallback option.
I also have created a sound for this, but it's currently private unless I get enough requests for it. The main reason is, as if you may recall, is that this requires the entire .brsar for this to occur. The .brsar is a huge file used for many purposes, all sound-related, including patching it so your loop points work properly for your custom songs, and I had hex edited the .brsar so Baby Mario and Baby Luigi make their respective sound effects. The only way to know for sure is to check out my video at the end of my section. I am not going to repatch the .brsar for the game's original patch points, so if you receive it without repatching it, your sounds may get cut off. It's easy to do it yourself, there is a New Super Mario Bros. Wii brsar patcher out there that's extremely simple to use.
Want to know what all forms look like? I'll provide it here, so you'll have a good look what all of them look like!
But that's not all! I've provided various HUD and object changes, so when Baby Mario and Baby Luigi pilot a Junior Clown Car or touch a Checkpoint Flag, the color of each vehicle will correspond to their colors and actual emblem (ripped straight from Mario Kart 8). Here's an example of what the Junior Clown Car will look like if the Baby Mario Bros. ride on them.
Expect to see this with all intractable objects like those in the game. This is a list of all the following objects who will get their textures changed, if you apply the right objects to the right location:
As for the heads-up display, I've provided icons for that as well. Here's what each are:
And finally, this mod comes with a cinematic model. If you don't understand what this means, you know, the models used in the beginning and ending cutscenes in the game, like the time where Princess Peach gets kidnapped and the scene where you walk out of Bowser's Castle with her saved. I've finally changed those models, and strangely enough, Blue Toad and Yellow Toad do not share the same model, making their replacements a nice piece of cake.
If you modded your Wii and your New Super Mario Bros. Wii copy, why not give it a try? The download link is here. Follow what I wrote in the Readme file, and you should be good to go. If you have already gave it a try, try with my updated model now, see if you like it...?
To end this off, here's a video on this hack, the more updated version of it. The most important thing to note is that Mario isn't hanging around in a bubble like some doofus anymore.
Have a great summer, y'all!
Ongoing Fan Projects
HI, everyone! I'm your affectionate Stats Manager, Tucayo, here with the second installment of Take Cover!, your one-stop for musical covers and reworked versions. I don't have much to say in the intro this time around, so let's go straight to our songs!
My biggest dilemma with covers is this: "is a duet including the original artist a cover?" I've come to the decision it is indeed be a cover if the guest artist plays a big part, more than just providing backup vocals. I know opinions greatly differ on this, so please send me a PM if you have a different take on this. Anyway, having established this, our first cover is Stayin' Alive, as performed by Coldplay featuring Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees. I originally had a different version of this song slotted for this month, but then Glastonbury happened and we were left with this jewel. Stayin' Alive is not only one of the greatest disco songs of all time, but one of the greatest songs of all time; and let's be honest, who doesn't like the Bee Gees? Don't even try to say you don't like them because I know you won't be able to help singing along to at least one of their songs. And this version with Coldplay has a lot of energy; just look at all the people and at Chris himself. Barry and Chris alternate very nicely throughout the song; Chris' voice is more prominently heard in the hooks and the bridge but there's a great balance between both. The accompanying guitar, bass, and drums in the style of Coldplay give this version a distinctive touch while remaining very faithful to the original one. It's no secret Coldplay is one of my favorite artists, so expect more covers by them in the future. Bonus fun fact: Stayin' Alive is very useful when performing CPR, as the beats per minute in the song are in the range recommended for compressions per minute. So, Stayin' Alive can literally help you stay alive.
I'll spoil it for you, the cover I was going to use above was Bruce Springsteen's; so, as not to leave The Boss out of this section, here you have him alongside Michael Stipe of R.E.M. singing Patti Smith's Because the Night. Springsteen has many great covers, and more than one with Stipe, but I particularly like this one and the way combination of their voices works. Because the Night was actually written by Bruce, but he wasn't convinced by it; Patti Smith liked the song and completely rewrote it, with the exception of the chorus, which was kept from the original version (it's an outtake from 1978, so quality is what you can expect). Bruce has released the song twice, both times with Smith's lyrics; and let's be honest, the original lyrics can barely be understood from the few studio audios there are, and the times Springsteen performed the song live in 1978, he made a mix of both lyrics. Anyway, back to our cover, we have two artists who are masters at covering songs, and together they just make for a terrific listen. If you don't trust me, I'll include more covers by them in the future.
Each month I'll try to feature someone who is not an established artist, and this time it's the turn of , a 1000-person band whose original intent was to get the Foo Fighters to play in their little town of Cesena, Italy, and they damn right accomplished it by performing this kick-ass cover of Learn to Fly. The Foo Fighters visited Cesena on November 3rd, 2015 ( , and Dave Grohl was very excited to be there, he also said he hoped Rockin' 1000 would do the same for other rock groups. And actually, Rockin' 1000 are playing a tribute to the history of rock the day right after release (July, 24th), and I bet that will be a one-of-a-kind experience. I just hope the show is professionally recorded!
To close off, and since the week following release is my birthday, I'll leave you with a bonus cover: it's Bono and The Edge of U2 with their version of Stevie Wonder's Happy Birthday, performed for Nelson Mandela's 90th Birthday Tribute in 2008. Enjoy.