Chapter 3-1: The First Dungeon

In this chapter, we will be creating our first dungeon. We will also be covering more DMap concepts and delving into tile warps outside of the Cave/Item Cellar type warps we have been using up until this point.

Part 1: Creating and Managing Maps

So far, we have been switching between a pre-existing Map 1 and Map 2 for this tutorial quest. However, a quest file is capable of having 255 maps total. Let's try adding a new map that will contain our dungeon.

Go to Quest→Map Count

Map Count menu

Change the number of maps.

Switch the number of maps to 3 and press OK.

If you cycle through the maps, you should now have 3 maps to cycle through.

You are probably wondering why ZQuest doesn't just set this number to 255 by default. The reason is that even if a map is entirely blank, it still holds a significant amount of data. Before adding Map 3, the quest file used for this tutorial was around 851 KB. Adding Map 3 brought the file size up to 872 KB. As an experiment, switching the number of maps to 255 brings this up to 6.10 MB.

Only add maps when you need to use them! Not only do maps increase the file size, they also increase the amount of time it takes to save the quest file!

Part 2: Dungeon Template Screen and Screen Copy/Pasting

Before we start mapping out our dungeon, we need to do some setup steps. Recall that the 8x row on a map is reserved for various templates. We're going to set up a new template screen known as the Dungeon Template. This contains a basic layout of the walls that can be applied to dungeon screens through a method we will go over soon enough. While this is an optional template, it is very helpful when dealing with dungeons with complex walls such as those found in the classic tileset.

Switch to Map 3, which is where our dungeon will be located. Go to Screen 83, the Dungeon Template Screen, and note that nothing is there. This is because maps 1 and 2 were the only maps that came with preexisting template screens. So this means we are going to be drawing this in manually… sort of.

Map 2 already has the screen design we want for this screen, so there is no point to re-invent the wheel. Let's switch to Map 2→Screen 82.

We will be copying this screen.

Yes. Screen 82. Not Screen 83. We want the screen that looks like an original The Legend of Zelda dungeon screen, not the one that is from Challenge Zelda: Outlands.

Go to Edit→Copy (or press C).

Copy menu

Now return to Map 3→Screen 83 (not 82!). Go to Edit→Paste (or press V).

Paste menu

The screen you copied should now be duplicated on Screen 83 of Map 3.

The Dungeon Template Screen for this map.

Now that we have a Dungeon Template for Map 3, let's find out what that actually accomplished.

Part 3: Applying a Dungeon Template

Switch to Map 3→Screen 70. This screen should currently be blank, so let's fix that. Select Combo #516 with CSet 2 from one of the combo lists. This will be our dungeon floor.

Floor combo selected

Go to Tools→NES Dungeon Template.

NES Dungeon Template menu

NES Dungeon Template dialog

In the NES Dungeon Template dialog, Floor should be selected with the combo we just picked out in the combo list entered next to it. If this is not the case, you can click on the combo being shown to enter the combo select dialog. Once you are finished, press OK.

There should actually be stuff on the screen now. Note that ZQuest has pretty much copied the screen edges from our Dungeon Template screen and applied the floor we selected. That is the purpose of the Dungeon Template.

Oh no! Another ugly screen! Don't worry, we will be fixing this immediately instead of waiting an entire chapter.

Wow. That looks bad. The screen is currently using the overworld palette for display. This doesn't work with the dungeon tiles at all!

Part 4: Screen Palettes

Let's fix the screen display. Go to Screen→Palette (or press F4).

Screen Palette menu

Screen Palette dialog

Select palette 003 (Zelda1 Level-3) and press OK.

Alternatively, for the first 10 palettes (0-9), you can simply press the number pad buttons to cycle through them. For instance, pressing 3 would give you the same palette we just selected in the Select Palette dialog.

Important Note: As the Select Palette dialog mentions, this is merely a cosmetic change inside of the editor. DMaps determine the actual palette used in Zelda Classic!

The screen looks less ugly than it did, but it's still not entirely fixed.

The screen looks a lot better than it did, but there is still something odd happening with the walls. This is caused by the incorrect Door Combo Set being selected.

Part 5: Door Combo Sets and Placing Doors

Door Combo Sets are basically the combos used when you place doors such as open doors, shutters, bombable walls, and locked doors in an NES style dungeon. These doors are placed through a special dialog and only work with NES style dungeons! Note that changing the Door Combo Set will not change any previously set doors on the screen.

By default, all four sides of a room are set as walls for a door type. These don't have any sort of special behavior. You are actually free to draw over walls with whatever combos you want since there is technically nothing there. Most other door types will draw an object onto the screen that usually cannot (and should not) be drawn over.

But when you apply a dungeon template, it will immediately draw the wall combos of the current door combo set on each side of the room. Unfortunately, our current screen is using the wrong door set, so that automatic feature didn't work so well this time.

We need to change the door combo set and place the walls again to fix this. We could also technically use a color set fix, but that would only last until we start placing actual doors.

Go to Screen→Doors (or Press D).

Doors menu

Selecting doors

Under Door Combo Set, select Z1 CSet 2.

Click on one of the Wall buttons.

Selecting a door type

This Door Type dialog is where you will actually be placing doors for each side of the room. For the moment, we want to keep this on Wall, but it's rather easy to change later on. Press OK when you are finished selecting the door type you want.

Repeat this process for the other three sides of the room. Once you are finished, press OK in the Select Door dialog.

The screen should now look okay.

The screen now looks okay!

Part 6: Copy/Pasting Additional Dungeon Screens

To avoid having to continuously do parts 3 through 5 for this dungeon, it would be a good idea to do some screen copying and pasting.

First, Copy Screen 70. Now let's paste this screen continuously (you shouldn't need to copy again) into a 4×4 grid as shown in the map below. This will serve as the area for our dungeon.

Check the map grid on the bottom left.

The bottom left corner should be Screen 70 and the top right corner should be Screen 43.

tutorials/main/ch03-01.txt · Last modified: 2013/04/07 18:21 (external edit)
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