12 Apr 2009 22:26
I decided to raise awareness of the excellent goal of updating or recreating textures for popular N64 games. Since the N64 had the best games of my generation (no SNES for me), they deserve a little HD treatment. I mean, who wouldn't want to play Perfect Dark in 720p or The Legend of Zelda? Emulators can already render N64 games at 1280x720 but they won't look very good in their native resolution.
This takes us into the gray area (it's really not gray) of N64 emulation and texture extraction. There are people who developed a plugin called RiceVideo for Project 64 and other emulators. Using the plugin, people are able to extract the textures and then use them to develop new, crisper and much more detailed textures for games. Not only will the resolution of each texture be increased, but the games will mostly be running at a solid 30fps because of modern computing power.
- Texture Packs
- RiceVideo Plugin
Texture Guide Update
For Windows Vista, Project 64 version 1.6 won't work. I found that Project 64K, K being an modified version of Project 64, works on Vista with a small tweak. Install Project 64K, and then download the following file: Project 64K Vista fix. You are going to rename the file from Jabo_Direct3D8.dll to Jabo_Direct3D7.dll Then you put this renamed file in the Plugin folder for Project 64K. I've did this tweak recently, it allows the N64 games to run. Please watch the following video for a visual guide: here
It is still possible to use the RiceVideo Plugin on Vista with Project 64K. I've experienced some games not working well (the Smash Brothers Brawl Texture Pack for example). Federelli's Retexture Pack for OOT did work well with no hitches.
I am going to point out a few of my favorite texture enhancements. These authors have put a tremendous amount of work into their projects and deserve some public kudos. Since there is a lot of work involved with altering texture files individually, there are a lot of projects that don't make it to completion. Most of these screenshots are taken from the emutalk.net message board.
- I DIDN'T CREATE THESE TEXTURE PACKS, so make sure to give credit to the authors who earned it. I may display some of my work at the bottom and I will clearly indicate that it is mine.
- Click "View Image" when you right click on them in Firefox to get the full screen glory!
Super Smash Brothers
This is a very impressive effort by Pietschie and Bad Randolph. Their goal was to keep the textures faithful to the original yet increase their clarity so they could enjoy playing it on a HD TV. It is one of the few projects which was finished on a pretty quick timeline of nine months.
I'll direct you to their website for pictures since I wasn't able to get the pack to run well on my laptop. The textures must either be huge or just overwhelm my 128mb video card. I was getting around 14 frames per second. The texture pack did look really good. Comparison pictures are here. http://pietschie1.pi.funpic.de/compare.html
Super Smash Brothers Brawl 64
This is something that I found off the Emutalk.net board. I decided to add it in because the Mario Galaxy level and Yoshi level are so beautiful. I would skip through the video to get a general idea of what the project is about (cool levels and items)
Authors cited by Youtube video uploader/author? raulink25
- Link to the project (not tested by me on an emulator) http://www.megaupload.com/?d=G288HP0F
Castlevania 64 Legacy of Darkness (LOD)
This texture pack by gitech is a masterpiece. Here gitech has taken a game that would greatly benefit from better texture work and fanservice and created something amazing. Gitech states this was his first texture pack but what he has created is impressive considering he started off without knowing how to retexture.
He has taken a little creative license and made the game his own. The new art direction is a step in the right direction to give off a darker feeling the N64 couldn't replicate due to hardware limitations.
When I rented this game back in the day, I wasn't very impressed. The gameplay is lacking because I got lost easy and the controls are very strange. I think Castlevania Circle of the Moon is the epitome of Castlevania and I don't like it in 3D. Nevertheless, the texture work in this game rivals commercial "games" on weak systems (Wii anyone?). If the author was able to somehow create the game engine, he would have a purchase from me if he could sell it.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time:
Djipi FINAL CELL MOD 2009 for Zelda OOT (NEW)
This is the most recent texture pack released by Djipi. It was released July 15th and it looks great. Djipi has taken a lot of artistic license, as he is able to since he is one of the greatest texture artists I have seen for the N64. Notice that Link has a much more yellow blond hair, different eyebrows, and a different slightly different face. I took some pictures with this mod, mostly in Ganon's Castle.
These screenshots I took aren't the best because they focus only on the final area and are only at SD quality 640 x 480. Next time, I'll see if I can bump up my resolution. This texture pack looks good. Since it was released just days ago when I updated this guide, I haven't had enough time to explore all the areas and see what has been modified.
- Here is the direct link to download Djipi's new Cell mod: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=F936L9AN
Djipi Ocarina of Time Cell Mod (Older/Alternative version)
This project was spearheaded by the very talented Djipi who is a master Zelda retexturer. He tends to enjoy doing cell shaded and cartoony versions of the Zelda games and he does it very well. The page on the Emutalk forum doesn't have a working download page so I found some other mirrors:
I really like the art direction even though I would prefer the higher res original feel. Since the original downloads are hard to find, here are some alternate.
Federelli's Retexture Pack for OOT and Master Quest
Federelli's texture pack for OoT is excellent. He takes the best game of all time and makes it look like it was released today.
(Note I took this screenshot and the first image using the pack)
His links to the pack are broken and this Rapidshare link does NOT appear to be working:
My suggestion is to read the thread's newest posts and see if they re-upload the file. It appears like Federelli or someone else is trying to remove the files. At this current time 11/2010, there doesn't appear to be a link to the files.
Zelda Ocarina of Time Community Retexture Project
Wow, I can't believe I didn't know about this gem. I always browsed over it since I just thought it was another mediocre project. This is not true! The retexturing community over at Emutalk isbringing their best work to bear. The work in progress is astounding. Just take a look at these screenshots!
Just look at this amazing sky by user mode7. They say the texture quality is 4096x512 just for the sky. My video card will be sitting this one out sadly. The user also posted this near photo realistic picture of Link's House.
Link actually lives in a tree!
Could it be that Link has actually entered a beautiful dungeon?
These textures are top notch quality. The water actually looks like it has its own shader.
As you can tell, there are too many excellent textures to put on this site. That's why you can visit their official site on their own domain at N64 Redux OoT Retexture.
- To download this pack, go to the following link: OoT Community Retexture Download. Like the EmuTalk forum states, this download doesn't include the Amazing Ocarina of Time Sky Textures and the High Res Kokiri Village.
This looks to be a must download. I doubt my current laptop can handle the textures, but I will play it in the future!
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask:
Djipi and MDtauk Majora's Mask
Djipi once again does a cell shaded version for Majoras Mask as well as a "real" looking version. Here are the "cell shaded" screenshots he presented on the board:
Do notice that Djipi doesn't seem to like doing detailed grass and walls for his cell packs.
Note that Djipi's cell shaded Majora's Mask pack is not complete. I think he stopped working on it so I can't be sure that the link is the last one he released.
I think Djipi's realistic Majora's Mask is really good and I have used it very often.
Super Mario 64
Risio's Retro Mario 64
I can't believe that I almost forgot to post at least one of the Super Mario 64 texture enhancements! Risio shows off their very cartoony/retro looking texture pack. While it isn't 100% complete, I remember using it in the past and it does look at good as the screenshots. Risio takes a few liberties with the textures and I agree with his interpretations. For example, instead of Thwomps looking like blue granite, Risio makes them look like yellow Nintendo floppies or cartridges.
Looking at the texture quality, they are crisp but still true to being retro. I could see future Mario games taking a similar look as the one presented by Risio since everyone loves Super Mario Bros on the NES.
**Well, I hope you enjoyed a brief look at some of the best retexture projects on the Internet. There are a few more that I would like to mention but their projects are not complete enough to post since I wanted you guys to be able to use them.
Spread the word about this guide. These texture artists really deserve to be recognized.
The following link will get you started to learn more about the setup http://www.emutalk.net/showthread.php?t=29577**
I did a partial retexture of the niche game "Xena: Talisman of Fate". I'll try and post a video later this year.
- 11/2010-Updated the link to the OoT Community Retexture. Also Federelli's Retexture Pack files are unavailable and appear to be taken down by the author or forum admin. Also proofread my work. Thank you Moony for letting me know in the comments
- 8/2010-Updated links to projects and download sites
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