My Message Box Expansion
patch has a lot in common with the DKC(R) sprite status bar: both were originally made for my own hack, and then released to the public at around the same time.
...what they also have in common is that they went years without a much-needed update. The message box expansion patch was always inefficient with ROM space, not to forget entirely incompatible with switch palaces (!), and yet it took me years to get around to making a proper "next version". It's pretty ridiculous.
Fortunately, there's another parallel to the DKCR sprite status bar: I recently gave the message box expansion a somewhat major overhaul. This addresses most of the problems people reported back in the day, making it (let's just say):
The core features and drawbacks are still the same:
- Gives you new, coded-from-scratch message boxes with 260 characters and (bug-turned-feature) line-by-line display effect
- Messages no longer depend on the message box's X position, but on the level and screen number (giving you only one message per screen, but 32 per level)
- The patch has to be reapplied each time you change message texts or settings
- Custom blocks or sprites that display messages may not work out of the box (either they have to be changed by someone who knows ASM, or they won't work at all)
- (new) Finally made switch palaces work! Switch palaces messages now display switch block sprites and properly end the level.
- (new) Redesigned the message table system: it takes up less ROM space now, and can also distinguish between levels 00-FF and 100-1FF (this, together with the change below, addresses p4's concerns)
- (new) Added the option to end message text prematurely with an $FF byte after the last line (will also save space, though it can only save entire lines, not characters at the end of one)
- (new) Added SA-1 compatibility
- (fix) Made the "Display Level Message 1" sprite use the new system (now respects the screen settings just like message boxes instead of always showing the default message)
- (fix) Made it easier to change special message numbers (default message, intro message, Yoshi rescue message, etc.)
- (fix) Re-enabled the timer that keeps you from dismissing the intro and switch palace messages (didn't realize it was missing all that time)
- Removed support for different tile properties per message
I like to think this could be a "final" version, in the sense that there are no more features that definitely need to be added. If you find a bug, though, do let me know!