I wanna show you how you can change and edit the backsprites of the main characters in Pokemon Emerald.
I was looking for a tutorial about this myself for a very long time, but I never found anything; only for other games like Ruby or FireRed. But then I finally figured it out! So here goes:
The things you need
Step 1: Saving the pallette
You will need to change the pallette of the sprites, so therefore, the first thing you do is open up unLZ GBA. Then you go to 1939 (Brendan's normal trainer sprite) and copy the Pallette Offset, which is 00D61A30.
Step 2: Exporting the pallette for TMA
Open APE and paste in the Offset and click on Load. Make sure "Compressed Pallette" is checked.
There you have Brendan's Pallette.
When you want to make your own new pallette, you will need this pallette as a template, so go to Edit > Actual Pallette > Export ... and save the pallette as something your image editing program can handle. I use Photoshop, so I save it as a .act-file. Make sure you export again as a .tpl-file for TMA.
Keep APE open for now. We have to use it again later.
Step 3: Getting the backsprites
Open TMA and then open your ROM.
Then go to Navigate > Go to ...
Insert this Hex: D66C84
Then it should look like this:
That is not quite handy to work with, so we need to change some things before editing the sprites.
Follow these steps in this order:
1) Go to: View > Block Size > Custom ... and change the numbers to 8.
2) Go to Image > Canvas Size ... and change it to 128x128.
3) Click on the arrow pointing to the left (Tile Back) exactly 64 times. Now it looks like this:
4) Click on the minus symbol (Byte Back) exactly 4 times. Now it looks better.
5) Go to Pallette > Import From > Another File ... and choose the brendan-pallette.tpl you exported from APE. Then it looks ready to work with.
Now remember, we are only working with Brendan right now, so ignore that the other characters look a bit strange. When you have to edit for example Wally's sprites you of course have to use his pallette offset in APE.
6) Now go to Edit > Copy to ... and save the .png-file.
Step 4: Make your own backsprite
Now open up the saved .png-file in your image program.
Index the image with 16 colors. Now you just have to edit all you want to. Use the pecil tool to do that. Right now you don't have to think about the colors you use. Only that you use the same color where the colors have to be the same.
Now, as an example, I have poorly removed his backpack:
And I also wanna change the colors of him, so I have to make my own new pallette file.
In Photoshop I have changed the pallette of this file so it looks like how I want it to.
And now it would be easy if we could just save this new pallette as a our new pallette file, but unfortunately the pallette of this indexed image does not fit the one in the game. So that is why we have to make it manually. This is how to do it:
1) Create a new random file in the image program (eg Photoshop).
2) Make the image indexed and load Brendan's pallette file exported from APE, the original pallette.
3) Here comes the hard part: All the colors you changed in the backsprite file, you have to write down or remember in some way. Write down the original colors hex code (example #ffffff for white) and write down the hex code of the color you changed it to. Then in the file you just opened and indexed, you do the same color changes.
So if your pallette of the backsprite image looks like this:
Your new correct pallette should end up looking like this:
Save this pallette, and go back to the backsprite file in Photoshop. Undo all your color changes and save the file as an indexed .png-file. Now you can close Photoshop etc.
Step 5: Replace Brendan's pallette with your own
Go back to APE and import your newly saved pallette.
Save the ROM by clicking Replace.
Then click on Load. Then you would se two pallettes, that are the same.
That is just perfect!
Step 6: Get the new backsprite into the game
Now go back to TMA. Go to View > Paste From ... and choose your new backsprite file. It should look like this:
And now comes an important part, that allows you to save your ROM.
Go to View > Zoom > 100% (or less if you have a small screen).
Then click in the grey area next to the image to deselect the image. It should look like this: (The white border gone)
Now you can click on the Save icon in the top.
Step 7: Test it out!
The pallette of Brendan also changed here:
And here is what we are looking for: