Q: What are the
conditions for use?
A: Very few, typically labelled under "use your common
Okay, some more details:
- These avatars are freely distributable, key word "free."
They are unavailable for commercial use, in other words
do not host these somewhere else and force people to pay
- Though they are freely distributable, don't simply rip
them and claim them to be your work. An unbelievable amount
of time and effort was put into this site and it's contents,
so it's not nice to see several month's worth of work being
ripped off in three minutes.
- You may use these avatars on any forum that allows them.
- Do not remote link the images. Save the avatar(s) you
want and upload them to your personal webspace.
Q: Why don't you like remote linking?
A: Two main reasons:
1) Flexability. NiteFox says "I once had to rename
a single file on the Hall O' SNES Avatars and received a
load of e-mail from a load of different people complaining
why their avatar wasn't working. We may change the format
of the site at a whim, and if everyone remote links from
our site and we change the format in any way then we will
receive a load of e-mail from, frankly, idiots who don't
even know how to download images and upload them to their
2) Bandwidth. Unbelievable as it sounds, but remote linking
a single 5k image sucks up a lot of bandwidth if your face
happens to patronise a pretty busy thread in a discussion
forum. If a few hundred, possibly thousand people remote
links on busy threads, then that bandwidth consumption is
going to go way up. It's better to spread the bandwidth
consumption to several different free webspace and image
hosts than to leech off our servers.
Q: I want to use your avatars as default avatars on
my discussion board, but downloading each image individually
is a complete pain in the ass. Is there a quicker way of
A: Yes. Soon we will update the site with download packs.
These packs will be available in many flavours, the first
of which will be individual games (So you can pick and choose
what avatars you want to download), then by system (So if
you like all the Arcade avatars but don't want the SNES
ones, fine), and finally the whole archive in one huge ZIP
file. The same distribution rules will apply for these packs.
Until then, we don't deal with personal requests.
Q: My forum admin/moderator keeps telling me to pick
another avatar, what should I do?
Listen to them. By far one of the biggest gripes admins
have to deal with is overly-large avatars. Most admins set
a reasonable limit of 10kb, a limit which all of our avatars
literally limbo under, but other admins may set more stringent
limits. A common limit is 5kb, and very few of our avatars
are beneath that size. However, this shouldn't be a problem,
as the 10kb limit is a good balance of size and quality,
and a few forums have this 10kb limit set as a default.
The second reason is that the actual image dimensions are
too large. Some admins (Though this practice is slowly dying
out) place dimension limits for avatars on their boards
to prevent table stretching. These restrictions are typically
multiples of 8 (16, 32, 48, 64) and typically square. This
is a particular problem with many of the Arcade avatars,
which are full-size images. I did this because the quality
of the images degraded severely. While most SNES and PC
developers kept portraits nice and square (And often in
tilesizes of 8), Capcom in their infinite wisdom decided
on a more free-form attitude for their arcade machines.
None of the avatars I have ripped from CPS-2 games look
good when resized to 64x64, and very few look good when
resized to anything beneath a 100 in any dimension.
By far the biggest avatar size in this archive is 120x224
for height or 176x160 for width. Check to see if this is
okay with your board admin.
However, as technology matures, few people are reading
discussion boards at a resolution where an avatar of 176
pixels wide will stretch the screen. Fewer admins are enforcing
avatar dimension limits as well, but always be mindful of
the rules when using avatars.
Q: My avatar was resized by the board, what should I
A: Again, nothing. This is an automatic dimension limit.
Several boards have it enabled by default, and if you feel
that the admin has no other reason than this to enforce
it, ask them kindly if they will see about removing the
limiter. This is particulary true if the board is new.
However, some admins are knowledgable of this and if the
board has been going for some time with this limit in place
then it is highly likely this is by design.
If your avatar looks ugly in its resized state, then simply
crop a square the size of the maximum limit out of your
avatar and use that instead.
Q: Why isn't *GAMENAME* in the archive?
A: Many reasons.
The first is that we do not own the game in any form. As
you can see, this is possibly the biggest reason why we
haven't dumped graphics from a game. Unless you want to
send us the cash to buy every game ever made, then it's
unlikely that we may get around to a game we don't own.
The second is that we do own the game in question, but
there is no easy way to get the graphics while playing.
Lack of screen capture, or poor screen capture quality is
a majoring factor. With PC games in particular, if we cannot
screencap an avatar we typically look to the files of the
game itself to see if raw extraction is possible. If so,
then we dump. If not, then we don't.
The third is that there is no viable material in a game.
If the characters are represented by sprites in subscreens
rather than portraits (For instance, Final Fantasy V), then
we don't rip these sprites and pass them off as avatars.
The fourth reason is this: We have the game, it has viable
content and we have the means to dump, rip, or extract from
the game. We have all this but we don't have the time to
do so. Please be patient, as we may get around to it eventually.
Another reason for lack of a game is that we cannot emulate
it. NiteFox is our primary CPS-2 dumper and uses Kawaks
as his emulator of choice. Kawaks cannot emulate every game
but is by far a better graphics ripping platform than Nebula.
NiteFox will not rip graphics using Nebula, he simply does
not know how. Nor does NiteFox know how to rip graphics
directly from the ROM files, but if there is a way he'll
And finally: We play the games we get our graphics from,
that means we typically play the game once through so we
know where all the graphics are and then go get them. As
a rule, we play games for enjoyment first then graphics
second. If a game is viable, then we try to play it. If
however something such as lack of translation prevents us
from playing fully (I could name a hundred SNES RPGs that
are still untranslated from Japanese) then we don't dump.
Star Ocean is an exception to this rule, but NiteFox is
still waiting on a full translation patch so he can complete
his work on that game. The other exception is Front Mission,
which was completed before the translation patch (Hence
the Japanese name for Lloyd/Roid), but Front Mission also
has a cheat to allow you to view every single portrait in
the game, so it was but the work of minutes to get a complete
Q: I've played *GAMENAME* and I've noticed that
*CHARACTER*'s face isn't in your gallery, even though
you have covered that game. Why is this?
A: Good ol' time limitations. This only applies for games
where direct graphical ripping isn't available and we have
to play the game from start to finish to get all the avatars.
Final Fantasy IV is an example of this, as is Bust-a-Move.
We simply haven't managed to get as far into the game to
dump it. If we have, then we probably missed that avatar,
and because it's so late in the game we don't have time
to restart from scratch and get to that point. We may fill
in these gaps at some time, but don't exactly count on it.
Q: Where did you get *CHARACTER*'s portrait from?
It wasn't even in the final game!
A: The joys of either direct extraction or cheat codes.
If something is left in a game but not executed in the final
code, we'll find it.
Q: With Quake III Team Arena, why do you only include
the blue team portrait and the standard (Non-team) portrait?
A: Because for most characters (With some exceptions) that's
all there is. The non-team portrait (For solo games) is
identical to the red team portrait. Dump it yourself
(PK3 files open easily in WinZip) and see for yourself -
The strange thing is that there are always three portraits
for almost every unit when they could have managed with
just two each. For the two added characters (Pi and Fritzkrieg)
there is only one portrait - Despite there being three distinct
files (Red, blue, and standard) that are all identical.
Q: *GAMENAME* wasn't even released, how did you
A: The joys of emulation and software company insiders
intent on releasing code. God bless 'em.
Q: Isn't that illegal?
A: Do we care? It's not as if we sacrificed small babies
to get the games.
Q: ... Can you send me *ROMNAME*?
A: Nope. We're not a dispenser of illegal code, we just
provide free-use avatars. And before you ask, any e-mail
receieved on the subject will be printed, deleted, and the
print-outs shredded and fed to a small and fat hamster.
We get a lot of e-mail, see?
Q: I know you have *GAMENAME*'s dumps ready for
release, can you send them to me before then?
A: No personal requests.
Q: If I send you *GAMENAME*, can you dump the
graphics for me please?
A: No personal requests. As a rule we dump from the material
we can find or have access to, but we will not receive (and
in fact refuse) any sent games.
Q: Do you do sprite rips as well?
A: No. If you see any of us using sprites in posts, then
that was for our own personal use. Sprite ripping is a lot
harder than portrait ripping, a LOT harder. Even worse is
Q: Can you teach me the secrets to dumping or ripping
portraits, oh wise sensei?
A: Maybe. We're not doing ourselves out of business just
yet ;) Anyone with screen capture software can dump portraits,
but there is an art in dumping them well. There are also
several different means of ripping depending on the game,
and it would take some time to compile a complete guide.
Q: Will you be covering different game systems?
A: Possibly. The systems covered are essentially our range
of expertise, our knowledge of other systems can only extend
Q: When do you update this site?
A: Randomly. Set deadlines and you're almost guaranteed
to miss them. Consider that we have to dump, and maybe edit
the avatars, update the necessary pages (Which might result
in having to move game tables to a different page) and upload
all the new files. If we did this regulary, then we would
almost certainly reach a lull period where no updates can
be made, or it isn't worth the effort.
Besides, NiteFox does all the page designs from home, and
until he can get a nice new PC with a broadband connection
he updates using the computers of the university he attends.
Q: Why are you using plain HTML for this? Why didn't
you use a PHP system?
A: NiteFox loves HTML. He's learned how to do pretty much
everything in HTML, and knows both how to code in HTML and
use Dreamweaver to create nice-looking HTML pages. On the
other hand, what he knows about PHP could be written in
size 32 font on the back of a postage stamp. Ergo, when
the choice between doing it in PHP or HTML arose, NiteFox
went with what he knew best.
Besides, even if he did learn PHP (Which there is
little chance of happening, as his university doesn't teach
PHP in any course available), he would still probably do
this site in HTML. If the SQL database necessary for running
this site fails or goes down for any great length of time,
then you can't see or even use this site thanks to the database.
On the other hand, to be prevented from seeing an entirely
HTML site, the server (Or at least it's HTTP system) will
have to fail, and if that happened you wouldn't even be
able to see the site whether it's HTML or PHP.
In addition, it would be nice to have a system where
the entire gallery is updated in an instant, but when you
consider how infrequent and sporadic the updates are you
have to ask is it really worth it.
Q: I can code a PHP system for you, no problem.
A: That's not a question.
Q: Okay, I can code you a system, no problem. Would
you use it if I sent it to you?
A: Nope. We gave some valid reasons as to why not above,
the only one being unable to stand up to an actual, existing
system being the whole "too lazy to learn PHP"
one. Otherwise, we're not interested.
Q: How can I e-mail you?
A: For a non-guaranteed response, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a guaranteed response, don't bother e-mailing. If what
you require is so urgent that a day's delay will actually
kill you, then you can discuss with the entire Star
Alliance staff at the
star alliance forums