Would I get sued if I used modified assets from zelda 2?

NimNom1234

Member
I would like to modify some assets from zelda 2, as thats about all I can do with pixel art, but I was wondering if I would get into legal trouble. Most people I ask say I shouldn't risk it, but I've seen lots of pixel art based off of nintendo ip's, such as the main character from Axiom Verge looking like Simon Belmont. Not to mention that the rest of that game follows in metroids footsteps pretty hard.

But seeing how nintendo handles their fan games, I don't know what they'd do if I charged money for such a project...
 
I would like to modify some assets from zelda 2, as thats about all I can do with pixel art, but I was wondering if I would get into legal trouble.
If you have to ask the question, then the most likely answer will be "Yes, you can get in trouble."

But remember, we are not lawyers. If you want a definitive answer, talk to a lawyer that specialises in this sort of thing.
 
*Not a lawyer*

You'll probably get cease-and-desisted before you get sued.

You probably won't get cease-and-desisted unless your game is popular enough to warrant attention and/or is used for profit.

If the sprites are modified heavily enough that they can be seen as *being done in the style* of it, then you may not even receive a cease and desist.

They aren't legally required to send you a cease-and-desist, and can sue you outright, but you're probably not worth the time and effort.
 

chance

predictably random
Forum Staff
Moderator
Look at it this way: Is it OK to use modified sprites from an indie developer here on the GMC?

Would you get sued? Probably not. But you'd definitely damage your reputation as a game developer. More importantly, you'd lose your self-respect.

So here's a better idea. Use sprites from other artists as learning tools. Try to understand their techniques and their artistic style. Then create your own style. In the end, you'll be happier with the result.
 
It's illegal, and more importantly, immoral. Don't be a scum-badger. Do your own work. If you can't do your own work, practice. Stealing someone else's work is a slap in the face to every honest artist on the planet. Sorry for the harsh answer, but the sooner you get these ideas out of your head, the better.

Now go forth, and walk the righteous path. Never again wander astray! =')
 
It's fine in my opinion to modify and play with sprites as a way to learn or something. I've been slowly working on a silly Megaman style game which is full of edited sprites, but it was mostly to learn. Started off just recolouring some, then led to taking parts of different sprites and editing that into a new sprite, which eventually led to sprites being drawn from scratch which weren't terrible.
But for more serious projects, or something yoy may intend to sell, it's a big no-no. Even if no one took any legal action against you, you may get a bunch of people who will just see your game as some sort of ripoff.
But echoing Rich, you should really just practice yourself. Pixel art is a great way to learn, you can get something serviceable quickly which can be easy to edit without too much trouble, all while learning some basics of animating. Or if art really isn't your thing, find an artist. You may have to pay them but good art is worth it.
 
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Alessio

Guest
It's illegal, and more importantly, immoral. Don't be a scum-badger. Do your own work. If you can't do your own work, practice. Stealing someone else's work is a slap in the face to every honest artist on the planet. Sorry for the harsh answer, but the sooner you get these ideas out of your head, the better.
But... but MUH FREE PUBLICITY!?!?!?! NINTENDO BAD!!!!
 

Misty

Member
Depends how modified it is. If it is just a recolor, absolutely you will get sued, and will become an indentured servant to Fils-Aimé for 10 years. How modified are we talkin here?
 

NimNom1234

Member
Depends how modified it is. If it is just a recolor, absolutely you will get sued, and will become an indentured servant to Fils-Aimé for 10 years. How modified are we talkin here?
I kinda gave up on this idea, but I was pretty much talking about just using the walk cycles and basic shape of the character :)
 
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Alessio

Guest
I don't think copying and slightly modifying the basic schape or the walk cycles would make you get sued, especially when they're low level like in Zelda 2. If they don't feel equal, there is no problem.
 

EvanSki

King of Raccoons
Techniclly You could make your own asset based off a Zelda 2 asset just make it your own not a complete rip off, because designs cannot be patented (So Ive been told)

So maybe not, I do know that I looked up something like this and was told that something about a character made for a movie,game ect could not be patented sorry for any confusion

also im 18 btw, Not sure why thats a huge deal to helping solve a problem but to some people its important and make assumptions about it
 
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Dufaq?

Guest
A prime example as to how the internet is a kind and harsh place!

Google "Kindness"
If @NimNom1234 went with your legal advice and became bankrupt as a result of it, 'kindness' would be the last thing on his mind.

Yes, the internet is a harsh place. I see examples of how people lose everything as a result of it every day, much of it through poor legal advice.
 

chance

predictably random
Forum Staff
Moderator
(snip)
Yes, the internet is a harsh place.
Yes, but it needn't be. We can point out errors without harshness.

@Evan Malinowski: whoever told you that was probably confusing design with style. Art style is not protected by copyright. A game character's style comprises things like 2D vs. 3D, perspective, etc. And details like color palette, line vs. pixel, and shading. Elements like cartoonish, or realistic, or abstract, etc. are also choices of style. These aspects of art cannot be copyrighted.

A particular design, on the other hand, is the specific implementation and details that make that character unique. That end result is copyrighted.

Sometimes it's easy to get these things confused.
 
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Nuss

Guest
It's fine if it's just for educational purposes or prototyping. However, if you intend to release the game for profit (Steam, Playstation, Switch, etc.), then you cannot use them outside of testing and placeholders. Your example of the main character from Axiom Verge looking like Simon Belmont isn't really a good example seeing as how the game uses custom made art assets. Sure he may look similar, but it isn't directly ripped from any of the Castlevania games. It's more of a nod to the Castlevania series than anything.
 
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