Creating Lakebeds

In Link to the Past, you could explore lakes, rivers, and swamps.  While that was great back in the day, never before could you explore under the water.  Well, technically you could to a degree.  The most one could hope to explore was traveling in the water to get to a new area that you might not be able to reach on foot.  My tileset will allow you to create bodies of water the player can explore, but also traverse underneath.  Take a look at the very bottom section of the tileset:

These tiles are the Lakebed tiles.  You will use these tiles in conjunction with the other rock formation tiles to create amazing underwater areas the hero can explore.  As you can see, they are identical to the other four rock options you can use to make your maps, except these tiles are aplha transparent.  If you're unsure where to begin.  Don't worry; I will walk you through the process of making a sample map.  Let's get started!


Let's begin by making the rock walls.  Again, we're not going for anything fancy for the sake of this tutorial...just a little body of water.  There is one thing we must do before anything else.  We must place the entire rock formation on Layer 1.  Just select the rock area that will become your body of water by click-and-dragging the mouse over the entire shape.  Right-click on any part of it and select "Layer 1".

Once we have made the rock walls for the body of water, we can now begin to place the lakebed tiles themselves.

Don't worry about fine details for the lakebed tiles.  You can afford to build a crude shape here.

The thing you should focus on is that the lakebed tiles must be placed on Layer 0, or at least on the layer directly below the body of water's shape.

You should place the lakebed tiles on the same layer as the other rock formation tiles just to properly place them.  Afterwards you can move them.  This is how I do it.


You will need to select all the lakebed tiles, but remember you cannot click-and-drag, otherwise you will end up selecting part of the upper body's shape.  You will need to manually select all the lakebed tiles by holding down shift and left-clicking.  This will be tedious depending on how big the bodies of water are you intend to make.


Once you select them all, remember you can right-click and select "Layer 0".

Let's put in a ladder.  The hero will need a way to move between layers.  Remember that when we place a ladder and want Link to move between layers, we will need to create sensors (assuming you followed my tutorial on bridges here).

Keep in mind that you will need to overlap the ladder so Link won't clip behind tiles and get stuck.

If you followed my bridges tutorial, remember that you want ladders to overlap by at least two tiles (a tile is 8 square pixels, so two tiles is 16). Refer to the image on the left.

Don't forget to place the lower half of your ladder on the same layer as the lakebed tiles!!  Then, move them behind the upper half of the ladder.

Add in your sensors.  Assuming you are still using the information you learned from the bridges tutorial, make sure you name one sensor "Up_Layer", placed on Layer 0, and "Down_Layer", placed on Layer 1.

Place BOTH sensors at the bottom of the ladder, but hanging off of it by 1 tile, as seen here:


Grab a traversable tile from the top of the tileset.  You can choose whatever color you like.  Place tiles now over the top of the upper half of the rock formation.  After placing, and resizing them, select them all, and then Bring to Back (B). 

Next, grab a ladder tile of any color and drag it over the shape.  For more complex shapes, you may need to get creative in placing tiles.  The key thing to remember is that you must cover all the lakbed tiles.  These ladder tiles must be on Layer 0, or the same layer as the lakebed tiles.

Now make sure the ladder tile or tiles is selected, right-click, double check to see if it is on Layer 0, and then bring to back (B).

Now that we have our lakebed, we must place water around the edges.  Grab the water tiles within the lakebed tiles and place them around the bottom edges of the upper half of the rock formation, making sure they are on the same layer as the upper rock formation.

Just for fun, why don't we place a diving board on this body of water so that we can see Link swim on the water surface as well.  Grab a ladder and the diving board, create a basic one, place the patterns on Layer 1, and then position them somewhere on the side of the rock.  Make sure they are placed above the rock.

This is kind of optional, and something you will only be able to try assuming your quest has the Flippers item.  Please make sure you have the Flippers item and place one somewhere on the map if Link is not already set up for swimming.

Remember if Link is not equipped with Flippers, he will drown and respawn on land.

My version of Link is equipped with Flippers, and this tutorial assumes yours is too.

Do NOT forget to add the invisible ladder tile to the long ladder where the sensors are.  resize it to be flush with the bottom of the two sensors, 2 tiles wide, and place it on Layer 1.

Finally all we need to do is place a deep water tile on the entire surface of the body of water.

Fortunately for us, we have such a tile, located right within the lakebed tiles.  Drag the tile over the entire body of water This tile must be on the same layer as the upper half of the body of water.  Once you do, just move it to the back.


Congratulations!  You can now create lakebeds which can be traversed instead of merely swam in.  As shown in the video, there is some minor glitching which is due to the way my tutorial has tiles layered.  These glitches are:

If Link has not obtained the Flippers, then Link can dive off of the edge of the ladder towards the bottom of it and drown.

If Link has the Flippers, then he will be able to swim on the surface of the water even though he should be on Layer 0.  This occurs because Link technically has not yet collided with the "Down_Layer" sensor which would normally put him on Layer 0.  If you walk on the ladder properly, Link will have no issues with walking under water and returning to the surface using the ladder.  Just keep this in mind.


Happy mapping!