Contact
Hello and welcome to Sprite Database. My name is Paul, but my internet friends call me "Grim". I started SDB in 2005 and I've been designing, updating, coding, writing for, and contributing sprites to it ever since.

A little bit about me. I'm 28 years old and live in Long Island, New York, USA. I'm a fan of retro games, modern games (PC all the way), depressing-but-catchy music, animation, comics, and computer programming. Oh, and obviously I spend a fair amount of time working on this site too.

This right here is the best way to contact me. E-mail!!

If I ignore your email it's either because A) I didn't see it [in which case, sorry, try re-sending if I don't reply within a few days] or B) because it was a request [which I don't do, which you'd know if you read the FAQ below!]


You can also add me on Steam. Let's be PC gaming bros.

Frequently Asked Questions

About using sprites

» Can I use these sprites?

This is one of our most commonly received questions. The answer is YES! Have fun!

» Ok, but can I use these sprites for a commercial project?

Lately, this is by far the most common question I get. Unfortunately though, the answer is HECK NO! These sprites are copyrighted material and their owners probably wouldn't be very happy if they knew you were profiting off them. You might be able to get away with it, but that doesn't make it legal.

» Who owns these sprites?

All the graphics and sounds on this site belong to the publisher or developer of the game they were taken from.

The sprites in the customs section belong to the people who submitted them, but even so they are generally a form of fan art depicting copyrighted characters.

» Who should I credit if I use sprites?

Above all, you should credit the original developers and publishers of the games the sprites are from. They're the creators and owners of this stuff, so it's the very least you could do.

If you like, you can also extend your acknowledgement to the people who ripped and submitted the sprites. Every file on this site has the username of the person (or people) who contributed that file.

A lot of people ask for credit on their rips - even I used to do it. They are basically asking for a small acknowledgement for the time and effort they put into ripping the sprites and making them available to others. To me, this seems like a very reasonable request, but you aren't under any obligation regardless.

» Is there an easy way to separate sprite sheets into individual sprites?

For a long time, the answer to this question would have been "no." However, there is now a fantastic tool available for this task. Mitchell William Cooper's Alferd Spritesheet Unpacker (download / video) is easy to use and works like a charm - although it is for Windows only.

» What can I use sprites for?

Anything you want, as long as it's legal. Some of the more popular uses are sprite comics, animations, fan games, and a personal favorite - perler bead sprites. I also think they're pretty fun to just look at, but maybe that's just me.

» Is using, ripping, or archiving sprites illegal?

Copyright law is complicated and I'm certainly not an expert so I can't answer that definitively. I have seen arguments for and against citing things like "fair use". But what I do know is that sprite-based websites and communities have existed almost as long as the internet has been in wide-spread use, and never in that time have I seen anyone get in any trouble for fooling around with sprites. For the most part, I think the game companies know we are doing this stuff, and they don't care.

But please, as I've mentioned in questions above, do not try to profit from their copyrighted material. It's probably the quickest way to get yourself in trouble and make all of us look bad.

About ripping sprites

» What does it mean to "rip" sprites?

"Rip" is kind of an unfortunate term, since depending on what section of the internet you're on, it can have pretty negative connotations, i.e., stealing or "ripping off". In the spriting world, however, ripping just refers to the process of taking graphics from a game (whether by taking screenshots or extracting them from the game itself) and converting them into a format that other people can use such as a sprite sheet.

Other terms like "capturing" or "extracting" are occasionally used, probably because of how negative rip sounds.

» How do you rip sprites?

There are two main ways. The first is by editing them out of screenshots. Using an emulator, one plays the game on their computer, taking screenshots of the desired sprites. Many emulators have features to make this a little easier, such as the ability to disable background layers, or pause the game and advance one frame at a time.

The second way to rip sprites is by extracting them from the game's data. For older games (generally pre-CD) this involves opening the ROM file in a tile viewer such as Tile Molestor, YY-CHR, or GGD. Newer games for systems like the PlayStation or DS may contain individual files containing data that can be extracted.

Some specific games or systems also have more specialized tools for extracting graphics. For example, PSicture can extract graphics from some PS1 games.

If you have any specific questions about ripping, please feel free to email me or post on our Help Board. Also see our Tutorial section - my guides on ripping DS and Capcom arcade games are a good place to start.

» Can you rip (sprite xyz) for me?

The Joker and I don't see eye-to-eye on many things, but there is one thing we can agree on: If you're good at something, never do it for free.

And since I would feel horribly uncomfortable asking people for money in exchange for sprite rips, I generally don't do requests. Same goes for most other rippers, since anyone skilled at ripping will probably have their own personal projects they'd rather be working on. If you need some sprites, the best idea is probably to learn how to rip them yourself.

» Can you tell me where to get roms and emulators?

I can recommend specific emulators that are best for sprite ripping, although generally the most popular emulators also tend to have the best features. As for roms, I won't be linking you to those, but they are found easily enough on Google.

About submitting sprites to SDB

» How do I submit sprites, graphics, or sounds? What are the rules for submitting?

Submissions must be posted to the SDB:Submit section of our forums. For rules and guidelines please see the Submit page.

» What kind of rips can I submit? What can I submit rips from?

You can submit almost any graphics or sounds, including everything from characters, items, effects, backgrounds, portraits, menus, text, static art, textures, sound effects, music, and anything else you can think of.

You can submit rips from games for any console, handheld, computer, arcade, or mobile game. We currently have received submissions for 36 different platforms, but if you want to submit sprites from a system we don't have yet, I can always add it. More detailed submission guidelines can always be found on the Submit page.

» What kind of customs and edits can I submit?

Customs (sprites made from scratch) and edits (sprites made by changing existing game sprites) are different from rips since they have to be judged more objectively. Quality is more important than quantity, and we prefer customs to be from a known media franchise (video games, cartoons, comics, anime, movies, etc.)

» Can I submit rips from tile viewers or other graphics extractors?

Yes. SDB gladly accepts rips from tile viewers like Tile Molester, or extracting programs like Tahaxan (DS) or PSicture & PSX-VRAM (PlayStation). It's also fine to submit rips taken from extractors made for specific games, like our Namco X Capcom or Final Fantasy Tactics sheets.

» I have some sprites I submitted to another site. Can I also submit them here?

Yes, absolutely. We love SDB exclusives, but all submissions are welcome.

» If I find some material SDB doesn't have, can I submit it?

While I appreciate the offer, we only accept submissions you've ripped (or in the case of customs, made) yourself. In other words, no "found" submissions. Sorry.

» How do I know if my submission(s) were accepted?

Unless I specifically tell you it isn't, your submissions probably were accepted. You'll know for sure if it appears in the next site update.

About Sprite Database

» What is the history of Sprite Database? Who created it?

SDB started as the sprite section of my old sprite comic website, which is best forgotten. Eventually it started getting rather popular and by 2005 it was obvious it had to be split off into its own thing. In those days the site was run by me and my brother. Although he's moved on to better things, I'm still here plugging away, week after week. Don't worry, I'm still enjoying it! Here's a timeline of other major events.

2005 - SDB split off from my crappy sprite comic site.
2006 - SDB switches from having sprite preview icons to being text-only after my webhost complained about bandwidth usage
2006 - My webhost kept complaining anyway so SDB moves to Drshnaps Productions
2009 - SDB rebuilt from the ground-up with actual, semi-modern coding and technology
2010 - Preview icons for every sprite & background on the site were re-added, after being removed years earlier
2012 - SDB moves back to my hosting after Drshnaps Productions closes down (RIP) - thankfully bandwidth has gotten way cheaper
2014 - Preview icons for every game on the site were added
2014 - I wrote this VERY FAQ.

» When is new content posted to Sprite Database?

Although submissions come in throughout the week, I usually post a new batch of sprites every Sunday night around midnight eastern time.

» Can I re-host material from Sprite Database?

I would ask that you don't. About 90% of our submissions come from non-staff volunteer contributors who choose to submit here because of the trust and quality we've worked hard to build over many years. Please consider linking to SDB content rather than re-using it for your own site - like everyone else out there, we could always use the pageviews.

» How can I link to Sprite Database?

We sure love being linked to. You can find some nice buttons to use here. And if you've got a good site that's related to SDB in some way and you'd like to be an affiliate, please do email me about it!

By the way, the official, permanent location of Sprite Database is http://spritedatabase.net. Other urls such as sdb.drshnaps.com and sdb.neuropod.net were used in the past, but should be considered inactive.

» How can I contact individual SDB contributors?

If there isn't any contact information on their submissions, all I can do is point you to the forums, where they may have an active account. I don't give out contact information of contributors, for reasons that should be obvious.

Considering SDB has been around for nearly ten years, many of our contributors are no longer active in the community. If you can't find the person you're looking for, send me an email and I'll do the best I can to help you out with whatever question or concern you may have.

» Why do all the sheets say they were added January 2009 at the earliest?

The current version of SDB was built around that time. The old site used static HTML, and as a result all ~9,000 submissions had to be manually entered into the new system, hence why they are dated January '09. In reality, our oldest sheets are probably from around 2004 or so.

» Why do some of the sheets appear shrunk down with a "click here to zoom" button?

We do this to prevent the larger images from stretching out the site layout and requiring users to scroll too much in either direction. If you click the thumbnail image, the full-size version will pop up at its true size.

Still have questions? Click here to send an email.
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