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View topic - SMS Golden Axe Tyris Flare Edition ROM Hack

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Post Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 9:44 am
Wonderful job!
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Post Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 3:28 pm
Amazing!

About the TMNT, is a homebrew or hack? is that image a real screenshot of the game or a mockup?
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Post Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:06 pm
law81 wrote
Amazing!

About the TMNT, is a homebrew or hack? is that image a real screenshot of the game or a mockup?


It's a mock up. I'm going homebrew with it. For now, I'm just going to put the graphic resources together.
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Post Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:24 pm
It looks great! I like the colors choice more colourful than before though the graphics look bulky now, it seems you missed the graphics stretching since the horizontal resolution of SMS is 256 but it stretches on tv display to 4:3 aspect ratio so some games have the graphics squezeed just like the original you edited. I found the next video link interesting and useful to understand how to match proportions for the graphics to be congruent, the video is about Capcom's Arcade games but it applies to the case.

https://youtu.be/LHfPA4n0TRo

Great job dude! I wonder what you will do for ending scene I propose one similar to Altered Beast Arcade when the cast leave their costumes and have fun.
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Post Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:39 pm
FeRcHuLeS wrote
It looks great! I like the colors choice more colourful than before though the graphics look bulky now, it seems you missed the graphics stretching since the horizontal resolution of SMS is 256 but it stretches on tv display to 4:3 aspect ratio so some games have the graphics squezeed just like the original you edited. I found the next video link interesting and useful to understand how to match proportions for the graphics to be congruent, the video is about Capcom's Arcade games but it applies to the case.


This is interesting, considering 256 x 192 is already a 4:3 ratio as I understand it.

FeRcHuLeS wrote
Great job dude! I wonder what you will do for ending scene I propose one similar to Altered Beast Arcade when the cast leave their costumes and have fun.


I thought it might be cheeky to put some Red Sonja "inspired" images at the end, as the original ending was heavily influenced by Conan. XD

I do like the original arcade ending though, but it's really out of the scope of my original plans.
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Post Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:46 pm
The 256x192 is stretched to pretty much fill the screen horizontally but not vertically, more so on PAL systems. Very few games really compensate for this well, but for example in Sonic the rings are a bit squashed (14x16 or so?) to compensate. You could redraw your graphics for the three scenarios - 1:1 emulator, NTSC and PAL - but that’s a lot of work.

Emulicious is a good choice to simulate this.
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Post Posted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 7:42 pm
Maxim wrote
The 256x192 is stretched to pretty much fill the screen horizontally but not vertically, more so on PAL systems. Very few games really compensate for this well, but for example in Sonic the rings are a bit squashed (14x16 or so?) to compensate. You could redraw your graphics for the three scenarios - 1:1 emulator, NTSC and PAL - but that’s a lot of work.

Emulicious is a good choice to simulate this.


I see what you're saying. I'll take a look into it. I may be able to refactor the graphics through the tool I have already, applying some sort of scaling algorithm, via a width parameter on output. I've done something similar in the past. I'll then test that against Emulicious. I figure this may be reusable for me in future endeavors.

Edit: I just did a sample of what I just said, yeah, that ain't working. XD Using a simple nearest neighbor scaling makes it look like butt. Reducing the sprites by hand would be a no go, but if anyone is feeling adventurous. I'll zip up all the graphics, and you can have at it.
res.zip (2.51 MB)
Sprite resources

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Post Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:49 am
xfixium wrote


I'll have to look into that on the original, how did you make him stuck?




I think by throwing him with up attack.
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Post Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2020 1:01 pm
I don't think a compensation for screen stretching is actually necessary. Very few developers during the system's lifetime cared at all, and most contemporary players will experience the hack through an emulator anyway.

Besides, that tiny bit of extra curviness actually suits Tyris-Flare quite well, I think. (What do I know, though? I make games about chubby mermaids.)
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Post Posted: Tue Dec 15, 2020 3:51 pm
I am positively surprised, how often I have the chance to play new games, hacks and remakes for my favorite SMS (unfortunately through emulation now).
I've played the first stage only and the graphics are great compared with the simple original graphics.
I am so looking forward for your TMTN game and your further updates!!
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Post Posted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 4:26 am
Revo wrote
I think by throwing him with up attack.


Hopefully I can trigger it. I used that section for most, if not all of Tyris's animation testing against that Long Moan. As it's super speedy at that section. I didn't run into that bug, unfortunately.

Kagesan wrote
I don't think a compensation for screen stretching is actually necessary. Very few developers during the system's lifetime cared at all, and most contemporary players will experience the hack through an emulator anyway.


Yeah, after testing, definitely not something I'm going to worry about. I thought I could maybe make an automatic process, that would compensate, but the code I used to scale things, and the test results on Emulicious, were only slightly better than not compensating. Still looked like butt regardless imo.

Kagesan wrote
Besides, that tiny bit of extra curviness actually suits Tyris-Flare quite well, I think. (What do I know, though? I make games about chubby mermaids.)


I agree, nothing wrong with curves or chub ;) I have looked at your progress before, she's a cutie. Great work thus far btw.

Estelios wrote
I am positively surprised, how often I have the chance to play new games, hacks and remakes for my favorite SMS (unfortunately through emulation now).
I've played the first stage only and the graphics are great compared with the simple original graphics.
I am so looking forward for your TMTN game and your further updates!!


Thanks! Since I discovered this site, I've seen quite a bunch of home brews and competition entries that I think look great, and gives me inspiration as well.

Once I get this hack where I want it, I'll make a topic for TMNT, and share the progress. I'm currently working on stage 2 graphics here and there atm. Most of my work happens on the weekends.

I've attached a stage 2 wip. I still need to refine the bottom and surrounding pipe tiles. I also have to verify I used valid palette colors everywhere.
sms_tmnt_0003.png (14.71 KB)
Stage 2 mock up. It's worth noting I take my mock ups and work them as the final graphics through my own tools. So they aren't just throw away graphics.
sms_tmnt_0003.png

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Post Posted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 11:32 am
You have done some incredible work, the game looks beautiful! Congratulations on getting it completed, your efforts are appreciated.

The Turtles idea is great. I've always thought a Turtles game would be much better on the SMS than other 8-bit consoles. Are you building it from scratch or perhaps hacking something like Streets of Rage?
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Post Posted: Wed Dec 16, 2020 1:56 pm
ian wrote
You have done some incredible work, the game looks beautiful! Congratulations on getting it completed, your efforts are appreciated.

The Turtles idea is great. I've always thought a Turtles game would be much better on the SMS than other 8-bit consoles. Are you building it from scratch or perhaps hacking something like Streets of Rage?


Thank you! As for TMNT, I'm going to try and do it from scratch. I'm still in the research phase, however. There are still things left on the plate for Golden Axe, that I need to wrap up yet. Hopefully that gets done quickly.
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Post Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:35 am
This is an unbelievable work, SEGA should be proud!

I can't wait to see it fully working with title screens etc, not that this is needed!

Anyway, congrats for the fantastic work and the editor, and I really hope this can someday get in the same realm of kidded, so we could create infinite wonderful games for our beloveds SMS!
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Post Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:44 pm
bollux78 wrote
This is an unbelievable work, SEGA should be proud!

I can't wait to see it fully working with title screens etc, not that this is needed!

Anyway, congrats for the fantastic work and the editor, and I really hope this can someday get in the same realm of kidded, so we could create infinite wonderful games for our beloveds SMS!


Thanks for the support! The tool is very specific. I do not have any future plans on creating a tool for generic SMS dev. I'm still very green about common formats, and SMS dev overall. I'm eventually going to ramp up the TMNT dev, and as with this project, I'm happy to push everything to github that I create, if it would be of any use.

I fiddled around today with the compression, and the title screen. I have a bit to go, as I had to get rid of things, because the tilemap was too big after being compressed (As I suspected it would be). The tileset I can get to do what I want, but a bummer to lose the clouds from the screen. And I probably still have to trim more, as I had to shrink the title screen again. I know Maxim had suggested some work arounds, but honestly, that's a bit more than I'm willing to chew atm.
sms_golden_axe_tyris_flare_016.png (10.52 KB)
WIP of me jamming what I can for the title screen
sms_golden_axe_tyris_flare_016.png

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Post Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:26 pm
If you’re willing to expand the ROM size then it’s fairly easy to make a more complex title screen.
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Post Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:55 pm
Maybe you could make this hack available in two versions: a more limited one for non-expanded ROM, and a special edition for expanded ROM. Another path would be to replace the existing decompressor with a more efficient one, though it will require some amount of ASM hacking.
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Post Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:07 pm
A SMS version of TMNT Arcade is something I dreamed from a long time, since the day an early 90's game magazine responded a letter of someone who asking if a TMNT game can arrive on SMS sometime, this was asked even before The Hyperstone Heist arrived on SMD.

Since from that time, I always imagined if it's possible to have NES version of the TMNT Arcade on SMS, with all the content of the NES, with a better color palette, and, maybe, some content from the Arcade Game restored to the SMS.

But I knew a TMNT game for SMS was very unlikely in that time. And, today, it could be possible from the comunity. I'm happy someone finnaly "embraced the cause", like the Megaman 2 for SMS. I'll be looking to see how this project will progress... And I hope you can have a lot of fun working on this project. :-)



By the way, there's an old YouTube channel named Faw Labo who made some "proof of concept" of some games for old systems, including for SMS.

SMS ports included are: Detana!! Twinbee, Gradius II, Wonder Momo, MUSHA Aleste, Super Real Mahjong PII, Yumimi Mix, Block Gal (+18 footage), Xevious, Ni****do Block Kuzushi, a closer arcade port of Double Dragon, and Spartan X... Aside from a vertical scrolling test on SMS Fantasy Zone, and a Game Gear port of Aero Blaster. I must say they are technically impressive ports for SMS standards, specially Gradius II and Detana!! Twinbee. Sadly, they are just "proof of concept"...
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Post Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:25 pm
Maxim wrote
If you’re willing to expand the ROM size then it’s fairly easy to make a more complex title screen.


Aye, for some reason I'm really fixated on trying to keep it the original size, but too lazy to introduce better compression. lol I wanted to at least give it a proper go with the restrictions.

haroldoop wrote
Maybe you could make this hack available in two versions: a more limited one for non-expanded ROM, and a special edition for expanded ROM. Another path would be to replace the existing decompressor with a more efficient one, though it will require some amount of ASM hacking.


Thanks for the suggestions. Yeah, originally Maxim suggested the compressor path earlier in this topic. Gave me some useful information as well. That path would take a decent amount of time for me. lol

If push comes to shove, I'll probably just extend the rom, as that seems fairly easier/flexible for me to accomplish.

rouken wrote
Since from that time, I always imagined if it's possible to have NES version of the TMNT Arcade on SMS, with all the content of the NES, with a better color palette, and, maybe, some content from the Arcade Game restored to the SMS.

But I knew a TMNT game for SMS was very unlikely in that time. And, today, it could be possible from the comunity. I'm happy someone finnaly "embraced the cause", like the Megaman 2 for SMS. I'll be looking to see how this project will progress... And I hope you can have a lot of fun working on this project. :-)


It seems entirely possible. Not sure about some of the original Arcade content. As the fight with both Bebop and Rocksteady may not be possible, for instance. But I think doing everything the NES did isn't out of reach at all. But, this is coming from someone who doesn't know crap about crap. lol At least I THINK I can accomplish 2 player TMNT.

rouken wrote
By the way, there's an old YouTube channel named Faw Labo who made some "proof of concept" of some games for old systems, including for SMS.

SMS ports included are: Detana!! Twinbee, Gradius II, Wonder Momo, MUSHA Aleste, Super Real Mahjong PII, Yumimi Mix, Block Gal (+18 footage), Xevious, Ni****do Block Kuzushi, a closer arcade port of Double Dragon, and Spartan X... Aside from a vertical scrolling test on SMS Fantasy Zone, and a Game Gear port of Aero Blaster. I must say they are technically impressive ports for SMS standards, specially Gradius II and Detana!! Twinbee. Sadly, they are just "proof of concept"...


Thanks, I believe I have looked over 1 or 2 of those previously, but more is welcomed. If there's one thing I have learned from this site, is that there is a lot history, and I have been reading into anything that may be helpful to achieve my goal. With the holiday seasons gone, I'll have more time to delve into this. Make a proper battle plan after I fiddle with the available kits and tools the community already has to offer.
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Post Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:47 pm
xfixium wrote
It seems entirely possible. Not sure about some of the original Arcade content. As the fight with both Bebop and Rocksteady may not be possible, for instance. But I think doing everything the NES did isn't out of reach at all. But, this is coming from someone who doesn't know crap about crap. lol At least I THINK I can accomplish 2 player TMNT.

Well... I never thought about restore the Bebop & Rocksteady battle... And even if it could be possible with some kind of external help (maybe using extra RAM) or a super ultra max clever trick, it would be, as your said before, "a flicker fest" with just one player... Now imagine this battle with two players on the SMS board... XD

It could be a miracle to put more than three enemies on screen in a viable form. I'm saying it based what we have on SMS Double Dragon with two players and two enemies on screen.

When I said about restore some content from the Arcade, I had in mind something like missing background details, or the original dialog on balloons...



By the way, is it possible to make the SMS run samples without freezing the game during the sample playing?




xfixium wrote
Thanks, I believe I have looked over 1 or 2 of those previously, but more is welcomed. If there's one thing I have learned from this site, is that there is a lot history, and I have been reading into anything that may be helpful to achieve my goal. With the holiday seasons gone, I'll have more time to delve into this. Make a proper battle plan after I fiddle with the available kits and tools the community already has to offer.

I would love the ROMs of those "proof of concepts" could be available to download, so we can experience them and check some techniques used...

I think you can have some fun trying to build a SMS version of an existing game from the ground if your goal is to learn some programing, or even overcoming some of the system's limitations. Because overcoming limitations with clever tricks is always something of a pleasure...
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 4:40 am
rouken wrote
Well... I never thought about restore the Bebop & Rocksteady battle... And even if it could be possible with some kind of external help (maybe using extra RAM) or a super ultra max clever trick, it would be, as your said before, "a flicker fest" with just one player... Now imagine this battle with two players on the SMS board... XD


Looking over the links you provided, I was surprised the Gradius 2 sample had very little flicker? I was certain there was going to be a substantial amount. The end boss seemed rather large, moved in smooth at first, then it seemed to snap to tiles when it attacked. It may be that the video is such poor quality, it's hard to tell what is going on. Also it seems to have a very interlaced or scanline effect during the video. Interesting none the less.

rouken wrote
It could be a miracle to put more than three enemies on screen in a viable form. I'm saying it based what we have on SMS Double Dragon with two players and two enemies on screen.


Is this a known limitation? As I would want 3 enemies on the screen, plus potentially 2 players. I've seen on the nes version in most, if not all cases, there are only 3 enemies max at a time. Once one is defeated, another comes in to take its place, till the enemy queue is spent, then you can proceed to the next area.

rouken wrote
When I said about restore some content from the Arcade, I had in mind something like missing background details, or the original dialog on balloons...


Most definitely, the stages I've got in WIP thus far have the arcade original in mind for graphics, even if the layout is more like the nes version.

rouken wrote
I think you can have some fun trying to build a SMS version of an existing game from the ground if your goal is to learn some programing, or even overcoming some of the system's limitations. Because overcoming limitations with clever tricks is always something of a pleasure...


It's part of the goal, learn something new, challenge myself basically. Plus the graphics part is appealing as well. I want that arcade look and feel as much as possible.

That being said, this is basically my sprite palette battle plan. I could possibly remove one of the grayscale colors, as I might need more flare for the enemy explosion sprites. Like an orange or so? The HUD are BG tiles, using the sprite palette, which seems possible.
palette _legend.png (5.45 KB)
palette _legend.png

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:58 am
There’s a limit of 8 8x8 sprite tiles per row of pixels horizontally, and 64 total. That means if your characters are typical 16x32 sizes (not very big), you have a limit of four before things disappear. Games add flicker to make it so the extras flicker rather than disappear. This also leaves no space for things like attacking horizontally.

Thus reducing to three entities on screen at once allows some wiggle room for attack animations without adding flicker. If you want to have bigger sprites then it’s going to start getting problematic again.

This is why games with large sprites like Golden Axe have to use the background to help.
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:41 am
Maxim wrote
There’s a limit of 8 8x8 sprite tiles per row of pixels horizontally, and 64 total. That means if your characters are typical 16x32 sizes (not very big), you have a limit of four before things disappear. Games add flicker to make it so the extras flicker rather than disappear. This also leaves no space for things like attacking horizontally.


I have read up about the sprite tile limitations (from the information here), I was going to wait to ask questions about it. But you bring up a good point. 64 seems like a very limited amount. This is a lil confusing to me. The minimum amount of 8 x 8 tiles to draw a turtle, and 3 foot soldiers is 72 tiles (90 for 2 player). NES seems to have the exact same limitation drawing sprites (64 tiles max)?. Yet, when I see the game in action, there doesn't seem to be much flicker. Is it because the emulator doesn't emulate correctly? I plan on having at least 72 tiles to the screen at any one time.

I've been using this video for research:
(Apologies if this sort of link is not allowed) They seem to have a lot going on during the first stage when the cannon balls and enemies are all on the same screen, but not much flicker seems to happen. Is this some sort of black magic? Or is there a fundamental difference between the NES and SMS?

I also read about another sprite mode, can't think of the tile dimensions off the top of my head right now. I was thinking of exploring that, but from what I've read, it's not very popular?
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:50 am
Nes has the same limits as the Master System, so we would need to use a Nes emulator with debugging capabilities to see what's happening there.


Btw, Master system can use the 8x16 mode, so you have 2 tiles sprites (in theory, with 64 sprites you can have 128 tiles). It's useful, but if you have sprites that should be 8x8, you'll be wasting a tile....
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:55 am
8x8 mode is more flexible, but 8x16 mode can be really helpful if you have a lot of sprites on screen and are getting near the 64 sprites total limit. (I used it for Pigarus, but sticked to 8x8 for my other games.) You'll have to experiment a bit to find out what suits your game better. Most of the time the 8 sprites per line will be a much bigger limitation than the 64 total, and that's the main hurdle to overcome or work around.

The video you linked shows zero flicker, so I assume the sprites per line limit has been deactivated by the emulator used. If you look at other videos, there's excessive flicker in busy spots.

Your sprite palette looks very solid. I think I would use a similar approch.

I generally advise against using the greys at all, though, both for sprites and for background elements, as they have a tendency to stick out and look out of place. The SMS's palette has some slightly tinted "almost-greys" in flavors of yellow-ish and blue-ish that work much better in most contexts, at least as far as my experience is concerned.
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:21 pm
kusfo wrote
Nes has the same limits as the Master System, so we would need to use a Nes emulator with debugging capabilities to see what's happening there.


I started looking into this, and researching decompiling before the winter break. Also compared some other things between systems. Basically trying to get together what problems might arise. Much like the sprite limits. This will be a long process.

kusfo wrote
Btw, Master system can use the 8x16 mode, so you have 2 tiles sprites (in theory, with 64 sprites you can have 128 tiles). It's useful, but if you have sprites that should be 8x8, you'll be wasting a tile....


Kagesan wrote
8x8 mode is more flexible, but 8x16 mode can be really helpful if you have a lot of sprites on screen and are getting near the 64 sprites total limit. (I used it for Pigarus, but sticked to 8x8 for my other games.) You'll have to experiment a bit to find out what suits your game better. Most of the time the 8 sprites per line will be a much bigger limitation than the 64 total, and that's the main hurdle to overcome or work around.


Yes! This was the mode I was trying to remember. I'm going to give this a go. See if this is a good fit. It very well may be. Also, Kagesan, you're the creator of Pigarus? Love the sprite work. Palette choice is nicely done as well. Feels very modern and vivid. I was thinking of pre-ordering the hard copy, unfortunately priorities had to be made so close to the Holidays, but interested if it ever comes up again. Great job!

Kagesan wrote
The video you linked shows zero flicker, so I assume the sprites per line limit has been deactivated by the emulator used. If you look at other videos, there's excessive flicker in busy spots.


Ah, I was unaware of that option, yes, there is much more flicker, and that's with just one player. Wow.

Kagesan wrote
I generally advise against using the greys at all, though, both for sprites and for background elements, as they have a tendency to stick out and look out of place. The SMS's palette has some slightly tinted "almost-greys" in flavors of yellow-ish and blue-ish that work much better in most contexts, at least as far as my experience is concerned.


The grays in this particular case would be for the projectiles and weapons. I will probably replace one however. As with all things, best laid plans, could easily change. As they did with Golden Axe when I started. lol
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 4:13 pm
Sonic 1 also uses 8x16 sprites and this means it often has half-empty sprites. However the empty areas do contribute to the 8 sprite limit.
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:49 pm
Maxim wrote
Sonic 1 also uses 8x16 sprites and this means it often has half-empty sprites. However the empty areas do contribute to the 8 sprite limit.


Good to know. Just to clarify, I can have up to 8 8x16 on one scanline in that mode, not 4 8x16 before tile flicker occurs, correct? Is flicker handling built-in, or does it require code to offset what tiles show? Thank you for any information.
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:53 pm
xfixium wrote
Maxim wrote
Sonic 1 also uses 8x16 sprites and this means it often has half-empty sprites. However the empty areas do contribute to the 8 sprite limit.


Good to know. Just to clarify, I can have up to 8 8x16 on one scanline in that mode, not 4 8x16 before tile flicker occurs, correct? Is flicker handling built-in, or does it require code to offset what tiles show? Thank you for any information.

Every 8x16 sprite counts just like one sprite, so yeah 8 8x16 sprites on a scanline. The remaining sprites on that line will not get rendered at all. So you have to take care of making sprites flicker.
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:10 pm
Calindro wrote
Every 8x16 sprite counts just like one sprite, so yeah 8 8x16 sprites on a scanline. The remaining sprites on that line will not get rendered at all. So you have to take care of making sprites flicker.


Sweet! Thanks for the info.
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:44 pm
xfixium wrote
Looking over the links you provided, I was surprised the Gradius 2 sample had very little flicker? I was certain there was going to be a substantial amount. The end boss seemed rather large, moved in smooth at first, then it seemed to snap to tiles when it attacked. It may be that the video is such poor quality, it's hard to tell what is going on. Also it seems to have a very interlaced or scanline effect during the video. Interesting none the less.

I think most (if not all) of the boss was build with background graphics, and moving the screen using horizontal + vertical scrolling to offer smooth movements... It could have a different result if the boss fight screen had some kind of background... But as it's all black, it became kind of easy to hide this trick.

About the quality of the video, the game was recorded using the real hardware (Mark III) with the ROM flashed into a Master Everdrive. So, it's possible it was recoded using a RF or AV cable.




xfixium wrote
Is this a known limitation? As I would want 3 enemies on the screen, plus potentially 2 players. I've seen on the nes version in most, if not all cases, there are only 3 enemies max at a time. Once one is defeated, another comes in to take its place, till the enemy queue is spent, then you can proceed to the next area.

I was about to share some thoughts, but "the boys" already did a good explanation. :-)

But, considering the SMS screen resolution is smaller than the NES screen resolution (NES = 256x240, SMS = 256x192), it could be wise to not put more than 3 enemies on screen even if you manage to reduce the flicker with some trick, because once a screen being locked to scroll, the area where the player (or players) can move around will be smaller, with less space to move around to deal with enemies.

One more thing: In order to offer horizontal scrolling, SMS "sacrifices" the left corner column of tiles. Just check Alex Kidd in Miracle World, when you hit the bottom of the first stage, the screen "sacrifices" the left column of the screen to change the screen orientation from vertical to horizontal. With this in mind, I think you can change your play area from will go from 256x160 to 248x160 (or 256x160 for static or vertical scrolling scenes). Maybe you can move the players 1 and 2 painels of the HUD one tile to the center for each one to kind fix this (it's better to sacrifice a set of black tiles than part of P1 painel)...

By the way, I saw Megaman II runs at 248x224 at horizontal scrolling sections (and 256x224 at vertical). I think the game uses the 244-lines video mode. Maybe you can use this technique in your project too... Or maybe this technique is not able to use in this case...




xfixium wrote
Most definitely, the stages I've got in WIP thus far have the arcade original in mind for graphics, even if the layout is more like the nes version.

It could be more easier to uses the NES version as foundation, once the game was build with the system's limitation in mind. With this, it will be easier to manage the limitations of the SMS system during the building process, and restore elements from the Arcade version when it's possible.

By the way, you can start porting the opening scene of the Arcade game as a "proof of concept" to start. Or even trying to port the Konami laser logo to the SMS (SNES uses a Purple Laser, PC Engine uses a Blue Laser, and SMD uses a Green Laser... What color can fit to the SMS? A yellow laser? An orange laser? I love this logo, and I could die from love if I see this logo running on a SMS).




xfixium wrote
It's part of the goal, learn something new, challenge myself basically. Plus the graphics part is appealing as well. I want that arcade look and feel as much as possible.

That being said, this is basically my sprite palette battle plan. I could possibly remove one of the grayscale colors, as I might need more flare for the enemy explosion sprites. Like an orange or so? The HUD are BG tiles, using the sprite palette, which seems possible.

The Megaman II graphic port was "easier" because the game was born on a NES, and it was a matter to rip the graphics and port as it is to the Master System, just ajusting the colors to match the SMS color palette.

But the TMNT game was born at Arcades, and ported to the NES. With your plan to make it looks more like the Arcade version than the NES version, you have two options to follow: Or create your own graphic creation to the SMS after the Arcade version, or rip/port the NES graphics to the SMS, and ajusting the color palette (or even editing some sprites details) to make it look closer to the Arcade version.

Maybe some really good pixel artist can work with the graphics for you, and you can foccus on the programming part.

Just to make sure, the SMS can work with more palette colors per sprite and per screen than the NES. You can have 16 colors loaded for sprites, and each sprite can use up to 16 colors, where one of these colors can/must be set to be transparent. Background tiles can use its own 16 color palette, plus the 16 color pallet for the characters. Maybe it could be wise to work with a limited number of colors per character, once there's a lot of enemies with different "flavors"




By the way, I have a technical question: How many tiles can be stored at the memory at the SMS and NES, and how many of these tiles can be used for sprites and for background in each system?
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Post Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:24 pm
rouken wrote
I think most (if not all) of the boss was build with background graphics, and moving the screen using horizontal + vertical scrolling to offer smooth movements... It could have a different result if the boss fight screen had some kind of background... But as it's all black, it became kind of easy to hide this trick.

About the quality of the video, the game was recorded using the real hardware (Mark III) with the ROM flashed into a Master Everdrive. So, it's possible it was recoded using a RF or AV cable.


Ah, I see, looking back at the video, the starfield is gone during the boss battle, so that's entirely possible. Pretty interesting, and I could see some use cases where it could come in handy for TMNT, if need be. Like the sections where large vehicles go through the screen.


rouken wrote
But, considering the SMS screen resolution is smaller than the NES screen resolution (NES = 256x240, SMS = 256x192), it could be wise to not put more than 3 enemies on screen even if you manage to reduce the flicker with some trick, because once a screen being locked to scroll, the area where the player (or players) can move around will be smaller, with less space to move around to deal with enemies.


I am aware of the mode 4 resolution. For the most part it will only be 3 max. There will be a few situations where there will be more, but the sprites will be smaller. Like those flying helicopter enemies, that are kind of a mid-boss.

rouken wrote
One more thing: In order to offer horizontal scrolling, SMS "sacrifices" the left corner column of tiles. Just check Alex Kidd in Miracle World, when you hit the bottom of the first stage, the screen "sacrifices" the left column of the screen to change the screen orientation from vertical to horizontal. With this in mind, I think you can change your play area from will go from 256x160 to 248x160 (or 256x160 for static or vertical scrolling scenes). Maybe you can move the players 1 and 2 painels of the HUD one tile to the center for each one to kind fix this (it's better to sacrifice a set of black tiles than part of P1 painel)...


I see, I did see something here recently, but I thought the column sacrifice only applied to text. I can adjust accordingly. I also may get rid of the Turtles graphic in the center, as it's a waste of tiles, and just increase each player's HUD graphics. This will sort itself out when the actual dev starts.

rouken wrote
By the way, I saw Megaman II runs at 248x224 at horizontal scrolling sections (and 256x224 at vertical). I think the game uses the 244-lines video mode. Maybe you can use this technique in your project too... Or maybe this technique is not able to use in this case...


Right now I have the graphics put together for mode 4, but I will take a look at this as well. I have a bunch to learn, and experiment with.

rouken wrote
It could be more easier to uses the NES version as foundation, once the game was build with the system's limitation in mind. With this, it will be easier to manage the limitations of the SMS system during the building process, and restore elements from the Arcade version when it's possible.


Sounds good, right now that's exactly how I am handling it. I have stage 1 and stage 2 setup to basically mirror the nes version, in terms of layout. Using the resolution of video mode 4.


rouken wrote
By the way, you can start porting the opening scene of the Arcade game as a "proof of concept" to start. Or even trying to port the Konami laser logo to the SMS (SNES uses a Purple Laser, PC Engine uses a Blue Laser, and SMD uses a Green Laser... What color can fit to the SMS? A yellow laser? An orange laser? I love this logo, and I could die from love if I see this logo running on a SMS).


lol I'll definitely attempt to throw that in. I'm partial to orange or red.

rouken wrote
The Megaman II graphic port was "easier" because the game was born on a NES, and it was a matter to rip the graphics and port as it is to the Master System, just ajusting the colors to match the SMS color palette.

But the TMNT game was born at Arcades, and ported to the NES. With your plan to make it looks more like the Arcade version than the NES version, you have two options to follow: Or create your own graphic creation to the SMS after the Arcade version, or rip/port the NES graphics to the SMS, and ajusting the color palette (or even editing some sprites details) to make it look closer to the Arcade version.

Maybe some really good pixel artist can work with the graphics for you, and you can foccus on the programming part.


It'll be more of a hybrid approach when it comes to the graphics. The layout will be similar to the nes version, but look as close to the arcade version as I can make it when it comes to the backgrounds. I haven't messed with the turtles too much. I converted them to a SMS palette and tweaked them a bit. They look much better imo, but I still want to compare them to the original arcade sprites, and experiment a bit.


rouken wrote
Just to make sure, the SMS can work with more palette colors per sprite and per screen than the NES. You can have 16 colors loaded for sprites, and each sprite can use up to 16 colors, where one of these colors can/must be set to be transparent. Background tiles can use its own 16 color palette, plus the 16 color pallet for the characters. Maybe it could be wise to work with a limited number of colors per character, once there's a lot of enemies with different "flavors"


I'm aware of these factors. I do have a battle plan, much like I did for the Golden Axe hack. It'll be adjusted at some point I'm sure, but for now it's a start.

rouken wrote
By the way, I have a technical question: How many tiles can be stored at the memory at the SMS and NES, and how many of these tiles can be used for sprites and for background in each system?


For SMS, I've read 488 (More if you're crafty). The tile id is 9 bits, so I'd imagine it can't go beyond 512. I haven't a clue for nes. It's not a detail I'm all too worried about though. As for how many for bg and sprites, that's a question I've yet to ask. Can this be adjusted, or is there a set amount of ram for sprites? That is a concern, as I don't think you can tile flip sprite tiles, and it might get tight.


Which brings up something interesting. Golden Axe uses bg tiles when rendering sprites, but they don't take advantage of tile flipping any of it. Instead they chose to have left and right facing graphics in the rom. I would think having the extra byte for flipping data would be less space in the rom than have both left and right graphics for every character. Might be that flipping has an overhead, and was detrimental to the performance? Since it uses a masking approach combining bg tiles together.
palette _legend.png (5.45 KB)
Starting palette guide for SMS TMNT
palette _legend.png

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Post Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:15 am
xfixium wrote
As for how many for bg and sprites, that's a question I've yet to ask. Can this be adjusted, or is there a set amount of ram for sprites? That is a concern, as I don't think you can tile flip sprite tiles, and it might get tight.


The VRAM is divided into two parts. You can choose in which part you want to put your sprite tiles. One part can hold 256 tiles, the other only 192+2, because the rest of that part is used up by sprite and name tables. Background tiles can come from both parts, even at the same time, sprite tiles only from the designated one.

It's true that sprites can't be flipped on the SMS, background tiles can. (On the NES it's the other way round.)

xfixium wrote
Which brings up something interesting. Golden Axe uses bg tiles when rendering sprites, but they don't take advantage of tile flipping any of it. Instead they chose to have left and right facing graphics in the rom. I would think having the extra byte for flipping data would be less space in the rom than have both left and right graphics for every character. Might be that flipping has an overhead, and was detrimental to the performance? Since it uses a masking approach combining bg tiles together.


The flipping only works for background tiles, so you could only flip the merged tile (bg+sprite) in its entirety, which would only work if the bg tile the sprite part is merged into was symmetrical in the first place.

You could save some ROM by storing the characters facing in one direction only, but you would have to flip the tiles in RAM then before merging them with the bg tiles. This would add another step to a process that's already quite costly performance-wise.
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Post Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:14 pm
Kagesan wrote
The VRAM is divided into two parts. You can choose in which part you want to put your sprite tiles. One part can hold 256 tiles, the other only 192+2, because the rest of that part is used up by sprite and name tables. Background tiles can come from both parts, even at the same time, sprite tiles only from the designated one.

It's true that sprites can't be flipped on the SMS, background tiles can. (On the NES it's the other way round.)

The flipping only works for background tiles, so you could only flip the merged tile (bg+sprite) in its entirety, which would only work if the bg tile the sprite part is merged into was symmetrical in the first place.

You could save some ROM by storing the characters facing in one direction only, but you would have to flip the tiles in RAM then before merging them with the bg tiles. This would add another step to a process that's already quite costly performance-wise.


Thank you for the information!

Ah okay. Yeah, I kind of figured it was performance related, bummer though,
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Post Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:42 am
The TMNT project is awesome, but for that reason shouldn't all the messages related to it be split to a different thread?
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Post Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:07 am
Wesker wrote
The TMNT project is awesome, but for that reason shouldn't all the messages related to it be split to a different thread?


Things escalated rather quickly lol. It's all good. At least from my standpoint, I don't plan on making a topic, till I've researched quite a bit, and have something solid to show. From the looks of it, it'll take quite some time.
sms_tmnt_0004.png (16.54 KB)
Stage 2 Mock up WIP
sms_tmnt_0004.png

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Post Posted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 6:32 pm
xfixium wrote
Wesker wrote
The TMNT project is awesome, but for that reason shouldn't all the messages related to it be split to a different thread?


Things escalated rather quickly lol. It's all good. At least from my standpoint, I don't plan on making a topic, till I've researched quite a bit, and have something solid to show. From the looks of it, it'll take quite some time.


Amazing! TMNT on Master System is a dream that i have since i'm a litle child.

Congratulations for this work, hope you can finish this work :D
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Post Posted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:06 pm
Fantastic work.

I'm really impressed how enthusiasts can pull off much better games than professional programmers did back then.
Your GA version looks so much better. I recently started a quest to 1cc the block buster titles from Sega, in their arcade versions first, then moved to MD (was much easier) and then tried on the SMS but let's be honest, most of those ports suck. I don't understand some of the choices that were made (like those new ennemies in Bonanza Bros on MS).
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:37 pm
Apocalypse wrote
Fantastic work.

I'm really impressed how enthusiasts can pull off much better games than professional programmers did back then.
Your GA version looks so much better. I recently started a quest to 1cc the block buster titles from Sega, in their arcade versions first, then moved to MD (was much easier) and then tried on the SMS but let's be honest, most of those ports suck. I don't understand some of the choices that were made (like those new ennemies in Bonanza Bros on MS).


This was a fun lil project, I do still need to get the title and magic screens up to snuff. Just busy doing other things atm.

I originally thought similar about the way some of these ports turned out. But I do remember a bunch of interviews with developers on various games of the time, and the short amount of time they had to develop these titles. It's impressive what they got done in the given amount of time. Someone also pointed out that "junior" dev teams were put on some of these ports, so senior developers could work on more mission critical games.
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:16 am
xfixium wrote
But I do remember a bunch of interviews with developers on various games of the time, and the short amount of time they had to develop these titles. It's impressive what they got done in the given amount of time. Someone also pointed out that "junior" dev teams were put on some of these ports, so senior developers could work on more mission critical games.

That's understandable. But if lack of time was real, why creating new useless and not faithful content? I would have focused at porting at least similar content (to the extent of what the targeted machine would allow) and not "exploring" some non-sense "features".
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:51 am
Often they were not given the assets, they had to redraw everything. You have to consider that even today, developers are (1) mostly not very good and (2) not given the time to do their best job, I’d the manager thinks it’s good enough then it ships. There’s a lot of terrible games made. Being actually close to the arcade was the exception rather than the rule. There’s stories of people making ports with just a 5 minutes VHS tape of an arcade game being played on just the first few levels...
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:56 am
Maxim wrote
You have to consider that even today, developers are (1) mostly not very good

What? Was my life up to this day based on a big lie? Ah ah.

Maxim wrote
There’s stories of people making ports with just a 5 minutes VHS tape of an arcade game being played on just the first few levels...

Spooky! :o

It comforts me thinking what mankind lacks the most is common sense. :)
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 10:40 am
Also the tools and knowledge we have today are vastly superior to what existed in the late eighties. We have better debuggers, emulators, drawing tools, access to the best compression techniques and Z80 tricks, lots of reference on the internet etc. In addition to available time. It's a whole different thing.
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Post Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:29 pm
Hi friends, I have designed this cover for the hack.
This is my little contribution to this great work of Xfixium. I hope you enjoy it and like the cover for this great hack of a great game :)

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 9:30 am
Bock wrote
Also the tools and knowledge we have today are vastly superior to what existed in the late eighties. We have better debuggers, emulators, drawing tools, access to the best compression techniques and Z80 tricks, lots of reference on the internet etc. In addition to available time. It's a whole different thing.

So true.
I remember watching a documentary about SNK where a pixel artist was using a 16x16 button keyboard/controller to draw sprites.
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