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Doctor Clu's Sprite Hacks and other Hacks

Posted by doctorclu, 18 August 2018 · 233 views

Bubsy Buck Rogers Battlestar Galactica Miner 2049er V: The Final Battle Moon Patrol Nuon Jaguar Intellivision

As a kid I enjoyed playing games, and would say " Not bad, but it could also use this..."  As a teen I loved to use a sector editor to give me 1,000,000 points of energy (originally like 10,000) in the Adventure International Star Trek 3.5 game.  I'd change wording in games, error messages into more funny messages, etc.
In more recent times I've learned about sprite hacking programs (Hack-o-matic), Hex fiend, and other fan based tools that have made some dreams of game changing and altering come true.  (Thank you fellow fans!)   Lots of great advice from those here in the Atariage community.
This is a list of games that I have had fun altering to date.
The Intellivision
Oh 04 January 2014 connected an Intellivision with ECS and Cuttle Cart 3 to a modem using the terminal program by Joe Zbiciak

Video shows the end of the first known time for an Intellivision to call a BBS and records the second time such a thing had happened.
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"1979 Calling the Internet..."
Later the Intellivision dialed to a BBS and then telneted to a shell account getting on Atariage and posting a message.   Good times!
The proto Dual Action Controller
I was listening to the Intellivisionaries Podcast and they talked about how you cannot move and fire the disc with the same controller.   Came up with the idea of put both mylar underlays in the same controller but cancelling out the upper or lower part of the underlays.
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Originally Intellivision 2 controllers were used which proved the point though a bit stiff.  When the Intellivision Flashback came out however, well designed thin controllers worked quite well with this concept as Nurmix of the Intellivisionaries podcast would find out.  Nurmix asked a few questions on the tinkering and then later tried the idea on the newer controllers and viola!!
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The research was later referenced by Nurmix in his dual-action controller thread.  Nurmix converted Flashback controllers to the Dual-Action design, and the rest is history.  So now many have had more fun at playing Night Stalker, Tron Deadly Discs, and AD&D thanks to my initial tinkering.  Another fun addition, and first, I got to add to the Intellivision legacy.  
Battlestar Galactica (Intellivision) [Hack of Space Battle]
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Long before I was sprite hacking, I was hex and text hacking.  This was a simple hack that taught me that as long as I stayed within the original character count given, you could hack information in a rom and it not break.   Oh, and don't write over crucial instructions while you are doing it.
Bubsy Kitt'N Kaboodle (Atari 2600)  [Hack of Fast Eddie]
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This was the one that started it all.  "Wouldn't it be fun to have Bubsy on my Atari Flashback Portable..." was the original idea.  The handy tool of Hack-O-Matic was found, I had some guidance from fellow sprite hacker and friend Kevin, and off I went on adventures.   Versions for the Atari 800, 5200, Vic 20, and Commodore 64 have also been hacked.  And this has had the fun of being played in alpha versions on Atari 2600 emulators on the Atari Jaguar and Nuon as well.
This game also turned into an unofficial way to advertise the release of the newest Bubsy game, the Woolies Strike Back.   Actually helped get them a few more sales.  :P
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Moon Patrol (Atari 2600)
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Hacking an already amazing hack that looked more like the Arcade, detail was given to make more arcade accurate enemies and eventually a buggy with three rolling wheels.  :)
Virtual VCS (Atari 2600 emulator for the Atari Jaguar)
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Pasting in game rom images into a program just thought to be a demo and finding some games that actually worked!  :D
Atari 800 emulator (Nuon)
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Same trick as above, replacing a built in game image in a burnable disc image with another game image.   Got Return of Heracles to come up, though it doesn't play very far.  Still fun to see that much.
Battlestar Galactica (Atari 2600)  [Hack of Space Attack]
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The following was Inspired by reading up on Space Battle for the Intellivision and after discovering that Space Attack for the Atari VCS works on the VCS emulator for the Jaguar.  From that point on, the game was hacked to look and feel more like the show it was supposed to be based on in the first place: Battlestar Galactica.  So this has changes in color to the enemy fire, the background color, the color the screen flashes when you ship explodes, the color of the squadrons, and of course sprites.  Took a bit to track all that down.  :D
Miner 2049er (Atari 2600) [Hack of Miner 2049er and Miner 2049er II]
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Played first on the Retron 77 as part of a collection, I found the initial game had a surprising amount of detail of the Atari 800 version for a Atari 2600 game.  But the character sprite didn't even have Bounty Bob's hat.  So sprites were altered based on the Atari 800 version of Miner 2049er.
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (Atari 2600) [Hack of Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom]
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Recently played Buck Rogers on the Retron 77 and enjoyed it, but said to myself the same thing I've said over the years "If only Buck Rogers had a Thunderfighter like in the 1980s TV show.   OH WAIT... I sprite hack now!:D
I'll try to make other adjustments, but so far the fonts and the ship are designed to match the show with Gil Gerard.
Shame Twiki can't make an appearance.
Alien Visitors Are Our Friends (Atari 2600) [Hack of Cosmic Ark]
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This fun project was started on a Battlestar Galactica (Space Attack hack) thread by Marcalliewhen he said:
"This is great! Now go re-theme Cosmic Ark as V: The Final Battle."
Interesting.   The Visitors collect humans while Earth forces try to stop you from eating their population?
"Exactly! It would be very cool to play as the bad guys for once, right?"
Actually sounded like a fun idea so I spent some time giving this more of a "V" the sci-fi series feel. 
Scraper Caper(Atari 2600) [Hack of Fire Fighter]

Originally wanted to hack Towering Inferno but the characters were not much to work with.  Fire Fighter had better character but too easy of a game.  Anyway, just wanted to make some reality of the Bounty Bob game (Scraper Caper) that was advertised but never finished.  But at least now we have Bounty Bob's nemesis, Yukon Yohan, in a game.  :)
Miner 2049er(Atari 800) - Miner animations of TIX
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So Bounty Bob is a Canadian Mountie, but on the game art he is a Miner.  Well TIX drew up new miner animations and I looked into making them a reality.  I think many liked the end result, though I am partial to Bounty Bob being a Mountie.  ;)
More hacks to be added here as they happen.   :D