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Hack Project Thread (Galaxian Arcade, Double Dragon, Xenophobe, etc.)

Arcade Hacks Pac-Man Double Dragon Galaxian Tomb Raider Adventure Xenophobe Commando Rampage!

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#26 Atari Dogs OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2009 10:40 AM

These look like great hacks. I think I will take apart the cartridge I made myself with StanJr's version and program the new one. My only question is the is the Scarlet Monkey, right? Shouldn't the monkey be red then?

Batman would be a great hack. I have often wondered why Atari started out with Superman, then dropped the whole superhero themed games. When Warner owned them, they should have gone crazy with superhero games. I started a thread about this a couple months ago with hack ideas. I just have not had time to work on any.

#27 Lucky Man OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:44 AM

Well, I guess the music is somewhat generic sounding. Mostly it would just be awesome to see the caped crusaders on the screen. Too bad the game is so damned hard, though. It would be very un-super hero-like to see Batman get his ass kicked so bad.

Well, if you learn to play as I do, the enemies will look utterly pathetic... they get their butts whooped as soon as they come on screen and almost never get the chance to even throw a punch! ;) Even the end boss is a complete wuss. He makes his entrance on the side of the screen where he then spends the next few seconds on the ground, then it's over! I totally own him. He makes my sandwich when I say and he washes my clothes. If he leaves a speck of dust on my floor, I use him for a mop!

Seriously though, I say that with humility. I was pretty bad at this game until several months ago. It was Bentley Bear's youtube video that showed me how to play, so I owe my current skill to his willingness to share his skill. He's actually better than I am because he mixes up his attacks. I usually just smash.

I guess I just need to practice, then. ;)

So who would you pick for the boss? The Joker, maybe?

That would be an excellent idea... and maybe the Penguin should take the place of Abobo.

The Penguin taking Abobo's place sounds great!

That being said... I'd like to stay focused on this hack for right now. I need feedback on the current project so I can get it finished. ;)

Alright, I'll try to control myself until you finish this one. :grin:

Edited by Lucky Man, Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:45 AM.


#28 KevinMos3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:53 PM

These look like great hacks. I think I will take apart the cartridge I made myself with StanJr's version and program the new one. My only question is the is the Scarlet Monkey, right? Shouldn't the monkey be red then?

The Scarlet Dragons are a red color. I haven't seen what color they appear on real hardware, but in Stella, they are a shade of red light enough to see clearly on the black background, but red enough to still resemble "scarlet." In my first versions of the hack, I had them a darker red, but later used a lighter shade. I think it's in the "3" column of red now, (you can refer to the pallet in the first post. I could post a screenshot of what it would look like darkened more. You may be thinking of the key tablets which are yellow.

Alright, I'll try to control myself until you finish this one. :grin:

And be sure to vote at the top of the thread. :thumbsup:

#29 KevinMos3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:50 AM

There is a new question in the poll with a choice for the 1st screen in Mission 2. Be sure to check it out and vote.

More than 700 views so far and only 3 votes. I'm sure more than 3 people have opinions. Make your voice heard! :thumbsup: I'm trying to satisfy the taste of more people than just myself, so speak up.

#30 BDW OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:37 AM

There is a new question in the poll with a choice for the 1st screen in Mission 2. Be sure to check it out and vote.

More than 700 views so far and only 3 votes. I'm sure more than 3 people have opinions. Make your voice heard! :thumbsup: I'm trying to satisfy the taste of more people than just myself, so speak up.

YYEEAAAHHH! High five for voting!

#31 KevinMos3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 4, 2010 5:57 PM

New version available in the first post. Changes reflect voting so far...

*Mission 4 alternate color is being used
*Brick colors at start of Mission 2
*New Cliff screen with green Abobos in Mission 3B (not in poll, but responses in thread were positive)
*Roper is the same color as beta2 since that vote is tied.

Need more voting!

#32 Corby OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 5, 2010 8:56 PM

I've posted a few more screenshots at the top. I need some feedback/input on these.


*** I've opened the garage door on the first screen. What do you think? Leave it open, or close it back?

*** I'm not sure what to do with the fourth screen (the one with the barrels). I've adjusted the color of the barrels in the center because on my TV with real hardware they've always looked rather hot pink. Now they only look slightly pink on my TV. I've added two yellow stripes to hint at the yellow/black stripes in the arcade version, but I'm not sure I like this. I would like to remove the grass since we're now in the industrial area, but it's a shared asset with several other screens that have grass.

*** I've not changed anything but the background dirt in the eighth screen (with the Abobos). I've only made the background dirt (behind the wall) more brown than gold/yellow and you can see the colors of the 2nd set of Abobos in the game. I haven't really changed much of their color yet. I basically only gave them white boots. I need to check the arcade version on these to know what color they should be. I'm conflicted about the color of the ground here. I'm not completely happy with the original color because it's a bit too yellow, but if I switch to the more brown area of the pallet, it may make it more difficult to see portions of the characters. Does anyone have a preference on which color they'd like to see here, or do you prefer it as is?

Also, this is getting tedious. I'm at the point where every time I change a color or pixel, the save-state no longer works. This means that every time I make a minor change and want to see how it looks, I have to play through the game up to that point. It would be nice if I could at least assign a button-combo in stella so I wouldn't have to worry about the flakiness of my controller being able to do diagonals properly (for the elbow smash). It's been throwing fits from time to time and will either refuse to do diagonal or refuse to do a straight direction. Does Stella allow you to program button-combos (like z26x does for Xbox)?


Hey Kev

this is looking great. Can't wait to have this on a cart! I just thought of something about the Door! Is it possible to have it wide open, and have a sprite of the car! Just like the arcade??

#33 KevinMos3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 6, 2010 1:08 AM

Hey Kev

this is looking great. Can't wait to have this on a cart! I just thought of something about the Door! Is it possible to have it wide open, and have a sprite of the car! Just like the arcade??

Thanks for the feedback. That's a good idea about the car, but unfortunately it won't look right. I had tried the "car in the garage" thing before, but there are a couple of problems with that.

* The door is an 8-pixel sprite that is horizontally stretched over the background to 32 pixels wide. In this case, the background is the orange/brown color of the building. The objects are the door, bricks, and posts. If I remove the pixels from the door to try to get a car, it will show the background color. This wouldn't be *so* bad if the pixels weren't also grossly stretched. Think of it as double the problem of the ugly Donkey Kong. In that game, Kong is one 8-pixel sprite stretched to 16-pixels. If Kong were made of two sprites, he could look good.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about. This is from when I experimented with leaving the door partly open and tried to show a little bit of a car:

Double Dragon garage example.png

You can see that the space between the edge of the door and the edge of the "car" is one pixel. That's how much it's stretched.

The only way I know of to get a decent looking car, (which would still be the same color as the background), would be to change the door to be 4 sprites wide (or maybe mirror 2 sprites?). As it is, I don't think the ROM has space for that. If a skilled person could disassemble the ROM and find optimizations, then maybe it could happen... I could be wrong. There could be other ways that may give you a correctly colored car. Either way, I don't have that skill.

There are some functionality aspects I'd like to see changed, (such as receiving an extra life at so many points, or taking two knockdowns to lose an energy bar), but these things are beyond me and won't happen unless someone volunteers to help.

Thanks again for the feedback and keep the suggestions coming! :thumbsup:

Edited by KevinMos3, Wed Jan 6, 2010 1:40 AM.


#34 KevinMos3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 8, 2010 12:13 AM

Update:
I don't know what I was thinking when doing the bridge screen for beta3... I guess I wasn't thinking. Since the left and right sides of the bridge are part of the rock cliff, they should have a pattern like the following Cliff screen with the Abobos. Here's what was in beta3 vs how it should have been:

Old_Bridge.png New_Bridge.png
Old Bridge              |              New Bridge

I hate to do this, but I don't want to make a "beta4" release just to make this correction, so I'm replacing beta3 with a new ROM using the new bridge graphics. If you downloaded beta3 already, please download again.


NOTE:
I'm not quite happy with the Green Chainlink screen with the Abobos in Mission 2, but I'm not sure what to do about it. I'm also not satisfied with the Cliff screen in Mission 3B, so I'll probably make some changes there. Other than those 2 screens, I'm pretty happy with how it looks and unless someone offers to help with disassebly, the next version with probably be final. So if you have ideas, now is the time to speak up.

#35 KevinMos3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:19 PM

Well, since I just got a Harmony Cart, I finally had the chance to play these hacks on real hardware. I am a bit disappointed. Pretty much every type of Brown looks like Red or Orange on both my TV (which is a nice CRT) and my brother's (which is an LCD).

It looks like I may have to call the versions already posted "emu" versions and redo the colors for "real hardware" versions. Once I get the s-video/composite mod done, I'll make a decision on that.

If there's any silver lining on my day today, it's that after receiving some VERY BAD news today, I may have a lot more free-time soon, (which I've not had since the semester started). I'd much rather not have the free time than swallow the news though. :sad:

#36 Lucky Man OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:35 AM

I'm sure none of us wishes any BAD news upon you, but if you do have more free time, perhaps you might be able to whip up a Batman hack for us? :D

#37 KevinMos3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:20 AM

Since I've had a bit of free time the past couple of days, I spent some time working on the Double Dragon hack and a couple other hacks as well. Check the first post for updated and new binaries.

Double Dragon Arcade:
There is a new poll question regarding the 2nd screen in Mission 2. I'm pretty settled on the "Option 2" unless I get feedback preferring one of the other choices. Here's a pic of screenshots showing the choices.
Double Dragon new mission 2 full compare large.png

Galaxian Arcade:
One of the new hacks is a Galaxian Arcade hack. I know Galaxian has already been hacked several times, but I wasn't completely satisfied so here's my take on it. Note, the hack done by Cybergoth is good, but the wider enemies gave them a more choppy side-to-side movement. This is because the positioning of the narrower sprites is used for some of the sideways motion. I started with the stock NTSC binary and:
  • changed the enemy colors & gave them slight sprite alterations
  • altered the player ship sprite (not sure I'm totally happy with it though)
  • made new enemy and player explosion animations
  • changed other colors and sprites to more closely reflect the arcade
  • removed the border
There are 3 versions: one for Stella (or other emus), one identical to the 1st but with a namco logo, and one for real hardware (which just has a different purple for the enemies because the shade that looks good in Stella looks too red on real hardware. The Stella and namco logo versions are pictured below:
Galaxian Arcade (Stella).png Galaxian Arcade (namco logo).png

*** It would be really great if someone could add a color table for the player ship instead of just using a single byte for the color. That way it could have a red top and white bottom more like the arcade.

Galaxian Vector:
Also, neotokeo2001 started a Galaxian Vector hack back in 2004 but left a few things for others to finish. I just found his thread the other day and took him up on that offer.
  • I changed the ship a little bit (the other was one pixel too tall)
  • added the new explosions from my "Arcade" hack
  • made everything green that wasn't before -- including enemy shots
  • left the original title screen logo but changed the colors to shades of green
Galaxian Vector.png

#38 TrekMD OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:01 AM

1 or 2 are fine modifications of that screen. Nice job. I also like your new project...Galaxian. :)

#39 KevinMos3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:26 AM

1 or 2 are fine modifications of that screen. Nice job. I also like your new project...Galaxian. :)

Thank you for the feedback. I sincerely appreciate it!

I should probably give a list of changes to DD since the last release, but I honestly don't remember them all. So here goes what I do remember:
  • made the player's life-bar blue instead of blue-violet
  • made player 1's score color light blue instead of light blue-violet
  • changed the 2nd screen in Mission 2
  • made the boxes brown in the 3rd screen of Mission 2 (unsure if I like this on real hardware)
  • changed the light Abobo's skin color and gave him more shading
  • made slight changes to the blue sky color behind the forest screens
  • changed the cliff screen in Mission 3B (the olive color from beta3 looked horrible on real hardware, so I went back to gray and made the doors black to offset the blandness of too much gray). I think this screen now looks good on real hardware
  • gave the green Abobos a black mowhawk
  • added some detail to the door on the 1st screen of Mission 4
  • added detail to the podiums and gargoyle heads on the 2nd screen of Mission 4 (these would be the gargoyle statues with spears in the arcade)
  • gave the Shadow Boss a black beard (unsure if I like this)
An explanation of the screen in the new poll question:
I like the symmetry of the full coverage I-beams from Option 1, but it looks a bit TOO vivid when compared to the 1st & 3rd screens. It's a bit of an eye shock when playing through the game.
Since Option 2 leaves out that one line of black between the I-beams and pulls the top beam a little closer to the front, it looks a bit more subdued. Another option might be to just extend the red of that top beam to the top of the green chain-link fence. That would restore the symmetry, but it changes the illusion of perspective a bit (makes it look a little more top-down). However, if I did that it would actually be closer to the perspective of the beams in the arcade.

All in all, I've come to the conclusion that when playing on real hardware, this is a game (original or hack) where you need to adjust the color of your TV to suit. After playing the hack on my 2600 Jr and 7800, I was so discouraged by the colors that I wanted to throw the hack out. I recently got a heavy sixer and the colors looked MUCH better on that system for some reason. They were still far off from Stella, but with a bit of brightness and color saturation adjustment, they look much much better. If you try this hack on your harmony cart and it looks horrible, just play with the color settings of your TV a bit. The rest of my games still look fine after playing with my TV's color settings.

Edited by KevinMos3, Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:28 AM.


#40 LarcenTyler OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:40 PM

All we need is some ability to continue or an easier way of earning extra lives and this would be perfect. Heck, I'd even take an unlimited lives version where you try to get through the game using the fewest knockouts possible.

Other than that, I would KILL to see this in cartridge form!

Edited by LarcenTyler, Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:53 PM.


#41 KevinMos3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:58 PM

Nukey was nice enough to train the game for unlimited health. However, he trained the original ROM and I haven't yet incorporated my changes. When I do that, I'll get them uploaded. That should be a treat for everyone... since all will have the opportunity to beat the game. ;)

Edited by KevinMos3, Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:38 PM.


#42 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:06 PM

I posted the changes needed for infinite lives, infinite time, and making everyone weak in the 2-button thread. There's even some free space in all the banks scrounged up if somebody wants to try to tackle limited continues (more difficult to add, since ram is all used up by the original game). Infinite continues should be possible without needing spare ram, tho.

#43 LarcenTyler OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:17 PM

Actually, if the enemies were a bit weaker, in that they do less damage and take fewer blows to KO, then this would be perfect!

Edited by LarcenTyler, Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:31 PM.


#44 KevinMos3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:28 AM

This is something I've asked about. My idea was to make the delay for an enemy attack a bit longer than for the player. This would give you more of a window in which to attack before being pummeled. However, this is currently impossible because the same logic is used for the player as the enemy. It's my understanding that if enough RAM were freed up to give the player(s) their own logic, it would make way for some nice possibilities. I'm not currently skilled enough to do these things, but there have been talks about it. I hope that something can be done -- but until then, (or until we get word that there just can't be enough RAM freed), at least we can have unlimited health and time.

#45 KevinMos3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:45 PM

Added a trained version of Double Dragon Arcade with infinite life to the first post. Thanks to Nukey Shay for that.

Updated Galaxian Arcade with work done by Nukey Shay. The download includes the stock Galaxian Arcade - Expanded binary, a trained binary with invincibility, and the assembly file.

#46 KevinMos3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 7, 2011 2:01 PM

Added two more hacks to the first post of the thread. Both are minor. One is a color hack of Boxing (including a Red vs Blue variation and a Skins variation), the other is a title screen hack of Elk Attack to make it say Electric Yo-Yo!.

Boxing (Red vs Blue).png Boxing (Skins).png Electric Yo-Yo.png

See the first post for more info and downloads.

#47 KevinMos3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:08 AM

A new hack has been added to the first post. Please read the description, give feedback, and most importantly... Enjoy!
ADV Yellow Castle.png
Download Adventure Preliminary Hack

Edited by KevinMos3, Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:31 PM.


#48 Bentley Bear! OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:40 AM

AWESOME work on Adventure "Enhanced" KevinMos3 and Nukey Shay! Much improved graphics! Can't wait to see even more newer content to it! :lust::thumbsup:

#49 accousticguitar OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:56 AM

Nice dragons! I bet Nukey Shay is happy that someone is finally using his newer assembly.

#50 KevinMos3 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:37 PM

Thanks guys. I'm glad you like it.

I took a break today to play with the hedge maze graphics a bit. Check the first post for the new binary and a couple updated pics.

Here's a look at what's changed:
ADV Hedge Maze entrance.png ADV Hedge Maze logo.png

Edited by KevinMos3, Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:31 PM.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Arcade, Hacks, Pac-Man, Double Dragon, Galaxian, Tomb Raider, Adventure, Xenophobe, Commando, Rampage!

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