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KevinMos3

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

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As long as I can edit this post, it will include any of my future hack projects alphabetically to avoid clutter and simplify finding them.
NOTICE: If anyone wants AA to make a cartridge of these, feel free; you don't need my permission. They are hacks and as such, I hold no rights to the software. However, if you do want to make a cart, please contact me in case I have a newer version than what's uploaded.

Adventure
Long-Term "Mystery" Project
post-9364-0-50252500-1347767616_thumb.jpg
I was hesitant to post about this because it's going to be a very long project due to my lack of time to work on it. I know there are already several great Adventure hacks and I didn't want to clutter the list. However, I decided to go ahead and share this teaser because it is at least a completely playable hack. At the moment, this is just a graphically enhanced hack of Adventure with a couple extra features, but the groundwork has been laid and it should give you an idea of where I want to go with this. icon_wink.gif

It uses Nukey Shay's new kernel which is just awesome. I borrowed the bat from one of Espire8's hacks. I think it's pretty clear what inspired the castle and the dragon sprites. One of the members here has been very helpful and patient with many questions I've had. I won't mention names yet, because I don't want to draw them into this at such an early stage, but once I'm further along I will give full credit and thanks that are due to anyone and everyone who helps & has helped along the way.

Below are screenshots of some of the changes:
post-9364-129937085145_thumb.png
Click the button for more:

post-9364-129937000528_thumb.png post-9364-129885651244_thumb.png post-9364-129885658559_thumb.png post-9364-129936994536_thumb.png post-9364-129764683712_thumb.png post-9364-129764685495_thumb.png post-9364-129731484352_thumb.png post-9364-129885649068_thumb.png post-9364-129885647084_thumb.png post-9364-129885670617_thumb.png post-9364-129936996353_thumb.png post-9364-129731491811_thumb.png post-9364-129937088656_thumb.png post-9364-12987878312_thumb.png post-9364-129878808589_thumb.png post-9364-129878809862_thumb.png post-9364-129731489767_thumb.png post-9364-129936997942_thumb.png


Minor update to avoid overlapping the playfield with the Warren Robinett easter egg text. No other changes:
Adventure Enhanced.bin

Previous version:

Cart Labels:

Ready-to-Print 300dpi Labels:
post-9364-0-58014300-1347768864_thumb.jpg post-9364-0-29068900-1347768944_thumb.jpg post-9364-0-46055800-1347769022_thumb.jpg





Boxing
Color Edit

I always wanted a blue boxing ring, so here it is. In one version the players are Red & Blue, in the other they have Skin tones.
post-9364-129442741665_thumb.png post-9364-129442743097_thumb.png
Zip file includes 3 versions: "Red vs Blue", "Skins", & "Blue Ring".
Boxing Hacks.zip



Buck Rogers: Planet of Zoom
Sprite Edit

The player ship has been edited to more closely resemble the arcade version. The saucer enemies look more like saucers and the gates look a little more like other versions of the game. No colors have been changed in this one. A good screenshot is difficult to obtain because of the way sprites warp, but it looks much better on actual hardware.
post-9364-0-65504900-1338331104_thumb.png
Buck Rogers.bin



Cabbage Patch Kids: Adventures in the Park
Sprite & Color Edit

This has got to be one of the best games never released. The author really did a great job with the graphics, gameplay, and sound (yes, even music). I imagine I would have spent a lot of time playing this as a kid. I loved these multi-screen games like Smurf, Pitfall II, H.E.R.O., etc. Anyway, I recently played some older versions of this prototype and it got me wanting to tweak a few things -- so here we go:

As I said, the game is already really good, so I looked for ways to polish it a bit, maybe as if it had been released.
  • Player colors made more like an earlier version. I can now clearly tell that it's a girl with pigtails
  • Many more color tweaks -- too many to list
  • Various graphics cleaned up a bit (Trees and, most notably, the grass)

Also, it seems the original game was Athletic Land for the MSX, and Konami used it to add the Cabbage Patch Kids license, which is what made it to the Coleco and almost Atari. So, the zip file now contains Cabbage Patch Kids and an Athletic Land version:

 

post-9364-0-00574800-1396657215_thumb.png

Previous version:


Cart Label:

Ready-to-Print 300dpi for Coleco-style cart:
post-9364-0-36885100-1373169910_thumb.jpg





California Games
Sprite & Color Edit

What can you do to improve a nearly perfect game on the 2600? Not much, but there is one thing that always bothered me -- the footbag player looks like he has a major bald spot. Looking at the graphics, I think part of them were just miscolored, so I took the liberty of updating the hairdo and tweaked the hands while I was at it. The only other change was on the half-pipe screen. I changed the color to gray with black underneath just for something different. I haven't tested it on real hardware with a CRT yet, so the gray may appear too dark and be indistinguishable from black. If this is the case, just post in the thread and I'll change it back.
  • Footbag player hairdo fix and hands tweaked
  • Half-pipe new colors
post-9364-0-64767800-1508219370_thumb.png

 

Commando
Sprite & Color Edit

I've always loved Commando on the 2600. Maybe it was because I had never seen the arcade version when I first played this, but to me, it had great graphics and was fun to play so I would show it off to my friends (who were playing Nintendo at the time). Anyway, as great as I thought it was, there were just a couple of things I wished were different. I thought the player/enemy sprites leaned back too much instead of having a more aggressive stance, I wished the bridges in levels 2 & 3 were gray instead of orange & blue.
So... here's what I ended up with:

  • Player/enemy sprites changed (adapted the 7800 version sprite to this)
  • Enemy color changed to gray to match the arcade
  • Fertilized those mounds in level 1 so now green "grass" grows on top
  • Sandbag barriers now tan instead of green
  • Grenade boxes now green instead of purple
  • Extra lives sprite edited
  • Orange and blue bridges in levels 2 and 3 changed to gray
  • Green of level 2 / 4 changed to be a little less bright
  • Ground of level 3 darkened a bit
  • Detail (shading) added to fortresses
  • Minor palm tree update for v2: color table error present in original ROM corrected and coconuts darkened. See screenshots.

post-9364-0-15580700-1338333110_thumb.png post-9364-0-56519500-1338333129_thumb.png
Be sure to unzip the file as it contains 2 variations -- first the standard...
Commando v2.zip
...and of course an "Airborne!" version. icon_wink.gif

 

Here's a version with the player as Rambo!:

post-9364-0-31536300-1396657279_thumb.png

Older Version:





Double Dragon: Arcade Style
Sprite & Color & Gameplay Edit
post-9364-0-03675300-1347758366_thumb.jpg
***New Version!!!***

Seeing some sprites by CDS Games inspired me to rework the player/enemy sprites. Here is Release Candidate 4, also compatible with the Flashback Portable (RC3 is not). See the Cast of Characters image below for new sprites.

RC4d - Jan 16, 2017

Double Dragon Arcade (RC4d).bin

 

Here is the older Release Candidate 3. I'm leaving this here because it contains an assembly file and trained versions not yet packaged with RC4.
Zip file contains standard version, trained version (thanks to Nukey Shay), 2-button versions, & assembly file.
Double Dragon Arcade (RC3 pack).zip

Click "Show" button for older versions:

Double Dragon Arcade (RC2 pack).zip
Double Dragon Arcade (RC1).zip
Double Dragon Arcade (Infinite Life).zip RC1 Trained Version! Thanks to Nukey Shay.
Beta 3 changes include the new Cliff screen in Mission 3 & the brick colors at the start of Mission 2:
Double Dragon Arcade (beta3).zip
A few minor sprite edits and some more color changes for beta2:
Double Dragon Arcade (beta2).zip
And here's a version with alternate colors for Mission 4 (see pic below):
Double Dragon Arcade (beta2 alt mission4).zip
Double Dragon Arcade (beta1).zip



Here is the cast of characters, old and new (Updated for RC4d):

post-9364-0-10677000-1484637087_thumb.png post-9364-126147629395_thumb.png

 

And here are maps of all screens so you can see what's been done. These are new (Sun Sep 09, 2012) updated to reflect changes in RC3.

Note: The forum software is preventing the maps from uploading correctly. It is downsizing the images so they are no longer full-size.
post-9364-0-08439700-1347246095_thumb.png : Mission 1
post-9364-0-18203700-1347765913_thumb.png : Mission 2
post-9364-0-25970500-1347246162_thumb.png : Mission 3
post-9364-0-78119600-1347246186_thumb.png : Mission 3B
post-9364-0-58146900-1347272853_thumb.png : Mission 4

Latest changes:
Major color overhaul for several screens. The sunsets are more like the arcade colors. Combined with other color changes, these screens are now some of the nicest in the game.
Replaced mountains with city skyline in the 2nd screen of Mission 3 (with long brick wall). This gives a nice transition from outskirts of the city to the woods.
Sprite & color edits for everyone to make them look more like the arcade and/or general improvement. Ex: Abobo's walk has been completely redone. I feel he is much more fluid and his walk resembles the arcade more.
New punch, kick, bat-swing sprites as well as new hit & knockdown sprites: most characters hunch forward when hit. Abobo and Shadow Boss turn their heads in addition to previous animation. No change for Linda hit sprite.
Font more like arcade font.
Graphical changes are probably finished, but I'm not yet satisfied with Mission 2.
Yet to do: adjust music volume, add pause feature, title screen.

Explanation:

History:
I started looking at Double Dragon to see what improvements could be made to make it more like the arcade. The game is already very good but some of the colors always bothered me. Dan Kitchen did a phenomenal job with this game. He crammed so much action (2-player co-op or head-to-head) and made great use of all graphic elements without flicker. The game allows for a different background color on roughly 1/2 of the scanlines, which is what makes these detailed edits possible.

I have only made slight changes to the character sprites -- except for the attacking, hit, knockdown, and Abobo sprites (which are complete redraws) -- because I think the official ones are pretty good already.

The font was modified to be more like the arcade font. The Player got the addition of an eye and is 1 pixel taller. His walking animation always looked like he was moonwalking, so after closer examination -- the animation was exactly backwards. I've rearranged the walking sprites so now he walks correctly. There are other minor modifications to beef up the characters and all new attack, hit, and knockdown sprites.

Abobo got a lot of redraw. I always thought he looked fat and even though it wasn't intended, he looked like he had a big belly button bouncing around. I tried to slim down his waist a bit and broaden his shoulders. I also gave him a bit of pec detail in the chest. I think this is a good improvement. His walk animation was redrawn and re-arranged and he also got color changes, adding some shading and giving him boots like the arcade (instead of wearing shorts). The biggest change with Abobo, Linda, and the Shadow Boss is that they are now aligned correctly with their colors. Before the colors would bounce around on them. Now they are static relative to the sprite. Other changes are hit sprite modifications for Abobo and the Shadow Boss.

I've now worked through all of the game but I'd still like feedback. All screens have had many touches and some have had major overhauls.

*** NOTE: When playing this in Z26, the colors look very different than in Stella. Stella is closer to what I'm intending with the color choices.

RC3 Character Sprites:

post-9364-0-78266500-1347246060_thumb.png

 

RC1 Character Sprites:
post-9364-127726780362_thumb.png

Sample Screens (from RC2):
post-9364-0-24554500-1339703095_thumb.png post-9364-0-27242000-1339704228_thumb.png post-9364-0-78008600-1339703176_thumb.png


Cart Labels:

Ready-to-print 300dpi labels:
For Activision shells:
post-9364-0-28573100-1347422735_thumb.jpg post-9364-0-99829100-1347422622_thumb.jpg post-9364-0-38119100-1347758498_thumb.jpg post-9364-0-72128200-1347759299_thumb.jpg

For standard Atari shells:
post-9364-0-79884500-1345661040_thumb.jpg post-9364-0-13061000-1345661005_thumb.jpg post-9364-0-49830400-1347187123_thumb.jpg post-9364-0-33837400-1345660990_thumb.jpg


Goofing Off:

edit (9:35PM Dec 17, 2009): I felt like goofing off and came up with this:
post-9364-12611181902_thumb.png
:end edit





Dragster
Color Edit

I always liked Dragster, but thought it might look better with more realistic colors. Here's the result of about 5 minutes of tinkering:
post-9364-0-12709100-1306776732_thumb.png
Dragster.zip

I merged some of Atarius Maximus' Drag Race hack into the source & edited the car to come up with this:
post-9364-0-75061200-1333860653_thumb.png post-9364-0-06895700-1333859651_thumb.png
Drag Race.zip
Zip file contains Blue and Red versions.



Dukes of Hazzard
Color Edit
post-9364-0-95412500-1347820642_thumb.jpg
I wasn't going to upload this but I figured someone might like it. The Duke boys hardly ever drove on asphalt unless they were going into town. So... in this hack, they now drive on dirt roads. I thought Daisy looked kinda like a mermaid with the green pants, so I put her in her famous Daisy Dukes. The General Lee is slightly more orange instead of RED. Last and definitely least, Boss Hogg's face is now flesh tone instead of gray.

post-9364-0-46343500-1338339309_thumb.png
Dukes of Hazzard.bin
Cart Labels:

post-9364-0-90409700-1347821340_thumb.jpg post-9364-0-37605900-1347821253_thumb.jpg
post-9364-0-78253300-1345660545_thumb.jpg post-9364-0-40064400-1345660560_thumb.jpg
post-9364-0-70152700-1339765619_thumb.jpg post-9364-0-28596500-1339765597_thumb.jpg





Electric Yo-Yo!
Title Screen Edit

I simply hacked the title screen of Elk Attack to say Electric Yo-Yo! as it may have looked had the game been completed for release.
post-9364-129442746107_thumb.png
Electric Yo-Yo.zip



Front Line
Sprite & Color Edit

Front Line is a great game, but I wasn't satisfied with the player sprite. The arcade player has a boogie walk, so I tried several variations and settled on this one. There's not a whole lot you can do with the sprite, but here's my best effort at making the player look a bit more like the arcade. If you don't like it, blame it on the boogie. icon_wink.gif Also made a few other minor color changes.
  • Changed the background at the beginning from gray to orange/brown
  • Minor color changes to desert area, cacti, and rocks
  • Changed colors of brick barriers
  • Changed colors of title screen to imitate arcade

post-9364-0-10635200-1333863913_thumb.png post-9364-0-35029100-1333863932_thumb.png
Front Line Arcade.bin




Galaxian Arcade - Expanded
Gameplay, Sprite & Color Edit
Update!

My previous upload was a simple sprite and color hack of Galaxian to make it more like the arcade. I was hoping to add 2 colors to the player's ship, but Nukey took it far beyond anything I'd hoped for. Here is his tremendous work with my sprite and color arcade interpretations:

By Nukey:
  • added startup animation and arcade-like score table
  • added multiple colors per enemy
  • added flagship sprite
  • made player ship multicolor
  • added sound when starting game
  • heightened pitch of enemy diving sound
  • added difficulty switch functionality (flip right switch to A for normal shots, B for wide shots)
  • added pause (flip color/BW switch to hide player ship, effectively pausing action)
  • added hidden bonus level
  • probably more that I can't think of at the moment

By Me:

  • all new player ship sprite
  • changed the enemy colors & sprites
  • made new enemy and player explosion animations
  • changed other colors and sprites to more closely reflect the arcade
  • removed the border (actually, I removed it from the old version, Nukey removed it from the source in this version)

For more detailed info about this hack and what's under the hood, see Nukey's thread here.

post-9364-129349776872_thumb.png post-9364-0-96264400-1328634926_thumb.png
Be sure to unzip, as download includes stock and trained version with invincibility as well as the assembly file.
Latest Version: Galaxian Arcade.zip

Old Version:





Galaxian Vector
Sprite & Color Edit

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

post-9364-127727525493_thumb.png
Galaxian Vector.zip




Mangia'
Color Edit

This game is rather interesting, but the colors hurt my eyes. So, I made some changes to make it a little easier to look at.
post-9364-0-96784800-1348712710_thumb.png post-9364-0-09271000-1348721008_thumb.png
Mangia.zip
Zip contains 2 versions as seen in screenshots above.



Pac-Man Arcade
Gameplay, Sprite & Color Edit

This is simply a sprite and color edit of Nukey Shay's Pac-Man Arcade Enhanced hack of Rob Kudla's hack.
  • rounded off Pac-Man and the ghosts
  • made alternate style for the frills of the ghosts
  • tweaked the ghosts' colors to more closely match the arcade
  • changed the color of the pellets to match the arcade
  • reversed direction of extra lives sprite to match arcade
  • tweaked cherry sprite to more closely imitate arcade
  • added detail to ghosts' eaten eyes

post-9364-0-16729200-1329140924_thumb.png post-9364-0-41209100-1329140945_thumb.png post-9364-0-80023000-1329140660_thumb.png
Zip file contains 2 versions as seen in the screenshots above: one with the alternate ghost frills and one with the original frills.
Pac-Man Arcade Enhanced.zip




Pete Rose Baseball
Color Edit
post-9364-0-42442200-1347819284_thumb.jpg
I've always loved Pete Rose Baseball on the 7800. It's about the only Baseball game where I can win with the little patience I have to play a baseball game. The 2600 version's gameplay mechanics are pretty much identical to the 7800 and IMO is an amazing visual accomplishment, but I've never spent much time playing it. I decided to mess with it a little yesterday and one thing that stood out to me was how much more green the grass is in the 7800 version. I decided to adjust the 2600 version to my taste and made a few other color changes while I was at it.
  • Changed grass to more green color
  • Changed dirt to light brown
  • Added skin color to players faces in close view
  • Added color to bat
  • Added shading to dirt along wall in close and outfield views
  • Added a touch of shading to players' uniforms
  • Lightened blue wall and added a little more shading
  • Made outfield grass darker than close view and infield
  • Adjusted color of bases indicator at top of screen

I spent some time tweaking the colors to look just right on my TV with real hardware. However, they look too light in Stella and Z26 in my opinion, so I've included an alternate version in the zip that looks a little better in the emulators. Let me know what you think.

Pete Rose Baseball.zip
Note: Zip file includes 2 versions.
post-9364-0-43864300-1307592563_thumb.jpg post-9364-0-58515800-1307407748_thumb.png post-9364-0-80859900-1307371926_thumb.png post-9364-0-77339300-1307407718_thumb.png post-9364-0-38217400-1307407731_thumb.png
Cart Labels:

Ready-to-Print 300dpi Labels (2 for Activision shells, 1 for Atari shells):
post-9364-0-51671500-1348005587_thumb.jpg post-9364-0-91186800-1348005504_thumb.jpg post-9364-0-85897100-1347819522_thumb.jpg





Rampage!
Sprite & Color Edit
post-9364-0-41239900-1347782085_thumb.jpg
I've always been very critical of Rampage on the 2600. I just couldn't get over the disappearing blocks when you punch a building. Due to a friend who really likes the game, I thought I'd give it another shot. I always did like the gameplay, but I decided my main issue with the game was still the buildings. I decided to try out different colors instead of "pink." Then I figured I'd see what I could do with the sprites. I got to this point and decided I really do like the game and it wasn't so much the blocks of the buildings that bothered me, but rather the pink color on some of the stages. So here's a hack with new sprites and a few new colors (no more pink!). It's probably not done, but it's good enough for now.
  • George and Lizzie share the same sprites, so I tried to come up with something suitable for both. Ralph shares these as well for certain frames.
  • George is a little more brown than before, $F2 instead of $34, and Lizzie is one shade darker to help her stand out against the buildings.
  • The color of Ralph on the selection screen now matches his color in-game.
  • No more pink buildings, but I'm not quite satisfied, so more experimenting needs to be done.
  • Helicopters are now a shade of green like the arcade instead of red. I went with a more blueish green than the arcade, just to give more color variation, since there's already so much green with Lizzie, the items, and some of the people.
  • Player sprites re-aligned to improve continuity between frames.
  • More color added to ground/sidewalk/trolley tracks/docks (see screenshot for example).
  • Some other minor color and sprite changes here and there.

Here are screenshots: Old vs New:
post-9364-0-90671400-1336187470_thumb.png post-9364-0-07986400-1338331835_thumb.png
Latest Version: Rampage v2.bin

Older Version:


Cart Labels:

Ready-to-Print 300dpi Labels for Activision shells:
post-9364-0-38181600-1347782346_thumb.jpg post-9364-0-65422100-1347782457_thumb.jpg post-9364-0-42567800-1347782241_thumb.jpg

For Atari shells:
post-9364-0-31387500-1347796933_thumb.jpg post-9364-0-00398700-1347797018_thumb.jpg post-9364-0-29003100-1347796846_thumb.jpg





Tomb Raider: Mystery of the Scarlet Dragon
Hack of Montezuma's Revenge
post-9364-0-52405300-1347765489_thumb.jpg
Original hack idea by StanJr. You can read his backstory here.

I got the idea from his hack in the link above. I used a 16k Montezuma's Revenge ROM and altered the sprites and colors. Some of the sprite edits are from StanJr, some are my own. For the Lara standing and walking sprite, I used StanJr's basic appearance and adjusted it to not get stuck on doors and also to be a bit more shapely. I kept the rolling/bouncing skulls and changed the static snakes to be grinding spikes. The spiders have been changed into snakes like in StanJr's, but with slightly more movement animation. The flares are similar to StanJr's, but have been correctly animated. Of course, the Scarlet Dragon sprites have been borrowed from StanJr's because he came up with an excellent backstory for the game that I did not want to alter.

The colors have been changed for Lara, the rooms, and some items. I tried to use colors that fit the environments from the early Tomb Raider series. If anyone would like to see the sprites or colors altered/improved in some way please speak up. I'd love to hear your feedback and ideas on how to make this better!

Below are 4 variants of the hack along with some cartridge mockups and level maps:

post-9364-126094099273_thumb.png post-9364-126094109681_thumb.png
Tomb Raider (Classic).zip

Lara with with colors closer to the more recent games:

post-9364-126094101658_thumb.png post-9364-126094113824_thumb.png
Tomb Raider (Modern).zip

post-9364-126094103436_thumb.png
Tomb Raider (Underworld).zip (This is an alternate "Modern" with some brown in the shirt and dark gray shorts)


If you want the older version with the original Montezuma colors, download the one below:

post-9364-126094105072_thumb.png
Tomb Raider (Original Colors).zip

Level Maps:

I made a map of Level 1 (with the new colors):
post-9364-126094155559_thumb.png

And here's the Level 1 map with the original colors:
post-9364-126094159017_thumb.png

Level 2 Map (new color version only this time):
post-9364-126094161482_thumb.png

Level 3 Map (new color version only):
post-9364-126094163468_thumb.png


Cart Label & Mockups:

Here is a ready-to-print cart label and some old obsolete mockups.
post-9364-0-42638700-1345575564_thumb.jpg

post-9364-126094123239_thumb.jpg post-9364-126100841539_thumb.jpg post-9364-126094138502_thumb.jpg
post-9364-126094143001_thumb.jpg post-9364-126100845633_thumb.jpg post-9364-126094151701_thumb.jpg


If you would like to read my original (heavily edited) post in StanJr's thread, please look here.

Again, I'm always seeking advice and feedback. If you like something about a hack... please say so. If you don't like something about a hack... please say so. If you couldn't care less about a hack... why are you reading this? icon_razz.gif




Xenophobe
Sprite & Color Edit
post-9364-0-52381000-1347765472_thumb.jpg
Xenophobe on the 2600 has all the important gameplay elements, but I never understood the color choices. Here's my effort at making it look a little more like the arcade & other console versions.
  • New Xeno sprites (& raised by a pixel since they are actually out of place in the original ROM)
  • New sprites for weapons and most pickup items
  • Mothership edited to be closer to arcade version
  • Colors more visually appealing: Rooms now shades of gray, Xenos now shades of green, tweaks here and there
  • Changed number font to match arcade
  • Changed player sprite to more closely match arcade stance & walk animation
  • Made variations for alternate characters
  • Mr. M Brace
  • Mr. EEz
  • Dr. Kwak
  • Mr. Fogg
  • Dr. Zordirz
  • Col Schickn

post-9364-0-66273300-1333858404_thumb.png

post-9364-0-19438200-1333858382_thumb.png post-9364-0-80646200-1333858683_thumb.png post-9364-0-02523900-1333858988_thumb.png

Latest version: Xenophobe Arcade v4 (Multi).zip
Be sure to unzip; archive contains all character variations.

Older versions:


Cart Labels:

Ready-to-Print 300dpi Labels:
post-9364-0-96743100-1347391757_thumb.jpg post-9364-0-19504500-1347391856_thumb.jpg post-9364-0-24758800-1347397033_thumb.jpg

 

Edited by KevinMos3
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As long as I can edit this post, I would like to include any of my future hack projects here to avoid clutter and simplify finding them. I hope moving things here was not a bad idea.

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Double Dragon: Arcade Style

Color & Sprite Edit

 

I started looking at Double Dragon to see what improvements could be made to make it more like the arcade. The game is already very good so there aren't many sprite alterations I care to do. However, some of the colors have always bothered me.

 

So far, I have only made "slight" changes to the character sprites -- not complete redraws -- because I think the official ones are pretty good already. Here is an example of the Player sprite and the Abobo sprite:

 

 

 

The Player only got the addition of an eye. The only other changes were the colors. Abobo on the other hand got a bit more touchup. I always thought he looked fat and even though it probably wasn't intended, he looked like he had a big belly button bouncing around. I tried to slim down his waist a bit and broaden his shoulders. I also gave him a bit of pec detail in the chest. I think this is a good improvement. The only color change I made was to give him white boots like the arcade. He's not supposed to be wearing shorts.

 

I've changed the colors of the enemies as well, but I'm not yet happy enough to post an image. I've been working on the screens and still have a lot of decisions to make. Here is a shot of the first & sixth screen. These have the most drastic changes:

 

 

 

So far I've worked up to, (but not including), the forest in Mission 3. Not all screens are getting many changes. Only the ones I felt needed it, such as the blue screen with green men in Mission 2. I will post a binary later and would like input on what colors might look best.

 

Great work KevinMos3! :love: Definately looking forward to the end result, I was never really 100% happy with the sprites on Double Dragon to be honest... Some levels colors, artwork and the sprites could use some good tweaking. There has been another attempt to make them look better but I think I like your version better so far. Namely I like your player sprites, as they are still simular to the originals so I won't get screwed up trying to properly position a martial art move for an attack. Thanks for your efforts man, I'll definately keep a tab on this. Oh, if you need any reference for levels on the game, just check out my videos on ut00b for Double Dragon. (user Rkanum) :cool: :thumbsup:

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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)?

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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)?

There is no support for button-combos at this time; maybe it's a wishlist item to add to the Stella tracker (see the Tracker link above).

 

As for the other problem, I assume save-states are failing because each time you create a new ROM image, Stella thinks it's essentially a new game. Currently, the save state is associated with the ROM that it was created from, and this info is stored in the state file itself. This is for the general user, so that one can't load a state file made by another game. As you're seeing, a developer has different needs. If you like, I can provide an alpha binary of Stella 3.1 where this is disabled; that is, the ROM image is no longer associated with a particular state file. Let me know if you're interested ...

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There is no support for button-combos at this time; maybe it's a wishlist item to add to the Stella tracker (see the Tracker link above).

Thank you for the info.

If you like, I can provide an alpha binary of Stella 3.1 where this is disabled; that is, the ROM image is no longer associated with a particular state file. Let me know if you're interested ...

I'm VERY interested! Thank you in advance.

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There is no support for button-combos at this time; maybe it's a wishlist item to add to the Stella tracker (see the Tracker link above).

Thank you for the info.

If you like, I can provide an alpha binary of Stella 3.1 where this is disabled; that is, the ROM image is no longer associated with a particular state file. Let me know if you're interested ...

I'm VERY interested! Thank you in advance.

OK, what version do you need; Windows 32 or 64-bit, Linux 32 or 64-bit, or OSX?

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Windows 32-bit. Thanks again.

OK, here's the release. Note that this is alpha-level code, and hasn't been well tested: stella-3.1_test2-windows.zip.

 

I added the commandline option '-md5instate', which takes a boolean value (true/false or 0/1). For now, this has to be set from the commandline, or by editing the stella.ini file directly; there's no support in the UI. When set to true (the default and current behaviour), a load state checks if the MD5 of the current ROM matches. If not, the load won't be performed. If disabled, the load is done without consideration to the MD5. Note that you still need to use the same ROM filename, otherwise Stella will definitely think you're using a different ROM.

 

If you want to discuss this further, feel free to move this off-list and send me a PM.

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The new Stella has made things MUCH easier.

 

Here's where DD stands at the moment:

 

* I've made the player (and most enemies since they share the same resources) ONE pixel taller. This does not affect gameplay in any way.

 

* I've gotten the Lindas, Abobos, and the Shadow Boss to line up with their colors correctly. You may have noticed when playing the original, that the colors really bounce around on those characters. I don't know if this was intentional by the programmer or if it was an oversight. Either way, it never looked right to me. I was able to move the sprites around just enough to make everything line up. The characters still have a bounce in their step which is a good thing, but colors stay put relative to their sprite.

 

* I darkened up the characters you see on the first screen, but I just played through the arcade game and realized that I have the colors wrong on some. I was mistakenly going by the Genesis version before. I will probably keep the 4th screen (the blue one) the way it is, even though those colors are from the Genesis version. I like the blue now that I've put the work into it and think it adds variety to the game.

 

* I wasn't planning to do anything to the final mission, but after playing through the arcade game, I decided to brown up the walls and leave the yellow/gold color for the gold highlights. I've put a red floor on the final boss screen and I think this looks pretty good. A pic has been added to the 1st post.

 

* Your girlfriend has her own sprite and color table while hanging on the wall, but when she comes down at the end of the game, she uses the Linda sprite and color table. Because of this, I made her more purple instead of red because I didn't want the difference to be too obvious. The other solution would be to make the Lindas red instead of purple, (they were originally red but the arcade is purple), but then your girlfriend would be hard to see on the red carpet at the end.

 

And finally, In the forest there is now blue behind the bridge to suggest water. I don't know if that's obvious without stating it. If it doesn't look right, say so. The rest of the changes will just be tweaking enemy colors. However, there are some specific things that I would like to change IF someone is willing to help disassemble this game. I am not yet capable of doing that part on my own.

 

Sorry for the WALL of text!

 

edit: Ok, so the Ropers in the arcade are wearing blue at the beginning of the game, but they do wear white and black(dark grey) in mission 4. If I leave them as-is, at least it's an equal opportunity smack down. Man, woman, white, black... everyone gets a whoopin'. But, would you rather see the Ropers wearing blue? They might be a little monotonous with the main character wearing blue as well.

Edited by KevinMos3

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I've added a binary to the first post.

 

Awesome work KevinMos3! I'm looking forward to making a run through Double Dragon again thanks to this! I appreciate all your efforts man. (and yea, Tomb Raider looks tasty too, too bad the Atari's resolution doesn't really lend well to Lara's *ahem* assets though... :D :D :D )

Edited by Bentley Bear!

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Thanks for the kind words. I've added a beta2 binary to the first post. This one has some minor sprite edits and more color changes. The maps posted above have been updated to reflect the beta2 version.

 

I just played through the original version on real hardware for the first time in years. Actually, I've never completed the game on real hardware until now. All the practice I've gotten while working on this hack enabled me to beat the game without losing a life and with 2 health bars remaining. I could have done better, but that's still good for me without a "pause" feature.

 

Anyway, on the real hardware the colors all look much darker than in any of the emulators, (and that's with my TV's brightness turned up). I'd like to get confirmation that the hack works on real hardware, and I'd like to know how the colors look on real hardware. I tried to choose colors that looked ok in Stella and Z26, but both of those emulators appear to be waaay off according to my TV.

 

336 views and only 2 people have a comment about this hack? :?

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Here's a change I'm thinking of making. Would like feedback on this. How about a little touch of olive to the Cliff Screen with the Green Abobos?

 

post-9364-126162487878.png post-9364-126162489826_thumb.png post-9364-126162492294_thumb.png

        Arcade version          |           Genesis version           |             2600 version             |

 

Actually, I probably shouldn't post those other pics cause they make the 2600 version look really bad. :ponder:

 

Anyway, as you can see, the arcade and Genesis versions both have some olive green in the cliff and the ground is not plain gray. If I leave it all gray with Blue doors, it kind of suggests that you're on a high mountain cliff (because of the sky blue). However, if I add the olive green it will be slightly more accurate. Also, I'll need to rework the lead-up to the doors if I go with this option, since I only added the steps to give a little more detail with the bland gray screen.

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Here's a change I'm thinking of making. Would like feedback on this. How about a little touch of olive to the Cliff Screen with the Green Abobos?

 

post-9364-126162487878.png post-9364-126162489826_thumb.png post-9364-126162492294_thumb.png

        Arcade version          |           Genesis version           |             2600 version             |

 

Actually, I probably shouldn't post those other pics cause they make the 2600 version look really bad. :ponder:

 

Anyway, as you can see, the arcade and Genesis versions both have some olive green in the cliff and the ground is not plain gray. If I leave it all gray with Blue doors, it kind of suggests that you're on a high mountain cliff (because of the sky blue). However, if I add the olive green it will be slightly more accurate. Also, I'll need to rework the lead-up to the doors if I go with this option, since I only added the steps to give a little more detail with the bland gray screen.

 

The olive green is much better.

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How's this for a quick edit to the ground. I can't do it exactly like this anyway because there are some stretched pixels in there that I'd have to account for, but as a general idea... what do you think?

post-9364-126162890255_thumb.png

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How's this for a quick edit to the ground. I can't do it exactly like this anyway because there are some stretched pixels in there that I'd have to account for, but as a general idea... what do you think?

:thumbsup:

 

:D

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Ok, here's a shot of the game with that edit worked in. Also, I've worked a little olive into the previous screen (with the bridge) to match. I'm still not satisfied with the Green Abobos screen, but I don't know what else to do with it. What do you think of it?

post-9364-12616349301_thumb.png

post-9364-126165055525_thumb.png

Edited by KevinMos3

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I'm no Double Dragon expert, so I can't really comment on your changes, but I do have another thought...

 

It's always bothered me that Atari never produced a Batman game for the 2600 and I think this game may be a good candidate. You could even include Robin, although the music would have to be changed, but it's somewhat similar in tempo, etc. to the Batman TV theme.

 

Whaddya think?

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That's an interesting idea. Maybe after I finish this hack, I could take a crack at that. I wouldn't be able to change the music without some serious help though. :)

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Dude, sorry I've had my head in the sand so long and only saw this thread now, but WOW you have taken my little hack and really made it into something. This hack and my Zelda hack are the two that I have always wanted to have on a cart. If you ever go about putting these on carts, please let me know I'd like one.

 

Exceptional, and I am honored that you liked my story!

 

Well done!

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That's an interesting idea. Maybe after I finish this hack, I could take a crack at that. I wouldn't be able to change the music without some serious help though. :)

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.

 

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

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Dude, sorry I've had my head in the sand so long and only saw this thread now, but WOW you have taken my little hack and really made it into something. This hack and my Zelda hack are the two that I have always wanted to have on a cart. If you ever go about putting these on carts, please let me know I'd like one.

 

Exceptional, and I am honored that you liked my story!

 

Well done!

Thank you very much for the kind words. It's good to know you approve and encouraging coming from the guy who's idea it was. So far, one other person on AA has suggested it go on a cart and one person outside of AA. I hadn't planned to do so, but if there is enough interest, we can see what can be done to make it happen.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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. ;)

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Instead of The Penguin, you can use Bane.

Edited by brandondwright

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