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Shadow Of The Beast for the TI-99/4A

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I've decided to remake one of the iconic games of the Amiga for our beloved TI. Single-handedly responsible for selling thousands of Amigas, it's the Psygnosis classic Shadow Of The Beast.

 

While I'm planning on redoing it in assembler later, this will be an XB game with some strategic assembly pokes & peeks. So far I've been able to get the multicolor bitmap mode working and am able to load my game assets, plus support some crude parallaxing effects. Right now I am using simply recolored sprites and backgrounds from the Amiga original, but I will later redraw these by hand to get the most out of the limited palette.

 

The screenshot below shows the initial ingame action so far. It looks a lot better in motion.

 

post-25494-12701304297_thumb.png

Edited by The Codex
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Surely some form of Shadow could exist on the TI. Think Slymoids + Moon Patrol :)

Edited by save2600

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The underlying mechanic of SotB is extremely simple (minimal platformer combined with punching), so I suspect that a game of that type is very doable on the TI. I'm less sure the aspects that actually made the game a super-seller (graphics, music, parallaxing) would be so easily reproduced. So you'd be left with just the gameplay of SotB which, charitably speaking, isn't a whole lot. ;)

 

Still, would make an interesting challenge. Personally, I'd love a port of the other Psygnosis monster hit, Lemmings, but I don't know that you could do on the TI the pixel-level resolution interaction that the game needs.

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Oh, very well. But I get to call it by the badly-translated-to-Danish-by-a-website title, Skyggen af Kryb. :)

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Well--- I would say that whatever is possible on the Amiga is possible on the TI. As we all know the TI remains the most technologically advanced computer if it's or ANY time. To this day, there has not been a single computer that has touched the speed or screen resolution of the TI99, and to this day, no application or program ever built has been able to rival a single TI offering. The TI is used secretly to this day for all NASA launches, it is used by every heart hospital for EKGs and 3d modelling of medical graphs and charts. There is a cover up happening to hide these uses, but the fact remains that OSX Snow Leopard and Windows 7 are just clones of the Horizon RAM disk OS, and poor ones at that.

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I was afraid this would happen... I'm going to have to "out" myself with my real name here, and issue a cease-and-desist to The Codex (if that's your REAL name...). My intellectual property is not a plaything for you retro hoodlums to monkey around with. And your cruel comments about my game's play make me want to walk slowly to the left and right and repeatedly punch at all of you. While ominous music plays.

 

Sincerely yours,

Cy Gnosis

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Oh, very well. But I get to call it by the badly-translated-to-Danish-by-a-website title, Skyggen af Kryb. :)

Hehehehe, that's good. Almost perfect. :)

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Well, I examined the image closely, and it's not quite doable, but not far from it.

 

It's nicely put down to the 16 colors of the TI video chip, but to be perfectly doable (including the parallax scrolling), the video chip would need to support 2 planes of bitmap graphics having 4 colors each, and those 4 colors would have to be allowed to be freely used on pixel level. Both of these details are not fulfilled by the TMS9918A. In addition to that, it would have to allow sprites which use all 16 colors at once instead of only one.

 

But while it's not perfectly doable, it's actually close to being doable. I've run the picture through my converting program, and this is what it came up with:

 

post-8393-127019844436_thumb.png

 

As a proof that this picture is possible, I've also attached the data file my converting program produces:

 

sotf-ti_data.zip

 

This file contains the pattern and color table needed for the TMS9918's bitmap mode. So you first would have to put it into bitmap mode, and then copy the data into the video RAM at the position pointed to by the registers.

 

However, I'm not sure if the correct pallette has been used here... I did my best to map the colors used in this picture to the colors available on the real thing, but there seem to be three shades of cyan while the VDP only supports one. According to their use, I've mapped the darkest shade of cyan to dark green, and the medium one to light blue, so the picture may be somewhat off if displayed on a real TMS9918.

 

Also, there probably would be some issues with the animation. First of all, the main character, in this picture, has been rendered as being a part of the bitmap picture. Obviously, this probably wouldn't work in a game, so it and also the enemies probably would have to be converted to sprites, or use full characters which doesn't look too good in terms of separating the moving characters from the background. Also, the picture obviously is of one part, so parallax scrolling wouldn't work at all. There even is the question how you actually store all the graphics data needed and put it into the VDP reasonably fast to provide some sort of scrolling. Smooth scrolling probably won't be possible at this level of graphics detail, but scrolling in character steps (like in Slymoids) might work if you manage to compress the graphics data suitably. I think you would have to make a compromise between richness, colorfulness, complexity and speed of the background graphics. After all, you only have 48K of RAM (including the VDP RAM). Well, maybe on a big bankswitched cartridge...

 

Oh, just for the record, there has been a version done for the ZX-Spectrum which is basically more limited in graphics terms than the TI-99 is. That version has been converted to using just two colors for all of the game action, so maybe it might be possible on the TI-99 this way or similar to it:

 

http://www.mobygames.com/game/zx-spectrum/shadow-of-the-beast/screenshots

 

Surely some form of Shadow could exist on the TI. Think Slymoids + Moon Patrol :)

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Well, I examined the image closely, and it's not quite doable, but not far from it.

 

It's nicely put down to the 16 colors of the TI video chip, but to be perfectly doable (including the parallax scrolling), the video chip would need to support 2 planes of bitmap graphics having 4 colors each, and those 4 colors would have to be allowed to be freely used on pixel level. Both of these details are not fulfilled by the TMS9918A. In addition to that, it would have to allow sprites which use all 16 colors at once instead of only one.

 

But while it's not perfectly doable, it's actually close to being doable. I've run the picture through my converting program, and this is what it came up with:

 

post-8393-127019844436_thumb.png

 

As a proof that this picture is possible, I've also attached the data file my converting program produces:

 

sotf-ti_data.zip

 

This file contains the pattern and color table needed for the TMS9918's bitmap mode. So you first would have to put it into bitmap mode, and then copy the data into the video RAM at the position pointed to by the registers.

 

However, I'm not sure if the correct pallette has been used here... I did my best to map the colors used in this picture to the colors available on the real thing, but there seem to be three shades of cyan while the VDP only supports one. According to their use, I've mapped the darkest shade of cyan to dark green, and the medium one to light blue, so the picture may be somewhat off if displayed on a real TMS9918.

 

Also, there probably would be some issues with the animation. First of all, the main character, in this picture, has been rendered as being a part of the bitmap picture. Obviously, this probably wouldn't work in a game, so it and also the enemies probably would have to be converted to sprites, or use full characters which doesn't look too good in terms of separating the moving characters from the background. Also, the picture obviously is of one part, so parallax scrolling wouldn't work at all. There even is the question how you actually store all the graphics data needed and put it into the VDP reasonably fast to provide some sort of scrolling. Smooth scrolling probably won't be possible at this level of graphics detail, but scrolling in character steps (like in Slymoids) might work if you manage to compress the graphics data suitably. I think you would have to make a compromise between richness, colorfulness, complexity and speed of the background graphics. After all, you only have 48K of RAM (including the VDP RAM). Well, maybe on a big bankswitched cartridge...

 

Oh, just for the record, there has been a version done for the ZX-Spectrum which is basically more limited in graphics terms than the TI-99 is. That version has been converted to using just two colors for all of the game action, so maybe it might be possible on the TI-99 this way or similar to it:

 

http://www.mobygames.com/game/zx-spectrum/shadow-of-the-beast/screenshots

 

Surely some form of Shadow could exist on the TI. Think Slymoids + Moon Patrol :)

 

TMS9918A can't do parallax you say:

:) Edited by in8regs

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TMS9918A can't do parallax you say:

:)

 

Maybe with some very smart usage of characters you can come a long way, even perhaps with smooth scolling?

 

In this video you can see how to cheat with the trees:

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TMS9918A can't do parallax you say:

:)

 

Maybe with some very smart usage of characters you can come a long way, even perhaps with smooth scolling?

 

In this video you can see how to cheat with the trees:

 

 

The remake looks pretty smooth. Here's the game on several platforms, some with 9918as:

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Hmmm... which of those platforms, in your opinion, use 9918s? I don't see any...

 

The remake looks pretty smooth. Here's the game on several platforms, some with 9918as:

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Hmmm... which of those platforms, in your opinion, use 9918s? I don't see any...

 

The remake looks pretty smooth. Here's the game on several platforms, some with 9918as:

 

 

Crap, I'm wrong, only variants with h&v scroll.

Edited by in8regs

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The remake looks pretty smooth. Here's the game on several platforms, some with 9918as:

Very interesting video, I wasn't aware Shadow of the Beast was ported to so many platforms. I have to say, the ST version looks absolutely atrocious. Was there no music for it? Also, I laughed at the Super Nintendo version with the sound effects and music.

 

..Al

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Crap, I'm wrong, only variants with h&v scroll.

Yeah, not having smooth scroll cripples the 9918 in a really bad way.

 

 

Kurt, that picture looks amazing!

 

I wonder what could be done by just storing 8 versions of the background so you can scroll smooth? I think you would need a background with a repetitive nature too.

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you should check the next game i'm going to release for the colecovision.

 

On one level , i have smooth 5 plan scrolling à la Shadow of the Beast. ;)

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you should check the next game i'm going to release for the colecovision.

 

On one level , i have smooth 5 plan scrolling à la Shadow of the Beast. ;)

 

Mind sharing what game that would be ?? :)

Screenshots ?

Edited by retroclouds

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