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Sabre Wulf

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I have fixed the stack overflow bug reported by Kurt. Thanks for your huge effort testing this game. I also made some small adjustments to the music channel volumes in the cart version and I have removed the player 2 text from the disk version.,

I think I have found another bug, there seems to be some hidden feature in the game that causes you to lose track of time, any help with this would be much appreciated ;)

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Thank you for fixing the stack bug! However, I found some more minor glitches...

 

- Sometimes it isn't possible to leave the screen going right with the fire button depressed, this especially happens if Sabreman's blue. However, if you release the button, you can leave the screen there

- In the delay before "Game over" appears, flickering is turned off, so some sprites become partly inivisible if there are more than four on a scanline where they used to be flickered during active game.

- Sometimes the game places items into unreachable areas. (Does this happen on the Spectrum as well?) For instance, in the last game I played, I had one amulet piece placed in the upper row of the map, on the 6th or 7th screen from the left, in the lower way. Unfortunately, this way is unreachable by the player, which makes it impossible to collect all four amulet pieces and thus complete the game.

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Thank you for fixing the stack bug! However, I found some more minor glitches...

 

- Sometimes it isn't possible to leave the screen going right with the fire button depressed, this especially happens if Sabreman's blue. However, if you release the button, you can leave the screen there

- In the delay before "Game over" appears, flickering is turned off, so some sprites become partly inivisible if there are more than four on a scanline where they used to be flickered during active game.

- Sometimes the game places items into unreachable areas. (Does this happen on the Spectrum as well?) For instance, in the last game I played, I had one amulet piece placed in the upper row of the map, on the 6th or 7th screen from the left, in the lower way. Unfortunately, this way is unreachable by the player, which makes it impossible to collect all four amulet pieces and thus complete the game.

 

Thanks again.

  • The first issue I consider a minor nuisance. I haven't seen it so I don't know how to fix it.
  • I can easily fix the second issue. I noticed this myself but didn't make the connection to the flicker routine, so thanks again.
  • Regarding the third issue, I noticed that the Spectrum version sometimes places items in unreachable areas, but whether it has a special check for amulet pieces I don't know. Actually I have no idea how the original game places the amulet pieces, but I have chosen to place one piece in each quarter of the maze.

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OK... one other thing I miss, on the Spectrum, at the end of each game, it said how many percent of the game you had completed. This feature is missing on the TI version. I guess it was based on either how many rooms you visited or how many of the items you had collected.

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OK... one other thing I miss, on the Spectrum, at the end of each game, it said how many percent of the game you had completed. This feature is missing on the TI version. I guess it was based on either how many rooms you visited or how many of the items you had collected.

 

You're right, that would be nice to have. If I base it on the number of items collected it should be relatively easy to do. Another thing I want to add is a pause key. But this will be for the cart version only since I'm out of memory for the disk version.

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Rasmus deserves to be paid for this work and support. Incredible.

 

Agreed, should have his own webpage offering his work with a paypal donations button to help pay for his time and future software.

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I have added the percentage completed at game over based on (items collected / 256) * 100% and a pause key (P). To resume after a pause you have to press fire. I'm also calling the flicker routine when the Sabreman dies.

SabreWulf-cart-1.1.zip

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I have added the percentage completed at game over based on (items collected / 256) * 100% and a pause key (P). To resume after a pause you have to press fire. I'm also calling the flicker routine when the Sabreman dies.

 

Well, if cartridge format is the only way to play the full game, I guess I'll patiently wait on this. At least I'll have something to look forward to. :D

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Tried the cartridge file, these little enhancements are good, the game is looking and feeling really polished now.

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Having finally burned this to an EPROM, I was shocked to find the intro music seemed slower than in the emulator - then I remembered Classic99 defaults to 60hz and being in the UK, I'm running my console at 50hz. Is there any way of sensing a PAL/NTSC console and providing correct timing - if not for the entire game, at least for the music?

 

From playing the original on the ZX Spectrum back in the day, I seem to remember the fireball was used as a mechanism to move you off the current screen in an effort to stop you hovering in the same area and racking up points by killing the spawning animals over and over again.

 

IIRC, the fireball appeared after a while to force you to keep on moving, a short while later than the commonly spawning creatures.

 

In the Ti version, the fireball seems to spawn randomly but at the same time as the animals when your character enters the screen. Sometimes, this means the only way to progress through a screen is by "backing out" then entering again and hoping the fireball doesn't re-appear.

 

On the lower passage, the Wulf also seems to appear more frequently than I remember from the Spectrum version. In the original, it was almost as if the Wulf patrolled the lower passage. This meant you were likely to bump into it only if you entered the screen it was currently patrolling. In this version, it almost seems random and (too?) regular.

 

It's been a while since I played the original though, so my memory could be playing tricks on me.

 

Maybe it's time to fire up the Spectrum and my divIDE?

Edited by UKRetrogamer

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Is there any way of sensing a PAL/NTSC console and providing correct timing

 

Do a loop, read the VDP status register, and check how many interrupts have occured until the loop is done.

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Having finally burned this to an EPROM, I was shocked to find the intro music seemed slower than in the emulator - then I remembered Classic99 defaults to 60hz and being in the UK, I'm running my console at 50hz. Is there any way of sensing a PAL/NTSC console and providing correct timing - if not for the entire game, at least for the music?

 

From playing the original on the ZX Spectrum back in the day, I seem to remember the fireball was used as a mechanism to move you off the current screen in an effort to stop you hovering in the same area and racking up points by killing the spawning animals over and over again.

 

IIRC, the fireball appeared after a while to force you to keep on moving, a short while later than the commonly spawning creatures.

 

In the Ti version, the fireball seems to spawn randomly but at the same time as the animals when your character enters the screen. Sometimes, this means the only way to progress through a screen is by "backing out" then entering again and hoping the fireball doesn't re-appear.

 

On the lower passage, the Wulf also seems to appear more frequently than I remember from the Spectrum version. In the original, it was almost as if the Wulf patrolled the lower passage. This meant you were likely to bump into it only if you entered the screen it was currently patrolling. In this version, it almost seems random and (too?) regular.

 

It's been a while since I played the original though, so my memory could be playing tricks on me.

 

Maybe it's time to fire up the Spectrum and my divIDE?

 

Sorry for shocking you. I'm never really considering how my games look or sound in 50Hz even though I live in the EU since I have a F18A board installed. But according to Tursi's instructions for his player it should be possible to fix the music timing by calling the player twice every 5th frame on PAL machines.

 

Making the fire appear after a while on every screen is one of the improvements I would like to do before the final release, and perhaps also some changes to movements of the Wulf. There are other details on the Spectrum like the sleeping hippo and the jumping Wulf that I'm missing as well.

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The behaviour of the Wulf on the bottom line is causing me nightmares, it seems to generate almost continuously at the opposite side of the screen-making it nearly impossible to get past it ( or is it that I am just crap at the game), be gentle with me!!!!!

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Making the fire appear after a while on every screen is one of the improvements I would like to do before the final release, and perhaps also some changes to movements of the Wulf. There are other details on the Spectrum like the sleeping hippo and the jumping Wulf that I'm missing as well.

It's been so long since I last played the Spectrum original, I hadn't noticed the missing Wulf animations but earlier today I played Sabre Wulf on a ZX Spectrum emulator called Spectaculator, using an immunity poke so I could run around un-impeded to see if I could jog some memories.

 

I spotted the missing Wulf animations (crouching and pouncing) and also confirmed something I'd suspected I noticed while playing the Ti version.

 

I always remembered the amulet pieces appearing in the areas similar to the one the player starts in and never on pathways, etc. I've noticed in the Ti version, pieces of the amulet are sometimes found on pathways outside of these areas.

 

The Wulf *does* seem to patrol the lower passage above the mountains and doesn't appear quite as randomly as in the Ti version.

 

It's nice to know you still have plans to fine-tune this game toward a final release. It's shaping up to be one of my favourite Ti-99 games.

Edited by UKRetrogamer

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The behaviour of the Wulf on the bottom line is causing me nightmares, it seems to generate almost continuously at the opposite side of the screen-making it nearly impossible to get past it ( or is it that I am just crap at the game), be gentle with me!!!!!

I feel ya, bro!

 

Yup, Rasmus has confirmed the Wulf's movement patterns are still to be re-worked.

 

Currently, you can turn the Wulf around by poking it with your sword but this behaviour doesn't match the pattern of the original ZX Spectrum game and some of the Wulf's animations are missing.

 

My own biggest headache is the fireball which appears randomly with the creatures, shortly after entering a screen. On the original, the fireball appeared somewhat later to force you to move on, as a game-mechanic to stop you killing the spawning creatures over and over to rack up points. Currently in Rasmus' version, sometimes the only way to cross a screen is to back out and hope the fireball doesn't re-appear when you re-enter the screen.

 

It's still a work in progress. Rasmus is still fine-tuning and his work is coming along nicely.

Edited by UKRetrogamer

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I've now played the Spectrum version a bit, and indeed there are some differences both in the player and enemy behavior:

 

Orchids and player:

- The blue orchid in the TI version is actually cyan in the Spectrum version, and turns you cyan as well.

- After taking the red, cyan or purple orchid, you cannot use your sword for the duration the orchid lasts. To make up for this, you're immune to enemy collision. Whereas in the TI version, you can always use your sword, and you're only immune after taking the red orchid.

- When taking the yellow orchid, all enemies disappear on the Spectrum while they stay where they are in the TI version.

- Thus, taking an orchid in average seems to have a more positive effect on the player. Even taking a purple orchid gives you the advantage of being immune for a time, while it's only an annoyance (joystick reversed) on the TI.

- The player generally moves much slower when using the sword than when not using it. On the TI, using the sword doesn't seem to impact the player's running speed.

- If touching an undestroyable enemy, you don't die instantly like on the TI, but you can sustain 5 or 6 hits before dying, which get used up in about a second if you keep colliding with that enemy.

- After losing a life with 1 extra lives displayed, the game is not over, but you have one more life while the extra lives display disappears entirely.

 

Enemies:

- At least some enemies, aside from their general moving patterns, seem to have a life outside of the current screen. This seems to affect primarily the undestroyable enemies. If a guardian gets to the edge of the screen, it doesn't explode, but simply disappears. If you follow the guardian into the next screen, you can find him there.

- As has been said already, the fireball appears only after a while if you stay on a screen too long.

 

Items:

- The items don't appear as regularly (one per screen) as on the TI version. Quite often, you find two items on one screen.

- On the amulet screen, unfound amulet parts are still shown as a solid red (was it red?) shape.

 

Generally, the Spectrum seems to award points more generously. I think I got 175 points for killing an enemy instead of 100. Don't know how much the items are worth, but it seems I'm getting about twice as much points in average as on the TI.

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Depending upon Rasmus' accuracy goal, I would consider most of these nuances of a TI conversion. Reminds me about the difference in game play between a lot of platforms for the same game.

 

BTW, that is pretty in-depth. Did you ever do game reviews?

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I've now played the Spectrum version a bit, and indeed there are some differences both in the player and enemy behavior:

 

- At least some enemies, aside from their general moving patterns, seem to have a life outside of the current screen. This seems to affect primarily the undestroyable enemies. If a guardian gets to the edge of the screen, it doesn't explode, but simply disappears. If you follow the guardian into the next screen, you can find him there.

I initially noticed this with the Wulf. On the Spectrum version, it's almost as though the Wulf patrols the upper passage of the lowest area, only appearing if the player wanders into the area the Wulf is currently patrolling. Currently, the Ti version has the Wulf appear at random with a high likelihood of meeting him a number of times while moving through his domain.

 

Rasmus is still working on the Wulf behaviour and animations but even at this stage, it's still a fantastic conversion in its own right.

 

You should try the Acorn BBC Micro version if you get a chance. By comparison to the Spectrum and Ti version, it's blocky and well, I'll let you be the judge...

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I've now played the Spectrum version a bit, and indeed there are some differences both in the player and enemy behavior:

 

Orchids and player:

- The blue orchid in the TI version is actually cyan in the Spectrum version, and turns you cyan as well.

- After taking the red, cyan or purple orchid, you cannot use your sword for the duration the orchid lasts. To make up for this, you're immune to enemy collision. Whereas in the TI version, you can always use your sword, and you're only immune after taking the red orchid.

- When taking the yellow orchid, all enemies disappear on the Spectrum while they stay where they are in the TI version.

- Thus, taking an orchid in average seems to have a more positive effect on the player. Even taking a purple orchid gives you the advantage of being immune for a time, while it's only an annoyance (joystick reversed) on the TI.

- The player generally moves much slower when using the sword than when not using it. On the TI, using the sword doesn't seem to impact the player's running speed.

- If touching an undestroyable enemy, you don't die instantly like on the TI, but you can sustain 5 or 6 hits before dying, which get used up in about a second if you keep colliding with that enemy.

- After losing a life with 1 extra lives displayed, the game is not over, but you have one more life while the extra lives display disappears entirely.

 

Enemies:

- At least some enemies, aside from their general moving patterns, seem to have a life outside of the current screen. This seems to affect primarily the undestroyable enemies. If a guardian gets to the edge of the screen, it doesn't explode, but simply disappears. If you follow the guardian into the next screen, you can find him there.

- As has been said already, the fireball appears only after a while if you stay on a screen too long.

 

Items:

- The items don't appear as regularly (one per screen) as on the TI version. Quite often, you find two items on one screen.

- On the amulet screen, unfound amulet parts are still shown as a solid red (was it red?) shape.

 

Generally, the Spectrum seems to award points more generously. I think I got 175 points for killing an enemy instead of 100. Don't know how much the items are worth, but it seems I'm getting about twice as much points in average as on the TI.

 

The problem I have with the Spectrum version is that I find it very difficult to survive for more than 20 secs, so I have mostly been trying it in a cheat mode with constant immunity that has hidden some of the finer details. Fortunately the differences listed under 'Orchids and player' should be easy to implement. I guess that the immunity you get from an orchid doesn't apply to fire and the Wulf?

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Well, the immunity you get from an orchid in the Spectrum version does apply to fire and the Wulf... you can just pass through them, the collisions are ignored. But you can't harm them either, not even make them turn around since you can't use the sword.

 

I also find the Spectrum version generally harder than the TI version, however, many of the deaths in the Spectrum version come from suddenly spawning enemies which you can't see in time and the pretty aggressive behavior of the guardian, the Wulf and its relatives (other wide animals)... after you lose a life, the guardian stays on screen and seems to just wait for you to get up again so he can hit you again and cost you another life. Also, since the Wulf and relatives and the guardian don't spawn, but just are there, they sometimes enter a screen where you are (at the border) or are at the border of a screen where you enter so you can't see them before they cost you a life. They are also hard to pass because they still are to find in the next screen if they leave the screen you are in. And the orchids, on the Spectrum, seem to unfold much quicker than on the TI, which makes the game harder as well.

 

 

The problem I have with the Spectrum version is that I find it very difficult to survive for more than 20 secs, so I have mostly been trying it in a cheat mode with constant immunity that has hidden some of the finer details. Fortunately the differences listed under 'Orchids and player' should be easy to implement. I guess that the immunity you get from an orchid doesn't apply to fire and the Wulf?

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Well, the immunity you get from an orchid in the Spectrum version does apply to fire and the Wulf... you can just pass through them, the collisions are ignored. But you can't harm them either, not even make them turn around since you can't use the sword.

 

Oh good, that makes my job easier.

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