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Mario Bros XE Hack

Mario Bros Mario Bros XE Atari 8-bit Atari Home Computer Nintendo

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#1 darryl1970 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:09 AM

Update: Final version can be found here.

 

I have always been a big fan of Mario Bros. Mario Bros XE is the BEST home conversion, out of the box!

Not only does this version include the icicles, but it also includes most of the animations and cut scenes.

 

This is my effort, with the help of Playsoft, to make the graphics more arcade-like.

 

Please keep in mind, there are hardware limitations limitations:

  1. All enemies and background characters share to 4 colors and 1 background.  eg: If the pipes were green, the ice would later be green. If the turtles shells were green, text would be dark, and other items combinations would be messed up.
  2. A RED Mario would result in a white face.  The flesh tone is not selected.  it is a result of overlapping the two player colors. I chose a darker brown.  It is closer to red than the old pink color, and allows for a more natural blue.
  3. I am limited to the original enemy character widths. The shellcreepers do not jump out next to their shells, because the software sprites are not wide enough.  I think the original animation is pretty good.  I only tweaked slightly to match the more arcade-like graphics.

 

Mario Bros Intro

 

Level 10

 

Mario Bros IceAge (The icicle levels)

 

intro.PNG    1st.PNG    SideSteppers.PNG    Fighterfly.PNG

 

SlipiceIntro.PNG    SlipiceDie.PNG    SlipiceSlide.PNG


Edited by darryl1970, Sun Jul 2, 2017 7:15 PM.


#2 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:13 AM

That looks really nice.  I never spent enough time with the XE version, I grew up with the unreleased Apple II version and the 2600 port since the original 8-bit port wasn't released for the computers (just the 5200).  I think the Apple version is the only other version to include the icicles.  It's a nice port, but slow (it was never released so it may not have been optimized).  The XE version looks much faster.



#3 Cafeman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:15 AM

That is a huge improvement over the 5200 version, which I always enjoyed and played the most of.  The graphics are much closer to the coin-op.  Every graphical element looks improved.   An icicles too!   I have never seen this version before, not that I can recall. 

 

One of the cool 5200 things was the turtles jumped out and kicked their shells back.  That was probably character animation too wasn't it? 

 

Also, if you are going for the closest to the coin op, the run sound isn't the same squeak-squeak-squeak from the coin-op.   Even if the sound you are using is the same as Mario Bros XE, personally I'd rather hear the Donkey Kong squeak-squeak running sound.  Just a comment.  



#4 darryl1970 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:51 PM

That is a huge improvement over the 5200 version, which I always enjoyed and played the most of.  The graphics are much closer to the coin-op.  Every graphical element looks improved.   An icicles too!   I have never seen this version before, not that I can recall. 

 

One of the cool 5200 things was the turtles jumped out and kicked their shells back.  That was probably character animation too wasn't it? 

 

Also, if you are going for the closest to the coin op, the run sound isn't the same squeak-squeak-squeak from the coin-op.   Even if the sound you are using is the same as Mario Bros XE, personally I'd rather hear the Donkey Kong squeak-squeak running sound.  Just a comment.  

I loved the 5200.  Spent many all-nighters with my friend, playing team and against.

 

As I mentioned above, the software sprite data is limited to the current width, so there isn't enough room for the turtle to jump out NEXT to his shell. I would have definitely added that, but it would require way more work.

I would love to tweak a few of the sounds also, but that's kind of outside the scope of this hack.  It's mainly graphical.

 

My biggest gripe with the gameplay on this version is Mario's jump.  Mario should be able to jump full right or left, from a still position. That is the only time inertia isn't a factor.  This version is lacking that, but it's such a small thing to such a great work of art.



#5 Mark loves Stella OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:01 PM

Looks great! Glad to see you are back at work. This is giving the NES version a run for its money. I can't wait to play it. 



#6 TrekMD OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:53 PM

Really cool!  Definitely keeping an eye on this one.



#7 darryl1970 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:03 AM

Added better Death frames and colors, especially when hit by fire.

I also figured out why the sidestepper animation was a little jumpy.

 

Playsoft set up access for additional enemy frames and colors (when they get mad).

 

Not much more left.

 

Video

 

Brothers1.PNG    Crabs.PNG    Brothers2.PNG    DeathByFire.PNG



#8 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:48 AM

Why does Mario's name in the score have that white fringing when Luigi's doesn't?  Is it supposed to be a 3-D effect?

 

I think you mentioned this in the first post, but is there any reason the turtles and the tops of the flies are really dark red?  Can it be lightened up a bit?



#9 Lord Thag OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:09 PM

Looking great!

 

Can't wait to play it. 



#10 darryl1970 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 28, 2016 4:58 AM

Why does Mario's name in the score have that white fringing when Luigi's doesn't?  Is it supposed to be a 3-D effect?

 

I think you mentioned this in the first post, but is there any reason the turtles and the tops of the flies are really dark red?  Can it be lightened up a bit?

Mario's name was like that in the arcade, as well as Luigi's. I didn't change that, because I thought Sculptured Software did a pretty decent job of simulating the effect, considering the lower resolution of the Atari.

I did add it to Luigi's name.  The downside of Luigi's name is that Green is not available up in the score area.

 

I have played with the two different shades of red. While a darker red makes the shellcreepers look more "brown, the contrast elsewhere makes a HUGE difference.

That red is used in the sidesteppers, pipe valves, floors, and fighterflies.  When comparing just one shade lighter, it loses that contrast and hurts so much more.

It's a byproduct of being limited on colors.



#11 darryl1970 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 28, 2016 9:31 AM

Why does Mario's name in the score have that white fringing when Luigi's doesn't?  Is it supposed to be a 3-D effect?

 

I think you mentioned this in the first post, but is there any reason the turtles and the tops of the flies are really dark red?  Can it be lightened up a bit?

Tempest,

 

I looked at it a little more, and I REALLY like the dark sidesteppers and the contrast, but I see how the dark red might cause issues elsewhere.

After some more graphic tweaks, I played with a few more color combinations. I ended up lightening the blue and the red. 

Changing some of the floor graphics allowed me to change the colors.  I see that it really makes a difference for the fighter flies, and the shellcreepers to some degree.

I gave up the idea of the yellow-green, and I went back to just yellow.

Also, Mario's contrast has been adjusted, and Luigi is no longer pink.

 

Before:

DarkerSidestepper.PNG    DarkerShellcreeper.PNG    DarkerFighter.PNG

 

Now:

Lightened1.PNG    Lightened2.PNG    Lightened3.PNG

 

lightened4.PNG    Lightened5.PNG    Lightened6.PNG

 

Lightened7.PNG  



#12 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 28, 2016 9:42 AM

Much better!  I like it!



#13 Lord Thag OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:33 PM

Me too. This was one of the best arcade ports as it was, and now it's looking even better. Nice work. 



#14 Jinroh OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:49 PM

Looks amazing!! :3

 

Can't wait so much to play it, I love playing the version and now it's even better!

 

The new colours and graphics are phenomenal!



#15 Asaki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:54 AM

This is giving the NES version a run for its money.


I always disliked that version. PAL-Land got a pretty great port, I think maybe around 1993, but it hasn't been hacked into NTSC yet.

There's another one for FDS that's almost as good, but has weird in-game ads all over =) http://www.romhackin...nslations/2653/

#16 darryl1970 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 1, 2016 7:40 AM

I always disliked that version. PAL-Land got a pretty great port, I think maybe around 1993, but it hasn't been hacked into NTSC yet.

There's another one for FDS that's almost as good, but has weird in-game ads all over =) http://www.romhackin...nslations/2653/

The hack 1993 hack is about as arcade-perfect as one could expect.

I would LOVE that version (I play it on my NES Everdrive Cart), except I am SO upset that they RUINED the gameplay by allowing mid-air control of the jumps. It totally loses what made Mario Bros a challenge.

 

Is there anybody that can take that version and edit the original jump back in? (Better yet, fix the jump to be even MORE arcade-accurate than the NES!)

Let me know, I have the disk image!



#17 rdefabri OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 1, 2016 8:30 AM

Wow - I am following this thread closely as I loved OP's work on DK and DK Jr.  Really great stuff, much appreciation from a long time Atari owner / user!!!



#18 darryl1970 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 2, 2016 9:16 AM

Working on the 5200 version, while I fine-tune the XE.

Been a little busy the past couple days though.

 

The 5200 version has a different set of limitations than the XE, and it's still early on.

It's really cool to see the different approaches programmers used for the same game.

The XE version cannot run on a 5200 unfortunately, due to the limited amount of memory.

 

I like that this version has shellcreepers that jump out of their shells.  It does tend to slow down a little more when many enemies are on screen.

http://atariage.com/...io-bros-arcade/

 

Beta1.PNG    BetaFire.PNG


Edited by darryl1970, Fri Nov 4, 2016 12:29 PM.


#19 Asaki OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 4, 2016 7:59 AM

The hack 1993 hack is about as arcade-perfect as one could expect.


Which hack is that?

I've got an Everdrive too, but since Mario Bros. Classic is PAL optimized, it runs at the wrong speed on NTSC machines.

#20 Synthpopalooza OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 5, 2016 1:02 PM

Are you planning to re-do the sounds and music for this?  I have a set of sounds I was going to use on a proposed remix of the 7800 version of the game.  These are 7800 executables but I think they can be re-jigged for the XL or 5200, and I think they sound a lot closer to the arcade than what we have now.

 

I will post the rest of these up when I get home tonight, but here's an example of the title music.

 

I've done everything, including the jump sounds, fireballs, mario death, etc.  Even the spooky music on the intermissions.

 

 

 

Attached Files



#21 darryl1970 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 5, 2016 6:53 PM

Are you planning to re-do the sounds and music for this?  I have a set of sounds I was going to use on a proposed remix of the 7800 version of the game.  These are 7800 executables but I think they can be re-jigged for the XL or 5200, and I think they sound a lot closer to the arcade than what we have now.

 

I will post the rest of these up when I get home tonight, but here's an example of the title music.

 

I've done everything, including the jump sounds, fireballs, mario death, etc.  Even the spooky music on the intermissions.

 

 

 

Love it!  That would be great. I am not sure how to get them INTO the game.  I will let Playsoft know.  None of the home versions recreate Mario's footstep quite right.    I have been working on the graphics for the XE and 5200 hacks.

Thanks for sharing this sounds great!



#22 Synthpopalooza OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 5, 2016 11:01 PM

Here is the complete zip file with all the sounds.  I have done two versions of Mario's footsteps.  One is a scratchy sound like the arcade, and the other is the musical tone like on the NES version.  There is also a text file included which shows all the needed AUDCTL settings and how the sounds should be mapped onto the sound channels.  Let me know if you have any questions.

 

 

Attached Files



#23 darryl1970 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 7, 2016 10:37 AM

Here is the complete zip file with all the sounds.  I have done two versions of Mario's footsteps.  One is a scratchy sound like the arcade, and the other is the musical tone like on the NES version.  There is also a text file included which shows all the needed AUDCTL settings and how the sounds should be mapped onto the sound channels.  Let me know if you have any questions.

 

 

These sounds are great.  I especially like the music and the more arcade-like footsteps.

I would love for these to be included, but I do not have the knowledge to make this work.  Do you know anybody who does?



#24 Synthpopalooza OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 7, 2016 11:29 AM

Unfortunately I don't, but I wonder if it would be just a matter of disassembling the game and finding where the music routine and data are stored, and replacing it with the new code.  I am assuming the source code for this no longer exists, right?



#25 TheNameOfTheGame OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 9, 2016 11:06 AM

Added better Death frames and colors, especially when hit by fire.

I also figured out why the sidestepper animation was a little jumpy.

 

Playsoft set up access for additional enemy frames and colors (when they get mad).

 

Not much more left.

 

Looking good!  Another cool upgrade to a classic game!







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