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Space Harrier Update 2018

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Updated version with RastaConverter based title screen, serious bug fixes and some other bits and pieces to make things easier.

Not tested on real hardware yet, so interested if you come across any problems.

*CONFIRMED CRASHES WITH CONSOLE KEYS PAUSE*
NTSC colors may be poor still
 
*Fixed on attached versions*

 

NB .bin version is for AtariMax 8Mbit cart type (old and new)

 

New title screen and attract mode
[media]https://youtu.be/5GYyB_evG0I[/media]

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Might need some adjustment..

NTSC

 

[attachment=599337:sphar64k.jpg]

 

might just need the color numbers adjusted or rasta set to ntsc (whichever of the 2 standards) Rasta treats NTSC and PAL on a very exaggerated difference in the red/ reddish brown realm.. red/ redish brown is normally easy to do on NTSC but harder on PAL.. Rasta reverses that situation.. needs almost a 2 place correction...

I sometimes thought that the palette color number choices would need to be adjusted in game for NTSC as well... though much closer than the title is here

 

would love a changelog or summation to satisfy curiosity :)

 

loads in AVG cart without issue. I got my butt handed to me, Probably because I'm ready to sleep.

Edited by _The Doctor__

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Too explain what Nir says in more detail,

a quick press of start works -but- 

                                                    when holding down start you will get black screen and digi-sound crash...

                                                    as can be seen in the picture colors are off kilter for NTSC 60

 

other issues...

 

thank you screen with Space Harrier Logo scroll up sometimes occurs before title screen...sometimes it doesn't...you can't read it unless you are speed reader. could it be a timer difference between 50/60 for duration...

 

sometimes title screen animations do not occur or are frozen, pressing reset clears the condition as it comes up again..

 

The game itself seems faster and more frantic but I could be out of shape, haven't played in a while.... I should warm up with the old version... then compare to new one...

Edited by _The Doctor__

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Thanks for the reports. Sounds like I need to get my XL out and a serial converter for my APE cable.

 

Two crashes (faithfully reproduced by Altirra):

 

1. Holding down the START button at the graphics screen (2nd. from start).

2. Pressing Option or Select right after 2nd. gfx screen, and during demo screen-play.

3. I am not finding NTSC color reproduction that bad (if machine / Altirra are properly color-calibrated). When comparing to your avatar screen, I do find differences in Gamma and, especially, BLACK-POINT (there is NO true black being reproduced throughout the entire screen-play, as far as I can tell). 

 

You don't need real HW to see these issues.

Edited by Faicuai

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My equipment is calibrated and the Monitor is as well. It is real hardware, no emulation, it's the same machine with almost same setup as used during the first Space Harrier work. 130XE with MIO, etc.. only differences are testing using AVG / Ultimate cartridges in place of the 1050 and then the later Atarimax cartridge.

 

Demo screen glitch is verified on real hardware as well, probably the same issue tied in with title to game start. Pressing the gtia start select option keys...

 

The photo I sent is what it looks like across 3 machines.. the camera flash made it look washed out as I was primarily worried about colors, not black levels and just snapped a quick shot.

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I've got a dedicated 8Mb Atarimax cart for Space Harrier, but I think I'll wait for these bug fixes before re-flashing it with the update. I'm very glad to see an update though!

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Might need some adjustment..

NTSC

 

attachicon.gifsphar64k.jpg

 

might just need the color numbers adjusted or rasta set to ntsc (whichever of the 2 standards) Rasta treats NTSC and PAL on a very exaggerated difference in the red/ reddish brown realm.. red/ redish brown is normally easy to do on NTSC but harder on PAL.. Rasta reverses that situation.. needs almost a 2 place correction...

I sometimes thought that the palette color number choices would need to be adjusted in game for NTSC as well... though much closer than the title is here

 

would love a changelog or summation to satisfy curiosity :)

 

loads in AVG cart without issue. I got my butt handed to me, Probably because I'm ready to sleep.

 

Great example to show that NTSC end-user experience may have at least TWO variants, depending on the decode-reference. We could also help a ton of folks out-there who may not be sure what or how to exactly render NTSC, on-screen.

 

Here's what I am getting on real (OEM video) Atari 800 / Incognito HW (captured with iPhone, and subject to white-balance, tonal/contrast curves of phone):

 

[attachment=599403:IMG_3332-web.jpg]  [attachment=599404:IMG_3337-web.jpg]

 

 

Here's what I am getting with Altirra (also calibrated to same reference as Atari 800, direct frames grabbed from Altirra):

 

[attachment=599405:SpaceHarrier-1.png] [attachment=599406:SpaceHarrier-2.png]

 

 

Now, real HW has been calibrated to render Altirra's ColorMap utility (on the Additions.atr image) as follows:

 

[attachment=599407:IMG_3341-web.jpg]

 

 

So here's the trick:

  1. My adjustment DOES NOT conform to modern NTSC rendering, but much closer to Atari's NTSC rendering back in the day.
  2. NOTICE row  #1 and row  # F of ColorMap matrix:
    • If YOUR rendering shows rows #1 and / or #F as greenish-yellow, or greener overall, then your calibration is CORRECT in TODAY's NTSC color-decode terms, but DIVERGENT from Atari's NTSC rendering of the past.
    • If your rendering shows rows #1 as GOLD and #F as greenish/brownish marching to peach / yellow, then it is much, much closer to original (back-in-the-day) rendering, but incorrect in today's terms.
    • The "anchor" color-row (in EITHER case) is row A. Patch #0 (darkest on left, but NOT visible on iPhone's capture) is a DARK, GREYISH blue that quickly turns into turquoise. This is KEY to get Start Raiders shields correct (NOT GREEN like the vast majority of wrong renderings out there), and it should be the SAME on either NTSC rendering variants (OLD or NEW).
  3. NOTE: to achieve my calibration, and render row #1 as GOLD, you MUST:
    1. Adjust phase on monitor (or Video Processor). In my case, my Phase is back-adjusted -17 units, on the DVDO iScan-HD processor. A Phase dialed at "0" (correct in MODERN NTSC rendering) will NOT give you Gold, but Yellow / Green on row #1.
    2. Once phase is set, Atari's color-POT is to be FINE-TUNED (minor touches only) to show row A (patch 0) as dark blue-gray, AND last row F should be DIFFERENT than last shown below (#1), otherwise you will end with a 240-colors system (forget SuperSalt's color adjustment process, it is null-and-void).
    3. To get a fixed / sustained calibration, ALL my machines (800 and 800XLs) require TREE HOURS or warm-up, as the GTIA voltage-drift is significant (!!!)

My 0.02c

Edited by Faicuai

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Updated version with RastaConverter based title screen, serious bug fixes and some other bits and pieces to make things easier.

Not tested on real hardware yet, so interested if you come across any problems.

*CONFIRMED CRASHES WITH CONSOLE KEYS PAUSE*

 

Looks beautiful. Superb job as usual, Sheddy!

 

Regards,

 

- Y -

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The colors should be the same or super close no matter what color system used. Gold or Yellow brown is not the color for our fury friend no matter what calibration method is used..  this is an issue that Rasta exacerbates. This is also why the program(RASTA) needs to be told which system to process for and it is still 1 color off in that mode. NTSC 1 and NTSC II are not so far apart that this should be so visible if you wish to go down that path. The broadcast industry would have imploded if that had been the case, but the first system was not in use very long. Just about all are calibrated to the 2nd NTSC colorspace unless you are going back to CTIA and the earliest designs... in which case you would not be running much of anything on that machine either. At one time even the emulator had 2 choices for palette and currently has a further luma correction added. I've got nearly the same results using, 800, 800XL, 130XE. JVC television, Olevia LCD, Samsung modern display, or NEC crt. SInce you questioned calibration... I hooked up to kid's RCA tv and and an old Magnavox monitor that were NOT calibrated outside of what the factory did during manufacture. I also snagged my daughters 130XE that was not touched in color adjustment or video since it rolled of Atari's assembly line. SAME results. I am providing feedback to make things the best they can be. There is no need to defend or equivocate about close enough etc. The title screen on the first Space Harrier and it's title screen worked very well on both sides of the pond (although some complained of flicker)

 

It probably would require two versions or a way to select color palette to please everyone. All I did was report the findings errors and bugs as requested with a snapshot to show what is on the screen. But now that I have got the same results on a multitude of systems and displays... I think I'll stand by what is.

 

It helped then and I am pretty sure it will help now to report everything we find no matter how big or small on this labor of love, my only regret is I no longer have a Space Harrier arcade cabinet close by to do direct comparison with. I bet it's in someones personal arcade somewhere now.

Edited by _The Doctor__

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The colors should be the same or super close no matter what color system used. Gold or Yellow brown is not the color for our fury friend no matter what calibration method is used..  this is an issue that Rasta exacerbates.(…)

 

Logically, that's how it should be... but in reality, it will never be

 

If you look at sheddy's avatar, the fury friend is nowhere near green, in any form or shape. It is a brighter (and closer) version of what's up here in the old Atari NTSC rendering.

 

Another way to realize these differences are the backdrop screen of Koronis Rift. If it shows green (correct, in today's terms) then you are under modern NTSC decode. If it shows RED / GOLDEN, then you are under older (original) Atari NTSC rendering.

 

Nothing we can do about it, except correcting Phase (hue) and color-pot. End of the movie (unfortunately). I had to configure two separate input-paths on my video processor, so I can render NTSC under these two variants, on either Y/C or Composite video. 

Edited by Faicuai

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Argh....good old NTSC.....still Never The Same Color...... :D

How does one correctly calibrate a NTSC or PAL CRT/real Atari ?

Wait a minute......with my Sophia equipped 600XL the color pot does nothing anymore using the RGB output....so this is probs ly a useless exercise.....must say I have nothing at all to complain about the colours, both with NTSC ANTIC or PAL ANTIC selected. AFAIK Sophia recognises what ANTIC is in use and adjusts color Palette according to it...... Edited by Level42

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Green? Why green? I don't get it... If the Atari is calibrated to proper color on the broadcast standard used by the display device the color will be correct. If the Atari is paired up with the same system it was intended to be used with they will match. You run into the problems when you take ntsc 1 equipment and mixe it with NTSC II equipment and don't adjust one to match the other.  Do you know the years the systems switched since 1938?
1953 colorimetric values
1987 SMPTE C (Conrac) without color correction (1994). a consequence 480i signals, SMPTE "C" colorimetry should be assumed unless colorimetric data is included in the transport stream for modern television
Japanese NTSC never changed primaries and whitepoints to SMPTE "C" and continued to use the 1953 NTSC primaries and whitepoints.
Both the PAL and SECAM systems used the original 1953 NTSC colorimetry as well until 1970 unlike NTSC the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) rejected color correction in receivers and studio monitors that year and called for all equipment to directly encode signals for the "EBU" colorimetric values to improve color fidelity
 
The earliest 800's had some color issues and in true Atari form, there were mix ups as to what should be what and when.. but they at least adjusted the color pot to put the correct colors on the televisions of that year... this isn't that difficult!

 

I tried to include links to wiki but realized what a mess it is to do so

Edited by _The Doctor__

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If you  know the history. never the same color isn't true at all, and pal had the same issues till 1970 in many respects. My overly simplistic response does not include all dates and changes but gives the general idea. Somewhere on the forums I and others completely dissected this to it's inception. so search it out for some good ole technical talk and fun. You can drill down on phases and quadrature encoding if you so desire...  I'll make mistakes now as it's all fading away, but it doesn't mean it isn't in there. It's easy enough to rediscover.

 

Like I said, they adjusted the color pot and made a tweak here or there. but for the most part if the teleivision is adjusted to broadcast standards and the computer is adjusted to the tv it all comes out pretty much like it should. Artifacting is where the real evil begins. And it was fun getting all the artifacts included in a handy dandy video upgrade everyone loves. that discussion took a year or more til someone could see it and verified it.

 

Anyway my days of calibrating displays are long gone, well almost, this past week..[attachment=599509:color.jpg]

 

frequency- notice 59 and not 60? because 59.99 whatever is just like the Atari STILL. I listen to folks complain about real time clocks over the years.. once the Atari is counting the time you have to adjust for the real frequency or you need to pull the time from the real time clock and update it before it drifts. The Atari is not at fault. it's timing is correct, the error is with the persons code. This is true to this day. Please note how bad an iPhone camera mangles this display!

 

The slightly less than 60 is significant for programming also, you have to cut a things just short of what you think you have so that you don't end up getting some issues. How many times people miss count...

Edited by _The Doctor__

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Fix for the console key crash attached
I must admit that The Doctor's NTSC surprised me. The change in the NTSC standard is annoying!
I was happy that Altirra NTSC was close enough to the intended colour but will probably have to think again by the looks of it.

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Changes since 2011 release, in no particular order:

-RastaConverter based title screen
-Object shadows
-5-bit samples with higher sample rate
-More continues allowed
-Boss names show on stage 18
-Fix crash/corruption that can happen if a bullet homing onto a ground robot bounces down off hitting indestructible scenery
-Updated WiWi Jumbo end boss graphics
-Saves Stage unlocking back to Cart
-Start key works as start(!)
-Cheat Easter egg
-The big "nuke" explosions
-More attract/demo stages

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Argh...You just had to slip a cheat Easter egg in :)

 

I'll now have to search it out just to know it!

 

Seriously, thanks for the improvements to an already stonking game...

 

/me slaps a virtual pint on the table 

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Changes since 2011 release, in no particular order:
-RasterConverter based title screen
-Object shadows
-5-bit samples with higher sample rate
-More continues allowed
-Boss names show on stage 18
-Fix crash/corruption that can happen if a bullet homing onto a ground robot bounces down off hitting indestructible scenery
-Updated WiWi Jumbo end boss graphics
-Saves Stage unlocking back to Cart
-Start key works as start(!)
-Cheat Easter egg



Simply........amazing !!!!!!!!

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If you  know the history. never the same color isn't true at all, and pal had the same issues till 1970 in many respects. My overly simplistic response does not include all dates and changes but gives the general idea. Somewhere on the forums I and others completely dissected this to it's inception. so search it out for some good ole technical talk and fun. You can drill down on phases and quadrature encoding if you so desire...  I'll make mistakes now as it's all fading away, but it doesn't mean it isn't in there. It's easy enough to rediscover.
 
Like I said, they adjusted the color pot and made a tweak here or there. but for the most part if the teleivision is adjusted to broadcast standards and the computer is adjusted to the tv it all comes out pretty much like it should. Artifacting is where the real evil begins. And it was fun getting all the artifacts included in a handy dandy video upgrade everyone loves. that discussion took a year or more til someone could see it and verified it.
 
Anyway my days of calibrating displays are long gone, well almost, this past week..attachicon.gifcolor.jpg
 
frequency- notice 59 and not 60? because 59.99 whatever is just like the Atari STILL. I listen to folks complain about real time clocks over the years.. once the Atari is counting the time you have to adjust for the real frequency or you need to pull the time from the real time clock and update it before it drifts. The Atari is not at fault. it's timing is correct, the error is with the persons code. This is true to this day. Please note how bad an iPhone camera mangles this display!
 
The slightly less than 60 is significant for programming also, you have to cut a things just short of what you think you have so that you don't end up getting some issues. How many times people miss count...


Dude......it was a little joke. And now my head hurts and it is your fault....... there that was another little joke.

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Here is what I am seeing on my NTSC 800XL :

 

[attachment=599527:SH 2018.jpg]

 

 

 

By comparison, the 20011 release looks like this on the same machine :

 

[attachment=599528:SH 2011.jpg]

 

 

 

The colors on my 3DS look like this (it is the most readily availible version that I had to compare with) :

 

[attachment=599530:SH 3DS.jpg]

 

 

I only was able to play test for a very short time because of toddler issues but otherwise things seemed great.  Extra continues will certainly be a huge help to my lackluster gameplaying skills!

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Fix for the console key crash attached
I must admit that The Doctor's NTSC surprised me. The change in the NTSC standard is annoying!
I was happy that Altirra NTSC was close enough to the intended colour but will probably have to think again by the looks of it.

 

Beautiful!!! Now console-keys work as pause!

 

Not sure if you have noticed, but the rendering of black-point throughout the intro, game, etc. is NOT Atari's true black... it is about one or two shades above it.

 

Could you try setting background color to real / true zero? This will provide a very welcome boost of perceived contrast, without touching anything else on the game...

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Here is what I am seeing on my NTSC 800XL :

 

attachicon.gifSH 2018.jpg

 

 

 

By comparison, the 20011 release looks like this on the same machine :

 

attachicon.gifSH 2011.jpg

 

 

 

The colors on my 3DS look like this (it is the most readily availible version that I had to compare with) :

 

attachicon.gifSH 3DS.jpg

 

 

I only was able to play test for a very short time because of toddler issues but otherwise things seemed great.  Extra continues will certainly be a huge help to my lackluster gameplaying skills!

 

You are reproducing modern NTSC color standard, and that is why you are getting the green.

 

Confirm by launching Koronis Rift, and check the very first splash-screen. If it shows green and yellow-green, you are with the latest NTSC decode scheme.

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