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TIX

H.E.R.O. sprite hack

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Hello,

 

After Pole Position I wanted something simple and straightforward to rest my eyes.

H.E.R.O. was made with the future hacker in mind,

with the clearly defined sprite section, simple one layer, high resolution sprites, and room to improve !

I think the sprites are copy paste from the 2600 version.. lets change that ! :P

 

So objectives are:

  • Improve main sprite animation, with something better/closer to c64 HERO 2,
  • replace the spider with a (new) crab like critter, wobbling in place,
  • replace the bat with a (new) spider, moving up and down on a string of web,
  • replace the butterfly with a (new) bat, flying around,
  • improve the snake and tentacle somehow..

 

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I was a fan of H.E.R.O. in the 2600 days, but maybe played it once or twice only (as well as most Activision 2600-8-bit ports) because there was nothing new. I never expected the game to be "deeper" but definitely the graphics. I was always disappointed in Activision and some other vaunted 2600 publishers when it came to A8 conversions that were more or less direct 2600 ports. Thank God Atari never did this with their classic arcade line-ups...please, make me want to play H.E.R.O again!

 

Activision is always a mixed bag, and I'm not sure what their thought process was...some great games with great A8 quality graphics, I guess maybe because they were made with the A8 in mind? And some games that were barely improved 2600 ports. Maybe it was a format thing, and cartridges kept low memory and therefore barely better ports from the 2600, but if you got Activision disk based games you got quality made to use the A8 hardware?

 

Of course they were all games that oozed quality on the 2600, considering it's limitations, but that's no excuse to not improve on the versions for 5200 or A8, especially when you see C64 versions with larger improvements. The difference from game to game in quality and effort still baffles me today. Maybe it was all the bottom line and sales numbers, but better quality means more sales and they did it with some 8-bit software, just not for 2600 upgrades...

 

But I quickly learned back in the day to avoid like the plague, all Activision titles for the A8 that I'd already owned and played to death on the 2600, because it would be a waste of money since I had the 2600 versions to play already. But I would have been disappointed in the quality even if I'd never owned a 2600 and they were new to me...other publishers I was buying up improved versions of games over the 2600 left and right, because they were genuine improvements and not merely, nearly direct ports. Sega for example, I loved their 2600 arcade ports (except Zaxxon)and was overjoyed by the upgraded 8-bit cartridge versions over the 2600 versions, the best being Zaxxon.

 

Imagine this: Take the 2600 out of the equation, isolating the Atari 8-bit and it's versions of Activision titles and ask yourself if that was the reality, Activision exclusive to the Atari 8-bit and it's versions of their games the definitive versions, would you consider Activision to be so prolific (compared to other A8 software of the times) a developer for the times?

 

May H.E.R.O be only the first of improved hacks of Actvision 2600 ports...

Edited by Gunstar
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Great idea, always thought they could have done better with the graphics on this. Look at the Colecovision version, for example.

I'll follow this with interest.

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For better or worse, Activisions policy with ports was to make them as similar as possible across platforms. The 2600 was their lead platform, and a lowest common denominator.

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For some games that really doesn't matter. Take the outstanding seaquest port. It looks nice on 2600 so it is no loss that is a 1:1 port. The gameplay is absolutely great, so I actually wouldn't care for better gfx.

 

And to be honest. I feel slightly the same about H.E.R.O. ... I still love it. Indeed the gfx are not a8 to the max, but still... they fit the nostalgic and authentic 80's experience....

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H.E.R.O. critter 1:

 

old spider vs new crab

I choose to change the spider with something else because it only animates in place, and I wanted the spider to move..

 

post-65-0-03179100-1544346568.jpg

post-65-0-56054000-1544346574.jpg

Edited by TIX
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H.E.R.O. critter 2:

 

old bat vs new spider

Now the spider can move up and down, and thanks to a graphic glitch, it climbs on a string ;-)

post-65-0-14619000-1544355169.jpg

post-65-0-22888300-1544355178.jpg

Edited by TIX
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H.E.R.O. critter 3:

 

old butterfly ?!?!? vs new bat

Now the bat flies around

post-65-0-75019700-1544359716.jpg

post-65-0-63084200-1544359724.jpg

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H.E.R.O. critter 4:

 

old snake vs new snake

post-65-0-82121900-1544360315.jpg

post-65-0-19380100-1544360323.jpg

Edited by TIX
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H.E.R.O. critter 2:

 

old bat vs new spider

Now the spider can move up and down, and thanks to a graphic glitch, it climbs on a string ;-)

This "creature" sprite looks cool, but it doesn't look like a spider to me. Not that the original spider looked all that good anyway.

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May I point out that some

Sprites are taking too much space and therefore changing game play? E.g. the butterfly.

 

 

I don't understand..

 

The original butterfly you mean ? it's 8x10 pixels !

The new bat is occupying the same dimensions.. the same is true for all changed sprites

Edited by TIX

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H.E.R.O. critter 3:

 

old butterfly ?!?!? vs new bat

Now the bat flies around

More likely supposed to be a giant moth or something like that, butterflies don't do caves. ;)

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I don't understand..

 

The original butterfly you mean ? it's 8x10 pixels !

The new bat is occupying the same dimensions.. the same is true for all changed sprites

no, old bat vs. new spider, the spider you drew (I understand pixel restrictions) just doesn't look much like a spider to me, it looks cool, maybe more scorpion looking? I like the new bat you made out of the old "butterfly" and the rest, I even like this one, but it doesn't take my imagination in the direction of "spider." My imagination can accept it as it looks if it's called a scorpion.

Edited by Gunstar

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This "creature" sprite looks cool, but it doesn't look like a spider to me. Not that the original spider looked all that good anyway.

 

yeah I have moved the enemies around

 

the crab 'creature' occupies the spiders spot,

the spider has been moved in place of the bat

and the bat in place of the butterfly (or I don't know what this is)

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Sorry, I thought you were replying to me TIX, in my reply #17 above, so never mind about the first part, I thought you were confused with what I was referring too.

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I don't suppose you could do animated gifs of the sprites could you? I think I have a site bookmarked that you can make them on, I just haven't actually tried it myself yet, it was for future reference.

 

Here is the site: https://imgflip.com/gif-maker

 

I guess I can take the images you posted and do it for myself. :-o

 

Oh, no, I can't each pair is one image... :_(

Edited by Gunstar

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How does one get the animated avatars like you have TIX? I just made an animated GIF I wanted to use for mine, but it isn't animated once I uploaded it.

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I mean you have to take care that they animated and occupy in sprite frames same pixel space. I see you set more pixels etc. I just wanted to point out that hero is a pixel perfect game and when you change size than you might change the gameplay.

 

The butterfly middle frames leave more space for player etc.

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Imho think of changing the bat or birds in Pitfall 2.... there are ppl who exactly know where to stand and stop so they get not hit.

 

And if I am not wrong Hero uses hardware collision detection so every pixel counts.

Edited by Heaven/TQA

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