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Mr. Postman

*FOUND & DUMPED* NTSC Lilly Adventure

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It Does appear that the Turtle and crocodile sprites are indeed in the proper place on the NTSC version and floaty in the Homevision and others, however the traditional copies we know also look a bit squished.
 

Verrrry interesting. Another Taiwanese can of worms.

 

This is an interesting take on Homevision! Obviously the squished floating turtle hovering in the air above the purple water, paired up with the painfully slow & awful audio is most likely incorrect. We should probably look again at Homevision/Gem. They were probably more of a Zimag (with better funding) than a sole Dev, especially with the Gem Proto/Sample “Jacky Jump” Bobby being a Bit Cart. Who knows, but vintage carts tell no lies.
 

I personally find it of absolutely no surprise that a game developed in an NTSC Country would most likely have originally began it’s life as an NTSC game. 🤷🏻‍♂️

F38EA4CE-2927-4005-A651-ABC19DE22B64.jpeg

 

 

Edited by Mr. Postman
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4 hours ago, Mr. Postman said:

Hey now! Lol

I didn’t know that Toki was available, great game at the Arcade.

 

Have you sat down & played this Lilly yet? Have you enjoyed the gameplay so far? 🙂

 

Toki has been waiting to be released for a long time now. It's not a swipe at your awesomeness in dumping this game by any means. All I got is love for what you did here. :)

 

EDIT: The binary is not available for Toki 7800 as it's being protected at least until the cartridge release happens. Something that has been years in the waiting game state but is ready to be made as of a couple months ago.

 

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I’ve compared emulation of both my NTSC cart VS PAL and can confirm that on the NTSC the water level has risen by 1 pixel to create the satisfactory image instead of the turtles and alligators being lowered by 1 pixel to avoid the hovering/floating on the PAL.

Edited by Mr. Postman
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The user Ballblazer whom I'd like to think of as a friend has a lot of knowledge about all these strange releases. He's informed me of an existing NTSC ROM that was from some Mexico region (maybe) console with built-in games (Jone Yuan). The Lilly sprite seems to look about the correct colors, but the Speed is way too fast similar to the Jentsch conversion. I assume it's also a PAL to NTSC conversion because of the fast "turbo' speed for both game play and sound just like the Jentsch. None the less I'm going to attach the file here so that everyone can compare all known instances of this title.

 

When comparing all options it seems obvious that the Common PAL is noticeably too slow and the Jentsch/Jone Yuan are way too fast. Thoughts?

 

 

Lilly Adventure (Jone Yuan Telephonic Enterprise Co).a26

Edited by Mr. Postman
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I think it would be interesting to see how the Bobby is Going Home NTSC version compares to the PAL version...

 

And maybe use that same data and cross-reference it.

 

How does Bobby NTSC compare to Lilly NTSC?  Bobby PAL to Lilly PAL?  Bobby NTSC to Lilly PAL... etc.

 

I wonder if there's bits of code in there that can shed some light on whether the same group of programmers made the conversions... or what.

 

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3 hours ago, CaptainBreakout said:

I think it would be interesting to see how the Bobby is Going Home NTSC version compares to the PAL version...

 

And maybe use that same data and cross-reference it.

 

How does Bobby NTSC compare to Lilly NTSC?  Bobby PAL to Lilly PAL?  Bobby NTSC to Lilly PAL... etc.

 

I wonder if there's bits of code in there that can shed some light on whether the same group of programmers made the conversions... or what.

 

Well, to me it’s seems rather obvious that Lilly is the Spiritual sequel to Bobby, and the Proto Gem cart of “Jacky Jump” was a Bit Corp cart. 
 

However when it comes to Bit NTSC vs PAL everything gets confusing. I often find PAL colors to look nicer (Blue skies in PAL Bobby vs NTSC Purple), yet the original Bit sales fliers and I believe the the instruction manuals also show a drawing using the colors of the NTSC versions. 
 

As far as comparing Lilly code to Bobby, I’ve been told that they don’t.  However it would be interesting to compare gameplay speeds if that’s what you mean? Either way, both really are great games and I’m definitely a fan of the nameless Taiwanese programmer!

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Game looks fun. Any chance numbers at the top of the screen being cut off could be fixed?

 

I'd like to have a repro if the original cart label was cleaned up...I like the Pac-Man and reel to reel

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2 hours ago, Yurkie said:

Game looks fun. Any chance numbers at the top of the screen being cut off could be fixed?

 

I'd like to have a repro if the original cart label was cleaned up...I like the Pac-Man and reel to reel

All the image info displayed properly for someone in Stella. Has anyone tried this on a Harmony cartridge or something in real Atari hardware? It’s possible that it may display fine on real hardware. I only have my retron handy at the moment and I’m also not very familiar with Stella settings. 

 


Also I’ve seen a boxed game before with the box having the same art. 
 

Maybe the guy that posted his Pal Artkaris Moon Patrol earlier in this thread could scan his label in for you if it’s in better condition. ^_^

 

0AE75281-FD9B-43E6-B219-ADF834E57E31.png

Edited by Mr. Postman

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3 hours ago, Mr. Postman said:

All the image info displayed properly for someone in Stella. Has anyone tried this on a Harmony cartridge or something in real Atari hardware? It’s possible that it may display fine on real hardware. I only have my retron handy at the moment and I’m also not very familiar with Stella settings. 

 


Also I’ve seen a boxed game before with the box having the same art. 
 

Maybe the guy that posted his Pal Artkaris Moon Patrol earlier in this thread could scan his label in for you if it’s in better condition. ^_^

 

0AE75281-FD9B-43E6-B219-ADF834E57E31.png

I scanned my Moon Patrol and @Ballblaɀer went and did the hard work of cleaning it up and even making a Lili end label. With repro mark of course...

 

60ACAEA9-B7AB-4979-A498-307CB4613DD0.thumb.jpeg.6c8416747daffed683961033f1aa2329.jpeg27FF9C10-C450-4E66-B225-7A366098CFA5.thumb.jpeg.aa4d0078fa6bc4f48eb34cfc487d57c4.jpeg0C4D29B3-AF31-49DB-A116-DA480EEDE4AC.thumb.jpeg.1cf7f949a3d08f464efc04f410fde6cf.jpeg

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Looks nice. That is also Ballblazer’s Stella screen capture. He seems to know a lot about the ROM differences in Stella. He’s pretty much an overall historian when it comes to foreign carts too.

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On 10/25/2020 at 3:28 PM, atariUCLA24 said:

So all my Argentinian games are PAL. But my Artkaris Moon Patrol that is similar to your Lilly’s Adventure has a P stamped on it. This makes me believe Artkaris probably made both PAL and NTSC intentionally. (Yours does not have a P). Just sharing to add to the info/discussion. 
ECB7E423-394A-4032-93DE-7573A31B5450.thumb.jpeg.d38b3287a9d11d16165ff4bd784b7e54.jpeg

Your game is listed as NTSC on AtariMania. As a matter of fact it’s the only “P” designated cart I see. I‘d agree that the label is probably most certainly designating a PAL region as you’ve said. 
Pretty fun stuff!

 

Do we think that this “P Moon Patrol” cart was not intended to be used on Artkaris consoles? How unique.

 

http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-2600-vcs-p-moon-patrol_36504.html

Edited by Mr. Postman

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1 hour ago, Mr. Postman said:

Your game is listed as NTSC on AtariMania. As a matter of fact it’s the only “P” designated cart I see. I‘d agree that the label is probably most certainly designating a PAL region as you’ve said. 
Pretty fun stuff!

 

Do we think that this “P Moon Patrol” cart was not intended to be used on Artkaris consoles? How unique.

 

http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-2600-vcs-p-moon-patrol_36504.html

Yeah, me and @Ballblaɀer talk a lot about this kind of stuff. Could be, I actually should hopefully have one of their consoles coming in the mail soonish. 
 

@atari181 has an artkaris Enduro with a P stamp. 

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10 minutes ago, atariUCLA24 said:

Yeah, me and @Ballblaɀer talk a lot about this kind of stuff. Could be, I actually should hopefully have one of their consoles coming in the mail soonish. 
 

@atari181 has an artkaris Enduro with a P stamp. 

I do recall an Artkaris console on eBay, but of course the seller said that it didn’t seem to work (which of course my first thought was that a PAL-N console isn’t going to work here.)


lots of luck with your acquisition!

 

Edited by Mr. Postman

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On 11/3/2020 at 2:11 PM, CPUWIZ said:

I can make a small run of these, if there is enough interest. :)

Since I'm unable to play ROMs, I would definitely be interested in a cartridge

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Played through all 99 levels of this today! Kind of a trip that it has an actual end, albeit a totally perfunctory one (you just stop moving at Level "100").

 

Some levels are almost unplayably finicky, so it was wise to include an unlimited-lives mode (right difficulty to B). A pity that they didn't make that the only mode, as trying to play it with limited lifestock (right difficulty to A) would be an exercise in frustration.

 

Speaking of lives, the address with your lives is at $D1 in RAM, and when you set it to $FF you get "hoho" instead of your life count. I thought it might be a sly Easter egg, but no, it's just the "ho" in "Home Vision". :D

 

The stage number is at $D3, and gets incremented midscreen when your character hits the righthand edge. I tried changing the stored value to $FD (or something like that) a couple scanlines afterward, and still got a playable level, so I guess it's procedurally-generated using the level number as a seed?

 

What does the left difficulty switch do -- anything?

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The system needs to be played in “A” difficulty to play all 256 stages. You beat the game once reaching 100 lives or completing stage 256. 
 

If you earn above 99 lives the game is over, so you must purposely die a few lives off periodically to not reach said limit if you want the best high score and experience all 256 levels.
 

Since you have infinite lives in B difficulty & you earn 1 life after beating each stage you will eventually reach the lives limit and the game ends.

Edited by Mr. Postman

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56 minutes ago, Mr. Postman said:

The system needs to be played in “A/A” difficulty to play all 256 stages. Also if you earn above a certain amount of lives the game is over, so you must purposely die a few lives off periodically to not reach said limit if you want the best high score and all 256 levels. Since you have infinite lives in B difficulty & you earn 1 life after beating each stage you will reach the lives limit and the game ends.

Interesting. If correct, that suggests $D3 isn't where the stage number is stored, since it uses binary-coded decimal and you can't represent 256 different numbers that way. Are you sure there are 256 levels as such?

 

You can switch difficulties on the fly, so I'd assume that if you get to Level 99 legitimately, switch to A difflculty, and burn off a few lives, you can keep going normally. I just tried setting address $D3 to value $97, played through Levels 97-99, and it rolled over to Level 00 and value $00 after I cleared Level 99.

 

I'm also realizing that I played through 94 stages, not 99, since the game froze when I hit 99 lives. (I was, incorrectly, looking at the life counter instead of the level counter.) I think that's the key limit -- set $D1 to 99 lives, and the game will automatically freeze on the next screen as it rolls you over to $00, i.e. zero lives.

 

When I set $D3 to various values it definitely teleports me ahead in the game -- though strangely it takes two screens to do so. However it's not matching what I saw in my playthrough, e.g. the very memorable Level 91 which had an unusually tricky placement of a floating enemy such that I had to freefall onto an alligator and time it perfectly to get through. (Also the floating enemy would shift left/right based on proximity, so jumping over him wasn't an option.)

 

I guess the length of time you hold down RESET generates a seed that procedurally generates all the subsequent levels, modulating their difficulty based on some unknown factor (maybe the high byte of $D3, i.e. the group of 10 that the level is in?). $DC, $E8, and $E9 get incremented by one for every frame RESET is held, so maybe that's the seed.

 

So the levels are pseudo-random in some aspects; these playthroughs frequently match each other, but some screens diverge:

 

 

 

I wish I had a savestate from my playthrough so I could see what seed generated the Level 91 I had to play, as it was infuriating but clever!

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I’ll be honest, I haven’t played this game heavily in a long time. The manual states 256 levels. I dumped it as a 4K ROM, by any chance would I need to do it as a bankswitching one or something different?

 

When I was younger I was positive that you had to not reach 100 lives or the game would end and I thought I’d seen videos of people reaching 256.

 

Can you compare what happens after stage 99 in A difficulty mode in the standard PAL Homevision release?

9A516F14-646C-4FDE-9575-9CC600403506.jpeg

Edited by Mr. Postman
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So I’m under the impression that if it’s not 256 levels it’s an infinite loop until you run out of lives or hit 100?

 

I wonder why the manual specifically states 256 stages?

 

edit: Ahhhh, maybe there is a grand total of 256 possible randomly seeded stage options available in total programmed into the game, regardless of how many stages there are per loop (99).

 

———

 

Off topic, but I mentioned earlier about a rapid jump trick while riding on Turtles to get under the smaller floating platforms. It’s a wonderful trick to get past some of the more tedious stages. Just keep walking forward and jumping  once you are at the bottom of the platform and you’ll make it to the other side! :)

 

9D9D2BB8-EF1D-4CA1-8492-EA43C58A61C0.jpeg

Edited by Mr. Postman

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11 hours ago, thegoldenband said:You can switch difficulties on the fly, so I'd assume that if you get to Level 99 legitimately, switch to A difflculty, and burn off a few lives, you can keep going normally.

I was not aware of this, you are correct that you can switch on the fly between “A”dvanced regular mode & “B”eginner infinite lives mode just by toggling the switch. I’ve been learning a lot from this thread! Also yes, tapping reset does randomly create a predetermined set of stage progression based on which “Stage 0” you start with, which could very easily account for 256 unique stages within the game.
 

I’d love if you yourself could compare  with the official PAL Homevision ROM if the stages reset to $00 after beating stage 99. 
 

You seem to legitimately enjoy the game enough to have beat it on infinite lives mode, you should record yourself and go for an official high score on A difficulty.

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14 hours ago, thegoldenband said:

Some levels are almost unplayably finicky, so it was wise to include an unlimited-lives mode (right difficulty to B). A pity that they didn't make that the only mode, as trying to play it with limited lifestock (right difficulty to A) would be an exercise in frustration.

I kinda’ feel like this is where the real challenge and replay value comes from. Recently I’ve only been able to make it until the late 20s / early 30

in stages because i’ll get hung up on a difficult one. It makes it all the more sweet when you finally do pass the stage! 😄

 

Much like a game of pinball, each play through can result in different scores and success. I enjoy the mix of Luck & skill, both in randomized levels and random enemy movements at any given moment that can make for that tiny window of success. That darn Hawk is unforgiving. 🦅

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19 hours ago, Mr. Postman said:

I’ll be honest, I haven’t played this game heavily in a long time. The manual states 256 levels. I dumped it as a 4K ROM, by any chance would I need to do it as a bankswitching one or something different?

 

When I was younger I was positive that you had to not reach 100 lives or the game would end and I thought I’d seen videos of people reaching 256.

 

Can you compare what happens after stage 99 in A difficulty mode in the standard PAL Homevision release?

9A516F14-646C-4FDE-9575-9CC600403506.jpeg

Hey, thanks a bunch for that manual scan! That's really interesting to see that they referenced 256 scenes specifically. I think your younger self was exactly right about 100 lives being the trigger for a GAME OVER. This line is funny: "When she is dead, she loses a life". Well, yes. :)

 

18 hours ago, Mr. Postman said:

edit: Ahhhh, maybe there is a grand total of 256 possible randomly seeded stage options available in total programmed into the game, regardless of how many stages there are per loop (99).

I think that's exactly it -- that, or there are 256 possible stages that can be generated from the seed they're using. Maybe it might be a LFSR similar to the one Pitfall uses?

8 hours ago, Mr. Postman said:

Also yes, tapping reset does randomly create a predetermined set of stage progression based on which “Stage 0” you start with, which could very easily account for 256 unique stages within the game.
 

I’d love if you yourself could compare  with the official PAL Homevision ROM if the stages reset to $00 after beating stage 99. 
 

You seem to legitimately enjoy the game enough to have beat it on infinite lives mode, you should record yourself and go for an official high score on A difficulty.

In the absence of reverse-engineering the game's stage generation algorithm (which I don't have the chops to do), it'd be great to document exactly how many combinations of playfield, enemies, alligators/turtles, and colors there are. It's possible, for example, that there are more than 256 possible combinations but that the differences are cosmetic, i.e. colors.

 

I like the idea of attempting to loop the game on Difficulty A in principle, though right now I'm overcommitted and probably can't take it on (playing it yesterday was a temporary bout of escapism :D ). Still, having completed Difficulty A -- and knowing that the difficult Stage 91 I encountered isn't inevitable -- makes me curious. I might take a shot at checking out that Homevision ROM to see whether it has the same behavior and RAM locations, though!

 

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