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Is an "action/adventure" game the single biggest hole in the 7800 library?

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Posted (edited)

The 7800 is clearly able to reproduce some all-time arcade classics as well if not better than most home systems of its time. Fantastic titles like Joust, Xevious, Food Fight, Commando, Robotron: 2084, Centipede, etc have all been pretty universally praised. 

 

While the addition of the excellent "Bentley Bear's Crystal Quest" more than adequately patched what had been a fairly sizable hole in the realm of side-scrolling platformers on the 7800 (the unremarkable Scrapyard Dog being the only other one that comes to mind), there are still a few genres that remain unaddressed by the ProSystem. 

 

What type/genre of game is the most glaring current omission in the 7800 library, in your opinion?

 

My vote would be "action adventure", and here's why. While the NES had The Legend of Zelda, StarTropics, and Crystalis - and the Sega Master System had Golden Axe Warrior, Ys - The Vanished Omens, and Golvellius - there exists nothing similar on the 7800, despite clearly having the power/ability to make a spectacular game along these lines! Admittedly, some of the aforementioned 8-bit titles teeter between "action adventure" and "action RPG", but these games arrived at a time when these very genres were just beginning to be defined, so some overlap is to be expected. Regardless, knowing that the 7800 easily has the ability to run this sort of game, and yet having nothing to showcase that ability, remains a huge disappointment, even all these years later. Graphically, the Overworld from Zelda was even successfully reproduced on the 7800, and based on my (limited) knowledge of the ProSystem, it seems like technically it would not have been a problem. 

 

A graphically (and gameplay) superior version of "Adventure" would have made the most sense, but alas, we never got to see what could have been. Perhaps, one day a homebrew title might seize this opportunity to show what the 7800 is capable of in regards to this genre!

 

(Sure seems like a quest fit for a Knight.)

Edited by aaron1677
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Midnight Mutants definitely comes the closest to filling that void. However, I'm not really a big fan of that game to be honest. Just never caught my interest. I don't know what it is, but this is a similar issue that I have with a lot of C64 games. Even though I love both that and the 7800, a lot of the games on those systems feel... lifeless, for a lack of a better word. They're missing something that made a lot of NES games so memorable and appealing. I think the sound might have something to do with it. The TIA can produce some impressive stuff, but the system really needed a POKEY chip to produce more complex and catchy tunes.

 

Also, I think the 7800 could definitely use more puzzle games. Dragon's Cache looks fun, but it would be really nice to have more.

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1 hour ago, aaron1677 said:

and the Sega Master System had Golden Axe Warrior, Ys - The Vanished Omens, and Golvellius -

Don’t forget Miracle Warriors, and the epic, Phantasy Star ; ). They were my favs on the system. 

 

If I had the artistic ability, programming chops, and free time, I would tackle Swordquest - Airworld.
 

It’s unfinished business for Atari, it would fill the action/adventure gap, and it would be awesome to take advantage of the 7800’s extra horsepower to finish the series.

 

Any takers?

105FB05F-BE90-4EBB-B77F-1F7362FAEB94.jpeg

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, aaron1677 said:

The 7800 is clearly able to reproduce some all-time arcade classics as well if not better than most home systems of its time. Fantastic titles like Joust, Xevious, Food Fight, Commando, Robotron: 2084, Centipede, etc have all been pretty universally praised. 

 

While the addition of the excellent "Bentley Bear's Crystal Quest" more than adequately patched what had been a fairly sizable hole in the realm of side-scrolling platformers on the 7800 (the unremarkable Scrapyard Dog being the only other one that comes to mind), there are still a few genres that remain unaddressed by the ProSystem. 

 

What type/genre of game is the most glaring current omission in the 7800 library, in your opinion?

 

My vote would be "action adventure", and here's why. While the NES had The Legend of Zelda, StarTropics, and Crystalis - and the Sega Master System had Golden Axe Warrior, Ys - The Vanished Omens, and Golvellius - there exists nothing similar on the 7800, despite clearly having the power/ability to make a spectacular game along these lines! Admittedly, some of the aforementioned 8-bit titles teeter between "action adventure" and "action RPG", but these games arrived at a time when these very genres were just beginning to be defined, so some overlap is to be expected. Regardless, knowing that the 7800 easily has the ability to run this sort of game, and yet having nothing to showcase that ability, remains a huge disappointment, even all these years later. Graphically, the Overworld from Zelda was even successfully reproduced on the 7800, and based on my (limited) knowledge of the ProSystem, it seems like technically it would not have been a problem. 

 

A graphically (and gameplay) superior version of "Adventure" would have made the most sense, but alas, we never got to see what could have been. Perhaps, one day a homebrew title might seize this opportunity to show what the 7800 is capable of in regards to this genre!

 

(Sure seems like a quest fit for a Knight.)

Yes, and now we will all hear (and its probably factual), all the 7800-programmers have thousands of ideas they themselves must chose between prioritizing, so the practical question is:

 

who’ll make such an action/adventure?

 

- - -

No, I cannot keep my mouth shut: I think the fairly over-standard ‘Scrapyard Dog’ got a fairly good boost of charm and cuteness in the hack made be KevinMos3 and me.

 

 

Edited by Giles N

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Giles N said:

Yes, and now we will all hear (and its probably factual), all the 7800-programmers have thousands of ideas they themselves must chose between prioritizing, so the practical question is:

 

who’ll make such an action/adventure?

 

Wizard's Dungeon is more action than adventure, but certainly in that realm (find and level up different spells, random mazes, more and more challenging monsters as you progress, etc).

As I think you alluded to, Knight Guy: A Quest for Something is pretty firmly in the Zelda-esque camp.

Edited by BydoEmpire
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2 minutes ago, BydoEmpire said:

Wizard's Dungeon is more action than adventure, but certainly in that realm (find and level up different spells, random mazes, more and more challenging monsters as you progress, etc).

As I think you alluded to, Knight Guy: A Quest for Something is pretty firmly in the Zelda-esque camp.

Where do you get these games?

 

And... I see reviews of games like Dragons Cache and others...

 

Where do one buy/order them?

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28 minutes ago, Giles N said:

Where do you get these games?

From the links in the part of the post that you quoted.  Both are still WIP so no physical release is available, if that's what you were asking.

 

That aside, there's not much in the way of first-person games in general.  I'm not necessarily referring to FPSes specifically by saying that, but anything that uses that type of perspective.  In fact, that could also be expanded out to isometric games and second- or third-person 3D perspective games.

 

Granted, the 7800 (just) predates sprite scaling becoming commonplace before real-time 3D rendering took over, so 3D was likely never a consideration during its development.  But there are things that can be done with a flat plane view in those regards ;)

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58 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

From the links in the part of the post that you quoted.  Both are still WIP so no physical release is available, if that's what you were asking.

 

That aside, there's not much in the way of first-person games in general.  I'm not necessarily referring to FPSes specifically by saying that, but anything that uses that type of perspective.  In fact, that could also be expanded out to isometric games and second- or third-person 3D perspective games.

 

Granted, the 7800 (just) predates sprite scaling becoming commonplace before real-time 3D rendering took over, so 3D was likely never a consideration during its development.  But there are things that can be done with a flat plane view in those regards ;)

It doesn’t need to be overtly isometric to be a good action/adventure. 
 

The Zelda-game for the Super NES had more like the perspective of ‘Commando’ or ‘Ikari Warriors’, but with tons of puzzles and mazes and highly styled and colorful graphics but with real-time sword-action with foes.

 

All this the 7800 could technically pull off, but... the great but...

 

Ones needs

- a skilled programmer or 2

- a skilled graphician or 2

- skilled musician (preferentially using PokeyOne)

- a game-planner or two that can put up a good balance of real time action with puzzles and mazes.

 

My best suggestion for a franchise to build and expand heavily upon would be to produce ‘Adventure 3’ (Adventure 1 was for the 2600, Adventure 2 was for the 5200 officially recognized by Atari).

 

An ‘Adventure 3’ for the 7800, utilizing all its huge on-screen-sprite capability, scrolling, PokeyOne-sound, and expanding the players to choosing from several 4-8 classes, would keep it ‘atari-heritage’, while opening for using the 7800 for all its worth.

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29 minutes ago, Giles N said:

It doesn’t need to be overtly isometric to be a good action/adventure.

True, but given that the thread title leaves the question of holes in the library somewhat open-ended, it's worth mentioning any area where the 7800's library is coming up short.  However any particular game is implemented is up to the person writing it.

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4 hours ago, Jaden (JRH) said:

Midnight Mutants definitely comes the closest to filling that void. However, I'm not really a big fan of that game to be honest. Just never caught my interest. I don't know what it is, but this is a similar issue that I have with a lot of C64 games. Even though I love both that and the 7800, a lot of the games on those systems feel... lifeless, for a lack of a better word. They're missing something that made a lot of NES games so memorable and appealing. I think the sound might have something to do with it. The TIA can produce some impressive stuff, but the system really needed a POKEY chip to produce more complex and catchy tunes.

 

Also, I think the 7800 could definitely use more puzzle games. Dragon's Cache looks fun, but it would be really nice to have more.

Couldn't agree more about puzzle games! And I completely agree about Midnight Mutants as well. It is the closest thing, but it doesn't quite hit the mark in terms of representing what the 7800 can do with the genre. It's not a bad game, it just feels like it's doing its own quirky thing. The controls and gameplay aren't up to par with games like Zelda and Golden Axe Warrior, the visuals are a bit muddy, and the story and dialogue are campy with a sort of tongue-in-cheek B-movie vibe. To each their own, but a more heroic main character, vibrant color palette, and an engaging fantasy world - using that game's engine - may have gone some ways in increasing its appeal and overall player experience. 

 

Regardless, the 7800 deserves better!

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, aaron1677 said:

Couldn't agree more about puzzle games! And I completely agree about Midnight Mutants as well. It is the closest thing, but it doesn't quite hit the mark in terms of representing what the 7800 can do with the genre. It's not a bad game, it just feels like it's doing its own quirky thing. The controls and gameplay aren't up to par with games like Zelda and Golden Axe Warrior, the visuals are a bit muddy, and the story and dialogue are campy with a sort of tongue-in-cheek B-movie vibe. To each their own, but a more heroic main character, vibrant color palette, and an engaging fantasy world - using that game's engine - may have gone some ways in increasing its appeal and overall player experience. 

 

Regardless, the 7800 deserves better!

What would you think of an ‘Adventure III’ with between 4 and 8 classes to choose from; each character with his/her own ups/downs; the backdrop-grfx-quality higher than Adventure 2 (A5200), multiple items to choose from to use at any chosen time, 20+ types of enemies, several (4-6) super-bosses, selection of plotting or adjusting held item (while asserting chosen weapon never ceased), hints at hidden points, both action and platform-action, mazes based on action to resolve, mazes based on strategy/puzzle to resolve, 8-10 characters of deeper involvement as to story...?

 

What would you think?

 

 

 

Edited by Giles N

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12 hours ago, electronicsibley said:

Don’t forget Miracle Warriors, and the epic, Phantasy Star ; ). They were my favs on the system. 

 

If I had the artistic ability, programming chops, and free time, I would tackle Swordquest - Airworld.
 

It’s unfinished business for Atari, it would fill the action/adventure gap, and it would be awesome to take advantage of the 7800’s extra horsepower to finish the series.

 

Any takers?

105FB05F-BE90-4EBB-B77F-1F7362FAEB94.jpeg

Maybe if someone "reimagined" the entire Swordquest series for the 7800-  better graphics, some text prompts so you can understand what the hell is going on, improved playability.   And possibly put all four worlds in one cart..  that might be something interesting.

 

As it stands now,  the Swordquest series was a let down for me.  

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11 hours ago, Giles N said:

An ‘Adventure 3’ for the 7800, utilizing all its huge on-screen-sprite capability, scrolling, PokeyOne-sound, and expanding the players to choosing from several 4-8 classes, would keep it ‘atari-heritage’, while opening for using the 7800 for all its worth.

'

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10 hours ago, PacManPlus said:

'

Is this something you’ve been pursuing still, or just kept as idea?

 

- - -

 

I think there are many elements of interest here, but I still think the title ‘Adventure III’ would perhaps keep it more continous as to franchise, and I also think that having several charachter-classes and other non-player charachters to encounter and interact with would add depth; they could give hints, sell stuff, be part of a story-line (perhaps a princess in there somewhere - The Princess of The Chalice or something).

 

A top-down-view would both keep it close its predecessors in stule while making it a competitor to Zelda.

 

I like the idea of having both the old enemies and random enemies as possible encounters.

 

One thing I think should be different is that of only being able to possess or manipulate one item at a time.

 

A bag of 8-10 items would be more up-to-date.

 

And I’d like to see some gold and treasure in there to use in stores.

 
But now I’m just brain-storming...

 

I cannot code a single line...

 

Could do some grxf however...

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20 hours ago, zzip said:

 

As it stands now,  the Swordquest series was a let down for me.  

Agreed. Although, I think there’s a lot of potential to mine in the series. My high level take would be 7800 Airworld, with the other titles in the series programmed-in as options to play in their original forms. 

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1 hour ago, electronicsibley said:

Agreed. Although, I think there’s a lot of potential to mine in the series. My high level take would be 7800 Airworld, with the other titles in the series programmed-in as options to play in their original forms. 

Who would want to play the original sword quest games? 

 

There are international human rights laws that prevent this kind of demented torture. 

 

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1 hour ago, Jinks said:

Who would want to play the original sword quest games? 

 

There are international human rights laws that prevent this kind of demented torture. 

 

FWIW, I always enjoyed the original Swordquest games. Never really figured out what I was supposed to do as I didn't have the manuals, but I enjoyed them as a connected series of action games with a cool theme. Sure they could play better, but they looked great and some of the action sequences were fun. Far from the worst games, and with a bit more direction on what to do and how to win they would have been top tier.

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What type/genre of game is the most glaring current omission in the 7800 library, in your opinion?

 

I don't think it's the most glaring, but I would love to see a Contra-style side-scrolling run and gun. I loved that type of game in those days (and today, especially the Metal Slug series). On a personal note, I would love to see it done in a family-friendly, comedic way starring Charley Chuck. Instead of a gun and different gun powerups, he could throw food at enemies and the powerups would be the different types of foods (watermelons, etc.). Give him a magic backpack that he pulls food out of, or a food cannon (similar to a T-shirt cannon) and let him plow through wave after wave of enemies (I'm assuming taking advantage of the 7800 sprite capabilities) and then face a legendary chef as the boss of a level. Throw in some flying vehicle based horizontal shmup-type (think Metal Slug flyer) levels and/or some Robotron chaotic food fight levels to break up the repetitiveness/monotony. Special attention would have to be placed on the animation of the food hitting the enemies, pie chunks hitting, spreading, then fading away, so it's really satisfying. I don't expect this to ever happen, but I can dream (and I would probably take any sequel/continuation of Food Fight).

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2 hours ago, BydoEmpire said:

FWIW, I always enjoyed the original Swordquest games. Never really figured out what I was supposed to do as I didn't have the manuals, but I enjoyed them as a connected series of action games with a cool theme. Sure they could play better, but they looked great and some of the action sequences were fun. Far from the worst games, and with a bit more direction on what to do and how to win they would have been top tier.

When I got Earthworld, I convinced myself I was enjoying it.   I was only able to get so far even with the manual.   Then when Fireworld came out,  it made me realize that the games were just not very good, and I no longer enjoyed even Earthworld.    Never bothered with Waterworld,  I think that was only a limited release anyway through the Atari club?

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I would personally like to see some more original games on the 7800. While sequels to already existing games can be a fun idea, original ideas are more exciting to me. Especially since Rikki & Vikki was so good and had a lot of personality to its characters and overall design, I think the 7800 could really benefit from having more games like that.

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24 minutes ago, Jaden (JRH) said:

I would personally like to see some more original games on the 7800. While sequels to already existing games can be a fun idea, original ideas are more exciting to me. Especially since Rikki & Vikki was so good and had a lot of personality to its characters and overall design, I think the 7800 could really benefit from having more games like that.

Definitely in agreement with the above.  Would also love to see more ports of arcade games (à la Baby Pac-Man) that either didn't see releases on Atari's 8-bit systems or that were good games but obscure enough to not really merit a home version BITD.

 

Oh, and the Bubble Bobble series.  There's enough in the way of sprite capability that this might be doable.

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The Swordquest games were an interesting concept, but IMHO terribly implemented. Who would want to spend all that time reinventing one of those games on 7800, or play such a thing?

 

I imagine a 7800 Adventure 3 (not including PMP's idea) as basically a clone of NES Legend of Zelda. Inventory, health, enemies to battle, multiple weapons to use.  

 

how about a 7800 role playing game that has character classes and battle strategy like Shining Force but includes Atari characters, like Crystal Castles creatures,  the Yars, the Adventure dragons, etc. 

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4 minutes ago, Cafeman said:

The Swordquest games were an interesting concept, but IMHO terribly implemented. Who would want to spend all that time reinventing one of those games on 7800, or play such a thing?

Exactly because they are terribly implemented, it might be a good project for someone to make a playable game out of it.  You already have the lore, some puzzles designed, etc.   You wouldn't have to do a lot of world-building and can focus on the mechanics

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On 5/18/2021 at 1:23 AM, aaron1677 said:

and the story and dialogue are campy with a sort of tongue-in-cheek B-movie vibe

I found this to be one of the better things about the Midnight Mutants, especially with Al Lewis's likeness in it. I agree it doesn't hold a candle to the Zelda games, though. 

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