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Xebec

Would Metroid / Legend of Zelda be possible/good on the 5200?

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Just curious - are there any technical limitations of the 5200 that would have prevented Metroid or Zelda from being possible or even "good" on the 5200 platform?

 

Just looking at specs of the consoles:

RAM:  5200 has 16KB, NES had 2KB, though also an additional 2KB available for video only (= faster graphics?)

CPU:  both 6502 at roughly same MHz

Sound:  POKEY should be OK 

Cartridge size:  NES can do up to 512KB,  but it looks like the 5200 can go beyond 32KB with bank switching

Graphics:  both have horizontal and vertical scrolling, but NES has 4x the colors per sprites (4 vs 1), can support a lot more sprites,  and I think a lot more colors at the given resolution (256x240) without tricks.  I don't think Sprite size is a problem on the 5200.

 

So would Zelda and Metroid have been possible?      I'm leaning towards bad experience given the colors vs. resolution limitations of ANTIC/GTIA vs. NES but curious if there are innovative ways around this without costing too many CPU cycles.

 

Thanks! 

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THAT is an interseting question, and one that would push the capabilities of the 5200, and since you brought up NES classics like both Metroid and The Legend Of Zelda, I at one time brought up on the 7800 forums the idea of perhaps a port of R-Type on it, and since you brought up yours I too, will renew my idea bot only this time for a 5200 version of R-Type, with 32K of ROM and an abundant 16K or RAM, and, so much more understanding about how to make the most of every bit of the 16 kilobits of RAM and 32K of ROM, and the fact that we CANNOT rule out nor underestimate either the possibility or capability of bank-switching, and the fact that M.U.L.E. was ported over to it for the Atarimax multicart and that other megacarts like it can be done on Big Sexy as well, I don't see where even the most experienced of programmers like our own Paul Lay @playsoft or @Ryan Witmer or @TIX or anyone else here on AA would have a problem or too much trouble doing mega-games like those three.

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A similar game is entirely possible and it would rock on 5200.  5200 could closely mimic the backgrounds, animation, scrolling, and sounds.  The caveats:

 

  • 5200 would likely need to have more 1-color sprites, or flickering, or need to use more software sprites. Or a smart combination. But it couldn't exactly match NES Zelda sprites IMO. 
  • NES Zelda is 128K - a big game, lots of work even just duplicating what is already done. You'd need a team to get it done in timely manner with high quality.    Plus big N would not allow the same music and visual images even when the game was renamed. 
  • Outside of some AA members, like me, Nobody plays 5200, lots of effort for such a small 'market'.  Who would you find that is willing? 
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11 minutes ago, Cafeman said:
  • Who would you find that is willing? 

*Raises hand*

 

After I finish Rob 'n' Banks, I'm going to start goofing around with the 512KB cart, and I've actually been thinking about a game along these lines.  My ideas have been closer to The Guardian Legend than Zelda, but there are a lot of similarities there.

 

Right now all I have are ideas and I haven't even touched the 512KB cart or even looked into how its bank-switching works.  Depending on the project, I might also develop it simultaneously for the PC and do a combined release, not really sure.

 

Anyway, no promises or anything, but I do have some ideas and I would really like to do something big.

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1 hour ago, Ryan Witmer said:

*Raises hand*

 

After I finish Rob 'n' Banks, I'm going to start goofing around with the 512KB cart, and I've actually been thinking about a game along these lines.  My ideas have been closer to The Guardian Legend than Zelda, but there are a lot of similarities there.

 

Right now all I have are ideas and I haven't even touched the 512KB cart or even looked into how its bank-switching works.  Depending on the project, I might also develop it simultaneously for the PC and do a combined release, not really sure.

 

Anyway, no promises or anything, but I do have some ideas and I would really like to do something big.

I know of the game but never played The Guardian Legend. Would you go for the same RPG/shooter style of game or just more along the lines of the RPG part? Talk about a AAA release for the 5200. 

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1 hour ago, Cafeman said:
  • Outside of some AA members, like me, Nobody plays 5200, lots of effort for such a small 'market'.  Who would you find that is willing? 

This made me laugh. My 5200 hates me. It's like in (the movie) Apollo 13 where they were trying to fire up the Command Module in the correct sequence. Feels like the same procedure every time the 5200 is powered on. Each time I wonder if something is just to pop again. It is a 4 port and it still uses the original switch box. It really needs the power mod done.  

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3 hours ago, Cafeman said:

A similar game is entirely possible and it would rock on 5200.  5200 could closely mimic the backgrounds, animation, scrolling, and sounds.  The caveats:

 

  • 5200 would likely need to have more 1-color sprites, or flickering, or need to use more software sprites. Or a smart combination. But it couldn't exactly match NES Zelda sprites IMO. 
  • NES Zelda is 128K - a big game, lots of work even just duplicating what is already done. You'd need a team to get it done in timely manner with high quality.    Plus big N would not allow the same music and visual images even when the game was renamed. 
  • Outside of some AA members, like me, Nobody plays 5200, lots of effort for such a small 'market'.  Who would you find that is willing? 

Thanks for the reply!

 

I was just more curious from an academic perspective,  perhaps from some people who have developed for the 5200 (or Atari 8bit line) to see if such "masterpieces" (admittedly my bias) would have been possible on the platform.  

 

I do know Metroid regularly exceeded the sprite limit on the NES causing flickering, so I'm assuming they had to do something at least partially in software to enable enough enemies on screen for those situations too.  

 

Did the VRAM on the NES allow it to use significantly more CPU time than the 5200 has? 

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4 hours ago, discotronic said:

I know of the game but never played The Guardian Legend. Would you go for the same RPG/shooter style of game or just more along the lines of the RPG part?.

I haven't really thought that far ahead yet.  I'll need to spend some time with the giant cart and do a few proof-of-concept engines to get a better idea of what I want to do.

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@playsoft has already demonstrated (on the A8 ) that a Gameboy style engine is possible. 

 

I for one would like to see a Final Fantasy type engine.

Edited by Wrathchild
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On 9/28/2021 at 5:33 AM, Xebec said:

Just curious - are there any technical limitations of the 5200 that would have prevented Metroid or Zelda from being possible or even "good" on the 5200 platform?

 

Just looking at specs of the consoles:

RAM:  5200 has 16KB, NES had 2KB, though also an additional 2KB available for video only (= faster graphics?)

CPU:  both 6502 at roughly same MHz

Sound:  POKEY should be OK 

Cartridge size:  NES can do up to 512KB,  but it looks like the 5200 can go beyond 32KB with bank switching

Graphics:  both have horizontal and vertical scrolling, but NES has 4x the colors per sprites (4 vs 1), can support a lot more sprites,  and I think a lot more colors at the given resolution (256x240) without tricks.  I don't think Sprite size is a problem on the 5200.

 

So would Zelda and Metroid have been possible?      I'm leaning towards bad experience given the colors vs. resolution limitations of ANTIC/GTIA vs. NES but curious if there are innovative ways around this without costing too many CPU cycles.

 

Thanks! 

 

There's modern A8 games coming out of Poland that easily blow away NES graphics. The *only* [ha!] things holding those titles back from playing on the 5200 are PAL/NTSC conversion work, the various addresses that need changing to work on the 5200, blood/sweat/tears, and 64K of RAM.

 

"Ultimate 1MB" 5200 Edition, plugged into the ANTIC socket. Bam. Throw in a PIA for added SIO Port functionality madness and then we could have MIDI Maze ported. Or that 8-Bit Slicks game. A8 Stunt Car Racer with a 5200 Paddle would be sweet.

Edited by Lynxpro

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On 10/27/2021 at 7:45 PM, Lynxpro said:

 

There's modern A8 games coming out of Poland that easily blow away NES graphics. The *only* [ha!] things holding those titles back from playing on the 5200 are PAL/NTSC conversion work, the various addresses that need changing to work on the 5200, blood/sweat/tears, and 64K of RAM.

 

"Ultimate 1MB" 5200 Edition, plugged into the ANTIC socket. Bam. Throw in a PIA for added SIO Port functionality madness and then we could have MIDI Maze ported. Or that 8-Bit Slicks game. A8 Stunt Car Racer with a 5200 Paddle would be sweet.

Sure but I was thinking of the original spec 5200 back in the day -- which would have been limited to 16KB of RAM, and also with some cartridge size limitations..    I'm just curious if it was good enough to compete with NES technically, had it actually received the software support (and Atari support) it deserved :)

 

Obviously the 5200 has much better sound than the 7800 :) .. 

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