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doug1522

Castlevania Bloodlines - Wavy Input Lines

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Hi everyone!  At the 3:50 mark in the below video, the player enters an area with water, and the water looks like wavy static lines.  This happened on my modded Model 2 and I thought it might be caused by a bad mod-job, but looks like its just part of the game?  Does anyone know why this happens?

 

 

 

 

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Does this happen on a real cart or are you using a flash cart of some sort?  I've played this on my Genesis 2 and I've never seen that before.  That's not normal.

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Flash Cart on real Model 2 hardware.  I just tested on my Mister with the same result, so it seems that's how the game actually is. Maybe others can test to see.  Its takes about 2-mins to get to the water section from the start of the game.

Edited by doug1522

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Yeah, just  for kicks, I checked this out on a original Genesis, Gen Model 2, Mega SG (all original cart) and Mister.   All have the same behavior --

 

That room has the wavy line all the way across the screen, alternated flashes to emulate moving water, I suppose.  You can see how it looks "in real time" in the screen below.   1 is from HDMI and one is on CRT.    When I pause, or try to capture video, though, it only shows the "broken waves" like the video above.

 

 

I dunno... if you're seeing just the random 4 or 5 short lines, then yeah, that doesn't seem normal.  But if you're seeing the line all the way across, then probably not an issue (I hope) since it's doing it on all my hardware, too  😁

 

 

Not too useful, I'm sure, but it kind of interested me so I thought I'd check it out.

 

HDMI (full water waves)

20210928_224841_resized.jpg.3ee9e8f34d56f26ea43abf6e08869a20.jpg

 

 

HDMI Paused

20210928_224846_resized.jpg.e618c7406e2acba9591b27d0cf751510.jpg

 

CRT (full water waves)

20210928_225506_resized.jpg.ea22d80bbc1f4455f434952c6d171fc7.jpg

 

CRT when paused or trying to capture video

20210928_225442_resized.jpg.538a8bb7eedd561311bb58a0af8157c9.jpg

 

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Functioning as intended. You will see a very similar effect in Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic CD, and Sonic 3. You won't see it in Sonic & Knuckles, though, as Sonic & Knuckles has no water.

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Thanks everyone, and to Razzie.P for the awesome comparisons.  This static effect on the water is super interesting - I'm surprised I can't find more about it from original gamers. I'd expect OG gamers back in the day to also have questioned why that was happening, thinking their Genesis was broken :)

 

Regarding this effect in Sonic, attached is a video clip I recorded, of the Sonic loading screen (Genesis into OSSC).  You can see another static line at the bottom.  I assume this is normal?  Perhaps an area that would have been cropped on CRTs?

 

 

Edited by doug1522

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11 hours ago, Steven Pendleton said:

Functioning as intended. You will see a very similar effect in Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic CD, and Sonic 3. You won't see it in Sonic & Knuckles, though, as Sonic & Knuckles has no water.

Forgot to thread the last response into this quote.  @Steven Pendleton  - is the above video what you're referring to for Sonic?

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Yes this is actually normal. It is essentially you seening the segments from the flickering to simulate the water in motion. In emulation, s-video, and likely RGB on modern displays you will see that broken effect. Similar to how artifacting and the checkerboards or dithering were used to create the illusion of alternate colors.

 

The newly released game Demons of Asteborg also has this same effect in a portion of the game where water levels rise and the player has to get above it. Strange to see if you aren't used to it, but it is supposed to go all the way across and the effect essentially gets broken with modern displays being used with increased video output vs composite or RF on a CRT.

 

The sonic video you posted is showing what is known as CRAM dots. Basically that is the color palette being shifted around in video ram. And you are correct, on a CRT that is below the visible area of the screen and was never seen. Wasn't until modern displays and scalers came along that we started to see stuff like this. With the OSSC and I'm assuming other devices, you can mask out areas on the screen to hide that. I've done that with my specific Genesis profile that I have saved in my OSSC.

 

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16 hours ago, doug1522 said:

Forgot to thread the last response into this quote.  @Steven Pendleton  - is the above video what you're referring to for Sonic?

Those are the CRAM dots. Go to Hydrocity, Labyrinth, Tidal Tempest, or Aquatic Ruin (or all of them) and you will see the one I mean. The technique used in all of these instances is identical in that they all basically constantly change between a few different tiles every few frames or something like that to simulate movement and transparency, but the effect is done much better in Sonic and it looks a lot better there. It's otherwise identical as far as I remember.

Edited by Steven Pendleton

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@Razzie.P

When using the Mega SG, have you tried using the dither blending feature? I find that turning it on with the slider at its lowest setting usually gives the best image on games with heavy dithering and checkerboard patterns. It's not as perfect as a CRT obviously, but it's usually a significant improvement in the visuals, particularly when effects such as waves are concerned. 

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58 minutes ago, profholt82 said:

@Razzie.P

When using the Mega SG, have you tried using the dither blending feature? I find that turning it on with the slider at its lowest setting usually gives the best image on games with heavy dithering and checkerboard patterns. It's not as perfect as a CRT obviously, but it's usually a significant improvement in the visuals, particularly when effects such as waves are concerned. 

I did not.  I'm not sure I've ever touched that setting actually, so it's probably at its default setting.    I can check it out when I get home in a couple of days, though, and see what happens

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17 hours ago, Razzie.P said:

I did not.  I'm not sure I've ever touched that setting actually, so it's probably at its default setting.    I can check it out when I get home in a couple of days, though, and see what happens

I think it's a very useful feature. There are certain times when it has trouble with a certain screen or menu, but most of the time, I find that it helps to blend the checkerboard patterns and effects pretty well. So many Genesis games relied on visual tricks like that which you could pull off on a CRT, but tend to look kind of ugly in crisp HD on a modern set. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts after testing it out on a few games. 

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