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Random Terrain

Can H.E.R.O. be fixed so it's random from the start?

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If the following post is true, can someone fix H.E.R.O. so that it is random from the start? I didn't know it contained any randomness because I play about 5 levels and get bored with the same old thing and quit, but if someone makes it so that things are more random from the beginning, I'd add it to the list of my favorite games.

 

H.E.R.O. has 20 levels with many screens on each.

17. After that it's random.

 

So really, it has an infinite number of levels . .

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Nothing is too hard. All it takes is the will. Step 1 would be to disassemble the game and label it at least to the point that the object ram locations are identified. The second step is to recode some routines or compact some data to open up space for the added routine. If somebody tackles part 1, I'd take a stab at part 2 ;)

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Nothing is too hard.  All it takes is the will.  Step 1 would be to disassemble the game and label it at least to the point that the object ram locations are identified.  The second step is to recode some routines or compact some data to open up space for the added routine.  If somebody tackles part 1, I'd take a stab at part 2 ;)

Cool. I hope someone does part 1.

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It's not really random. After level 20 it selects randomly from levels 13-20 for your next level of play. It no longer numbers them, it simply lists the level as "PRO". I think game variation 5 starts on level 17. If you can clear that, it begins the random "PRO" selection of levels after that. It's quite challenging; certainly not like levels 1 thrun 5 where you were bored.

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it isn't necessarily as simple as you say, i don't think, nukey shay. because the atari 2600 has practically no RAM (128 bytes, as you know), i'd be willing to bet that the maps and objects within the maps are stored in ROM. the 2600's complete lack of RAM is the reason pretty much no atari 2600 games featured random map generation (a noteable example is berzerk).

 

because things are probably in ROM, and the RAM's probably pretty full anyway (HERO's a pretty complex game), i'd say there's no space for randomness.

 

therefore, my advice for random terrain is to press the "game select" switch a few times before pressing reset, to jack up the difficulty ;).

 

-duncan

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I've never gotten that far in HERO but it's interesting to hear about the later levels, etc. It's a great game though.

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I have gotten one million on both the 2600 and the 8-bit version. I can say that the 8-bit version is harder (there are added motions to the enemies)

 

It is still a great game, It is one of the first ones I picked up when I started collecting. :)

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I have gotten one million on both the 2600 and the 8-bit version. I can say that the 8-bit version is harder (there are added motions to the enemies)

 

It is still a great game, It is one of the first ones I picked up when I started collecting. :)

I'd play it if the tunnels, walls, 'enemies,' and miners were in different places every time you played. I was so excited about the game when I first read about it back in (what was it, 1984?), but when I played it and found out everything was always in the same place, I was disappointed. I should have known since so many other Activision games are just like that. I don't know if that's called being naive or just stupid.

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Is there a seed that you can change to change the layout of all the levels, as in all the River Raid hacks out there?

:idea: Yup, just look into my RR disassembly.

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Odd that the pirates never made different versions of Hero like they did RR, then . . .

 

If Ken's reading this, that would be a cool thing to do for whatever the next Anthology is (kinda ties in with the "improvements" thread). Give us a new set of levels, or fix it up to where it is truly random (after all, the 128-byte RAM limitation doesn't have to be stringently followed on a modern system).

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Is there a seed that you can change to change the layout of all the levels, as in all the River Raid hacks out there?

:idea: Yup, just look into my RR disassembly.

 

Link? Which disassembly archive is it in?

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It's not really random.  After level 20 it selects randomly from levels 13-20 for your next level of play.

 

I could never be bothered to work out exactly which levels they were that repeated :) Are you sure it randomly selects from the levels you mention, or it a constantly repeating pattern? IIRC its a repeating pattern.

 

Al, if your readin.. any chance you could add that info to the Maps page and thank Mr Yancey for the privelage :) The current page is not really correct.

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It's not really random.  After level 20 it selects randomly from levels 13-20 for your next level of play.

 

I could never be bothered to work out exactly which levels they were that repeated :) Are you sure it randomly selects from the levels you mention, or it a constantly repeating pattern? IIRC its a repeating pattern.

 

Al, if your readin.. any chance you could add that info to the Maps page and thank Mr Yancey for the privelage :) The current page is not really correct.

 

I don't think it's a repeating pattern. When I played for my high scores on this title, I remember when I was low on lives, I'd pray to get one of the easier/shorter levels so I could build my lives back up. Sometimes, if it hit me with a level 20, I'd lose 3 or 4 lives getting through it. But, with a level 13, 14, or 15, I was almost sure to Ace it! I had to hope for friendly levels at the proper times and it took me about 1000 tries to finally get just that. ;) (2 level 20's in a row=almost certain death for me :sad:)

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it isn't necessarily as simple as you say, i don't think, nukey shay. because the atari 2600 has practically no RAM (128 bytes, as you know)

Not simple. I meant that it wouldn't be too difficult for those that have the will to do it ;) Necessity is the mother of invention.

 

 

i'd be willing to bet that the maps and objects within the maps are stored in ROM

Could be...I never looked through it. But even then, you could patch over or edit the area that handles the game "flags" that dictate whether or not to display a given object.

 

 

because things are probably in ROM, and the RAM's probably pretty full anyway (HERO's a pretty complex game), i'd say there's no space for randomness.

You never know. A lot of games that are complex still have ways of squeezing more juice out of them (like combining ram variables so that less is required by the original program). I haven't hacked one yet where this was untrue.

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Why don't you just play game #5? :?

 

AFAIK that game is completely random.

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Why don't you just play game #5? :?  

 

AFAIK that game is completely random.

I misunderstood what the person meant by random in my first post. I thought he meant that the tunnels, walls, 'enemies,' and miners were in different places, but he meant that it randomly selects existing levels.

 

Game 5 is too hard and it starts out on the same level every time:

 

http://www.atariage.com/manual_html_page.h...wareLabelID=228

Game 5 starts on level 17, but all following levels are random. No level number appears during game 5.

That's better than a kick in the teeth though, if you can get past level 17 without killing yourself on the walls. Another thing I don't like about H.E.R.O. is that there is often one perfect way to go and the other way is usually certain death. Reminds me of this quote about adventure games:

 

Consider, for example, the case of a room full of poison gas. The way to get through the room is to give the command HOLD BREATH before entering. If the character has no reason for holding his breath except that he choked to death in that room the last time he played, his actions become illogical.

 

However, things can be kept reasonable if the description of the previous room states that wisps of green mist are coming from under the door. Giving the command SMELL MIST might elicit a stronger warning, and then it would make sense that the character should take precautions. The point isn't that a really good player should be able to get through the adventure on the first try, but that the character should stay within the bounds of the game's reality.

—Gary McGath (From COMPUTE!'s Guide to Adventure Games)

Avoiding a tunnel just because you died there before doesn't make much sense. Too many games have used that lame die and remember style.

 

Two things would make H.E.R.O. great: controlled random placement of various things, and no certain death. There should always be a way to avoid or defeat an 'enemy.'

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and no certain death. There should always be a way to avoid or defeat an 'enemy.'

 

Hmm, I disagree. There are ways to avoid an enemy....go around them. Yes there are times when dropping down a hole results in certain death, so go down the other hole.

 

If you had this randomness you request, it would make the situation worse, because not only would you have situations of certain death, you wouldnt be able to learn how to avoid them at all.

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In fact, IIRC, there are no places of certain death, because if timed perfectly, you can dip into the next screen down and halt your guy before he hits the baddie, allowing you to check if its safe, and retreat if not.

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Hmm, I disagree. There are ways to avoid an enemy....go around them. Yes there are times when dropping down a hole results in certain death, so go down the other hole..

Did you even read my post and the quote?

 

 

If you had this randomness you request, it would make the situation worse, because not only would you have situations of certain death . . .

No, it wouldn't be worse. If the game was reworked slightly and used controlled randomness, there would be no places where there was certain death.

 

 

. . . you wouldnt be able to learn how to avoid them at all.

Again, did you even read my post and the quote? You shouldn't have to learn to avoid certain places.

 

 

In fact, IIRC, there are no places of certain death, because if timed perfectly, you can dip into the next screen down and halt your guy before he hits the baddie, allowing you to check if its safe, and retreat if not.

Yeah, but who's that perfect at all times? It's easier for a stubby fingered newbie to get out of the wells in E.T. than to avoid death in some of those places.

 

I want a better H.E.R.O. If someone ever makes it, I'll be happy and those who don't like the new version can play the original. Who knows, I might even make it for the PC one of these days to show people what I am talking about.

Edited by Random Terrain

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yes i did read you post.

 

Yeah, but who's that perfect at all times?

 

Its no differant to learning how to time running upto a glowing wall, dropping your dynamite and running away. After a while you can make is most of the time.

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