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Really good "special effects" in games
http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=553
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Author:  -family_programmer- [ Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:48 am ]
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Quote: 2, DASM hates me, and never works for me (quote button doesnt work)

Well, compile with switch -f3.

Author:  RoboNes [ Sun Dec 11, 2005 4:34 am ]
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tokumaru wrote:
Yeah, I could beat levels only by using savestates too. The first boss battle (the guy with the huge rocks) is easy, but the one in the blue planet (aligator with missiles) is just impossible to beat before hitting the spiky ceiling.

I guess I'd be a little frustrated if playing it without the aid of savestates. Still seems to be a really cool game, though. There are some good walkthroughs for it at gamefaqs.com.

it was frustrating at times, but not impossible, i remember i did complete it

Author:  Bregalad [ Sun Dec 11, 2005 6:51 am ]
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For real ? Oh man, I can't beat it even using savestates and frame by frame emulation. I'm in a place where everything is black, and it's just impossible to guess where to go without falling.

Author:  Roth [ Sun Dec 11, 2005 1:28 pm ]
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Bregalad wrote:
For real ? Oh man, I can't beat it even using savestates and frame by frame emulation. I'm in a place where everything is black, and it's just impossible to guess where to go without falling.


On those parts, once you appear on the screen, just start running and jumping where you see you need to. By the time it turns black, you should be around the end of the screen. There's a few screens like that in a row... just keep moving non-stop ;)

Now I'll try and get back on topic... I'm not sure if this would be considered a special effect, but I noticed something cool on the first level of Zen: Intergalactic Ninja. When you are at a certain position on the screen ("closer" to the bottom of the screen) and jump, the sprites switch up to bigger sprites to make him appear to come at the screen. I always thought that was a pretty cool effect.

Author:  Bregalad [ Mon Dec 12, 2005 1:09 pm ]
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I'm now in front of the boss just after that black section, actually, using a lot save states makes that section possible, but I canot even imagine beat that without savestates.
Now the boss looks just impossible, damage it is nearly impossible and avoid its mini-missiles attack is even more harder.

About special effects, I always asked how hard would be to make animated BG witout using tile animation via CHRAM or CHROM, but doing it with organized nametable writes. Typically, in my MMC5 RPG, I won't be able to do CHRAM animation because of exgrafix mode, but I'd be able to change the high offset of each tile during a frame (not in VBlank) like Just Breed does and/or to change normal tile index in VBlank.
I'd also like use the fact that a black sprites in backround with higer priority hides a normal sprite in foreground with lower priority to allow my player to pass behid threes and stuff, having it a multi-layered look. The main problem is that with 8-sprites per line limitation and sprite cycling that will be hard to do. Having a 64 byte buffer that would be randomly acceded significantly to assign a correct number to each sprite with still the defined priority would be the only way to bypass it. 64 bytes of RAM is tolerable for a game using SRAM, however it's a lot for a game with only 2kb of RAM without SRAM.

Author:  tokumaru [ Mon Dec 12, 2005 1:25 pm ]
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Bregalad wrote:
I'd also like use the fact that a black sprites in backround with higer priority hides a normal sprite in foreground with lower priority to allow my player to pass behid threes and stuff, having it a multi-layered look. The main problem is that with 8-sprites per line limitation and sprite cycling that will be hard to do.

I'm planning on doing the exact same thing in my platformer, so the player can go behind objects AND these objects can have interesting shapes, as long as you use some of the sprite pattern table for the respective masks (or even BG tiles, if using 8x16 sprites).

The problem with this technique, as you said, is the low limit on sprites per scanline. And masks MUST be present if the sprite they're masking is. So, each mask means one less visible sprite (having the masks always present, not including them in the cycling, I guess). It sucks. But I guess the final effect is worth the pain to handle this.

Author:  danimal [ Mon Dec 12, 2005 1:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Moving stuff

In SMB 3 you can move behind the retangular areas in one of the early stages. You need to find a white rectangle platform and press down for moment, Mario then falls behind the rectangular structures, even the end of the stage background. The effect only lasts a few seconds but it was one of the coolest things I have ever seen in a NES game at the time.

Author:  Bregalad [ Mon Dec 12, 2005 1:45 pm ]
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I think that the sprites hiding the players or maybe people of a RPG town or enemies of a platformer may easily be disabled if nobody is behind them. Scince someone is behind them (even only a part), they should be present, and then only the sprites with lower priority should be cycled, anyway, so they'll always be present even if the sprites they're hiding are disabled because of scanline limitation.
I think doing plaing effect should be first set trough the background bit of each sprite's status, and only if the stage's graphics really needs it, to use that method.

Author:  tepples [ Mon Dec 12, 2005 1:46 pm ]
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Super Mario 3 just uses the Mario sprites' priority bit. Problem with using the priority bit is that you can't have a single sprite both in front of and behind a tile, so you have to make your backgrounds with solid colors in order for it to work that way.

Author:  hap [ Tue Dec 13, 2005 4:51 am ]
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mapper 69: Batman - Return of the Joker, looks nice, using huge sprites, and lots of 'background-over-sprites effects', eg. in the 2nd level.

Author:  Bregalad [ Tue Dec 13, 2005 10:06 am ]
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I agree that Batman Return of the Jocker has impressive graphics, but the gameplay SUCK. I mean, when you press jump, batman takes at least one half of one second to actually jump, and the same for attack. It just sucks. So I'd MUCH preffer smaller sprites, because big sprites (often) ruins the gameplay. What about the failure of Battletoads in battlemaniacs on the SNES ? The games takes the same characters than in the NES battletoads games, but this time your toad will nearly have the same size as your screen does. How fuck.
Also, Megaman 7 is totally ruined by the fact that the sprites are too big, making boss-battles impossible, scince you'll get more hits (megaman is bigger), and you'll get even more hits (the boss is bigger), and you'll take more hits above that (the boss attacks has a bigger range), of course, the screen still have the same size than it was on NES.

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