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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:04 pm 
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Took about 10-15 minutes out of my night to load up Batman Returns and thankfully was able to find a password for the level immediately prior to the Penguin -- 1993 14 BBBB 64 -- which also gives infinite life (it refills once you run out), so I was able to see what the ending credits look like on actual hardware:

It looks identical to what you see in Nestopia -- the flickering is extreme due to swapping nametables every other frame. If you turn on the NTSC filter with the settings I provided earlier it looks incredibly close.

In other words: there's no emulation bug, this really *is* how the game looks on the actual console. Konami shipped it this way.

Footnote commentary: it's not a very visually/aesthetically pleasing effect. I'm left thinking either it's something they meant to fix/improve but deadlines came first (quite common esp. in those days), or was done intentionally to depict a classic projector film roll (and does a very bad job if so). IMO, a split-screen with the credits at the bottom would've looked better, or even using sprites for the text. I didn't like the effect in Batman: Return of the Joker's title intro either. But as kids, none of us cared, cuz we were too busy enjoying the games (and that's what matters). :-)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:11 pm 
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rainwarrior wrote:
It doesn't really matter because that video is 30fps anyway. You're never going to see what a 60fps effect looks like at 30fps. :P

Technically correct. But if you capture at 60fps and blend to 30fps before uploading, you can convey the gist of what flicker-based transparency is supposed to look like. That's what I've done for several NES-related videos that I've uploaded to YouTube.

koitsu wrote:
In other words: there's no emulation bug, this really *is* how the game looks on the actual console. Konami shipped it this way.

And nowadays, after Pokémon episode 38 "Digital Soldier Porygon" aired, Nintendo probably wouldn't let Konami ship it this way. The Virtual Console version of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, for instance, was ROM-hacked not to flicker as much to comply with modern standards for avoiding seizure triggers.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:13 pm 
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koitsu wrote:
Took about 10-15 minutes out of my night to load up Batman Returns and thankfully was able to find a password for the level immediately prior to the Penguin -- 1993 14 BBBB 64 -- which also gives infinite life (it refills once you run out), so I was able to see what the ending credits look like on actual hardware:

It looks identical to what you see in Nestopia -- the flickering is extreme due to swapping nametables every other frame. If you turn on the NTSC filter with the settings I provided earlier it looks incredibly close.

In other words: there's no emulation bug, this really *is* how the game looks on the actual console. Konami shipped it this way.

Footnote commentary: it's not a very visually/aesthetically pleasing effect. I'm left thinking either it's something they meant to fix/improve but deadlines came first (quite common esp. in those days), or was done intentionally to depict a classic projector film roll (and does a very bad job if so). IMO, a split-screen with the credits at the bottom would've looked better, or even using sprites for the text. I didn't like the effect in Batman: Return of the Joker's title intro either. But as kids, none of us cared, cuz we were too busy enjoying the games (and that's what matters). :-)


Wow, thank you so much for doing that koitsu! :beer: LOL I cannot believe konami shipped it that way and i cerainly agree about the kids part.

Thank you so much for giving some of your time to do that. I am at least glad that you can validate me by saying that the effect leaves much to be desired and can most certainly come off as an emulation bug at a cursory inspection.

Until next time, i will have to find a new game with erratic weird behavior to get everyone all riled up. haha, i kid, i kid. :twisted: :mrgreen:

I appreciate everyones input on here, i come away from this feeling a little noobish, but hey what the hell. It was a fun little ride, and entertaining and informative at that.

So truly in this instance the rom would need to be hacked for a better effect.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:24 pm 
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One way to achieve a similar transparency effect without quite so much visible flicker is to alternate between the nametables not only by frame but also by scanline. My RGB121 demo does this.

Image Image
Left: frame flicker as seen in Batman games; right: line flicker as seen in RGB121 demo


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:37 pm 
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*Spitfire_NES* wrote:
Thank you so much for giving some of your time to do that. I am at least glad that you can validate me by saying that the effect leaves much to be desired and can most certainly come off as an emulation bug at a cursory inspection.

Until next time, i will have to find a new game with erratic weird behavior to get everyone all riled up. haha, i kid, i kid. :twisted: :mrgreen:

I appreciate everyones input on here, i come away from this feeling a little noobish, but hey what the hell. It was a fun little ride, and entertaining and informative at that.

Don't feel bad. When going through the YT videos you initially linked, my first inclination was "oh god, this better not be some extreme edge case PPU emulation bug" (since I can imagine given the characteristics of the PPU control bits, switching inadvertently to the wrong nametable could happen). The problem is that recorded videos, and the playback medium, aren't often done well when it comes to video games. Most/many of the people doing them aren't A/V wizards, and have no familiarity with the "hows" of video.

I'm a bit sensitive to this type of thread because I've seen it for almost 2 decades now: people who default to "emulator bug" claims -- because lots of emulators have bugs, and there is a definite history of PPU-related emulation problems everywhere (the NES is a PITA in this regard) -- but without actually testing the game on real hardware first. Not saying you're one of these people, mind you. It's just something I've noticed.

The other ones that get me are people who go ubersperglord over things like a glitchy 3-4 pixel section of a scanline -- do you know how many times I've see people OCDing over the glitchy split-screen scanline area in Crystalis? I'm like, "did NONE of you play this game on the actual NES?!" There are *so many* games that have visual artefacts of sorts somewhere on the screen that were like this when they shipped. I would say it's impossible to catalogue them all and all the quirks that are not bugs -- there's just too many.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:20 pm 
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Sword Master is another game which has this same "problem" in the ending.

As rainwarrior said, the original Batman also performs frame alternating like that in its intro: https://youtu.be/Qr0RSz-HPIw?t=45 (looks very inauthentic in this video)

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