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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:11 am 
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One of the homebrew games I adapted for GGVm uses the quirk of the ppu where a background sprite, hidden by the background, causes pixels of the foreground sprites to drop out. In this particular use case, the background sprites are solid 8x8 pixels. Since my focus for GGVm is 100% the needs of homebrew developers, one game at a time, I did not attempt to simulate the PPU's behavior correctly. In other words, if the background sprite were not composed of solid 8x8 pixels, the behavior would be incorrect.

What I'm wondering is, which (non homebrew) games use this trick, and are there any known instances where the trick is employed using background sprites that are NOT solid 8x8 pixels (i.e. some transparent, some not), and what is the trick used for?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:21 am 
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  • Castlevania (at the door entering the castle + at the floor when secret items pop up)
  • Super Mario Bros 3 (when somethings pop up from a brick)
  • The Goonies (when entering a door)
  • Mega Man 2 uses this accidentally in Air Man's stage when Mega Man jumps on the status bar behind a cloud (half of the frames it'll be correct but half of the frames the cloud will be in front of the status bar because Mega Man, which is behind the cloud, is in front of the status bar)
  • Probably a lot of others I can't remember


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:26 am 
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IIRC, Nightshade uses this to make characters walk behind "foreground" objects.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:35 am 
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I've been lead programmer of two NES games that use this sort of cutout, but they might be disqualified by how you define "homebrew". Is every western NES game after 1996 "homebrew"? Or are you going by the BootlegGames Wikia definition of "homebrew" that distinguishes the two by whether the developers worked full time?

  • RHDE: Furniture Fight is homebrew but is included in Double Action 53. Its Battle phase uses cutouts shaped like each furniture item's top half to let units walk behind furniture items that are taller than 1 cell. The same sprite tiles are used with the normal palette for placement in the Furnish phase and inventory in Battle phase.
  • Haunted: Halloween '86: The Curse of Possum Hollow is commercial, first published by Retrotainment Games in fourth quarter 2016. It uses solid rectangular cutouts to put Donny behind utility poles and slime pools. But the programmer worked part time.

Did you want an example that is both pre-1997 (or later if Chinese) and not rectangular?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:40 am 
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Yeah I was primarily curious about "NES heydey" games, from say 1985 through 1994 or so, and yes, about instances where background sprites that are not just solid 8x8 pixels are used to hide foreground sprites (so yeah, some kind of cutout shape perhaps).


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:51 pm 
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Time Lord uses it.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:14 pm 
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Mmm…Zelda 1 does *not*; Link going "down" into a dungeon/cave entry is done through sprite-overload, iirc.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:14 pm 
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Myask wrote:
Mmm…Zelda 1 does *not*; Link going "down" into a dungeon/cave entry is done through sprite-overload, iirc.

Yes, and this is already documented on our wiki.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:10 pm 
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Myask wrote:
Mmm…Zelda 1 does *not*; Link going "down" into a dungeon/cave entry is done through sprite-overload, iirc.

Just to clarify:
  • When Link goes from the overworld into a cave door, he just goes behind the background.
  • When Link is in a dungeon and enters a doorway on the top or bottom of the screen, his sprite is clipped using sprite-overload.


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