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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:19 am 
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In Mother there are 2 impressive graphical effects before the final boss fight that I thought were impossible on the NES!

1) Apparently 2 BG layers
2) SNES-like "mosaic" effect

Any info on this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wz6Ueh39A1g

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:40 am 
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Mother uses MMC3, so probably using the scanline counter to do a timed screen split at the 'ground' area. Mosaic effect is probably CHR bank switching.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:44 am 
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Movax12 wrote:
Mother uses MMC3, so probably using the scanline counter to do a timed screen split at the 'ground' area. Mosaic effect is probably CHR bank switching.


Ah, of course. I also realized the rocks off to the sides are probably just sprites.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:47 am 
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Actually looking closely, the holes in the ground show the other layer, so I'm not sure on the screen split idea.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:47 am 
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Movax12: a scanline split doesn't account for the ragged edge/overlap along the entire line. (Edit: ah, you saw while I was posting.)

Why does it say (c) 2003 at the start of the video?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:49 am 
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After looking around I found out why it says (c) 2003. This is a GBA game. Mystery solved.

Here's the Famicom version:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1gs2ndXZLQ


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:53 am 
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Would it be the GBA version instead of the original Famicom version?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:54 am 
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Ah good, I couldn't figure out how that layering could be possible. No mosaic effect here though I am sure I've seen a game that does it with CHR banks. I think it was Kirby's Adventure?

famicom/NES: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4V727GosfU

Edit: Kirby mosaic effect.. very fast, but it uses CHR banks: http://youtu.be/BVqSHZyu6n0?t=6m5s


Last edited by Movax12 on Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:56 am 
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rainwarrior wrote:
After looking around I found out why it says (c) 2003. This is a GBA game. Mystery solved.


Yeah. I looked around for the original Famicom version and it used a hard scanline split. Also the "flash" at the beginning is less smooth, and there was no mosaic effect, but it did pause awkwardly, as if there was supposed to be one. Go figure.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:58 am 
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Seems to me that the holes on the ground do not show the other layer in the second clip, so it's definitely a split screen effect, and the 1st clip is from another version, probably the GBA one.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:22 am 
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The first effect would indeed be hard to pull off on the NES, but could be done if you were willing to animate the CHR-RAM data of all the tiles where the layers overlap, and a single palette can represent both layers (at least near the split point). Hardly worth the trouble IMO.

The second effect could be pre-calculated, and the name tables updated really fast (or not that fast if you use the unseen part of the name tables for double-buffering).


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:53 am 
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sonder wrote:
[...] and there was no mosaic effect, but it did pause awkwardly, as if there was supposed to be one. Go figure.


I heard that Earthbound does a very nasty copy protection ckeck right before the last boss and deletes all save data if it founds out it's a pirated copy.
Could it be the cause of this awkward pause?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:17 pm 
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Quote:
I heard that Earthbound does a very nasty copy protection ckeck right before the last boss and deletes all save data if it founds out it's a pirated copy.

That's correct, Earthound do that.

Quote:
Could it be the cause of this awkward pause?

If you reffer to what sonder wrote, then you confuse games. Eathbound (the SNES game) have the copy protection you mentioned. The game in discussion (officially named "Mother", never released in outside japan) ,as far as I know, does not - so it can not be the cause of the long pause.

Now I'm actually interested about the pause, was it intentional or not.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:35 pm 
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I guess the Kirby one uses at minimum 2k for 2 extra CHR pages, maybe? Maybe more depending on how many unique tiles are onscreen.

I had a funny thought though, with a custom mapper you could mask out the low 3 bits of CHR-ROM progressively for a vertical mosaic, and redirect the data lines for a horizontal one. (Probably this would be silly to do, especially if ROM is not scarce.)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:13 pm 
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If you want to be able to do mosaic everywhere (as on certain SNES games) without the bus masking, then it'd take a quadrupling of CHR ROM size or specialized hardware to queue up CHR RAM rewrites and execute them during dead times in the scanline.


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