Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

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psc
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Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by psc » Thu Dec 19, 2013 5:53 pm

Several GameBoy games like Primal Rage and Mortal Kombat 1 & II used background tiles instead of sprites for the playable characters. Did any NES games use this approach?

An advantage of this is there is no sprite limit, since they aren't sprites. The disadvantage is it takes time to merge the character graphics with the background tiles, and that the characters cannot use a palette separate from the background.

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ulfalizer
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Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by ulfalizer » Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:12 pm

Gauntlet uses background tiles for enemies. It has CHR-ROM and doesn't do any merging though.

Merging with complex backgrounds probably wouldn't work very well on the NES since the background palette is set per 2x2 tiles.

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ulfalizer
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Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by ulfalizer » Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:35 pm

I remember an old game console (can't remember which one; might've been a home computer too) where sprites changed color when they crossed into some background areas. I wonder if it was doing software sprites along with a lower-resolution grid for some of the palette bits like on the NES...

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Dwedit
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Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by Dwedit » Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:43 pm

That would be the ZX Spectrum.
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Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by tokumaru » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:23 pm

Some games are pretty hardcore with the use of backgrounds to render sprites. This MSX game for example even has a second background layer scrolling at a different speed.

This technique is less popular on the NES because of the low amount of colors per palette and attributes per 2x2 tiles. You can find several GB games that use this trick, but I can't think of a single one for the GBC, even though it has higher attribute resolution and more palettes than the NES.

On the SMS (which has 16 colors per tile) there are fighting games like Street Fighter II that render fighters using background tiles.

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Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by lidnariq » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:30 pm

I remember finding one NES game, some vaguely action-adventurey thing, where the boss battles did this—they'd fade out the background, and scroll the boss around while using sprites for the player and everything else.

Unfortunately, I can't remember which game this was.

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Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by Dwedit » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:48 pm

There are LOTS of games that do that, from Totally Rad to the Megaman series.
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Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by Memblers » Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:28 pm

But the original question was about playable characters, which compared to bosses, is almost unheard of. The only example I can think of is Way of the Exploding Fist. The NES version wasn't officially released, but there are at least a couple prototype ROMs out there. The background behind the player-accessible area is just a solid color, but it still looks alright.

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Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by Dwedit » Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:40 pm

Kung Fu used a background for the player sprite.
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oRBIT2002
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Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by oRBIT2002 » Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:29 pm

Dwedit wrote:Kung Fu used a background for the player sprite.
Yes. These objects are rippable with my tool "NES Explorer". :)

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Bregalad
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Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by Bregalad » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:17 am

Of course many games did this. The ones I can think of right now are :
- Punch Out
- Door Door
- Donkey Kong
- Fire Emblem (both on maps and during battles)
- Mega Man games (minibosses like the Dragon of Dr. Wily 2)
I remember finding one NES game, some vaguely action-adventurey thing, where the boss battles did this—they'd fade out the background, and scroll the boss around while using sprites for the player and everything else.
Sounds like Blaster Master. However I think it handles background bosses in a very lame way as opposed to the games I mentionned above (it just fades the backgrounds and display the boss only, this is too easy and looks ugly).
Gradius games does this as well.

Also you'd want to take a look at this demo I wrote some time ago.

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ulfalizer
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Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by ulfalizer » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:05 am

Bucky O'Hare does lots of neat tricks with background tiles.

This scene combines bg-based enemies with parallax scrolling for example (and the boss throws rocks made of bg tiles). Here the large green ball is part of the background (and the scene before that does parallax scrolling by rewriting bg tiles).

And yeah, most of those are not unique to Bucky O'Hare (it seems to have borrowed a lot of stuff from Battletoads for example), but I can't think of any other game that uses so many different bg-based effects (Battletoads might be a contender).

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ulfalizer
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Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by ulfalizer » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:12 am

Here is another well-executed one, though it's kinda drifting from the topic.

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Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by tepples » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:12 am

I seem to remember Cabal using big background bosses.

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ulfalizer
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Re: Did any games use background tiles for "sprites"?

Post by ulfalizer » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:20 am

Here's one from Mega Man 5.

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