Nintendo cease&desist on a C64 port of Super Mario Bross

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Bregalad
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Nintendo cease&desist on a C64 port of Super Mario Bross

Post by Bregalad » Thu May 02, 2019 2:42 am

So, in case of you guys didn't hear about this already, there was a Commode 64 port of Super Mario Bros. Nintendo ordered it to be taken down.

http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2019/0 ... tchful_eye

Considering how different the systems are (even though they share the same CPU), I think it's really impressive the game was portable at all. But it needs very special/non-standard controller, as the C64 joystick only have one button and the NES controller has 2.

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Re: Nintendo cease&desist on a C64 port of Super Mario Bross

Post by 8bitMicroGuy » Thu May 02, 2019 6:05 am

They should have changed the graphics, music, sound effects and levels to make it more original so that Nintendo doesn't notice. And then they should have made a patch that makes the whole thing act like SMB1. That is a common thing to do with post-C&D games which have been refurbished into original works so that the fangame version can still be safe from the greedy hands of copyright.

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Re: Nintendo cease&desist on a C64 port of Super Mario Bross

Post by lidnariq » Thu May 02, 2019 10:54 am

Bregalad wrote:But it needs very special/non-standard controller, as the C64 joystick only have one button and the NES controller has 2.
In the wake of the C&D, I found a random youtube video of someone playing it. They said that the game used joystick up as jump, and remaining button as run/fire – as was apparently the convention for contemporary C64 games

I thought the colors were more saturated than I remember the C64 being, but my memory is probably wrong.

One of the videos found that the developers actually explicitly implemented a special replacement for the "minus world".

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Re: Nintendo cease&desist on a C64 port of Super Mario Bross

Post by nesrocks » Thu May 02, 2019 11:24 am

8bitMicroGuy wrote:They should have changed the graphics, music, sound effects and levels to make it more original
Then the internet wouldn't care about it.
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Re: Nintendo cease&desist on a C64 port of Super Mario Bross

Post by DRW » Thu May 02, 2019 11:36 am

For anybody who's interested in the game:

Here it's introduced by the original author:
http://www.lemon64.com/forum/viewtopic. ... 62&start=0

Have a look at the two lines of blue text below the screenshots in the first post. (Especialy the second line.) :wink:
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Re: Nintendo cease&desist on a C64 port of Super Mario Bross

Post by Banshaku » Thu May 02, 2019 7:52 pm

nesrocks wrote:
8bitMicroGuy wrote:They should have changed the graphics, music, sound effects and levels to make it more original
Then the internet wouldn't care about it.
It would have becomes Great Giana Sisters... :lol:

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Re: Nintendo cease&desist on a C64 port of Super Mario Bross

Post by NewRisingSun » Fri May 03, 2019 3:15 am

The authors did it right: port the game as-is, with original assets, to raise people's interest, knowing that it will take at least a few days before Big N gets their lawyers going. Then, with sufficient people knowing about it, take it down, thus increasing the interest for it even more, then keep it available on the Internet Archive and afloat forever by enthusiasts.
lidnariq wrote:I thought the colors were more saturated than I remember the C64 being, but my memory is probably wrong.
I would expect any normal C64 [emulator] user to immediately crank up the saturation control of their TV/monitor, though I understand that the Commodore fanboys C64 enthusiasts take pride in keeping the VIC-II's dirty dishwater palette as it is.
DRW wrote:Have a look at the two lines of blue text below the screenshots in the first post. (Especialy the second line.)
The uploadfiles.io link? What's so special about it?

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Re: Nintendo cease&desist on a C64 port of Super Mario Bross

Post by DRW » Fri May 03, 2019 4:35 am

NewRisingSun wrote:The uploadfiles.io link? What's so special about it?
Well, the fact that it's still available at the original thread, right now, in this moment, even though we're currently speaking about the game's takedown due to a C&D. So, whoever just got to know about the game can still get it easily. But who knows how long this will stay up? That's why I mentioned it: You don't have to rely on archive sites or private messages yet. The game is still available.
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Re: Nintendo cease&desist on a C64 port of Super Mario Bross

Post by 8bitMicroGuy » Fri May 03, 2019 12:26 pm

Banshaku wrote:
nesrocks wrote:
8bitMicroGuy wrote:They should have changed the graphics, music, sound effects and levels to make it more original
Then the internet wouldn't care about it.
It would have becomes Great Giana Sisters... :lol:
More like Super Homebrew Buddies

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Re: Nintendo cease&desist on a C64 port of Super Mario Bross

Post by Bananmos » Fri May 03, 2019 5:04 pm

I actually learned a new fact about the C64 from this: Apparently the Super Mario port uses "VSP", a hardware quirk that allows you to scroll the entire screen, just like on the NES, by incrementing / decrementing the 3-bit scroll on an exactly timed cycle outside the visible screen. I can imagine that must have been quite useful to port a game that relies so heavily on scrolling...

The downside is it randomly crashes some C64s. Apparently it took a few years until C64 coders worked out that it would always corrupt every 8th byte of memory, and that a possible work-around is to avoid using every 8th byte in your code / data. Quite an awkward work-around and steep price to pay for NES-style scrolling... not sure if the port goes to this extent to avoid crashes, or ignores the existence unfortunate "VSP-unfriendly" C64s? In any case, pretty awesome trick.

Generally, it is fascinating how many unintended out-of-spec tricks the C64 can be made to do. The only thing that comes close on the NES is probably Loopy-scrolling. Other than that, most out-of-spec usage just results in intermittent glitches...

As far as the C&D goes, it always baffles me how unpredictable Nintendo's takedown actions seem. Taking down this port and "Princess Rescue" for the 2600 while both "Super Mario Crossover" and "Abobos Big Adventure" are both alive and kicking after all these years is a bit of a surprise, considering how the former two are way more niche things appealing to a tiny crowd of homebrew gamers, while the latter two are directly playable in a browser, and directly profits from ad revenue / ask for donations.

Could it be that Super Mario Crossover fly under the radar, just because the N's legal team can't get Flash to run in modern browsers?... ;)

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Re: Nintendo cease&desist on a C64 port of Super Mario Bross

Post by Banshaku » Fri May 03, 2019 8:26 pm

Abobo big Adventure won't be on Nintendo's radar since it's not own by them but technos Japan (now defunct and own by Arc System) and isn't a trademark of them either. Super Mario bros, on the other hand, they own.

As to why is Super Mario Crossover was not affected, my guess would be it's a rom hack and not a port of the actual super mario bros game so it does make a difference.

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Re: Nintendo cease&desist on a C64 port of Super Mario Bross

Post by Dwedit » Fri May 03, 2019 10:43 pm

If scrolling is that problematic, how did Giana Sisters scroll?
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Re: Nintendo cease&desist on a C64 port of Super Mario Bross

Post by ccovell » Sat May 04, 2019 5:39 am

As far as I know it, on the C64, there are registers for a fine scroll of only 0..7, after which point games normally have to manually shift the entire screen data by 1 column.

Home computers (/ old IBM PCs) that didn't have any fine scrolling regs in hardware had to manually shift the entire screen data around to get any kind of scrolling. Which is why many games either had choppy scrolling or did it in 8/16 etc pixel increments.

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Re: Nintendo cease&desist on a C64 port of Super Mario Bross

Post by zzo38 » Sat May 04, 2019 10:08 am

ccovell wrote:Home computers (/ old IBM PCs) that didn't have any fine scrolling regs in hardware had to manually shift the entire screen data around to get any kind of scrolling. Which is why many games either had choppy scrolling or did it in 8/16 etc pixel increments.
Actually on PC you can do vertical scrolling by tiles (if you have enough video memory), but I don't know if this feature was ever used. Horizontal scrolling is also possible although since the next tile in video memory after the rightmost tile is always the leftmost tile of the next row, the program will still have to deal with the edges of the screen after scrolling since it can't store them in video memory; I don't know if horizontal hardware scrolling was ever used either.
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Re: Nintendo cease&desist on a C64 port of Super Mario Bross

Post by Pokun » Sat May 04, 2019 10:50 am

The PPU was custom-made and designed for games, so I guess Nintendo made sure it had things like a good sprite system, a somewhat rich colour generator with colours that are actually usable for art, and fine hardware scrolling in both axes with 4 screens worth of video address space. On the other hand it doesn't have a graphic mode for plotting lines and such that home computers had but games don't really need. RAM is also very small compared to home computers of the time. And still the Famicom exceeded its initial budget during development.

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