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Messages - frantik

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Any way you could integrate the two player hack made by CorpseGrinder?  That would be a pretty epic upgrade.

That would be cool but I use Luigi's coin counter for the mario coins and other stuff like that already, can't have Mario and Luigi both in this hack at the same time, let alone the complexities of figuring out how to switch the mapper to the one I'm using, etc

Played through the first "beta" version of the completed hack this weekend.. and found like 15 things I need to work on  :banghead:.. but they're all pretty minor.. getting close!

This whole covid lockdown has given me the free time to finally finish this hack up... only working on a few minor changes left.. really in the home stretch and hope to see a release sometime in 2020, so stay tuned

Been a minute since I worked on this project but I recently picked it back up.  I finally got to work expanding 6-5 into a full level instead of cheaping out and using a hidden warp zone to make the pipe take you to world 7

a little preview..

and I also think I'm going to just go with Super Mario Unlimited Deluxe with no "edition" cause the tiny text is really hard to read on small screen CRTs, especially with the rotating colors.. it causes a lot of weird artifacts

I think the main thing I want to do now is figure out how to make sure at the final bowser fight that you have to get close enough to trigger the scroll stop which allows bowser to take damage.. otherwise you can shoot at him all day and he doesn't get hurt. I might also expand 8-5 like i did with 6-5 instead making you run the course twice.  I don't think i will alter other levels much though.. these two levels both were cut short due to running out of space so I don't mind adding onto them

Anyways yeah just an update, hopefully I will finish this up soon. 

BTW it's funny to see the original SMU has made it onto Chinese multicart roms.. I guess that's a compliment

Been continuing to tweak minor things in the original engine.. finally tracked down where the code to slow down shells as they were falling was.. I don't know why this is included in the original game but it can cause mario to run into a shell as it slows down, so I fixed it.    I also want to fix the music engine so it doesn't reset the music every time you go in a pipe.. for levels which are pipe mazes this is especially important.

I also finally picked up a CRT and now I'm not so sure about some of my color choices.. I had been using a real NES hooked up to an LCD TV via composite and also an LCD monitor with emulators in NTSC emulation mode to check my colors, and both of them look different from the CRT..  :crazy: Some of the colors which look bad on my LCD TV look great on my CRT TV.. trying to choose the "best" colors is almost impossible with so many different representations!

Possible reason for the odd original colors...

It's because I based my original decisions on the regular FCEUX palette and also the SMB Utility palette to some degree.. neither of which are accurate palettes.  Super Mario Unlimited looks best on FCEUX with the default palette.  Since I first started working SMU, emulators have gotten more accurate and I also personally want to make it look best on real hardware instead of one random emulator, because that's how I play NES these days, and if you're gonna pick one representation, it might as well be the original system.  So now I've been basing my decisions on NTSC emulation modes using more accurate palettes as well as my LCD screen hooked up to my real NES running a PowerPak.  I have been planning to get a real CRT tv to double check the color choices before I release this version too. 

Some of these levels also look better because I've done even more work to control the colors exactly how I want them; level options which would change only one color In the original SMU will change a whole bunch of colors in the deluxe version. Or like in World 1-3, it used to use a castle palette with a custom background color, now it uses its own totally custom palette.

Did some more minor tweaks like fixing original engine bugs.. if you pick up a fire flower while small you will get fire power now, shells kills piranha plants, and if you get hit near a whirlpool, you won't get sucked down during the damage animation.

Also worked on the colors for 1-3.. I wanted to use the other yellow background color but it's the same color as the koopa wings which makes them kind of disappear, so I need to use blue instead, this lighter blue looks nice though


Quite a bit of progress has been made.. full list of changes so far

* Updated and expanded use of color; colors selected to look best on real NES hardware vs emulator.  This includes some major reworking to move the brick blocks to the same palette as question blocks
* Mario coin count displayed in status bar area (along with indicator showing if you have collected the coin in current level)
* Attempt counter in status bar area
* Hidden power up blocks are now "semi-hidden" with dotted lines showing where they are
* You can now stomp on enemies while star power is enabled (this is good when you collect 100 coins but need to make jump off an enemy)
* Hidden power ups now disabled after using warp zone
* Point system removed (no floating numbers)
* improved title screen
* move title screen data out of CHR to expand title screen size and give more usable tiles
* hint text given at the end of each world if enough mario coins collected (instead of but our princess is in another castle...)
* fire flower will always give fire power even if small
* use the lakitu spiny throwing code which was in the original game but not enabled in the original (more info)
* minor bug fixes and changes

Changes still in the works
* Expand 6-5 to be a complete level
* Expand/change 8-5 (including automatic scroll once bowser is on the screen to ensure mario hits the scroll stop, which allows bowser to take damage)
* Make some of the later levels slightly easier/more fun

New title screen

Here's a few BEFORE/AFTER shots to get an idea of how things have changed colorwise

Overworld before.. the blue background appears slightly purple on some TVs, plus the brown blocks are too dark.. switched to lighter colors for sky and blocks

Overworld after

Desert Before.. sky was a greenish yellow color, too much brown and black

Desert After

Desert Before

Desert After

Castle before.. I really don't like the green background.. on NTSC Composite it looks green but many emus this is a brown color.. I switched it to black for the Deluxe Edition because I couldn't find a suitable background color, but I would like to have one since the background brick tiles have more detail when using a non-black background

Castle after

And the end of world message if you don't collect enough mario coins for a hint

- After pausing the game and resuming, entire music and sound effects are muted up to several game seconds. Not as short like in the original SMB

This I think has to do with the music being longer.. I'm not 100% sure but I think after you pause it waits to load the next section of the song.. I will have to look into this, unfortunately the music engine was Dr. Floppy's domain.  For some tracks it's not too bad but for others the silence is like 10 seconds long

Edit: fixed the audio pause issue.. I noticed the sound engine was still running, it just wasn't outputting sound, so I found a place where the sound register was disabled and i NOPed that, and now it works like you would expect!  I kinda think it might have been a bug in the original smb code which wasn't really noticed because of the way they stored the song data

is this going to be mapperless, Disk System, MMC1, MMC3 ?

It will be MMC1 just like the original SMU

I changed the star graphic to a different one.. you can't see the outline in this pic but it's there lol.. plus I also made the hidden power ups a little more obvious with the dotted outline

have a handful of other changes I still want to do but am happy with the progress.. just having the attempt counter and the mario coin counter make the game a lot more fun

This hack is not available anywhere on the internet, so I'm supplying a temporary link:

By the way frantik, is the distribution and changing of the code of your created program "SMB Graphics Workshop" allowed?

thanks.. I thought maybe they had done some trick to get rid of sprite 0 but it looks they used a mapper.  In Super Mario Unlimited I'm pretty sure I just put a black tile over the sprite but I don't remember exactly how it was done

And sure if you want to modify SMB Graphics Workshop go ahead, that's why I included the source code.  If you distribute it, please at least give me credit for my work

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: SMB Title Screen Hex Editing Help
« on: May 05, 2018, 10:15:37 pm »
It's actually 3 tiles. I've already tried using title screen editors and they don't work. I just need an explanation of how to add a row of three tiles to the title screen via hex editing.

the hex code for three tiles would be something similar to


Where X YZ sets the location of the tile and AA BB CC are the tile numbers.  Maybe for example it would be

21 40 03 50 51 52

It's possible! Here is an image of a SMB HROM Hack without the Sprite 0/Coin!

do you have a link to that hack?

Why not simply (assumably) change the palette of the counter - so it will appear in blue (instead of white) when you have collected the coin?


I can't change the mario coin counter color without also changing the regular coin counter color unfortunately

But maybe if you change its color, it might work out? I dunno...

Yeah I would like it to be a different color but my options are white, black or blue (and the blue is sometimes red depending on the palette).   White without a border doesn't contrast enough with the sky and if I want to add a border then I have to make the star smaller and I don't like the way it looks.

I could move it over one tile and then I could make it any of the background colors, but I like it next to the number.  I can't move the coin counters to the right or else the coin graphics won't be the right color.. you can only color the tiles in groups of 2x2.  The other option is make the indicator a sprite but I dunno about that.  No really good options yet, the blue star is the best so far

I'm a bit curious of how that star power thing will work.

It's just like normal star power except you can still stomp enemies (and kick shells too).  I'm not 100% on using it yet but I probably will. 

added the Mario Coin counter in the status bar area, and also added a little star to indicate that you have collected the current level's Mario Coin, which will be added to the tally once you complete the level.  I'm not totally happy with the star graphic but I can't think of anything else to obviously indicate that you have collected the coin.

I also changed the star power so you can still stomp enemies while you have star power.  It's a little weird since you can't just mindlessly run and jump through enemies since you will bounce off of them, but it's better than switching the star man for simple immunity.

Kudos for that.
And btw, in case your PM inbox is full (some earlier post indicate that but probably not anymore) and can't receive my msg, please tell me.

I got your message, what you're working on looks insane! 

April 25, 2018, 09:34:14 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)

- In 8-5, if you're not reaching to the scroll stop object at the Bowser fight, even when five fireballs are shot, Bowser would not faint. I hardly think this is intended.

this is intended, because otherwise the scroll stop will trigger after you beat bowser.  Plus it's too easy to hit bowser from a distance.  But maybe some kind of indication showing he is vulnerable would be good, i'm not sure though

And I hear you about the difficulty, I'm not planning on changing levels around much though.  Just having the hidden power ups visible makes it a little easier, if you're collecting all the mario coins at least

I absolutely loved SMB Unlimited, until I got to (if memory serves me right) 8-3.

I just couldn't solve the puzzle, even after a few dozen attempts :banghead:

You told me the solution awhile back, but I never found the motivation to pick the hack back up and finish it.

Well maybe the new version will give you a good reason to try again.  And yeah the final "puzzle" is a bit hard to figure out; I should have maybe done something earlier in the game like that to maybe give a clue what you're supposed to do.  That has been one of the biggest sources of complaints/criticism about the hack.

Replaced the score with an "attempt counter".. basically the same thing as a death counter but a little less morose.   :P  I'm gonna also get the mario coin count in the HUD instead of showing the count at the end of every castle as well.  Speaking of which, I found a bug in the SMU code related to showing the coin count in the castle.. I'm surprised that the bug doesn't cause more problems but every once in a while it causes the game to hang at the end of a world

Been a long while since I did some rom hacking, but lately I've been back into playing NES on my Powerpak and I noticed that Super Mario Unlimited doesn't look that great using the actual hardware.  All of the color choices were made using FCEUX default palette, which is way off from the hardware. So the colors need to be updated.. and while I'm at it, might as well fix a few other little things which have bugged me since I released the game

Planned changes so far:

1. Update colors and graphics to look best on real hardware
2. Change hidden power up blocks (which are unlocked by collecting mario coins) to be visible instead of hidden.  This way it will be more obvious what the point of collecting the mario coins is
3. Add an attempts counter/death counter
4. Change the 100 coin invincibility (star man) to just invulnerability (like when you get hit).. this way when you collect the 100th coin in midair, you will still be able to stomp and jump off enemies
5. Maybe make a few of the mario coins easier to collect.. there's as least once which is super tricky

If you've played the original hack and have any other suggestions for changes, please feel free to mention them.  It's still supposed to be the same game so I'm not going to make any major changes, just want to give it a little more polish

Stay tuned!

Personal Projects / Re: Super Mario Unlimited (SMB) - Released!
« on: February 27, 2018, 08:24:39 am »
Use the Konami Code before the title screen scrolls all the way onto the screen to enable level selector and/or "hard mode".. after entering the code, press B for level select and hold A+start to start in hard mode.

Collecting the Mario coins enables hidden power up blocks in other levels, depending on how many you have collected.  There is almost always a hidden power up near the first pipe in castle levels.

News Submissions / Re: ROM Hacks: Super Mario Unlimited Released!
« on: February 27, 2018, 08:13:16 am »
Use the Konami Code before the title screen scrolls all the way onto the screen to enable level selector and/or "hard mode".. after entering the code, press B for level select and hold A+start to start in hard mode.

Collecting the Mario coins enables hidden power up blocks in other levels, depending on how many you have collected.  There is almost always a hidden power up near the first pipe in castle levels.

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