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Author Topic: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Contra Hack - 7th Edition  (Read 7266 times)

Trax

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Revenge of the Red Falcon - Contra Hack - 7th Edition
« on: November 13, 2013, 09:10:40 pm »
Here's to all Contra fans, the last sprint for this super hard hack, Revenge of the Red Falcon. I don't want to slack off on quality, so I make sure that everything looks good and the difficulty is consistent throughout the entire game. I've already done about 15 screens in level 7. Now I'm not sure if I should release level 7 before going for the final release, or do 7 and 8 and release. What do you think?

Again, the difficulty in level design comes from the imperative mastery of all enemies specific to that level. Mechanical claws have their own timing settings that need to be tuned correctly. You can adjust their length as well, from 4 different length settings. The spiked walls are a very boring enemy, so I use them rarely, or I try my best to mix them with other enemies in a way that doesn't only involve shooting a zillion bullets at a wall. I will probably lower the wall's HP a bit, for that matter...

The special mortar shots are still there, usually coming from nowhere. Other than that, there are carts, which can be used to reach high places. The boss is a pair of fixed Mortar Launchers and an enemy generator, that generates Running Men. An armored door guards the Alien's Lair. The Mortar Launchers will probably be made slightly harder...

Another last point. I've bumped into a major emulation problem recently. FCEUX doesn't like the expanded version of my hack and only yields a gray screen. From what I deduced, having a ROM with 9 banks that use the MMC1 mapper confuses the emulator, because it's assumed that your ROM either has 8 banks or 16 banks. What I find even more boggling is why noone came forward to report that bug. Is it because I'm using an old version of FCEUX? Or a weird build of it? I always test my hacks on Nestopia, and no bug of that sort ever happened. So if anyone has any insight on that matter, please share it...

If you have any questions on the hack or the Red Falcon editor, let me know. Stay tuned!
« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 04:28:04 pm by KingMike »

snarfblam

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Contra Hack - Level 7 and 8
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2013, 09:10:07 am »
I'll take it any way I can get it. I think it's more a matter of what makes sense with the way you work.

As far as the bug with FCEUX, did you have 9 banks in the demo you released for level 6? Because I didn't have any problem running that on FCEUX. Regardless, I would generally stay away from non-power-of-two bank counts unless it is a specific configuration that was used in a commercial game (i.e. known to be supported).

Trax

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Revenge of the Red Falcon - Contra Hack - Level 7
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2013, 02:03:20 am »
Job's done! Another crazy level for this hack. I didn't want to make you wait any longer, so here's Level 7, the Hangar, renamed to Warehouse. The length of the level is now 29 screens, compared to the original 14 screens...

New enemies in this level are more of the "obstacle" type, like Spiked Walls and Mechanical Claws. The special Shrapnel Mortars are still present, and quite dangerous. Watch your step, especially when you see gaps in the floor. I added 1 HP to the Carts, because you will need them if you want to reach higher platforms. You will also have to avoid new patterns of Mechanical Claws. I reduced the HP of the Spiked Walls from 16 to 10, only because destroying immobile walls is boring...

The Boss will require a lot of concentration, as the Mortar Launchers will fire more often, and shoot random types of projectiles: either the classic, 3-bomb mortar or any kind of Shrapnel Mortar. The Enemy Generator will randomly spawn a Rifle Man from time to time. And as if it was not aggravating enough, the Armored Door will become vulnerable to your attacks only after you destroy both Mortar Launchers. So no more rush to the door with the S Weapon...

This is the last run before the showdown against the vile Red Falcon. Lock and load!

Normal version, starting from the beginning: contrademo7.zip
For those who want to start directly on level 7: contrademolevel7.ips

I made the ROM expanded to 16 banks instead of 9, in case the unorthodox number would cause weird bugs with some emulators. If you get any problem running the game, let me know...

Any comments? Enjoy!
« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 02:15:32 am by Trax »

snarfblam

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Contra Hack - Level 7 and 8
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2013, 02:15:35 pm »
Excellent, as usual.

I don't know why, but I was pretty terrible at dodging the shrapnel mortars in this level. I had much less of an issue in level 6. The modifications to the carts and spike walls are definitely both improvements. There is one spot where the clawmajiggers are nearly impossible to pass (I did manage it on one run). If you watch the video, you'll notice I kinda cheated there. Oh, yes, the video...

My first successful run of this level
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA6FowyqCqY

the_icepenguin

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Contra Hack - 7th Edition
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2013, 06:48:54 pm »
Awesome as usual!  :)  Thanks for this.  I can't get enough Contra.

Ti_

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Contra Hack - Level 7 and 8
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2013, 06:47:43 am »
One of my favorite hacks updated.
Thanks, Trax!

I think level7 slighlty harder than level6.  Level6 is easist in all game.
Hardest for me is bosses of level 2 and 4 (if lose a spreadgun, impossible to dodge guided things).

True hardcore levels was level5 and level1 in old version (without 8 bullets in rifle).   With release of demo6, I passed through level5.
Now with turbo-buttons standart rifle one of most powerful weapons (better than machinegun and firegun, because machinegun have lower fire ratio , and firegun lower speed - but better kills snipers as fast as possible).
Lasergun is shit, as in all versions (picked laser -> you're dead) - maybe you should make it no so bad, check for 'Super Cyborg'.

There is one spot where the clawmajiggers are nearly impossible to pass (I did manage it on one run).
It's easy spot, I know how to pass it.  ;D

snarfblam

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Contra Hack - Level 7 and 8
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2013, 02:41:22 pm »
Um... run into a little problem (running Nestopia). I didn't think to take a screenshot while playing, and I don't exactly feel like fighting my way back to it again. It happened both times I played the level.

In level 4, in the second or third screen there was a large target orb deal. You know, the ones that normally only appear in the room before the boss. (There were also two guns in the center above it and two target orb deals, one on each side.) I couldn't shoot the large target orb deal, nor did I need to because I beat the room without blowing it up. As soon as I started running to the next room, the entire screen glitched up. The walls and borders became garbled and the electric fence deal was missing. The player, enemies, guns, and target orb deals still showed up fine. Everything was fine again once I got to the boss.

Trax

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Contra Hack - 7th Edition
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2013, 02:53:09 am »
Oh, nice catch Snarf. I discovered that the problem was with the Red Falcon editor. I temporarily removed a function that caused problems while I was editing level 6, but didn't realize it was crucial for indoor levels. This is now corrected. I made a silent update of the zip file in my release message, so please redownload it if you intend to do a full playthrough...

And while I was testing levels 4 to 7, I also realized that my code for the Shrapnel Mortar didn't work as intended. Level 5 has normal mortar shots, and levels 6 and 7 are supposed to have Shrapnel shots. But because of a mistake in conditional opcode, the mortar was normal in level 6. This is now corrected...

And Snarf, about the Shrapnel Mortars harder to avoid, I guess it's because level 7 tends to have higher floors on average than level 6. Since I usually position the Shrapnel Mortars at the same height, they explode at the same height as well, which is roughly the center of the screen. Any Mortar shot that is bound to explode in the air will do so as soon as its Y velocity becomes positive. That how the code works...

As for the tricky part with the Mechanical Claws, I admit it's a little tight and pixel precise, but not impossible. Note that everything will be reviewed for the final release. When I replay from the beginning, I sometimes realize that some parts are just too hard, even for me. Some stuff that made sense at that time may not make sense today. Also, I'll try to make the difficulty between levels more like a smooth increase. And many more tweaks that won't be detailed here...

snarfblam

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Contra Hack - 7th Edition
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2013, 05:44:16 pm »
Just so you don't get the wrong idea, I wasn't complaining or saying anything was too hard. That's what I like about this hack: the obscene difficulty. I was just making some casual observations. I also may have found things to be harder than normal because I was pretty tired that day. Anyways, keep up the good work. Can't wait for to see the finished product!

Ti_

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Contra Hack - 7th Edition
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2014, 12:06:31 pm »
Trax, updated archive contain two versions, and both starts from level7, which one with fixed bugs?
So, I request last version that starts from level1 and without bugs.

And if possible can you add a start level selection?  Or in worst case, 7 different roms.

Trax

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Contra Hack - 7th Edition
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2014, 11:51:38 am »
I forgot to change the starting level before creating the IPS files. This is now corrected. Please redownload the ZIP archive if you want to start from the beginning...