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Author Topic: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)  (Read 38013 times)

nesrocks

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Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
« on: April 24, 2016, 01:53:23 pm »
Minor edit (disclaimer):
This project has escalated into something way bigger than I initially wanted to do. It has moved from an improvements hack to a complete overhaul of the graphics, game design, songs and bug fixes. I won't update this first post with a lot of content, but instead will give a few images to give an idea of what this hack does (check the whole thread to see all of the changes done, or go straight to http://nesrocks.com/blog/superpitfall30th/ and get the hack!).




Please note that a lot has changed since I started on this project, so many of the ideas posted here were not how the project turned out to be. It is cool to keep it though to see how it really progressed. Original post following (/edit end):

--------------------------------

Hey guys! I've been using my interest to hack super pitfall to improve my hacking skills. I've been studying all the tools and trying to understand 6502 asm for the past month. It's been a blast. Special thansk to dougeff, Disch, snarfblam and macbee  :crazy:

I've managed to make a lot of progress and even come up with new stuff. Here's what I've got:

- change the amount of starting lives (independent for each quest)
- change the amount of bullets a gun gives
- change the amount of gold required for perfect ending (default 100)
- always invincible (makes testing easier)
- invincible mode without blinking sprite (makes testing easier)
- change in-game hud position
- flip the gun in Harry's hand. For some reason it points towards him
- full map editting for static tiles and partially for the other objects, including warps
- change where each warp leads to from the default list of 8 possible destinations
- make these items always visible: guns, extra lives, lion key, invincibility star, medicine, ring 1, ring 2 and cross (everything except the suit keys)
- change the title screen
- a hack that gets rid of 2 player mode and lets you choose which quest to start on! It's working but I haven't finished the game on either option yet so I can't tell that it's 100% finished


I have also found one unused test room, that is to my knowledge, unknown so far.


And I've also found, weirdly enough, that the ROM contains older versions of almost all the rooms of the main map (except for 3 of the bottom ones). It's a lot of unused data. There are lots of minor differences in these rooms compared to the main map. There's isn't though a "map" that assembles these rooms as a full map like every other used map in the game, but they are similar enough to the main map that the main map's reference is probably the right one for these. I've then tried to compile a full image of this "beta" map but I lack the skills to automate it. I've tried contacting kingkuros of vgmaps because he mapped the used ones but he's hard to reach.

I've mapped quite a few addresses. And I have listed the hex ID for every object. It includes some possibly unused items and enemies that lack graphics but have a simple behavior I haven't seen or don't remember being in the game.

So I plan to release my work in the following ways:

- a hack for quest select mode (done)
- a hack for making items always visible (might need help with the suit keys, it's driving me nuts, otherwise it's done)
- a graphics hack, including new title screen and new font
- a map hack containing a completely new adventure (might need help with fully understanding how dynamic object data is stored). This hack will possibly require the graphics hack as I plan to make much better use of background tiles

So, is anyone interested in taking a look at the suits and dynamic objects problems? I have the addresses figured out, so it only probably takes a better understanding of asm.

Also, I have a question. What does the unrom to mmc3 patch does? Is it useful to me? http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2665/
« Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 02:43:04 am by nesrocks »

KingMike

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Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2016, 10:24:35 pm »
Also, I have a question. What does the unrom to mmc3 patch does? Is it useful to me? http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/2665/
The thing about mapper hacks: if you don't know why a mapper hack would be helpful to you,
then it probably wouldn't be helpful to you. :thumbsup:
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nesrocks

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Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2016, 10:47:32 pm »
I have figured that much, but since I'm also learning here, and if it would give me empty space so I could add more stuff, then perhaps I'd like to know that. For example, it would be cool if quest 2 used the unused map instead of both using the same map. The way I've figured is that the way the ROM works right now it isn't an easy (or possible) task because of bank switching and all. Maybe it is possible but I just don't know how to do it yet.

edit: I'm reading some docs about mapper changing.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2016, 10:58:15 pm by nesrocks »

John Enigma

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Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2016, 10:52:49 pm »
Hopefully this fixes all of the glitches that plagued the game, and made everyone call this port "one of the worst NES games ever made."

nesrocks

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Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2016, 11:05:49 pm »
Hopefully this fixes all of the glitches that plagued the game, and made everyone call this port "one of the worst NES games ever made."

I hope so too! There are two particular bugs I would like to fix:
1 -The controls sometimes locking with the d-pad (I've already mapped exactly when these occur)
2- Sometimes Harry will simply slip from ladders for no reason. This may sound like in super smash bros brawl with the tripping, but I'll consider it a bug and try to fix it.

Some of the more complex graphical glitches like screen sometimes flashing garbage sprites are probably too hard for me to fix.

John Enigma

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Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2016, 11:20:45 pm »
According to the Super Pitfall Wikipedia page, the Tandy Color Computer 3 version of this game was a "hundred times" better than the NES version.

Quote from: Wikipedia, in the last paragraph of the "Reception" section
The Tandy Color Computer 3 version, however, eliminated most of the glitches, included flashing notations as to where the hidden items were, and removed the requirement of having to return to the start point. This version was pointed to as the best of the Super Pitfall versions released.

Hopefully you (or someone) would do the same for this version.

nesrocks

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Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2016, 01:11:41 am »
the Tandy Color Computer 3 version of this game was a "hundred times" better than the NES version.
Videos of it are rare. I've only found a very short one. So I have spent the last 2 hours trying to figure out how to run the coco3 emulator with the super pitfall cartridge ROM. It finally worked. Get the vcc emulator, get the ccc rom, rename the rom to .ROM extension, load it in cartridge slot, configure the right joystick as a keyboard and play it.

That said, I'd like to end this myth here. The NES version is better. It has bugs, but it is way more complete and way more playable. You may try it yourself and be the judge of that. I don't know why the NES gets such a bad rep anyway. Sure the AVGN episode was funny, but there are truly horrendous NES games out there. It's unfair to place this game in the same level of xmen or action 52. I guess it's the price of being named after such a famous game. Much like how people hate street fighter 2010 despite it being an excellent game. Super pitfall may not be excellent, great, or even good, but it is average. It is definitely better than 50% of the NES library, and that's saying something. So, imo, not "one of the worst games".

Well, I guess it's natural that I try to defend it, as I deemed it worthy of my time to hack it. But after playing the coco3 version, I just gotta say stick to the NES version. Or preferably stick to my hacked version when I'm done :laugh:.

About the things that ARE better on the coco3 version: I'm already removing the need to jump mindlessly around. About not having to return to the start I guess it's a matter of making it clear that escaping is the last thing that has to be done to complete the game. Making it so it auto-ends when the three objectives are done may be out of my skillset and I'm not sure I agree with it, but I'll look into that.

edit: I've just seen a video of the other game with the same name for the PC-88. It's quite a different game, but I can see it being the better one. Also it seems to have some things that were supposed to be on the NES version but were left out.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 11:10:57 am by nesrocks »

cospefogo

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Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2016, 04:29:37 pm »
Epaaa!
Wonderful work you are doing!

Super Pitfall was one of the most loved games in my Phantom System era (a Brazilian NES clone). I did complete the game several times and it was, besides the glitches, amazing. This game, imo, is miles away from many other awful NES games.

Looking forward for more news!

Regards,
Cospefogo.
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If they're a benefit, it's not my problem."

Jorpho

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Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2016, 05:07:25 pm »
AGDQ did this speedrun last year that made the whole thing seem like a lost cause.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlFY3_55Il8
This depresses me. I feel like a goldfish right now...

cospefogo

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Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2016, 05:19:23 pm »
I remember climbing the walls using that dirty trick!
It is the only way to complete the game and not get crazy!
=)
"Replicants are like any other machine - they're either a benefit or a hazard.
If they're a benefit, it's not my problem."

nesrocks

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Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2016, 06:03:53 pm »
Hey cospefogo, thanks! I'll keep working on it. I did finish the game in 1991 without going inside the walls hehe. But I guess in the end I became crazy so you're right.  ;D I remember doing the waterfall skip though.

AGDQ did this speedrun last year that made the whole thing seem like a lost cause.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlFY3_55Il8
Thanks for the video! Coincidentally I had just watched it yesterday. There are some things he says that are kind of a stretch. For example, if a 11 year old kid can notice the vulture flies differently than how vultures normally fly in the game, and know that the game has lots of hidden stuff and then add 1 + 2 and jump on the vulture (lots of kids did exactly just that, including yours truly), then it looks bad for him for saying what he said about it. I can see why he did it though. He was either just making a joke or feeding a meme. And the internet loves memes.
About quick claw not looking like a lion I blame that on localization. He looks like a cat. Why would someone own a pet lion anyway? They have probably put "lion" on the manual so the game looks a little more badass, a pretty standard move when localizing to the west. Or maybe it's a lioness?
About having to escape after completing the objectives being "bs", he's partly right. I'm sure there are other superpitfallmetroidvania games where you need to escape after completing it. The thing is, in the NES version it was admitedly not well implemented. If you watch the PC-88 version's last sections you will see what I mean. It looks more complete as it all comes full circle.

All in all, the NES version is really rushed, I'm not denying it. But people love to skip being fair and go straight to feeding memes.

cospefogo

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Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2016, 06:05:58 pm »
Respect, nesrocks!
Keep up the good work!

Cospefogo.
"Replicants are like any other machine - they're either a benefit or a hazard.
If they're a benefit, it's not my problem."

John Enigma

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Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2016, 07:49:49 pm »
One thing that I'll never understand is that why was this game called Super Pitfall in the first place, instead of just Pitfall (for the NES).

Super Pitfall sounds like an original Pitfall game made for the Super NES.

I don't know if anybody has noticed that.

cospefogo

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Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2016, 07:57:59 pm »
For me it is Super because it is a super version of a traditional Pitfall.
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nesrocks

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Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2016, 08:52:16 pm »
Because super is a word that means... Super. And the snes still didn't exist. So they named it super for the same reason nintendo named the snes super. Because it was better. Or perhaps you should be asking yourself why did nintendo name their console after super pitfall, not the other way around. Or why did they name it all after super man. My super nes doesn't have x-ray vision. What's up with that?  :laugh: :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 08:58:38 pm by nesrocks »

SunGodPortal

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Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2016, 09:01:13 pm »
Quote
My super nes doesn't have x-ray vision.

It doesn't? Man, you got jipped. I thought they all had it.
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Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2016, 09:07:33 pm »
One thing that I'll never understand is that why was this game called Super Pitfall in the first place, instead of just Pitfall (for the NES).

Probably to make people think that Super Pitfall was to the original Pitfall what Super Mario Bros. was compared to the old Mario Bros. arcade game.

And it worked - at least for me. Super Pitfall was one of my guilty pleasures back in the early 1990s. :D

John Enigma

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Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2016, 09:25:06 pm »
Probably to make people think that Super Pitfall was to the original Pitfall what Super Mario Bros. was compared to the old Mario Bros. arcade game.
I'm gonna go ahead and choose this statement, despite the fact Mario Bros, which started as an Nintendo arcade game cabinet, got a NES port later on.

Although, I'm surprised that a lot of old-school Brazilian gamers played this game, like a lot American gamers played Super Mario Bros.

EDIT: At least this game is not called Super Duper Pitfall. :P

nesrocks

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Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2016, 10:12:52 pm »
Well it could have been called this


Joke screenshots aside, I've modified the menu to add another functionality. Whenever you game over you will see and can simply select continue. No need to use a secret button sequence to select an invisible option anymore! It works with the quest menu patch too.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2016, 01:33:18 am by nesrocks »

John Enigma

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Re: Super Pitfall NES (improvements)
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2016, 05:46:27 am »
I have several questions:

  • Will this game have save units (kinda like the save points from Super Metroid for the SNES)?
  • Can the game have a minimap function like in the Metroid series?
  • Will the stages be simplified to play the game a bit better?
  • Will the sprites be changed to even better sprites? (Or am I asking for to much?)