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Author Topic: Layla: The Iris Missions  (Read 5745 times)

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Layla: The Iris Missions
« on: December 23, 2016, 11:45:47 pm »


Download (version 3): http://www.mediafire.com/file/v66d57298gew0xu/Layla+-+The+Iris+Missions+%28v3%29.zip
Gameplay footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySFmiBxZa9w

Chinelkov Manitokha once again threatens the galaxy with his army of mutant Chimairan. This time, it's up to Iris to stop him! (Layla can come along too, I guess).

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

This is a thorough overhaul of the Famicom game Layla that I've been working on, on and off, for about a year. It features new levels, graphics, and a new, much-expanded soundtrack I wrote specifically for this hack. The primary goal is to modernize the game to be less frustrating without compromising the core gameplay. Though the most fundamental aspects remain the same, there are many alterations to the design and mechanics in the interest of making things more fun: no annoying keycards, no penalties for replaying levels, some nonlinear elements....

Walkthrough
This hack adds some elements of exploration and puzzle-solving. I hope the additions are intuitive enough that no one will need help, but here's a guide just in case:
Spoiler:
* Mission 1: Proceed normally and you'll eventually reach the crate with the Machine Gun, then the boss.
* Mission 2: Go up at every elevator possible. You'll eventually reach the Axe.
* Mission 3: Go down at the first elevator, go right, then go up at the next one to get the Flamethrower. Go down the elevator you came up, then down again. Go right, pass the first elevator, and go up at the second one. Go right until you reach an elevator covered by destructible blocks, then use the Axe to destroy them. Take the elevator down to the boss.
* Mission 4: Starting from B4F, take the elevators labeled F, A, S, and T, in that order. Pick up the Skates. Starting again from B4F, take the elevators labeled E, X, I, and T to reach the boss.
* Before starting Mission 5, return to Mission 3. Go up at the first elevator, go right, then go up again at the next one. Run to the right and jump over the pit (requires the Skates). Continue on until you reach the elevator that leads to the Grenades. After collecting them, you can press Start+Select+A+B to exit the level.
* Mission 5: Use the Grenades to destroy the impassable block early in the level. The rest is linear, but make sure you don't jump down the high-walled pit: if you're paying attention, it should be obvious that it leads back to an earlier part of the level!
* Mission 6: Linear, but requires the Skates. You can optionally pick up the Bazooka in the first part of the level. After the second checkpoint, jump over the first two gaps. For the last one, make a jump of maximal height from the second-to-last vanishing block and you should make it into the alcove with the crate.
* Mission 7: Go up at the first three elevators you encounter. On floor 1F, run right, go past the first elevator you encounter, then go down at the next one. Follow the path and go down the next two elevators you see to reach the Saber. Go back up the elevator. The Saber can pass through walls, so use it to destroy the blocks in your path. Go up every elevator you see until you exit the cave area. Go right, pass the first elevator you encounter, then go up the next one to 2F. Go right until you reach a set of blocks you'll need the Saber to destroy. Do so, then take the uncovered passage to the elevator and go up. Proceed to the next elevator and go up.

This next part is conceptually tricky, but easy to do: You need to pass through the ceiling to reach the elevator. To do so, go right. If enemies don't spawn in the sealed-off area, keep going right until the level loops around. Pick off any enemies outside the sealed area, then stand on the glowing floor until your health is almost empty. Now, equip the Saber and use it to kill the enemies in the sealed area. While the food they drop is bouncing around, run to the glowing floor and intentionally kill yourself. If you do everything right, you'll pass through the ceiling during the death animation, then run into the good and return to life. From there, just take the elevator up to the boss.
* Mission 8: Follow the path until you reach the elevator guarded by force fields. You can do the three segments that follow in any order; personally, I'd recommend 3-1-2. Then take the elevator to the boss.
* Mission 9: Surely you can figure this one out yourself!

Changes from the original game
Spoiler:
Basic stuff:
* Replaced all levels with new ones, and added an extra stage.
* Redid the soundtrack.
* Managed to scrape together a new title screen that's hopefully passable.
* Swapped out Layla's and Iris' graphics, so you now play as Iris.
* The new music has quieter pulse channels than the original in order to make the basslines more prominent, so the volume of the sound effects has been slightly lowered to match.

New features:
* Added a checkpoint system. Dying no longer kicks you back to the title screen; instead, you'll go back to the last checkpoint.
* Added a shortcut to exit a level: Press Start, Select, A, and B simultaneously. Not needed to beat the game, but useful in a couple places (or if I screwed up the level design and you get stuck somewhere).
* Hacked up the credits code to create a little intro sequence if you wait at the title screen.
* Rewrote the ending, added a new one for the extra stage, and altered the credits.

Weapons:
* All weapons except the Shield now have infinite ammo; the challenge is finding them in the first place!
*** To compensate for this, the damage and refire rate of some of the higher-end weapons has been toned down.
* The Shield no longer protects against pit damage.
* Shields do not have infinite ammo, and are collected throughout the level as in the original game. Restarting from a checkpoint makes you lose all your shields.
* Shield pick-ups grant a smaller number of shields (2 instead of 5).
* The special weapon from the original game is no longer available, mostly because I couldn't figure out anything interesting to do with it.
* Related to the above, the ? pickup now always restore life. I also removed the obscure feature where, after picking one up when the tens digit of the score is zero, running into enemies would damage them.
* Weapon cooldowns are now absolute, i.e. you can't mash the button to fire faster than you would be holding it down. Removed because I hate games that do this.
*** To compensate, the refire rate for the pistol is higher, not that you'll need to use it much.
* Bumped up the range of the Flamethrower's shots.
* Slightly increased the initial y-velocity of the Axe, giving it a higher trajectory.
* Made the Saber able to penetrate walls.

Mechanical tweaks:
* Removed the keycards that were originally required to beat the game, because they didn't add anything except frustration.
* Removed the bonus stages between levels because they were pointless.
* Removed all stat/ammo penalties for falling in a pit or repeating a level. You'll still lose health if you fall in a pit.
* Disabled the tornado that harassed you if you failed to scroll the screen for ~30 seconds.
* The mechanic where your maximum velocity can go up or down under certain circumstances has been ditched; it was too frustrating, and difficult to design around. There's instead a fixed speed cap, with a collectible upgrade to permanently increase it.
* Increased invulnerability time after getting hit; the original game's is absurdly low.
* Enemy projectiles no longer hit through post-damage invulnerability.
* In the original game, touching an enemy damages you by an amount that is based, oddly, on the enemy's current HP (which means it can vary substantially between hits). In LTIM, enemies instead deal a constant amount of damage that increases linearly with each level to create a smooth difficulty curve.
* For balance, the cake and ice cream pick-ups now both restore 2 HP (originally, cake restored 4).
* Fixed a serious bug that can crash the original game. There was no check for overflow when the game assigned sprites to OAM slots from its internal table, which meant that if the game tried to show more than 64 sprites, it would overwrite sprite 0 and usually die. (This can be achieved e.g. on the original level 5, by running right at a high speed while firing the machine gun on a screen with multiple Usumiil enemies.)
* The original game rapidly flashes the background color when your HP is low. The effect is very unpleasant, so I've changed it to flash the white used for the text in the HUD. This unfortunately conflicts with a few other things (e.g. item icons), but it's still a substantial improvement over the original.
* Disabled the low HP beeping sound because it annoyed me.
* When you discover a new item, it uses its real icon instead of being replaced with a question mark.

Known issues
Spoiler:
* The music hangs noticeably when switching between areas (e.g. from "cave" to
"fortress" areas). I think it's caused by the game synchronously loading the new
graphics. Probably more trouble than it's worth to fix.
* When restarting from a checkpoint, any weapons you fired before dying aren't
destroyed, which can lead to e.g. destroying a crate with a grenade you fired
before dying.
* Some of the strings in the credits get miscolored as they scroll off-screen,
because fuck attribute tables.
* Score isn't reset after dying, which makes it rather meaningless since you can
restart from a checkpoint repeatedly to increase it indefinitely. Frankly I've
never cared about scores, so hopefully no one else does either.
* It's possible to use the "exit level" code (Start+Select+A+B) before
completing Mission 1. This just restarts the level immediately without causing
further problems, so I'm leaving it as-is.
* Using passwords generated after unlocking Mission 9 will start you at the
beginning of the game as if you hadn't completed anything (though you'll keep
your items and Layla).
* It's possible to get stuck in at least one area of Mission 9 (by scrolling
the screen to the right, then jumping into a narrow hole on the left side
that's  too high to get out of without a running jump). There's not a lot I
can do about this without compromising the layouts, though...

Miscellaneous
I'm flattering myself here, but if you're interested in the OST, here's the download: http://www.mediafire.com/file/ainp6rqa6u1chz9/Layla+-+The+Iris+Missions+OST.zip (Includes NSFe, MP3 renders, and the original .it files used to prototype the tracks. Real rippers will guffaw at my 256 kb NSFe, but I say whatever works...)

For posterity, version 1 of the hack can be found here: http://www.mediafire.com/file/60sm5cne51yp85q/Layla+-+The+Iris+Missions.zip
And version 2 here: [EDIT: Removed because by sheer incompetence, I managed to accidentally put the full ROM in the ZIP file!]

Since the game is so obscure, I had to write my own level and music editing tools. You can grab the sources for Lonely and Clapton off Github, and hopefully by the time you read this the Windows binaries will be on the main site.

This hack has been a long time coming and taken quite a bit of effort, so it's great to finally share it. I'm not sure there's much of (if any) audience for it, but I'd like to hear your thoughts on it if you try it out, even if it's just "this sucks".

Special thanks
I'd like to thank the following people and organizations for making this hack possible:
* A round of applause to ArstanNeckbeard for taking the time to play through this obscure ROM hack of an obscure game from obscure start to obscure finish and give me feedback on it. Honestly, I was afraid I wouldn't get any replies at all!
* Thanks to everyone else on ROMhacking.net who voiced support, and anyone who tried this out but didn't comment.
* Extra special thanks to the webmaster of Asteria no Layla, who maintains one of the finest and most informative fansites I've ever seen: http://laylairis.web.fc2.com/
* General thanks to all of the following:
  * Nesdev
  * Bluechip's 6502 reference
  * TCRF
  * Game Center CX
* And of course, the biggest thanks of all goes to dB-SOFT for making Layla in the first place.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 01:16:09 pm by Supper »

M-Tee

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Re: Layla: The Iris Missions
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2016, 04:06:58 pm »
Layla's my favorite famicom exclusive. Glad to see it getting some attention. Will definitely try this out at some point soon.

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Re: Layla: The Iris Missions
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2016, 04:09:32 pm »
Hmm. I'm not sure if I've heard of this one but it looks it should be right up my alley. I'll have to try it.
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Re: Layla: The Iris Missions
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2016, 04:23:22 pm »
Layla's been one of my favorite Japan-only NES games ever since Arino played it on Game Center CX, though I've never gotten super far into it. I'll give this one a shot.

EDIT: I'm halfway through Mission 3 so far and it's really good. The levels actually feel designed compared to the original and I like gradually unlocking the weapons (although the pistol gets pretty immediately outclassed by the machine gun).
I did have one question though; what's the point of the flamethrower? It seems to be no more powerful than the SMG but it's slower. If it has no special use, maybe kick it up a notch or kick the SMG down a notch.

EDIT II: At first elevator you reach in Mission 1, if you go Down, you end up at the room with the little robot guy that tells you how to high jump. When you go back up you've basically bypassed the entire stage.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2016, 07:53:03 pm by ArstanNeckbeard »

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Re: Layla: The Iris Missions
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2016, 08:01:12 pm »
Layla's been one of my favorite Japan-only NES games ever since Arino played it on Game Center CX, though I've never gotten super far into it. I'll give this one a shot.

EDIT: I'm halfway through Mission 3 so far and it's really good. The levels actually feel designed compared to the original and I like gradually unlocking the weapons (although the pistol gets pretty immediately outclassed by the machine gun).
I did have one question though; what's the point of the flamethrower? It seems to be no more powerful than the SMG but it's slower. If it has no special use, maybe kick it up a notch or kick the SMG down a notch.

Thanks! I found out about the game through GCCX too. I decided to make this hack after playing it through myself and feeling like it had a lot of potential, but it got squandered by "gotta sell strategy guides" syndrome (especially on the later levels, which are almost impossible to map out, let alone complete!). My goal was to make levels that were challenging but didn't require a walkthrough to beat, though I'm not sure if I succeeded.

I kind of couldn't figure out what to do with the pistol. Originally you were going to get the machine gun later, but I decided the pistol wasn't much fun to use. Then I was going to put in a hidden pistol upgrade, but I couldn't come up with a scenario where even the upgraded pistol would be worth using over the machine gun. I might shuffle the flamethrower ahead of the machine gun, since as you mentioned the machine gun is more useful...

As for the flamethrower, it's mostly superfluous when you first get it, but it's useful on later levels where some enemies are immune to certain weapons.

Anyway, thanks again for giving this obscurity a try. Let me know if you have to use the walkthrough for anything, since the idea is for the game to be beatable without it.

EDIT: Ah, well spotted. I knew I'd miss something like that (originally, the hint room was earlier in the level). Fixed.

ArstanNeckbeard

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Re: Layla: The Iris Missions
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2016, 08:20:48 pm »
EDIT: Ah, well spotted. I knew I'd miss something like that (originally, the hint room was earlier in the level). Fixed.
Alright, I'll keep checking Elevator consistency as I'm going through, in case none of them that I find are intentional.
In Mission 2, If you go down from the Hint Room you end up back at the beginning of the mission.

I might shuffle the flamethrower ahead of the machine gun, since as you mentioned the machine gun is more useful...
Yeah, sounds good! That way it won't feel like I'm getting a brand new downgrade in Mission 3.

Anyway, thanks again for giving this obscurity a try. Let me know if you have to use the walkthrough for anything, since the idea is for the game to be beatable without it.
Will do.

EDIT: I'm through Mission 5, about to start Mission 6. So far everything seems solid. Mission 5 twisted my brain for a while until I realized what was happening in those double-elevators.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2016, 09:38:15 pm by ArstanNeckbeard »

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Re: Layla: The Iris Missions
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2016, 10:10:49 pm »
OK, fixed the other hint room. Can't believe I missed both of those. Also noticed I forgot to assign some blinking lights on Mission 7 to the cycling palette, so that'll be fixed in the next version.

Heh, glad level 5 had the intended effect. I probably could have done more with that gimmick, but the level already kind of drags on and I figured making things too nonlinear would get frustrating fast.

ArstanNeckbeard

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Re: Layla: The Iris Missions
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2016, 10:46:47 pm »
...the level already kind of drags on and I figured making things too nonlinear would get frustrating fast.
Yeah, I was about to grab some graph paper and draw a map when it hit me. Just about to finish up Mission 7. There's an elevator toward the end that you can't go back down from, but I don't know if you're supposed to. I will say that the area leading to the Item in Mission 7 is hell, and that the Thing You Have To Do To Get To The Boss happened to me a few times earlier and I was going to ask you if it was intended. It's not a bug, it's a feature!

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Re: Layla: The Iris Missions
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2016, 12:19:45 am »
Yeah, the difficulty ramps up quite a bit in levels 7 and 8. I hope I didn't overdo it. I might tone down that particular bit of level 7 a bit -- I'm not sure why it came out so hard. It's actually a fairly short area, I guess it's just tricky dealing with all the fish and the penetrating bullets.

That little trick is also in the original game (surprisingly, it's actually an intentionally coded feature; notice how you get 50000 points for it). I'm worried it's unintuitive, but it's such a wacky meta-puzzle I couldn't resist throwing it in somewhere. I purposely made the elevator to that area one-way to try to make it more obvious you don't need to go back and find some hidden item to proceed.

ArstanNeckbeard

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Re: Layla: The Iris Missions
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2016, 01:03:07 am »
Annnnd I'm done.
Going back over the walkthrough, looks like I got 100% as well, so I'd say mission accomplished!
I might suggest a few cosmetic changes:
Since the score and the ammo count (other than the shield) is pointless, cut them out and put something more useful there if you can.
Maybe something like this?

Other than that, fantastic. Music's great, level designs are actually designed levels, etc. etc.  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

... I purposely made the elevator to that area one-way to try to make it more obvious you don't need to go back and find some hidden item to proceed.

That actually happened to me in Mission 5, in the spot from the screenshot up there. I could have sworn I missed something that would make me jump higher or something so I restarted the Mission, looked everywhere, got back there and figured it out.

EDIT: Oh! Another suggestion; replace the [?] Icons with food or a heart or something.

EDIT EDIT: Well, I guess that would make the extra stage slightly less amusing..
« Last Edit: December 29, 2016, 01:10:58 am by ArstanNeckbeard »

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Re: Layla: The Iris Missions
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2016, 02:35:30 am »
Annnnd I'm done.
Going back over the walkthrough, looks like I got 100% as well, so I'd say mission accomplished!

Okay, great! Thanks for playing this all the way through, it really helps me out.

I might suggest a few cosmetic changes:
Since the score and the ammo count (other than the shield) is pointless, cut them out and put something more useful there if you can.
Maybe something like this?

A similar thought thought occurred to me (though much less elaborate than your idea -- I'm really quite lazy), but with all the other stuff I've changed, I'm actually short on space for additional code. Keep in mind that shields still have limited ammo, so I can't just get rid of the ammo display outright. If I can dredge up the spare bytes somewhere, I might have a crack at it.

That actually happened to me in Mission 5, in the spot from the screenshot up there. I could have sworn I missed something that would make me jump higher or something so I restarted the Mission, looked everywhere, got back there and figured it out.

Hmm, I can see how that one could be tricky. I'll see if I can work something out to make it more obvious. It's tough getting puzzles in that level to work upside-down too!

EDIT: Oh! Another suggestion; replace the [?] Icons with food or a heart or something.

EDIT EDIT: Well, I guess that would make the extra stage slightly less amusing..

Actually, good idea, I really should do that. I think I can probably find a few spare background tiles for a second copy of the graphics for the extra stage, maybe even throw in a grid in the background or something. Mission 9 was a total rush job to meet my self-imposed December 20th deadline, so I'll definitely smooth it out a bit for the new version.

Other than that, fantastic. Music's great, level designs are actually designed levels, etc. etc.  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it, and I really appreciate all your help. It's not possible to test your own hack effectively, so it's great to have some willing subjects ;)

Also, I'm debating whether to make the very last part of Mission 8 (unlocking the three "force fields") a bit easier. Currently you have to restart from the beginning of that section and redo all the force fields if you die, regardless of how many you've shut off -- did you think that was too unfair? I want it to be challenging since it's the end of the "real" game, but if it's too frustrating I'll change it.

EDIT: Oh, and since I forgot to mention this anywhere else, there are a few hidden passwords you can enter in Mission 4:
Spoiler:
CASH
HASH
CEST
ERICC!! -- Enter the first four letters and you'll get sent back to the first floor. Then enter the 'C' on B4F and the '!!' on B3F. This leads you to a room with all the weapons in the game. Originally, I was going to make you have to unlock Mission 9 by doing this, using the Saber in Mission 6 to break the blocks above Layla so you could go around her, and then beating Mission 8 without her. Eventually I realized no one would ever bother doing that, myself included, and just made it an automatic bonus level.

On a related note, using passwords generated after unlocking Mission 9 will make the game act as if you started a new game, but you'll keep Layla and your weapons. (The passwords don't properly encode level numbers above 8, so the game thinks you haven't beaten anything yet). We'll call it a feature...
« Last Edit: December 29, 2016, 02:57:12 am by Supper »

ArstanNeckbeard

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Re: Layla: The Iris Missions
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2016, 03:26:40 am »
I can't just get rid of the ammo display outright. If I can dredge up the spare bytes somewhere, I might have a crack at it.
Yeah, it's been a while since I've messed around with the NES but reprogramming menus and displays is always a pain.

Hmm, I can see how that one could be tricky. I'll see if I can work something out to make it more obvious. It's tough getting puzzles in that level to work upside-down too!
No it's fine, I just had a complete lapse of thought for a few minutes there.

Currently you have to restart from the beginning of that section and redo all the force fields if you die [...]
Hmm.. it's pretty tough but it -is- the last bit of the last level. If someone complains, bring up the last level of Ninja Gaiden.

Eventually I realized no one would ever bother doing that, myself included, and just made it an automatic bonus level.
I like the idea of it, but the payoff isn't worth it. If you had room for a secret Hell Difficulty Final Stage with an alternate ending maybe. File it away for the sequel  :P

[...] using passwords generated after unlocking Mission 9 will make the game act as if you started a new game, but you'll keep Layla and your weapons. [...] We'll call it a feature...
I'll call it a feature. New Game +!

EDIT: Regarding the difficulty of the end of Mission 8, maybe if there were a pile of health boxes right where you spawn after blowing up a force field (unless there is and I just completely forgot). You'd still have to go through all three without dying but after you beat one you'd get a little help toward the next one.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2016, 01:03:16 pm by ArstanNeckbeard »

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Re: Layla: The Iris Missions
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2017, 02:56:53 am »


All right, I've hammered away at this for a few days and version 2 is now ready to go. Get it here: [EDIT: Removed because by sheer incompetence, I managed to accidentally put the full ROM in the ZIP file!] (also updated in the original post). Features finer difficulty balancing, an overhaul to the HUD, many bug fixes, some extra polish here and there, and a lot of improvements to Mission 9. This may or may not be the final version, depending on whether I feel like doing more (and whether any unexpected bugs crop up).

Many changes in this revision are due to ArstanNeckbeard's diligent testing. Thank you!

Full list of changes:
Spoiler:
General changes:
  * Swapped the locations of the Machine Gun and Flamethrower pick-ups.
  * Due to the above, made the Flamethrower very, very slighly weaker (it does
the same amount of damage per hit, but refires a frame slower and has a
slightly smaller range).
  * Also due to the above, modified a few enemy statistics on Missions 1-3 (to
make sure enemies are vulnerable to the Flamethrower when they need to be, and
die about as quickly with it as they used to with the Machine Gun).
  * Improved the Bazooka's refire rate.
  * Made it possible to pick up food during post-damage invulnerability.
(Considering you can pick up food while you're dead, I figured this was only
logical.)
  * Overhauled the HUD:
    * Ammo counts are no longer displayed for weapons that don't use ammo.
    * The special weapon has been deleted from the pause menu, since it's no
longer used. The border around the pause menu has been resized accordingly (and
actually looks a bit nicer than the original, since the right edge no longer
gets cut off).
    * The Skate icon now functions in a more intuitive fashion.
    * Moved the weapon icon/ammo display slightly to the right, since the
keycard count no longer exists.
  * Changed the health-restoring power-ups hidden in boxes from question marks
to hearts.
  * Changed the speed of some sweep effects in the Mission 2 music. Previously,
they only sounded as intended in FCEUX. (This was already fixed for the NSFe.)
  * Changed a single note of the percussion in the boss music. (This isn't in
the NSFe.)
  * Fixed a bug where dying after killing one part of a multi-part boss (e.g.
in Missions 5 and 8) would let you avoid fighting the later parts of the boss.
  * The special hardcoded passwords no longer give you special weapon ammo
(since it no longer exists).
  * Updated the credits sequences.

  Level-specific changes:

  Mission 1:
    * Minor structural changes so that crouch-jumps will never be necessary
until you've reached the hint room explaining how to do them.
    * Fixed an elevator that incorrectly led to the hint room.
   
  Mission 2:
    * Minor tweaks to prevent getting stuck (though you'd pretty much have to
be trying to do it).
    * Fixed an elevator that incorrectly led to the start of the level.
   
  Mission 3:
    * Fixed two boxes that displayed the wrong background tile when destroyed.
    * Fixed a broken elevator that made it possible to get stuck.
   
  Mission 4:
    * Enhanced the background decor. (I started on this and honestly forgot to
finish before the initial release!)
    * Placed a checkpoint at the boss chamber. (Previously, you got thrown back
to the start of the level if you died there.)
   
  Mission 5:
    * Changed a tile in the first section to hopefully make it more obvious how
to proceed.
    * Fixed a power-up placement that wasn't properly flipped.
    * Changed the boss's palette.
   
  Mission 6:
    * Fixed a checkpoint that sent you back farther than it was supposed to.
    * It was sometimes possible to bump into the wall and fall into the pit
during the descending-ceiling sections of the level. Added some extra space so
that hopefully won't happen anymore.
   
  Mission 7:
    * Added some health/shield crates in the cave area, and moved some that
were probably unreachable, to try to make that section less frustrating.
    * Fixed some decor that was supposed to flash, but wasn't actually assigned
to the cycling palette.
   
  Mission 8:
    * In the first part of the level, added extra headroom to a couple of jumps
that were difficult if not impossible to clear without taking damage.
    * Added some health crates at the end of each force-field section.
    * Minor aesthetic enhancements to the boss chamber.
    * The boss is now weak to axes. This may or may not have been the case in
the previous version, but it was definitely supposed to be this way.
   
  Mission 9:
    * Made many improvements and finishing touches that I didn't have time for
in the initial release: a proper background, more sensible checkpoints, enemies
that don't immediately fall in pits and die, etc.
    * Enemies no longer drop food (or rather, you'd have to kill 128 in a row
to get a drop), which was actually my original intention.
    * Fixed an issue where destroying certain enemies and blocks would cause
the score to go haywire.
    * Fixed a minor palette conflict with the low HP flashing effect.
    * Made some alterations to the final boss that should be readily apparent.

The biggest change is the Mission 9 boss. It's quite a bit different now, so you might want to take a look even if you've already beaten it. Here's a savestate from right in front of it in case you need it: http://www.mediafire.com/file/r14kmif30mozd6d/ltim_finalboss.fc1
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 01:16:37 pm by Supper »

Supper

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Re: Layla: The Iris Missions
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2017, 05:46:14 pm »
I've taken the time to polish up a few last details that were nagging at me, and so here's version 3: http://www.mediafire.com/file/v66d57298gew0xu/Layla+-+The+Iris+Missions+%28v3%29.zip

With that, I think it's time I called it quits on this hack. I feel like I've accomplished what I set out to do, and I'm quite satisfied with the result. Thanks to everyone for your support. I've updated the original post and the readme with some special thanks.

Barring unforeseen bug reports, I'll probably submit this to the site within a few dsays. I'll put up the level and music editors whenever I find time to build the Windows binaries, but in the meantime, you can grab the sources for Lonely and Clapton off Github.