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Author Topic: NES Goonies II Revised Design  (Read 6222 times)

nesrocks

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NES Goonies II Revised Design
« on: February 03, 2019, 02:46:08 pm »
So, I've finished a Goonies II hack aimed at improving the overall experience. There are several changes:

- Text is a lot faster.
- Camera has been fixed, now more centered.
- Pressing the select button toggles between Hyper and Jump shoes if you have any of those.
- Start button goes to the map screen. Pausing has been removed.
- Better password screen with more information on controls and also way more intuitive controls (see screenshot).
- New map screen showing the location of some important items. The player is still left wondering what those are and how exactly to get there anyway, so it actually works like a loose guide. It could seem like it makes it too easy, but in the end that is definitely not the case.
- The "start/continue" screen has been redone with quick guide and plot setting.
- Cannot move the hand or the hammer when hitting in rooms. Just use the item and if there's something to appear, it will. I figured this made a better game design. Because if you don't know where to hit you'd just have to hit everywhere until you're lucky. There are no hints as to where to hit. So it was just boring. Even if you know where to hit it is just boring. I've made it quicker by doing this so the player can focus on the gameplay.
- Rearranged the health on the HUD.
- Only need to hit the lady once instead of five times.
- Better controls inside rooms. Should be a lot more natural:
 A confirms
 B cancels
 Select changes the item list
 D-pad moves the cursor as expected (all directions work)



Download Version 1.0 here

I wonder: should I change the game's text messages to actual useful clues?





« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 12:03:05 pm by nesrocks »

dACE

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Re: NES Goonies II Revised Design
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2019, 02:56:32 pm »
How about replacing ’Implements’ with ’Items’ (or possibly ’Inventory’)?

Otherwise the changes seems solid - good work!

/dACE

nesrocks

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Re: NES Goonies II Revised Design
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2019, 03:40:28 pm »
Thanks ^^
One idea is to redo all of the game's text with better localization and better text placement. For example, 99% of the text gotten when using a key to open a safe that contains nothing but text is just garbage information. I think that these should give useful hints, while other text should be fun stuff generally, But I did not want to touch the game script without hearing people's opinions on this.
I thought about rewatching the movie to get ideas about fun stuff for the characters to say, creating a connection to it.

DavidtheIdeaMan

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Re: NES Goonies II Revised Design
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2019, 03:49:43 pm »
Huh that's cool :) also Im wondering if Castlevania III could get like a remastered version?

Rodimus Primal

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Re: NES Goonies II Revised Design
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2019, 05:08:28 pm »
Nice! I always had a soft spot for this game and these are welcome improvements.

chillyfeez

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Re: NES Goonies II Revised Design
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2019, 07:10:04 pm »
Cool! I spent so many hours fumbling through this game as a kid. Only ever beat it with game genie.
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PresidentLeever

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Re: NES Goonies II Revised Design
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2019, 07:19:19 am »
Excellent work so far! I like the idea of adding some hints too (spoiler: about not returning the glasses for example or pits of death).

"- Pressing the select button toggles between Hyper and Jump shoes if you have any of those."
What is the reasoning behind this change? It's been a while since I last played the game.

"D-pad moves the cursor as expected (all directions work)"
Is this referring to how the forward and backward controls are switched when on the parallel/backside map?


Other suggestions you might wanna try based on my old notes:
- It would be nice if the P&C adventure segment rooms had persistent changes. Found doors in the adventure segments disappear once you leave the room (so you have to re-find them if you need to take the same path again), and unlocked safes are also relocked and you need to reuse the ladder and candle in the same way.

- It would've been useful to be able to attack upwards on ladders since enemies tend to hang out near where you're climbing to. Otherwise you could change spawning points for those enemies or the rooms so it's easier to avoid them.

- Less specific positioning required when bombing the wall to find the hyper shoes so that you don't miss it slightly and then discard that room.

- It would be good if the hammer was multi-purpose. It doesn't make sense that you can't hit walls with it to produce the same effect as when you're hitting them with your fist,

- Found doors and warp zones could show up on the map so you don't need to make your own notes if you play over a longer period of time

- Control stuff that could be better: no jump height adjustment, can't turn around in mid-air, can't jump on to or off of ladders

- Maybe hard to do but it would be cool if you could get back the boomerang from thieves if you kill them

- Some kind of final showdown with the Fratellis or other build-up before the end would be cool

- I don't remember if this one is a big deal, but the magic locator doesn't show up in your inventory

- Simply for convenience, enemies could stop dropping an item type when your inventory is full of it
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nesrocks

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Re: NES Goonies II Revised Design
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2019, 07:45:52 am »
Thanks for the comments! About the text, I have already prepared a second pointers list for messages, so it just might be possible to get rid of all the repeated messages in the game and have unique ones, even for the transceiver. Gotta map out the message events in the entire game for this, which may take a while.

pits of death
Pits of death?

What is the reasoning behind this change? It's been a while since I last played the game.
It is a lot more practical now to switch to the jump shoes temporarily instead of having to press start and navigate to the icons and changing. Now it's just a press of the select button in real time during gameplay.

Is this referring to how the forward and backward controls are switched when on the parallel/backside map?
Humm? It refers to how when selecting the items in the "tools" sub menu inside rooms works intuitivelly now, as opposed to a simple list that is visually distributed in 2x2 and that you can only go in one direction (down). If you play the original game and you get all 4 items from the first tools page you will see (the candle, hammer, ladder and key holder). Only the down button works, and it cycles through all 4 items. You can't really select them intuitivelly. I've added a lot of asm code to make it work now. If you press left/right the curson moves horizontally (provided you have the item next to it), or up/down likewise.

- It would be nice if the P&C adventure segment rooms had persistent changes. Found doors in the adventure segments disappear once you leave the room (so you have to re-find them if you need to take the same path again), and unlocked safes are also relocked and you need to reuse the ladder and candle in the same way.
This is an awesome idea. Need to check if it is possible without expanding the rom (I'm running out of space on the fixed bank), but it might.

- It would've been useful to be able to attack upwards on ladders since enemies tend to hang out near where you're climbing to. Otherwise you could change spawning points for those enemies or the rooms so it's easier to avoid them.
It would be cool to use the boomberang for that. Otherwise I think it change the game too much. Would the yoyo attack upwards on the ladders? Then why not on the ground? And wouldn't up+B throw a bomb from the ladder?

- Less specific positioning required when bombing the wall to find the hyper shoes so that you don't miss it slightly and then discard that room.
This is something I felt too, but I didn't look into it. I'll check it out. But the hyper shoes are one of the items I've marked on the map, so the player will know to look for it. The other blastable doors are for extra lives, so I didn't mark them.

- It would be good if the hammer was multi-purpose. It doesn't make sense that you can't hit walls with it to produce the same effect as when you're hitting them with your fist,
I don't know, they serve different purposes. The hand is for finding items, the hammer is for finding doors and passages. One thing I thought about doing was to not even show the hammer. When the player selects the hammer from the menu it works like selecting any of the other items, the effect happens instantly. But I wasn't sure about that, so I kept the hammer visuals in and the requirement to hit afterwards.

- Found doors and warp zones could show up on the map so you don't need to make your own notes if you play over a longer period of time
This one is a problem because I don't know how to edit the graphics, as they are compressed, so I can't create a new map tile graphic. All I can use are the three graphics: white square, white square with red dot and white square with blue dot.

- Control stuff that could be better: no jump height adjustment, can't turn around in mid-air, can't jump on to or off of ladders
I like the ladder changes, but changes to the jump mechanics would change the gameplay too much, I think. It feels a bit like castlevania, you commit to your jump decisions. But you can make small adjustments.

- Maybe hard to do but it would be cool if you could get back the boomerang from thieves if you kill them
This would be good yes. While they are chewing it it should be possible to kill them and retrieve. But it may be difficult to find free space and program it indeed.

- Some kind of final showdown with the Fratellis or other build-up before the end would be cool
Hummm... Yeah. I can only think it would work in the form of a room with the existing fratelli enemies, maybe with a different palette and more health. But that is way over budget for the free space.

- I don't remember if this one is a big deal, but the magic locator doesn't show up in your inventory
This sounds nice. It could show up in place of the corresponding goonie to be saved until he/she is saved.

- Simply for convenience, enemies could stop dropping an item type when your inventory is full of it
Yeah this would be good. Also keys could drop more often, I feel they are too rare to drop. I guess I'll look into that.

Zynk

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Re: NES Goonies II Revised Design
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2019, 08:51:20 am »
Could you give the mermaid proper attire, like from Disney's The Little Mermaid? Like a seashell top or something else like this -

Spoiler:

nesrocks

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Re: NES Goonies II Revised Design
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2019, 09:03:45 am »
I can't change the graphics, they are all compressed : /

But what can be done is for the open arms frame to be removed. That way she's covered at all times, but less animated. Or, it could be replaced with another frame, so the frames change as much as the original, but it is less varied (I don't remember how many different frames there are).

Vanya

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Re: NES Goonies II Revised Design
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2019, 02:35:39 pm »
Awesome work as always, nesrocks!

I'm all for a new localization and the inclusion of clues instead of gibberish text.
I never was able to get into this game because of it being almost totally aimless feeling.

For my part, I think the mermaid should be left alone.

PresidentLeever

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Re: NES Goonies II Revised Design
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2019, 12:17:58 am »
1. Pits of death?

2. It is a lot more practical now to switch to the jump shoes temporarily instead of having to press start and navigate to the icons and changing. Now it's just a press of the select button in real time during gameplay.

Humm? It refers to how when selecting the items in the "tools" sub menu inside rooms works intuitivelly now, as opposed to a simple list that is visually distributed in 2x2 and that you can only go in one direction (down). If you play the original game and you get all 4 items from the first tools page you will see (the candle, hammer, ladder and key holder). Only the down button works, and it cycles through all 4 items. You can't really select them intuitivelly. I've added a lot of asm code to make it work now. If you press left/right the curson moves horizontally (provided you have the item next to it), or up/down likewise.

3. This is an awesome idea. Need to check if it is possible without expanding the rom (I'm running out of space on the fixed bank), but it might.

4. It would be cool to use the boomberang for that. Otherwise I think it change the game too much. Would the yoyo attack upwards on the ladders? Then why not on the ground? And wouldn't up+B throw a bomb from the ladder?

5. This is something I felt too, but I didn't look into it. I'll check it out. But the hyper shoes are one of the items I've marked on the map, so the player will know to look for it. The other blastable doors are for extra lives, so I didn't mark them.

6. I don't know, they serve different purposes. The hand is for finding items, the hammer is for finding doors and passages. One thing I thought about doing was to not even show the hammer. When the player selects the hammer from the menu it works like selecting any of the other items, the effect happens instantly. But I wasn't sure about that, so I kept the hammer visuals in and the requirement to hit afterwards.

7. I like the ladder changes, but changes to the jump mechanics would change the gameplay too much, I think. It feels a bit like castlevania, you commit to your jump decisions. But you can make small adjustments.

8. This sounds nice. It could show up in place of the corresponding goonie to be saved until he/she is saved.

9. Yeah this would be good. Also keys could drop more often, I feel they are too rare to drop. I guess I'll look into that.

1. In some rooms (underwater and at the bridge I think?) there are pits that kill you and there being a room beneath them on the map suggests you can fall down to the other room, so a warning for those might be good.

2. Cool, thanks for the explanations and these sound good. I just found the partial reversal in the parallel world a bit confusing so I figured that might be it.

3. Great, I hope it works out!

4. That's a good point regarding other weapons. If it can be done just for the boomerang then I'm all for it.

5. Oh right, yeah I suppose the marking would be enough there.

6. Yeah maybe you're right. Regarding the other idea I'd have to compare the two methods to see what I think about it.

7. Nice. Well it would make the game easier too. I'm just more of a mario guy when it comes to platforming controls, heh.

8-9. Sounds good to me!

Thanks a lot for the detailed response.
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Re: NES Goonies II Revised Design
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2019, 11:45:40 am »
All for a new localization, i'm allergic to bad engrish, especially in adventure or rpg games, where a bad translation can make you search around foolishly for hours.

Take the pesky lady with the candle for an example, when every other character in the game reacts negatively when hit, refusal to talk, or Konamiman not healing you anymore, then suddenly you have to beat the crap of an old woman to get the candle, i belive there is a hint somwhere, but it is quite vague.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2019, 12:59:54 pm by jimstrom »

nesrocks

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Re: NES Goonies II Revised Design
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2019, 02:41:56 pm »
Yeah, the hint is "HAVE YOU MET A TESTY OLD LADY WHO MIGHT HELP YOU?". Well, call me crazy, but I'm not going to think about hitting someone 5 times and expect them to "help me".  ;D That was the only text I changed, but I reverted it because I'd either redo it all or none of it. I had changed it to something like "THE EVIL LADY HAS STOLEN THE CANDLE". Granted, the candle isn't necessary. I beat the game as a child without ever finding it. But yeah, it's just one example of many instances of bad text.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2019, 02:50:15 pm by nesrocks »

Zanemato

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Re: NES Goonies II Revised Design
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2019, 03:10:33 pm »
Wow, impressive and amazing job, I hope we'll be able to combine this hack with the SRAM hack to get the perfect version of the game

Is there some censorship in the game ? I remember there was something special Japanese only included in the Japanese version of the game.

Great work !!!

Rodimus Primal

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Re: NES Goonies II Revised Design
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2019, 04:03:27 pm »
Awesome work as always, nesrocks!

I'm all for a new localization and the inclusion of clues instead of gibberish text.
I never was able to get into this game because of it being almost totally aimless feeling.

For my part, I think the mermaid should be left alone.

I ways laughed at the bad Engrish but the game sorely needs a new localization. I beat this game multiple times as a kid but I needed a guide because of the bad clues.

I'm also in favor of leaving the Mermaid alone.

DarkSamus993

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Re: NES Goonies II Revised Design
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2019, 01:20:07 am »
I can't change the graphics, they are all compressed : /
For a fun little programming exercise, I've written a python v3.x script that can decompress all the graphics in the game. It supports all the regions (USA, Europe, Japan) and even the sample/prototype. [DOWNLOAD here]

However, it doesn't support re-compression yet. I'll try to add that functionality (or if someone else would like to try, feel free to do so). At least the compressed graphics can be viewed now. :)

Mermaid (sprite tiles):       Mermaid (background tiles):
       

nesrocks

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Re: NES Goonies II Revised Design
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2019, 08:29:42 am »
That's awesome! I've found an unused graphic already, on the ice bg tileset there's a door with a lock graphic on it.



If you or someone else manages to recompress it you're gonna get me into trouble because I'm not gonna be able to stop  :laugh:
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 08:57:07 am by nesrocks »

Gideon Zhi

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Re: NES Goonies II Revised Design
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2019, 04:38:04 pm »
I'm a huge fan of the original movie, but I always found this game to be difficult to approach. This stuff all looks really cool though!

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Re: NES Goonies II Revised Design
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2019, 09:28:36 pm »
All of this looks really cool.  A while back I tried making a full hack of the game that have made all new maps, and also have an ending "boss fight".  The problem came when I realized the only level editor is DOS only.

Since it's not likely I'll ever finish or release the hack, it would be great to see somebody else create a Goonies II hack that expands on the gameplay.  One of the things I did with my hack was add in the 2 extra goonie locator devices that the game never used.  Not an easy task because the code for the device map markers is optimized to not include the last 2 bits.  Those extra locators would have been used in the final part of the game, with an event similar to what one poster suggested.

It would also be cool if this hack was also compatible with Veetorp's randomizer.