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Author Topic: Portable Mario Ports - Reinstating new features in the original games?  (Read 1863 times)

Supergamerguy

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So I just rewatched Antdude's video on the Portable Mario Series (mainly GBA, but with a section on the GBC port too): https://youtu.be/byNnjMgTmnk

I was really interested when he said that these games would be the definitive version of each respective experience, if they weren't marred by the limitations of there hardware (ex: smaller screen size and washed out color palettes).

I was wondering if it would be possible to implement the new features in their original versions on SNES (yes, I know that the SMB All Stars collection was based on the NES games, I played those NES games first).


Here's a small list of the differences I remembered him pointing out:
Super Mario Bros. Deluxe (SMB 1):
- New Level Select (adds a map)
- Challenge Mode
- You vs. Boo Mode
- Luigi's gameplay differences

Super Mario Advance (SMB 2)
- New Stretched Sprites
- Opening Cutscene
- Large, bouncy Shy Guys
- Voice Clips (though I would personally make this an optional patch or add a menu option to turn them off)
- Yoshi Challenge Mode
- Robirdo Boss Fight

Super Mario Advance 4 - Super Mario Bros 3 (SMB 3)
- Opening Cutscene
- E-Reader Levels with new World E
- Cape Powerup from Super Mario World

Super Mario Advance 2 - Super Mario World (SMW)
- Opening Cutscene
- Luigi's gameplay differences (and sprite differences)
- Dragon Coin (100% completion and Peach Coin conversion after)

Super Mario Advance 3 - Yoshi's Island (SMW2 - YI)
- New Secret Levels in each world

How hard would it be to add these features? I would love to see something based on any of these versions for the SNES. :thumbsup:
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Jorpho

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Re: Portable Mario Ports - Reinstating new features in the original games?
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2020, 10:31:17 pm »
I was wondering if it would be possible
Everything is "possible". But many things are an enormous amount of work and people would be unlikely to implement them without considerable motivation.

Voice clips and cutscenes would be somewhat trivial to implement on a SNES using MSU-1. But only somewhat.  And people have been adding new levels to SMB3 for a long time now; since SMAS reuses a lot of code, I reckon it might not be that hard to add new levels to SMB3 there – except I don't think anyone's actually done that before.

Anyway, if you've never hacked before, then of course we have:
The Newbie Package of REQUIRED Material
 
ROMHacking.net FAQ: You ask, we answer!
ROMHacking.net Getting Started Section: Newbies Go HERE!
ROMHacking.net Documents Section!
How to ask questions the smart way.
On the Essence of ROM Hacking
Talk with experienced people in our IRC chat and ask specific questions there.

And if you're just interested in throwing out suggestions, well, there's a thread for that. ^_^
« Last Edit: August 07, 2020, 10:42:45 pm by Jorpho »
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Supergamerguy

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Re: Portable Mario Ports - Reinstating new features in the original games?
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2020, 10:40:20 pm »
Everything is "possible". But many things are an enormous amount of work and people would be unlikely to implement them without considerable motivation.

Fair point. That being said, does anybody know of any Mario GBA enthusiasts that would be willing to take any of these on? I'm calling for a medic here for all you GBA hackers. :D
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Jorpho

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Re: Portable Mario Ports - Reinstating new features in the original games?
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2020, 10:43:19 pm »
[Post edited during reply.]
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FAST6191

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Re: Portable Mario Ports - Reinstating new features in the original games?
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2020, 04:37:36 am »
Why would you want GBA hackers to do fairly extensive edits to SNES ROMs? Reverse engineering the GBA aspects is likely the the smaller aspect of the hack, probably by quite a way (indeed some might even be watch a video, maybe see the RAM in action a couple of times, possibly grab assets from RAM, and then recreate equivalent on SNES with all the efforts that would require). Even if they do have to get their hands dirty on the GBA I would still favour a SNES hacker doing all they do but on the GBA (a breakpoint is a breakpoint really) over someone having to go from the GBA to the SNES and then have to write tight code on a presumably unfamiliar to them system.

Supergamerguy

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Re: Portable Mario Ports - Reinstating new features in the original games?
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2020, 08:00:31 am »
Why would you want GBA hackers to do fairly extensive edits to SNES ROMs?

Oh, I didn't really mean to restrict this to GBA hackers, just that those who are passionate about those ports for whatever reason would please consider implementing those features on the superior SNES versions.
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IAmCaptPlanet

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Re: Portable Mario Ports - Reinstating new features in the original games?
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2020, 11:21:09 pm »
i think it would be neat if somehow SMB1 got brought to the GBA, (maybe as a fan made Super Mario Advance 5: SMB1 and LL)

it would have the updated graphics of the SNES version of SMB1 on SMAS, but also add the exclusives of the GBC port.

but the screen crunch on that game WAS TERRIBLE.

it's not as noticibly bad on the Advance games, just the vertical sections of SMA1:SMB2, where the screen has to move left and right so much just for 1 block of width. Super Mario World had stuff lowered and blocks moved around a little so nothing would be offscreen, and buy the time they ported SMB3 they perfected it, the vertical sections were narrowed a block, and the levels where the ceilings were moved down looked 100% natural.

there is a patch for SMB1 that replaces "1 and 2 player mode" with "Mario Game and Luigi Game" that gives the Luigi phisics, which IS AWESOME, but i'm not sure if it's on this site. (also, a hack that lets you change bros in between levels would  be even cooler, or heck, just press select to switch between Mario and Luigi would be cool)

i would like to see a hack for Advance 1 SMB2 that let's you cycle through characters on the fly as well, that would be DOPE

this would be my dream hack tho, Have a All Stars hack that turns all the games into Advance versions, but no screen crunch

oh, i did read somewhere that folks were working on a GBA emulator that removed the scree scaling restrictions, basically allowing a more traditional view (kinda like overscan or something) but i dont know if it relys on modified roms, or just would work on all GBA games

FAST6191

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Re: Portable Mario Ports - Reinstating new features in the original games?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2020, 11:21:47 am »
The GBA is a classic 2d system underneath it all. This means the widescreen stuff seen in the likes of PS1 emulators on up (or indeed https://www.wsgf.org/ on the PC side of things) where you just render more of the scene is not an option - 2d is sprites and arrangements thereof, not to mention the logic will often go based upon that (how many things will t-pose until you get to their original render distance, or possibly visual cone, in 3d, or start walking as soon as you get on screen/step on an imaginary switch).

This also says nothing of the problems of https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iNSQIyNpVGHeak6isbP6AHdHD50gs8MNXF1GCf08efg/pub?embedded=true

Emulators doing it for the GBA will be doing one of two things.
1) Pausing the emulator every frame, pushing the direction buttons, grabbing a screenshot and stitching it all together. Works fine for some things but random battles triggering, various animations/overlays (though they might literally be an overlay), being stopped by a wall/npc/cutscene and possibly random battles themselves if take place somewhere else as it were.
2) There is probably some kind of camera function (see the link above for some takes on the matter) which you can find more easily but will possibly mean delving into a game a bit. If it helps to imagine then basically a tweak on walk through walls/disable collision physics. Force this backwards and forwards (and side to side, might even have a nice means to get diagonal shots to get the corners and spare yourself a few extra rendering steps each time), possibly disable random battles if you are going to go game specific as well.

Each of those has a few extra tricks you can do (starts with things like setting the background colour to the background colour of your image rather than white, not unlike those videos where people scale or account for sufferers of vertical video syndrome by playing the same thing in the background but maybe slightly blurred, to rendering a sprite that might normally be chopped off by the edge of the screen, and goes rather more in depth with some kind of logic trigger detection akin to http://fceux.com/web/help/fceux.html?CodeDataLogger.html but to detect things and differences) but none of them are magic bullet territory or ever really going to come close to the stuff available for 3d based devices.

It is not impossible to do a hack that widens the scope of a game, and some games might indeed have an extra tile or background in use ( http://problemkaputt.de/gbatek.htm#lcdvrambgscreendataformatbgmap says 512x512 in one of the modes for a reason) or possibly even prerendered to make life a tiny bit easier, but it is going to be a nightmare hack probably not so very far off porting the game out, and that is before you find the game devs knew the resources they had to play with and pushed it to the limit. Do some emulator specific hack/combine it with an emulator specially recoded and you could make that a bit easier, however nobody likes those approaches really (see all the fun with people not being able to do things on portable devices now they got big)

Asaki

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Re: Portable Mario Ports - Reinstating new features in the original games?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2020, 09:50:08 pm »
The GBA is a classic 2d system underneath it all. This means the widescreen stuff seen in the likes of PS1 emulators on up (or indeed https://www.wsgf.org/ on the PC side of things) where you just render more of the scene is not an option...

Wouldn't you just have to render the screen a little bigger and disable some of the mask that covers up the background mapper?

There are Game Boy and Game Gear emulators that already do this, it's just that most games you'll get garbage tiles here and there, and you might get sprites that don't render until they're closer to the edge of the screen.

But if the SNES ports were ported lazily enough, they would probably work out alright. At the very least, the ones I've checked seem like they draw the entire SNES resolution backgrounds in the mapper...it would just be a question of the sprites, really. It would be an interesting experiment, anyway.

FAST6191

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Re: Portable Mario Ports - Reinstating new features in the original games?
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2020, 10:03:25 am »
Wouldn't you just have to render the screen a little bigger and disable some of the mask that covers up the background mapper?

There are Game Boy and Game Gear emulators that already do this, it's just that most games you'll get garbage tiles here and there, and you might get sprites that don't render until they're closer to the edge of the screen.

But if the SNES ports were ported lazily enough, they would probably work out alright. At the very least, the ones I've checked seem like they draw the entire SNES resolution backgrounds in the mapper...it would just be a question of the sprites, really. It would be an interesting experiment, anyway.

In some games maybe you could get something like that.

If you want grab a copy of VBA and open the BG viewer, map viewer (do sprites and OAM as well if you want), make sure update in real time is in each of those and wander around in a few games. Animations will stop, sprites will appear out of the ether, there might not be a world there at all, logic might not work, some layers might not be there (the GBA is all about using layers to achieve effects) and so on. Some games might have screen area + 1 tile extra around the outside just to make life a bit easier for some things but it is still a pain, and that might just be some aspects of the background (no sprites and the like, might only be floor but walls are extra). Can be sort of OK for a RPG or roguelike but do that with a platformer that most players will be doing the see and react thing to and we are back to the problems that most of the camera formats on the link from earlier ( https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iNSQIyNpVGHeak6isbP6AHdHD50gs8MNXF1GCf08efg/pub?embedded=true ) are there to avoid.