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General Category => Gaming Discussion => Topic started by: julayla on March 23, 2022, 09:58:37 AM

Title: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: julayla on March 23, 2022, 09:58:37 AM
You know, looking at some of the games, I notice many of the older games that can cause seizures for those that are highly sensitive. I know because I felt a little dizzy at playing one of those. But the thing I'm talking about is what older games are the ones that do have epilepsy?
Title: Re: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: Jorpho on March 23, 2022, 10:39:55 AM
Quotewhat older games are the ones that do have epilepsy?

I hope you realize this question makes no sense?

If you're looking for a comprehensive list of games that might be problematic for people sensitive to such things, it is probably hopeless to compile such a list, as some people will inevitably be more sensitive than others.

I for one never really heard of any such concerns until the news of the infamous Porygon episode of Pokemon appeared, so anything after that point (the start of 1998?) is probably safer.
Title: Re: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: julayla on March 24, 2022, 03:46:46 PM
What I meant were games that causes seizures and since there now exists a few rom hacks to fix these, I wanted to know what other games causes seizures and which of them needs to be fixed?
Title: Re: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: FAST6191 on March 24, 2022, 05:09:51 PM
You would probably be better served going to an epilepsy specific forum to get a list of known trouble games. Though I imagine they would be more likely to have a whitelist than a blacklist. Someone might be able to adjust a game accordingly, though it is a tricky task -- if we can barely be assured of having good line length in a game without having to revise that then making some kind of medical assurance in a hacked game that could dip back into things... tricky.

As above though I don't know how troubling such things are likely to be -- rules on what goes have been fairly strict for a while ( https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0021/16248/gn_flash.pdf , ofcom being the UK equivalent of the FCC in the US in that they are concerned with broadcast standards and such like, referencing 90s though that would be newer than some games, also having some guidance on limits for things albeit for PAL).
Title: Re: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: xenophile on March 24, 2022, 11:22:34 PM
Quote from: julayla on March 24, 2022, 03:46:46 PM
What I meant were games that causes seizures and since there now exists a few rom hacks to fix these, I wanted to know what other games causes seizures and which of them needs to be fixed?

Zelda II was the first one I ever heard mentioned. There are hacks for that and a few others mentioned in this thread: https://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=31500

I've done a hack of Final Fantasy to remove flashing on casting spells, and a few other effects. I'm not sure if it causes seizures, but it can't be great. I've been meaning to release this, but I never seem to get around to it.

I also did a hack of Dragon Warrior to remove flashing in combat and walking through swamps, but somehow about one in ten times it still flashes.
Title: Re: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: KingMike on March 25, 2022, 03:02:35 AM
If I remember, the flashing when casting spells might have been from lacking a proper casting animation like FF4.
Then again, it could have been just as pointless as the flashing and palette cycling when opening/closing the main menu and I think entering/leaving shops.
I think the Virtual Console releases removed them and that was for the better. It was ugly and slowed down the game anyways.
Title: Re: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: xenophile on March 27, 2022, 02:48:23 PM
Quote from: KingMike on March 25, 2022, 03:02:35 AM
If I remember, the flashing when casting spells might have been from lacking a proper casting animation like FF4.
Then again, it could have been just as pointless as the flashing and palette cycling when opening/closing the main menu and I think entering/leaving shops.
I think the Virtual Console releases removed them and that was for the better. It was ugly and slowed down the game anyways.

I released what I'm calling Final Fantasy Flash Reduction (https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/6691/). I don't know anything about Virtual Console, but the NES Mini version still had the flashing and that was the platform my friend was using. I think the Mini is supposed to have a anti-flashing filter in at least Kirby's Adventure, but it seemed easier to just make a rom hack then to figure out how their filter works.
Title: Re: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: gamingcat02261991 on March 27, 2022, 08:47:16 PM
There was Kirby Super Star, which had flashes of light that happened whenever a boss was defeated. The Virtual Console and Nintendo Switch Online rereleases of it not only removed the flashing, which sped up gameplay, but also received a somewhat unrelated major bug regarding both Combo Cannon and Marx exhibiting odd behavior during their respective beam attacks, which also may have caused epilepsy. To my knowledge, there's no known patches or bugfixes for the original and rereleases, respectively.
Title: Re: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: MathOnNapkins on March 28, 2022, 03:57:03 AM
A few years ago someone asked me to look at some of the slight differences they found in the Wii Virtual Console rom of TLoZ: A Link To the Past from the original USA release, and I found that they dulled the colors of the flashes that occur when the sword meets the shield in the title screen. Normally it would cycle through full saturation red, green, and blue, but I found in the VC version that the intensities for each were roughly halved. It seemed plausible to me at the time that they did this to cut down on the risk for photosensitive / epileptic people. On the other hand, it's also possible they thought that it looked too garish as originally implemented, I can't say for sure what it was, but I've heard that a handful of games on Virtual Console had similar modifications, so it does appear to have been somewhat systematically changed across various titles.
Title: Re: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: MD_Prometh on March 28, 2022, 10:06:35 AM
One of Quistis' Blue Magic spells in FFVIII has some intense flashing
Title: Re: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: Jorpho on March 28, 2022, 10:21:22 AM
Link's Awakening GB also got a few screen flashes fixed.
https://tcrf.net/The_Legend_of_Zelda:_Link%27s_Awakening_(Game_Boy)/Version_Differences#Screen_Flashes

Quote from: gamingcat02261991 on March 27, 2022, 08:47:16 PMbut also received a somewhat unrelated major bug regarding both Combo Cannon and Marx exhibiting odd behavior during their respective beam attacks
Are there more details about this somewhere? It's always neat to hear about what major bugs Nintendo deems worthy of fixing. TCRF notes this too (https://tcrf.net/Kirby_Super_Star#Revisional_Differences) but doesn't go into it much.
Title: Re: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: PhyChris on April 28, 2022, 03:51:48 AM
yeah, its the flashing frequency matching the brains malfunctioning parts frequency on some level. Light intensity and eye's field of view coverage have a BIG effect on this.
It is normal to feel a little off around strobe lights tho, even without epilepsy.     
Title: Re: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: gamingcat02261991 on May 17, 2022, 04:36:53 AM
Quote from: Jorpho on March 28, 2022, 10:21:22 AM
TCRF notes this too (https://tcrf.net/Kirby_Super_Star#Revisional_Differences) but doesn't go into it much.

TCRF needs to get with the times. The reason why I found out about the odd behavior is because when I used to play my Nintendo Wii that I got in Christmas of 2009 (R.I.P., Internal Disc Scanner; 2009-2019), I downloaded Kirby Super Star back when my parents (who were both still alive at the time) got me 2,000 Wii Points via the purchaseable $20 cards on occasion (usually, every month after I connected it to Wi-Fi for the first time). When I first played it, not only did I notice the speedup regarding when a boss is defeated, but also the aforementioned odd behavior regarding Combo Cannon and Marx. Keep in mind this was before the Wii U and Nintendo Switch came out in 2012 and 2017, respectively.
Title: Re: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: Jorpho on May 17, 2022, 10:19:25 AM
Quote from: gamingcat02261991 on May 17, 2022, 04:36:53 AMthe aforementioned odd behavior regarding Combo Cannon and Marx.
Yes, you did mention the "odd behavior" before, but I still have no idea what this behavior is and what makes it particularly "odd".
Title: Re: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: gamingcat02261991 on May 28, 2022, 04:13:50 AM
Well, it's available on NSO, Jorpho. Why not play it and see for yourself (unless you don't have a subscription)?
Title: Re: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: The Beaky Buccaneer on May 28, 2022, 05:18:55 AM
Quote from: Jorpho on March 23, 2022, 10:39:55 AM
I for one never really heard of any such concerns until the news of the infamous Porygon episode of Pokemon appeared, so anything after that point (the start of 1998?) is probably safer.
In the UK it's been well-known since the infamous "NINTENDO KILLED MY SON (https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2019/10/feature_nintendo_killed_my_son_-_pulling_apart_a_tragic_headline_more_than_two_decades_on)" newspaper headline in 1993. It led to better awareness of epilepsy and research into its links to video games, and most video game publishers included epilepsy-warning cards in their boxes after that. We still see issues with software to this day, though, unfortunately (the most recent one to make headlines was Cyberpunk 2077, as far as I know).

Quote from: gamingcat02261991 on May 28, 2022, 04:13:50 AM
Well, it's available on NSO, Jorpho. Why not play it and see for yourself (unless you don't have a subscription)?
I don't have a Nintendo Switch myself, so I'd be interested to know if a description or footage of this oddness is available anywhere. ;)
Title: Re: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: Jorpho on May 29, 2022, 12:29:16 AM
Quote from: The Beaky Buccaneer on May 28, 2022, 05:18:55 AM
I don't have a Nintendo Switch myself, so I'd be interested to know if a description or footage of this oddness is available anywhere. ;)
Indeed, I don't have a Switch either.
Title: Re: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: KingMike on May 31, 2022, 04:31:53 PM
Quote from: The Beaky Buccaneer on May 28, 2022, 05:18:55 AM
In the UK it's been well-known since the infamous "NINTENDO KILLED MY SON (https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2019/10/feature_nintendo_killed_my_son_-_pulling_apart_a_tragic_headline_more_than_two_decades_on)" newspaper headline in 1993. It led to better awareness of epilepsy and research into its links to video games, and most video game publishers included epilepsy-warning cards in their boxes after that. We still see issues with software to this day, though, unfortunately (the most recent one to make headlines was Cyberpunk 2077, as far as I know).
I don't have a Nintendo Switch myself, so I'd be interested to know if a description or footage of this oddness is available anywhere. ;)
In the US, I know what Nintendo did amounted to putting warnings on the boxes, as well as including a safety warning booklet at least with every new SNES game I got as a kid, and I think every Game Boy game as well.
I would say it wasn't until after the Pokemon anime incident in December 1997 they got to being considerate of that in the game programming themselves.
Title: Re: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: The Beaky Buccaneer on June 01, 2022, 03:54:50 AM
Quote from: KingMike on May 31, 2022, 04:31:53 PM
In the US, I know what Nintendo did amounted to putting warnings on the boxes, as well as including a safety warning booklet at least with every new SNES game I got as a kid, and I think every Game Boy game as well.
I would say it wasn't until after the Pokemon anime incident in December 1997 they got to being considerate of that in the game programming themselves.
Yeah, that's true - nobody really did much programming-wise until the Porygon incident. It's just unfortunate that it's still not dealt with as well as it should be in general (though I'd say that Nintendo's done better than most).

Nintendo's retro re-releases handle this stuff well by current standards (and it's easier on the eyes even if you don't have photosensitive epilepsy, I find), though I did notice that it made the Star Fox games on the SNES Mini a bit tricky to "read" at times, since the flash-reduction there replaces the bright whites with the same greys that are used on most ships, so you can't always tell if you've registered a hit on certain bosses.
Title: Re: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: tygerbug on June 01, 2022, 02:10:45 PM
Previous threads on this subject:

https://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=31500.msg401305#msg401305
https://www.romhacking.net/forum/index.php?topic=31437.msg400682#msg400682
Title: Re: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: gamingcat02261991 on June 06, 2022, 05:33:49 PM
Quote from: The Beaky Buccaneer on June 01, 2022, 03:54:50 AM
Yeah, that's true - nobody really did much programming-wise until the Porygon incident.

Yeah, I think that the incident is known as "Pokemon Shock". And it wasn't Porygon's fault that widespread epilepsy struck Japan. Rather, it was the explosions of the missiles that Ash's Pikachu destroyed with its Thunderbolt that are really to blame. That's right: neither Pikachu nor Porygon are at fault.

Quote from: The Beaky Buccaneer on May 28, 2022, 05:18:55 AM
In the UK it's been well-known since the infamous "NINTENDO KILLED MY SON (https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2019/10/feature_nintendo_killed_my_son_-_pulling_apart_a_tragic_headline_more_than_two_decades_on)" newspaper headline in 1993. It led to better awareness of epilepsy and research into its links to video games, and most video game publishers included epilepsy-warning cards in their boxes after that.

I'd say both the UK newspaper headline and the banned episode of the Pokemon anime led to retro rereleases on Virtual Console and Nintendo Switch Online (+ Expansion Pack) reducing the epilepsy risks such as the recolored Switch Palace/Bonus Stage ground tiles, the aforementioned Kirby Super Star speedup and weird-acting sprites, Wario Land 3's map cutscenes being rendered in grayscale, and so on.
Title: Re: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: MD_Prometh on June 06, 2022, 07:50:32 PM
Mother 1's flashing lights in the final battle are pretty nuts
Title: Re: Older Games with Epilepsy
Post by: KingMike on June 06, 2022, 09:51:59 PM
In looking over old videos I uploaded to youtube, I see one old example I uploaded was another game that might not get rereleased,
Kickle Cubicle for the NES.
Can't remember if it was just the boss 3 cutscene which I uploaded, but that was one example of a game using flashing to create a fake layering effect in the cutscene. That'd probably be work to remove.
(I don't believe I've ever played through the NES version, just someone once managing to reach the ending of the more difficult Japanese version.)