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Messages - KaBooM!

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News Submissions / Re: ROM Hacks: "Pac-Man Xtreme" Officially Released
« on: September 19, 2016, 05:43:51 pm »
I imagine Pac Xavier is playable by player 2? Also, for manual speed control he means like Ms. pacman on SNES/Genesis. Press a button to go faster. It can either be a toggle button or you can choose to hold it down and only go faster while it is held down.

I thought about implementing a manual speed control a few years ago but I guess I was worried it would make the game too easy. Giving the player four speed options at the start was sort of my excuse to not have to implement that and thought it would be a good compromise that would still preserve the challenge.

That's not to say that the functionality to implement that feature up front isn't in place, it certainly is. After the dust settled and the smoke cleared I only had a small amount of spare ROM space left. If demand is high enough for a manual speed control I may include it as a standard feature in a future release.

BTW... Pac-Xavier is the character Player 1 controls. There is no Player 2 option in Pac-Man Xtreme. I had to get rid of it to make room for a lot of my hot mess. ;) 

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News Submissions / Re: ROM Hacks: "Pac-Man Xtreme" Officially Released
« on: September 19, 2016, 01:40:00 pm »
Glad you're enjoying the game. Thanks for the compliments.   :thumbsup:

Either the Linear, Singular, Random A, or Random B mode can be selected when the cursor is in the "Start" position. SELECT, START, A, and B all act as buttons to begin the game, and the mode you activate will depend on which button you used to start:

SELECT - Singular: Play one Stage for the entire game.

START - Linear: Normal stage progression.

A - Random A: Play begins on selected Stage, every Stage afterward is chosen randomly.

B - Random B: Game ignores selected Stage and chooses random Stages throughout the game from the very beginning.

You can choose the starting Stage in "Start" mode on the title screen by pressing Up or Down to cycle through them.

The "brand new characters" I referred to in the manual are Pac-Xavier, Noxious Stinky, and Wayward George. Speedy Pinky and Bashful Inky are the classic characters who are returning. You can only play as Pac-Xavier, of course. ;)

A manual speed control, you say? Hmmm...  ;) 8)

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News Submissions / Re: ROM Hacks: "Pac-Man Xtreme" Officially Released
« on: September 18, 2016, 09:00:54 pm »
The link doesnt work for me (windows 10 and chrome), either prompts what program to use for opening it on the front page, or takes me to my gmail from this thread.

Hello. Are you trying to download it from the "Relevant Link" or from the related "RHDN Project Page"? I linked the "Relevant Link" to my E-mail address because I didn't have a separate website. Go to the project page itself and scroll down and click "Download" under the links section. I just tested it to be sure, it's working fine for me. Hope that helps.  :thumbsup:

4
Personal Projects / Re: Pyron
« on: December 07, 2014, 04:44:07 am »
I haven't been here in a while... real life has been taking up a lot of my time. Just got back into the ROMhacking thing again. Logged in to check things out since it's been a while and I find this. Let me say... this is AWESOME!  :thumbsup: Exactly the kind of ROMhack that makes people want to get into the hobby in the first place. In light of the fact that it doesn't look like Nintendo is interested in creating a new 2-D Metroid anytime soon, this will certainly fill the gap. Definitely looking forward to seeing this completed. Obviously you've put a lot of time and effort into it.

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X-Men (Arcade) - In order to use your special mutant power you draw off of two resources, your expendable energy charges above your life meter, and your life meter itself. In the American version of the game you first use your life meter, THEN your energy charges. Who's stupid design idea was that?? Wouldn't it make more sense to use the energy charges first so you didn't have to expend your life meter, then use your life meter in dire emergencies? The Japanese version of the game does it this way, why not the American version? Probably designed that way in the interest of eating people's quarters rather than being a fair game.

Ms. Pac-Man (Arcade) - Seems like you can't find a single machine out there without that insanely stupid speedup hack programmed in! I hate that thing! I pop my quarter in and if the missus jets off like she's got a rocket up her you-know-what I walk away and refuse to play. Complete turn-off that cheapens the game.

Gradius III (SNES) - Cheap boss fights. Not that they're overly hard, but I absolutely despise the way some of the bosses in the game just die automatically if you avoid them for a certain period of time. This includes the last boss of the game, and while I expected him to be easy I at least expected to have to do the bare minimum required to take him out, like fire a shot or two at him. Don't even have to do that. Completely ruins it for me.

Darius Twin (SNES) - Difficulty is extremely unbalanced. The first to next-to-last level are easy as pie, but the last level reaches new levels of insanely difficult. Did I mentioned that there are no continues? Ridiculous. Played it three times and never picked it up again.

All shoot-em-ups: Seems the formula is the same in every one of them...avoid being hit by anything that moves, shoot at anything that moves and never stop holding the button down. The problem here being that there's no real strategy. You just keep mashing the fire button because you're not really given any reason not to and every reason to do so. Wouldn't it be nice if these types of games gave you a strategic, sound reason to STOP firing once in a while? :)

Metroid (NES): GREAT GAME!!! Wonderful music, great atmosphere, and ingenious concept...but completely ruined by the poorest execution which I have ever seen! (This complaint does not apply to later games in the series.) The problem here is that the game is so full of errors that you'd think there was no quality control present in the making of it at all. I realize that Metroid was a game that was just made to be sequence-broken and picked apart, but definitely not in the ways many people have managed to do so, such as traveling through walls and doors. Not to mention that the ability to do such things have rendered the benefits gained from acquiring many of the the items in the game null and void. And some of the aforementioned problems are incredibly easy to reproduce bordering on impossible to avoid doing. No thanks. I'll stick to Zero Mission and pull out the original Metroid once in a while when I want to remind myself what poor game design and quality control produce and remind myself never to make that kind of a game.

Frogger (SNES) - Very nice remake! Um...where's the music???

A Boy And His Blob (NES) - Ingenious concept for a game! I wish you could see where the hell you were about to fall when you turned your Blob into a hole (!), but that's not my primary complaint. Here it is: You must get twenty-or-so of the underground treasures to open the health foods store and get the orange jellybeans to turn your Blob into a VitaBlaster to take out those little marshmallows on Blobolonia. While this makes your life much easier while slogging through that planet to reach the final boss, it is ultimately not required to get there. However, the root beer jellybeans which you need to turn your Blob into a rocket to reach Blobolonia in the first place ARE required, and you have these from the start. Why not lock both the orange AND root beer jellybeans away in the health food store?!? Bad design decision there! Here's another one...you only get two lime jellybeans to turn your Blob into a key, and you need them both to reach the final boss. So if you use one just to see what it does, which you are very likely to do if you've never played the game before, you've screwed yourself out of the ability to finish! Nice try, David Crane, better luck next time. :)

The Adventures Of Bayou Billy (NES) - This could have been the game that trumped Double Dragon's error-ridden one-player conversion to the NES in every way, shape, and form. The problem? The difficulty is set at an inhuman level! I find myself often resorting to hit-once-run-repeat tactics to fight enemies, and when I have to do that it takes all the juice out the game for me, becoming a repetitive exercise in tedium.

That's all I can think of right now...

6
Took a look today and saw that this hack has been added to the database. Good!  :thumbsup:

That being said, I've actually had some time recently, amongst getting other projects done, to sit down and have a go at this thing. Let me say, in all fairness, that I really do like this hack, but it is kicking my ass!! I'm certainly not unaccustomed to playing these types of games, and 2D Metroid-series games in particular have always proven to be affairs that I can complete in three days or less...the ability to solve far-ranging puzzles like these comes with the OCD, I suppose. I certainly don't mind when a more difficult-than-usual Metroid game comes down the pipe, but come on already! When I said "hard", I meant I wanted it to be hard in a way that taxes my 143 IQ and makes me think outside the box, not hard in a way that taxes my patience by making me attempt the same move over and over and over just to fail time and time again. There are some parts of this that are needlessly hard...and I'm nowhere near even reaching Kraid yet.

One thing that bothers me is that when you first enter Norfair, you have to make a "hell run" through the first horizontal hallway you encounter in order to reach the elevator to Crateria on the other side. In other words, it's you beating feet through there sans Varia & Gravity suits as fast as you can while the heat is draining your energy. It's actually pretty easy to make it through this with energy to spare once you figure out the "puzzle" on how to do it. But naturally, a person's first instinct when encountering it, especially given the length of the hallway, is going to be to turn around and say "Can't go that way right now!"  A clue of some sort would have been nice.  :-\

Right now, I'm currently stuck in this really big room in Crateria where I have to use the grappling beam multiple times to swing all the way from the middle of the room to the top left of it like Tarzan hopping vines to get to this door in the upper left of the room. The problem is that the last big jump that you have to make is to a set of grappling blocks that are way off the visible screen to the left and above you, making hitting them with your beam as you fly upward on momentum toward it almost impossible for the average layman. And all the way down to the floor I fall again as I breath a sigh of disgust, dejected because, unfortunately, the only way to escape the area I am in right now and make any progress is to go through that #$&% door!!  >:(

So for the time being, I've shut it off, deciding to return to it later as I have other things to finish at the moment. But I will return to it eventually. Despite it's difficulty I'm not about to let this game defeat me. I haven't crossed paths with a 2D Metroid game I couldn't finish yet. This game will be no different...that's a promise.

Cheers and happy frustrations.  :banghead:

7
Okay, first let me say to the moderators that I'm not really sure if a post like this belongs here or in the General Discussion section, although it does happen to be ROMhacking-related...so please feel free to move it if it belongs somewhere else. I also wasn't sure if I should post a news report about this since the news submission section says that news articles without a corresponding project page may be rejected and I wasn't sure about the validity of submitting someone else's work without their direct permission, so just to be on the safe side I'll post it here. Sorry, I'm still just a newbie here trying to feel my way around.  :-\ Anyway, I thought this was a rather important development, and I haven't seen anyone else report on this, so here goes...

I was putzing about the 'net yesterday and thought I'd wander on over to the Metroid Database because I haven't been there in a while and I happened upon this news article. Apparently some previously unknown ROMhacker going by the moniker "SB" has created a Zero Mission style hack out of the SNES Super Metroid ROM.  :o I tried it out last night and it's basically exactly what I hoped it would be...a Metroid 1 remake using Super Metroid as it's engine, with Zero Mission style graphics, Super Metroid style sprites, and a map layout reminiscent of the original Metroid. The overall level design so far seems to be tighter than security at Fort Knox, although I'm currently having a lot of trouble progressing in the hallway leading to the bombs.  :( Nonetheless, I'd highly recommend checking this out if you happen to be a Metroid-phile. This seems to be a pretty amazing ROMhack by all standards.

Cheers and happy exploring.  8)

8
I have never personally dealt with editing Super Mario 3, but I have dealt with your level of frustration, and still do to this day.  :banghead: ROMhacking, I have discovered, is a never-ending learning process. I've been plugging away at it in one form or another for the past six-and-a-half years and even now I still feel like a beginner at it in many respects. Despite all this, let's see if we can help you out a bit and get you pointed in the right direction...

First, you're going to need to get yourself some useful tools, as editing things in FCEU, as useful as it can be, can only take you so far. I would recommend a a good hex editor so that you can deal with the ROM directly. I have three I keep lying around which I use for various purposes...Hexecute, which I keep around for easy-as-pie copying and pasting, XV132 which also has some useful editing functions my other ones don't have, and HexCmp which has proven extremely useful to me as it can load two ROMS at once and highlight the differences between the two. You'll probably have to fork out a little dough for HexCmp, but the others, as far as I can tell, are free.

Another good tool you can use for finding data in a ROM is a file corrupter. I have personally found Corrupster to be the most easy and straightforward to use. It will basically let you corrupt a byte in a ROM, or a range of bytes, with either random values or a specific range of values so that you can play the ROM and see what changed, and if what got fudged up is what you're looking for, you're on the right track. It will be up to you from that point on to figure out the format in that range of bytes in order to manipulate the ROM to do what you want. A ROM corrupter may not tell you how to change what you want to change but it's definitely useful in telling you where to look. As far as Super Mario Bros. 3 goes, I'm not sure if you are trying to change the actual music data itself or change what music gets played in what stage, (in which case you will have to deal with pointers,) but Corrupster should get you well on your way.

I sincerely hope that helps, given my limited experience with what you're trying to do. Good luck to you. :)

Cheers and thumbs up.  :thumbsup:

9
The game I'm surprised that no one seems to be tackling yet is Lunar Pool for the NES. That game is an absolute blast, and from the general looks of it, easy to hack, although I do admit I've never really looked into it yet and actually tried to tear it apart. Maybe I'll have a go at it myself sometime in the near future...  ;)

Cheers and good eats.  :cookie:

10
Personal Projects / Re: Super Mario Unlimited (SMB) - In progress
« on: April 10, 2010, 10:14:59 pm »
   First of all, let me say that your hack, Super Mario Unlimited, is coming along rather nicely, and I can see that you've put a lot of time, effort, and work into it.  I'm not usually impressed by Super Mario hacks as there are so many already, and most of these are of questionable quality at best.  (Extra Mario Bros. is a DEFINITE exception to this rule!  :thumbsup:  )  But I am impressed by this, and have been looking forward to a quality Super Mario hack which brings the series back to it's roots.  I thoroughly encourage you to keep up a job well done, as I am very much looking forward to playing this.  In that regard, I would now like to offer a suggestion, since you've done such a great job on this already...
 
   Skim-reading through this thread, it is my understanding that you plan on including unlimited lives in this hack.  While this may be okay for some, I personally feel that it cheapens the challenge.  However, I definitely agree that losing all of your lives in five minutes is not a good, valid way to play a hack like this either.  So, building on your comment that you want to use the score counter for something to do with lives, how about this:  Start Mario off with one life but turn the score register into a health counter!  :)
 
   Here's how it works:  Mario starts the game with full health...we'll say a value of 3000 for balance's sake.  Every time Small Mario collides with something which can kill him, he loses 450 points on the health counter but gets to keep going with temporary invincibility as if he had just downgraded from Super Mario.  When Super or Small Mario falls down a pit, he loses either 150 or 300 points from the health counter depending on which mode he was in when he fell down said pit, and must start the level over from the beginning.  (This makes acquiring Super Mario all the more desirable and also creates balance...do you risk a collision with Small Mario and keep going with less health, or risk a fall and have to start the level over?  :-\  )  All collisions in Super Mario mode work as they did before, with a downgrade to Small Mario but no loss on the health counter.  This is all assuming Mario hasn't yet reached "0" or less on that health counter, at which point the game ends.  Now, when Mario successfully collects 100 coins, not only is he granted temporary invincibility like you said but it would be a great opportunity to replenish his health counter to 3000 (Full) since you have done away with 1UP mushrooms.  These suggestions, I feel, would add balance to the game not only by emphasizing the importance of coin collection but also by giving the less skillful a good and fair chance to play the game all the way through without making it a total drop in the bucket.  It's fair to assume that someone out there may someday attempt to put this on a cartridge and play this on the actual NES hardware...and using save states is just a litlle...um...difficult to do on actual hardware.  (Unfortunately!)  :-X
 
   Since scoring would not be of importance, you may also want to consider adding a level select on the title screen much like the one in "Toad's Adventure" so that the player may begin the game on any world/stage they so choose as a way to continue where they left off.  It would be a shame, despite the changes made above, if the player were to reach 8-3 and lose the game by running out of health, and I believe that part of the charm of playing a ROMhack, both for the player and for the person who created it, is being allowed to see everything a ROMhacker has done to a game from the start rather than have to fight like mad to catch a fleeting glimpse of her/his great artwork and gameplay changes.  :)   As a ROMhack author myself, I'd much rather create games which drop jaws rather than frustrate players who wish to see my changes.  (Not saying that YOUR hack will frustrating, but you get the idea, it's an "ego" thing.  ;D )
 
   In the ROMhack I've done which is going through final playtesting pending upcoming release, I did things similar to the suggestions I made above, sans the health counter idea because that and removing scoring just wouldn't work considering the game in question that's been refurbished.  I included a stage select, among other things, on the title screen of my game, and also a lives select which gives the player the option to start with as little as one or as many as seven lives and also an option to enable/disable the awarding of bonus lives throughout the game.  I also added cheat switches for the game on Controller 2, one of which does not reduce the lives counter when the protagonist dies, and one of which that disables deadly collisions entirely!  :o   The idea was, again, to allow the less skillful player to get a chance to see all of my work, even if they have to cheat to do it  ;) .  Hell, it beats using a Game Genie...
 
   One more thing I'd like to add.  Whatever you do with the "lives" functions of Super Mario Unlimited, it's important to keep in mind that 1UP mushrooms are not the only way to acquire bonus lives.  I'm sure you've got the "coins" thing in the bag, but there is also scoring itself as well as enemy kills in succession which eventually lead to 1UPs which must be accounted for.  If you don't intend for the player to get any 1UPs for whatever reason than it's important to keep an eye out for these things when working on your game.
 
   But once again, very impressive job on this.  Please keep up the good work, and I look forward to playing this.  :D   Take care...

11
Newcomer's Board / Re: Introduction Topic
« on: April 06, 2010, 05:46:00 pm »
   Ahh, here we go, folks...the obligatory introductory post, the one where I introduce myself to the general ROMhacking community present here at the forums and everyone breathes a big, giant, collective yawn!  :P   ::)  Oh, well, guess it's better than having large heavy stones thrown at me, me being the "newbie" here and all. Without further ado, please allow me to introduce myself...
 
   I am a ROMhacker going by the codename "KaBooM!" who prefers the security afforded to those who remain somewhat covert and mysterious.  8)  My actual name, age, gender, race, area of residence, social status, religious convictions, political affiliations, financial situation, and sexual orientations/preferences are and shall hopefully remain the subject of curious enigma. Despite my aversions of disclosure there are a few things about myself which I am willing to share...
 
   First off, I am an Earthling of the "human" species, who lives somewhere on the planet Earth...and I shall be residing here until the day our good friends from the stars of the Pleiades realize I was sent to the wrong planet by mistake, and subsequently return to take me back. (If the little green men with big black eyes from Zeta Reticuli 2 come around asking for me, tell them I've left the planet already. We Pleiadians don't roll with those cats for good reason!)
 
   Second, I have been gifted with a needlessly complex mind as well as an exceptionally proficient grasp of not only the English language but also of several different forms of what can be considered "creative ventures", all of which I use as my weapons in the ongoing battle against conformity. It's a war zone out there, and words and art are the tools of my trade. (Little blue bombs notwithstanding!)  ;)
 
   Thirdly, I have never been, nor am I currently, nor do I believe that I will ever be, a representative of any company and/or organization which produces licensed commercial video games for platforms of any type or kind. If I were I think it's safe to say I certainly wouldn't view ROMhacking as an art form in itself. My propensity for non-conformity does not often find me in business attire like all the other goons and goonettes for hire, so we can all breathe easy not only knowing that I'm just an ordinary Jane/Joe like yourselves, but that I also will never be personally responsible for some of the shovelware that some of the big media companies like to cram down out throats.  :(  (Granted, there are a few exceptions. Damned few...)
 
   Fourthly, I have a love of ROMhacking as it is one of many hobbies I undertake which not only exercises my mind  :banghead: but also satisfies my curiosity and fascination with reverse-engineering the work of others as well as my need to be creative and inspiring for the common good. In that regard, I have joined the ROMhacking community with the intention of sharing my notes, observations, insights, and also the ROMhacking creations produced by myself through my affiliate, "KaBooM! Games" with others, again for the common good of all.
 
   Fifthly, I refer to myself by the codename "KaBooM!" for several reasons, some of which I do not care to divulge as doing so would directly interfere with my propensity for obscure anonymity.  8)  This does not indicate that I necessarily pose any type of perceived threat...in fact, by most standards I consider myself quite harmless...as long as you are not a video game ROM!  ;)  As for the reasons for my codename I don't mind sharing, well...not only does it serve as a tribute to one of the greatest Atari 2600 games of all time but also as a nice, quick, short, easy codename which can easily be inserted into the credits of any ROMhack which I create, and it looks different and grabs attention to boot. That, and it's so much fun to type with it's weird alternate capitalizations and punctuation. And it goes great with marinara sauce.  ;D
 
   And finally, I must truthfully admit that I look nothing like my avatar would suggest, at least until the day that the radioactive weapons which threaten mankind come raining down upon our heads and the survivors are turned into deformed mutants. It is my sincerest hope that this will never happen, because quite frankly, it would suck like a supercharged vacuum cleaner. Not only because civilization as we know it would cease to exist, not only because it would it be hard getting any sleep considering I'd be living next to people who constantly glow in the dark, but also because having a big, heavy, blue bomb for a head that's getting ready to explode any second is not a good condition to greet your new neighbors in.  :o  It doesn't exactly set their mind at ease, and it's terrible for one's complexion.
 
   Now, I have been interested in the gentle art of ROMhacking since not too long after the turn of the century, and have been quite the "lurker"  8)  in one form or another within it's inner circles and have thus dedicated many hours of my free time into research, hard work, and offering help to others regarding such.  However, I haven't really become a part of the general ROMhacking community in any manner which produced a final product of some sort on my end. After silently observing the amount of people who's obsession with this particular hobby ended up swallowed up by the dreaded "real life" syndrome which we all experience, and vowing not to repeat these mistakes, I made a firm decision in 2007 that I would not become a part of any ROMhacking forum until I was primed and ready to produce something substantial for the community as a whole...
 
   And now, that day has finally come.  :crazy:
 
   As I type this, I am currently sitting on a 100% complete project which I can barely wait to share with all of you. 100% complete, that is, except for typing up the rest of the accompanying manual and the final level of quality control testing on the project itself. This should not be taken as an official announcement of such, as I am not yet at liberty to say exactly what this "project" is and/or what it entails, or even what the official release date is at this time as that *might* give something away.  :-X  I also cannot promise that this "project" will turn the world on it's ear and create world peace in our lifetime, considering it will be my first "released" project.  ::)  However, this much I can share with you all...I personally feel that I've taken an old standard and done something truly "unique" with it, something no ROMhacker has attempted to do with this type of project before, and something I sincerely hope that you will all appreciate. A release date and announcement shall be forthcoming within the next couple of months...but for now, I shall leave you all to speculate with your question marks.  ;D   :huh:
 
   In the meantime, it is my sincere hope that I can become a productive member of this community, offering my help and insights wherever and whenever I can. So once again, pleasant greetings to all who linger here, and I shall see you all on the boards.  :woot!:
 
   Oh, and one more thing.  I use way too many smileys, and am a little too "colorful" for my own good.  But you've probably figured that out by now.  :P

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