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Topics - TheArbiter

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Programming / Super Hang-On (Genesis) Game Timer - inaccurate?
« on: April 26, 2019, 07:52:55 pm »
Hi! Hoping someone can help me out here.

I've been speedrunning Super Hang-On (Genesis) and one of my recent runs finished with a lower time than a fellow runner, but the checkpoints time was also lower which made no sense. Researching into this I think I found a problem in how the game calculates in-game times for sectors, but I need to be sure since this could have implications for our community.

At $0558 in RAM time counts up in hex, and when you reach a checkpoint it temporarily zeroes, the time is shown for that sector and kept track of for overall time. Then the weird bit is that ones and tens seem to carried over.

For example: the value gets to 3466, zeroes, a time of 34"70 is shown. Then rather than counting up from 0000, it starts from 0073.

That would appear to indicate that subseconds are carried over between sectors, which would be subject to manipulation. I am not quite sure however since freezing $0558 did nothing to change the sector time: it was only when I froze $0556 that this was achieved.

Can anyone help clarify this?

ROM Hacking Discussion / Alex Kidd Advanced (AKIMW hack)
« on: July 14, 2018, 12:34:24 pm »

I hope to get constructive criticism, feedback etc from you on an AKIMW rom hack. I intend to release two games in the series - one for regular fans/players, more challenging than the original. One extremely difficult (but not kaizo unfair) for speedrunners/bored platformergods.

The aim is to extend the challenges from AKIMW based on understanding of its gameplay and style, as well as updating some graphics. Notably much more powerful jumping and fluid squatting - no more crawling under rocks at the speed of snail maze. You can wall-kickaround obstacles, and a curve back in on yourself when jumping out and around things. It does take a little getting used to but it works well.

I feel like my strengths lie in platforming ideas/design. If people feel the gameplay jars too much compared to the original I am quite open to reskinning, in the vein of a ninja game, or an obstacle course style bent. If it turns out to flop, I can share a compendium of the elemental ideas I have created with KiddEd for others to use in their designs and no loss.

Enough rambling: go here
and try the patch at the end for a sample of level one. Try it on emulators, brave warriors. Use v1.1 of the original to patch to. Youtube recorded playthroughs would be great. It would be far too unwieldy on an everdrive. 50fps please!


1. Take some time to get used to jumps. If you get used to stopping it's a little tighter than the old akimw physics. You can now preserve momentum off walls - so sometimes you will have to shape your jump correctly.
2. Ghosts can be eliminated by spawning 2 moneybags from boxes on screen at once. Does the design makes this clear? Walking at the top of the level confuses ghosts into going below - this is the purpose of the exclamation blocks later in the first level, which also mean 'hint: use an item to progress'. I intend this to be a device in later levels for people to go around a few times.

3. I use half and quarter blocks, allowing diagonal stepped sections, extra play area, and half-breakable blocks. This also allows blocks that can only be broken from one side, or only with the punch or ring. The first block you start against would be breakable if there wasn't a wall directly behind you
4. Star blocks are the same, punch to trigger. Bullseye means 'pass through me', the first use is just money to give an example. Later levels show a red and white target which is outside the star blocks: this is the trigger that can be moved, so in some areas the target punch area is smaller. This allows for 'punch at the apex of the jump' puzzles.

5. I've also added a 'HELP' mechanic where for a cost of U100 at first, you can walk through a green tunnel and have a ghost removed from gameplay. In some instances this will also mean a separate path, and I will typically give the player an item as well for his money. The main idea is to give players of all levels good ways to enjoy the game. The help 050 is for if you fail the flame race - calindo is working on negative money for me among other things.

6. Ladders are tricky to implement in horizontal levels, hence the odd tunnel after the water. Let alex rise to the top of the water, then wait a moment before climbing. If he freezes or starts to float downwards in mid air, press up again, it should work ok there.

EDIT: I have now created a blog at Alex Kidd Advanced where I hope to detail progress and get feedback on designs, and other aspects of things. Any comments or complaints about what you see would be most welcome.

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