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Author Topic: The Strider 2 Hacked Project.  (Read 7726 times)

Esco

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The Strider 2 Hacked Project.
« on: March 28, 2011, 05:51:37 pm »
I have been playing the arcade version of this game recently on mame, and it is just a really fun game. However, due to some programming foresight, it is literally impossible to get a star rank in 3-4 of the stages (it requires 4 million points, and no deaths or hits, in under 10 minutes. And there just isn't enough time to get it).

So sure enough when I heard that the PSX version had an extra stage, and an extra character I wanted to try it out. Sadly I was very disappointed by the fact that the bosses all seemed to have way less health, the fact that the extra stage bosses died too quick, and strider hien just made the game even easier. I also didn't like the fact that the special bonus was increased WAY too much. It went from 300k to 1.8 million (!), which totally f-es up the pace of the game. I thought a small increase would help, but they way overdid it. It just totally encourages you to just run through the stage and ignore as many enemies as you can, and you will get a star rank (the highest one) each time with little to no effort.

So seeing as how I wasn't satisfied still with the PSX one... I decided to do something about it. Thus far, here are the changes I have made:

  • The bosses heath is all the same as the arcade game now: or more specifically, I tweaked strider hiryu's damage to be the same as the arcade version. In the arcade one, EVERY attack of hiryu's does 1 point of damage. In the PSX version, boost, savage slash, and the beam from the sword power up all did two points of damage per hit. I have corrected this
  • Strider Hien now does 1 point of damage per hit, instead of 2 per hit. Just like Strider Hiryu: this actually makes the game VERY challenging just like Hiryu's, but balance, and totally changes the way he has to be played. It also makes it 10 times more fun IMHO.
  • The Special  Bonus has been decreased to only 800k. Upon getting hit once it drops to 500k. The 2nd hit drops it to 200k. A 3rd hit drops it to zero. This sets it up so that even after getting hit once, while you lose a substantial amount of points, it still encourages you to NOT get hit again.

So far these are the changes I have made. I don't intend to do many more since the game is REALLY good as is. What I am working on now is balancing out Hien and Hiryu point wise. My thoughts is that they should both be able to score almost the EXACT same amount of points in a stage run through, but since Hien doesn't have boost (100k added to item bonus for each one) I want him to potentially be able to get slightly more points than Hiryu if he is played to his limit.

And by this I mean if both Hien and Hiryu go through a stage in ideal circumstances: In the same order (start at stage 00, then stage 1,2,3,4, lastly 5), without getting hit, on the same difficulty with the same health, maximizing points per second (every second is worth 1000 points, at 10 minutes you get no point bonus. But each SMALL blue coin adds 1000 to point bonus. The weakest enemy takes 1 hit which gets you 100-300 points depending on what attack is used and is worth 100 points, and drops 1-2 of these coins). So that would mean also taking about 9 minutes and 59 seconds in a stage, killing as many enemies as possible in the spots where you would get the most points overall.

Long story made short, Hiryu should be able to get more points than Hien if he rushes thru the stage, but if they both stand around fighting as long as possible, Hien should get  more points (since he has to play much more defensively than Hiryu).

Now since Hiryu can have 2-3 boosts in a stage, and Hien has none, he needs a way to make up for it. What I am thinking of is replacing boosts in his game with yashichis (instead of life+1 items), and setting him to get more points per hit. This should only take a few more days ( i have school, work, etc.). But I want to make sure not to overdo it so that they are both VERY closely balanced.

So if anyone else here is a strider 2 fan, keep an eye on these forums for the patch for the iso file, and the memhack file (you will need memhack to run this hack). They will both be small files. I may also put up the guide I made with all of the secrets found so far, and how the scoring system works (including all end of stage bonuses).


March 29, 2011, 12:16:47 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
UPDATE: found the code that changed boosts to life +1 items; changed it so that they now become yaschichis instead (50k points). Now I just have to do some test runs to make sure hien and hiryu are balanced enough point wise.

March 30, 2011, 03:36:30 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Also I now tweaked Hien to be scoring wise exactly like I wanted; if he is played to his absolutely limit he can score slightly more points than Hiryu can. However, if they both rush through a stage, or even both are just played pretty good, Hiryu will almost ALWAYS out score him. Hien shines only when they too are played to their extreme best, and then  he wins out by about 50k.

I did this because it is easier for Hien to get thru a stage without getting hit if he is patient and plays keep away. Hiryu cannot obviously play keep away in most cases. So I wanted him to have to work harder for his points, and take more of a chance to get an exemplary score (since by nature he is a keepaway character). However, I didn't want it to be too much more of a gain for him, because then people would have no reason to play Hiryu.

I will be play testing it a bit more over then next 3-4 days. A release should be up soon after that.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 03:36:30 am by Esco »
Esco.... the original Nuyorican Latin Lover! And creator of the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night engine!

My Patreon page for the Castlevania: SOTN HACKED Engine: http://sotnhacked.wordpress.com/

Notymenow

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Re: The Strider 2 Hacked Project.
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2011, 02:59:48 pm »
I know It's a stupid idea, but you (hypothetically) could re-insert the (cut-scene) voice files from the Japanese version
- given, they would be foreign - but, that's oft-times how it was in Strider 1 (A. I couldn't give any help though, and B. I have no clue who could.),
just a half thought out suggestion - so; W/E...

And your work on SOTN was truly inspiring.....

Esco

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Re: The Strider 2 Hacked Project.
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2011, 01:32:49 pm »
I know It's a stupid idea, but you (hypothetically) could re-insert the (cut-scene) voice files from the Japanese version
- given, they would be foreign - but, that's oft-times how it was in Strider 1 (A. I couldn't give any help though, and B. I have no clue who could.),
just a half thought out suggestion - so; W/E...

Actually, that is a BRILLIANT IDEA! Sadly, I do not have the japanese version of Strider 2. I may see if I can download it from somewhere, and just examine the 2 files. With any luck, the code is still there, but the sound files were just yanked out. I actually love the voice overs in the Japanese game, and in the original too.

Quote
And your work on SOTN was truly inspiring.....

I appreciate that.  :laugh: But sadly it is not complete, and I don't know when it will be. Between work, school, hitting the gym, hanging with my girl, and other stuff I want to do and learn, I just don't have the time, nor the motivation to sit on the PC all day. I would much rather be out enjoying life, rather than spending so much time on a project for a game that is 10 years old, and I get no assistance with. To date, I have had MANY people promise to help me, and the only two that ever truly did a damn thing are:

a)Gemini: but he has no interest in working on SOTN. Which is understandable

and

B)Lupus: he made the WIP map editor. Sadly I have not seen or heard from him in 2 years and he has not been online here either. :(

Anyway, thanks again for your support. I will still work on it a bit, but very slowly.


UPDATE ABOUT THE STRIDER 2 HACK: I made a few more small, but very nice changes to the game yesterday:

  • Based on what difficulty you pick, you can now only set your amount of life in the options menu to a certain amount. So for example on difficulty 1, you can START with up to 8 life, but on difficulty 8 you can only start with up to 3. If you choose to you can set it lower, you just cannot exceed the max amounts per difficulty. You can still of course get max life ups in stages though to increase it more.
  • You now have a LIMITED # OF CONTINUES: since this game came out this has been the BIGGEST complain of all Strider 2 players. On easy difficulties (1-3) you get 6 continues. On the normal ones (4-6) you get 4 continues, and on the hard ones (7-8) you get only 2.
  • Unlimited boost mode is penalized: you get 2 less continues with it on (this would mean that on difficulty 7-8 you actually have NO CONTINUES!), and boosts are worth 0 points each at the end of the stage. For Strider hien he gets permanent power up and the ability to have up to 5 cyphers on screen at once when boost mode is set to unlimited.

Also since now your max starting life is limited by difficulty I am working on adjusting how many points you get per square of life so they give more points on harder difficulties, than they do on easier ones. This of course must be done because otherwise you could set it to difficulty one, and 8 starting life, and outscore a difficulty 8 player easily due to the life bonus. This OBVIOUSLY makes no sense.

As most of you can see my biggest thing is making sure that the scoring is still balanced, since that is what Strider 2 is all about!  :thumbsup:

EDIT: quick note: In Hien's game, in stage 5-1 it has always been impossible to get to the hidden point bonuses that lie past the giant fuel tanks without taking a hit, due to them spawning too quick, and him not being able to take them out with his weapon fast enough (hiryu could do it, but it was VERY hard to do). I have corrected this by lowering their HP from 20-16, and in hien's game, they respawn half as fast. But it still takes some good precision and skill to get the point bonuses without getting hit.

I am also working on making things unlockable from within the game. 3 of these were present in the original game, but were unlocked in different ways than they are now. The unlockables are going to be:

  • Hien Mode
  • Unlimited Boost mode (one for each character)
  • Stage zero (now unlockable from within the game without having to beat the first strider)
  • Difficulty 7-8 (hard) must now be unlocked
  • The ability to pick stage 4 from the start of the game
  • The ability to pick stage 5 from the start of the game

April 04, 2011, 01:32:24 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
UPDATE: I have been sick the last few days, so I haven't gotten to do much. But my girl was over (playing nurse... ya tu sabes ;)  ) and when she was playing strider 2 with unlimited boost on she commented on how ANNOYING it is to have to keep hitting boost over and over when it runs out. And since she had such a good point, I decide to fix that. Now if you have this mode on, hitting it once puts the unlimited boost on. And it will stay on until you hit the button again, which will shut it off, or until you complete the current stage (NOT scene).

Also, regardless of mode, if you used to have boost on when you went from one scene to another (NOT from one stage to another), it would cut off. This means that if for example you used one near the end of 1-1 to kill the mid-boss, when the next scene started even if 90% of your boost bar was still filled when 1-1 ended, you would lose it ALL! I have corrected this now to no longer happen.

If anyone has any tweaks or changes that they feel would help to make the strider 2 experience a bit more fun, feel free to post them here.

April 04, 2011, 05:23:35 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
UPDATE: Strider Hien can now pick what order to do his stages in, just like Hiryu. After picking a stage, it skips the cinema pic for each stage since they all have Hiryu in them, but I set it up to still show you the 3d mission plan thru the area.

I also discovered a way to see all of the invisible items in the game. Sadly it looks like I had already found all except one in stage zero, so it was pretty pointless.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2011, 05:23:35 pm by Esco »
Esco.... the original Nuyorican Latin Lover! And creator of the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night engine!

My Patreon page for the Castlevania: SOTN HACKED Engine: http://sotnhacked.wordpress.com/

Esco

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Re: The Strider 2 Hacked Project.
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2011, 04:44:33 pm »
Well I have been working and testing on this thing quite a bit the last few days. I finally balanced out unlimited time mode so that it is competitive with the other modes (Unlimited boost mode and normal), but so that the unlimited enemies in some areas cannot be abused infinitely due to you having no time limit. Now I am now working on tweaking how much of a life bonus you get based on the difficulty, as well as the unlockables.

I also implemented something that people that are into hardcore scoring games will like: Your difficulty is now shown in your high score (tens digits place), and if you used unlimited boost mode, a star appears next to your initials.

# of continues has always already been there (ones place in score) as has an indicator if you used unlimited time, so I didn't have to do those myself.

I also seem to have discovered a glitch that may be native to the game; apparently once you get the option to put on unlimited boosts, the game no longer gives you 100k per boost. Even if you have it set to normal boost mode (!). Apparently the code has it point to the address for "is boost option in the menu" instead of the one that determines "is unlimited boost on." I have fixed this now.

Lastly, for anyone who is interested, here is a quick guide for the original strider 2. [/size] Including all of the hidden items in it. Hopefully someone else here will enjoy using this as much as I enjoyed making it.

Secrets list: click on each link to see a pic of all invisible items from that area, as well as some easily missable or hard to reach item boxes, and unique ones (like the ones in stage 1-3 that only appear if you go forward then backtrack, etc.)

If there is no pic up for an area that means that there are no secrets in it. Please note that as far as the item bonus goes only 2 things affect it:

1)Number of boosts left (100k each)

and

2)# of blue "coins/disks" collected (small =1000 pts bonus, medium = 5000 point bonus, large = 20k point bonus. All are added on to the item bonus at the end of the stage)

In other words while collecting hidden items like spacemen, red coins, etc. will bring up score, they will not increase the item bonus.

Also, in some cases, items will change based on what difficulty you are on and also what order you take the stages in (in the case of invisible items this is VERY rare, but it happens). But there will always be an item in that spot regardless of order or difficulty.

For example: if you do stage 2 first, the 2nd hidden item in 2-3 will be a boost, instead of a spaceman.

0-1: http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage0-1allsecrets.jpg
0-2: http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage0-2allsecrets.jpg
1-1: http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage1-1allsecrets.jpg
1-2: http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage1-2allsecrets.jpg
1-3: http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage1-3allsecrets.jpg
1-5: http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage1-5allsecrets.jpg
1-6 (dragon boss): http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage1-6allsecrets.jpg
2-1: http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage2-1allsecrets.jpg
2-2: http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage2-2allsecrets.jpg
2-3: http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage2-3allsecrets.jpg
2-4: http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage2-4allsecrets.jpg
2-6: http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage2-6allsecrets.jpg
2-7 (Herzog Shlang boss): http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage2-7allsecrets.jpg
3-1: http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage3-1allsecrets.jpg
3-2: http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage3-2allsecrets.jpg
3-3: http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage3-3allsecrets.jpg
3-4: http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage3-4allsecrets.jpg
3-6 (kraken boss): http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage3-6allsecrets.jpg
4-1: http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage4-1allsecrets.jpg
4-2: http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage4-2allsecrets.jpg
4-4: http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage4-4allsecrets.jpg
4-5 (Reactor Core battle): http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage4-5allsecrets.jpg
5-1: http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage5-1allsecrets.jpg
5-5 (Grandmaster battle): http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r160/Esco1979/stage5-5allsecrets.jpg

RANK:: this is ONLY affected by 2 things:

1. Number of lives lost in a stage
2. Score

And that is ALL!

The ranks go as follows:

* E RANK: 0 to 999,999 points
* D rank: 1 million to 1,199,999 points
* C Rank: 1,200,000 to 1,599,999 points
* B Rank: 1,600,000 to 1,999,999 points
* A Rank: 2 million to 2,499,999 points
* S rank: 2.5 million to 2,999,999 points
* SS rank: 3 million to 3,999,999 points
* STAR rank: 4 million points and up


However, every time you lose a life, your rank goes down one. So if you have an SS rank and lose 1 life, you go down to S. If you have a star rank and lose 5 lives, you go from STAR to SS to S to A to B to C rank.

Also if you lose a life, instead of getting 100k points per square of life left, you only get 10k. In other words while getting hit in the arcade version is not a big score loss, DYING IS!

END OF STAGE BONUSES: Here is how the bonuses at the end of the stage work (tested on arcade for all UNLESS listed; to be tested on psx later):

1. Score: how many points you got in the stage as you went through it.
2. Time Bonus: every second you spend in the stage depletes the time bonus by 1000 points, UNTIL the timer reaches ten minutes. At that time the bonus is dropped to zero. The bonus starts off at 1 million in each stage, and can go as low as 401k (1000 points per second * 599 seconds; which is 9 minutes and 59 seconds converted to seconds). It will NEVER go to 400k though because as SOON as as it hits 10 minutes, the bonus changes to zero.
3. Life Bonus: 100k points per green square of life if you did NOT lose a life; if you lose 1 or more lives, it is only 10k points per green square of life.
4. Item Bonus: you get 100k points for each boost unused. For every small blue coin you collect you get 1000 points added on here; the medium blue coins (worth 500 points) each add 5000 points; the huge ones (worth 10k points) add 20k points each here. And that is all; all life power ups, swords, hidden icons (cow, star, etc.), and ANY RED COINS do NOT give ANY POINTS HERE!
5. Special Bonus: if you do not die in a stage you get 300k points; on the psx this was increased to 1.8 MILLION points!

SCORING
Here are the values of all hidden items, and a few other useful things too:

1. Small blue coin: 100 points
2. Medium Blue Coin: 500 points
3. Large Blue Coin: 10k points
4. Slashing something (includes F, F Slash move): 100 points
5. Sword Power up projectile hits something: 200 points
6. Savage Slash something: 300 points
7. Boost Wave hits something: 500 points
8. small Red Coin: 1000
8a. medium red coin: 5000 points
9. Barrel: 2000 points
10. Son Son (red monkey): 10k points
11. Star: 20K points
12. Spaceman: 30k points
13. Yaschichi: 50k points
14. Grab a sword, life, or boost power up when not needed (already have 5 boosts for example): 5000 points
15: grab a max life up with full life and 8 max hp already: 8000 points.
16: grab a RESTORE max life with full life (item only appears on easier modes, EXCEPT the hidden one in
stage zero): 10000 points


While it seems to most that the best way to get a high score is to run through a stage as fast as possible, get as many hidden points items as possible, and do not get hit, THIS IS NOT TRUE!. In truth, the best way is to not get hit, not use boost, get thru the stage in under 10 minutes, get as many hidden items worth 5k and up as you can, AND kill most enemies you come across when it can be done quickly. The reason is simple:

1 second=1000 points

The weakest enemy in the game that drops a blue coin (the little robots in stage 1) takes 1 hit, is worth 100 points and drops 1-2 blue coins. So if he was slashed and drop 1 coin that is 100+100+100+1000 (end of the stage) which is 1300.

So if you saw 3 of them and could kill them in 2 seconds (very easy to do) you would get a total of 3900 points which is 1450 points a second! And keep in mind, most enemies are worth more than 100 to kill and if they drop a SINGLE medium coin, that is 500+5000 (item bonus).

This also means that all small those enemies that do NOT drop blue coins (the skulls dullahan forms, the mines in stage 4, etc) are not even worth taking time killing. The same thing for those of you who like to attack the head of the second dragon when fighting Hien; you are throwing away points since it cannot be killed and you cannot do 1000 points worth of damage in a second except with a boost... and that is throwing away 100k that you will not recoup by using it.

.............now cadeucus (the last boss) "limbs" are a different story; they are each worth 5000 points when knocked out (!) and it only takes 3 hits to do so. Also the ones that grandmaster creates are worth 5000, 8000 (lightning fish) and 10k (the fire one) if killed + the coins they drop. These you DEFINITELY want to kill since they give HUGE bonuses.

As for hidden items, since a barrel is worth only 2000, if it takes more than a second to get, it is not worth getting. Even slashing and grabbing it takes more than a second, so the only time I can think of it being worth grabbing this is in stage 1 where there are 2 of them, right above each other. Otherwise, I just ignore them.

I also kill ANY red enemies I see; since they can drop an item worth 5000 (including sword power up), 30000, or even 100k (a boost item).
« Last Edit: April 09, 2011, 03:34:43 am by Esco »
Esco.... the original Nuyorican Latin Lover! And creator of the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night engine!

My Patreon page for the Castlevania: SOTN HACKED Engine: http://sotnhacked.wordpress.com/