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Author Topic: Super Metroid .smc file to ASCII enemy names: What are they for?  (Read 2882 times)

exactspace

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I was checking out a Super Metroid .smc in Hex Fiend yesterday, and in the ASCII column I found the following enemy list:

.5......5NODATA   
....ATOMIC   
....BANG     
....BATTA1   
<...BATTA2   
O...BATTA3   
b...BOTOON   
u...BOYON     
....DESSGEEGA
....DORI     
....DRAGON   
!...EBI       
D...EYE       
w...NAMI     
....FISH     
....GAI       
....GAMET     
....GEEGA     
&...GERUDA   
9...GRAVY     
\...HACHI1   
_...HAND     
....HIBASHI   
....HIRU     
....HOLTZ     
....HOTARY   
....HZOOMER   
....KAGO     
....KAME     
'...KAMER     
z...KANI     
....KOMA     
....KZAN     
.. .LAVAMAN   
..!.MELLA     
..".MEMU     
..#.MERO     
/.$.METALEE   
B.%.METMOD   
U.&.METROID   
h.'.MULTI     
{.(.MZOOMER   ..)
.NDRA     
..*.NOMI     
..+.NOVA     
..,.OUM       
..-.OUMU     
....PIPE     
../.POLYP     
..0.PUROMI   
&.1.PUU       
9.2.PUYO     
\.3.REFLEC   
o.4.RINKA     
..5.RIO       
..6.RIPPER   
..7.RIPPER2   
..8.ROBO     
..9.RSTONE   
..:.SABOTEN   
..;.SBUG     
..<.SCLAYD   
..=.SDEATH   
-.>.SHUTTER   
@.?.SHUTTER2 
S.@.SIDE     
f.A.SKREE     
y.B.SPA       
..C.SQUEEWPT 
..D.SSIDE     
..E.STOKE     
..F.TOGE     
..G.VIOLA     
..H.WAVER     
..I.YARD     
!.J.ZEB       
4.K.ZEBBO     
G.L.ZEELA     
Z.M.ZOA       
m.N.ZOOMER   
..O.BATTA1Br 
..P.BATTA1No 
..Q.BATTA1Na 
..R.BATTA1Ma 
..S.BATTA1Tu 
..T.BATTA2Br 
..U.BATTA2No 
..V.BATTA2Na 
..W.BATTA2Ma 
+.X.BATTA2Tu 
>.Y.BATTA3Br 
Q.Z.BATTA3No 
d.[.BATTA3Na 
w.\.BATTA3Ma 
..].BATTA3Tu 
..^.FUNE     
.._.HACHI2   
..`.HACHI3   
..a.ROBO2     

There's not much that translates into english on this ROM, so it got me curious.  If I replace enemy names with other enemy names with a different amount of characters, undesirable graphical effects occur. So it must require replacing with the same amount of characters.  I tried replacing all four-character enemy names with FISH and five-character enemy names with STOKE.  I tested it out, and it has no effect whatsoever. Same goes with reordering the 1-9 or A-Z and other characters that you'll see next to many of the names.  So, this brings me to the conclusion, what are these for in the first place? 

My only guess is that this was some kind of reference table for the level designers.

BRPXQZME

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Re: Super Metroid .smc file to ASCII enemy names: What are they for?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2011, 11:48:26 am »
They were most likely filenames at some point, judging from an apparent 8-character limit. And the truth is, they’re probably doing absolutely nothing and got inserted because nobody thought to not insert them (it’s not like they’re taking a significant amount of space). Sometimes when you make a data structure for packing everything into one file with the possibility of later extracting things from it, it’s also your format for inserting into your final project.

The reason you would get graphical effects if you change the length of the text is not indicative of any functionality; it’s the result of pointers no longer pointing at what they are supposed to point at.
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Ryusui

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Re: Super Metroid .smc file to ASCII enemy names: What are they for?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2011, 11:53:51 am »
I don't think that's an enemy list so much as a list of every non-boss sprite-based object in the game.
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exactspace

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Re: Super Metroid .smc file to ASCII enemy names: What are they for?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2011, 12:21:52 pm »
Interesting, thanks for your inputs.

This gets me interested in making some kind of editor for different parts of the game from scratch: music, graphics, behaviors, etc.

I'd really like to see where I can access all the non-boss sprites and see what hasn't been used.  I already know about REFLEC and a couple others. Also want to look into other graphics, sound and music.