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Author Topic: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Level  (Read 11455 times)

Trax

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Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Level
« on: December 19, 2014, 06:40:40 pm »
At last, level 8 for Revenge of the Red Falcon is completed. After a long wait, this is my Christmas present for all of you Contra fans. There are a lot of things I wanted to do (there's always another thing you want to do!), but I wanted to have a working product at a set date...

I'm not implying that the game is overly bugged or anything like that. Consider this a "pre-final" release. I will probably adjust many other things later, but this version is fully functional, and like all other levels, this one has some new tricks that will, I hope, be fitting of the last run of a great game, and be a real challenge for seasoned players...

After releasing level 7 of RotRF, I got some interesting feedback and ideas for level 8. One that caught my attention was the idea that enemies spawn constantly throughout the level, as if there were hordes of alien organisms trying to rip your head off. This was the first thing I worked on, and I got it working. The rate of spawning goes up as your weapon is stronger. Again, I could have made the necessary ASM code more intricated and have more options, but sometimes you have to opt for something simpler, but make sure it works correctly. So the first thing you will notice in this level is that you can't take a single break. You will be assaulted constantly. It is the enemy's base of operation, after all...

Like usual, I boosted all enemies' HP (except the Sentient White Blobs), and like the original game, all enemies have their HP adjusted according to the strength code of your current weapon. Therefore, if you have the S Weapon, enemies will be harder to kill. The Alien Guardian (the Big Mouth coming from the ceiling) and the Final Boss also have considerable amounts of HP...

In addition to the HP boost, some modifications were made to the enemies' behavior. White Sentient Blobs will start rushing after a shorter delay. Alien Mouths spit Blobs at a faster rate, and they also have a new mode of attack. I added a special attribute bit check to their ASM code, and now some of them spit triple mortar shots!

The level is longer, as expected, with 38 screens of sheer madness. And I made the final boss worth the trouble as well. I will keep this a surprise and a reward for the players that can get there. All I can say for now is that the Heart will attack you until one of you is destroyed...

I also made the final credits worth the effort. I hope you will find them more interesting than the meager 4 lines in the original game. I don't know if the text sounds corny or something, but I did what I can, as I am not a very good storyteller. I left the original team credits, but I compressed them on fewer lines to leave more space for the ending story...

So don't wait anymore, and download the IPS file:
http://www.bwass.org/romhack/contra/contrademo8.ips

If you want to start at level 8, download this IPS file:
http://www.bwass.org/romhack/contra/contrademolevel8.ips

All comments, questions and bug reports are welcome...
« Last Edit: December 20, 2014, 12:04:04 pm by Trax »

snarfblam

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Level
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2014, 11:43:05 pm »
Made it this far, then the final part of the level 2 boss didn't appear. (Tried twice.) I don't know if it's waiting for me to destroy a fourth target.

Trax

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Level
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2014, 12:36:59 pm »
Dang, sorry about that. I made a slight redesign of this room, and I removed a Wall Plating. So yes, the game still expected to have 4 Wall Platings to be destroyed before the Boss shows up. The IPS file is now corrected...

snarfblam

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Level
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2014, 03:40:39 pm »
Hmm... looks to be an issue with the new IPS. Getting an error and the game won't boot.

Trax

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Level
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2014, 08:25:52 pm »
It must be because the author of the MultiPatch application had the very brilliant idea to put the UPS format (that noone uses) as the default option in the save dialog window. Now, you can try again. And sorry for all the stupid bugs...

prototector

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Level
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2015, 04:29:03 pm »
The problem experienced by snarfblam is still present in the ips patches provided...

TheLuigiLightning

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Level
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2015, 03:16:54 am »
I got stuck in the 3rd room of the 4th level.  Thus the experience came to a full hault...

January 06, 2015, 01:40:46 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Yep, I got there again (on a different computer) and the same thing happened.  You can't progress stage 4 past the 3rd room.  You might need to check that out.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 01:40:46 pm by TheLuigiLightning »
I am Luigi Lightning.  (You can just call me Luigi, though).
Some say my name is Luigi Lightning.  Others say I am a Lightning Luigi.  Some also say I am Luigi's Lightning.  Some even say I am some prodigy; The Luigi Lightning... guys, it's just a title.  You were correct the first time.

Trax

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Level
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2015, 04:30:31 pm »
Okay, there were many errors in the game that made it either very glitchy or prevented the progress of the player. Some of them passed by because I concentrated on level 8, but other levels had some changes and I have not been careful enough. In the last weeks of development, I made a lot of tests on an alternative ROM, so that the original one wouldn't be screwed up in the event of an irrecoverable modification. This is part of my normal flow of work (if the ROM is still working, make a copy), but the last changes were numerous and I failed to note everything down. Some important bytes were left unchanged in the master ROM...

Now, I made a complete run of the levels, and I corrected everything that look suspicious. Level 4 is corrected, as well as the Ending Scene and Credits...

Thank you for your patience...

You can download the IPS file here: http://www.bwass.org/romhack/contra/contrademo8.ips (same link as in first message)
Start at level 8: http://www.bwass.org/romhack/contra/contrademolevel8.ips

TheLuigiLightning

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Level
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2015, 10:39:30 pm »
Hey, Trax.  When I said that you needed to make stage 6 harder, I didn't mean you needed to drop a house on us!  :banghead:

(Just kidding, it's awesome!  I told you there was a way to make the stage harder!)
I am Luigi Lightning.  (You can just call me Luigi, though).
Some say my name is Luigi Lightning.  Others say I am a Lightning Luigi.  Some also say I am Luigi's Lightning.  Some even say I am some prodigy; The Luigi Lightning... guys, it's just a title.  You were correct the first time.

Trax

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Level
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2015, 01:41:48 pm »
Well, I recently realized something about level 6. When I was told it is not hard enough, I didn't know at that time that the mortar shots were only duds. In the process of designing level 7, I changed the code that makes some mortars to explode into various bullet patterns, so that level 7 would have it too. But I oversaw a condition in the code that made mortars in level 6 revert to their standard behavior. Now, the code is supposed to be working for both levels. No wonder the level seemed dull...

TheLuigiLightning

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Level
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2015, 04:19:22 pm »
To be honest, I've never died a single time to the mortar shots in stage 6.  What made it harder was that you added some gun men.
I am Luigi Lightning.  (You can just call me Luigi, though).
Some say my name is Luigi Lightning.  Others say I am a Lightning Luigi.  Some also say I am Luigi's Lightning.  Some even say I am some prodigy; The Luigi Lightning... guys, it's just a title.  You were correct the first time.

snarfblam

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Level
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2015, 09:40:25 pm »
Finally managed to beat it. I was pretty pleased with the last level. Definitely keeps you on your toes.

I don't remember level 6 being overly easy at any point, but it seems just right the way it is now.

TheLuigiLightning

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Level
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2015, 01:23:58 pm »
I'm still working on stage 7.  I've been very busy, but I think I'll beat it soon.

January 22, 2015, 11:16:17 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Okay, before I forget, I feel like the 5th stage boss is overpowered.  It's just too much to manage.

January 23, 2015, 04:56:38 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
I did it!!!  I beat the hack!  Thank you so much for making this Contra hack, Trax, it was truly amazing!
« Last Edit: January 23, 2015, 04:56:38 pm by TheLuigiLightning »
I am Luigi Lightning.  (You can just call me Luigi, though).
Some say my name is Luigi Lightning.  Others say I am a Lightning Luigi.  Some also say I am Luigi's Lightning.  Some even say I am some prodigy; The Luigi Lightning... guys, it's just a title.  You were correct the first time.

Trax

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Level
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2015, 12:55:10 pm »
You are extremely welcome...

I had a lot of fun making this hack, both in making the levels and the editor. I wil review this hack once more and call it final. Other than that, I have a least two more projects in sight for Contra, apart from releasing a working version of the Red Falcon editor. One is to take Revenge of the Red Falcon and add 4 different levels of difficulty, in which all enemies will have their own individual behaviors for each level, becoming more aggressive and less predictable. Possibly add bonuses as you progress through the difficulty levels. For example, completing the game at "Hard" would grant you a special stage bonus. Could be Mountain Challenge...

The other project is to make a Contra hack with more levels, probably 16, all with different graphics and new enemies. Instead of big-ass levels, it will be shoter levels with more variety. I want to make it a joint project, especially for graphics. If anyone is interested and you think you can assist, let me know...

TheLuigiLightning

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Level
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2015, 06:05:32 pm »
Well, I'm not sure how I feel about the different difficulties.  Different difficulties in games is kind of a personal gripe with me.  Will "Normal" be Revenge of Red Falcon as it is right now?  As long as the current game isn't the HARDEST difficulty, I'm perfectly fine.  I think you should also make a 3 life run option to make it feel more like authentic Contra rules.  I would love to attempt something like that.

By the way, you mentioned different "upgrades" for the powerups if you collect the same one twice.  Are you going to be working on that?
I am Luigi Lightning.  (You can just call me Luigi, though).
Some say my name is Luigi Lightning.  Others say I am a Lightning Luigi.  Some also say I am Luigi's Lightning.  Some even say I am some prodigy; The Luigi Lightning... guys, it's just a title.  You were correct the first time.

Trax

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Level
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2015, 09:10:17 pm »
I can see a few possibilities. I could make all levels of difficulty available to the player, as a menu on the Intro Screen. But my initial idea was to make the player start at low difficulty, and when you beat the game, you get a code that you have to enter at the beginning, like the 30-lives code, and that lets you access the next difficulty level...

The only thing that seems a little bland is that it's still the same levels, but with more aggressive enemies. Some people may not find enough novelty to try to beat the game repeatedly just for bragging rights. To have more of a "reward" system, there could be additional levels, or find a way to make the game end prematurely if the difficulty level is not high enough. However, this last one feels like a cheap shot. I think Double Dragon II did that. You couldn't access the last level if you were not playing at the "master" difficulty...

Or I could make the levels longer as the difficulty increases. I'm not sure what kind of ASM magic would be needed for that. Maybe it's not that hard. Oh, I can see the potential already...

Another trick would be to make some enemies appear only at specific difficulty levels. The more you go up the difficulty ladder, the more enemies are packed in the same levels, so you can't just rely on your memorizing all the enemies' locations. Speaking of memorizing, even enemy positions could be randomized, to a lesser extent...

And about the weapon upgrades, yes, most of them are actually functional, on a test ROM. The only thing I'm wondering is if I'd have to add more weapon items throughout the game. For example, the S Weapon starts relatively weak when not upgraded (3 bullets per shot, max 6 bullets on screen), so you can spend a considerable amount of time before reaching another S, assuming you can stay alive in the meantime...

TheLuigiLightning

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Level
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2015, 11:21:32 pm »
You'll probably be happy to know that I've actually started working out a speed route for the hack.
I am Luigi Lightning.  (You can just call me Luigi, though).
Some say my name is Luigi Lightning.  Others say I am a Lightning Luigi.  Some also say I am Luigi's Lightning.  Some even say I am some prodigy; The Luigi Lightning... guys, it's just a title.  You were correct the first time.

mrrichard999

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Level
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2015, 01:26:59 pm »
Retrorain on Board2 wants to discuss doing an MMC5 conversion on Contra, might be helpful with your hack in giving it more space to work with :)

http://acmlm.kafuka.org/board/thread.php?id=8195


Trax

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Level
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2015, 10:01:27 pm »
A speedrun or TAS of RofTR would be awesome, no doubt. I remember someone doing it with the first 3 or 4 levels on tasvideos.org, but the input files were not compatible with the version of FCEU I had at that time...

As for mapper conversions, I fail to see the obvious advantages of using MMC3 or MMC5 that are not an overkill relative to what they can add to the game. As far as I know, MMC3 has more flexible support for partial CHR bank switches, and MMC5 lets you assign palettes to individual 8x8 tiles, instead of the 16x16 limit we can see with the vast majority of NES games. There is probably more to it than what I just said, but still...

As for extra space, Revenge of the Red Falcon is already expanded from 8 to 16 banks, 7 of which are completely unused. Originally, bank 2, up to address 9096, was used for level data. This space is now used for Enemy Data, and everything fits, even though there are a lot more enemies in RotRF. Bank 7 is now Bank F, and bank 7 is used exclusively for Level Data. And there's more than enough space to hold everything. The entire size of the level data for RotRF is 2C7C bytes = 11388 decimal. It's quite a lot of data, but still far from taking an entire ROM bank, thanks to compression. Try to bust the bank limit and you'll quickly realize that you need mighty huge levels to accomplish that. And even if you bust any limit, there's always 7 more banks for you to use...

Of course, I'm not against mapper conversions. If it can bring something interesting to a potential hack, I'm all for it. But it must be worth the trouble...

As some of you guys already know, I have another idea for a different kind of hack of Contra (I briefly discussed this idea in another thread). Right now, I'm trying to convert the game so it can support more than 8 levels, possibly 16, maybe more. If you think using another mapper could make, say, the graphics more awesome, or make the graphics easier to switch on-the-fly, or anything else, then we could give it a try with this hack...

Dr. Floppy

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Re: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Level
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2015, 08:49:13 pm »
Quote
MMC5 lets you assign palettes to individual 8x8 tiles, instead of the 16x16 limit we can see with the vast majority of NES games.
The downside is that the 8x8 Attribute mode doesn't mesh well with scrolling. It'd be perfect for the single-screen parts of the game, though.

If you need conversions to either MMC3 or MMC5, just let me know.