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Author Topic: Restore Famicom microphone support to NES Legend of Zelda  (Read 4574 times)

tc

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Restore Famicom microphone support to NES Legend of Zelda
« on: November 21, 2015, 12:52:15 pm »
What would "simply" tacking Zelda's original mic features onto the NES version we know and love entail?
Obvious to say, the idea of an FDS translation has been brought up before. But that isn't what I mean.

I don't know how the mic hardware works, or if the NES version has enough free RAM/ROM space to fit its code back in.

Jorpho

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Re: Restore Famicom microphone support to NES Legend of Zelda
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2015, 06:11:06 pm »
If I'm not mistaken, the code is still in there and it's just a matter of using the right controller.
https://tcrf.net/The_Legend_of_Zelda/Console_Differences#Pols_Voice
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tc

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Re: Restore Famicom microphone support to NES Legend of Zelda
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2015, 09:39:21 pm »
Maybe, it doesn't seem like it's been conclusively proven true or false.
I'm not sure if NES cart pinout differences or improperly built 72/60 pin converters interfere with the mic.

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Re: Restore Famicom microphone support to NES Legend of Zelda
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2015, 10:12:49 pm »
The mic is accessed via the controller port. The only requirement on the cart is that code for the mic be present.

Disch

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Re: Restore Famicom microphone support to NES Legend of Zelda
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2015, 11:16:46 pm »
The mic has to be the dumbest peripheral idea ever... except for maybe ROB.

Anyway, I have no idea how the mic actually works.  Docs on its exact behavior are very vague.  It has a 1-bit input that's read through $4016:

http://wiki.nesdev.com/w/index.php/Standard_controller

But what does that bit signify?  Is it as simple as "1=sound detected, 0=no sound detected"?  Why did they think that would be useful in any way?

chillyfeez

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Re: Restore Famicom microphone support to NES Legend of Zelda
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2015, 02:13:48 am »
Is it like the mic in that DS Zelda game? You know, the one where you have to blow out candles and make windmills spin or whatever? I thought that was a pretty stupid feature in that game. But particularly stupid because it's a mobile game. So I could be sitting outside a dressing room as my wife tries on a dress or whatever and so I pull out my DS to kill some time playing - what was it, wind waker? Seems like it should be wind waker, so we'll call it that - only I'm at this part where I can't go any farther unless I start blowing on my DS like it's hot. And they don't let you gentle-breeze it, either, you gotta make like it's your fiftieth birthday. So yeah, that was lame. But anyway, I can't really even think of why I would need that kind of function in original LoZ. I mean, I've played the whole thing through many times without ever needing to blow on it (well, OK, it was a NES cartridge, so that's not true, strictly speaking). So... Does anybody know what the mic was supposed to do?
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Disch

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Re: Restore Famicom microphone support to NES Legend of Zelda
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2015, 02:35:07 am »
You kill Pols Voice by yelling into the Mic.  Because Pols Voice "hates loud noise" (according to the manual).

IIRC, In the US version, since they didn't have a mic, they made Pols Voice weak to arrows instead.

Jorpho

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Re: Restore Famicom microphone support to NES Legend of Zelda
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2015, 02:36:24 am »
Is it like the mic in that DS Zelda game? You know, the one where you have to blow out candles and make windmills spin or whatever? I thought that was a pretty stupid feature in that game. But particularly stupid because it's a mobile game. So I could be sitting outside a dressing room as my wife tries on a dress or whatever and so I pull out my DS to kill some time playing - what was it, wind waker? Seems like it should be wind waker, so we'll call it that - only I'm at this part where I can't go any farther unless I start blowing on my DS like it's hot. And they don't let you gentle-breeze it, either, you gotta make like it's your fiftieth birthday. So yeah, that was lame.
There were a lot of DS games (mostly early on in the system's life) that required blowing into the microphone.  It was a pretty lousy "feature".  The hardware was definitely capable of recording sound with some fidelity (Warioware Touched had a little "toy" that could play back your own sounds) but pretty much every game I've ever seen managed made do with just blowing into the mike.

Quote
But anyway, I can't really even think of why I would need that kind of function in original LoZ. I mean, I've played the whole thing through many times without ever needing to blow on it (well, OK, it was a NES cartridge, so that's not true, strictly speaking). So... Does anybody know what the mic was supposed to do?
Yers, it's in the link I posted.  Making sounds at the microphone would instantly defeat all Pols Voice (the rabbity thingies, normally vulnerable only to arrows) in a room.  Warioware Touched also replicated that in one of its minigames.  Link's Awakening had a callback of sorts to this in that playing the Ballad of the Wind Fish on the Ocarina would likewise defeat all Pols Voice.
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henke37

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Re: Restore Famicom microphone support to NES Legend of Zelda
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2015, 04:07:35 am »
Also, the pols returned in at least one of the ds games. And yup, you had to blow in the mic to stun them.

tc

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Re: Restore Famicom microphone support to NES Legend of Zelda
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2015, 06:30:25 am »
There was Pokemon voice chat. The headset even had a blister pack advertising Diamond and Pearl.
Anyway, getting off topic there.

It could be the mic programming was disabled not removed. If just one enemy, it'd have been as easy as turning off its weakness flag.

chillyfeez

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Re: Restore Famicom microphone support to NES Legend of Zelda
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2015, 06:58:50 am »
Brain Age (the first one) used the microphone. It had a rock/paper/scissors game where you had to say the one that beats what's showing on the screen.

I always wondered why it said pols voice hated loud noise... Still, that's kinda dumb. Shouting into the mic instantly killed all of them on screen? I also recall that they made for a little bit of a challenge because their movement was a bit erratic and they took a ton of hits unless you used arrows. Bye-bye challenge if you could wipe them all out with a shout. Also, iirc they didn't even show up til Level 6. Weird.
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dACE

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Re: Restore Famicom microphone support to NES Legend of Zelda
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2015, 11:16:27 am »
Have to disagree, when it comes to the mic usage in Phantom Hourglass.

I think they incorporated the mic fairly well - blowing out candles or dust from a sea-chart. It was kinda fun. My only gripe was when you were supposed to yell at the DS - then they took it a little to far. But overall I think it adds to the puzzle-solving in that game.

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KingMike

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Re: Restore Famicom microphone support to NES Legend of Zelda
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2015, 11:59:24 am »
I remember playing Super Princess Peach on the bus. When I got to the submarine transformation (where you have to blow into the mic to shoot torpedoes to destroy blocks), I quit and decided to wait until I got home for that. (on the original DS, you couldn't even be discrete about that. You had to move the mic up to your face and blow.)
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Jorpho

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Re: Restore Famicom microphone support to NES Legend of Zelda
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2015, 01:18:28 pm »
My only gripe was when you were supposed to yell at the DS - then they took it a little to far.
I understand blowing also worked just as well in that case.
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KingMike

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Re: Restore Famicom microphone support to NES Legend of Zelda
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2015, 02:47:33 pm »
I've done plenty of yelling at the 3/DS. **** you Pokemon RNG! :laugh:

Although wasn't one of Microsoft's more brilliant ideas for the Xbone to give you a timeout if it caught you cussing at the game. ::)
From what I heard if it ever was real it was dead as the anti-reselling/sharing red tape but OH PLEASE say that would've been a parental control option (or only active during online games) at best.
... of course that would probably have resulted in lost CoD sales. ;D
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KillerBob

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Re: Restore Famicom microphone support to NES Legend of Zelda
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2015, 07:11:55 pm »
I always wondered why it said pols voice hated loud noise... Still, that's kinda dumb. Shouting into the mic instantly killed all of them on screen? I also recall that they made for a little bit of a challenge because their movement was a bit erratic and they took a ton of hits unless you used arrows. Bye-bye challenge if you could wipe them all out with a shout. Also, iirc they didn't even show up til Level 6. Weird.
They first appear in level 5 which has a bit of an audio theme going on with the flute being found there and the Digdogger weakness. I guess in that sense it's a bit of a shame it didn't make it for the NES version but IMO the way they handled it for the English version made for a much improved difficulty balance and the bow & arrows came to good use in the process which you otherwise wouldn't use that much with its precious ammo.

In comparison, the Japanese Kid Icarus use the microphone feature in a way to bargain for lower shop prices, there the NES version changed it to press A + B simultaneously on controller 2. They could have easily gone that route with Zelda but they thankfully did something great with it instead.