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(Released) Bubble Bobble Deluxe (NES)

Started by Polar Hacker, July 26, 2018, 12:12:05 PM

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Polar Hacker


Hello all! I am pleased today to show off a hack I've been working on for quite some time. It's a hack of the classic NES game, Bubble Bobble. I started work on in back in 2015, but slowly stopped. This year, I picked up where I left off and now I have the goal of completing it by the end of 2018, to commemorate the game's 30th anniversary. Bubble Bobble Deluxe is a ROM hack that features all new level designs, minor graphical changes, and some other great features which will be announced at a later date ;) Here are some screenshots, with a beautiful CRT filter:

Levels
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Constructive criticism is welcome. Please feel free to voice your thoughts, as well as any suggestions you may have :)

jonahstrix

I look forward to adding this to my SNES Classic. Not enough 2-player games on those systems.

Polar Hacker

#2
Quote from: jonahstrix on July 27, 2018, 03:23:20 PM
I look forward to adding this to my SNES Classic. Not enough 2-player games on those systems.
Agreed. I wish Bubble Bobble Part 2 had simultaneous multiplayer. Simultaneous multiplayer was one of the main things that made the original so fun, in my opinion.

July 29, 2018, 03:59:23 PM - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)

I updated the title screen so "Deluxe" appears underneath the Bubble Bobble logo. I might decide to change the game font at a later date, but for now, here's what the title screen looks like:

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Googie

This looks amazing, can't wait to play it when it's done. I'll be keepin' an eye out for this hack. :)

SageOwl

Gotta see a crt filter on an actual crt woaaah :o

Mister Xiado

Looking spiffy, for sure. Too bad Bubble Bobble itself is a 200+ level nightmare to play seriously.
Current project: (none)
The Homepage of the Oldternet - Where it's always 1992 (or so).
Youtube

Polar Hacker

Quote from: Googie on August 05, 2018, 09:00:08 PM
This looks amazing, can't wait to play it when it's done. I'll be keepin' an eye out for this hack. :)
Thanks!  :thumbsup: You should see it in the new releases later this year  ;)

Quote from: SageOwl on August 06, 2018, 01:29:00 PM
Gotta see a crt filter on an actual crt woaaah :o
Haha, I can only imagine what that'd look like. I want to get a small CRT to play this hack on it for the full retro effect. Since it's impractical to test several different revisions on real hardware, this filter is the next best thing. I also intend to record the release trailer on a VHS tape, to further the retro styling.  :laugh:

Quote from: Mister Xiado on August 06, 2018, 10:13:19 PM
Looking spiffy, for sure. Too bad Bubble Bobble itself is a 200+ level nightmare to play seriously.
Thanks for the feedback  :) Are you referring to the original level design being a nightmare, or just the sheer amount of levels? I don't like levels that rely on you to die and then use your invisibility frames to capture enemies, so I'm trying my best to avoid those types of levels. If you're simply referring to how many levels there are, then yeah... There's a lot.  :-\

Mister Xiado

Quote from: Polar Hacker on August 07, 2018, 10:58:01 AMAre you referring to the original level design being a nightmare, or just the sheer amount of levels?
The amount of levels to get to the true ending, if you remember to bring the second player into the game at the last moment.
Current project: (none)
The Homepage of the Oldternet - Where it's always 1992 (or so).
Youtube

Polar Hacker

#8
Quote from: Mister Xiado on August 07, 2018, 06:39:44 PM
The amount of levels to get to the true ending, if you remember to bring the second player into the game at the last moment.
Yeah, I never did agree with the multiple endings. I remember the first time I ever played the game with my father. We got all the way to the end and beat the final boss, only to be disappointed with the "Bad End" screen, because we didn't enter the secret door in level 99. To prevent any such disappointments, I'll be doing my best to make it as clear as possible to enter the doorway and to beat the final boss with 2-players :)

NiO


Polar Hacker

#10
Quote from: NiO on August 12, 2018, 07:12:31 AM
Nice, waiting for this :D

Thanks!  :)

I'm near finishing level 80. I've also been doing some minor palette changes as well as fixing up small bugs. Here's a screenshot of level 77:
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Trax

With some code hacking, we could make the game go straight to A0 when you finish level 99, and avoid the crystal ball and secret door gimmick altogether. Or, make the crystal ball and secret door last longer, or even infinite. To the game's defense, I kinda liked the idea of having a secret that was actually hard to get and that let you access levels you've never seen before. But the speed needed (and some luck) and the perfect moves you had to pull off were ridiculously demanding, especially with only one player. Maybe the original intent was to make it almost impossible with one player alone, but relatively easier with two players, which was a prerequisite for the "perfect" Good Ending.

Polar Hacker

Quote from: Trax on August 26, 2018, 06:39:46 PM
With some code hacking, we could make the game go straight to A0 when you finish level 99, and avoid the crystal ball and secret door gimmick altogether. Or, make the crystal ball and secret door last longer, or even infinite. To the game's defense, I kinda liked the idea of having a secret that was actually hard to get and that let you access levels you've never seen before. But the speed needed (and some luck) and the perfect moves you had to pull off were ridiculously demanding, especially with only one player. Maybe the original intent was to make it almost impossible with one player alone, but relatively easier with two players, which was a prerequisite for the "perfect" Good Ending.
Yeah, I do like the idea to encourage exploration and then reward the player, but as you mentioned, it is incredibly difficult to reach, and the fact that it is required to get a good ending is not something I like. Ideally, I would have had a Good Ending, and then a Great Ending if you reached the secret door, perhaps unlocking Super Bubble Bobble. Anyways, how feasible do you think it'd be to make level 99 go to A0 automatically?  :)

Trax

Relatively easy if we can find the memory location that's responsible for going to the Boss Level. According to my notes, we already know how to prevent the Crystal Ball to appear, so that's one thing off the list.

Current level number is stored at $401 in RAM, one-based, which means level 1 corresponds to the value 01. I did a test and beat level 99 in the standard way, and through the door. When you take the door, the level number goes from 99 to 100. Level 100 is simply displayed as A0 at the top of the level. When you don't take the door, the Boss Level loads but the variable stays at 99. This means there's another flag somewhere that tells the game "load the Boss Level", and it's not $401. We have to find that. Most likely, the Secret Door changes this flag.

Polar Hacker

#14
Quote from: Trax on September 02, 2018, 02:54:22 AM
Relatively easy if we can find the memory location that's responsible for going to the Boss Level. According to my notes, we already know how to prevent the Crystal Ball to appear, so that's one thing off the list.

Current level number is stored at $401 in RAM, one-based, which means level 1 corresponds to the value 01. I did a test and beat level 99 in the standard way, and through the door. When you take the door, the level number goes from 99 to 100. Level 100 is simply displayed as A0 at the top of the level. When you don't take the door, the Boss Level loads but the variable stays at 99. This means there's another flag somewhere that tells the game "load the Boss Level", and it's not $401. We have to find that. Most likely, the Secret Door changes this flag.
Okay, that's a great start. Sounds promising. I lack the hacking skills needed to find the flag to disable loading the Boss Level, but I'd be most appreciative if you could keep me updated on your progress. Also, while we're at it, how feasible do you think it'd be to remove the 2-player requirement for the boss?

As for a progress update, Level 81 has just been completed. Level 80 has an interesting level gimmick that is not seen in the original game.  ;)

releasethedogs


Polar Hacker

#16
Quote from: releasethedogs on September 05, 2018, 12:22:40 AM
What exactly makes it deluxe?
New level designs, minor graphic changes, and a more balanced difficulty level. The name was chosen to be simple and easy to remember, as well as something that could fit into the "Taito" logo on the title screen.  :)

Trax

Well, I tried to find a way to avoid the Crystal Ball/Secret Door mechanism, but to no avail. I know how to prevent the Crystal Ball from appearing, but that means the extra levels would become inaccessible. Sorry for that.

Polar Hacker

Quote from: Trax on September 23, 2018, 11:55:40 PM
Well, I tried to find a way to avoid the Crystal Ball/Secret Door mechanism, but to no avail. I know how to prevent the Crystal Ball from appearing, but that means the extra levels would become inaccessible. Sorry for that.
No worries. Thank you for your help. I appreciate it. Just to confirm, if we prevent the Crystal Ball from appearing, the player will automatically get a bad end, and there wouldn't be anyway for the player to get a good end unless they entered in the password for level B2, right?

Thanks again :)

Trax

That's right. If the Crystal Ball does not appear, a special item will appear in its place, and because you have to finish the level normally, you skip to the boss, and you get the Bad End. I thought it would be easy to find the single variable (presumably) responsible for that, but it's always easier said than done, right? I didn't have time look into how we could cancel the 2nd player requirement.