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Author Topic: Sparkster Snes  (Read 5646 times)

Zimgief

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Sparkster Snes
« on: December 31, 2019, 11:57:55 am »
Hi everyone. :)

Sparkster is a game I like a lot, but I always thought the robot boss fight, at the end of stage 7, is awful.
I would like to make it more managable, but I don't know how (I don't understand at all Geiger's Debugger).

Here the only things I found:
- health points (for this boss specifically or maybe all) are stored in 1C2A, he has 224, same as the player (at least during boss fight)
- shooting him deals 2 damage, punching him 12 (I think it's the same for the player).
- health points don't change in easy and normal mode.

For a start, changing his HP would be great. But also changing the number of hits his arms must take to be destroyed. I didn't find it, and I don't know if it changes with the difficulty setting.

If someone wants to try to get info, here as the passewords for stage 7:
Easy :    T:BANA M:NCBN B:ANCA
Normal : T:NBAN M:NACA B:AAAN
Hard : T:CCBC M:CCBN B:CBAC
Crazy : T:NBNN M:NCAA B:ANAN

T, M, B : Top, Middle, Bottom
A, B, C, N : Apple, Banana, Crystal, Nothing

It would be really great if the difficulty of this boss could be tweaked. ^^

svambo

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Re: Sparkster Snes
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2020, 06:07:09 pm »
Hi,

take a hex-editor and look at $32558 (rom without copier header). There should be a $E0 (=224).
These are the hitpoints for the Boss you're looking at. These are also the hitpoints for his 2 arms (stored at $7E1C36 left arm / $7E1C3C right arm). The hitpoints are for all difficulty levels.

Hope this helps.

Greetings
Svambo


Zimgief

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Re: Sparkster Snes
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2020, 12:43:41 pm »
Thank you very much!
I found the adress for the boss' health, no problem, but not those of his arms?


Also, if you are willing to help further, there is a mid-boss in stage 8 which would need some tweaking because the fight is so boringly long.
You can look at it here: http://youtu.be/PEx3Wa86Mes?t=1655
I checked walkthroughs and longplays, the consensus, as I found myself by playing, is to go to the right, and jump, attack, rinse and repeat for more than 2 minutes without any chance of getting hurt. Some are willing to lose some health by going melee a bit, just to speed up the process.
Of course, it is possible to use a proper strategy, but it is dangerous to pull off and just not worth the learning. So most players will just use the safe boring way, which hurts the flow of the game.
Do you think you could find the health for the little shields? Or maybe the crystals, but I feel a satisfying battle would be to destroy the shields before the crystals. Just not take up to 3 minutes to do that.

svambo

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Re: Sparkster Snes
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2020, 02:34:20 pm »
While playing the boxing boss in level 7 the SNES counts the hitpoints of the arms in $7E1C36 left arm / $7E1C3C right arm. Both start with 224 hitpoints and that value is taken from the same memory adress as the hitpoints of the boss itself ($32558). So if you lower the bosses hitpoints you also lower the hitpoints of his arms.

The hitpoints for the blue crytals in level 8 are stored in $35413 - normal value is $1F (=31).



Zimgief

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Re: Sparkster Snes
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2020, 03:08:33 pm »
I was definitely feeling his arms were more fragil when I tested it. :p So I should be careful not to weaken him too much (a key part of the fight is focusing on an arm to destroy it, it shouldn't happen too quickly).

Ok for the crystals. Is there a specific adress all the little shields draw from?

Thanks a lot!

svambo

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Re: Sparkster Snes
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2020, 03:30:05 pm »
Try $35325 for the shields.

Edit: Oh, that was just every second shield. The others are stored in $35331...
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 07:28:43 pm by svambo »

Zimgief

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Re: Sparkster Snes
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2020, 07:45:01 pm »
I tweaked the numbers, and I'm pretty satisfied now.

For the robot fight in stage 7, I reduced the value by 25%. I decided to be conservative about it, as one boss's arm being destroyed dramatically affects the outcome, and the AI being so random (sometimes very aggressive, sometime absolutely passive). Still, it will be easier, and mashing buttons when full health is rather reliable if one so wishes. Getting to him unharmed will be worth it, and if not, you still have a chance.

For the core thing in stage 8, the shields only have 1/6 of their former health, and the crystals 2/3. It cuts the encounter duration by half! But it is still long (1m15) so you still feel you are methodically destroying the core defenses, only with a far more satisfying feedback as one by one the shields begin to explode. Making it more enjoying is crucial, as running out of lives (using a credit) against the boss at the end of the level means starting all over again, for maybe 2 or 3 new tries (before having to use then another credit). I choose not to nerf it as he is fairly beatable with a bit of luck*. It is fitting for the final boss of the game (not counting the - rather easy - secret stage and boss in hard mode).


Would you like to be credited for your precious help?
Oh, and are we sure changing those values affects these encounters exclusively?

It will be the first hack of the game on this website. This franchise deserves some love!

* Well, knowing the address for his health could be useful if I change my mind.

EDIT : I saw your edit. Oddly enough, I didn't have to tweak much further: the value for these shields was only 1F, not 3F. I did keep $35325 and $35331 at noticeably different values, for a progressive destruction (first half of the shields quickly, the other half until the end).
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 08:48:56 pm by Zimgief »

svambo

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Re: Sparkster Snes
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2020, 07:00:03 am »
Would you like to be credited for your precious help?
If you do a readme for your hack it would be nice to be mentioned.

Oh, and are we sure changing those values affects these encounters exclusively?
I think so, but I cant guarantee that. To check this I would suggest to put the hitpoints at an absolute minimum and play the game from start to finish to see if other bosses seem to be affected.
Also I didnt check if these values are for all difficulties. You may want to check this too.

This franchise deserves some love!

I absolutely agree  :)

Zimgief

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Re: Sparkster Snes
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2020, 01:18:28 pm »
Quote
I think so, but I cant guarantee that. To check this I would suggest to put the hitpoints at an absolute minimum and play the game from start to finish to see if other bosses seem to be affected.
Also I didnt check if these values are for all difficulties. You may want to check this too.

I did all that, everything works as intented.
I submitted the hack, and of course you're credited.
Honestly, I was expecting the topic to be completely ignored. So thanks a lot. I mean it!

svambo

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Re: Sparkster Snes
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2020, 04:10:40 pm »
 And here it is...   

150 downloads in 2 weeks - seems the game still has some fans :thumbsup:

nintendo_nerd85

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Re: Sparkster Snes
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2020, 10:13:27 pm »
As someone who rented this game growing up, thank you! This boss was an absolute nightmare to fight, but this ROM hack makes it actually possible to beat  :thumbsup:

azoreseuropa

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Re: Sparkster Snes
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2020, 08:58:08 am »
Hi everyone. :)

Sparkster is a game I like a lot, but I always thought the robot boss fight, at the end of stage 7, is awful.
I would like to make it more managable, but I don't know how (I don't understand at all Geiger's Debugger).

Here the only things I found:
- health points (for this boss specifically or maybe all) are stored in 1C2A, he has 224, same as the player (at least during boss fight)
- shooting him deals 2 damage, punching him 12 (I think it's the same for the player).
- health points don't change in easy and normal mode.

For a start, changing his HP would be great. But also changing the number of hits his arms must take to be destroyed. I didn't find it, and I don't know if it changes with the difficulty setting.

If someone wants to try to get info, here as the passewords for stage 7:
Easy :    T:BANA M:NCBN B:ANCA
Normal : T:NBAN M:NACA B:AAAN
Hard : T:CCBC M:CCBN B:CBAC
Crazy : T:NBNN M:NCAA B:ANAN

T, M, B : Top, Middle, Bottom
A, B, C, N : Apple, Banana, Crystal, Nothing

It would be really great if the difficulty of this boss could be tweaked. ^^

Don't forget Sparkster for Sega Mega Drive/Sega Genesis. Great game too and different from SNES. Totally different.

Zimgief

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Re: Sparkster Snes
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2020, 07:59:39 pm »
svambo: yes! not a that high of a number, but nothing to be ashamed either. I hope we made some players happier.

Speaking of which:
Quote
As someone who rented this game growing up, thank you! This boss was an absolute nightmare to fight, but this ROM hack makes it actually possible to beat 
Thanks! That means a lot! I tend to make hacks that are not flashy at all, but I do think they improve the respective games. :p

azoreseuropa: I have yet to play it seriously on my Mega Drive, but I plan to improve it eventually. :) (I have memories from a quick testing where the aircraft level's boss was rather tedious for exemple.)
« Last Edit: February 04, 2020, 08:05:19 pm by Zimgief »