[Graphics/Technical] [MD/GEN] Universal Soldier hacking into Turrican II

Started by Wesker, July 01, 2019, 06:45:59 PM

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I have always been a little annoyed about what was going to be the Mega Drive/Genesis conversion of Turrican II: The Final Fight and what became of it, cheaply turned into a Universal Soldier movie tie-in because someone at Accolade thought the game would sell better that way.

Some time ago, puzzled by the fact that nobody has ever bothered to hack this game in order to turn it back into Turrican II, I decided to give it a try myself. I'm no hacking expert, but with some helpful tips by fellow member fusaru, I managed to hack the main sprite palette and restore all the Bren Mc Guire sprites from the Amiga version. It took me a while due to the great deal of animation frames it has, especially all the rotatory ones of the lightning whip attack. I also hacked/modified the HUD to make it more Turrican-esque, even thought I wasn't able to bring the Amiga original one in that case due to being completely different. Here you can see the result.

Yeah, looks like Turrican II: The Final Fight now. But unfortunately it's not complete. The game has a great deal of compressed graphics. In fact, pretty much everything is compressed except the Bren Mc Guire sprites and most scenery. It was thanks to this how I was also able to revert some of the cosmetic changes done in the Alien hive level. Most notably, the Alien heads in walls in platforms.

That, along with changing the ending text, was everything I could do before I hit a wall. It's a pity, because the amount of graphics that still need to be replaced are not so big compared to what was done already with the Bren Mc Guire sprite, as most enemies were left intact and the replaced enemies/bosses sprites don't have that much animation frames, but I don't know how to deal with their compression. It would also be necessary to replace the title screen and logo graphics, which also seem to be compressed, but some Asian hack managed to modify them in order to turn the game into some cheap Terminator 3 hack (boy, is this game doomed into Hollywood action movies nightmare), so it must be possible, but I can't figure how.

I don't intend to restore the shoot 'em up stages which were turned into "new" levels on foot, as that would be too much work and my aim is leaving this graphically as much Turricanized as possible. Rearranging the level structure back to the original Turrican II one, since some levels are not in the right sequence (level 1 is level 2, level 2 is level 6, and so on), would also be great, but maybe that's too complicated to attempt as it would be needed to alter the game logic. Same with some rearranging musics which where changed, even though all the Turrican II soundtrack is present within the game.

So I have two choices, either I released this as it is, being some sort of "Turrican in freaking huge Dolph Lundgren's World", or someone please help me dealing with the graphics compression in order to properly finish this. I suppose I can keep restoring Turrican II graphics same as I already did with the Bren Mc Guire and scenery ones, once I know how to do it.


It's a very interesting project!!
Even if the majority of goals are not possible finally, it would be nice to see the original sprites or the title screen back.

It's possible that almost the complete Turrican II game is in the rom. If not the case, you always can do what you can. I encourage you to keep the project going.



Awesome! I always wondered if someone would attempt this.  Looks good so far.

For the compression, have you tried any of the compression tools on this site?  Who knows, you might get lucky.  I might take a look at it myself to see if I can make sense of it.
The great achievement is to lose one's reason for no reason, and to let my lady know that if I can do this without cause, what should I do if there were cause?
     ~Don Quixote~


Hello. I'm glad to see some mostly recent answers. Due to the lack of reception I had in the day, I had this project mostly forgotten. Then with the new trend of the Turrican series thanks to the Anthology releases, I thought I could see if this was still something that could be requested and done.

Sadly, I attempted everything with the compression tools on this site back in the day and got nothing. Seems to be a really weird/strange compression. Considering both this and the first Turrican conversion were done by The Code Monkeys in an unlicensed sort of development due to Accolade still not being an official developer for the Mega Drive back in those days, I'm not surprised this uses a largely undocumented compression method. But I'm not able to desencrypt it myself. I even had the help of furasu, who has done some great graphics hacks for some other Mega Drive games, but he couldn't help me either.

So yeah, I can't proceed with this without any further help. At least the title screen seems possible to edit somehow, due to the existence of those Russian hacks, but I would need some help to figure that too.


Other than the title screen, what graphics do you still need to edit? Also, what programs did you use to find and change graphics?


I've just found this thread, and I've got to say I'm really excited by this. I've always been disappointed that they never properly ported Turrican 2 to the Megadrive/Genesis, really hoping this project gets completed - great work so far!