I'm new here so... hi all!
For two years I have been strongly associated with the tetris scene for the NES console. Apart from being a hardcore player (including a two-time vice-champion of Poland — 2019 and 2020) with a few maxouts achieved. So far, I've played around 50,000 games, most in NTSC version. I also created software for the Polish Championship — on the daily basis I deal with programming applications for Windows, using Lazarus.
I love classic Tetris, but after such a long time with NES Tetris, I'm really sick of this goddamn game. Mainly due to a defective and unfair randomizer, which makes the record breaking very long, but also because of wasting time watching animations (Game Genie helps) and many more. Besides, this game has many bugs, and the PAL version is too short due to the wrong translation of the gravity speeds. Meh...
That being said, I had the idea to improve this game and make it stop being annoying. However, considering that I have no knowledge and virtually no experience with hacking ROMs, I'd like to ask if any of you would be willing to spend your time implementing patches. Is there anyone here who would like to create a hack? The modification would apply to both versions of the game (PAL and NTSC).
- Unify the DAS — the charging time of the DAS and the automatic shift after charging should be the same for both versions. DAS should work in both versions as it originally works in PAL (in NTSC it should be a bit faster). I was able to do it.
- Acceleration of soft-drop — this change will allow you to drop blocks faster, also at level 19. I did it for both versions.
- Improve gravity in PAL — this modification concerns the recalculation of the fall time of blocks at all levels, which will allow the game to be of a length comparable to the NTSC version. Done and tested.
The above changes were quite easy to implement, because they only required replacing a few values. I've played a lot of such modified versions and the experience is much more enjoyable. Unfortunately, other more or less important corrections cannot be made by me due to lack of knowledge and experience. Below what would be desired (random order):
- Changing the randomizer algorithm — the current randomizer is junk, it should be replaced with something like a 7-bag (something like that, as the typical 7-bag would be too easy). I have a better algorithm developed, but I do not know how much memory is available in RAM, so I will not give details for now.
- Improved transition detection — now, as a result of a bug, the transition from level 18 to 19 is done after clearing 130 lines instead of 190. Start levels 10 to 19 are affected by this problem - transition line calculations are incorrect and shorten the gameplay.
- Determining initial seed — this is required for both players to have the same set of tetrominoes in tournament matches. Such a modification has already been prepared by one of the players — a seed in the form of six hexadecimal characters is selected on the title screen. Don't know about the IPS patch, I only got the ROM on Discord.
- Adding some counters during gameplay — a TRT and BRN counter would be very useful, as well as remembering transition score (transition to level 19, not the first transition). There is already a hack with such functionality.
- Adding hard-drop functionality — this function would be very useful for speedruns and could be assigned to the up arrow, just like in From Below game (homebrew), but without the ghost-tetromino.
- Curtain animation removal — the point is that after reaching the topout, the stack remains visible all the time until the start button is pressed.
- Removal of all animations — I'm talking about rocket animations and summary animations after a successful Type-B game.
- Removal of the demo — the demo should not be run on the title screen so that you can enter initial seed slowly and accurately.
- Add menu on pause screen — when the game is paused, the screen goes black and should contain a resume and reset menu. The reset option should allow you to reset the game so as not to waste time on an intentional topout.
- Preview of pressed buttons — preview in the form of a mini-controller should be allways visible during gameplay, which will make it easier to detect cheaters.
- Support of 7-digit score counter — some of the above-mentioned changes will make it possible to obtain scores well above the million-point barrier, so it would be good if such scores could be displayed in the form of number (without letters, like currently with a special Game Genie code).
- Redesigning the game interface and layout — Currently, the game looks poor, so it fits to improve the graphics to make it look modern (minimalist dark theme).
The game also has a few bugs and shortcomings that should be fixed:
- Calculating the transition lines — mentioned above.
- The level meter goes crazy — reaching level around 32, the level number starts to get messy.
- Blocked tiles — by placing a piece vertically in such a way that it does not fit on the screen (at the early levels) and then cleaning a few lines to lower the stack, in the second invisible row from the top tiles are seized, which means that when the next piece appears and rotated to vertical, it cannot be moved to the side of the playfield. Only when a few rows fall, it is possible to shift it. I discovered this bug recently while trying to maxout from level 0.
That's probably all. I don't know what of the above-mentioned things can be done and if anyone would like to do it — it's just a wish list. For my part, I can offer information on the changes that I have introduced so far, designing and creating a new layout, as well as comprehensive testing of the modified versions (PAL and NTSC). I know it's a lot of work, but it won't hurt to try and find people.
I don't know if this is a good place for this post, because I would prefer to start my own thread and look for people in it, but I'm new here and I don't know what is right and what is not. Ok, if anyone is interested, please reply. If anyone has any questions or suggestions, I'd love to hear them.