I am wondering how to animate the action of an NES avatar shooting a rope, horizontally and vertically. Like Spider-Man and Batman, the idea would be for the rope to emanate from the player sprite and "travel" through space to some target or max distance, then pull the player to the target. Essentially, a rudimentary grappling hook that could travel potentially the length of the screen.
My initial thought is to simply draw a series of "rope" sprites that spawn one after another until a wall, ceiling or other obstacle is detected. But this would almost certainly cause flickering in the horizontal direction. That's not a deal-breaker, but I am wondering if there's a better way.
In Battletoads level 2, there is an elegant vertical rope mechanic that is as if tethered above the screen while allowing the player to swing from side to side. In Rygar, there are multiple instances where static ropes are spawned, vertically and diagonally. I suspect the actual background tiles are changed in Rygar, due to their fixed locations in the game.
For a first pass, I would be happy to have strictly vertical and strictly horizontal ropes. Are sprites my best bet?