Author Topic: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land  (Read 9666 times)

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Offline Camm

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Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« on: 03:51, 22 March 11 »
I have been playing Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land, but the game freezes after the mushroom boss is defeated. It seems to be trying to load the next level, but can't.

I have tried various emulators and have downloaded the disk images from various sites, all with the same problem. I also seem to remember the same problem back in the day on original hardware.

Is this a known issue with the game and is there a solution?

Thanks in advance
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #1 on: 04:53, 22 March 11 »
Because it forgot it is not on a speccy but on a CPC...perhaps ?


(Troll off...) :D
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Offline AMSDOS

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #2 on: 12:00, 22 March 11 »
I have been playing Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land, but the game freezes after the mushroom boss is defeated. It seems to be trying to load the next level, but can't.

I have tried various emulators and have downloaded the disk images from various sites, all with the same problem. I also seem to remember the same problem back in the day on original hardware.

Is this a known issue with the game and is there a solution?

Thanks in advance

I vagerally remember that problem happening to me after beating one of the End-of-Level Baddies (probably the mushroom), if it's the disk image from NVG I think it's a problem with the Hack itself which cripples a reasonibly good game (unfortunately if you've downloaded it from a mirror site then the same problem still exists cause it's a copy from NVG). Be great if someone has the original tape/disc and can get it up on ADATE perhaps!  :-[
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Offline Camm

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #3 on: 13:08, 22 March 11 »
As it turns out you have been more than helpful. I had no idea about NVG   and ADATE, and it turns out that the version on NVG is not the same   version I have downloaded elsewhere. The version on NVG successfully   loads the next level after the mushroom boss (have to wait to see if   there are any other level loading issues). There is also a tape image on   ADATE which I haven't tested yet.

A tip with the version on NVG,   after the hack screen loads, change to the 2nd disk image, other wise   it just keeps looping from the hack screen to the title screen.

Thanks again
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Offline dlfrsilver

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #4 on: 00:32, 23 March 11 »
The game is available in original and tape releases at CPC-power website.

This game is buggy and the Interruptions have been badly coded hence the game locking :(

After R-type, SWMB would be a great candidate to be recoded :D !!!
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Offline AMSDOS

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #5 on: 10:24, 23 March 11 »
The game is available in original and tape releases at CPC-power website.

This game is buggy and the Interruptions have been badly coded hence the game locking :(

After R-type, SWMB would be a great candidate to be recoded :D !!!

Hmm, no I cannot say that I've encountered those problems when I was playing it, the only thing I was disappointed about was the graphics, I've also played this game on a Sega Master System, which demonstrates how it should have looked on a CPC! Though the Loading System was the main fault after I got past a certain level, which wouldn't let you proceed, perhaps it was one of those games which was dodgy at first on NVG and then updated with a fixed version. Isn't the first time I've encountered that since I had downloaded a few games from it back in 1996!  ::)
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Offline spybro

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #6 on: 11:07, 23 March 11 »
Once upon a time i had the exact same problem
the dsk  in TACGR was the answer to my problem
as that copy plays well all the way
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Offline AMSDOS

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #7 on: 11:18, 23 March 11 »
Once upon a time i had the exact same problem
the dsk  in TACGR was the answer to my problem
as that copy plays well all the way

TACGR is actually a frontend to the games on NVG  ;D  Nich's CPC Game Reviews page also patches to the games on NVG!  ;D  Will have to check this out!  :-[
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Offline spybro

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #8 on: 11:42, 23 March 11 »

TACGR is actually a frontend to the games on NVG  ;D  Nich's CPC Game Reviews page also patches to the games on NVG!  ;D  Will have to check this out!  :-[


thats exactly what i had done back then(ages ago)
i had posted the exact same problem on a forum for cpc(do not remember which) and TACGR dsk was proposed to me
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Offline mahlemiut

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #9 on: 22:44, 23 March 11 »
I could forgive the monochrome graphics in SWBML to some extent, if the game was fun to play.  Unfortunately, it's far too slow to keep me interested.  Music is awesome, though. :)
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Offline Capper

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #10 on: 01:48, 24 March 11 »
The original Spectrum version had a copy-protection system bulit into it by the programmer to defeat multiface copying. Seeing as the Amstrad version was produced by the same people I wouldn't be surprised if there's something similar in there that's causing people a few problems.
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Offline AMSDOS

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #11 on: 04:14, 24 March 11 »
Yes I had another go of it again last night and I got up to the Baddie who will set you free if you correctly tell him what he had for dinner last night, "Chicken" being the correct answer, it took me two guesses and he kills you instantly if you give him the wrong answer!
 
I think it's a good game, though like Wonderboy it suffers Graphically, though in some regards the detailed graphics are quite good, it's letdown being lack of colour. It appears the issue I originally had with the game has been resolved cause I clearly got much further into the game.
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #12 on: 19:37, 24 March 11 »
Quote
it suffers Graphically
I always find this anoying to get the same monochromatic Speccy Version...
Monochromatic games on Speccy are a mean to get rid of colour clashes...
But on CPC this don't even give Extra playability.

The only good part is that we have masked Sprites with another colour...
Yet the CPC version is even only in 3 colours...

And a bad colour choice actually...
Light cyan ? and white ???
This is far from warm.


If someone can hack it... and give me access to graphics Datas...
And if it is not some sort of Speccyport dickery (=Graphics properly re-coded in Mode1... not 1bit Datas + "emulation) then I could perhaps give it more colours in 1 WeekEnd of work...

The shame is that with better graphics the game would upgrade be from Decent to Good.
Despite slow playability... the Gameplay and concept is good enough.


Ok I give it a look on WibnApe to try to see if graphics are 1 bit or 2 bits...

mmm...
With the Find graphics option, I manage to get the sprites in Mode1 in the CPC Ram.
Seems they use 2 ink in black.
Perhaps one is for display and the other is for Sprites Masking.

So yep, they probably just didn't bothered to really re-touch graphics but recoded them in 2bpp and altered a bit the code, the game was probably ported in 2 weeks... perhaps even less. ;D


I know such kind of game would need a proper engine...
But if only changing the graphics Data could patch it a bit, this may be an easy maneuver and repair a bit 20years of fail.
 


Post Edit :
Ok I tried to use the paint-brush from the find graphics window in WinApe...
I recoloured some parts of the Hero's sprite...

guess What ?
It worked !!!
The game run as normal, but with the sword and the face of the hero in Light Cyan...


The main problem...
I have some issues to get my hands ont the Background tiles (get them displayed clearly in the RAM map...).

Also the Colour choice is far from being optimal.


But this looks like an actually fast job to achieve...

So my quest for a programmer to look a bit at this for me is open.
I mean, this may not be that simple too...
Gotta see if the Datas stored on the disk are also 2BPP or if the CPC convert them from 1BPP when it loads in RAM.
« Last Edit: 20:37, 24 March 11 by MacDeath »
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Offline Camm

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #13 on: 16:06, 25 March 11 »
Yeah I haven't had any problems with the NVG dsk, and managed to play the game to the end (which was not easy lol).

@MacDeath - I must admit to having the same thoughts as you, this is a good game that was spoiled to some extent by the graphics mode and palette choice. It would be great if something clever could be done to improve these issues.

Are you able to edit the palette?

Edit: Looking at disk 2 in Tile Layer Pro the tiles appear to be 1BPP, however I can't identify the sprites on the disk and I would assume they have to be stored as 2BPP because the masking color would be required along with the other 2 colors. So it should be possible at least to hack the sprites to use 4 colors, ie. 3 colors plus the masking color. 

Another thing that will improve the look of the sprites is to remove (using the masking color) the white outline, trimming it back so the existing black is actually the outline.

I am not sure what tools you use for hacking things like palettes and tiles around here. I have experience hacking SMS and NES roms, but I am a complete noob when it comes to hacking CPC disk images  ;)

 
« Last Edit: 19:33, 25 March 11 by Camm »
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Offline AMSDOS

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #14 on: 01:06, 26 March 11 »
My only concern when changing Screen Mode so more colours are available is the detail is suddenly lost!  :(  Twin Worlds (from UBI Software) is a prime example of how something done in mode 1 looks really cool in 4 colours. The programmers in that case though have split the colour up between the playing screen and the control panel which sits below, which is going to be a problem with SWBIML because the panel is all around the playing screen! A simular trick was used in the original Wonderboy too which has the control panel up top in another set of colours from the playing screen! In SWBIML perhaps alternative colouring can be used when entering the shops too, the difficult bit is the levels which seem to have a graphical backdrop, I don't recall Twin Worlds having this. Otherwise if games like Twin Worlds can look good using a right combination of colours (4 colours on playing screen remember!  ;D ), then SWBIML should be able to look good!  :-\
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #15 on: 03:06, 26 March 11 »
I thin ksuch cute little game can be good enough in Mode1...
Or else you must completely do a brand new Engine.

So the Backgrounds may be 1BPP while the Sprites are Pure Mode1...

Erk... Needd to be confirmed, but this may explain why the game is that slow...
Need to translate "Mode2" Tiles into Mode1... such a classical way...


Anyway, I though having 4 colours for Background and 3 colours for Sprites (so a total of 4 colours) would be good enough to get something... cuter.

Ok I tested the "alter sprites" method on WinApe

the main problem is :
Palette (inks) is as follow :

Ink0 :  black (used for mask)
Ink1 : black
Ink2 : Blue
Ink3 : White.

By puting ink 0 on sprite I get masked zone...
I tried with the Deathriper (boss) and it got the tiles layer...


If tiles (background) are coded in Mode2 this is quite a problem.

I cannot noobilishly change the inks...
So in Mode2 "find graphics" display I get 2 Black... only black !

one good way may be to change the first ink into something else so it can be displayed.


But... If I can only get more coloured sprites and still the shitty monochrome Background, there is no point IMO...

Tiles in 1bpp enable twice the tiles for as much Data... but on the other hand I suppose the CPU have to work far more (to convert into 2bpp...) so... suggish game.
But it fit the Ram.


Is it a 64K Ram game or a 128K ?

64 I think...
Anyway, this hack may be more difficult after all than What I would expect. :'(
« Last Edit: 04:00, 26 March 11 by MacDeath »
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Offline Camm

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #16 on: 05:37, 26 March 11 »
Ok I have been hacking around with the tiles in Tile Layer Pro, and then testing edited disk 2 images in the game, to get a better understanding of what is happening.

The background tiles and menu tiles are all stored in 1BPP, however the background tiles use black and blue when loaded into ram, and the menu uses black and white when loaded into ram. So on the disk, the background tiles and menu are just the same 2 colors, it is the way they are loaded that changes what color they are.

I still can't find the sprite tiles. Obviously Tile Layer Pro doesn't have the right encoding to view CPC 2BPP sprite tiles (it does have several 2BPP viewing modes, but none of them turn anything up).

What do people usually use around here to edit sprite tiles on dsk images?
« Last Edit: 06:57, 26 March 11 by Camm »
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #17 on: 14:56, 26 March 11 »
With WinApe you have a few functions to find graphics in RAM.

See attached picture..


As some one told, I dislike the white Halo on sprites.
This was often used in monochrome Speccy Graphics so the sprite is less mixed with the Background, but as on CPC the sprites can have a different colour (or even more than 2 colours) this become useless.


Also someone told the graphics are detailed...
let's jsut say the pixels are small... but I don't think detailed is accurate word.

the 1bpp dither os often terrible.
Having less colours is not having more details IMO.

I also made a rough spritesheet.
Perhaps there are some more sprites, I don't know, this was taken from the RAM during 1st lvl only.

Also I perhaps found a solution to find the 1bpp graphics in RAM...
during the menu, the game actually uses 4 colours (Green, blue and b&W...)
So I can get the Mode2 displayed in 2 colours.

I gotta check this...


Just a question.
This game seems to be 2 sides ?
WTF ?
Are there so many multiloads ?
What do they put in this ?




« Last Edit: 16:54, 26 March 11 by MacDeath »
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #18 on: 16:18, 26 March 11 »
Sorry for double post.

I also tried to get the tiles but this is a bit messy...

They seem inverted in colours so I re-inverted them.

Also being mode2, they display in 1x2 pixels...

Pic Tile11 is rough with only colour invert...

Tile22 redim is proberly scaled into 1x1 pixels...This looks better.

Anyway, a proper hack would need the Fano method.

If they ported this way... it is most probably because of lazyness...
But alos because as a Tape 464 version (probably) the RAM was too short (and multiload to boring) so having the tiles in 2Bpp would be twice the amount of Datas...

Masked sprites is another problem.
1bpp sprites + 1bpp mask = 2bpp... so they could just use one of the 4 inkls to get the mask for the same Data space.
(yet one additionnal colour would have not hurt...grrrrr.....)

So.
2 solutions.

=64K RAM version on disk : you simply load only the tiles needed per level... even only the sprites neeeded pêr level (if possible) and you gain some space.
=128k Ram : screw this I want my graphics fully 2bpp !

Using only real Mode1 graphic, depsite using more RAM, use certainly far less CPU to convert them... so the gain is a faster game with actually coloured stuffs.

But core parts of the Engine have to be replaced/patched anyway...


Anyway the code is far too speccied to be efficient in anyway on a good old CPC.

Also the scxreen is completely un-CPC friendly.

small ok...
But I mean HUD could have been horizontal so a bit of rasters could even be possible (BlackTiger or RType...)... and perhaps a larger gamearea...erf...

The version I tried on emulator is sluggish, laggy and buggy as hell...
I should try more dumped versions on my real Hardware to check the real thing...

Also there a rough mockup...



« Last Edit: 16:51, 26 March 11 by MacDeath »
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Offline Camm

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #19 on: 19:47, 26 March 11 »


How did you change the palette here? I have been playing around in Winape, but from what I can see the disk image itself needs to be edited. Any info here would be appreciated :)
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #20 on: 00:38, 27 March 11 »
MacDeath is the master of mockups around here... :)
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #21 on: 00:55, 27 March 11 »
Quote
How did you change the palette here?
Simple...
I didn't used WinApe...

I took a screenshot from CPCpowers...
And changed the colours with Paint.net (you can use the Gimp or Photoshoop too...)

I have set the CPC palette into my Paint.net (also the EGA palette for when I want a simplified Amstrad PLUS palette...)

Because of the low resolution and low colour number, you don't have a lot of details to check.
But I only recoloured roughly... a redesign would imply to redraw the sprites (or tiles) a bit more...

And yes, I wish I'd knew of to change the palette in the code/game... That why I was asking for a Hacker here... just in case.


With Fano (he's busy) there were 2 old games patched in order to get rid a bit of graphical limitations of the past (in this case speccy's limitations, sort of).

Most speccy ports may get the same job as Fano's Job (and his team) on R-Type...

But a simplified job...
No need to re-do the game that entirely (of course this is better).
Just actually use the CPC6128 adventages...
Fast Disk Drive and 128K Ram...
To clean off some remaining ZX spectrum Graphic codes.

Well R-Type was a case of brilliant speccy code... so it can be salvaged betterly for a CPC version...

Games like SuperWonderboy or BlackTiger on the other hand... are not that great even on Speccy.
(couldn't get proper videos...perhaps I should try to run them on my speccy+2... :'( )

But hey, getting the source code would be quite better indeeed.. (be it the speccy source...) and knowing the function of pieces of codes.

So to get only palette changed and sprites in 3 colours... ok this can be simple.
Getting a proper Background Tiles-set... and the game a bit faster... perhaps trickier.

An exemple of poor speccy port : BlackTiger...
The sprites are obviously masked... = they have a seconde masking spriteset... so the sprite is actually already in 2bpp I suppose...on spectrum.
But the game also use a raster colour change for the HUD to display perhaps 6 colours on screen... useless CPU ressource then.
And wrong way.
Why did they tried to had more colours while the game remains in 2 colours ???

Certainly to get the Speccy version ported in 2 weeks at best. :-\

Same here with superWonderBoy... but they didn't tried to get more colours, just getting the sprites a different colours... yet the game remains sluggish...
 
PErhaps even a 3-Day speccyport... >:(
« Last Edit: 01:08, 27 March 11 by MacDeath »
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Offline Camm

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #22 on: 09:12, 29 March 11 »
I managed to figure out how to change the Palette/Inks on the disk.

If anyone wants to hack around with it, here is how to do it:

The dsk images that I am using are the working version of the game (no loading problems) and can be downloaded here:
http://museo8bits.es/cpc/games/arcade/superwon.zip or at NVG. If you are playing this version, you have to change to disk 2 once the crack screen comes up.

Use a hex editor, (I use MiTeC HexEdit http://www.mitec.cz/Downloads/HEXEdit.zip ) and open up disk 2. Edit: Discovered that with some versions, the palette info is stored in disk 1, so check both.

Search for 14 14 13 0B or 1414130B . These 4 hex numbers are the 4 colors used and appear in sequence in only 1 place on the disk (If you are using MiTec HexEdit, then make sure when you are searching that you un-check the "Find Text" option).

You can now change any of these 4 numbers, using the following table as a reference (0 is zero):

0B    Bright White
00    White (Grey)
14    Black

16   Green
02   Sea Green
12   Bright Green
19   Pastel Green
1A   Lime

06   Cyan
13   Bright Cyan
1B   Pastel Cyan

04   Blue
15   Bright Blue
17   Sky Blue
1F   Pastel Blue

18   Magenta
0D   Bright Magenta
0F   Pastel Magenta
1D   Mauve
05   Purple

1C   Red
0C   Bright Red
07    Pink

0E   Orange

1E   Yellow
0A   Bright Yellow
03   Pastel Yellow

These numbers are the hardware colors with 40 subtracted from them (thanks to arnoldemu for the tip on that one)

Once you have made your changes, save the file,  then run the game. If you have problems saving the file, it is probably just because the emulator is using the same file, so just close the emulator.

I am not sure what the best color combination is for this game, but there has to be something better than Bright Cyan, Bright White and Black. I would be interested to see some screen shots of what people come up with (if anyone is interested). It is probably a useful technique that will work on other games also. It is just a matter of figuring out what to search for.

Here is a comparison of a quick palette mod I did, where I changed Bright Cyan to a softer Pastel Cyan, which is much easier on the eyes when playing the game. Of course the other colors can be changed as well including some interesting results when the 2 black colors are changed to something different from each other.

Orignal Palette



Changed Palette



« Last Edit: 07:07, 30 March 11 by Camm »
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #23 on: 10:37, 29 March 11 »
Indeed - so small a change, but so nice. Who knows, maybe they chose it because it looks better on a real or green monitor?
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: Super Wonder Boy in Monster Land
« Reply #24 on: 15:23, 29 March 11 »
are you sure about the palette change ?

I would believe the darker colour was the change.
Quote
Indeed - so small a change, but so nice. Who knows, maybe they chose it because it looks better on a real or green monitor?
More like pure lazyness in order to do the port in 1 week.

The only changes are the intro and menu pages (in colours)...
And the sprites were coded in 2bpp so you get rid of the masking system and use a more CPC friendly colour mask.
This also enable to get the sprites in another colour so you minor a bit the monocolour feeling, the sprite are more visible...

What Else ? certainly nothing more.


A game such as blacktiger is still using the masked sprites, hence it remains mnocolour (shittier port)...
But on the other hand they added a Raster so the HUD is in even more colours... and the game is even slowlier.

A game such as Strider on the other hand benefit from the 2 approaches...
The srite are 2bpp, and are actually properly recolored (3colours+mask) but the Background is still 1bpp too.
Also the raster is used to get a coloured HUD (better than Blacktiger).
Concerning the sprite, it was still done simply (what else in only 3 colours ?) and perhaps used a bit of inspiration from the PC Dos CGA version...

A game such as Heroquest also feature 1bpp stuffs (the texts and "scroll like" texte windows...
But as the Isometric system need a lot of maks, they recoded all graphics into 2bpp (1bpp graphic + 1bpp mask = 2bpp...) yet it was still done roughly...
Hence the monocolour graphics in 3 colours+mask.
This is far simpler than to properly recolour the graphics with more subtle colours system.
Yet a game like Heroquest need to be Mode1... the graphics need to be detailed.


I'm into looking at such game in Winape theses times.


As many of those games are designed for a 64K config... you must retains the existing Data space.
So to get the Background into 2bpp would be simply too much... but with a 128k computer this may be far easier, yet need to lurk more deep into the code.


Anyway...
Games like Superwonderboy can even only benefit from just having sprites with 3 colours.

Blacktiger should simply get rid of the raster And get 2bpp sprites...
Strider...well... we'll see later.

I'm looking for variation of Heroquest graphics.
I launched a topic at CPCrulez.(french)


I'm sure there is a way to simply patch existing speccy port and, well not make them that great : if the game is average at start it won't get that better like R-Type which was the best Speccy game ever...

But anyway, getting actual colours for the sprites and a better speed (get rid of useless rasters) is still better than before and may turn the shitty game into an half-decent game.


other stuff :
Sabrin a and Bionic commando : the sprites are inverted in colours...
Also Bionic commando still have Attribute clashes... this one in beyond any repair, lol...

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