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Old 17 February 2016, 13:02   #1
earok
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Wonderboy in Monster Land SE

Canon URL for this project is http://earok.net/game/wonderboy-monster-land-se


To-Do List
Further palette tweaks?
Sprite replacement (esp. Skeletons)
ADF version (with trainer?)
HD versions


Done List
New palette
Altered viewport
Blue Button jump
CD32 ISO (in the Zone)


======================

Argh, I keep starting new projects!

Since it's a straight ST port, the palette is really drab. I've been working to try and get it as close to the original as possible (bearing in mind there's much fewer colours than the arcade machine had, so I've had to compromise here and there). Reds are fully red. Greens, browns, whites and blues are more vibrant.

Original is on the left, demo of the palette hacks are on the right.

Not really sure what else I could do with it. I haven't been successful with tweaking the controls (second button jump) so far.


Last edited by earok; 21 October 2016 at 10:44.
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Old 17 February 2016, 13:07   #2
s2325
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Nice work I think sand in hourglass should be blue.
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Old 17 February 2016, 13:16   #3
Amigajay
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Yeah the sky is much nice to your eyes in your tweaked version, overall it looks bolder elsewhere too, i prefer it!
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Old 17 February 2016, 13:22   #4
jbenam
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I played Wonder Boy in Monster Land to death on Amiga (and every other platform ) when I was a kid. It's an awesome game - your SE will be a good excuse to play it again
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Old 17 February 2016, 13:40   #5
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Still a lousy port compared to the PC-Engine or Master System versions. Nice colors though.
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Old 17 February 2016, 13:48   #6
s2325
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Is it possible to recolor gray background into sky blue to make illusion of bigger playfield?

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Old 17 February 2016, 14:31   #7
Amigajay
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If you change the light grey it would change the life, score etc boxes to blue too?
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Old 17 February 2016, 15:03   #8
jbenam
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IMHO it'd be really confusing to see enemies appear out-of-the-blue (pun intended) in the mid of the screen like that
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Old 17 February 2016, 15:21   #9
Shatterhand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro-Nerd View Post
Still a lousy port compared to the PC-Engine or Master System versions. Nice colors though.
That's what I thought too. It would be great if its problems were just the palette.

Quote:
If you change the light grey it would change the life, score etc boxes to blue too?
I think it could still look good anyway
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Old 17 February 2016, 15:27   #10
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They're now like clickable buttons.
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Old 17 February 2016, 15:39   #11
Amigajay
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lol yeah its ok but another problem is the border around the game area is white and black you would have to change those to blue otherwise the border would still be there, and changing those two would be a no no!
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Old 17 February 2016, 15:50   #12
dlfrsilver
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the palette is now exactly like the ST one. The Amiga palette had been wrongly calculated from the start, hence the crap tones of colors.
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Old 17 February 2016, 15:50   #13
dlfrsilver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earok View Post
Argh, I keep starting new projects!

Since it's a straight ST port, the palette is really drab. I've been working to try and get it as close to the original as possible (bearing in mind there's much fewer colours than the arcade machine had, so I've had to compromise here and there). Reds are fully red. Greens, browns, whites and blues are more vibrant.

Original is on the left, demo of the palette hacks are on the right.

Not really sure what else I could do with it. I haven't been successful with tweaking the controls (second button jump) so far.


The arcade machine never display more than 64 colors.
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Old 17 February 2016, 17:57   #14
Shatterhand
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I gave the original amiga game a quickly go right now.

Pressing space to enter doors is really stupid.

Not what really kills me is that there's no reason why this isn't running at a better framerate other than "shoddy Atari ST port". I could live with the badly sampled directed from arcade SFX, and everything else is not that bad when comparing to the arcade version. If the small playing area is acceptable, if the game was running at 50 fps, which should had been.

It's a shame the SMS version is actually better than this.
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Old 17 February 2016, 18:05   #15
dlfrsilver
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the game is that slow because at 99% the game is converting real time the ST graphics.
Or something has not been converted correctly in the code.
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Old 17 February 2016, 18:30   #16
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Whoa, wasn't expecting such a response this quickly, thanks guys

@s2325 That's a cool idea, however problem is that grey is shared with other things, primarily the tree background and the cloud shading. This is what it would actually look like.

(Left is pure sky blue, right is compromise where blue is very close to gray. I'm assuming of course that removing the border is in my technical ability of course)

Also included a SMS screenshot to show the playfield is actually wider than SMS version, albeit not quite as tall (SMS seems to have better use of the playfield though, particularly camera positioning. I might look at that as well..)



@dlfrsilver I believe that (arcade is 64 colours), however the Amiga version appears to be running in 16 colours. Increasing the colour depth to 64 (EHB or AGA etc) is beyond my technical ability and it'd make the game slower than it already is, which brings me to..


The Blitter. If you play the game in WinUAE with immediate blitter, it's silky smooth (actually runs too fast). So I think the game is using the blitter inefficiently, also means (I think) that it'll run equally slow no matter how powerful your Amiga is.

I might need to ask an expert if the blit stuff can be optimised..
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Old 17 February 2016, 19:20   #17
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Some technical info about the palette hacks for anyone interested:

The palettes appear to be the original Atari ST ones, where you can use the values 0-7 for each of the RGB channels. So white would be:

Code:
$0777
(The leading 0 so the value is word-aligned)

The game doubles the values when it loads them. Which results in:

Code:
$0EEE
However, this isn't pure white - pure white on an Amiga would be $0FFF, so you can see in the original left screenshot that the text is slightly gray.

If, instead they had used this value:

Code:
$07FF
It doubles to $0FFE - very close to pure white. The trick is that I've bumped the values in the G and B column to being above 7, so when it doubles it carries the 1 across to the next column.



(If you're wondering why I didn't simply remove the line that doubles the palette values and enter the correct values directly, I did that at first but then found there were certain palettes that I couldn't find - such as on the title screen - which meant those areas became dark)
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Old 17 February 2016, 19:24   #18
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*if* it can be optimised, I'd guess a lot of games could be a lot better. I am not the best guy to say this, but I don't think this is an easy thing to do.

It's funny to look at a longplay of this on youtube and the game is incredibly smooth, probably because it's emulated like you stated. So I guess even to compare with the Atari ST version, I'd have to play on real hardware.

And it looks really weird with that blue/grey shared, since it looks like the tree is transparent or something. I personally think the background still looks pretty good even with they grayblueish color, but anything else that uses this color may look bad.

This game was *very* popular here in Brazil, because the SMS version was localized using a very famous brazilian comic book character. It was so popular that some versions of the SMS actually came with it as the built-in cartridge.

That's how our brazilian version looked like:

[ Show youtube player ]

Except no brazilan Master System has FM, so it's funny to hear it with FM music
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Old 17 February 2016, 19:29   #19
dlfrsilver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earok View Post
Some technical info about the palette hacks for anyone interested:

The palettes appear to be the original Atari ST ones, where you can use the values 0-7 for each of the RGB channels. So white would be:

Code:
$0777
(The leading 0 so the value is word-aligned)

The game doubles the values when it loads them. Which results in:

Code:
$0EEE
However, this isn't pure white - pure white on an Amiga would be $0FFF, so you can see in the original left screenshot that the text is slightly gray.

If, instead they had used this value:

Code:
$07FF
It doubles to $0FFE - very close to pure white. The trick is that I've bumped the values in the G and B column to being above 7, so when it doubles it carries the 1 across to the next column.



(If you're wondering why I didn't simply remove the line that doubles the palette values and enter the correct values directly, I did that at first but then found there were certain palettes that I couldn't find - such as on the title screen - which meant those areas became dark)
So it's once again the ST palette shit fail !

i was sure it was wrong since day 1. I owned the original on Atari ST, and the palette was right, nothing like the shit palette the programmer woman used on the amiga version !
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Old 17 February 2016, 19:36   #20
s2325
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AGA version simulation for personal amusement:

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