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Old 09 June 2011, 22:05   #1
laffer
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Last Ninja Acorn Archimedes longplay

EDIT - I figured I'd post the link here as well, in case people don't feel like reading the whole thread to get to it... I finished the Last Ninja Archimedes longplay today and uploaded it on Youtube, here's the link -

[ Show youtube player ]

Had to add all the sound effects (and music of course as well, but that wasn't much work at all) manually, if you read the posts in this thread you can find the explanation why that is... but suffice to say, it was a lot of work and I don't think I'll ever be doing that again.

Here's a picture of the project in Premiere Pro, with all the sound effects manually added -



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Original, old post -

Working on a longplay here, Last Ninja for the Acorn Archimedes... I can't find even small gameplay clips of this game on Youtube and I have longplays of pretty much every other LN port on there, so I really want to get this one up.

Anyway, this is the most work I've ever had with a longplay - the fighting system in the game sucks, there's no way to become good at it - you can basically hit and block.
When you block, you don't take any damage... however, the thing is - you can't tell when an enemy is about to attack and then block - the moment the enemy initiates an attack, you lose health immediately.
Also, their attack patterns are completely random, so it's really down to luck how much damage you end up taking in each fight.

Of course, the emulator doesn't support savestates
So what I ended up doing was installing the emulator in XP in VMWare, and I'm using the option in VMWare to make savestates of the full system... which then includes the emulator.
It takes quite a while to load and save the states this way of course, seeing as it saves the full system every time.

To make matters worse, whenever I load one of those states, the music in the game speeds up for a few seconds.
My first thought was to turn off the music and manually add it to the video after I'm done recording.

However, you can't disable the music

It does pause for a few seconds whenever the tune restarts (there's only one tune in the whole game), so what I did was - I used this little timeframe to record the sound effects only, without music.

So now that I have the music and sound effects recorded, whenever I finish recording a level, I add the music and every sound effect manually in Premiere Pro

This is going to take a while

If anyone knows of any way to actually play this game well (I really can't see how it's possible though), please let me know as soon as possible... I'd much rather practice and record the whole game normally without doing any of this stuff.

Last edited by laffer; 01 July 2011 at 01:27.
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Old 10 June 2011, 00:26   #2
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Haha, I applaud your effort!
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Old 10 June 2011, 00:53   #3
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Good luck!
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Old 10 June 2011, 01:23   #4
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The biggest problem is the video is a little bit choppy... the emulator doesn't have any recording options and it doesn't use DirectX or whatever is required for FRAPS to work... so I have to use a crappy desktop recorder (Camtasia).

But it's not that bad, I don't think it hurts the longplay very much.

I just hope I won't get hopelessly stuck - this version is quite different from any other version of the game, more so than any other port... it has new items (that I have no idea what are for yet) and things like that. And I can't find any guides online, this version is pretty obscure - I guess because there weren't any floppy images of it until relatively recently.

Just finished recording level 1, this is a lot of work... which was really the main reason I posted about it here to begin with, now I have a bit of pressure to finish it
I was actually stuck for a while at the end of the first level, where you need to use one of the bombs to get rid of that dragon there (same as in the other versions)... I finally got it but you have to be pixel perfect in where you stand when throwing... literally.

Last edited by laffer; 10 June 2011 at 01:34.
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Old 10 June 2011, 07:15   #5
Maccara
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Since you doing this in vmware, is there a capture option in vmware? (would simplify a bit)

Not sure if there is (or if I'm mixing with some else virtualization software), but might be worth to check out.
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Old 10 June 2011, 08:53   #6
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There is a capture option in VMWare but it's not suited for recording games... it doesn't give a good framerate at all and it doesn't seem to want to capture sound, either.
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Old 10 June 2011, 09:09   #7
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I'm probably gonna be of no use, but I'm gonna go ahead and ask questions anyway.

Have you been playing the demo on RPCEmu? I've done so, and my god, the keyboard controls are complete shit. I don't know if they can be redefined, because I honestly couldn't play the Archimedes demo with such a terrible layout. I could move around okay enough and kill the first baddie, but I couldn't for the sake of my life figure out how to pick up that goddamned sword! It was that bad!

Demo did have a mouse option, but I couldn't figure out how to get that to work. If you did, I really wanna know.

You must have had the patience of a saint to get through the first level, because I gave up on that fucking demo just a few minutes in it!
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Old 10 June 2011, 09:17   #8
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You can define the keys in the full version so the controls aren't a problem.

However - in the PC verison of Last Ninja 1, which I recorded a long time ago now, the controls are *awful* - possibly the worst I've ever encountered.
Recording that game was pure hell.

It's a bit hard to explain but I'll try - you use the numpad, and pressing a direction makes the ninja run until you press a key to make him stop.
This makes it very difficult when jumping on little rocks across rivers and such.

But the worst problem was how you turn the ninja - as I mentioned, you use the numpad keys... but they seem to operate rather like a joystick in that you can't just press left to turn left, for instance.

Instead of trying to explain how it works, I'll rather give an example of what you have to press to turn from facing north to facing south - if 8 is north and 2 is south, and you're facing north... you have to press 9,6,3,2 or 7,4,1,2.
In other words, you have to do the full 'circle' on the numpad to turn... combined with the ninja running in the direction you press until you stop him, this is REALLY frustrating to play.

It's very hard to describe just how bad this is, if you want to experience it firsthand, you can download the PC version here -
http://lastninja.lemon64.com/dl_pc.php

Here's the first part of that longplay, if you want to watch me struggle
[ Show youtube player ]

I practiced a lot before recording though so it doesn't look nearly (!) as frustrating as it is.
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Old 10 June 2011, 09:26   #9
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Wait... what?

I thought you were talking about the Acorn Archimedes version of the game. Was there ever a full version of the game released for that system? I could only get my hands on the Archimedes demo.

And yeah, I've tried the PC versions of both LN games. The less said about those two ports, the better.
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Old 10 June 2011, 09:28   #10
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Yes, there is a full version out there now... I sent some guy here my original floppies ages ago, I suppose maybe he made an image and uploaded it... in any case, it's possible to find online now but it wasn't until relatively recently.

I never got the floppies back though, I guess he forgot

I'd up it to the zone but it's the equivalent of IPF images on Amiga so I'm not sure if that would be allowed? Maybe a mod could reply letting me know whether or not it would be OK.

You sound like you're interested in LN games so this is one you should definitely check out - it's the most different out of all the ports I've tried (and I think I've played them all ), despite the bad fighting system, it's still very interesting to have a look at.

Last edited by laffer; 10 June 2011 at 09:39.
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Old 10 June 2011, 09:43   #11
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That's nice to hear.

Even so, I hate that demo so much cause of the shitty controls and my apparent inability to pick up that bloody sword.

I don't know if you were able to redefine the keyboard controls, or if you could get the mouse to work in there, because I couldn't do either. I don't know which emulator you used, because I played it on RPCEmu.

You must be a very patient man, because I would have given up in just 3 minutes!

To be honest, I'm not really that interested in LN, but I still love the first two titles. Even with its problems, they're solid games, and they still hold up well even today. Well.... only on the C64. On any other system, it just feels like blasphemy to me. I never really liked the 3rd one, though.

Last edited by switchblade; 10 June 2011 at 09:50.
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Old 10 June 2011, 09:56   #12
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Ah I see, I just assumed you would be interested as you'd tried out the PC versions.

You're right about most ports being complete crap of course, it's odd how they managed to mess them up so much in various ways.
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Old 10 June 2011, 10:05   #13
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To be fair, I first played both games on the C64, before moving on to the other ports.

The ones I've tried were the PC, Amiga, Atari ST, and that Archimedes port. And they were all terrible, except for the Amiga one, because of the music. Even so, they could've done a better job with the music on the Amiga port.

After trying those ports, I can honestly tell you that none of them can even compare with the good old C64!
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Old 11 June 2011, 00:06   #14
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You should try the IIGS version
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Old 11 June 2011, 18:28   #15
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I don't think the IIGS version is all that great, I recorded that one quite some time ago.
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Old 14 June 2011, 00:00   #16
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Meh, I've tried the IIGS version. Didn't like it. Too similar to the PC version, except the sound is a lot more better. The only problem is, the sound FX becomes repetitive and annoying after a while, but it's still an improvement over that tinny PC beeper.

I loathe the controls. I've been playing on that KEGS emulator, and the controls feel horribly jerky beyond belief. The joystick controls are set to the numpad, and the ninja always constantly moves then stops every few steps (aka jerky) when trying to hold a key down. Like I said, I don't know if this is a problem in the actual game, but when emulated, the controls are horrible, and are just as bad as the PC version.

Just another mediocre port to throw into the pile of them...
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Old 14 June 2011, 00:57   #17
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Yup... having watched videos of several other IIGS games by now, I dislike it even more... the IIGS could've done so much better.

By the way, after hours and hours recording the Archimedes version here, I finally finished recording 5 out of 6 levels... when I figured out you do more damage when attacking enemies using the same weapon they are using... so I had to start over from scratch
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Old 30 June 2011, 20:48   #18
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So I finally got around to finishing this longplay, adding all the sound effects manually was quite a nightmare, don't think I'll ever do that again.

Anyway, here is the video -
[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 30 June 2011, 22:43   #19
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Watching it.

You managed to get a proper dump of this disk? I remember a thread where they all had errors on them. Some sort of manufacturing flaw or something?
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Old 30 June 2011, 22:49   #20
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jebus, what a boring version. Fun and clean graphics and even some sound effects, but you can hardly call it a game anymore :/
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