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Thread: games that look bigger (in storage size) than they are

  1. #1
    Master of Shinobi
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    Default games that look bigger (in storage size) than they are

    Some games were stored on very small carts and due to efficient compression, tile usage, etc. looked bigger than they actually were (speaking of graphics here).

    - Alien 3 : best example I can think of. Fits on a 4 MEG cart. Looks like an 8 MEG game.
    - MUSHA : also 4 MEG but looks like more.
    - Thunder Force IV : is 8 MEG but looks like at least 12. BTW there is no 16 MEG (horizontal or vertical) shooter on the system though there are many on the SNES...
    - Columns : ok very simple game but it fits on 1 MEG (= 128 Kilobytes!) most games of its kind are 4 MEG carts.
    - Sunset Riders : 4 meg
    - maybe Buster's Hidden Treasure and Revenge of Shinobi? 4 meg
    - Sonic 1 : 4 meg (duh!)

    On the opposite side:
    - Super SF2 : 40 MEG but surely looks like less
    - Virtua Racing : ok SVP chip and all but why does it need 16 MEG ? The game is mostly made of untextured polygons!
    - Pier Solar : 64 MEG

    Others?
    Last edited by chilled; 07-10-2019 at 12:16 PM.
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  2. #2
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    The complexity of Eggman's machines was directly tied to the game's ROM size. In Sonic 1 he outright reuses whatever is in the same place (this still stands true for Green Hill if you remember the ball was a scrapped object).

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    Hero of Algol TrekkiesUnite118's Avatar
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    Quackshot: It's a 10 Meg cart, but 6 Megs of it is empty space filled with 0s. The game data itself only takes up 4 Megs.

    I found this out when looking at the Saturn port where instead of the entire ROM it's 2 files that are 256KB each. But when I looked at the original ROM I realized that for the Saturn version they just removed the padding of zeros in the middle of the ROM.

    For what it's worth, the Region specific code still works and you can make the Saturn version play in English if you set the right value in RAM to mimic the Genesis' Region jumper settings.






  4. #4
    Master of Shinobi
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekkiesUnite118 View Post
    Quackshot: It's a 10 Meg cart, but 6 Megs of it is empty space filled with 0s. The game data itself only takes up 4 Megs
    Actually REV00 is only 4 MEGS. I suspect REV01 is connected to the Disney Collection cart (Castle of Illusion + Quack Shot), as for X-in-1 carts you need to remap your whole game in order to avoid the use of a hardware mapper (right?). The revisional changes are so minimal, it hardly justifies redoing the cart, so my guess is they made rev01 for the 2-in-1 cartridge. Castle didn't need to be remapped as it is stored on its original memory adresses.
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    VA1LT CHIP ENABLED Master of Shinobi OverDrone's Avatar
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    The bunch of full-screen cutscenes aside, I always wondered where the 64 Megs in Pier Solar was used. The variety in enemy types and their animation seems limited compared to other 16-bit JRPGs. IIRC someone here mentioned the scaling dragon world-map thing ate up space but who knows? Not sure how much room multiple character sets for different languages would have taken.

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert MushaAleste's Avatar
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    Aero Blasters looks much larger on screen than its filesize. I always thought the graphical assets for Samurai Spirits look uniquely amazing for a Mega Drive game. Both roms use decompressing before the levels load.

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    Death Bringer Raging in the Streets Black_Tiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OverDrone View Post
    The bunch of full-screen cutscenes aside, I always wondered where the 64 Megs in Pier Solar was used. The variety in enemy types and their animation seems limited compared to other 16-bit JRPGs. IIRC someone here mentioned the scaling dragon world-map thing ate up space but who knows? Not sure how much room multiple character sets for different languages would have taken.
    It's reported to use a massive amount of pre-calculated code to pull off the "Mode 7" section.
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    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    That still wouldn't do it. I recall reading long ago somebody going through the ROM and making an overview of what was in there and basically everything is stored in a less-than-optimal way.

    And huh, never thought about the Quackshot thing being from a 2-in-1 collection. I always assumed that REV01 was split in two chips for some reason (i.e. the padding in the middle not being actually stored, hence actually being 2MEG+2MEG). Quackshot still looks more like a game from 1-2 years later.

    EDIT: wait, when did REV01 come out (even if more or less loosely), that 2-in-1 cartridge is from 1996 o.O

  9. #9
    Master of Shinobi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sik View Post
    never thought about the Quackshot thing being from a 2-in-1 collection. I always assumed that REV01 was split in two chips for some reason (i.e. the padding in the middle not being actually stored, hence actually being 2MEG+2MEG). Quackshot still looks more like a game from 1-2 years later.

    EDIT: wait, when did REV01 come out (even if more or less loosely), that 2-in-1 cartridge is from 1996 o.O
    It' just speculation coming from me, but I find weird they would split a rom that is already made (rev00, 4 meg) in two just to cut on production costs: was it really that cheaper at that time to make a cart with 2x2 meg chips instead of 1x4 meg? I mean, there were 4 meg games on the system since 1988, and not always high profile ones for that matter. Doesn't having more than one eeprom need even more control chips or programming effort or aditional circutry etc?

    I don't know when rev01 was made.
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    VA1LT CHIP ENABLED Master of Shinobi OverDrone's Avatar
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    It's certainly had more than a few graphical assets cut out, but even as it is Sunset Riders always struck me as quite an ambitious port for a 4 MEG cart. Since it released in 1992 by a big hitter like Konami I had assumed it was twice that.

  11. #11
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    Well, the SNES port is twice that, which is the main reason why the Mega Drive version cuts out stuff while SNES one doesn't… ironically the Mega Drive one adds some new things missing on both arcade and SNES as far as I can tell (e.g. you can shoot back fire arrows and they can set enemies on fire besides yourself, it's hilarious to set on fire the guy who just shot at you :​P).

    On the note of Konami skimping on ROM size, the Tiny Toons platformer is also 4 megabits despite being from 1993 (when double that was the norm) and having a tad of levels. There's actually a lot of reuse (I've spotted foreground patterns used as backgrounds…) but they sure as heck made it easy to overlook.

  12. #12
    Master of Shinobi
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    Sunset Riders: nice catch, updating OP if the site lets me
    Buster's hidden treasure: pretty game but I am less convinced that it looks like more than 4 meg. Being a latter game isn't the only thing (Sensible Soccer or Frogger are latter games and 4 meg and they surely look like even less...)
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  13. #13
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingRoad Rasher
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    Two half-size eeproms only need some additional lines and a small discrete component. To the software it's the same. It's quite conceivable they got the half-sized ones cheaper than one full-size.

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    In the case of Pier Solar, we never used blocks/stamps (several tiles put together into a big tile), which save space. Considering there are well over 100 maps in the game, maybe they ate a big chunk of the space.
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    Outrunner
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zebbe View Post
    In the case of Pier Solar, we never used blocks/stamps (several tiles put together into a big tile), which save space. Considering there are well over 100 maps in the game, maybe they ate a big chunk of the space.
    There's also a ton of text in three languages, I wonder how much space that used up.

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