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Thread: What's Going On? A technical thread.

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    WCPO Agent segarule's Avatar
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    Default What's Going On? A technical thread.

    I created this thread to share/know how some effects are created in games with hardware limitations.
    I hope that EXPERTS/MEMBERS here can help explaining how it works.
    I will start with this game:

    Begin in 11:44. How the Genesis did this effect with no mode 7 chip?
    Somebody can explain?
    This thread you ask for explanation about games or you can post a video/picture with effect and explain yourself what´s going on.
    "I wanted to create something that the Famicom wouldn’t have been able to do..." (Kotaro Hayashida)
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    The Cat in the Hat Shining Hero NeoVamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by segarule View Post
    Somebody can explain?
    Here's the explanation by the actual guy who did it!


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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingRoad Rasher
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    There's already a video out there explain this. Also, because it's not actually 3D so no mode 7 chip required.

    Anyway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nt-AxAqlrOo

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    Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    Yeah, bless Jon Burton for revealing his secrets, that Moose chase scene was one of the biggest brain teasers to me, along with the transforming icons in Puggsy. Turns out, it's the exact same effect, even if they look nothing alike.

    Really cool idea for a thread though, I hope more people find crazy effects to discuss. For me these are just like magic, smoke and mirrors to make some impossible-looking effect out of simple tricks and sleights of hand .

    Another one in mickey mania is the 3D wall in the lonesome ghosts stage (also explained by Jon Burton!):
    Last edited by Kamahl; 04-05-2020 at 07:39 AM.

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    WCPO Agent segarule's Avatar
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    Welcome Kamahl. This 3D wall seems the same effect in SMS Aladdin:

    At 1:10.
    I will post other effect, this time in NES at 28:55:

    Seems a vertical parallax scrolling for me.
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    Death Bringer ESWAT Veteran Black_Tiger's Avatar
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    One effect that I've never gotten answer to whenever I ask, is what exactly is happening in Afterburner II for PC Engine when the aircraft carrier and refueling plane scale.

    If it's spiltscreen resolution changes and maybe with a bit of raster vertical stretching or line overlap, that would be very cool and nicer than what was done in Art of Fighting.

    You can see the aircraft carrier 40 seconds in and a refueling at 5:30:









    Quote Originally Posted by segarule View Post
    Welcome Kamahl. This 3D wall seems the same effect in SMS Aladdin:

    At 1:10.
    I will post other effect, this time in NES at 28:55:

    Seems a vertical parallax scrolling for me.
    Those are just "dynamic" tiles. It's animation that is typically made into as small a pattern as possible, ideally a single tile in smaller sized games.

    Between dynamic tiles, raster effects and sprite use, there was a lot of parallax in console games before the Mega Drive arrived with multiple tile layers. Which is why the notion of "fake parallax" is so silly. Everything video games display is an illusion designed to trick our minds. None of it is real.
    Last edited by Black_Tiger; 04-05-2020 at 11:13 AM.
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    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Make fun if there were easy effects to pull off ... But love to know how some of these effects were achieved .

    The 360 degree style rotation in Real Deal Boxing



    The wobbling boss in Shinobi 3 (2:50)



    How was the Mega Drive able to fake colour layering in Adv of Batman and Robin (57:00)





    And how was Street Racer on the Saturn able to handle 8 different windows in 8 player mode, when I thought that went way over the VDP2 limit.
    Last edited by Team Andromeda; 04-05-2020 at 11:16 AM.
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    Death Bringer ESWAT Veteran Black_Tiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    Make fun if there were easy effects to pull off ... But love to know how some of these effects were achieved .

    The 360 degree style rotation in Real Deal Boxing



    The wobbling boss in Shinobi 3 (2:50)



    And how was Street Racer on the Saturb able to handle 8 different windows when I thought that went way over the VDP2 limit
    Real Deal looks like column scrolling on two tile layers and sprite based fighters. It's vertical sliding strips. It's a hardware feature that the Mega Drive has, but has some specific reastrictions. That cat boss in Batman & Robin and the first stage robot in Contra do the same.

    That Shinobi III boss is a tile layer and use a combo of column scrolling and h-sync(?) horizontal strip sliding, like the wavy background in Thunder Force III.


    That Batman & Robin colored slide has been explained in the past, but even if wasn't done the same way it was a common effect in hand drawn animation that is essentially just palette cycling.
    Quote Originally Posted by year2kill06
    everyone knows nintendo is far way cooler than sega just face it nintendo has more better games and originals

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    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    Also how was Super Soccer seemingly able to scale both the football pitch and the stadium at the time time with no extra DSP

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    Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    Quite a lot of effects, Black Tiger already went over some of them but here are my takes:

    1. Aladdin & Crisis Force: They're technically doing the same effect, they store all the animation frames for the tiles in the cart and load the appropriate ones to give the illusion of movement.

    2. Afterburner: It can't be resolution switches since the plane itself is not affected (relevant for the carrier, less so for the refueling). I think the game just stores the horizontal animation frames but uses smooth vertical scaling by changing vertical scroll a bunch of times, so the lines are either erased or doubled. Either way, looks amazing.

    3. Real Deal Boxing: It's definitely using column scrolling (native megadrive capability) for the farthest layer, but for the ropes there isn't enough resolution to make it that smooth. It has to use some kind of tile animation as well, maybe sprites for the side ropes? Whatever it is, it is really clever.

    4. Wobble Boss in Shinobi 3: Easy one, it's a mix of column scrolling and line scrolling. Simple but effective.

    5. Batman and Robin: I remember seeing something explaining how the effects were done in the game, but I can't remember where I saw it. The floor which is the most impressive one is either doing palette animation or it keeps 2 versions of the image in memory (with the red and the blueish color swapped) and chooses the appropriate one each line.

    6. Street Racer: It uses the two "mode-7" layers on the top 2 screens, and then resets them on the black scanline for the next two, and so on and so forth.

    7. Supper Soccer: I love this trick so much, because it is so simple and works so well. The stadium and the field are all on the same mode-7 layer. It just doesn't do anything fancy to the top part (the stadium). This is actually simpler than the dual mode-7 layers in something like hyper-zone, yet somehow looks MORE impressive.

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    Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    Now here's one of mine, how the heck does this tilting effect work:



    You can't really do this with Mode-7 + per-scanline effects, so how the heck did they pull this off?

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    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingRoad Rasher
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamahl View Post
    5. Batman and Robin: I remember seeing something explaining how the effects were done in the game, but I can't remember where I saw it. The floor which is the most impressive one is either doing palette animation or it keeps 2 versions of the image in memory (with the red and the blueish color swapped) and chooses the appropriate one each line.
    Yeah, keeping two copies of the image in memory, and deciding which one to display line by line. I'm pretty sure that was explained here at sega-16 (I remember discussing it years ago).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamahl View Post
    Now here's one of mine, how the heck does this tilting effect work:



    You can't really do this with Mode-7 + per-scanline effects, so how the heck did they pull this off?
    If you block off the first 2/3rds of the video in that part, it looks like the titling isn't actually affecting the mode 7 part. I'm guessing the upper color 'band' of the horizon is sprites. Given the airship is small, it looks like it would all fit into into the 272 pixel scanline limit of the snes. The upper color band sprites are also not transparent, so they are used to clipped the mode 7 BG layer. The sprites below the color band are transparent. The clouds above are either sprites or a BG layer with titling (it switches to mode 7 mid screen). 'Titling' the sprites is easy enough. Anyway, that's how I would pull it off haha.

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    Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    That is REALLY clever, I didn't even notice the bottom mode-7 layer is not being affected. I had also totally forgotten the SNES can just barely go over the width of the screen with sprites.
    Now this is some next level smoke and mirrors. Major props to the devs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Andromeda View Post
    And how was Street Racer on the Saturn able to handle 8 different windows in 8 player mode, when I thought that went way over the VDP2 limit.
    I just looked at a video of it with 8 players. It's not VDP2. It's all VDP1 stuffs.

    Edit: Nevermind.. the video I saw was PS1.. :/

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