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Dr Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine Hacking Thread

#1 User is offline E-122-Psi 

Posted 28 May 2015 - 06:36 PM

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Decided to look a little into this game which is largely underlooked (even 3D Blast's had more exposure). Though my skills at looking into games are very limited, I did find a few interesting entries, most of them leftover from the original Puyo Puyo game (note the sprites were edited because their original palettes were not in Mean Bean Machine):

Posted Image

Arle's cutscene sprites are still in the game. Most of them even load in cutscene mode, suggesting some data for a playable character there may still exist. The fact she is completely unmodified would also suggest that there was never any plans to put Sonic or anyone else in her place.

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High Score font from the original game. Note it isn't replaced by Mean Bean Machine's own score font when loaded (Puyo Puyo had an odd scrolling background for it's High Score screen). The Japanese text for the name entry font is also there.

Posted Image

The Cutting Room Floor site beat me to this one, but the entire tile set for the toy block arena from Puyo Puyo is still there (the Options screen loads it for it's background tiles). The Japanese text is also there. Curiously the remains of Lesson Mode don't load this tile set, suggesting it was modified before it got omitted.

Posted Image

Again TCRF found it first, but it's worth showing for those who don't know. Puyo Puyo was ported from it's arcade variant and some remains exist even in Mean Bean Machine.

I don't know if anyone else wants to contribute, but it's worth fishing for interest.
This post has been edited by E-122-Psi: 28 May 2015 - 06:40 PM

#2 User is offline nineko 

Posted 28 May 2015 - 06:54 PM

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Well, there was this...

I still feel bad for dropping the Cube project, it's somewhere on my huge pile of procrastinated projects :(

#3 User is offline E-122-Psi 

Posted 28 May 2015 - 06:56 PM

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You had me at procrastinated. :P

I know someone also found Game Genie cheats to unlock the discarded Sound Test and Lesson Mode. The former works efficiently and even has a few unused tracks, not all of them from Puyo Puyo.



Oh and there's this. Ever wonder why Robotnik has that isolated transition for his stage that's not with Satan's in Puyo Puyo?



Hmm. Maybe there's a bit more research than I thought.
This post has been edited by E-122-Psi: 28 May 2015 - 07:04 PM

#4 User is offline MotorRoach 

Posted 28 May 2015 - 08:51 PM

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The screen transfer would've been perfect if it wasn't for the messy palette and the broken Scratch and Grounder sprites. Still, this is all very interesting content, I didn't even know about these.

#5 User is offline E-122-Psi 

Posted 28 May 2015 - 09:27 PM

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View PostMotorRoach, on 28 May 2015 - 08:51 PM, said:

The screen transfer would've been perfect if it wasn't for the messy palette and the broken Scratch and Grounder sprites. Still, this is all very interesting content, I didn't even know about these.


The broken sprites seem to be because the gameplay background is overwriting Scratch and Grounder. There's a lot loaded in that particular cutscene compared to in Puyo Puyo.

The palette could have been gotten around if they perhaps made new backgrounds to fit it like Puyo Puyo did. Mean Bean Machine only ever used the stone well background (likely because the others didn't fit the Aosth aesthetics and they couldn't be bothered to make any new ones). The 8 bit version added a new one for later levels though and worked around the Puzzle Mode background to make it fit in.
This post has been edited by E-122-Psi: 28 May 2015 - 09:30 PM

#6 User is offline E-122-Psi 

Posted 28 June 2015 - 06:12 PM

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Another find from The Cutting Room Floor. Apparently the mapping pointers for the original Exercise and 1P VS 2P backgrounds still exist, meaning they managed to do this:

Posted Image

Not mentioned if the art for the 1P VS 2P background is still there though.

http://jul.rustedlog...d=440316#440316

#7 User is offline redhotsonic 

Posted 01 July 2015 - 07:27 AM

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Quite an interesting find. As soon as I saw that shot, I thought a older beta had been found, haha. I wonder how much Puyo Puyo leftovers are in there?

#8 User is offline E-122-Psi 

Posted 01 July 2015 - 10:05 AM

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From what I've looked it seems like they just edited what was needed and then left the rest discarded in the game. I wouldn't be surprised if the other backgrounds and anything else they didn't draw over or replace still exists in there (hell for some stuff they DID replace, there's still stuff there, eg. the High Score screen, the Japanese fonts).

I'd be more interested to see some stuff the actual Mean Bean Machine revision didn't use.

There's something I've wondered about however, does anyone know what causes the ending text box to glitch up the background?

Posted Image

This tile deletion doesn't occur with the other cutscene text boxes or in Puyo Puyo and Kirby's Ghost Trap's ending. Would it count as something to put on a bugs list?
This post has been edited by E-122-Psi: 01 July 2015 - 02:23 PM

#9 User is offline Ezequiel.M 

Posted 02 July 2015 - 12:49 AM

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Interesting... Nonetheless, Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine isn't really a Sonic The Hedgehog game. It's pretty much normal to find leftovers from Puyo Puyo since it's actually Puyo Puyo, but more "Americanized" I think some people tried to convince SoA to change the name of the game to Puyo Puyo but they decided to maintain the original name.

In the words of TCRF:

"Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine is a Westernized Puyo Puyo based on the syndicated cartoon Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog."

Even the Checksum error from Puyo Puyo is still there. If I recall well, it also has a proto which lets you access the unused sound tracks otherwise unaccessible on the original game, and only accessible with a Game Genie on the original version as already mentioned above. The proto is also region-free.

#10 User is offline E-122-Psi 

Posted 02 July 2015 - 01:53 PM

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It's technically not Sonic, but it's usually classified as one. It's in Sonic Mega Collection and promoted with the other Sonic titles and the Sonic (not SEGA) Retro wiki lists it.

From what I've heard the sound test regional lock out was something inherited from Puyo Puyo, for some reason you can only unlock it in Japanese (likely because the game was made for Japan so regional optimisation for everything wasn't really a concern for it). Also for some reason, the unused songs vanish if you unlock the Sound Test but revert to western settings.

I'm left wondering if the Sound Test's omission is the result of mere laziness or intentional as a result of some issue (perhaps copyright only went so far with some Puyo tracks thus the used ones were altered slightly, Stage 9-12's theme was also altered to be less blatant a Kraftwerk rip off than the unused premix).
This post has been edited by E-122-Psi: 02 July 2015 - 01:55 PM

#11 User is offline Retroman 

Posted 08 July 2015 - 01:51 AM

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View PostE-122-Psi, on 28 May 2015 - 06:56 PM, said:

You had me at procrastinated. :P

I know someone also found Game Genie cheats to unlock the discarded Sound Test and Lesson Mode. The former works efficiently and even has a few unused tracks, not all of them from Puyo Puyo.



Oh and there's this. Ever wonder why Robotnik has that isolated transition for his stage that's not with Satan's in Puyo Puyo?



Hmm. Maybe there's a bit more research than I thought.

Scratch is all like "Deal with it, Fatso"
This post has been edited by Retroman: 08 July 2015 - 01:51 AM

#12 User is offline D.A. Garden 

Posted 08 July 2015 - 04:02 AM

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View PostE-122-Psi, on 01 July 2015 - 10:05 AM, said:

There's something I've wondered about however, does anyone know what causes the ending text box to glitch up the background?

Posted Image

This tile deletion doesn't occur with the other cutscene text boxes or in Puyo Puyo and Kirby's Ghost Trap's ending. Would it count as something to put on a bugs list?



I am led to believe that the text box (and profile image box) have a higher priority than the plane they are put in front of. This effect actually happens on the other characters' text boxes and profile images as well. It's just not as obvious.

I do not know for certain, but I believe that the background in these cases is made up of 2 different planes. In the Dr Robotnik screen example, the purple rock background is one plane, whereas the broken machine and flooring are on the other. The text box and profile image are then loaded on top, but with high priority.
This post has been edited by D.A. Garden: 08 July 2015 - 04:03 AM

#13 User is offline redhotsonic 

Posted 08 July 2015 - 07:31 AM

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View PostD.A. Garden, on 08 July 2015 - 04:02 AM, said:

This effect actually happens on the other characters' text boxes and profile images as well. It's just not as obvious.


Sir Fuzzy-Logik is obvious (from the top of my head, pretty sure it's him. All I know is one of the otehr characters also shows this glitch).

#14 User is offline E-122-Psi 

Posted 08 July 2015 - 08:04 AM

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I know it occurs with the other characters, just it was most obvious for Robotnik due to the larger foreground that gets more of it deleted.

It seemed odd though because none of the other text boxes have that effect outside the cast cutscene, and even then only in the Mean Bean Machine version of the game.

View PostRetroman, on 08 July 2015 - 01:51 AM, said:

Scratch is all like "Deal with it, Fatso"


Admittedly a lazy error is that they didn't add a 'beaten down and simpering' Scratch and Grounder sprite for that cutscene. Nor did they interject with their usual 'Your sliminess/evilness/maliciousness/esteemed eggness' routine at any point. Know your AoSth, SoA. XD


One thing I've wondered, is there any info on the unique compression format used for a lot of the Puyo art in the game? Finding a de/compressor for it would open a lot more potential in editing the game.
This post has been edited by E-122-Psi: 08 July 2015 - 07:01 PM

#15 User is offline Ralakimus 

Posted 11 October 2018 - 08:53 PM

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Massive bump, but I made an update to the wiki's hacking page with my current findings. Still digging through the game.

Findings include bytecode with its instructions documented (kinda) and other RAM addresses.

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