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Are there any hacks where 2 player gets their own view?

#1 User is offline BulimicCannibal 

Posted 06 December 2011 - 11:11 PM

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I'm curious are there any existing 2 player co-op hacks of any of the megadrive games which allow for the person
playing as Tails to have their own view, instead of their screen following Sonic around?

After searching I noticed a particularly old thread, that said it would be difficult to accomplish this because of water palette
changes or something a long those lines. A significant amount of time has passed since said thread so could someone please
enlighten me as to whether any progress has been made with anything like this? I gather it would be a much sought after feature
considering everyone at some time or another was stuck playing as Tails and were forced to essentially sit out until boss fights.

#2 User is offline Sodaholic 

Posted 06 December 2011 - 11:56 PM

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To be honest, I don't think anyone's bothered making a hack like this. The reason the water palette gets in the way is because you can only have it change once, as in, you can only have two halves of the screen, one using the water palette, the other using the air palette. You could either display water on the bottom screen and not the top, or you could display water on the top screen, but cause the entire bottom screen to have the water palette regardless of how much area of the bottom screen actually contains water.

#3 User is offline Cinossu 

Posted 07 December 2011 - 01:55 AM

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View PostSodaholic, on 06 December 2011 - 11:56 PM, said:

To be honest, I don't think anyone's bothered making a hack like this. The reason the water palette gets in the way is because you can only have it change once, as in, you can only have two halves of the screen, one using the water palette, the other using the air palette. You could either display water on the bottom screen and not the top, or you could display water on the top screen, but cause the entire bottom screen to have the water palette regardless of how much area of the bottom screen actually contains water.
Actually, from what I remember reading somewhere, it's actually possible to change the palette 3 times, so it would indeed be possible to do this.

However, considering the OTHER limitations of 2-player mode - the slowdown, less objects on-screen, tiles having to be aligned in VRAM in a certain way - most people don't want to give it the time.

#4 User is offline Covarr 

Posted 07 December 2011 - 02:13 AM

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Technical limitations aside, it'd be a bitch to test, and there would be much more to keep in mind when designing levels. Some of the vertical wrapping bits of S3K would be downright impossible to use, if it includes any racing then you'd have to keep a close eye out for balance issues (nothing like items making a lead too easy to keep), single-use switches or drops that would need re-enabled for the second player, etc. All around, there are just too many extra hurdles that nobody really wants to worry about.

That being said, a Sonic hack in the same vein as Four Swords would be awesome if it could be pulled off. But I don't think anybody wants to put in the effort.

#5 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 07 December 2011 - 10:51 AM

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View PostCinossu, on 07 December 2011 - 01:55 AM, said:

However, considering the OTHER limitations of 2-player mode - the slowdown, less objects on-screen

Since Sonic 2 loads every object in the vertical column the screen is at, wouldn't using the Sonic 3 method of loading objects make things much faster?

#6 User is offline Neo 

Posted 07 December 2011 - 02:18 PM

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View PostICEknight, on 07 December 2011 - 10:51 AM, said:

Since Sonic 2 loads every object in the vertical column the screen is at, wouldn't using the Sonic 3 method of loading objects make things much faster?

Definitely, and it's the only way to make a busy level such as Metropolis even work at a decent rate. I think flamewing had to implement the Sonic 3 object manager because of the increased overhead of having three characters at the same time in Sonic 2 Heroes. But I'm pretty sure that in 2P mode, the game would still slow down when somebody loses all of their rings, gets invincibility, etc, regardless of whatever tricks you pull.

As for the original game and its odd pick of levels, it actually makes more sense when you think about the ones they left out:

  • Chemical Plant has water (in Act 2, anyway), which is problematic due to the mid-scanline pallete switch trickery, as noted above.
  • Aquatic Ruin has water too.
  • Hill Top does a lot of crazy things with the background layer to simulate moving ground and lava.
  • Oil Ocean... well, I can't think of anything but the oil at the bottom of the screen, which may very well be a non-issue.
  • Metropolis is a vertically-wrapping level, which would likely require specific code to work correctly in 2P mode.


Emerald Hill, Casino Night and Mystic Cave aren't so much random picks as they are "safe" choices, with not much in the way of nonstandard level gimmicks.

#7 User is offline Sik 

Posted 07 December 2011 - 04:47 PM

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View PostCinossu, on 07 December 2011 - 01:55 AM, said:

Actually, from what I remember reading somewhere, it's actually possible to change the palette 3 times, so it would indeed be possible to do this.
It's possible to change the palette as many times as you want, provided you have enough access slots (in H40 mode, there are 18 writes every scanline outside vblank), and you don't mind CRAM dots (I.e. garbage color on screen when it's writing outside hblank).

The real issue here is that the raster effect code isn't designed to handle water and split screen at the same time, plain and simple. Doing that requires writing new code.

#8 User is offline Ell678 

Posted 07 December 2011 - 06:01 PM

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A co-op Sonic hack would be interesting. If it was down to me, I'd actually do it like Sonic 3's co-op, but have certain areas impossible to progress without a second player and have that as the main focus.

#9 User is offline E-122-Psi 

Posted 07 December 2011 - 07:54 PM

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It's actually possible to play any Sonic 2 level in 2p mode thanks to hacking or Game Genie codes (as well as take out water so aformentioned levels can work) however the experience is still barely playable due to garbage graphics covering both screens and the 2P screen often suffering delay. Also as mentioned not as many objects load in split screen which can lead to important platforms or springs, etc being absent preventing you from progressing any further.

Hill Top suffers the least graphic problems and thus is nearest to playable, however it still suffers due to earthquakes and doors not activating for Tails and an important spring not appearing in Act 2.

#10 User is offline Espilonarge 

Posted 07 December 2011 - 11:55 PM

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There is only one game to date that I know for a fact uses seperate screens for it's 2-Player mode, and that's Zero Tolerance. It relies off using a specialized double-ended "link" cable that's simply two Mega Drive/Genesis joypad connections that's been rewired to send input/output through each console. The schmatics are still available on Technopop's website.

http://www.technopop.net/

The only thing that needs to be worked out is the "code" to get both systems to see each-other as well as know the input/output method. It shouldn't be that difficult given the fact we have a lot of bright coders here who would take the challenge. :)

#11 User is online Aerosol 

Posted 08 December 2011 - 12:34 AM

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But then you'd need two megadrives and two copies of sonic 2. That's nowhere near as fun.

#12 User is offline Sik 

Posted 08 December 2011 - 03:34 AM

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View PostAerosolSP, on 08 December 2011 - 12:34 AM, said:

But then you'd need two megadrives and two copies of sonic 2. That's nowhere near as fun.
And two TVs =P

Alternatively, two Nomads. I swear, considering how it handles the 2P port, that'd make it a perfect fit - it literally becomes a link cable. I wonder if anybody played Zero Tolerance like this. It'd be nice to know if there's a way to detect a Nomad though =/

#13 User is online Aerosol 

Posted 08 December 2011 - 03:39 AM

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The link cable doesn't work with the Nomad.

#14 User is offline muteKi 

Posted 08 December 2011 - 05:06 AM

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View PostAerosolSP, on 08 December 2011 - 03:39 AM, said:

The link cable doesn't work with the Nomad.


It goes from player 1's second port to player 2's first port, then?

I can see how that would be an issue.

#15 User is offline Sik 

Posted 08 December 2011 - 03:45 PM

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Huh, I thought it was 1P port for the joypad and 2P port for the link cable on both systems (because, you know, you need to plug in the second joypad somewhere...). Unless it's some hardware incompatibility and not that (like with Decap Attack, which doesn't work on Nomads because its joypad routine does something it shouldn't apparently).

EDIT: Tiido says it works fine with Nomads...
This post has been edited by Sik: 08 December 2011 - 03:46 PM

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