Knuckles' Emerald Hunt

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by MainMemory, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. MainMemory

    MainMemory

    Kate the Wolf Tech Member
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    [​IMG]

    Last year, I released "Sonic 2 Adventure Edition: Sonic & Knuckles Demo" for the contest, even though most of the streamers missed the "& Knuckles" part. Anyway, after that, I began encountering several problems all at once, and eventually I decided with the help of the SSRG IRC channel to switch to a new hack, with a simple focus, using what I thought was the most unique and interesting gameplay style I had made so far: Knuckles' treasure hunting stages. With some help from SSRG's IRC, I was able to get most of the main functionality working within a year, and add some neat extras too.

    Knuckles' Emerald Hunt is a hack that, as its name indicates, focuses entirely on Knuckles hunting for Emeralds through all the Zones of Sonic 2 (excluding Sky Chase and Death Egg), along with a few extra levels.

    Features:
    • The minute counter on the HUD has been expanded to two digits, and Time Overs have been removed.
    • Randomized Emerald placement: each stage has a number of preset Emerald locations, and three (five for the last bonus level) Emerald locations are chosen randomly every time the level is started. Emeralds can also be held inside Badniks.
    • Emerald radar in the HUD functions similarly to Sonic Adventure, changes color and makes sounds as you approach Emeralds. From far to near, the colors are gray, green, yellow, orange, red. Note that Emeralds are NOT sorted from left to right, and can appear in any order.
    • Collecting Emeralds quickly gives you point bonuses, as in Sonic Adventure 2.
    • Each stage has a unique color for the Emeralds.
    • 1-up monitors have been replaced with random ring monitors, which give 1, 5, 10, 15, 20 or 40 rings.
    • During gameplay, pause and hold A+B+C to return to the level select screen.
    • Hold C after the score tally finishes to proceed directly to the next level instead of returning to the level select.
    • Knuckles starts with a shield after dying.
    • Each Zone has been reduced to a single Act, always using the final Act of the Zone, because otherwise the game would drag on for too long. Nobody wants to have to hunt through all three Acts of Metropolis Zone.
    • The end of each Zone contains a monitor that will return you to the start, in case you missed any Emeralds.
    • Completing a Zone will give you a rank based on your score, A being the best and E being the worst. Completing all stages with ranks equal to or better than D, C, B, and A ranks will unlock new levels.
    • Unlocked stages can be played in any order. Locked stages are marked with a rank of "L" in the level select, and unplayed stages have a rank of "-".
    • Difficulty settings: Easy makes the radar point in the direction of the Emeralds, but reduces the point bonuses you get for collecting them; Hard removes the radar entirely.
    • Music Switch allows you to select between thematically appropriate songs from other Sonic games for each stage and screen in the game. Some music was even ported from other systems (see Sound section of credits for list of people who contributed). Press the C button to play the selected song.
    • Entering Sonic 2's level select code in the Sound Test will unlock all levels, with the caveat that you will not be able to save the game.
    • Entering Sonic 2's debug mode code in the Sound Test will enable debug mode, with the caveat that you will not be able to save the game.
    • An online leaderboard is available at http://mm.reimuhakurei.net/?page=keh where you can upload an SRAM file from the game to see how you stack up against other players.
    • In Chemical Plant, you can choose a direction for the tube by holding Left (upper path) or Down (lower path) on the control pad when entering the tube.

    Unfortunately, the sprites for Tikal were not able to be completed in time for the contest, so Knuckles is the only playable character and Competition mode is locked.
    For those of you wondering why there are songs from non-Sonic games, there were going to be extra bonus levels, complications arose, but someone had already ported songs, so I threw them in anyway.

    http://info.sonicretro.org/File:KEH.zip

    Here's a video I made:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkI7F6pI-xc

    And here's one nineko made (spoilers for unlockable levels):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4a3i72_OPA

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. E-122-Psi

    E-122-Psi

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    Aw, crap. I didn't know you were counting on those final sprites. There were only two animations leftover though, you might have got away with using placeholders.
     
  3. MainMemory

    MainMemory

    Kate the Wolf Tech Member
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    I didn't want to put anything in until I had everything. Plus, I'm still not sure how to get the sprites working in the game, but we can figure that out later.
     
  4. E-122-Psi

    E-122-Psi

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    I'll try and finish off those last two animations in due time. Programming wise however, what part is causing difficulty?

    Otherwise this is a great looking project and seems to replicate the Adventure mechanics quite well (almost like a sister counterpart to Fishing Derby XD). Is this now detached from S2 Adventure Edition by the way?
     
  5. MainMemory

    MainMemory

    Kate the Wolf Tech Member
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    I don't know how to get the sprites aligned properly, or how to set up the animations.

    Sonic 2 Adventure Edition is canceled until I decide I have a satisfactory way to implement Tails' gameplay, which may never happen. Big's Fishing Derby is actually a huge inspiration to this hack, which is why + - Big appears in the lower right corner of Hidden Palace Zone   .
     
  6. E-122-Psi

    E-122-Psi

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    Possible idea is to set it up like a skin. Make a copy of Knuckles art/mapping files and so you can accurately plant your new player's sprites (don't know if you want it secret or not) over them in MapEd. Then make a branch for 'if player 2 assign to ya-di-ya file' in the ASM. Does your new character have any playable distinctions?
     
  7. MainMemory

    MainMemory

    Kate the Wolf Tech Member
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    I already have the character implemented, I just need to get the sprites. Complicating matters is that SonMapEd is garbage, and I have to use SpritePlotter to import sprites because it's the only thing that specifically supports S2's 2P mode, but it doesn't align the sprites like they need to be ingame. I guess I'll have to manually adjust everything... somehow. Maybe a program that overlays one sprite on another...
     
  8. redhotsonic

    redhotsonic

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    Let's Try Knuckles' Emerald Hunt!

    [video]http://youtu.be/r_uXWDDfBF8[/video]
     
  9. MainMemory

    MainMemory

    Kate the Wolf Tech Member
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    Your issue with Chemical Plant is mitigated by the fact that you can control the direction the tube takes you by holding left or down.
     
  10. Chris Highwind

    Chris Highwind

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    :D

    I have to say, this is the most fun I've had doing the treasure hunting stages. It's weird.
     
  11. Tweedle

    Tweedle

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    This is so amazing! It looks so official and incredibly fun. One of the few times I've genuinely wanted to play through a whole hack before.
     
  12. MainMemory

    MainMemory

    Kate the Wolf Tech Member
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    Minor update, fixes some issues with Emerald placement and the slot machine only being usable four times instead of the proper five.
    http://info.sonicretro.org/File:KEH.zip
     
  13. MainMemory

    MainMemory

    Kate the Wolf Tech Member
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    Another small update, adds music by S_T_D and maybe fixes some bug or something. Note that if you used one of the last three song choices for + - Labyrinth Zone   , you'll find it off by one now, due to how that stage's music selection is implemented.

    I'm mostly posting because I'm feeling conflicted and want some other opinions. Around the time of the contest week, I started thinking that once the contest was over, I would start adding more levels to the game, starting with all the Sonic 1 levels. But I started feeling like I was ignoring my own reason for why I only took one act from each zone, that the game would start to drag with too many levels. There's also the issue of the unlocking system being geared towards four extra levels, so I'd have to find some way to rework that or drop it entirely, and I doubt if people will enjoy seeing a level they already played becoming locked again. There's also the ranks, I'd have to find some way to set up a private area to submit scores for new stages or drop the ranks entirely. There's also the matter of porting the stages, I'm not good with anything that isn't Sonic 2 and getting Flamewing to do everything for me makes me feel a bit guilty.

    Aside from levels, there's also the issue of characters. Tikal is planned and half implemented, but I'm not sure if I should be doing things differently. Currently, Tikal jumps higher than Knuckles and runs faster, but her radar is 0.75x the radius of Knuckles', as opposed to in SA2B where her radar lacks the green color entirely (0.5x radius). I don't know if the increased speed makes her too OP or if doing the radar like SA2 would be too weak. I was also considering adding more characters, particularly Tails and Sonic/Mighty (depending on whether I can work around palette issues). I don't know if either character would end up being OP compared to Knuckles or if they'd even be able to get to every Emerald at all. It would also lead to an odd situation where, if I leave their speeds as normal, Tikal ends up being the fastest character in the game, because I increased her speed rather than reducing Knuckles'.

    Lack of 2P aside, KEH is essentially a complete game right now, and I don't want to ruin it by adding too much stuff.
     
  14. Strife

    Strife

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    What if instead of Tikal running faster, she climbed faster? She'd have the advantage of vertical mobility at the cost of slightly shorter radar range.

    As for other characters, it'd be neat to see Rouge in there as a balanced counterpick to Knuckles. Tails would probably be easier though - I don't think he's that overpowered because his flying doesn't have as much potential vertical reach as Knuckles, but decreased radar range could be a viable tradeoff.
     
  15. MainMemory

    MainMemory

    Kate the Wolf Tech Member
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    Rouge would require new sprites, and I'd have to make her costume red instead of pink. I don't know how or if 2P mode will work with more than two playable characters.
     
  16. RetroKoH

    RetroKoH

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    As far as the sprites themselves go... if the costume color isn't too much an obstacle, I could always make a sheet for you. I'm currently working on one for flamewing (granted, at a slow pace atm) but fixing them to Knuckles palette would certainly not be all that hard.

    The 2P mode character thing might be a hiccup though... that said I don't think it'd be a major one.
     
  17. E-122-Psi

    E-122-Psi

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    Concerning Tikal (working on it by the way), maybe even out the physical abilities but keep the radar the same. Dumbing down the radar I think adds a more significant handicap to one player in VS mode than might be fair, plus it may seem odd that Tikal is physically superior to Knuckles (though I suppose it makes sense, she is an undead spirit but then again why the bad radar if she's one with the emerald?....ehhhhh...overthought this. :P). I think she might work as one of those lighter Luigi-style characters, good agility and jumping, but at the cost of friction and power.

    Thinking about other characters, it might work better to keep it to characters akin to Knuckles, ones with very varied abilities may again give an unfair advantage in VS. I'd have said Vector might work, but there may be palette issues.
     
  18. MainMemory

    MainMemory

    Kate the Wolf Tech Member
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    I am still working on this, and I've replaced the Sonic Adventure inspired level select copied from Sonic 2 Adventure Edition with something more like the Sonic 3 Data Select, or the Chaotix save select (SCH's save select may have also been an inspiration):

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Koveryl

    Koveryl

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    Just played this yesterday! Great job :)/> Looking forward to future updates!
     
  20. Knucklez

    Knucklez

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    Just wanted to say that I love all of the updates you've made to this for this year's contest. Who'd say no to Tikal, right? I also appreciate that the original Hidden Palace wasn't tampered with or even scrapped, but instead extended to complete the level in a well-constructed manner to also accomodate Knuckles'/Tikal's gliding and climbing abilities. You really took this full-circle. Phenomenal work MM!