Port of Sonic 1 SMS to Commodore 64/128 + REU

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by LocalH, Dec 13, 2021.

  1. LocalH

    LocalH

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    I looked around a bit and didn't see it discussed here. MrSid (of C64 Prince of Persia fame, among other works) has ported Sonic 1 SMS to the C64/128, RAM Expansion Unit required.



    Lemon64 thread

    It's not released yet, but holy shit it looks good.
     
  2. Cooljerk

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    This is absolutely amazing. I have a C64 with an REU, I am all ready for this.

    (and I'm also all ready for the GX4000 port of Sonic 1, too)

    Also, it seems Lemon64 purged my account and has since banned all Gmail addressed :(
     
  3. biggestsonicfan

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    I find the use of the official Sonic 30th intro to be extremely distasteful, regardless of the project or quality.
     
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  4. The Joebro64

    The Joebro64

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    I have nothing to say other than "this is rad as hell"
     
  5. Cooljerk

    Cooljerk

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    I personally don't see anything wrong with it, fan interaction has been a huge part of Sonic for ages, especially recently. More importantly, I very much doubt Sega really cares.

    My main problem with it is that it'll likely miss the 30th anniversary unless it releases very soon, lol.
     
  6. Metalwario64

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    Glad this is Sega so we don't need to worry about an immediate take-down like Nintendo with the SMB1 C64 port.
     
  7. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    It's very nifty but

    if you need a 256KB RAM expander to play, it's less "Commodore 64" as "Commodore 320". Making a game that uses one of those devices is noteworthy, but idk... liked to have seen this on a stock system.
     
  8. LocalH

    LocalH

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    A stock C64 doesn't have the bandwidth to move color RAM around the way this game does. It doesn't really need the whole expansion RAM so much, as it does the 1-cycle-per-byte REU DMA chip (whereas moving data via pure 6502 would eat all of the available cycle time just for moving the data, over 19k cycles versus 2k via REU)
     
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  9. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Exactly - and that's what would have made it extra impressive, breaking a perceived limit with the hardware :)

    But as I say, that doesn't stop this from being nifty.
     
  10. Cooljerk

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    It is extra impressive, it's the first full C64 game to use this method, and not because they were the first to discovered the REU DMA controller could be used this way. Turns out building an entire game around this method of throwing lots of data at the chipset is still really, really tricky to do, hence why so few do it in demos and no one else has done it for an entire game.

    And while having a DMA controller certainly helps break past some bottle necks, there is still a lot of apparent bottle necks in the C64 architecture that this does get around in impressive ways. Keep in mind, the C64 runs at 980 khz, while the SMS this is being ported from ran at 4 mhz. Plus there is still impressive sprite multiplexing going on, etc. That the game adjusts it's speed to 50/60hz appropriately is also note worthy, putting it up there with stuff like Turrican 3 from prolific demosceners Smash Designs.
     
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  11. CalamityJames

    CalamityJames

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    They've just updated the thread on Lemon64 with a full playthrough of GHZ1 in PAL and NTSC:

    (PAL video is on the same channel, don't want to clutter the thread with two embeds!)

    And announced a release date of December 19th, so it seems they will just make that deadline!
     
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  12. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Assuming the game actually looks like that on a television (rather than an emulator), on a 16:9 display, that NTSC version would render things closer to the intended aspect ratio. So they've inadvertently created the first RAM expansion game optimised for widescreen too :)
     
  13. Xilla

    Xilla

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    Just want to say, the SID chip rendition of that soundtrack is music to my ears......literally.
     
  14. PicklePower

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    Looks great. I feel like the camera is consistently too high though (we should see more of what's below Sonic).
     
  15. CalamityJames

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    Last edited: Dec 23, 2021
  16. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Well it's interesting. Turns out my copy of VICE was from 2004.

    I guess the problem is, because there are no games that make use of REUs, it's difficult to know what the baseline is in terms of quality. So yeah, this is a very close match to the Master System version and is probably quite a big achievement, but it's not a hardware configuration I'm familiar with so I'm not really sure how to judge it. It would be very impressive for a stock C64 or C128, but this isn't stock.

    The only "issue" I have with this is the loading. Not necessarily the time it takes - that's the nature of the beast, but that there's not much visual feedback that the system is doing anything. There's a loading bar for one section, but it takes a while to get there, and if you're using a 512KB+ REU and decide to copy the game over, it's not at all clear if it's working. VICE has the Alt+W "warp mode" but real systems won't.

    Then again in real life it would probably be more obvious since the physical disk would be making a noise. idk.
     
  17. Cooljerk

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  18. Xilla

    Xilla

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    Just finished it, very nicely done indeed. The only issues I saw with loading (bear in mind I was on WinVICE) after the game had started was the section in Scrap Brain 2 with the warps, took quite a few seconds longer than the standard SMS game.

    Glad the autoscrolling from Bridge 2 and the Ever Rising Pit Of Death from Jungle 2 were removed :P
     
  19. Cooljerk

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    Noticed a few bugs here and there. For example, it took me to a special stage zone after bridge zone act 3. The game itself is kind of a mix between the SMS and GG versions of Sonic 1. Jungle Zone Act 2, for example, is from the GG version, as is many of the special stages.

    There are a few very slight changes. In the SMS version, in the GHZ boss, you can hit robotnik when he's at the apex of his dip downward if you time your jumps just right. I couldn't do that in this one. In Jungle Zone, you don't bounce when bopping crab meats, unless you hold the button. Bridge Zone act 2 in general is changes quite a bit.

    Wildly impressive port, tho, had fun playing with a real C64. It's so much harder to use a 2600 joystick than a gamepad, lol.

    EDIT: more bugs I've found:
    -Got a game over in Labyrinth Zone act 2 after passing a down arrow marker that was underwater, and continued. It started me at the down arrow marker, but the water for the level wasn't loaded, so this entire bit of underwater section of Labryinth Zone was done with above water physics and no air limit

    -The continue system ate a couple of my continues. I continued once at Labyrinth zone, when I had 4 continues. At the very end, I needed one more, and when I went back to the continue screen, it had gone down from 4 to 1, despite continuing only once.

    -Jumping just as the end of act sign post stops spinning on the SMS and Game Gear versions makes the sign post jump into the air with you. In the C64 port, I could make that happen when I'd get a "!", but not when I would get any other end of act bonus (or robotnik).

    -During the final boss, I managed to clip through Robotnik and stand on the other side of the glass during the boss fight by holding right as I bounced away after bopping him.

    Also, not a bug, but an interesting change: Muteki Sonic doesn't have stars surrounding him. He flashes colors kind of like Hyper Sonic instead. I thought maybe this was a sprite limit thing, but the shield still has its sprite, so IDK.

    Also, the music is *outstanding*. Way, way better than the SMS version, even with the FM upgrade.
     
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  20. DigitalDuck

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    Finally got around to actually playing and beating this. I'm pleased to see the Sky Base Act 3 extra life still appears if you collected all the others (along with the special bonus for it).

    The weird quirk where you get an intense amount of speed when rolling off a ledge no longer happens, which is disappointing but probably for the better. Additionally (or perhaps as a result) you can no longer outrun the screen rolling off the big ramps in Green Hill, but you still get more than a decent amount of speed from them.

    The zips in Labyrinth still work exactly as in the original game.

    No autoscrolling in Bridge Act 2 (good!), no limited scrolling in Jungle Act 2 (kinda 50-50 on that but it matches the Game Gear version at least).

    Whenever the game reloads part of the level (after dying, different sections in Scrap Brain/Sky Base) the timer always resets to 0:00. So Sky Base Act 2 is a consistent max time bonus since it only records the time since entering the room where the signpost is. Obviously it shouldn't reset between sections, and it should reset to 1:30 when respawning at checkpoints.

    Overall a very good port, better than I was expecting.

    You can only do this after he has done his first charge, and that's still true in the C64 version.

    This one's also possible in the original game, although I never figured out how to do it consistently.