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Sonic Pocket Winter

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by ValleyBell, Nov 9, 2016.

  1. ValleyBell

    ValleyBell

    Tech Member
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    researching PC-98/X68000 sound drivers
    copy-paste from the SHC page, yeah, which you can find here

    Screenshots from SHC page:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This is a small proof-of-concept hack, made using a disassembly of Sonic Pocket Adventure that I worked on during the last year.

    Features
    - Character Select screen that makes you able to select Tails and Knuckles
    - It's now winter in Neo South Island Zone.
    - added Sonic's Super Peelout (simplified) and Tails' flying ability (Yes, you can hurt enemies like in S3K.)
    - added Knuckles including gliding (huge thanks to VAdaPEGA for drawing additional sprites!!)
    - new music (both ported and custom)
    - DAC voices for character selection
    - bugfixes and optional tile compression (to make room for the additional sprites)
    - edited first boss

    Thanks to
    - Hex-Rays for the Interactive Disassembler
    - Konstantin Norvatoff for the TLCS900 IDA module
    - Alfred Arnold for Makroassembler AS
    - Nintendo_6444 for Tails' flying sprites
    - MainMemory for SonLVL
    - Kent Hansen for Tile Layer Pro
    - Sonic Physics Guide (was a big help while coding Tails' and Knuckles' moves)
    - VAdaPEGA for additional Knuckles sprites and any additional graphics in general
    - W1P3OUT XL a.k.a SynthRye for the Ice Cap Zone MIDI I used for the boss' theme

    Things that didn't make it
    - all Knuckles sprites (VAdaPEGA was so nice and drew many of the missing sprites for me, but I told him that Pantufa has priority)
    - edited level layouts (I lack the creativity to do so)
    - edited special stages (technically possible and I planned to do a small edit, but I ran out of time)
    - more new music (I spent too much time optimizing the boss theme)

    Emulator support
    Both Mednafen and MAME/MESS seem to work pretty well.
    NeoPop has problems with the sound: Sound timing is a bit wonky and it outputs only the left channel.

    Small note
    I took some freedom regarding player movements, so you can make unrolled jumps and roll/unroll in air.

    If you want a direct download link - it's here. Alternatively you can just get it from the SHC page, which leads to the very same link.
     
  2. ValleyBell

    ValleyBell

    Tech Member
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    researching PC-98/X68000 sound drivers
    Thank you all for enjoying my hack and thanks for the trophies!
    I really didn't expect to win so many.

    So, here is the full source code for the hack: http://vgmrips.net/misc/SPW_full_source.7z
    The SonLVL SPA mod is not included, but I pushed a branch to the SonLVL GitHub Repo.

    I'll post some development trivia later.
    The release of the actual SPA disasm will be sometime later. I want to have a look at a few functions I might've labelled incorrectly.


    And here is a detailed list of (visible) changes:
    • fixed bug where holding "down" while landing on ground had no effect (very noticeable in Cosmic Casino)
    • modified moveset to roll/unroll anytime
      • unrolled jump: hold "up" while pressing A/B
      • unrolling while on ground: press "up"
      • unroll in air: hold "up" while pressing A/B
      • roll in air: hold "down" while pressing A/B
    • fixed debug sound test (most SFX and the last few songs weren't working)
    • added Knuckles as playable character
    • fixed Tails' tails still being on screen after jumping into Special Stage ring
    • added Character Select screen (including custom fade-out effect)
    • added Sonic's Super Peel Out (works like Spindash, because doing it like Sonic CD would be pointless with the modified moveset)
    • added Tails' flying ability
    • added Knuckles' gliding ability
    • added DAC voices to the character select screen
    • made background of Character Select screen scroll (disabled, because I think the current BG looks nicer)
    • added new Knuckles sprites drawn by VAdaPEGA
    • fixed NSI flowers having a missing tile
    • edited NSI boss
      • each time the hammer touches the ground, it will spawn some ice spikes that can hurt the player
      • The powerful hammer smash originally caused an earthquake that hurt the player. The earthquake now just knocks the player back, but also causes a wave of ice spikes that is likely to hurt the player instead.
    • added "Thanks for playing" screen (uses image hidden in the original ROM, custom text drawing routine)
    • added underwater palette for Knuckles, Special Stage palettes for Knuckles/Tails
    • edited the title screen to say "Pocket Winter" (thanks again to VAdaPEGA for quickly drawing the graphics)
    New music tracks are:
    • NeoGeo Pocket BIOS: BIOS jingle and BGM (used on "Thanks for playing" screen)
    • SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium: "The Force" (character selection) and "Choujou Kessen" (unused)
    • S&K PC Collection: Ice Cap 1/2 (music for Neo South Island 1/2)
    • Sonic 3 Invincibility (invincibility theme)
    • Ice Cap Zone (MegaDrive) remix by W1P3OUT XL (boss theme)
     
  3. redhotsonic

    redhotsonic

    Also known as RHS Tech Member
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    Well deserved, mate. I really enjoyed your hack. So much, that I said in my stream that I wish I had a NeoGeo when I was younger. Tails' flying and Knuckles gliding felt very natural and it didn't take me too long to get use to the mechanics of the game.

    The music was really well constructed too as I don't think there was one song that I thought was bad. I did feel one or two songs were out of place for the level itself, but then I got told the original game was like that.

    The game still needs a few creases ironed out here and there (the unintentional cameos I had for example, hehe), but otherwise, it was a great play. Good job (and to VAdaPEGA as well).
     
  4. AfroRyan

    AfroRyan

    Sonic Pinball Party Stan Member
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    I love this hack. I know you may be busy and rarely check in anymore (which I get; I've been a forum member since 2010 and have made 8 posts total [but I do like lurking and contributing to the wiki from time to time]). I just want to praise this hack some more, and hope that you or some other talented hacker could put the finishing touches on it. The custom characters are so cool to play as, and having little custom life-counter head icons and special stage sprites for Tails and Knuckles would be the cherry on top in terms of updates for this project. Knuckles climbing would be...fine, but these level layouts wouldn't really benefit much from climbing imo so that doesn't actually bug me as much as the other things lol. Adding in a drop dash for Sonic would also be a baller move.

    For anyone wondering why I'm bumping a multi-year old thread, just know I adore Sonic Pocket Adventure and as a result I really enjoy this hack. More people need to learn of how solid Pocket Adventure was/still is. Great level design with an actually cool collectible mechanic to encourage thorough level exploration (puzzle pieces are so much better than red rings [but either are certainly better than nothing, which is one of my very few complaints about Mania]).
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2023
  5. Sparks

    Sparks

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    Sondro Gomez / Kyle & Lucy
    It's a bit of a shame that Pocket Adventure hacking never took off the way it could've; it's a very simplistic art style so it's easy to make assets for, and its collectable aspects with the puzzle pieces leaves a lot of room for unique level layout hacks to re-find the level pieces. The new characters also had the potential for new sections for them.

    Would certainly have loved to see stuff like other classic levels mixed into Pocket Adventure, or even Mania stages.
     
  6. AfroRyan

    AfroRyan

    Sonic Pinball Party Stan Member
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    All very cool ideas. I think it would be attractive to hackers in that sense; most other Sonic games don't reward exploration with anything more than an extra life or bonus ring or whatever, but with SPA, you really could encourage people to fully engage with your levels by scattering those puzzle pieces around. Hacking the puzzle images themselves would also be cool if possible.

    Also, ever since the concept of Mania was announced, it dawned on me that SPA is kind of like a precursor to that; it's a heavily remixed version of some of the best levels and themes in Sonic's history. Sure, the presentation in SPA isn't nearly as amazing and stylish as Mania, but they definitely share some of the same "Sonic's Greatest Hits" spirit. Seeing a Mania level theme "ported" into SPA would be a treat to be sure.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2023
  7. Bobblen

    Bobblen

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    Resurrecting this thread made me curious to see how much can be done with @ValleyBell's tools as is. I built his fork of SonLVL (it's here now if anyone is interested GitHub - sonicretro/SonLVL-SPA: Sonic Pocket Adventure Level Editor), and combined with their disassembly it appears to work well enough! I did a superficial hack of zone 1 act 1 as a quick test. I could create terrain and move/change an object type at least. Another one for the list of editable hand held Sonics :-)
    upload_2023-8-14_12-44-6.png
     
  8. Jeffery Mewtamer

    Jeffery Mewtamer

    Blind Bookworm Member
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    It's been forever since I've played Pocket Adventure, but aside from fighting KNuckles in a boss arena loosely inspired by S3K Hidden Palace, weren't all tof the levels essentially remixes of 16-bit Sonic 2 levels?
     
  9. Sparks

    Sparks

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    Sondro Gomez / Kyle & Lucy
    The levels were a mix of both zones from Sonic 1 and 2, but the level design was from the ground up using elements from lots of classic stages. Neo South Island Act 2 for example has architecture from Palmtree Panic's 3/4th loops and 3D ramp. There's a lot of similar sections to the Genesis games throughout all of SPA but no map in SPA is a 1:1 copy.
     
  10. Jeffery Mewtamer

    Jeffery Mewtamer

    Blind Bookworm Member
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    Huh, I just caught on to the first 4 Zones having 8-bit versions of the graphics of Emerald Hill, Chemical Plant, Casino Night, and Aquatic Ruins respectively, didn't realize any of the layouts where inspired by other games.
     
  11. AfroRyan

    AfroRyan

    Sonic Pinball Party Stan Member
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    Of all the gimmicks they could copy, it's commendable they copied the Sonic CD ramp. Not only is it optional, but it also has a few frames of custom sprites only for it. There's plenty of safer gimmicks they could have done, so I find it extremely endearing that they chose that one.

    This is awesome. I hope people are inspired enough to want to make a new Pocket Adventure experience.