Saturday, August 4, 2007

Morphing into multicolor mode

I made a quick disassembly of Paradroid Metal Edition to see how much I need to change the code to make it possible to use either hires or multicolor graphics. The answer: not much. Color tables are different because only the lowest eight colors are available for character color and because of extra entries for multicolor registers. To use ME graphics I only have to reserve some extra space for the bigger tables and new title screen and add minimal amount of code. As I can do the patching inside the init routine which gets overwritten when game starts this will cost less than 80 bytes. The only thing that concerns me is the time taken by constant energizer animation, that's almost 4 lines more than changing the deck map. Does anybody notice if I drop it? ;)

The disassembly also showed that while Competition Edition was a quick hack to get something out for Xmas (in a double pack with Uridium Plus) Metal Edition got some more attention. Andrew Braybrook removed code which was disabled in the Competition Edition (raster checks which made sure that the original didn't run faster than 16 Hz), and enabled 2 MHz mode in the upper/lower border for C128 users. He also fixed the decimal mode bug which broke SFX randomly and adjusted background sounds for the faster frame rate, among other small things. Some of these changes will end up in Paradroid Redux, no doubt about that.

Too bad that I dislike Morpheus-like graphics in Paradroid myself. Anyway, those people who think that Metal Edition has the "correct" graphics can soon enjoy Paradroid Redux as much as fans of the original.

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