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Famicom Strider prototype in action

 
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kazblox



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:45 pm    Post subject: Famicom Strider prototype in action Reply with quote

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oArTNBuvX6I&feature=youtu.be



The owner, Arasoi, from NintendoAge wishes to do the repro before releasing the dump. Other than that, along with the Parody World : Monster Party repro, and the MIMP early WIP, this is the next step to a successful year of some goody goody prototypes!

Cheers, everybody! Very Happy
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Johnny Undaunted



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice! Seems a bit rougher than the released NES version judging from the video. The "lyrics" on the attract sequence goes way too fast for me.
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Ichiban Crush
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So "Strider Hiryu" as it could have been (partially, with some polish) won't be forever lost...

I'm relieved. Not "Legitimate Bio Force Ape recovered and dumped" relieved, but a bit close to how I felt when I fired that one up and didn't see one meme from The Great Hoax I'm trying to forget. (No, I wasn't butthurt, I found out about it AFTER it was revealed to be a gag, and sadly, am still laughing about it on the inside... even that worries me.)

This game has always been a bit of an enigma before the mainstream internet, in just its presentation. I always thought of NES Strider as some sort of anime in 8-bit form (I actually thought it WAS based on some anime/manga ala Golgo 13 for the longest time before learning it was a multi-media collaboration... so I was mostly right), seeing as to how every time you went to for a password, you saw a reflection back on the story, like the end of an episode of a television suspense/drama.

The theme, with "lyrics" and opening? The message balloons going down and left, like manga speech bubbles? This was definitely meant to be more than just a game. And if it saw release in Japan, it could have started a trend... for better or worse.

It was a bold experiment for it's time. I'm not an uber-Strider fan, but I gotta hand it to them... it could have been ahead of it's time if they hadn't canned the thing (Strider wasn't a bad game, or even Capcom's WORST game around that time.)

It's been awhile since I fired up... well, any retro console, I'm still tying to find time organizing my new home office/man-cave, WHILE coding silly C++ or Python programs for class, WHILE trying to prototype (as in, not even in alpha) a potential game outside of class for portfolio fodder, WHILE... life... so I can't pop in my copy of Strider to compare, but yeah, aside from the obvious word stuff, there are things there that I don't remember.

Doesn't mean I'm not anxious for the public dump. I'm mean, it's the long lost "Strider Hiryu", one of the rare cases of a Japanese game not getting a Japanese release (but still getting an American one), it's not like I'm going to NOT experience this thing. But I will say I'm patient.

Not like I have a choice right now anyway, I'm juggling like five or six different chainsaws in the "Not Recovered Prototypes/Canned Games" category here.

DISCLAIMER: Not drunk if any of that's incoherent, pulled an all-night coding and am STILL far behind, but I had to take a break. Hi guys I haven't talked to in like a gajillion years!
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Ichiban Crush
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DISCLAIMER: The disclaimer in the post above applies below

By freak coincidence, when I posted this video in a classic/retro gaming group on Facebook, Arasoi from NintendoAge chimed in.

Wasn't expecting it AT ALL, I was just sharing the video that was basically "Hey, history lesson: We got this Japanese-developed game back in the day, but Japan didn't, despite it being a piece of a story told through multiple mediums. Anyway, this was found, cool opening, huh?"

I'm sure the staff here, the TCRF folk (I know he's been working with one of the staffers there) and people who post on NintendoAge know this (remember, I don't post on many other online forums, so I don't know where everyone hangs out), but he mulled over the plan for the repo and public ROM dump. VERY nice dude, by the way... and I'm just relaying it for anyone NOT in the know.

1. As stated by kazblox, the repos have to be sold before the public dump. What's not mentioned is that Arasoi giving the ROM, for the REPO, the full works. The repro being sold will not be an unaltered version of the proto dump, but rather fully translated and all the bugs fixed (I'm assuming that there's some more serious bugs not seen in the video.)

Arasoi_via_Facebook wrote:
...we are planning some interesting things for the repro run like white 72 pin cart shells to match the famicom 60 pin shell, and artwork from the original manga the Famicom title is based on.


That actually sounds quiet sexy.

I don't know how long that's going to delay a public dump of the ROM, but considering how much of a mess the actual US version of this game is, and its dialogue that's as vague as a smeared and splattered Snot-Vomit Rorschach test, hell, even I might get this game... but that depends on if I can get another certain (non-repo, released-but-expensive) Famicom game first, and my funds when the repos are finished. For all I know, I may need to buy new game development software or hire some folks to do things I know not how to do (or rather NOT do) for the project I'm working on, or if the next Game Jam I travel to is going to drain my wallet, I don't know, School, House, Wife and making new games come first. (Thank Cthulhu we're not planning on kids).

Shit, I really don't know when to shut up.

2. The PUBLIC DUMP, when that happens, will be unaltered. No bug fixes, no translation, no stamps, historically preserved as-is. I don't know if there are plans to release the fixed and translated ROM being used for the repro. Seems rude and "ROM-Kiddie-Greedy" to ask, plus, if someone else wanted to do the work, they could.

Edits: Just forgot how to use BBCode.
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BMF54123
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm really glad he's releasing the unaltered ROM, but I honestly don't understand this weird obsession with selling "fixed" repros of prototypes that so many people seem to have lately. I'm interested in prototypes BECAUSE they're unfinished and buggy. If I wanted to play a more polished version of the game, I'd just play the US version.
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Ichiban Crush
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree in other cases I've heard of, but in the case of Strider NES, it WASN'T up to Capcom's usual par. The in-game dialog was kind of shaky, even if you read the manual, and even the final NES product seemed a bit too flickery and weak detection.

If it's just a retranslation, I don't know if it'd be a buy for me. But if they fix what's broken (and I'm not saying NES Strider is Chettahmen 2-level of broken, but it felt rough even back then... ESPECIALLY for "blue border box"-era Capcom), it might be worth a buy if the price is right... and if I can afford that "right price", as physical revisions to games I already own in a nice shiny coat aren't exactly top fiscal priority (...except for one.)

And if not, screw it, I'll wait for Strider (2014) to either hit PS+ or Steam cheap/free, settle for that (I liked the demo), and wait for the repos to sell before messing around. I imagine the Double Helix reboot, plus Strider in MvC3's roster, has generated enough interest that the repos will go quickly enough.

It's really not a bad idea, if the game has bugs that make the thing unplayable at, say (pull out of my ass), some point in a corridor of the Egypt level. People may feel gypped to have paid for a broken game, even if it is a reproduction of a lost piece of history.

Again, I don't know just what kind of bugs the original ROM has, but if he wants to repro a "special edition" to make up for his financial loss in securing the proto, more power to him, as long as the unaltered ROM itself is free to the public. The guy seems to appreciate historic preservation, and if repos HAVE to be made, I'd rather it be this route than "Original data only on repros". Actually, I prefer the "Enhanced version of build on repo first, then original ROM public release" over "Original data on repros first, then ROM release" as long as it's true to the original vision. Don't know why, I just do.

Everyone wins. Believe me, I'd love to poke around the early build unaltered.

Plus if you want the original ROM on the cart, you can always get a repo of it made yourself when the original build's ROM goes public. Strider NES is not that uncommon of a game to find bare as a donor cart.
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Arasoi



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BMF54123 wrote:
I honestly don't understand this weird obsession with selling "fixed" repros of prototypes that so many people seem to have lately. I'm interested in prototypes BECAUSE they're unfinished and buggy. If I wanted to play a more polished version of the game, I'd just play the US version.


Hi BMF.

It has to do with what people are interested in purchasing as far as a reproduction run goes. Most folks that buy repro carts are not interested in something that they perceive to only have language differences when the game was released in english already. The released repro cart will also be bugfixed and improved beyond the US cart release which has it's own share of problems.

As far as a free rom download, that is a different story and I understand your viewpoint. But I need to make back my money for purchasing this prototype and I have to cater to people's interests.
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Ichiban Crush
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Arasoi! So you ARE fixing the rough parts that were in the original NES release? Okay! That's probably the best reason to buy this repro, aside from funding a public release of the unaltered ROM.

Hypothetically, an altered ROM patch of the released NES game that fixes the rough edges could easily turn up on RHDN (to date, there isn't one), and if one was sentimental enough for Strider NES, have a patched ROM of the NES game repro'ed to a donor NES cart (as I mentioned before, it's not a hard game to find.)

But it wouldn't have the awesome opening's "lyrics" or breakable blocks. or other unknown bits left out of the original American release.

I'm sure there are big enough Strider fans that would want to own what Arasoi plans to offer. Hell, I'm considering it, and there aren't many games that already have English releases that I would want a repo of.

Just so happens, BMF, that the one game I'd really want a repo of (especially if I could get a full package like what Arasoi is trying to accomplish) that I already own an official English version of is Hebereke with your patch. The only thing stopping me is that I'm not about to sacrifice my copy of Ufouria (which goes for $200~ cart only on eBay), but I'm trying to score a copy of Batman: RotJ to have that possibly repoed' since that's the only other game with the same mapper. Even though I can easily play the patched game in my living room, I'd like to have it as a "memorabilia item". Something that's sentimental to me, and not people who buy old video games as an "investment" (though I'm not going to lie and say I freaked out to see a game I paid $17 for go for $200 cart alone. but I have no plans to sell it.)

Note that Arasoi hasn't paid me to promote this or convince anyone that this is an awesome idea. I haven't seen the manga scans, what the cart will look like, or what kind of translation this is, and I wouldn't vocally say "this sounds like a good plan" unless I thought it was a good plan AS WELL as a fair deal for preservationists.
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BMF54123
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, Arasoi. Sorry if I was a bit harsh there; I'm kind of a purist when it comes to prototypes, especially ones that have proven to be infuriatingly elusive in the past. We've lost a few prototypes over the years because the owners insisted on only releasing a hacked or "improved" version, which is nearly worthless from a preservation standpoint (how much of the data is original, and how much was added after the fact by a hacker? Did they remove any unused data or debugging code to make room for their modifications?). As a result, projects like these tend to leave a sour taste in my mouth, even if the intentions are good. I would much rather donate towards an immediate clean ROM release than buy a hacked repro at some indeterminate future date.

Ichiban Crush wrote:
The only thing stopping me is that I'm not about to sacrifice my copy of Ufouria (which goes for $200~ cart only on eBay), but I'm trying to score a copy of Batman: RotJ to have that possibly repoed' since that's the only other game with the same mapper.

If you wanted to go the Famicom cartridge route, you could look for a copy of Dynamite Batman or Gremlins 2, though according to nesdev, they may not support the ROM banking method I used (putting the script in $6000-$7FFF).
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Ichiban Crush
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Disclaimer: Words. Mostly off topic. Skip to Part II of the post to avoid derail and mentions of that damn Penguin game.

Post Part I. If I buy any expensive Famicom game > $70, it's going to be a complete Hebereke, with no changes. Strangely enough, it's slightly cheaper than Ufouria bare (by about $20-$30 on eBay/Yahoo in most cases.) I've also got a friend in Japan looking for a copy for me (she's seen one or two going about the same price after Yen to US$ conversion... along with a flood of the SFC Hebe spinoffs at "OH GOD PLEASE GET RID OF THESE" prices.)

Though I wouldn't mind some additional Famicom carts. Only one I own is FF3, bare. Wouldn't mind increasing my collection.

If it COULD be done, I'd rather have your patch on a Hebereke ROM in NES casing, preferably similar to what Arasoi is doing with a white cart (but still 72-pin shape), with an English translation of the original Japanese manual, in a replication of a Sunsoft NES box with the same borders, on with the original Japanese cover in the "game title" field and some kind of joke "Ichiban Crush Seal of Approval" replacing the Nintendo one.

THAT would be my dream repro. But from what you're telling me, it sounds like it may not be technically possible, even on a Batman RotJ cart as a "donor".

Anyways, I couldn't afford that kind of frivolous vanity purchase right now (and I'll admit, it's a PRETTY DAMN vain and expensive hypothetical purchase), and right now, I don't know if I could commit to the Strider repro when that happens. Finals are coming up, and I had planned to spend the summer organizing our house (I still don't even have my office/"man cave" set up), coding a prototype of a potential game idea to pass around to some indie devs and members of the Georgia Game Development Association (which I'm a paid member of, and has my former Game Dev class instructor acting as president), and learning programming languages my school doesn't teach Game Dev majors (C#, JavaScript [two of the easiest and most essential not offered!?], possibly Lua?) So that, and the laptop I just ordered for game development and Game Jams, are where my funds are going at the moment.

Sorry, that was a HUUUGE derail.

Post Part II. As far as your ideal scenario of how ROM releases should go, BMF, you have to remember, ordinary classic game enthusiasts that aren't as nit-picky as we are outnumber us preservationists by a huge margin.

I understand where you're coming from, BMF'soph, I do. It's why I hang out here (and to avoid myself chewing out "hostage holding" proto collectors that only care about profit and nothing else, because sometimes I say mean things to petty assholes.) And honestly, I feel TERRIBLE that I haven't contributed financially to any proto releases, in any shape or form (I had just moved and was unemployed when LL was trying to get Bio Force Ape, and my wife didn't understand WHY that release was so important. She doesn't even understand the whole "prototype" concept, but she respects it.)

This topic came up on the said Facebook group where I ran into Arasoi, before I posted his video to the group, and and I'll paraphrase/expand what I said there:

If I had the money to buy prototypes, without backing, and it was something I had a personal interest in (e.g. most Taxan/Vic Tokai/Nexoft/Sunsoft/Capcom's games, a hypothetical proto to Toho's cancelled Ranma 1/2 Super Battle on SNES in English, the unreleased NES SimCity [assuming more than the one in Nintendo's vault exists in the wild], a more stable build of "that goddamned penguin game"), and I had the money to outbid everyone, the first thing I'd do... is play it, but THE SECOND THING I'D DO is contact you guys on how to have it dumped and released to the public... at no charge. And if the value of the proto is lowered, I wouldn't care because I rarely sell my OWN games. Because I'm not doing this for business or as an investment opportunity.

Yes, I have my ideals too. But sometimes ideals can make you starve.

That said, Arasoi's plan is pretty smart and fair way to cover his losses, by offering the Lowest Common Denominator a better game to actually plan than an unpolished version in a language they can't read at a cost. The cart release isn't for historians or preservationists. It's for folks that want to play a better version of the game than the one we got, if only minor, and has a few goodies. The Strider series has a cult fanbase, one large enough for Capcom to commission Double Helix to reboot.

This isn't Super Fighter Team buying the rights to some shitty Genesis Chines RPG and gloating how their "new Genesis game" is "undumpable" and then goes on to belittle romhackers... on a ROMHACKING FORUM.

This isn't a "prototype investor" demanding money on IndieGoGo to free the .iso to a (hypothetical) more complete build of "BioHazard 1.5" that we never knew about.

This isn't some douche smashing his prototype and taking pictures of "levels lost".

This is someone actually offering something in return. It's business, yes, but it's not for profit. Once the ROM is public, the physical prototype loses "collector value" in most of cases.

You guys know this could have ended up in a much worse/unfair scenario. Someone back me on this.

(*SIGH* Back to coding a crappy C++ text blackjack game)
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Arasoi



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BMF54123 wrote:
Hey, Arasoi. Sorry if I was a bit harsh there; I'm kind of a purist when it comes to prototypes, especially ones that have proven to be infuriatingly elusive in the past. We've lost a few prototypes over the years because the owners insisted on only releasing a hacked or "improved" version, which is nearly worthless from a preservation standpoint (how much of the data is original, and how much was added after the fact by a hacker? Did they remove any unused data or debugging code to make room for their modifications?). As a result, projects like these tend to leave a sour taste in my mouth, even if the intentions are good. I would much rather donate towards an immediate clean ROM release than buy a hacked repro at some indeterminate future date.


No worries. I'm sorry to hear that it has been such a problem getting the original dump released in the past. I consider it kind of a foregone conclusion to release the unaltered dump at the end of it. I guess others do not.

I can recall several frustrating situations personally in the past, regarding this kind of thing, namely someone asking a high price many years ago for a dump and refusing to even boot up the prototype cart or personal rom dump and look for differences between it and the final. For those who just want to see the data, even if they are willing to pay, it can be a frustrating process. So I have empathy for your position.

My situation isn't cut and dry unfortunately, I would need to raise far more money than I could gather from private donations to recover my initial cost in this prototype, so I must offer a product that will be interesting enough to buy. I'm taking the same approach Mrmark and Beaglepuss of Nintendo Age take on these repros, do the repro run, recover costs, release the rom out into the intertubes for everyone to enjoy free as in beer.

I also have a personal interest in seeing this prototype translated and bugfixed as a fan of the Strider series, and most especially the original manga that this game is based off of.

Ichiban, did someone really smash a prototype just to be spiteful? Thats horrible. Sad
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Ichiban Crush
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nah (well none that I know of), but part of the original BFA prank involved the "guy who found the cart" "destroying it" after a huge argument over dumping politics "for all the suffering the game's discovery had caused"

There was also the only known proto to an unreleased Neo-Geo game that was destroyed due to flood damage. But it was just another puzzle game from Sunsoft using characters for that damn penguin series. Apparently, the butthurt was rather severe in the NG community over that happening as the owner didn't bother to make a private dump.
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Arasoi



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To put some folks minds at ease, I wanted to show that I dumped the game today (my kazzo cart dumper just arrived):







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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Add me to the list of people to buy a copy of the repro, very cool that you will release the unaltered rom version too, everyone wins.

and be sure to add a mode where you can play as kain and sheena instead of hiryuu Wink
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