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atari2600land's Blog - Way better music


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So if you downloaded my Frank the Fruit Fly game last night, you'd notice that the "music" had turned to just random notes instead of actual music. Turns out I had corrupted the music making code, but fixing it got back the original music, but it didn't sound much better. So I went to work deciphering, trying to figure out just how to make music work with this thing.

Each register has different notes to it, and it was up to me to figure out what note matched what register value. For instance, NR14_REG=0x87 has a completely different layout of notes than NR14_REG=0x86. After trial and error, I finally found a few values for notes and made up a couple of new songs for the game. The music now actually sounds like music instead of total crap. (By the way, I finished this last night, so the link to the ROM in the homebrew section is the version whose music I'm going with.)

I went to the store and got three Game Boy games. BuyBack$ is having a 40% off sale for some reason, so I got these for under $5 each instead of the $8 they wanted. I got Smurfs (player's choice version. Apparently this sold a lot of copies?), Solar Striker, and Nigel Mansell's World Championship Racing. Solar Striker is weird since the title screen says 1989 but it was released early 1990, so it was one of the first Game Boy games. It plays a lot like Xevious.

So anyway, now that I've figured out how to make Game Boy music (well, at least a few notes' values' worth) now I can focus on making the game again. But there's a problem: I don't know what to put in next. I do have an overall plan: Level 2 will be in the mountains, level 3 is a desert, and level 4 will be in a city. Each level will take up 32k, so level 1 will be finished when I run out of room and I'll need to learn how to bankswitch.

So I'm hoping for a 1 MB game in the end, which is what most Game Boy games are, either 1 or 2 MB. Oranges was only 32k, but it needed to be since it was such a simple game. One thing I want to do but don't know if I can test with a Game Boy Everdrive is game saving. So I'll probably use passwords.

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