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Need help hacking Return of Heracles


doctorclu
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So the Return of Heracles is a game that is mostly joystick driven except for one part of the game where you are stopped by the Sphinx for the "riddle of the ages" which is:

 

"What walks on four legs in the morning, two in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening?"

 

To which you type on the keyboard "man".

 

Currently trying to get this game working on a system without a keyboard so typing that would be a stopping point in the game. Is there any way to hack a way past that?

 

Return of Heracles attached below if someone would like to take a crack at it.

 

 

Why?

-------------------------------------------------

Been playing with prototype emulators, one if the Atari 2600 emulator for the Atari Jaguar, and using what I learned there, I am thinking of trying the same trick on the Atari 800 emulator for the Nuon.

The_Return_of_Heracles.zip

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Find attached two blind guesses and let us know.

 

I searched for code which accesses probably correct answers and found it at runtime in RAM:

 

99E8: 03 4D 41 4E 03 4D 45 4E 04 48 4F 4D 4F 05 57 4F |.MAN.MEN.HOMO.WO|
99F8: 4D 41 4E 05 57 4F 4D 45 4E 05 48 55 4D 41 4E 06 |MAN.WOMEN.HUMAN.|
9A08: 50 45 4F 50 4C 45 06 50 45 52 53 4F 4E 06 48 55 |PEOPLE.PERSON.HU|
9A18: 4D 41 4E 53 07 4D 41 4E 4B 49 4E 44 07 50 45 52 |MANS.MANKIND.PER|
9A28: 53 4F 4E 53 08 48 55 4D 41 4E 49 54 59 09 48 55 |SONS.HUMANITY.HU|
9A38: 4D 41 4E 4B 49 4E 44 FF A9 30 20 1D 19 A9 04 20 |MANKIND..0 .... |

 

A search for code that acceses this are I found this which looks like a string compare for input data located at $99A3:

 

99B3: A9 E8 LDA #$E8
99B5: 85 BA STA $BA
99B7: A9 99 LDA #$99
99B9: 85 BB STA $BB
99BB: AD A3 99 LDA $99A3
99BE: A0 00 LDY #$00
99C0: D1 BA CMP ($BA),Y
99C2: B0 03 BCS $99C7
99C4: A9 00 LDA #$00
99C6: 60 RTS
99C7: D0 0E BNE $99D7
99C9: A8 TAY
99CA: B9 A3 99 LDA $99A3,Y
99CD: D1 BA CMP ($BA),Y
99CF: D0 06 BNE $99D7
99D1: 88 DEY
99D2: D0 F6 BNE $99CA
99D4: A9 01 LDA #$01
99D6: 60 RTS

 

My guess is that the RTS with LDA #$01 is the correct one.

 

This code is called from here:

 

98D7: 20 72 18 JSR $1872
98DA: 20 13 99 JSR $9913
98DD: 20 B3 99 JSR $99B3
98E0: D0 07 BNE $98E9

 

v1 patches $98DA to JMP $98E9

v2 patches $98DD to JMP $98E9

Return of Heracles (The)-v1.atr

Return of Heracles (The)-v2.atr

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So far things are still panning out. Things have to be challenging or you don't have a good story right? :P

 

nuon.cd-Herc.zip

Didn't load this, might still. This was the original Return of Herc before the modifications above.

 

nuon.cd-Herc2.zip

post-4709-0-55309200-1522157967_thumb.jpg

Loaded but gargled. Maybe burned too quickly (have to made CD-Rs every time you try).

 

Cleaned it up a bit, burned slower...

nuon.cd-Herc3.zip

 

And got a black screen after the initial warning screen you get on the fanmade stuff.

 

So just letting you know the hack above was appreciated and playing with this currently on the Nuon.

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Cool Clu - it's been a very long time since I saw "nuon.cd" :)

 

I've been hoping to get something new for the Nuon library. To me it really was the "Jaguar 2."

 

I think turn based games make good choices for the Nuon emulator which seems to run at about... 35% true speed. :P

 

So game that work well with 35% speed and no sound? Oh, and no keyboard interaction aside from start, option, and select.

 

Would love to hear some suggestions, maybe I can try those out.

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post-4709-0-66398500-1522190721.jpg

 

So mostly good news.

 

The scrambled screen was Return of Heracles with Basic engaged. So I managed to turn off basic and got things to display right. It's tricky getting that to happen. You have to hold down C (the button next to B key) and hit left on the D pad immediately after hitting A at the intro screen. My advice is to hold down that combination all throughout the load.

 

While start, option and select are working, there is next to no feedback from the joystick. So you get to the screen to add a hero, and then no joystick controls.

 

So here we have the game:

nuon-Herc.zip

 

And I made a version with the basic cartridge zeroed out. It crashes if it tries to use basic, but at least the load will fail without having you go through the load needlessly.

nuon-Herc no-bas.zip

 

And for now I am out of ideas. :P

 

 

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Ok, after sleeping on it and if some of you are up for a challenge I thought about this:

 

In emulation, and it was an incomplete conversion of Atari 800 version 1.7.0 and as such, maybe there is a timing call hanging up the controls?

 

In Return of Heracles there was a slight pause for messages. Also this pause could be adjusted for speed from slow to lightning fast. So this ability or pause might be something that the controller is not recovering from?

 

The points the controller freezes have been:

 

-The introductions.

-If you hold down option during the entire load process you will get to the setup screen, which you then hit start and it says to "use Joystick 1 to select hero". It times out and gives you the option to "add Ascepius" or "add someone else" and you loose controls at this point.

 

So if there is a message pause, maybe waiting for input from a controller, that would be interesting.

 

Of course I realize that if you simply deleted this pause the game would fly by without input from the player and crash in new spectacular ways. :/ Hmmm...

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