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Moon Patrol body shop !


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I always hated the original buggy sprite, but I loved the tank like tracks (instead of wheels).. at least they looked like tank tracks to me..

so Inspired by EnterDude's topic for a complete graphic upgrade of Moon Patrol,

I tried to improve the body of the buggy for a modest graphic replacement hack.

The first attempts where pretty good, but then I read that (Quote: It appears the black PMGs are Double wide and Purple PMGs are Quad wide) what ???? :-o

Let me tell you that I have a new respect for the original graphic designer for he have to draw a recognizable buggy with Double wide and Quad wide blocks.

So taking in account the limitations of the game I came with this shape !

I believe the existing tracks/wheels of the buggy are the best compromise (I tried different design combinations but they don't work when animated..)

What do you think ?




Edited by TIX
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With Miner 2049er wrapping up I thought I would take a look at the Moon Patrol hex code.




And I found it!!




I changed that into a block to see if I had the right area and got this...


Moon Patrol 00.rom


And then everything under that is the black layer and animation



So we found the buggy. Now to find that color code to change from blue to yellow. Why yellow though? Most arcade versions of Moon Patrol I have seen have the moon buggy as redish or pink.

Edited by doctorclu
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:D . Ok, some good news and bad news.


Good news: we know where the buggy sprites are! It is two layers (unlike the 2600 version of one color).




Bad news: If reading the above correctly, we are seeing a few thing going on. First off, the programmers used an effect where the pixel are about two pixel's wide (sometimes more, but that in a bit.)




The black animation is eight pixels wide, just stretched out. And I figure they cover (from the blue layer above) from 1470 to 1476. I believe 1473 is stretched out a bit more than the rest (double the others). The same stretch trick is used on 1477.


In other words, no wonder you had such a difficult time looking for this. I encountered this stretch trick however on 2600 and 800 versions of Fast Eddie when making the Bubsy hack.


The rolling animations, BTW, and the second bit of bad news, are eight pixels wide once again stretched out. Unlike the blue layer these are pixel for pixel with no funny business. At least for 1479 to 1480 (actually 8 pixels apart counting in hex). The wheel pixels I haven't determined if they are all the same pixel size.


Making three rolling wheels with eight pixels is not easy. However, for the 2600 version I developed a type of rolling wheel effect for two wheels and three wheels. While I was happy with this hack using two frames of animation, I always wished (and may one day add) another layer so the buggy can be two colors.


I believe more frames of animation were made for the Atari 800, which might be good or bad news, I haven't figured that out yet, and need to figure out how all this runs together:




So that is my assessment of what we have so far. :)

Edited by doctorclu
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So I misunderstood how things were laid out, but you'll see how this works. Sometimes you can't know for sure till you tinker with things.


The pixels are wide and short.


First I removed the black except for the wheels:


Moon Patrol 02.rom


Then I started removing columns:






Moon Patrol 03.rom



And I've found there are marker or reference points. You delete the one right above all this (at 146B), just one pixel, and you get a rover.... :P


Moon Rover.rom


And there is a dot under all this (at 1478). You delete it, the wheels don't know where to go and it all goes bonkers.


Fun stuff. So that should give a better idea of what we got here.


I found your original message that started this off.

Edited by doctorclu
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Yeah not bad !


From your explanation I understand that my buggy isn't doable, and from the first results I can see the problem.

The body isn't lined up with the wheels, and I suppose this can't change ?? (move the wheels slightly to the right)

So back to the drawing board :)

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oh oh, just realized something..

correct me if I'm wrong, the width of the black layer is only between the two lines ??? :woozy:


HA... yeh, the black layer is in between the two lines. Which is why I did not have a black highlight on the front gun.


Not perfect, but hey, I think the buggy already looks better.

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Taking screenshots I have managed to find the animation frames of the flying enemies,

If I'm not mistaken they are two frames (maybe more..) for each monochrome spacecraft (made with double wide pixels of course :P )..


As arcade authenticity goes:

- the red flying saucer is close enough and with little tweaking can be perfect (plus it is rotating)

- the yellow flying saucer is better than the egg yolk :) ? of the arcade (plus it is rotating beautifully)

- the blue bomber seems tiny in comparison and needs work, but the only way to give volume is to expand the sprite vertically.. you think that is possible ??

See the (wip) bomber sprite last in line !


The buggy factory keeps coming up with new wacky designs :-D , I wait to see the last one in action to decide how to proceed !!


Edited by TIX
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With the 06b rom above I have noticed that every so often, usually in the second to the last stage of a set, there is a blank box beneath the surface. (shown in the picture below) . I've played the 06b rom to level M with no problem, but simply found this fascinating.


Edited by doctorclu
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