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Author Topic: ROM Hacks: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Release  (Read 6894 times)

RHDNBot

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ROM Hacks: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Release
« on: January 16, 2016, 02:22:43 am »

Update By: Trax

After many years of on and off progress, the final version of Revenge of the Red Falcon is finally available...

The hack progressed in parallel with the development of the editor Red Falcon, a level editor for Contra on the NES. As the editor evolved, the hack could progress until completion. As soon as the first level could be saved, the hack took a start, and multiple demos were released over time, with incremental adjustments along the way...

This hack is aimed at players who can, at minimum, beat the original game with ease. The beginner or casual player may have a hard time with the hack, as the difficulty level is meant to be higher than the original game. Levels are a lot longer and enemies attack faster, or behave in a more random fashion. There's also a few palette changes, a new Intro Screen and a longer epilogue. Bosses are very tough...

Are you up for the challenge?

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mrrichard999

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Re: ROM Hacks: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Release
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2016, 12:09:05 pm »
Prepare to throw your controller at the television!  ;D

Awesome job!  :thumbsup:

vhr2121

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Re: ROM Hacks: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Release
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2016, 01:53:39 pm »
Oh my! So this is it, eh? I'm so gonna play the heck out of this thing! I did beat the previous version, so I hope those changes you did were for better. Thanks!

Trax

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Re: ROM Hacks: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Release
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2016, 03:33:19 am »
To be honest, if you followed the entire process and played all demo levels, it's possible that you will consider the changes as minor ones. It's more the sum of all the changes that make it a better hack as a whole. I posted a thread with more details in the Personal Projects section, but it was not the correct way to do it, so I'll post some more details here about the changes that I made between demo 8 and final release...

I made many changes to the enemy AI to set the difficulty to a reasonable level. Some sections and bosses were simply too overwhelming, even for the seasoned veteran, including myself. I did a few touch up jobs in the level layouts. Added a platform here and there, a hole that is a bit too wide, etc. I removed enemies that would spawn and shoot you while in mid-air, which was akin to fake difficulty in some places. Some mortar shots in level 7 were very hard to avoid or didn't give enough reaction time...

Levels 1 and 3 didn't have correct data for Running Men frequency. Each screen in a level has a specific byte that define the probability of a Running Man to be generated, and whether it shoots or not. So I created that. In the previous demos, the original data sequence was overshot (because the new levels are longer), so as soon as you reached a screen number higher than the original level length, random bytes were being read, which gave erratic behaviors in some sections...

Rifle Men now shoot a random number of bullets at each attack. This makes the game a little more random, and it makes it a bit easier to get out of the stream of bullets when you're trapped, especially when two or more Rifle Men are shooting at you...

Gray Turrets also pause a little longer between attacks, again to let the player get out of a bullet trap while standing on a small platform or in water...

I changed the pattern of Spawning Cores in the last room of the level 4, before the boss room, because I thought it was visually unacceptable when a new Core appeared partially over a destroyed one. I thought about writing elaborate ASM to make the generator wait until all the cores are destroyed before generating the next wave, but it seemed complicated and error-prone, and therefore not worth the hassle. Instead, I use the same pattern, but I added some ASM to have them appear at jump height in level 4, and at standing height in level 2...

I reduced the HP of the Spiked Walls in level 7, mostly because destroying walls is boring...

For the level 1 boss, the Barricade with Bomb Turrets, you now have to destroy both Turrets before the Plated Door becomes vulnerable. The Boss Eye of level 2 is now reverted to its own projectile, instead of a mix of level 2 and 4 projectiles. Some people were against that, and I also thought it was cool at first, but I decided to keep each boss with its own identity. I also decreased the frequency of attacks of the Boss Eye. When you have the S Weapon, it's okay to have bosses attack you like crazy, but it has to be fine tuned for other weapons as well...

For the Level 3 Dinosaur Boss, I increased the delay before it closes its mouth, leaving a few more frames to shoot it...

In level 5, the Flying Saucers of the Alien Carrier boss now move a little less fast, leaving a more reasonable time to shoot or avoid them...

The boss of level 7, the Mortar Launchers, attacked way too frequently, generating an overwhelming steam of bullets or bombs, making it very difficult, if not impossible, to find a safe spot. So I added more delay. The variations in the shots (Triple Mortar or the special Scatter Shots) are still there, though...

Level 8 had a few changes in some places where too many enemies would be generated and cause unwanted lag...

I also removed the demo plays that start when you wait a few seconds on the Intro Screen. Before that, you only saw the two players do stupid moves and get killed because they still have the original inputs. I thought it was not really interesting, so I just changed a few bytes to make the Intro Screen never enter the demo mode. No need to wait, there's nothing to see...

I thought about making a real cart out of it. I read some tutorials on programmable ROMs and such, but I think the hardest part is to find a compatible donor cartridge. It has to be a ROM with 16 banks (256k), and the MMC1 mapper chip. If anyone has more info on that matter, or a compatible cart, let me know...

One final note. If you want to start at a specific level, I left a piece of code in the ROM that lets you do that. Go to offset 0x3F633 (add 0x10 for the header), and you'll see these bytes: A9 00. Simply replace 00 with any value, where 00 is level 1 and 07 is level 8...

snarfblam

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Re: ROM Hacks: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Release
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2016, 09:34:50 am »
I gave this a quick play last night. The changes made were minor, but it definitely makes things easier. The last demo released was punishingly difficult, which was fine by me; it feels like quite an accomplishment to beat it, but Contra is the only game I would personally ever welcome that kind of difficulty in, and I'm sure it was over the top for most. The final version is fairer and better balanced, and as long as you're careful and attentive you have a shot.

Regarding carting, rather than sacrificing a donor, you may be able to get new parts. It looks like infiniteneslives doesn't have MMC1 in stock right now, and I could have sworn that bunnyboy sold MMC1 hardware at retrousb.com, but I don't see any carting hardware on his site anymore. It couldn't hurt to shoot them a message, though.

Lenophis

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Re: ROM Hacks: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Release
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2016, 06:32:51 pm »
This hack is aimed at players who can, at minimum, beat the original game with ease
I can't even beat the original game. :crazy: I think I need to hook up with a Game Genieā„¢ again! :laugh:


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magictrufflez

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Re: ROM Hacks: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Release
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2016, 12:20:17 pm »
As someone who always sucked at Contra, I can confirm I am not up to this challenge.

sjdswanlund

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Re: ROM Hacks: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Release
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2016, 11:49:29 pm »
If this is the final version, does that mean there is also no chance of the Red Falcon editor being ported to Windows now?  I had asked about the possibility when the original had been released, but can't remember what the answer had been to its likelihood.

Greyfox

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Re: ROM Hacks: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Release
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2016, 07:37:28 am »
Harder than the original Contra was? no, thank you, sir. Congratulations on the work though.

snarfblam

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Re: ROM Hacks: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Release
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2016, 05:17:34 pm »
If this is the final version, does that mean there is also no chance of the Red Falcon editor being ported to Windows now?  I had asked about the possibility when the original had been released, but can't remember what the answer had been to its likelihood.

afaik Trax has no intention of doing so, but he has put up documentation on the ROM. At some point down the road, when I have the time and inclination, I'll probably make a windows equivalent.

retromarine

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Re: ROM Hacks: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Release
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2016, 07:02:22 pm »
needs to be a single rom

Isao Kronos

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Re: ROM Hacks: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Release
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2016, 07:24:01 pm »

Candra Software

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Re: ROM Hacks: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Release
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2016, 03:34:56 am »
needs to be a single rom
You can find the download for the IPS file from the Project Page as mentioned in the first post.

Trax

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Re: ROM Hacks: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Release
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2016, 12:32:09 am »
Good news, everyone. I completed my hacking guide for Contra (US version) and it has been added to the database. The ZIP file contains the guide and another document with all the enemy attributes (that I know of, at least). Here is the download link...

If you have any questions on the contents of the document, let me know by email. Or in this thread...

As for the next projects, I see that some people could enjoy the hack if there was an "Easy" mode. Like I did in the past, I could make a version where the levels are identical, but all enemy AI is set to the original parameters, which would effectively make the game easier...

Grimlock

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Re: ROM Hacks: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Release
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2016, 02:55:02 pm »
Having a normal and easy version of the hack sounds like a good idea.  You would definitely reach a much larger audience.

Gamerhenky

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Re: ROM Hacks: Revenge of the Red Falcon - Final Release
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2016, 03:20:13 am »
I need robots. RotRF and Mt. Challenge needs transform soldier into probotector, but i love robots.
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