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MSU1 hack suggestion: Hong Kong '97 
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 Re: MSU1 hack suggestion: Hong Kong '97
Kawa wrote:
So apparently Breakout and Donkey Kong are not serious games.

Good to know :3

Funny thing: There's a homebrew VCS version of Donkey Kong that is better in almost every way than the NES version. (all four maps and cutscenes, unfortunately tall stage maps result in vertical scrolling and the girders on the first stage don't slope)
As near as I can tell, Nintendo actually hates the Donkey Kong games. It is the only explanation for the utterly pathetic treatment they have been given to date.

A damn sight nicer than the old VCS Coleco port.

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2016-11-07 11:48
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 Re: MSU1 hack suggestion: Hong Kong '97
It's worth noting that the original arcade version of Donkey Kong has its source code held hostage by the company that Nintendo contracted to write it. Nintendo have no legal right to make a Virtual Console version of the arcade original.

At the time, Nintendo were low on programming talent, so they hired Ikegami Tsushinki Co. (ITC), a television manufacturing company, to program the game under Miyamoto's direction. But the contract gave Ikegami exclusive rights to sell arcade boards to Nintendo at 70,000 en each.

Nintendo later moved to manufacturing the boards directly. Then they contracted Iwasaki to reverse engineer Donkey Kong's code to reuse it for Donkey Kong Jr. (in fact, Iwasaki's programmers were among the first to join Nintendo's new R&D division). But both actions were performed without Ikegami's consent, so they sued Nintendo for 580,000,000 en, which would have been approximately $8,700,000. The lawsuit lasted for 7 years until the courts ruled in Ikegami's favor, and both companies chose to settle out of court.

It's a mystery why Donkey Kong 64's arcade minigame was allowed to resemble the arcade version so closely. Maybe because it would technically be MIPS (Nintendo 64) code instead of Z80 (arcade) code? But other than that, this legal conflict is often cited as the reason wyy Nintendo would re-release the Famicom/NES version instead of the arcade version every time.

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2016-11-07 14:53
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 Re: MSU1 hack suggestion: Hong Kong '97
> There is apparently a usable C compiler for the NES.

I just covered this :P

Yes, you can write C for anything Turing complete. But when you're working with a 1.7 - 2.5MHz 65xx, you can't afford to throw away 80% of performance on trying to implement C with only one accumulator.

The 65xx is zen-like to program for, I enjoy it. But I recognize it's one of the most pathological cases for a C compiler to try and target. Short of something just absurd like a VLIW architecture.

> So apparently Breakout and Donkey Kong are not serious games.

On the Atari or NES, sure. But not on the SNES.

Would you have paid $60 (at the time, which would be around $120 at today's inflation) for the SNES version of Breakout? I wouldn't. Not when I could buy Contra 3, or Final Fantasy VI, or Actraiser.

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2016-11-07 16:00
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 Re: MSU1 hack suggestion: Hong Kong '97
Yeah well, I have a C compiler for SNES and I quite like the results, thank you :)

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2016-11-07 16:45
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 Re: MSU1 hack suggestion: Hong Kong '97
hex_usr wrote:
It's worth noting that the original arcade version of Donkey Kong has its source code held hostage by the company that Nintendo contracted to write it. Nintendo have no legal right to make a Virtual Console version of the arcade original.

At the time, Nintendo were low on programming talent, so they hired Ikegami Tsushinki Co. (ITC), a television manufacturing company, to program the game under Miyamoto's direction. But the contract gave Ikegami exclusive rights to sell arcade boards to Nintendo at 70,000 en each.

Nintendo later moved to manufacturing the boards directly. Then they contracted Iwasaki to reverse engineer Donkey Kong's code to reuse it for Donkey Kong Jr. (in fact, Iwasaki's programmers were among the first to join Nintendo's new R&D division). But both actions were performed without Ikegami's consent, so they sued Nintendo for 580,000,000 en, which would have been approximately $8,700,000. The lawsuit lasted for 7 years until the courts ruled in Ikegami's favor, and both companies chose to settle out of court.

That is very interesting, and I knew none of it. Thanks!
That DOES explain why Nintendo's never shiped an emulation of the arcade, sadly.

1990 was slightly too early to wrap things up. Game emulation and the retrogaming market hadn't taken off yet.
A few years later and Nintendo would've gladly paid more in the settlement to get the code copyright transferred to them, but in 1990 it was dead code for a dead game that was only usable on dead hardware.


Quote:
It's a mystery why Donkey Kong 64's arcade minigame was allowed to resemble the arcade version so closely. Maybe because it would technically be MIPS (Nintendo 64) code instead of Z80 (arcade) code? But other than that, this legal conflict is often cited as the reason wyy Nintendo would re-release the Famicom/NES version instead of the arcade version every time.

The DK64 version being a port instead of emulation would totally explain it.
Citing the suit as a reason for every other release being the NES version seems dubious*. They clearly only had the code copyright, not audiovisual or gameplay copyright. I mean, if they did have more extensive copyright claims, the NES port would still infringe on their rights(as well as the Atarisoft ports and the Coleco ports).

*It is a lot like the infamous gamepad patent, which people cite up, down, left, and right without actually reading or comprehending. In both situations the actual rights granted are much more limited than the internet typically claims.



But the DK64 port likely can't be easily broken out and released standalone. And of the systems Nintendo has emulators for(based on the Virtual Console releases), the only other platforms with DK on them are the C64 and MSX1.
And aside from those ports both being kinda ugly(but more complete), they STILL aren't versions Nintendo owns(Atarisoft and Ocean). So the NES version is the only one they can release standalone without making a new port or buying a copy off someone else(likely Infogrames-Atari in both cases).


I can't say I'd approve development of a new port if I were in Nintendo's shoes either. Donkey Kong is iconic and a major historical milestone for the company, but it also isn't a huge moneymaker.






byuu wrote:
> There is apparently a usable C compiler for the NES.

I just covered this :P

Yes, you can write C for anything Turing complete. But when you're working with a 1.7 - 2.5MHz 65xx, you can't afford to throw away 80% of performance on trying to implement C with only one accumulator.

The 65xx is zen-like to program for, I enjoy it. But I recognize it's one of the most pathological cases for a C compiler to try and target. Short of something just absurd like a VLIW architecture.

Note that I said USABLE. You did not cover that.


Quote:
> So apparently Breakout and Donkey Kong are not serious games.

On the Atari or NES, sure. But not on the SNES.

Would you have paid $60 (at the time, which would be around $120 at today's inflation) for the SNES version of Breakout? I wouldn't. Not when I could buy Contra 3, or Final Fantasy VI, or Actraiser.

Or Arkanoid: DoH it Again! Wait a second, that's just a souped-up Breakout...
Let's go for Smash TV instead... wait, that's just a glitzy Robotron.
Maybe Space Invaders? Wait, that isn't even souped-up.
How about Williams Arcade Hits? 'S at least a collection.
I guess we could get Battletoads. Wait, that is still just a prettier NES game.
Of course, we could always fall back on Mario All-Stars, or as I like to call it "Super Mario 3 and some games that aged very poorly."

(Also, if I recall correctly FF3 retailed at 80 USD, not 60. Big money, big data! Also, Actraiser is not among the system's finest games, and I think it and Contra were both 50. And In fairness to myself, Arkanoid and Space Invaders were both sub-50 games, owing to being small games late in the system's life after ROM prices fell. So they WERE cheaper.)

I paid full price for Tempest 2000(the Win9x/DOS port, I wasn't 1337 enough to own a Jag), and never had regrets.


This thing you claim no one would do was a thing that people did frequently enough for some companies to make it their entire business plan(Digital Eclipse, we miss you!).

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2016-11-07 23:11

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 Re: MSU1 hack suggestion: Hong Kong '97
I think we're missing the real question: if Hong Kong 97 had CD-quality audio, but was also written in C, would it still be worth 60 bucks? (Absolutely)


2016-11-08 07:52
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 Re: MSU1 hack suggestion: Hong Kong '97
Revenant wrote:
I think we're missing the real question: if Hong Kong 97 had CD-quality audio, but was also written in C, would it still be worth 60 bucks? (Absolutely)

A bargain at twice the price.

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2016-11-08 08:11

Joined: 2014-09-27 09:27
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 Re: MSU1 hack suggestion: Hong Kong '97
byuu wrote:
> So apparently Breakout and Donkey Kong are not serious games.

On the Atari or NES, sure. But not on the SNES.

Would you have paid $60 (at the time, which would be around $120 at today's inflation) for the SNES version of Breakout? I wouldn't. Not when I could buy Contra 3, or Final Fantasy VI, or Actraiser.

I would love to see a more elaborate incarnation of Mario Bros. while retaining the lack of a level cap like the NES version did. There's a seemingly pretty good version in the GBA port of either Super Mario World or Super Mario World 2 (I think you can only play 100 levels at which point it forces a ending). There's also the severely restricted version in Super Mario bros. 3 that I also enjoy, it's just it is always a best out of 5 Vs. game or a minigame Vs. which is laaaaaaame. I don't want to compete, I want to co-op/single player like Trog!

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2016-11-13 13:55
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 Re: MSU1 hack suggestion: Hong Kong '97
Franpa wrote:
I don't want to compete, I want to co-op/single player like Joust!


Fixed it for ya.

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2016-11-13 14:05
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 Re: MSU1 hack suggestion: Hong Kong '97
Franpa wrote:
There's a seemingly pretty good version in the GBA port of either Super Mario World or Super Mario World 2

And Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Bros. 3. And Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, a Game Boy Advance original.

There were 5 Game Boy Advance games that have the exact same Mario Bros. component included:

  • Super Mario Advance (a modified port of Super Mario Bros. 2)
  • Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2
  • Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3
  • Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

All of them are interchangeable and can link to each other for multiplayer. This version of Mario Bros. has both Classic and Battle modes of play, the former of which allows co-op with 4 players, but each one needs their own cartridge (the latter requires only 1 cartridge).

The "best of 5" mode, I think, was introduced in Super Mario All-Stars on SNES (and is the Battle mode on GBA), so it's not available in the NES original.

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2016-11-13 14:10
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