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Old 06-07-2013, 06:02 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Québec
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Default Contra Demo 6 - Revenge of the Red Falcon

For those interested in Contra for the NES, here's an update of the demo I'm working on. If you are new to this hack, I suggest you start with level 1. All demos are downloadable here:


It's also recommended that you at least beat the original Contra, for this hack is a lot longer and harder. The hack is divided into two ROMs because I ran into a free space problem. Level 4 starts on a new ROM. This problem will be resolved with ROM expansion in the next release...

The intro screen was modified more extensively than with previous iterations, to make place for the new title. I'm quite satisfied with the colors, and I tried to move the elements around and remove some of them. The final layout is not definitive, though...

Level 6 is Energy Zone, renamed to Power Plant in the hack. I fiddled with the palettes, and I finally chose a mix of dark red and green tones. The length of the level passed from 11 to 30 screens, so you'll have plenty of occasions to die...

Not a lot of new enemies in level 6. We have now three different types of Fire Bursts, down, left and right. No change was made to their behavior. I could have made them faster, but I feel like it doesn't add a lot to the gameplay, except die faster. There's a table at $2A0B that let you change the 4 possible lengths of the beams, according to their attribute value. Another attribute (different bit field) lets you change the delay between the bursts, which can be zero. A short beam with 0 delay means you can't pass it, so you have to be cautious with the attributes. A very long beam with no delay is still acceptable because by the time it retracts and comes back, you can clear it. For some reason, the rightward beam seems to be coded with some random factor added. This means the delay is somewhat unpredictable. I think it feels like fake difficulty, so I used it only once in the entire level...

The other new enemy in level 6 is the Boss Robot, modified slightly. He moves a little faster, jumps less high (loses less time in the air), and can shoot many more consecutive Spiked Disks. You will have to time your jumps carefully. His HP was beefed up quite a bit, so he can now take a lot of punishment before being destroyed. The Spiked Disks he throws can also be modified with ease, tables are readily modifiable. I tried many different combinations, trying to make them move faster, but in the end, it was becoming awfully hard no to die, so I left them unchanged...

There's an enemy you've seen since level 1, but with a different behavior in level 6: the Mortar shots. These new types of Mortars act like fragmentation grenades. Level 5 had single Mortars that appeared out of nowhere, fired at different angles. This time, Mortars divide into bullets in 4 different patterns. The Triple Mortar (with gravity bombs) is also present, as usual. I had to create new ASM code to make sure the new behavior of the mortar in level 6 would not break the old behavior in level 5 (and vice-versa)...

I added another small change. The Standard Weapon (white bullets) and the F Weapon can now have 8 bullets on screen at any given time, instead of 4. Since the difficulty is very high, I thought that it would at least remove the annoyance of having to wait for some bullets to disappear before being able to shoot again. Other weapons were not changed. The M Weapon has a maximum of 6, and the S Weapon has a maximum of 10...

Now, go ahead and enjoy the challenge!


Original ROM: Contra (U) [!].nes

Questions and comments are welcome...
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