View Full Version : Dragon's Lair [NES] (withdrawn)

August 19th, 2012, 14:30
EDIT: I'm sorry, this simply isn't going to be presentable (let alone playable) in time for the deadline. I'm having immense trouble with the frame conversions and as such haven't had any opportunity to produce more than rudimentary gameplay. I still intend to finish this and post the ROM and source code, but it will not happen before the end of the month.

Nickname: Mindbleach
Project Name: Dragon's Lair
From: USA
Division: GAME
Platform: NES
Original Entry: YES
In last NEO Compo this project have won in the top 10: NO

Dragon's Lair was a full-motion video game released in 1983 as a Laserdisc-based arcade cabinet. It features 'Simon says' gameplay centered around approximately twenty minutes of Don Bluth animation.

I aim to faithfully port it to the Nintendo Entertainment System.

So far, I have an NES program which can play back video at up to 16 FPS, programmed in NBasic. (It's not much easier than straight ASM, but it's nicer to read.) The game will run at 10 FPS to keep the bitrate down. It uses MMC3 (the most popular memory mapper in commercial games) which limits ROM size to six megabits. I expect to fit at least ten minutes of color footage into this space. The game content is only really fifteen minutes because so many scenes were horizontally flipped and then repeated.

As with Trixter's 8088 Corruption demo, most of the hard work is done by the encoder. The NES itself just copies information to RAM, uses it as a background, and does some per-scanline scrolling to achieve vertical scaling. It's because of this imbalance that I've spent the last five days banging my head against my handwritten frame encoder. It's still not pretty, but it finally works. (Screenshots missing because of exactly how not-pretty it is.) I'll keep improving it for the next day or so and then use whatever it produces. The resolution and bitrate can still be doubled if my expectations of visual quality aren't met.

Obviously this would've been waaay easier as an SNES game, not least because of Mode7 to make fullscreen scaling trivial, but the SNES never had a terrible platformer adaptation. Part of my intent is to show what an NES adaptation might've been like if the people responsible knew what they were doing.

Demos, media, and code will be shared as soon as they're worth looking at.