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Thread: [Pulstar] "Extend" horizontal resolution of gameplay screens

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    [Pulstar] "Extend" horizontal resolution of gameplay screens

    Quite a number of Neo Geo games do not display the full horizontal resolution of 320 pixels and have a reduced visible screen width of 304 pixels.

    On CRTs, the left and right most 8 pixels fall within the overscan region. On modern displays, however, we can see these pixels clearly.

    Interestingly, for some games, the full graphics are still rendered there, however, they are intentionally 'blacked' out.

    Pulstar's gameplay screens are 304 pixels wide. I took a look and found the subroutines that perform this 'blacking', and these are the results of not running them.

    Stage-1.gif
    Stage-2.gif
    Stage-3.gif

    The mod is conveniently a simple 1 byte change at $364F8 from 1E to 64.
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    IPS

    NeoSD neo file
    Last edited by Clear Paper; 08-03-2020 at 06:13 AM. Reason: Added IPS patch

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    ForeverSublime's Avatar
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    I dig it. Thanks for sharing!

    //Subscribed to thread.

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    I assumed that was to hide glitches, if sprites near the edge of the screen were hidden/shown imprecisely.

    Come to think of it - are there any games where that's actually the case - where sprites don't show soon enough, if you get rid of the fix-layer blanking?
    I turned off signatures. So should you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpamYouToDeath View Post
    I assumed that was to hide glitches, if sprites near the edge of the screen were hidden/shown imprecisely.

    Come to think of it - are there any games where that's actually the case - where sprites don't show soon enough, if you get rid of the fix-layer blanking?
    Yes, KOF 96 is an egregious example of it. As a developer, if you knew the non-safe areas would not be seen, you would not bother so much about them.

    There were 'sloppy' screen transitions that permitted the rightmost 8-pixels to be displayed.
    E.g. Art of Fighting stage

    If you allow the character confrontation animations to complete, you'll see this screen:
    0001.png

    If you tap A to skip the character confrontations(bypassing the screen transition), you'll see the rightmost 8-pixels
    0002.png
    Which would not be a bad thing, were it not for the background not drawing properly as it scrolls.
    0006.png
    0007.png
    0009.png

    There are also other overscan aberrations like this as the Character Select screen is loaded.
    0005.png

    Want to point out that that is the default KOF 96 without any modification.
    Last edited by Clear Paper; 06-06-2020 at 03:18 AM.

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    Is this why Metal Slug has those black bars with exposed "notches" in the bottom corners when using my XRGB?
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    0000.png
    0001.png
    0002.png

    Yes, similarly, the side blacking subroutine here is incomplete, because there was no need to at the juncture.

    I'll get to it at some point.

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    I always wondered what was up with how inconsistently Neo Geo games handled edge blanking, this thread is fascinating.
    RIP Geese Howard. January 1953 - September 1920.. never forget

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    Awesome thread! Thanks for sharing your findings!

    Man, KOF 96 is all sorts of jank haha
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clear Paper View Post
    Quite a number of Neo Geo games do not display the full horizontal resolution of 320 pixels and have a reduced visible screen width of 304 pixels.

    On CRTs, the left and right most 8 pixels fall within the overscan region. On modern displays, however, we can see these pixels clearly.
    In the developer's manual it tells developers to do that. To use the fix layer to blank those bits off.

    I always thought that was a massive shame because you lose good space from the display area.

    Should have just used better CRTs!

    Quote Originally Posted by Clear Paper View Post
    There were 'sloppy' screen transitions that permitted the rightmost 8-pixels to be displayed.
    E.g. Art of Fighting stage
    There are so many bad transitions on Neo Geo games and arcade games in general. From memory Ghoul n Ghosts by Capcom - the intro seems like a real mess in that way. Not sure why. Strider has all sorts of weird transitions. Maybe it was too much effort to code proper fades/transitions.
    Last edited by Missile; 09-09-2020 at 12:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Missile View Post
    In the developer's manual it tells developers to do that. To use the fix layer to blank those bits off.

    I always thought that was a massive shame because you lose good space from the display area.

    Should have just used better CRTs!



    There are so many bad transitions on Neo Geo games and arcade games in general. From memory Ghoul n Ghosts by Capcom - the intro seems like a real mess in that way. Not sure why. Strider has all sorts of weird transitions. Maybe it was too much effort to code proper fades/transitions.
    Strider always felt like a rushed game to me, good as it is, it has a lot of weird rough spots including those odd transitions.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burning Fight!! View Post
    Strider always felt like a rushed game to me, good as it is, it has a lot of weird rough spots including those odd transitions.
    Yes I forgot about that - I remember it has the wrong soundtrack and there are some extra pixels stuck onto one of Strider's animation frames. Forgotten Worlds, Ghould N Ghosts and Strider were all in development at the same time as the first games for CPS1 hardware - so maybe they just wanted to rush them out like you say!

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    Haomaru's Blade Shiner
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    Any chance you could fix the Pulstar links? Or perhaps someone here can reupload?


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    Or you can just use a hex editor to change $364F8 from 1E to 64
    https://basementbrothers.net/

  14. #14
    RevQuixo. Who He?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo Alec View Post
    Or you can just use a hex editor to change $364F8 from 1E to 64
    Thats what I did.

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