- 📝 Posted:
- 🚚 Summary of:
- P0090, P0091
- ⌨ Commits:
- 💰 Funded by:
- Yanga, Ember2528
- 🏷 Tags:
- rec98 th01 file-format input menu bug
Back to TH01, and its high score menu… oh, wait, that one will eventually
involve keyboard input. And thanks to the generous TH01 funding situation,
there's really no reason not to cover that right now. After all,
TH01 is the last game where input still hadn't been RE'd.
But first, let's also cover that one unused blitting function, together with
REIIDEN.CFG loading and saving, which are in front of
the input function in
OP.EXE… (By now, we all know about
the hidden start bomb configuration, right?)
Unsurprisingly, the earliest game also implements input in the messiest
way, with a different function for each of the three executables. "Because
they all react differently to keyboard inputs ",
OP.EXE even has two functions for it, one for the
START / CONTINUE / OPTION / QUIT main
menu, and one for both Option and Music Test menus, both of which directly
perform the ring arithmetic on the menu cursor variable. A consistent
separation of keyboard polling from input processing apparently wasn't all
too obvious of a thought, since it's only truly done from TH02 on.
This lack of proper architecture becomes actually hilarious once you
notice that it did in fact facilitate a recursion bug!
In case you've been living under a rock for the past 8 years, TH01 shipped
with debugging features, which you can enter by running the game via
game d from the DOS prompt. These features include a
memory info screen, shown when pressing PgUp, implemented as one blocking
test_mem()) called directly in response to the
pressed key inside the polling function.
returns once that screen is left by pressing PgDown. And in order to poll
input… it directly calls back into the same polling function that called
it in the first place, after a 3-frame delay.
Which means that this screen is actually re-entered for every 3 frames
that the PgUp key is being held. And yes, you can, of course, also
crash the system via a stack overflow this way by holding down PgUp for a
few seconds, if that's your thing.
Edit (2020-09-17): Here's a video from spaztron64, showing off this exact stack overflow crash while running under the VEM486 memory manager, which displays additional information about these sorts of crashes:
What makes this even funnier is that the code actually tracks the last
state of every polled key, to prevent exactly that sort of bug. But the
copy-pasted assignment of the last input state is only done after
test_mem() already returned, making it effectively pointless
for PgUp. It does work as intended for PgDown… and that's why you
have to actually press and release this key once for every call to
test_mem() in order to actually get back into the game. Even
though a single call to PgDown will already show the game screen
In maybe more relevant news though, this function also came with what can
be considered the first piece of actual gameplay logic! Bombing via
double-tapping the Z and X keys is also handled here, and now we know that
both keys simply have to be tapped twice within a window of 20 frames.
They are tracked independently from each other, so you don't necessarily
have to press them simultaneously.
In debug mode, the
bomb count tracks precisely this window of
time. That's why it only resets back to 0 when pressing Z or X if it's
Sure, TH01's code is expectedly terrible and messy. But compared to the micro-optimizations of TH04 and TH05, it's an absolute joy to work on, and opening all these ZUN bug loot boxes is just the icing on the cake. Looking forward to more of the high score menu in the next pushes!