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This time around, laser is 📝 actually not difficult, with TH01's shootout laser class being simple enough to nicely fit into a single push. All other stationary lasers (as used by YuugenMagan, for example) don't even use a class, and are simply treated as regular lines with collision detection.
But of course, the shootout lasers also come with the typical share of TH01 jank we've all come to expect by now. This time, it already starts with the hardcoded sprite data:
A shootout laser can have a width from 1 to 8 pixels, so ZUN stored a
separate 16×1 sprite with a line for each possible width (left-to-right).
Then, he shifted all of these sprites 1 pixel to the right for all of the
8 possible start positions within a planar VRAM byte (top-to-bottom).
Because… doing that bit shift programmatically is way too
expensive, so let's pre-shift at compile time, and use 16× the memory per
Since a bunch of other sprite sheets need to be pre-shifted as well (this is the 5th one we've found so far), our sprite converter has a feature to automatically generate those pre-shifted variations. This way, we can abstract away that implementation detail and leave modders with .BMP files that still only contain a single version of each sprite. But, uh…, wait, in this sprite sheet, the second row for 1-pixel lasers is accidentally shifted right by one more pixel that it should have been?! Which means that
- we can't use the auto-preshift feature here, and have to store this weird-looking (and quite frankly, completely unnecessary) sprite sheet in its entirety
- ZUN did, at least during TH01's development, not have a sprite converter, and directly hardcoded these dot patterns in the C++ code
The waste continues with the class itself. 69 bytes, with 22 bytes
outright unused, and 11 not really necessary. As for actual innovations
though, we've got
📝 another 32-bit fixed-point type, this
time actually using 8 bits for the fractional part. Therefore, the
ray position is tracked to the 1/256th of a pixel, using the full
precision of master.lib's 8-bit sin() and cos() lookup
Unblitting is also remarkably efficient: It's only done once the laser stopped extending and started moving, and only for the exact pixels at the start of the ray that the laser traveled by in a single frame. If only the ray part was also rendered as efficiently – it's fully blitted every frame, right next to the collision detection for each row of the ray.
With a public interface of two functions (spawn, and update / collide /
unblit / render), that's superficially all there is to lasers in this
game. There's another (apparently inlined) function though, to both reset
and, uh, "fully unblit" all lasers at the end of every boss fight… except
that it fails hilariously at doing the latter, and ends up effectively
unblitting random 32-pixel line segments, due to ZUN confusing both the
coordinates and the parameter types for the line unblitting function.
A while ago, I was asked about this crash that tends to happen when defeating Elis. And while you can clearly see the random unblitted line segments that are missing from the sprites, I don't quite think we've found the cause for the crash, since the 📝 line unblitting function used there does clip its coordinates to the VRAM range.
Next up: The final piece of image format code in TH01, covering Reimu's sprites!