- 📝 Posted:
- 🚚 Summary of:
- ⌨ Commits:
- 💰 Funded by:
- Ember2528, -Tom-
- 🏷 Tags:
- rec98 th04 th05 file-format pc98 player bomb boss shinki ex-alice animation waste
Didn't quite get to cover background rendering for TH05's Stage 1-5 bosses in this one, as I had to reverse-engineer two more fundamental parts involved in boss background rendering before.
First, we got the those blocky transitions from stage tiles to bomb and
boss backgrounds, loaded from
respectively. These files store up to 8 frames of animation, with every bit
corresponding to a 16×16 tile on the playfield. With 384×368 pixels to be
covered, that would require 69 bytes per frame. But since that's a very odd
number to work with in micro-optimized ASM, ZUN instead stores 512×512
pixels worth of bits, ending up with a frame size of 128 bytes, and a
per-frame waste of 59 bytes. At least it was
possible to decompile the core blitting function as
But wait, TH05 comes with, and loads, a bomb .BB file for every character, not just for the Reimu and Yuuka bomb transitions you see in-game… 🤔 Restoring those unused stage tile → bomb image transition animations for Mima and Marisa isn't that trivial without having decompiled their actual bomb animation functions before, so stay tuned!
Interestingly though, the code leaves out what would look like the most
obvious optimization: All stage tiles are unconditionally redrawn
each frame before they're erased again with the 16×16 blocks, no matter if
they weren't covered by such a block in the previous frame, or are
going to be covered by such a block in this frame. The same is true
for the static bomb and boss background images, where ZUN simply didn't
write a .CDG blitting function that takes the dirty tile array into
account. If VRAM writes on PC-98 really were as slow as the games'
README.TXT files claim them to be, shouldn't all the
optimization work have gone towards minimizing them?
Oh well, it's not like I have any idea what I'm talking about here. I'd
better stop talking about anything relating to VRAM performance on PC-98…
Second, it finally was time to solve the long-standing confusion about all those callbacks that are supposed to render the playfield background. Given the aforementioned static bomb background images, ZUN chose to make this needlessly complicated. And so, we have two callback function pointers: One during bomb animations, one outside of bomb animations, and each boss update function is responsible for keeping the former in sync with the latter.
Other than that, this was one of the smoothest pushes we've had in a while; the hardest parts of boss background rendering all were part of 📝 the last push. Once you figured out that ZUN does indeed dynamically change hardware color #0 based on the current boss phase, the remaining one function for Shinki, and all of EX-Alice's background rendering becomes very straightforward and understandable.
Meanwhile, -Tom- told me about his plans to publicly
release 📝 his TH05 scripting toolkit once
MAIN.EXE would hit around 50% RE! That pretty much
defines what the next bunch of generic TH05 pushes will go towards:
bullets, shared boss code, and one
full, concrete boss script to demonstrate how it's all combined. Next up,
therefore: TH04's bullet firing code…? Yes, TH04's. I want to see what I'm
doing before I tackle the undecompilable mess that is TH05's bullet firing
code, and you all probably want readable code for that feature as
well. Turns out it's also the perfect place for Blue Bolt's