Author Topic: Swiftar - very interesting game  (Read 101 times)

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Offline Petari

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Swiftar - very interesting game
« on: 15-11-2017, 21:28:27 »
I'm not big fan of vertical scrolling shooters. So, I was not in mood to hunt game Swiftar until couple weeks ago. I seen it at Atarimania, without download. I wanted to do some simple hard disk adapt, and vertical shooters are usually that. So, I started to search where can DL some crack of it .... And that was actually mistake  :)
From very start it was just trouble after trouble. I found Automation crack. DL-ed that menu disk, and puff - game works not - it freezes when should start play of level 1. Looked more, but nothing on sight online. Then traced it little, and found way to start it. And I actually liked it. Nothing special, but it played well, looked well.  Then came another surprise - after some 10 minutes of play it stopped with message that it is demo, and you can order full version at phone number ....    ;D   Actually, not so surprising, considering small size of files.
In meantime I found exact reason why Automation "crack" (of unprotected SW) works not: they just did not test it after packing main executable of game (it needs that a2-a3=0 at start, what TOS provides at regular start, but SFX depackers not, because that's really rare case) .
Then I  posted request at AF for full game, and Brume posted image of it's crack. Great ! In meantime I found complete demo version on ST Vision 398. What even works without need of debug !
And another bad surprise: full version works only with TOS 1.00 and 1.02 (if you set RAM size properly for dumb test in game) . Joystick read is problem, as in many games. But demo worked on higher TOS versions well. So, full game must be older version.
No signs that someone has some other release, so I went in fixing game for all TOS versions - what was not hard, after I did it couple times with other games.
And I was able to play it finally. And I liked it even more. It is just that levels (waves) are pretty different, and you need some tactics to finish them, not only quick fingers.  I used infinite lives, of course, but it was still damn hard. Used even saving gamestate in middle of levels, because it returns to level start at every death.  After couple days I finished all 10 waves, and found some new bug - in screen drawing (it seems present only in wave 10).
Here must say that this is only game from Accustar, as I see.  Code shows that programmer was not experienced 68000 and Atari ST coder. There are couple stupid bugs and plenty of inefficient code. But, what is most important: gameplay is good, it is challenging, graphic is good.  So, it is worth of fixing bugs, adding trainers ....
I decided to add level skip (after concluding that selectable start level would be very problematic to do), and it is now in latest (probably final) release.  Then decided to increase player's ship speed - because slow movement is one of factors what makes it hard.
Here to add that disassembly of exec was pretty much fast - they used likely same C compiler as coder of OIDS .
So, now we have releases (floppy and hard disk) with following improvements:
Works with all TOS versions - not via some patch, but with improved code.
Level skip option in all 10 normal waves - no sense to skip wave 11.
Unlimited lives option - practically a must if want finish it.
Double player ship speed - very useful. May be little harder on wave 6, but can pass it well.

Hard disk v. :
http://atari.8bitchip.info/SCRSH/swiftar.html

Floppy v. :
http://atari.8bitchip.info/ASTGA/S/swiftar.php

I hope that you will enjoy this little game folks  :)