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My thoughts on all the game decompilations happening since 2019

64bitmodels

Reverse groomer.
To recap, we got Mario 64 decompiled in 2019, which spawned many great projects like Render96 and Mario 64 online Co-op




Then we got the Sonic mobile port Decompilations in 2021, which decompiled the mobile versions of Sonic 1, 2, and CD. This lead to a couple of great projects including Sonic 1 Forever and Sonic 2 Absolute



We also got the GTA3/GTAVC decompilations in 2021 which lead to ports to the PSvita and New 3ds


And now we're in 2022, where we've got Jak and Daxter decompiled with OpenGOAL, Ocarina of Time with Ship of Harkinian, and a soon incoming decompilation of Banjo Kazooie, Paper Mario and a bunch of other N64 games eventually having their source code decompiled.






This is an absolute win for me and i'd love to see more games eventually get the decompilation/opensource treatment myself. No better way to preserve these classics than to have their source code out in the open for everyone to freely use, and people can use these engines as basis for entirely new games they may want to make in the future. This feels like nothing but a good thing to me, and i'm excited to see what the future holds for all of these games.
 

BlackTron

Member
My USB adapter to use a real N64 controller with Ship of Harkinian just got here literally 2 hours ago.

I feel like I can finally stop port begging for a remake of OOT now, this is the definitive version.
 

64bitmodels

Reverse groomer.
My USB adapter to use a real N64 controller with Ship of Harkinian just got here literally 2 hours ago.

I feel like I can finally stop port begging for a remake of OOT now, this is the definitive version.
still not interested until they can port over the 3ds visuals or give OOT the render96 treatment.

while i think OOT's atmosphere has aged like fine wine, the visuals on the other hand look worse than mario 64 if im being honest. im not touching that game without a massive visual overhaul
 

BlackTron

Member
still not interested until they can port over the 3ds visuals or give OOT the render96 treatment.

while i think OOT's atmosphere has aged like fine wine, the visuals on the other hand look worse than mario 64 if im being honest. im not touching that game without a massive visual overhaul

I didn't like the 3DS visuals at all, ruined the atmosphere of the game for me. The new animations too were worse than the old ones....

The graphics look way worse on N64, believe me. I've played it on N64, Gamecube, Series X, Project64 and native PC in the past week. Cranking the res essentially as anti-aliasing does wonders. I find it looks very much like a retro game, but without being ugly anymore. Like a 2D title.

I felt the same way about StarFox64 running on Series X. It was very much the classic game, yet somehow not painfully ugly anymore with the settings cranked.
 

64bitmodels

Reverse groomer.
I didn't like the 3DS visuals at all, ruined the atmosphere of the game for me. The new animations too were worse than the old ones....

The graphics look way worse on N64, believe me. I've played it on N64, Gamecube, Series X, Project64 and native PC in the past week. Cranking the res essentially as anti-aliasing does wonders. I find it looks very much like a retro game, but without being ugly anymore. Like a 2D title.

I felt the same way about StarFox64 running on Series X. It was very much the classic game, yet somehow not painfully ugly anymore with the settings cranked.
It really isn't just the resolution dude
the overall models, the smeared ugly textures, the weird animations (you may like them, i find them kind of ugly) it's just not a pretty game. I've played similar games from the same timeframe that look far better like Crash Bandicoot, Sonic Adventure, and Metal Gear Solid. I think the game could do with an overhaul visually. Even without that though, 60fps improves the experience drastically
 

BlackTron

Member
It really isn't just the resolution dude
the overall models, the smeared ugly textures, the weird animations (you may like them, i find them kind of ugly) it's just not a pretty game. I've played similar games from the same timeframe that look far better like Crash Bandicoot, Sonic Adventure, and Metal Gear Solid. I think the game could do with an overhaul visually. Even without that though, 60fps improves the experience drastically

I agree the game has a lot of fugly imperfections, but I think they only detract from the whole, not define it.

BOTW can look pretty ugly at times, but then when the lighting and camera is right it becomes gorgeous. I find OOT inconsistent in this way also. Yeah it's bad but there's still genuine good in there too. For that matter....Twilight Princess only looking good in the Twilight Realm lol.

I'm mostly talking about Link's animations that you see constantly while playing the game, like walking and running. Maybe everything else was an improvement on 3DS so I didn't notice, but Link walking you have to watch all the time lol.
 

64bitmodels

Reverse groomer.
Wake me when the Indies start making 90's 3D games with these source codes instead of regurgitating 8-bit retreads that are actually more fuzzy than the systems they're influenced by.
more fuzzy? its the complete opposite in my case lol, indies oversharpen the pixels and bring em out as an artstyle even though the original games were made with the intention of the pixels being blended so you never notice the pixellation to begin with. it's actually kind of irritating considering the original intent behind old game pixel art to begin with, to be unseen

nevertheless, you're getting your wish seeing all the new 3d indies that are out now.
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
more fuzzy? its the complete opposite in my case lol, indies oversharpen the pixels and bring em out as an artstyle even though the original games were made with the intention of the pixels being blended so you never notice the pixellation to begin with. it's actually kind of irritating considering the original intent behind old game pixel art to begin with, to be unseen

nevertheless, you're getting your wish seeing all the new 3d indies that are out now.
Not based on old consoles, I'm seeing basic Unity or gamemaker 3D games.

As for the imitation 8-bit sprites, it's actually both, your issues are also common, but I've notice the stuff I mentioned gaining a lot of ground too.
 

00_Zer0

Member
I have been paying attention to all of these and I can't wait till things like Banjo Kazooie, Perfect Dark, and Goldeneye get reverse engineered. I have all my carts dumped and waiting for those to be complete. As for Zelda it will be a long time if ever to be able to use your own legal copy of the game to get it up and running.
 

AzafuseYugi

Member
Wake me when the Indies start making 90's 3D games with these source codes instead of regurgitating 8-bit retreads that are actually more fuzzy than the systems they're influenced by.
Not direct source codes, but there are plenty of N64/PSX inspired indies already.
 

Fredrik

Gold Member
Is this in some grayzone regarding legality or are we truly free to do what we want here?
I play around with game development as a hobby, wouldn’t mind a hint or two how to get platforming correct.
 

BlackTron

Member
Is this in some grayzone regarding legality or are we truly free to do what we want here?
I play around with game development as a hobby, wouldn’t mind a hint or two how to get platforming correct.

Depends on the project, but in the case of OOT for example, the "ideal" way would be to dump your own ROM and use it to build the game, but it requires a very specific ROM of the game that you're not going to have, so it's impossible to be 100% compliant even if you own the game.

Give me a break though. If you own a copy of a 23 year old game and the IP holder hasn't given you a better version yet, take matters into your own hands.
 

Fredrik

Gold Member
Depends on the project, but in the case of OOT for example, the "ideal" way would be to dump your own ROM and use it to build the game, but it requires a very specific ROM of the game that you're not going to have, so it's impossible to be 100% compliant even if you own the game.

Give me a break though. If you own a copy of a 23 year old game and the IP holder hasn't given you a better version yet, take matters into your own hands.
Yeah okay, just wanted to know. Mods came in elsewhere and said it’s dump your own game or don’t talk here, so could be worth keeping in mind.
 

BlackTron

Member
Yeah okay, just wanted to know. Mods came in elsewhere and said it’s dump your own game or don’t talk here, so could be worth keeping in mind.

 

Shifty

Gold Member
You love to see it.

My sole complaint is that the open-source scene for these projects is fucked in some cases. The Ship of Harkinian approach of an organized core team is probably the best of them, since it's decently centralized so you can hack on it and contribute back without feeling like your work is going to be lost to an ever-growing sea of hostile forks.
 
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64bitmodels

Reverse groomer.
I play around with game development as a hobby, wouldn’t mind a hint or two how to get platforming correct.
copy nintendo's homework, make it different, and you'll never be sued
seriously though, as long as you just use it as a basis for your engine and don't take anything directly from there you should be good
 

AzafuseYugi

Member
None that look like them, at least from what I've seen.
I've seen some like Yo Noid! 2 (which is a memey fangame so Idk if it counts) or the Toree games (though they also aren't very accurate, so idk if it counts) and various horror games. Then again, accuracy isn't the most important thing when most "NES style" indie games look more like Genesis or 32X games.
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
I've seen some like Yo Noid! 2 (which is a memey fangame so Idk if it counts) or the Toree games (though they also aren't very accurate, so idk if it counts) and various horror games. Then again, accuracy isn't the most important thing when most "NES style" indie games look more like Genesis or 32X games.

But that was my complaint in the first place that no one is actually trying to imitate those, so it's unlikely we are going to see a Crash bandicoot, or VF style indie anywhere.
 

64bitmodels

Reverse groomer.
which is a memey fangame so Idk if it counts
A good one though, and considering that Noid got an NES game, a Playstation one isn't very far off
There's Petscop but that's not even an actual game as much as it is an ARG
and yeah, Toree isn't exactly accurate considering that it doesn't have any FMVs like an actual PS1 game would (and it runs in widescreen as well)
 

radewagon

Member
It really isn't just the resolution dude
the overall models, the smeared ugly textures, the weird animations (you may like them, i find them kind of ugly) it's just not a pretty game. I've played similar games from the same timeframe that look far better like Crash Bandicoot, Sonic Adventure, and Metal Gear Solid. I think the game could do with an overhaul visually. Even without that though, 60fps improves the experience drastically
I feel like this is a pretty good description of the entirety of the N64's library. ;)
 

Shifty

Gold Member
I play around with game development as a hobby, wouldn’t mind a hint or two how to get platforming correct.


Where to even start. 3D movement is hard.

Tip one: Don't use Godot. I run a discord for a quake map import plugin, and getting good non-buggy locomotion with its physics engine is easily the #1 issue I see people face. The above gif is only a mild exaggeration on the length of content I've written for FAQ purposes, and circa the recent 3.5 release it's still far from the solved problem it should be.

Tip two: Learn about shape casting in your physics engine of choice. It's comparable to raycasting, but projects a whole shape along the ray instead of a single point. Borderline necessary for robust kinematic collision detection unless you have a nice depenetration system that can solve the bullet-through-paper problem.
Though you may find that the latter is a better choice depending on physics engine - some of them seem to have trouble with making accurate casts when the collision distances get small enough, and leaving collision resolution to the backend is nice and simple if it fits your needs.

seriously though, as long as you just use it as a basis for your engine and don't take anything directly from there you should be good
This is actually pretty solid advice, though it's probably worth learning the fundamentals separately before you try to reverse-engineer an open-source (or 'open source' in Ninty's case :messenger_grinning_sweat:) implementation.

I've ported accurate Quake 3 movement into game engines a couple of times, and it's an instructive exercise, but not very intuitive since old codebases in old languages tend to be structured somewhat esoterically.
 
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64bitmodels

Reverse groomer.
I feel like this is a pretty good description of the entirety of the N64's library. ;)
nahh its just OOT. Theres a lot of other N64 games i can think of that personally look far better like Mario kart 64, Wave Race 64, Conker's Bad Fur Day, and Diddy Kong Racing
 

AzafuseYugi

Member
A good one though, and considering that Noid got an NES game, a Playstation one isn't very far off
There's Petscop but that's not even an actual game as much as it is an ARG
and yeah, Toree isn't exactly accurate considering that it doesn't have any FMVs like an actual PS1 game would (and it runs in widescreen as well)
Yeah, I guess Yo Noid! 2 is the closest we have.
 

Kyo

Member
It really isn't just the resolution dude
the overall models, the smeared ugly textures, the weird animations (you may like them, i find them kind of ugly) it's just not a pretty game. I've played similar games from the same timeframe that look far better like Crash Bandicoot, Sonic Adventure, and Metal Gear Solid. I think the game could do with an overhaul visually. Even without that though, 60fps improves the experience drastically
Yeah, I've always thought that parts of OoT were inconceivably ugly even at the time. I can live with the low-poly models and the low resolution, the hardware was just too weak for more, but Nintendo really skimped on the quality of some textures and particularly the rendered backgrounds. Whenever you were climbing a ladder, the camera would get pretty close and thus expose the ugly texture work - and then you'd have areas where you were climbing vines even without a ladder, meaning you'd just see those ugly-ass low-res textures from very close. Ugh. And those pre-rendered city backgrounds were so incredibly low-res - guess they ran out of space on the cartridge, so they couldn't even include those backgrounds in the already low rendering resolution of the game. And so it's a real mess visually.

That background at 14:01 in the above video is an example. It's just inexcusable. That so-pixelated-it's-barely-recognizable tree in the top-left corner just makes me laugh. And then you get to the market at 14:14 with its scrolling background and the pixelation and blurriness gets even worse!

Sure, the game was always atmospheric. But I was always bothered by the Nintendo fanboys around me falling over themselves to praise its graphics. Most of it was merely serviceable visually and some of it was insultingly ugly.
 

cireza

Member
But that was my complaint in the first place that no one is actually trying to imitate those, so it's unlikely we are going to see a Crash bandicoot, or VF style indie anywhere.
Then these people should develop on original hardware then embed the game in a good emulator. That's what competent developers do (Xeno Crisis, GG Aleste 3).
 

64bitmodels

Reverse groomer.
Yeah, I've always thought that parts of OoT were inconceivably ugly even at the time. I can live with the low-poly models and the low resolution, the hardware was just too weak for more, but Nintendo really skimped on the quality of some textures and particularly the rendered backgrounds. Whenever you were climbing a ladder, the camera would get pretty close and thus expose the ugly texture work - and then you'd have areas where you were climbing vines even without a ladder, meaning you'd just see those ugly-ass low-res textures from very close. Ugh. And those pre-rendered city backgrounds were so incredibly low-res - guess they ran out of space on the cartridge, so they couldn't even include those backgrounds in the already low rendering resolution of the game. And so it's a real mess visually.

That background at 14:01 in the above video is an example. It's just inexcusable. That so-pixelated-it's-barely-recognizable tree in the top-left corner just makes me laugh. And then you get to the market at 14:14 with its scrolling background and the pixelation and blurriness gets even worse!

Sure, the game was always atmospheric. But I was always bothered by the Nintendo fanboys around me falling over themselves to praise its graphics. Most of it was merely serviceable visually and some of it was insultingly ugly.
I don't hate low res textures, I hate when Nintendo filters them because you take a perfectly fine grass texture and turn it into giant green sludge. The low res texture work for crash and MGS because those games never filter it to begin with, so everything looks crisp. (In the case of sonic adventure, it was on the dreamcast so they could afford to have better textures anyways.)
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
Then these people should develop on original hardware then embed the game in a good emulator. That's what competent developers do (Xeno Crisis, GG Aleste 3).
Many Atari and Sega pre-Saturn guys do that, but nobody else seems too for some reason.
 

cireza

Member
Many Atari and Sega pre-Saturn guys do that, but nobody else seems too for some reason.
This is most probably due to a lack of tools. MegaDrive has the SGDK available. Games in development have been more numerous since this was made available. Every new game uses it.
 
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