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Technical question (Read 2084 times)
Stuttering Sam
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Technical question
25. Sep 2008 at 05:11
 
Today, I decided to clean the connectors of a certain Famicom cart I bought last year, because I was afraid of playing it on any others, because of something involving one of the Famiclones I have that I played it on. I cleaned the connectors, and every part of the surrounding area I could. The graphics look clean, but I see alot of sprite flickering. Now flickering is where game graphics flash, or at certain points become transparent, right? Whatever it is, I saw this happen with alot of the game sprites. I decided to check out a ROM to see if it was the cartridge, or if it was a part of the game. I saw some of the same transparency or flicker or flashing, but the cartridge I was playing had some I didn't see in the ROM. Is it the TV I'm playing it on maybe? I clean the connectors and their surrounding area with an alcohol swab (it's like this cloth with rubbing alcohol or just alcohol if not the former soaked into it) just like I do with some of my NES games I can't get working on my NES. I don't want to play any other games on my Famicom until I figure this out, because I'm afraid I'll get those games dirty too, and I don't have a thing to clean the Famicom pin connector.
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« Last Edit: 25. Sep 2008 at 05:12 by Stuttering Sam »  
 
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JC
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Re: Technical question
Reply #1 - 25. Sep 2008 at 18:52
 
Usually such flickering is caused by the inability of the Famicom to interpret a lot of info at once -- happens most often with Gradius-type fighters, but also in games like SMB2j when there are too many enemies on the screen at once. You might also see some slowdown of the gameplay. Another reason you might see it is a poorly made pirate cart -- some hacks and fighters like Street Fighter/Mortal Kombat, etc., have a lot of this flicker in the fighters.

A solution depends on your specific circumstances. Sometimes you can fix it, sometimes you can't.
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Stuttering Sam
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Re: Technical question
Reply #2 - 26. Sep 2008 at 03:23
 
After I finished the alcohol schtick on the cart pins, I saw this small thing stuck to one pin that I easily got off with a Q-tip. Then I saw two or three small hairs (I guess it was from the alcohol swab), that I removed (or tried to remove with a pair of tweezers, and there was a third one I tried to get rid of twice. I'm not sure if I got the third hair or any of the hairs I saw off the pins, but I didn't see it after the second try at getting the third one. What if the hair got into the pin connector on the Famicom? Also, two problems were when some enemies moved from the top towards the bottom of the screen, the score panel flashed/flickered/became transparent/whatever, and the enemies were far away from it when they descended towards the bottom. Another one was when I was shooting an enemy that was able to block shots with a shield and you had to wait for him to move it. When you shoot him when he blocks, part of the enemy's body becomes transparent or flickers or flashes or whatever.
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limewater
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Re: Technical question
Reply #3 - 27. Sep 2008 at 22:02
 
Stuttering Sam wrote on 26. Sep 2008 at 03:23:
Also, two problems were when some enemies moved from the top towards the bottom of the screen, the score panel flashed/flickered/became transparent/whatever, and the enemies were far away from it when they descended towards the bottom. Another one was when I was shooting an enemy that was able to block shots with a shield and you had to wait for him to move it. When you shoot him when he blocks, part of the enemy's body becomes transparent or flickers or flashes or whatever.


Those problems are pretty normal.  The main place where flicker shows up is when there are a bunch of sprites on the same row.

The Famicom can only show eight sprites on a single row at one time.  So, between your character (probably two sprites wide), the enemy (also probably two sprites wide), his shield (one sprite), and each individual bullet you shoot at him, you are probably exceeding this limit.  That is common in a lot of those games.  I wouldn't worry about it.
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« Last Edit: 27. Sep 2008 at 22:03 by limewater »  
 
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Stuttering Sam
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Re: Technical question
Reply #4 - 29. Sep 2008 at 01:40
 
limewater wrote on 27. Sep 2008 at 22:02:
Stuttering Sam wrote on 26. Sep 2008 at 03:23:
Also, two problems were when some enemies moved from the top towards the bottom of the screen, the score panel flashed/flickered/became transparent/whatever, and the enemies were far away from it when they descended towards the bottom. Another one was when I was shooting an enemy that was able to block shots with a shield and you had to wait for him to move it. When you shoot him when he blocks, part of the enemy's body becomes transparent or flickers or flashes or whatever.


Those problems are pretty normal.  The main place where flicker shows up is when there are a bunch of sprites on the same row.

The Famicom can only show eight sprites on a single row at one time.  So, between your character (probably two sprites wide), the enemy (also probably two sprites wide), his shield (one sprite), and each individual bullet you shoot at him, you are probably exceeding this limit.  That is common in a lot of those games.  I wouldn't worry about it.

Hmmm, but me and the enemy and my gunfire were the only things on screen at the time.
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limewater
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Re: Technical question
Reply #5 - 30. Sep 2008 at 03:15
 
Stuttering Sam wrote on 29. Sep 2008 at 01:40:
Hmmm, but me and the enemy and my gunfire were the only things on screen at the time.


The Famicom can show 64 sprites on the screen at once, but only eight on a single horizontal line.  Apparently, displaying you, the enemy, and his shield was under this eight sprite limit.  However, each one of our shots was at least one sprite, and possibly more, so it couldn't display everything at once.

You could have a completely blank screen and then add only nine sprites to it, and if they were positioned properly you would see flicker.

And keep in mind that a sprite on the famicom is only eight pixels wide.
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« Last Edit: 30. Sep 2008 at 03:15 by limewater »  
 
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