Vindaloo - success at last!

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Adam James
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Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by Adam James » Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:09 pm

I've had a thing about this game ever since I stumbled across it a few weeks ago. It was one of the first games I tried on the Beeb (a real one) and I liked how smooth and fast it played and how colourful it was.

I also really feel for the main character, Raj. For those who don't know the game, he's the owner of an Indian takeaway, and after eating rather too much of his own wares, is somewhat desperate to get to the throne room. His throne room is of course buried deep below ground, requiring him to take a Manic Miner style journey to get there.

He can only move left or right, he can't jump (and probably shouldn't try, given his predicament), and so it's all about descent. If he even so much as dares to stand on a lift as it travels upwards, then gastrointestinal transit will suddenly become the least of his worries.

So I desperately wanted to put him out of his misery and get him to where he needs to be, and I set an evening aside to devote to that task.

I wasn't mucking around, either. I cleaned the area around my BBC and created a work of modern interactive art: a bowl of mango chutney flavour mini poppadom things, and a supply of Cobra beer and Kingfisher Beer, which are apparently quite the thing in India. I decided to mix beers, in an effort to experience first-hand what poor old Raj was experiencing. This was going to be a night to remember...

Image

I started by using an infinite lives cheat, but then resorted to a save state cheat because my BBC kept crashing for the first 15 minutes due to a dodgy keyboard:)

It was all over in about two hours. Raj has been relieved.

Image

Note the huge floating toilet roll to the left of the toilet. I had to try touching it, since, you know, I felt Raj would be needing it. It turned out to be deadly. This possibly answers one of the great questions of the game: what exactly is Raj carrying in his backpack? I think, and hope, it is a 9-pack of Cushelle.

Here's the really good bit however... the next day, with a bit of a hangover, I did it for real, no save states, no infinite lives, no trickery at all! There was maximum drama as I went down to my last life just before the final level, too. But I held my nerve and thankfully even Raj managed to contain ... things, and he was relieved in the proper fashion once more!

I've started a couple of threads recently on the subjects of completable games, and methods of "cheating" to finish a game, and I can now say for sure that "practice using any means, then complete for real" does create an epic feeling!

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by Dave Footitt » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:24 pm

Bravo =D> =D>

Loving the beer and poppadoms too, a good jalfrezi would've topped the night off I reckon!

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by sydney » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:44 pm

Thats great!
I really like that it worked out how you wanted and you maximised the enjoyment from the game. Do you think you'll replay it a few times or are you done with it now? Did you read the thread on Vindaloo in the high score challenge section? What was your final score?
I think I may join you in a bit of late night beeb gaming as a treat to myself. I'm not sure what to play so might have a look through your other thread.

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by Adam James » Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:51 pm

Dave Footitt wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:24 pm
Bravo =D> =D>

Loving the beer and poppadoms too, a good jalfrezi would've topped the night off I reckon!
Thanks:) Haha, yes I probably should have prepared an Indian banquet in case of success!
sydney wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:44 pm
Thats great!
I really like that it worked out how you wanted and you maximised the enjoyment from the game. Do you think you'll replay it a few times or are you done with it now? Did you read the thread on Vindaloo in the high score challenge section? What was your final score?
I think I may join you in a bit of late night beeb gaming as a treat to myself. I'm not sure what to play so might have a look through your other thread.
I've replayed it a few times since. I'm a bit surprised that it's remained so interesting. Part of the replay appeal is that now that I've learnt successful paths through the levels, I can get to the end very quickly. I haven't timed it but it feels like it's about 5 minutes. On one replay I got to the second to last level, but I still haven't repeated my first success yet.

I've seen the Vindaloo high score challenge thread but haven't examined it in detail yet. I think my score was about 160,000, but I'm not sure. I've got so close to the end now, several times, that I'm pretty sure I'll do it again. Next time, I'll keep going (it restarts) and get the highest score I can, and take a screenshot.

I hope you've found something exciting for tonight's gaming:)

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by Adam James » Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:10 am

sydney wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:44 pm
What was your final score?
I don't believe it. I just had another go now, and I completed it again, with one life left on the final level again:

Image

This time I carried on, and got through a heck of a lot of the earlier levels with that one life before I finally died. My final score was 296,930:

Image

I am absolutely certain I'd never have had the patience to complete this game without saving state or infinite lives, as I remember dying 10-20 times in a row on a couple of the later screens in my first playthrough. It was only through being able to practice any screen via a saved state that I could learn the timing for certain things.

Yet still I've now completed it twice without even pausing it let alone saving state, and nothing will take that grin away from my face:)

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by richardtoohey » Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:11 am

=D>

Oh, well, you've reached the pinnacle of human life - what's left to do? 8-[ :wink: :lol:

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by Adam James » Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:34 am

richardtoohey wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:11 am
=D>

Oh, well, you've reached the pinnacle of human life - what's left to do? 8-[ :wink: :lol:
I know, life is all going to be downhill from here! I suppose I could learn assembler and write Vindaloo 2: Touching Cotton.

More realistically though I could keep playing this obsessively until I break the scoring mechanism. I'm already about a third of the way there by the looks of it:)

Back down to Earth, I'm wondering if I should play Future Shock by Tynesoft. I watched it go through the demo screens on my Beeb recently and I could swear I saw my old mate Raj in one of the levels. It would be nice to meet him again so that's probably what I'll do, to keep the magic alive:)

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by Adam James » Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:04 pm

I got a new personal best just now. I just turned the BBC on and fired up Vindaloo for some idle entertainment, which is probably the best state of mind to be in to relax and make as few mistakes as possible!

I got to the end with 2 lives left... and got all the way to the end again, losing just one of those lives on the way. My new high score is 427850:

Image

My latest question now is: when can one say one has 'mastered' a game? Personally I'd say if you can get to the end of one complete run without losing any lives, so I'm a long way off that.

I also like the idea of breaking the scoring system. Looks like I'm approaching halfway there. I think I am going to keep playing this game occasionally to see if I can do that.

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by richardtoohey » Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:11 pm

Adam James wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:04 pm
I also like the idea of breaking the scoring system.
What do you mean by that? Seeing what happens if you get to 999,999 and then score 1 more point? :?:

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by Adam James » Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:20 am

richardtoohey wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:11 pm
Adam James wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:04 pm
I also like the idea of breaking the scoring system.
What do you mean by that? Seeing what happens if you get to 999,999 and then score 1 more point? :?:
Yes, that. The following would all be exciting I think:

1) The score goes to 000000
2) I get a special message from the programmers who foresaw the event
3) A traffic light somewhere near me turns the wrong colour, finally seizing the chance to do something dramatic after the disappointment of not getting to do anything dramatic at the start of the millenium

The most disappointing thing would be if the score kept incrementing correctly and the number was shifted to fit on the screen. I would be writing a stiff letter to Tynesoft in that case, regardless of whether they still exist:)

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by richardtoohey » Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:19 am

If it was me I'd try and figure out the memory locations holding the score, set them to 999,999 and then play for a few minutes.

That's assuming I'd be able to score 1 point!

I think the most likely option is:

4) Some corruption or the game crashes completely. Probably corruption but not enough to stop the game continuing.

I'll get the pop-corn poppadums and wait for you to finish! :D

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by Lardo Boffin » Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:33 am

Maybe it goes like Pacman level 256?
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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by sbadger » Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:35 am

Impressive, I always found the game quite punishing.
Have you thought about filming and having a YouTube series of Longplays?
So many projects, so little time...

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by sydney » Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:26 am

Adam James wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:04 pm
I also like the idea of breaking the scoring system. Looks like I'm approaching halfway there. I think I am going to keep playing this game occasionally to see if I can do that.
I think my only experience of this is on the game Frenzy when we played it in the High Score Challenge. What happens there is that the displayed score wraps to 0 but the value is kept so you reach 1,000,000 but 0 is displayed but when you enter your name on the high score table the million value is still remembered but not displayed. Not a great explanation, maybe reading the original thread would help: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=6919&hilit=frenzy

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by sydney » Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:21 pm

Both this thread and your other one about completing games has certainly inspired me a bit and I think I'm going to have a bash at Plan B as I should have developed the skills while playing Plan B 2.
Perhaps it would be a good idea to start a thread collating completion of games. Are you willing and able to do a video recording of a run through of the game? After a quick search on YouTube there seems to only be a handful of playthrough/walkthrough/longplay videos for the beeb so maybe by doing this a few of us could increase that.

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by Adam James » Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:42 pm

Lardo Boffin wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:33 am
Maybe it goes like Pacman level 256?
I wasn't aware of that - I had to look it up! I'm now holding out hope that there will be a stray character on the screen after clocking it, and it will be the letter 'P' placed exactly over the letter 'L' at the top of the screen:)
sbadger wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:35 am
Impressive, I always found the game quite punishing.
Have you thought about filming and having a YouTube series of Longplays?
sydney wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:21 pm
Both this thread and your other one about completing games has certainly inspired me a bit and I think I'm going to have a bash at Plan B as I should have developed the skills while playing Plan B 2.
Perhaps it would be a good idea to start a thread collating completion of games. Are you willing and able to do a video recording of a run through of the game? After a quick search on YouTube there seems to only be a handful of playthrough/walkthrough/longplay videos for the beeb so maybe by doing this a few of us could increase that.
I like the idea of a thread for completed games, with accompanying videos.

What's the easiest / best way to do that? Presumably on an emulator with some kind of video recording software that can capture the screen? I'd be willing to try to complete it on an emulator and stick it on YouTube.

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by Adam James » Sat Jul 18, 2020 12:22 am

sbadger wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:35 am
Impressive, I always found the game quite punishing.
Have you thought about filming and having a YouTube series of Longplays?
sydney wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:21 pm
Both this thread and your other one about completing games has certainly inspired me a bit and I think I'm going to have a bash at Plan B as I should have developed the skills while playing Plan B 2.
Perhaps it would be a good idea to start a thread collating completion of games. Are you willing and able to do a video recording of a run through of the game? After a quick search on YouTube there seems to only be a handful of playthrough/walkthrough/longplay videos for the beeb so maybe by doing this a few of us could increase that.
See viewtopic.php?f=1&t=19986 :)

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by julie_m » Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:08 am

It depends how the programmer arranged for scoring to work. Keeping score in a binary number requires conversion to decimal every time it is displayed; whereas keeping score in decimal can be done a bit more easily, especially bonuses of hundreds and thousands, since you only ever have to deal with carries between places (and the 6502 even has SED mode). What we are interested in is the case when adding to the highest digit produces a carry and how this is handled. If an outgoing carry from the highest digit of the score will affect another byte in memory, there is potential for misbehaviour. Depending what the score overflows into, anything could happen! Probably least damaging if it runs into the lives counter, which is unlikely to cascade any further; or into a time bonus, which probably is not already maxed-out and so will halt the progress of carried digits. But if the addition operation is properly constrained so the extra digits just get lost, the score will reset cleanly to 0. The programmer could even have trapped a carry from the high digit of the score to trigger some Easter egg.

Once you've found the score in memory (not unfeasible with many savestate files to go through), you might as well fire up a disassembler and examine the actual code that manipulates it, as just preload it with 999999 and watch what happens.

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by Snuggsy187 » Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:20 pm

Had a quick look at the code -

The score is stored as decimal in &62,&63,&64

It's set to 0 at &2463:
2463 LDA #&00
2465 STA &62: STA &63: STA &64

So this can be easilly poked.

A procedure at &21A9 adds 50 to the score (looks like this is for adding the bonus after completion of the level)
21A9 SED
21AA LDA &62: CLC: ADC #&50: STA &62
21B1 LDA &63: ADC #&00: STA &63
21B7 LDA &64: ADC #&00: STA &64
21BD CLD
21BE JMP &21D6

And another at &21C1 which adds 10 to the score (for when dropping down the screen)
21C1 SED
21C2 LDA &62: CLC: ADC #&10: STA &62
21C9 LDA &63: ADC #&00: STA &63
21CF LDA &64: ADC #&00: STA &64
21D5 CLD

&21D6 then just prints the score, so doesn't look like there's any issues when the high byte of the score sets a carry......

21D6 LDX #&28: LDY #&3F: JSR &21EC ; Set screen location to start printing from
21DD LDA &64: JSR &21F3 ; Prints 2 digits of score
21E2 LDA &63: JSR &21F3
21E7 LDA &62: JMP &21F3
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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by Adam James » Sun Jul 19, 2020 12:16 am

richardtoohey wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:19 am
If it was me I'd try and figure out the memory locations holding the score, set them to 999,999 and then play for a few minutes.
julie_m wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:08 am
It depends how the programmer arranged for scoring to work...

...Once you've found the score in memory (not unfeasible with many savestate files to go through), you might as well fire up a disassembler and examine the actual code that manipulates it, as just preload it with 999999 and watch what happens.
Snuggsy187 wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:20 pm
Had a quick look at the code -

The score is stored as decimal in &62,&63,&64...
Since I joined this forum, there have been some fleeting moments when I have suspected that certain members might be technically-minded:)

My intended method of seeing-if-I-can-break-the-scoring-system involved playing the game, as that seems within reach for me, whereas getting my head around hacking it doesn't.

But if I can do anything to assist others in achieving their own hacking nirvana then I'd be glad to help:)

Not sure how I can. Maybe if I just carry on playing it, and see what happens if and when I clock it, and how that ties in with expectations from hacking the code?

To be honest, and I say this with huge awe and respect, even if all three of you looked at the code and agreed that a certain thing should happen as a result of a certain event, I'd still be driven to play the game in an effort to prove you right, rather than assume that you are, and I guess you'd find it satisfying to see it happen when played authentically?

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by Adam James » Sun Jul 19, 2020 12:38 am

Also, while you are all there, may I make a request?

I don't know how much of a big-ask this is - from what you have written I can imagine it being anything from quick-and-enjoyable to time-consuming and unrewarding, but I'll ask anyway: Could you come up with an infinite-lives version of this game, or even better, a jump-to-any-level version?

I ask because I started a thread about "games an average person can complete" where I really meant "on real hardware", and although this game has given me huge pleasure and I've completed it, I didn't add it to that thread. Reason being: my method of learning the levels in this game involved a Replay device on a real Beeb which I guess few people have. So to be more inclusive, that thread mainly lists hacked games which anyone on a basic Beeb (no extra hardware) can get through, in order to learn how to play it for real.

I'd love it if everyone, whether on a real Beeb or an emulator, could practice this game.

There is a listing for an infinite-lives version on StairwayToHell, but it ends with chaining a file called "CURRY" which isn't on my version and I can't see anywhere, maybe it no longer exists? Or maybe it would work by chaining another file. But that's a diversion - the ideal, I think, for this type of game, would be a jump-to-any-level hack so that everyone can practice any level with a view to completing it authentically in the future.

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by billcarr2005 » Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:11 am

The number of lives is obfuscated with

Code: Select all

&246B LDA #&17
&246D EOR #&12
&2470 STA &68
I've removed DEC &68, which is located at &24BB in GAME

The listing, if this one
listing-Vindaloo-ExtraLives.jpg
gives "only" 255 lives, by changing the "number of lives" code above to

Code: Select all

&246B LDA #&FF
&246D EOR #&00
&2470 STA &68
There's supposedly a built in cheat too, for 9 lives, from
https://www.stairwaytohell.com/cheats/b ... e=homepage

"Press Control + f9 during play. You will hear a short tune. When you restart the game you will find you now have nine lives. Repeat this whenever necessary."

although I couldn't get it to work :?
The game needs to be paused! Q and S for quiet/sound only work then too :)


Furthermore, the Electron cheat detailed on
https://www.stairwaytohell.com/cheats/p ... e=homepage

Code: Select all

This allows the player to jump from the current level to the next by simply walking off the left or right of the screen. To start type:

LOAD""
70 PAGE=&1400
RUN

Then enter:

LOAD""

Wait until the next file has loaded and enter:

30 REM

Fast forward the tape to the beginning of the files called MAIN and type:

RUN
does away with the border, to allow for Raj to walk left... however, on the BBC version his sprite isn't cleared, so after a couple of levels it's not possible to drop down!

I've now removed the Q/S and CTRL-F9 code, but added cursor up and down to move up / down a level. It's displayed in the top part of the score.
Levels listed below for convenience :)
(Forgot to add, once level is changed, then you'll need to find a suitable place to die, so that the new level can be (re)drawn!

Code: Select all


00 UNDER THE TAKEAWAY
01 LOOK A TOERAG
02 IVE GOTA FROGPHONE
03 MISPLACED BITBRAIN
04 SCOOP  DE  DOOP
05 SKULL LEVEL FOUR
06 GOT A QUEEN TICKET
07 SANDERSON ROAD
08 BUY INCA COLA II
09 SORT THIS ONE OUT
10 ELEVENTH HEAVEN
11 SICK AS A PARROT
12 LEAD PIPES RULE OK
13 DOM DE DOM DOM
14 NEARLY THERE
15 ONLY KIDDING
16 LIFE IS AN ORANGE
17 SQUEAKY CLEAN
18 ET TU SCROOLOOSE
19 SPAM SANDWICHES
20 WHO CAN IT BE NOW
21 FLUSHED WIF SUCCESS
Attachments
Vindaloo (infinite lives + level skip).zip
(23.51 KiB) Downloaded 14 times
Last edited by billcarr2005 on Sun Jul 19, 2020 12:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by Adam James » Sun Jul 19, 2020 12:22 pm

billcarr2005 wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:11 am
The listing, if this one ...

listing-Vindaloo-ExtraLives.jpg

gives "only" 255 lives, by changing the "number of lives" code above to...

There's supposedly a built in cheat too, for 9 lives, from
https://www.stairwaytohell.com/cheats/b ... e=homepage

"Press Control + f9 during play. You will hear a short tune. When you restart the game you will find you now have nine lives. Repeat this whenever necessary."
Amazing stuff, thanks!

Yes that was the listing I saw. I stopped typing it in when I saw it expected a file called "CURRY", and neither of my versions of Vindaloo had that!

Also, I tried the ctrl-F9 cheat in the hope that I could then add it to my list in the 'games an average person can likely complete' thread but also couldn't get it to work. Excellent find that it needs to be paused! I've just tried it on my real BBC now and it works.

Most of all thanks for making an infinite lives version. I can't believe someone has done this so quickly! I'll add Vindaloo to my list in the other thread and link to your post with the attachment.

While a level-skip hack may be better for practicing, I suppose the cunning thing to do with an infinite lives hack, which I've just thought of now, would be to kill yourself before moving off the harder levels, so you get to keep practicing them.

Obviously in this age of emulators we can save state whenever we want really, but I'm really liking doing everything on the real hardware and I guess I won't be the only one.

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by Adam James » Sun Jul 19, 2020 12:47 pm

billcarr2005 wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:11 am
I've now removed the Q/S and CTRL-F9 code, but added cursor up and down to move up / down a level. It's displayed in the top part of the score.
Levels listed below for convenience :)
(Forgot to add, once level is changed, then you'll need to find a suitable place to die, so that the new level can be (re)drawn!
Mind. Blown.

Just as I was adding Vindaloo to the list in the other thread, I noticed you'd added a level skip feature. I've just tried it now in BeebEm, works great. I got a message when loading the disc however that it think's it's double-sided in spite of the ssd extension.

Thanks so much for that, and for taking the time to list all the levels. I've linked to your post from the 'Vindaloo' entry in the list in the 'games an average person can likely complete' thread.

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by billcarr2005 » Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:20 pm

Decided it would be useful to display the level title when selecting with cursor keys, so added that :)
Then thought it would be good if you didn't need to find somewhere to die before switching level, so D when paused will draw the (new) level
Attachments
Vindaloo (infinite lives + level skip V2).zip
(23.52 KiB) Downloaded 13 times

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by Adam James » Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:49 pm

billcarr2005 wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:20 pm
Decided it would be useful to display the level title when selecting with cursor keys, so added that :)
Then thought it would be good if you didn't need to find somewhere to die before switching level, so D when paused will draw the (new) level
Just spotted this now! More amazing stuff. Thank you:) I really hope it encourages people to have a go at this great game.

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by fuzzel » Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:39 pm

Hi Adam, I've been enoying reading through this thread this morning. If you're not completely satiated by your Vindaloo adventures and are looking for more perhaps you'd be interested in its forerunner, Bugeyes? The authors of both were Kevin Blake and Jason Sobell who used to go to the same computer club as me bitd at Washington The Galleries Shopping Centre (until I believe we got kicked out for ahem, borrowing games from each other :wink:) then Oxclose Community Centre. I can recall Kevin and Jason showcasing their latest game, Bug Eyes 2 with its huge scrolling graphics and bright colours. It didn't have quite the level of addictiveness of Bugeyes and Vindaloo. It was good to look at though. Another of their games, Caveman Capers was also very good.
Bugeyes.jpg

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Re: Vindaloo - success at last!

Post by Adam James » Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:55 am

fuzzel wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:39 pm
Hi Adam, I've been enoying reading through this thread this morning. If you're not completely satiated by your Vindaloo adventures and are looking for more perhaps you'd be interested in its forerunner, Bugeyes? The authors of both were Kevin Blake and Jason Sobell who used to go to the same computer club as me bitd at Washington The Galleries Shopping Centre (until I believe we got kicked out for ahem, borrowing games from each other :wink:) then Oxclose Community Centre. I can recall Kevin and Jason showcasing their latest game, Bug Eyes 2 with its huge scrolling graphics and bright colours. It didn't have quite the level of addictiveness of Bugeyes and Vindaloo. It was good to look at though. Another of their games, Caveman Capers was also very good.
Bugeyes.jpg
Just noticed this, been away for a while!

Thanks for the inside info and the suggestion. In my search for the next game to try to complete, I looked for more stuff from the same people and tried Future Shock - that was bat **** crazy and I couldn't come to terms with it. Bugeyes looks far more up my street. Thank you.

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