Buckaroo Banzai

discuss classic text/graphic adventures for the bbc micro & electron
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Dave_E
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Buckaroo Banzai

Post by Dave_E » Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:12 am

This game was never released standalone, it is Adventure #15 in the Scott Adams series and it was on the compilation Scott Adams Scoops.

This game is bugged. You cannot get further than the first few locations.

It does exist for many other formats. The C16/Plus 4 version is particularly good with very nice illustrations throughout, even if the slow loading speed is hell on earth to endure.

I wonder... is there anyone on these forums who is looking for a new project during lockdown? It would be great to have a BBC and Electron version of this adventure. I doubt whether anything is recoverable from the old code. Both the BBC Model B and the Electron version just seem to have half the code missing. There is an intriguing comment in one of Pendragon's reviews of the Electron version that notes "I understand unbugged copies of the game are now in circulation." So it's possible that, if you have Scott Adams Scoops in your collection, you might just happen to have an unbugged version.

Anyway just wanted to throw this out there. See if there are any takers? Someone managed to make Return To Pirate's Isle work on the Beeb a couple of years ago, so again it might be an avenue to explore. Maybe the same interpreter can be used to port a version of Buckaroo over from another machine...

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Lardo Boffin
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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by Lardo Boffin » Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:51 am

I’m working on an adventure creation framework (viewtopic.php?f=65&t=19303#p268318) so it may be that this would be a good game to develop as a test case?

I can see from the web that the Spectrum version, although lacking graphics, appears to be complete and I have found a walkthrough so I could try and combine those to rebuild it from scratch.

It would certainly make a change from working on Ransom...
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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by fuzzel » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:20 pm

Hi Lardo, if you did attempt it, would you try to recreate the Scott Adams style screen layout for it? I would say that would be a must.

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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by Lardo Boffin » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:31 pm

fuzzel wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:20 pm
Hi Lardo, if you did attempt it, would you try to recreate the Scott Adams style screen layout for it? I would say that would be a must.
I hadn’t really thought about changing the screen layout to be honest. Will have a look.
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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by Lardo Boffin » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:36 pm

Something like this?

80949C19-5D4A-4D2D-81B0-7BB0FD6A9D7F.jpeg

My internal databases don’t really work like I assume these do so it could mean a lot of changes. For example my system only shows objects that can be picked up as opposed to interacted with - they are in the location text.
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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by fuzzel » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:42 pm

Perfect! In that one screen you've managed to capture the very essence of Scott Adams brevity. :D

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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by Lardo Boffin » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:47 pm

fuzzel wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:42 pm
Perfect! In that one screen you've managed to capture the very essence of Scott Adams brevity. :D
Its a screen shot from the web so I assume it is from the beeb version.
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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by Lardo Boffin » Fri Jun 12, 2020 6:46 pm

I have got started on this based on a combination of walkthrough guide, map and playing the actual game on my Spectrum (well, one of them :oops: ).

Thus far I have got all the locations in place, nearly all of the links and about a quarter of the walkthrough works.

Because I am rebuilding this rather than porting it from any kind of source code it is of course possible that I miss some of the stuff that you don’t need to do to complete the game as well as the more amusing ways to die (have found two of those already though!) as they won’t be included in the walkthrough.

Plus I had to make a few code changes prior to getting this to work and will probably make a few more - I like the idea of auto listing the directions - should be easy enough and save space in messages saying stuff like ‘Exits are east and west.’ It all helps.
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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by 8bitAG » Fri Jun 12, 2020 7:33 pm

Do you not have access to the source for this? It's been ported to other systems. like inform, so it should be relatively easy to track down which would give you access to all the original messages and help you come up with a list of what you need to include.

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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by Lardo Boffin » Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:12 pm

8bitAG wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 7:33 pm
Do you not have access to the source for this? It's been ported to other systems. like inform, so it should be relatively easy to track down which would give you access to all the original messages and help you come up with a list of what you need to include.
I haven’t found any yet. Half the google hits are about the movie. :evil:
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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by 8bitAG » Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:26 pm

This is the ScottFree version...
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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by Lardo Boffin » Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:43 pm

Thanks. Is there an interpreter for it somewhere? I have found a couple of programs that will let me play the game but not see the raw messages etc.

Its not something I have ever had anything to do with before.
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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by 8bitAG » Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:59 pm

Lardo Boffin wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:43 pm
Thanks. Is there an interpreter for it somewhere? I have found a couple of programs that will let me play the game but not see the raw messages etc.

Its not something I have ever had anything to do with before.
There are lots of interpreters for ScottFree (you'll need to change the file extension back to a .dat to use it in one of them).

e.g.
https://www.ifarchive.org/indexes/if-ar ... tfree.html
https://github.com/TheTextAdventurer/Adventurer

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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by tautology » Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:40 pm

I started converting this to my custom Scott Adams engine; but ran into problems. I could retry this if I can find some free time.

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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by PJ-1978 » Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:56 pm

I wish 8-ish year old me had known (or at least, could have had confirmed) this game was buggy!
I was/am a text adventure fiend! I had this on the compilation tape, played (and completed most of) the others on the tape that I didn't already own.... But always thought this one wasn't running properly because it was on my B+ (which infamously had problems running odd games, see 'Castle Quest', 'Repton Infinity' (causing a headache of Superior) and various others).

I later inherited a B from my dad's work(!) and it still wouldn't run correctly... at which point I even thought it might be conflicting ROMS (which once in a while could have odd effects), hence much changing of Wordwise+, Doctor Who and the Mines of Terror, The Hobbit...!

If I'd have known the damned thing really was buggy, the hours I would have saved!! :lol:
...Should have put more thought into thinking of a clever user name!!

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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by tautology » Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:59 pm

8bitAG wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:26 pm
This is the ScottFree version...
That is the demo cut-down version; not the full one.

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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by lurkio » Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:20 pm

tautology wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:40 pm
I started converting this to my custom Scott Adams engine; but ran into problems. I could retry this if I can find some free time.
I've added a couple of comments to the Issues section of the Github, btw!

:idea:

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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by tautology » Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:00 pm

Ah yes I remember the problem - it is that there are &10a actions but I only use one byte to store the number of actions; which means I need to patch my engine. to support more than &ff actions.

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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by tautology » Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:03 pm

lurkio wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:20 pm
tautology wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:40 pm
I started converting this to my custom Scott Adams engine; but ran into problems. I could retry this if I can find some free time.
I've added a couple of comments to the Issues section of the Github, btw!

:idea:
Yeah I noticed - including beeb2sf, which I wrote back in 1994; so that may require me revisiting a lot of stuff.

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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by lurkio » Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:36 am

PJ-1978 wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:56 pm
I was/am a text adventure fiend!
What do you think of this?:
:?:

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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by tautology » Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:44 pm

Pre-alpha version of Buckaroo Banzai for the Beeb.

Some commands, such as INVE don't work. But I got a way through it.
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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by lurkio » Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:10 pm

tautology wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:44 pm
Pre-alpha version of Buckaroo Banzai for the Beeb.
First impressions: impressive! Not least the speed -- it's lightning-fast!

Is there any way you could make it compatible with a Model B (rather than Master-only)?

Btw, where did you get the full version of the game-data from? (Assuming this is the full version of Buckaroo Banzai rather than the cut-down demo version?)

:idea:

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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by Lardo Boffin » Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:25 pm

Spoiler alert!

Code: Select all

I got as far as digging in the field but it doesn’t recognise DIG

Very fast indeed.
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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by tautology » Mon Jun 15, 2020 4:49 pm

An update - the bug with INVE was due to a logic error when I expanded conditions to greater than &ff. I didn't include a !boot; you need to:

Code: Select all

*load buck
*engine
I've played half way through the solution and it looked right to me. I think I may have been mistaken on this being only the demo version. I need to try and export other version from other formats to be certain which is which.

Now I've fixed this problem more of the games in the engine should work and I can release them as compilations both with and without graphics.

The reason why this is Master only was originally for the graphics; but as it's non-graphics I can move the assembly higher in memory so it can work on a Beeb without E00 DFS.

I'm tempted to make this into a ROM.

[ETA: fixed the DIG problem; my searching for words stopped a word too soon and DIG was the last verb. Also added a !BOOT file]
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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by lurkio » Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:14 pm

tautology wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 4:49 pm
I've played half way through the solution and it looked right to me. I think I may have been mistaken on this being only the demo version. I need to try and export other version from other formats to be certain which is which.
I've played up the point where you have to GET OUT of the car, which was the sticking point in the old, official, buggy version. It actually works in your new version!

=D> =D> =D>

tautology wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 4:49 pm
... more of the games in the engine should work and I can release them as compilations both with and without graphics ... as it's non-graphics I can move the assembly higher in memory so it can work on a Beeb without E00 DFS.
That would be fantastic!

tautology wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 4:49 pm
I'm tempted to make this into a ROM.
My opinion (which I beg you to feel free to ignore if you so wish!) is that it would be better as a standalone disc-based interpreter (without ROM) if at all possible: then it would be easier to configure emulators (and real hardware) to run it -- more user-friendly, especially for people who aren't necessarily Beebheads but just want to play the games.

Great progress! Are you planning on fixing word-wrapping? In room descriptions, word-wrap doesn't seem to be happening at all, and in the responses to commands such as LOOK it seems to be happening too much!

:idea:

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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by tautology » Mon Jun 15, 2020 10:16 pm

I've templated my source more so I can tune stuff depending on whether it has graphics or not. So this version will be safe for PAGE at &1900. I've tried to add the original colours; but it's a bit buggy.

The linefeeding is to do with the differences between Scott Adams and Brian Howarth games, so I've got a tuning flag for that.

[ETA: I added a simple MODE 5 loading screen taken from the Atari version of the game - this is the lazy way to put graphics in]
bb.png
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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by Dave_E » Tue Jun 16, 2020 12:01 am

I am so impressed really!

In relation to the graphics, I have done a lot of loading screens and cover art slideshows on the BBC/Electron over the years. I might be tempted to create some nice handdrawn re-creations of the graphics from the C64 version in Mode 5 to complement the adventure if these would be better quality than the Atari ports.

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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by tautology » Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:43 am

To be honest, I wrote most of the code 9 years ago. Most of the time I spent trying to understand my code and reverse a bad design decision.

Having some native MODE 5 graphics would be great - I ripped the Atari graphics a while back (they're stored as raw data on disc in a simple run length encoding form); but I need to work out the mapping from room to graphic, which means more going back through code I wrote about 15 years ago.

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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by Dave_E » Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:02 am

I could use the graphics here:

https://www.everygamegoing.com/litem/Bu ... zai/52112/

and convert them to Mode 5 equivalents. The question is whether the aspect ratio is correct for whatever it is that you already have.

They would be, on a Mode 5 screen:

160 x 160

leaving twelve lines free at the bottom of the screen. But Mode 5 text in that area would look rubbish. Not sure if it's possible to split a Mode 5 and a Mode 6 screen?

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Re: Buckaroo Banzai

Post by tautology » Tue Jun 16, 2020 9:16 am

Attached are the graphics I extracted from the Atari version (I have some code to allow me to do the C64 - I may revisit that and look for the difference).

In terms of displaying; the graphics are too big really - you really need at least half the screen available for text (mode 4?). This is why the mysterious adventures worked so well (below is The Golden Baton running in my engine):
tgb.png
Some of the versions have an option when you can just press return and it will toggle between the picture and the text; but I won't be able to do that if I do a split screen mode.

Whilst I'm at it; I'm just doing up my versions of the Mysterious Adventures for a 3 disc release.
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