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A couple great old TI-68k platformers
Posted by Xavier on 7 November 2017, 21:04 GMT

Patrick "PpHd" Pélissier might be best known for his work over the years on so-called "kernels" for the TI-68k series, his PreOS being the newest, most stable and most advanced such piece of software. Some of PreOS's concepts have been recently reproduced on the TI-eZ80 (CE) series.

However, PpHd's multifaceted talent, besides the featured non-toy third-party TI-68k PedroM OS, which provides good compatibility with TI's standard OS, also encompasses complex games which required a huge amount of work. Let's go back in time and highlight a couple fantastic platformers written in assembly in the late 1990s and early 2000s, which require a "kernel" such as PreOS:

  • Fer3C TI-68kFer3c is an original creation, inspired mainly by Sonic and Mario. Of course, the player moves across multiple worlds of large levels containing a wide variety of tiles, moving enemies, coins and bonuses - but there are some interesting tidbits, such as the tile's graphics and behaviour being disjoint, which can create a variety of special effects. Up to 4 cooperating players are supported, both locally and through link.
    The B/W graphics engine is blazingly fast, with adjustable delay. This game will give you many hours of fun (the README states that all levels can be finished, but not necessarily easily :P), and yes, it has save / restore support. In theory, you could make your own level sets on the computer and partially on the calculator... if you manage to run the tools targeted at old platforms on your computer.
  • SMA TI-68kSMA is a good 4-grayscale Sonic clone, probably more conventional than Fer3c, but still much fun. The physics and the complex parallax scrolling are remarkably rendered, at good speed - faster than the real calculators' LCD lets one notice, anyway. Like Fer3c's, SMA's levels are large and contain many coins, enemies and pitfalls; of course, loopings and bumpers are there. Some enemies can be hit easily, others should usually be avoided. The contrast can be adjusted while the game is running, like in Fer3c. Oh, also, there's a teacher key, but maybe putting yourself in the conditions to need it might not be a good thing? ;-)

Both games are open-source, though SMA's source code wasn't uploaded here. Also noteworthy is their compatibility with models ranging from the older TI-92 II (and even the original TI-92 for Fer3c), using the Fargo II "kernel", to the 89 Titanium. Few TI-68k ASM games written in the 2000s support the 92(-II), and few programs - especially grayscale ones - predating the 89T support it, but both programs work without changes, partially thanks to the usage of a kernel.

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Re: A couple great old TI-68k platformers
Ranman  Account Info
(Web Page)

Thanks Xavier for going back through the archives and highlighting some awesome games and talented authors.

I remember when both these games came out... Awesomeness!

Reply to this comment    11 November 2017, 20:04 GMT

Re: A couple great old TI-68k platformers
PpHd Account Info
(Web Page)

Wow! I didn't expect to get a news this year ;)

Reply to this comment    25 December 2017, 22:06 GMT

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