Fireballs in CSBWin

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Jan
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Fireballs in CSBWin

Post by Jan » 26-Jul-15 07:36

I've been wondering for some years now - isn't there something wrong with the fireballs cast by monsters (e.g. dragons) in CSBWin? We all know that they're overpowered in RTC, but aren't they somehow underpowered in CSBWin?

For example: in CSB for CSBWin, in the Dragon Den (upper KU path) the dragons are unable to blast through the three portcullises (which is fine for the player of course). But - if you read the Chaos Strikes Back Adventurer's Handbook by Bob Retelle, Jim Ratkos and Andy Jaros carefully (http://dmweb.free.fr/?q=node/406) you find some references to the dragons here being able to blast through these portcullises - e.g. "You'll find that you're not the only one who can blast door open" (p. 49) or "(...) another may blast through the door and join the fun" (p. 50) or "(...) teasing one of the caged dragons into breathing fire at one of these 3 portcullises will melt a large hole in them (...) (p. 79).

Unfortunately, I don't remember how that worked in the old days when I played CSB on Atari.

Now of course I know that CSBWin is a completely faithful port of Atari CSB and that the issue of fireballs has been discussed many times here, but I'm still curious... or was there a difference between Amiga and Atari versions with the Handbook covering the Amiga version?
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Re: Fireballs in CSBWin

Post by Gambit37 » 26-Jul-15 08:27

Interesting! Dragons can definitely blast those doors in CSB on the Amiga. I don't think I've *ever* played that part on CBS Win though, so can't confirm the other behaviour.

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Re: Fireballs in CSBWin

Post by Paul Stevens » 26-Jul-15 14:57

I have never played that part of Chaos Sttikes Back with any
engine other than CSBwin. I know I have suffered when the Dragons
blasted their way through those doors. So, if they cannot in the
version you are using, then something has changed.

To begin our debugging, can you tell me what version of CSBwin
you are using?

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Re: Fireballs in CSBWin

Post by Jan » 26-Jul-15 15:35

Paul Stevens wrote:To begin our debugging, can you tell me what version of CSBwin
you are using?
12.100 (but I remember the dragons were unable to blast through these portcullises in some earlier versions that I've played during last ca 5 years as well)
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Re: Fireballs in CSBWin

Post by Jan » 26-Jul-15 15:51

Oh, and by the way - I think that there's also a problem on the lower KU. It's that tiny switch at (08,09,34) in the room where the Death Knights guard the Executioner. IIRC the switch is supposed to open the portcullis if it has been closed when removing the axe. But the switch doesn't seem to work - in fact, when I check the switch in CSBuild it looks like it's not a switch at all but a "shooter" (?!?) - is this possible?
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Re: Fireballs in CSBWin

Post by Paul Stevens » 26-Jul-15 17:01

The Button: I always wondered what that button was for.
I have no idea how it turned into a shooter.

The Dragon/Fireball/Door: Everything appears to be working
in the engine. The current version fails to open the doors.
It appears that the problem is that the Dragons are emitting
rather weak Fireballs. I have not yet investigated how the
strength of the Fireballs is determined. Do the Fireballs
appear to be too weak in other circumstances? For example,
in the fake-wall dragon maze it seems that I remember that
the Fireballs were more powerful. Does it seem that way to
you, too?

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Re: Fireballs in CSBWin

Post by Paul Stevens » 26-Jul-15 18:06

I have compared CSBwin with the Encyclopaedia and with Christophe's
ReDMCSB code. CSBWin appears to have a problem referencing the
monster definitions. I'll return to the Atari source code and see if I
can figure out where things went wrong and in how many places. Yuk!

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Re: Fireballs in CSBWin

Post by Sophia » 26-Jul-15 18:55

I remember running into this fireball issue back when we were converting CSB to DSB.

At the time, you showed me this code:

Code: Select all

//00ca0e 4244                     CLR.W    D4
//00ca10 182a 000a                MOVE.B   10(A2),D4
//00ca14 e444                     ASR.W    #2,D4
//00ca16 5244                     ADDQ.W   #1,D4

D4W = sw(i26A2->uByte8[4]/4 + 1);
You also opined that you thought it should have instead been:

Code: Select all

 D4W = sw(i26A2->uByte8[2]/4 + 1);
I don't really have any comments, beyond this, because I'm not sure what came of it-- we had a lot on our plates during that effort and we didn't come back to it. But hopefully it helps somehow now.

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Re: Fireballs in CSBWin

Post by Jan » 26-Jul-15 19:13

It surely is because the dragons' fireballs are too weak - I tried it in the Den now and I can only blast through the portcullises with a fireball on level 3 or higher so the dragons' fireballs must be equivalent to level 1 or 2 (poor old good dragons :| ).

Honestly, I'm not able to compare the strength of fireballs emitted by dragons in individual locations, or by other enemies (beholders, vexirks etc.). Are, for instance, the vexirks in the room next to the No Fireballs hall on the lower KU supposed to blast through that black door too? But I'll try to take a better notice of that in the future.
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Re: Fireballs in CSBWin

Post by Paul Stevens » 26-Jul-15 19:54

All monster fireballs are wrong. Sophia points out the
precise place where it goes wrong. I have fixed it and
will release a new engine shortly.

The button? I have no idea how it became a shooter.
That information is not in the engine. Did an error occur
copying the mini.dat file? I'll try to find the oldest copy
of that file and see what is in it.

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Re: Fireballs in CSBWin

Post by Jan » 27-Jul-15 06:12

Excellent, Sir, I bow to You! You are Faster Than Light! :P
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Re: Fireballs in CSBWin

Post by Paul Stevens » 27-Jul-15 15:11

I just downloaded the Atari floppy disks from dmweb.free.fr.
In particular:
http://dmweb.free.fr/files/CSB-Game-AtariST.rar
from the page:
http://dmweb.free.fr/?q=node/592

It contains the folder named:
ChaosStrikesBackAtariST20HDUpdated
which, in turn, contains the file:
mini.dat

That 'mini.dat' file contains the actuator in
question and it is a 'shooter'!

There are other folders in that archive that contain
raw Atari floppy images but I no longer know how to
access the files in those images.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
So I tried to look at the Amiga version. But the
file:
CSB-Game-Amiga.rar
appears to contain the 'dungeon.dat' file but not
the 'mini.dat' file in the HardDrive folder.
Perhaps Christophe can shed light on this.

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Re: Fireballs in CSBWin

Post by ChristopheF » 27-Jul-15 18:55

I can confirm that the MINI.DAT you found in folder ChaosStrikesBackAtariST20HDUpdated is perfectly identical to the MINI.DAT found on the original CSB Utility Disk for Atari ST.

I have checked the Atari and Amiga dungeons in MINI.DAT at location (08,10,34):
the Atari ST version contains a type 14 actuator (a shooter).
the Amiga version contains a type 1 actuator (a button), targetting the door.

So, there is no error in CSBwin regarding this, this is only a difference between the two versions (they fixed their mistake in the Amiga version, as all other data bits of both actuators are the same, only the type was changed).
It is also a type 1 actuator in all other versions of MINI.DAT (French & German Amiga, X68000, PC-98, FM-Towns).


You can use MSA Converter to extract files from Atari ST disk images: http://msaconverter.free.fr/index-uk.html
You can use ADF Opus to extract files from Amiga disk images: http://adfopus.sourceforge.net/

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Re: Fireballs in CSBWin

Post by Paul Stevens » 27-Jul-15 19:33

Thank you, Kind Sir,

If you will be adding this to your:

"Dungeon differences between Atari ST and Amiga versions"

on your page:

http://dmweb.free.fr/?q=node/249

then I will not worry about it. The switch is not needed.
It is just another example of CSB's "Multiple solutions
to every puzzle" philosophy.

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Re: Fireballs in CSBWin

Post by ChristopheF » 27-Jul-15 21:46

I've added that new piece of information to the list of dungeon differences.

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Re: Fireballs in CSBWin

Post by Jan » 28-Jul-15 06:14

Personally, I wouldn't call this a "difference" but a "bug" in the Atari version. The switch is "not needed" in the sense that the game can be finished without it and it doesn't lead to any dead ends, that's true, but it's still a piece of mechanics that just doesn't work and was meant to be working. But, OK, you're the bosses. :mrgreen:

Ummm, could I have two minor suggestions covering the CSBuild while You're here, gentlemen?

1. Paul, I've noticed that the archives with the latest versions of CSBuild at http://www.dianneandpaul.net/CSBwin/ don't include the "tiles" file so it has to be added manually from the older archives. This is not a big issue, of course, but perhaps it would be more user friendly to include the "tiles" as well?

2. Christophe, I noticed that the latest CSBuild on your pages (http://dmweb.free.fr/?q=node/697) is 2.51 which is quite old and - more importantly - doesn't work with the savegames from the latest version of CSBWin (gives a load of error messages and then doesn't open the savegame at all). I know that there's a link to Paul's pages with the latest CSBuild but still - wouldn't it be better to have there a working version of CSBuild for download?

My thanks for Your excellent work to both of You, gentlemen!
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Re: Fireballs in CSBWin

Post by Paul Stevens » 28-Jul-15 16:15

CSBwin/CSBuild appear to have reached
their old age and are not going to change.
I plan to put together nine packages plus
a source code package.

Perhaps when we decide how to post
them to the world, we can also post the
latest CSBuild. Disk space and download
speeds have become so freely available
that I am thinking I will simply package
CSBuild along with the Windows versions
of the game.

I hope to talk Zyx into letting
us post a non-encrypted version of Conflux
along with whatever hints we can manage
to include. Nobody can be expected to
play Conflux without help (perhaps even
with help!).

Putting these on the Encyclopaedia would
be my first choice. Or we could put them on
my web-site and point to them from the
Encyclopaedia. Christophe may not want to
include Conflux on dmweb but I think it is
such a wonderful example of what can be
done with the engine that it needs to be made
easily noticed and available.

Thoughts anyone?

DM for Windows x86-32
DM for Ubuntu x86-32
DM for Raspian Arm (Raspberry Pi)

CSB for Windows x86-32
CSB for Ubuntu x86-32
CSB for Raspian Arm (Raspberry Pi)

Conflux for Windows x86-32
Conflux for Ubuntu x86-32
Conflux for Raspian Arm (Raspberry Pi)

The Source Code for CSBwin and CSBuild.

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Re: Fireballs in CSBWin

Post by ChristopheF » 28-Jul-15 17:15

Jan: I agree it's a bug, yet it is still a difference between the dungeons. I've updated the description of this difference on the Encyclopaedia to mention it is a bug.

Paul: No problem posting updated versions of CSBwin / CSBuild /Conflux on the Encyclopaedia. I'd rather have separate archives for CSBuild & CSBwin.

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Re: Fireballs in CSBWin

Post by Saumun » 29-Jul-15 01:08

On the fireballs...

Is it a question of how many?
I ask because i have played CSB in WinUAE in the last few days. In the den i approached the portcullis to the left of the entrance. The dragon spat four fireballs without breaking the door. I got bored and blasted it open myself.
After reading this, i found a youtube video (also played in WinUAE) where the dragon spat a fireball and the player cast an ee fireball without breaking the door. The next dragon fireball broke it open!

The last time i had played it (quite a while ago) was in RTC, so i was expecting the doors to be blasted open immediately.
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Re: Fireballs in CSBWin

Post by Sophia » 29-Jul-15 01:22

If by "question of how many" you are asking if fireballs have some sort of cumulative effect, then no. Doors don't have "HP" that is tracked or anything like that. Fireballs have a random chance to break the door based on the power of the fireball vs. a breaking threshold for the door, and either they do or they don't break the door.

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Re: Fireballs in CSBWin

Post by Zyx » 31-Jul-15 21:38

Paul Stevens wrote:I hope to talk Zyx into letting
us post a non-encrypted version of Conflux
All the latest Conflux versions are unencrypted.

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Re: Fireballs in CSBWin

Post by Saumun » 1-Aug-15 00:48

Thanks for that Sophia... I wasn't sure!

As i said, i played CSB in WinUAE and the dragon in the Ku den fired four at the door and didn't break it. Maybe i've misremembered the original CSB. I was expecting it to break!
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