The Menace from Triton is Santiago Ontañón's entry for the MSXDev 2020 competition! It is a 48Kb ROM and it runs on an MSX1 with 16KB of RAM!

And, of course, the game is open source and source/rom can be downloaded from GitHub:

Relevant links:

Comments (48)

By valkyre

Champion (462)

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13-07-2020, 08:07

Excellent entry.

By JGM

Expert (72)

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13-07-2020, 08:20

Wow! impressive, with smooth scroll! Nice Smile

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6453)

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13-07-2020, 09:13

Awesome! This is what Nemesis could have been with smooth scrolling
Greetings!!

By tfh

Prophet (2456)

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13-07-2020, 09:23

Someone killed GitHub, so I can't add it yet. I'll have another look this afternoon.
But TFH is happy: another SHMUP! And it looks great!

By mzoran

Expert (92)

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13-07-2020, 09:28

Isn't this the 7th entry?

By raulsantacruz

Hero (577)

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13-07-2020, 09:47

Github worldwide services down! Too many MSX users pooling Github? Wink Wink Wink

By hamlet

Scribe (3253)

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13-07-2020, 09:54

You are right. It is already No. 7!

By Grauw

Ascended (9379)

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13-07-2020, 11:41

Woow, very cool!

By Bengalack

Master (220)

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13-07-2020, 11:51

Really nice. Smooth scroll, a good mix of sprites and "soft"-sprites, and other niceties makes this a superb entry. And of course, as this is MSXDev it means that it is MSX1, which makes it very impressive!

By tfh

Prophet (2456)

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13-07-2020, 13:21

Cool Smile So I've added it to play online now as well: https://www.file-hunter.com/MSXdev/index.php?id=themenacefro...

Great job again!!! Keep those games comming!

By karloch

Prophet (2096)

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13-07-2020, 13:24

Really impressive entry, even with smooth scroll on MSX1!

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6453)

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13-07-2020, 15:08

An procedurally generated levels! Any time you play different levels!

By ray2day

Hero (565)

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13-07-2020, 16:14

Wow very impressive indeed! Cool Cool

By Gloriou

Master (181)

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13-07-2020, 16:18

I noticed the smooth scroll!
Very nice Smile

By santiontanon

Paragon (1105)

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13-07-2020, 18:10

Thanks everyone!! I hope you enjoy it! It starts easy, but if anyone reaches the levels near the 3rd boss or beyond, the things starts getting tougher Wink

By geijoenr

Master (180)

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13-07-2020, 21:37

awesome game, really fun to play.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9826)

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14-07-2020, 01:04

It's also very easy to die! Wink

By max_iwamoto

Champion (492)

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14-07-2020, 03:21

Great entry! Impressive game from many angles!

And all this fit in 48KB!

By mzoran

Expert (92)

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14-07-2020, 08:44

Tried it on a real hardware using Sofarun but the game locks up when you try the battle or the upgrade part. Title screen works fine. Did anyone else experience this ?

By gdx

Prophet (3813)

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14-07-2020, 09:41

Nice surprise. A impressive and fun game. Smooth scroll even on MSX1, Wow. Running Naked in a Field of Flowers
I want it with SCC sound! Evil

By Uninteresting

Master (167)

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14-07-2020, 12:20

"starts easy"

Then I go and have to restart levels a dozen times before seeing even the first boss.

By santiontanon

Paragon (1105)

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14-07-2020, 18:22

@mzoran, oh! which computer did you try it on? Happy to debug! Also, could you tell me exactly the point where it froze? was it entering in the upgrade screen? when you were moving around? after you pressed upgrade/equip?

@Uninteresting: lol, I think it might be a typical case of the developer not being able to judge the difficulty as I have played every level 100 million times hahaha

By mzoran

Expert (92)

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14-07-2020, 19:19

Quote:

@mzoran, oh! which computer did you try it on? Happy to debug! Also, could you tell me exactly the point where it froze? was it entering in the upgrade screen? when you were moving around? after you pressed upgrade/equip?

On Philips VG-8020 + https://www.msx.org/wiki/Fractal2000_SD_Mapper/Megaram_512kb
It freezes when one selects Upgrade --> black screen or selects a planet on the map ---> black screen + noise.
Perhaps the game does not like being run from a subslot ?

And I agree the game is quite challenging, only by abusing openMSX statesaves I managed to kill the first boss :)

In any case an excellent MSXDev entry, right there beside my own :P
Let's swap cartridges :)

By santiontanon

Paragon (1105)

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14-07-2020, 21:13

Hmmm, interesting! Thanks for reporting! I'll look into it tonight. I have not tried it from subslot. Do you know if there is an easy way to replicate that setup in openMSX, so I can run it in the debugger?

edit: also, the game was updated to v1.0.1 ( https://github.com/santiontanon/triton/releases/tag/v1.0.1 ). There was a bug that made boss 2 impossible to kill... (sorry about that!)

By tfh

Prophet (2456)

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14-07-2020, 21:48

By Grauw

Ascended (9379)

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14-07-2020, 21:57

Well if subslot is the issue, start openMSX with -ext slotexpander -cartc triton.rom… Change option to cartd…cartf for the other three subslots.

By santiontanon

Paragon (1105)

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14-07-2020, 23:02

Thanks Grauw! I'll try it tonight after work! Not sure what can it be, as I don't do anything funny with slots. I have data in bank 0, but I use a BIOS interslot call for that (and the very first call happens even before the Brain Games screen, which seems to work fine). I'll investigate! Smile

By gdx

Prophet (3813)

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15-07-2020, 01:55

mzoran wrote:

Tried it on a real hardware using Sofarun but the game locks up when you try the battle or the upgrade part. Title screen works fine. Did anyone else experience this ?

Works well using ROM2MMM. (tested on the National CF-2700)

By defdanny

Master (174)

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15-07-2020, 12:15

I am really impressed by the game design (as far as I can judge it from the YouTube video): A narrating intro, an upgrade / shop system... the technical aspects (smooth scrolling, tile based explosions) wer already praised. I, a big Nemesis/Gradius fan, can't wait to try playing it.

By santiontanon

Paragon (1105)

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16-07-2020, 08:17

Hmm, I have been unable to reproduce the black screen freeze in openMSX, I am trying with something like: openmsx -ext slotexpander -cartc triton.rom -machine Philips_VG_8020, but the game runs fine... has anyone else also experienced that blackscreen freeze when going to the upgrades screen or selecting a planet?

In any case, I just updated the game to version 1.0.2 with many bug fixes (not all of them down, but at least the game should be completable beginning to end now finally! haha, apologies for all the previous bugs again): https://github.com/santiontanon/triton/releases/tag/v1.0.2

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3366)

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17-07-2020, 02:55

Wow, what a nice game! Thanks, santiontanon!

BTW, I suspect that the problem mzoran is having is that SofaRun us tuned for MegaROMs, and this is a plain 48KB ROM.

Try running the game with ExecROM instead and force it to load the game on the mainRAM instead of the MegaRAM.

By mzoran

Expert (92)

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17-07-2020, 11:03

In my defence I do not really know much about MegaROMs/RAMs but SofaRun is perfectly able to run other 48K ROMs such as XRacing which I believe is from the same author. Truth be told I have not tried with the latest builds but will later.
ExecROM complains there is no MegaRAM available and when setting the cartridge to MegaRAM mode it does not boot to MSXDOS, just drops to BASIC.

By Uninteresting

Master (167)

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17-07-2020, 17:44

I played the game a fair bit more now (on WebMSX, the version on tfh's site on morning 17.7.2020; it had longer invulnerability phase after dying), and got some further critique to give.
1. Sometimes the explosions would not animate but be stuck in the full filled circle state (and scroll off the screen). I think this happened 2-3 times in total.
2. I think that if catch a powerup when it is almost out of the left edge of the screen, it doesn't actually vanish, despite possibly registering as a collected item.
3. Detection of picking up energy tanks feels unfair compared to how the hit detection with bullets is done.
4. I don't remember if the power-up purchase is done with N or M, but I keep hitting the wrong one because who has the time to start looking at the keyboard in the middle of a level. (Didn't Nemesis use both or do I remember this wrong?)
5. I'm not a fan of how two lines of enemies can come from behind with no break between them. I mean both come from top-left corner or both come from bottom-left corner.

Anyway. Technically very impressive, very feature-rich title. Alas I need to leave _now_, I'll write more praise when I return.

By santiontanon

Paragon (1105)

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17-07-2020, 21:33

Thanks a lot for the feedback Uninteresting!!! Big smile I had seen (1) and (2) happening but was lazy to track them down. But now that you mention it I will put it in my list to fix hehe Smile

And totally man, I hear you with the "N" and "M", it happens to me ALL THE TIME! hahaha But believe it or not, it did not occur to me to set both N and M as alternatives, but I like the idea, so, I'll add it to the todo list! Smile

I note (5) down. I think an easy fix would be to prevent two identical waves to be spawned one after the other. Noting it down too! Again thanks a lot for the feedback! Very welcome! Big smile

By defdanny

Master (174)

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17-07-2020, 22:49

Just killed the first boss! Yieehaah... this one was hard enough. I like the fact, that the progress is not lost when dying.
except for the collected credits. Is there any way to safe the progress (ingame feature, not a emulator state save)?
Which extra weapons should I buy at the beginning?

Really like that one!

By santiontanon

Paragon (1105)

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17-07-2020, 23:00

Thanks! Big smile

There is currently no way to save progress. I would like to add a password system if I have the space. But that will probably come after the Dev, as I don't have the time to finish it on time. But for extra weapons, I recommend something like this to start:
1) get a couple of "Initial speed", which will let you start moving fast, and save power pellets
2) then save for your favorite weapon (triple, twister laser or flame thrower are good options) [make sure to equip this weapon after purchase]
3) After that, the most useful upgrade is the "Init Weapon" (towards the bottom), which will make you start directly with the weapon you bought in the previous step, rather than the regular bullet

From that point on, it's your choice of favorite options, and missiles or torpedoes. Also, "shield" is handy to have, as at some point bullets increase in speed and become harder to dodge. So, shield will give you safety Smile

By defdanny

Master (174)

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17-07-2020, 23:10

Thank you very much, Santiago!
I really like the weapon upgrade system you developed. It is a very nice evolution of the Nemesis system... and very clever ideas, like the "init weapon" or "init speed" feature.... let's go for another round!

By Manuel

Ascended (17064)

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19-07-2020, 22:37

When I die (and I often do), I do not always hear the explosion. Is that intentional?

By santiontanon

Paragon (1105)

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19-07-2020, 23:03

hmm, not at all! If that happens it must be that in the same frame, or a frame after that, there was another SFX that had also the same or higher priority! (or it might be a bug). I'll investigate. It makes sense that the ship explosion sfx is the highest priority, so, if it's not a bug, I could just give it just even higher priority (currently there's just 3 levels: 0 (for drums), 1 (for regular sfx), 2 (for high priority sfx). I could give the explosion a 3 for example and nothing would interrupt it then.

By santiontanon

Paragon (1105)

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20-07-2020, 05:28

I just released a new version v1.1 with many bug fixes. I still haven't fixed everything that has been reported (time is finite haha), but this version should be more robust!: https://github.com/santiontanon/triton/releases/tag/v1.1

(You will know if you are using v1.1, since I have added a version number message at the bottom-left of the title screen)

By tfh

Prophet (2456)

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20-07-2020, 19:41

Updated the version on file-hunter.com as well Smile

By santiontanon

Paragon (1105)

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20-07-2020, 22:45

Thanks tfh!!!

By journey

Champion (439)

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27-07-2020, 08:58

santiontanon wrote:

Thanks! Big smile

There is currently no way to save progress. I would like to add a password system if I have the space. But that will probably come after the Dev, as I don't have the time to finish it on time.

I hope you can find the needed space, because a password-system will be fantastic!!
A really "icing on the cake" on a GREAT game! Smile

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6453)

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28-07-2020, 15:04

By santiontanon

Paragon (1105)

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28-07-2020, 17:37

Thanks for sharing the video ARTRAG! It is indeed a nice gameplay, the player was constantly distracted because they were talking, so he missed upgrades all the time haha. But because of that, he had a chance to show off his bullet dodging skills by reaching the second boss with basically the default weapon haha Big smile

And yes! The password system is definitively in my list! Smile

By Kai Magazine

Paragon (1319)

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10-08-2020, 03:56

Hi, I was having lots of fun playing this game which John Hassink just recommended me and I actually like it a lot, I even managed to get to the third boss! (a very cool blue snake, just to avoid confusions)
But the game froze on me mid boss-battle.
A third of the screen (the left third) got filled with random tiles, the boss froze, all disfigured with wrong tiles in wrong places, and then the scroll started advancing as if it was any stage (but in 8x8 pixel blocks now), the boss music kept playing and I got stuck there. I waited for a few minutes just in case the stage would end after a certain amount of tiles advanced so I could escape from the bug but no such luck, I lost my progress (5 hours straight playing an msx1 game! I didn't do that since the 90's!)

Has anyone else managed to get to the third boss? (the blue snake)

By santiontanon

Paragon (1105)

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13-08-2020, 01:07

ouch! very sorry to hear that!!! was that in version 1.1?

By Kai Magazine

Paragon (1319)

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13-08-2020, 14:27

Yes, the latest version available.
I did check the version in the title screen.