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  #1  
Old 2012-02-05, 13:58
draugluin draugluin is offline
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Dome at the start of the game - no save area

Hi!

Sorry if topic dealing with this exists already - quick search didn't reveal anything looking like it.

I tried to JSB from Citadel Island to the Dome of the Slate right after the beginning of the game. I got quite near already, when I suddenly lost the ability to save the game. Since JSB doesn't work without the S, I was left with letting the Twinsen lose a life in a spectacular thud (5 stars) into the water near the Dome.

Okay, what is the reason for save option disappearing suddenly? I can only link it to entering the Dome area. The area recognizes it is being entered in some funny way and disables the save. Maybe it thinks I just got out of the Dome (for the first time) and thus tries to trigger the autoplay with the wizard - but that shouldn't be a reason for a no save situation, should it? I recall being able to save the game during autoplays (even dead end unifinishable bug induced autoplays).
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  #2  
Old 2012-02-05, 14:59
draugluin draugluin is offline
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Dying situation

It just dawned on me when you cannot save - when Twinsen is drowning, for example. Could it be that when leaving the boundary of the area you're not supposed to leave, the effect is the same, i.e. the game considers you in a death situation?
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  #3  
Old 2012-02-05, 15:33
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Kobold Kobold is offline
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That might very well be the problem - I don't think it's intended for you to save in the water areas that border all islands.
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  #4  
Old 2012-02-06, 05:35
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I don't believe your able to save at all unless twinsen is standing stationary somewhere... If he's hovering somewhere (over water with the jet pack) it won't give you the option, because when you go to load the game, twinsen will automatically fall into the water because the game won't recognize you trying to keep him afloat. If that makes sense...
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  #5  
Old 2012-02-06, 12:28
draugluin draugluin is offline
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Zeelichian: You can save the game while floating over a water area with protopack, and later load this game successfully (you just need to press the up arrow quickly enough after loading the game to continue hovering). Similarly you can save the game in lots of in air situations, including those when you are falling for certain death having jumped out of the boundaries of an interior scene.

Kobold: I thought, that I never was in an (the) exterior water area. Just in some Citadel Island area and in the Dome area. I see as most likely now that this is false - there is probably a gap between these scenes, that is, I didn't pass from the Dome (Citadel) area to Citadel (Dome) area, but to the exterior area which is unsaveable.

I mentioned previously that you are able to save even in some dead end autoplays. I checked now, that you cannot save in others: namely, at least in the money monkey bug and in escape-stormstopping-with-dinofly-then-flywithdino-back. Ok, all this un-save-ability probably stems from not (a Twinsen being found in a currently active and saveable area) or something like that. So almost surely it is impossible to reach the dome without Dinofly.
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  #6  
Old 2012-02-06, 16:34
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Yeah I wasnt 100% sure whether or not I was right about not being able to save over water or not. Honestly I don't believe I've ever tried to, I just thought it sounded like a logical theory lol.
Bah I need to play lba2 again! Lol
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  #7  
Old 2012-02-06, 18:30
draugluin draugluin is offline
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Yeah you definitely need to, without ever trying to save over water your lba2 experience is woefully incomplete
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  #8  
Old 2012-02-06, 18:50
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I probably have before but it would've been back in the 90s when the game first came out and I was like 8 years old the first time I played it so I don't really remember lol.
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  #9  
Old 2012-02-06, 19:07
draugluin draugluin is offline
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Same goes for me
...

Aha! I confirmed my hypothesis. In game options, switch the level of detail to minimum. This way, you won't see scenes that are not active at all (you will see only the current scene). That way you can precisely see borders of all scenes. Upon quick testing, all exterior scenes seem to be perfect squares, not too huge, so unfortunately any path from Dome to Citadel intersects one scene which contains deep water only (on your JSBing you can see it clearly). And these scenes are unsaveable. Maybe the game thinks you are as good as drowning, or simply they are meant to be scenes out of playable area.
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  #10  
Old 2012-02-06, 21:27
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I have nothing to add, but i'd like you to know that I found it very interesting
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  #11  
Old 2012-02-06, 22:03
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I remember I would always wait to save over land because I was rubbish at being quick enough to pick up from a save over water. It was definitely possible to pick up, but I never managed.
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  #12  
Old 2012-02-06, 22:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mia View Post
I remember I would always wait to save over land because I was rubbish at being quick enough to pick up from a save over water. It was definitely possible to pick up, but I never managed.
This explains what I was trying to get at earlier.
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  #13  
Old 2012-02-07, 00:56
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I just checked the area map in CITADEL.ILE (Citadel Island during rain) and there's indeed an unassigned slot between mainland Citadel Island the Island of the Dome of the Slate. I found the same in CITABAU.ILE (Citadel Island with no rain) too. So I guess that's why the save option disappears there.

The slots are basically like this:
Code:
00 01 02 03
04 00 05 00
00 06 07 00
00 08 09 00
Legend: 00 = unassigned slot, 01 = Wizards' Lane, 02 = Citadel Ruins, 03 = area with Woodbridge Island, 04 = Island of the Dome of the Slate, 05 = Lupin-Burg downtown #2, 06 = harbor, 07 = Lupin-Burg downtown #1, 08 = lighthouse, 09 = area with Twinsen's house.
Unassigned slots (00) are basically dummy areas filled with water/emerald/gas/lava (depending on which of the 4 "Planets" they are located on: Twinsun/Moon/Zeelich/Zeelich Undergas) but with no actual data assigned to them and therefore no savegame area code either, making it impossible for the game to be saved in there.
Of course this raises the question of the two empty area codes, one in the middle of lava and one in the middle of water, but I'll test that later. I'm going to make a SENDELL.ILE and SENDELL.OBL (SENDELL island is referenced in the executable file and it existence during development confirmed by yaz0r to me) out of retextured Celebration Island and go to the empty water area code, to see if I end up in SENDELL or not. And I'd like to know just where they empty lava area could take you.
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  #14  
Old 2012-02-07, 01:10
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Don't forget to take screenshots !
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  #15  
Old 2012-02-07, 13:32
draugluin draugluin is offline
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Mia: you can attain a more balanced abilities set by playing also some pure skill games, that require various keyboard combos etc. xD

Polaris: Nice to hear that it's interesting even for someone who seems to be quite versed with these forums - I wasn't sure if things like this haven't been discussed too many times already.

Battler: That's a pro way of going about it! Great explanations. I guess time is nearing when I start messing with the game files to get information.

So my empirical observations were correct, but what I didn't realise until looking at Battler's neat scheme is that, the Dome neighbours with the Citadel areas at least diagonally. It should be possible to jump through this diagonal, so that say during one second Twinsen visits three different areas, being found in the unsaveable area only for a split of a second. This would make possible continuing with the JSB.

Well, the bad news is, this is not possible (although the diagonal jumping is). Wizard's Lane scene (resp. Harbor scene) have solid, thus impassable south and west (resp. north and west) borders. I tested all four of these by careful diagonal jumping then Twinsen hitting these invisible walls and being shifted in the middle of a jump.

Hard to say why the programmers bothered with setting these borders solid, since they didn't expect the player could move Twinsen there. Probably they just did it because it was a trivial thing to do.
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  #16  
Old 2012-02-07, 14:22
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Couldn't it be that you're hitting the end of the map and the dome isn't really there ? The game could be just teleporting you there when you take the Dino-fly.
Another of these invisible walls can be found at the entrance of the emperor's palace, you can't jump across the door.
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  #17  
Old 2012-02-07, 15:31
draugluin draugluin is offline
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Polaris:
Well as Battler confirmed, all the scenes actually are on the same map. You could deduce the scene is there at least graphically directly in game. From a programmer point of view, it is natural to have these scene objects and when a border of a scene is hit by Twinsen another scene is loaded, as read from the scene adjacency map. If a scene border is set solid, then you can't pass. If you want to call this "end of the map" we're talking about the same thing, but I'd say that is a bit misleading name, since sometimes even scene border in the middle of the map get set solid. Consider for example when you are taking Zoe to the lighthouse to stop the storm, she doesn't allow you to leave the current scene except going to the lighthouse. By using some tricks to get rid of Zoe and invisible Zoe "not through there comments" I was able to note that the mechanism is similar here, that is some scene borders are set solid (more naively, unJSBable walls are erected).

By the way, the game certainly is teleporting you when flying on Dinofly.
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  #18  
Old 2012-02-07, 20:58
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1. Yes the game is teleporting you when you fly on the Dino-Fly. Same when you take the boat or the transport means on Zeelich. Basically, it switches your area code.
2. Corner/diagonal scene borders don't exist. If a scene is diagonally next to another, it means they share no border. And the empty space in between there is an unassigned slot. So no way to just jump over to the Island of the Dome of the Slate from mainland Citadel Island.
Well actually if you happen to find the way to diagonally jump so that you end from harbor or Wizards' Lane straight to the Dome without passing through the unassigned slots, maybe you could do it. But that's very difficult if not impossible.

Also, the investigation on the empty water scene is continuing. For some reason, the game crashed on that scene when I had SENDELL.ILE but not SENDELL.OBL. Disappeared when I copied the OBL into SENDELL.OBL too. So it seems it does go to SENDELL, I'm not sure though. I'm going to experiment with the first entry in the OBL to find where the assigned slot should be placed in there, if it's indeed SENDELL I end up in (which the crash would somewhat confirm).
I'm going to try copying DESERT.ILE and DESERT.OBL to SENDELL.ILE and SENDELL.OBL, respectively, then load the save again and see where I end up.
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  #19  
Old 2012-02-07, 21:14
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Battler Battler is offline
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OK, SENDELL has nothing to do with it. The game crashes when loading the save as the first thing in the game. When loading the save after loading another save, I simply end up in the unknown water area.
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  #20  
Old 2012-02-07, 21:19
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Oh now I remembered how to explain the scene thing. Each scene has a lot of so-called zones. One of the zone types is one that lets you go into another scene. You can only pass from one scene to another if a zone is present that allows that passage. The "un-JSB-able borders" are simply border areas with no passage zone. And I'd dare say none of the areas of mainland Citadel Island has a passage zone to the Island of the Dome of the Slate. Hence why such JSB attempts failed.
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  #21  
Old 2012-02-07, 21:25
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Oddity in RESS.HQR (note I count entry indexes from 0): There are at least 4 empty slots where ground textures should be. 3 empty slots where shading palettes should be. I'm going to work on these too.
Add the known "Unused" entry in TEXT.HQR, and it seems something was cut out of the game.
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  #22  
Old 2012-02-08, 14:54
draugluin draugluin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battler View Post
2. Corner/diagonal scene borders don't exist. If a scene is diagonally next to another, it means they share no border. And the empty space in between there is an unassigned slot. So no way to just jump over to the Island of the Dome of the Slate from mainland Citadel Island.
Well actually if you happen to find the way to diagonally jump so that you end from harbor or Wizards' Lane straight to the Dome without passing through the unassigned slots, maybe you could do it. But that's very difficult if not impossible.
Yes I never thought they do. I was talking about taking a jump from a corner of a standard area, in the direction of this corner. This corner jump cannot take you directly to the diagonally adjacent area, instead you find yourself for a short moment in one of the fully adjacent areas and then advance into the diagonally adjacent area (so, you switch scenes two times in a jump). You spend only a fraction of a second in the middle area.

The trouble here is I haven't found a way to pass from an unsaveable area to a standard scene. Your zone explanations are enlightening and indicate this might not be possible at all, as now no-passage-between-scenes seems to be the default, and possible-passage-between-scenes a special feature to be enabled (so obviously it wouldn't be included in unplayable map parts), contrasted to my previous belief that passage between scenes upon hitting the border is a default, and no-passage-between-scenes is a special feature to be set where the programmers want impassable borders.

However, there is still one question. I can pass freely between various unsaveable areas. How does this fit with the zones? If passable zones are things to be specifically declared, why do they appear between the unassigned (unsaveable) areas never meant to be playable?
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  #23  
Old 2012-02-10, 17:21
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Quote:
However, there is still one question. I can pass freely between various unsaveable areas. How does this fit with the zones? If passable zones are things to be specifically declared, why do they appear between the unassigned (unsaveable) areas never meant to be playable?
The zone requirement is only for areas for which scenes exist in SCENE.HQR. No such exiss for the unassigned slots, so the game doesn't even care what you do in them and most likely treats them as one single huge area if there are more of them at once.
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  #24  
Old 2012-02-12, 12:27
draugluin draugluin is offline
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So the game doesn't care what you do in unassigned areas and since there are no zones (zone requirements) upon hitting a scene border it teleports you automatically to the correct adjacent unassigned area (as seen for example on the holomap). Can you elaborate a bit on why this won't take you back to a standard area?

By the way, I found out that strictly diagonal jumping between scenes is possible (teleporting from a scene directly to a diagonally adjacent scene, without passing through the immediately adjacent scenes). Just find some scene where you can get near the corner and try.
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  #25  
Old 2012-02-12, 13:52
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- draguluin: Unassigned slots adjacent to each other are treated as one single huge unassigned slot. So you can freely move around them.

Quote:
By the way, I found out that strictly diagonal jumping between scenes is possible (teleporting from a scene directly to a diagonally adjacent scene, without passing through the immediately adjacent scenes). Just find some scene where you can get near the corner and try.
Nope, as there are no zones going to the diagonally adjacent scene. You'll see it does pass through the scene in between too, just so quickly that you don't even see that.
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