AuthorTopic: Kontora/Contra/Probotector/Gryzor  (Read 10709 times)

Offline Arne

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Kontora/Contra/Probotector/Gryzor

on: May 16, 2009, 09:03:54 am
I was reading about Contra on Wikipedia and spotted this screenshot. It looks rather pale and foggy with the full black jumping out (and it's the same in Youtube videos), so I pulled down the darks with a curve.



? It's supposed to look like that to prevent the BG from interfering with the characters. (Perhaps it was a late change.)
? It looks OK on the monitor in the cabinet because it's calibrated differently.
? The original artist worked on a rather dark monitor.
? Mame isn't emulating it properly. Perhaps there's palette/gamma file or something?

This Contra arcade flyer is not much to go on.

---

Slightly related, Famicom 'Kontora' had a sweet intro, but it was ripped out because Nintendo didn't allow third party mappers for the NES or something. Also, the first level has moving palm leaf, snow level has... snow, and the last level has a lot of animated organic tiles.
Kontora Youtube video - fan translation
« Last Edit: May 19, 2009, 01:08:29 pm by Arne »

Offline huZba

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Re: Kontora/Contra/Probotector/Gryzor

Reply #1 on: May 16, 2009, 09:33:25 am
There's an XBLA version of the game and the backgrounds are the same, which is wrong, the game does not look like that.
http://arcadeboards.exterior-coatings.com/ab/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=12
Look at the video in the bottom.

Now this is a bit curious thing since the arcade board is for generic cabinets too (like jamma) which don't have any special screens, they're all standard.
A friend of mine has plenty of boards and a cabinet. I gotta convince him to hunt down this game now to check for certain :)
« Last Edit: May 16, 2009, 09:37:05 am by huZba »

Offline Arne

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Re: Kontora/Contra/Probotector/Gryzor

Reply #2 on: May 16, 2009, 09:59:39 am
Yeah, all footage (of the actual arcade version) I've seen has shown dark cliffs, but I couldn't tell if it was just a camera exposure thing...

This is my curve, it's pretty extreme. Curving also changes color saturation and possibly hues, so I doubt it's very accurate. I kept the darkest gray a notch over the black.

« Last Edit: May 16, 2009, 12:32:51 pm by Arne »

Offline eobet

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Re: Kontora/Contra/Probotector/Gryzor

Reply #3 on: May 16, 2009, 11:36:39 am
There's an XBLA version of the game and the backgrounds are the same, which is wrong, the game does not look like that.

If both Mame and the XBLA version has the same bug... *tin foil hat on* ...does this mean that whoever did the XBLA version has stolen the Mame code?

Sounds incredible that an official port would contain a bug that's not present in the arcade original, and that would be the exact same bug that Mame has.

Offline Tuna Unleashed

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Re: Kontora/Contra/Probotector/Gryzor

Reply #4 on: May 16, 2009, 01:39:20 pm
The final level in the japanese version is unbelievably cool

Offline ptoing

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Re: Kontora/Contra/Probotector/Gryzor

Reply #5 on: May 16, 2009, 02:11:37 pm
Afaik Jamma systems have the capability to regulate RGB values with dials. So that could be the answer to this problem.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2009, 03:18:24 pm by ptoing »
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Helm

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Re: Kontora/Contra/Probotector/Gryzor

Reply #6 on: May 16, 2009, 03:36:48 pm
some good thoughts and research here, Arne.

I think it's a bug as well and it's not encouraging that it has carried on to the XBLA version!

Offline ptoing

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Re: Kontora/Contra/Probotector/Gryzor

Reply #7 on: May 16, 2009, 04:44:43 pm
When you set the gamma in Mame to like 0.65 it looks pretty much alright. And that the XBLA version uses MAME code is not unlikely I think.
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Arne

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Re: Kontora/Contra/Probotector/Gryzor

Reply #8 on: May 16, 2009, 05:07:17 pm
It's the same in the PS2 and DS versions. I don't have MAME so I can't try it out.
 
I found this Japanese Kontora page a while ago, it has some screens and links to ports. It lists most or all of the games, just go Back / Main.

Edit: The cliffs look black on this flyer/ad(?) too. Edit: Another one.


Edit: And yeah, a regular 'S' curve will work too, or just 100+50 worth of of 'Contrast'. Using gamma in Photoshop made it a bit dark and dull.


Edit: I'm using a mac, which means my gamma is currently 1.8. It gives me more control in the darks. However, PCs and TVs use gamma 2.2. Gamma 1.8 stuff is darker and more saturated when viewed at gamma 2.2.
Some screenshots calibrated for my gamma 1.8 monitor.

Edit: Just having fun with the pop-up turret. Due to hardware constraints this turret was probably background tiles in the FC/NES version. The design is actually similar to that in the arcade version, even if it isn't obvious at a glance.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2009, 11:10:12 am by Arne »

Offline Arne

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Re: Kontora/Contra/Probotector/Gryzor

Reply #9 on: May 18, 2009, 11:04:31 am
I just set my secondary monitor to gamma 2.2, keeping the main monitor which I do most image work on at 1.8. Working with gamma 1.8 is useful when you need to be subtle in the darker parts of an image.

Anyways, these curves which I did makes the Contra images a tad too dark (and saturated) for my taste when viewed on a gamma 2.2 screen. I actually like the first curve better where I just brutally chop off the colors. Anyways, I've made a new curve which as perhaps more suited for PC/TV gamma.

contra_arcade_curved_for_PC_gamma.png* (big image) and the curve used. The curve layer stuff in PS is pretty handy for stuff like this.

* The screenshots were taken from Wikipedia and 'Game Kommander'.

Slightly related, I've made some character and enemy fan art.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2009, 11:10:34 am by Arne »