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R-Gear (RayForce 2)

KGRAMR

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So, i've seen the video of R-Gear (a.k.a. RayForce 2) that is out there on the internet multiple times and i cannot help myself but to ask if the game has been found already? I would love to play it...
 

Opa-Opa

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Big fan of the Ray-series. Wonder how far developement was on this game.

Taito F3 HW ist a 2D monster, beautiful. I would love to have one F3-System.

If you didn't know...If you have LayerSection/GalacticAttack (stoopid name) on Saturn only play in tate mode. Taito messed the horizontal "tate" mode up. All special effects like first boss background and many others are broken. I still don't understand why?
 
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KGRAMR

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Big fan of the Ray-series. Wonder how far developement was on this game.

Taito F3 HW ist a 2D monster, beautiful. I would love to have one F3-System.

If you didn't know...If you have LayerSection/GalacticAttack (stoopid name) on Saturn only play in tate mode. Taito messed the horizontal "tate" mode up. All special effects like first boss background and many others are broken. I still don't understand why?

From what it is know around the depths of the internet and in the comments of the video i posted, it is almost playable from beginning to the end (minus the credits sequence).
 

Opa-Opa

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Oof, that would be awesome if it would be accessible one day. This game seems to play very wild with scaling effects and stuff.
 

Druid II

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This would be interesting to see. I liked both games on the Saturn, the only problem I have is that the level design can be a dick sometimes - ships spawn at points where they just ram you. Unless you know exactly what you are doing, the game is extremely frustrating (and no, this isn't a general rule for shmups, it's just a sign of bad level design).

And the series has the stupidest naming system ever. There's Ray Force, Ray Storm, Layer Section 1-2, Gunlock, Galactic Attack? Very confusing.

If you didn't know...If you have LayerSection/GalacticAttack (stoopid name) on Saturn only play in tate mode. Taito messed the horizontal "tate" mode up. All special effects like first boss background and many others are broken. I still don't understand why?

They didn't mess it up. The game makes extremely heavy use of line scrolling, ie. changing the scroll value of a background after the line is drawn (at the horizontal sync interrupt). Since the screen of the game is rotated, this means it is moving background columns at every pixel. Just imagine the perspective ground of Street Fighter 2 rotated 90 degrees to get the idea.

Now if you do not rotate the screen, then line scroll cannot be used for this, and you can only do column scrolling at every 8 pixels in the Saturn hardware. So the normal backgrounds are incapable of doing this effect when rotated, and therefore they are missing from the game. Also, some other ones are 90 degrees rotated (like when the 2nd or 3rd boss shows up, the one that drops in and out of wireframe mode, it has a small animation where the wireframe "flows" into the screen - it is rotated because it still uses line scroll).

Thing is that they could have changed the backgrounds to use the VDP2 rotating background to achieve the same per-pixel column scroll, but I can only assume that this would've required a devastating amount of code change, as potentially the entire math of those backgrounds would've needed a switch. The scanline stuff can be done with simple arithmetic and some lookup tables (or even a sine), while doing the same on the rotating background requires actual calculation of the degrees of tilting. Radiant Silvergun does this effect very beautifully, when you reach the Turtle boss on the last stage, the background "sinks" into two metallic indents that do per-pixel column scroll (it's two planes of the mode 7 "infinite floor", scrolling at a perfect top-bottom direction).
 

Opa-Opa

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Only 8px collumn? That's lame. Now I understand why they "messed up". Tate is the the way to go anyway. I get the feeling that Saturn wasn't that of a 2D beast and I love my Saturn. On the other hand with VDP2 it would have been possible, you just need some real coders like in C64/Amiga times... Hmm, how do you explain the slowdown when (Saturn) Darius Gaidens first boss rushes in? Art-design or simply less powerful than Taito F3 or lazy programming?

And thanks for the explanation.

PS: It's simple I go with japanese naming like Ray Force, Ray Storm and Ray Crisis. Sounds good to me. And yes these games are hard as hell but I beat them all and probably never touch them again in a serious manner.

Another question: Saturn has 5 BG planes which are all scalable and two of them have "Mode7" ability on top, right? And does have Titan/ST-V more Ram like 4MB Cart build in? Some say so...

Ok I may have a solution regarding RayForce. How about rendering the game as normal in tate and just simply rotate the frame buffer. Galaxy Force2 did this in real time with its dual frame buffer. What a mess of an architecture Saturn was, geez...
 
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Druid II

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For line scroll, you have to check scroll values once per scanline, but for column scroll, you have to check 320/8 times during one h-blank interval, while the scanline beam is racing across the screen. It's very resource intensive, hence why it is limited to 8px. But it could be 16px not 8px, I don't remember.

Hard to tell why Darius Gaiden slows, it could be anything from the CPU or the VDP1 not being able to keep up, or just a stylistic choice for that matter.

Saturn VDP2 has:
- a single BG colour (overscan),
- a single colour per every scanline
- two rotating backgrounds (scale/rotate)
- four normal backgrounds, but only two of them can scale or do line/column scroll.
Enabling the second rotating BG will disable all four normal backgrounds, so it's not useful. I only remember two games using it.
For the first rotating background only, you can set two rotation parameters. So you can have the top of the screen tilt at a different angle than the bottom, but the two parts never intersect. For example you can do an infinite ground plane and a non-tilted background, which rotate in unison and join at the same "horizon".
So the system only really has like 2.5 scaling backgrounds, so to speak.

ST-V is a stock Saturn, but running cartridges. Imagine it as if the Saturn was running an entire game off the cart slot. Keep in mind that the VDPs can only draw what has been copied into their own memory pool, so you can only display so much frames per second before you hit fillrate caps.

Rotating the framebuffer in Rayforce would only rotate the sprites, not the backgrounds. The game makes extensive use of line scrolling backgrounds, and these are the ones you lose when you have to rotate the screen.
 

Opa-Opa

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Very much thx for ST-V/Saturn explanation! So no NAOMI double the Ram/VRam situation...

More Ram would have done wonders stockwise on Saturn.

Edit:
Regarding vertical line-by-line scroll. I'm sure the slave SH-2 could have done this in software. But yes it's cheaper to port this game in a "rush". Still lame though.

Just look and listen what is possible when you know ( and have some unlimited Rom-Space) how. German and UK coding scene was big back then and is still going strong:


@ 02:12 you see MD vertical line-by-line action.
 
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