MSX horizontal scolling VS NES horizontal scrolling

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By nikodr

Paladin (747)

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16-03-2009, 15:20

Can somebody tell me if it would be possible to have a kind of smoother scrolling on msx nowdays ?
I saw youtube videos of nes games and they seem to have very smooth horizontal scroll.
Examples Gradius version of nes,Dragon Slayer 4 (nes has horizontal scroll while msx does not scroll at all).

The vdp9938 and vdp9918 of msx does not have have support for horizontal smooth scroll?
In konami's Firebird i think there is very good vertical scroll,as well as aleste,zanac x etc.But horizontal scrolling in any game seems problematic.Are there any games for msx that have smooth scroll and are not for msx2+ (Space manbow scrolls smooth only on msx2+).

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By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9883)

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16-03-2009, 15:32

Space Manbow scrolls smoothly on MSX2 too, you just get a moving border. What the 2+ does to it is border masking, and nothing more than that.

The MSX2 VDP can smoothly scroll in all directions. Vertical is the easiest and -cpu wise- the cheapest. Horizontal/diagonal is possible too, but you can only scroll 16 pixels horizontally. To get a continuous horizontal/diagonal scroll you have to copy parts of your screen 16 pixels towards your scroll direction on a shadow page, swap pages after 16 pixels and repeat the procedure. Manbow 2 does this. Less expensive is to use a pattern mode like screen 1, 2, 4, this is what Psycho World, Hydefos and Space Manbow do. Then you still scroll 8 or 16 pixels, but rebuilding the screen in these modes can be done each int, which is much faster than using bitmap modes. The only geeky artifact on MSX2 is a moving border. Psycho World and Hydefos solve this by placing vertical columns of black sprites over these moving edges of the screen. This, of course, costs you 2 sprites on a row, so your game design has to cope with this.

By pitpan

Prophet (3140)

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16-03-2009, 15:38

It's possible to have smooth scroll even in an MSX1 computer if you design thoughtfully the game. Check THESSEUS (omnidirectional smooth scroll), MALAIKA (smooth horizontal scroll) or RIVER RAID (smooth vertical scroll).

By erikd

Master (255)

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16-03-2009, 16:30

It's possible to have smooth scroll even in an MSX1 computer if you design thoughtfully the game. Check THESSEUS (omnidirectional smooth scroll), MALAIKA (smooth horizontal scroll) or RIVER RAID (smooth vertical scroll).

While possible to some extent, the TMS9918 doesn't support it, so the process is CPU intensive which is quite a limiting factor. Also the amount of colours in a horizontally smooth scrolling MSX1 game suffers from it.
NES does have hardware support for scrolling, so doesn't have these problems.

By msd

Paragon (1461)

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16-03-2009, 20:03

Wolf: It does more than just border masking!

By MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

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16-03-2009, 20:18

Check ALPHAROID multispeed scrolling. Smile

By TBC

Rookie (21)

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24-03-2009, 12:06

I wouldn't say Theseus or Alpharoid has a smooth scroll...River Raid and Malaika though is really nice and smooth.

By Hrothgar

Champion (479)

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24-03-2009, 13:12


The MSX2 VDP can smoothly scroll in all directions. Vertical is the easiest and -cpu wise- the cheapest.
I thought that it was VDP-wise significantly cheaper. Does the cpu burden reach any significant level, only sending a bunch of copy instructions to the VDP for both scrolling directions?

The general idea is indeed that MSX could have done much more with scrolling for games such as Contra/Gryzor or Castlevania/Vampire Killer that scroll on any other system, but many game manufacturers simply didn't bother.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9883)

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24-03-2009, 15:11

well, the cpu manages the copying of columns, so while the vdp does the major part (the actual copying), the cpu does some too (tho it's little compared to the vdp)

By SLotman

Paragon (1236)

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24-03-2009, 22:57

The bad thing is vertical scroll also moves sprites. Even worst: when the line where sprites are normally stored goes on screen, everything gets messed! So you have to relocate sprites, and re-position them off-screen while doing vertical scroll... but, if you are on screen8-12, which has only 2 vram pages, there's nowhere to place your sprites, so you'll have to relocate them when reaching some "scrolling points".

Horizontal scroll on 2+, in the other hand, works as it should: it scrolls the background, but sprites stays where they should be.

By [D-Tail]

Ascended (8247)

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24-03-2009, 23:15

The bad thing is vertical scroll also moves sprites. Even worst: when the line where sprites are normally stored goes on screen, everything gets messed! So you have to relocate sprites, and re-position them off-screen while doing vertical scroll... but, if you are on screen8-12, which has only 2 vram pages, there's nowhere to place your sprites, so you'll have to relocate them when reaching some "scrolling points".Uh? You could just place the sprites on the off page, and build the new screen on the invisible lines? Usually, those are lines 212-255. No need to relocate sprites and stuff.

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