Right after Santiago Ontañón gave us some fresh shoot’em up action to chew on with their game "The Menace from Triton", another shmup appears out of nowhere in this year’s MSXdev edition. Visualedu and Bitcaffe present entry number 8, "Stupid Martians". MSXdev is on!

But don’t be fooled – this game, while sharing the same overall genre, is an entirely different beast. Obviously, it scrolls vertically, not horizontally. But more importantly, like with “The Menace From Triton”, there’s strategy involved in this one as well. The emphasis is on strategic combat here.

There are three different alien races to defeat, each one from a different planet. You can choose the stage before starting to play. Just like in Konami's Salamander. How cool is that.

The game will have you auto-firing by default, but we can switch from wide shot, narrow shot or stop shooting.
“Stop shooting”? Yes! In this position an energy bar will be filled and once full, hitting space bar will equip us with a force field that provides protection against enemy bullets. Also, there is a second energy bar just below the one mentioned before that gets filled when bullets pass by very close. Once that one’s full, the electromagnetic pulse is available, which alters the direction of incoming enemy projectiles. You also can use bombs that kill all the enemies on the screen.

That’s not all. As a cool homage to the days of yore, we can plug (again) Konami’s Salamander in the second cartridge slot for increased lives and bombs count. Even more cool!

Hush over to MSXDev, this shooter is recommended to give it a go!

  • Name of the game: Stupid Martians
  • Game size: 64KB
  • RAM size requirements: 16KB
  • Genre: Shoot’em up (a bit bullet hell)

Name of the individuals involved:

  • Code and graphics: Visualedu
  • Music: Bitcaffe
  • Betatesters: Antxiko and Pablibiris

Relevant link: MSXdev homepage
Relevant link: gameplay video

Comments (30)

By hamlet

Scribe (3223)

hamlet's picture

15-07-2020, 22:10

Hell this is fun! Don't forget to use your smart bombs!

By tfh

Prophet (2401)

tfh's picture

15-07-2020, 22:28

By Pippo

Champion (457)

Pippo's picture

16-07-2020, 06:02

Very interesting, nice and funny release.
My Congratulations to all people involved in. Smile

By santiontanon

Paragon (1092)

santiontanon's picture

16-07-2020, 09:18

Cool!!! The year of the shoot-em-up!! (can't complain, love shoot-em-ups! hahaha). The game is quite interesting technically too! I am curious to know whether the bullets are sprites or files, there's LOTS of them!!

By tfh

Prophet (2401)

tfh's picture

16-07-2020, 09:38

Indeed... TFH is in SHMUP heaven Smile

By Parn

Hero (606)

Parn's picture

16-07-2020, 16:41

I liked the music a lot!

By Jipe

Paragon (1392)

Jipe's picture

16-07-2020, 18:59

bullets are not sprites Wink
use BlueMSX : CTRL + LEFT SHIFT + S

By KdL

Paragon (1333)

KdL's picture

16-07-2020, 20:08

You have a really good imagination to produce this shooter. Congratulations! Running Naked in a Field of Flowers

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3348)

sd_snatcher's picture

17-07-2020, 02:57

Shmups galore! Thanks for another nifty game on the MSXdev.

By gdx

Prophet (3736)

gdx's picture

17-07-2020, 10:25

I like the game but it's a little difficult to distinguish enemy bullets from mine on a NTSC monitor.

By selios2000

Champion (430)

selios2000's picture

17-07-2020, 16:57

I really like the BGM (and the game of course).

By Juanmi

Expert (104)

Juanmi's picture

17-07-2020, 20:45

I'm trying to play in MSX2 8245 with Megaflashrom SCC+ SD and I can't. The game freezes.

By gdx

Prophet (3736)

gdx's picture

18-07-2020, 01:57

The MegaFlashRom+SD doesn't seem to support the plain 64kB Roms.
https://www.msx.org/wiki/MSX_Cartridge_Shop_MegaFlashROM_SCC...

To my knowledge, only Carnivore2, FlashJacks and Musical Memory Mapper can support it.

By ray2day

Hero (547)

ray2day's picture

18-07-2020, 14:14

Quote:

The MegaFlashRom+SD doesn't seem to support the plain 64kB Roms.

I thought MegaFlashRom could.

Information the link added by you says also;

Quote:

Mappers emulation: Plain 64K

By gdx

Prophet (3736)

gdx's picture

18-07-2020, 15:17

Oh right, It should work by using OPFXSD with the /L option.

By ray2day

Hero (547)

ray2day's picture

18-07-2020, 16:19

That's indeed the option to flash a linear 64K rom. / Unfortunaly the game hangs/freezes on the intro screen...

Anyone ideas to get this great game working on a (standard) Philips NMS8245 MSX2 using MFR?

By gdx

Prophet (3736)

gdx's picture

18-07-2020, 17:39

Send a feedback to Guillian and wait a update.
If you have an MMM, use ROM2MMM.

By Juanmi

Expert (104)

Juanmi's picture

18-07-2020, 20:14

Let's see.... any 64k roms works perfectly in MFR SCC+ SD. The problem isn't in the cartridge. The problem it's in the game code.

By Guillian

Prophet (3353)

Guillian's picture

18-07-2020, 21:29

gdx wrote:

The MegaFlashRom+SD doesn't seem to support the plain 64kB Roms.

Of course it supports plain 64 KB ROM.

gdx wrote:

Oh right, It should work by using OPFXSD with the /L option.

Yes, you can use /L to force 64 KB plain ROM, but it is not necessary. OPFXSD automatically detects the ROM as plain 64 KB.

gdx wrote:

Send a feedback to Guillian and wait a update.

I could add the game to the OPFXSD database to fix it. But probably it is better to fix the game to select the correct subslot in page 0.
Also, using /U option will disable the subslots and the game will work fine.

By gdx

Prophet (3736)

gdx's picture

19-07-2020, 01:31

So it's just a subslots problem. I didn't know that OPFXSD needed a database to recognize Roms. Does it do a checksum? It's fast?

By Guillian

Prophet (3353)

Guillian's picture

19-07-2020, 10:01

OPFXSD calculates a partial checksum of the file in less than a second. But it does not need/use a database for loading most ROMs.
Only a few cases need to be patched (e.g.: Agigongnyong Dooly) because they use a non common mapper, select the wrong slot/subslot, OPFXSD can't guess the mapper, etc.

By ray2day

Hero (547)

ray2day's picture

20-07-2020, 13:50

Quote:

Also, using /U option will disable the subslots and the game will work fine.

@Guillian; Like shown on the video send to you, the game does not work fine on a standard Philips NMS8245 MSX (real machine) using MFR with /U (also loaded as linear 64K ROM).

Quote:

Let's see.... any 64k roms works perfectly in MFR SCC+ SD. The problem isn't in the cartridge. The problem it's in the game code.

I think also.

And that's too bad, 'cause I really really want to play and get this great MSX Dev game to work on my NMS8245!

By Juanmi

Expert (104)

Juanmi's picture

20-07-2020, 14:15

Hi ray2day!
Try again with /U I have been playing yesterday a little, at least about 10 minutes and the game doesn't hang.

Anyway the developer team should be fix the problem with subslots.

By ray2day

Hero (547)

ray2day's picture

23-07-2020, 17:21

Hello, I tried again and I have the solution;

Game works on a Philips NMS8245 MSX2 in combination with MegaFlash ROM when after loading ROM-file into the flashrom memory, the computer COMPLETELY is set OFF for 5 seconds and put ON again.

(so using the RESET-button does not work. then the game hangs after the intor-screen.)

By Guillian

Prophet (3353)

Guillian's picture

23-07-2020, 21:33

That seems a memory initialization problem.

By ray2day

Hero (547)

ray2day's picture

27-07-2020, 16:34

What a GREAT game! Good GAME PLAY (which I think is very important). Nice music and sound effects. Good looking and ORIGINAL graphics! ORIGINAL game. SUPER! Good NEW SHMUP to add my MSX game collection! Compliments to the creators!! Cool

By Visualedu

Resident (58)

Visualedu's picture

27-07-2020, 23:11

Hello everyone, I am the developer of Stupid Martians.
I'm sorry it didn't work for you on your MegaFlashRom (and others devices). It was a code problem, the game did not manage subslots well.
I have fixed it!!! (thanks Guillian for your support! ) Smile

You can download a fixed rom here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/15K4UbZU-DnrWhogBQN_0ojCcksN...

Thank you very much to all those who have tried it, I am very excited, it is my first game :). I hope you like it.

By ray2day

Hero (547)

ray2day's picture

29-07-2020, 19:21

0_0 First! Wow then I am even more impressed!!
(thank you for the fix I already downloaded it before and it works perfect now!)

AND THANK YOU FOR THIS GREAT GAME!

EVERYONE THANKS! WOW 16 DEV ENTRIES!! Cool

By Visualedu

Resident (58)

Visualedu's picture

29-07-2020, 23:40

Thank you !, it is going to be a great contest with a lot of participants.
The more the better Smile

By Visualedu

Resident (58)

Visualedu's picture

31-07-2020, 19:12

Hello, I have modified the subslots management of the game.

Could someone try the game on the MegaFlashRom? (and if you have any other physical device to load roms let me know if it works).

Normal rom:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gCiCH6haEcqQmf_X3he7KJVg6Ql...

Rom with debug log:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cCci-cCzyJGUbDci2OcGOF1hRiJ...

Thanks!